Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Bane of My Existence...

I've always loved that saying. Ever since I was a young girl and read Anne of Green Gables. I've had several 'banes'(or constant annoyances) over the course of my life, but at present it involves a fifth-wheel, a microphone and a little mouse who has it in for me.

Let me explain. A few months back I decided, at the urging of other authors, to have my YA trilogy made into audiobooks. Although I have never enjoyed being read to, I understand why others do, and are therefore making the audiobooks quite popular.

After spending sometime on ACX (the equivelant of a self-publishing platform for audio), and having several people audition for Bloodline, I went ahead and recorded myself reading the same script. I then had some random people compare and it was determined that I was just as good. (I have done a bit of theater so it comes naturally) After more research, I purchased a good, quality microphone with a built-in mixer, downloaded free audio software and got to it.

My next big hurdle was where to record. I needed my own sound room. This simply wasn't possible anywhere in my house. BUT...we have a big fifth-wheel with a 'bunk house', or separate room in the back for kids with a bunk bed. What I've ended up doing is draping 4" thick foam pads from the top bunk to make a foam wall on the lower bunk and then lined the inner walls with more foam. It's actually quite cozy and works surprisingly well, with a few drawbacks.

We have railroad tracks about a mile from our house. That may not seem too close, but we are in the middle of a valley and with my ever-so-sensitive mic, it picks it up a town away on either side, so I end up having to pause for a good ten minutes every time one goes by. On Thursday nights, (I have to record late at night, otherwise there is too much neighborhood noise) they are especially active and I can have three in one hour. SO, that was the first bane of my existence.

This brings my to my current situation: a little mouse. In between recording my last book (The Mystery of Hollow Inn) and my current one (The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines) a little mouse found his way inside. How do I know? Well, because the one and ONLY place he chose to leave a few precious gifts behind, was all around the base of my microphone. Not kidding.

I was appalled and immediately cleaned and washed everything associated with the space, and my husband diligently sprayed foam sealant in every crevice he could find. To no avail. Three more times I have discovered small packages of...mouse happiness, on my microphone stand.

That is...until a couple of days ago. This little micky mouse has taken things to a whole new level. While I am recording, I have to turn all of the lights off, to prevent the noise associated with the electronics (noisy to my sensitive recordings). So to offset the darkness, I light a couple of candles. I am a bit of a candle addict and I take them very seriously, so my candles are nice ones.

Well...I was pleased to find NO mouse turds in my recording space, but when I went to light my candle, I discovered the candle itself had scratch and bite marks all around the top of it, as well a nice whole dug into the center. The little villain destroyed my candle. Not only that, but he then deposited his sign of appreciation right in the middle of it, next to wick, and pee'd around the base of it. (which I discovered after I picked it up to light it. Have you ever smelled mouse pee? It is not pleasant.)

I wish I were making this up, but it really is the bane of my existence right now. I have decided to laugh about it, and imagine the little twerp out there rubbing his tiny paws together, wondering how best to get to me next. A mouse trap, you say? Now, that wouldn't be very sporting, would it? :)

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