April 11, 2020 · 4:11 pm
I hope everyone is well and surviving this horrible Covid 19 Virus. My heartfelt sorrow is with those impacted by it with the loss of a loved one. Loss changes lives.
Something I haven’t been able to tell many people changes our lives in a dramatic way. Two years ago, now almost three, I collapsed in cardiac arrest. Full blown not responsive, can’t get a pulse no real blood pressure cardiac arrest. I’d had various troubles over the years that I’d passed off as panic attacks. I’d even been in the hospital in 2014 with an ‘episode’ that couldn’t be determined cause or problem. This time they had the ‘episode’ on ekg tape and of course I was “out”.
A team of medical professionals saved my life that day. If I had been out at the farm mowing I probably would not have survived the event. As it happened I was at a truck pull event at the local county fair. The manager of the pull and his wife are EMT’s. They pulled me through. I was shocked twice in the ambulance. While I was non responsive I was still conscious, inside my head. I sometimes think I have PTSD from those shocks. LOL. Better lit up than dead though.
I ended up with a defibrillator and pace maker installed to ward off future episodes.
I’m saying all this because as traumatic as potentially dying was for me inside the ambulance…my wife didn’t know what was going on from outside the ambulance. She drove alone up to the area hospital in Asheville not knowing if she would arrive and be told that I had not survived the trip. She didn’t know anything other than I was not responsive.
There are a lot of people in that situation out there right now. Their loved ones go to the hospital. They can’t accompany them and right now they don’t know if that loved one will ever return home, or if they will get a phone call late one night that their “person” didn’t survive.
It has taken me almost three years to talk about this on this kind of public forum. My life has changed alot. I am well. However, I’m temporarily not narrating right now. But perhaps will go back to it one day in the future. I have high hopes.
March 21, 2016 · 8:16 pm
We’ve got the final steps in producing “Cowboy Crazy” by Em Petrova. It is the lead novella about the love stories of five brothers in the west. Juicy goodness.
October 7, 2015 · 3:32 pm
The second volume of the Samsara Chronicles is in process. I’m diligently moving forward with the narration. We’re in about chapter 17 of the work. I am bringing on an engineer to do the edits and production side of things for the project. I’ll be excited to see this one “in the can” so to speak.
Take a peek!
Samsara Chronicles Book 2
The second set of stories in the Samsara Chronicles compiled into one volume.
Dylan, Aislinn and the chosen humans arrive on Nirvana but now the pair faces another alien threat, this time to their homeworld.
Aislinn and Dylan’s joyous homecoming to Nirvana is tempered by yet another crisis. Aliens, assisted by a traitorous member of Nirvanan security and a threat to the royal bloodline, have kidnapped Aislinn’s parents and hold them hostage on the dying world of Klatria. Aislinn and Dylan now face the task of rescuing them before they are killed.
June 9, 2015 · 3:49 pm
I’ve completed several projects this winter. Beverly’s Secret and Emma’s New Year written by Eden Glenn. (See the books page for details on those projects)
Now I am working toward a wrap on Samsara Chronicles I, written by Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley.
The first 7 stories of The Samsara Chronicles compiled into one volume.
Blending elements of futuristic, fantasy, science fiction and the paranormal, the Samsara Chronicles explores the duality of good and evil set against two worlds, Earth and Nirvana.
Guided by mystical beings, a human mother bears a daughter of alien royalty, Aislinn, destined to champion the future of two worlds.
February 4, 2015 · 5:02 pm
I’ve been diligently recording and editing the wonderful Paranormal Young Adult title; “Roman: Saints and Sinners” for Nyla Rawlyns writing as Kennedy Streath. We are in the home stretch with that production. I will post links when it releases in audio form.
