Effing RMS

Here’s the last of the prototype chapters.  I am much older about peaks (Nichole’s sharp voice, here and there), valleys (Mackenzie’s, everywhere), and RMS (the relationship between those levels).  In learning such, I’ve also gotten the volume waaay up from where it was before.  Tanjed near burst my eardrums in the headphones…

With this complete, and taking in any constructive criticism y’all might have, I’m going to try making notes and writing some very raw ideas I have about Faustina and her third novel, “Goddess’ Crusade.”  It is setting the bar a little high, but I want all three of her books and the complete audiobook of “Friend & Ally” out no later than Christmas.  We shall see.

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)

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“Empress’ Crusade” MS Complete

Sorry for the silence; been busy.  After my Hey, hey! incident, I tried to work within the new confines of that to find a way to wrap up EC.  I found a way out via Faustina’s fast ride from Vicksburg to Birmingham and onto Huntsville.  We’ve seen from way back that she is attracted to the 32-year-old mayor of that town, so I decided to have her push her feelings to see what happens.  While not completely happy with the end, it is at least an end.  I’ll  be able to think about it better as a make my editing pass before farming it out to a copyeditor.  I’m leaning toward re-using Stephen Zimmer, as he copyedited “Princess’ Crusade” and has knowledge of the characters and plot.

With that being checked, I have spent some money, read, and watched many videos on how to narrate audiobooks.  Once my wife gets the basement un-wrecked from her current project, I’ll carve out a space, hang some blankets, and see what I can do.  However, if that gets delayed, I will have to at least start notes and plans for the final book of this trilogy, “Goddess’ Crusade.”

Below the fold, rather than the entirety of Part IV of EC, is just a snippet from toward the end, showcasing Faustina and Mayor Robert Wade.

Continue reading ““Empress’ Crusade” MS Complete”

“Hey, hey!”

In manga and anime high school rom-coms, there is a trope where the female childhood friend of the male protagonist, after years of keeping her love of him a secret, finally screws up her courage to confess.  It is at that moment when the hot-looking, overbearing transfer student bursts into the classroom shouting, “hey, hey!” and all of the quiet friend’s plans are shattered.

On Friday, my family departed for a 10-day vacation at my sister-in-law’s place on a lake in N. Louisiana.  Perfect, I thought, I can finally wrap up the MS for “Empress’ Crusade,” pass it onto a copyeditor, then relocate myself into the basement to begin practicing audio recording to make audiobooks!  Heck, EC is already 72k words, making it one of my longest, so it is time to stick a fork in it and say it’s done…

“Hey, hey!”

Doing some calculations about moving Faustina’s legions about the Deep South and the goings on around Fort Benning, I saw someone.  Another female (of course) but older; hard to tell her exact age as the room was very dark.  She had no need for light:  her eyes had been torn out some years before.  I beheld Alexandra;  part Muscogee Indian and also another demi-human (though she’s yet to tell me who modified her) who is halfway between what Faustina is and what Tracy came to be at her ascension.  A new character and a huge wild-card at that, in the setting sun of the second book of my Crusade Trilogy… exactly what I need (if I used emojis there would be an eyeroll here).

I’ve spent most of today, Sunday, getting Faustina from Birmingham up to Huntsville.  I stopped there for two reasons:  she really likes the 32-year-old Mayor of that town and it is her 19th birthday.  I don’t think she sleeps with him – she is in the middle of campaign, after all – but I did not want to rush things.  Once I have that written down, I’ll have to turn to understand just who and what Alexandra is; there is a definite religious aspect to her, which would turn any assault of Faustina’s army against Fort Benning into a religious war… never a good idea.

The one and only time that Faustina looked into the Void and at what few electronic systems and records there were at Benning, she did not encounter any conscious mind, human or machine.  Perhaps Alexandra was asleep then?  I’ve no idea.  I just hope to resolve this time a timely –

“Hey, hey!”

Brewing storms

I like an episode arc that starts in sunshine and ends in clouds.  It guarantees further action.  Under the fold, the empress meets with a diplomatic embassage of rump Louisiana, trying to find out what is going on between them and the Gulf Short States, who she and her boys are on their way to visit.  At the end, Ryland startles Faustina very badly… something I’m still seeing and will try to wrap up Thursday.

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Upgrades: fort

In the five days that Faustina ran around former northern State of Mississippi with two legions, her boys from Fourth have not been idle.

I’ve DayJob this weekend and Monday so am not sure about another update.  I’ve seen how she gets her army back to Vicksburg and did a little research about what comes next.  But that “what comes next” will be another 15k word arc.  Before I do that, I must sit down and make a complete re-assessment of the staff of the 4+1 legions she has at her disposal.  My clutch of hand-written notes scattered over five pages just is not holding up anymore.

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“No” or “hell, no!”

Had a co-worker over for cocktails yesterday afternoon.  Ohio allows personal interaction and we’re both “vital medical personnel” *snort* so we do what we want in the Dark Age of BatAIDS.  He’s one of the folks who encouraged me to think seriously about making audiobooks.  We covered that subject and several others.  While mildly lef of center, we discovered that we’re shoulder-to-shoulder on issues such as private property and firearms.  He’s not particularly religious and was surprised to find out I’m Catholic.  I stared at him over the rim of my Martini and asked, “You’ve read three of my books.  Did you think those elements fell in there by accident?”  All in all, an excellent Saturday afternoon.

Below the fold, anxious for her men and wanting to reunite her army, Faustina thinks of ways to bluff her next opponent rather than fighting a battle.  Which is a polite way of saying I don’t want to throw away another week thinking about it.

Continue reading ““No” or “hell, no!””

Bloodlines

I swear… I SWEAR that there is shooting in the next installment.  I’ve already written it, so trust me.  It’s just that I think it is so much more interesting to listen to them rather than *pew*pew* and *boom*boom*.  It will be impressive once adapted into a visual series but it just takes up space in my mind and in my pages.

We get to know Ryland, a ‘normie’ but genius human, a little bit better.  She’s not the self-centered shit I thought she was last week.  That is one of the reasons I so love this job:  discovery.  Had I never on a whim written “The Fourth Law” five years ago, I’d not have met Lily.  In the next book, her sister, Callie.  Several books on, writing about Callie’s son and girlfriend, I met Faustina.  And now her cousin.  If this is not a miracle then tell me what is.

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Up the Yazoo

Which, for my overseas readers, is an actual river and city in the State of Mississippi.  Faustina has to move fast:  both to prove herself as a legionary commander and to show that she’s better than humans.  In this segment, the first of two before the Battle of Winona (there will finally be shooting, I promise), she schools her distant relations on strategy and tactics in the former US as well as that attacking the enemy’s mind is always more effective than attacking their body.

I am also older that to write a campaign, you have to plan a campaign.  A visual example of that is at the very end of this entry.

Continue reading “Up the Yazoo”