… and Make-Believe

Today we made a hard decision about the very last song on the album.

(The ‘Question’ looks on, probably wondering why Gray hasn’t written any songs based on comic books. Image by Paul Cory Photography.)

The mix we had planned to use wasn’t up to the standards of my friend who’s mastering the album, so my engineer friend made a new mix to consider in addition to an earlier (and simpler) version of the song. Of course, we could only pick one, but we didn’t all agree on which one to use. I suppose that’s the nature of things sometimes. Keeping in mind that (as my former Commander used to say) we shouldn’t “let perfect be the enemy of good,” I think this was a case of having two pretty-good-but-not-perfect options to choose from, each of which was good for a different reason.

So I’ve made the decision, and I’m confident it’s the right one. However, as I used to tell the troops who worked for me, decisions are “right” or “wrong” based on what we know at the time we make them, but they’re only “good” or “bad” later, when we’ve experienced the outcomes. So I won’t know if this decision is good or bad until more folks have heard the song.

Unfortunately, this delay puts the schedule I had in my mind in jeopardy. All I can say at the moment is that the album is coming, but I can’t say when exactly.

We’ll see what happens.

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Truths and Lies …

The album is in the mastering process right now, which unfortunately has not gone as smoothly as I hoped.

(Image by Paul Cory Photography.)

On the other hand, the artwork process is proceeding apace. The plan is for the audio master to be ready when the cover and CD art are, at which time I will order a limited run of physical CDs.

For folks who no longer bother with physical CDs, I will make the album available on my BandCamp page, which currently only has one of the songs on it. I am investigating which digital distribution service I want to use with respect to iTunes, Spotify, etc.

This might be a real thing, one of these days.

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Last Day to Nominate for the Pegasus Awards, One More Day for the Hugos

In case you have any interest in such things ….

Pegasus Award Logo

Your nominations for the 2013 Pegasus Awards for Excellence in Filking (a/k/a science fiction and fantasy-related music) must be in by midnight tonight (Pacific Time). The awards are sponsored by the Ohio Valley Filk Festival.

Here’s a link to the Pegasus Brainstorming Poll, if you need some suggestions. As for your eligibility to nominate, the Pegasus Award web page notes that

The nomination and ballot procedure is similar to that of the Hugo, except that one does not need to be a paid member of the convention to nominate or vote. Anyone with an interest in Filking or Filk music can place a nomination and/or vote.

And, speaking of the Hugo Awards, if you’re a member of the World Science Fiction Convention, you have until midnight tomorrow night (Central Time) to submit your votes.

Hugo Award Logo

Do your civic genre duty!

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Progress Report: The Album is Closer than Ever

Work on my album — Truths and Lies and Make-Believe — continues as time permits. Here’s the latest status chart, showing that seven of the ten tunes are complete.*

If I include the progress we’ve made on the remaining three songs, then the initial recording process is about 85% complete.

In other production news, I’ve found two candidate locations for the album cover photo shoot, which I hope to complete before the end of the month.

It’s coming together … slowly, but hopefully surely!

*It also shows that I’ve rearranged the order of the songs.

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It’s Summer, So Where’s That Album I Promised?

We’re working on it, trust me. Here’s a little chart I made up of the status of the songs that will be on Truths and Lies and Make-Believe:

Thankfully, summer just started and has a few weeks left in it.

Over the next few weeks I need to get going on finding a location for the album cover photo shoot, contracting a photographer, producing the final cover art, etc.

Oh, yeah, and finish the remaining songs — that would seem to be important.

And having the album mastered, and arranging to produce some physical copies, and letting folks know about it.

At least I’ve got that last one covered for now.

Stay tuned!

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Coming This Summer: ‘Truths and Lies and Make-Believe’

With the help of my friends and family, I’m putting together an album of original music which I’m calling Truths and Lies and Make-Believe.

Truths and Lies and Make-Believe

I describe it as “a compendium of musical selections, inspired or influenced by science fiction, fantasy, life, and faith … a multitude of things.” The plan right now is for it to include ten original songs: mostly “filk” (genre-related music), but with a few other odds-and-ends thrown in as well.

