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…

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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

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!

alderpodlogoAlderpod #20 – Chapter Eighteen: Departure

Wow, 20 episodes! So, in spite of my mention yesterday about taking forever with this I ended up with some time alone (in the quiet, mostly) to finish the song. It’s not perfect, but it definitely does what I wanted it to do (I hope!).

In spite of the fact I said there’s 10 chapters to go in the notes section, however, there are 12. Though this is Alderpod 20, it’s 2 chapters behind the final count. Which is 30. I can’t add, but that’s not news.

If you’d like to hear the .mp3 of the song alone, you can snag it here. The song is called Beyond the Veil.

The Alderpod

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.