First Cup of Coffee – November 22, 2022

Last podcast for a couple of weeks as I’m headed on vacay/writing retreat. Talking about connections in our lives, Buddhism, David Bowie, Taylor Swift, expectations on creators and a bit on BANDITS.

First Cup of Coffee – October 7, 2022

Some straight talk about group anthologies: what works, what doesn’t, why doing it for that USAT Bestseller badge isn’t worth it, and something I didn’t know before. Also, the perils of survivorship bias and how to transcend it.

Preventing Burnout with Non-Monetized Creativity

If you missed it, SHADOW WIZARD is now available for preorder! It releases September 29, 2022. This is Book One in my new trilogy, Renegades of Magic, and continues the story begun in the Bonds of Magic trilogy. Preorder links below!

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven involves our non-writing hobbies.
In various discussions around burn-out and sustainably productive writing habits, I’ve discovered that many professional authors (as in, getting paid to do it) have another creative outlet that is non-monetized. Ted Kooser, a U.S. Poet Laureate (1004-1006), told me that he painted as a hobby. His paintings were apparently glorious and much-sought, but he’d made the decision to only give them away. It was important to him to have a creative outlet that wasn’t connected to money. This was a startling thought to me at the time, and one I’ve come back to often.
Other authors I’ve talked with in various scenarios have also discovered that approach: that having a non-monetized creative outlet not only refills the well, but prevents burnout (or allows a creator to recover from it).
What happens to many of us – and I’m speaking of authors, but I imagine it happens with all creatives – is that we begin with writing as the hobby. It’s the passion, the special something that we do because we LOVE it. Eventually, with persistence, hard work, and luck, we make that hobby into the profession. Then it’s no longer the alternative to the day job and other responsibilities. It’s become work.
Which, let me be clear, is good and natural. I’m a big believer in treating writing like my job. That’s how I support myself and my family.
Still, to manage the creative self, I’ve found I need other outlets to refill the well and take the place of that other, special, and relaxing Thing. Keeping it non-monetized is the challenge. Especially since the pandemic began, I think we’ve all become adept at casting about for side-gigs. In fact, the gig-culture was going strong before that. It’s tempting to take that successful hobby – I imagine Ted Kooser’s friends admiring a painting, offering money for it, and him turning it down with a slight smile and shake of his head – and begin to dream of taking that art viral and making an avalanche of comforting money from it.
I sometimes think there’s a certain magic in refusing that temptation, in enjoying creativity for its own sake.
And magic is precious.

First Cup of Coffee – August 12, 2022

On writing the thing you believe in, how inspiration and survivorship bias play into the tales we share about doing this, along with thoughts on the Women Who Rock documentary (excellent!) and taking control of your own career.

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Delicious. Ah today is sit it with me Friday Woo Woo woo August Twelfth Eight Twelve Twenty Twenty Two so end of another week. Hello mosquito. Ha so here. We are I’ve I’ve had a good week. Um I am um within striking distance of oh I didn’t open it yet. Of my 10,000 words for the week which makes me happy because I’m happy. Um, yeah and I met a little shy of 54,000 words on the book. 8085 this week. So ah I have no wood to knock on does a great vine count? Um I think I should hit 10,000 for the week which is good because I’m traveling the next four weekends in a row. Which hopefully will not disrupt my productivity but we’ll see we’ll see she’ll be in good shape. Um I have committed to the release date did the cover reveal. For shadow wizard yesterday woo. So I’m putting it on the show notes today. It will be everywhere now I was experimenting with the Nine Square grid on Instagram and it looks really cool now that it’s all assembled. I did the gradual release like little bits at a time on Instagram and I think I don’t think that did anything ah very few likes throughout the day. Lots of likes overnight once the whole thing was assembled. So yeah. towhee agrees. Ah, you know, maybe you know like the bits and pieces are just not that interesting besides which Instagram only wants reals these days. So ah. I’m not sure I would do it that same way again. But I do like how the cover looks on the Nine Square grid it means that I have to be really careful. What I post to Instagram now because if I do one, it’ll like shift it and break it up so I have to do like three or nothing so that it stays.

Ah, the travails. But yeah, ah it was fun to see people immediately start pre-ordering. Thank you! Ah excited for you all to read this book. It’s all good and tomorrow morning we are. Flying to Las Vegas Nevada not driving an hour north to Las Vegas New Mexico and um we’re going to go see Celeste Barber very excited and going with good friends Megan and Charlie so it should be. Ah, good party. We should have a great time low party weekend so there will not be a podcast on Monday morning. Sorry mom because we’ll be flying back that morning I suppose I could do like a super sleepy. From the Las Vegas airport podcast but let’s face it. We know I’m not going to so the big challenge for me will be to see if I can get 2000 words on that Monday that’s my. Personal challenge I hope that I can I might try on the airplane to at least get it started maybe at the airport to sort of get it rolling I’m definitely noticing a pattern lately. You know I get most of my words in that third hour some days it’s pretty even the 3 hours but especially this week like my first hour will be pretty crappy and then the second hour a little better and then I’ll get like 1200 words in the third hour so so it goes but I’m I’m happy with the results of going for 2000 words a day instead of 3,000 words a day I am out I kicked my legs up and sort of hit the under circle in the table. Ouch who? ah. When I was doing 3,000 words a day I would definitely notice the mental drain at the end of the day and I would or at the end of writing and I wouldn’t have bandwidth for much else. So 2000 words a day gives me reasonable bandwidth for.

