Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stumbling on podcasts

I've been thinking about podcasts on and off, in a kicking it around kind of way. Nothing firm. I think I got obsessed with the idea because of the Ask a Ninja series. If you haven't seen it, this is my favorite. Ninja love.

(I've been singing the Ninja-song at work. I am "so" behind the times.)

I want to do Ask a Novelist, because every time I go to a writing event people ask me, "why are you here?" Which is okay, because it's the standard ice-breaker. I used to say, "I'm a writer." And people would break out in gales of laughter like I'd either a) shared an in-joke or b) was too stupid to live. Then they'd take another look, see I was serious and decide I was TSTL.

"You're a novelist," they'd shriek.

Seriously? I'd never heard it used in everyday speech. I thought about it and realized a lot of mainstream writers do use the term. You're a novelist? You write in a writing studio with a view of the ocean, and struggle with metaphors and theme? Obviously people have enormous respect for your Pulitzer Prize aspirations.

On the other hand, people in the romance field struggle to be taken seriously. Studio? I know people who write in a walk-in closet between the laundry basket and empty hangers. It's hard enough to say, "I'm a writer" without getting all pretentious and throwing out, "I'm a novelist."

I write. I stare at my wall. To me, that's the definition of a writer. What I write is simply a matter of when you catch me.

So in honor of my neatly knotted scarf, leather patches on the elbows of my hand-me down tweed jacket, and the Water Music playing in the background. "Ask a Novelist" is open for business. Not a podcast,yet--but still? Got a question, want an answer? Pretend I'm plunked down in my well-worn, but obviously "heritage" chintz covered wing chair. Then sing the Ask a Novelist song, and drop me a line--Andi says I do well when prompted.


Unhinged said...

Aw, crap. Nobody's asked a question yet...and I don't have one to ask, either. I'm not a planner (which you might know or remember), I just slap it, dash it, write it and worry about it. I'm real good at that stuff.

But the real truth is that I *haven't* been writing all that much, and I'm heartsick about it. It seems like I can't find a toehold anywhere, and I know there's no magic answer or formula for that. Twenty years ago, I was SURE...SURE...that I would be a published novelist by now. Writing's all I wanted to do, the one thing I thought I was good at doing, the one thing I did better at than anyone else I knew, and here I am: still afraid of God knows what.

My English teacher, the guy who used to wear the butterfly ties, the guy who royally pissed me off when he took me out of my favorite English class and put me into Advanced Lit...he used to tell me, after reading my writing assignments, that I needed to go deeper.

And I never could. I was too afraid. Writing is HARD. It was so much more easy (and fun) when I didn't know frigging crap.

Where can I find the magic beans that will transport me back to the place where writing was ease? When writing was a joy?

Alice Audrey said...

Oh! Water Music. Good idea.... :)