Building Steam

Ever notice what an odd phrase that is? “Building Steam.” How does one actually build a gas? Are there tools involved? Glue? Where does one learn the trade? “I’m an apprentice steam builder, but in another thirty years I’m hoping to make journeyman.”

Oh, wait. I think it actually refers to building up steam pressure. Yeah. Never mind all that.

The message I was hoping to share with you is that good things are starting to happen at Good Sentences. Craig and I have been scurrying around, semi-metaphorically, to bring something you can sink your literary incisors into, likewise not speaking literally.

A primary focus of the podcast, aside from entertaining you with Craig’s dulcet tones, is to share our own insights into the craft of writing, as well as discuss specific topics with our guest that can enrich the work of writers at virtually any stage of their development.

More to come on that.

Use iTunes? Use Alexa? We got you covered!

Now that the Good Sentences podcast is available on some rinky-dink service called iTunes (or something like that), a bunch of options open up for listening!

Play Apple Podcasts with Alexa

Apple Podcasts is now available on Alexa-enabled Amazon devices in the United States. As a creator, you’ll find this presents an even greater opportunity for listeners to hear your show.

Spread the word on your show or episode promotion channels, and wherever else you communicate with your audience. For example, encourage them to say things like:

  • “Alexa, play Good Sentences on Apple Podcasts”
  • “Alexa, play Good Sentences from yesterday on Apple Podcasts”
  • “Alexa, skip ahead 30 seconds”
  • “Alexa, play the previous episode”

Here’s what you need

An Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Echo speaker and the iOS or Android device you used for setup with the Amazon Alexa app installed. Make sure that you update to the latest iOS and check the App Store to see if there are updates for the Amazon Alexa app. If you use an Android device, check the Google Play Store for any updates to the Apple Podcasts app or Amazon Alexa app.

Set up Apple Podcasts with Alexa

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app, then tap the menu button in the upper-left corner.
  2. Tap Skills & Games and search for the Apple Podcasts skill.
  3. Tap Enable to Use. You can also enable the Apple Podcast skill in the Alexa skill store on the web.

Set up Apple Podcasts as your default podcast service

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app, then tap the menu button in the upper-left corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Music & Podcasts.
  4. Under Services, tap Link New Service.
  5. Sign in with your Apple ID to link your Apple Podcasts account.
  6. Once you’ve successfully signed in, tap the X icon in the upper right corner.
  7. Tap Select Default Service.
  8. Select Apple Podcasts as the default podcast service.


(Information above provided by Apple Inc.)

Good Sentences? So what?

So here we sit at the starting line of a new venture. A podcast. About writing. Featuring writers. How original, right? Just like the dozens of others that litter the literary discussion minefield. Why should we care about this one?

Jeez. Take it easy, will ya? We’re just getting started and already you’re like the crazy mob of Tommy’s former followers, come to put a beat down on the pinball wizard. Let’s all just take a deep breath and talk about it.

Did you see what I did there? I pretended to diffuse a non-existent situation! And I did it with written words. Truly the pen is more powerful than the sword. [Pro tip: Always check to make sure you hit the space bar both times when typing the words “the pen is.”]

But this is just one marvelous example of why it’s such a gas to be a writer. And it would seem that more and more people are finding this truth out for themselves. Thanks to the advent of on-demand independent publishing, there are literally millions … okay, hundreds of thousands… alright, there’s this one guy… No, seriously there are a lot of people publishing books now.

Can I be honest? A lot of them aren’t that good. But our marketing research [Ed. note: not a lick of marketing research has been done] indicates that if you’re taking the time to listen to this podcast and read this companion blog, you might possibly be a writer who wants their books to fall in the other category: those that aren’t not that good.

Or that are good, if you insist upon me speaking English.

I’m Scott, by the way, the S.J. Varengo character you may have heard mentioned in connection with the Good Sentences podcast, (and also, possibly, with a string of bank robberies in Montana. Ignore those mentionings.) Craig and I are very excited to be back on the interweb, with another fun show for you to listen to while driving to work and wondering how the non-writers are doing.

Leo Tolstoy: he’s great, he’s Russian, but he’s dead. – meaning he is NOT ELIGIBLE FOR AN INTERVIEW

Now, I don’t mean to imply that if you’re not a writer this podcast will hold nothing of interest for you. Avid readers may enjoy us as well, as we strive to bring you interviews with a diverse range of authors. The only restriction we place upon our interview subjects is that they be alive at the time of recording, so anyone who meets that criteria and agrees to come on and talk with us is fair game. So I’m guessing listeners who are also alive may be able to relate. Just a guess though. I never truly mastered that whole relational syllogism thang.

Angelique L’Amour, author, writing coach, mom, wife and daughter of famed novelist Louis L’Amour is very much alive, so obviously is eligible to be interviewed.

The blog itself will also (assuming I can pull it off), be a useful tool for writers, both seasoned and unseasoned, (or under-seasoned – certainly a pinch of thyme couldn’t hurt). Pages dedicated to the craft itself will be included as well as a gallery of our guests, containing photos (and much more) such as the one of Angelique L’Amour, (whose interview from the Games and Writer’s Show can be heard as S1 E2 of Good Sentences), which is gracing the right margin of this paragraph.

So, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t want to downplay the legitimacy of your original question, which of course I asked for you, (but don’t try to use that to weasel your way out of trouble!), but I think that from where I’m standing, [Ed. Note: He is sitting!], this little podcast might just be worth your time after all.

Let me end my portion of this dialog (feel free to continue arguing on your end, just don’t look for me), by saying that if you choose to listen, and if you have even a fraction of the fun Craig and I have putting the episodes together, then maybe your commute will be a little less stressful. Maybe your four and a half hour wait at the doctors office will not drive your blood pressure through the roof…

Maybe you’ll like it.