Dealing with business dealing with ah SFWA stuff. We did our business meeting yesterday and it was I think it went well seemed to go well, it was funny because we’re doing it on Zoom and so the board is on chat with each other reminding each other of things and so forth and. Somebody pointed out that we have the eternal ah ah difference of whether people say sifwa or sefwa I tended to be more of a sefwa person until someone commented on it I said I thought that’s what it was supposed to be but we can’t agree and I said well at least it’s not an argument like Gif versus Gif which of course then immediately started. The I cannot believe that there are people out there who want to pronounce it Gif and director at large Monica Valentinelli said. Well did you know that the creator came out and said it’s supposed to be pronounced chiff and I said yes, but he’s wrong which she was like well what do you mean? I’m like he’s just wrong. It’s it’s not it’s graphics interchange format. You don’t suddenly change the graph part to jiff. Very rarely is a leading g pronounced with a ju sound instead of a good sound so and besides Jif is already a peanut butter but executive director Kate Baker says that she is a jif kind of girl. I just can’t even so I was thinking about something ah amazingly enough I’ve just finished reading a book by Brigid Kemmerer. Think she says Brigid with a hard g we’re going to go with that since theme of this episode and she could be bridgegitte. But I think it’s Brigid Kemmerer. Ah, and I read her book a curse so dark and lonely which is ah why a fantasy romance kind. There’s not a lot of romance and it’s the one that I alluded to yesterday when I was saying that you don’t have to have hot sex. Um, in fact, there’s no sex on or off page in this book. Um, the closest it gets is a kiss and ah. Yeah, so which normally is kind of a deal breaker for me twilight was an exception because there was so much sexual tension there while it was perfectly chased and I really enjoyed that about it. Um, this one.

I just really enjoyed the book I thought it was um, a really interesting take on beauty and the beast and I totally enjoyed the story. So and I read it because ah Brigand was at Apollycon and a few tables down for me. And she was a ticketed author because she had so many people wanting to get their books signed. Ah so she had pretty much you know nonstop line and I didn’t get to meet her that was one thing. Several people asked me about Apollycon. If. We um, you know like if I talked to such and so were meant so such and so on I was like you know we didn’t really have opportunities to mingle. Ah, when the authors were all present in a place we were doing the signings and you. Really couldn’t leave your table for long because there were so many people wanting to come which was great. Ah, and then there weren’t any events that were just for the authors which I am going to suggest that they add I hope that they will. Yeah I was just thinking that David asked for our feedback for but they may not want our feedback I might just um, have to message. So. Ah I also think that they’re not getting some of my emails because I send from that email which tends to go to spam. It’s one of the things about having your own domain. That’s a spammo spmoific. So I was just thinking about I should give them my super secret email address. For people I actually want to hear from anyway. Ah so yeah, I was you know like oh I’ve never heard of Brigid Kemmerer and Jennifer Estep next to me said because we would chat during our lulls our rare lulls. She said how can you have not heard of her she was like Kensington at the same time we were and I was like oh know and she said well that she’d really like this book a curse so dark and lonely and it it was great. It was really good. So um, and I’m now reading the sequel a heart so fierce and broken. Interested to see how that goes there was a love triangle in the first book and it’s kind of being carried into the next book and I’m I’m actually good with this one I don’t usually like love triangles. But I like this one anyway in the acknowledgements Brigid says. Ah.

That she wrote this book because her husband said to her. It was a real dark point in her life. She’d been depressed and her husband asked her when was the last time that she wrote something um that was just for her that she enjoyed and. And she and you know that she wasn’t under contract to write and and she realized it been a long time so she wrote this book just for her and then it’s really has been the thing that launched her this has made her famous. Which great for her and it’s interesting because of course Apollycon is belongs to Jennifer L Armentrout oh here comes Isabelle affectionately known as JLA which is much easier and. She did this you know fantasy romance series recently? Um, which I always forget the name because now there’s so many Knockoffs but you know heart of blood and ash or whatever it is um, you all know right vampires and werewolves ah that traditional publishing wouldn’t take then. Said that they didn’t see at a point to it and now she’s done it with um the girls who do 1001 dark nights. So it’s sort of like a little startup press. Ah, it’s like one step different from self-publishing which is interesting. You know that we’ve got all these sort of. Phases of you know it’s no longer just traditional publishing or vanity press. There’s all of these different um levels of publishing self publishing and assisted publishing. Um, so um.

