Category: breaking news


Technical Problems – IMPORTANT!

Anyone who’s subscribed to either my Mevio or Feedburner feeds might notice that there is no longer any content to speak of in them. I’m not sure what happened, but until I hear something else about this I won’t be adding any content to those particular feeds any longer.

However, when new content comes down you can now grab it at http://yo5.ca/outcast/?feed=podcast

As well, you can follow along with the Outcast blog at http://yo5.ca/outcast

Thanks.

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(NOTE: This same post exists on the new Outcast blog, which you can find at http://yo5.ca/outcast)

Let’s face it, podcasting is a very niche market. Podcasting a novel, it seems, is a niche within a niche. You’re already in a limiting market and, let’s be honest here, most people listen to podcasts for reasons other than listening to someone narrate a novel.

I think that’s why when people in the podcast novel ‘business’ get feedback, they’re completely over the moon about it. If you’ve ever written an author, you’ve most likely gotten the line ‘your feedback just made my day’ or something. That’s because it’s true. Contrary to popular belief, the inbox of a podcast novelist is never really that full. So every scrap of it we get is something precious and it does give us the motivation to carry on.

Not long ago though, something happened to me that for some might be cause for ‘meh,’ but for me…well…I think I just about lost it.
August 12-14, 2011 was the first ‘When Words Collide’ literary convention here in Calgary. Now, I didn’t know this was happening this weekend. My friend, Aviva Bel’Harold (http://www.avivabellharold.com) had been invited to do a reading at this ‘thing,’ so I offered to come along to help support her because she’s becoming a friend AND she’s an author. In this day and age, if you can throw your support behind an author who’s trying to make it out there, then do so.

I had no idea that this ‘thing’ was in fact a con…much less the FIRST con under the name. I basically stumbled in on the ground floor of a new con! What was really cool was seeing some familiar faces from the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo there. I picked up a few books, attended some great panels on creativity, NaNoWriMo, attended a couple of release parties (including http://www.the10thcircle.com), and even took a trip to the university to see one of the largest HG Wells literary and media collections out there. As an SF fan, this was a kind of Mecca, really.

On the final day of the con, I got into what they called a Kaffe Klatch, which is a small gathering of people hosted by an author. I’d signed up for one with Robert J. Sawyer (http://www.sfwriter.com/), a rather prolific Canadian SF writer. We all talked about the writing world in general, e-books, libraries…all that stuff. I felt bad that it only lasted an hour, as I think we all could have taken up the rest of his con time there.

As we were leaving, I asked if he could sign a couple of his books that I’d bought; I’d missed him at his usual book signing time the day before. Just as he was about to, his phone rang. Turns out it was a rep for Dragon Con, asking if he’d be willing to stand in for someone on a podcast.

Right then, he turned, looked me right in the eye and said “Sure…I love podcasts.”

Keep in mind I’ve said nothing at this point…not even hinted that I was ‘in the biz’ WRT podcasting. My only identifying feature was my name tag. I told him afterwards that I found it funny that he would look at me and say something like that. I can’t remember exactly what he said, though I think it went something like ‘What makes you think I wouldn’t know who you are?’ or ‘I do my homework.’

GNERK!

So there I was, this wannabe writer in an ocean of writers, publishers, and the like, suddenly singled out and given the nod by one of the biggest fish in the place…I had a stupid grin plastered on my face for the rest of the day.

When someone who has an entire table at a con covered in his assembled works recognizes a name like mine, who’s done relatively little and in a niche-within-niche market…it’s a pretty profound experience…kinda gives one that sense of peer validation…

Which REALLY made my day.

Outcast – Episode 18

After a few starts and stops, and a few more ups and downs, Episode 18 of ‘Outcast’ is finally up and live.

However, you’ll probably notice that only the Mevio/Feedburner feed has been updated…not the Podiobooks.com one. There is a reason for this, and it’s because of me, not Evo.

There’s a certain level of expectation at PB from both those running it and those who subscribe to books on it. That expectation, because of numerous personal problems, is one I have not been nor will be able to meet. While my scheduled completion date of the book is still feasible, the completion of the recorded segments in an orderly fashion is not.

Therefore, I have decided to not ask Evo to lift the restriction on ‘Outcast’ at Podiobooks.com until such time as I have all the remaining audio recorded and ready to upload.

My apologies to any PB.com listeners who might feel left out. However, if you’d like there’s still the feedburner/Mevio podcast feed, which you can find at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/podshow/outcast

And, now that that’s out of the way, here’s episode 18:


IN THIS EPISODE:
Now absolved of his guilt over his recent rage attack, Dalan settles back into his life, only now with the knowledge that his best friend, Tomas, is spreading the word to his trusted friends about the tiger’s status as an exile.

Episode 18

Helping a Friend

Ok, I know I’ve ranted and raved about Second Life a lot on this blog, and some of you are probably getting tired of it. But, if you’re still reading this just hear me out this one last time, ok? I promise I’ll shut up about SL for a while after I’ve said this.

