Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


by Robison Wells

So, I don't have much time to blog at the moment, and I likely won't have time to blog later this afternoon either. Consequently, this blog won't be saying too much. Instead, I'll link you to other things that are much more entertaining than me.

First, here are a bunch of websites that I frequent:

Chickens Don't Have Armpits, which is the marvelous blog of my friend and fellow writer, Matthew Buckley (Marion Jensen). Let me tell you why his blog is better than mine: he's really smart, and he thinks about interesting things. (And then he blogs about them.)

A Motley Vision. You read this, don't you? If you're at all interested in the Mormon arts, you should. It's fascinating and diverse. It's one of the few places that actually discusses all aspects of LDS literature without seeming to really pick sides or get negative. It's run by William Morris who, I can attest, has good taste in restaurants.

I have probably linked to this before, but I love me some Little People. It is street art, and it's very clever.

I also love me some Dinosaur Comics. This is, by far, my favorite webcomic. It can occasionally get a little crass, but just don't look at it those days, 'kay? Here's one of my favorites. Here's another.

The webcomic XKCD has a tendency to be crass more often than not, so I won't recommend it. However, take a look at this one, and laugh. If that does not amuse you, then you are neither my age nor my friend.

Writers in Heels is basically Six LDS Writers and a Frog, except not quite as awesome. (Almost, but not quite.) :) It's a collaborative blog that features many of my favorite author friends. (All of them are women, hence the "heels". But it'd be funny if Matthew Buckley joined them.)

If you happen to be a marketer with an affinity for consumer packaged goods as well as a love of art, go look at The Dieline. If you are not those things, then don't.

The Selby is a photo blog that has very little explanation, yet it is strangely addicting. Again, this might not be everyone's cup of tea. It's both weird and fascinating, and I'll happily admit that I don't really get it. But I like it.

I also read a whole bunch of political blogs, which I am choosing not to link to, because I don't want to really get into a political discussion. Suffice it to say that I disagree with almost every single political blog I read, mainly because political bloggers tend to be extremists and crazy. But they're still fun to read.


You thought I was done! But I'm not. I bought an MP3 player this spring, and I've been enjoying the glory of podcasts. Here are some that I enjoy.

(However, I need your help! I seem to have really bad luck finding good podcasts. About once a week I'll poke around the corners of the internet looking for good ones, and 90% of what I find is CRAP with a capital K. Do you listen to podcasts? Tell me about the where they are!)

Writing Excuses is a podcast featuring Brandon Sanderson (writer of Elantris), Howard Tayler (writer of Schlock Mercenary), and Dan Wells (my brother, who has a horror series coming out next year). It's really, really excellent, and I'm not just saying that because they're my friends. There are an awful lot of articles about how to write floating around the internet--I've written several--but these guys are SMART. In fact, after reading many authors write many mediocre articles about writing, this podcast is a breath of fresh air.

Every Monday morning I download the latest Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and Car Talk. They're my Monday traditions now.

I also listen religiously to This American Life (another NPR show). We on this blog are all writers, and I think that we could all learn a lot from the storytelling genius of This American Life.

I also somehow found a weekly radio show in Texas (also NPR), called Think, that is mostly authors being interviewed about their books. They've had some really great stuff.

Lest you think I always listen to NPR: another of my favorites is Skeptoid, which debunks a lot of urban legends via science and intelligence. (For example, they talk about how the Large Hadron Collider is not going destroy the earth and how cellphones are probably not going to give us brain cancer. Some of my very favorite ones focus on health-related silliness, such protests against flouridation and such.) (If you're the type of person who is annoyed that I just referred to protests against flouridation as silliness, then this probably isn't the podcast for you. Because you don't like science?) (Disclaimer: again, I don't always agree with this guy. He points his skepticism gun at religion every once in a while, which gets annoying. But it's fairly rare.)

One of my favorite writers and actors, Stephen Fry, podcasts occasionally. I have to say that while the subjects of shows aren't anything phenomenal, he's a joy to listen to.

So... What have I missed? Of course, this is just a sample of my overstuffed Favorites list, but what are the gems that I need to add? And please: send any podcasts you have. I love what I have, but I have terrible luck finding new ones.


At 9/23/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

Thanks for the link love!

I listen to a lot of the same podcasts, at least the NPR ones. A few more that I enjoy:

TWIT (This week in Tech) - A great podcast that covers the tech news of the week, in a not too technical way.

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. This one is for the kids, but if you enjoyed watching Rocky and Bulwinkle, and want your kids to enjoy the same flavor of humor, this podcast is for them.

The Dice Tower - If you like board games, you'll love this podcast. If you don't, you'll likely find it dry and boring. But then, if you don't like boardgames, you might very well be dry and boring too. Moisten up, and buy a boardgame!

The History Network - I like history, especially history with a military bent. This podcast is filled with short little episodes about wars, battles, technologies, etc. throughout history.

And, if you want to learn Spanish, I can't recommend Coffee Break Spanish enough. Very good stuff.

All of these are available through iTunes, and they are all free.

At 9/23/2008 2:03 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I loved your XKCD comic! To the Extreme! (They're sort of hit and miss for me.)

I'm partial to Order of the Stick

but it's probably more fun for those of us geeks who play D&D.

And you talked me into visiting the Writing excuses podcast, even though one of my best friends has been encouraging me to listen to it for months. See how persuasive you are?

I'll have to check out Dice Tower to see if we're talking about the same kind of boardgames I'm thinking of. Any of you try out Agricola yet? (The new #1 game on

At 9/23/2008 2:15 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

"Almost" as good as the Frog blog? I'll take that. :D Thanks for the linkage and mention.

I'd never heard of most of those places before. And now I'm going to have to find time to listen to those podcasts as well. Sounds like good stuff.

At 9/23/2008 3:11 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

With all those blogs and podcasts, no wonder you don't have any time to write. Sheesh.

But I am happy to report that I am 1) your age and 2) we can be friends because I'm passing along that flow chart to everyone I know. That was AWESOME.

At 9/23/2008 4:11 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Matthew, Thanks for the podcasts, I'll have to check them out.

Jon, I love the comic, and yes, you should check out Writing Excuses.

Sariah, I walk to campus, and then I walk around campus, and then I walk home. So I have a little more than an hour of walking time everyday, which is perfect for podcasts.

At 9/23/2008 4:14 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

...a likely story. ;)

At 9/23/2008 5:50 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

You know, a lot of people over the years have called me a heel. Maybe I'd fit right in.

Thanks for the link to writer excuses. How did they go 30 episodes without me hearing about this?

At 9/23/2008 6:29 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

:) At least you got mentioned Annette. Think of all of us who didn't

got it in Rob :)

At 9/24/2008 10:48 AM, Blogger Papa D said...

Ardis' blog is a mind-boggling historical treasure trove.

At 9/24/2008 11:18 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I asked the same question on my blog last week (Rob is definitely copy-catting me). And, Keith, your blog was mentioned by one of the commentators :)

At 9/24/2008 1:45 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Yeah, except we don't have a frog. We probably traded in our frog for heels. Not quite as cute, but much more comfortable to wear.

At 9/24/2008 8:29 PM, Anonymous William Morris said...

Thanks, Rob. I'd like AMV to get better about covering more of the "LDS fiction" part of the market, though.


I'm also a big fan of Writing Excuses and Stephen Fry's podgrams.

One other to check out: Sound Opinions. What I like about the podcast is that the critics (a duo who write for Chicago dailies) on the show are indie rock lovers, but they also have broader interests and often disagree on some bands. And they aren't too cool to not at least talk about pop music (even if they don't always give it great reviews).

They also have great guests.


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