Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I'm alive!

Oh, and hey, Blogger! Way to make your new settings confusing.

T-minus 10 days until graduation. Ten days until I'm a Master of the Art of Writing. There's something a little mystical to it, like I just upgraded my stats in an RPG game. There's something like the end of high school. Everybody's smiling, hugging, talking about their summer plans, generally in a positive attitude. Doesn't hurt that the weather's been so good.

It also feels good because it's earned. I've been studying the English language, its traditional forms, its new forms, it creoles and code-switching and history, since I was 8 years old. I am a master at this point.

Hard Times Blues was put on hold while I did my thesis and prepared for my Low Lives performance. My goal is to have the manuscript done, done, DONE in the next six weeks. Five pages a day, either new or revised. That is the way of the master. *bows*

Just finished the last recording session for the JDS audiobook. I didn't have much time to prep, so I ended up doing the last three chapters of "Assistant." The focus was on keeping my voice low and steady, which I think works for that piece. There's some shouting in that part, so I couldn't keep it low the whole time. For the last two recordings, my producer fed the sound directly into ProTools on his computer. Previous times I'd done shouting, like Ingrid's singing in "Safe Space," the machinery couldn't handle it and everything turned to static. The producer put a limiter on his ProTools, separating the sound into two tracks that cut out the fuzz. I listened to it on playback. Yep. That's some damn good shouting.

I would lie if I said I'm entirely happy with the recordings. "Brother Roy," for instance. Sounds great, and I get into it just listening to it as I drive around. Still, there's some dialect parts where I switch, sentence by sentence, between "work" and "wuk." I do not have a real Southern accent. It's hard to do. Make no mistake, a lot of it sounds wonderful. Some of my best creative work. I just need a last session to do odds and ends.

I also have a cover artist! Fiona Meng, 2012 Illustrators of the Future Winner. She did a picture for my friend Tom Doyle's Writers of the Future story, and I was like *cue Sean Connery voice* "Yes! Yes!" The picture she gave me is beautiful and I can't wait to unveil it.

Low Lives
Take one Mills classroom. Take one projector. Take one set of text and pictures on Photo Viewer. Pull down the window shades. Wait nervously for the go-ahead on Ustream chat. Go.

Here it is, until such time as it is I can upload to Youtube:

Live performance and all, there were a few hiccups, but overall I'm happy with it. I'm not good at technology. Like, it terrifies me. Handling the livestreaming was a lot more nerve-wracking than putting the piece together. Thus, I was grateful for the call from my mother right after, telling me how much she loved it. My reaction: "So it actually broadcasted? Yes!"

I was fun and cool to do an international event. I look forward to going back and seeing the performances I missed.

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