tctpod-season1-05: Before I was an African-American artist

In this podcast episode, I talk to Harold Johnson – poet, novelist, musician, artist, teacher, editor, and more. Harold is an African-American man who was born in 1930s Yakima, Washington and I really wanted to listen to him talk about growing up in this time and place. It is only one piece to the story of who he is, but a piece I definitely wanted to hear. So I hope you’ll join me on this journey into 1930s & 1940s rural Washington.

Links:

Show outline:

  • 00m:00s – Introduction
  • 02m:59s – The first thing I remember
  • 06m:09s – Falling in love with the trumpet
  • 09m:42s – On being an athlete
  • 15m:15s – It was a big trip
  • 16m:26s – Johnson’s got good form
  • 17m:52s – We have some new children and they’re Negroes
  • 21m:59s – My first sports heroes were white
  • 24m:19s – The war
  • 26m:05s – Identified as an artist (mentors 1)
  • 32m:15s – Girls
  • 35m:36s – Buddies
  • 39m:14s – Jews from Brooklyn (mentors 2)
  • 44m:53s – A flair for writing
  • 47m:04s – College
  • 50m:27s – Growing up in the Pacific Northwest
  • 56m:48s – Harold as a poet
  • 1h:04m:19s – You look good! You look good!

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vid004: The index card treatment

In this video, I get to focus on Kate’s perspective on the index card treatment, which is how she lays out index cards to outline her novel. It not only can help with plotting a story, but with detecting patterns in your book. Kate also came up with a fabulous metaphor about a risk with the index card treatment — a metaphor that required all of my bad animation skills. She says many more things that I didn’t get a chance to animate, so check out the full one-hour audio conversation for more of her insights. Enjoy!

Related links:

For more information about this half-baked series (and how to subscribe to it), check out The Creative Turn.

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tctpod-season1-04: The podcast based on the book based on the movie (with Kate Maruyama)

In this podcast episode, I talk to Kate Maruyama. She is the author of the novel Harrowgate, which just came out in September and hit #3 on the Kindle horror bestseller list. Kate and I usually check-in using an ancient telephone contraption, but I tricked her into Skyping so I could record some of the cool things she says about the writing process. Two things we focus on: Kate’s background in screenwriting, and her keen editing abilities. Enjoy!

Show notes:

Video inspired by the conversation

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tctpod-season1-03: Writing in the raw (with Kristen Forbes)

In this podcast episode, I get to talk to my good friend Kristen Forbes about writing well-crafted pieces that cover emotionally raw material. I really enjoyed speaking with her, and other than the number of times I stupidly say, “Wow!”, I’m pretty pleased with how this conversation turned out. Check out the first two links below to read the two main essays that we reference in the discussion. Also, I’m still working out minor audio issues… bear with me… Please?

Show notes:

Video inspired by the conversation

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vid002: From head to heart

In this video, I fixate on one particular topic: Scott’s quest to turn his second book (a novel in progress) into a deeper story. And more generally: can you turn something formulaic (and in your head) into something deeper (and in your heart)?

Not only is Scott smart, he’s also funny. So you’ll notice that I can’t help but giggle through a lot of Scott’s stories. Sorry.

Regarding the making of this video: I forced myself to create it mostly through still shots with my iPhone (while also learning how to crudely edit video in Final Cut Pro!) just to make things awkward for me (and maybe for you too). Hope you enjoy it just the same…

Thanks again to all those who submitted hug photos. I hope I did those great photos justice.

Related links:

For more information about this half-baked series (and how to subscribe to it), check out The Creative Turn.

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tctpod-season1-02: The second big thing (with Scott Sparling)

In this podcast episode, I talk with Scott Sparling about the challenges of writing the second book. We talk about bringing a work-in-progress into your heart when it wasn't born in the heart. We talk about the egomaniacalness of comparing your work to the Beatles. We discuss the pros and cons of having a deadline for your writing project. We discuss bad book sales, writing in tree houses, stones on the beach, delusions of grandeur, depression, tenacity, stubbornness, and masturbating while writing. Enjoy!

Show notes:

Video inspired by the conversation

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vid001: Marinating with Joan Didion and Telaina Eriksen

In this video, I fixate on two cool topics that came up during my conversation with Telaina Eriksen:

  1. Writing in the moment vs. letting things marinate
  2. Putting your thoughts within the context of a particular scene

I take an under-educated stance on why Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking worked so well.

I also find a way to stick my kid’s precious stuffed animal (Shaggy the Jaguar) into the video.

Related links:

For more information about this half-baked series (and how to subscribe to it), check out The Creative Turn.

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tctpod-season1-01: The depressing episode (with Telaina Eriksen)

In this podcast episode, I get to talk to my friend Telaina Eriksen about how she is able to write about grief and loss and death in her essays. I first met Telaina in 2008 when we both were in the Antioch University low-residency MFA program. I’ve been wanting to ask her about how she gets to these difficult places in her writing for a few years now, and this so-called podcast thingy gave me the chance… Join us for this delightful romp through grief and loss and death.

Show notes:

Video inspired by the conversation

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video: Too Hip for the Room: George Carlin

So I’m still experimenting with different themes and styles and formats for my videos. Here is a posthumous interview with the great George Carlin. I’ve always wanted to know how he evolved into the great comedian that he became. So I asked him…

You can find a list of all my videos here. And you can subscribe to my second-rate blog either by email or RSS.

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