• Life

    Podcasts That Might Have Been

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    It’s strange how my mind works sometimes. Other than the Cyborg Bunnies Review, there were several other podcasts I considered doing. I haven’t closed the doors on any of them yet, but I’m also happy enough if someone else picks up the gauntlet on one of them. Ultimately, all but one fell victim to the same problem, mainly, much as I loved each idea, I’m unable to specialize. It’s just not in my nature.

    I’m a generalist. Jack of all trades, the old saying goes, master of none. I have far too many hobbies, and most of them are a little on the neglected side. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things. I do passing well at a large number of different activities, I’m particularly good at a few, and I’m always willing to try something else. But I’m not great at any particular skill and my knowledge doesn’t run to serious depths on any particular subject. Strong, but never superb. Good but never great. Broad but never deep.

    And I’m okay with that. There’s always something fresh and new to discover.

    Since the world is full of people, I can’t be the only one like that. So Days of Geek is a little like me and hopefully other people will find joy in what I’m sharing.

    But I almost did a show about watching Star Trek. Sure there are other podcasts about Trek, whatever series or movie you happen to lean towards, but mine would be different because it would be mine. I didn’t completely abandon that; there’s a Star Trek TOS re-watch segment beginning in episode 2.

    Classics of Geek Cinema is also a segment, though not every episode, but my original vision of it was more of a round table discussion with a couple of other people involved and picking on one movie at a time. In Days of Geek, we’ll visit a particular year and pick out a small handful of under-appreciated movies for quick overviews and reviews.

    One of the things on my bucket list is to learn to say “Hello” in at least fifty languages. The idea here was a short podcast, probably fifteen minutes or less, taking ten of those for a short interview with someone who would then give me a language, letting me (and anyone else who wants to listen) walk away with Hello, Goodbye, Please, and Thank you. If I ever start a second podcast, it’s most likely to be this one, unless someone else gets there first. If someone does, I’ll subscribe early. This one would have the most variety in it, probably, of all my possibilities.

    Quest for Canadian Culture sounded neat in my head, not least because, like many Canadians, I really don’t have a clear idea of what I mean when I say Canadian Culture. That was part of the point, to go out and find it. This has some possibility for the future, too, but it might be a bigger thing based on the people on my list I’d like to interview for the show.

    There were other thoughts and ideas, but these are the ones that got serious consideration.

    Days of Geek won, though, as it comes closer to being who I am. Broad, general, eclectic. There may be more in my future, but that’s where I’m starting. Coming soon.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Life

    Days of Geek Launch

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    The Podcast Launch

    So I’ve been thinking, and talking, and writing, about doing a podcast for a long time, coming up with a lot of thoughts and ideas of things I’d like to do.

    The primary criteria involved are fun and interesting. Removing those will turn podcasting into a drudge task that doesn’t last very long. Not what I’m after in a hobby.

    I thought I had it with my girls deciding it might be fun. The youngest wanted to help with interviews and the oldest actually wanted us to co-host, and we were going to talk about a variety of geeky things we enjoyed together or even as a whole family. Unfortunately, that excitement didn’t last long. Schedules may partly be to blame, but we recorded bits and pieces of several episodes and they lost interest in doing it. The Cyborg Bunnies Review was no more, gone before it had really gotten moving.

    But I still wanted to do something, and the taste of getting things going wasn’t enough. Plus, two friends had been kind enough to submit to guinea pig interviews. Those had to happen.

    And life happened, too.

    So I found myself in the back half of August when we’d planned to launch in June and I went back to the list of all of the ideas I’d had for podcasts, combined a couple of them, took some inspiration from the podcast that never was, and came up with Days of Geek.

    Interviews, audio essays, classic geek cinema discussion, reviews, and Q&A panels I’ve recorded at conventions (mainly Fan Expo so far, but I’ve got a couple from Montreal last fall, too). An eclectic collection of geeky things I find fun and interesting. I think other people might, too, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    I have tentatively scheduled to launch on September 17th 24th. (Still need cover art and a couple of small things.) There’s nothing really stopping me at this point except I only have three episodes in the can where I wanted at least five. Life again.

    But I’ve also scripted the next two episodes, rough plotted five beyond that, and listed the main subject for forty more. Just at this moment, I have one more interview, 12 more recorded Q&As, and no shortage of geek cinema or subject matter I can go over. Plus some co-hosting ideas of my own. There’s no shortage of content—all I have to do is produce it.

    So I’m going to aim for weekly and when life makes that hard, I’ll post a quick audio apology and miss a week. People are pretty understanding when the content is free.

    And I think this is going to be fun.

