Ditch Diggers #40: Ditches for Writers and Parents

Show Notes for the Parents

(Note, we are having some problems with the official Ditch Diggers site, so please be patient with us.)

  • Mur and Matt welcome parents: author Adam Rakunas and author, games, transmedia, and screenwriter Andrea Phillips as guest co-hosts!
    Andrea Phillips: Writers and Parents

    Andrea Phillips [Ditches for Writers and Parents]

  • Adam and Andrea are both full-time freelance writers and full-time primary caregivers to their (what seems to Matt to be, anyway) many children.
  • Recording this episode was delayed because Adam’s daughter vomited on literally everything in the world, which sets a perfect tone for the topic of the show.
  • Andrea and Adam share their backgrounds as writers, how and when they started, and where they are now.
  • Full-time caregiving while full-time writing, and how each affects the other.
  • Matt asks if having kids changes your professional goals as a writer (e.g. lights a larger fire under your ass to succeed).
  • Andrea talks how being a mother unduly influences others’ perception of her and her writing, the struggles of that, and about crowdfunding her Lucy Smokeheart series of fiction.
  • Mur asks about scheduling conflicts and other insightful things as the sole Ditch Digging parent among the regular hosts.
  • Our guest co-hosts tackle Q&A from Twitter!

Links

Adam Rakunas: Writers and Parents

Adam Rakunas [Ditches for Writers and Parents]

ISBW #375: Feedback with Pacing, the Magical Negro Trope, and more

It’s a feedback show where I go back through the spring and clean up the outstanding questions and topics!

Feedback Show Notes

ISBW Cover (Feedback Ep)

ISBW Cover


Affiliate Links:

Ditch Diggers #39: Lexi Alexander and Punching Hollywood. Metaphorically.

Lexi Alexander is Punching Hollywood

Lexi Alexander

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Dojo (where we’re punching Hollywood) with special guest co-host writer, director, and martial artist Lexi Alexander!
  • Lexi is excited to talk about the writing side of her career as a director of films like Green Street Hooligans, Punisher: War Zone, the Oscar-nominated Johnny Flynton, and pretty much ALL of the TV series.
  • How we needlessly shake the confidence of English-as-a-second-language writers in America. How a chance encounter with Quentin Tarantino cured Lexi of that self-confidence issue.
  • Lexi recounts how she began her career as a writer and filmmaker. (It involves Chuck Norris. No, seriously).
  • It’s easier to be accepted as a woman in a martial arts/competitive combat sports environment than it is to be accepted as a female filmmaker in Hollywood.
  • Lexi talks about the many challenges women writers and directors face in the entertainment industry. She includes her own experiences.
  • Lexi tells the Ditch Diggers about her recently sold pilot script, the process of writing it, and what inspired/motivated both.
  • Lexi talks about what stopped her from writing for a long time, how she almost left the business to become a war correspondent, and what brought her back.
  • Mur asks about the difference between working on your own film projects and writing/adapting the work and ideas of others, and how you survive doing both.
  • Lexi takes questions from Twitter!
  • Mur and Matt attempt unsuccessfully to end the show several times, but Lexi is just too damn enthusiastic and complimentary about everyone. (New goal: Get both Cory Doctorow and Lexi on the show together.)

Lexi on Twitter: @Lexialex
Lexi’s website
Lexi on IMDb

Ditch Diggers theme music provided by Devo Spice


Buy the books! Support the Ditch Diggers! (affiliate)

ISBW #374 – Writing conflict with two facets (at least)

We are back to basics this week with conflict and what tools you need in your toolbox to create strong characters and plots. Show notes ahoy!

ISBW Cover - conflict

ISBW Cover

  • I credit one of the things that is making me consistent lately to taking ADHD meds for the first time. Yay, mental health!
  • Been feeling invisible lately. It’s not too terribly bad, but it’s strange. I can’t go into details, but dang, it’s not a good feeling.
  • I started a new book! Alasdair Stuart code named it SPACE MEAT DINER for me. I probably will not submit the book under this title. Current wordcount (including proposal parts) 7706.
  • Main Topic: Conflict!
    • Characters work best with an internal conflict to make fighting the external conflict harder.
    • Internal conflicts include: phobias (India Jones and snakes), flaws (Hamlet’s hubris), or basic human weaknesses (inability to address your own needs, like unrequited love).
    • Internal conflict will shape how the character deals with the other conflicts you put in their story.

We will see you in two weeks for a feedback show. Next week I will have a new Ditch Diggers for you!

Email: mightymur at gmail
Twitter: mightymur
Patreon: patreon.com/mightymur


(Affiliate)

(I have managed a weekly show for a while now! WOW! My audio is not the best in this show, but I think I’ve figured out what is wrong and next one should be different.)

Ditch Diggers #38: Tobias Buckell and The Power of No

Tobias Buckell

Tobias Buckell

  • Live from Morgan Freeman’s bear sanctuary, it’s the (Hugo Finalist!) Ditch Diggers with special guest co-host Tobias Buckell!
  • Mur recounts Toby blowing her mind this past January at ConFusion in Detroit, which prompted his appearance on the show.
  • Toby talks about accessing your inner asshole (the tactful version uses Toby’s description: “the power of no”) in negotiations as a freelancer.
  • What happened when Toby had to stop accepting con invitations on his own dollar, and how it took him to the next level as an author and speaker.
  • Toby on releasing his earlier work as a self-published book and educational tool for writers.
  • Toby talks about trying out Patreon as a partial income replacement for a year, what prompted it, and how it’s going.
  • Twitter and email Q&A! Many of Toby’s fans ask him questions ranging from professional advice to the inside scoop on characters from his Xenowealth universe.

