Resolution Update

For anyone curious about the outcome of my big places to record my reading a story as a test run last weekend, I did set all up and give it a try. I have so much clutter in my little home office that I don’t Feb Cabin audio setup lighthave the optimum noise abatement, unless stacks of old college papers and piles of paper detritus collected over the years are acoustic help. That makes me perch my laptop and microphone on the edge of the spacious but largely inaccessible desk. Lucky for me, the cabin in the woods has no traffic noise, no noisy neighbors, no sirens.

All I have to beware is Ma with her radio. I have to wait for her to go out on the porch or fall asleep so I can have the noise turned off. Last weekend she wasn’t feeling well, so she slept lots (no, I was not happy she was sick!). Now that’s she’s feeling better and this weekend will be warm and sunny, I can probably get more recording practice in. I shall make her lounging on the porch as comfortable as possible!

I must not forget Barky, Feb Cabin mutated barkyeither. Mostly she barks at night but if a strange person or animal gets near it sets her off. Once she gets started, Fudge joins in. If it’s a distant hound, they’ll bay back and forth and give me the urge to take a coffee break. I do not holler at my watchdogs for barking!

Okay, what happened: I got the Sony  Sound Forge program registered and working and did the tutorials that don’t require internet as the cabin is off-line. I plugged in my Blue-brand Snowball microphone. I recorded reading the first half of Otto and Socks in Outpost 1 and had some inevitable mistakes. I was pleasantly surprised her hear my reading sounded like a real narrator, to me at least.

That’s where I got in trouble. I thought I could make a new file, snip the correction and paste it in the original. Not so easy. I finally got so tired of trying to edit the first file, I started over. The second try went better, and when I made a goof I stopped, backed up Outpost Snipand started from that point. That seemed to come out better. I was marginally encouraged, so I went on to read part 2. The entire sound file is just over an hour. It is in a ‘wav’ file and I didn’t know what to do with it. Obviously I needed more education in production, so I accessed the ACX Audiobook site help from my work computer (over lunch, of course); they have lots of info on making a sound file good enough to be an audiobook. This weekend I’m going to apply some of what I learned there and see how that turns out.

One thing I discovered when I tried to listen to my file is that the volume is way too low, and that is covered in the ACX Audio Scientist files. Thus, no samples this week, no voting. I have purchased a Feb Cabin audio setup darkgood pair of headphones and now know how to test for acceptable background noise. One really annoying thing was having to use the on-screen audio controls at the same time I had to scroll through the text of my story…cumbersome and the source of most of my needed corrections. I have printed out my stories now, so that is solved. I have hope! Wish me luck!


Get Serious About Those Resolutions or Quit!

Last weekend, the great 3-day President’s Day Weekend, I was Run-OverMe worried -By-A-Train sick and got slim little done at all. A sad waste of precious time. I managed to make a batch of currant-oatmeal cookies Saturday afternoon and survived by drinking copious amounts of Yerba mate green tea. I knew I was on the mend late Sunday night because I didn’t lose my cookies!


Snoball MikeAll better now, I have great plans for this weekend. Sure I have that treasure trove of fantastic parcels of satins and rayons and cotton blends, and let’s not forget the fur. Defer! I Have that painting upstairs calling plaintively to me, pick up a brush PLEASE, or a sponge if you prefer! Defer! My big goal is to learn Sound Forge, the sound editing software, and get some use from my Snowball microphone. I shall experiment on creating a Podcast!


I have five short stories in the Otto and Socks series in the final draft stage. I plan on making several different versions of me reading one. Perhaps one with an introduction and follow-up, a  fore and aft commentary. Maybe one with just reading followed by one with reading in a more lively, story-telling style. I’ll do as much as I can while Ma is basking on the porch and I can have quiet in the house…I hope I can get the hang of it without excess anxiety.

I am certain I have the key ingredient for mastering this obstacle to greatness, the one thing that will Coffee obliqueensure success in this instance and beyond, the catalyst for merging creativity with technology. This one item will boost my butt into orbit and my sci-fi will fly. You know what I’m talking about; ebony, searing hot, mug-staining Coffee! And lots of it, guaranteed. (FYI, I designed the mug graphics using Zazzle, great place.) I’ll probably need to whip up another batch of cookies as an acid absorber (never a store-bought cookie!). I may post a couple versions next week and get votes, if I’m brave enough.
Coffee coffeeCoffee gator

Brushed sideOf course when Ma does come in and the radio goes on, or my brother comes over, or (dread) I get too frustrated, I’ll already be upstairs, near the studio. How long can I listen to the poor painting whimper without going to make it all better?

