Many of you have probably already heard about Rooted + Reaching, the podcast project Valerie, Sara, and I have put together. We almost can’t remember how the idea was formed. But this project has brought a lot of light into my life.

When I started off my college career my plans were to double major in Graphic Design and Theatre. I love art and I love creating. Throughout my first year, I learned that one of the things I loved about art was getting down and nitty-gritty with tedious but creative tasks that were very rewarding when they were done. Well, through a series of events (such as not wanting to go to school for an ungodly number of years), I wound up only finishing with a Theatre degree. Since then I have wandered around, trying to find that kind of creative outlet that motivates me to get down and nitty-gritty with something inspiring. You’d think the pandemic would be the perfect occasion now that I have more time, but it doesn’t exactly grant me the motivation that I also need. 

My main job with the podcasts is editing them—which I only volunteered to do out of fear that I wasn’t invaluable enough in order to stick with the incomparable Sara and Valerie. (I know this to not be true; I just want to be honest about my insecurities here. FOMO, “fear of missing out”,  I’ve got it real bad. )

While the final podcast you listen to is between 15-20 minutes, the recording sessions have been anywhere between 26-40 minutes long. As the editor, I have to manage to crop out 10 to 20 minutes of valuable time with the guests we are talking to in a way that distills the conversation down. I also like to cut breaths, tongue clicks, and other strange noises that are distracting while leaving in ones that are less distracting (so the listener knows that these are real humans speaking). But I also can’t always cut them all. In Episode 1: Inge Hyder, Skydiver, Inge received a phone call. The same thing happens in an episode that has not been published yet where the guest (I will not reveal who) had someone knock on their door. But overall, I try to keep things as natural as possible. As Laurie  says at the end of her podcast (Episode 4: Laurie Coltri, Consonance Curator), the intent is for this to be just like a short conversation you may have had with someone at coffee hour after service. We want them to be personable. 

Ya’ll this editing thing is nitty and gritty. It is creative. And it has a wonderfully rewarding pay-off. My instinct is to take the thing I have found sudden love for and let it fill my life until I have exhausted it.

UGH I am feeling FIERCE and invincible right now. I feel in control and excited! After watching It’s a Wonderful Life, Soul, and Bridgerton I am feeling so MOTIVATED to get this shit on a ROLL. And the podcast is so invigorating and motivating, too. My creative brain is picking up steam like a train moving downhill.”

I sent that text to my best friend last Tuesday after eight straight hours of nonstop editing and after I read the article “What If We Approached Taking Care of Ourselves the Way We Approach Our Jobs?” by Shonda Rhimes

You know, I am definitely not ready to run away and begin editing podcasts for some big-time company. I have learned rather quickly that some hobbies do not need to be capitalized on in this way. If I keep my exciting outlets/hobbies in small bite-sized chunks, I will maintain that ever important motivation factor.

I am so thankful to have this kind of momentum to help me climb the next hill in life (like, you know, next week). I hope you find (or already have) something to push you uphill, too. 

Stay well,
Hannah Nelson

P.S. While Valerie, Sara, and I are the ones in charge of this invigorating podcast endeavor, we were not alone. We were supported by all of the lovely members of UUCC staff: Paige, Sean, Robin, Michael, and Kelli. They have been the keystone to this fantastic project. 

And you, UUCC. This project that is so endearing to many, only exists because of you! 

Keep an eye out in The LINK for more podcasts to be posted.


  1. Mark Gorkin

    Wonderful, edgy, sly humor post. Hey, with life unfolding as it is, hard not be motivated, if not a little terrorized! Like you, writing helps keep me just this side of the creative/crazy edge!

    Ode to the MEGA/MAGA-lo-Maniac/s

    The MAGA goes Maniac…
    So many things get “f_ _ ked.”
    Vultures swarm; a viral “Sieg-nal” from the breach
    To a blind rage mob of MAGA-holics
    Lady Liberty’s just one old worn out bitch!

    Still, have faith, the answer isn’t luck:
    Democracy gets taken back
    When Aryan White deny their Shadow Black.
    And with addictive MEGA-overreach
    The MEGA-MAGA self-destruct!

    Perhaps before the dawn
    Of the next arc of justice time
    We will “hallelujah mourn”
    Without reservation the ICE Age preservation
    Of those Terrorist Trumpeter Swine.

    Amen and women, to that!

    P.S. Also helps that “trial by combat” Rudy Giuliani’s
    About to explode pumpkin head is shoved up his big hiney.

    (C) Mark Gorkin 2021
    Shrink Rap ™ Productions

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