Slow Road Home: The Audio Version?

This week, after expecting it for six months, I received a CD of Slow Road Home in mp3 format. More than six hours of reading was recorded over some seven sessions at WVTF last September for the Radio Readers program for the visually impaired. It took far longer than I’d expected to get the compiled disk.

Now, in the midst of so much other busy-ness, I’ll need to decide what–if anything–to do with some or all of it. The options range from simply copying the disk and sending it to a few relatives and friends all the way to converting (some or all of) it to *.cda format playable in all CD players complete with musical transitions and little inserts of “backstory” text by the author about the events pertaining to particular pieces.

The latter, ostensibly for sale, would have to be formatted into chapters or at least smallish, findable chunks. It would need to be packaged with yet-to-be-conceived graphic work for the jewel case. And it would need to be marketed and distributed somehow, if not simply to local, drive-to-able sites along the parkway and in Floyd and Roanoke. (Anybody with experience creating books-on-CD? Online sales would be good. What could you share?)

I’ve only had time to listen to the first 20 minutes or so, but all modestly aside, I was surprised to find it rather pleasant and entertaining listening–the kind you do with your eyes closed, imagining the speaker, what he sees and feels on his skin as he talks of present moments in a tranquil and beautiful place. Polished? Hardly. But not all that bad, as folk-stories go.

I’ll probably put clips up on the blog soon. I’m open for any ideas or suggestions you might have–if there are any of you Fragments readers out there that survived the blog-transition; many have dropped off the map for now or for good. But for me, this is another thing not done in a vacuum. You’ve been my sounding board for years, blog-readers. I hope to have you around for this next chapter of audio CD and Book Two–about which, more soon!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Looks like the one thing you’ll need to keep in mind is the time limit on CDs in a .cda file format. No matter how fast you talk, you can only get a little over an hour on a CD and have it playable in all CD players. With 6 hours of existing audio adding more to it would entail a half dozen disks and the requisite packaging…

  2. Love everything about this site, ‘cept where are your links to your long-lived blog buddies? I’m sure I just missed ’em…

  3. All the sidebar accouterments remain to be rebuilt. And wonder of wonders–I have a six year old with us now who makes all those little tedious, mental-focus kinda jobs so wonderfully impossible! It’ll come. But it might be 2008. : > ]

  4. I’ve still got you in my blogroll successfully. I listened to your audio of the dragonflies and fireflies and such, and I was doing exactly as you suggest in this post. I sat here with my eyes closed, imagining you sitting in that special place where you might be watching as the insects of summer begin their dance. I would be most pleased to find a CD of your audio available. Please figure out how to do it, please! I think it would be a fine offering with your book, just as I bought a companion CD of classical music that with with Impressionist paintings collected in book format.