Nearly four years ago, Tom and I took action on a somewhat thought out semi-crazy idea. We met at a park in Coupeville, WA, and hiked down a winding dirt path to the beach below. We sat down on some rocks, and I fired up my recording unit. What followed — in addition to the sounds of waves, seagulls, and local jets — was our first two Writing On Whidbey Island podcast episodes. (Episodes One & Two)
Our recording sessions have taken us all over our beloved island, and we’ve had the pleasure of spending time with several magnificent people from our local writing community. During this time our show has grown in meaning and listeners — even gaining recognition beyond the greater literary community here on the island.
A little over a week ago, Tom and I met at the Coupeville Library for a special show — moreover, one that was bittersweet for me. For personal reasons, Tom announced his departure from Writing On Whidbey Island — chiefly, it’s because he’s a busy guy!
It was great to spend time with Tom, discussing our earlier episodes, what the show has developed into and contributed to the community, and getting to talk about the future of Writing On Whidbey Island. I couldn’t have started this podcast without Tom, and as a founding member of WOWI he has set the show on its unique path. With any luck, Tom will rejoin the show as a future guest with one of his next book releases.
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!
I called this post “Seeing Into The Past” because it’s an addendum to my previous post, “Seeing Into The Future …“. Something I meant to include in that last post is what happened on the way to the session.
Often enough, parking can be a pest in Coupeville. The historic area — where Tom and I were — is not all that large, so the trick for many of us is to use the library parking lot. I hopped out of my truck and started walking across the parking lot. Under my arm I had some DVDs to drop off at the library, one of my mic stands, and a lunch-box sized utility case I use for my portable recording gear.
Not but a moment later a fellow called across the parking lot to me. “Did-ya catch anything?” I quickly cycled through the list of things I might have caught but couldn’t come up with anything. I gave back a confused “… What?”, hoping to find out his intention. “Did-ya catch any FISH?” Then my mind went to “… When and where would I have caught any fish?!?” — quickly followed by “When was the last time I went fishing???” And then it occurred to me what was going on. I held up my tripod boom-mic horizontally and clarified to the man, “Microphone stand.”
Now that all was right in the world, I moved on to the library doors where I ran into Tom. Later that day he was scheduled to present one of his various engaging topics, speaking on how Whidbey Island is changing from a financial perspective — he had just loaded in.
We said our hellos and started walking toward Meg’s Kingerfisher Bookstore to record the podcast. Along the way I began telling him about the fishing-pole / mic-stand confusion that had just taken place in the parking long. We shared a chuckle around this and then I told Tom some of my mic-stand-confusion history.
I commonly say that I half-grew-up on Whidbey Island. This is the truncated way of expressing that I grew up in what used to be part of north Seattle; my family frequently visited my grandparents, and I was here so often I understood this as my other home*. My last four abodes before moving full-time to Whidbey were apartments in Shoreline. I play Highland bagpipes, and practicing my instrument in apartments in America tends to be IMPOSSIBLE! My strategy was to check with local churches to see if I might use their space when it was otherwise unoccupied — in exchange I offered to perform for certain church services. Two churches took me up on this and the relationship proved to be mutually beneficial. In other words, I got practice space and they got a guy who called the cops on a few thieves. Lovely, huh? It’s one of myriad things I do not miss about living in Seattle.
(*Beyond that I’m not getting into the proprietary thing that exists here on the island about whos-who and whats-what with how long you have/n’t lived on the island and blah-blah-blah — I could be from far worse places, and let’s leave it at that.)
The recording equipment I use for making WOWI is gear I gathered for my existence as a musician. One day, as I was walking to a church I used right on the Seattle / Shoreline city lines, I was stopped by a cop. I was en route to the church with my pipe case and recording gear when he parked in their driveway and came toward me. The long & short of it is that apparently some concerned citizen called the police about someone fitting my description walking around with a rifle. Suffice to say, I think my mic stand is pretty decent quality but I am yet to learn what caliber it is.
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
The 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
Our 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
An informal, unofficial blog and podcast about writing and writers on Whidbey Island