Blurb: Benedict Nowak bailed on his marriage, taking his son with him but leaving behind his five year old daughter. He had his reasons. He had no idea they’d come back to haunt him. TJ had come to terms with the mother she despised, making those small concessions that made life bearable. But her mother’s death changed everything. Roman Rincon was the juvie rescued by Father Marcus and placed in the care of Benedict Nowak. With his records sealed, no one knew what happened that fateful night when Roman was only fourteen. All Father Marcus knew was the boy had confessed to a crime not even the cops would talk about. In the small coal mining town of Montville, two teens whose lives have been shattered beyond repair must find a way to cope: with school, with each other, with growing up marked as broken in a town dying under the weight of secrets and lies. Warned off having anything to do with Roman, TJ is all too willing to agree, except for one little thing. The young man lives in the apartment above her father’s car repair business so avoiding him might be a problem. As for Roman, he will take his secret to the grave, no matter what the cost.
On another front, I’ve signed three contracts for a new talent group KJK Audio.
I’m excited for the prospects of working with this group. I’ll keep you posted on where this leads.
September 11, 2014 · 2:13 am
I have been working on a new narration studio.
I started my career with a audio program, a headphone-microphone set and a comfortable quiet apartment.
In NC my office has a lot of hard surfaces. I upgraded my microphone and noticed I had considerable echo and background noises. I moved my office around to get to a solid inner wall.
I tried a pvc frame with heavy comforters over it to quiet the extra noise. I purchased a better quality condenser microphone. That gave me better sound quality.
I had a mixture of success. I made a sound box for the microphone. That helped too.
I continued to struggle for a way to improve my studio situation. So recently I sat and listened in my basement. It is much quieter down there. Up against the two solid walls in the back. We have a bit of humidity and run a humidifyer down there.
So I got the bright idea of making a studio down there. Being on a tight budget I had to work with materials that were cheap and readily available.
I trimmed the cardboard refrigerator box down about a foot and a half with a jig saw. The bottom of the box was a little bit whimpy and lacked some integrity.
I framed it on the outside with furrn strips 1″ X 2″. I stapled them with a power stapler from the inside.
It made a nice tight frame. I screwed through the strips into the plywood floor I’d made from recycled materials I had around the garage. I used the jig saw to cut a door way in the smaller side of the box.
Later I’m going to reinforce the door with a bit of the furring strip material. I also have to cut a window yet.
I have some interesting plans for decorating the outside. Of course inside needs a light. I still have to figure out air flow… I will need to make that window I mentioned so that I can see the computer monitor of the audio program from inside the “studio”. I will also need a shelf outside to hold the computer and monitor. I will need some kind of shelf inside for the condenser mike. I also need something to hold the tablet with the script on it. I have a chair that doesn’t squeek. I will need some carpet for the floor. I will also need to coat the inside with foam. I have something like the textured foam (egg crate). It should make a nice surface for live quiet recording.
The sky is the limit.
June 4, 2014 · 2:58 pm
I’ve solved my technical issues. I am completely in love with the open source software, Audacity. There is a pretty good learning curve with any engineering software, especially for someone who hasn’t much experience in that area. However, we are making progress. The Galloping Ghoul of Hockomock Swamp was finished for Eden Glenn. I’ve wrapped up Deadliest Designs for Dale Mayer and shipped it off. Darkest Designs is narrated and I am working on the engineering as we speak to get it shipped off.
I plan on doing quite a bit of work for that author Eden Glenn (smile) over the next few months. She wants to have all her titles available in audio book format, including the just released “Dragon Guardian”.
So heads up and moving full steam ahead!
November 20, 2013 · 4:46 pm
It has been an exciting technology FUBAR’d month. This fall I’ve had my laptop crash. This is a beloved laptop that I do my writing on and narration. The Z key no longer works so I have to plug in an external key board. The power cord only charges the battery if I set a rock on the cord to hold it in just the right position. Like I said beloved.
When I reinstalled my audio software things did not work properly. It sounded awful. After two weeks going back and forth with the software tech support I resolved that I’d blown the sound card.
That led me on a search for a new computer and limited funds. My partner purchased a cpu desk top model for my new set up. It is wonderful. I have two monitors all is great.
