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Author Topic: PC053: Change of Life  (Read 6236 times)
Heradel
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« on: May 17, 2009, 02:36:55 PM »

PodCastle 053: Change of Life

by K. Tempest Bradford.
Read by MA in PA.

It all started because I wanted a pet. All of us younger kids did. But Mom always said that there wasn’t room for any pets cuz there were so many kids. She had a point, I guess. There were nine of us. But then David, my oldest brother, left home when he was only seventeen and a half to join the Peace Corps. Mom cried for three days straight. Dad said it was only because she was going through the Change of Life.

The day after she stopped crying there was a bunny in the living room. No cage, just a bunny. I guess Dad bought him hoping it would cheer Mom up–and it did. She sat on the couch holding the bunny for hours and told us all that we had a new family member: David the bunny. Katherine, my oldest sister, said that Mom named it David out of a sense of displacement or some other big word she liked to use just because she wanted to be a psychologist or a psychiatrist or some kind of person who messes with your head.

I wasn’t impressed. I wanted a dog.

Rated G. Contains a menagerie.

Posted a day early in honor of Fen of Color United.
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 08:30:51 PM »

Not happy with invading child.  Angry  Fail to see relevance of cookie recipe.
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SirJolt
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 10:46:57 AM »

I found it hard to get to grips with the manner in which the story was written... I couldn't decide between whether or not it was a style choice or if the point of view of a younger narrator had necessitated a certain verbal thriftiness.

Normally I'm all for not going out of your way to explain every little thing, but this felt awkward and unsure of itself. The "fantasy" element was obvious from the beginning, which made the reveal towards the end boring, and while I hoped that something a little more interesting would come, it never really materialised Sad
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Hilary Moon Murphy
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 12:05:45 PM »

I was happy to see a Tempest story on here.  I'm one of her fans!

I enjoyed the gentleness of the story, and the strange connections between the animals and the mother's lost children.  Thumbs up.

However I must agree that the introduction had me confused.  Cookies?  The idea of fantasy and food is great, but maybe food-related introductions should be saved for food themed stories.

Thanks!

Hmm
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 12:18:41 PM »

The cookie tangent didn't throw me off as much as the lisping-Cindy-Brady-style narration.  Not easy on my ears.  Nearly turned the story off due to it. 

As for the story itself...I shouldn't be able to tell how a story's going to end so soon.  As soon as the first pet showed up, and knowing its name...I just kind of knew where this was going and, coupled with the narration, the overall experience didn't do a terrible lot for me.

But, if I were allowed around fire or other heat sources, I might very well try that cookie recipe.
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 12:53:19 PM »

However I must agree that the introduction had me confused.  Cookies?  The idea of fantasy and food is great, but maybe food-related introductions should be saved for food themed stories.

Again, I found the cookie recipe irrelevant, but having somebody's kid do the introduction really rubbed me the wrong way.  If I want to listen to children, I'll go back to Clonepod.

The cookie tangent didn't throw me off as much as the lisping-Cindy-Brady-style narration.  Not easy on my ears.  Nearly turned the story off due to it.
As for the story narration itself, it didn't bother me.  The reader did a good job of conveying that this was a kid narrating the story, while avoiding the things that I find most annoying about hearing kids talk.

The story itself, however, I'm lukewarm on.  Or in other words, "meh".

And the rating: "Rated G ... contains a menagerie"?  A "G" rating? Seriously? 
"Rated PG ... contains psychotic parent with separation issues" seems more accurate.
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 01:27:46 PM »


As for the story narration itself, it didn't bother me.  The reader did a good job of conveying that this was a kid narrating the story, while avoiding the things that I find most annoying about hearing kids talk.

I agree that the narrator did a great job with this.   One of the stories that I've got coming up in PodCastle features a child (though an older one) narrating the story.  Since it is so hard to narrate stories in a child's voice for audio, I am crossing my fingers and hoping that it comes off well.

Hmm
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2009, 01:43:49 PM »

OK. I don't care if you criticize the choice of having a kid intro for us, but please don't criticize the child's voice. Come on, people.

