16.13: Day Brain vs. Night Brain

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

Patterns in the way we’re speaking may betray which ‘brain’ we’re using; often bound by what’s familiar, sometimes loosed for free-er choosing.

Writing like the day-brain’s thinking
Singing while the night-brain’s winking
All the cadence going funky
(golden-mantled howler monkey)

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson. XKCD #1412, by Randall Munroe, was referenced during this episode. As was the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

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Night Brain exercise: take a piece of prose that is giving you trouble. Put yourself in a dark, quiet place. Listen to a recording of a poem (“Moon Fishing” may serve nicely.) Write automatically, unselfconsciously, for 5 minutes: think about it like singing on the page.

The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders

16.12 : Singing Versus Speaking

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

Can you hear your writing sing, being intoned instead of read? With the dialogs as tunes whose tags say “sung” instead of “said?” When the rhythm of your prose echoes the rhythm of a song you’ll see perhaps you’ve been a poet all along.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson. Les Miserables was written by Victor Hugo, set to music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and ruined here by Howard Tayler.

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Take a passage from your own work that isn’t quite working. Try to sing it: what happens when you do? Do you notice things about it that you don’t usually? Try to write it as a song — and then translate it back into prose.

Stargazer, by Dan Wells

16.11: What is Poetry?

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

This is how we begin our master class
on poetry, with Amal El-Mohtar:
With not one question, but two.

  • What is poetry?
  • What is prose?

Yes, both questions are a trap.
Or maybe two traps.
But definitely a beginning.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Join a poem-a-day subscription service like poets.org/poem-a-day, or follow poetryisnotaluxury on Instagram

A Map to the Sun, by Sloane Leong

16.10: Paying it Forward, with Kevin J. Anderson

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard, with special guest Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson joins us to talk about how others have helped us in our careers, and how we might continue that tradition and help others.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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Identify the people who have helped you, and how. Thank them.

VengeWar, by Kevin J. Anderson