"So were you on a podcast, or do you have a podcast, or what was that tweet about?" my sister said as we walked toward McCarren Park, pushing the stroller. "You might want to tell people."
Lest I bury the lede again: People, I have a podcast! That's the short version, and if you don't need to hear anymore, please go check it out (and rate and review).
If you're curious, here's the long version:
Some time ago, my friend and colleague Dan Bowman took over as the Editor in Chief of Relief Journal, a print and online publication that seeks to present a complete picture of Christ and life, unsanitized and beautiful. As he worked to put together the next print issue of the journal and update the website (coming very soon!), Dan realized that we also had a chance to fill an empty space in the podcast world.
There are lots of great podcasts about books, writing, and creativity. Longform, for example, is a fantastic podcast about the writing process and the writing life, and I love listening to the conversations about books on What Should I Read Next. There are a number of great podcasts about faith, too. Krista Tippett's interviews with people of faith on On Being set a high bar.
But we couldn't find a podcast that was talking with writers who are people of faith about the writing process and the deep questions and passions that drive us to create.
On Relief, Dan Bowman and I interview writers and thinkers who come to campus. We talk about the things they've written, their career paths, and their deepest beliefs. The first three episodes are available now, and the fourth will be up in a week or two.
This won't be a weekly podcast, but each semester we'll plan to post 4-5 episodes (breaking for the summer). To make sure you don't miss them, please subscribe in iTunes and follow along on Twitter @reliefjournal.
A bit about the first three episodes, to help you decide what to listen to first:
1. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
Best known for her book Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, Marilyn is a professor of medical humanities at Berkeley. When I talk about this episode with friends, the word that keeps coming to mind is WISE. There was a deep peacefulness to her presence, and she radiated joy. She gets a little feisty about politics and the environment. I could sit at her feet for a long time.
2. Carolyn Custis James
A lot of writers find publication to be a fulfillment of a childhood dream, but not Carolyn. Writing, for her, is a calling and a craft that she embraces because of her deep belief in a message: the idea that men and women are to work in a mutualistic "blessed alliance" rather than in hierarchical systems. My favorite part of this interview was hearing how becoming a mother made her a better writer.
3. D.L. Mayfield
Danielle is a friend as well as one of my favorite writers of all time. Her first book, Assimilate or Go Home, is available for preorder now. In this episode, we talked about how she got started writing, her column at McSweeney's, and whether we both still have savior complexes. Also we giggle quite a bit like teenagers going "you're cute," "no, you're cute" over and over again.
Let me know what you think when you listen! Creating this podcast has been one of my favorite parts of 2016, so far.