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Alderpod #16 – Chapter Fourteen: The Nithings

Yes, I totally say “fifteen” and “thirteen” at the beginning of this. I will fix. Numbers confuse me even when my mind is running at full capacity. – Yay fixed!!

After a lengthy, and unintentional break, Alderpod is back! Coughing, sputtering, and sneezing are hardly conducive to a successful episode, so I do hope you forgive me.

Notes on this episode: More about the Nithings, and back to Cora. While this isn’t an action-packed episode, I think it’s important to have a little lull. I like the dialogue, and love the Cora/Emry/Ezz dynamic going on in this chapter. It’s more of a character building chapter, I suppose, setting up some important facts for later on in the story. But I like characters! So, there.

And, we’re back to original music, and a new piece. It’s the first music that I imagined playing as Emry, and it’s done with the tenor guitar I acquired a little before the holidays. I finally strung him up, and got him ready to play–I’m happy with the final result, and even managed a string of melody (as I’m a rhythm guitarist!).

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alderpodlogoChapter Thirteen – Initiation Rites

Don’t think this is going to be a habit or anything, but here’s the next Alderpod. Yes, indeed–and in spite of the sniffles!

We join up once again with Brick and the Order of the Asp and learn about some of their rather… well, let’s say “unique” practices. This is a chapter that, for some reason, has seen an inordinate amount of editing and still, parts of it don’t make me happy. But such is the way it goes, right? I honestly think that if left to my own devices I would edit until I passed out and there was nothing left on the page but: “The Aldersgate Cycle” Sometimes you have to let it go, knowing it’s not perfect (which is the theme with some of these middle chapters, as the meat of the book… they’ll need more tinkering than the rest).

But enough self-criticism. I do love this chapter, and it was once featured on this site, in fact, though in quite different form. About the only thing that’s the same is the conversation between the woman in the wood and Brick in his dream. I spent a lot of time trying to construct the ritual that went into it this time, giving Renmen a much bigger role, but also adding a touch of humor to it. As Gawen says,  “Of course, the whole vision could have been a metaphor! We shall see.”

Writing the Asp is some of the most fun I have, and now that they’re going rogue (in more ways than one) it’s even more so. One of these day’s I’ll get a post together that gives profiles of all the Aspguard, so you can meet the entire 30-person retinue a little more inimately. For the sake of the narrative, I cut back a little, focusing on the handful of core knights, but they really are a wacky bunch.

As to the next episode, we’re back with Emry and Cora for two chapters, respectively, so there won’t be quite so much bouncing around. I’ll likely record them back-to-back as well, as they both take place in the Nithings and have a lot of… well, needed exposition. It happens to the best of us.

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And chapter 12, aka, Alderpod #14…

I discovered cabernet sauvingnon to be a good accompaniment to this particular piece. And I will admit to you two things: the beginning is a little wonky, but bear with me–I spliced two chapters together and combined them for brevity, etc; and also, the pacing is a little on the slow side. But this is intrigue people, not battles and hellfire and all that jazz. Sylvan and Ellin are my romantic leads, the sort that deserve the quiet and calculation of the palace setting.

Ellinora, or Ellin as she’s most usually called, is always a challenge to write, but frequently a surprise. Her perspective really moves the second half of the novel, so get ready to get to know her. I think you’ll enjoy the ride. And it’s high time I introduced my other female POV, don’t you think? (There is a third, oh yes, but that waits, precious.)

#15 was recorded, and almost ready to print, when I had some terrible background noise pretty much foul the whole thing up. Now I’ve moved the writing/podcasting station upstairs, I think it’ll make a significant difference both for mental and actual quiet.

At any rate, the next chapter, entitled “Iniation Rites” brings us back to Brick Smithson, the Order of the Asp, and the goings ons of the Territories, before we head back to the Nithings. So stay tuned; I may be late, but I will deliver. Even through the holidays. Or at least, I’ll pass out trying.

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It’s here!

Alderpod #5 – Chapter Four: The Bard

I am super excited about Podcast #5. I’m learning as I go along here, and have a new microphone that, at first was more headache than anything. But now, with a pop screen I think the quality is much better.

This is the introduction of Emry Roy, the bard in my story. Now, of all my characters, he’s closest to heart for me. He’s one of the characters that when I write, I simply melt into. I don’t have to think it out too much (like with Brick or with Denna), and the writing goes lightning fast. In order to do him justice, I also wanted there to be music to accompany this podcast.

There are two original pieces of music during the podcast. The new theme during opening and closing is literally THE theme; that is, it’s “The Aldersgate” which I wrote with the whole book in mind. Using GarageBand I conducted my own little orchestra. The only piece that isn’t “me”–rather, a loop–is the drum track. Everything else is yours truly. I’m quite happy with it, though I’m by no means a composer.

The second piece of music is Emry’s song called “Man of the Open Road”. It’s supposed to sound just a little different, slightly off to our Western ears. I wanted him to sing it, and so you’ll notice the voice isn’t quite mine during the song.

It’s also longer and higher quality compared to the last few podcasts, so I hope to make up for the long break in between 4 and 5 with some more substance. It’s also the most violent chapter so far, so this is not for a younger audience, I don’t think.

If you listen and enjoy, or if you have suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m truly thrilled to be sharing my novel with you, and appreciate the feedback.

I’m also hoping to put up some .pdfs of chapters already read and (mostly) edited. So far there’s been one big change to the Brick story arc, but the rest have stayed the same. As soon as I make those changes, you’ll be able to read the chapters, too.