The Birth of Generations Geek: A Father/Daughter Nerdcast

Back in July I was thinking about podcasts. As in, “I should have a podcast.” I’d been noticing how many of my writer friends had podcasts, and it seemed interesting and challenging and, yes, another part of my “online platform” as we say in the pub business. But what would the podcast be? It seemed like if I started one it could be called A Writer You’ve Never Heard Of. Now, With a Podcast. Now that I reflect upon it, that’s not a half bad name. But, no, I wanted something more.

Then somehow I thought of doing a podcast with my fourteen-year-old daughter. We share a healthy geekosity, and I figured we’d have fun. And we would call it Generations Geek. That night, after I got home from work, I asked her. She thought it sounded cool. So we were united geeks. We would make it happen. But how? And when? I found a website that hosted podcasts, with certain limitations, for free. Free is good. After all, I work in publishing. And I was already going to have to buy some microphones.

So, when? I ordered the mics. Started thinking it would be cool if we could get one show online before we went on vacation at the end of July, before we went to the Shore Leave convention the weekend of August third. But I quickly realized there was no way, with everything else going on and getting ready for vacation, that we would have time to make an episode. Okay, then we would focus on it when we got back.

Other things started happening. I posted about the podcast online, and was contacted by John Drew of the Chronic Rift Network. He liked the idea of the show and invited us to be a part of the network of geeky podcasts on CRN. I jumped at the chance. I was already having second thoughts about the fine print of the free podcast website I’d been thinking of using, and Chronic Rift and the other podcasts on the network are done by a bunch of great people and already have a following. That would give our new show a leg up.

Because I couldn’t imagine having the time to get an episode done before Shore Leave, I came up with the idea of doing a Generations Geek panel at the convention. I pitched it, and it happened. Here’s a shout out to Allyssa Holmgren, Lisa-Michele McMullen, Susan Olesen, and Jen Rosenberg who all joined us. It was fun and the other perspectives we gained from everyone were interesting and really added to the panel.

When we got home, it was time to kick it into high gear. I hooked the microphones up to our basement computer, which seemed the perfect, quiet place to record the podcast. They weren’t working the way I expected them to. Aahhh, I needed a newer version of GarageBand. But not the latest version, which wouldn’t run on the older computer. So, figure out the latest version that will run on it, find a cheap deal on line, order the software. Install software. Software starts, software crashes. Fiddle with the situation for many hours over many days. Eventually have to give up. Because . . . 

Meanwhile something else had happened. John from Chronic Rift had asked when we’d have our first show ready. I wasn’t sure, so we’d just decided on announcing that show would debut in September, and we’d set a specific date when we got closer to wrapping up the first episode. No problem, I thought. But after agreeing to that, I remembered that the kid was going for a week-long camping trip with friends, then going to my mom’s for a week, then starting school with a four-day field trip. So, suddenly, we wouldn’t be recording until the second weekend in September. For a show due in September . . .

So, forget trying to work out tech problems with older basement computer. Plug the microphones into our main computer and get recording. Which we did. Then we played it back. Pop, pop, pop. Every plosive, letters like p and b that are created with a burst of air, was exploding onto the mics. We needed pop filters, little screens that diffuse the burst of air, so that we could talk without exploding. But you can spend 20 or 30 bucks or more for them, more than I want to spend after our family vacation, and they’re pretty much all made to mount on proper mic stands . . . which is not what we have. We have little plastic microphones on plastic bases. 

A little online research showed how to build your own pop screen for a few bucks apiece. OK then. Rush out, buy supplies. Get building. Do some recording. Pops gone! And before we know it it’s the next to last weekend in September, and we simply have to finish recording and editing and get the thing in to John. We’re finally getting the hang of it, having fun talking. The kid records some keyboard noodlings in GarageBand for a theme and for between segments, and I edit like crazy. And it came together. Give it a listen. We call episode one “Rise of the Planet of the Geeks.” We talk about going to see Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen, all the cool movie trailers we saw before Raiders, and the kid’s binges on Star Trek series. If you enjoy it, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and do other cool stuff just because you’re in a good mood.

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