Hilary -- your story's being narrated by Chris Reynaga, who also did Immersed in Matter.
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 04:18:56 PM »

OK. I don't care if you criticize the choice of having a kid intro for us, but please don't criticize the child's voice. Come on, people.

OK, as I'm in an apparent minority in not enjoying (IMHO overly singsong) childlike voices narrating audio stories (and if the same person gave both the intro and narrated the actual story itself, it was lost on me...I assumed there were two people involved here), I'll just say it was an observation on the audio quality of the story presentation itself.  It just didn't work for me.  Same as others who have problems with episodes where the audio quality isn't quite right.  Not meant as a personal slight.  Just an expression of an opinion.
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2009, 04:43:29 PM »

OK. I don't care if you criticize the choice of having a kid intro for us, but please don't criticize the child's voice. Come on, people.

Hilary -- your story's being narrated by Chris Reynaga, who also did Immersed in Matter.

Rachel,

Just to be clear, I meant no criticism of the child's voice.  I like kid's voices.  (I merely stated that I wanted my cookie recipes with food stories, that's all.)

And thanks for the title.  I've fallen behind in my PodCastle listening, and will definitely go looking for that one.  Chances are that over the next month or so I will catch up with all the stories I've missed.  Such a treat that is lying ahead of me... I feel like a kid anticipating Christmas having a bunch of new stories to listen to. 

I look forward to hearing Mr. Reynaga.

Thanks,

Hmm
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2009, 06:02:28 PM »

Quote
childlike voices narrating audio stories (and if the same person gave both the intro and narrated the actual story itself, it was lost on me...I assumed there were two people involved here)

There were two people.

I misread you -- I thought you were referring to Aidan (who did the intro) when you said child-like Cindy Brady lisp. Interestingly, Ann, who is like the actual mother, did not misread you.

Hilary, I read you as you intended.

So, I over-reached. My apologies! Please ignore & resume. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2009, 08:32:46 AM »

Because the intro narrator sounded so much like Ann Leckie and I couldn't quite make out the name (it sounded like "Ann Leckie-Harry"), I thought:

1. Ann had recorded the intro and the producer had pitch-shifted it to make her sound younger. I've used similar techniques to make male sound effects into female ones.
2. The story was a reverse-aging story.

Apparently neither was true.

The story had a lot of things I didn't like.

I think we're supposed to assume the family had so many kids because the mom felt this compunction to take care of things/people so she kept making more of them. The story, I think, could've worked just as well with five or six kids, with the older four, then the narrator, then one baby brother/sister. I had the feeling, though, that there were more kids between Junior/Chucky and the narrator, but we just didn't care about them because they weren't relevant to the story.

As for the "wishing animals were kids and so they become your kids because you miss your kids and are pissed they moved away" thing... why didn't the kids just become the animals from the get-go? Why did they have to be actual animals and then suddenly become the kids?

Basically, I think the story should've been more sinister, and because of the preceding paragraph, it wasn't.

Other things:

1. Why didn't Larry just get a vasectomy in secret when he realized what his wife was doing? Or did he not realize?
2. What did Larry do for a living that allowed him to support such a huge family?
3. I felt the whole feud with Chucky was pretty forced and lame; there was no indication that the family wasn't a loving family, so why did they allow the Chucky thing to happen?

I didn't mind the voice. The character was supposed to be between 8 and 12, I'm guessing.

Overall, not my favorite PC.
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Talia
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2009, 04:27:52 PM »

1. Why didn't Larry just get a vasectomy in secret when he realized what his wife was doing? Or did he not realize?

Why would he have realized? the way the story was told, it suggested she didn't flip out until her kids started leaving the house.
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2009, 07:07:37 PM »

I was also thrown by the child narration in the beginning. Note: she read well enough, however as a parent myself I've learned that our children are NEVER as cute to other people as they are to us. And that's okay.  The cookie recipe also threw me for a loop, it had nothing to do with the story what so ever (That I saw) I would have disliked this intro idea regardless of who narrated it.  AND then the story. I seriously deeply dislkied the story. It made me feel like the mother chatacter was the portrayal of everything that goes wrong with a woman when she "gets to a certian age"   darnit.

