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Monday, December 12, 2016

Moving right along...


As I mentioned a podcast or two back, I have a little bit of time to squeeze "Everlasting Man" and "Swinging Doors" into under the old standards.  Have to get anything up prior to the end of January.  Doable, but.

I had been done with Everlasting up through Part II Chapter IV.  This weekend, I got Chapter V recorded.  In the process of doing that, I found Chapter VI, which wasn't in the table of contents.  After reading through that, I found the Conclusion chapter, also not in the contents.  I already knew about the two appendices.

So that left me with four more pieces to record before Everlasting is done.  So, I recorded Chapter VI, too.  Unfortunately, you gotta keep in mind these chapters are about an hour long, each.  That's a whole lotta talkin'.  That chapter it sounds like I had a bad cold.  Maybe I did; I do have ongoing allergy issues, so it's a strain to talk that much at once.

Had to get that done to stay more or less on schedule.  The reading was okay, but it's unfortunate that my voice quality wasn't the best.

And that's just the one book.  I've got ten or eleven chapters of "Swinging Doors" to record, too.  Those are much shorter chapters.  I can record two chapters and have the episode come in about a half hour.  Not as painful.  Still, that's a lot of recording and editing.  Add to that, I have one chapter that's supposed to be recorded by the wife of the author, and that'll happen when it happens.  Not just my schedule involved.

I can definitely get Everlasting done in time.  I can reasonably say I'm "almost done" now.  Swinging Doors is a maybe.  But I think, once I can get Everlasting out of the way, that'll leave a lot more flexibility for Swinging Doors.  That'll help.

Being me, of course... recently I came across a book that's a collection of Teddy Roosevelt's columns during and about World War I.  Saw some quotes from one of the columns, and they seemed worthwhile.  I'm kind of intrigued.  I always wait to read the book till I'm recording it.  Keeps it fresh and alive for me.

One important flavor I bring to these old books, I hope, is a breath of life.  Old books are hard to read, granted.  I know, I've read a lot of them.  I feel when you provide a real, living voice for the words of the author, the listener gets more of what the author meant to say.  Authors are people.  Authors of old books were people back when they wrote the book.  Usually dead by now, of course.

Read the book aloud, when you know how.  The process reminds me of when I used to perform Shakespeare with Blackthorne Repertory Theatre.  Some folks read Shakespeare in a sort of singsong.  You know what that sounds like.  But it's entirely different -- and much more intelligible -- if you actually understand what Shakespeare was saying.  Sure they are characters.  And sure, they were characters from a long time ago.  But they were also (fictional) people.  So you read the words like a person, with a real message to convey.

Old books, same deal.  There's a real message there.  And the author may have spent months or years finding exactly the right way to say it.  So, I figure out what the author wanted to say, and try to say it the way that best conveys what the author meant.  I absolutely do not try to do any impressions.  (GK Chesterton was an Englishman.  I suck at accents.)  Rather, I try to convey the author's message as a sort of metacharacter -- not really the voice of the author; rather, I guess, the voice of the book.

Never did get to do the interview about that with the Podioracket podcast.  Anyway, I hope I'm adding some value by recording these.  Gotta keep on, assuming that.  Because it's fun, and because it makes me feel like I have a worthwhile talent.  Which I will probably only ever get to exercise as a hobby.

Because nobody, including the folks who run radio stations, want the New Guy to be an Old Guy.  ;-)

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