1st podcast!! + D. Sharpe’s Sci-Fi “Another Day in the Twilight Zone”


This is an exciting post for me because — hurrah! — today you’ll listen to my first ever podcast!

Please help make it a success by subscribing to it, sharing it, commenting on it, and liking it.

https://youtu.be/LG91OXR95tE

Tale-telling has been around for eons, yet we can never get enough of stories. Drawings to hieroglyphs, scribes to printing presses, photography to film to radio to TV… am I leaving anything out?

Enter podcasts! Do you listen to any that are dedicated to novels? If you do, how did you learn of them chose, and how do you listen to them?

I’m asking because eventually, hopefully, sooner than later, I’ll podcast my novels, starting with “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat.” With that as my plan, I’ve spent the last several weeks of my ‘sheltering in place time’ taking an internet class on podcasting. It’s offered online with a professional Gale Courses teacher at the other end — for free! Thank you, Los Angeles County Library, for which I’ve sung the praises of numerous times, most prominently here and here.

Perhaps you have a podcast of your own? If you do, share your hands-on insights: your do’s, your don’ts, your money-making tips, your platforms, and what has worked best for you, especially when it comes to getting people to listen.

The class I took recommending starting with Podbean as a podcast host. In addition to that, I’ve uploaded this first-ever of mine to Youtube. I’ve already got an account there for the shorts I’ve featured already like this baby chick one and this amazing cat one. Plus, Youtube commands a heck of a lot of traffic.

My first podcast guest is Dwayne Sharpe. He’s the generous member of a local library writing group. I’d only just discovered it in real life — but— that was right before the COVID19 crisis knocked us sideways. First, we bumbled about with convoluted email lists. Recently, fingers crossed that we haven’t already lost all our members — we’re experimenting with Facebook.

All that aside — back to Dwayne. As far as I’m concerned, prolific is his middle name. He’s written scores of tales, and he’s published two books. One is called “Thomas’ 100 Cat Tales,” and the other is “Blaze Mysteries,” both available at Amazon.

Listen to Dwayne perform his chilling short story, “Another Day in the Twilight Zone,” for the podcast. Here’s a player for just the audio. Below it, you can also read the tale…

Dwayne Sharpe Dwayne Sharpe

“Another Day in the Twilight Zone,” a short story by Dwayne Sharpe

Wow! The sun is shining, and a few cumulus clouds drift around the morning sky. Dressed in a light sweater, I venture out. The need to stretch the legs fills me with energy to bound down the steps and take a deep breath. The concrete walkways entice my exploration traits as I trudge north, then west in a zig-zag pattern of streets and alleyways. Time has no meaning while the feet are moving, now east, and again north.

Where is everyone? My journey passed many homes and a few businesses, but no one in sight. Nary a vehicle is heard, only a few birds. I begin a closer inspection of the houses I pass, seeking movement behind curtains and blinds. Surely a child’s scream of laughter will break the silence. A breeze causes a few leaves to bristle, nothing substantial.

A pocket park lies ahead. Surely there will be kids playing on the swings or giggling down a slide. Alas, the park is empty, not even a dog walker. The picnic table sits empty, with an inviting BBQ standing next to it. I take the path where a sign reads, “Quarter-mile fitness walk.” Pine trees stand guard along the narrow gravel path. A pine cone lies in wait for me, and a swift kick sends it along.

The sun has moved behind darkening clouds, and a chilly wind has begun to blow. I travel south, then east, a different thoroughfare than before, hope fills my mind of seeing someone, anyone. Cars parked alongside the curb, abandoned, gasoline no longer available. Leaves piled up around the wheels. Weeds have grown tall, replacing the lush green grass of years past.

Today’s expedition ends as I approach the only house on the block, free of tall weeds. A weathered sign in my yard reads, “We are all in this together.” I inspect the sign and look up and down my block. There is no one left to speak these words to. I pull the picket sign and toss it into the growing pile of debris. Not even the sanitation engineers will come. Am I the last person alive?