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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2009, 08:55:23 PM »

I liked this story.  The child protagonist's POV (hey, was he/she a boy or a girl?  I couldn't tell, I don't think it was ever specified, and in the end I guess it doesn't matter) was very well done, and the story did an excellent job presenting the situation from a very matter-of-fact kid's point of view.  I thought the narrator did a good job.

That said, on reflection I'm not terribly comfortable with the whole "my mom got flighty and totally irrational because of her hormones" thing.  I feel odd mentioning this as I know that the author's female and I'm male, but to be perfectly honest the more I think about how the mother is portrayed in that story the more it bothers me. 
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2009, 11:46:07 PM »

After a few moments I fast forwarded through the intro.  No disrespect to this specific child, but I do not enjoy the reading voices of children at all.  After a few minutes of the actual story I fast forwarded it too.  I found the fake child voice grating as well.
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2009, 08:21:59 PM »

I was also thrown by the child narration in the beginning. Note: she read well enough, however as a parent myself I've learned that our children are NEVER as cute to other people as they are to us.

I congratulate you.  Seriously.  Precious few parents that I've encountered are able to realize this simple truth.
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2009, 02:17:23 PM »

I'm fully aware that my child isn't as cute to others as she is to me, actually.

I had recorded an intro to this story months ago, but reconsidered it.  I needed to replace it with something, and came up with the cookie recipe.  First off, it's an excellent recipe.  Second, I have too often heard stay at home moms described contemptously as "staying home baking cookies."

Disclaimer before I launch into the next paragraph:  I am fully aware that people who choose not to have children face various difficulties and discrimination.  I am not claiming that mothers have life more difficult than non-parents, it's just that I think this story addresses a particular difficulty mothers in this culture face.

I don't see this as a story of a woman going crazy because of hormones.  I'd dislike it pretty intensely if I did.

In our culture, motherhood is severely idealized.  You're supposed to put your child ahead of everything else, give up everything for them, and so on, everyone here knows that song.  All of this is for the benefit of your children.  The thing is, if you do that, really and truly give everything in your life over to raising your kids, you not only do psychological damage to yourself, but it's bad for the kids too.

Some moms just deal with not being perfect and blow off the criticism (and believe me, everyone has opinions on how you should raise your kids, and lots of people aren't the least bit shy in instructing you in what you're doing wrong), but some do what the mother in this story does.  And for a while it works, but then when the inevitable day comes, and the kids grow up and want independent lives of their own, they have no psychological resources to deal with that.

I'd talked about that in the intro, but on reflection decided not to say any of that. 

Okay.  So.  My daughter had asked if she could read a story--which is totally out of the question.  She's a decent reader, but not good enough.  But this story was from the POV of a child, which seemed appropriate, and its her cookie recipe as much as mine, she's made them many times.  They're delicious cookies, and were a tremendous hit at her Girl Scout bake sale (all proceeds to a charity the girls decided on).   I had nothing to do with the bake sale at all--she did all the work.

I made two files, one of me doing the intro, and one of her, and then left the choice up to Rachel and the audio editor as to which they wanted to use.  So there you go.
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2009, 03:01:36 PM »

I'm fully aware that my child isn't as cute to others as she is to me, actually.

I had recorded an intro to this story months ago, but reconsidered it.  I needed to replace it with something, and came up with the cookie recipe.  First off, it's an excellent recipe.  Second, I have too often heard stay at home moms described contemptously as "staying home baking cookies."

Disclaimer before I launch into the next paragraph:  I am fully aware that people who choose not to have children face various difficulties and discrimination.  I am not claiming that mothers have life more difficult than non-parents, it's just that I think this story addresses a particular difficulty mothers in this culture face.

I don't see this as a story of a woman going crazy because of hormones.  I'd dislike it pretty intensely if I did.

