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67 minutes | Aug 15, 2020
Season 3 Episode 4 - Casting the Vampire Reality Show
We’ve spent a few episodes talking about vampire society and the how and why of the reality show they’ve decided to launch (this season is sequential with connected episodes so you’re going to want to check out 1-3 of Season 3 before you dive into this one). Now it’s time to talk about a few of the humans who will appear on the show. We, of course, end up on a tangent or two as well. Make sure to listen to this episode to the very end to hear EV Knight’s diatribe on Douchebags. It is not to be missed. We promise. Other than that, we create a few “social media influencers” who make their way onto the reality show that the vamps are producing. It’s a 52 week run and the goal and prize is pure fame. Who wouldn’t want to get involved in a production like that? Even if you…might…die…
66 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
S3 E3 - The Rules of 2020 Vampires
We went into this episode with the idea of making the rules for our Vamps. What tropes do we want and what do we skip? We did some of that, but also expanded on the back story and did some more world building. Matt got us hung up on farming humans some more, too. He’s a little obsessed. Season 3 is getting to be dark and fun for us as we delve into the idea of Vampires being among us, how they govern themselves, and why the young, upstart Americans are the most in a hurry to come out to the humans as their superiors.
65 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
Brain Squalls S3 E2 - Can They Farm People
Last week we felt like we were shot out of a cannon with this new subject matter: What if vampires are real and they take advantage of Covid and our cavalier American attitude to come out of hiding and announce that they are among us and that they do, in fact, kill us sometimes? There is A LOT of meat on these bones, and today we picked just a slice of it. This episode focuses on just a little bit of the back story of the vampire culture. Do they have a government? Do they hunt us in the wild? Do they farm us? Why would they come out at all? We have a lot of fun diving into this and hope you have fun listening in and want to join in the fun! We are back on a weekly schedule and we usually record in the afternoon/evening. If we can work you into the schedule - we will! Let’s party! We hit 2,000 downloads for the show this week and that may not sound like a lot, but we are excited and hope that a few more folks get into it. Whether you want to spark your creativity or join in on ours, let’s play! It’s like a coloring book but a story intstead :D
83 minutes | Jul 16, 2020
Brain Squalls S3 E1 - Covid Vampires
We are so terribly sorry that it has been so long since we put some new material up. We just decided that Season 2 was a short one and got sidelined by the old Pandemic, and that we are going to start our new normal with Season 3 now. The prompt that EV came up with was simple: What if one of the contestants on Too Hot To Handle was a vampire? Holy Shit did we run with that! The episode kicks off with a good bit of tangents and housekeeping, but we do get into the meat of this prompt and it gets way out of hand - in a good way.
49 minutes | Apr 4, 2020
The Bee King
OK. We got a little obsessed with The Tiger King and we accidentally wrote some future historic fiction about what Joe Exotic’s life might be like after he gets out of jail. It all started with The Writer’s Toolbox supplying 3 prompts: “A Beekeeping Outfit”, “They were all the same, I decided.”, and “Buys a New Wardrobe” You can see how we got to Joe right away, what with him being at the top of the cultural radar right now. Whether you’ve seen that show or not, check out this crazy episode of our little show and let us know what you think of our “plans” for good old Joe….and Carol.
59 minutes | Mar 25, 2020
Brain Squalls S2 E8 - The Keyhole
Today we spend a few minutes talking about quarantine life and our fun times with the all new Coronavirus, then launch into another big old session of world building, led by Rory’s Story Cubes. We sort of ignored the rules a little bit, but it turned out fun for us, getting the direction of “Keyhole, Footprint, Apple”, we concocted an old home with a stocked library and a mysterious keyhole in the wall. A young girl moves in with her parents and is immediately left home alone for most of the day as they are stuck going to work as Essential Employees. When she finds the keyhole, it opens up a fantasy world with adorable creatures and idyllic landscapes. But, where did it come from? Why is it there? Listen to this episode and find out what happens when kids are stuck at home with only stories to keep them company.
