steampunk


ModeArtistiqueMai1880Last night I recorded the last two chapters of The Aldersgate for Alderpod.

I don’t know what I was expecting to feel. I mean, I haven’t actually been writing in the draft in months. I’ve had my head in other projects, so maybe it was the distance that did it. But finishing it, reading that last bit, then adding the music and hearing it back again. Well, it was a little emotional for me. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my sister’s voice is there at the end, too…

But it’s more than that. Finishing a book is a weird process, especially when you’re expecting to write more later. The Aldersgate was never envisioned, to me anyway, as just one book. But, still, it’s got to be able to stand on its own. Even though some of the plot points won’t get resolved for a while, it’s important that each of the characters complete their own journeys.

And I think, above all, that’s what I’m most pleased with. The book has room for tightening in a lot of places. But such are revisions. I can get away with some stuff in reading that likely I can’t in writing. Just one of the weird ways the audiobook and physical book differ. But, back to the characters. I like the way the book ends because the main characters–in this case, Cora, Emry, and Brick–really come into their own. I won’t go spoilery on you, and it’s not that they all figure it out perfectly, or that’s it’s a happy ending. It can’t really be (as in the case of Sylvan and Ellin).

Anyway I’m babbling. The coffee’s not yet kicked in. At some point today I’ve got to go and put the tags on the file, and listen one more time to make sure it’s as good as I can get it.

And now, this begs the question: what to do next? The podcast has been going on for the last year and change (the prologue went live on April 22, 2008). As I mentioned at the beginning, reading aloud is just a part of my writing process, and it may be that I choose to do another podcast just… well, because there’s going to be a gaping hole where Alderpod once was!

Regardless, there will be at least one more Alderpod, wherein there is an epilogue. It will help set up some of the background for The Ward of the Rose, as well as tie up what happened with Kaythra Bav, Alastair Grey, and Denna Grey. So it’s not the end of the end. I guess no story is really ever over, anyway…

Chapter 26: Preparation

Once again, here we are. I’ve been having a little bit of frustration with my recording equipment, and hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have a totally new setup: phantom power here I come! I’m working on ways to keep background noise to a minimum, which has been an issue throughout the podcast, but I did my best.

As I mention in the podcast itself, music is by my beautiful and talented sister, Llana Barron. You’ll be hearing this music again, so keep your ears open. Only three more chapters to go friends, and this ride will come to an end. Thanks so much for listening along the way…

As I’ve mentioned before, my sister and I had a certainly magical childhood. Much of my love of writing came from the stories we put together ourselves. I was writing novel-length books when I was a teenager, and she was often my collaborator–sometimes literally. We wrote a book together!

Well, Llana is not only a more remarkable and talented woman in her own right, but she’s also currently fighting Hodgkins Lymphoma; her last chemotherapy treatment is tomorrow, in fact.

About a week ago, I was telling her that I needed some extra music for Alderpod, and asked her if she’d put something together, if she wanted. She’s done instrumental work before, and I had a feeling that she might enjoy doing something apart from feeling like crud. I told her a cross between Unforgiven or Young Guns and The Lord of the Rings, then really let her just have at it. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d hear back from her for a while.

We’ve collaborated musically and imaginatively all our lives, so I should have expected it. But when I heard her piece (which is 6:00 long!) I was absolutely blown over. I still can’t listen to it without tearing up. There’s something about the art produced from people that have had the same upbringing, who have steered the same steely seas together, and it’s quite beyond words. So, I’ll leave it there.

So here, for your enjoyment, is the piece of music, which will be featured in the last few Alderpod episodes as I gear up (pun intended) for the very end. As everything on the site, it is Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0, etc.

The Territories

To learn more about Llana, and read about her fight–and her art–you can visit her website at Llana Barron.

alderpodlogoAlderpod #22 is live! Huzzah.

I was going to do a special video podcast of this one, but that did not pan out. Instead, it only delayed the finishing of this one. Grr. Ah, well. What can be done?

There are a few short noes at the end of this (Brick) chapter, but hey–there’s only ten more chapters to go until the end. Exciting, exciting. The first Alderpod went live on April 22, 2008, so with 22 episodes since then, I’ve almost managed twice a month. I feel accomplished!

As always, let me know if you have any comments/suggestions/likes/dislikes. Remember, this is a podcasted draft, so I’m always looking for input. Special super shoutout to commenter Tintri who has not only read the whole book, but has also given me some incredible feedback!

3361044690_e6b0490a76_mTruly, Victorian/Edwardian, but these date to 1917 (the watch) and the 1930s, respectively, though certainly evocative of the Victorian aesthetic. These were passed to me by my great aunt, and they belonged to my great-grandmother, Evelyn. When my great aunt brought out the watch, I think my heart stopped. My eyes filled with tears. I never knew there were such heirlooms in the family, to be honest. Or if there were, I didn’t think they’d be mine.

3361042794_d3e27bf5bb_mThe watch was given to my great-grandmother on her graduation from high school which, at the time, was the only schooling she was allowed to have. As a woman, and a sister to a brother, the family would not pay or support her if she wanted to go to college. Such different times. But my great-grandmother was a poet, a writer, a guitar player, and by all accounts a remarkable person who always saw the good in people. I also have two of her yearbooks, and I will scan some pictures of her later; I look quite a bit like her! Though she was Swedish, she was dark-haired and dark-eyed.

3361045574_c706339a87_mThe pin was given to my great-grandmother by my great-grandfather, while they lived in Italy (he was a painter). It’s a miniature mosaic, and I think it’s a Japanese beetle. The Victorian aesthetic loves the bug, and this particular fellow is just so brilliant. Such remarkable treasures! I feel quite lucky.

I explained to my great-aunt what sorts of things I write, and I think she understood what I was trying to say better than most. Funny how that works…

alderpodlogoAlderpod #21: Chapter Nineteen – Princess, Priceless

Alderpod #21 is live! Huzzah. I had this all but uploaded right before I left for the West Coast, and then my son spilled (more) ice water on the MacBook, and we had to let it dry. Unfortunately by the time I left, I had not had a chance to finish it. As per usual, I also recorded #22, or Chapter 20, as well. I have to give it a good listen before I decide if it’s good enough to be released into the world, and it’s long. Long, long. But we’re not talking about 20, we’re talking about 19. Ahem.

This chapter, as I mention in the podcast notes, is about Ellin and Sylvan primarily, and their very odd relationship. Much of The Aldersgate is about the growing of relationships, or in this case re-kindling–The Ward of the Rose is really a little different than that, in that it’s where those relationships are truly tested. Although Ellin tries very hard in this chapter to go the way of a romance novel, as you’ll see, the outcome isn’t exactly as you’d expect in such as situation.

Again, sorry for the delay. Listen, enjoy; let me know what you think!

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but since starting Alderpod, I really haven’t taken a look at iTunes. When I opened it up yesterday I realized how awful it looked, how silly the paragraph explaining the novel was, and how unprofessional it was! I could never find Alderpod in iTunes, and that’s because–for some reason–it’s not listed as Alderpod. Add to that the fact that half of the podcasts weren’t showing up well… I’m a bit red-faced.

I will defend myself by saying that I’ve been just too wrapped up in a) being a mom b) dealing with family issues c) writing my posterior off and d) trying to podcast in my spare time. I am not a podcast junkie myself–I just don’t have time to sit in silence and listen. It’s unfortunate, but true. I’ve learned a great deal by trial and error and this was a huge error. That anyone has followed along this far at all is astonishing to me.

So, first: apologies. Alderpod is a labor of love, not a means of making big bucks or getting “discovered”. It’s a public draft, and the feedback I recieve is absoultely instrumental in my novel polishing process (which is what I’m referring to it as these days). That I’ve been a little sloppy in the actual implementation is not a surprise.

Secondly, if you have tried in the past to subscribe to Alderpod, and found a) messiness and b) missing podcasts, I would ask you to revisit the feed. You’ll find the missing chapters, and an updated explanation of the book. It’s part western, part fantasy, part adventure, part steampunk.

And lastly, as a friend of mine recently inquired: no, this is not a kissing book. The first chapters sound a little like a romance, but, if you wait it out you’ll see that I have a rather skewed perspective on romance. If you get through the first three chapters you’ll soon learn that nobody gets what or who they want, and most everything is more complicated than at first glance. And, in fact, though the first draft of this book had quite a few um, extended scenes in the bedroom, the podcasted draft version (technically the third draft) does not. It’s odd. I certainly hadn’t intended to cut the scenes out, they just didn’t fit the feeling of the book the second time through, and didn’t make the final cut.

A sincere thanks to those of you who have stuck by. I can’t offer much in the way of thanks except that I can let you know I’m working on a wiki for the world (to answer questions I’ve recieved about other cultures/history, etc) that even includes a fancy map! Ah, yes. No fantasy is complete without a map.

“Nothing’s impossible, Brick. It’s only our thinking that makes it so.” – Sir Gawen of Fenlie (by way of Shakespeare, perhaps)

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