darkemeralds: Fraser's uniform on a green wall (Due South)
Kowalski is Bleeding, by Speranza
Fandom: Due South
Pairing: Fraser/RayK, Vecchio/Stella
Rating: Adult
Read by [personal profile] darkemeralds, with Spanish language sections by [livejournal.com profile] vampirefan
For [personal profile] ratherastory, Podbang 2010
Running time: Just under 7 hours

MP3 here
M4b podbook here

This is one of my favorite stories in fandom. It has a beautiful woven structure, a terrific plot, and Speranza's usual great characterizations. I hope I've done it justice.

Thank you to the wonderful mods at [community profile] amplificathon for running this show and zipping up the files to the archive, and to [personal profile] general_jinjur for providing the archive space.

Podbang!

Dec. 20th, 2010 01:34 pm
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
Yay! Podbang 2010 entries are being revealed now! It's so exciting! My contribution isn't posted yet, and I haven't seen my gift yet either, so needless to say I'm refreshing the page like a fiend.

Lots of great longer stories are being posted. Moar podfic! \o/
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
I had a real sandwich today for the first time since I went gluten-free back in February. There is such a thing as GF bread but it's not very good, on the whole. The best of the commercially made stuff does not hold up to the real picking-up-and-biting required of a good sandwich.

But I think I may have had a breakthrough. I baked up a loaf of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix today, and it came out fantastic: a high, full-sized loaf, springy and moist and chewy, that slices beautifully and makes a sturdy, delicious sandwich. I am a happy clam.

See? )

I just sent Restraint Chapter 41 off to [personal profile] kis for her usual brilliant beta, and when she can lift her nose from the end-of-NaNoWriMo grindstone, she will surely have some great things to say that will allow me to get it ready for posting very soon. (After that, there really is only one full, long chapter left, then the Ending and the Epilogue. Seriously, I'm frightened of the impending emptiness.)

My Podbang entry is due in just a few days, and I'm happy to say that I finished all the recording several days ago and have been making good progress on the editing. I'm...fairly pleased with it, I think.

I'm also working on another super-long recording, [livejournal.com profile] lovesrain44's Blue Skies From Rain, one of my favorite Sam/Dean stories ever. I've made some significant improvements to my recording setup and techniques, and I expect to actually finish this and go on to make more podfic.

Oh, and I exceeded my calorie limit on Thanksgiving by a negligible, margin-of-error 21 calories. I was quite pleased with that, because it wasn't difficult or white-knuckle-y, and I ate ALL the food, including making a mashed potato Crater Lake featuring butter AND gravy. I just measured everything and wrote it down, and kind of skipped the other two meals of the day.

And, apropos of nothing in partic, CAT! )
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
I just recorded the first section of my Podbang entry. Can't say too much about it, since it's secret and stuff, but here are some things I've worked to improve on from last time. I've already said a lot of this to [personal profile] pandarus, from whom I learned it, so thank you Fayjay!

Notes to Self:
  • A simpler recording set up means a vastly greater likelihood that you will actually do some recording
  • Slow the heck down
  • Slow down some more
  • Now take your time...
  • ...and relax! Breathe!
  • Use more of your vocal range
  • No, you're not an actor, but what the hey, act a little--go on, you know you want to
  • A nuanced reading is more important than a perfect recording--way more important
  • Practice first

There are probably some more things, too, but it's really cool what a vast difference slowing down makes. There's more room to glance ahead and micro-plan the next line, more room to breathe and relax. I made far fewer mistakes than ever before, just by that one trick, and the mistakes I do make are MUCH easier to edit out because there will tend to be some space around them.

So, the plan for now is to record half an hour per evening, then practice-read the next half hour.

Then work on the next chapter of Restraint. It's just fic all the way down around here!
darkemeralds: Poster image of farm-fresh food (Eat Food)
Grilled sharp cheddar cheese, avocado and apricot fruit paste on Udi's gluten-free bread.

Yum.

I'm winding up my last day of vacation by saying nanny-nanny-boo-boo to my coworkers in my mind relaxing at home, doing prep work on my Podbang 2010 entry (which is either going to be epic or a complete bust because far be it from me to do something simple), banging away (as it were, yuk-yuk) on Chapter 39, and looking out at the rain--which will probably be here for a while (like, till July 2011).

It's been a wholly memorable, productive, fun, wonderful vacation--restorative and uplifting and completely divorced from the job. I haven't done that in years.

Now I just need to crank my internal clock back around to office hours before Monday morning.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Here is some of the nicest feedback I've ever had.

I'm so excited! I've had a couple of nice compliments on this first foray into long podfic, and now this fantastic review on Amplirecathon. Really encouraging and uplifting, especially after the minor fandom fiasco that accompanied its debut.
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
Here's a little fandom dilemma that I could use some advice on.

During the autumn (as I journaled about a lot) I participated in Podbang, a gift exchange of long podfic. I was assigned a giftee, and after examining her preferences carefully, discarded one or two candidate stories and settled on "When Heroes Go Down, They Go Down Fast," a long gen Supernatural AU that seemed to meet her criteria.

Fast forward through a dozen music downloads, communication with the story's author, rehearsals, approximately 20 hours of recording and 100 hours of editing; go directly to my submission, smack under deadline on December 6, of a finished podfic running just over eight hours.

I've never heard a single word from my giftee. I guess it doesn't matter--I didn't do the podfic for praise or thanks, but because it was just really fun to do. And yet...

IDK. Should I say something? Or just let it go?
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
The giant podfic that ate my brain is uploading to a fileshare site right now. Holy mother of god what a project! My deadline is midnight. It's almost 11:00, and the upload client says the files will take another hour and six minutes to upload. Talk about cutting it close!

I ended up compromising quite a bit. There wasn't time, and I just don't have the expertise, to get the levels perfectly matched from one chapter to the next. There's some computer fan white noise. I'm not happy with every one of my readings of dialog. I couldn't edit out every mouth noise and every click. If I had it to do over again, I'd drink more water and do more voice exercises before sitting down to record.

But it's done and I'd give it a B, maybe a B-minus. It runs 8 hours, 27 minutes, and I had to cut it into four parts. Even so, it taxed my computer's 16 gigabytes of RAM. Audiofic is just...intensive.

It should be up on the podfic archive in the next week or two, at which time I can tell you all about it.

Now I want to start another one!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
If you have to turn 54 (and yes, it is better than the alternative), there are worse ways to spend the day than riding your bike to BikeCraft V, a huge, sunny warehouse full of vendors with cool bike stuff--stuff for bikes, stuff about bikes, stuff made out of bike parts.

There were HUNDREDS of bikes by the time we got there, and they had these portable bike racks so everyone could park and lock. [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 bought a new saddle and a bamboo water bottle holder. Me, I just looked, feeling still a little bit of an outsider in the bike community, and aware that Clyde and I aren't the average configuration. Which is to say we are both larger than average among bikes and cyclists and things don't fit. This is the story of my life and I'm used to it.

We rode to coffee and bagels after that, and I spent at least two hours on the phone with friends and family, near and far.

As the temperature dropped, I made a nest for Dean, the more feral of the two stray cats, who won't come into the house even though it's getting dangerously cold outside (Sam is happy to hang out in the warm and is doing so now). The nest is a big hatbox with an old pillow and some fleece fabric inside. So far, he hasn't tried it out.

While the thousand new words I'd hoped for didn't materialize, I did get some good writing done on Restraint today. Note to [livejournal.com profile] kispexi2: new chapter tomorrow night.

And then I edited the last two chapters of my Podbang entry! \o/ Just a little stitching together and music editing to go, and I think I'll make my deadline tomorrow night.

Tomorrow, to round off the birthday fun, I have Chocolate class in the morning with [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin! I expect there will be pictures.
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
Podbang is eating my brain! I just finished editing the sixth of my twelve chapters.

Once the other six are edited, there's music to add, and then I have to join the chapters up into either two or three files (this sucker's too big for the archive, I'm pretty sure!).

Editing has made me realize how much I learned as I went along, and how much I still have to learn. The hardest thing at this point is letting small problems and errors go because I just don't have time to be a perfectionist.

Where did my four-day weekend go? *looks around* Aaarrggh! I need more days off!
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
I just finished recording chapter 12 of 12 of my Podbang entry and boy does that feel good.

Some podfic recording notes:

Sam the visitor kitty, who has taken to coming in an snoozing in the middle of my bed of an evening, has an audible snore. Since I'm penned into my "sound booth" all I can do is slap the sides of the closet door and hope it wakes him up a little.

The Wiener Dog of Unending Yippitude across the street yips unendingly.

There's this kind of open-mouthed half-breathing you can do that makes almost no sound between sentences--you sort of expand your abdomen rather than actually inhaling, and enough air comes in to keep reading.

I have all of TG weekend (four whole days, yahoo) to edit this puppy. We'll see how that goes.

I think I will end up rating this recording "pretty good with room for improvement next time."

There will definitely be a next time, because this? Is fun!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
My dry spell on Restraint (the Regency J2 AU) has come to an end in the last couple of days. This weekend I've written most of the bridge section whose absence was preventing any further progress. I feel like I can finally write through to the end now. OMG this has been a long haul. Started that sucker more than a year ago, and have been stuck for the last three months.

It feels wonderful to have found my feet again on this novel. I've never discovered anything more fun than writing fresh new story--new snarky dialog, new minor plot twists, new character reveals. I LOVE THIS STUFF!

In other fannish activity, I just finished recording the eleventh of the twelve chapters of my Podbang entry. Many hours of editing lie before me. Many, many, many hours of editing. But the recording is almost done.

