Even after graduating earlier this month, the Stonecoast MFA Program stays on my mind (I will undoubtedly write more posts about Stonecoast in the coming weeks, now that it’s over for me). It was a realm of firsts for me. My first flight somewhere by myself. My first trip to New England. My first taste of salmon. My first drink of red wine. My first time working with mentors who were experienced in the fields in which I wanted to write. Every residency inevitably led to a valuable first-time experience for me.
Even in my graduating residency, Stonecoast still had a few more firsts for me. Case in point: my first podcast.
In the first half of the residency, I worked as a teaching apprentice/assistant for Nancy Holder with her workshop. Quite the packed room, with ten bodies in there besides Nancy and me. One of those bodies belonged to Mur Lafferty. In addition to her writing, she edits the famed science fiction podcast site, Escape Pod. She also runs a personal podcast site called I Should Be Writing. It’s exactly what it sounds like, offering a close-up view into Mur’s writing life while also dispensing advice for other writers.
I’m fascinated by podcasts in general. I enjoy Escape Pod and other podcast sites where they read stories and other works. There’s something to be said about hearing a story read and feeling the emphasis and emotion from the reader (who is sometimes, though not often, the writer). I love live readings, and down the line I hope to do podcasts of my own stories. And even when it’s not fiction, even when it’s just news or themed discussions, podcasts can still be as informative and engrossing as the best NPR programming.
So, halfway through the residency, Mur recruited me and a few other writers, including my buddy Taylor Preston, for a group podcast. She was interested in documenting Stonecoast in a podcast for her first residency, asking questions about the Stonecoast experience and everything that comes with it.
So, feel free to stop by and listen to it. It’s a great discussion, for anyone interested in Stonecoast or the writing life in general. There’s a lot of great writers and people involved in the conversation that are worth listening to. You also get to hear my dulcet tones, for those of you that have never met me. I think I acquit myself well enough, although I do get (rightfully) nailed by my buddy Derek Hoffman for trying to use a boot camp metaphor while not knowing a damn thing about actual boot camps (it’s actually pretty funny; it was very funny in the moment). I’ll have to remember that for my next podcast, of course.