68 minutes | Mar 17, 2020
Brain Squalls S2 E7 - Somnus
Ever in search of a new prompt, today we cracked open Weird Words - A Lovecraftian Lexicon and chose a page to get us started. The only word on that page to work with was Ivory Gate. It’s the gate through which false dreams come to men from the cave of Hypnos. It was a little bit of a slow start, but then we got to thinking about a man named Roman Thompson who wanted to make sure that everyone had good dreams. He made a machine that could manage your dreams his life’s work. It was a smashing success and the world was ever in his debt, until someone figured out how to monetize it many times over…and worse. We spend a solid hour on world building for the framework of what could easily be a sprawling series fit for graphic novel, novel, TV, or movies. We’re not trying to brag here, it’s actually kind of a cop-out. We try to write one story in every episode, but this one turned out to be more of a universe in which many stories can happen. Enjoy the beginnings of the company known as Somnus.
56 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
Brain Squalls S2 E6 - Mantle
Alex Josey has an accident at a French ski lodge resulting in a fall to his death...or so we think. When he lands, 200 feet below, he slides into a deep, deep crack in the Earth where he is "healed" by the inhabitants down below. This episode is inspired by a combination of prompts: The Stupid Deaths board game and Pitchstorm card game. Our cats make many appearances as do the doors of a couple of kids' rooms. That's what happens when the "studio" is in the middle of the house. We had a long break between episodes that featured a trip to Florida and totaling a car in Wisconsin. We've been busy bees!
55 minutes | Feb 8, 2020
It Takes a Village with special guest Victor Cypert
Today we connected with Victor Cypert, one of EV’s cohorts from her Seton Hill University days, to craft a tale that spans centuries about a girl who would be sacrificed to a cult but for her mother’s protection and education. The ritual she was subjected to left her body in a state of very slow aging and has allowed her a unique opportunity to see the world become the monster. Victor is an expert on cults, holds multiple Master’s Degrees, and is on the way to his first PhD. We tried not to be too jealous that he’s in 70 degree weather in the South while we freeze in the North by focusing our fiction in Florida. Enjoy our tale of a Moonchild from Florida named Luna who can talk to ghosts, and her shifting perspective on the world she knew vs the world of today.
58 minutes | Feb 2, 2020
S2 E4 - Sophie Told Me
Today we used a game to get our creativity going and it worked out great! We used the Pitchstorm Creature Feature Edition to get started on this episode, and came up with a really creepy, horrifying tale of triplets who became twins and how life works out for them. We were given characters and a basic plot, as well as one “note” to follow after we had been working on the story for 10 minutes. There are some intersections with The Green Mile, Stand By Me, and some other existing stories. In the end we did come up with an original tale that is loaded with interesting, intersecting characters in a 1920s or 30s backdrop. Check it out and let us know what you think of Helen, Blanche, Sophie, and the lives they lead. Would you have done something different with these prompts? We are pretty sure you would have, and that is what makes it so much fun!
65 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
S2 E3 - The 3G Corporation
EV Knight is a fabulous author and podcast co-host (and Matt writes all the episode descriptions :D ) but she’s not terribly confident going into an episode that she knows will be a Science Fiction story. As a matter of fact, she’s so unconfident that this was supposed to be episode 3 of season 1! We kept it on the shelf for a while and decided now was the time to get The 3G Corporation out into the world. It is about a parasitic race of beings on one planet and Baby Boomer type aliens from another planet vying for control of resources and Ray Guns! Whether you like Sci-Fi or not, check it out. This episode really gets into the roots of what we set out to do - expose the steps of storytelling and world building. At least one of us thinks it turned out to be a really fun story with some original ideas and relevant topics to our world today. What do you think?
36 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
The Last Rehearsal wsg Gwendolyn Kiste
We had a slew of tech issues trying to record this episode and ended up with a lesser quality audio on our end than usual. Gwendolyn Sounds great! We are coming through a laptop mic rather than our studio mics - but the content is great, so we went with it! We had a great time coming up with a story about a miner who gets involved in community theater…sort of. It was fun for the 3 of us to weave a short tale about tragedy and love and a few steps in between. Gwendolyn tells us about her new work, The Invention of Ghosts and tells us about a story she just finished reading, Luminous Body by Brooke Warra. EV just finished reading Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias. We certainly suggest you check out all three. Enjoy Episode 2 of Season 2 - we had a great time making it!
