07 June 2007

Listen Up!

I spent a couple hours before bed slacking off. I should have been writing, or doing the dishes, but after four hours Wednesday in various meetings, getting shoved into a supervisory roll (killing my whole responsibility avoidance plan), and spending an hour in the building storm shelter because of a tornado… I just wasn't up to anything requiring much thought. I downloaded podcasts into iTunes so I could have interesting stuff to listen to on my Outreach travels across the Periphery.

I found a lot more podcasts for writers than I knew, combining a Google search for them with browsing iTunes podcasts. I found some new podcasts- or new to me, and promptly subscribed. I already listen to things like Military History podcast, Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac and language lessons – Italian, French Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Finnish. Take your pick. I found a Latin Language lesson that's helping me with pronunciation.

New discoveries include a nifty Irish and Celtic music podcast, and neat stuff like Alan Watts podcast, Philosophy Podcast, and The Secret World Chronicle – a Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey story podcast. My iPod runneth over!

There are more podcasts than any one person can absorb, news, tech, religion, culture, all kinds of commentary. I zeroed in on some writing geared ones, either story mechanics or ones that tell stories.

I've been listening to Escape Pod's SF/F podcast for a while now. Short (20min-1hr) speculative fiction stories read with varying degrees of voice talent, SF news and reviews, reader reactions. Some stories are so fascinating I listen to them again on my return trip. Some of the work read was by Mike Resnick, Jay Lake, Tim Pratt, Isaac Asimov, Sarah Prineas to name a few. They also spun off another podcast for horror called Pseudopod. Too scary for me. :)

Then there is the Dragon Page with SF/F book reviews.

Writing advice from Mike Stackpole.

Writing advice from Fiction Right.

Poets & Writers Magazine podcast with poetry readings and panel discussions.

Poetryfoundation.org which podcasts discussions and criticisms of poetry, including some of their main articles.

Being as I was downloading to my old crappy laptop, and transferring to iPod with a 1.1 USB port, it took a while. Not quite instant gratification, but I'm looking forward to my next Outreach drive and all the cool stuff I have to listen to. The good thing is I can choose to learn something or listen to some good writing and not waste three hours of my life playing road kill bingo. I can turn everything off and just admire the pretty green (for now) countryside and ponder my own writing, but it's good to have options. So time to throw away the cassette tapes and CDs and count me as a big fan of new technology.

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