Communion Of Dreams

All done.

Well, late yesterday afternoon I finished listening to the audio production of Communion of Dreams. Wow. As I told Scot at OwnMade AudioBooks:

Finished the last disc this evening, before dinner. Was a little disappointed – you need to have a closing spiel like Jim Dale has for the HP books. Seriously. It will add a nice “professional touch”. If you want to tag something onto the end of the last MP3, we can swap it out on the website (about 30 people had downloaded the audio version as of last night – not bad for the first weekend!).

Anyway, you may remember that I worked in radio for a few years before going to grad school. So I had been giving some consideration to doing an audio version myself. I’m really glad I didn’t – you make it sound easy. And I know better.

Your production values are really good – only once in a while would I catch a little ‘canned’ quality, likely from getting a little off from the mic’s sweet spot. A better studio might help here, or better equipment, but it will be marginal. The different voices were pretty identifiable – and only now and again did some of the characterizations seem a little overdone.

In all honesty, for the most part I didn’t notice your reading – it was simply an audio interpretation of the book, and you got me engaged in the story. That’s about the best tribute I can offer.

I know that they’re big files – total of about 1.2 gigabytes. But seriously, download them and give ’em a try. Feel free to burn them to CDs to take on a long car trip or something. As I have mentioned, I find the interpretation that he brings to the work to be a really good additional layer of understanding. And besides, they’re free. If you were to download a comparable amount of music from I-Tunes, it’s cost hundreds of dollars. Such a bargain!

Jim Downey

“Get rid of all the garbage.”
May 8, 2007, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Harry Potter, Jim Dale, Science Fiction, Writing stuff

Barnes & Noble has a nice clip up of an interview with Jim Dale, the wonderful voice talent who did the audio version readings of the Harry Potter books. (I’ve been a huge fan of the Potter books from early on, as I’ve mentioned previously, and have always thought that Dale’s interpretation of the characters is brilliant.) Anyway, the whole thing is fun, but towards the end he has a little bit of advice he offers to young writers. He tells them to “Put everything you can onto paper. It doesn’t matter what you put down onto paper. Get rid of all the garbage. Write it down, let it all flow out of you … get rid of the rubbish, and then the good stuff starts to come out of you.”

Excellent advice, of course, and the basis for why many people think that creative writing programs work: they force the students to write a lot, clearing out a lot of the ‘garbage’.

I’ve done a lot of writing. Was a newspaper columnist (selection can be found here), wrote for graduate school, wrote personal essays off and on for the last 20 years. And Communion of Dreamsisn’t my first novel. No – I wrote another SF novel in the late 70’s while in college, then spent several months after graduation trying to whip it into some semblance of shape for publication. It was a disaster. It deserves the banishment to the attic it has received. Only my wife, bless her, thought it was salvageable. Love is blind, indeed.

Anyway, go enjoy the clip with Jim Dale. He has such a lovely voice.

Jim Downey