Writing Inspirations, 2 – Podcasts

Right, so here’s the second installment of my “writing inspirations” series. This time it’s the podcasts I listen to on my headphones. Continuing last week’s theme, these concern artists and artistry – in particular, once again, comedy and comedians.

The one I’ve discovered first, and probably because of that my favourite, is RHLSTP (RHLSTP!) – catchily-named Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theater Podcast, which originated out of Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe interview podcasts.

People of my generation, of course, remember Richard Herring from his 90’s double-act with Stewart Lee; his further career – and he’ll be the first to admit – had its ups and downs, but at some point he moved on to internet-kickstart-podcast presence, which was a great decision for everyone involved, as it gave us, by now, well over a hundred interviews, plus additional podcasts, sketch shows like AIOTM (*aiotm!*) and more.

If you know Herring, you’ll know the kind of humour to expect at first – but among the questions about a 6-foot dick and hands made of ham, it moves subtly towards discussions about creativity and comedians’ life in general.

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The other podcast, despite having “comedy” twice in its title, is much more serious. Stuart Goldsmith’s Comedian’s Comedian tends to be much further on the “sad clown” spectrum. Stuart doesn’t shirk from controversial subjects and guests; the interviews are more serious and heavy. My definite favourite is his conversation with Shappi Khorsandi (who’s one of my favourite people anyway) – touching deeply on such subjects as depression, self-harm, bullying and racism, all painted with a contagious optimism.

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The last podcast I have to mention is Sitcom Geeks: a long, ongoing conversation between  James Cary and Dave Cohen about the art of writing and editing – sitcoms, in their case, but most of it is applicable to any sort of writing.

Germany: Memories of a Nation (BBC Podcast)

germany[1]We traveled a lot through Germany lately: both its past and present borders. It is nearly impossible to travel around Europe without stumbling upon traces of Germany’s past glories and sins. From Riga to London, from a Hansa outpost on Aland to the Imperial Trieste, the German-speaking peoples have left an unforgettable imprint on the continent long before the atrocities of the 20th century; and having traveled first around the Baltic, then around Central Europe this year, I had plenty opportunity to ponder this grand nation’s history.

Brandenburger_Tor_abends[1]So the new BBC Radio 4 podcast series, Germany: Memories of a Nation, drew my attention instantly – especially since it’s headlined by none other than Neil MacGregor. A few years ago, the director of British Museum attempted to tell the story of the entire world in 100 objects. Now, he is retelling the story of Germany – in 30 objects. This new series is just as intrigWeltliche_Schatzkammer_Wien_(169)pano2[1]uing and engaging, and possibly even more eye-opening, since it brings out the little-known German art and architecture from the shadow of France and Italy. Holbein, Riemenschneider, Caspar David Friedrich are just few of the names covered, among subjects that range from Stasi to Charlemagne’s empire – with the Holocaust, naturally, underlying it all, as it forever must.

The series is half-way through now, and you can catch it on its podcast page here. Go hear it. Now.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! “The Shadow of Black Wings” Podiobook Launch

podiobooksToday – quite aptly, on the Day of Saint David, the Patron Saint of Wales – I’ve launched the FREE audio version of my book “The Shadow of Black Wings”.

Narrated by Kate Sherrod, with music by LoMelkiyLo, the audio book is available on Podiobooks.com in 17 episodes, each roughly half an hour long. It’s also available on iTunes.

Hope you will enjoy this one. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you like it, and if you want to know the rest of the story – buy volume two of the saga, “The Warrior’s Soul”, available on Amazon and Kobo! 🙂

Episode list:

  • Episode 1 – The Graddio

    It is the sixteenth year of Queen Victoria Alexandrina; Bran ap Dylan o Cantre’r Gwaelod, young student of Applied Dracology prepares for the final exams at the Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.
  • Episode 2 – The Farmer’s Fancy

    Bran celebrates his graduation with a few friends; but not everyone is as happy with the exam results.
  • Episode 3 – The Hottest Summer

    As the summer heat dries out the marshes and riverbeds, Bran stumbles upon a relic of ancient wars.
  • Episode 4 – HMS Phaeton

    Bran discovers his Grandfather’s diary and learns the truth behind his blue stone ring.
  • Episode 5 – Farewell to Llangyfelach

    Inspired by his Grandfather’s adventures, Bran joins Dylan on board the MFS Ladon, the greatest ship ever built.
  • Episode 6 – The Songs of Distant Ocean

    The Ladon sails towards the great empire of Qin, and Bran has the greatest adventure of his life.
  • Episode 7 – The Thirteen Factories

    The Ladon finally reaches its destination – the Western Factories of Fan Yu – and Bran learns that there is always war in Qin.
  • Episode 8 – The Llambed Seal

    The Second Dragoons is ordered to sail North, to assist the Qin capital against the encroaching rebels. But war is closer than anyone expected. In the heat of the battle, there is only one way for Bran to survive: to invoke the power of the Llambed Seal…
  • Episode 9 – The Day of the Ship

    In the great harbour city of Kiyo, in the reclusive kingdom of Yamato, live Sato Takashima, the samurai wizardess, and Nagomi Keisuke, a shrine apprentice from the family of physicians.
  • Episode 10 – Jewels Three

    Sato’s father joins the conspiracy against the ruling dynasty. Nagomi learns about the dark prophecy concerning the fate of the Yamato.
  • Episode 11 – It Fell From Heavens

    A beam of light falls from the sky near the harbour. Sato and Nagomi run to the beach to find out what happened.
  • Episode 12 – This Is Not Qin

    Bran wakes up in a strange place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. It looks a bit like Qin… but something doesn’t feel right.
  • Episode 13 – He Rides Dragons

    The mysterious boy speaks a language unknown in Yamato. The initial investigation into his arrival seems to bring more questions than answers.
  • Episode 14 – The Streets of Kiyo

    It is forbidden for Westerners to come to Yamato without permission. Bran’s hiding place is discovered, and he has to be moved to a more secure location… but where?
  • Episode 15 – The Crane Room

    Tokojiro wasted his best years learning a useless language of a country nobody’s heard of. Now it’s his time to shine, as he is summoned to the great Suwa Shrine.
  • Episode 16 – The Myriad Year Clock

    Sato’s lessons end abruptly as Keinosuke decides to confront her about the stranger seen at Nagomi’s house. To forget about her worries for a day, she goes to see the Myriad Year Clock – Master Tanaka’s mechanical masterpiece.
  • Episode 17 – The Scent of Wisteria

    Somewhere in Yamato, an old man descends into an ancient barrow…