Ditch Diggers #41: HOT BUTTON TOPICS

What Are People Mad About Today?
Ditch Diggers 41: Hot Button Topics

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s 24-hour news network control room where we are discussing the latest hot button topics on the news! (Mur has a new applause machine, but it’s not working right now, so you’ll have to infer the applause.)
  • Sound f/x as the new vernacular, and addiction to sound f/x machines.
  • Mur and Matt are tackling ISSUES on this HOT BUTTON EPISODE of Ditch Diggers. AKA heatedly discussed topics recently on writer social media.
  • Matt explains (poorly and too meta, according to Mur) what hot button issues are and how they come into being.
  • Mur explains (far more eloquently) the nature of click-bait and how it drives/poisons discourse on the internet.
  • Hot Button #1: The infamous “if you don’t write every day you’re not a real writer” article and the larger “real writer” myth.
  • Hot Button #2: The “don’t you dare smack talk your copy editor on social media” debate, and the larger issue of how important discourse gets derailed by pretense and false premises. We also discuss the difference between discussing issues and discussing individuals, and authors criticizing other authors.
  • Hot Button #3: “Literary” magazines publishing genre fiction, and also not paying authors.
  • Matt and Mur go on a tangent about the detriment of labeling fiction and how the market has shrunk.
  • Returning to the hot button, Matt and Mur talk about the difference between the business of “literary” and SFF magazines.
  • Twitter Q&A! Questions include outlining book series, “bonehead” things aspiring writers do again and again, and knives.

Matt and Mur shill their books, GREEDY PIGS and RENCOR and SIX WAKES respectively, and remind Hugo voting listeners Ditch Diggers is up for best fancast, so vote for us!


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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]

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


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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


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Make that HUGO NOMINATED Ditch Diggers!

The news is out, it’s very exciting, so exciting we may vomit.

Ditch Diggers got nominated for BEST FANCAST Hugo Award!

I have been sitting on this news for two weeks, freaking out quietly. I didn’t really believe it, and since I’m writing this on Monday I am secretly* worrying that in the next 24 hours something will happen to take it away from us. It happens, after all.

Matt and I are very proud of what we’ve turned Ditch Diggers into, and we are so grateful for the nomination. I’ll be representing us in Finland at WorldCon 75, and we’ll be working hard to keep the awesome content coming in the meantime!

*I know, I’m blogging so it’s not so secret…

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


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Ditch Diggers #35: MASSIVE Feedback Episode

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s sauna to handle “Old Business” from 2016 (it’s our long-awaited, oft hyped listener feedback episode!)
  • A brief tangent on eucalyptus saunas.
  • The Ditch Diggers both have new books out! And have turned in others!
  • Marta from Poland asks about short story English language rights and reprints.
  • Stefana from Johannesburg asks in what other jobs genre fiction writers might have an advantage.
  • DevoSpice suggests recording special time capsule episodes.
  • On contractual agreements between writing partners and writer wills.
  • Thomas asks about finding an agent when you’re with a publisher who has right of first refusal on your next book.
  • Michael asks about finding a publisher for a novel set in the same world as your published short stories.
  • Doing a show about older mid-list authors struggling to find new ways to get their fiction out there.
  • A Swedish author asks if you should submit a novel to agents/publishers when you know something like physical illness will prevent you from working on rewrites immediately.
  • Cassandra asks at what age should you start submitting fiction for publication?
  • Nicole asks if you should or should not resubmit stories you’ve completely rewritten to markets that rejected the first version.
  • What helped the Ditch Diggers most when they were learning to write, a book or a lesson?
  • Should studios make two versions of movies like Star Trek, an intellectually driven version and an action driven version?
  • Sean asks about building an audience of readers who make you uncomfortable.
  • Authors who don’t want readers to point out typos in their published works to them vs. authors who encourage readers to do so.
  • Todd responds to our Godparents episode on the difficulty of building an audience through crowdfunding.
  • How do you find cons that are fan-focused and allow you to speak to authors vs. cons that are pro focused.
  • Not wanting to promote an anthology you’re contractually obligated to promote (Matt goes off on abusive small press contracts).
  • Beth asks how you keep writing when your government is killing your soul and your healthcare?
  • Having caught up on Old Business, Matt and Mur plug their books and ask you to support their Patreon and for your vote for the Hugo Awards.
  • William Noble’s Conflict, Action, and Suspense: http://a.co/hTxkBbN
  •  Stephen King’s On Writing: http://a.co/7Su5QHm