Jennifer has spoken a number of times about how she really wanted to write this series and traditional publishing didn’t want it and she wanted to write it anyway. So she did and how much it meant her and now it’s been phenomenally successful. So. And these are interesting stories to tell ourselves and it’s funny I’d already written down a note to talk about this when David told me a story just as I was making my coffee to come out here. He said that um this gal in a. Group that he follows that like does is into online gambling stuff and he said how that she woke up from a dream that she won a jackpot of $1000000 and so she got up and she went and played $40 on 1 of the online slots games. And so so there’s a correlation here right? We we love to tell these stories. Ah, you know she woke up from the dream that she won the jackpot she went and played $40 and she won the jackpot. Um. Brigid and JLA ah wrote the book of their heart. They wrote wrote the thing that they really wanted to write there was Isabella in the background rooting around oh and actually peeing sorry but she loves a little al fresco. Opportunity I’m glad she is at least discreetly shrouded by the vegetation Isabel fell. there’s ah there’s a lot of um, gritty reality here at first cup of coffee. So and and I feel like she’s ruined my my carefully assembled story right? Oh now she’s okay hold on it turned out. She was prepping her spot and so I spared you all the actual display. You’re welcome at least if you’re on video. So the thing is these are all examples of survivorship bias because we never tell the reverse story. Um, we do not tell the story. If the woman woke up in the middle of the night from a dream that she won a jackpot went and played her $40 and lost it all. She does not get online and told this story because it’s a non story right? same is true for writing that book.

That we long to write. That’s the book of our heart or that you know everybody says oh we don’t know what we’re going to do with it. We write that book. We love that book. We decide to self-publish it and it goes nowhere. It’s not a story. The exception being. The gal that I talked about yesterday who shared online how her self-publishing experience did not go well that she spent yeah $10000 and made about $750 and how that is. Ah, thing that happens so at that point it becomes a story but it’s not the story. We want to hear right? We love a story like Brigid Kemmerer or jla where they persevered wrote the thing that they wanted to write that. Well. Brigid soldiers to traditional publishing so that’s a different tale right? But you know and then it does really well and we love that we love that vindication. The triumph of the thing that no one wanted and then it does really really well and ah, it’s It’s a wonderful kind of story it and it inspires us and it keeps us going which is something that we need and do not get me wrong because I love hearing Jennifer talk about that story I’ve heard her give the speech a couple of different times. And it is it came for me at a time when I really needed to hear it. Um I don’t know why I’m a little horse this morning but a horse is a horse of course of course. Ah, um, yeah. The first time I heard it came at a time when I needed to hear that and and it helped me put dark wizard out there which definitely was a story for me that way where it was slightly different for those of you who haven’t heard me talk about it before. Dark wizard was a story that I had been mulling for a very long time. Um I mostly just hadn’t gotten around to writing it. However, because I was busy with other things and I also wasn’t sure how I was going to execute it when I told my agent about the idea she loved it. Ah, when I showed her initial pages. She loved it and then when I finished writing the book. She no longer loved it and she did not want to take it out on submission because she said she didn’t know any editor that would want to buy it.

And but the difference for me. There was is I had lots of other people who did love it everybody else who read it frickin love this book and including people you know who will tell me the truth. So. And then it did very well when I self-published it and it helped to hear Jennifer’s story and then I heard it again me because I asked her to give the same talk to my local Rw a chapter and and I enjoyed hearing it again then because it does. Help to hear these stories of people persevering of writing the thing that they want to write. It’s a difficult business if you’re not writing the thing you want to write. It’s perilously close to not being worth it. But. There are lots and lots of times that we write the thing we want to write and it does not do phenomenally well and that doesn’t make it any less worth it because we still have to write the thing we want to write that’s. Part of being creative. Um, and I’m getting low on time but I still want to touch on this. We watch this four part documentary on Amazon prime called women who rock highly Highly. Recommend. This documentary It’s incredibly well done. It really traces the history of women and rock as built starting from you know like Gospel and the girl bands of the 50 s and sixty s all the way up to present. And by the time they get to ah more recent times. There’s just way too many to touch on but they have interviews with lots of women some are throughout the whole thing like Nancy Wilson from heart Pat Benatar and they talk about how difficult it. Difficult it was in the beginning and there’s this. It’s wonderfully put together because there’s this chain of people reflecting on their influences so you have the people coming up and talking about listening to Nancy and Anne Wilson or listening to Pat Benatar and practicing the chords listening to those women and being inspired by them and then the older women talking about seeing the younger ones coming up and it’s wonderful with the connectedness and the women helping women and talking about how difficult it was in the industry show crow is in it.

