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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.

I really really really worked hard yesterday, a day upon which I had no two-year-old to entertain, to finish the next podcast. But my afternoon was rife with FAIL. Between issues with my keyboard (the kind you play music on) and my own problems speaking English (yes, technically French was my first language, but this was only an issue the first few months of my speaking life) the afternoon was a big well of suck.

Suck, suck, suck. Yes. Awful. I have nothing to share, nothing to give, and worse, not a heck of a lot of time right now. So are the holidays, though; what can I do? I will do everything in my power to have podcast #14 and #15 (which I’m recording back-to-back) to you by next week. I promise.

Meanwhile, I have at least 3,000 knitting projects to finish, gingerbread cake to bake, finances to put in order (HA!), etc. To make matters worse, or better depending on your outlook, as I lay in bed willing my husband to stop snoring, the last scene of the edit in The Aldersgate materalized before me perfectly–like some magic spell cast just at the right moment. I’m about six chapters from the end of editing, and it’s moving very fast. Which means the chapters I’m recording, which are eight back from where I am now, are no where near where my brain currently is…

Okay, going to stop now. Tune back in later this week; I may actually have something enlightening to say.

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Chapter Eleven: Dalliance

Huzzah! After hitting 25K for NaNoWriMo, and the official halfway point, I celebrated by recording Chapter Eleven of The Aldersgate. I won’t be able to stay away come December, I tell you. I’m just itching to get back, though I have to admit I’m very pleased with where Pilgrim of the Sky is at the moment.

This is a Sylvan DeLoire chapter and, although I read it a little too fast I think, I’m happy with the outcome. It’s a hybrid that actually includes some of the most recent edits, since I flipped some chapters around a bit for the podcast. The next installments will introduce Ellinora–the aformentioned princess–and get us up to date with Brick and the Order of the Rose.

Thanks, all, for being patient through out this!

I was thrilled to find out that The Aldersgate was reviewed (what’s been podcasted so far) on the Forgotten Classics podcast, episode 59; you can find it here. The review is so kind, and so… well, it certainly has me smiling from ear to ear!

I know they’re out there. I see their numbers, and their numbers grow. Every now and again something, somewhere pops up and assures me that yes, people are listening.

It’s occurred to me that podcasting is quite a different bird than blogging. Oh, they’re related. But, consider this: I have never recieved a comment on a podcast (other than once, from a local friend… which of course counts, but… well, you know what I mean). I have tried adding little identifiers to the podcasts, experimented with mentioning the address a few times here and there, but when it comes down to it, podcasting vs. blogging is a very thankless job.

But the odd thing is I have lots and lots of subscribers. People are listening, they’re just not responding. There’s a blank wall between what I read and what I’m writing.

It’s part of my Internet Consumable Theory. Yes, CC licensing is great; yes, it gets your work into the hands and minds of people who would never be able to otherwise; yes, it puts power back on the writers’ plate. But, it’s out there. And people can just take it. They don’t have to register (and if you ask them to, they might write some hate mail), they don’t have to pay, they don’t have to comment.

And it seems, at least from perusing the majority of podcasting blogs and my experience, that commenting isn’t the norm. People don’t generally write a review of the podcast.

I realize I’m also podcasting a whole novel; people are going to be judging the book as a whole, and I’m sure folks who haven’t found it up to their liking have dropped me. That’s cool. I’m honestly not out here for adulation. The whole point of Alderpod is to open up my writing process and shed some light into the creative process, which I thought would be a neat way of doing things.

I’m not saying I’m stopping. To the contrary, my subscriber list keeps growing and growing. But I think this also extends to short stories. I have one little short story up on the site that has been viewed or downloaded over three hundred times. Three hundred times! And I’ve had all of a handful of comments. It’s just… well, curious. Clearly since I’m selling fiction to publications, the cause is not lost… but I wonder about the psychological impressions of free craft, free writing, free podcasts. Do we cheapen ourselves by doing it? Do people view us as desperate? Unpublishable? Not worth the time? If my name doesn’t have Tor next to it, is it a lost cause? (Though, that begs the question: when I read a short story in a magazine, or even online, do I contact or comment? Not usually…)

After almost a year of blogging here, I’ve discovered that YES, there is an audience–lots of people will read, lots of people will listen. But if you’re looking for reponse, for reply… well, the jury’s still out on that one.

(As a note, I recall this has been a similar problem for BoingBoingTV–Xeni had mentioned a few months back that there were just a smattering of comments over the whole length of the show’s duration, at that point, a whole year… rather fascinating!)

