What I’ve been listening to + reading!

Hey guys! Welcome to back to yet another Shoutout Saturday, my weekly series where I like to hype up/shout-out some things that have been making me happy throughout the week. This is actually more the highlight of, like, the last two or three weeks, because in reality I do not consume this much content in a single week. But anyway, here you go! I hope you enjoy.

Coming Soon: Unseen": Wolf 359 - FictionPodcasts.Com: Find the fiction  podcast you're looking for

Unseen

Okay, so, full disclosure I literally just finished binging this show a few hours ago. (There are only four episodes so far–so it wasn’t too extreme, but still.) Anyway, I loved it so much, so I had to include it on this list. Unseen is told in slice-of-life snippets from the perspectives of people living among us, who are in some way aware of magic.

I am absolute trash for a well-done urban fantasy. I love, love, love the idea of magic casually existing amid the modern world, and how everyone seems to have a different take on what that might look like.

The sound design and production quality in general of this podcast have blown me away so far–I can’t wait to see where it’ll go next.

The Two Princes | Gimlet

The Two Princes

I actually listened to this podcast ages ago, and was absolutely obsessed with it–but, like most of my sudden and uncontrollable obsessions, I grew out of it after a few days. However, they recently dropped their third season and it’s kind of the best thing in the entire world, and basically just drop-kicked me into my Two Princes phase.

This podcast is pretty much the cutest thing ever–it reminds me a lot of the fantasy books I used to love when I was younger, but adapted to be relevant to an older audience–it deals with themes like dealing with your parents’ expectations of you, or going off on your own and figuring out who you are separate of them. The two main characters, Rupert and Amir, are princes from two kingdoms, who meet in the middle of the woods while they’re both on a quest to save their kingdoms. They reluctantly band together, and eventually fall in love. Their relationship is so beautiful, and if you don’t get extremely emotional thinking about their relationship, I don’t trust you. All I want is for them to just be happy, with their little family of a dragon named Porridge, and a dog named Fitzroy.

Also, it’s a musical–and all the songs are really good, and there are lots of exciting adventures, and it’s just so freaking good and always makes me smile. Please, I’m begging you, listen to it.

Trials Of Apollo, The 3-book Paperback Boxed Set, Book by Rick Riordan  (Paperback) | www.chapters.indigo.ca

The Trials of Apollo

So, growing up I was the biggest Percy Jackson kid. I loved pretty everything Rick Riordan touched, and would just reread all his books over and over again. But there’s so much stuff in them I never really appreciated as a little kid.

I didn’t really recognize how much representation there was in these books, or how cool it was for a middle-grade fantasy series to tackle issues that most authors in that genre steer clear of. And now I’m older, to be honest, I feel like these books are way better. (Partially because of the nostalgia factor, let’s be honest.) It makes me so happy that there are books like this out there, where every kid can see someone like them.

I read the first two books in the Trials of Apollo series ages ago, but at the time there weren’t any more books out, so I kind of just forgot about it. Recently though, I delved back into the series now it’s over, and I’ve been loving it so much. It’s smart, and hilarious, and heartbreaking, and I love it so much.

I think, beneath it all, the core of these books is a place for kids who don’t feel accepted by society at large–where they can feel understood, and loved, and at home. I remember how much that helped me when I was younger, and honestly, it’s still so nice even now. They’re one of these books that I think can be interesting the people of any age. It was so fascinating to dig back into them from a more mature perspective, and I think it’ll be so fascinating to read them again when I’m in my twenties and see what I think of them then.

So, yeah, in conclusion, these books are amazing, and you should check them out, no matter how old you are.

Kid Krow - Wikipedia

Kid Krow

I recently stumbled across this album, and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. (The amount of times I’ve listened to it is honestly kind of embarrassing.) All of Conan Grey’s music is absolutely breathtaking, and I can’t believe I didn’t listen to it sooner. It’s so unique, and gorgeous, and strange. I don’t know how to even put it into words, but god, I love this album so much.

Penelope Scott - Public Void Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

Public Void

My friend (who has absolutely immaculate music taste, for the record) recommended this album to me, and I’ve basically had it on loop ever since. It’s strange and dark and beautiful, and it’s probably the most Gen-Z album in existence.

I’ve never really found art or music that tackles the issues this album does, in the way it does, before? It’s so refreshing and depressing and beautiful, and just really therapeutic to listen to. The music just has an incredible way of transporting you into the artists’ mind, and allowing you experience her feelings as your own–which is just about my favourite thing in pretty much any form of art.


Okay! I think that’s about all I have for this week. I hope you check out all of these things, I love them to the moon and back! Stay safe, take care of yourself, and I’ll see you next week.

Lots of love,

Lorna

Shoutout Saturday! (Podcasts you need to check out now)

Hey guys! Welcome to a little series I’m calling Shoutout Saturday. As a creator, I understand how frustrating it can be to put a lot of work into something only for it to go unnoticed. So I hope in this series to highlight some books, songs, podcasts, blogs, musicals, custom sticker-maker companies, whatever I’m into that week, that you need to check out now–with a focus on smaller creators. I hope you’ll give all of these amazing podcasts some love, because oh my gosh, do they deserve it.

I have a job gardening, and it’s a very mindless process for the most part honestly–I don’t need to be thinking too much while pulling dandelions or whatever. So, to make the time pass, I like to binge-listen to podcasts, as one does. I’ve always been a huge auditory learner, and loved the format so much–so podcasts are just something I’ve become incredibly passionate about. Here are some of the shows I’ve been loving this week.

