Seeing Into The Future …

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The main floor of Kingfisher — the steps to the basement are behind the red velvet rope …

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!

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Available on Amazon and Smashwords

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.

~ Don

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 7 – Don Scoby Bake Your Own Darn Good Cookies – first anniversary

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 6 – Maribeth Crandell, Hiking Close to Home

Listen to songbirds, turkeys, a few cars, and a babbling stream as the background to our interview with Maribeth Crandell, author of Hiking Close to Home, a hiking guide for dozens of trails on Whidbey Island. Our setting was the Outdoor Classroom in the Maxwelton Valley, a facility provided by the Whidbey Watershed Stewards, as well as one of the trails mentioned in her book.

Maribeth’s hiking and writing history includes Flip Flop, her story of traveling the Appalachian Trail. Such epic hikes are engaging, but she also recognized the benefit of hiking closer to home, especially when the mountains are inhospitable. She noticed the simple fact that no one had written a book that covered dozens of trails on Whidbey Island, including the ones that accommodate (or at least attempt to accommodate) wheelchairs and such. Over 120 pages and six months later, she and Jack Hartt completed the book, ordered up a few hundred copies, began the rounds of presentations and signings, and now have to order more books.

As with most authors, she also has a day job, working for Island Transit, a free bus service that deserves a book, too. Rather than separate the hiking and the day job, she’s found ways to incorporate the two, including bus-related hikes, and conducting bus tours to various trails. Her experience is a good one for writers and authors to witness how book projects can be inspired, and can inspire other projects. Just don’t be surprised if we’re distracted by sounds from the woods, or digressions about whales and squirrels. Bring your binoculars – to the hikes, not the podcast.

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 6 – Maribeth Crandell, Hiking Close to Home

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 5 – Allan Ament, Learning to Float

Ament, like in Dam(n) It. Allan Ament (attorney, writer, and person instrumental in the official – though no longer existing – writers association and language arts institute) was kind enough to spend some time talking about writing his book, Learning to Float – Memoir of a Caregiver-Husband. Another key talent, a sense of humor.

As Allan mentions, life is a writing prompt. Even if you don’t intend to write a book, life can put a person through an experience that others ask to hear or read. His story is based on caring for his wife, Deloris Ament, who is also a writer and editor with her own book, Iridescent Light – The Emergence of Northwest Art. Caregiver is a job frequently engaged by necessity as much as choice, which is where Allan found himself. Requests from friends about medical progress turned into an email list, which turned into a blog, which turned into a book. The path to publication does not always follow a plan.

He gives credit to the various writing groups on the island (a place that is “amazingly supportive of creativity.”), and notes their differences in style; the role of the various types of editors, something he’s familiar with because Deloris is one of the best; and how attempts at perfection can intrude on creativity. As he advised one of his perfectionist students, “Get a life.” Considering the topic of his book, and the life he’s led, that’s far more pragmatic than academic.

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 5 – Allan Ament, Learning to Float

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 4 – Susan Jensen, Cold Snap

Say hello to Susan Jensen, author of three books (Cold Snap, Island Solstice, My Dad Smells Funny), artist, AirBnB Superhost, and the star of the viral #DankSusan meme. We met in her home, the site of her AirBnB studio apartment (The Oar House, and yes, she knows what that can sound like because she has a sense of humor.)

Hear about her debates with editors and agents about issue books, including a quick vocabulary expanding opportunity with the phrase “roman à clef.” Her experiences with writers groups becomes a quick survey of which ones work and which ones don’t work, at least for her. To join, or not to join – the choice is always personal. Especially for the topics her books cover, it’s important to find writers who can critique with compassion.

With decades of experience marketing the works of others, and a teacher’s perspective for developing talent, she provides insight and support to writers – and also self-critiques her marketing. Whether about writing or not, she’s engaging in a broad range of conversations. Now, about those pet portraits

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 4 – Susan Jensen, Cold Snap

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 2 – Self-Publishing and E-books

Now that the introductions are done (see episode 1), time to get into some details. Co-host Don Scoby recently self-published his inaugural cookbook, “Make Your Own Darn Good Cookies”. That’s a story and worth a celebration as authors know; but his experience was particularly educational because it happened as CreateSpace and Kindle became one. Yet again, the self-publishing industry changes.

Thanks to Don’s experience as a musician and an entrepreneurial baker he understands the practical aspects of production, presentation, sales, and basically running a business based on a creative product. The transition from writer to author is also the transition from introvert to extrovert, which he describes and balances well. Within the publishing world, he also describes why and how not to rely solely on Amazon, and the value of making personal contacts. “You’re an artist” also becomes “You’re a small business.” (And remember to keep that day job.)

Amidst the rest, we also talked about coffee rings, jets again, writers groups gathering around intersections, and if you closely you’ll hear sea gulls making dinner by dropping clams onto rocks. It’s Whidbey!