Bunch of people are in Shania Twain Chakka Khan ah, other ones I was not familiar with Mavis just Mavis I can’t think of what her last name is from the old Gospel days. Um, and one theme that emerges. And David and I – I think I’ve mentioned before that watching stories about musicians is a great Venn diagram will overlap for both of us because he loves music and musicians and I love the creative aspects so we love it when we can find shows like this but I was pointing out to him and he was agreeing because I’m right. Over and over they would mention having to take control of their own careers having to that you can’t rely on anyone else to do this thing for you that you have to take control of your own career and make it be the thing you want. And I think that’s very true of all creative enterprises that as I often say nobody will ever love your book as much as you do and it’s um I think it’s probably true of of all creative enterprises that. You are the one who will care about it most and if you don’t care about it then it’s not worth it. So on that note I will leave you looking forward to seeing Celeste Barber Standup act tomorrow night and I will talk to you all on. Tuesday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 12, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Ah, excellent today is Tuesday April Twelfth for 122022 and it’s um, I’m looking at my thermometer. And it’s actually showing 51° out there which means I could be going outside I don’t know why I’m like not moving out to the grape arbor. The the wind is cold I think that’s part of it. Ah, but there we are.

Ah so um, update on the ah laptop screen Watermark I’m sure you’re all on tenterhooks to know. But I think it’s decreasing ah if I wanted to risk it I would trace an outline. That would be the scientific thing to do but trace an outline so I could see if the borders are actually moving but I’m not willing to risk it because I don’t want to mess up my touchsc screenen so I’m just excuse me. But. Don’t know what that was a little bit of frogginess. But um yeah it’s um I think it’s I think it’s different today I think it’s the borders are receding and I think there’s more open patches in the middle. So. Cross our fingers that maybe I didn’t fuck it up forever if you don’t know what I’m talking about you have to listen to yesterday’s podcast and get the whole story of Jeffe’s carelessness although this is it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been so I’m telling my blessings. Actually today is a counting blessings kind of day. It feels like a good day. Um, saw bobcat this morning young female. Do these bobcats have this sense to them that they seem to me like they’re smiling. You know she comes. I saw her as I was lifting weights, saw her out the bedroom window and called David and we watched her come around and she drank from the fountain and and she glances up now and then and kind of has this look on her face like it’s a great world. It’s a beautiful morning I swear she’s smiling at guys. And um I was ah dancing around to Taylor Swift’s I Think He Knows really love that song. There are a lot of songs on lover that I really like and I almost feel like we like lover kind of got a little bit lost in the wash. Maybe that’s just me. But um, what year did that come out 2018? Yeah, that’s why it was 2019 August of 2019 so we only got to enjoy enjoy it for I mean I guess it was a good six months before pandemic kicked in but I don’t know it seems like a lot of that stuff that happened at the end of Twenty Nineteen kind of got um, kind of smooged out like that’s totally a word and I’m not even gonna fix it on the transcript by what came immediately after and the.

Stress and trials of that I’ve been going through the programming stuff for SFWA’s nebula conference and there are a lot of panel suggestions on creating well being under stress. It’s like. I wonder why this topic is on people’s minds ha and I won’t go into another rant on Brandon Sanderson but seeing how many writers wonderful writers out. There are suggesting. Topics like that just reinforces for me that someone being flip about making a joke about people not being able to create during the pandemic is just that much more annoying.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you would have to go find that podcast because I’m not going to renew my rant I have other things to rant about. Thank you? Ah, but no I’m feeling good today I’m dancing around seeing the bobcats feeling pretty good. Um, feeling like I’ve a lot to do. But theoretically it’s doable. Theoretically um, let’s see so oh I wanted to talk a little bit more I even made notes sticky notes. Yeah, to collect my thoughts collecting um I need like one of those waynes world moments blue do pu it’s not a flashback. It’s me collecting my thoughts. So. I talked quite a bit yesterday about um about the Jack Williamson lectureship and how much fun it was one of the things that I don’t think I really touched on I sort of did tangentially. But I wanted to come back to it to talk about what makes panels at conferences. Really fun for for the participants for the writers I think that it’s um, there is something indescribably wonderful. About being able to have conversations with other writers in a way that we don’t on our own so this is something for all of you readers or aspiring writers out there for when you go to conferences and you feel like. You you don’t want to ask the stupid question you know and people always excuse it. You know they’re like oh well can I ask a stupid question and and I really do strongly believe there’s no such thing as a stupid question I think that’s just people being snotty who say that there are. Because how do you get your question answered unless you ask it and and yes I have known people who are like you should go out and do the research yourself and they totally make that face and they use that voice. You should go out and do the research yourself and. Discover the answer to the question my idrate which like do you even know how they found out they like happened to stumble upon it. We did get a question at 1 of the panels somebody asking us about research and what was our you know did we prefer to ask people or.

