Sensing Accomplishment

Family listening to the radio, library of congress
LC-H234- A-9968      A Family listening to the radio circa 1921          

In October I was fortunate enough to see Jess Walters (author of Beautiful Ruins, among others) and Anthony Doerr (a local writer whose book All the Light We Cannot See recently won the Pulitzer Prize) speak here in my little corner of the world.

It was wonderful and I do believe I droned on about it in a blog you can find here.

The friend I shared the evening with recently told me that she had checked out a podcast that is done by Sherman Alexie and Jess Walters. This podcast, it seems, was advertised in the program from said evening; but apparently I was too lost in the moment to find it. This is why we have friends, by the way, so that they can point us in the right direction!

She told me I should probably give a listen and I did and I have been main-lining this podcast until I’m drunk on it. So it’s only fair I share it with y’all.

It’s called A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment. It’s a pretty simple concept. Mr. Walters and Mr. Alexie, who are both from the Spokane area and long time friends, give a little introduction, they each read a little something they’ve written either recently or in the past, then they have a guest and talk about life, writing, or just stuff that interests them.

I feel the way my father must have while listening to radio programs when he was a kid. The scene unfolding in his mind’s eye and creeping excitedly down his spine and into his arms and legs until holding still was not an option because the suspense and wonder and story was just so wonderful. Okay, I’m not quite sure if he felt that way  or if he ever told me he felt that way. And maybe I’m remembering it that way because of how he gushes poetically ever Christmas while we’re all watching A Christmas Story and the scene when Ralphie is listening to Little Orphan Annie and maybe my remembering my father telling me his remembering is too mixed up with popular movies.


To hear these two amazing writers, who have both seen quite a lot of success, talk about struggle and self-doubt after all this time…their words resound with such value and an insight that I’ve been in great need of as of late. This podcast is what I’ve always yearned for, a fun, honest, momentary conversation about the heart of writing and those who attempt the craft. Sometimes it’s nice to know the struggle is valid.

Even if you aren’t a writer, I think you’ll find this podcast entertaining and you might learn something new from an author you’ve loved reading over the years.

Leave a Reply