Who Are We?

“Helping Writers Write”

CC and I zoomed pass one hundred podcasts since we started “The Amateur Hour” in 2021, and we should reintroduce ourselves with a list of our popular podcasts.

Cassidy Carson and JT Hume are parents, grandparents, and independent writers who podcast, and we’ve got a few books between us. We’ve been a team for over forty years, and we learned things about writing and living together during our journey. Our advice and $5 will get you a Starbucks.

Writing: On top of our books, we have works in progress (WIPs): CC’s historical romance, and JT’s space epic. We wrote a book together that was so much fun, we’ll do it again after our individual WIPs. Check out our joint book and let us know if you like it.

Podcast: We podcast to share our experiences and ideas, but we really like to do is sit down and take a break with each other. That’s all. Nothing dramatic or lurid. Two people of a certain age with a history of chatting over coffee. Our podcast mission: “Helping Writers Write.”

These adventures are the meat of our podcasts. Here’s a short list of the many related topics for your listening convenience.

  • Elmore Leonard was a preeminent 20th Century writer, and he created “10 Rules for Good Writing.” We looped in Hemingway and a Marvel movie.
  • We had an on-the-air earthquake while we discussed the “nature vs. nurture” complexity of the “Flawed Protagonist.”
  • The Nature of Reality, and we employ the usual podcast tool of using familiar movies: “The Matrix” and “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

All this and dozens more for your daily commute. We hope you listen and send us feedback because we would love to hear from you.

As we always say, thanks in advance and love you lots!

Going Cross Country

The podcast is back after a two-week hiatus due to JT driving to the East Coast and back to see his sister. Today’s episode is all about that eleven-state tour (NV, UT, WY, NE, IA, IL, IN, OH, PA, MD, DE, and back). For those scoring at home, JT drove over 5,500 miles.

Visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park
What’s the one color you’ll see from coast to coast?
Happy 41st Anniversary!

Gettyburg is a must-see for the history nerd (guilty). If you can’t get there, Justin Scarred from Randomland does a great job outlining the museum and the battlefields.

We’ll get back to a true writing podcast next week. Have a listen and enjoy!

Finding Time

Happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate and should be celebrated! This week, we spent most of the podcast bragging about our kids, but we also debated a fair amount trying to crack the tough nut of Time.

Question: how do you find the time to write? Even as empty nesters, CC and I struggle to set aside time to work on our WIP. We bounce around some ideas and plans in this podcast.

Have a listen and send us your suggestions. TIA! LYL!


Bonjour! Today’s writer’s podcast is all about the City of Lights: Paris, France. We were lucky to spend more than a week discovering the wonders of Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and a thousand places in between. From the Paris Metro to a famous graveyard. We walked along the Seine and took a long boat ride on the Seine, yet we barely scratch the surface of this wonderous city.

From a writer’s POV, we learned about communication gaps, French culture and history, and whether there was any truth to certain French stereotypes. Plus we visited Victor Hugo’s bedroom and Oscar Wilde’s tomb.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

Some of the places we visited:

Musée Marmottan Monet https://www.marmottan.fr/en/
Musée National Picasso-Paris https://www.museepicassoparis.fr/en/home-page
Victor Hugo House https://www.maisonsvictorhugo.paris.fr/en
Musée Carnavalet (History of Paris) https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/
Musée des Arts et Métiers (Arts and Crafts) https://www.arts-et-metiers.net/
Père-Lachaise cemetery https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/walks-in-paris/unusual-stroll-cemetery-pere-lachaise

Writers’ Workshop

For Carson City’s Mark Twain Days, we went to a writers’ workshop on Nevada and came away with interesting perspectives and ideas. CC might even have a new story to tell.

Our thanks to the Nevada Arts Council for sponsoring the workshop.

We discuss our own works in progress and our upcoming trip to Europe.

Here’s a plug for CC’s past colleague Rich Moreno who wrote a timely piece on “Frontier Fake News,” available through the University of Nevada Press. Good guy and good writer.

Have a listen and TIA LYL!

Messages to Us

Episode 114 of the “helping writers write” podcast touches on messages to our younger selves. What we have learned and what would we say to ourselves if we could go back in time. “Never give up” is the obvious advice, but the rest is not so obvious.

Also discussed:
-Paris (France)
-Mark Twain
-Our Basement
-Significant Birthdays
-Going to College
-Our current WIPs

And the real reason they made you take algebra in high school. It wasn’t a waste of time!

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA and LYL!

Words are Hard

Been a low and slow day at the CC and JT Amateur Hour where “we help writers write” because Spring has finally sprung. Woo!

We talked about the craft of writing last week, which is the technical aspect of grammar, editing, and publishing. These are universal to all books.

What is not universal is the creative process or the art of writing, so today’s podcast is all about pulling words from our brains and getting them on the screen. CC and I compare and contrast our respective styles as we talk about our current works in progress.

Shorter: we podcast on making the sausage.

For those who celebrate: Happy Easter! For the rest of us: Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

(image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/175218241724991492/)

Spring Cleaning

1870: American writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain (1835 – 1910). (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

Episode 112 of our writer’s podcast tackles Spring Cleaning, the ritual of opening the windows, letting in the fresh air, and getting your house organized.

For writers, it’s about the craft of writing: organizing your manuscripts, filing documents in their proper folders, and reorganizing your brain for the next manuscript.

Also discussed: our basement (sigh), France, Mark Twain in Nevada, and the artist’s right to change their work.

Lots of good stuff here. Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA LYL!

Reality vs. Memory

For those of us at certain age, we recall when Rod Serling spoke of the dimension of mind. Episode 111 of our “writer’s podcast for writers” dives into the mind as we discuss “reality vs. memory.” They’re often not the same thing.

We use a fender bender that CC and I saw firsthand this week. Even though it happens a few feet from us, we took away different perceptions of the event.

We also provide updates on our individual works in progress which we hope to publish this year, plus the weekly weather and water report.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

Dialogue and SM

Another polyglot of a podcast from the Worldwide Headquarters where “we like to help writers write.”

We discussed writing comfort zones and how writers like to stick to familiar troupes and character because they over a rich source of inspiration. John Grisham and his love for the Deep South is specifically mentioned, as is my books of Nevada.

We push our own buttons (again) of the complex subject of social media and the increasing amount of overhead dedicated to advertise our works, almost to the point where we have to sacrifice writing time in lieu of advertising. A difficult balance.

We wrap things up with a chat about dialogue and context, and we mention how people mostly listen to others to respond versus really listening to each other (it makes more sense in the podcast). We discuss some ideas on how writers can improve their dialogue in their books.

All this and more from the Podcast Where Production Values Go to Die. Literally. Have a listen and let us know what you think. We hope you enjoy. Take care.

Flooded Basement

Another podcast, another joint therapy session.

Northern Nevada is being pummeled by waves of rain and snow, and some of it overflowed into our basement. CC and I talk it out to get perspective and context, and as a means to reduce our stress.

Also discussed:
-Writing as an escape.
-Getting yourself into writing mode.
-Memories and context.
-Word games with kids.
-Cochlear implants.
-Rain and snow and rain and snow.
-How we’d love to hear back from you.

Trigger: I use a naughty word (a naughty Irish word, that is).

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

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