First Draft, YAY!

June 28, 2012

The good news is that I finished the first draft of Shifting Shadows, the last book in the Shifter Series. The bad news is that something about the last few lines didn’t set well with me and I rewrote them in my head several times. I think I’m going to let it sit for the next day or so and redo it as part of my normal edit cycle, this weekend.

After it goes through at least one edit cycle, I should have some excerpts to share with y’all!



Story Fodder

June 23, 2012

Since high school, I have always told stories in the old bardic tradition. That is, by passing them on in word of mouth. When folks ask where I get the ideas for some of my own tales, I can’t help by be surprised.

Someone once commented that the biggest problem with writing fiction is that you have to make it believable. In many cases, real-life is not. We are surrounded by marvellous tales that defy explanation and any one of them can be used by the aspiring author as a jump-start for their muse. Allow me to provide a few examples.

Lead coffins are tossed about a sealed underground tomb on the island of Barbados.

An entire regiment of 250 men and 16 officers attacks a cloud-enshrouded hilltop and is never seen again.

Two ladies visit a royal court as it was more than a hundred years before their time.

All three of these links showed up in the last day on my G+ feed. I see similar items flow by at least a couple of times a week. Sometimes they are even modern news items.

Inspiration is all around us. Just keep an eye peeled and when a headline article catches your attention, try your hand a finishing the story.

Last week, I posted a brief tutorial on how to use Audacity to create your own audiobooks. Now, I’ve decided to share some of my experiences during the creation of my latest project.

First, a little background… I’ve recorded some short tales and a friend’s poem in order to test and hone my skills. This process has taught me a few things.

#1 Use a decent microphone. I have been using the same $20 headset and boom mic combination that I’ve used for Skype. It works. But the sound quality is just not that good. A couple of week’s ago, I broke down and purchased a Blue Yeti.

#2 However long it takes you to read a chapter slowly and distinctly, translates to four to five times that long to create the final MP3. Yes. The post-edit process is time-consuming. Plan on it.

#3 I’ve started recording Shifter Born, the first book in my Shifter Series. I’m on chapter ten of thirteen. As I finish reading each chapter, I’m doing the basic noise-reduction and editing out the screwups. That’s it for now. I’m going to leave the rest of the post-production, such as adding spacing, music, titles, copyright, and overall level balancing… until all the chapters are in the can.

It’s just the start. Feel free to ask questions along the way.

Inspiration: Kids

June 18, 2012

While at lunch in a busy buffet, I was people-watching. There was a lady at an adjacent table with two kids. One was a little boy, I’m guessing six or seven years old. His sister was a bit older, probably ten or so.

The boy got up and started marching towards the food with an exaggerated goose-step and swinging of arms. His mom caught him as he passed and quickly whispered some probably sage advice. He nodded and kept on his way, rolling his eyes as soon as she turned away.

He cruised between the food bars and his sister got up and followed him. She caught him, bent over and obviously gave him a sisterly tongue-lashing. He frowned and jerked his head in a quick nod, turned away and got his plate.

His sis watched him start to get some food, then spun on her heel, shrugged her shoulders and gave an exasperated roll of the eyes while on her way back to her meal.

I had to smile at this. There will come a time when I will write that scene into a novel.

What about you? Do you like to people watch and then assign your own stories to the visual cues that are so common around us?

Olde City, New Blood!

June 17, 2012

I just found out about an upcoming event that should be a lot of fun.

There is going to be a gathering of Urban Fantasy and Romance authors and readers in St. Augustine, Florida this coming February eighth to the tenth.

Details are a bit sparce at this point, but I’ll post updates on my plans as soon as possible.

Hope y’all can join us for the party.