A PodLily Valentine for YOU

How lovely it is to be up and about. How lovely all of you are to have sent such nice notes and thoughts in the last four weeks. It helped immeasurably in those moments when I really thought I couldn’t bear another session of being zapped by laser-wielding technicians.

The whole experience was a little like being a target in a video game, and I’m sure everyone can see how THAT would be a good thing to finish. I’m relieved and happy to be moving on to new things.

While I was gone I didn’t read Ulysses. I barely listened to the Aeniad. In fact, I did not do a single worthy thing, book-wise.

What I mostly did was listen to the radio. Around here, that means KFOG. (Isn’t that a great name for a San Francisco radio station?) I love the radio. When we lived in Germany a long time ago, if the stars were properly aligned and we had the radio set up in exactly the right place, we’d get these great radio shows on the Armed Forces radio station. We’d hang over the edge of our parents’ bed, apparently because that was essential to good reception, and listen to comedy shows from the forties, chilling science fiction stories, and cowboy cliffhangers, a subgenre of action hero cliffhangers that the people at Armed Forces radio seemed to have gotten a good deal on, because there were a lot of them.

Toward the end of January, I started to fantasize about being one of those people on the radio. One of my sons mentioned that I could in fact sort of be on the radio. All it takes is a headphone, some software, his help, and things you’re dying to talk about. That last part? Not a problem right now. I’ve been lying around and not talking very much. I’ve got a few things saved up.

There were only two possible names for a podcast. And then just one, because my husband vetoed the other possibility. (LilyPod is not a good idea, he says, looking up for a moment from the penultimate Master and Commander book, a series he has been living in for the last four years. He adopts the tone that’s sort of a cross between Russell Crowe and Mr. Rogers and says, It would be embarrassing.) So, the podcast will be called PodLily and that will just have to do.

I’ve put some program notes here. If you can’t or don’t want to fiddle with a podcast, you might still want to read some of the content. The first podcast is a valentine — for you, dear reader.

Here are some directions to the podcast. It’s located on Odeo. There’s also a player that’s supposed to appear below — but it doesn’t always seem to show up. One of those two methods should get you to a five minute piece in which a BlogLily child sings a little song and then you’ll hear some Valentine’s Day poetry.

It’s likely that there will be more little podcasts. We all loved making this one, so you won’t be able to keep us away from the microphone.ย  Although I sound very odd to my own ears (who knew “procure” would be such a hard word to pronounce or that a weather report could sound faintly ridiculous), as time goes on, I’m guessing it’ll be easier to sound like me, rather than sort of me.


It’s going to be a wonderful spring.




61 thoughts on “A PodLily Valentine for YOU

  1. Except for some residual fatigue and a slight sunburn — not to mention an outlook on life that’s been altered quite a bit — I’m doing pretty well. We all had fun making up a podcast to welcome in the spring, and I think from here on out it’s all about enjoying what’s right in front of us.

  2. The swallow is back. Spring is around the corner.

    Do you know it’s the first time I’ve been read poetry to? (Apart from teachers, but they do not count).

    By the way, I was impressed by the elephants’ rhyme, the impeccable accent and the steady voice — mes fรฉlicitations au jazzman en herbe.

  3. Welcome back! You have been sorely missed. I hope you are feeling so much better. I am really looking forward to listening to your podcast, which I will do as soon as I have a moment of peace in my home. (BTW, I completely disagree with Herr Lily, I think LilyPod is a fantastic name, but then so is PodLily!) Thanks for giving us poetry.

  4. O la la! Les elephants! Formidable! (and I will end the french there….)

    So glad to have you back Lily. Loved hearing the BlogLilly child singing. And your rendition of Shakespeare and Collins, along with the commentary, was wonderful. Hearing it, on a cold, blizzardly midwest night, was almost as nice as a July day. No; way better. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  5. Such treasures from the tree are shaken. Your return, your poetry and your voice. All is well with the world and all are enriched on this day of St Valentine.

