Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blood and Smoke Begins!

Happy Halloween, Listeners!
Underwood and Flinch: Blood and Smoke - Volume 3 of The Underwood and Flinch Chronicles - has now begun!


The first episode, "Prologue", is now live, and you can download it directly from this link: Blood and Smoke Episode One. Tempting though it is, I'm not going to say anything about it - you'll just have to listen and hear for yourself :-)

The podcast will be a monthly event, and like the original U&F podcast, episodes will be 30 minutes to an hour long.

It'll be in my usual iTunes feed, so if your subscription to that has dried up, you can refresh it here: Underwood@iTunes

And if you're an Android user, you can get it using the U&F Android App

So, what are you waiting for? Download it right now, and give your Halloween night a touch of Underwood and Flinch! Huzzah!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! The second U&F podcast will begin today, Halloween 2013. Preferably after dark. Details here as soon as it goes live.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

By the Sea - A Lexical Chunk Holiday.

Today I'll be working on the final version of U&F Blood and Smoke, Ep 1. But first, a little something I put together last week for my English students ...



... On quickly re-viewing my other recent posts, I notice I forgot to post the third video I made with John, again, another mini-English lesson. The 3rd one is called, "It's Time ... " Here it is ...



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

App Made

I made an app for this blog for use with Netvibes and various other things. Here's a link

Can't write much now as I'm in the middle of doing something else. Will update later.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Little English Lessons

As you may know, when I'm not writing or podcasting (so, most of the time, then) I'm teaching English. And over the past couple of days I've had an odd notion to make a few videos to help my students learn a phrase or two of English. Watch them, and maybe they'll help you to remember one - or both - of these everyday English phrases ;-)



Totally Awesome! from Mike Bennett on Vimeo.

You Drive Me Crazy from Mike Bennett on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Into the closet

Yes, listeners, some people come out of the closet, but thanks to traffic noise penetrating our 1970s windows, I've been forced into one. As you know from previous posts, we bought a flat and moved in August. I've done some recording since then, but it was marred by the sound of cars from the main road outside. Our windows are single paned aluminium framed horrors from the days when the homes they were attached to had brown wallpaper and portraits of Miss Wong to add a splash of colour. So, I tried recording in the kitchen, but the fridge noise drove me out again. I tried the bedroom; to much echo. I tried the lounge; traffic noise again. I tried the bathroom; echo. I tried the hall; echo! This wasn't good. I had to find a recording space to record the new U&F podcast, and I had to find it fast! Then I saw the hall closet. It looked big enough for a medium sized chap like me. So I pulled everything out and tried it out. I liked it. I then lined it with cardboard boxes from the house-move, and lo and behold - a recording suite ... sort of.

It's not Abbey Road, but it'll do for now
 
I tried a number of recording positions, and the one that seems to give the best sound is when I'm sitting in the closet with the microphone positioned just outside facing in. For some reason, the sound with me and the mic inside the closet resulted in too much sibilance. I don't know why. Damn it Jim, I'm a writer not a sound technician. Anyway, the main thing is I have a space to record Blood and Smoke Episode One in.

At the end of the month we have some window replacement guys coming to take out the old windows and replace them with a fine set of double glazed beauties that will hopefully block the street noise and permit to come bounding out of the closet in time to record Episode Two. Unless of course, I like it in there. But what are the chances of that happening? Grown man retreats from normal life into closet ... Hmmmm, is there a story there?

Parsecs Arrive!

No news from me for a while because I've been doing stuff that would be of no interest to anyone ... other than me. I've been doing up my new flat - buying paint and shelving, putting up shelves, hammering in nails, painting walls, etc. I've also been doing a lot of English teaching; the summer season is always the busiest, so it's a great time for me to earn some money to get me through the lean seasons, like winter, when work dries up and I often get laid off. It sucks, but that's 'zero hours contracts' for you. But anyway, I do have a bit of news to share with you. As you can see from the picture below, the Parsec Awards I won this year for Underwood and Flinch and The Shadow Over Innsmouth arrived by post.



I'm thrilled, as you can imagine, and yes, it does inspire me to lay aside my emulsion-dripping paint brush and to try and push my students' English language needs from my head and to get on with my next writing project. I'll be doing some more of that this weekend, hopefully finishing off the text of Episode One of Blood and Smoke and then getting down to work recording it. I'll be in touch about that here and on my other sites, rest assured. But until then, take a look at these lovely awards and rest assured that the Moon is rising over Underwood and Flinch again :-)