Also mentioned by Toby in this episode…

Ditch Diggers theme music provided by Devo Spice


Buy the books! Support the Ditch Diggers! (affiliate)

Writing Podcast News For Your Ear Holes

It’s been a banner few weeks! In the past 10 days or so, I’ve managed to get back onto a weekly schedule, writing podcast-wise. I guess this means my ADHD treatment is working, which is awesome.

So the new podcast plan: I’ll be doing ISBW and Ditch Diggers in alternating weeks. This week had ISBW #373 released on Monday, and next week will feature Ditch Diggers #38 with Tobias Buckell about “The Power of ‘No'”. I have episodes planned through May, and my brain fog has lifted, for the most part, which is making this planning so much easier.

(If you’re a Patreon subscriber, you get the podcasts as soon as I edit them, instead of waiting for release day. All the supporters got the Ditch Diggers episode today, for example.)

More writing podcast news outside the Murverse:

New writing podcast: Get To Work HurleyGet To Work, Hurley: Frequent Ditch Digger guest host Kameron Hurley has her own writing podcast now! She produced this podcast as a Patreon supporter goal, and she’s doing it for everyone who wants to listen. Episode one just dropped, and she’s as fun and natural on the mic as she is when she guest hosts Ditch Diggers.

New writing podcast: Critiki PartyThe CriTiki Party: This is an interesting idea for a writing podcast that my old friend, Travis Heermann, let me know about. Listeners can submit work that will be read aloud and critiqued on the podcast. If you wonder how to give a good critique, or just want to see how people critique common errors made by beginning writers, then check it out.

Other Recommendations:

Do you not have enough writing and SF podcasts in your life already? Of course not! There are some other fine podcasts also are finalists for the Hugo Award for Best Fancast, and if you want to check them out, here they all are!

 

ISBW #373: About all those writing rules

Don’t use adverbs. Show, don’t tell. Often blanket terms, what do they really mean, and why should we use them? And what does it mean when someone makes the effort to carefully follow those rules?

Recommended book: Nabokov’s Favorite Word Was Mauve
~
Buy the books! (Affiliate)

Ditch Diggers #37: Listener Request & HUGO HUGO HUGO

Show Notes:

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from the mud room of Morgan Freeman’s trophy solarium (because they haven’t earned the right to go inside yet).
  • Ditch Diggers has been nominated for a Hugo Award! You did it! Mur and Matt will go up against the likes of The Coode Street Podcast and Tea & Jeopardy in Helsinki for Best Fancast (even though we’re all professionals. Because there’s only one podcast category)! Thank you to all Ditch Diggers listeners who supported the show and don’t forget to vote for Mur and Matt for the Hugo itself!
  • It’s listener’s choice! Mur and Matt select questions from their listeners to address in detail as the topic of the show.
  • First up, for those who write many kinds of things, which writing medium/format to focus on when you being pursuing freelance writing as a serious job. Blogging? Books? Screenwriting? Should you focus on one thing or two things or all of them?
  • Secondly, Mur and Matt talk about writing prep, everything from outlining to creating playlists. What’s necessary for the task ahead and how much is too much?
  • Regular Twitter and email Q&A.

Here are all the Hugo finalists, with the most important category first! (Bold categories have guest-hosted Ditch Diggers!) Continue reading

Ditch Diggers #36: Cassandra Khaw and Lack of Self Preservation

Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Harry Potter-themed Escape Room with special guest co-host Cassandra Khaw!

  • Morgan and JK Rowling have dueling Escape Rooms based on each other’s work and Cassandra is very perplexed.
  • Matt and Mur talk to Cassandra about developing her first video game, She Remembered Caterpillars, which encourages parents to talk with their kids about mortality and has been nominated for Best Children’s Game of the Year.
  • Matt makes it clear Mur is NOT encouraging parents to leave their kids in funeral home escape rooms to teach them about death.
  • Cassandra talks about her sophomore year writing and publishing fiction ranging from cthulhu noir to paranormal romance involving were-bears.
  • Breaking into video game reviews and tech writing, the Ditch Digger way.
  • Mur, Matt, and Cassandra discuss the mentality it takes to drop everything and physically relocate to pursue your writing career.
  • Long term vs. short term goals and motivation.
  • The Ditch Diggers discuss how technology has and will alter both of those things.
  • Mur reaffirms the DD commitment to discuss politics when it’s relevant to the show, whether you like it or not.
  • Twitter/email Q&A! Topics include finding freelance work, taxes for writers, pandas, non-fiction books vs. online markets, organizing multiple projects, and much more.
  • Cassandra Khaw on Twitter: https://twitter.com/casskhaw
  • Cassandra’s website: http://www.cassandrakhaw.com/

BOOKS AND GAMES BY CASSANDRA

MENTIONED BY CASSANDRA IN THE EPISODE


Buy our books and help us eat! (Affiliate)

ISBW #372: Metacast: State of the world, state of Mur

(I know Friday evening is probably the worst time ever to release a podcast. But I wanted to release one more Hugo nomination reminder! Deadline tonight!)

I discuss where politics fall within the topic of this show, what I’ve been up to, some challenges, and some future stuff. Little bit of catching up.

Also, it’s the last night to nominate for the Hugos! Please consider Ditch Diggers for Fancast, and I’m also eligible for Best Semi-pro zine (Mothership Zeta) and short fiction editor (Also for Mothership Zeta). And then I have to put in my plug for Splendor and Misery for Short Dramatic performance because WOW. (I’m not associated with Clipping at all, I just love it so much and would love to see an album on the ballot. I don’t usually endorse because I know how crappy I feel when others endorse and I’m not included in the endorsement, or when people flat out tell me that they purposefully didn’t vote for me, so I keep most of my votes private.)

Remember: Thanks for your support, listening, and patronage. And if you decide not to do those things after this podcast, it’s your call.