And I posted one of my very few fics to the A-Triple-Oh! Archive. PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE OPEN BETA: Do you post locked or unlocked, and why?

Oh, and I just started watching "White Collar". Wow. Fun AND slashable. I like.

And finally, I took 25 night photos this evening and only one was any good.

Moon River )
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
I'm looking for a song. I don't know which one, so I need your help. I'm looking for a non-religious song with lyrics having to do with redemption, someone saving someone emotionally, helping, offering a hand and a heart, letting the other person know s/he's going to be okay and isn't alone, lifting someone up, giving someone hope for the future.

That sort of thing.

It's for my Podbang entry. The author specified song lyrics for 11 out of 12 chapters but told me she drew a blank on the one, and said "go for it". I've been googling my little heart out, but popular music, she is very very big.

Suggestions? Moodier is better, but upbeat is possible too. Country, rock, pop, soul, blues, folksy--I welcome any ideas.

TIA flist-o-mine!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I just finished re-recording chapter 4 (of 12) of my Podbang entry. I lost almost three weeks of podfic-recording time to the flu! I felt fine after one week, but my voice didn't come all the way back till yesterday. It will be a dash to get the remaining eight chapters recorded and edited by deadline. I'm gonna need another bottle of Scotch.

Along with making podfic, I managed to generate 3000 new words this weekend on the long Regency AU fic. Some of those words are good, and a few are even good in the order they're currently in. It's a great feeling to jumpstart a stalled novel. I love that thing.

In the department of consuming written material, I listened to another couple of hours of The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, and I have to tell you, the book is almost unbearably thrilling as the author follows the paths of several individuals involved in fighting the massive forest fire. I burst into tears at a couple of points, either from sadness or joy as these real, documented people--and their towns--perish or miraculously survive.

And in the department of consuming other things, I made a perfect-looking batch of Pandora cookies while I listened to my audiobook. They've been cooling while I've been recording my podfic. Now I get to go eat one! Or maybe two.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Oh, everything is just so wonderful right now! Portland is filled with a fresh east wind and yellow leaves and slanty sunshine and horse-chestnuts.

After a perfectly fantastic visit from [livejournal.com profile] vampirefan (during which she got me addicted to both "Glee" and "Drop Dead Diva" because she is an evil fangirl and drives the crack van), I spent a whopping one day at work last week, not nearly enough to ruin my high.

Yesterday I treated myself to some new bed linens at IKEA: plum, raspberry, bronze and pumpkin, all stripey and cozy boudoir-ish, and they're out flapping in the breeze right now, enjoying their freedom from captivity in plastic wrappers. They make a nice (and probably meaningful) change from the taupe-black-white-gray I've had for the last couple of years.

I rode Clyde to Fred Meyer (local everything-store, two miles away) for a couple of small items yesterday, and it was so much fun that I did it again today. It's chilly enough to warrant riding gloves, and I have this vintage pair of hot-pink leather dress gloves, so I wore those. You know, for visibility. I forgot something and darn it, I need to go again!

I completed recording on the first chapter of my Podbang entry on Friday night. Since it's a "secret Santa" kind of thing, I can't say much about what I'm working on, but I can say that it's in the SPN fandom, it's VERY long, and there is music involved which I'm having indescribable amounts of fun with, all fading in, fading out, lining up--gah! I'm just in geek heaven!

So, life is good! Happy Autumn to my northern hemisphere friends.
darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)
(crossposted at LiveJournal)

My first podfic is now up at The Audiofic Archive.

It's Coming Clean, a 7200-word (42 minute) Sanzo/Goku Saiyuki story by [livejournal.com profile] kispexi2. It's set post-quest, it has a strong hurt/comfort element (my favorite!) and, as the clever title suggests, involves a confession, a bath, and some sexin'. Kis rates it hard-R, which seems about right.

Podfic has been a long time coming for me. I'm picky about my audiobooks. I'm picky about my fanfic. My first real foray into podfic was the wonderful Candle_Beck's Last Day on Earth, read by the author, and I thought, wow, this is awesome! My second was a fabulous story so poorly read that I was shouting at it by the end (though, to give it its due, I did listen all the way through--the story was just that good).

So I set out to do justice to [livejournal.com profile] kispexi2's skilled writing by setting a high bar on my reading and editing. I sailed right under that bar (I still don't know what the hell I'm doing with Audacity, the recording software, and yes, I pronounced "Sanzo" both ways, and I don't think I got out all the mouth noises and there's a distinct break at one point where the sound quality changes levels), but I learned a lot and I'm going to come closer to the bar next time.

Next time is Podbang, where I'll be undertaking a 30,000+ word story, probably in the Due South fandom, for a surprise gift recipient.

Meanwhile, if you're one of the rare Saiyuki fans on my flist, I hope you'll give "Coming Clean" a listen.

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