Autumn Fundraiser

on August 5, 2011 in MU Blog

Hey, folks! As those who read the blog posts already know, life has turned a little upside-down for me lately but it’s time to get things back on track. One of the things that fell by the wayside in the past months was my third quarter fundraiser, originally planned for July. I’m aware of the backlog of incentives from Fundraisers Past that I need to finish, but I really can’t afford to put off fundraising any longer and I’ve come up with something I can offer at the same time as I work on those.

Here it is:


Hello, this is Alexandra Erin author of the award-winning web serial Tales of MU. I’m pleased to announce the beginning of my third-quarter fundraiser. Why am I doing it with an audio track? Because that’s the theme this time around.

I already have a backlog of stories that need writing, so for every $250 of donations or new subscriptions I take in during the remainder of August, I will post one recording of myself performing a story aloud. These tracks will not be professional studio-quality recordings, because I lack a professional studio-quality studio. Moreover, I lack practice reading aloud and speaking in public, so you can think of this as a glimpse into what would ordinarily be a very raw process of training in that area. The resulting tracks will be free to listen to and disseminate and will be recorded at a rate of one a week.

I’ll be doing my absolute level best each week to perform at my absolute best level, but I’ll be uploading the results for you to enjoy whether they’re good, bad, or ugly. Hopefully we’ll be able to look back at the end and see how far I’ve come. In any case, I’ll be recording and posting the first selection this coming week because a few generous souls have already donated a total of $295 this month.

For more details, please see the blog post entitled “August Fundraiser” on

Thank you!

And here are the details:

I’ll be selecting stories mainly by virtue of their suitability for recording, which means doing short and simple ones at the start and moving on to more ambitious pieces as my skill and confidence grows. Most of the recordings I make will be free. For every $1,000 raised, I will record a longer piece with better attention to quality (within my technical limitations… this money represents my living and travel expenses for the next several months, not studio time) that will be sent to everyone who contributed at least one dollar. That’s in addition to the free one… so if this fundraiser reaches $1,000 exactly, there will be four free-to-everyone recordings and one bonus one for participants.

Whether there’s one bonus track, or two, or more, a single contribution will qualify you for all of them. I will also include a link to download the bonus tracks in the next newsletter to go out after they’re finished… so if you already subscribe and have no money to kick in this month, you’ll still hear everything.

The “bonus tracks” will be sent to the address you use for PayPal; to request a different one, send an email to contactme -at- alexandraerin -dot- com. Make sure you tell me what address your PayPal payment was sent from and what address the track(s) should be sent to.

As always, participation in the fundraiser is purely voluntary. I’m aware my mind has not been with my work lately and as always it’s entirely up to you as individual readers whether to fund my continued writing at this time or not. You have always had the option of reading for free and that option remains.

If you choose to exercise that option, please show your gratitude for the free entertainment by not castigating the people who choose to fund it or casting aspersions on the person who provides it.

Regardless, I would like to thank everyone who showed patience or offered words of support in what has been a difficult time.

Current Total: $934.75
Tracks Earned: 3 Tracks Recorded: 1

(You can find all tracks here.)

(To set up a sponsorship/buy an annual newsletter subscription, click here. Newly created sponsorships/subscriptions will count towards the total.)

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9 Responses to “Autumn Fundraiser”

  1. And just as an additional matter: please reply to this comment with feedback on the sample recording above. Too quiet? Too loud? Am I talking too fast? Am I obviously overlooking any arcane rules about microphone placement? I’ve never done much in this area before, and I’d like to do as well as I can with the equipment I have available.

    Current score: 0
  2. Cindy says:

    The track sounded alright, except that it was rather quiet. I had to turn my speakers all the way, and then stay close to them, I would not have been able to walk across the room while listening (i tend to clean and do things around the room when listening to stuff) But the pace you were talking with seemed fine. =)

    Current score: 0
  3. Zukira Phaera says:

    Sounded great to me, my settings didn’t have to be adjusted to anything different from what I use when doing voice chat on skype to be able to hear you clearly and well. I do have my volume high however since one of the people on my chat group has a ‘low’ microphone.

    Pacing was good. I could hear a little nervousness in your voice but that is something that will clear up in time as you gain practice! A trained ear might not pick that up so kudos on a very well done recording.

    Looking forward to hearing more and hoping that some of what you choose to do will be your FIM pieces.

    Back when I did theater and public speaking I found that one of my favorite ways to practice pacing, and honing off my personal nervousness in performing, was to read to the kids at the local library.

    Current score: 0
  4. Mack C. says:

    About arcane rules of microphone placement: I don’t know where your microphone should go unless you tell me its pickup pattern. Wikipedia explains this better than I- but for the kind of thing you’re doing, I’d recommend finding a cardioid microphone. You don’t really need to worry about it because you sound fine. The only thing I’d really say is worth looking into is de-essing, if you aren’t already using it. It’ll smooth your ‘s’ sounds a bit. Your p’s, t’s, and c’s are already pretty smooth, which indicates you might be using a pop filter, but pop filters don’t really negate s sounds, so if de-essing’s an option you might want to look into that. I don’t think anybody who doesn’t work in a studio is going to notice, so if it’s not available don’t worry, but I always say if you can make it better without much effort, why not do it?

    Current score: 0
  5. cnic says:

    The audio was clear, at a good level, and at a good pace. I’ve been involved in a podcast that had been going for a year before it reached this level. In fairness, though, one commentator didn’t have a headset microphone and we didn’t start with Audacity.

    Current score: 0
  6. Kevin Brown says:

    It was a little quiet but otherwise clear, if the mic boost setting in your sound card is off then turn it on. Don’t really have much else to say that hasn’t been said.

    Current score: 0
  7. Elisa says:

    Hey could you maybe put some links to the Roommate Derby stories from January if they’ve been written…especially the Callahan and Embries ones?

    Current score: 0
  8. Bramble says:

    What a great idea! If you’re open to suggestions, I think that some of the more folklore/mythology themed Other Tales would be well suited to an audio recording, and I’m not just saying that because I desperately want a Bill Springstep story or two on my iPod. Except I totally do, so make of that what you will.

    The audio was clear and loud enough at my usual “watching old TV shows on Youtube” volume. Also, you have a lovely voice, Ms. Erin.

    Current score: 0
  9. Kaila says:

    The accent threw me for a couple of words, before my brain filter kicked in ‘american’. You know, the little thing in the back of your head that goes ‘why are they saying it like that…oh!’.

    You have lovely diction, even if it’s not what I’m used to. I’m Australian, and I think there’s plenty of MY countrymen that maul the english language. Also, Gary Gygax, if you’ve ever played D&D online…I try not to disrespect the dead, but honestly, his narration is occasionally awfully accented – the phrase ‘mangled body’ is…particularly mangled.

    I can’t really think of any actual constructive criticism. Perhaps slow down a teensy bit?

    *shrug* It’s fine as it is, and you’ll get better with practice. Your voice is easy to listen to, unlike certain creators of D&D mayherestinpeace.

    Current score: 0