Taking a Breath

Posted On September 2, 2022

Photo by Michele Venne

I mentioned three months ago that I would be conducting some experiments. I’ve completed most of them. For a few, I wonder if I’ll gain any usable data, or if there’s a way to even find a beginning and know when it’s done. For the rest, I’ve learned about my process, which, after 14 years, is something I didn’t know could still happen. With most of those experiments concluded, I can look at what I now know and apply it to the future.

Nine days ago, I received an email from Findaway Voices that the narration for Of Hoof Prints and Heartbeats was done and uploaded. I have 10 days to review the files. Today is day 9. I finished about 1 PM. The next step is to approve the files once I check that the narrator has fixed what I’ve asked to be changed. Not much. A word switched here and there. And we fix just the ones that change the meaning. I really like the narrator! She’s contracted to do the last book in the trilogy. I would love to have her put all my books into audio, but unless I can sell what I have, the cost doesn’t make sense. So, when she finishes book 3, I’ll again have 10 days to power through 16+ hours of audio. Doesn’t seem like much… until you have to do it in less than 10 days.

With one hard deadline looming close, I also had a hard deadline with my cover designer. She had a brief opening and was able to get all 4 of my projects done. Except the 2 print books. She needed a final page count. Tough to give her that when I wasn’t done with the interior of the projects. So, not an experiment I planned, but one I’ll add to the results of these past months, is how close the final page count will be to what I gave her so she could do the spine. I might have a page or two wiggle room. She’s booked until she takes time off the last two months of the year. I received the files this afternoon. Second hard deadline met.

I feel like I can take a breath. As the last few minutes of the audiobook ran down, I noticed lightness and excitement and relief. When I opened my email to see the zip file from my cover designer, another bit of relaxation hit me that I’ve met my obligations. The nonfiction that I’ve been spending hours to finish so one of the beta readers could take a look before he goes on a 2-month overseas vacation, got done in time. There are ongoing experiments, and a couple of first-time situations… and of course publishing these projects… but that’s for tomorrow, after I take a breath.

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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