Listen Live


I love being on the cutting edge of new technology, so I was especially excited about the invitation to be a guest on Story Circle Network’s August podcast, produced and edited by Becca Taylor. I’ve been interviewed on radio talk shows before, but this was different in several ways.

On a live radio show, there is no safety net. Whatever you say is what listeners hear. Podcasts are recorded before they are posted, so if host or guest happens to have a coughing fit, or says something gauche, editing that part out is as simple as removing a sentence from a written document. You even have the opportunity for “do overs.”

Becca didn’t need to edit this interview, but it was nice knowing she could. We just had a grand old time talking about lifestory writing in general, how I got involved with it, the benefit of Toastmasters for writers, writing groups, blogs, the conceptual basis of the blog and book name, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing, and more.

Another difference is durability. Radio shows are fleeting, and listeners are often in their cars, unable to jot anything down. Podcasts can stay around indefinitely, allowing listeners to back up to listen to a point again, replay the whole thing, and share the link.

A third difference is technology. Most of the time, Becca uses the free Skype software program to call her guests on their regular telephones, and records the call with a sound capture program. She edits interviews and pastes all the parts together with the free, open source Audacity program, converts it to an MP3 file, and uploads it to the SCN website. The only hardware she needs is the computer and microphone she already has.

For this edition of the podcast, we both used Skype, creating a connection that went directly over the Internet, with no telephones and no call fees involved.

I hope you’ll click over and listen to the August podcast, then maybe listen to a few more. Some podcasts are set up to stream live within your browser. You have to download SCN podcasts. Just click the Podcast icon next to the monthly title, or the Direct Download link below the description. After it downloads, double-click the file name to open it in whatever program you use to for music.

If you like the podcasts, you may also like the free Story Circle Network monthly e-mail newsletter. A subscription link is on the front page. Story Circle has lots of great information on the website, so click around and take a look.

After you listen to the podcasts, think about ways you might use use this concept. You don’t have to put podcasts on the Internet, and they don’t have to include music, announcements, and all the other elements of a radio show. They can be as simple as one interview. Just think — you could call older relatives and interview them over the phone, recording their stories. Use the recordings for source material as you write, and save them on CD or DVD disks as a legacy of sound so future generations can hear the voices of those ancestors. Digital recordings are far more stable than magnetic tape.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal


Tara said...

I love how you said that our writing is as personal as our fingerprint. What a great statement. Loved the interview Ritergal...glad to see the book is going well.

Jerry Waxler said...

This is a great interview, Sharon. The interviewer asked great questions, that give you the opportunity to tell your story, and tips for memoir writers, including tips about blogging. Terrific explanation of the heart and the craft. And I love how your blog gives tips for how people can create their own podcasts. Everything is connected!

Ritergal said...

Thanks for the comments to both Tara and Jerry. I agree with both of you that Becca did a great job on the podcast. She's a pro!