Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 49

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 48
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 49

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.
(Show notes are beneath the text.)

The wetness had melded the leather boot laces into a tight slippery knot. Nessa tugged at the knot, worry making her fingers clumsy.

Tenspot hovered behind her. “I wish I had my pocketknife.”

When the knot loosened, Jack crabbed backward, pulling his foot free. The abandoned boot and sock stayed in place, plugging the opening like a cork in a bottle.

Nessa rocked onto her heels, shaking dirt from her hands. “Any pain?”

“No.” Jack leaned back on his elbows and flexed his ankle. “The bone is not broken.”

“Are you sure?” Tenspot asked. “I know how to set broken bones with a tree branch.”

“I’m glad we didn’t have to put that remedy to the test.” Nessa stood up. “Let me check for cuts.”

She rolled up the leg of Jack’s jeans, the dirt on her hands making dark outlines on the denim, like Indian paintings on a cave wall.

Tenspot crowded closer.

*****

SHOW NOTES

We’re new to the Audacity, the sound program we use for our audio recordings, and to sound effects in general. These are our thoughts on the current episode.

Recording. We recorded this segment in two takes, after three practice runs with the microphone off.

Technical. This week, we moved a bit closer to the microphone. We are using the AM radio effect in Audacity, which covers much of the “echo” effect from being a few inches away from the mic, but we think our voice sounds richer when closer to the mic.

Comments. We eased up a bit on the changes to Tenspot’s voice, and think he sounds less like a chipmunk. We’re still not consistent with the original recording of his voice, and that makes changing his voice a bit tricky because the changes don’t always sound the same.

Story changes. This week we made multiple changes to the written version.

Below is the original.

The wetness had melded the leather laces into a tight, slippery knot. Nessa tugged at it, worry making her fingers clumsy. Tenspot hovered behind her, muttering about wishing he’d remembered to bring his pocketknife.

When Nessa finally worked the knot loose, Jack crabbed backward, pulling his foot free. The abandoned boot and sock stayed in place, plugging the opening like a cork in a bottle. Nessa rocked onto her heels, shaking dirt from her hands as Jack leaned back on his elbows.

Jack flexed his ankle. “It’s not broken.”

“If it was, I could set it with a tree branch,” Tenspot said.

“I’m glad we didn’t have to put that remedy to the test.” Nessa stood up. “Let me check for cuts.”

She rolled up the leg of Jack’s jeans, the dirt making dark outlines of her hands on the denim, like Indian paintings on a cave wall.

Tenspot crowded closer.

Jack sat up, trying to see around the boy’s head. “What do you see?”

We eliminated “it,” pulled Tenspot’s mutterings into actual speech, added additional words for Nessa and Jack, and changed the ending. Most of these changes had nothing to do with difficulty in recording the audio. Instead, we felt the writing needed to be updated, such as eliminating the comma between “tight” and “slippery” in the opening sentence. These days, fewer commas are the trend, and removing them does make the reading flow more quickly.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 48

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 47
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 48

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.
(Show notes are beneath the text.)

Nessa let go of his hand, knelt, and leaned forward to look. The top of Jack’s boot and the beginning of two leather shoelaces remained above the dirt. The rest of his foot had vanished into the hole. The edges had crumbled, closing in around his boot.

“If I can undo the knot, maybe you can slide your foot out,” she said.

“Let me try again first.”

He gripped his leg, tugged. More dirt caved in around his boot, but his foot stayed trapped. His breathing harshened as he let go and leaned back again.

“I cannot get out by myself,” he said. “I must ask for your help.”

*****

SHOW NOTES

We’re new to the Audacity, the sound program we use for our audio recordings, and to sound effects in general. These are our thoughts on the current episode.

Recording. We recorded Installment 48 in two takes, after two practice runs with the microphone off.

Technical. This week, we  forgot to change the microphone in Audacity to the Yeti, and had to record a second take because the program had defaulted to the microphone on the computer. Lesson: Always check the settings first.

Comments. We  played a bit with Jack’s voice this week, in an attempt to make his voice deeper, but not totally unrecognizable and different. We think he sounds more like a man this week, and will continue this change going forward. We’ll also add it to the final redone version when we get to the end and start over. We were amused to see that Installment 48 is … 48 seconds long. 🙂

Story changes. This week we made two changes to the written version. The first was because of an error, probably due to too much use of the thesaurus. So we changed this sentence:

The edges had crumbled, closing in around his shoe.

to

The edges had crumbled, closing in around his boot.

 

We also changed this sentence to eliminate the contractions. Throughout this updated version, Jack’s speech has been more formal.

“Okay, let’s do it your way,” he said. “I can’t get out by myself.”

became

“I cannot get out by myself,” he said. “I must ask for your help.”

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 47

Jack Cover with border small canvas

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 46
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 47

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.

(Show notes are beneath the text.)

Nessa pulled the hem of her shirt free from a bramble and sprinted after him. “Are you hurt, Jack?”

He grimaced. “I twisted my ankle when I fell and I might have cut my leg. Something wet is running down inside my boot.”

Fear cramped her stomach. She grabbed his hand. His fingers closed around hers and the warmth flickered, steadying her. He’d be all right. She’d make sure he was all right.

“We’ll get you out.”

She helped him sit up, but his lower leg remained stuck in a dark gash reamed deep into the earth by the taproot of the fallen pine.

“Can you see inside the hole?” Tenspot asked.

