Wait — WHAT — WOWI is 3 years old?!? Yeah — that’s right — 3 years ago Tom and I sat down and recorded our first Writing On Whidbey Island episode! I remember it fondly … a beach in Coupeville … with waves, and seagulls, and jets. This past Wednesday, Tom and I sat down — this time at a picnic table (we’re moving up!) — meeting for our 3 year anniversary show … with seagulls and near the water of Oak Harbor … with the potential for overhead jets … so, actually, not much has changed.
Oak Harbor’s newly remodeled Windjammer Park served as our backdrop. Our audience was a flock seagulls, while our special effects were ash and smoke that smelled like charming pipe-tobacco emanating from the southern Washington forest fire.
Tom and I discussed how the show has grown over 3 years, where it’s going, what we each have been up to in writing lately (*See Links Below*), and our upcoming From Inspiration To Publication workshop . This 1-day workshop will be co-presented in Coupeville WA October 15th 2022 by Tom and myself — See You There!
Tom has two new books recently published! Check out …
Tom and I recently decided to wrap up 2021 the same way we started WOWI — meeting together and talking about what’s up in writing as we know it! This may be our longest recording session yet — jam-packed with reflection and looking forward into 2022 and beyond.
Among other things, in this session we find out that Tom is working on a sci-fi novel with potential for being a series with sequels and spin-offs. He’s also bringing his book on tea to fruition — sure to be filled with local flavour!
As for me … I have 3 new recipe books nearly complete, publishing sometime in (Fall?) 2022. Just as soon as those are done, I already have 3 half-complete projects to move up from the back burner. Depending on how those go … I might publish 4 new titles in 2022. I’m also taking steps to become a professional audiobook narrator.
Enjoy! ~ Don
Honorable Mentions & Handy Weblinks From This Episode of WOWI
On a typical marvelous day in Coupeville, Don and I found an opportunity to set these podcasts back on their original track. At the start, we crafted these episodes based on our resources, i.e. two guys, a microphone, an interest in highlighting the writing community of Whidbey Island, and a willingness to adapt and learn. Writers are creative people. We did what we could with what we had. The pandemic changed things (understatement.) And now, thanks to responsible folks wearing masks and getting vaccinated, enough progress has been made that we could return to something like our original concept. Uh. How did we do this a little more than a year ago? We begin again.
We started with live, largely uncut interviews and discussions with various members of the expansive yet unofficial Whidbey Island writing community. Guests included writers, of course, but also editors, publishers, poets, librarians, book sellers, book collectors, etc. Our community is varied. Whidbey Island is varied, too. So, we recorded at a variety of locations. The background became part of the show. Listen for ambience that includes jets, turkeys, dogs, businesses, pedestrians, etc. The island provides a long list to include.
Then, the pandemic hit. Zoom this. Google Meet that. Everyone was remote. Everyone was required to have a bit of technological skill. And of course that thing we all needed, a sense of humor, somehow.
Now, we’re back – or at least we hope we are – sort of. For the first time in over a year, Don and I recorded a live, masked-face-to-masked-face episode. The bonus was a setting that included the sounds of eagles, people, and maybe a ferry. Our personal bonus was a view of the Sound, Port Townsend, the Olympics, and the usual extraordinary panoramas from near the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. Why not include someone as a guest? Well, partly, we had to see if we remembered all of the gadgets and setup considerations. (Good thing Don remembered the extra batteries.)
It was good to reconnect and remember those other bits of communication that are harder to convey online. Body language, hand signals, stifled laughs – as well as a reminder to not bump the microphone.
And there was a lot to talk about. Those months weren’t wasted. Turning binge watching into a way to research writers’s styles. A surplus of uninterrupted time to write. Dealing with a support network, or at least fellow writers, that are necessarily more remote. Marketing campaigns that can’t rely on readings, signings, panels, or talks.
Listen for our personal adaptations and approaches, as well as progress in our individual projects – including opening hints about a possible group project for sci-fi writers.
If you have a story to tell about your recently released book, how you managed your marketing campaign, how your business survived, how your organization adapted, whatever, send us a note about possibly being one of our guests. (If we get too many we might have to put all the names in a basket and see what luck provides.)
I didn’t expect to finish our first year of the Writing on Whidbey Island podcast by being interviewed for another site in the UK. (Tom and Don interviewed by Pen To Print) Evidently, we’re doing something right, or at least notable. The tough challenge was finding a succinct way to summarize what we’ve done so far. Don did a good job of answering that call. I was glad to mostly sit by and watch. One bit of good news, our intent that we described in one of our first posts remains. Check back for a comparison. (WOWI episode 1 – Hello and Welcome!)
“Origin stories are in style, and this first episode recorded Don and I as we talked about who, how, why, where, and what inspired us to begin this series. The who is easy: the rest of the writing community of Whidbey Island,… The how is keeping it simple… Why is easy; we like the community and the island… Where is wherever we can,…“
As with any first drafts, we do things a bit differently now; though many may not notice the changes. The bigger change was the one we’re all experiencing. That “Where is wherever we can…” changed from three people around one microphone in one location, to one computer per person with all the varying background sounds and technical issues that includes. Again, thanks to Don for managing that part.
