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…

Ezz, a Sib

Ezz, a Sib

Well, after I put together those little crests for the orders, I thought I’d update the pages with some background on each. I also scanned and colored a sketch of Ezz, as a promise to a listener. My artistic talents are not what they used to be, and the result is a bit more cartoonish than I would have liked, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hea should have more tattoos on heas neck, but I ran out of time to finish them! Agh. Priorities.

You can see the updates at the Aldersgate Cycle Wiki – I put a column with the orders.

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

Chapter 27: Precipice

I’m just crankin’ these out, huh? Well, finally (finally!) the audio issue is resolved. The setup works, and works so much better than what I had before. I cannot tell you the frustration! I hope you’ll hear the difference in the podcast, as I didn’t have to mask the track with a million filters to keep out the background noise; I definitely feel as if it’s much more authentic to the way I sound, and of a quality of which I’m more proud. Eventually, I may go back and record all the tracks again, just to get consistency. But when I started this podcast in April of 2008, I don’t think I even contemplated what it’d be like when I reached this point…

Well. Two chapters to go. That feels weird! What on earth will I do when it’s over?!

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.

Alderpod #28 – Chapter Twenty-Five: Lost and Found

Without further ado, here is Chapter 25. Once again we are back at Vezina Ranch with the Order of the Oak, and Cora and her friends. I’ve got a few notes at the end of the chapter as usual, so I’ll leave you to listen.

Just a few more chapters to go…

Chapter 24: In the Belly of the Beast

Yes, another chapter! I had meant to get this out on my birthday, the 14th, as a sort of hobbitish mathom gesture. But that didn’t quite work out.

I’m in the process of editing #29, so look for that in a few days (or even earlier, depending on the cooperation of my child!).

Alderpod #26 – Chapter 23: Betrayal in the Key of G

I am just about back on a biweekly schedule again with the remaining chapters of The Aldersgate! This is cause for celebration. Up to Chapter 23 already, which is a scarce six from the Very End. How’d that happen?

I hope you do enjoy!

(Yes… I realized I said “chapter 24” instead of “chapter 23” – the problem is I decided on a re-order, all last minute like. I will fixify this… just not exactly right now… soon!)

Apparently there was an issue with the hosting. By “issue” I mean, unpaid. By $5.00. And so the whole derned thing went down.

I’ve rectified this, but it may take a little while to actually kick in! Apologies.

Special thanks to listener Donald for pointing this out!