It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but I’ve decided to bring the radio podcast ConvoScience (or Conversations in Science, as some know it) to an end. There were many different reasons behind this decision, the biggest of which is a refocus on priorities.
I’m a writer. I’m an editor. I do have knowledge that I like to share, but I should be writing!
Saying that, this is NOT the end of the science from me. Science is in my blood. It’s a part of who I am and my family. I have always had a way of explaining science in a way that others can understand, so that is NEVER going away. Instead of talking it out, I’ll just write it.
I still don’t know how it happened.
In September of 2016, I found myself in a situation where I suddenly had a radio podcast about science. I had been consulting with KLRNRadio about various science-related topics, including the topic that started it all: heavy water.
Jessie Sanders was doing a episode on her current events show about the concerns the public had about Iran having so much heavy water, and she was a little more than confused. “Isn’t it just water?” I went on the show and explained the science behind heavy water (and other things). When we finished recording, she said, “Well, Judy, we’ve just finished recording your first episode of Conversations in Science.”
Blink. Blink. “Say what?”
Then she got my husband in on the argument. OMG, I never had a chance. The law had been laid down and I was doing it.
What the…? All righty then.
Don’t get me wrong. It was fun to do. Jessie and I had great chemistry on the air. However, two years down the road and external circumstances started to play on my enthusiasm for the show—and I think listeners had noticed. Episodes were no longer regularly scheduled and recorded episodes were taking forever to actually air. (I won’t go into all the details about that one. Let’s just say that there were a whole range of things involved on both sides of the equation.)
In August 2018, nearly two years after this adventure had started, I decided to leave KLRNRadio. One of the reasons for this was because of the highly political nature of the station. I have no issues with the station being political—that is why it was first started in the first place, to give the people a place where they can voice their opinions, regardless of what side of the fence they sit on—but the politics was actually costing me guests for my show.
(I actually had a NASA control room operator lined up, until NASA pulled the plug because of the political nature of the station. But I never told anyone about it, not even my producer, because I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. When it fell through, the only one disappointed was myself.)
If I wanted to make a good go of the show, I needed to remove myself from the politics. I started taking steps for an independent start come December 2018. Then all my plans fell through. Everything that I had in place quickly crumbled, and I was forced to reexamine my priorities.
I’m a writer first and foremost.
During November of every year, writers around the world take part in the NaNoWriMo challenge. This challenge is where writers dedicate themselves to their writing. I’m the municipal liaison for Christchurch, New Zealand, and I have been so since 2015.
One of the things that I regularly advocate during NaNoWriMo is that writers should not focus on the word counts for the challenge itself, but turn their efforts into making writing a habit, something they can carry through into their future writing careers. Part of that is to determine where you want your writing to take you. That’s when it hit me!
I have spent so much time and energy on the radio podcast, and it was taking my focus away from what was important to me. The podcast was not my idea in the first place. I still don’t know exactly how it all happened. I just know that it did. One moment, I was recording with Jessie about the science of heavy water, and the next, I was recording promos, intros, and creating graphics for a new show. All the while, my own writing wasn’t getting done, because what free time I had left, I was putting into Black Wolf (something that is my baby!). However, even during November 2018, I didn’t want to accept the truth of what I knew in my heart. I continued to look into options for taking ConvoScience independent (including building a new website with a new domain).
Then my annual review of my hopes and dreams, and my goals for the coming year. That’s when I realized I was sacrificing my dreams on publication as a fiction writer. No more.
ConvoScience will morph into a blog series.
I am a writer, but I also still have this keen interest in science. Back in 2016, when this whole venture started, I had said that I needed to write more blog posts about science. It was (and is) a part of who I am that I was completely ignoring. (I think that’s where Jessie got the idea for the science podcast.) So, to provide me with an avenue where I can continue to feed my thirst for the love of science, ConvoScience will be taking on a new slant. I will find a way to archive the podcasts, so others can experience them in the future, but instead of new podcasts, it will be new blog posts about science.
I will likely look at the different aspects of science that creep into my fictional writing, which means the topics can go anywhere.
The blogs will appear here, on my personal blog, just as they have always done, but they will be mirrored onto the ConvoScience website, that way fans can get just the science stuff if they want to. I still have to set up the subscription tools over there, but that will be a priority for the coming weeks, as well as a site redesign and episode archive. (Joy… Yet another site design project.)
This science geek is not disappearing. She’s just shifting her focus onto something that she can produce on a faster basis. I am a writer after all.
A Final Episode…
There will be one more episode of the Conversations in Science podcast, but I can’t tell you when that will air, because it hasn’t been recorded yet.
Jessie Sanders (my producer at KLRNRadio) has this idea to do a “flashback” episode, looking at all the fun times we’ve had over that past two years. That’s two years worth of recordings to go through to compile the snippets, and this will take her time. But trust me, when she’s ready, we’ll be recording that final episode of Conversations in Science and say goodbye in a proper style.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about science, any ideas about scientific areas that have confused you to no end, then drop me a line. I’ll be on the lookout for blog post ideas.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2019