Nine Gems Online for Lovers and Writers of Story

It's really true that we all can find our tribe online. My tribe is definitely lovers of story. As much as I love reading paper and ink books, I don't want to imagine life without connection online at my finger tips, too. I have found so many great podcasts, websites, and opportunities and I wanted to share some of them with you. 


True Crime Obsessed

I learned about the True Crime Obsessed podcast from Sorta Awesome Show host, Meg Tietz. If you don't know this already, True Crime as a genre has exploded in the podcast world since the initial release and unprecedented popularity of Serial. But True Crime Obsessed is no ordinary podcast among true crime podcasts. 

Hosted by Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle, each week they choose one True Crime documentary to pull apart and they do it with humor. You don't have to watch the documentary to appreciate the podcast. Gillian and Patrick have a perfect cocktail mixture of Gillian's deadpan snark with Patrick's innocent hilarity and excitement. Their last episode about "Finders Keepers" was so funny, I couldn't even put on my makeup while I was listening. I also had to hold my stomach listening to "Jesus Camp". If anyone puts the fun back in dysfunctional, these two do. 

Laura Tremaine

I can't remember how I first discovered Laura, but I really admire her work. I first knew of her as the writer of the Hollywood Housewife blog, followed her to Smartest Person in the Room, and am enjoying her Ten Things to Tell You website. She is a voracious reader of both fiction and nonfiction and if you like book lists, I recommend signing up for her Secret Posts. 

Laura is consistently down to earth and thoughtful with a transparency that feels so different from the shiny happy people that can be a dime a dozen in entertainment. She's still a "housewife" to her industry husband and her two children. As a Californian and reader, I find the intersections of her life that she shares online so interesting.

Novel Adventures Vacations

Unfortunately, I can't recommend this company from firsthand experience as a traveler. But a girl can dream and I encourage you to dream along with me! Have you heard of literary travels and pilgrimages? Me, too, and I SO want to experience them! When I can, I will strongly consider the options Novel Adventures provides. They were very communicative when I reached out to them and they seem to provide opportunities I couldn't experience, necessarily, on my own. Besides. How fun would it be to travel with a small group of other enthusiasts of some of your favorite novels? Yes, please! If nothing else, check out their offerings for your imagination's sake. Consider what literary tour you would choose. 

Binge Mode from The Ringer/Still Dead/Outlander Cast Podcasts

If you have a favorite TV show out there, there is a probably a podcast with other fans that dive deep into each episode. I love these podcasts because I can geek out about my favorite stories after THE END comes up on my screen. My three current favorites, listed above, are about: Game of Thrones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Outlander, but I've also listened to Podcasts about The West Wing, The Leftovers, and more. Yours is out there, I can almost guarantee it. Google is your friend.

Bernadette Jiwa of the Story of Telling

Bernadette Jiwa of the Story of Telling

Michelle Mazur and Bernadette Jiwa

If you are like me and have a solo-preneur or small business gig, you might already know that there are SO many how-tos online about how to grow your business and promote yourself. I probably read someone's perspective and advice every day. But the bottom line, I'm learning, is to know what story your business and you tell. Two women that want to help you with that story are Michelle Mazur and Bernadette Jiwa. I learned about Michelle Mazur, the founder of Communication Rebel, on the Tara Gentile podcast, What Works, and found her basic message very intriguing. She reminded me that many movements...Black Lives Matter and #MeToo are the ones that immediately come to mind...are remembered in two to five words. You can work with her or download some basic questions that can really help clarify the work you want to do in the world and how you can start a movement with just a few words.  

I learned about Bernadette Jiwa from a Seth Godin book list. Seth has always been a champion of how to market a business with an intuitive approach, turning many traditional paradigms on their heads. He recommends Bernadette's work and so do I. She reminds me, "You don't need to compete when you know who you are." and "You can't build the right company with the wrong story". Yes. If I only chased book sales and tried to be like all the bookstores I've visited, my soul and energy would shrivel up in a few days if not hours. There's a reason I named my bookstore, JENNY'S Paper & Ink Books. Bernadette teaches me how to tell a good story with the business I am building because, "What’s stopping us isn’t the quality of our products and services or the value we deliver—it’s our ability to communicate that value meaningfully."

Rupi Kaur

Who is this woman? She fascinates me! She breaks all my molds. She's a 25yo POC poet. But what blows my mind is that her books of poetry have been bestsellers since I started my books business eighteen months ago and it's the young adults and their parents who want her books when they come into the store. I follow her on Instagram and almost every poem she posts makes my breath stop. Her books have been translated into 25 different languages and she has over one million followers on Instagram. She is worth learning about if you haven't discovered her yet. If nothing else, her poetry provides glimpses into the hearts of the young adults in our lives.  

The Great American Read Book Club

I am in a lot of Facebook groups for readers and as a fan of certain TV shows, but The Great American Read Book Club is my favorite so far (though shout-out to the Outlander Cast group who I also adore). If you are a reader and a lover of a good novel, your people are hanging out there. Almost 30K strong, ask any question you'd like about all things books and reading, gush with others about your favorite characters, or bash the book you love to hate. Have fun!

HotDudes Reading

Who says reading is only for the stereotypical "Marian the Librarian"? Throw these into your Instagram feed. Remind yourself if you love to have your nose in a book, you are in good company, including this brand of eye candy.


Jenny Wells

That's me!

I think there is no better place to hang out then the playground of stories. Stories are how grownups still get to play pretend. It's where we can build sand castles, play dress up, and completely lose track of time with ourselves or our friends. Every day I meet other lovers of stories in this playground that includes a paper and ink bookstore in Grass Valley, CA and online. I want to introduce you to stories that inform your own, the one you're writing each and every day. I'm the Jane Austen's Emma of story matchmaking. Connect with me for personalized reading recommendations, insightful writing about the way story intersects our lives, and to learn about my retreat and workshop offerings, including "Embracing Our Sacred Humanity Through Story".

See you in the sand, friends! Happy Summer Stories to you. What's a story you are currently enjoying?