I’ve been gearing up for several new things the past couple of weeks. New website, new job, new stories, new convention, new case of con crud after said convention… My ability to read or play games often becomes greatly impacted by life in general — even though I don’t want it to be.
When this happens — and I feel like I’m turning into a cultist faster than you can say “Ia! Ia!” — I become the female version of Indiana Jones. (Mind you, this is not all that unpleasant.) I hunt stories wherever I can find them.
When I’m swamped? I turn to audiobooks and radio plays to put on in the background. Sometimes, I’ll listen to them a couple of times because I won’t pick up everything the first time around. But, unlike reading books, I can listen to audiobooks multiple times and not get bored. It’s very rare for me to read the same book twice.
I just listened to The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. This is a brilliant, two hour radioplay that dives into the history of Halloween. I love the social commentary and the technique Bradbury uses to explore the historical aspects without bogging down the story. Even though there’s a cast of kids plus an iconic adult, I didn’t feel that this was written for kids in that sense. I’ve also got a radioplay version of The Martian Chronicles.
When I’m not listening to audiobooks (Hint: I could always use an iTunes gift card…) then I’ll turn to webcomics for a short, digestible story I can consume in five seconds or less. I recently turned to Twitter to ask for people’s recommendations; my repertoire consists of Dork Tower, Two Lumps, The Oatmeal, Order of the Stick, Irregular Webcomic, Questionable Content, PvP Player versus Player, Ctrl Alt Delete, and a few others. I just picked up 5 Very Good Reasons To Punch a Dolphin In The Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) at New York Comic Con. It’s signed! Yay! I’ve also been pouring through all the Dork Tower trades and getting new comics up for John at DriveThruComics.com.
Both of these mediums allow me to dive into stories even though I may not have the time to block out an hour or two for reading. Since I’m always writing or working on some project (even if it’s in my head), I like to surround myself in stories to keep myself grounded.
Have any audioplays, podcasts or webcomics to recommend? Share ’em!