Podcast 9: Why Monarchy?

A short introduction as to why so many countries in the future are monarchal in nature. Is it that I hate democracy or republicanism? No. I am just honest enough to understand that those forms of government do not scale up past the level of a city or county.

And that it is best for a government to look to its children and grandchildren, not the next election.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

***

Listen on Spreaker.

RSS Feed.

***

Podcast 7: International Politics

Building on last week’s post about a machine or tribe of them made in China, I thought to address the nation-states of my future history. I break them out as “Failed,” “Floundering,” “Polar Alliance,” and “Other.” This is one of my longest yet, eighteen minutes, as I have to circle to globe to get everyone in.

As I say at the closing, if anyone has questions or comments or wants more information about what I’ve mentioned, please let me know in the Comments.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

***

Listen on Spreaker.

RSS Feed.

***

Podcast 5: Prologue of “Foes & Rivals”

Congratulations: between DayJob and the hundred things I need to get ready to retrieve Daughter #1 from her internship in southern Utah, I’m only able to throw this at the wall and hope it sticks. Nichole 5’s first audiobook is commercially available and I am slogging my way through the raws of the second. This is the opening of that one, Foes & Rivals. As is my wont, I tell you what happens up front. You’ll just have to enjoy the ride once the rollercoaster starts.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

***

Listen on Spreaker.

RSS Feed.

***

War stories

This is the second-to-last post of my prototype audiobook files.  This longer one is chapter two of “Friend & Ally,” wherein Nichole 5 gets her first taste of war.  There isn’t much in the way of new character voices but there is a lot of action going on and I wanted to see if my voice could keep up with it all.

The final installment will be chapter three, sometime Saturday.  It will slow things down again and introduce one more important character.  Following that, I’ll create an ACX account, draw up a recording and editing schedule, and get to submitting chapters for their review; another process I am going to have to learn.

In the meantime, it has been a month since I have written a story, even just playing with ideas.  “Goddess’ Crusade” is nominally due at the end of this year and besides a vague vision of one scene in my head, the other 60k+ words won’t write themselves.

So here’s chapter two; longer, I know.  I’m still playing with Audacity’s settings and getting older about how to use it.  Cheers!

Losing my voice

I went downstairs yesterday to record chapter one and immediately realized that I have to not only get voices assigned to characters but also make notes so that those voices remain consistent.  That meant that I didn’t actually begin to record until today.  On something of a roll, I did the raws for the first three chapters.  To elicit more constructive criticism, I have tried to edit Chapter One into something I don’t mind posting.

The side-effect of all this is that, as I’m not and have never been a talker, I’ve said more in two hours than I would in a week, and my throat feels it; I might be mute tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s chapter one of “Friend and Ally,” recorded by me, with a listening time of just over seventeen minutes.  Cheers!

Making sounds

Took a little longer to get around to this than I’d anticipated, but at long last I built a “quiet corner” in my basement (and it’s only quiet when people upstairs are not flushing the toilet!) and got around to practicing recording and editing.  A pic of my corner – one cannot call it a studio – is below the fold.

Attached (and this might take more than one try; please bear with me) is an 8-minute mp3 of me taking a stab at the prologue of “Friend & Ally.”  I am very young at this and welcome constructive criticism.

Hardware:  a Samson C01UPro mic (USB).  Software:  Audacity (2.3.3)

Continue reading “Making sounds”

A personal look back

I am not normally a reflective or sentimental person but ARSH 2019 has been quite the year.  Foes and Rivals went live 366 days ago, so I can call that 2019-ish.  After losing over two months when my copyeditor of five years ghosted me, Worlds Without End came out in October.  “Crosses and Doublecrosses” has been ready since just after Thanksgiving but the H1B’s at Kindle think the cover is flawed (it’s my cover!  Publish the tanjed thing!).  My short story collection is effective ready to go, only lacking a cover and copyediting, which I shall have completed in January.

In meatspace, my eldest daughter went off to college for Aminal Science/Pre-vet and is thriving to the point she’s spending part of May and June of 2020 at a college on Hokkaido.  I changed employers for more pay and – more importantly – more time off to write.

Time which I have been using to write [working title] “Crusade”; 33.5k words since late October and the city of Savannah is only now about to be attacked.  I suck at war stories, it seems.  This shall end up either being a very large, 3-part novel, or I’ll break it into three distinct books.  I’ll know when they show me the scenes.

Thanks to all who follow along.  God willing, I’ve so many more stories to tell in the time I have left.  Happy New Year!

Life Imitating My Art, part… yeah

Let’s start with a graph…

646b25ba0c9e030f

 

And end with a quote from my novel, Friend & Ally (emphasis mine):

Hakane took another drag off his cigarette in Somi Corporation’s breakroom, laughing at his colleague’s comment.  It wasn’t so much their company discouraged smoking as that they wished to make sure their products were not contaminated.  Given the delicacy of some of the prototypes, all respected this rule.

“Can you believe it, Atazaki?” he asked, flourishing his newspaper.  “The US economy imploding like this?  I’m an engineer, not at economist, but how in the world…”

“Call it belief; call it faith.  Lose it, and your world ends,” his friend replied, looking at a domestic part of his own newspaper.

“What’s that?”  What Hakane knew of politics could fit into a sake cup.

“Since the war,” for a Japanese, that meant only one thing, “the world economy had the US dollar as its reserve currency, backed, not by gold or silver, but by the faith – mind you – that the US will always be there!”

Atazaki glanced at the clock over the inner door and decided one more cigarette was in order.

“So now we find,” he said, pointing at Hakane’s paper with his lighter, “that as the American President is being removed via extra-Constitutional means, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are rolling out a new currency… what’s it called?”

“The ria,” Hakane managed.

“Whatever.  Backed by the gold they’ve been buying up for a generation, and indexed to oil.  At that point, US dollars became valueless.”

Hakane was still confused.  But why…

“Why is there rioting in the US?  And getting worse so fast?”

Atazaki blew a blue-grey cloud toward the ceiling’s scrubbers.

“It’s a replay of what almost happened back in 2008:  credit dries up, the velocity of money drops to zero.”

Atazaki realized his friend didn’t get a single word.  He tried again.

“Credit cards stop working; all the zeros and ones in banks are gone, and, for the Americans,” he took another drag, “their food-welfare cards, whatever they’re called, stopped working.”

He exhaled again and sat back.

“All cities in the US are starving right now.  And there is nothing… nothing at all, to stop it.”

Atazaki took another drag while looking out the window at bustling Osaka.

“They’re done for.” Quieter.  “God help us; we’re all alone.”

Departing Friends

I am, by many measures, a failure as a human.  I have no empathy, no sympathy.  I am not emotionally expressive.  This past weekend we saw Daughter #1 formally off to college.  My wife was a wreck.  I gave my girl a hug and said “call or text if you’ve problems; later.”

It’s not that I don’t have and express emotions, it’s that I choose where to do it and even then can get blind-sided.  I thought the short story of “Old Friends” was going to be a harmless reunion.  Until I was more than halfway into the project did they show me that John Brunelli was unwell.  Nichole’s reaction to that was so severe that I was unable to write.  Yes, you read that correctly:  a character’s reaction to a revelation in my own head was so strong I couldn’t function properly.

I was finally able to sneak up on it in pieces.  I could split it, but why make y’all any more miserable than I was?  Here’s the last part of “Old Friends.”  I so need to write something light and fluffy next…

Continue reading “Departing Friends”