About Dwayne Sharpe: In addition to his books listed above, he’s written over 50 short stories in subjects including Love, Crime, Adventure, and Fantasy. His hobbies include genealogy and geocaching. He lives with his wife in Long Beach, California. (Learn about geocaching here and here.)

Please support my 1st podcast ever by sharing, subscribing, liking, and commenting… And tell us about your experiences with podcasts for fiction books…

Update on Blogging by da-AL


Thanks, Los Angeles County Public Library, for my free online course on how to blog.

My new site was blogging along nicely until the teacher began to cover social media. That’s when my blog went silent, despite my best efforts to keep my fingers typing.

Why?

Ten years ago, I was among the non-FaceBook minority, the last of the worriers about privacy. Don’t remind me that, post-internet, it’s obsolete. When the topic comes up among friends in the flesh, it’s akin to debates over whether God exists. Faith and denial are at the fore.

10…

… years ago, I opened a FaceBook account under a pseudonym. After a week of being creeped out, I deleted it. Rather, I tried to. FaceBook’s farewell promised to forever and ever and ever and ever keep my info.

They predicted right. Last week I returned to the fold.

Why? 2
Thanks, pexels.com

Why?

I’ve got two books to sell, authored by me. Since, eighty queries later, I’m agent-less and publisher-less, getting them out is entirely up to me. People and internet alike assure me that exploiting social media is the sole answer.

Me a little over a month ago: shudder — pinch nose — one — two — three — I re-enrolled, my profile updated to reflect my real name.

Call it FaceBook fear or FaceBook phobia, for the next long while, my fingers were paralyzed.

FaceBook logo

Bon appétite,

Courage appeared a week ago. My personal hero, Jacques Pépin, famed TV chef and colleague of goddess Julia Child, was cooking on TV.

He was probably doing something that included sauteed garlic and parsley in butter, but I can’t remember. The recipe was eclipsed by how he grabbed a piece of steaming hot food as if it were nothing. Did he pop it into his mouth? With only a quick inhale, he explained that one merely need clench one’s teeth to bypass the sting.

Teeth clenched, I made my page public and clicked through its numerous prompts. Jaw throbbing, thoughts riffed ad nauseum on the little and big reasons FaceBook unnerves me. Assume profanity between all words to do with FaceBook. It’s ruined the word ‘friend.’ It allows only one birthdate change, plus there’s no way I know of to hide it. It sends me notices when I’ve signed out. And on and on.…

Yoooo-hoooo! … stranger-friends!

Gnat-like FaceBook notifications flitted one after the other as I ignored them. Determined, I clicked some more. My future audience awaited.

Many many clicks later — 15 minutes worth of them? Half an hour? 45? Time flew, and then…

I needed a shower.

Molars stinging, I checked back in.

My jaw went slack.

Stranger-friends had mobbed my page. It was my own fault. I’m a neophyte, to the extent that I only recently learned that ‘like’ in FaceBook land means more than a simple ‘yeah’ vote. Ignorant to who/what FaceBook stranger-friends truly are.

My page was overrun by peddlers of sex! Worried that kids who happen onto my page might ‘see it all,’ I postponed lunch. The next couple of hours were devoted to unfriending. The volume of them was fatiguing. Rather than double-check each one and risk seeing ever more abnormal body parts and bedroomy adolescents, I became a FaceBook bigot. Brazilians were the first to be unfriends. Next slavs, then non-American looking Africans and peach-faced kids. No more shirtless men, goodbye to come-hither crawling women, and farewell to people caressing anything other than their extremeties.

Ever since, more continue to greet me.

Fortunately, I managed to removed their birthdays and info from my contacts list and calendar. There’s plenty more for me to learn.

On the plus side, a handful of my new friends actually are friends I haven’t seen for a long time. To each of them, thank you for your encouragement.

So far, most everyone who kindly follows my blog are via WordPress and my personal emails.

Now people chide me that FaceBook is passé. They say that

Twitter
Twitter

and

logo
Instagram

are better.

Does this video scare you?
An amusing short video on fear vs. phobia.
Jacques remembering Julia.

What are your experiences with social media, particularly for promoting books and the like?