Weekly Inspiration for Writers
Dreaming Big and On Your Own Terms, featuring S. Bear Bergman
Description: In this episode, we bring a guest whose story is intimately tied to Brooke’s personal journey out of traditional publishing. S. Bear Bergman shares with our listeners his own experience of the marginalization and “othering” he experienced as he worked to bring his experiences as a trans man to the page—and how and when he reached his “peak f-it moment,” prompting him to strike out on his own and found the publishing company, Flamingo Rampant, which publishes feminist, culturally-diverse children’s picture books celebrating LGBT2Q+ kids and families.
This week’s episode is in collaboration with WomenLit and brings us Brooke in conversation with Jane Smiley. In celebration of Jane’s latest novel, Perestroika in Paris, this is a conversation about wonder, about process, and about the upsides of being slow and steady. Jane is a true delight, a grounded and prolific author who always seems to be content being exactly where she is. So much to aspire to, and much to inspire too!
It’s a New Year!! Hallelujah. This week Brooke and Grant answer three questions around things they’ve been surprised that they miss, how their perceptions have shifted through the pandemic, and what they’re excited to get back to when things get back to “normal”—whatever and whenever that might be. And we invite our listeners to consider these questions for yourselves, too. HAPPY 2021!
What would you do if you lost your finished manuscript due to circumstances outside of your control? This is this week’s guest’s story. Devi Laskar’s resilience in the aftermath of police raiding her home and confiscating her computer is just part of this amazing and wild tale. Devi’s experience led us to think about all the ways in which writing is naturally uncertain, how there are no guarantees, and her well-taken point that the only thing all published writers have in common is that they didn’t quit. A perfect note to end the year on.
This week’s rad and radical episode touches upon the ways we are and aren’t educated in writing. Our guest, Kate Schatz, teaches writing, and was lucky to have had a teacher who championed her to become a writer. Not all of us get such early encouragement, but the good thing about our writing lives is that it’s never too late to seek out encouragement, collaboration, and other ways to bolster your writing lives and give you inspiration—including, we hope, this podcast.
In this heart-centered episode about poetry and the ways in which we touch each other through our words, guest Michael Mejia invites us to choose love over fear. In a wide-ranging conversation about how his brain injury set him free from writers’ block, to how he trusts the voice of poetry more than he trusts himself, this episode is a treat and a deep dive into the heart of what matters. We hope you’ll follow these links to watch two of Michael’s YouTube poetry videos here: “The Light of the Star” and “The Monarch.”
This week we are talking about writing about the past—and how history so rarely gives space to marginalized voices. Our guest is the #1 New York Times best-selling author Christina Baker Kline, who shares why it’s problematic that women writing about the past get ghettoized into historical fiction, and how she’s followed the threads of her last three novels, all of which have been set (at least in part) in the past. We love her activism and clear-eyed thoughts on publishing, women and writing, and so much more.
This week’s episode covers much territory, from cultivating mentors (whether they know they’re your mentors or not) to how to take care of yourself when writing trauma. This week’s guest, Joy Loya, had an unusual and powerful journey to becoming an author, and his story is testament to how we choose who we want to be in this world and how we show up.
How humor shows up in literature is the worthy topic of this week’s show—and Brooke and Grant interview Lysley Tenorio, someone who’s known for having an eye for the weird and absurd and rendering poignant experiences onto the page through humor. We talk about the kiss of death for authors who are trying to be funny, and offer up some advice for what to do if you want to write humor. Most important, however, we’re celebrating humor this week—and recommending some books that will lighten your mood. Also, please do not let this week end without watching the Philippine inmates reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which you can find here: https://youtu.be/hMnk7lh9M3o.
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