Don And Tom Reconnect 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.)

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 23 – Don and Tom Reconnect


The Show Must Go ON!

200314_quarantineCONTRARY to my recent WOWI blog post saying that Tom and I may need to put a hold on the show, we’re devising an idea how we could go forward during the Cornonavirus quarantine!

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?”

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The “Yellow Jack” or “Lima” signal flag is flown on ships in harbor to indicate that a vessel is under quarantine.

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!

We’ll talk with you soon! ~ Don

Did You Wash Your Hands EDIT

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