Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Radio Drama and Cat Barf

Tomorrow night is a big night for me.
One of my stories, For Bella, was awarded third prize in the Muskoka Short Story Contest that was held earlier this year. Tomorrow night the top three authors will be reading their stories at a meeting of the Blank Page Writers Group in Gravenhurst, Ontario.
So tonight, as well as pimping my holiday story over at Land's Edge and happily reading comments, I've been practising reading For Bella. After a while I thought, hey, I'll record it, then listen to how it sounds.
Mark Kerstetter over at The Bricoleur was chum enough to tell me how the whole thing works so I trusted him, opened up Garage Band on my mac, found DivShare online and voila! Done like proverbial dinner.
Only with me, there's always a catch, isn't there?
The house was nice and quiet. Everyone was in bed. It was just me and the built-in microphone and a few sheets of paper.
I started reading and it was going pretty good, you know, other than the fact I have a cold and sound like Minnie Mouse at the best of times. But, it was going good. I was feeling happy.
That's when it started: "Rrrrretch. Rrrettttch..."
One of the cats was puking up a hairball!
At first I wanted to stop recording and chase the damn cat around, but I realized it was going good, so I continued.
So did the cat.
It was everything I could do not to laugh.
Here I was, reading this serious story, and the cat was puking. 
To make things even better, Dave got up to get a drink of water or something in the bathroom. 
I was just waiting for the damn toilet to flush!!!
No wonder people have recording rooms!
Anyway, let's see if this puppy works. Tell me what you think. Honestly. No, be nice. And be sure to listen to the cat puking.
Oh, and wish me luck tomorrow night. I'm gonna need it...


  1. You don't sound like Minnie Mouse at all. You sounded great and your telling is excellent.

    Oh, and this story still slays me. Congratulations, and good luck tomorrow, girl. Have fun!

  2. Sound awesome, Cathy!!

    I have a tip. I've done lots of these and by no means do I read everything all at once. I once did a short story and it took like a week to record.

    I read a graf or two at a time. If I mess up, I simply stop... MAKE A POP or something with my mouth to let me know it's a new section and I start over. I simply edit out the parts I messed up and piece together the good stuff.

    then once it's done, I add music and sound effects and such. Takes a while... But kinda fun.

    I think you have a fine future in podcasting ;)

  3. Okay, right up until the cat started in, I was riveted. And then, knowing that you were going on with a barfing cat beside you, just floored me, because you kept your shit together and finished beautifully! Anthony's right, if you want it, you've got a future in podcasting. Your narration (and the story) was intensely well done.

  4. Anthony - (said in a southern belle accent) what EVER would I do without you! For those who don't know, Ant is the guy who told me how to fit You Tube videos on my blog properly. For the life of me I couldn't fit the entire thing on properly - Anthony pointed out there are two measurements on the embedding code... if I change both to 400 instead of 480, the video will fit. So thanks for these tips, too, Anthony. For the love of pete I thought you did it all at once, with music playing in the background and candlelight and whiskey at your elbow.

    Pamila - I laughed my arse off when I saw your comment! When I replayed the recording to see how it sounded I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard. Thanks for my morning laff!

  5. Very cool. Great job, Cathy. You did the male/female voices very well. I must admit, though, that I was a bit distracted listening for the sounds of cat-retch! It's amazing, you've got the voice of a teenage girl.

  6. Minnie Mouse, Alan!
    "A teenage girl"????? *eyelashes fluttering* Oooh you do speak with charming tongue, Mr. Davidson.
    "teeange girl" *she skips off for more coffee, smiling*

  7. Awesome job! I can't believe you kept going. Once I heard the cat I would have said some thing very unlady like and jumped up to make sure the cat wasn't on my bed. :) You, my dear, are a professional.

    You're going to knock 'em dead.

  8. Laurita, I KNOW! It's so hilariious.
    And why do they always puke on the bed? Why? Why?
    My sons have off-white comforters on their bed and for some reason Angus' comforter is the favourite puking ground for Ben, our oldest cat. I wash that thing at least twice a week. Thank goodness for javex.
    I buy the cats expensive hairball food, try to brush them once in a while, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
    Does anybody have any great ideas to stop this?
    Other than getting rid of the cats?

  9. Bed (s)
    Angus and Sam have their own beds. Just wanted to clarify that. !

  10. As the owner of 3 cats I can tell you that nothing stops it...

    Your story had me laughing out loud, something I don't normally do in front of the computer. Priceless!

  11. OK, if this had happened to me, I would have said something unlady-like too. You were going great until about 3:53 and my god that cat would have knocked anybody off balance. Your performance is really in two pieces. After the cat you rushed it - totally understandable.

    Ant has a good idea there. I like to do a reading in one take but I'll do ten or so until I get the one I like, and I like to do it when I'm home alone.

    Also - turn up the volume a little bit on your recording.


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