Ditch Diggers #49: Happiness in darkness

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s iPhone 7 BlueTooth Headphone store.
  • Matt didn’t know before he bought one that the iPhone 7 has no headphone jack and he is unhappy about it. Loudly.
  • Mur cites a study she read comparing apps that make people happy to apps that don’t and how much time we spend using both, and the results led her down a path of several writing career related epiphanies.
  • Matt recaps the week in professional writers getting screwed, particularly the wake of DNAinfo and Gothamist being shuttered by billionaire Joe Ricketts after both writing staffs voted to unionize.
  • The Ditch Diggers discuss what about the current online market and publishing models need to be changed and how writers have to react to begin bringing about that change.
  • Twitter Q&A! Topics include agents requesting marketing plans from querying authors, how much editing/rewriting is too much, and consuming drugs and alcohol while writing.
  • The apps and happiness study cited by Mur in this episode: http://www.timewellspent.io/app-ratings/

ISBW #386: NaNo Primer 2 // Grant Faulkner Interview

Grant Faulkner QuoteIt’s time to really prep for NaNoWriMo! We then talk to Grant Faulkner about time hunts, his new book, and how to kill writer’s block.

Remember to send me your NaNo username to add you as a friend and to enter a drawing to win BOTH Pep Talks for Writers AND I Should Be Writing!

ISBW #385: NaNo Primer 1 // Nicky Drayden Interview

NaNoWriMo is in less than a month! AUGH! So we talk prep, and we talk to Nicky Drayden, author of The Prey of Gods (which was a NaNo book!)

If you want to friend me on NaNoWriMo, I’m mightymur there as usual!

Remember, if you want to win The Prey of Gods, email me! I’ll draw a name at random and announce it on the next show!

AND if you want a daily NaNoWriMo boost, then support the Patreon! I’ll be doing a daily podcast there, a short note to encourage people to keep going. It’s fun.

Next on the podcast: Grant Faulkner from NaNoWriMo and author of Pep Talks for Writers.

  • Current Writing Project: Remora and Sam, a Patreon-only serial.
  • Currently reading: The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones (follow me on Goodreads if you like, I’m usually reading a bunch of stuff at once.)
  • Last movie seen: Blade Runner 2049

Ditch Diggers #48: Sensitivity editing with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry

Posting in a hurry cause I’m on my way to NYCC today! Hope to see people there!

– Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s PSA Sound Booth with special guest co-host, author, editor, and activist Elsa Sjunneson-Henry!
– Mur has a new dog, and Matt explains what Morgan Freeman’s PSA Sound Booth means.
– Elsa’s history as a child activist, and how she was still in single digits when the CIA once investigated her background.
– Elsa talks about all of her, in Mur’s words, “many feathered hats” and the Ditch Diggers discuss how being a writer sometimes get lost when you do twenty different things as a freelancer.
– An introduction to sensitivity readers/editors, what they do, and why they’re necessary.
– Elsa talks about being a sensitivity editor and the many ways writers in all mediums/industries screw up dealing with visually impaired characters.
– How much you can expect to pay a sensitivity editor, and how to find one to hire them.
– Elsa fields Twitter Q&A! Everyone wants to know how to hire the One True Sensitivity Editor, and Elsa explains why that’s impossible and how to approach it correctly.
– Obligatory rambly end-of-show shilling.
Writing in the Margins’ Sensitivity Reader Database: http://writeinthemargins.org/sensitivity-readers/
Keep up with Elsa’s writing (and hire her!): http://feministsonar.com/elsa/
Elsa on Twitter: @snarkbat
Elsa on Instagram: @snarkbat
Dead Scare Tabletop RPG: http://www.deadscare.com/

ISBW #384: The Black Dog Doesn’t Care

This is a personal one. I’ve had a mild depressive spell lately. It’s a dip in a normally healthy life, and I have them every so often, so I’m not concerned. But I am addressing it, both in my life and in this show. As my husband Jim told me, the black dog doesn’t care when you have problems, or even when you don’t have problems. It comes when it wants.

