Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Pip Ballantine: Full time hybrid writer, and full time juggler
    This year is coming up on half done, and already I feel like one of those jugglers with the flaming sticks leaping from hand to hand. One comes down threatening to burn my right, and I have to get another one flying from my left. However, guess what…I love that feeling. It’s so much better than the opposite, sitting around waiting for things to happen. This year is the year of making them happen. However… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • Rachel Swirsky: Friday read! “Cup and Table” by Tim Pratt
    Cup and Table” is my favorite of Tim Pratt’s stories–and it has a lot of competition. To explain how much competition, let me tell an anecdote about the audio magazine I used to edit, PodCastle. I was no longer on staff when this happened, but at one point, the editors I who took over after I left received a letter. That letter complained of how many stories about lesbians were in the magazine, arguing that PodCastle… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • Paul Elard Cooley: Closet Treats: Episode 22
    Download Now Here’s episode 22 of Closet Treats. Check out my essay, “The Science of The Black” over at Vex Mosaic. It covers my journey through undersea research as well as the life of an oil rig crew. You canRead more › ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • Cavan Scott: 365 Flicks Podcast
    I had a great chat yesterday with Chris and Kev at 365 Flicks Podcast about Doctor Who, Vikings, Star Wars, superheroes, comics and much, much more. The podcast has just gone live, so why not head over and have a listen…   ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • K.C. Wayland: Special Judge at Upcoming “Pawgeant” – Sunday May 1st
    Hello Everyone! This weekend (Sunday May 1, 2016 – 1515 w. Collins ave., Orange, Ca, 92867 11:00am-1:00pm) I’m doing something a little different, and a little special. I will be a judge in a dog pageant in Orange. My sister is doing a fundraiser for Miss California (she’s currently Miss Southern Coast), and she asked me to be a judge at. That being said, I’m throwing in a special prize into the mix, a signed… ... read more
    Published on Thursday, April 28th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • WriterUnboxed: How to Create Readers (And Read More Yourself)
    photo by Erik Schepers on FlickrA few weeks ago, my husband and I put the kids to bed early.  Both were overtired, and we gave them strict instructions:   Lights out, no talking, straight to sleep. Much later, when we went upstairs to check on them, we found tell-tale evidence they’d disobeyed.  Each kid had fallen asleep with a flashlight on and a fat book on the floor nearby. “You must be so proud,” my husband… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • The Write Life: 5 Tools for Improving Your Second-Language Writing Skills
    How do you start writing in a foreign language? Swear off writing in your own. At least that’s what I did when a teacher — not the inspiring kind — decimated my love for both reading and writing in my last year of high school. I grew up in USSR, the country best known in 1980s as both the “Evil Empire” and as the nation where Moscow’s subway often featured more readers than Lenin’s… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Setting Up New Writing Schedule
    Setting Up New Writing Schedule Still pretty tired from the sleep schedule getting screwed up, so spent the day doing workshop stuff and getting ready to really fire back up the writing. See Topic of the Night below. ——— The Day Once again nothing really much to talk about. Made it through some errands and then went for a walk with another professional writer to get some steps in. Then back to WMG offices to… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • WritersDigest: 2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 29
    Tomorrow is the final day of the challenge! How did we get here? One day at a time; I know, I know. For today’s prompt, write a haphazard poem. The poem itself could be haphazardly put together, I suppose. But it could also be about a haphazard situation. Or whatever haphazard thing you can bend the poem into. ***** Poet’s Market 2016 Publish Your Poetry! The 2016 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, includes… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016
  • The Write Conversation: 30 Days of Idea Starters for Writers – Calendar Days – May’s Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions
    by Edie Melson @EdieMelsonIt’s time again for Calendar Days. These are just fun to read. They’re also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also a fun writing prompt idea. In addition, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, especially when two contrasting holidays fall on the same date. Here are some that tickled my funny bone this month:May fourth… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016

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Thoughts and Inspirations - RTP Blog Posts

Ideas and Inspiration
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I’m currently 63,000 words into my second novel attempt. Sounds fairly impressive, but I’ve been at 63,000 words for the last six weeks. Sure, I’ve written two short stories, a couple blog entries, participated in recording ten-or-so Roundtable episodes(my favorite distraction besides my wife), taught, graded papers and lesson-planned for about 60 hours a week, etc., etc., and on, and on. A lot like you! But is all of that really keeping me from writing my book? Yes. Because I let it.

