Welcome to Podcast Mountain

Cross-posted from Medium.com

Each Friday, I create a 45-minute podcast about Amazon, the Kindle, authors, and eBooks. I’ve been doing it for eight years now and have never missed a show. I love this weekly challenge. I call it Podcast Mountain.

I reach the foothills of Podcast Mountain on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I record a 20-minute interview for the show. This week it’s Tina Pohlman of Open Road Integrated Media talking about their eBook release of Gerald Durrell’s The Corfu Trilogy. On Sunday PBS will air the first episode of a Masterpiece Theatre series, The Durrells on Corfu, based on the trilogy. The show looks terrific — tales of a family living large and small on a gorgeous island off Greece before the second World War.

Thursday begins my ascent of Podcast Mountain. That’s when I edit the interview. I trim my guest’s my ums and ahs, tweak the audio levels, and add interview-related links to the show notes. Tina did me a great favor by using Voice Recorder on her iPhone while I recorded our Skype-to-phone conversation with Skype Recorder. She then emailed me the audio file, and I used it for her track instead of what Skype was hearing over the phone line. Presto: pristine audio as if we were chatting in the same room.

Today is Friday, my 428th ascent of Podcast Mountain. My self-imposed deadline is midnight for posting the show to the interwebs. It’s now 8:30 a.m. in Cambridge, Mass., so I have plenty of time, right? I’ll write in my Moleskin journal, watch the shiny campaign lures float by on my Twitter stream, ask Alexa to play music by the new Nobel Laureate in Literature.

I am about to write the show’s script in Evernote, which will take several hours. Then I will move my Yeti microphone and MacBook Air to Darlene’s quilting supply room, which has great acoustics because of all the colorful fabric on the shelves. I will follow the script lightly, adding digressions and last-minute changes, which I hope make the show not sound like I am reading from a teleprompter.

Later today, probably after my hour of guitar practice, I will become discouraged at how little progress I’ve made on TKC 428. Fantasies of clicking the Publish link before supper will have vanished. Another late night. Worse will be despair that the show’s shape is not yet visible. What’s my Tech Tip? Which news items will I talk about? What do I possibly have to say that will add to anyone’s understanding of the new Amazon Music Unlimited subscription? Why do I only have a thousand listeners after all these years? Who cares if this episode even gets finished? This whole thing is dumb.

Somewhere on the other edge of despair I will feel a tiny bit of traction. Something will catch. I will record a snippet of Norah Jones’s commentary about her music in the new Side-by-Side feature of Amazon Music Unlimited. It will sound smokey and warm in Logic Pro X. This is going to be a great show. I can’t wait to hear it on my iPhone 7 tomorrow morning. From that moment of traction, preparation of the show will mainly be bliss. Audio gremlins can still sneak in to mess up the party, but they always retreat in the face of my relentless belief that This Episode Is Going to Be Fantastic.

The view from the summit of Podcast Mountain is out of this world. All the week’s work is captured in zeros and ones on the Internet, available for listening anywhere in the world. I have said what I want to say as well as I can say it. I have connected with an intriguing guest in the intimate dance that occurs when you are talking with someone you don’t know well and you both know the red light of a recording device is on. I have learned a few new things about technology and books. I can see forever.

I am sixty-six years old, retired, in great health. I intend to climb Podcast Mountain every week for as many years as I am granted. If you’d like to join me, you can Google “Kindle Chronicles” on your computer or subscribe for free on your phone at the iTunes store or Google Play.

Time to lace up my boots and get going. See you on up the trail!

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