I listen to podcasts during my commute, while exercising, and while walking the dog. One of my favorite writing podcasts of late is Speculate!, the speculative fiction podcast for writers, readers, and fans.*
The podcast’s signature format is a triptych focusing on a particular book: a reader response show, a show that deconstructs the writing techniques, and an author interview. The hosts, Greg Wilson and Brad Beaulieu, are articulate, insightful, and on-point, making each of the three episodes equally compelling. Some of their subjects have included Scott Lynch, Lauren Beukes, Tim Powers, Robin Hobb, and Joe Abercrombie. Pick your favorite author and start there. The Lynch and Beukes segments, in particular, impressed me and had me appreciating The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Shining Girls, respectively, in new ways.
If you enjoy podcasts, go have a listen. In addition to the link fest above, episodes are available for free download over at the iTunes store.
*Eligible for a Hugo in the Best Fancast category.
The song, “You’re the Best,” has been stuck in my head for months. I sing it to my dog (who really is the best), myself (doubtful), my morning granola-and-yogurt (pretty dang good). I haven’t seen The Karate Kid in decades but I do remember, fondly, the All-Valley Karate Championships montage.
I was young in early 80s when the movie came out, but my big brother was in high school and he let me play with his karate weapons when we weren’t busy pumping iron and drinking protein shakes. That, actually, is not an exaggeration. We even thumbtacked a piece of paper to the wall (Nicole, 6 years old / Eric, 17 years old ) upon which we noted daily measurements of our biceps circumference; the data was collected using my mother’s sewing tape measure.
Our first drive up the Angeles Crest Highway, and our first hike on the back side of the San Gabriel Mountains. The trailhead elevation was higher than our usual hikes, and we were deliriously happy to see TREES.
… but the weather is pretty pleasant right now.
The first time we attempted Sturtevant Falls, the parking lot was full. Would-be hikers were leaving their cars perched along the cliff edge on the winding road to the trailhead. We turned around.
Our second attempt was Christmas morning, figuring many hikers would be home with their families. It was a good call. We had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way in, with the crowds picking up come afternoon.
It was a lovely two miles to the waterfall.
1 novel written: Iris. My primary goal was to complete this novel.
4 short stories written. My goal was to write at least one new story.
38 short-story submissions (4 responses pending).
1 short story accepted: Sword & Laser Anthology.
33 short stories critiqued.
3 novels beta-read. Plus I’m reading the first 50 pages of many more for a contest.
42 books read: I blogged about my favorites.
28 blogs written: the most popular was an oldie, Scrivener tip: Text to speech.
30 people found my site by searching for “airplane cloud trail,” which is bizarre as I’ve never blogged about contrails.
2 writerly events attended: Rainforest Writers Village, Worldcon in San Antonio. My goal was to attend a non-local con.