We all are experts at wasting time, and the successful few have learned to at least minimize the bastard! We’ve all heard and read countless papers and pamphlets and programs on how to beat down the maniacal villain known as Master Procrastination. That is not what this post is going to do.

Story Development
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There is no one better equipped to build rich authentic characters than someone who has actually “lived” (for a few hours) as someone else. In order to appear authentic on stage, an actor has to be able to respond to cues and events AS THEIR CHARACTER. If they don’t, the performance is flat and uninteresting. Writers are striving for that same authenticity… and suffer the same consequences if they fall short of the mark. So how do actors do it?

Story Development
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“We want to believe the best of who we are, and ignore and deny the worst.  The most intriguing moment of a story is when a villain begins to convince…

Ideas and Inspiration
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“There are people who appear to be able to invoke creativity on command.  They sit down and BAM, creative inspirations suddenly leap from their lips like spawning salmon.  Want to…

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Workshop Episode 100 (Guest Host: Cat Rambo)

Cat Rambo – author of splendid tales of wonder and delight, including “Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet Book 1)“ – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to once more ply her wizarding ways in the brainstorming of a tale about a wizard who savors the pleasures of status and wealth but has the deep misfortune of being targeted by a demon.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kelby Barker, a truly engaging yarn of dueling wizards and ruthless bounty hunters unwittingly caught in a war between demon-kind. Returning as co-host chair, Denise Lhamon joins in the froth and together the four off us wander the fabulous labyrinth of Kelby’s tale, ultimately emerging victorious and laden with Literary Gold. We kept some for you… all you have to do to claim it is click that “PLAY” button!

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20 (more) Minutes with Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo is one of THE most dedicated storytellers I’ve ever met. Her commitment to her craft and the enthusiastic determination with which she pursues it is inspiring (and exhausting). This will be her third tour as Guest Host on the RTP and – while I’ve already done the “stalkerish” intro for her – just catching everyone up on her achievements between episodes becomes a whole new epic saga. She is truly a champion storyteller.

In the co-host chair is Denise Lhamon, former Guest Writer, artist, and storyteller who joins us from the ranks of Onder Librum’s Sessorium of Creatives. The three us use Cat’s upcoming class roster as the sylybus for our conversation, exploring the retelling of myths and fairy tales, the use of literary techniques in genre fiction, how to start a novel, and more. Writerly goodness is pretty much guaranteed, gang… just hit that “PLAY” button!

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One Question: What Makes a Good Fight Scene?

From intimate duels to the death to epic battles, the fight scene is a cornerstone of speculative fiction. For the writer, however, crafting a good fight scene can be an epic struggle to find…

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Workshop Episode 100 (Guest Host: Cat Rambo)

Cat Rambo – author of splendid tales of wonder and delight, including “Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet Book 1)“ – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to once more ply her wizarding ways in the brainstorming of a tale about a wizard who savors the pleasures of status and wealth but has the deep misfortune of being targeted by a demon.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kelby Barker, a truly engaging yarn of dueling wizards and ruthless bounty hunters unwittingly caught in a war between demon-kind. Returning as co-host chair, Denise Lhamon joins in the froth and together the four off us wander the fabulous labyrinth of Kelby’s tale, ultimately emerging victorious and laden with Literary Gold. We kept some for you… all you have to do to claim it is click that “PLAY” button!