Episode 18- Newbie Writer’s Podcast!

By Damien Newbie Writers Podcast 5 Comments on Episode 18- Newbie Writer’s Podcast!

Newbie Writer Podcast
Episode 18- It’s My Birthday and I’ll Podcast if I Want To.
Answering questions

Traveling with the iPad, comments etc.

The Good: the iPad is marvelous for travel. It’s small, light and I carried it with me at all times ( I did buy a new travel purse, not to be confused with my good purse nor with my everyday Dooney and Bourke purses). I carried the iPad and my camera and money and if I wanted, a water bottle, but the bottle was too heavy.
The iPad turns on as soon as the cover opens, so making notes in Pages was easy. I opened it up, made a few notes, and closed it. For someone who previously traveled with a Mac Book, this instant access is like a tiny miracle.
I recommend the Pages app for 10 dollars because even though the journal apps are fun, they aren’t as easily transferrable to my main computer. I added photos to the journal entries to keep track of where and what I was doing.
The key board takes getting use to, but I became fairly proficient. It does work on busses, planes, trains, most modes of transportation (not motor bikes, you must stick with texting while perched on the back of a motorbike).
I loved the long battery life and I loved carrying one device that included email, all my books and writing. I was able to download two books from Amazon and read them immediately while in transit (from Vietnam, I tried this last year while in Syria and the books didn’t download until I arrived home, so this is an improvement).
I traveled in January 2012 – I was not the only traveler carrying an iPad. I saw people carrying iPad’s in Vientiane, while waiting at the boarder in Laos, on the plane to Bangkok. This seemed to be the new traveler accessory, considerably more flattering than a waist pack.

The Bad: The key board features the auto fill function, just like the tiny key boards on the smart phone. The auto fill is very difficult if you are writing down foreign place names.
It will also thwart your efforts to employ polysyllabic words, so there is a great deal of back spacing involved during data entry. And the foreign words and phrases are not found in the spell checker.

The Ugly:
The worst thing about the iPad is that though I could upload all my photos into it during the trip so I could see and edit on the spot, I could also organize the photos into albums, which I spent time doing – but it was on busses and planes, so it gave me something interesting to do. The problem is that when I hit the synch command to send all these great photos and albums to the main computer , the albums did not synch and the photos ended up just consolidated into one huge event. I was not happy at all.

1. What scares you about writing?
2. What do you see yourself doing in terms of your writing in five, then ten years time? Do you see yourself making writing a fulltime career?
3. What do you sacrifice to write?

1. When did you know you were going to be a writer?
2. What sparks the ideas for your books?
3. How personal is your writing?
4. What is the one (most important) piece of advice you would give someone who wants to be a writer, or is a newbie writer?
5. What is your favourite thing that you have written (maybe one or two paragraphs called Bring our your living rather than Bring out your dead)? I would be very interested to hear you read a tiny bit of that work (not reams of it, of course).

6. Does your own writing ever make you laugh or cry?
7. What made you fall in love with writing?
8. How do you feel while you are writing?
9. What other authors do you admire?
10. Do you listen to music when you write?
11. If you were not an author what would you be?
12. What are your other interests and what do you like to do when you’re not writing?
13. What are the last five books you have read?
14. What do you get out of mentoring emerging writers?
15. What do you sacrifice to write?
16. What is the most demeaning thing that has been said about you as a writer?
17. What do you consider your biggest failure?
18. What do you find to be the most challenging thing about writing?
19. What is your schedule when writing?
20. (The holy grail) What do you think makes a good story?
Damien and Catharine, you don’t have to answer these questions. I have just been thinking about what I would ask you both, if I had the chance.
Thanks Damien, for having me on the show. It was a blast.
Happy writing.

Bring out your dead
Or Catharine’s favorite pieces:

Death Watch

Grief makes you hungry

Not for justice

for taco flavored Doritos
and bags of the new bites –
bite size comfort candy in
Reese’s, Heath Bar, Rollo, Goodbar
Yellow bags of tasty trash, we unconsciously eat them
by the handfuls
between hours of watching
the rise and fall
of scattering breathing by
the loved one

more chips
a bowl of “Cowboy Casserole”
that by law
should be filled with rattlesnake and buffalo
we dared my brother-in-law to eat a spoonful
he only found lima beans

The Mexican restaurant down the street
plays the soccer game loudly
followed by juke box music of an artist
who is big in Mexico City
but just background noise tonight
the noise carries comfort
California normal

it’s not a matter of questioning
the order of the universe

in a half hearted attempt
fruit was offered one afternoon

we looked up at the sky
and asked for the potato chips
the cupcakes
those cookies with coconut and chocolate

sugar to serve up more tears
life is so fucking short
pass the dessert
we will eat that first.

From Ammonia Sunrise – Finishing Line Press)

Word of the week:


It’s a century-old term, now rare, for a deceptive story or scheme, pranks, tricks or other irritating or foolish carryings-on. If it’s familiar to you, especially if you’re not native to its former US heartland, it may be because you are widely read in the works of P G Wodehouse. He used it a lot, and is credited with being the first person to commit it to print.


We are a visual culture. The automatic response to, how was your trip? Is to immediately inflict all 1,397 photos on the hapless inquirer. But often we don’t capture the essence of experience through photography.
I have a picture of me and an elephant, but what is interesting is the story of how the elephant rolled me into the Mekong. Twice.
What have you done recently that was memorable but has no accompanying photos?
is it possible to experience something and not have a photo of it?
Write about an adventure that does not have an accompanying photo.

Shout Outs:

The Tweep Nation!
Jennifer Sosniak: http://www.jennifersosniakbooks.com/

Where to Find Us:

Catharine: www.yourbookstartshere.com @cbramkamp
Damien: www.newbiewriters.com @newbiewriters



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  • Dee
    Posted on February 7, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Excellent podcast as always Damien and Catharine. It’s nice hearing about the iPad. I do know the phone has a means of turning the autofill function off or changing the parameters on it, maybe the iPad has the same thing? I’ll have to check with the techies I know about the synch problem to find out why that occurred (I’ll admit it, G+ is an obsession but I usually get answers!)

  • Damien
    Posted on February 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad to have active listeners such as yourself!


  • Anne
    Posted on February 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Fantastic podcast, as usual. Who is that interesting girl with the questions? lol

  • Damien
    Posted on February 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    LOL that fantastic girls questions will be used next week too!

  • Anne
    Posted on February 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Damien. I’ve got a writing prompt for you on my blog.

    Tomorrow is judgement (I mean judging) day for my writing competition. If you don’t hear from me ever again, you can assume I have packed up my (writing) bat and ball and gone home (LOL).

Comments are closed.

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