You know Google or look stuff up and I was totally on the side of I want to ask people because you know until we get better ai the human brain is able to drill down to answer exactly the thing that you want and dorendda was talking about. Um. Doing research for her sunshine books and you know like talking to sheriffs and they would say well this is how it would go down and she’s like yeah yeah, yeah, but I can’t have it go down that way because it won’t work with the story I want it to do this How can how can I make it do this and still be kind of close to real life That’s what you need people for um, asking questions of other people is a wonderful way to get information and especially when you have the opportunity to ask other creators or ask authors you admire or what have you. To answer a question that you might have you know that’s wonderful and and it prompts us to think about things in ways that we don’t normally think about you forget what people don’t know first of all and. The conversations that we have just listening to how other writers answer the same question is I don’t even know I don’t have the words. Ah, it’s um, transcendent is that too strong of a word. It’s just really so stimulating and it refills the well and it just makes me feel good and there I so I’m just gonna come down on this full stop. You guys doing a panel in a room full of. Living breathing human beings with other living breathing human beings is just a thousand times better than the online panels. Um, and I know I’ve complained about this before but you know doing those online panels. Where you’re just looking at the other panelists and you don’t have any sense of the audience at all, you can’t see who’s asking questions. You don’t have that that energy in the room. It’s a real thing you guys if we have learned nothing else from this whole Zoomtastrophe there I Coined the word. It’s probably a terrible word. It won’t last stop trying to make fetch happen if we learned to anything from this whole Zoomtastrophe. It’s that that Zoom interaction doesn’t um replace human interaction.

So I just wanted to emphasize that how great it is if you were putting together a conference if you’re attending a conference being on a panel with other writers who have interesting things to say is um is the best. it’s awesome and it’s it’s always been. From the very beginning of my writing career. 1 of my favorite things and it continues to be 1 of my favorite things. There is something about that about that conversation about having observing how other people make things happen. That is endlessly fascinating David and I have been watching. Let me get the exact title. So it’s called winning time the rise of the lakers dynasty and I will link to it in the show notes. It’s on Hbo Max which is I think funny. It’s like the only Hbo there is now but like they had Hbo and then they added Hbo Max and I don’t know if I was like not the only one who was really pissed that they wanted me to pay for 2 channels but they merged them so it’s called Hbo Max now but it’s um, Hbo right so it’s um a series on Hbo Max sorry I already told you that and it’s ah about. Exactly what the title says it takes place in like starting in 79 I think with the purchase of the lakequors by a businessman I’d never heard of but who used to live in Kemmerer Wyoming of all places um, played by John C Riley who’s amazing Jason Segel is in it and it’s about how they sort of I so much stuff I didn’t know even though I lived through this era about like that and Mba best ball was not bringing in the money. It wasn’t popular. They I don’t know if I can even discre. You know they’re talking about Magic Johnson’s in it and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and they’re just talking about how they transformed this money pit into a moneymaking enterprise. And the creativity that went into it and I think that’s the kind of thing. It’s a good show for us because David likes basketball stuff. It’s very witty. That’s really cleverly done a lot of good people working on it like Jonah Hill

Say I could tell you like some of the John C Riley well he’s a star store I knows gent Jonah Hill Adam Mckay is like 1 of the directors some of these other names I don’t know people more savvy than I might. But it’s um, they’re they’re delving into the racism of the era in really interesting entertaining ways the development of I didn’t realize that the lakers were the one to create the whole. Um. The lakers girls the the sexy dancing girls as cheerleaders. it’s it’s just fabulous you guys and it’s I think endlessly inspiring to see how people do things how people created things and overcome things. And that comes back to listening to people talk on the panels and talk about one of my favorite questions to ask other authors is to talk about a time when they had to reinvent themselves because everybody has had it. It’s a treasure rich question because. Every single creator out there has had to reinvent andvent themselves and reinvent their career at some point and hearing what happened and why they had to do it. It’s um, really just ah so enriching stimulating. But. So this is I’m I’m sort of bouncing all over the place this morning dancing right? I won’t sing tempting though. It may be 1 of the gals I got to know at the lectureship is. Mary Ayala who is the Dean of arts and sciences at Eastern New Mexico University and she sat right by us at dinner that first night and she is um you know like my age Darynda’s age and. Super smart I mean obviously she has to be in order to be dean of a college and we just had a lot of fun talking and then the next day I saw her and she she stopped. We were walking from like 1 building to another and she was coming towards us and she stopped. Was walking with Dorinda and she stopped us and she said I just wanted to tell you guys how much fun I had talking to you last night. She said it was just like a breath of fresh air I think this is how we all felt that was just like we could finally take in some fresh air and talk to people. We didn’t already know.

