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For the animal lovers among us.

I came across this short story in the archives of 3 Elements Review, a quarterly journal that uses word prompts to guide the content of each publication. As a former cat and dog owner, this story felt familiar to me in many ways. Nina’s narration of the relationship between the neighborhood dog and his various owners is relatable to anyone who has experienced the unconditional connection that these animals offer to us.

Nina told me that the story is “inspired by two cats in the neighborhood who wander around, in and out of cat doors, visiting everyone in the area.”

What I’m Reading

I took the summer off from studio work to spend more time outdoors, working on more warm-weather-sensitive aspects of the family business. Now that it’s September, and nights are getting chilly, I’ve started thinking about warming up the mic again. I spent a couple hours last evening in my home sound booth, making some improvements and prepping it for the upcoming recording season. Fun fact: wearing a nice sweater in the sound booth actually does make a difference in the acoustic environment.

Just because I haven’t produced anything, doesn’t mean I haven’t been consuming the work of other people. Since the production of “The Ushuaia Rabbit” I’ve enjoyed performances by Neil Gaiman, Jefferson Mays, Ray Porter, and R. C. Bray.

Jefferson Mays remains one of my all-time favorite narrators. I’ve listened to well over 60 hours of his work in the last year, and find myself seeking out new books based on his name, not the name of the author!

I also realized how much of a sci-fi acolyte I am. Three out of eight books in ‘The Expanse’ series by James Corey, a speedrun through ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir (his book ‘Artemis’ was also entertaining), ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline…between these gems, the entire Mortal Engines series, and a smattering of Brandon Sanderson, I realize that fantastic fiction and mythical worldbuilding seems to be my go-to whether I realize it or not.

Next time I post here, I’ll have a new performance to share!

The Ushuaia Rabbit

A bedtime story for the imaginative mind.

I came across this short story on the flash fiction website EastOfTheWeb.com. The author of this tale, the Argentinian writer Fernando Sorrentino (translated by Michele McKay Aynesworth), writes short but clever and fantastic stories, which tend to reveal themselves in unexpected ways as you go on. This story begins in one place, ends in another, and traverses places inbetween that simply grow curiouser and curiouser.

Think of Sorrentino like a Lewis Carroll with a much more wry sense of humour.

I narrated this story late one evening, much past my own bedtime; as a result, I believe the telling takes on a quieter, more intimate telling. I realized afterward that this is exactly the sort of story I would want to make up on a whim, perhaps whilst lying on the floor next to my children, telling them one last story before bed.

The Ushuaia Rabbit (14:33)

The Messenger

Can audiobooks sound like comic books? Not easily, but this story reads like one.

It’s amazing what can be done with only a thousand words. This piece – fittingly written by an English and Literature professor – was scripted in such an evocatively self-aware and hyperbolic style that it practically drew cell-shaded images in my mind as I read it. The only thing that’s really missing here are sound effects. It’s a seven-minute caper through the mythical, the fantastical, the utterly mundane. It’s heaven and hell. It’s also very purple.

Many thanks to Dr. Jeff Gard, Briar Cliff University, for his permission and approval of this dramatization of his work. Also thanks to Havok Publishing for providing the platform on which this story was originally published, in written form.

The Messenger (7:27)

The Misfits

Yelling in a closet as an angry Scot is way more fun than you might think.

This story was originally published by Havok Publishing on February 21st, 2018 on their daily flash-fiction website, gohavok.com. I reached out to author Samwise Graber, about doing an audio version of his story and he kindly granted it.

It’s a 1000-word triller that honestly took me straight into one of my favorite movies of all time, THE EDGE OF TOMORROW. Grit, a fast-paced plot, and just a touch of character arc make this well worth reading.

The Misfits (7:36)

The Color Out of Space

Because there’s nothing like reading horror stories to broaden your range.

I chose this one because I wanted to do something more narrative, with little to no first-person dialogue. At the same time, I wanted something with some length and depth, without becoming overwhelmed with maintaining multiple characters and unique voices. As it was, this took twice as long to record as I expected, and at final edit is over 80 minutes.

Lovecraft is masterful at crafting a villain out of virtually thin air. The story builds to an intense, chilling climax around the 60-minute mark, and I have to admit I very nearly didn’t finish the project at that point.

Still, it’s an engaging read. Classic ghost storytelling at its best!

The Colour Out of Space (Audible)

(…of course they had to misspell my name!)

Septimus Bean and His Amazing Machine

In which I attempt to become Sean Connery, and fall quite short of the mark.

My oldest brought this home from the library one day, and I knew by page three that this would be my next audiobook project. It’s ridiculously lyrical, and enchantingly funny, and just fantastic enough to be completely unlike anything else.

Character voices are not my strong suit, but this story simply wouldn’t be read any other way. It practically demanded it.

Septimus Bean and His Amazing Machine (9:52)