Hope Springs Eternal

hope springs eternalTwo nights this week I’ve heard the calls of barred owls.  Yesterday it was in the gloaming, with the bird so close it sent chills up my spine – kakooo kakooooooooAArooooo.

We go on these long walks because Nyana demands it.  At 11 months, she won’t go to sleep save under a canopy of stars and so we walk out together in the darkness with the grandeur of Orion above us and pull tight the jacket that keeps off the bite of this not-quite-over-winter.

Walks at night with my child have become a kind of meditation.  Even as much as Amy and I have designed our lives around having an escape from the frenetic, firehouse-stream of informationegativity madness realitivapidity high fructose cornewstainment of the 21st century I, too, find myself buried by all the ‘updates’ and trying to catch up with a torrential news feed and quips and stagnation and sense of societal paralysis pervading despite the need for desperate action to be done.

But now we are standing in the woods, ankles deep in mud as the snow clings to the shadows of hemlock.  The days are longer, our solar panels easily keep pace with our power needs, the chickens are laying more and my god! we even had goat kids – but winter’s not quite ready to give up the ghost.

Kakooo kakooooooooAArooooo

Soon we, too, will have crocuses. Soon there will be a symphony of the peepers.  Soon it will seem no sooner does the seed go in the ground but life springs forth, desperate to make a lunge for the sunlight before the cold and the dark take it again.

But for now, we are far enough off the road that the streetlights do not penetrate a stand of pines.  In the dark we do not see the 4-wheeler ruts.  We smell the fresh raw smell of the earth as it thaws.  We hear a cold clarion call of the owl, a reminder that amidst our fantasy world there is the real life happening all around us, tucked away in the corners we have not yet conquered.

Nyana sleeps.

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Whatever happened to RuneScapes?

You may recall that for a while I was writing something that looked like a traditional e-newsletter.  Then I was inspired to write a bit of a rant.  People seemed to like it.  So now I am going to write some more.

If it isn’t your cup of tea, you are always welcome to leave.

Stay, and you’ll hear my take on ‘augmented reality,’ doomsday preppers, people who want to live off-grid and own a hot tub, geeky things about microphones and, oh yeah, news about my radio dramas.

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The Cleansed, Season 2

Publisher’s Weekly (http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4708-4206-2) and Audiofile Magazine (http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/dbsearch/showreview.cfm?Num=77481) have had nice things to say about The Cleansed.

We’re also proud of the words of Norm Sherman of the Drabblecast (http://www.drabblecast.org/2013/01/23/drabblecast-270-the-first-conquest-of-earth/) who says The Cleansed ‘sets a new standard for independent audio production.’

The producer-mind fights with the marketer-mind, as one must be undeterred by what people say, stick one’s nose to the grindstone, and just create, create, create.  The other must be nimble, responsive, available, grappling with the firehouse of information and injecting our message into it.

For now the producer is in charge.  We wrapped Season 2 in mid-January and now, with the help of the intrepid sound designer Matthew Boudreau and composer Hubert Campbell, are moving towards a launch goal of mid-year (ish).  We have many people to thank for getting this far: our Kickstarter (and other) supporters, a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, our intrepid cast and crew, and, of course, my ever-supportive wife Amy (who is stellar in her role in craft services, script editor and general BS-detector).

Season 2 is bigger, bolder, more ambitious than Season 1.  We have flashbacks, flash forwards, and dream sequences.  We have intimate conversations alongside a steady river and epic firefights, explosions and acts of God with special effects that rival any Hollywood movie (the CGI being inside your imagination of course).

New characters enter the story and others depart it.  With the story world already created, we spend time bonding more with our characters before throwing them into the fire.  The true stakes of what our heroes face become clear and the face of evil is revealed to be more daunting than they could ever imagine.  As the children of this crazy world stare out at the sea there is an opportunity to reflect, to wonder: could this have gone any other way?

As a citizen of the 21st century, I hope you will ponder this too.

– Fred

Fred Greenhalgh is FinalRune’s writer/producer/director.  The entirety of The Cleansed: Season 1 is available now internationally through AudibleAmazon.comDownpour.com and other sources thanks to a distribution agreement with Blackstone Audiobooks.  Plenty more of his stories are available for free at: www.finalrune.com

P.S. There have been a lot of other awesome things happening in the world of radio drama lately.  Perhaps most exciting is the launch of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere adapted by the inimitable Dirk Maggs, featuring a star-studded cast.  Our friends AudioComics Company are in the running for two “Audie” awards for their adrenaline-fueled war epic Titanium Rain, andLeviathan Chronicles has finally released Season 2.  We’re Alive finished Season 3 and will have their final season soon, Chatterbox Audio went big with their adaptation of Oedipus the King and I just stumbled across this stellar gritty-noir Bladerunner-esque series Hothouse Bruiser by TV-writerJoel Metzger which is just superb.  Turn off the TV and treat yourself to a listen; you will be glad you did.