In person. Ah and she was just she said I just feel so I woke up this morning just feeling tons lighter and feeling excited about things again and she even decided at that point she had been headed somewhere else. And she said you know what? I’m just gonna run this errand later I’m gonna come sit with you guys and talk some more It’s just delightful. So I know I’m sort of going in circles here. But I think we can’t underestimate the the stimulation that that kind of thing provides us and what. We can learn from other people and from what they’ve struggled to create and do so and I know I had another oh I also finished watching last night severance you guys been watching severance this is on Apple um. So yeah, it’s on Apple Tv and if you um, if you couldn’t watch Ted Lasso mother then you can’t watch this but I don’t know that you and would like it anyway, it’s dark. It’s very dark and unsettling. In fact, we watched I don’t know 1 or 2 episodes and David bailed on it because he said this is kind of depressing. He’s more sensitive to depressing stuff these days and I was like yeah it is kind of depressing but it was also fucking fascinating. It’s Adam Scott and directed by Ben Stiller of all people then Ben Stiller who is like coming back to dark in his old age David was telling me that Ben Stiller when he was in like film school. Ah. Got kicked out of class for writing a screenplay that the professor said was so unsettling that they wouldn’t show it to anyone so now like maybe he’s sort of coming into his own. This is also cool, right? You know where people are in their careers and you kind of get to that fucket point of your career sorry I should have like warned people that this is the 4 letter. Word episode but it’s on Rand here at first cup of coffee right? You reach this point in your career where you just want to do the stuff you want to do and and and you don’t care if anybody else thinks that you should be doing it or wanting you to go back to doing zoolander or whatever. Ah. So severance. The premise is that people have a chip embedded in their brains that divides their memory so that when they’re out living their lives. They don’t know what their work is.

And then when they go to work they ride in an elevator and this circuit they make it be like little sounds which they then use to really good effect later for disconnects with reality. But then it clicks out and it blocks out all their memories of who they are outside that place. And they are only awake and alert in their office world so that it’s it’s the ultimate work life separation right? and which is how it’s built. But then it’s it’s creepy because the people who live inside the office building. Who only have their lives as workers they that’s all they have right? They don’t know anything else and this affects them profoundly and so the the final episode of the first season came out last week and i. Wasn’t able to watch it because I was out of town but I watched it last night and David was cooking dinner and we sort of have that open plan open to the kitchen there at the pass crew and he was like why do they keep playing that really ominous creepy music. And I’m like because there are ominous and fucking creepy things happening. Um I was I did not expect the revelations in that final episode I knew that there were going to be questions answered and i. Of course not all not all completely answered. There is a season 2 but you know there’s a lot of times with shows like this where they set out with this premise that creates a lot of mystery and paradox and you really want to know the answers. And then by the end they fail to satisfy that it’s like they. They’re really good at setting up the question but not so good at the answer and this final episode was just amazing. Ah yeah, so we could talk about severance. So let’s see. Um I think I’ll call that good I’m thinking about setting up a Discord channel for conversations where we can have like spoiler conversations about books and stuff maybe through a Patreon or something let me know what you think about that and let’s see. Will talk to you all I’m flying out of town on Thursday but not till later in the morning. So yeah I think I’ll talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 1, 2022



Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Pretty good I’m getting used to it today is Tuesday I was going to say Tuesday seven forty of Tuesday february first we are now officially into the second month of 2022 Tomorrow will be 2/2/2022 but I’m not going to podcast so we have to take note of it today. Um, you know all that fertile soil right? Keep prime in that soil year of the tiger to happy Chinese New Year um yeah what does it mean? What does it all mean it’s like we can’t predict anything anymore. It’s who knows who knows what the year will bring.

Um, so let’s see um I am trying something new. Um I am doing the I I record this on Zencastr every once while someone asks me what I use to record this and. Um, it was Leslie Penelope who gave me the recommendation. It’s been a great recommendation. So I use Zencastr to record both the audio and the video and it’s great because when I have guessed which I haven’t done for a while I guess but when I do have guess I can just send them a web link. And interview them and so forth and Megan we should have you on I should interview you you should come on the show sometime and then you could see how Zencaster works too because she was one who asked about it so they have a um I use the free plan because hey. You know I don’t make money on this podcast though you can contribute just I never remember to say these things there are other people who are much better about this than I am yet like they have their whole spiel at the end saying remember to click like remember to subscribe um, donate to the podcast. Send me your money I not that great at it every once’s while someone donates to the podcast. You can find it by. Um there’s like a little heart if you’re listening or I think it’s some like in the show notes on Youtube but anyway. I already pay for the buzz sprout side because that’s what I use to upload to all of the podcast places but Zencastr I’ve been doing the free version and it’s um. I could go up to pro which is like $20 a month which would make my total out lay $38 a month between buzz sprout and Zencastr which I mean it’s not a lot but considering that I don’t really have any direct income that comes from this i. Just try to be aware of that anyway, the pro plan offers a transcript option where I will automatically transcribe the podcast which I know you guys are asking for and yes I want to be accessible I’m hoping that there’s a fourteen day free trial. So we’ll try it out if you look at the podcast or I’m at the transcript I mean let me know what you think I’m going to try not to edit it because that’s where I got bogged down when I tried it before I tried otter ai and it was pretty good. But.

