Craig and Scott break their silence to report on the COVID-19 pandemic, talk about their productivity, and preview the upcoming series on PLOT!
Craig and Scott break their silence to report on the COVID-19 pandemic, talk about their productivity, and preview the upcoming series on PLOT!
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you're listening to good sentences podcast that's guaranteed to tickle your literary earhole and make you wish you'd listen to dear old mom when she said Toe put down those lawn darts and learn how to read. And now here your hosts, neither of whom listened to dear old mom, This is Craig A heart and S J. Baringo. Hello there, everybody. Thanks for tuning back into good sentences. You know, a lot has happened since Scott and I were last with you, and we kind of decided Maybe I'm sure we'll talk about writing because we really can't have a conversation without writing coming up eventually, but later. Yeah. So what just happened? We thought we would just take today and just maybe a relaxed conversation, just a chat, maybe something to take your mind off of what's happening and not give you a lot of homework while we're doing it.
So I think the first thing we should talk about it. All the bad things happening since we want to take your mind off
one thing that has happened, and I don't remember if we announce is on the show or not. But Scott and I were supposed to have an event that we were going to be both appearing at the North. I will book bash, and that was supposed to be on April 4th. Um, we weren't there. And no, neither was anybody else because they had to cancel and it's moved. Thio believe October sometime. So that's that's so was one of the early casualties of this whole thing and one of the ones that struck home for me because writing is a pretty solitary endeavor. Right? And once you get an opportunity, go out and meet people, especially at an event as respected as the book bash. Ah, it was a bit of a blow to me. I'll be honest.
Well, Mia's well, especially since this would have been my first, you know. So I basically well, you know, I had everything in place. I shipped you hundreds and 50,000 tons of books and ordered Maura and I got Cem Cem table swag made up and got my flight booked and then surprise. We even
wrote a book and got it done in time, especially for for this event. I'm not sure anybody anybody else can say that We actually wrote a book timed to release with this events. The book is still being released by the way April 14th. Serenity reborn the best of the series, in my opinion and in the opinion of some earlier viewers who have read it as well. But, yeah, it's not gonna be launched at the book bash. Unfortunately, it'll just be launched online like everything else is happening these days. I saw a mean one of the ones I thought It's pretty funny is like we have our have now learned which of all those meetings could have just been an email after all. Three Answer is, most of them are. But yes, I mean, it has provided a lot of people with hell. I'm trying to look on the bright side. I can't think of
a lot of people with pain and high fevers. And what can you say? I mean, you know, there's nothing to compare it to in our lifetimes. Well, this isn't This is classified compared to the last pandemic. You know, if there's people dropping to the left and right, and you're just sitting there minding your own business, people buying all over this one, you get a little favor. So what? It's not like that we don't have that point of reference. And, you know, I'm sure there's a ton of people who are really scared. I'm not one of those people. I don't get scared about a lot of things because especially stuff outside my control.
What's the point? Right,
Right. You know, you're you're wasting energy on something you can't do anything about. I'm not going to say I've never been like that. But I've certainly learned over the years that that's not a real good investment of your energy.
Yeah, I think you know, Um, especially if you're talking about people who are in high risk categories. I think it makes sense, like to use common sense. But you had, you know, just sit around and yeah, and also, you know, follow guidelines of your local governments and states and all that about social distancing is just be responsible. But it doesn't do a lot of good just to sit around in your home and fret about it. You know, it's like
sitting on your pile of toilet paper.
That's something that I never did understand. Like this isn't a gastrointestinal issues
that I said that the minute that it started half like Don't they realize that if they catch this basically, all they're gonna be able to do all that toilet paper's blow their nose right? Meanwhile, there's people with runs that were just standing there, crying.
The other thing that people were buying bottled water, which made a little more sense, I guess. But to me is like if we get to the point where our water system isn't working, we're gonna have other things to worry about. I'm buying ammunition at that point, right? Yeah. Um, I was just insane, and it's tough to talk about this because I don't want to be accused of. And I'm not making light of it or not taking it because it has serious thing, you know?
Absolutely, absolutely. In fact, we have a shared friend who has the disease, you know, she's she's written about it on her block. I'm talking about Angelique. I don't think she will mind us mentioning her in this kinda. She's been public about it. She's been public about, but she she her whole family essentially is positive. The four of them are holed up in their house and we ran. Get through it. And good news is they all seem to be on the mend, but
it has taken him a while. I mean, it's not. It's not a it's not. The common cold will say that you know for sure for her home, and it is killing people, and that's it's difficult when it's something new like this. You don't really know what to do like, and I really do kind of feel for the people who are in charge, whether it's at the federal level or whether that's at the state level, because you're damned if you do, if you damned. If you don't like, if you go too far, people, that guy, you're panicking or whatever, you're restricting our freedoms, you know, do anything. Then you get blamed when people get sick and die.
