Comedy is Hard

Welcome to the podcast where we misquote actor Edwin Guinn and others when we say, “Life is easy. Comedy is hard.”

We discuss our mutual work in progress (WIP), and we agree that while we got the “Rom” part right, we misfired on the “Com” part. How did that happen? And what can we do together to improve our future works. We analyze two of our favorite rom-com movies along the way.

We also update our individual WIPs and what we’re reading this summer. And we signed up for a college class!

Have a listen and leave a note on our comments page, too. TIA! LYL!

Storytelling

Books, books, books.

Busy writers podcast this week, so let’s dive in:

  • Book covers w @99designs
  • Editing with @RAPublishing
  • Lessons learned from writing together
  • The status of our individual WIPs
  • Pixar Storytelling rules via @lawnrocket
  • Karma. Be Kind. Always.

Here’s the source of the Pixar storytelling rules.

Listen to the podcast! Love it? Hate it? Let us know through our Comments page, or shoot Cassidy or JT a tweet!

TIA! LYL!

At the end of the day…every day.

Sick Leave

Not my current boss!

I’m on sick leave and I’m feeling an unreasonable sense of guilt because we absolutely should use sick leave when we’re sick, but the feeling persists. We’re trained from the first grade that we have to be at our desks five days a week from dawn to dusk. The training sticks for most of us, sometimes to extreme, and here I am.

Since I’m thinking about work when I should be resting, I pulled together some truisms that I’ve learned after 40-ish years in the workforce, most of it in public service. The below and $5 will get you bitter coffee at Starbucks.

Computers are tools, not solutions. How many meetings have we been in where managers speak as if new software applications and cutting edge technology will solve all of our problems? And has that ever actually happened?

Employees are not your enemies. That one is for the bosses who believe an adversarial relationship between employees and managers produces the best results. Outside of families and friends, supervisors rent the most space in our brains. A patient and kind boss who can professionally hold us accountable for our work products in a positive manner goes far in promoting our good mental health.

Ethics matter. Well, duh. Always take the high road. And if something even faintly smells like an ethics problem, it already is one.

Mondays don’t suck. Your job sucks. Like I said, we’re trained to work five days a week, and that first day is a reminder that we are not totally free to make choices, except that you totally are free to make choices about your reaction. If you can’t change your job, change your attitude about your job. Lifting yourself up will lift up others around you, and you’ll be amazed at the improvement in team morale.

Incompetent employees are worse than no employees. Oh, man. I learned a hard lesson about this one. The outcome was i was doing two jobs (mine and theirs) while they were collecting a salary. Let these people go. You’re not happy and they’re not happy, and they can probably find a better fit somewhere else.

Strategic plans ain’t. How many strategic plans committees have you served on and did they ever help? And when completed, were employees held accountable to the goals through their annual evaluations? Did management enact programs in line with the strategic plan? And did you ever see one wall poster with the strategic plan for everyone to see? Or was the entire strategic plan project just a checkbox from the secret supervisor workbook named “How to Pretend to be an Effective Supervisor While Wasting Everyone’s Time.”

Don’t get me started on Dress Code Policies. Also known as the policy where low-wage earners are forced to go to Walmart every three months to buy clothes they can’t afford in the first place and that will wear out in three months.

Got there early and left late, but nobody cared because the job doesn’t love you back. Sounds like a country song, don’t it? Yeah, this was my personal policy for years. At some point I realized I had nothing to prove. But I still feel guilty when I take sick leave. Go figure.

Leaders with little or no inner awareness of themselves kill morale and creativity. I’ll just leave this one there. Besides, the people who should read that sentence will be like Warren Beatty in Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain: they won’t think it’s about them.

Everyone’s just winging it. I used to think grownups had all the answers. I was young and naive, okay? I cannot begin to count the number of times we’ve had to develop a policy on the fly because of the complexity of the job. We did our best with precedent and current policy, but you’d think we’d have a better way forward.

There’s dozens more, and maybe I’ll put them in a book sometime. Until then, take care of you. And use your earned leave without guilt. I wish I could.