    There’s not much going on yet, but you can connect with the show on Facebook (Days of Geek), Twitter (@daysofgeek), or the website (daysofgeek.com).

    Stay tuned for the launch, and be well.

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  • Writing

    Set a New Writing Goal Day

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    For those of you taking note of the Year of CelebrationTM, Tuesday (Februay 19th) was Set a New Writing Goal Day. Yes, a totally made up holiday, it falls on the 50th day of the year, a good day, I thought, to review goals for the year and adjust them if they seem too unrealistic in one direction or the other.

    My overall writing goals for the year, while aggressive, still looked doable. January started slow in terms of hitting targets, but February seemed to be a month for good, solid performance and I felt like I’d hit every target for the second month of the year. I skimmed through things and made the quick judgement that I’d leave my goals as they were for now.

    I still think I’m going to hit every target for this month. Well, every target but one. I’m supposed to be on a quest for cover art for what I consider one of the most important goals this year: Small Realities. At least I thought I considered it an important goal for the year, but at the moment I’m asking myself how I’m going to put out the first issue in March if there’s no cover art.

    So I’ve reforecast things starting after we come back from a family vacation in March (still kind of in the planning stages, but I think we’ve got tickets and a house sitter). The daily targets are going to get left alone between now and then, but after that, I’m going to streamline and scale back a little for a couple of (several/few/nine or ten) months, focusing on second and third drafts of Ancient Runes and Warforge: Caledonia. The “fix what’s broken” draft of Ancient Runes is already almost 2/3 done. I still hope to get the first draft of Dreams of Freedom done by the end of the year, but I’m not going to stress over it and I’m not going to push for the second one. Short fiction will continue at the relaxed pace I’ve already set.

    So if I’ve freed up time, what fills it in? Surely finding some cover art can’t be that big a job.

    Well, I do still need to teach myself about formatting for all of the major platforms, and Small Realities isn’t the only thing I want to publish this year. Thorvald’s Wyrd, Turn the World Around, possibly Graceland, and a Seekrit Projekt that involves a whole lot more art than your standard book. And there’s another thing I’d really, really like to do, but that comes under the heading of Sooper Seekrit Projekt.

    But, I also have to make sure that the podcasting project with my daughter has plenty of available time for recording, mixing, editing, etc. Coming soon to an MP3 capable device near you! We’ve done all of the test recording we probably need to do and have set up an easily modifiable recording environment. Episode 0 will happen this weekend, and maybe even Episode 1. We’re going to record at least the first six before we start releasing, to make sure we really have fun doing it.

    And I can’t neglect my other two children or my wife.

    Change any of your writing goals recently?

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  • Life

    A Podcast? Really?

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    So we all know I’ve been thinking about podcasting for a long time. Over the second half of 2012, I did a lot of research and listening to podcasts about podcasting, and generating ideas for different things I might like to do. I’m pretty much ready to jump in and get started, planning some fiction and something just for fun. I expected curve balls as I get things ready, but I didn’t expect one quite so soon: my oldest daughter came to me out of the blue and said she wanted to do a podcast together.

    Within an hour, we’d sat down and worked out what we wanted to podcast about, generated enough content ideas for a dozen episodes with no sign of slowing down, and started on a list of possible names. Wow.

    The naming of a podcast is a big deal. It needs to reflect the content you’re producing in some way, and it needs to say something about you as the host(s) as well. However, this isn’t about me. It’s about my daughter and me. It needs to be fun for her and therefore make her happy, so the name of the podcast is whatever she wants it to be.

    And she wants it to be “Cyborg Bunnies”.

    Believe it or not, it works.

    We brainstormed names for almost an hour, starting with things like “Family Geek Adventures” and “Mel & Dad Geek Out”, and getting gradually stranger and sillier. She turned up her nose at the first few serious suggestions, telling me the name needed to be fun and random, since the podcast would be. So they got gradually got stranger and more random, and “Cyborg Bunnies” is where we wound up.

    We’ve discussed the need for artwork, an e-mail address, and hosting, and we’re fleshing out something like a structure for the show. Not too much of a structure, mind you, but ideas for a variety of segments to mix and match with using the Wheel of Random™.

    Yes, this may affect my creative goals for the year. There’s only so much time in any given day/week/month. So what? Those goals are arbitrary benchmarks set by me, and this is something one of my children wants to do (and another wants to guest star on once in a while). That makes it a far higher priority than any story, novel, or self publishing venture. I can adjust my goals, especially for my kids.

    Plus it’s going to be a heck of a lot of fun. Maybe people will even listen, but we’re not all that worried about that.

    For now, I need to go make a list of extra equipment I’ll need so that two of us can record at once. Another microphone, a mixer…

    Be well, everyone.

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