January 1, 2013 | Season Eight |
Sending best wishes for a happy new year, new season, new host, and new game!
Game? Did you say Game? How do you play? I want to play a game!
So glad you asked; the Season 8 Game is played thusly:
Step One: Natasha Clark (aforementioned new host) and/or I will post topics, links, ideas, questions and musings on the Whatever Amen facebook wall.
Step Two: Our friends, family, enemies and fans will read, comment on, like, share or ignore these postings.
Step Three: Natasha and I will make an episode for each topic.
Step Four: Somebody somewhere someday will listen to these episodes.
Sounds fun, right?! Let’s go!
PS – Other fun facts about my life, in case you were curious: I have a new job, I’m living in Philly, and I have a new pair of slippers. Read more on my blog, and once again, HNY!
July 29, 2011… Season Seven
Lots of things have changed for me over the past two months, most notably: I no longer live in my beloved Philly! You may have heard (here’s a little blog post about it, if you’ve haven’t) that I’ve taken a year away from “normal” (normal? ha!) life to live and learn in new ways.
I’d planned to continue producing my podcast from the road, but I’m finding it tricky to hear the whisperings of life’s teachings while making so much noise. Time for me to quiet down a bit, methinks.
It was almost exactly two years ago that I started making this podcast, enormously thanks to the love support and partnership of Kara Tennis, who laughed with me when I was in the mood to laugh, and stroked my head when I needed to cry. In the little “Season Seven” that I’ve just posted (4 shows long, one episode for each thread), we went back to the old format from Seasons 1 and 2. Kara and I got on skype and babbled away to each other, Kara prodding me on to say this or that, giving her own experiences and perspectives, and helping me in my continual efforts to grasp what the heck it is to be human.
And now, off I head into the great (and silent) unknown. When I’m back to forming words again, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Thanks for listening. Really.
March 3, 2011… Seasons 5 and 6
Hi there fans of … whatever! How goes it?
Thought I’d drop you a quick line to share a little inside-out view of the podcast.
First of all I just have to get this off my chest: my street has been under construction for a month, and will continue to be for the next three more. If you’ve been hearing jackhammers, drills, trucks and shouting in the background of my show, that’s why! I’ve felt pretty grateful for my microphone’s ability to filter the sounds, and pleased with my own ability to edit the audio, but I just need to tell you – it’s enough to make the most zen-like podcaster a little crazy.
Okay, thanks for letting me whine. Now, on to better things.
If you’re up on your WWA feeds, you know that this week brings the conclusion of “Season 5 – the one where listeners ask the questions.” I had a great bunch of people volunteer to interview me, and best of all (from my point of view) was that the whole season was lots of (dare I say it?) FUN! If you’ve been around for a while, you know that the podcast has always been a very confronting project for me in many ways. Although it kept feeling like the right direction for me to be going, it never felt easy…. until Season 5! So I really want to thank my friendly interviewers for helping me along my podcasting path, and I also want to thank you, my dear listeners, for giving me someone nice to talk to.
So, What comes after season 5? That’s right: Season 6!
As you might’ve heard, I’ve come across a guy named Daniel Mackler who I think has a particularly interesting way of thinking about the human condition and the reality of the world. Season 6 will feature 12 interviews with Daniel (or as my kids call him, “D.Mack”) and then 4 more follow-up episodes where once again YOU ask the questions. Your assignment, if you chose to accept it, will be to listen to the first 12 episodes of Season 6 with a discerning ear, to take notes of your questions, confusions or disagreements, and send me your reactions. Armed with your feedback I’ll record the 4 follow-up interviews and post them as the finale of Season 6.
So, for those of you who might want a recap, here’s the overview of what we’ve got goin’ on:
Season 1 – the one where I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, so I deleted it
Season 2 – the one with my podwife, Kara Tennis, that I didn’t delete
Season 3 – the one where I had a part1 and part2, but it was way too much work
Season 4 – the one where I was on my own
Season 5 – the one where listeners interviewed me
Season 6 – the one where I interview D.Mack
Season 7 -…???
And one more thing: if you have suggestions for music for the podcast, please send it my way! I especially love it when you send an MP3 with the lyrics written out, so I can keep track of the subject matter more easily. Remember, I need to be able to hear from the copyright owner that it is okay for me to play his/her tune on the show. Don’t want anyone to be hatin’ on me for stealing their work.
In closing – I can’t say it enough: thanks for being a part of my world. You make it what it is – and what it is, is quite lovely.
May 18, 2010… “Season Four”
Greetings friends and listeners… and as we said a lot in Season One “what a day, what a life, what a world.”
As those of you involved in my groups have seen, my personal podcasting journey has been a strangely tangled and difficult one. I call it “strange” because it suffered from a mysterious malady all along, one that (it seemed) only I could (only vaguely) perceive. The feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, and the show stats have continued to climb steadily every month. (Last I checked, many shows had been heard over 500 times and some almost 700 times.) Yet never for a moment have I felt the slightest sense of accomplishment, pride, or satisfaction with the show – and what annoys me even more is I can’t figure out why.
In my latest quest to make sense of things, I have discovered and articulated a few things about the show that may provide some clues about how I could do the podcast in a way that could possibly ameliorate some of my suffering and confusion.
Rather than what I usually do (focusing on the desires, needs, and feelings of others), I realize that I need to focus on myself and on what I want to say. I need to relate to the show as my art, rather than as an arm of my business, which will require me to continue to stretch in uncomfortable ways, and to use an unfamiliar and new set of skills. I need to stop thinking about or asking for listeners’ or Kara’s comments and feedback, looking at show stats, or paying attention to anything that distracts me from my own self-expression.