“No,” Jack said.

*****

SHOW NOTES

We’re new to the Audacity, the sound program we use for our audio recordings, and to sound effects in general. These are our thoughts on the current episode.

Recording. We recorded this segment in two takes, after three practice runs with the microphone off.

Technical. This week, we changed the bass and treble on Nessa’s voice as an experiment. We have been inconsistent with her voice throughout these recordings, and will have to go back to the beginning  once we’ve finished the complete recording to make her consistent.

Comments. Tenspot’s voice came out better this week, though we didn’t change the Audacity effects we’ve been using. Instead we changed our voice by lowering it a bit as we recorded, and so the Audacity change worked better. We have taken screen snaps of the changes we make so we can duplicate them from week to week. This whole project would be better if the entire book was recorded in multiple sessions over a shorter time period. We’ve been recording the audio version of our next release, A Cause for Murder, and keeping the tones and the voice patterns similar is much easier when the work is done over a more condensed time frame.

Story changes. We made two changes to the written version this week. The first was because we continue to grow as writers, and so we like to weed out items we no longer prefer in our older writing. So we changed this sentence:

“There is something wet running down inside my boot.”

to

“Something wet is running down inside my boot.”

to eliminate the “there is” and make the sentence move more easily. We would also have liked to eliminate “something” because we find that “thing” words are imprecise and stating precisely what we mean makes the writing more crisp and the reading moves faster.

 

We  also changed this sentence:

She’d make sure of it.

to

She’d make sure he was all right.

to eliminate “it,” another imprecise word that makes the writing seem weak.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Also by HL Carpenter:

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Top Drawer News — Aye, Matey

 

Have you ever dreamed of finding pirate’s treasure?

So have we. Read what we discovered in our first Bublish book bubble for our young adult novel, Pirate Summer.

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Posted in Fiction, Pirate Summer Tagged with:

Top Drawer News — Lovebugs, murder, and a cover reveal

Image source: Wikimedia Commons; no machine-readable author provided.

 

Love is in the air – especially if you’re a lovebug in May and September. During those months, these pesky little black-and-orange bugs lock together in an amorous embrace and become airborne missiles that splatter cars along the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Originally from Central America, lovebugs arrived in America’s southern region around 1940. Their scientific name is “Plecia nearctica.” Though they don’t bite or sting, they’re a nuisance to cars, pedestrians wearing light-colored clothes…and the hero in our soon-to-be-released cozy mystery, A Cause for Murder.

A Cause for Murder is set in the month of May and features septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs, along with plenty of lovebugs, both insect and human.

Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs thinks her neighbor’s death was an accident—until her friend Arnie says he suspects murder.

Arnie is convinced he knows the killer’s identity. He wants Emma to prove it.

Is Arnie right? And is he right in his belief that Emma’s best friend is the killer’s next target?

As Emma navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives, she discovers more than one person is hiding deadly secrets.

The question is, who has a cause for murder?

A Cause for Murder is on track for publication within the next month. In the meantime, here’s a cover reveal and an excerpt.

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EXCERPT

 

It wasn’t the food. Happy Haven Retirement Community’s chef prepared delicious, artistically plated roast beef and mashed potatoes every Sunday evening.

Emma Twiggs set down her fork. No, the food wasn’t the problem.

It wasn’t the chatter or the whispers in the dining room, nor the sidelong glances of other Happy Haven residents. Happy Haven was a hotbed of gossip and rumors. Being the topic du jour was familiar territory.

It certainly wasn’t her dinner companion. Arnie Bracken was always charming, kind, and intelligent, no matter what her best friend Olli thought.

No, food, chatter, and Arnie, combined or singular, were not the cause of her uneasiness.

The problem –

“I know what you’re thinking, Em,” Arnie said.

“Do you?” She picked up a glass of lemon-spritzed water and tried to swallow past the tightness in her throat. She could only hope he had no idea of what she was thinking.

“Sure.” He leaned forward and lowered his voice. “You’re wondering how someone as fit as Jo accidentally drowned in the swimming pool.”

Emma froze. Her fingers tightened on the glass. The chatter in the room faded into muted background noise. She had deliberately not been thinking about Jo. She would not think about Jo. How did Arnie know she’d been thinking about Jo?

“I’ll tell you how,” he said. “Jo was murdered, and Cahan murdered her.”

“I am not thinking about – Murdered?” The lump in her throat expanded to the size of the Brussels sprouts on her plate. “By Todd?”

“Murdered. By Cahan. And we need to prove he did the deed.”

“Arnie.” Emma set the glass on the table and uncurled her fingers from it. She coughed to clear the non-existent Brussels sprout from her throat. “The paramedics told us Jo’s death was accidental. An accidental drowning.”

“Yeah, I know all the euphemisms they used.”

Emma did too. The headline in Harmony Notes, the local daily, had read TRAGIC ACCIDENT AT HAPPY HAVEN. Unfortunate was the word murmured most frequently at the funeral service, followed closely by regrettable.

She said, “Harmony’s police department and the district medical examiner agreed with the paramedics, Arnie.”

“They’re wrong.”

A trickle of condensation wept down the side of the glass and puddled into a teardrop on the table. All the words used to describe Jo’s death were wrong. Wrong and inadequate. Words were inadequate now too.

Because this was the problem she had been avoiding.

Her role in Jo’s death.

***

Posted in Emma, Fiction Tagged with: ,
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