Way I talk because I change subjects a lot and I change topics midsentence and I have run on sentences I’m sure this is like 1 big run on sentence if I looked at the transcript. As a writer. It drives me up the fucking wall I just cannot look at this and not edit it. So for like a 20 minute podcast when I tried the transcript before I was spending an hour editing it at least. Which reader this is not time well spent not for me so I’m going to try the free or not free the free trial but the free transcript option and see if it. Works well enough because I figure $20 a month is probably worth it to be accessible min nervous spencer I am looking at you. You do not need accessibility. You just don’t like listening to stuff just putting that out there. But. You would benefit also so we’ll see we’ll see let’s see what else is going on. Um I’m glad you guys were amused by yesterday’s podcast um yeah it was a comedy of errors. It was the bloopprint podcast and I don’t know what the deal was although today I very cleverly with the wisdom of experience moved my keyboard and put it aside so it’s not near my coffee. So at least we eliminate that factor of bloerness see now I’m thinking about this transcript and I’m thinking what is it going to do with words like bloerness. It’s gonna I don’t know make it something german I’m not going to obsess. I’m really not going obsessed about this I may be obsessing a little bit. Ah so anyway, yeah, yesterday was funny I’m glad I could give you a laugh hit if. Inadvertently.

So let’s see yesterday I did get my 3000 words it was a slower day. Um, it took me longer longer and slower those 2 things go together. We are on sesame street. Um, true. Oh I can look on this screen Jeff Eighteens so it was a total elapse time of nearly five hours and it took me 3 hours and 15 minutes so about half an hour longer I don’t know why I was feeling. Well clearly discombobulated yesterday that I like couldn’t figure out the podcast recording thing that I’ve done you know guys know how many podcasts I’ve done now I guess I passed like the 500 episode Mark. But what. Could tell you because I actually I’ve done 593 podcasts. Can you believe that so you would think one would think that I would know what I was doing by now. But now although I have changed. Technologies a few times over that this this is 5 years This is my fifth year of doing the podcast. Um I started it in well we can answer this question too. Um.

Let’s see is this right is this was I keeping track season 2 here season 1 oh I didn’t really keep track that first season of my episode numbers I’m not sure why I only started keeping track of those. And um season two. So I did 80 episodes in season one and I know I started somewhere around July I could probably look up the actual date. So amazing when I was having lunch with my friend who writes is Katie Lane cowboy romance the other day she was saying very nice things about the podcast and saying that she admires my consistency on this and I’ve mentioned this from time to time. But every time someone gets me to try to upgrade what I’m doing on this podcast I dig in my heels because. This is how I established consistency. She said that she felt like you know consistency is what you really need to do in order to establish a podcast and have it be successful and she asked how my numbers were and I said well they increase all the time which is great. Um, but. You know doing it for 20 minutes 4 days a week with pretty low tech where I don’t edit I don’t revise the transcripts. We are not going to revise the transcripts. You know it keeps it low effort. So. A lot of people who are doing podcasts. You know are really going for that. Let’s monetize this let’s make it hugely successful. Let’s make all kinds of money. Um I already admitted that I make no money on this podcast I bake money. Everyone’s well not just donating. But. It used to be you know like Kensington would do those ad spots but then they stopped. So I guess I feel like not everything in life should be about making money and and I’m touched on this briefly yesterday when I talked about um that not ah. The idea of monetizing creativity I don’t agree with Elizabeth Gilbert that’s whose name I was trying to think of when she says in big magic where she says that you should not that you should keep your day job.

Because if you connect money to your creative work then you’ll stifle your creativity and I think that’s pretty nice thing to say if you’re Elizabeth Gilbert and making huge money on. Appearances and so forth I mean it’s really easy to say once you’re making big money on your books and it’s it’s a place of privilege right? I mean you keep your day job because you need to pay your freaking bills. Um, but if you want to make a living as a writer you. You are attaching money to to your creativity. There’s just no way around it right? You’re creating this thing that then is a source of money for a whole lot of people which is cool about it because there are a lot of people who get money from what I’m doing I mean. Jeff Bezos is making money off of me right? not that he needs his percentage of my books but he gets it right? All those people who work for Amazon who work for Google play and bars and noble kobo ah smashw words I’m helping to pay their salaries I pay my. My cover designer I pay my editors I pay my formatter. They’re all making a living off of this thing that I’m making out of nothing. So yes, it’s monetized that said. I do think that there’s something to be said for having things in your life that are not monetized that are simply for the joy of it I remember meeting a poet laureate and I can’t recall his name right now. No surprise. He lived in the midwest and he was an insurance salesman for his entire career and wrote poems like did a thing they wrote 1 poem but a night and he ended up being the us poet laureate and wonderful poems but was interesting to me. He came and talked at. University where I was up in Wyoming he also painted and he said that he he sold his poems. You know he’d gotten to the point in his career I mean by the time you’re a us poet laureate. Hopefully you’re making at least something off of your poems. Um. But his paintings. He said he very deliberately refused to sell his paintings even though he had had offers that galleries had offered to carry his work and so forth. He only gave them away to people because he said he wanted to have a creative outlet that wasn’t monetized and I think that that’s.

