70 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Episode 127 – You, Like, Know What I Mean, Right?
This episode might be about stories that are too ambiguous and thereby confusing. On the other hand, this episode might be about stories that are just ambiguous enough and thereby powerful. Perhaps hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden can find a definitive answer in this episode's Story School. In the second half, they share another Once Upon a Sentence, some Listener Feedback, and a vaguely unsettling What If?, where great movies are given uncertain endings. If you're wavering between listening to this or some other piece of audio, let us take away your uncertainty. Listen to this, your premiere podcast on storytelling, for the creator and the consumer. It's definitely the right choice. Show Notes
72 minutes | Feb 26, 2022
Episode 126 – Details, Details, Details!
You've heard the story before--a young man from a remote village is thrust into the larger world because he takes on the responsibilty of a great quest, where he'll have great adventure and meet strange creatures. You know, Star Wars. I mean, The Lord of the Rings. Never mind, I mean The Muppet Movie. Obviously, what matters is not the general outline of the story, but the details. Is the hero a farmboy, a hobbit, a frog, or something else? The specifics is where a story becomes truly itself. That's what hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden discuss (in detail) in this episode's Story School. In the second half, we return to It Came From the Intrawebs, with forays into untranslatable words and strange subreddits. We don't know the specifics of where you'll listen to this (in the car, in the kitchen, during a boring meeting), but we're convinced that you'll enjoy this 126th episode of your premiere podcast on storytelling, Derailed Trains of Thought. Show Notes
72 minutes | Jan 29, 2022
Episode 125 – Live by the Sword or Turn the Other Cheek?
POW! WHAM! The hero slugs the bad guy. Unconscious henchmen lay sprawled everywhere. The city is saved! All in a day's work for an average action-adventure protagonist. BUT--is there another way? Why do we enjoy violent endings and are there satisfying nonviolent resolution to such stories? Hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden wrestle (politely discuss) these questions and more in this episode's Story School. Then, after Once Upon a Sentence (listen in to find out!), we tackle (politely discuss) Great Expectations, The Tombs of Atuan, The Green Ember, and more in our annual Book Club Book Review in Our Take On Tales. So, whether you prefer anime-level pugilism or long heart-felt soul-bearing for your endings, you're sure to enjoy this 125th episode of your premiere podcast about storytelling for the creator and the consumer, Derailed Trains of Thought! Show Notes
70 minutes | Dec 19, 2021
Episode 124 – Like the Lilies of the Field
Every story, whether long or short, written or visual, occupies a space of time--and then it's over. Gone. Unless, of course, you can read or watch it again. Still, there is a transience to stories, a space they occupy in our lives that ends and can never really be repeated. How does this affect our experience of stories? Tim and Nick attempt an answer in this episode's Story School. Then, with festive munificence, your hosts round out the second half not with one, not with two, but with three segments! First, what's a holiday without Pun Times! Then, a special Christmas CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! about...Christmas specials. Finally, there's A Bit of Story to touch on the meaning of the season. Wherever and whenever this episode of your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and consumer finds you, we hope it's a jolly good time. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Show Notes
40 minutes | Dec 3, 2021
Sidetrack #13 – We Were There 3000 (20) Years Ago
This December is the 20th Year Anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring movie. For Tim, this was a seminal movie in his life. Nick, on the other hand, has probably only seen it once or twice. But now, they are watching the movie together (the Director's Cut) for the first time, with a few extra little ones with them, to discuss how it holds up two decades later. We've been there; let's go back again and consider one of the greatest fantasy movies of all time.