Like all my other projects, this is a part-time endeavor — heck, these days it seems as if I’m living a part-time life — but I intend to finish and release it this summer. Exactly when this summer I’m not sure, so I’m not being any more specific than “summer.” As we make progress, I’ll post updates here on the Ghost Writer blog.

Meanwhile, you can get a PDF version of the flyer here, if you have some strange desire to share it your friends (or even your enemies). And don’t forget, “The Monster Hunter Ballad” is available now.

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Galleys for Asimov’s, Nebula Nominations, and MystiCon Schedule

Nothing like news of a meteor strike to put the day in perspective, eh? No matter how busy you are today, or what you happen to be going through, I hope you can take some time to enjoy yourself … but keep watching the skies!

As for me, today I need to review the galleys for my novelette, “What is a Warrior Without His Wounds?” and send any changes back to the good folks at Asimov’s Science Fiction. The story is scheduled to appear in their July issue. (As an aside, I’m thinking of donating my payment for the story to the Wounded Warrior Project. Do you think that would be appropriate?)

Asimov's Science Fiction


Today is also the LAST DAY to nominate for the Nebula Awards, so I need to do that, too. Over the past few weeks I’ve read a LOT of terrific short fiction, which makes it hard to decide what to nominate. Guess I’d better get to it.

Nebula Award Logo


Finally, in the “upcoming events” category, next week I’ll be at MystiCon in Roanoke, Virginia, where I will play a concert (yes, really), moderate some panels, and generally make a nuisance of myself. My schedule looks like this:

Friday, 22 February

  • 5 p.m., A Musical Hour with Gray Rinehart
  • 6 p.m., Writing Space Battles (I’m moderating this panel)
  • 10 p.m., Koffee Klatch … Reading with Peter Prellwitz

Saturday, 23 February

  • 1 p.m., Grasping for the Stars (moderator)
  • 2 p.m., How Military Technology is Catching Up with Military SF Tech (again, moderator)
  • 4 p.m., The Baen Traveling Road Show
  • 8 p.m., Remembering Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp

Sunday, 24 February

  • 9 a.m., Worship Service
  • 12 p.m., No Shirt, No Shoes, No Entry — Business Etiquette

So, as long as we don’t get smashed by rocks falling from space, it should be a good time!

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Another New (and More Serious) Song: ‘Winter Simplifies the World’

A few weeks ago I had the chance to debut a couple of new songs at “Winter Tales,” an Orange County Library event organized by James Maxey. I previously posted the video of the second song, “Tauntauns to Glory,” and here’s the video of the first — and much more serious — song, “Winter Simplifies the World.”

The clip includes James introducing me and a little about the inspiration for the song: my year at Thule Air Base in Greenland. After I sing the song, I lament the fact that it turned out to be pretty emotionally heavy, and that becomes my way of introducing the much lighter, Star Wars-inspired “Tauntauns to Glory”.

Finally, here are links to videos of the other “Winter Tales” presented that night —

It was a lot of fun, and I’m very glad James let me be a part of it!

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New Song Debut: ‘Tauntauns to Glory’ [video]

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of appearing with several other central NC authors at the Orange County Library in Hillsborough, for a combined reading called “Winter Tales.” Here’s a YouTube video of one of my contributions:

From left to right at the table behind me were fellow authors James Maxey — who organized the gathering and recruited the rest of us — Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Alex Granados, and Mur Lafferty.

It was great fun, and I debuted two songs I wrote specifically for the event: a serious song called “Winter Simplifies the World” that alluded to the winter I spent stationed at Thule Air Base in Greenland, and, in the video above, my first-ever STAR WARS filk, “Tauntauns to Glory.” I hope you enjoy it!

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Official Poster for the Upcoming 'Winter Tales' Event

This Thursday is the “Winter Tales” event at the Orange County (NC) Library. Here’s the library’s poster for the event:

I’ll be one of five local authors appearing at the event, along with Mur Lafferty, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Alex Granados, and James Maxey. James organized the event, and invited the rest of us to participate. Everyone is supposed to present some original story, poem, essay, or something written just for this event. My contribution will be a couple of new songs (only one of which is filk).

Details, if you’re interested:
Thursday, December 13th, 6:00 p.m.
Orange County Main Library
137 West Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278

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