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Writers’ Roundtable #1: How We Write

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With writers Robert Garrison, Basil Munroe Godevenos, and Denny Sayers

Robert Garrison, left, with co-workers Tammy (at left) and Tracey; Basil Munroe Godevenos. Denny Sayers not shown.


This week, three writers get together to compare notes on how they approach their work. You may recognize yourself here, or you may be completely surprised. Whatever you think, you can’t help concluding that writers are as varied as can be.

Denny Sayers is a professor of education at California State University-Stanislaus. He writes books for teachers that focus on technology, learning languages, and teaching students how to read and write. Brave New Schools (1997, St. Martin’s Press) which he wrote with Jim Cummins is still in print (!?!), which is rare for a book on the Internet and global learning networks. His new book from Allyn & Bacon Literacy, Diversity and Technology, written with two co-authors, comes out in June.

Basil Munroe Godevenos is a blossoming writer. He’s the author of Disjoint, a book of short fiction and poetry, he manages an online forum for writers, and he’s an occasional blogger. Basil is currently working on a novel, a screenplay, and a comic book.

Robert Garrison from Seattle, Washington is an unpublished writer of short fiction and non-fiction and poetry, a technical writer for engineering computer programs and a legal writer of motions and other court documents. He has traveled the world extensively, is a mountain climber and climbing instructor, and a semi-regular blogger at

Join Robert, Basil, Denny, and host Paula B. for a free-ranging discussion of how we write, including:


  • How they get their ideas out of their heads and into written form and why they work that way (you may be surprised at some of the rituals they practice)
  • What types of writing software they use
  • What you can do to make sure your work never gets lost or destroyed (and how they learned the hard way)
  • How they edit their work (and why they sometimes have to play tricks on themselves in the doing of it)
  • How you can circumvent printer troubles (at least some of the time)
  • How to get hard copy manuscripts across the country without having to print, pack, and ship them yourself
  • How they motivate themselves
  • Why they write.

Interviewees: Robert Garrison, Basil Munroe Godevenos, and Denny Sayers
Host: Paula B.
Date: April 10, 2006
Running time: 49:27 minutes
File size: 39 megabytes
Rating: G
Basil Munroe Godevenos’ writers’ forum:
Basil Munroe Godevenos’ Web site:
Robert Garrison’s climbing Web site and



Purchase Denny Sayers’ book from Barnes & Noble by clicking on the link below:

Brave New Schools: Challenging Cultural Illiteracy through Global Learning Networks
Brave New Schools: Challenging Cultural Illiteracy through Global Learning Networks

5 Responses to “Podcast: Writers’ Roundtable #1: How We Write”

  1. ebourne Says:

    I just found your podcast and I really enjoyed today’s show. It was full of practical information, but I was also encouraged and inspired. I’ll be back.

    Thank you,


  2. Administrator Says:

    Thank you, Evelyn! I’m so glad you enjoyed the episode! I’ll tell Robert, Basil, and Denny.

    Let us know what sorts of topics you’d like us to cover too.

    Paula B.

  3. JTennant Says:

    How wonderful it was to listen to these authors describing how they write! I also write at a computer, then print out my pages and edit on the paper, for the same reasons they described. I thought this was my unique way of doing it, so when I heard these authors describe the same process, I felt a special kinship with them –and also a feeling that I was doing it right after all! Only one problem with editing that way, and it’s that I go through many drafts, editing several times before I’m satisfied, so I figure I must go through at least a few reams of paper to produce one 300 page novel.
    The podcasts are wonderful. I download them into my MP3 player and listen as I go about my day. My only complain is that I wish they came about more than once a week.
    What is next on the agenda? Did I hear Paula mention something about a contest, in which we can enter the first chapter of a novel? If so, I’m ready!

  4. Administrator Says:

    Hi, J,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed hearing Denny, Basil, and Robert discuss how they write. Frankly, I wouldn’t worry about all that printing. After all, a 300-page novel is a lot of words and a lot of work, and you want it to be perfect. Right?

    I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the show. You may eventually get your wish for more podcasts than just the one weekly. I’m mulling over a few possibilities. Just so you know what goes into producing a show, I’m going to celebrate our first anniversary on July 6th with a podcast that takes listeners behind the scenes and gives everyone a glimpse at what it’s like to put the show together.

    And yes–there is a contest! See the post dated April 17th, 2006, and listen to How Not to Run, Ep 5 for details. There will be more about the contest as information becomes available, so please stay tuned!

    Paula B.

  5. Samantha Says:


    A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor