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At (very) long and (truly) last, Alderpod #32 is live. There were a few reasons that it took so long, and most of them have to do with having a three-year-old, writing other stuff, working as a freelancer, and technical issues. I literally recorded this a total of five times, with tons of takes in between. Either I kept getting interrupted, the program crashed (go go GarageBand), or the microphone was making weird popping noises.

*deep breath*

Anyway! This epilogue takes us back to Hartleigh Castle, where Denna is recovering from the Ardesian assault; the excerpt concerns Cora and the Order of the Asp, and hopefully answers a few questions, while posing a few more. Can’t reveal everything now, can I?

A tremendous thanks to those of you who’ve been patient, and those who have stuck around. I’ve had such fun telling this story and sharing it with you. I’ll keep you updated as to possible other podcasts in the future, as well as current projects, steampunk and otherwise.

Cheers!

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…

A few weeks ago, I received a very lovely email from a listener. He pointed out that he would love to see some of the heraldry and symbols of the Orders here in The Aldersgate, and I put down some sketches, then promptly got too busy. Then the scanner wouldn’t work.

Well, the printer problem is fixed. So I scanned, but it looked crappy. Haha. So, I decided to work from existing heraldry I could find at Wikimedia commons, and fit the color schemes right, to give a close (but crappy skills) version of what I envision.

A little history: the heraldry indeed did used to be on a crest or shield. As is mentioned in the book, most of the knights (save the Asp because they’re too lazy and subversive, of course) wear silver pins and incorporate the colors of their order in their attire. The Hart wear red sashes; the Oak have silver and green silk ties; the Alder wear blue and red; the Rose wear red and gold; and the Asp wear whatever the hells they want to wear (though, since their colors are mostly brown, you could say they’re right on the money). The Oak in particular are rather vain a bout their appearances, as well, and their silvered guns are often engraved with oak leaves and acorns.

At any rate, my Photoshop skills are far from exciting, but here’s something anyway. I will be uploading these to the Order pages in the Wiki later this weekend, as I can’t pass up the chance. They do look cooler than nothing!

Order of the Rose

Order of the Rose

Order of the Alder

Order of the Alder

Order of the Hart

Order of the Hart

Order of the Oak

Order of the Oak

Order of the Asp

Order of the Asp

I just realized last evening that it’s been… um, a month since the last Alderpod. This is my bad, entirely (because there is no one else to blame). I can only say I’ve had very little non-child time, and unlike plain writing, podcasting requires silence, which is very hard to come by.

Thanks in advance for your patience, and I will do my best to get something out this weekend!

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!

I have started a wiki! After months of deliberation on the subject, I decided to jump in and just go ahead and do it. It’s terribly addicting, I’ve found, and a little overwhelming. Having never put much of this stuff down, it’s been sloshing in my head, and I’m a little staggered at the sheer number of red links.

So, if you happen to be intrigued and would like a little more of a window into the world of The Aldersgate, you can visit Alderwiki. Most of the articles are currently in the barest of states, and some are even replete with spelling errors, etc. I am ashamed to admit my pitiful spelling capabilities, that I blame entirely on the advent of the spellchecker; in this instance, the built-in Firefox spellchecker doesn’t like the wikia forms, so…

Check back often, and hopefully it’ll start to look better soon (and be equally informative!).

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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