April is here again. I come to this sacred month of poets with little expectation simply because of time constraints. I have undertaken the task of being the voice of our high school baseball team and April will see two home games per week, making for long, killer days. Nonetheless, I will write and post as often as it is possible.
Happy Writing, Y’all! ~Jill
Yes, I’ve been absent from Jilly’s for a few weeks and I want to express my appreciation to all who have been in touch. January turned out to be a month of bugs – both viruses and editing bugs struck. I took some time off to drink lots of hot tea and really dig into some writing and editing projects that have been calling my name. It has been a very fruitful time.
I would like to mention two things:
Firstly, the February Edition of Casting Bricks did not happen during the course of my off time. I may make some changes to our collaborative poetry challenge, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!
I would also like to let you all know that my poem, Fervency, which posted here in November, was selected as the Second Place Winner of the January Contest over at Vita Brevis!
I mentioned above that I have spent some time in the editing process recently. Fervency was poem that went through a good deal of editing, with the help of a couple of good friends in the WP community. It is a pleasure to work with fellow poets in the writing process. Thank you!
Creating an Audio Recording through Sound Cloud
Disclaimer: I work from my laptop and it is Windows based. Also, I have not upgraded to Windows 10 out of sheer stubbornness, so some things may be different. If you work from a Mac, all bets are off.
- You need an app for recording your voice. I use Sound Recorder and it was already on my computer as part of the Windows package. The Google Voice Recorder is also popular. After I opened Sound Recorder and told it to go ahead and use my microphone, I ended up with this little microphone that I could pin to my taskbar. Pretty easy – I just click on the ‘Start Recording’ button.
You also need a microphone. Perhaps you work from a computer (desktop) that doesn’t have a built-in microphone. (My laptop does, but my PC doesn’t.) No worries! You can purchase earbuds that have a tiny microphone built into the cord. Or you may have something like that already that you use for your cellphone. It’s a pretty cheap little thing and it actually gives a better quality recording than my laptop microphone. Just plug it into your computer and then get that Sound Recorder or Voice Recorder and move on to step 2. UPDATE: If you look at the comments below from Frank & Bjorn, you will see that they both use Audacity, which is a free upload. Much appreciation to both for this essential bit of information!
2. Practice/Record/Save If you are not used to the sound of your own voice, no worries! Most of us are a bit put off by our recorded voice. No, that is not exactly what you sound like – your real voice is much better than that! The Delete button is a wonderful thing. Speaking of which, once you Stop Recording, your file goes into the Save / Save As process. NOTE: Pay close attention to where it saves the file once you name it. Mine defaults to OneDrive, which I don’t use often. It took me a few minutes to locate my file the first time. Because I work in a Windows environment, my files save as a .wma (Windows Media Audio). You may also find that your file is an MP3 file or M4A, depending on your computer.
- Sound Cloud! So now you have this file on your computer. How do I put it on my blog? Soundcloud.com. Sound Cloud works with your Gmail / Google account, so be sure you are logged into your Google account and they will like each other and work happily together! Setting up a Sound Cloud account takes a few minutes. The hard part is it wants to be sure you are not a robot. You have to verify some visual figures & etc. It is a PAIN, to say the least. It will test your patience; hang in there and keep trying. Once your account is set up, I recommend you log out. Now, Google ‘Sound Cloud’ and one of the options will be Soundcloud.com/stream. This means it now knows you – hooray! Almost there!
- Upload to Sound Cloud. Once you are in your sound cloud account, you will need to upload your file (the one with your awesome voice!) The taskbar across the top has an Upload button next to your name. Go ahead… click that baby! Then click the orange ‘Choose a File To Upload’ button and find your file. Whoop! Sorry, but I get excited when we have victories! A screen will pop up like this one:
You can update the image (not necessary at the moment, but nice once you get comfortable with Sound Cloud). You can also assign a genre. I go with Custom & Poetry or sometimes just use Story Telling or Entertainment. You can describe your track. You can do none of these things; it’s all optional.
Click SAVE. Now click on Go To Your Track. Click the Share button. Now click Embed. Three images come up. Choose the one in the middle – Classic Embed. (The one on the left will give you this HUGE sound cloud image on your blog.) A little box is there that says CODE:
Click it and it will highlight like you see in this image.
- Put my file on my blog. Head on over to your blog post. Find the spot where you are going to put your Sound Cloud audio link and paste (Ctrl V) that link. In Word Press, you need to go to the top of your post page and click HTML before you paste the code. It will know what to do with it! After you paste the code, go back and click Visual:
- Now do your End Zone dance… or just run around the house yelling, “Goal! Goal!”
In the September Casting Bricks Challenge, NoSaint has managed to lasso the illusive Coltrane in his completion of my Challenge Poem. I’m impressed! Take a look at what my talented friend accomplished!
In faces we see years, or the lack thereof, tones of skin, lips of color and grin stretching out to welcome us or drawn tight to hide away the pain of days and nights, winters and spring, of living too much or not enough, walking the path to the river or the River, the dip of birth or the dip of death, the planting or harvesting, and as we walk by them, in the water, in the grass, in the tree or air, it is not in their faces that the story lies, it is in their eyes, their eyes, their eyes.
Eyes looking outward
Skeptical angry or no
The tale is thereby told
We are writing Haibuns over at dVerse tonight. Join us!
© Words & Photos by Jilly All Rights Reserved
Hello My Collaborative Poetry Friends!
The continuation of Casting Bricks is not forgotten. I wanted to share my plan and get any feedback you might care to include. We began with the July Challenge and I would like to continue with a once a month challenge posted on the first Friday of each month. That means our next collaborative writing challenge would post on Friday, August 4th and remain open for the entire month.
I know that I ran gleefully into completing all 11 challenge (half) poems from July, finishing them in about a week. That writing frenzy was followed by the clear dull thud of my head hitting the keyboard of my laptop! I also did not have much original poetry to my credit during that week, and while I loved the collaborative challenge and learned much from it, I like the idea of pacing myself.
We now know that our Mr. Linky works very well and that will make it all much smoother. I will give more detailed directions on August 4th for the nuts and bolts of it all.
Please feel free to extend the invitation to any poet who might be interested in joining in with Casting Bricks; the more, the merrier!
balloons off the living room walls
as we toast marshmallows
arguing about whether you or I
are right-brained or left
wondering if that bird that launched
from the trees across the lake
were an eagle or early owl
Poem & Photo
© Jilly's 2016
Join us over at dVerse!