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  1. I Should Be Writing + NaNoWriMo

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    tl;dr I Should Be Writing is a fantastic resource and font of entertainment for amateur and professional writers alike.


     Are you aware that November 1st is the start of NaNoWriMo?  Are you aware that NaNoWriMo is a event that challenges you to write 50,000 (that's five zeroes, people) words to a story in thirty days, thus proving that anyone can write that story they've always wanted to write?  Are you aware that you can jump into the fun, sign up for free and get writing?

    As they say, "No plot?  No problem!"  Check out their site and join in!  And while your thinking up the first sentence of your soon-to-be-written story, I highly suggest you accompany your throughts with I Should Be Writing.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Subscribe here.
    Sponsor the podcast and site here!  Lots of cool stuff for those who donate.

    The Murverse, home of host Mur Lafferty's creative works!

    I Should Be Writing is a window into the process, thoughts, frustrations, hopes, fears and jubilation of a writer doing their damnedest to make it on their words and wits alone.  Your host is Mur Lafferty, which to be honest is one of the coolest names I've ever heard. 

    Mur Lafferty is brutally honest as she grants you access to the trials and tribulations she faces as a "wanna-be" author.  She will admit to you how she is slacking on deadlines, when personal life takes over and shoves creativity aside and will allow you to share in the little victories that come her way in her journey to becoming a professional author.  The episodes are informative and interesting, often featuring interviews with professional authors, more wanna-be's, and all those who attach themselves to the art and craft of writing

    Release Schedule:  Weekly-ish, with a week or two wait in between some episodes. 

    Music:  Some of the best theme musics that I have heard on a podcast.  I have listened to the archives and most recent episodes, so I believe that the theme song occasionally changes.  They're all good, and some are even catchy!

    Average episode length:  Typical episode is gonna run you an hour, give or take some spare change.  Feedback episodes are about fifteen minutes long.

    Mur offers her fellow authors the best kind of advice one can give:  empirical.  She is in the trenches of authorship, trying her best to make it and making sure that the lessons she learns along the way are heard by others.  I enjoy this podcast for Mur's advice as well as her sense of humor and open manner of talking.  Some of the episodes may ramble as she gathers her thoughts on any given topic, but she will make her point as she sees it and offers it to her listeners to take it as they may.  It is always inspiring to see someone else doing what they can to achieve their dreams, and I Should Be Writing is the second best way that all you wanna-be's can spend your time.

    What's first best?  Writing, of course!

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Oh goodness, let's see...I really like the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" episodes.  They are silly and vulgar, which is often the best kind of silly.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Mur runs advertisements throughout I Should Be Writing.  This is not inherently bad, but some of the advertisements are a bit on the cheesier side.  There may be cringing, but hey, that's what fast-forward buttons are for, right?

    Do you NaNo?  Let me know in the comments!  Get to listening!
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  2. Sword and Laser Podcast

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Books!  Books with mostly words, although some pictures are ok!
    This comic © 2003-2011 David Malki !

    Ain't literacy grand?  We here at Viddyviddy Corporations have been strong advocates of reading for entertainment and information alike ever since that one time in 3rd grade when our mom made us read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.  Combine that with the fact that one day that little kid would grow up to be a nerd with a penchant for escapism, and you get a life-long devotee of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

    Now, I'm going to take just the most wildest of leaps and assume that one or two of you out there in Internet Land are of similar tastes and would rather fork over the cash for a new paperback book than any other current form of entertainment.  If I'm right about that, than maybe I'm right in thinking you should check out the Sword and Laser Podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    Subscribe to the podcast for iTunes!

    Store, featuring lots of books!
    Discussion/Forum thing on Goodreads!

    I have only listened to a handful of episodes so far, but Sword and Laser seems to have a pretty cool thing going.  From what I can cobble together from their FAQ the origins of Sword and Laser were as a book club, and the podcast was eventually added.  Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt are at the helm of this genre-fueled juggernaut and it looks like they've managed to develop and maintain a community that shares their love of fantasy and sci-fi literature. 

    You can go to their Goodreads page right now and see what books are currently being discussed as well as all the other topics that crop up, including discussion about each episode of the podcast.  They welcome one and all to join their community, so go ahead and see if there's anything that catches your eye!  