In our culture, motherhood is severely idealized.  You're supposed to put your child ahead of everything else, give up everything for them, and so on, everyone here knows that song.  All of this is for the benefit of your children.  The thing is, if you do that, really and truly give everything in your life over to raising your kids, you not only do psychological damage to yourself, but it's bad for the kids too.

Some moms just deal with not being perfect and blow off the criticism (and believe me, everyone has opinions on how you should raise your kids, and lots of people aren't the least bit shy in instructing you in what you're doing wrong), but some do what the mother in this story does.  And for a while it works, but then when the inevitable day comes, and the kids grow up and want independent lives of their own, they have no psychological resources to deal with that.

I'd talked about that in the intro, but on reflection decided not to say any of that. 

Okay.  So.  My daughter had asked if she could read a story--which is totally out of the question.  She's a decent reader, but not good enough.  But this story was from the POV of a child, which seemed appropriate, and its her cookie recipe as much as mine, she's made them many times.  They're delicious cookies, and were a tremendous hit at her Girl Scout bake sale (all proceeds to a charity the girls decided on).   I had nothing to do with the bake sale at all--she did all the work.

I made two files, one of me doing the intro, and one of her, and then left the choice up to Rachel and the audio editor as to which they wanted to use.  So there you go.

ouch, it seems I hit a nerve here.

I was not out to hurt any feelings, and I'd apologize, I would.. except, see, I think I'm right. The cookie recipe wasn't for me. Nothing wrong with it per say (heck I like cookies) it just didn't fit, in my very humble view. And your daughters intro.. good for a kid, just.. inappropriate. Doing the same again wouldn't make me listen to Pod castle any less. I am finding an interesting mix of tastes and stories in this new little subdivision of the EA here I enjoy greatly. And if I don't like something? No big deal, I'm not anyone of much matter- just a listener, It'd take much more then one kid reading, one cookie recipe, one horrible fantasy economics lesson (as the others were surprisingly great), or one REALLY horrible purple sketch of a fantasy parody to drive me away. I'm patient and This particular branch of the EA tree is still getting it's walking legs.

as you were.

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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2009, 06:12:09 PM »

I don't think you hit a nerve, except inasmuch as Ann and I end up rolling our eyes over the intros a lot. If we give the kind of intros we'd want to hear, y'all don't really like them (see: Pahwahke). As a consequence, you sort of get idea #2 or #3 or #100. Which is cool, but yeah -- we actually try pretty hard not to actually do anything very relevant to the story, so the fact that cookies aren't relevant is, well, more or less intentional.

Interestingly, everyone we told before the podcast launched that the intro would be a cookie recipe was stoked -- which is also the reaction we got off the forums. Different strokes for different folks.
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2009, 06:16:49 PM »

Also salient is the fact that Change of Life was originally supposed to appear in our first 15 episodes. So the introduction has been in the can for a while. I dunno if Ann would have written it differently now, but I know I came up with a whole different protocol for introducing around episode... oh, I dunno, sometime last summer.

In more exciting intro news -- my bid to get M. K. Hobson as our permanent host unfortunately failed ("It takes work to write those things!" she said to me. I responded, "Yes, I know..."), but she has agreed to introduce one episode a month. So, yay!
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2009, 06:58:19 PM »

Quote

ouch, it seems I hit a nerve here.

I was not out to hurt any feelings, and I'd apologize, I would.. except, see, I think I'm right.



No need to apologize.  I'm sorry if I came across a bit testy.  I've just spent four days traveling and then socializing heavily, which is very draining, even if it was a great time.

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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2009, 09:06:21 PM »

I don't see this as a story of a woman going crazy because of hormones.  I'd dislike it pretty intensely if I did.

In our culture, motherhood is severely idealized.  You're supposed to put your child ahead of everything else, give up everything for them, and so on, everyone here knows that song.  All of this is for the benefit of your children.  The thing is, if you do that, really and truly give everything in your life over to raising your kids, you not only do psychological damage to yourself, but it's bad for the kids too.

