Courageous Wordsmith has always been about bringing healing stories into the world. Originally, I was thinking about books, not necessarily podcasts.
But that’s what wanted to happen, and on January 1, 2019 my new Frau Amy’s World: Conversation with Real-Life Creatives rang in the new year with word of Apple approval hours before. (It’s since renamed itself Courageous Wordsmith.)
Kiki Kelley’s guest appearance as a multimedia artist sparked an idea.
Kiki had stories to tell—incredible stories—and podcasting felt like the best place to start. See, we’d been working towards a book, and she’d made a practice of telling her stories to me. But when it’s this personal, the challenge comes with getting the words on the page. In Season 1 of Tales from a Bucket List Champ, when Kiki told the story of how she nearly died at 22, and spent the summer living at the Mayo Clinic—where patients don’t usually take up residence, but that’s how bad it was—that was the first time she had told the story publicly.
And I felt proud to help her bring this podcast to life, that so fits Courageous Wordsmith’s mission, and that so fully captures Kiki’s deep truth.
Then we embarked on Season 2: “Kiki in Tech World.”
Careful what you name a child. And also your creative projects. This season brought with it new challenges, recounting a period in Kiki’s life that brought sweeping changes. You’ll see what I mean. It took time to suss out the story and start. Not long before we went into seclusion, Kiki asked me to come over and record as many episodes as we could. That day, we completed a marathon session. But we couldn’t get a whole season done fast enough, and Kiki still lives with Invisible Illness, meaning she has to pace herself. She does as much as she can. And then she must rest.
And quarantine came.
So we’ve had to find new ways to record, to edit, to collaborate at a distance. We recorded our third episode partly in GarageBand, partly in Zoom. We added a sound editor and learned a LOT about production. Kiki compares the learning curve to her actual early days in Tech World.
Somehow we did it.
Season 2 is here. Its arrival now, on Mother’s Day, reminds me that in my world, stories and children always show up exactly on time.
Not my time, mind you, but theirs.