Well, folks, it's been a long time coming, but The Book of Cain is finally out as an audiobook, available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible. Listen while you fly, ride, drive, walk, do chores, or just lie on your bed like Eris with your eyeshades on, waiting for the mysterious stranger to come through the open window.


Making the audio files was an interesting process, sometimes frustrating and always alive with one challenge after another. On the tech side I kept it very simple: a Blue Yeti microphone hooked directly to the computer via USB (no audio interface) and running PreSonus Studio One (free version) as the DAW (desktop audio workstation). No pop filter, so I had to remember to turn my head a little to soften the "p" words.


I learned Studio One as I went. Fortunately, working with audiobook tracks is a lot simpler than working with music (and musicians), so a little basic knowledge in the software can pretty much get you where you need to go. Still, I have to admire professional audio engineers and voice performers who can make the whole 7+ hour collection of vocal recordings sound natural and organically consistent. The whole point is to remove any technical quirks so that the story comes through unimpeded. The writer's goal, as I believe John Gardner pointed out in one of his books on writing, is to create in the reader's mind a "vivid, flowing dream," not to show off one's phrase-turning chops or vocabulary.


This was my first effort at this craft, so I'm sure there are peculiarities aplenty that leave it short of the goal. On the other hand, sometimes it's the peculiarities themselves that lend a work of art its charm--think of the voices of Bob Dylan or Tom Waits, for instance--so I'ma chalk any oddities (mistakes? what mistakes?) up to that. So when it comes to stomach gurgles, wheezy breaths, gulpy swallows, smacking lips, slurred words, popping Ps, clunky merges, varied volumes, shifting room sounds, snoring dogs, chirping birds, whirring HVAC, and other peculiarities, just know this: I MEANT TO DO THAT! It's part of the story. Trust me. I'm the author, I oughta know.


So, as Oscar Bronx would say, bag yourself a copy of the audiobook version of The Book of Cain and give it a listen. And feel free to sign up to drop comments on these blog posts, or leave a message on our contact page. Thanks for your support.

When I accepted the second's invitation to crank up a podcast as a feature of the Little White Cabin, I figured it'd be a gag of a gig, you know, tell some of the crazy stories I've gathered over the years, have a few yucks. And I know I've done only three, but I tellya, it's been a wonderful experience. When you go digging into your memory for stories you realize you're digging into your heart and soul, too, and when you pull it all out, you find yourself coming to terms with all kinds of sleeping dogs and snoring dragons.


And it feels good. Damn good. You let the sunshine and the fresh breeze in when you let the old stories out. I love a good story. Always have. And I've got a whole locker full of'em. And you know what? I'll bet you do, too. So listen, here's what you do. Sign up so you can drop a comment on these blog posts, and engage. Let us know if you've got a story to tell or if you've got a question for ol' Oscar and I'll see if I can dredge up some wisdom from the bilges or the kitchen or the poker table to lay on you. I'm looking forward to it.


My most recent episode (#3) is a gem of a story given to me by Manny Conrad, who lived it back in the day. It can be hard for people raised on the smart-phone tether to understand and appreciate the kind of bare knuckle lives people like Manny and Wiper John lived--not to mention the captain who was running so hard from his tobacco road childhood, or Mary from Tanzania, who so wanted her baby to be safe and free that she was willing to stow away on some foreign ship and give birth to it in the bilges. It's one of Manny's stories that leaves me in awe of those good, hard people.


Listen here: https://www.littlewhitecabin.com/podcast/episode/c095500c/episode-3-man-overboard-steady-as-she-goes

Thanks to a Christmas gift from my lovely and generous daughter, Ava, I'll be heading to Ashland (Alabama) next Wednesday to record a few songs at Hornsby Productions. John Hornsby will add some production magic that will give the pieces some much needed flavor. I'll post the songs on the music page at littlewhitecabin.com when they're ready.


I'm stoked. When you're a singer-songwriter of limited instrumental skills (Hi!), having pros work with you is pretty heady. The last time I recorded in an actual studio was several years ago at Shangri-La in Lexington, KY (again, the beneficiary of a gift from a daughter--that time, Armida, my oldest). My producer then was J. Tom Hnatow, who this past year has been busy recording and touring with Horsefeathers. That effort can be heard on the music page on the "House on Fire" EP. Fiddle: Maggie Lander; Piano: Meghan Hodges; Bass: Tom Hnatow; Percussion: Robby Cosenza. What a pleasure that was.