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Ditch Diggers #34: End of Year Special with Kameron Hurley

We are joined by ugly Christmas sweaters, booze, and Kameron Hurley. Happy New Year! Fuck you, 2016!

Until Matt gets the show notes done, I think the only thing we have to say about the end of the year was said best by Lalo Alcaraz:

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

 


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Ditch Diggers #33 – Etiquette and Protocol

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s holiday decorations vault, after Mur cracked said vault (we didn’t know Mur was a safecracker).
  • Mur talks about her brief absence from podcasting during the holidays, during which she recorded the audiobook for her new novel, SIX WAKES (Orbit, Jan. 31st), which also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly in that time.
  • All the books Matt and Mur have coming out in the beginning of 2017, including SIX WAKES, IDLE INGREDIENTS, and Bookburners.
  • Matt still sucks at segues.
  • Matt and Mur discuss professional ethics for freelancers, more specifically the choices you’ll make for your career and your brand as a creator. Matt names names.
  • A brief interlude to catch up with Mur’s dog and also her Orson Welles-voiced husband, Jim.
  • Matt talks about his experiences with advertisers paying for space on his platform, both refusing money and regretting having taken it, and what he’s learned from both.
  • Mur talks about being paid to personally endorse ad content vs. selling advertising time on her podcasts, and the difference between doing both, as well as click-bait ads on personal blogs.
  • Matt offers a positive example of using your platform for advertising and monetary gain.
  • Mur talks about ethical blurbing for authors.
  • Matt and Mur switch gears and talk about professional ethics from the side of those who hire freelance writers and creators, focusing on the internet.
  • Matt offers an example of markets with no morals or ethics via his recent, very public brawl with movie news and low-grade paparazzi stalker porn website JoBlo.com
  • Mur talks about her experiences with unscrupulous games publishers.
  • Twitter Q&A! Matt and Mur answer questions about Brexit’s effect on the publishing industry, foreign editions of author’s books, and more.
  • Finally, it’s awards season and Ditch Diggers is again eligible for the Best Fancast Hugo! Hugo voters, take note.

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Ditch Diggers #32: Michael J. Martinez Says “F YOU, Dust!”

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s jazz house with special guest co-host Michael J. Martinez
  • On the subject of “free hugs” and hugging strangers in general at conventions
  • Mike talks about his first hardcover book release, his fantasy Cold War mash-up MJ-12: INCEPTION, which has a dust jacket and everything (“Michael J. Martinez, saying ‘fuck you’ to dust since 2016!”
  • Mike talks openly and honestly about the disintegration of his first publisher, Night Shade Books, and how it affected his and others’ career, and what the status is now.
  • How Mike started his writing career, and how you go from one book to thinking about and planning for a career in fiction publishing.
  • The Ditch Diggers delve into Mike’s former career in journalism, and how he balances writing with his new career in finance.
  • Retirement planning for authors. Mike talks about how he views writing full-time as a realistic goal, and what it takes to reach that goal.
  • Q&A from Twitter, including unread questions from Matt’s mom, and having your work optioned for film/TV.

Mike’s website: michaeljmartinez.net
Mike on Twitter: @mikemartinez72
Borderlands: https://borderlands-books.com/
MJ-12: Inception: https://amzn.com/1597808776


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