A Dream Within A Dream: My first audio production appears on the Journey Into... Podcast
Listen to "A Dream Within A Dream," my first audio production which is featured on the Journey Into... podcast. I narrated the story and freesound.org provided the sound effects, including the music. It's free to listen to the short story on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or any device that links to the web. More detailed instructions at the end of this post.
PODCASTING: HOW I ENDED UP PRODUCING A STORY
I've been a fan of the Journey Into... podcast for several years now. The host, Marshal Latham, presents narrated fiction stories, sometimes full cast readings, along with Old Time Radio Shows (think Orson Welles, classic Hitchcock adaptations, The Shadow, The Lone Ranger, X-Minus One science fiction, etc).
A couple of years ago, Marshal hosted an Edgar Allan Poe writing contest. Stories had to be titled after a work of Poe's, but the rest was up to the author. I wrote "A Dream Within A Dream," but my submission got lost in cyber space. When I contacted Marshal, he read the story anyway and said he'd like to have it appear on his podcast sometime in the future. Time passed, often I'd forget about the story, but each year he'd host another Edgar Allan Poe month, including a contest in 2014 where my entry, "Ligeia," was selected as one of the winners. That story is also free to listen to, and still available.
Recently, I decided that I wanted to try producing a story like the ones I've heard on Journey Into... and another podcast, The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. Their full cast productions are really fun with music, voice acting, and sound effects. I wondered if I could do it, and wanted the chance to try.
It's only because Marshal Latham already said he would run "A Dream Within A Dream" that I plowed ahead and created the production. I knew he might say, Thanks, but no thanks, especially if the quality was poor. Luckily, he enjoyed it and was grateful that I'd done the work he'd never gotten around to doing. (Which is okay, Marshal! No hard feelings.) As for the quality, that's for the listener to judge now. It's my first time! Be gentle.
ABOUT THE STORY
I've been a long-time fan of Edgar Allan Poe. His writing is rich, fluid, and fascinating. His storytelling abilities are rarely matched when it comes to characterization. When I first heard about Marshal Latham's contest, I immediately went to work on a story.
The idea for "A Dream Within A Dream" began after visiting Glensheen, a mansion in Duluth, Minnesota, where a murder took place many years ago. To this day, it's an unsolved murder, but there is compelling evidence that a family member was involved. The mansion now hosts tours, but the murder is barely mentioned. The place is more celebrated for its architecture and landscape, and the preservation of many original pieces of furniture and artwork from the early 1900's.
Interestingly enough, the library at Glensheen houses the entire original works of Edgar Allan Poe.
As I browsed the titles of Poe's works, I was drawn to his poem, "A Dream Within A Dream." It's a beautiful and sad poem that speaks to life as possibly nothing more than a dream. Taking that theme and combining it with the Glensheen mansion as a backdrop, I created my story.
Once completed, I wondered if it was too dark. In Poe terms, it's a macabre tale. Themes of regret, insanity, abuse, self-mutilation, and murder fit well into a Poe-themed story, but I worked hard at making each of those themes a lingering background rather than the forefront. The immediately obvious themes are more palatable: sibling rivalry, curiosity, and sisterly affection.
As for the ending, my hope is that there isn't any question as to what the story was about. I won't give it away here, but I'd love feedback if anyone wants to share their thoughts.
PODCAST LISTENING FOR THE TECHNICALLY CHALLENGED
The simple way to listen is to click HERE, scroll down slightly to where you see a Play button arrow below the episode art. Click the Play button. The story will commence. You can also download the episode to your computer (link provided on the website) and upload it to whatever device you would like.
LISTEN IN ITUNES
Search "Journey Into... podcast" in iTunes. Select the one with Marshal Latham's name. Then you will see the image below where you can listen to my story by clicking the "Free" button next to it, or you can click the "Subscribe" button (it's free) to get all the episodes you like including each new one.
LISTEN TO "A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM" ON THE GO
I prefer listening to fiction podcasts on my iPod while running or driving. It's a fun distraction. Here's a picture-guided tour of how you can, too. I know iPhone has this app, and iPad does too.
As you can see, I listen to many podcasts. In order to listen to my story, "A Dream Within A Dream," I would open the Journey Into... podcast (bottom left, picture may change with episode updates).
And here it is! Open my story and listen. Take it with you wherever you'd like to go.
It's that easy! Enjoy.