Writing Excuses 7.6: Behind the Marshmallow

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Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Linda K. Strahl, an editor at the Jet Fuel Review. Her full bio can be found at the end of this post.

The podcast this week has very little to do with writing and very much to do with personal inspirations and the beginnings of the podcast. Though the site summarizes that the group ‘jumps around,’ the truth is that the group actually has a very good timeline that I think I should illustrate. I would like to note that I was going to try making a “chart of creation” but it did not turn out in a linear and sensible manner, so I decided to just write out some of the major points of the podcast, as per usual for this blog.

They started the podcast idea through a project for a simple multimedia podcast class, which is featured on the site. This led to the fruition of a thought — “podcasting isn’t as complicated as we thought.” Brandon was hesitant because he didn’t like the formats podcasters had at the time. There was too much of “nothing but filler,” and very little advice. The idea was that 15 minutes was a good time limit in which to have Brandon ask the questions and then summarily explain why everyone’s answers were wrong. This became the trend that formed the signature style this group has. Howard created their tagline, “15 minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart.”

The comfort zone that these friends created was lacking dynamics after a while, until Mary showed up. Her addition of information — from her multifaceted background — and her chemistry with the group led to the group flying her out there  in every podcast. It took a while to find a solid sponsor like Audible and they listed the various ways they scrounged for money. The hosts say that Audible is more of a tool for them to showcase their book choices. “They don’t force us to advertise a certain book, they let us pick whichever we like,” which illustrates that the group believes the site is supportive of their work and lets them make more executive decisions than other sponsors may dictate elsewhere.

A promise that the group might showcase the “process for choosing topics” ends the show. Since Brandon was cut off — understandably because they ran late — I type in the customary end. “You’re out of excuses, go write.”

See writingexcuses.com for the aforementioned “class projects.”

Audiobook Picks-of-the-Week: Our stuff! Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, (and lots of things narrated by Mary), and Dan Wells’ John Cleaver trilogy.

Writing Prompt: Give us a story with an old, colonial British type eating marshmallows. For extra points, set it in the Schlockiverse. (Note: no actual points will be awarded.)

Editor’s Note: Linda K Strahl is a transfer student from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, where she was studying Archaeology and minoring in Creative Writing. She came to Lewis University in Fall of 2010 to major in Creative Writing. After participating in the production of two plays at Phillip Lynch Theater she has become an enthusiastic dramaturg, and is contemplating a career as a researcher and playwriter.

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