Monday, May 15, 2023

Convos With Creative People | Volume 2--Episode 2: Victoria Nations


We couldn’t wait a whole month! We’re back with a new episode, and we are joined by our amazing friend and incredible writer and poet, Victoria Nations. We chat with Vicki about her creative journey, how she crafts incredible short stories, and her intentional approach to the business side of being a creator. We also get into a deep discussion about finding your community, reflecting on how we all found each other and have created an amazingly supportive community of our own.

Here’s where you can fund Vicki and her work:

Here are links to resources we talked about in this episode:
Richard Thomas and Storyville Studio
Speculative Fiction Academy
Cat Rambo’s The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers

Here are some free small press Discord communities with writing and publishing discussions:
Tenebrous Press
Ghoulish Books

And here are the links to the recent books launched by our awesome Midnight Society pals:
The PhDidn't Handbook: How to Quit Grad School Like a Champ by Erica Davis:
Into The Gray by Kathleen Palm:

Thanks for listening! We’ll be back next month with another incredible creative guest, so stay tuned!

J & B

Sunday, May 7, 2023

TL;DR | Overkill’s New Album Scorched Is FIRE

This album absolutely rules. For almost 38 years now, Overkill has been arguably the most consistent thrash bands on the planet. New Jersey’s finest have even taken it up a notch on Scorched, which offers some nice surprises in addition to the tried and true, riff-filled, bass-driven brutality that is their signature sound. These guys are in their early sixties, and are still crushing it. Overkill is amazing. Get this album. 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Convos With Creative People | Volume 2--Episode 1: A New Chapter With Jolene and Brian


It’s a new day! The CWCP podcast is back, and Jolene Haley is joining me as the co-host of the show. In this episode, Jolene and I catch everyone up on our creative adventures, talk about the projects we worked on for Camp NaNoWriMo, and discuss what’s filling up our creative cups lately.

Thanks for listening! Starting next month we’ll be welcoming a guest to the show each episode, so stay tuned!

J & B

Camp NaNoWriMo 2023 Was A Big Success

For the first time in years, I won a NaNo event. 

Every year I participate in at least one NaNoWriMo event, whether it be NaNo proper in November, or one of the Camp NaNo events in April and July. But for the past handful of years, I have not actually hit my word count goal, or in most cases, even come close to my goal.

But this year? I destroyed my goal. I had set out to write 500 words per day, aiming for a toal of 15,000 words by today, April 30th. I ended up averaging about 800 words a day, and finished at just over 24,000 words for the month.

More importantly, I have a full book draft.

This book will be my second nonfiction book. The first was Making Ear Candy, my podcasting how-to book that I wrote in 2013, and released the second edition of in 2017. In fact, I wrote the draft of Making Ear Candy during Camp NaNoWrimo in April of 2013. Ten years ago. 

The book I just drafted is about content strategy, which my career has revolved around for the past several years. I'll be talking a lot more about it over the next few months, as my goal is to release it over the summer.

I cannot overstate how creatively fulfilling it has been to participate in this Camp NaNo, set a goal of getting this draft completed, and actually accomplish that goal. There was a part of me that wondered if I still had it in me. Thanks to my family and friends, who are a constant source of support and inspiration.

The draft is just the beginning. There is still a lot of work to do, but for today at least, I'm going to celebrate. 

Congrats to everyone who participated in Camp NaNo this month! 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Evil Dead Rise is Worthy of the Franchise Name

Evil Dead is tied with Friday the 13th for my favorite horror franchise of all time, and the first new theatrical entry in 10 years did not disappoint. Evil Dead Rise is a great addition to the franchise, and the type of horror movie we just don’t get enough of these days. Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise brings us somewhere new, and even expands the lore of the Evil Dead universe, while maintaining a connection to everything we know and love about the franchise.

The bulk of the story takes place in a soon to be demolished L.A. apartment building, where our hero Beth comes to visit her sister Ellie, her nieces Bridget and Kassie, and her nephew Danny. Unfortunately for all of them, their evening plans are about to be interrupted, on account of a certain book, and some words that bring the bad things.

The cast are all great, led by Lily Sullivan as Beth and Alyssa Sutherland as Ellie. Their sisters are the core of the story, and both are fantastic in their roles. This film had a budget of $19 million, and likely spent almost all of it on practical effects, which should make everyone happy. While the gore in Evil Dead Rise doesn’t quite reach the levels of the 2013 film, its high points are as good as any in the franchise. 

I will stay away from spoilers, but I loved how Cronin has expanded the lore of Evil Dead, as it  respects everything that has come before, and leaves every possibility for future stories open. He threaded the needle perfectly. There are also some great Easter eggs throughout the film, not just for this series, but some other horror classics as well.

I think that’s what makes Evil Dead as a franchise so impressive in 2023. The series is over 40 years old, and it feels as fresh as ever. I adored Fede Alvarez’s 2013 Evil Dead with Jane Levy, and with Evil Dead Rise, this is now two great entries in a row without Bruce Campbell, which most fans would have thought impossible. And we’ve also gotten a ton of Ash-related stories in between these two films, including comics, a video game, and three seasons of the Ash Vs. Evil Dead TV series. As producers, Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert have done a great job of shepherding this franchise, strengthening the foundation of the original films and making great choices with these two latest entries. I can’t wait to see where they take us next.