    Translation; I’m glad you’re back safe and sound. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. He will like knowing that, Kristen (one of my favorite K’s, by the way). The vision of those elephants, so silly, so carefully balancing one on top of the next, has always made us laugh.

    As for the poetry — there should be more of that!

    Cam, I know Valentine’s Day is thought by many to be an excuse to sell chocolate, but I do think Februrary calls for it, with all that cold and unrelenting snow. The elephants, peering through the blowing snow, salute you!

    Archie, Thank you. You’ve got the valentine touch, you know and no translation is needed.

    xo, BL

  7. Alright, podcast! LilyPod, PodLily, all good. I can relate to podcasting – it reminds me of old subversive fantasies about starting a pirate radio after winning the lottery. And what is podcasting after all but a kind of pirate radio writ personal…

    Welcome back to you!


  8. Hi Charlotte, Really, what’s needed when reading Shakespeare is someone who does NOT have an American accent. I need to sign up some voice talent. I hear there’s this woman in Germany….

    Mike, Viva la (oops les?) elephants, is all I can say. Actually, I have lots more things to say, but that’ll have to do for now. It’s very cool, isn’t it, that radio, like blogging, can actually be sort of subversive. Or sort of amusing, depending on how frivolous you feel.

    M — Yes indeed and that is exactly where I’m going now.

  9. Awesome! The podcast rocks, and you have a beautiful voice. The whole presentation was crystal clear, and it looks like you have your microphones and other equipment in perfect order.

    It is great that you are back. Happy Valentine’s Day! I eagerly await your next podcast.

  10. So glad you’re back. Like you, I’ve loved the radio ever since I was a tiny child. My mother always had it on around the house and I’ve followed suit. I never know what’s going on on the television, but the radio is another matter entirely.

    Do keep well, Lily. And don’t try to do too much too soon. Find your own pace.

  11. Bloglily, It’s wonderful to have you back! And how lovely to get a valentine from a corner of the world where lemons are ripening and magnolias blooming when up here we are in the midst of our first truly city-stopping snowstorm of the year. I echo all the compliments on the charming singing that book-ends the podcast and on your lovely voice.

    PS. I think that attending to your health qualifies as a very worthy thing book-wise (as well as all-kinds-of-other-wise, of course) given how important it is to the fabulous fiction you are writing and will write.

  12. So glad to see you back, Bloglily!! I hope you are feeling good! I will have to save the podcast for when I go home later (shh…I am really working hard….). Now I have something to look forward to tonight! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Valentines Day!

  13. Such a triumphal return! Dash Ulysses, and all of Joyce if it comes to that. Make more Bloglily! Add to the wealth of the world. And broadcast, or narrowcast, or sing from the rooftops, but sing.

  14. So good to see you back. I had just recently become obsessed with, I mean, discovered Odeo, so I’ve added you to my subscriptions there. Can’t wait to listen!

  15. Pingback: Welcome back! « Sassymonkey Reads

  16. (1.) Welcome back! We missed you, missed you, missed you!
    (2.) You have a beautiful reading voice – a beautiful voice all around, actually.
    (3.) I totally and completely want to do this. I am – so determined to do this, come summer. Can you lend me your child?
    (4.) Again, welcome back.

  17. Your radio voice is awesome. Nice to see/hear you are back. Speaking of voice and someone’s comment (yours) that Wm. Sh. should be read with a Brittish accent, I’m fond of Gwyneth Paltrow, as in Shake. in Love, just in case you impersonate people. But impersonating yourself is great and totally satisfying. Will this morph into a kind of Prairie Home Podcamion, including jokes? You used to have puns on your blog, so I’m wondering if people send you their homegrown jokes, if you would read them, selectively, of course. Or even poems. Your sidekick crooner is great. Wonderful voice. More of him, too, please. Such good French. Did you adopt him in France? What else does he sing? I guess you could respond en Pod to some emails, like NPR does. Maybe you will have to have a Pledge Week, eventually. What fun!
    And, of course, you sound like you are on the comeback trail, healthwise. My data on that is that it should be not to forced, but let yourself take a few months to come up, about half the time you were down.
    And thanks for thinking of us all on Valentine’s Day.

