27 August 2021
I am currently working on a narration for University Press Audiobooks of a book originally published under the Cornell University Press imprint. I will give details when this one is published. It will, if all goes as planned, legitimize me a bit.
I have in the last year completed two books, The Honorable Culbert Levy Olson, California Governor 1939 to 1943, Humanitarian, Ex-Mormon and Atheist, by Dr. Craig West Wilkinson and Ms. Debra Deanne Olson, and Being With the Beings, The How and the Why of E.T. Contact by Miguel Mendonca.
I have a page on Audible now: https://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Sean+McElhiney
I will share more later.
In the year that was 2020,. I wrote this...
This has been a painful learning process, but I'm getting there. I have two narrations available now on Audible: Ways of the West: Bad Guys Ride Into Town, a novel by Nick Sweet; and Transcending the Electric Bardo, a short story by D. Scott Maiorca.
Since I have moved my "studio" into my garage, I have been struggling to improve my sound. I am recording directly into a digital recorder, a Tascam DR-40, then uploading the files onto an old laptop. The quality there has been suspect, at best. But when I upload onto the computer on which I am typing these words, the quality is considerably better. My "studio" (in quotes because, yeah, it's a work in progress) is an old oak veneer wine cabinet I picked up at an auction. I stripped the insides of said cabinet, added some bed foam, a few comforters, and a rubber floor mat. I am doing this all on the cheap and will upgrade as I move along. Necessity is the mother of invention and I am slowly, agonizingly making it work.
Meantime I continue to audition for books. No bites. My auditions have not been good, I guess. I know the sound has been less than ideal. In order to keep my spirits up, I decided to do some pro bono work on public domain titles through a site called LibriVox. I am currently recording a lesser-known translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It is quite nice to read, but not easy. (Should it be? I guess not.) I can read certain numbers of these quatrains five times before I understand their meanings. Even then, there are some that don't crystallize for me so I wind up reading words. I hope I don't destroy the world. The ones I like are remarkable. Lots of wine, lots of irreverence, lots of love. It's an enjoyable project.
I also picked up the task of recording Theodore Roosevelt's 1908 State of the Union Address. OMG is this difficult. I had to look it up to make sure I wasn't losing my mind. There is no way any man spoke these words aloud to an assembled mass, I thought. First, because the work has headings: Corporations, National Resources, etc. Second, because there are many paragraph-long sentences that are essentially unreadable. Unreadable! So I'm not crazy. It turns out Teddy did not read this address to congress; he merely presented it to them. So as I chop through this thing, I think to myself that I am probably the first and only person EVER to read this work aloud. It is not fun.
That said, it is at times damned interesting. We've been talking about many of the same things for the last 100-plus years.
I'll let you know when these projects are up.
I will include links to my narrations here when I have time. In the meantime, if you'd like to find them, search on Amazon. You'll need to go pretty specific in your search on both of these titles because they ain't exactly bestsellers.