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Sometimes, stuff I do just makes me so happy.

I adore my illustrator Jenn Solo. She and I have been working together for over a year now.

We’ve been making new illustrated fiction together.

I’ve been narrating some of it, working with other narrators too.

A month or so ago I had this idea for a new series of stories about Little Sprocket, an age player in her 20’s, who’s new and exploring.

Sprocket knows she likes diapers, knows she wants to be spanked, but isn’t at all sure about anything else.

I also had this kinda bizarre, meta, experimental idea to give Sprocket her own fetlife profile.

I was telling my friends ResonantYes and roadnottaken of the Love in Brief podcast about it, and asked them for help narrating it. And they had this amazing idea to do a mixed narration to record it. Part RY, part rnt, all awesome.

It turned out so, so good.

But don’t take my word for it, take a listen to a little bit of it for yourself.

I’m beside myself with glee at how good it sounds.

So, I'm a busy guy.

It's a holiday weekend, and I was up at 5:30.  Partly that was because I couldn't stop thinking about some code I need to write today for Project Drummond, my side business.  Partly that was because I have been thinking about working with my illustrator Jenn in a whole new way.

So I got up, got showered, and headed down to the old home office to crank out some work.

The night before I had put my laptop atop my lap (funny how you can do that with it) and tinkered a bit with code while Missy, Rachel and I watched a movie.  When I hooked it back up to my monitor this morning, this bad thing happened.  Or rather, a good thing didn't happen.

My beloved Thunderbolt monitor wouldn't charge the laptop.

Well, crap.

So I asked Cousin Google what to do.  And tried many of the things they recommended, to no avail.  This potentially was going to eat my whole damn day.  Then I took a well informed guess, based on my research.

My magsafe adapter had gone bad.

My who-what-now?  

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This thing.  It's a little magnetic adapter which connects the monitor cable to the laptop.  I ordered a new one for like $10, and was able to pick it up at a nearby store.  And when I brought it home, and swapped it out, and saw the sweet green light of functional charging.

Then I dug back into my list of many things.  Which included reading an amazing story written by a fellow author.  Negotiating some narration work for a new story.  Writing code.  And having an important phone call with partners.

And that's when I started to have this feeling: that much like that little magsafe adapter, I'm just this one little part of many vast, complex systems.

Which reminds me of a quote from one of my most favorite books, Cloud Atlas.

 “My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”

It's good to be a drop.

 

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

So today I'm hard at work editing the audio from the latest chapter of my new novel, Little Marigold Blossoms.

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It's hard work.  The raw audio file is over an hour long.

Audio editing is not a glamorous task.  What I'm doing is listening to the same audio, over and over, clipping out bad takes, laughter, mouth noise, environmental sound that got into the recording by accident, adjusting the audio to be mostly the same level.

It comes with the territory.  My narrator for the book, Suzie is really good.  She has a great sense of timing, drama, and emotion.  I love working with her.  We've got a great working relationship, and she's super patient with me about doing multiple takes for something, in order to get it just the way I want.

Even as good as she is, I still got to take the raw product and refine it.  But you know what? I love it.  Even the laborious, painstaking parts of the gig are worth doing.  

There's this one exchange between Mari, the main character, and her Uncle Norman, where she cuts him off, responding in quick anger to something he says as they're on a plane ride.  I edited the audio so that in Suzie's narration, playing as Mari, she actually interrupts herself, playing as Uncle Norman.  It's a subtle, little thing.  But it's artful and clever (if I do say so myself), and makes Suzie's performance really pop.

I was so very pleased by it that I took a little break to write this post about it.  I feel blessed to have such a talented narrator to work with, and on a project I love so very much.

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow
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So, one of the reasons I started my patreon back in November was to stoke my creative engine.

It is so working.

This morning I set up a poll over at the patreon for patrons to pick from 1 of 3 options this month for the second of two fiction projects I'll be putting out this month.  My new novel is moving along nicely, and I've got neurons firing in so many different directions.  I've got some old characters doing new things, and new characters exploring brand new areas I've not written about before.

Plus, I use the amazing art my illustrator Jenn does, and the narration that Suzie Jenkins and I do, to make these sort of Reading Rainbow style movies now.

On top of all that, the creativity is bleeding over into other areas of my life.  I'm feeling reinvigorated in the coding I'm doing for my side business.  New projects I'm about to embark on in my day job are exciting and invigorating to me.  We've begun recording the Big Little Podcast again on a more regular schedule.

I feel so very, very ON.  

This morning I was up 15 minutes before my alarm clock, thinking about all the irons I have in the fire, not overwhelmed by it, but stirred up.  I love being a creative person.  I love connecting with that urge to make new things.  It's a vital, valuable part of my life.

I'm so grateful.

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

 So there’s this thing that’s been on my mind lately. As I have blogged about recently,  I’m a pretty busy guy.

It can be really hard to find time for all these things that I do.  There’s this skill that I’m always refining that really helps me with these things.   It’s the ability to work in discrete micro chunks.

 This isn’t as helpful in my programming work  as it is in my fiction,  but I do use it all the time.

 Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.  So this morning I’m sitting at my desk, trying to do some writing on a new Cam and Eileen story.   I’m having trouble with, trying to figure out the flow of a certain  scene.

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I make the decision to stop writing, get in my car and go to work.   As I’m driving, and listening to a very excellent podcast where Patton Oswalt is talking about writing about his wife’s death, the crucial thing I’m missing for that story comes to me.

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 So I very carefully pause the podcast, and turn on the recording app in my phone.   I talk it out.   Let me explain what I’m doing here.   I’m not writing the story word for word,  but I’m exploring with the characters feel.   I say the big beats of the plot,  some particular phrasing that matters.

 Now I feel good about my morning.   What’s more, I know that when I do sit down to write this, I’ve got a plan.  I know what I want the words to sound like, and what it is about the characters that I’m trying to get across to the reader.   That’s really important to me, because I’m writing about characters who have erotic situations, but in the context of their entire lives.

 It matters just as much that the man in the story is interested in pegging, that the woman in the story struggles with being the black sheep of her family.   One fact doesn’t cancel the other out,  they support and enhance one another.  

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Then I get to work. As I’m pulling in and looking for a spot, it occurs to me that this forward movement is enough. In the same day I get to be an author, do my day job, and put in the time to feel I’m living my authentic life.

By embracing progress,  and chipping it out a little bit a time I’m getting there.  That feels really good 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow