Dear Audio Fiction,
We've known each other for quite some time, and we have an anniversary coming up. I thought I would reflect on our time together and how you touched my life.
I've always had you as a constant. Half of learning to read was books on tape and as I grew up. Audiobooks slowly gave way to audio plays. I distinctly remember the BBC's Lord of the Rings. I listened to Ian Holm's voice from a 5 CD Stereo I had salvaged, which allowed me to queue the next disc while listening. I am incredibly thankful for all the libraries, which allowed me to explore audio on my own terms. My headphones and an old tape recorder were my friends as I mowed lawns and shoveled snow.
When I was 14, I won an iPod in a raffle at my high school in Nebraska. It was $20, it was for charity, I never expected to win. I never expected it to change my life. Being young, and not having a credit card, I discovered podcasts, and through them Fiction podcasting. The shows I listened to became my safety during adolescence.
Because of my love for you, audio fiction, I met Anna Rodriguez in a beginner sound design course. Eight years later, we're still together, and I could not ask for a better partner. I would never have moved to Los Angeles if not for love.
As I began to struggle with depression, you were the only entertainment that helped my mind. Watching visual mediums served as a distraction, but listening actually quieted my thoughts to experience the characters and stories. Hearing how characters like have overcome their struggles to achieve their goals helps grant me strength when I am in a dip. I would not have gone into therapy and begun to get help without encouragement from Audio Fiction.
When a Skyrim fan show won a Parsec award, I found myself in a discussion that lead to me helping code the voting systems of what became the Audio Verse Awards. After becoming the award committee's second chair, questions began to loop in my head. What am I hearing, and how do we recognize the people who make audio fiction better?
Now, I am in awe of what you have become. I hear the fingerprints of classic shows on new productions, and arrangements and effects illustrate details in audio in ways I have never before imagined. While starting a podcast is not an easy endeavor, the availability of tools and resources has allowed the medium to flourish with experimentation and innovation.
Over 13 years, I have had the pleasure of witnessing several phases of fiction podcasting and seeing the effects and inspirations other creators have had. This is one of the few artistic mediums which actively converts listeners into creators, and creators listen to their peers. There are such depth and diversity present in the current community, and it's because of the love we have for you, audio fiction.
In the past year, I have had met amazing creators, and heard them describe the stories they want to tell. They are in love, as I am in love. I don't know what I heard it first, and I haven't found the exact quote, but art is how we add beauty to our physical space, but the sound is how we give elegance to time.
You're beautiful, Audio Fiction. I can't wait to hear what you have for me to listen to.
-Colin J Kelly