dreams and visions


I’ll likely post more about this later, but I’m typing this entry on my phone at an inhuman time of night so that I may get it out of the way while I’ve still a shred of nerve to do so.
I was published recently. In quite a non-traditional way, mind you, but published none the less.
There’s a podcast that I’ve listened to occasionally; it specializes in the audio production of original fiction, falling in the category of strange or macabre or sci-fi.

Some time ago, I submitted a slightly altered version of Unlike Our Waking Lives to the production manager many months ago. A long time passed, and I assumed they’d decided to pass on it, until a month or so ago when I received a call from the producer, asking permission to give my contact info to the reader.
A month later, here is my story – professionally produced and heard by thousands.
So why am I not elated?
The primary sensation I experienced once I started listening to the piece was one of terrifying exposure. That story was a markedly personal piece, and some parts were painful to hear read out loud. I can’t remember if I’ve ever heard a story of mine read out loud like that. Unnerving it is!
The bigger issue is my distaste for the reader’s interpretation of the piece. Nothing against him personally; he seems fine enough as a person, but I find the facet I fight against hardest in my writing is pretentiousness. The reader’s style strikes me as over-the-top much of the time.

So there you have it folks. My thumbs can take no more of this blog-by-phone business tonight, so without further ado, I give you “Unlike Our Waking Lives”, the audio version.

(You can also download the podcast directly from iTunes. Just search “Smoke and Mirrors”)

25 replies »

  1. Well. It’s on your list of publications now and is certainly a success. I’d have a host of issues with it myself, but that’s me haha I’d be happy and chalk it up as an accomplishment in this particular type of medium. I enjoyed the story too dude CONGRATS! 🙂

  2. Big congrats! I have heard that before regarding “interpretation” (not liking it) from a few different artist! You are among the great!

  3. Come on…..This is certainly AWESOME news….
    I’d probably die of happiness if something like that ever happened to me!

  4. A shame you’re not happy with the reading, but it’s still pretty awesome. Looking forward to experiencing unlike our waking lives again – downloaded and ready to go 🙂 a serious congrats to you. I imagine such podcasts have a huge number of submissions, and very few make the cut. Hope you feel more proud soon.

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement, as always. I’ve started to feel a little remorseful over my thoughts toward the reader. After these pieces are chosen for production, a reader must be found who is willing to take it on. I felt from the start that this would be a difficult piece for any reader. I think at the end of the day, he tried too hard. It’s hard to fault a person too much for that.

      • It is 🙂 I’m sure he enjoyed reading it , though. It may have been a good learning experience for him. And don’t feel bad about your initial reaction – a person’s words are precious to them.

  5. I appreciate an author reading his own story I guess but maybe that’s my own preference. I don’t know if I could be pleased with someone else reading something of mine, but it goes with this particular venue so… 🙂

    • The thing I’ve learned recently about these readers is that the ones who really make a big deal about it, it’s a whole thing for them. They practice and record and listen to themselves after recording and practice more and learn accents and every time they read a book, they picture themselves reading it aloud. I’m not one of those people. I kinda liked the idea of providing fuel for one of those people. Until I heard it…

  6. Congratulations, friend. Whether or not this rendition is how you would have presented it, it is an achievement that they chose to publish YOUR work… I can relate, too, to how you feel, though. In my recent batch of newspaper articles, the editor cut an entire paragraph or two out of one of the pieces to make it fit the space. In so doing, the flow was lost and, quite frankly, the passage didn’t make sense! I was very frustrated. I guess that’s just part of being a writer, and being published. (Unless, of course, we’re talking about a novel.) Congrats again.

  7. A note from “the reader”

    Wow…. this has been an enlightening experience following this link from your comment Lucas…. Painful yes but, I assure you being in the very early stages of trying to build a career in voice acting, that I am VERY glad to have read this, and wish so much you had had it in you to let me know directly your feelings about my read.

    Where to begin?

    First: I’d hope that my dedication and sincere commitment to wanting to get it “right” by you was clearly demonstrated in my phone call to you to clarify many things that I wasn’t clear on after my first read through.

    Secondly: I LOVED the story, and worked diligently to do it justice, and have been quite anxious to get your feedback on it…. (guess I have that now!) For what came in at just under an hour, I spent approximately 6-7 hours in the studio recording, listening, editing the tiniest of mistakes, re-reading and plugging segments I felt could be improved. And yes, like you received no compensation short of getting to share it with family and friends as an accomplishment.

    Thirdly: I GOT that vulnerability…. I FELT that vulnerability….. I had to stop multiple times during the reading, and recompose myself….. yes, including tears, in order to continue reading…… I LOVED reading this story, and though I cringed at parts (my child voices at times didn’t work for me, and my singing… well…. I was hoping the musician or the editor or anyone would try to do something with that!) overall I GREATLY enjoyed listening to it again, as a produced piece and again teared up as I did….. for whatever that might be worth to you.

    Lastly: I think my biggest enemy in this so far from all the feedback I’ve gotten from my instructors has been exactly what you called out in the beginning… over-acting… over the top…. I have a sense that with narration, one can go a bit further with it but yes, perhaps I went too far with this… I”d be VERY keen to hear from others and their opinions on it. (I suspect Lucas that your point of view may not be quite as objective as you think it is. You might give my one other read on the site a listen: a much shorter writing piece) I do know that the editor of the blog on which it is posted responded immediately with enthusiastic praise after receiving it from me.

    Many of us on a site like Smoke and Mirrors are beginners…. or struggling to get established or published or read or listened to….. are looking for any exposure and experience we can get, and a site like this is providing that. Positive and constructive feedback is, I think, the way to go.



  8. P.S. The image of the trees at the top of this post should’ve been submitted to Smoke and Mirrors, along with the story…. it is a perfect image, and for some reason yours has no visual.

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