Write Now with Sarah Werner

I listened to Girl in Space (Sarah Werner’s other podcast, an absolutely breathtaking audio drama you should also check out) a while ago, and loved it. I had always meant to check out her other show, never really got around to it. Until a few weeks ago, when on a whim I looked this gem of a show on Spotify on a night when I was struggling, and oh my god, I am so glad I did.

It does to me what I hope my work can do for you. It is empowering, honest, and kind, and if you’re a writer you need to listen to it. It centres around helping writers reach a work-life-passion project balance without sacrificing their mental health, and is never afraid to acknowledge the truths of that struggle.

The host is always so open, and humble. And whenever I get lost in the pressure, and lose sight of why I want to do this, Write Now is there to pull me down and remind me of who I am.

(Also, the theme song is an absolute jam, and not gonna lie, I have shamelessly danced to it in public with several people watching before.)

The Penumbra Podcast

I’ve been shamelessly binge-listening to this one, not gonna lie.

It’s a mash of a lot of different genres, and within the larger Penumbra universe there are also short stories set in this medieval universe, that are usually a lot more light and funny. So basically, this show is absolutely for you if you’re picky about your podcasts–they have something for everyone. But for the sake of my sanity, we’re going to try and keep this relatively short, and discuss the main story–which follows private eye Juno Steel, as he solves mysteries and whispers melodramatic monologues into your eardrums that occasionally make me either want to smush him in a hug or laugh out loud in very public areas. The mysteries in this show are so amazing, and never cease to surprise me. It’s funny, heartfelt, suspenseful, you name it–this show can pull it off beautifully. The universe feels so sprawling and rich; it’s one of those stories you could get lost in forever.

They also have really amazing LGBT+ representation, which makes me very happy. (Oh, and also, their intro SLAPS.)

The Magnus Archives

Before I started listening to The Magnus Archives, I didn’t think I was a horror person. But boy, did this show prove me wrong!

The Magnus Archives is a horror audio drama following Jon Sims, as he explores the Magnus Institute—an organization dedicated to documenting and investigating paranormal activity.

It is a very slow setup, which was hard to get into for me. But once you get to the action, it’s such an addictive show. The way it approaches horror is so interesting—it makes sunny days and department stores and trains feel terrifying in this deep, existential way–as a pose to your typical stormy night or whatever. It is so undeniably modern, which is also I think part of why it always hits so close to home. It has this way of tapping in to primal human fears, in a way that will resonate with almost anybody. I guarantee that if you listen to this show for long enough, you will find at least one episode that hits just a bit too close to home.

It’s not all horror, though–there’s romance, there’s workplace comedy, there’s a cat called The Admiral, and so on.

If you have mental health issues, I would highly recommend listening. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but as someone with anxiety, it’s served as a wonderful way to explore my fears in a safe way. It also has the guts to actually discuss mental health. The latest episode, “Wonderland” took place in a mental hospital, and going into it I was a bit worried it would be problematic. But holy crap, was I wrong, because this episode just blew it out of the park; it might be one of my favourite ones ever.

The horror element of this mental hospital was not people getting treatment–it was people getting treated by people who did not have the qualifications to treat them, or their best interests at mind. Being taken off their meds, and gaslighted into believing they did not have a mental health issue, and the problem was in fact that they were just a terrible, selfish person. This element really hit home for me, as someone who has had similar experiences in real life. (All episodes include content warnings in the show notes, so you’re covered for any potentially triggering content.)

I don’t want to tell you any more so as not to give you spoilers, because this show is just so well done, and you need to listen to it now—especially if you don’t normally like horror.

Tides

Tides is a small audio drama I listened to a while back, that just finished its first season. It is the story of Dr. Winifred Eurus, a xenobiologist trapped on a foreign planet. I’m trash for a good “fuck capitalism in space” podcast, especially with a cool mystery. (And aliens. Love me some good aliens.)

The sound design in this show took my breath away. It’s so gorgeous, even if you don’t care about the plot, which you should because it’s executed so wonderfully, please listen to it just for the beautiful audio. It is such a soothing show to listen to.

I also listened to this while I was quarantined, and the character’s isolation and frustration with how long it was taking to be rescued was very relatable for me.

The Strange Case of the Starship Iris

I listened to this show a while back, but since then it’s remained one of my favourite audio dramas. It’s also a relatively small show that needs more attention, it actually just finished its first season!

As the title implies, it’s a science fiction show, about how capitalism is terrible. (Just kidding, it’s about more than that. But also how capitalism is terrible.)

It centres around Violet Liu, who I would probably take a bullet for. The show begins with a devastating crash hitting her spaceship, and her realizing, essentially, that’s she’s going to die. Until she is contacted and rescued by Kay Grisham, pilot of the Rumor… and shit goes down from there. It takes place in 2182, after humans have narrowly won a war against aliens, and explores this fascinating post-war world. It has found family, it has a catchy song, it has spaceships, what more could you ask for.

The sound design is breathtaking, and the characters are so wonderfully developed. All the voice actors are so amazing, there’s some cute wholesome couples, and I love it so much.

Anyhow! I truly hope you’ll check these shows out, because they’re all so good.

If you liked this post, and want more of my content, be sure to check out my podcast, Sonnets of a Teenage Wannabe, on your favourite podcast streaming platform, and give this blog a follow. All of these shows are available wherever you get your podcasts, so make sure to check them out!

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings