Tuesday, March 26, 2013

That Gets My Goat 107: A Solo Adventure?

Uh oh, it's time once again to talk about STAR WARS.  These things have to be done on here from time to time, like releasing the pressure on a boiler.  Otherwise . . . well, we have no idea what would happen, since we keep on talking about STAR WARS.

Lucasfilm has announced that, in addition to a new Trilogy of films, there will be stand-alone movies about a trio of characters.  Does this news fill the Dunesteef boys with excitement . . . or dread?

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Triple Word Score Contest Prompt Word Suggestions

In this week's episode, Big and Rish announced the newest Dunesteef writing contest. You can be a part of it even if you don't want to write a story. Here's how: suggest us some words that we can use in the prompts. The more words the better. Only thing is that they need to be nouns. Outlandish or normal are both as useful. Lay them on us in the comments. Thanks!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rish performs "Dead End Street" audiobook

So, my first audiobook reading is now available over at Audible.com.  I figured I'd say a few words about it (and each subsequent release) on this blog, and maybe on my personal blog, and maybe over at the forums.  I haven't decided, though, whether I should be pretty terse on this one, go into more detail on my blog, and engage in a sort of "confessional" Q&A on the forums, spilling all my frustrations with each project, and what I thought of the piece and my work on it.

Y'see, this really should be a sort of advertisement, (strongly?) encouraging fans of the Dunesteef to go over to Audible and buy the works as they appear.  Except for the book I finished yesterday, I get paid only if people go there and buy them, so it does me no good to say, "Hey, stay away from my production of 'Only Angles Have Vaginas' by Veronica Tobler-Bice, as it's a terribly-written story, I half-assed my way through it, and she spells 'Angel' as "Angle.'  Also, I have it on good authority that some large mammals do indeed have vaginas."

Big and I have disagreed about this in the past, and I understand his position: if you've worked on something for long hours, and it's your work out there, it's pretty counterproductive to say it's not good.  My friend Merrill says it's bad pool to criticize the work you're paid to do, like when Shia Unspellablelastname called INDIANA JONES 4 "shit," but I have found it interesting, at least to me, to if not criticize, then at least critically examine, the stories we've recorded, at least for other podcasts.  We did them for free, using our own time, but yeah, I can see the editor of Podrapist saying, "Oh, they didn't like the story I deigned to give them, did they?  Well, see if I ever let them perform on House of Rape ever again."

There may be no correct answer, but I've found that I've learned things working on movie sets with bad directors, just as I learned what works with good directors like Sam Raimi, and as a writer, I think I still benefit from reading books and stories that don't work, just as long as I recognize WHY they don't work.

There needs to be a middle ground between a plug and bashing something, and I hope that someone out there appreciates that.  I still give the best performance I can, even if I don't love the work I'm doing, and I think it's fair to say that a good actor can elevate a bad movie, or at least the scenes he's in.

So, first out of the gate is "Dead End Street," written by Rick R. Reed.  The man seems to have quite a career writing a different kind of book, but this one is straightforward YA Horror, and it reminds me, most of all, of a certain lad named Outfield, who digs writing about teens going to ordinary places and encountering creepiness there.

"Dead End Street" tells the story of five childhood friends, three boys and two girls, who as teenagers decided to meet weekly in the local reputably-haunted house, telling a scary story apiece.  But their visits do not occur unnoticed.

What drew me to the story, as a reader and especially as a narrator, is that each kid tells a story, and I could create a voice for each character, and tell their story in their voice.  For Pete, I chose a younger version of my own voice, for Dan, I chose a scratchy arrogant drawl, for Roy, the text says his voice has not yet broken, so he got a sort of irritatingly-high child voice.  The two girls were harder, since I wanted them to sound different from one another.  I did my typical female love interest voice for Erin, who's described as really attractive, and tried a snarkier girl voice for Marlene, who is the smart one, and pretty much ends up the main character of the story, so I hope she doesn't annoy anyone.

