Hello, good day, and welcome to April 2018.
For those of you who might have missed my recent updates and posts: within the last two weeks, I’ve posted the audio for my short story I for one welcome our new computer overlords on my blog here, and I subsequently made it into a video and posted it on YouTube. The blog post linking to the video is here.
Don’t misunderstand the fact that the story is posted as a video. Like many others before me, I simply took the audio and added a single video image—the cover of the e-book, floating in a black background—as the video portion of the file. This is probably a relief for many; you don’t have to go through the misery of watching my ugly mug as I read the story aloud to you. I posted the audio story in both places and forms to make it more easily accessible, so that more people who might want to listen will find it easy to do so. It’s just over two hours long, but YouTube lets you start and stop videos in the middle, so you can pick up where you left off, which is convenient. If you’re the sort of person who likes to listen to bedtime stories—and there are, pleasingly, many adults who do—then you can set the video playing on YouTube as you lie down in bed and listen to it as you make your way off into Slumberland. I’m told, by relatively disinterested parties, that I do a decent job of reading people to sleep, and I’m also told (hopefully not just to spare my feelings) that this is a compliment.
In the meantime, I’ve returned whole-heartedly to writing Unanimity, and the first draft should/may be done sometime within the next month or two. Then, of course, the hard and crucial work of rewriting/editing begins, so don’t get too excited. Unanimity will not be available as beach reading this summer by any stretch of the imagination, though I do hope it will be out in time for you to consume it on a few dark, wintry evenings as 2018 draws to a close and 2019 begins. It’s the sort of story best read alone in the dark.
Which brings up an interesting, tangential point: I’ve noticed that, no matter what time of day I’m writing, even if the blinds are wide open on a sunny afternoon, I always feel like I’m working in the deep dark of a silent night, when everyone else is asleep. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s consistent. Many times, when I’ve drawn to the close of a stretch of writing and stood up, I’ve been utterly surprised to find that it’s daytime. It’s probably something to do with the fact that writing is like hypnosis. I wonder if other writers experience this.
In addition to writing about three pages a day on Unanimity, I’ve also started something I hadn’t really planned to do. After completing the audio for Ifowonco, I had originally intended to take a break before doing audio for any of my other works, but I’m afraid that I couldn’t hold myself to that plan—or I didn’t want to and didn’t choose to, which amounts to the same thing—and have already almost completed the first “draft” of the audio for Prometheus and Chiron. Of course, this is a shorter story than is Ifowonco, so it’s not that impressive that I’m already almost done with that draft.
I expect, given how interesting this process has been, and depending on how many people seem to listen, that I’ll ultimately do audio for all my short stories. This will take a while, even though I don’t have all that many such stories to purvey. But then, once that’s completed, assuming it continues, it raises another question that seems obvious to me: will I do the audio for any of my novels?
One thing is quite clear, I would not be doing such audio in single, whole-book form. I’m happy to listen to full audio books, especially during my commute, but the file size alone of a complete audio book, even a short one, is daunting. I can’t even estimate what the comparable video size would be, even if the video portion were just a blank screen. However, I haven’t ruled out the possibility of doing such audio one chapter at a time. In fact, that might be kind of enjoyable. I’m a bit nervous, of course, that doing so would expose me to too many imperfections in my prior works, but if I’m honest with myself, I recognize that collision with imperfection as a good thing. In fact, that alone might be reason enough to do it, even if not a single person in the wide world listened.
Of course, I still haven’t even begun my planned series of blog posts about my favorite villains. I haven’t forgotten (obviously), it’s just gotten pushed to the back burner because other plans have gripped me and seemed more urgent. I may, though, start doing them on a monthly, or perhaps bi-weekly basis, once I’ve completed my series of author’s notes on the works I’ve written to date, and that series will soon be complete.
Well, that’s about all that I want to talk about today. I wish you all the best, and hope that those in the northern hemisphere are at least looking forward to full springtime and the summer that follows. Do be good to each other.