Tag Archives: storytelling

Podcasts … Making Dishwashing So Much Better

20 Mar

I’ve been washing dishes since the sixth grade … and it’s the chore that I hate the most. Gloves. No gloves. Lavender fragrant soap. Nothing has made this experience pleasant. The only thing that would have rocked would have been getting an actual dishwasher. But no space. So every day I wash. I didn’t think anything could make it better.

But then … Podcasts.

Some started ten years ago but just in the last couple of years I have uncovered these hidden bits of awesomeness that make washing dishes, scrubbing toilets, mopping floors, and driving in traffic so much easier.

I’m almost at the point where I’m out of control, but not quite. It’s still not at the writing-reviews-phase for every episode. I’m just a quiet fan who thanks the creators of these stories for making the mundane bearable. I mean I still hate washing dishes, with a passion, but at least I’m not completely miserable when I’m doing them and anything that makes this kind of improvement needs some form of recognition.

I enjoy podcasts so much I thought about starting a Podcast Club with some friends … like a book club, but for podcasts. People say and do things on podcasts that I immediately want to discuss because it’s made me crazy, but there are so many out there and people listen to series at their own pace that the idea might not work. But you never know … I’m thinking about it. Some people just stick to book clubs, podcasts might be a fad.

I mean, it’s not a new idea. This is what radio was back in the day, you know before television hit the scene. I mean podcasts are talk radio … 2.0.

But nevertheless they bring something new. Anyone can start one, and usually does. But the good ones create a space where I’m completely committed to the story that’s unraveling, and I can’t wait to hear what happens next. I’m hooked. And if you haven’t tried one yet because you’re not sure where to start no worries, with podcasts there is absolutely no guilt. You can turn it off in five minutes if it’s not for you. It’s not like a bad book, where you feel like, I started this and I have to finish it. You think it’s probably going to get better, and then it doesn’t, but you keep going because it’s a book and you’ve got the guilt and you have to finish it. Nope. Not here. You can switch it and move on.

The trick is picking something you’ll enjoy, something that’ll grip you. And they have something for everyone.

Me.

I’ve got a little podcast sampler set. I listen to a variety and I enjoy it.

I enjoy the fact that another avenue of storytelling opened up and people are discovering narratives that they would’ve never known. Compelling stories that need to be heard and finally someone putting it out there, someone taking a risk. These series effect change, at least the good ones do. You get to listen to multiple perspectives and voices, some that don’t have a platform that are finally being heard. Everyone listening. You get inspired. You get news. You get advice. You get stories.

You get pieces of peoples lives that may help you with your own puzzle and I think that’s what I enjoy the best.

So what are my top ten?

They change every couple of months as I discover new ones out there, but these series had me at hello …

 

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I have plenty that are on my list that I have yet to listen to, but there will always be dishes in the sink waiting for me, bathtubs to be scrubbed, and laundry to be folded so I’m sure I’ll be clearing my podcast list soon.

What about you? … Which do you recommend? Let me know as I’m always looking for some new ones to add to my imaginary podcast club.

Buen Camino, my friends.

 

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Accidental Sabbaticals, Broken Chains, and Storytelling Comebacks …

19 Sep

I broke the chain.

One day became two, then three, then four, then it was two weeks. You write everyday and you end up building links that connect, and at the end of the month you have this long chain of events that contributed to the creative spark that fuels your storytelling nature. You build something and every time you log onto your computer or tap away at your typewriter, you add another link to your creative works chain.

sabbatical

But I broke the link. And now I have to start over.

I didn’t think I’d be one of those Missing In Action writers as I tend to roll on in consistently, but it completely snowballed here in sunny California. I fell off the creative wagon for a bit there to churn out some grant-writing pages and the energy for anything creative slowly drifted away as my head hit the pillow and snored away until the next morning. Now I don’t know if they’ve gotten the funds yet, but I sure hope they do.

But while I was testing out the philanthropic waters and trying to do good for others, I lost my mojo there for a bit. I lost my juice. But I’m working my way back. Bit by bit, one day at a time.

It’s not a big deal, as the world of blogging continues to spin and people keep moving forward, and discovering new sites as old ones fizzle out, but for those wondering about my accidental sabbatical … it’s over for now. I hope to not have another repeat. Someone told me it’s good to step away for a bit and recharge your battery, even if it wasn’t intentional, it’s still good to gain new perspective on your storytelling ways. I’ll find out if that’s true.

In the meantime, I’m still finding the funny in the not-so-funny situations, or at least I’m trying to, and I’m weaving experiences into the best kind of stories I know how to tell. Like with my washer ordeal and the battle with Sears and their Customer Service department and how Sebastian over there is not in favor of customers or service, or warranties. I relied on comedic moments to help me return to a state of Zen.