51 minutes | Jan 9, 2020
Toys for Tots wsg Dr Mike Arnzen
We kick off season 2 with an exploration into the absurd. Our guest, multi Bram Stoker Award Winner, professor of Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, and Mentor to our co-host, EV Knight, Dr Mike Arnzen leads the way with a prompt we never could have come up with on our own. We get into a couple different variants on the idea of the Toys For Tots boxes that can be found all over the place leading into the holiday season and what else they might be doing there. If this episode teaches you anything, it’s that no idea is too weird to look into, and that once you do get weird, the fun part can be figuring out how to tie it all back in to real life somehow. Enjoy our first foray into guests on the show! Season 2 has more on the schedule and we are immensely excited to bring them to you!
56 minutes | Nov 30, 2019
It's the Season Finale Xmas Special
For the final episode of our first season we demonstrate our telepathic powers while we tell the story of a Firefighter, a Flirt, and a young man who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. We set out to write a spooky Christmas ghost story, but ended up with an endearing tale of understanding, empathy, forgiveness, and love. We tried to be scary, but Mountain Dew Merry Mashup just had us feeling too damn good!
69 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
Finally! We are back at prompts and is it fun! Matt decided to use the Wu-Tang name generator to inspire this story and it did not disappoint. EV and Matt switch roles for a while so she can be overconfident and he can be dubious. In the end we come up with a brand new way to end civilization, cooked up by the mind of a young lady who has had it with the kids’ table. If you want to know how Thanksgiving Dinner can be rolled into the end of life as we know it, you’re going to have to check out our penultimate episode for season one. It’s a great way to get in the holiday spirit…we promise :D
39 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
S1 E18 Long Explore Finale
Levi’s adventure in the woods comes to an end in this short episode. We discuss his reunion with his family, the arcs of all the major characters, and how well we stuck to our original concepts and ideas. This was a really fun project for both of us, and if you’re a creative type, we’d love to see your concept work or hear about what you’d have done with the story. What do these characters look like? Are they old school Disney looking animals or are they ultra-realistic? We mention Pixar about 1,000 times over the whole series on this story, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a look and feel of its own. Next week, we are SUPER excited to get back to our roots - PROMPTS! We are really geared up to see where they take us for our Thanksgiving special and our Xmas special to round out episodes 19 and 20 of season 1.
60 minutes | Nov 6, 2019
A Long Explore Part 6 -The Brawl
We are almost to the exciting conclusion of Levi’s journey through the woods with all his new animal pals. Wilson named him and wants to keep him. Colonel Norris seems to know everything, but maybe he doesn’t. Leesh comes to a very startling conclusion when she learns about Levi’s artistic talent. We also go off on several long tangents, including the idea for a brand new podcast with and for young kids about telling scary stories and letting their minds guide the whole thing! We have a pretty good time, despite some weird audio technical difficulty - so please bear with us and we hope it is still listenable for you. You are going to want to catch the whole episode, since we manage to keep the tangents going right to the very last seconds.
65 minutes | Oct 29, 2019
Brain Squalls S1 E16 - A Long Explore Part 5
Levi’s journey continues this week, as tensions mount between Lenny and the rest of the woodland creatures. Lenny hatches a scheme to get himself the Alpha spot in his pack and Wilson lets him know that Levi will not be a part of any of that - ever. We discuss the Domino Effect vs The Butterfly Effect, and wonder what a Verbena is. Can you help us find out? Oh, Wilson decides to give Levi a name too - since he doesn't know he has one already.
61 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
A Long Explore Part 4
This is the 4th installment of our full screenplay writing project. We introduce some new characters in the last couple episodes and start talking about who we would love to have as voice actors for the cast when this definitely gets picked up and made by the fine folks at Disney/Pixar. They need an animal movie about a deaf boy in the UP, don't they?
62 minutes | Oct 15, 2019
A Long Explore part 3
As we continue Levi's journey through the woods with his new friends, he gets to try finding his family with the turtles, the squirrels and chipmunks, and Craig, the sneaky raccoon who seems to always be up to no good. We get a little more insight as to why Wilson is so crabby all the time, and learn about the all-knowing nature of Colonel Norris - the wise porcupine. Oh, an industrious beaver makes his way into the story too! Thanks for sticking with us as real life got in the way of our podcast for a couple weeks. We are back at it with all of our usual antics, but now with "on the fly" fact checking! Holy Technology!
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