Important um, now is that why I don’t monetize the podcast. No probably if I could you know make money off of this that that would be nice and I would but I also don’t want to get so into this relentless marketing. And that’s why I haven’t done really well with some of the podcast groups that I’ve been invited to and that kind of thing because they all talk about you know like things like grow your show and you know implement this and what technology you’re using for that and. How do you? You know? How do you advertise and how do you reach this market or that market and you know it’s like something for something I’m putting 20 minutes a day into just so I can sit here and chat with you guys? No I’m not gonna do that. Ah like. 1 of my friends said oh you should buy a ring light I’m like no I’m just not going to buy a ring light I’ll get sit here and look at my face on the laptop and it’ll be fine. Although I do get a facial did I mention I’ve never loved a facial as much as this one and now I want to go like get one every month or every other month. I might do it so vanity vanity all is vanity and chasing after the wind. Um, oh I actually have something actually have something of substance to discuss today. Oh I have 2 things of substance I’m gonna save this since I actually wrote it down. Um I think it’s funny because we watched a movie last night called drunk bus like a bus for drunks drunk bus and it was funny. It was ah it was a good movie and what was really interesting. Is that it had the same ending as the movie that we watched the night before which was called elsewhere and I know that some of this could be because David found drunk bus because he was looking at. We’ve really been using more of the if you like this movie. You might like this one I take their algorithms getting a little bit better so it could be that this was a similarity and I’m going to talk about the endings of these 2 movies. So if you don’t want to hear it you might you know, put your hands over your ears and do the la la la. But it’s not like they’re twist endings or anything. There’s nothing earthshattering about these endings. What I found really interesting was that they resolved the story in the same way for both and it was almost a lack of resolution. So cover yours if you don’t want to hear the ending. But.

Both of these movies were about ah a guy a white guy. Um, who is kind of hapless and both reeling from previous relationships with women and elsewhere. It’s his wife died 2 years before and he’s like still grieving. In drunk bus. It’s that his girlfriend left him and both of these are like that’s part of the plot. No spoilers there and so they’re both sort of haplessly finding their way through life and these places where they are one’s in a beautiful place and one’s in a miserable place. But. And the and the movies kind of like about them finding their way out of this morass of both of them are really grieving right? grieving loss and trying to figure out who they are and their friends yell at both of them for like not making decisions and not getting their shit together and the both movies and it. With the guy leaving town leaving and we don’t know where he’s going and neither one of them. Do we know where he’s going. It’s it’s completely unresolved that way but they’re both heading off at least they’re not staying where they were and I found that really interesting. You know like is this? um. I mean I think that they probably both are arguably millennial generation because they had like guys in their thirty s and so maybe that’s a metaphor for the millennial generation about you know, not making a decision but at least we’re gonna go somewhere else I guess. Found it really funny. You guys noticed this trend is this a thing. Maybe it I mean I have an n of two. So I’m not gonna obsess about I’m using the word obsess a lot today. Um, oh so then this is I dropped my sticky. But I remember what it says I saw through nik novelists incorporated I’m a member of that they’d sent out a thing saying that someone was looking to do ph d research on creativity and would we be willing to do an hour long interview to talk about our creative process and you guys know I like to talk about my creative process. So I thought oh okay I’ll do that so you know click on the link to get more information and it’s a study through a university and this gal’s you know, studying creativity. But what they would do is. Audio only you turn off the video but it’s through Zoom and for an hour you talk as you write you talk about your creative choices as you write I’m going to stare into the camera now.

I mean I can’t even I’m I’m almost wordless but not for long but what what I can’t imagine trying to talk as I write. Um i’m. When I’m writing I’m there typing away I’m type type type typing I’m I’m streaming the the world and the characters and I just yet like I said I’m sputtering. Um. I almost wrote to this gel and maybe I don’t know. Do you guys think I should because there was an opportunity to like email and ask questions but I want to email her and tell her your study design is really flawed I’m sure that’s what she would want to hear like from former scientist. A former neuroscientist turned. Writer of fantasy romance. But she’s gonna get a very particular kind of creative process by by going at it this way. It’s just um, it’s kind of mind boggling to me so those of you who are listening who are writers. Do you think you. Could do that is that something you could do is actually narrate as you are writing I could see how it might work if you are someone who does like research and world building that you could say okay now. I don’t even I don’t even know how that would work now I need to name this character so I’m going to go to behind the name dot com which is what I do and I’m going to search for this meaning. Ah I just can’t even can’t even but I don’t need to. So and I probably will not email this for ph e d student and give her my opinions on creative process. However I will rant to all of you about it because that’s what you don’t pay me for ah that was a good hook right? Okay, well. I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday and I will be back to rant it you about creative process on to other things on Thursday so you all have a good week and I will talk to you Thursday bye bye.