Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Do In The Kitchen

As my legions of Facebook friends know, I am prone to binge cooking on weekends. I consider cooking unnecessary creativity. It's creative work unrelated to my writing work. I indulge myself with it in the belief that creativity will spur creativity.

I am not one of those people who wants her cooking space open to the whole neighborhood. I am very happy in the kitchen by myself. But I do like sound when I'm cooking, either music or, the last couple of years, podcasts. I horde podcast links in my bookmarks. Quite honestly, I am never going to sit for a half hour, staring at my computer screen and listening to someone talk. (Though I did sit for more than 15 minutes staring at my computer screen and listening to Mindy Kaling give this speech.) So I try to multi-task with podcasts while I'm being unnecessarily creative, even though by doing so I am risking brain damage and my already shaky career, because I'm never going to listen to these things otherwise and the links will just pile up and up on my hard drive.

The Longform Podcast

So on Saturday afternoon, I listened to the Longform guys' podcast with Meghan Daum because I recognized her name, and she's an essayist, a type of writing I'm interested in. Daum had some interesting things to say about the personal essay and whether writers refine them enough before publishing. The Longform podcast deals with nonfiction writers and editors. I'll definitely check it out again.

I also started to listen to Longform's interview with Kurt Andersen because I liked his book, Turn of the Century, which isn't nonfiction, and I've heard him on Studio 360. But someone came into the kitchen, and since I could get him to help with the chicken parm, I gave up on the podcast.

That's the risk you take with podcasts.

A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment

I had to cook again on Sunday afternoon because I got such a late start with my Saturday binge. So that day I listened to the first A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment podcast, hosted by Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter. I almost listened to this on Saturday, because I like Alexie's work. But in the description of the program it said these two might discuss professional basketball. I took that as a warning. But when I tried A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment out on Sunday, they talked about kids' recreational sports instead. And not until the end of the show.

The really great section of this podcast was Alexie and Walter talking about dire author appearances they've made. Maybe you have to be a writer to enjoy that kind of thing, because when I repeated the stories to my husband at dinner, he said things like, "So he didn't get paid?" Which totally missed the point.

I'll be listening to A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment again, too.

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