Fri, 28 June 2013
This week's show is all about criticism. While it leans heavily toward writing criticism, we do talk about general criticism and criticism as it pertains to the arts and jobs in general. So here we go:
We begin with an important question: is criticism even helpful for writers and artists, or is it counterproductive to creating "pure" art? Along the way, we discuss how to offer criticism and take criticism that comes your way. We share some personal stories about criticism: the best and worst criticism we've received as well as some other tales of being criticized. With anyone with an Internet connection able to review someone's work online, the review has become a type of criticism. We discuss ways writers and artists can use reviews to see how people feel about what they are doing and maybe even improve their work. We close by looping back to the beginning and asking if criticism is a necessary component of art, or if great work can be created with no outside influence.
Wed, 19 June 2013
This week, we're talking about influences. Find out our earliest influences--and what/who later influenced us to write. Discover our strangest influences, and what influences changed as we got older. We take a detour and discuss creating under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It's easy to think about people and things that influence us, but we take time out to acknowledge that we all have the ability to influence others. Christopher shares a great story about somebody he influenced without ever knowing. And because not all influences are good, we talk about negative influences. Finally, we wrap up with our most recent influences.
As always, we'd love to know what has influenced you over the years; leave a comment and we'll reply!
Wed, 12 June 2013
You probably didn't know this, but Shawn was once a reserve "mathlete" as well as a benchwarmer for his school's classical music team. (Those nutty Germans!) Christopher was good friends with the first kid on the block with an Apple II in his house. But that's all in the past...
This week we're talking about...THE FUTURE!!! More specifically, we're talking about fiction's importance on the future. From cyberpunk to warp drives (even penises drawn on the surface of Mars), we have it covered. Along the way, we discuss stories that got the future right -- and those that got it very wrong (including the movie that made Shawn almost fashion a noose from Red Vines and hang himself in the theater.)
While much of this episode is about the future as it pertains to science fiction, we also talk about predictions we got right, and what we think will happen to the world in the next 10 and 20 years. (Clearly, we are seers!) Also, our hopes for the future of fiction and for the real world of tomorrow.
We'd love to hear what you think will happen in the next 20 years; feel free to tell us in the comments. (We expect CMStewart to put us to shame!)
Wed, 5 June 2013
This week, it's all about fear! Find out what things from childhood still creep us out--and what our greatest fears are today. Listen to us talk about how we've overcome many of the fears we've faced. Learn about how anger and fear are related. We all have a phobia or two, but what happens when we give into irrational fears? We talk about how statistically, most of us are safer than ever, and yet many people we talk to have never seemed more afraid. Many of these people watch a lot of "news." We discuss how the media, in a race for ratings, benefits when it can play to our fears and keep us on edge.
Fear isn't just about things that go bump in the night--the stresses of working in a time when layoffs are not uncommon leads to fear at work. We talk about how to break those fears, and most other fears you have (including how to use fear to overcome fear). Finally, sometimes we love being scared. We close this episode talking about why some scary things bother us, but yet we gravitate toward amusement parks, scary movies, and haunted houses.
Beta listeners have said this is one of their favorite episodes, and we won't argue with them. We haven't had this much fun doing the podcast...