On the Eve of a 50th Episode…

Life Stories: Recent GuestsAs I write this, I’ve posted four episodes of the Life Stories podcast in five days. They’re episodes 45 through 49 of the series, which I launched back at the start of 2012, and I’m a few hours away from going out and recording what will be the 50th interview (but with the 52nd guest), which I’ll post later that same day.

I’ve really enjoyed doing this podcast—interviewing writers has always been one of my favorite aspects of the whole Beatrice thing over the years, and I thought about doing a podcast for a long time, but I wasn’t sure at first whether I’d be able to find a focus tight enough to keep me alert and engaged over the long haul. If I was just talking about “books,” I figured I’d get overwhelmed by all the options, or try to cram too many authors in and flame out. Narrowing the show down to “memoir writers” turned out to be a great move: It’s a specific enough theme that I can always find an appropriate guest, but it’s also a diverse enough theme that I’ve had the opportunity to meet 52 amazing people with radically different, um, life stories.

If you’re reading this shortly after I post it in October 2013, for example, you may have listened to some of this week’s episodes—ranging from a 20-something woman recalling the father who committed suicide before AIDS could ravage his health, or a Pakistani-American journalist whose family saga is linked to the heart of their homeland’s identity, or a former book publicist who’s overcoming some of her most basic, life-limiting fears, or a humanitarian aid worker who’s spent the last decade in some of the world’s most troubled regions. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be able to introduce people like them (and all the others) to you—or, if you’ve recognized some of the guests, to help you get to know them better. And I’m looking forward to continuing this podcast for another 50 episodes… just for starters.

Thank you to everyone who’s listened to these interviews, whether you’re getting them direct from Beatrice or you’ve decided to subscribe to the podcast through iTunes. If the latter, have you thought about rating and reviewing the series? It turns out that’s actually a big help in getting the podcast in front of other potential listeners—and that helps me reach out to more readers so I can tell them about the great writers I’ve been discovering just as I’ve been sharing them with you.

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25 October 2013 | housecleaning |

Beatrice: Now with Pullquotes

Pullquotes LogoI’ve been working with the folks at Blogads for several years now; they manage the ads that, if you’re reading this at the actual Beatrice.com website rather than in your RSS feed, you see over in the sidebar. Recently, they gave me a heads-up about a new tool that they’d developed, and I thought it was such a good idea that I’ve agreed to be one of their initial beta users.

Pullquotes enables you, the reader, to highlight any passage in any Beatrice post and create a unique URL that will lead people directly to that passage within that post. Let’s say you wanted to write a post on your own blog in response to something you’ve read here. With Pullquotes, you’d be able to link directly to the passage you’re quoting, or the point I’ve made that you want to disprove. You can also tweet out the highlighted passage, or of course just copy it to paste into your blog or Facebook post or what have you. The passages that are drawing readers’ attention will be displayed at the very bottom of each Beatrice page and on a page at the Pullquotes site—so people will be able to discover posts that way, too.

I’m very interested to see how this works out—and curious to see what passages engage you the most!

4 December 2012 | housecleaning |

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