  18. So great you’re back, welcome back in the blogworld! You sound just great and your kid has a terrific accent, give him my admirative congratulations (I wish I could have just as good an English accent!)

  19. What a great V-Day greeting! Am loving PodLily, and I’ll be sure to tune in for every podcast. Welcome back, Ms. BL, and I hope you’re recovering well and in good form. yrs,w

  20. Welcome back! I just love the podcast. I most definitely would have voted for Lilypod, but then I’m partial to frogs and ponds and things, which seem very appropriate for a piece on spring.

  21. So, so, so, so glad to have you back! I adored the podlily – extraordinary child who can sing in tune and with feeling in French. And the delightfully voiced you. It had to be that way, there was no other option. And what was specially romantic was that the Shakespeare was read at my wedding. Ahhhh……

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  23. I am thrilled that you are back! I listened to your Podcast. You sound wonderful! You have a great voice and excellent tone for the radio. I enjoyed your readings. When you described California, I closed my eyes and I could swear I was standing in your backyard, enjoying the beauty which you described, oh so well.

  24. I will add my enthusiastic ‘welcome back’ to the chorus of your admirers. And your fans are right. You have a lovely voice. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I’m so glad you’re back and feeling loads better, Bloglily. My speakers are still a bit on the blink but I plan to get them up and running so that I can listen to your Podcast.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  26. I found your voice so incredibly soothing at the end of a long day – it was a beautiful podcast. And I’m so glad you’re back! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Valentine’s day.

  27. Wheeee, she’s baaaaack!

    BlogLily, I thought of you when I saw the yellow blooms on the trees in Berkeley. Just a sign of spring around the corner.

  28. Best wishes for your new beginnings! KFOG is definitely a great station name, and I liked your comments about naming. When I started my blog, I thought for a long time, as a musician, I would call it “Lyre Lyre”. But being mostly honest, I decided on “Life Between the Notes”, because, as integral as music is to my life, it’s only half the story.

  29. It’s so good to have you back. Thanks for all the joy you send out into the world. Lots of love to you and your wonderful family.

  30. Hello Del, Thank you! It’s good to be feeling so much more like my normal self. The radiation treatments ended exactly one week ago — there’s a sort of delayed reaction that happens for the week following and then, apparently, you’re supposed to wake up one day and feel more like yourself. That’s actually been happening gradually and it’s wonderful to see it!

    Oh halfnotes, I’m very fond of puns and lyre lyre is a good one! (But life between the notes is, as you say, a very honest title, and one that’s true to the spirit of your site.) Welcome, by the way!

    Hi Scott, Thanks! One interesting thing I discovered doing this is how hard it is to relax and just sound like yourself. All first efforts have things like that, and I’m looking forward to making more podcasts just so I can learn how to speak like I normally do!

    Hello Eoin, I’ve never been called sterling — I like that word very much, and plan to use it next time I’m seaching for a good adjective! It was kind of you to listen — I’m thinking at some point, when I can figure out how to do it, that it would be fun to interview people. I hope you’ll consider being a guest! xo

    LK– It’s nice to see it coming, isn’t it?

    Thank you Victoria — I wish there was some way to offer a drink or a snack at the same time as the podcast. From what I can tell, the technology’s not quite there yet.

    Hey Kerryn–It was a nice Valentine’s Day. Snoopy cards, a couple of chocolates, and a fun family dinner.

    Hello dear Helen — You know, I put up a transcript of the whole thing on this site: http://podlily.wordpress.com — you can see the poems there. I love that Billy Collins poem. Every time I read it I laugh.

    Bora, you’re very sweet. I told my son that a few grownups liked his song and he was truly thrilled. Now he and his brothers want to give you a rap version, which is what happens with all artists: flush with conventional success they decide to go avant garde.