And while on this unintentional break, I did have something good happen. A couple actually, but I’ll save one for the Friday Feel Good Post. This one is reserved for recharging batteries. And I found that being surrounded by good music, good food, and people that make you laugh works its magic like chocolate.

I hadn’t on a Girls’ Night Out in probably a year, there really hadn’t been one. Everybody has been so busy with life. So when I got invited to go to an outdoor concert, I wanted to go, but paused for a minute as sometimes I fall into the … “man that’s too far, or parking is gonna be a nightmare, or I’m just too exhausted from parenting to go,” categories. In fact sometimes I just don’t feeeeeel like going. But I remember getting the invite and then remember an old Jim Carrey movie where he ends up saying yes to everything, and all these experiences take him on a new journey to a new self, a new perspective. They help him find his way, even though he gets lost somewhere in the middle, all those yeses leaded to something good in the end.

And so … I said yes. I said yes to Los Tigres del Norte.

And I found something good in the end. I found something in the accordion playing, the brass of the trumpets, in the strumming of the guitars under the starry night sky, in the gritos of the crowd cheering for more from this legendary group.

I found the good of the night and gratitude for the yes, and for the enjoyment.

Something about hanging out and getting good vibes made me smile and jump on in feet first. There were a few ladies I wished had been able to make it out there, but I was still very much in good spirits and feeling  the vibes of the outdoor amphitheater and the contagious laughter that comes about when people get together.

I was recharged, for my storytelling comeback, and I’m hoping to keep the chain strong this time.

 

Buen Camino, my friends!

 

 

Grabbing The Mic

22 Mar

It involved getting bailed out of county jail, stepping in a pool of vomit on the subway, riding in the trunk of a car in a zebra bathing suit, playing with a lighter and can of hair spray, and a dead cat in the wall of an apartment.

It was only an hour, but it was the most inspirational sixty minutes of the week.

Hanging out with a bunch of storytellers and a glass of wine proved to be a memorable evening. I came away feeling motivated to finish my own stories after hearing about these adventures. Something about hanging out with a bunch of creatives and listening to them craft their epic misfortunes into Silver Lining Playbook stories centered on friendship was contagious.

I came home ready to dig deep, although with my life I didn’t have to go far to capture moments. Although the one thing about these artists was that the stories were free flowing. No script. They had it in their head. They performed their stories. They were animated and I felt like I was part of the circle. I was there when he was making the call from county jail and no one came to bail him out. I was there watching the woman slip in a pool of vomit on her way to steal the elderly woman’s seat on the subway. I was there when the zebra bathing suit got pulled over by the CHP. I was there when the curtains caught on fire from the can of hairspray. And I was there when the girl had to break her lease because she kept getting fleas from a dead cat in the wall.

The stories came to life. These storytellers were the writers, actors, and directors themselves. They placed full confidence in their stories and their ability to tell it. They stepped on stage, grabbed the microphone, and began. Fear or no fear. They grabbed the mic.

Microphone-Whealans1

I left away with that feeling … the one with butterflies. They took creative control of their story and it was empowering to see. No one changed their timeline. No one added unnecessary  dialog. No one changed the integrity of their characters. No one changed their soundtrack. No one changed their stories.

It was great to see how their bravery helped maintain their creative control.

I watched. I listened. I learned.

I might be grabbing the mic soon myself, as I was invited to come back “try it out”.

And I just might.

After my experience with the play director, creative control seemed to matter more in my next endeavor. But I’m not rigid, I welcome constructive criticism, and collaborations. I like input that makes the story better. With every creative, story and characters matter. Every writer has this intention.

But not every project ends that way.

So my lesson learned during this inspirational outing?

Be brave enough to grab the mic and hold onto your creative control, but be willing to work with others, just choose people you trust when sharing your visions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Tape Monday

7 Dec

I only got four today. Five would be great … but it’s four. I wasn’t feeling five.

They kind of snuck up on me today … on Country Monday. Each of them had something different that sort of pulled at my strings, and stayed in my pocket until night time. So I thought I’d share. Got some great storytelling out there with this kind of music, the kind of stories I feel, read and like to write. No fluff, just the real deal.

Now I’d heard the Bentley, Rhett and Zac Brown songs before but I had never heard the Keith Urban tune and it just blew me away. I’m not much of an Urban fanatic, but this song was something you look for when trying to find a great partner, someone who’s strong when you just don’t have it in you, this is something you wish you could be for someone you love. I enjoyed the heart and strength of it.

Good storytelling always inspires us to be better, whether it’s in a song or in a book.

 

Break on Me — Keith Urban

Riser — Dierks Bentley

Die A Happy Man — Thomas Rhett

Broken Arrows — Avicii Featuring Zac Brown