Some moms just deal with not being perfect and blow off the criticism (and believe me, everyone has opinions on how you should raise your kids, and lots of people aren't the least bit shy in instructing you in what you're doing wrong), but some do what the mother in this story does.  And for a while it works, but then when the inevitable day comes, and the kids grow up and want independent lives of their own, they have no psychological resources to deal with that.

Thanks.  That makes sense, and leaves me feeling a little bit less troubled about the story.
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2009, 10:14:39 PM »

In more exciting intro news -- my bid to get M. K. Hobson as our permanent host unfortunately failed ...

That's too bad, but Ann's my favorite anyway.
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2009, 10:42:02 PM »

I don't think you hit a nerve, except inasmuch as Ann and I end up rolling our eyes over the intros a lot. If we give the kind of intros we'd want to hear, y'all don't really like them (see: Pahwahke). As a consequence, you sort of get idea #2 or #3 or #100. Which is cool, but yeah -- we actually try pretty hard not to actually do anything very relevant to the story, so the fact that cookies aren't relevant is, well, more or less intentional.

Interestingly, everyone we told before the podcast launched that the intro would be a cookie recipe was stoked -- which is also the reaction we got off the forums. Different strokes for different folks.

I was really surprised by this statement: "we actually try pretty hard not to actually do anything very relevant to the story, so the fact that cookies aren't relevant is, well, more or less intentional." 

I can see wanting to avoid spoilers, but why not have intros that are relevant to the story?  If they are not relevant, then why do an intro at all?  Myself, I love intros that are tangentially related to the story.  They may touch on a theme or idea in the story, and enlarge it upon later reflection.  If there had been an inclusion of Hillary Clinton's sardonic quote about how she should have stayed at home and baked cookies, that would have made the cookie recipe relevant to this story.  I like having those connections made.

Just about every story I have written has what my friends call a "food porn" moment where my characters revel in the food that they are eating or drinking.  A recipe that dealt with a pivotal food that appears in a story would make sense.  If Tempest's story had featured an emotional moment where the characters had an "aha" moment with cookies, I would have been stoked by the cookie recipe.

What I am saying is... Go ahead and do recipes but link them somehow to the story.  Even if you have to do some hand-waving to make that link work.



The way I see it, these introductions are about several things:

1) Moments of real life or other insights from the people who produce Podcastle.

I realize that neither Rachel nor Ann wants to reveal as much of themselves online as Steve Eley does.  But... Letting us have glimpses of you is kind of cool.  It establishes a relationship between the editors and the audience, and helps build the audience's trust.  We know that you may not choose stories that we always like, and that's okay.

2) Cool information about the author and the narrator of the stories.

3) Mood-setting.

This is where the whole tangential relevancy idea comes in.  You don't want to spoil the story.  You do want to set the mood, and share enough of your excitement that we anticipate the story and look forward to it.  You also want to warn us off if there is something edgy about the story that we might squick out either ourselves or the children who may be listening to the stories with us.  All of this is incredibly important.


God, this makes me want to go get podcasting equipment and write a few intros myself.

Hmm

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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2009, 11:22:20 PM »

... God, this makes me want to go get podcasting equipment and write a few intros myself.


Are you volunteering to co-host Podcastle with Rachel and Ann?  Tongue
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« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2009, 12:48:39 AM »

I loved it when Tempest did a fan intro of my first story on Podcastle.  It would be fun to do a fan intro of some other story on Podcastle provided the following was true:

1) I could find decent sound equipment so that I am not producing tinny, echoey, awful audio;

2) I'm introducing a story that I like;

3) Ann and Rachel are cool with the idea.

It strikes me that composing an artful intro is a bit like writing a drabble or a haiku -- you have to fit a lot of meaning into very few words, and what you leave out can be more important as what you put in.  I don't know if I could do it, but it would be fun to try sometime.

Hmm 
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2009, 01:07:27 AM »

I'm happy to give you a host spot, Hilary.