And the other thing, too, with this virus, especially, is there so much that we don't know about it, right? Exactly. And so what seemed to be the hard and fast truth yesterday might be looked at today. Well, maybe that's not quite the way we should go. So things were changing on a pretty constant basis even now. I mean, the big changes, I feel like probably for the most part of already happened. You know, in all the non essential business is being shut down. And, yeah, this stay at home orders in the States that have it, which I think you guys still do not. Or do you? No,
no, no. Governor is a holdout. Were like one of five states.
Yeah, Yeah, I think I saw her on the news yesterday, talking about it and not sounding especially rational. But
from her point of view, I guess, is because I I was doesn't have a ton in comparison with a lot of other states. Sure, but my I guess my point of view be like, let's stop it from happening. Getting you know what I mean. Yeah,
I I would hope that most Iowans are smarter than your governor, and we're just gonna do it anyway.
Apparently, So far, that seems to be the case because we haven't so far, you know, knock on wood. Right s. So far, we haven't had a huge spike anywhere. And in Johnson County are Curve is already beginning to flatten a little bit, but but yeah. I mean, for me, when it's something unknown, you just snip it in the bud. Yeah. Yeah, the faster we do all this stuff, the faster we get rid of it and get back. Fuck Nothing. Sorry. Get back The hell The North.
Yeah, I agree with both of those things. But
one thing I guess that it has provided with his writers in theory on excuse to write more, I will have to say that has not been the case with me. And that is unfortunate because we have two amazing projects that kind of require my attention. Scott and I are co rother in these, and it's my turn on both. Yeah, um,
I actually pulled one back at one point. Look like that, I'm just gonna throw a little more in here, Which it really wasn't a reflection on you not doing it. That would mean war. Aah! Aah! Holy shit. We should do this. So let me get this in here before he does anything right? But it also it helped that you know, you hadn't really jumped in there right off. I had a little time to work. But then again, understandably, too, as you have not been suffering from Corona virus. But you've been suffering pretty heavy.
Yeah, I don't know. I was never tested. I don't know what the hell it was, but it was idea. I don't think of the symptoms weren't quite the same. Some lined up in some didn't. So I don't really know. It was bad that I will tell you that, and I'm still not completely over it. So there's been that and then the other thing is the kids have not been in school right now. So there's all that time in the morning where Ah, lot of times I would use at least part of that to write, and I haven't been able to, and plus, they're getting really wound up from being cooped up in the house. I'm sure so, even the times when they are it would normally be at home. They're crazier than usual, and it has not been conduced as conducive as one might have guessed, as I would have guessed. All right, All right. To produce the words like when I started thinking about this. Stay at home. This lock down is like a perfect writing time. Yeah, hasn't quite worked out that way.
I actually have gotten a little bit of work done. Um, not nearly as much as I've had time to do, but yeah, right. I've done a little bit, but I'm not. I'm not going to sit here and say, Yeah, I'm one of those guys that took full advantage because I didn't either.
When there's something in the air to, you know, you kind of know things aren't normal, like your your subconscious. Like the world's going to hell. It's sort of disquieting. And I can have it's times like that. I have issues focusing on something,
And I guess, you know, we're gonna have to either get to the point where depending on how things go, we say, All right, look, let's just pull our bootstraps up and get back to work, or things are gonna get better. And we're, you know, gonna be back in that environment that was conducive to us getting the work done before. Either way, we gotta get the friggin work done. No,
I agree. And I want to Is like I know you do. You know he's drooling, but yeah, you're right. I mean, it's at some point, it will become the new normal or right back to the old normal. I I prefer the old normal.
I'm a fan. I'm a fan of the old thing again. I'm getting old, so that would make me a fan of me. Your
old people just don't want change.
Why we gotta have these novel viruses.
Give me good old Byron. It's
a non fiction virus. I'm a little offended about this in two ways. And I think I've written about this one name of the virus after a yummy Mexican beer is just patently wrong. And And why did it have to be a novel virus? We're writers That kind of reflects on us.
