All posts by Howard Tayler

17.49: Bodies Are Magical

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler 

Let’s put a stake in the ground here: disabilities do not grant magical powers. And yet that exact trope can be found in multiple genres, across multiple mediums. In this episode we talk about why this happens, and how we might better portray the magical awesomeness found in our bodies.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Everyone is going to be disabled. Look at your cast and decide which disabilities they have (visible, invisible, known, unknown). Make sure none of those are plot points.

Killjoys (on SyFy)

17.48: Bodies, Why? (Part III)

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler 

Let’s talk about pain. It hurts, yes, but we all experience it, so writing about it can be a great point of connection between the writer and the reader.

Also, writing about it can hurt.

Liner Notes: We referenced  “No, I’m Fine,” by Howard Tayler, and “The Visions Take Their Toll: Disability and the Cost of Magic,” by Dominic Parisien

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

This is a creative non-fiction assignment: write about the worst physical pain you’ve experienced. Use all your best prose tools, and explore as many senses as you can.

D.I.Y, by John Wiswell

17.47: The Linguistics of Disability

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler 

This is the “talking about how to talk about” talk. We begin by reviewing the difference between the medical model and the social model of disability.

Liner Notes: This TikTok provides a nice explanation of the medical and social models of disability. There’s also this essay, “The Linguistics of Disability” over at Fireside Fiction.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Being Seen, by Elsa Sjunneson

17.46: Monstrous Awakening

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler 

Okay, before we start, you have homework: Please take a few minutes to read this essay by Fran Wilde entitled “You Wake Up Monstrous.

That will give you context for our discussion, which is about how body horror and other monstrous-ness is a tool we should be employing with great care.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Rewrite a scene containing body horror or body humor so that the character with the  disability/deformity is neither the source of the horror nor the butt of the joke.

17.45: Bodies, Tech, and Character

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler 

Let’s talk about technological body-modification! It’s a common element in science fiction, but it’s also an increasingly important part of the world we’re living in right now.

Liner Notes: In this episode we referenced “Happenstance,” and Amy Purdy’s quickstep from Dancing With The Stars.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

In the context of your world, envision an augmentation that is both beautiful and useful.

A Rover’s Story, by Jasmine Warga

17.44: Bodies, Why? (Part II: Working Through Disability)

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Fran Wilde, C.L. Polk, and Howard Tayler

Let’s talk for a bit about writing while disabled. This can mean anything from scheduling your craft around doctor’s appointments, to learning to operate on a limited budget as defined by your body.

You might be asking “I’m not disabled, so how does this pertain to me?” Well… you’re not disabled currently. Eventually, as we age, we all experience disability.

Liner Notes: Howard tweeted about his experience at the hand clinic.

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

Play

This is a process homework. Explore your writing space and schedule. Take stock of the tools you have in place to take care of your physical needs while you work—the lighting, your chair, how often you stretch, eat, and hydrate. Then make a list of what you think might be missing.

One for All, by Lillie Lainhoff

17.43: Bodies. Why? (Depicting Disability)

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette and Howard Tayler, with special guests Fran WildeC.L. Polk, and William Alexander

Whether or not you’re writing from your own experience, depicting disability in fiction is fraught. In this episode we’ll talk about some of the dos and don’ts in order to provide you with guidelines for disability depiction.

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

 

Play

Write a scene with two characters – one abled, one disabled. Write two versions, each from the POV of a different character.

Air, by Monica Roe

17.42: Eight Embodied Episodes About Disability

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette and Howard Tayler, with special guests Fran Wilde, C.L. Polk, and William Alexander

For the next eight episodes we’ll be talking about bodies, and how they don’t all work the same way, and how this can be applied to our writing.

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

Play

Identify an aspect of yourself which might be non-problematic in one society, yet very problematic in another.

INVISIBLE, a series of anthologies ed. Jim C. Hines and Mary Anne Mohanraj