The Past, in Plural, read by rhicauldrie who has a lovely voice and I had such a good time listening to it.
A while back, there was a post--somewhere--about why people do and don't like listening to podfic. For me, it was an acquired taste, not because it's not awesome, but because I can't even get into talk radio very often (above and beyond the conservative bend of a lot of it); in general, I can't concentrate on a purely audio medium for the length of time it takes to get into a storyline. I broke that little problem with issaro recording Somewhere I Have Never Traveled because dear God, if she was going to spend that long recording something, I was damn well going to learn how to listen.
I was surprised to realize something about that, when I'd spent a lot of time worried I'd get hit with embarrassment (because it's productive to worry about the theory of listening to your own porn instead of, you know, just listening which is a hell of a lot quicker and there's a lot of time in my life I can't get back that I could have spent writing more of it). I mean, it's not just the porn; I know my weakness on citing dialogue to the speaker and try to compensate for that in edits but I don't always, and I'm pretty sure anyone who reads me has seen the paragraph long sentences, you see where this is going. I pick myself to pieces as a hobby verging on lifestyle choice; the idea of listening to someone else perform an audio verification I seriously need to work on my dependent clauses is a little disconcerting.
The thing is, they really aren't the same. I mean, they basically have the same words in the same order, but that's where the similarity ends, because the readers of podfic seem to basically recreate it from the ground up.
With other people's fics, it's a purely listening pleasure; with mine, it's being able to interact with my own fic as audience, which in general takes a couple of years to pull off. I can do that with my early Voyager fic, most of my X-Men, and some of my SV, but we're talking 2003 on it's hit or miss that I can read and not see the dissonance between the story I meant to write and what ended up on the page.
I think most writers have a universe in their heads that the story that is told ends up being only the bones of; it's not possible to get it all, and more importantly, all of it isn't relevant or necessary or even like, good. It's just, you know, background stuff. Jim's relationship with housekeeping robots in War Games did not need expansion. But man, I could tell you stories of him and Rand going through the Federation catalogue marveling at robots that could also do water sculpture.
And I think most writers when they start a story have an idea that as it turns out, the story ends up not being even close to, and that's another kind of dissonance. I have a major problem reading War Games parts five and six due to a change I made in three lines when I was nearly finished. I didn't have to change anything else in the fic for that--in fact, I changed them because the rest of the story didn't work with what I wanted to do, and more importantly, I didn't like it as it was. It was the right decision. I liked changing it! And doing that changed the entire meaning of the last two parts and closed one of my most irritating loose ends. It's still not how I originally imagined it, and dissonance when I get there, every damn time, and every time I read it, I have to stop, blink, and remind myself yes, I did change that, and then settle back in feeling like I entered a very specialized alternative universe for the remainder of the fic.
Someone else reading it is someone else interpreting it in a different act of creation; they do not carry the writer's baggage. It's not mine anymore (so much as fanfic ever is, or any fiction, for that matter); they made it theirs, using their voices and their interpretation to make something new and different from it.
Podfic readers are kind of magic like that. I don't say this often enough, to people who podfic, but it's incredible what you can do with the stories you tell. I can have read them a hundred times, but they're new every damn time I listen to them.
Speaking of, if I just say here and in my profile to podfic at will, would that work in general?