Spring is slowly coming. We’ve gone up and down between happy sunny days in the mid-60s, and rainy, doleful, upper-30s sorts. The flowering trees are budding. I’ve been taking photos of the magnolia tree in my front yard each day, monitoring the progress. I think the blooms will open before we leave for spring break. Fingers crossed. I would hate to miss the annual 5 days of glory!
I have been singing a lot of German. My choir is performing Bach’s St. Mark Passion for Good Friday. The chamber choir will be singing all the chorales. We get our initial pitches from tuning forks (A), so this has been a challenging exercise in learning my intervals. We’re also learning Mahler’s Resurrection symphony for a concert in May.
I am figuring out a rhythm of writing scripts and recording episodes of Before Breakfast (which hit #1 for self-help podcasts on iTunes this week, so that was fun). In general, my process involves brainstorming a long list of episode ideas. People also email me questions and tips (beforebreakfastpodcast at iheartmedia dot com). About 2-3 weeks before my target air date, I finalize each week’s list of episodes. Then I write scripts, which are about the length of blog posts. I edit, and practice reading out loud (which inspires more edits; I can’t trip over a phrase). Then I find a time to record. While I can do this from my home office (I have all the equipment) I have discovered how much background noise hovers around my neighborhood: trucks, planes, chain saws, leaf blowers, dogs. I recorded several episodes from 8:30 – 9:15 p.m. the other night when the little guy was in bed and the big kids were under strict instructions to be quiet (this involved electronics with headphones).
As part of launching a new podcast, I have pondered how to grow the audience for Best of Both Worlds. I’m also pondering a way to monetize it. I know we have very loyal listeners. I also don’t know that we’re big enough for major brand ads. I am intrigued by the Patreon model (of premium content in exchange for small monthly membership fees). I welcome thoughts on that.
Back on the topic of writing processes: Writing Routines featured me in its weekly interview. I found the question of my pre-writing rituals funny. My pre-writing ritual involves putting the kids on the school bus. Then I write. It is a job. Though questions like this do make me ponder what ridiculousness I could try to get away with and claim it is part of my “process.”
Much kid stuff this week. I drove to and from swim practice three times on Monday. It would have been four but I just stayed for the last kid’s practice. I drove the middle school carpool four times in the morning, and picked up my middle schooler from Reading Olympics practice twice. This is one of the reasons I suspected there might be a market for short podcasts. Some people listen to podcasts during their 30-minute commutes. Others of us have a ton of 10-minute trips in the car. I went to my 4-year-old’s parent-teacher conference. I learned that he is doing great academically. He is also still the kid knocking over everyone else’s block towers. I took him and his 7-year-old sister to their well child visits. We were thrilled to learn that while 4-year-olds used to get 4 shots, several of the vaccines have been combined and my little guy only had to get 2. Small miracles. The 7-year-old found this horribly unfair.
In exchange for my doing all four children’s well-child doctor visits, my husband agreed to plan and book spring break (we didn’t get around to doing this until two weeks before because…planning fatigue again). The good news is that he’s come up with a trip that involves flying direct, sunshine, and enough bedrooms that the snoring members of our family can be separated from the non-snoring members. I’ll write more about this in a few weeks!
In the meantime, this should be a low-key weekend with baseball, choir practice for me (more German), and maybe a bike ride. My daughter had been wary about riding without training wheels but she did it around the park yesterday and was a real pro by the end!
In other news: Have you bought a copy of Juliet’s School of Possibilities yet? If you have, thank you! Please consider leaving a short review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you bought the book. You could just copy your review over to Goodreads as well. If you haven’t bought the book, please do! (Scroll down on that page for retailer links). This time management fable shows, in story form, the difference between mere busyness and a well-lived life. As reader Kate wrote over on Amazon, “Inbox zero is a waste of precious time — you are better off devoting an hour to this little gem.”
Main photo: Not quite blooming yet