The podcast is about the writing community on Whidbey Island, which is more than writers and authors. Writers have a support group on the island that includes librarians, teachers, book sellers, book collectors, editors, workshop organizers – some of whom we’ve interviewed. We also hope to include publishers, illustrators, publicists, whoever else is considered to be part of the party.
Even within the bounds of ‘writers and authors’, we’ve listened to people talk about memoir, fantasy, poetry, reference guides, nature – and of course cookbooks and music (Don), and travel, personal finance, and photography (Tom).
And we’ve only just begun. We’ve yet to find a complete count of how many writers on the island have books for sale. One measure is that, as a community, we’ve overwhelmed the local libraries and bookstores. They have a tough time keeping up with what has been produced.
A common comment that arose unprompted has been that almost everyone relies on someone else somewhere along their project’s path. A writer working on their book can also be the editor for someone else’s book. Marketing benefits from shared experiences. Cross-marketing, particularly through social media, amplifies our voices. Inspiration is accelerated.
One story in particular is the reminder that success doesn’t require decades of effort, advanced study, or dozens of drafts. Our most popular podcast so far has been Invisible Pollution, written, illustrated, and compiled by students from John Del Prete’s 4th Grade Class at Crescent Harbor Elementary School. This was a serious production associated with NOAA. Writers are not required to wear grey hair.
The podcast continues. Covid is editing our style, for a while. As we said in this, our anniversary episode, maybe next year we can meet again, first in our original formula of three people in one place, and eventually in more public places, again. Any brewpubs, libraries, wineries, or bookstores interested?
This past Monday I rigged-up my gear and met Tom in a video chat — our intention being to record a 1-off WOWI episode — both to see how using this medium might work and to discuss how how being in quarantine affects writers. Frankly, going into this … I didn’t expect much — and yet, what came out of it was an intriguing show running over an hour long!
“How do the adjustments we are making and disruptions we are dealing with make for opportunities, affect work and art later on, what is yet to come for the world of the day-job worker?”
On Wednesday I e-met with Tom again with two purposes in mind. One was to test an improved set-up with my gear — which produced technological success. The other was to further discuss continuing the show from QuarantineVille. Our aim at this point is to try and host 1 to 2 guests each month over video chat — and we each have a few authors in mind to ask.
If you are Whidbey Island writer/author, editor, bookstore owner, graphic artist or illustrator, marketing guru — or whatever as long as your work is part of the publishing industry — and you think you’d be a fit for a WOWI episode … PLEASE CONTACT US!
It seems like it was only yesterday that I posted WOWI vs COVID-19. In it I wrote that Tom and I were pausing to figure out how-maybe to record another episode in the days of physical and social distancing …. and then today we recorded Episode 13!
How did we do it?
Easy! … We agreed on a time and started a Google Hangout session while I ran my Zoom H2n in my office. Yes, this was our first virtual WOWI session!
We each relaxed, sitting in the comfort of our own homes, talking one-on-one about writing right now from QuarantineVille. Many of us are home and have the opportunity to work on our books — and for some of us (introverts), this is pretty normal. How do the adjustments we are making and disruptions we are dealing with make for opportunities, affect work and art later on, what is yet to come for the world of the day-job worker? All I can say is to listen to this episode, hopefully it will be as thought provoking and topical for you as it was for us.
After the session Tom and I threw some ideas around online — what these amount to…
We are going to look into how we might hold a ‘From Inspiration To Publication‘ how to self-publishing workshop — we’ve been wanting to present another, it looks like we might do this online & soon! This may be a single episode or a short series. We’ll update you online as this develops.
We should be recording our next session … soon after we hear back from our next guest.
All and all, I think today’s session worked out well — the method could use a little refinement, which will come over time, however this online-meet could lead to more episodes…
This past Monday afternoon Tom and I previewed the future expanded floor space at Kingerfisher Bookstore. Proprietor and all-around-awesome-lady, Meg, gave us permission to record our first indoor-off-season at-a-business podcast in the basement of her historic building in Coupeville, WA.
The upcoming additional space is going to double the display space for Meg and Kingfisher — and as a fellow book-lover I couldn’t be more EXCITED! Meg also has vision of using this space for author readings. There is a giant door that opens to the cove on the back wall of the basement, and Meg has even imagined these readings to include audience members listening in on the bows of their boats.
So why were Tom and I spending time in the basement? To record the latest podcast, of course!
This past Monday Tom and I returned to our roots — just as with our first two WOWI episodes it was a discussion between Tom and myself. Our focus was around my experiences now being one year into being a self-published author. I’ve learned much — largely based on Tom’s knowledgeable coaching — and this is a topic that could easily supply a number of episodes …. which might explain why this turned out to be our longest recording to date (oops). Maybe it wouldn’t have been as long had I been operating on a full night’s sleep and didn’t keep repeating myself …
Looking further into the future … it appears that Tom and I will be interviewing author and blogger Dan Pedersen. With a new book soon to be released, talking with Dan promises to be interesting indeed! Location TBA, recording on November 20th.