Feral Oklahoma

That pairing of words, a month after the previous post, was the impetus of communicating this eve. Relevance to my life? It is the setting for much of the current audiobook I busy myself with, currently. A jokester's hunting ground, it is. Cherubic face. Half a million in earnings. No email. But somehow, tight communication and failsafes. From sweat on the oilfields to a vendetta against the monied men. Ten hours of shenanigans I am enveloped in. Not my life, but now my life.

You are what you do.


On Lightning
   This evening, under cloud of thunder, I opened the door to the outside with phone camera in hand in an attempt to capture lightning. The minute I opened the door, a large fuzzy tree of electricity did strike a mile or so in front of me, and I slammed the door and fell back with an utterance of "whoa!".
   This is so not in the same category as my most memorable encounter with the light beast. That was some fifteen years ago, and I was in a one-piece camouflage uniform. I had a rifle in my hand. A rifle that shot deadly pink paintballs. I was with a handful of other paint hunters when the facility crew member in residence lifted his walkie talkie and requested a vehicle to pick us up. For a few raindrops had begun to fall. And then the needle of life jumped a groove. That I wasn't blown off my feet was notable, because everything was white and deaf. When we recovered from the great white shark woodland T-bone onslaught, we looked at each other with agreement that lightning had just struck in the next game field.
   The facility impresario with the communication apparatus screamed into it for the arriving vehicle to arrive faster, which it did, and that white pickup truck did quickly become populated with now-wet color marauders. Unfastened to the bed, we bounced along in our wet deafness, and I thought then, "I was not alive for Vietnam, but my god, this is the Vietnam of recreational dangers."
* * *
I am writing an unconventional fiction book.

Narrator JackComment
What It Is To Forget

To upgrade a computer's memory for the sake of more efficient audiobook editing is a noble goal. A computer endlessly rebooting upon said upgrading is an unexpected and unwelcome development. In such a case, the memory should be returned for a refund. Of this be mindful.

Yesterday, I forgot to write here. To elucidate.

Narrator JackComment

My favorite male narrator of non-fiction audiobooks is Simon Prebble. The first one of his that I heard was Holy Blood, Holy Grail. A good journey was also had with Churchill. I still want and have yet to hear Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla...The Six Wives of Henry VIII...The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature...Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters...Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying...The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington...and many more, sadly.

Narrator JackComment
Long Wind

I was searching some public domain books for the word narration, and was intrigued by how intricate the following 1887 passage seems to me - and by the coincidence that voice-workers by law must now declare themselves either narrators, allegorists or fabulists.

    THE TALE, the Parable, and the Fable are all common and popular modes of conveying instruction. Each is distinguished by its own special characteristics.
    The Tale consists simply in the
narration of a story either founded on facts, or created solely by the imagination, and not necessarily associated with the teaching of any moral lesson.
    The Parable is the designed use of language purposely intended to convey a hidden and secret meaning other than that contained in the words themselves; and which may or may not bear a special reference to the hearer, or reader.
    The Fable partly agrees with, and partly differs from both of these. It will contain, like the Tale, a short but real narrative; it will seek, like the Parable, to convey a hidden meaning, and that not so much by the use of language, as by the skillful introduction of fictitious characters; and yet unlike to either Tale or Parable, it will ever keep in view, as its high prerogative, and inseparable attribute, the great purpose of instruction, and will necessarily seek to inculcate some moral maxim, social duty, or political truth. The true Fable, if it rise to its high requirements, ever aims at one great end and purpose representation of human motive, and the improvement of human conduct, and yet it so conceals its design under the disguise of fictitious characters, by clothing with speech the animals of the field, the birds of the air, the trees of the wood, or the beasts of the forest, that the reader shall receive advice without perceiving the presence of the adviser. Thus the superiority of the counselor, which often renders counsel unpalatable, is kept out of view, and the lesson comes with the greater acceptance when the reader is led, unconsciously to himself, to have his sympathies enlisted in behalf of what is pure, honorable, and praiseworthy, and to have his indignation excited against what is low, ignoble, and unworthy.
    The true fabulist, therefore, discharges a most important function. He is neither a
narrator, nor an allegorist. He is a great teacher, a corrector of morals, a censor of vice, and a commender of virtue.
   In this consists the superiority of the Fable over the Tale or the Parable. The fabulist is to create a laugh, but yet, under a merry guise, to convey instruction.

There is no such law for voice-workers. And voice-workers is not a term.

Narrator JackComment
Unheard For Now

This is a very strange feeling. I have learned this morning that an author who wrote what was just approved (also this morning) as an audiobook that I produced and narrated...passed away from a heart attack two weeks ago.  

After a title shows up in the stores (in this title's case, a couple of weeks from now), I always contact the author to say hi and talk light-heartedly about my experience with their work. It feels odd that this can no longer happen in this instance, and right before the appointed time, too.

What is also notable here is that, though this man has quite the list of published titles to his name, this looks like it will be the first audio production for a work that's essentially his creation alone.

I will contact the family shortly.

Rick Hautala (1949 - 2013)

Narrator JackComment

I find the Kindle to be essential for my narration needs. Leaning against a desk light that shines directly down on it (accomplished by moving the cover on top of the light - it's one of those green library-style lights), a Kindle is a long-lived and non-physically-taxing method of displaying a script. Before I settled on that solution, though, I had commercially printed the scripts of the first two audiobooks onto 8½ x 11 paper. Pretty costly (10¢ a page for projects potentially hundreds of pages long) and potentially unwieldy (loose papers balancing on some easel that now fights for space with a light). Paper would only be welcome if you really needed to make handwritten notations all over the thing. Or if you feel the need to keep hard copies of your projects in that fashion.

Q: Does Jack (do I) currently use in-ear Sony headphones OR big can-style Sony headphones when narrating, and what is his justification?
Provide your guess in the comments, and he'll (I'll) respond when a few come in.

Narrator JackComment
Two You Will Not Hear Me Do

Two auditions I had recently submitted were just declined in favor of other people.
That means you won't hear me impersonating the Three Stooges for 10 hours.
Nor will you hear me as Sherlock Holmes and Watson reborn as cowboys.
I had spent the better part of an afternoon creating a three minute video called "Simple Narration Setup" for YouTube. It showed where and how I record. Well, I was taken aback by the opinions of those around me about it, to the extent that I removed the video soon after uploading it. Is it worth disclosing my rationale for doing so?

Narrator JackComment

Creating professional space for a business entity would necessitate staking claim to various permutations around the Internet. Though I did manage to secure the Twitter handle @jackchekijian, I was kind of surprised that @narratorjack was, not only taken, but dormant. He has tweeted twice. He tweeted twice five years ago. Won't you wish me luck trying to acquire that?

There is a dot.com, by the way. Amazingly, it is essentially a blank site. It has got to be worth at least a million, but if I had it, I would create the email address atdotcom@dot.com. Imagine people telling other people that email address in an attempt to transmit the information without error.

Narrator Jack Comment

~ Welcome, welcome ~
I turn my head and see...that I have narrated 154 hours and 30 minutes of audiobooks that are commercially available. So the next time you are jogging from the Pulaski Skyway in Newark, New Jersey to Pulaski, Virginia...when you're running those 496 miles, you're going to need a solar powered audio player, because that is a long time.

Narrator JackComment