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Author Topic: PC053: Change of Life  (Read 6223 times)
Rachel Swirsky
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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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hautdesert
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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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Boggled Coriander
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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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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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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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Hilary Moon Murphy
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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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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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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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Hilary Moon Murphy
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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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Rachel Swirsky
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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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tpi
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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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hautdesert
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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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eytanz
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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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Listener
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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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Ocicat
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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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Wilson Fowlie
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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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hautdesert
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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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Rail16
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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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Anarkey
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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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