“I want to do a new podcast.”
We blinked. I swear, Clark and I just blinked. Sometimes, I think we should have run. But we would have missed so much fun.
Creating boxes to put microphones in to reduce feedback and echoes? Check!
Not using them after all? Check, check!
Having a cat serenade us on the piano in the middle of a recording session? Check, check, check!
We brainstormed all kinds of things:
Names… everything from “Writers Gone Wild” (just kidding. I don’t think anyone even thought of that) to our final name, “Alive & Writing.”
Why that name? Well, because sometimes, with the press of everything around us, all we can be sure of is that we are alive, and we are writing. Whether it’s worth reading, or if we’ll be alive in twenty more minutes—those are up for grabs.
Episode ideas. We already have enough for several chapters. Things like time management, brainstorming, self-care, NaNoWriMo, and just how much Coke it requires to get these things done. Well, sort of. Okay, that last one—that’s just me.
I’d like to introduce you to the new podcast cast. First up…
April Hayman—that “I want to do a new podcast” gal.
Me: So, April, how are you today?
Me: Okay, this isn’t going to work. Let’s try this. What made you want to do a podcast and why did you rope us into it?
April: First, you are the only two people I could use. But no really, everything I do, I do for readers, but I also like talking about craft. It makes me a better writer, but there’s no place for me to do that on my blog. So, I thought I’d do a podcast because I thought, “Oh, that’d be so much easier than writing everything.”
Pause for uproarious laughter.
Me: Go on… *snicker snort*
April: Since we already do stuff together, I thought it would be a fun group project.
Me: “We should do this,” she said. “It’ll be fun,” she said. Anyway, so what do you think you underestimated most about the process?
April: Not the recording itself. I underestimated the power of our microphones. They pick up EVERYTHING. Everything. But the amount of time it takes to EDIT. It wouldn’t be so bad if I did it for a living, but just learning that part—so time-consuming.
Me: And by the time you get fast at it, we’ll be outsourcing it. So what is easier than you thought?
April: The actual discussion while recording. I mean, it’s not scripted, so I thought we’d really have trouble, but it’s actually the reverse. Sometimes I have to stop us.
Me: Yeah, that’s true. Not that I’m guilty of rambling on or anything. * clears throat * What do you hope this will offer to other writers? Other than the fact that they’re not alone.
April: I think there’s this understanding that artists (writers) are these tortured individuals who hole up somewhere and “bleed onto the page.” I think we also get that idea of ourselves, and if we continue with that image, we’ll burn out. I think this gives permission to creatives to be human. To reach out to others. Now if the podcast can actually accomplish that is up in the air at this point.
Me: So… what is your favorite episode?
April: The one with Sharpie (her cat) prancing on the piano keys and my husband making himself a cup of coffee.
Me: Oh, yeah! The coffee! I was cracking up so hard because he thought he was being SOOOOOoo quiet, but by trying to be quiet, he was making 10x more noise! It was hysterical!!! Thanks for letting me interview you, but I won’t torture you anymore–not that way. Instead….
I made April interview me–because I’m a jerk like that.
April: Why did you agree to do the podcast?
Chautona: I’m a glutton for punishment. Okay, truthfully, because she said it would be fun. Let’s face it anytime we get together it’s fun. You were right, it was fun no matter how crazy it was. You may regret including me because let’s face it, I’m a bit weird.
April: (For the record, I don’t regret it. Yet.) What was your favorite episode?
Chautona: Brainstorming with Clark–man it was a riot. That was the Weird Weekend one. I can’t describe how much I enjoyed listening to him talk about the different parts of the story.
April: What is your least favorite part of the podcast?
Chautona: Getting up early.
April: (I’d like to point out that 1:30 p.m, is early for her, but not the rest of humanity.) What do you hope that listeners get out of the podcast?
Chautona: Other than they aren’t alone?
April: Beat that dead horse, Chautona!
Chautona: The big thing for me is that writers are people first. If we get too laser focused on being the “writer,” we lose track of who we are, in the bigger scheme of things. We often become so laser focused (especially when you have three Christmas books in one year…what was I thinking?!) that we miss taking care of the rest of us.
April: What do you think our podcast does really well?
Chautona: I think we excel at being natural with each other; were… real. No one will get a lofty idea about being a writer from listening to our podcast. And that’s a good thing. Don’t you think?
Chautona: And that’s April. She has a wonderful economy with words when put on the spot.
Our token male… Affirmative action required it, so… (just kidding). Clark!
Clark: All right. What’s the plan?
Me: So Clark. So, what did you think when you discovered that there was no plan? *clears throat* Keep it G rated.
Clark: *silence… facepalm* “This’ll be fun.”
Me: What’s favorite episode? Wait. I don’t have to ask you that. We all know… *hides the cudgel and the flattened horse* “You are not alone.” So, if that wasn’t your favorite, what would be?
Clark: *sigh* Aside from that, I always enjoy brainstorming—so that session when we brainstormed the mystery plot was a lot of fun. But my favorite? Hmm… *silence* Yeah, it’s “You are not alone”
Me: Shocker. What was the funnest part of the process for you?
Clark: *cough… whispers “most fun”*
Me: Nope. Funnest.
Clark: *echoes… “Most fun”*
Me: And yes, this is what the recording process looks like before April makes it all clean and pretty. She’s the adult of the group.
Clark: You have to be preachy if you want to one day be seen as a prophet—that’s just part of it.
Me: Cool. Not sure what that means, but cool.
Clark: Okay, on a more serious note– when we stopped trying to be scripted (episode 1) and started being ourselves. You know, ridiculous.
Me: And one last thing… what is your favorite spotlight?
Clark: I have to say, my favorite spotlight of all of them is episode 12 on “Comparison,” You’ll have to wait for that one.
So that’s us! Just a “Helpful New Podcast.”
Hop on over to Alive & Writing for a very slightly more serious look at the podcasters and to listen to our first episode.