Yeah, I think it's ah,
you know, sort of big. Just some other Rome altogether. I mean, I know the word novel has been used for centuries to indicate something new, but I'm proposing we abandoned that usage right now that it reflects poorly on us every time new virus comes out, saying, I'm just saying, Change the language to benefit Craig and I
Exactly. It's not really that much to ask, to be honest. Anyway, speaking of writing, one thing that Scott and I consider talking about today was plot and kicking off a new series on plot, and I don't know that we necessarily do that today. But I think going forward that will be something. How can you run out of things to say about plot? I guess. I mean, yes,
I took a few minutes earlier just to ah, look at some quotes subject, because I always feel like it's a good thing to check in with the other members of the club and see what they think about it, you know, and and that without going into him, I'll save them for when we really dig in. But the interesting thing I saw was there pretty, sharply drawn battle lines. In discussing this, Some writers don't have a high opinion of plot at all, as isn't as a literary device. You know, others, it's basically their centerpiece. And then there's people kind of in between. Of course, it's gonna be fun to look at the two camps in there. You know, I guess my introductory to the whole idea of plot is I've come to think of it as kind of like the scaffolding around the thing that is being work done. So the plot isn't so much what I'm working on. It's what I'm using toe work on the things I am working on, you know? I mean, think, think. Think of it as a scaffolding. Think of scaffolding. Think of the images you saw after the Notre Dame fire when the church was was surrounded by the scaffolding Schedule. Team is extremely important, and nothing that's gonna happen to the church can happen without that. But it's the church that's gonna end up being radical Point.
Yeah, The only issue, I think with some people and their use of plot is when plot is used as a crutch to get them through the book, you know, because usually that happens at the expense of other things. I character and I don't know exactly what quotes you're looking at, but that may be part of a hill. Part of the objection. You know, where the vaulting. It's a plot driven, but that means it's, you know, low brow.
We'll share one thing. This one's one of my favorites, and it comes from Ah, book that you and I end up referring to quite frequently, which is Stephen King's memoir on writing. Yeah, or one of his quotes in the book about that. His story is honorable and trustworthy. Plot is shifty and best kept under house arrest. In
that context, like plot would be a device and story is an art plot, it formulaic story. Creative.
There's I'm really actually looking forward to when we dig into this, because there's there's a couple of things I found that really get you thinking There's some stuff that Ray Bradbury said about plot. That's pretty cool. Who else? George R. R. Martin. I've got some of his thoughts on the topic, and then these are. These are the folks that are more in line with Stephen King's idea of, you know, obviously you're gonna need plot, but keep an eye on it.
Don't turn your back on plot. A little stab you Well, it's such an easy thing to fall into because it makes the job easier,
right? Right, And I mean, when you and I talk back and forth when we're working a lot of time. Well, say, I don't know if I did much more than just advanced the story a little bit in this chapter, and so that's I mean, that's plot. That's sort of a definition of plot, and it's running through everything we d'oh. But when you and I are working, the chapters were happiest. Are the ones where, of course, the plots of there. But that's not what I want you to look at in this chapter.
Who now I'm really curious about all the other quotes you found.
Thing I've done my job. Yeah, and and like any good researcher, I got to about this six or so and said, Yeah, this is
great work. I have a consensus or I have a a fair representation of all writers. Little time.
Well, the first, the first list I went to had 120. So I should have at least gone to 10. And you know, I did almost 10%. But yeah, Another list I saw had 550 quotes on the topic. And, uh, I think I got through three on that list.
My wife, Kim, will occasionally do peer review of various papers that are being written by other people in her field. And she got one. Uh, I think it's a few months ago now, but it was a study that had involved a sample size of, like, six people like to send it back,
you know? Yeah. Yeah, that one. That when we don't have to go too far into the details that we might need to circulate this one a little longer. Maybe
so anyway, eventually, things will calm down and get back to something resembling normality. You know, people are gonna be able to stay cooped up in their homes forever. Until that time, we still the good thing about podcast like CFO, Scott and I aren't even in the same room, even though it probably sounds like it.
We are 1000 miles socially distance from one
another. We're not taking any chance. Well,
that's that's division A championship. Social distance is they give out awards. I think we're definitely in the running
six feet. That's not nearly far enough for May
six feet, Rocky.
You know, hopefully we can take advantage of the time to maybe put out a couple more podcasts. And yeah, anything we can do to help people get through the monotony willingly
think, um, there's a book promotion going on right now.
All right, there's
one of our books. I think it might be mine, actually. Yep. And I don't have any of the information to direct anybody to them other than to say, if you go to Facebook and hunt down my author Paige S J. Veranda author, you'll find a link to this wonderful promotion, which features 119 other authors as well. And you can have the first in their Siri's and it's suspense books. So the first in the series of cleanup crews, of course, Beauty Bucharest, which is available, and, ah, 119 other books which I will definitely admit. Right now, I've scored a few of them myself. Something beautiful about a free book that all you have to do is sign up for someone's newsletter,
you know, and I do consider that free. By the way, God, who got a nasty gram from a reader's, I guess isn't a free I'd put my email. And
Andi only have so many of those to go around so I can see you want.
All right. Well, it's been good. Thanks, everybody, for stopping in and, uh, hanging out with a stern and our time of isolation. Yep. We appreciate it, and we'll be back hopefully before too long with another episode. And until then, be well, be safe and, uh, do some writing