It's good to be busy. But sometimes it's nice when that busyness involves a single project. After making some corrections to a book earlier this week, and posting our short story, we will have a singular focus on Wishing Rock for a little while. From the moment we received our first contract to record an audiobook, it seems like we've literally been juggling 2 to sometimes 4 books at a time in hopes of meeting our deadlines. We're always optimistic but strange things tend to disrupt the workflow from time to time. Working at home with an adorable, yet loud and very stubborn 2 year old can throw a wrench into the works from time to time, especially when she refuses to nap.
The other obstacle that can slow down the process... environmental noise. Lucky for us, we have that problem under control with our new booth. Now we don't have to stop when there are low flying planes (unless they are actually landing on our street), garbage trucks, noisy cars racing through the neighborhood (those lousy good for nothin' teenagers!), or the aforementioned 2 year old screaming downstairs while playing with her grandmother.
The one thing we haven't been able to solve is the giggle fits that can take over during massive retakes of a single sentence. Today's problem sentence comes to us from Millie: "When he heard rumblings of the first Iditarod in 1973, he knew he had to be witness to this spectacle. He bundled up the family and was present at the start of Iditarod history." Seems simple enough... unless you've spent the whole book to this point saying "Idiotarod." (There's also the giggles that come from the juvenile innuendos surrounding the word Iditarod... tee-hee.) In hind sight, I wish I had kept Tiffany's outtakes. The first sentence was a bit of a struggle, but nothing compared to the second sentence. Of course, in order to keep this family friendly, I would have needed to add a few bleeps in the outtakes as her frustration mounted and the laughter started setting in. Sometimes, it gets so ridiculous trying to say something so simple that you have no choice but to laugh... and I mean a literal LOL, not a figurative one that people often put into text messages or emails or Facebook statuses that imply a genuine life extending laugh but really was just a slight grin and chuckle.
Now for those who wonder how saying two simple sentences could be so difficult, you have to remember that Tiffany is speaking them in character. So what happens to a narrator that slips up a few times? Well, it becomes a battle of wills between Tiffany and, in this case, her inner Millie. Tiffany can recite the lines in her native voice easily, but once she switches to Millie, strange things happen. Millie wants to blow through them, but Tiffany wants to slow down to make sure she gets them correct, but she can't stop the Millie train, and as she approaches the offending word, one hits the gas, the other the brakes, and the next thing you know it all comes out as "The Idiotopod... wait... UGH... #!@!#@...." This could also be brought on by having to spontaneously age 20+ years in order to become Millie when necessary. I'm not sure! Now were her meltdowns in character, that would be even funnier... to me at least.
And this is why it's nice to have a single book to manage for the time being. Tiffany's psyche is already fragile as it is with all the characters in her brain that have nothing to do with the books we've recorded. And trust me, there are lots of them.