A few episodes back I made a plea to you to help out a friend of mine, whose wife died of a rare form of cancer several years ago. Alas, he fell short of the fundraising mark he’d set for himself, but not by much. However, undaunted as always he’s continued to fight, to raise awareness, and to inspire people to do their part in any way they can to help out.

Of course, people coming together to help fight something like this is by no means a new thing. When Joe Murphy passed away, and even before that, the podosphere was abuzz with calls to action for fundraising, spreading the word…everything social networking specializes in. The outpouring of support I witnessed as a result of that was nothing short of awe-inspiring…especially to one as new to the whole social media thing as I was back then.

Well, last night I bore witness to something so ambitious, I was left feeling humbled.

I was with a few friends on SL last night, and one of them had an announcement to make. Shujin (the man who lost his wife) was there as well, and the announcer revealed a fundraising plan so insanely large-scale that it was almost unbelievable.

The plan is simple enough: he created a small donation box (2 prims in size), and put out the call to every member of our little group (1300+ in all) to utilize their contacts to try and place these boxes all over the grid. The announcer set up a separate SL account to manage these donations so as to maintain the integrity of this charity drive.

But he hasn’t stopped there…oh no…

Every year, Shujin puts on an event in SL as a last-day fund-raiser for his charity (The End of Cycle for Sarcoma). These donation boxes will become active a few months before the event…basically when the Ride for Roswell starts accepting donations for the upcoming year. Well, along with the donation box comes another little present: A media box (I think that’s what they’re called). On the day of the event, this box will take over whatever audio stream is currently playing in the sim it’s in, and replace it with the stream coming from the fund-raising event itself. Someone generously donated a 1,000 listener Shoutcast stream specifically for this event.

Needless to say, Shujin was floored by all of this…as was I.

Even as we were listening to this announcement, land owners, club owners, and even a few mall owners were already making contact with the announcer, pledging their willingness to place one of these donation boxes on their land free of charge. As well, they’ve also pledged to talk up their contacts & friends to try and spread the word.

Based on such a huge amount of support so early into this, I’ve a feeling that by the time the event rolls around, Shujin’s team is gonna set a record for donations…all because of Second Life and the friends he’s made on it.

Not bad for a pixelated chatroom, wouldn’t you say?

So, thanks to a slight technical problem, the infamous NARC line is no more. I let the K7 line slip for more than 30 days, so I had to re-register with K7 with a new number, since they don’t let you choose the number you want.

As a result, my new voice mail line is 206-339-1069…not as dramatic as the NARC line, but oh well. Guess now I have to make a new outro for future episodes…

Time to Come Clean…

I think it’s time I cleared the air here and let all of you know why things have been so silent on my end from a podcasting perspective. It’s the least I can do for those of you who’ve taken the time out of your lives to give my stuff a listen and ask for more. More is coming, but it may take a bit more time.

Here’s why: I’m getting a divorce.

For the past two months, my wife and I have been separated. I’ve been living at my sister’s place, trying to cope with the sudden downward spiral my life has taken. It’s worked to some extent, but I still sleep alone, in a strange bed on the other side of the city from what I’m used to.

We had talked about couple’s counseling, and I was more than willing to give it a shot. However, she wants no part of it and no part of me anymore. So, I guess it’s all over now except to start the paperwork, make arrangements for the common debt payments we need to make, and move on in life.

About the only wrinkle is my sister need the room I’m staying in for July, so I’m basically homeless. The wife’s offered to let me stay at our place until I can find somewhere, and I probably will for a few weeks until I can find a place I can afford. I was barely scraping by before; wherever I end up, it ain’t gonna be that big.

I’m also looking for work so I can afford to live alone a bit more comfortably. I’ve got a few leads out there, as well as some part-time stuff lined up. It might not be much to start with, but it’s a start.

We both want a clean break from each other. No drama, no arguments, and thankfully no kids. When I have a place of my own I’ll just grab what’s mine, what of ours I wish to take, and leave her behind. It’ll be hard to say good-bye after so long together, but being stuck in a loveless marriage is harder, I think.

So, like I’ve always said, thank you for your continued support and your well-wishes. If/When this thing ever gets done I’ll have to find some way to express my eternal gratitude for your patience and understanding through what’s quickly becoming the most painful time of my life.

Until next time…

A Profound Moment…

Outcasts, fans, and any others who may be reading this…I’d just like to take a moment and try to come to terms with what happened to me today.

It’s ok, it’s nothing bad.  In fact, I think this is probably the single greatest thing that’s ever happened to me since I started writing/podcasting.  I mean, I never set out on this journey to be anyone’s hero, and certainly not a role model.  Believe me, the Chris Hvidsten guidebook for a successful life is a one-way ticket straight to stressville, believe me.

The past couple of weeks have been nothing short of Hell for me.  The weather, finances, and the constant exhaustion I’m feeling from the newspaper routes all caught up to me early last week, and I felt myself falling into that pit.  You know the one I mean: The one where you turn into an overly irritable bitch of a person who’s about as friendly as the outgoing Republican regime.  I was certainly not in a good place.