Then the next challenge. My second audio contract for ACX was rejected. Now I’ve spent two weeks on line with the quality control specialist there and the result was a new microphone set up for narrating.
It’s wonderful. I will probably have to go back and re narrate six chapters for one project and 9 chapters for a different project but it will be much better in the long run.
Problem one is it does pick up road traffic two blocks over and the click of my mouse wheel. That is while I am inside my PVC fort sound booth I built last week.
It never ends. LOL
So today I built a sound studio box for the new microphone to sit in and we’ll give it another go.
A big hug and thanks for my authors that are hanging in there while I stumble through this mess toward quality production for them.
Take a look at my new books tab for the books that I have narrated!
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as ACX, Amazon, Audible, Audio Books, Dale Mayer Author, Hot Damn Designs, IBooks, J.R. Lowe Narrator, Killian Group, M.M. Shelley The Zombie Story, Narration, Technology Challenges, Voice Acting
November 5, 2013 · 2:40 pm
Winter is coming. Change is in the air.
I’ve applied to narrate for ACX in addition to my contracts with Killian Group.
I needed a more controlled narration studio. So the librarian and I built a pvc blanket fort around my desk. Don’t laugh it works. Dampens the sound echo very well. LOL. I have a profile uploaded with samples. Take a look at my ACX profile here: J.R. Lowe Narrator. I’ve made several auditions for pieces that need narrators. All the steps for being able to accept work on a broader scale.
Great news. I accepted a contract narrating “Chernobyl Vampires and Werewolves” written by Vianka Van Bokkem
Vampires and werewolves are not affected by radiation, therefore a British coven and a Russian clan live in Chernobyl. My sisters Kassia, Maddy and I belong to both. After the nuclear accident on April 26, 1986, our home remains one the most contaminated areas in the world.
The red forest located within the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) area surrounding the nuclear power plant has been labeled a “Radiological Reserve” and is now home to animals like elk, wild boar, and lynx; that’s where we hunt most of the time.
My father was an attractive vampire with a taste for female werewolves. As a result my sisters and I are known as ‘hybrids,’ because we are half-vampire, half-werewolf. Dimitry Belenko was his name. We have different mothers.
I have two more contracts in the negotiation phase. More about them later.
For now I am off to finish contracts for Dale Mayer in the Dangerous Designs Series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
October 24, 2013 · 1:21 pm
This summer I moved from my temporary home of Chattanooga, TN to a community that I found I could make connections and dig my roots in deep. Waynesville is a small town outside Asheville, NC. It has a folksy village feel. The arts community is diverse and rich here. Every move even good ones are unsettling.
I spent some time derailed. Unpacking, making home comfortable. I battled with narrating all summer and fighting my computer. I finished one book and got it into the hands of the publisher. My computer kept crashing with the narration program. Then September we went to Dragoncon. I came home with conference crud. You can’t narrate without a voice. I’ve realized this is something to be protected.
I was out six weeks with coughing and no voice. I start settling down to finish the book I am working on and the computer just can’t go on. So, I give in and send it to someone to have the thing completely reformatted to see if it fixes the issues.
I brought “Bessie” home and reloaded the audio software, did the prescribed updates. The sound was horrible….distant and bottom of the well. I won’t bore you with all the details. I spent two weeks troubleshooting with the software company. I removed and reloaded the software, dabbled with all the settings on my computer and the software…bought a new microphone….loaded the software onto another computer. Finally my S.O. bought me a desktop. We loaded the software there and it worked. I furiously went to work narrating. While I did this I kept the browser open. I would hear a little ding each time a email or FB message loaded. I thought nothing of it while I narrated ten chapters.
Then, in listening to a segment for editing I heard a little ding in the background. I have to do my own sound engineering for the job. I realized that little audible ding I heard from the email/FB somehow recorded into the system.
I now have ten chapters to listen to every word…every word…with intense focus listening for that little ding to re-record the sentence. In a job where time is money. I just shot myself in the foot.
Dang… hard first year lessons of a narrator.