Podcast: Speaking Steinbeck

The one where we record near the shores of Monterey Bay, invoking John Steinbeck and the history of Cannery Row. We spend some time discussing how writers can use words to illustrate scenes and characters to their full richness.

No spoilers.

Here you go!

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

Podcast: Looking for Kolchak

The one where we talk about the legends and misconceptions of being a writer, especially an independent writer. CC and I picked three specific myths that we felt affected us as writers.

No real spoilers, though we chat about one of my favorite TV shows: “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.”

Here you go!

As always, send feedback because feedback makes us better podcasters and writers! Take care!

Podcast: In Media Res

The one where we talk about jumping in media res (“in the middle”) of the action in your favorite books and movies. Prime examples discussed include Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child, Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, and basically every James Bond movie.

Here you go!

As always, scroll down to get email notifications and, please, send feedback. We love to hear how bad we are!

Podcast: We’re Only Human

The one where we talk about the three real-life philosophies we apply to our writing.

CC: Love Conquers All, Nobody’s Perfect, We’re Only Human.

JT: Perception Forms Reality, Be Honest, Be Kind.

No spoilers this week. Have a listen and let us know what you think. Thank you.

Podcast: Jacobellis v. Ohio

The one where we discuss hardcore sex in writing and popular media. Like so many people, we struggle between “porn for porn’s sake” and “porn for art’s sake.” Jacobellis v. Ohio comes up. And, hey, FREE BOOK!

Midnight Cowboy, Fifty Shades of Grey, Clockwork Orange, Pretty Woman, Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Doom Patrol, American Gigolo, Jacobellis v. Ohio.

Here’s the podcast.

Here’s the free book offer for Sunday, June 27 to Tuesday, June 29. Do your homework, people!

As always, scroll down to get email notifications and thanks for listening!

From Rhett to Ahnold

The one where we continue our series on sex and writing. We venture into the middle ground of sexual relations in your writing (PG, PG-13, R), and how writers can express tension and climax.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. Scroll down to register for notifications, too. Thank you!

Spoilers: True Lies, Aliens, Gone with the Wind, Moonlighting, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 10 Things I Hate About You

HW: A Political Lesson

Their smiles are double-edged,
Posturing from the podium.
Contempt poised to slice.

Who’s your sneakiest teacher? Not your favorite, but the sneaky one who planted seeds in you that bloomed years later?

I was a fan of The West Wing, though the best reason eluded me at first. The writing was tight (hello, Mr. Sorkin), the acting was excellent, and the sets were fantastic, but I was drawn to the mechanisms of government. The whole three branches and checks-and-balances thing resonated. Dorky, yes, but I finally figured out that my interest could be traced to my junior high school social studies teacher.

Civics and social studies. We had classes in junior high (no stinking “middle school”) and high school, and Ms. Dugger’s class in high school was great fun. She was near retirement, I think, so she let us seniors run things. I don’t remember learning much. On the other hand, Mr. Troy’s American social studies and history class at Carson JHS is where I became a government nerd, though I didn’t know it at the time. His lessons came together years later when I watched President Bartlet and his administration.

I wish I could give you more specifics on Mr. Troy’s pedagogy (great word), but the one thing that sticks out is that he didn’t lecture as much as he guided questions at us. And we had to be prepared. For instance, the real reason the United States made the 1854 Gadsden Purchase with Mexico was to have the flat land at the south end of the Rockies for the railroads going west. Turns out we went through the Rockies instead of going around them, but we kept the land that became the southern ends of New Mexico and Arizona.

So how does this tie back to the haiku? Mr. Troy taught us about the government our elders wanted us to believe existed because that was his job, but he was clearly was a child of the Sixties. We picked up on his cynicism and sarcasm about the functioning of our government. Had he lived during the last administration, I suspect he would have reminded us that the mechanism of government works only when reasonable people agree to work towards a middle ground. There was no middle ground in the last administration, so here we are and here is the haiku.

As for technical notes, I resisted inserting bloodier language, though tempted. Probably a good idea, considering the events of January 6. I do hope that this vicious cycle of political theater passes soon. It’s not helping our country at all. Mr. Troy would have agreed.

Podcast: Elephant in the Room

The one where we delve into sex in the G-rated literature and media environment. We discuss the history of sex in books, the use of innuendoes, cultural shifts, growing up on Harlequin romances, and gender roles.

Triggers: Sex, Domestic Violence

Here you go. As always, please scroll down to sign up to subscribe. Thank you!

Let’s Talk About Sex

Okay, get your minds out of the gutter, kids. LOL.

We’ve been quiet this week on The Worldwide Headquarters because of Real Life and Day Jobs, so we’re going to kick off a three- or four-episode series of podcasts talking about s-e-x in writing.

We’re going to follow the MPAA compliance ratings and start off with our “G-rated” episode tomorrow (Sunday, June 13, 2021). The other ratings (PG-13, R, and X) will follow down the road. Should be fascinating.

As always, you can check out our podcasts page and scroll down to subscribe to these blog posts. Talk to you tomorrow!

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