I could do a whole separate post on WFH.

Chapter One

What hooks a reader into buying and reading a book? Heck if we know, but we try to examine that “hook” that pulls readers into our books. I read the first chapter of my latest book as an example. (Adult content warning)

We also talk about finishing the first draft of our latest book, and we go into the fun and challenges of writing a joint book. Lots of lessons learned!

We say this a lot, but this podcast is packed! If you’re a writer or a reader, there’s good things here for you!

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

Someone outside was listening to our podcast as we were recording it.

Plot Prompts

Two weeks ago, CC gave me random prompts and had me make up a story on the fly, testing me as a pantser. CC took her turn as a plotter with these three prompts:

Dropped into an alien world
High school romance
Teenage girl superhero

(Giving credit, the prompts came from https://www.servicescape.com/writing-prompt-generator)

We had an interesting conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of being a plotter, and we narrow it down to one four-letter word.

We give you an update on the book we’re writing together and, oy vey, this thing has taken on a life of its own.

Have a listen to the old podcast and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

Thank You, All

I’m in the local Starbucks working on CC’s and my latest book with an eye on my Kindle bookshelf’s activity. I am humbled.

This last weekend’s giveaway was wildly successful with dozens of books heading out the door. I am incredibly grateful. If you were one of the downloaders, thank you and I hope they enrich your day.

If I may ask, a small review would be welcome. The more reviews, the more visibility the books gain in the the Kindle algorithms. Typos are welcome!

I keep threatening to raise the prices on my books, but haven’t had the heart to do it yet. For now, most continue to be available at 99ยข or about a third of the price of small cup of coffee. Have a look if you haven’t already.

Thank You, All!

Team Editing

CC is sitting behind me as we edit. Hiding the text from you for now. ๐Ÿ™‚

CC and I are writing a book together, and today we talk about the intense editing session we’re doing this weekend. We’re learning a lot about collaboration, writing styles, sentence structures, and editing in general.

Have a listen and let us know what you think!

Happy Birthday to Ruth Buzzi, Lynda Carter, and to all July 24 babies!

If you’re reading this on Sunday, July 24, 2022, all of my books are free! Here’s the link. Enjoy. TIA! LYL!

National Tequila Day and Free Books!

Sunday, July 24th has four great things going for it:
Ruth Buzzi’s Birthday
National Tequila Day
My birthday
Free Books!

Yes, all of my books will be free for the taking on Sunday. All of them for one day. It’s my gift to y’all for putting up with podcasts and tweets and everything.

Please grab them on Sunday and pass them to your friends, loved ones, and neighbors.

Thank you so much in advance for following along. LYL!

Pure Pantsing

Pantsing (also known as winging it) is the term Wrimos use refer to writing without a fixed outline (an outline that the writer will force themselves to follow). A Wrimo who adopts the pantsing approach to writing is called a pantser. (source)

Today was a fun podcast on Pantsing with CC challenging me with three surprise writer’s prompts:

Dropped into an alien world
High school romance
Teenage girl superhero

Next week, CC is going to do the same prompts, but from a plotter’s point of view. (Giving credit, the prompts came from https://www.servicescape.com/writing-prompt-generator)

We discuss on how we draw on the classics when we write our own books, whether we know it or not. We also touch on our two current works in progress and the big free book giveaway next week (some of the covers are below).

Have a listen and let us know what you think!

TIA! LYL!

HEA and HFN

We chat about our current WIP and whether we should do a “Happily Ever After” versus “Happy For Now” kind of ending.

Readers want both, often at the same time, which can lead to “interesting” sequels.

Spoilers: Star Wars, The Godfather, The Matrix, and The Mummy (Brenden Frasier version, obv).

We also announce a big deal happening on July 24th. More details soon on our website at http://www.carsonhume.com

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

PS: Thank you for the hugely successful book giveaway and the release of “Starting Over in Las Vegas.” If you grabbed any of my books, please leave a written review (even if it’s four or five words). Much appreciated!

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