  31. Oh, Bloglily! How we have all missed you…and tonight, after winter storms and high winds and the well giving out and lots of other things, I turned to your blog just to see……and there you were, and not only your written words but your voice and your bloglily child singing in French. What a reward! As a transplanted Californian (from Santa Barbara, to be exact) I always knew that February was meant to be a spring month…but alas, here in the north, the collective belief is that it’s very deep winter, and so we have lots of snow and ice. I keep trying to convince everyone here to concentrate harder, but they say they would feel guilty if spring came too early. Anyway, welcome back! And so very glad to hear you’re feeling better and that your strength is returning. I’ve always loved that Billy Collins poem, and hearing it read aloud made it just that much funnier!

  32. We’d love to hear more of the bloglily boys’ audio. Next thing to conquer? VideoBlogging. ๐Ÿ™‚ Inexpensive cameras that can record video. Aly makes videos all the time. In fact, all of her video ends with .. turn that d&#mn thing off!

    Alas, we are in the midst of more snow here in Kansas City. No magnolias blooming here yet.

    Glad you’re feeling better.

  33. So happy to have you back Lily! Is KFOG and NPR station?
    It’s so funny, but when I was laid up for 3 months in a body cast after having broken my back, I quickly became bored of television and turned to the radio for companionship as well (that and the birds on my mother’s back porch, luckily they never spoke to me, just amused me). I wonder what it is about radio that is so soothing?

  34. BL! Welcome back! I tried to post a welcome back comment a few days ago, but I don’t think it “took.” So, I’m trying again. It’s so good to hear your voice (in print and audio!). Take good care. SS

  35. Thanks SS — It’s great to be in a more normal place. It’s odd, though, getting back into the rhythm of posting things. It’s more fun just to visit other sites and see what people have been up to than it is to write things of my own!

    Hello Ann — KFOG isn’t an NPR station, but it’s not owned by some huge radio cabal, so the people who work there tend to be opinionated, fun, and irreverent. There are no weird contests, or morning yelling.

    Oh Sue, I just don’t think I can figure out how to plug even one more thing in! It took me a really long time to get all the stars aligned to have the microphone work. Sorry about the snow — but when spring and summer comes, well, they really count, don’t they?

    Sandi, your well! Yikes. I hope that gets itself sorted out soon. As for that deep winter, when I lived in the east and was in college, there was this thing called the February Club — in which someone hosted a party every single night of the month in order to dispell the gloom of winter. I don’t know how much dispelling really went on, but there’s something about winter that brings out the life force in people (how California a phrase is THAT, I’d like to know). Wishing you an early spring, BL

  36. Welcome Back Lily! Strange, but great, to hear your voice coming through my speakers. Tell J I loved his singing. Good work. xoxoxo Debs

  37. Hello Cee — Lovely to be back. I’ve been having a very good time checking out everyone’s sites and seeing how much good stuff has been said in the last couple of weeks. What a rich world this little corner of the ‘net is!

    Debby, I will indeed tell him that. He loved doing it. xo

  38. This American Life had better watch its tail, here’s Podlily. I had no idea you had a French child at home. You are definitely on the high side of the Summer’s Day comparison list. So happy you’re back.

  39. Pingback: February is on the run » Sandi Kahn Shelton

  40. Pingback: Jumping On the Podwagon « Charlotte’s Web

  41. Well, I have thought of a few twisted, but clean, definitions of newly twisted words, which I hope are candidates for reading on you Lily Home Companion podcast. I’m not sure where to send these since, If I include them here on the line, they wouldn’t be quite so fresh, a la Terry Gross, on the air. But you can be inventing your own definitions of one– a “karmapractor,” one who …

  42. Woo Hoo!

    It’s good to have you back, and in such good form. WordPress has had a slightly odder shape without you, though I feel a bit feeble not having noticed for a week.

    Oh, and don’t forget that us Brits are constantly reminded that Americans carry the True Flame of 17th Century Pronounciation! Who else can speak Shakespeare if Americans can’t?


  43. I read, I pondered, I listened. The elephants song was precious and to hear the real voice, not the one in my head, was a treat. So glad to see and hear you back!


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