Writing and Fiction Podcasts I’m Loving in 2015

These days I prefer listening to my reading, as opposed to absorbing books, news, and articles with my eyes.

I discovered this while pursuing my initiative to sit less and move more. We’ve probably all heard by now that sitting all day is terrible for us, and as writers we tend to sit plenty! To fight this, I now load up my iPod with audio files and head out for a productive ramble.

IMG_7099

On these Writing Walkabouts, I actually do more than just listen to stuff. I do a fair portion of my writing by dictation while on walks or pacing around at home. If you are interested in how I learned to create this way, check out my guide here (old version: new book version available June 24, 2015).

The Productive Authors Guide to Dictation Full Cover E

As for listening, I consume fiction audiobooks as well as podcasts. The latter are mostly about industry news and writing craft information but I do subscribe to a couple short story fiction channels as well.

So here’s my list of podcasts I’m enjoying in 2015!

1. Adventures in SciFi Publishing

An awesome compendium of industry news and resources for speculative fictionists, including a wonderful guest lineup. Recently, the focus has switched to digital publishing (as opposed to traditional or physical books).

2. The New Disruptors

This one is still on my list for 2015 even though production is on hiatus because I’m still catching up on the archives. From their site: “The New Disruptors tells stories that provide practical inspiration about the way that creative people and producers connect with audiences to perform, cajole, convince, sell, and interact using new methods.”

3. Rocking Self Publishing

From their site: “Interviews with Top Self-Publishers, Every Thursday.”

4. The Creative Penn Podcast

Another option featuring tons of amazing guests, these episodes by Joanna Penn are always interesting and worth a listen.

5. Writing Excuses

This podcast’s episodes are awesome and described by the tagline: “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Run by Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, Dan Wells, the episodes feature special guests, a writing prompt, and an audiobook pick of the week.

6. Helping Writers Become Authors

Run by K.M. Weiland, this podcast covers the craft as well as writing lifestyle topics. Weiland is fun to listen to and gives plenty of illustrative examples.

7. TEDTalks Art

This spans more than just writing but I find most episodes very relevant.

8. On Being with Krist Tippett

This award-winning podcast is definitely a topical hodgepodge but somehow its episodes always apply to my projects, and my life! Definitely addictive.

9. Clarkesworld Magazine

I love the fact that this podcast features all of the magazine’s short speculative fiction in audio form, especially since my local library has denied my request to shelve the print copies. A new episode comes out on the 1st, 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of the month.

10. Lightspeed Magazine Podcast

Similarly, this podcast offers audio versions of some of the fantasy and science fiction short stories featured in the magazine.

11. WIRED’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy 

This podcast covers reviews and interviews about works of science fiction, including books, film, and other mediums.

12. Umano 

Not a podcast, but if you haven’t tried this audio news app or something else like it, you should! With Umano, professional actors read me my writing news. It’s awesome! The free version lets me subscribe to certain topic channels for a limited number of articles per day. Users do have to pay for unlimited article access.

Be sure to chime in with your favorites by leaving a comment below. These ears always need new ideas and recommendations!

A Few Stunning Quotes About Imagination

In my experience, imagination is an important part of mental and spiritual well-being. It’s also rather handy for writing fiction!

Here are a few quotes about imagination that inspired me this week…

Forgotten beasts of eld.jpg

I write fantasy because it’s there.  I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination.  Daydreaming.   Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places.  Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps.  It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.   Making it tell the same tale over and over again makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke.  It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistent; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can’t be transformed into food for the imagination.  It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier.  Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales.  There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it:  in writing, in art.   Those who fear the imagination condemn it:  something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten.  Not all of us dream awake.  But those of us who do have no choice.

― Patricia McKillip

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.

― Gloria Steinem

Ted Geisel NYWTS 2 crop.jpg

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

― Dr. Seuss

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

― Sylvia Plath

I imagine that yes is the only living thing.

― e. e. cummings

Lyrics to “Young at Heart”

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on its way.

Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it’s much better by far
To be young at heart.

And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive.
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

― Johnny Richards (Song performed by Sinatra, Micahel Buble, and others)