Friends, Klingons, Romulans… listen up.

Today, let’s talk audiobooks and podcasts. For your listening pleasure, what is your pleasure?

Do you remember storytime back in kindergarten? The kids would gather on the rug and the teacher would hold up a book. They’d play a cassette tape—I am an 80s kid, yes—that had someone narrating the same story and there’d be a little beep to prompt the teacher to turn the page. I suppose that was my first experience with audiobooks.

Some time in the year of our Lord 2020, I ventured out of my domicile to enjoy as much fresh air as I could despite the mask upon my face, the distance that appeared anti-social, and the yearning for human interaction.

Also, taking those walks, usually later in the evening to avoid said human interaction I craved, helped clear my head from writing tasks and the monotony of quarantine life.

I appreciated the chill in the air as the -ber months wore on and even braved the elements through to the new year. I definitely got more steps in because I had something to listen to while trekking about. When it’s nothing but the sounds of nature and the distant street noise, and all you’re left with are the muffled sounds of your breath hitting your face mask, the walk becomes a more blatant effort of exercise rather than taking on a sense of adventure and exploration, in whatever way possible during a pandemic.

To keep me company on these strolls, I began listening to audiobooks and podcasts using bone conduction headphones. Personal preference, but I’m not a fan of being unable to hear my surroundings while already dealing with the distraction of focusing on the sounds making their way into my cranium.

That said, I can’t fully appreciate what I listen to while I’m out so my sounds of choice, when not music are nonfiction audiobooks and podcasts. Why? I can hear them without always actively listening. Similar to leaving a show on in the background while doing chores, it ends up being comforting background noise. Cleaning up around the house becomes more bearable.

I’ve tried audiobooks that had full casts of voice actors, (or one very creative and emotive voice actor), complete with sound effects and musical score. I think I need to revisit those or perhaps find the right one to click with because I often end up falling asleep to them. It’s not that the subject bores me, but I find I can’t concentrate on the story. I guess it’s also why I can’t get through a mindfulness meditation without falling asleep—and that’s after I’ve repeatedly distracted myself by losing sight of what I’m supposed to be minding. Go figure.

Interview-style podcasts, stand-up comedy, anything instructional or observational, rather than narrative are okay with me. It’s like someone’s chatting with me and I can go on my merry way. However, something more immersive like a full-blown story, effects, and all, requires more of my attention, provided I’m not too relaxed (i.e. in a comfy chair or lying down) and am less likely to fall asleep.

What do you like to listen to? Any subject? Favorite genres? Finding something good to listen to can help pass the time when times are especially in need of passing. And the infotainment factor is a pleasant bonus, too.

Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.

Until next time,

T out.

FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/09/06



( via silverbulletx )

Happy September, everyone. Today we officially kick off the FRIDAY FORAGE Series with five of my go-to writing sites for a plethora of information and inspiration. These are five of many but these sites and the people who run them are simply aces!


1) Helping Writers Become Authors

I’m a huge fan of K.M. Weiland. Both her writing reference books and fiction are great reads. Her site has an excellent collection of articles and podcasts on the craft and business of writing. She’s active in social media, as well. I’ve enjoyed and participated in her Writing Question of the Day threads on Twitter. #WQOTD gets the community talking about things like POV, voice, protagonists strengths and weaknesses. It’s a nice way to see what other writers are up to in 140 characters or less.

Her latest reference book Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story is an excellent follow-up and complementary offering to Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to SuccessI was fortunate enough to receive an ARC for the book and a review is forthcoming–my first book review for FRIDAY FORAGE. I’m just slightly under the weather at the moment dealing with a new allergy-shot regimen that leaves my eyes looking flirtatious to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or more accurately, what’s left of the losing contender in an MMA match.

K.M. Weiland is a great teacher and listener. I love authors that forge relationships with their readers. It’s something I hope to do someday soon. Excellent site and info.

2) Jordan McCollum

Jordan McCollum is another author that gives back to the writing community and she does it in a big way. She has several blog series covering different aspects of writing and also gives away free writing guides. Now, we all love free goodies, right? But this is so much better because it’s chock full of useful nuggets of writing wisdom that we can put into practice straight away. Doesn’t that just scream Double Rainbow?

She’s also great on Twitter and connecting with other writers. She shares more than just her writing life (and her recently published first novel, I, Spy. Congrats again!). It’s nice to know that writers are people, too. <<Gasp!>> I find it inspiring when I learn what other writers struggle with and celebrate on a daily basis.

3) Moody Writing

What have I called info that’s entertaining? Yes. Infotainment. When you head over to Moody Writing, you’ll understand why it was a winner for 2012 Top Ten Blogs for Writers. This site was definitely in good company. In fact, I’ve visited all of those sites at one point or another.

I know I’m not the only person who will look up a topic such as, say, character motivation, and look up at least five different sources on the topic. That is, different opinions, approaches, perspectives on the staples of storytelling. Hands-down, Moody Writing is always on that list.

4) The Other Side of the Story

Janice Hardy provides the world with a comprehensive treasure trove of writing tips and articles that run the gamut of the writing process, from conception to publication. Everything is organized for easy reference. There’s an endless supply of info, you’ll be clicking for days.

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of information. It might seem daunting at first, but once you get your bearings, it’s like having a complete writer’s manual at your clickable fingertips.

5) Savvy Authors

It’s no secret that Savvy is my virtual home away from home. I’ve shared my love for this writing community since I first began this blog back at the end of March. Workshops? Check. Articles? Check. Blog posts? Check. Forums? Check. The support and camaraderie at Savvy Authors makes it a mainstay in my writing life. I can’t say enough good things about them.

I don’t think there’s been a week that I haven’t had an ongoing workshop since I dove in back in late November last year. I’m going to wear out an old saying but seriously, my writing? Leaps and bounds. Leaps and countless bounds of improvement. One thing I can say is the writing journey never ends and you’re constantly learning. There are great people here that will help nurture your craft and help you grow as a writer.


There you have it. Just five of my favorite writing finds. It’s a nice way to start off what I hope to be a great blog series.

If you haven’t already, I hope you take a look at each site and maybe stay awhile. Then put all that awesome knowledge back into your WIPs. You’re writing will thank you for it.


(  via __marion__ )