When I first came up with the idea for this show, I felt absolutely incapable of doing it without Kara. Never in my life have I felt comfortable talking about myself – my feelings, thoughts, or what I see – and Kara has been the only person with whom I’ve been able to learn how to speak all these things that live inside me. She has offered me (in the podcast, and in all of life) tremendous support, encouragement, appreciation, admiration, compassion, and help living in a world where I so often feel like I’m from another planet, speaking another language. It makes me queasy to imagine where I would be today if not for Kara’s devoted love and care that has carried me tenderly through many awful, heartbreaking times.
So now, contemplating a “Season Four” without Kara as my ever-loving and supportive “wifely” sidekick, again I’m severely queasy. But it seems like it’s time for me to step into the queasiness with both feet and see what happens. Maybe I’m doomed to be one of those troubled artist-types, hiding everything I produce in the basement of my laptop, to be discovered after I die. Hopefully in the meantime I won’t feel compelled to cut off my ear.
So I invite you to join me in entering Season Four with low expectations; if I make a few shows and get through the season with both ears intact, let’s be pleased, and call it a success.
And whatever, Amen.
March 3, 2010
Introducing the “Season Three” concept… it’s time for a sing-along!
Here’s how it will work:
For the next 12 weeks I’m going to do 12 topics (3 for each show – Happiness, Consciousness/Religion, Sex/Love, Parenting). For each topic there will be 2 shows, each an hour long- therefore, Season Three will consist of 24 1-hour episodes in total.
Each topic will have 2 epis dedicated to it: “Phase 1″ and “Phase 2.”
First I will post Phase 1, which will be entirely an Amy-ramble, approximately 2 hour-long rambles per week.
Then comes the interactive part of the program. Anyone who is interested in the topic and has anything at all to say about it will send me their feedback, questions, additions, vignettes, “yeah but”s, suggestions and their own rambles. You can do this using our digital voice mail system, email, or skype interviews. I’ll gather all of these pieces together, and with Kara we’ll create the second “Phase Two” episode on the topic.
If I don’t get any feedback, or not enough feedback, Phase Two will take a very, very long time to materialize. On the other hand, if there is lots of enthusiasm and energy about a subject, Phase Two might materialize the very next day. It’s all up to YOU!
So…. Ready? Set? …
Oh wait, before we get started, here’s an extra feature of Season Three – you get to know the topics ahead of time. In fact, if you have enough curiosity or interest in any of these subjects, you can send me your ideas and feedback NOW, before I even do my ramble, thus potentially influencing the direction of a show right from its inception. (See how much fun this is?)
So here is the outline of Season Three:
Happiness 11: “Doom and Gloom”
Happiness 12: “Money”
Happiness 13: “Pain”
Consciousness 11: “Religion”
Consciousness 12: “God”
Consciousness 13: “Altered States of Consciousness”
Sex/Love 11: “Attractive Hot Young Guys”
Sex/Love 12: “Gender”
Sex/Love 13: “Orgies, Sex Clubs, Swinging and Porn”
Parenting 11: “Trusting Children”
Parenting 12: “Sibling Rivalry”
Parenting 13: “Spoiled Brats”
Okay team, go fight win!
March 2, 2010
Greetings friends and listeners!
I’m writing with a couple quick pieces of Whatever Amen news.
First, I just realized this morning (after not posting a show for three weeks) that we’re “between seasons!” Doesn’t that sound like real show biz? Much better than “Oops, turns out I’m having another life crisis and I don’t know what the __ I’m doing,” right?
Season One includes 51 episodes that were recorded in Sept-Oct 2009 and are currently posted on amychilds.com. Within the next couple weeks I’ll be posting an all-new version of my website, and those shows might not make the switch-over, so be warned that your chance to hear them is almost over! At the same time, perhaps you should also be warned that the reason for this is that they aren’t very good.
Season Two consists of 45 episodes recorded Nov ’09 – Jan ’10. These shows are of a much higher quality, and they’re posted on WhateverAmen.com and are also available through iTunes. I am told by the dashboard of my hosting service that these shows have been downloaded a total 6112 times so far, averaging 130-180 downloads per episode. (Yay?! Yikes!? Or some of both I think.)
The last show of “Season Two” was an hour-long “special,” in which I talked about the personal challenges I’ve been facing with this project. Thanks to all of you who listened and gave me supportive feedback and ideas. I’m taking everything I’ve learned so far and putting it into the mix, as I explore and invent what Season Three will be.
As a special treat for the geeks among you as well as avid WhateverAmen enthusiasts, I recorded something like a “behind the scenes” monologue about the techy history of the show and my websites. If you are interested in that kind of stuff – either just because you love me, or because you might have something to offer us in that arena – then please click here to listen. This isn’t posted anywhere else, so save this email if you want to keep track of the link.
I’m not sure when “Season Three” will hit the web-waves, but when it does we’ll be trying a whole new format for a little while and see how we like it. So stay tuned. In the meantime take a stroll through our website, listen to the show, become a facebook fan, give us a glowing review on iTunes, follow the show on twitter, and most of all send liberal doses of praise and conrgats our way. Your love and support is what keeps us going.
PS and Hey – did you hear the best February news of all? My wife became a grandma! Anna’s baby’s name is “Magia” which is Italian for “magic.” And she SO is.