Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Using An Audiobook As A Cooking Utensil

Tofu can be frightening.  Even for a vegan like myself, if isn’t served in a sauce, if it hasn’t been basted in something sweet or spicy, the consumption of tofu can be an unbearable culinary experience.  It’s the same with chicken.  What meat eater wouldn’t prefer a drumstick dipped in barbecue sauce to just plain poultry?

Similarly, a mind marinated in Middle Grade literature produces stories that are far more delicious to the reader’s palate than a mind that isn’t.  This is why we writers are constantly reading, to marinate our imaginations in a steady flow of beautiful phrases.  The problem is that many of us are so busy we simply don’t have enough time to read.

Well, we may not have time to read but we certainly have time to listen.  One iPod or iPhone can store dozens of audio books.  I listen to Middle Grade when I’m in the car, on a plane, in the bathtub, shaving, cooking, exercising.  I let the iPod baste my brain with the brilliance of E.B. White, P.L. Travers, Katherine Hess, Jack Gantos, etc.

Audible.com is a fantastic resource.  They have hundreds of MG novels, unabridged thank God.  The readers are professional.  Some of them are astounding.  Check out ‘Bud Not Buddy’ if you want to be hypnotized by a powerful storytelling voice.

Another way to use your i-phone as a writing tool is by recording your own writing.  Recite a chapter or two into your voice recorder and listen to it in your car.  It’s uncanny how the strengths and weaknesses of your writing will reveal themselves when you’re listening to your work, not just reading it.
Many of us lament the proliferation of gadgets.  We blame technology for our distraction.  But technology is a blessing when used properly.  Use your iPod as a cooking utensil! 

Marinate your brain in Middle Grade!


  1. Hmmm. Food for thought. My brain is so marinated in MG that I should be able to write the next Newbery! Now just need to, um, actually write!

  2. I love listening to audio books when I'm being the Mom taxi! Lately I've been listening to chef's stories about cooking because I do in 15 or 20 minute fragments. But MG books would work too.

  3. Hah! That's hilarious. But it's an excellent point. I've read my work aloud before, but never recorded it and played it back. I may have to give that a try.

    Great first post, James!

  4. I listen to books in the car, too (right now it's HEART OF A SAMURAI). But I really need to check into to Audible.com and take books with me while I run. PL Travers: Does this make you a MARY POPPINS fan? Love those books!

    Welcome aboard, James.

  5. Brilliant debut, James. I get your point about audio, but I am so visual that a soothing voice reading puts me to sleep. Not a fit state to be driving a car.

  6. Love this idea! Folding laundry would be so much more enjoyable with MG...

  7. I need to check into audible.com. I've heard a little about it, but didnt' realize it had an extensive MG list.

  8. I love audio books. I mainly listen to them when I clean or when I have to meaningless tasks to do at work. Like entering numbers into spread sheets. Definitely make boring work more interesting


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!