Modern Writing in QuarantineLife

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!

Recording today was kind of like this …

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…

Keep your eyes and your ears here! ~ Don

…and here it is!

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 13 – Don and Tom Quarantine Interview

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 8 – Dan Pedersen, Final Impulse

Do you know Dan Pedersen from his Saturday morning blog, his extensive library of recently written books, or as the guy who goes for walks with Duncan (his dog who is also the cover model for one of the books)? Dan was nice enough to invite us to his house for his interview. Duncan was there, too. You can hear his toenails clicking around the room at the start – before he wondered off to some favorite spot to sleep until we were done.

Dan is the author of several books, and their arc is a study in the progression of a career from professional journalist, to blogger, to writer-for-hire of a non-fiction nature book, to traditional self-publishing in non-fiction, and now to modern self-publishing a somewhat accidental mystery series based on Whidbey Island. His list of productions is enough to cover a table, and represents several perspectives on how, why, and what to write. He also discusses what not to write, which can counter the conventional wisdom of everything being material.

It isn’t always about the money. Blogging is gratifying. Novel writing is fun and an escape. Yet, the mechanics and economics matter there, too, because time is precious and irreplaceable. He describes how he writes, how he advertises, and how he sells – with a bit of a commentary on dealing with publishers, printers, and whatever Amazon has become. Self-publishing provides control, which also requires working every aspect from cover design, page numbering, and how to store a few thousand copies – or paying nothing and only buying what is immediately needed.

Listen in as a gracious man displays a sense of humor as we tried to capture as much of his insights as we could in less than an hour.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 8 – Dan Pedersen, Final Impulse

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 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