I have recommendations on cheapish ($40-$50) range audio equipment, but I know that not everyone has that to spare. (And sometimes even with good equipment, you sound awful; damn my vaulted ceilings. Oh well. We'll be moving again within a few months.) If you're willing to shell out, or alternately can find another way to record, I'm happy to give you a story, see if you like it, and try you out on a guest spot.

We should probably take this to email. Wink
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2009, 02:52:42 AM »

About intro:
The child voice wasn't so irritating to me. And I might event try those cookies. But how much is a stick of butter? (I know how much a cup is in real measures, a bit less than 2.5 dl, but a stick of butter?)

About the story itself. It was fairly good, but irritating in a way lot of fantasy really irritates me. I always hate when strange things happen without no explanation of HOW and/or WHY. I always suspect that even the author doesn't know answers tho those questions, and hasn't even bothered to think about those. That is probably one of reasons I like science fiction a lot more than fantasy.
 
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2009, 07:22:39 AM »

Oh, a stick of butter is a half cup.  Or a quarter pound, if you prefer.  Around here, butter comes in one pound boxes, with four sticks in each box, and when I read a recipe that says "one half cup of butter" I always translate that to "one stick."  I didn't stop to think about places where packaging would be different.  Sorry!
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2009, 10:23:21 AM »

So, just to get the basic stuff out of the way -

Intro - I enjoyed it. I'm fond of children narrators, and I am always happy to hear a cookie recipe. I was a bit puzzled by it, for the same reasons as Hilary, but I liked it nonetheless.

Story - Meh. I didn't find the story particular interesting, and while I have a positive attitude towards child narrators, it does not extend to adult narrators doing a "childish" voice. Especially since it was all wrong for the story - the viewpoint character was probably in her early-mid teens, given the spacing of the ages between her sibilings, and the voice sounded like it was pretending to be seven or eight. I may have enjoyed the story a lot more if it was read straight.

And on the bigger intro discussion -

Why insist on intros? It's clear from both Rachel's and Anne's posts on this thread that they would like to give more detailed discussions on the stories themes. And I, for one, would be very happy to hear what they have to say. I just want to hear it after I've heard the story, not before. Why not adopt the model that pseudopod, and later Steve-era Escape Pods, have taken, and do a short intro with just publication and author info, then the story, then an analytical outtro? Isn't that the best of all possible worlds, for everyone involved?
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Hilary Moon Murphy
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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2009, 11:40:05 AM »

I do like the idea of the analytical outro.  I love the research and thought that went into the Pahwahke intro, but would have loved it better after the story.

Hmm
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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2009, 08:08:48 AM »

In more exciting intro news -- my bid to get M. K. Hobson as our permanent host unfortunately failed ("It takes work to write those things!" she said to me. I responded, "Yes, I know..."), but she has agreed to introduce one episode a month. So, yay!

I'll do some for you if you like. Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2009, 12:58:57 PM »

This story really did nothing for me.  Way too obvious, never found myself caring for anyone or anything there.  Interesting themes waiting to be explored, but I don't really think justice was done to them.

As to the intro / outro debate - I agree that I'd love to hear any and all ruminations on the theme *after* the story.  Some amount is okay beforehand, just not so much as it's spoilers.  Beforehand I mostly want to hear about the author, maybe the genesis of the story, when and where it was first published.  Afterwards - go to down on the analysis!
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« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2009, 01:21:52 PM »

Interestingly, everyone we told before the podcast launched that the intro would be a cookie recipe was stoked -- which is also the reaction we got off the forums. Different strokes for different folks.

Or different stokes, anyway.  Cheesy
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2009, 08:57:03 AM »

That's too bad, but Ann's my favorite anyway.

