I know that I’m behind the times on the topic that I’m going to talk about. I know that my sister and cousins (all younger than me) have been doing for years what I’m about to suggest. I know that other writers in my critique group have also discovered this wonderful medium as well, so I’m late to the party. But now that I’m here, I’m so glad I came.
What on earth am I talking about?
I recently finished an audio book and instead of jumping right into my next title, I decided to hit the little purple icon on my phone screen. Earlier this summer I had thought about giving podcasts a try and even subscribed to a few, but listened to a few portions of episodes that didn’t quite do the trick, so abandoned them.
But, for some reason I thought I’d give them another try. As I scrolled through one of the episode lists I saw a familiar author’s name and paused. Who wouldn’t benefit from hearing a bit of wisdom from poetry phenom, Newbery Award winning, author Kwame Alexander? For the next 28 minutes as I walked around the track at the YMCA, I was immersed in Kwame’s writing process and literary life. I was surrounded by his techniques and advice while also being inspired and encouraged. It was like attending a conference keynote speaker… while working out! It was AMAZING!
Here are a few of my favorite pieces of wisdom shared by Kwame Alexander.
I think for me, the key was finding pertinent, relevant, desirable materials that made the difference. Thank you PW Kid Cast for this educational, digestible and enjoyable content! Another great thing about this particular series of podcasts is that they range between 15 and 32 minutes. Listening to them is not a huge investment of my time. I can get through one (for sure, maybe two) every time I go to the gym. Instead of listening to the radio on my daily 25 minute (each way) commute, I can be learning, inspired, rejuvenated and productive (which always makes me happy). And lucky me, this particular podcast series has been around since 2012 so I have a huge back list of episodes to keep me in fresh supply.
P.S. On a quick visit to Publisher’s Weekly’s website I discovered their blog, on which they post on EVERY DAY. And if I didn’t have the deadline of finishing this blog post (or getting it as much of it done as I possibly could before I had to wake my kids up to get ready for school…) I would have fallen down an internet black hole of epic literary proportions for quite some time. I plan to go back and check it out later, and you can too! Right HERE.
The great new here is that there are thousands of podcasts. There has got to be one for you.
Here are a few others I’d recommend.
When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they’ve got to find cool.
Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan to help them woo the girls of their dreams and become amazing athletes. Never mind that he and Noah failed to make the high school baseball team yet again, and Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. Noah soon finds himself navigating the worlds of jazz, batting cages, the strange advice of Walt’s Dairy Queen-employed cousin, as well as Walt’s own perceptions of what is actually cool. Status quo seems inevitable until Noah stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each page contains the words he’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his private artwork becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and make his voice heard?
At the same time, numerous American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of peaceful protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.
As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really true when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.
New York Times bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) tell a lyrical story about hope, courage, and love that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice.
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