Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm a Moron... The Proof (part II)

Remember when I blathered on about all these podcasts I listened to the other day? Well, here’s the thing, I'm still blathering.

See, I was on one of them. And here’s the other thing: I sucked. I sounded like a moron. 

Sigh, really.

Now, for the first time ever, you can hear my perfectly acceptable reason why I came across so poorly.

Way back in the early days of the 2012, I found this brand new podcast called the Roundtable Podcast. I mentioned before (in part 1 of this post) that it invites writers to come on and pitch a story while they, and a guest pro-author, go over the story in some detail and talk about what story points might be a bad idea and what might need to be added in order to make the story stronger.

Funny, I’ve been struggling with my epic fantasy novel now for some time. I’ve been stuck on it and have been looking for someone to bounce my story around with and see if I can hammer  out some things.

So I sent them an email and said I could use some help. The ball was in motion. I was put in the queue and I felt the freedom to work on some other things and wait until we could set a date. Which we eventually did.

Meanwhile, I was told to work on my pitch. My 5-8 minute synopsis of my novel that lays out all the major plot points that we need to discuss. I had something, like, 5 months to get that down.

No problem.  I got to work. I worked, worked, and worked on it. I recorded myself, timed myself, tried it out on people and asked how well they understood. I went back and tried it again, and again. Whittling it down to the perfect segment. I became the master of the synopsis.

The week finally came. I had a Skype call with the regular hosts to go over my synopsis and make sure things were okay. The call went fine, the time and date with the guest pro was verified and we were all set.

Then, through one of those quirks that happens when you have to coordinate the schedules of several people, someone had an emergency at the last minute and we had to reschedule.

I was given a few possible dates for the make-up date. I chose the one I thought would be best. No big deal.

Then my dad came to town.

My father lives on the west coast and comes in when he can. It happens once or maybe twice a year. He has a busy schedule when he comes, as he is responsible for much of the financial decisions regarding his mother (my awesome grandmother, which I wrote a fictionalized story about in an anthology that came out a few years ago…. which is also going up on the Kindle this week), and his week was pretty booked.

I was pretty booked too. I had to go out of town for this work-thing. I Spent a couple of days away for that, I worked some very long hours during my time in town, I only had a few moments to even acknowledge my father during his stay… except for his last night, which happened to be a Friday… the day before my recording session.

We went to my son’s football game, his team won in a blowout under perfect weather. Afterwards, we decided to go to my sister’s house in the next town over to hang out.

So we went, we hung, we had beers and pizza and we talked, it was a great night/morning.

I awoke on my sister’s comfy couch and was a bit fuzzy about what was going on. I know my dad was about to walk out the door to fly back to Cali and I had a recording session coming up in about 2 hours. Then I found out I had to take my step-son somewhere (I forget now, but it was important). So I hugged everyone and grabbed my kids and took off.

I arrived home a few minutes before our scheduled recording session only to find that my wife had brought someone in to help with our never-ending kitchen remodel. Great, I could use the help. Lots of noise and banging though.

I sequestered myself in a room and connected. Just in time.

Part of the format of the show is that the guest pro has an interview before the writer-in-trouble spills all their story telling woes. That interview gets put up as its own podcast a few days before the story discussion happens, but it all gets recorded together. It was about 30 seconds into the interview before I realized that I’d not really slept the previous night - I’d just dropped at some point when I was too tired to continue. I was really sleepy.

So sleepy, in fact, that I fell asleep during the interview – the interview with Hugo award winning author Tim Pratt, who was about to critique my story. Zonked. Then, as Skype is wont to do, it disconnected me. The sudden silence woke me. I frantically fiddled with things until I was reconnected to the call… once on, I immediately went into that synopsis I spent the last 5 months slaving over.

… and forgot every damn thing about it.

Every. Damn. Thing.

I said something about having already written 50,000 pages of text for the story, then went on to start describing unimportant details and stuttering until, mercifully, I just stopped talking.

At that point it became a bit more conversational, and wasn’t as bad.

Sigh. After it was over, the wonderful moderator/host told me that he’s a masterful editor and that he’d do his best to make me sound less than stupid.

That podcast is up by the way… go listen – then tell me how well you think the host did in fixing me.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll listen to enough to hear what you sound like, but if you think you were that bad, then I won't embarrass you with a full listen to the podcast.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Been listening to it while checking other blogs. (The hosts are a riot.) You weren't bad! Actually, you have a good speaking voice and you sounded like you knew what you were doing. (Didn't listen to all of it.) Relax! At least you didn't call the hosts by the wrong name or anything.

Deborah Walker said...

Oh no! That sounds terrible. I can't bear to listen.

ooh Alex says you don't sound too bad. I'll give it a go. I'm sure it could happen to any of us.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

So what's part 2 about? Is there more to this story? I'll have to listen to that later as long as I don't need an iPod.

Deborah Walker said...

Ack. That was fine. I thought there were going to be long embarrassing silences.

I hope it's helping you along the way. Tim Pratt sounds super nice.

Tonja said...

The gods were driven to insanity?!! That in itself is an awesome story idea.

It's not terrible at all and you didn't sound sleepy or out of it. I bet you'll get some sales from it if they edit out the snoring.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I listened, and you really didn't sound like a moron at all. Whether you're just over-worried (because it's always stressful to do things like this), or he just edited well, I thought you sounded great. And what a cool podcast. Never heard of it before, but I'm going to start listening to it now. Let me know if you have any other great recommendations. I love podcasts.

M Pax said...

Cool that you got to chat with a hugo winner.

Tamara said...

Wow. What a crazy story. i still have to listen to the podcast, but my speaker is broken on my computer. Anyway, from the comments, it sounds like you didn't do nearly as badly as you thought. Deep breaths!! These things happen.

I think my old critique partner, Zellie Blake was on this a couple years ago. The name of the podcast sounds familiar. I remember her making friends with the guys that ran the podcast and really liking them. I'm sure they know what they're doing and made you sound perfectly normal. And I'm sure they edited out all the sleeping..

It makes for a great story at any rate. When you are a rich and famous best-seller you can laugh about this. haha. Good luck. I hope it gets you some sales!!

Andrew Leon said...

I'm totally dog sick, so my judgment may not be the best, but you sounded okay to me. I mean, you sounded good.

I had a comment about the whole blacksmith career thing, and I'm not sure if this got said, because I faded out for a bit after that discussion started, but he could be a blacksmith because he has visions of gadgets or something and it was the only way he knew to get the specific pieces that he needed. So he could be this gadget maker on top of the blacksmithing, but no one takes that stuff seriously.

Jay Noel said...

I will check it out. My podcasts were edited, so I'm sure you sound just fine.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I will check it out tonight sir.

Cindy said...

They sure did linger in the beginning. I felt like I was waiting forever for you to come on. I thought you sounded fine. The big question is..were they helpful?

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

What is this new book by Rusty Carl that I spy? Did I miss a blog post by you announcing it?

Rusty Webb said...

Michael - No announcement... I'm just sneaking one out there. Well, there will probably be something said in the next day or two.

The Golden Eagle said...

That wasn't a bad podcast at all. I'm listening to your description of your story right now and it sounds really interesting.