Things are getting better, however.  The weather’s improving, and my mood is on a definite upswing.  Add to that my feedburner stats are climing almost steadily, and I’m getting the feeling that I”m actually doing something right…something good, y’know?

Then, this morning I get this little nugget in my inbox.  This shocked the living hell out of me:

it was the night i had it with the world i was going to leave this earth.
yes i said it but your podcast changed me.
what i didn’t know it but it was dalan.
his push forward attitude did it to me.
i was listening and said to my self wow wow this is art a great story.
i decide to give my self another chance yes you saved my life and thank you very much.
i was feed up with all this furry sex shit. but you have a different story now i am hook and i got a job too. wow my life went 360.
i have to tell you my dad was head to war to he going back to iraq i was so depressed i gave up. but you guy dalan his never quitting attitude lifted me up.

thank you
my hero

my little true story of what you podcast did for me.

by life saver

form: bluehusky20

I’d love to actually quote this one in my next episode, but I’m not sure I can without getting overly emotional.  I mean…wow…just…wow.

I twittered a bit about this whole thing not long after I read it, and this comment came from one of my heroes, Tee Morris:

you have done what writers everywhere want to do. well done! 🙂

It’s really hard to describe how I feel about this.  Of course I’m grateful that this guy didn’t off himself, but to think I had something to do with such a monumentous decision…it’s just overwhelming.

I think I’m gonna trip off this feeling for a day or so to let it sink in, then I’m gonna hit the word processor like a man possessed.

Until next time…

Is Anyone…Itchy?

Ok, time to show some love to everyone’s favourite megalomaniac:  The One, The Only…The General…The Pope…The Father of Siglerism…

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That’s right, Outcasts.  Before the Outcasts, there were the Junkies, and I’m one of them.  ALL HAIL THE FDO!

The above poster is a promo for Scott Sigler’s new novel ‘Contagious, which is scheduled to release at the end of this month.   This is the sequel to his horrifying biological thriller ‘Infected,’ which actually won me a contest a couple of years back and got me into podcasting.

What’s that?  Are some of my Outcasts actually Junkies?  Really?  And…you want your fix now…like…right now?  Well guess what.  Our FDO has been gracious enough to give us our fix.  YES…that’s right, Outcasts and Junkies.  ‘Contagious’ is currently being podcasted at scottsigler.com, so you can get your fix and be fully committed by the time the book comes out.

Ok, bad attempt at Sigler-esque humour.  Anyway, just thought I’d send some love the FDO’s way, since it’s HIS FAULT I’m doing this in the first place.  😉

So…what are you waiting for?  Shouldn’t you be subscribing…like…now?

One-Two Punch

o here I am, working busily away on the next installment of ‘Outcast,’ namely the feedback show, whilst listening to the as-always-awesome podcast novel Morevi: Remastered by Tee Morris.

Anywho, while getting caught up on it, I stumbled across a couple of interesting links that came down in the feed…namely these:

icon for podpress

icon for podpress

Both of these fine books were inserted into the MOREVI feed as FULL NOVELS!  I mean holy crap!  Two books I’ve been itching to get into, and here they are for free.

It’s all part of an upcoming event, which if you’re reading this you probably already know about.  On August 8 of this year, Tee Morris and his partner in podcast crime, Phillipa Ballentyne, are both releasing their latest literary works.  They plan to do to Amazon’s ratings what Scott Sigler did with his novel, Ancestor.

Originally called ‘Billi’s Crazy 8’s,’ the event has now been changed to ‘Double Trouble,’ which promises to shake up the mainstream once again.  I wish them all the best, and hope to be in there like a dirty shirt with the best of them, adding my orders to all the others.

Where Were You…

when the lights went out?  Such is the question before the loyal listeners to JC Hutchins’ insanely popular podcast trilogy, 7th Son.

While the clones battled with their progenitor, John Alpha, much of America was left powerless after a series of nuclear strikes against the country’s major power stations.  The result:  Total and utter chaos.

In this time of anarchy, sides will be taken, heroes and villains alike will rise and do battle.  From democracy to dystopia, the common American now faces an all-too-uncommon challenge:  Survival on a primal level.

Welcome…to 7th Son…OBSIDIAN

Call it the ultimate fanfic project if you want, but as far as I’m concerned I can’t WAIT until this drops.  Basically, OBISIDIAN is a series of short stories set in the 7th Son universe, right at the time when America goes dark.  I’m assuming a lot of the stories will deal with ordinary people suddenly thrust into a nightmarish world where everyone’s out for themselves and to hell with anyone who stands in their way.

Kinda like the corporate culture, but with guns and chainsaws and the like…I hope.

I’m not sure what to expect, but given the list of people who’ve already submitted stuff for it, OBSIDIAN’s looking to be just golden.  Hmmm…I wonder if a wannabe like me could get in on it…

I mean, how can you go wrong?  Check out this rogue’s gallery of participants:

Need I say more?

You can check out the promo here, and remember on May 31…the lights will go out…

And chaos will reign…