I ran my choices by Rick before starting, unsure how much back and forth should be between writer and reader, but the results probably vary depending on the writer.  There have been a couple who are really hands-on and want every little thing read according to how it is in their heads, and there are a couple who have never said a word to me throughout the whole process.

The recording was fairly uneventful, and though the sound quality is not as clean as the stuff I'd do today was, it's a far cry from the first short stories that I edited without using headphones, where you can hear every single breath and lip chlorque.

It's not a long book (just over four hours), but I got to do at least eight voices, and it's a good representative of what I do.  Check it out, if you feel like it, and there are more where that came from.

Rish Outfield, Book Guy

P.S. No, chlorque is not a word, but is there a word for the smacking/slurping sound that a mouth makes when it opens?  Of course, if that mouth is Emily Van Camp's I imagine the word is different than when, say, the Rancor's or my mouth makes it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TGMG 106: Nice Day For A White Wedding Video

Continued from last time, Big talks about his one-time dream of being a wedding video maker.  Rish somehow makes the conversation about himself, and his recent challenges with being an audiobook narrator.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

TGMG 105: Solomon Grundy & the State of Podcasting

Big and Rish are back . . . and talking about nothing.  This is what happens when they sit down without a plan.  A lot of small talk, a bit of geek culture, and a discussion about the future of the Dunesteef.  Eventually, however, they get to a subject you may have interest in, Big's now-decomposing corpse of a dream of being a wedding videographer.  (shudder: listener discretion is advised)

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rish Performs A Story On Cast Of Wonders

You know that heartwarming myth about how the prettiest girls are also the loneliest ones, since no guys dare approach them?  Yes, a disgusting lie, as Albert Einstein mathematically proved.  But as far as podcasters go, the fact that Big and Rish are rarely asked to narrate on other podcasts anymore, does give us a little pause.

Maybe the other podcasts see us as competition, maybe they don't like that we're a duo, maybe there are tons of newer narrators out there clamoring for work, maybe we have a reputation as slackers or monsters, maybe other podcasts just utilize their friends, maybe the other readers are just friendlier.*

Of course, my theory is, they're intimidated by our talent and marvelous heads of hair.

But Graeme Dunlop over at the Cast of Wonders podcast swallowed down a little liquid courage recently, and asked if I, Rish, would perform a story for his show.  CoW is a fairly new but already prolific show, producing short stories that are, ostensibly, aimed at a YA audience. 

The story I was given, "Cosmetic Procedures" by Desmond Warzel, was so not YA, it's made me question what exactly "YA" means.  But that's a question for another blog.  It's a pretty delightful (if short) tale about a Private Investigator hired by a husband to figure out what has happened to his now-distant, now-unemotional wife.  The P.I. and his team discover that it's due to something banal, that might be a front for something much darker, much more unexplainable.  It's a heck of a story, and highly recommended.

I did wonder why Graeme would ask me, since there are so many prettier girls at this dance, but when I got to one particular line of dialogue, I had to laugh.  If you're a longtime listener to our show, I think you'll know it when you hear it.**

We recently recorded a story for our show (this one waaaaay longer, but more YA in my definition), with a very similar premise.  It's called "Office Visit," written by a certain shaggy-headed lonely boy, and I look forward to comparing the two when/if that story ever runs on the Dunesteef.

But head on over to Cast Of Wonders: The Young Adult Fiction Magazine.  Once my audiobooks start dropping, you'll get sick of hearing me do all the character voices in a story.  But this one may seem quaint.

Rish "Cosmetic Pro Seizure" Outfield

*There's a certain not-to-be-named podcast that we have even asked the producer(s) if we could be on, only to be ignored.

**It's as though a script handed to Steve Martin just happened to include the line, "Well, excuuuuse me!"  Or somebody gave Dane Cook a screenplay requiring him to be an unlikeable, overrated jagoff.