Story Problem Disintegrates!

The other night when reviewing my Otto and Socks storylines, I could have sworn I had a Me puzzleddisconnect between the 2nd episode and the 3rd. This weekend, I set time aside to resolve this annoying problem. There was no problem. Why I thought there was is beyond me…I be mystified. Maybe that shows why I shouldn’t attempt to write in town after my job and fixing supper and watching TV with Ma because she wants me to: brain drain.

Saturday I did a more final draft on the second episode, renamed Two Peaceful Maidens after the cult that has Otto experiencing visions. Then I wrote out half of the next one, Hooch. Sure, it required a preface paragraph, but it seemed to flow okay to me.

Sunday my brother came over and STAYED, so no more writing, phooey. Instead I took that stained glass piece of satin I got last week and, seeing no suitable pattern, cut it by intuition and made a fabulous two tiered skirt Ma adores. Success! I know, I should have taken some pictures…Sorry!


On a sad note, I did not see sweet Bridgette last weekend nor the Tuesday before. Her food dish in her little cozy Download 090915 072cat-house had plenty left. I fear Bridgette either went away as cats do when they get really old, or she was too slow for a coyote or bobcat. I have not seen the secretive and shy Scaredy Cat either, so maybe that bobcat got them both. Scaredy Cat showed up one day and my brother caught her so we could get her fixed. Apparently she harbors a deep resentment because she runs furtively anytime anyone gets near. I did dream about Scaredy Cat last night; she walked up to me shyly and looked straight at me. That would have been very uncharacteristic. Hmmm.

No Cabin This Weekend, Wahhhh!

Download 090915 046
This is the high part, it goes steep at the end of what you see, down to the road. Note, no snow. Imagine it.

Snow PrintsGosh Durn the 1ooo mile wide winter storm…the little goat roads to the cabin are all iced up with a foot of snow atop that. Plus the narrow roads have precipitous shoulders, follow sharp contours and probably have trees down across them. I with my trusty 2005 Subaru Forester with the shovel in back would brave the elements, but I have frail Mama now and don’t want to risk it. Good thing is, I left enough food and water for the animals down there to last a few more days. Monday should be warmer so I can hie on down there and replenish the feed bowls Tuesday. At least I hope so! Melting would increase flood potential, but greatly reduce SHOVELLING that great long driveway.

With most of the business closed and the roads dangerous because of the other drivers 😉 I suppose we’ll watch videos and listen to music all weekend. Amazingly, I brought my laptop up to town Monday morning, thus I can work on my new stories!

I guess I’ll have time to resolve the problem of how Otto and Socks get from the Better Ore Worse to the Baling Wire asteroid mining ship. At least I should have time…unless the power goes out. Shhh! I didn’t day anything about the power! No, I didn’t! I hope no gremlins subscribe to this blog.

Not that I don’t stay extremely busy here at work…but check out this magnet conundrum. Why does that scraper razor stand straight up instead of being drawn up the magnet? That’s a ready strong magnet and any other ferrous item I put up to it is difficult to pull off. The anti-magnetonic razor! Go figure!

Magnet 004 Magnet 003 Magnet 001


Snow South Trees
View From Front Porch

I heard we’re getting at least 5 inches of snow before morning, oh yip-yop-yippee! Out with the shovel!

That blue paisley rayon I got last week is not a floor-length, long sleeved dress with a full skirt. Ma wore it to church Sunday. It fits her, she likes it, good enough for me! The thick blue fleece became a very cozy nightgown; she likes that too.Sew pattern on Blue


I got through the new book  about Otto and Socks, draft 2. Now I’m not sure aOtto Socks bluebout the title…I called it Outpost 1 at first since that in the common thread of the story. Then I changed it to One Valve Away because that’s all there is between life and death at the beginning and again at the end of the story. I have Outpost 1 on my timeline but edited the One Valve Away version last weekend. Titus gives ET the advice to make the references accessible. He referred to her writing Outpost 1, but the same applies to my situation. Outpost 1? One Valve Away? Which sounds like two young folks caught up in a dangerous mechanical situation out in space, all because of the fella’s Mama’s hit series – Outpost 1?

Being short of time, I’ll finish this off with random pictures. Have Fun!

NOLA Vacation 008
Mouse reading
Everybody Ought to Read!
Of course I cannot play it…yet.
Cabin Chicken
Do I really need a caption? Bye Bye!