    Release Schedule:  Once a week-ish.  From the iTunes archives it looks like they have a weekly schedule that occasionally gets interluded with a few extra weeks between episodes.  Some of the episodes are recorded at conventions, while others are interviews, so there might be a little extra time when it comes to creating and producing those types of episodes.  Fortunately, there is a big backlog of episodes to catch up on when the release schedule starts to lag.  

    Music:  Cute little intro.  And by little, I mean that when you combine it with the opening spiel for their sponsors it clocks in at over a minute long.  oonst-oonst-oonst-oonst

    Average Episode Length:  A sample size of 5 randomly selected episodes gives me an average time of 47 minutes (and some spare change).

    Hosts Veronica and Tom have great personalities (and I mean that in a good way not the "once you get past their faces they're fun!" way) and they can hold your attention for a host-only episode.  The interviews are well-paced and enjoyable as the hosts provide insightful, questions tailored to each guest.  Some episodes wander away from the topic of fantasy and sci-fi and into the realm of cool websites, television and general geekiness, and that's ok by me! 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The Goodreads thing is really cool!  I've never been able to get into forum discussions, but this looks like it is a bit more manageable and hey, you get to talk about books with other people who like books.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: Spoilers.  If you're not participating in their book discussions or haven't already read the book, you may have to skip some episodes where a book's plot is laid open on the autopsy table.

    Now go on and grab a mug of tea, your favorite comfy chair and a new sci-fi or fantasy book and get to reading!  Then subsequently get to listening! 

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  3. Accidental Creative Podcast

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    What would come to mind if I told you that I have discovered a podcast that will not only help you actuate your high-level functionality, but also ensure that you're "actioning your deliverables" for a future-proof pathfinder project?

    Yeah.  Me too.

    How about we table that for now and listen to The Accidental Creative instead, eh?

    (What, you were expecting maybe an Office Space joke?  How plebeian.)

    Relevant Links:
    Get the podcast here!
    Can you believe I couldn't find a Wikipedia page on this?
    Store, as well as the book
    Twitter feed!

    Todd Henry wants you to be able to be brilliant, prolific and healthy.  I mean, the guy really, really wants you to be brilliant, prolific and healthy, and he'll darn near crawl through the speakers of your computer to help you achieve these three things.  He wrote a book and hosts a podcast to help you be all the brilliant, prolific and healthy you can be!  So... what does that actually mean?

    "Prolific meaning we're making a lot of stuff, brilliant meaning we're making good stuff and healthy meaning we're making it in a sustainable way."

    These are the tenants that The Accidental Creative have set their sights on, and they'll be hanged if they won't try their best to help you reach your most prolifflebrillealthy-ist self!

    This podcast is part pep-talk for the creative professional, part interviews with others who also aid people in reaching their healthrilliantlific selves as well, part study in why people function the way they do and part insight into practices of successful folks that spend their time taking the thoughts from their brains and turning them into profitable products. 

    Release Schedule:  From my highly scientific research, it looks like there's a release every two-weeks-ish?  Keep your expectations flexible for this podcast, from what it looks like they release as they get material (topic ideas, interviews, recorded talks) so although the schedule may lapse, the content should be solid. 

    Average Episode Length:  A sample size of ten episodes gives me an average length of eighteen minutes.

    Music:  There's a groovy little intro and outro piece.  Maybe it has a little sitar in it, maybe not.

    The big tag line of this podcast is "cover bands don't change the world."  As much as I'm teasing The Accidental Creative for the business-jargon vibe that I picked up on when I first gave the podcast a listen, I like what they have to say.  The people interviewed and speaking on this podcast want to help you become the most competent, efficient and successful version of yourself and aid your endeavors.  Of course, they've made a business out of being motivational, but hey, that fine with me.  The lessons they have to offer are interesting and may provide you with a new way of thinking about how you work.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Okay, so this is actually incredible intentional, but it is tangential to the podcast so I'm counting it.  Their main site is crazy-filled with articles for you to check out!  There's a bunch of subsections of article topics to check out and clicking on one leads you to reading another and whoops now two hours have passed.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I suppose some of the interviews can come off as commercials for the books that the guest host has written.  Honestly, that's kind of the point when you write a book is to tour around and talk about it, but you may not get the depth out of the topic you want.   

    This podcast could start out as a time-kill and end up guiding you on a path to a more brilliant, prolific, healthy you!  BRILLILIFICTHY!  Get to listening!

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