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.
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.
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)
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!
A very tired and disheveled Mur lands in Finland and is greeted by giant Morgan Freeman! Photo- Natalie Metzger
Ditch Diggers comes to you LIVE from Morgan Freeman’s International Airport (no, seriously, see photo!), a.k.a. WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland!
Mur’s special Ditch Diggers Live! guest co-host Alasdair Stuart is not Matt Wallace, and yet he has to be Matt Wallace. But no, for real, Matt can’t be in Helsinki so Alasdair and his adorably proper British accent are doing their best to sub in for him.
Mur introduces The Hugo Games! It’s like the Hunger Games, but with/for Hugo Awards!
Mur introduces willing tributes, super agent (because she’s Mur’s agent) Jennifer Udden, who represents multiple Hugo nominees, and Hugo nominated editor Navah Wolfe!
Lacking a third combatant, Hugo Best Short Story finalist (spoiler- winner!) Amal El-Mohtar volunteers as tribute!
The Hugo Games tributes choose their weapons (spoiler alert: Navah picks a throwing axe).
THE HUGO GAMES, WORLDCON 2017: (Back L-R) Jonathan Snipes, William Hutson, Alasdair Stuart, Jennifer Udden, Daveed Diggs, Navah Wolfe, Mur Lafferty. (Front) Amal El-Mohtar.
At some point the members of groundbreaking Hugo Award nominated hip hop group clipping. (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes) join the panel, which is amazing!
In the course of preparing for Hugo combat (Amal’s longterm survival strategy is writing a novel), our tributes discuss topics including new authors breaking in and pseudonyms, transitioning from creating works independently to working with executives, and dealing with assholes in the industry and beyond.
We unfortunately run out of time before the blood sports can begin, but Mur promises the blood sports will happen tomorrow (they don’t).
Note: Mur will be appearing at WorldCon in Helsinki in a few weeks and doing a LIVE Ditch Diggers with writer and publisher Alasdair Stuart standing in for Matt (with Matt’s approval, naturally. We’re not staging a coup to replace Matt even though Al does have a better accent.) See my program here!
The bad thing about being on a regular recording schedule again is I have to podcast even when I don’t feel like it. So sometimes it’s just about the mental health. This is a short, low energy podcast, but I’m really fine, trust me. Just had a bad start to the week with migraine and super low energy. I’m doing much better now, but figured I should post this because I try to be honest with the look inside a writer’s life, and sometimes there are days like this.