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Alderpod #10: Chapter Eight – Below

Podcasting has been moving at the speed of light as of late; not only do I have #10 ready, but I also have recorded and finished #11, and #12 is just awaiting editing. Funny what happens when you don’t have work every morning. Haha.

A little bit about #10. First of all: how awesome is it that I’ve hit double digits? I’m excited. Ten is also a chapter that, if you follow along ’round these parts, I’ve had some issues with. I won’t really go into it, but it’s been a lesson in letting go. Because, honestly, sometimes you have to just let the story fly, understand that things may change a little (in this case, pacing more than anything), and recognize that, in the end, you can’t be perfect. I’m far from perfect.

Ten is still one of my favorite chapters, however, due to a meetup between two characters that, until this point, haven’t met. I remember writing this for the first time, and literally giggling as I did it. Crossing wires like that can be so fun.

Anywho. Look for #11 this weekend, and perhaps #12 early next week. I’ve made leaps and bounds editing, so I want to bring the podcast up to speed with the rest of the book. Hooray. 🙂

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Yesterday was ideal for podcasting. Don’t know why, exactly, but as I sat down to FINALLY finish #10, I decided to go right ahead and record #11. #11 is Chapter Nine: Remembrance, which is Brick’s next chapter, and one of my favorites. Being able to do all the voices of the knights is just fun beyond measure; it’s like I have my own little one-woman show going on. But on top of that I was able to record a new bit of music to go along. So far I’ve written about five different themes for the book. It’s an immensely rewarding process, though I do wish that my keyboard allowed for a little more range of color and tone to the notes. It’s not a weighted keyboard, and working with digitial instruments (especially the strings) can occasionally lend a synthetic air to the whole thing. Ah well. I do it for fun, and perfection be damned.

I always pick up momentum toward the end of writing/editing a book, and this time is no different. I can feel the chapters moving, feel the plot and characters–at this point it becomes more of a spectator sport. So I’m trying to keep ahead of the game by recording the chapters two at a time; I decided to keep #10 as is, and deal with my own editorial annoyances later, and #11 is in the can and ready to roll. As soon as our FTP is back up and running, I’ll send ’em out (likely one today and one tomorrow, or sometime this weekend).

I’ve decided to go easy on the job search today. Too much full-kilter is driving me a little bananas, and so I’m kicking up my heels a bit this morning, doing laundry, and contemplating the finish of the book. It would be awesome if I could have the bulk of it done before NaNoWriMo… but we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, to those who listen: thank you. It really makes my day.

Podcasting has brought about a very intriguing element to my editing process. Yes, I understand that not every chapter I read aloud is picture-perfect; occasionally I read a phrase, grimace through it, and keep going. I don’t have an official editor, and I know the magic they can perform on a novel. My biggest goal is just to tell the story, and tell the story right.

But what’s been really intriguing for me is not actually doing the readings, but listening to my own stuff afterward. I always listen to the podcast before I upload it and let it go live, and it has to pass my own test first. #9 was great–I really felt it moved well, was paced well, and entertaining.

That said, I’ve been working on a chapter that, until a few days ago, I thought was solid. I thought the pacing was good, the action exciting, the dialogue and secrets and mysteries engaging.

Then I listened to it.

And now, I’m not sure the chapter even needs to be there at all.

Or at least, part of me says that. The other part of me says, “Finish the damned edit, and then look back.” But that’s the problem: I’ve got to read this chapter for the podcast. What happens is important, though it could (honestly) be relegated to a short flashback/paragraph of explanation. So do I fix it now, and read the next chapter (one of the benefits of writing a multi-POV is that I can mess with chapter order if I want to)? Or, do I read it as is, with the caveat that it’s likely not going to appear in the final version? But do I risk the readers/listeners losing track of the POV, Cora’s, by having the story told in another POV (which will happen, if I do it the other way)… or… baaaah.

Fecked if I know, as Sir Din might say.

Suffice it to say Podcast #10 might take a little longer than anticipated to get to your ears. I’m working on it. I’m honestly leaning toward leaving it be, at the moment, and letting people decide. As I head into the center of the book, my standards are getting a lot more strict, I suppose.

Din lowered her voice, “You’ve got to understand me, Brickley,” she said. “These men and women—they are mine. I have shaped them, I have trained them. One loose cog in the mechanism, and people die. We all go through hardships—we all lose people, and feel our hearts squeezed to the point of despair over it. But we move on. We have to. Because we are the Order of the Asp—and by gods, if we don’t do our job, no one else will. And the world would be a much darker place.”

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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.