Monday, July 23, 2012

A Little About My New Project And A Little About Clandestine

I just got back from camping today and it’s been a very productive writing day. My kids have been absorbed in activities that they haven’t been able to do much in the last week or so which has allowed me to be very efficient with my latest project.

I am super excited about it because the main character of this one is a totally blind person. It isn’t as easy as you would think to write a character like that. Sure I can’t see so I can easily get into the person’s head to write them that’s true. But a reader (especially a sighted reader) wants description. A blind reader wants description too but for a different reason. I live by the saying that an audio book is a blind person’s television. This is because you don’t miss anything when you read like you do when you listen to your favorite show or movie.

Anyway as always I’m veering off track. In order to make a blind main character work affectively I have decided to make her someone who became blind rather than someone who was born that way. She has only been blind for a year so she is still in the stage where she is pretty much a Debbie Downer on the subject. It hasn’t dawned on her yet in the book that blindness isn’t the end of the world.

I went through a lot of mixed emotions when I lost my sight. I have also had gobs of people ask what that was like and how it felt. I thought it would be a good element to add to the story of such a multi faceted character.

The book is still in the beginning stages so I don’t want to give away much but I will tell you that I’m only at chapter 4 and I’m already falling in love with it. Don’t get me wrong I love Clandestine too but in an entirely different way. The Bound In Blood series is fun to write and I have put a lot into it. But with this project I’ve really delved into my soul and put a piece of my soul into it.

I hope you adore this story as much as I do. I am unsure yet if it will be a series but can definitely see the potential for one with the plot that is unraveling.

I promise to keep you up to date on that and also with the second book in the Bound In Blood series Divinity whenever possible. I know I have been neglecting my blogs lately and for that I’m sorry, I truly am. But its summer time so both kids are home full time, we’ve been camping a bunch and also been devoted to the new books I’m working on coupled with getting Clandestine out for your viewing pleasure.

There have been a lot of questions about whether or not Clandestine will be made into an audio book. When it is released it will only be available in print and EBook. BUT I promise that an audio version will be made available as soon as that is possible. Unfortunately, the production of an audio book is very expensive. I looked into hiring a narrator but the cheapest I have found is five hundred dollars and right now that is just not an option for me. That is definitely one down side to self publishing, accessible formats take a while if they come at all.

I have been looking into finding someone I know read it for me but that isn’t as easy as it looks either. I have to be sure the person has the right quality and tone to their voice to portray Emily as well as the rest of the slayer gang. It will be done I promise. I’m just not sure when.

I will write again soon and let you know how things are going. PS… I will be posting this same post on both my blogs so all of you will be equally informed.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canes and Stones May Break My Bones but CarPorts Are really Embarrasing!

The first time I learned to walk with a cane I had to do so blind folded because I still had sight. My Mobility instructor explained that it was necessary so that I would learn to trust myself. I was leery but I did what I was told.

She was a very nice and capable instructor named JoAnne from the Washington State department of Services for the Blind (DSB). This is an amazing organization for blind and visually impaired adults to get acquainted with resources and assistance in learning skills to help with every day living. Most have a similar organization so do a quick internet search to find one in your area.

Before I get started with my first experience with cane travel I should probably mention that I lived in a neighborhood at the time that had absolutely no sidewalks. This definitely made the task a more cumbersome and intimidating adventure but an adventure none the less.

I picked up the basics fairly quickly and was feeling pretty good about myself. Even though I wanted to peak under the blind fold but I never did. JoAnne made it perfectly clear that if I got into a bind she was going to refrain from helping me unless I was about to do harm to myself or someone else.

It had been smooth sailing for the most part though so I really wasn’t too worried. After all, how hard could walking around the block in my own childhood neighborhood really be? The answer to that question… apparently very hard…

So I’m walking along talking back and forth with JoAnne thinking I’ve got the whole blind thing pretty locked. I didn’t even notice that JoAnne’s voice was getting further and further away from me. In fact, I didn’t notice there was even a problem until my cane hit something metal.

I instantly started to panic. I was walking on a road that was a straight shot with no metal anywhere on the road. There was absolutely no reason for me to have hit something like that. I stepped forward to examine the obstacle with my hand.

With in a second I realized I was touching what had to be a garage door. During this time JoAnne still hadn’t said a word. Completely lost and totally confused I turned around and her for some help.

She asked me where I thought I was. I of course said that I was in front of a garage. She then asked me I noticed about the way my voice sounded. I started to tell her I didn’t know what she meant when I noticed that my voice was echoing.

As I came to this conclusion she walked to me and slipped off the blind fold so I could see the pickle I had worked myself in. I had managed to veer off like a wobbly shopping cart into someone’s driveway. I narrowly missed hitting their parked car and went into their car port, which is of course why my voice had been echoing.

To make matters worse the owner of the home was standing in a pathway next to the driveway where I was standing holding a bag of garbage. He had clearly witnessed the entire debacle.

I later found out that when JoAnne noticed what I was doing and she saw the man she held a finger to her lips. He being a good sport played along while a complete blind folded stranger wandered onto his property. I was positively mortified. I was mad at myself for not being able to walk a straight line successfully. JoAnne didn’t let me stay down for long though, she assured me it was normal in the beginning and I would get better. The best course of action now would be to teach me how to get myself out of the predicament without losing my directional course.

Now ten years later I know though to pick up on audible clues to help me understand my surroundings more clearly. I know that it’s okay to feel confident and engage in conversation while walking but its imperative that I still pay close attention to what I am doing. I will never forget JoAnne and the things she taught me and appreciate every minute she took to make sure I learned to be a safe traveler.

If you are learning how to use a cane don’t give up. It can be overwhelming and at times even a little scary but it’s worth it in the end I promise. It will give you independence and after a while you will start to feel naked without it. Just be patient and learn to laugh when you make mistakes because it’s normal and not the end of the world.

If you have any funny, embarrassing or informative stories to share on the subject please feel free to leave them in the comment section under this post. If you just have too much to say contact me and we can work out the possibility of you doing a guest post for this blog.

Thanks for reading and remember… When life’s got you down keep you head up, you can’t see the ground anyway.