Sunday, February 26, 2012

More New Music

Kathryn created a few “piano only” version of the music she wrote for my story.  She created piano version for the theme song, At The Lady Behest Comes, and for the songs I Remember Marcus and I Remember Marcus Reprise.  She also created sheet music PDFs for the piano only versions of At The Lady Behest Comes and I Remember Marcus.

All files can be found at  Below are the direct links to these new files.'s%20Behest%20Piano.mp3's%20Behest%20Comes%20Piano.pdf

Kathryn’s done a lot of work on all of this.  I am very pleased with the results.  I hope others enjoy them as much as I do.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Reading, Song, and Sheet Music

I have added new content to my website, all of which can be found at

Included is a reading of Chapter 5, Through Persuasion and Force,…, as read by my wife Kathryn.   The direct link to the reading is

Kathryn has also completed a new song, called Zephyr.  It is the anthem for the kingdom ruled by the Rihtwis clan.  It can be heard at

I have also posted PDF’s of Kathryn’s sheet music for everything she has completed so far.  Here are links to her sheet music.'s%20Behest%20Comes.pdf

For those paying attention, yes we have skipped chapter 4, …And Strikes Down the Inner Circle.  I will be getting back to it as soon as I can either find someone to perform a reading of it or free up some time to do one myself.

Rich has offered to do a reading of chapter 7, …And Critical Moments Relived….  I will be sending him the updated text shortly and will post his reading as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I have to incorporate the Magic City Writers’ Group edits to chapter 11, …Cause All to Cry ‘Havoc’!   The reviews of the chapter were very positive, but some of the changes will require a substantial amount of effort to complete.  I expect it will take me a couple weeks to complete that task.

Once I finish with those edits, Lindy has offered to perform a reading of that chapter.

As you can see, quite a lot has been happening all at the same time.  And I still have to resume my efforts to find an agent, revamp my website, find artwork I can display on the website, and get cracking on editing what I have already written for the second book, …Demiurge, Unbound,….

Until next time, have fun and party down.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New and Modified MP3’s

Kathryn has been writing music which I am now using in my audio readings.  I have replaced the music in the first two chapters with snippets from three of the songs she has composed.  I have also posted my reading of chapter three, ...Warns the Ruling Circle,..., which also uses Kathryn’s music.

I also added mp3’s of the songs Kathryn completed.  She is working on several others, and I look forward to sharing them with everyone when she is done. 

All the updated content can be found at

Kathryn’s songs are called, At The Lady’s Behest Main Theme, I Remember Marcus, and I Remember Marcus Reprise

I did not add sound effects to the recording of chapter three.  I did, however, tweak the voices of Tara and Morel using some of Audacity’s cool features.


Altering every instance of when either Tara or Morel spoke was a royal pain in the @$$.  Morel came out ok, but Tara’s voice isn’t right.  I tried (with limited success) to modify my voice so it would sound more feminine.  I find the results underwhelming, especially considering how long they took to achieve.   I doubt I shall ever mess with voices that way ever again.

The posted text of chapters two and three are a little different than the readings at the moment.  The reading are actually a little more up to date.   Minor edits in various spots made certain sentences less of a tongue-twister

Now I am going to do a read through of chapter five, Through Persuasion and Force,..., which Kathryn will be recording soon.  Till next time, have fun and party down.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Benefits of Reading Your Work Aloud

Today’s Magic City Writers’ Group meeting was canceled, so I have not had full reviews yet on my submission.   I did, however, talk with Lindy and Kathryn enough to have an insight. 

Lindy liked the pacing of the chapter better than my previous submissions.  In our conversation I realized my writing improved in part from the audio readings I had been doing.  

The Rhythm of A Story

Doing an initial read-through does not take long.   A lengthy chapter might take about an hour to read aloud.  A benefit in that reading is discovering where I stumble and unearthing why.  The process often reveals long undiscovered errors and ambiguities hidden in the morass of words and punctuation.

But the real advantage comes in the next step: editing out all the mistakes and retakes until the audio matches the text.  This forces  me to listen to the story over and over, not just read it. 

This experience affected my final edit of the chapter I submitted to the group.  The ear for awkward sentences I developed during the audio readings appears to have help tighten the pace on my writing style and smoothed out some of my rough sentences.  

During my discussion with Lindy about this development she suggested even greater gains could be derived from hearing someone else read the chapters.  I had talked before with Kathryn about her doing some of the voices.  (I don’t do female voices well.)  But I hadn’t considered the possible benefits of hearing someone else’s reading of my work. 

The Parallax Perspective

In college, I learned about the four parts to any story: what the author meant, what he/she actually wrote, the reader’s interpretation of those sentences while reading them, and the reader’s memory of what they liked and disliked about the story as a whole.

Each reader emphasizes different moments, each has unique experiences while reading the text.  This difference is reflected in their voice when they read the text aloud.  Listening to how someone else interprets my words would grant me greater insight into how a reader perceives what I have written.  Which in turn would better inform my future edits.

Both Lindy and Kathryn have expressed interest in reading a chapter.  (Amazing what incessant pestering can accomplish.)  Kathryn has opted to read chapter five, Through Persuasion and Force,…. I expect we will record her reading in the next few days.  Lindy choose the chapter I submitted for review, …Cause All to Cry ‘Havoc’!   The current plan is to record her reading on Sunday after the rescheduled meeting of the writers’ group. 

What I will forgo for the time being is all the special audio effects.  There is value in differentiating between spoken words and thoughts, so I will probably do that much audio editing.  But I think I will not add sounds of thunder, or a horse galloping on cobblestones, or fire burning in the fireplace, and so forth.  While fun to do, that effort is time consuming; and in the end the work must stand on its own, relying solely on the text as written.  Perhaps when seeking diversion I will revisit a reading and add sound effects to create an “enhanced version” for those who like such extras.

I look forward to discovering where this journey leads.