Well, I’m working today—as I will also be doing Monday—so, obviously, I’m writing a blog post. Aren’t you excited?
When I arrived at the train station this morning, I thought the whole system was shut down somehow, because the “garage-door” style barriers were closed, blocking the stairs, the elevators, and the payment machines, like they do when there’s a hurricane coming (there isn’t…I check frequently). However, it turns out that the guy who opens them just hadn’t arrived yet. He only arrived after I had gone all the way down to the end of the station to the road to cross the tracks and had come all the way back up on the side on which I need to be.
Ah, well, it’s a little bit of extra exercise, and that can’t be too bad, can it?
I planned yesterday to mention the subject of some of my reading-aloud “videos” of my fiction, but the post got to be too long, and it would have been a very abrupt change of topic, considering I was writing about my difficulties seeking and finding and begging for help when one is circling the drain, as I am. I haven’t gotten any useful answers, other than a commiserating one to the effect, “Whataya gonna do? You just gotta keep on moving.” I can respect that attitude. It’s far better than someone pretending to have answers when they don’t. But it doesn’t help me figure out why one should bother to keep moving. I can’t see any reason, honestly, and the effort has long outweighed the reward for me. I’m frankly skeptical that there is any reward at all, or that there has been one for some time.
Quite a while ago, I did some recordings of me reading some of my stories, and I turned them into videos, though the “video” portion is nothing but the cover of the story in question. I think they came out reasonably well; I’ve always been decent at reading stories out loud. But they didn’t and don’t get much play, even though they are a free way to listen to my (already cheap) short stories, which is why I stopped doing them.
I also recorded and uploaded onto YouTube the first nine chapters of my book The Chasm and the Collision. This is my most family friendly story, since I wrote it with my kids—who were in fifth and fourth grades when I started it, I think—in mind. It a story about three middle-school students who become caught up in a trans-universal “fantasy”* adventure.
Thanks to the very wise advice of my father, there’s not even a single curse word in the whole book, though there are scary bits, since there is real danger in the story. Real danger to the characters, I mean. I don’t mean to say that reading the story is dangerous. It’s not. My sister has read the book several times, now, and she says it’s her favorite of my stories. As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with the fact that she fell and hit her head earlier this week.
I recorded the first nine chapters, but I finally stopped doing it, because, as I said, no one seemed to be listening. I thought it was a shame, but it was a lot of work to do the reading and then the editing of the audio (though it helped me learn Audacity, which was definitely worthwhile). Since then, at various times, I’ve thought that maybe I would like to pick up on reading the chapters and uploading them, and then maybe even start to record and upload my other books, a bit at a time**. I’ve also got a few more short stories and novellas that I haven’t recorded and uploaded, and they could be stand-alone “videos”. But, again, it’s a lot of work, and it would be doubly frustrating if no one ever listens.
I’m embedding here, below, the YouTube video of the first chapter of The Chasm and the Collision, so that people can get a sample of it. I’m also going to see if it’s possible to embed the YouTube playlist that is all the “videos” that I’ve done so far from that book, and maybe even the playlist that has the “short” stories that I’ve read aloud and posted. Again, it’s a good way for people to get exposed to the stories*** for free.
If you listen and like them, I obviously would be delighted if you’d decide to buy them. All my stories are available for Kindle, and my novels and collections are available in paperback as well. My last collection, Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities is even available in hardback. Here’s a link to my Amazon author’s page, so you can peruse them: The Link.
If there’s more than one person out there who would be interested in hearing more of me reading my stories, please let me know in the comments below. You can also leave story-related comments on YouTube.
Nowadays one can self-publish for Audible, which is kind of neat, but I think I’m going to stick with the YouTube format, because it’s more informal, and it’s free for listeners so they can introduce themselves to the stories, as read by the author. I’m very self-hating in general, and that hasn’t changed, but I think my stories are pretty good, and I’m especially proud of The Chasm and the Collision, because I wrote it with my kids in mind—though I don’t think either of them has ever read it, and they probably never will.
That’s about all I have for today. Nothing has really changed since yesterday, so there’s no other real news to give. Have a good holiday weekend, for those of you in the United States. And everyone else, I hope you just have a good weekend.
Here’s the embedding of those videos and playlists, if I can successfully do the latter:
*I put that in “scare quotes” because if you pay attention when you read it, you’ll notice it’s actually a science fiction story. But the character of the tale is definitely more like fantasy than sci-fi.
**Boy howdy, wouldn’t Unanimity end up taking up a looooooong time?
***That makes them sound radioactive, somehow. As far as I know, they are not.