Posting episode 025 gave me reason to sit back and assess where I’m at with the series. The conclusion I came to is, pretty damn pleased, that’s where.
Inconsistent output pace at the kick-off gave way to monthly, or if episodes are short, twice monthly releases. I’ve tried a couple of paths to syndication and payment for effort but in each instance something got in the way of my enjoying the production process and the push for more listeners or money fell by the wayside.
My son recently asked “How many people listen to your podcast?”
“I think it’s about two hundred.”
“Wow, good job, Dad,” he said, coupling his response with a big hug. Pow! Right in the pride.
He’s too young to know that two hundred listeners isn’t much when compared to some of the series I listen to but he’s proud of me regardless of context, and so am I. That anyone’s listening is something of a buzz, for me, so multiply that up two hundred fold and I get the smugs.
Where to from here? Steady as she goes, helm. Monthly output, some more contemporary interviews, a couple of episodes about technical stuff and political and historical contexts. In short, you can expect the next twenty-five episodes to be much like the last twenty-five. One thing that will change is that the level of detail available about a given expedition increases exponentially from this point, as more people published accounts of their experiences through the twentieth century than previously. I may have to apply the narrator’s equivalent to MacReady’s flame thrower to future scripts to avoid filling the series with the minutiae available in the many journals, biographies and autobiographies available to me.
This project means a lot to me. Thanks to anyone who’s given “Ice Coffee” space on their hard drive and time in their headphones.
In episode 025 I put it to listeners that I would like some competition. I would like to be introduced to other perspectives and hear of others’ experiences regarding Antarctica. With this in mind, I will finish this post with a sequence titled, “How to ice coffee,” and the easy to follow steps therein should help anyone get up to speed.
1) Read books.
2) Make notes about an expedition using the knowledge you stole from the books. Fill both sides of an A3 sheet to ensure you have enough notes for a half hour episode. Scribble on your notes so anyone looking over your shoulder will think you’re a tortured artist struggling to deal with an overwhelming torrent of creativity. Arrows linking concepts help with this conceit, though if you forget you were using them for faux literary credibility you may spend half an hour wondering why you, you in the past, who was mostly a jerk, linked a reference to glaciers to another about denture fixative. Perhaps use different colour pens for your spurious and genuine linking arrows.
3) Type up your notes into a coherent narrative script, or something. Mark off the bits of your notes you’ve addressed to make it feel like you’re making progress. Bright colours help stave off the existential dread likely to strike at this point in the process.
4) Print that sucker out. Then scribble on it to fix any errors or omissions or, again, to give onlookers the impression of a tortured genius who’s muse can never be satisfied.
5) Head to the studio. Find your centre. Kill your centre off with caffeine. Damn hippy shit. Start recording your most recent magnum opus entirely free of new-age-dumb-ass centredness.
6) Edit that most recent magnum opus using something that looks like this. After I tell you that the wiggliness of the lines corresponds to the noisiness of the noise you will know as much about audio processing as I do.
“Noise removal”, “Fade in” and “Fade out” are the main effects you will need. Set the “Humour” toggle switches to “Dry” and “Obscure.”
7) Upload the export to your host service and watch the downloads pile up. Make a coffee. It’s warm-fuzzy time.