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 2 – Self-Publishing and E-books

WOWI episode 1 – Hello and Welcome!

Clack two rocks together. We didn’t have one of those boards they use for movies, but so it begins, and began. Welcome and hello to the first podcast episode of WritingOnWhidbeyIsland (WOWI), a show put together by Don Scoby and Tom Trimbath (me). 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, and group that includes hundreds of writers, editors, producers, publishers, librarians, and bookstore owners. The how is keeping it simple. Thanks to Don’s equipment and skills we intend to record from a variety of locations up and down the island including the background ambiance (which in this case includes seagulls and F-18s.) Each episode will focus on one writer or aspect of writing, and don’t be surprised if the creative process leads somewhere else. The first two episodes are the two of us, so you know who’s doing the talking. Why is easy; we like the community and the island and think it all deserves yet another avenue and venue for continuing and advancing the conversation. Where is wherever we can, which for this episode was sitting on the low-tide rocky beach of Penn Cove and Coupeville. What inspired us was much of the above, but also some talks, classes, and presentations we’re conducted about modern self-publishing: print-on-demand and ebooks. (Click on the link to the captured livestream of one of the events – Self-Publishing from Inspiration to Publication.)

If you want to learn more about us, check out this blog’s About page.

Listen in if you want to hear more about writing, the process, the failures that aren’t failures, the balancing of extrovert and introvert, and some of our background stories. Besides, listening in leads to hearing about robot unicorns, I-beams on kayaks, and an ambiance punctuated by a low-flying F-18.

(WOWI) episode 1 – Hello and Welcome!

 

Don on pipes. Tom listening and waiting to begin the presentation.

October 2019 Podcast Topics

Want to know a secret? … PODCAST

Okay, we’ve been keeping this kind of quiet, but here it is … PODCAST

Tom Trimbath and I have started a PODCAST!

It’s TRUE — Tom and I have started a PODCAST.  Take 1-part portable recording gear and add 2 guys energetic about writing,  and mix with a look at all-things-writing as it pertains to Whidbey … and you get “Writing On Whidbey Island“* — or WOWI!
(*Present web location, subject to change)

Our show is new — presently we have about half-a-dozen recordings, each around 40 minutes long.  Three of these have been interviews with Whidbey Island authors.  Our show is not a hard Q&A, it’s a conversation about the topic we pick — a guest talking about their book, a bookstore owner discussing their approach to the book business, online marketing, you name it!  This month Tom and I have 2 recordings tentatively scheduled — here’s what’s coming up! PODCAST

October 12th — Maribeth Crandell’s Latest Book

Maribeth CrandellThe 14Sep2019 copy of the Whidbey News-Times presented an article on Maribeth Crandell and her second book “Hiking Close to Home“.  In her latest book, Maribeth presents all the hikes here on Whidbey Island.  Her approach has included not only features of the hikes, which ones are wheelchair accessible, and also which ones you get reach using the local bus service — which is free by the way!  That Saturday she was presenting her book at the Coupeville library — she and her book sounded interesting so I attended!  Maribeth was passionate about her topic and full of character — and at the end of the presentation I invited her on WOWI.  She will be holding another release party a few weeks following in Anacortes — if you’re local, don’t miss it! PODCAST

October 28th — 1st Year Publishing Lessons Learned

Make Your Own Darn Good CookiesOur guest for our October 28th recording will be ….. ME!  A week ago Tom pointed out that my first book “Make Your Own Darn Good Cookies” was published one year ago on Amazon. Since then I’ve presented my book, published the Amazon and Smashwords e-book versions, started my next book projects, and learned more than a few things I didn’t know before.  Tom suggested that we discuss the experiences, lessons, and tips of a writer (me) the first year into being a self-published author.  *Stammer*Stammer* … uh … now that I think about it, YEAH, there are things that I can share.  I’m looking forward to talking with Tom about it and sharing with our listeners! PODCAST

Now, a few more things about WOWI

Tom and I live on opposite ends of Whidbey Island.  For our WOWI podcast this is a blessing and a curse.  The ‘curse‘ is that it is inconvenient to get together, so our recordings don’t take place on a regular schedule. The ‘blessing‘ is that we have to coordinate our schedules when we are going to be at the same end of the island.  This helps us to meet with myriad authors, writers groups, bookstore owners, ETC here on Whidbey Island.  We’ve worked this into the character of the show — recording in different places, featuring some of the audioscape of our beloved island in the background.  So far we have recorded outdoors, and the weather is beginning to turn on us.  We will soon be looking for indoor locations that will host us.  If you are a business this may work to your favour because we always say where we are recording from — for the use of a warm room, a little bit of electricity, and perhaps a few other comforts, we will GLADLY plug your Whidbey Island business! PODCAST