Never Good Enough (pod-07)

In this episode, I bully my wife onto the show. Listen to her talk about my various failings as a husband. Everything from my failures as a lawn mower-er to my inability to plan trips with the family to our combined attraction for Angel, the brooding vampire with a soul from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What’s not to like?


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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

Meta links:

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vid003: From start to end

In this video, I dig into Kristen Forbes’ process for writing a story or essay. And I vent about my dislike of the pantser/plotter stereotype. (For those who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, watch the video for a quick explanation.) But most importantly, I animate a great story Kristen told about her obsession with Chad Simpson’s writing — a story that I hope you find as wonderful as I did.

(I’m releasing this video a little early so I get it out in the world before Kristen’s brave trip.)

(Also, I think today is the one-year anniversary of Chad Simpson’s great book. Woohoo!)

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-season1-03: 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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Not exactly a village, but it takes quite a few bad asses

I’m doing this Creative Turn thing as a solo project. It’s an exhausting racket. A labor of love that often feels like it has an emphasis on the labor part. (Don’t worry… this isn’t going to turn into a request for $$$!) I spend hours and hours in my attic working through the edits of the audio and the video. I’m the one learning how to stumble my way through tools like Final Cut Pro X at night when my family is asleep. I’m the one paying for the site and servers and services to make this thing work. I’m the one who can’t sleep, worrying about whether spending all this time on these projects is going to feel meaningful in the end, or if it will kill me. I’m on this sinking ship alone.

But that’s a dishonest story. There are a tuches-load of people involved in my so-called solo project. [Read more...]

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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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17.5% less sucky

The week that John Gruber and Merlin Mann linked to my video tribute of their SXSW conversation, I started getting (temporarily) 8,000 hits a day on my website. As opposed to the previous 50 hits a day. I don’t count these things too closely, but it was a shocking change. I’ve had a few other notable spikes in attention. Once for writing about my Twitter code of conduct, once for talking about my failures with the New Yorker magazine, and once for talking about my failure to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book that discusses 10,000 hours.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because numbers are tricky. [Read more...]

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