Aww, thanks.   Smiley

As we both have man'chi to nand' Cherryh, we share an Association. Wink
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2009, 09:35:28 AM »

i dislike that this will be a somewhat negative comment and for that i'm sorry.  but i need to say it and get it over with.

this is the episode that is making me unsubscribe to podcastle.

i made it through the intro, which i found really annoying.  i wont go off on a tangent, but i do not like children very much.  especially other people's (no i have none of my own, just cats & dogs).

the story, as presented, was spot on for a POV from a child as well as in the child's voice.  but all of that was annoying too.

lately PC episodes have been rubbish and if it was a short story collection i had bought, i wouldn't have finished it and simply loaned it out to a co-worker in the hopes of never seeing it again.

i truly love fantasy and had hoped this podcast would help me get through the ruts when i have nothing in my book rotation.

i'm sorry podcastle, we part ways today.
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Hilary Moon Murphy
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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2009, 06:24:26 PM »

i dislike that this will be a somewhat negative comment and for that i'm sorry.  but i need to say it and get it over with.

this is the episode that is making me unsubscribe to podcastle.

i made it through the intro, which i found really annoying.  i wont go off on a tangent, but i do not like children very much.  especially other people's (no i have none of my own, just cats & dogs).

the story, as presented, was spot on for a POV from a child as well as in the child's voice.  but all of that was annoying too.

lately PC episodes have been rubbish and if it was a short story collection i had bought, i wouldn't have finished it and simply loaned it out to a co-worker in the hopes of never seeing it again.

i truly love fantasy and had hoped this podcast would help me get through the ruts when i have nothing in my book rotation.

i'm sorry podcastle, we part ways today.

Rail --

No magazine works well for all readers.  There are a couple pro print magazines that I really don't read because I disagree with the editor's tastes.  So if Podcastle doesn't work for you, it doesn't.  This happens.

For me this magazine works.  I don't love every story that they've podcasted, but I have truly enjoyed most of them.  I like that Rachel and Ann are striving to include a wide range of fantasy.  I've seen recent stories as being far from rubbish, but hey... that just means that my tastes differ from yours. 

I'm sorry that you are leaving, and wish you luck in finding more fantasy stories that you enjoy.  I know that a number of authors have podcast their own stories and novels... so you should still be able to find fantasy audio out there if you look.

Take care,

Hmm
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cuddlebug
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« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2009, 12:36:22 PM »

am working my way backwards through a huge backlog of podcasts and I have to say this one was a great story for someone who's been on a break from pods for a while. It was easy to listen to and it held my concentration throughout which is a huge accomplishment as I have a really hard time keeping my mind on one thing, anything, at the moment. especially when I am walking watching people and enjoying the sunshine while I am listening. So for all it's worth, this story was a perfect choice for audio fiction.

I really enjoyed the cookie intro and thought the child was/sounded incredibly cute. I will probably try that recipe one day but I can see commenters criticizing it for lack of connection with the actual story. Anyway, I thought it was very cute and well worth a listen nevertheless.
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« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2009, 08:03:04 PM »

I went to school with a woman who, whenever any story was read and it was her turn to critique, would say,"It was a good story, I liked it."

She was really perky and cute, and had a VERY strong southern accent ("I laaahked it," was how it came out).  And all her stories were full of strung out junkies and desperate murderers and they inevitably gobsmacked people the first time they read them because how did that come out of her smiling little head?

This story reminded me of her commentary.  It was a good story.  I liked it.  I see there was some critique of its lack of depth, and I'm usually the first to charge stories with being superficial, but I think this story's superficiality was deceptive.  No, it won't leave me thinking for days and no, I don't think I'll listen to it seven times in a row, the way I did Samantha Henderson's EP, or twice a month for several months, as I do with stories that really GET me, but I'm truly not seeing all the hate.

I liked the intro, too.  I don't have any problems with kids.  Or cookies.  I only wish that the story included mailing some of the described cookies to my house, because it's kind of mean to talk about fresh cookies without providing any but ehhh, not a perfect world, I guess. 

I don't really care whether the intros have anything to do with the stories or not.  Or whether they have kids in.  Do people not have fast forwarding on their mp3 players or their computers?  I'm never forced to listen to stuff I hate, though sometimes, I'll admit, it's a bit like a train wreck I can't stop watching.  But clearly the problem there is me, not the podcast, which I have the power to make go away. 