Feels weird to shill on a personal show, so I’ll forgo that.

Ditch Diggers #47: Being Done // Missing Stairs

So for the first time in months, I’ve missed a week. I’ve hit a low period again, and this podcast is kind of heavy, which made me hesitate to post it. But here’s this one, and then the ISBW for this week should go up tomorrow.

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Lasso of Truth Loom.
  • Matt and Mur take the word “loom” for a fun test drive, and the Ditch Diggers talk about what they’re up to in their own freelance careers.
  • Matt offers up a lesson about the idea of wasted effort, and how to look at (and eventually use!) the work you do that doesn’t sell or get you the writing job you were pursuing (and Mur offers tips on grocery shopping online to save time for writers!).
  • Mur asks the question, “Are you ever done as a fiction writer?” And the Ditch Diggers discuss the idea of retiring from writing, or telling all the stories you want to tell and being “done.”
  • Ditch Diggers plea for someone with the juice to hook Mur up with a gig editing an anthology based on the ancillary secondary characters from the sitcom Friends.
  • Mur talks about working for Serial Box on the serialized/seasonal Bookburners series, the recent summit of Serial Box writers in NYC, and working with a team of writers on the book series.
  • The Ditch Diggers plans to market an “Overwatch Pajamas Mur Barbie Doll,” and Mur tells an adorable story about how her daughter thought video games were played when she was very small.
  • Matt and Mur attempt to tackle the very heavy issue of “missing stairs,” or how writers (or any industry professional) should approach addressing/exposing known harassers and abusers in their industry, especially when the harassers/abusers in question are industry “heroes.”
  • The obligatory end-of-episode shilling, including Mur’s new book on writing based on the podcast, I SHOULD BE WRITING, which is now available in stores and online.

Affiliate links to our books!

ISBW #383: Point of View // Beth Cato Interview

I discuss the power of point of view and how it makes us sympathize with characters, what the different words (protagonist, antagonist) means, and reference a bunch of books and movies. Then I talk to Beth Cato.

AND GUESS WHAT? You can WIN Beth Cato’s books! All you have to do is email me and I’ll do a random drawing on the next ISBW, but I’d really appreciate it if you spread the word on social media too.

I reference a lot of books this episode, links below! (affiliate)

The fine print:
Theme music by John Anealio.

Creative Commons License
I Should Be Writing #382 by Mur Lafferty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Ditch Diggers #46: Post Hugo report // Writer Expectations

  • Hugo losers Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Tobias Funke Memorial Sobbing Shower.
  • Matt and Mur discuss how it feels to lose a Hugo Award, what it means to be a Hugo loser, and Mur recaps the events of the post-Hugo ceremony Loser’s Party (which Matt did not attend because he wasn’t at WorldCon).
  • Matt recaps the events of his not being at WorldCon, which dove-tails into Mur praising Mary Robinette Kowal (and rightly so).
  • Third Annual Ditch Diggers Live recap.
  • Mur talks about the unexpected problems that arose on the launch day of her new I SHOULD BE WRITING book, how she as a professional author dealt with them, and the status of the book now (with bonus discussion and explanation of meta data!).
  • Matt talks about professional expectations (e.g. winning a Hugo Award right before your agent takes your new book to market) and how to manage disappointment and adjust to changing events as a freelance creator.
  • Twitter Q&A! Including several topics on which the Ditch Diggers vow to do extended episodes, including what to include on your author/freelance creator website, managing multiple drafts and story notes, and sensitivity readers.
  • If the Ditch Diggers Patreon reaches $3k a month, Matt and Mur will take the show weekly! So, give us more money!
  • A final “thank you” to everyone who supported us for the Hugo Award and got us so far this year, and everyone who continues to listen to and support the show!

Affiliate links to our books!