Intros with children followed by stories about children seems like a peculiar thing to abandon a podcast for, but if you're moved to it, you're moved to it and I'm no one to tell you otherwise. 
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« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2009, 08:44:53 PM »

I don't really understand why people have to announce that they're so bothered by free entertainment they'll be taking their ball and  going home.  This forum's for critiques of the story, that's all great, but cookies broke the camel's back?  Okay, I guess.

I liked this story a lot, and I never read it as what happened needing to be some kind of twist.  It was watching the mom enter the state of quasi-psychosis that was affecting for me, and the family dynamic that resulted.  The way families interact, fray, and reunite is really complex psychology, and this story pulled it off very well in my opinion.
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DarkKnightJRK
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« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2009, 01:52:36 AM »

I liked it--for it's pretty predictable plot, the family situation was very relatable--the mom here kinda reminds me of my own; so if I don't comment any time soon, it's because I've been turned into a kitty.

One nitpick--I doubt there's any hippie enclaves in Arizona. Trust me, I live there, the enclaves we tend to get are either neo-nazis or the survivalists in the woods.
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« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2009, 02:50:47 PM »

I also didn't like the intro.  I like cookies, but they don't make a good intro for a story that has no cookies in it.  Maybe it would've worked well for "Through the Cooking Glass"--except that was a short with no intro, I guess.

On the subject of intros and outros, HMM summed up my feelings pretty well.  I like an intro to be relevant to the story but in a tangential way, plus the plugs for the author's other work and where this story has been published before, that sort of thing.  And then the outro can point out all kinds of spoiler-stuff and analyze to the heart's content!

This story was all right, though it was a little unclear why the kids didn't disappear right away, instead of all disappearing simultaneously when the parrot showed up.  There didn't seem to be any internal logic for that.

It was a fun idea, and I enjoyed the writing, but the resolution of having the neighbor come over and chat didn't really seem any different than just the kids talking to her...  I mean, when the narrator pointed out flaws in Mom's reasoning, she just went blank and didn't respond, so why didn't Mom do the same when the neighbor told her?

And, despite the title and the father's insistence that her behavior was due to her "change of life", I thought it was clear in the story that this wasn't just menopause that was occurring.  Roughly translated, his explanation comes out to "I have no idea why she's acting that way.  I don't understand, so I guess it must be "a woman thing".  And she's about the right age for menopause, so I guess that must be it!"  "Mystery solved!" he says, and washes his hands of it.
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« Reply #43 on: November 05, 2010, 05:11:37 PM »

So they all reappeared, and everyone's happy, right?  What about the military?  That one son's disappearance caused him to be AWOL.
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yicheng
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« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2010, 11:09:42 AM »

One nitpick--I doubt there's any hippie enclaves in Arizona. Trust me, I live there, the enclaves we tend to get are either neo-nazis or the survivalists in the woods.

I lived there too.  And yes there are hippie enclaves. If you don't believe me, drive south I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson until you see a sign for Arcosanti.  It was a project started in the 70's by Paolo Soleri (student of the great Frank Lloyd Wright) to build the first ever Arcology.  It's pretty much entirely made of hippies now.  There's also a bunch up near Sedona and Flag.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2012, 10:35:33 PM »

One nitpick--I doubt there's any hippie enclaves in Arizona. Trust me, I live there, the enclaves we tend to get are either neo-nazis or the survivalists in the woods.

I lived there too.  And yes there are hippie enclaves. If you don't believe me, drive south I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson until you see a sign for Arcosanti.  It was a project started in the 70's by Paolo Soleri (student of the great Frank Lloyd Wright) to build the first ever Arcology.  It's pretty much entirely made of hippies now.  There's also a bunch up near Sedona and Flag.

I expect they have even more hippies now with the burn culture dragging more folks out to the desert every year. Someone's VW minibus is bound to break down on the way back and they root where they stop. Gotta watch out for those hippy infestations. Once they get established spraying and baited traps lose a lot of effectiveness.
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