68 minutes | Nov 2, 2021
Episode 123 – How (Not) to Jump a Shark
We've all been there. We're watching season 17 of our favorite show or book 26 of our favorite series and suddenly wonder--Wait, what? What just happened? Whether it's something too insane or too dumb or too out-of-character or simply too much, "this isn't the same story it used to be" moments happen all the time in storytelling. That's why hosts Tim and Nick are here to analyze why stories "jump the shark" and how to avoid it. The second half is jammed packed with a Wikipedia-inspired Challenge Accepted! and a long-awaited story in Project Update. So, listen to the 123rd episode of your premiere storytelling podcast for the creator and the consumer! Or else next time we'll have to reveal that Tim and Nick have been dead the whole time and this podcast has been an elaborate Russian mind game. Show Notes
57 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Episode 122 – The God-Shaped Plot Hole
If it's the end of the world, or the end of a way of life, or even just the end of a really bad day, mightn't a person turn toward God? But that option doesn't present itself in most modern stories. Hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden examine the unconscious naturalism in many of today's most popular plots and examine how the absence of a supernatural worldview affects such stories. Then, in the second half, they present their annual Summer Movie Review, including Jungle Cruise, Free Guy, F9, Luca, Black Widow, and, of course, Shang-Chi. So, if you've ever felt we didn't need midichlorians to explain the Force, or wondered why post-apocalyptic worlds don't discuss an increase in (non-cultic) belief in God, you've come to the right podcast. Listen in to episode 122 of Derailed Trains of Thought, your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and the consumer. Show Notes
78 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Episode 121 – Destiny, Free Will, and the Multiverse
What if...you decided to defy fate. Could you succeed? And what would it mean if you did? What if...whenever you made a choice, a new universe spun off? What does that mean for your alternate selves? What if...you listened to hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden discuss the complicated web of destiny, freewill, and the multiverse? What if...in the second half, Tim and Nick threw alternate versions of famous characters together on (not so epic) quests? What if...you stopped everything you're doing and fulfilled your destiny by listening to episode 121 of Derailed Trains of Thought, your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and the consumer? Show Notes
21 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Side Track #12 – Bits and Pieces
Bad news, good news time. Bad news - there's no new July episode of Derailed Trains of Thought, your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and the consumer. Good news - This bonus episode brings you book discussions, Zillow houses, and "off mic" digressions from the cutting room floor. These segment could have been lost forever, but now they're streaming straight into your ears. So, listen in as Timothy and Nick discuss a "fascinating/frustrating" novel, Tim reviews his first major foray into audiobooks, and they record mic test banter. It's a smorgasbord of Derailed Trains goodness.
72 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Episode 120 – Looking Beneath the Surface
If you've ever read a plot summary, you've probably thought, "But that's not what the story's REALLY about." There are ideas and connections within a story that don't show up in a 100-word Netflix blurb. That's why this episode hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden discuss how stories add multiple layers of meaning. Then, in the second half, Tim and Nick serve some sweet double meanings in Pun Times, followed by an audio production of an original short story in A Bit of Story. Listen in to this 120th episode of your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and the consumer. You're sure to find more than you expect at first glance. Show Notes
83 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Episode 119 – Genres Gone Wild?
Here at Derailed Trains of Thought (your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and consumer), we like to talk about genre fiction. You know, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, superheroes, blah, blah, blah. But the heart of story is character, right? So are hyperdrives and Act 2 betrayals just lazy writing? Do storytellers use genre conventions as a crutch? Are character studies "pure" storytelling? Maybe you've never asked these questions, but Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden do in this episode's Story School. Then, in a jam-packed second half, we share Listener Feedback before diving into the wild world of Zillow Gone Wild and ending with a shrine to Jerry Maguire in It Came From the Intrawebs! So, whether you prefer Ulysses or Ready Player One, it's time to buckle up and listen in to episode 119 of Derailed Trains of Thought. Show Notes
70 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Episode 118 – Indie Comics with Nate Chen
Superman. Captain America. Wolverine. You've heard of these superheroes, and most everyone has held a comic from Marvel or DC in their hands. But there is an entire world of independent comics waiting for curious readers beyond the shadow of these two companies. In this episode's Story School, writer Nate Chen joins hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden to explore the width and breadth, as well as the why and how, of indie comics, including discussions of his own upcoming title, Hexwood. We follow up with Our Take on Tales to share some of the stories, comics and otherwise, that we've been enjoying lately. If you're sick of superheroes, but still want a rousing tale that combines art and creative vision, this one's for you. Listen in to the latest episode of your premiere podcast on storytelling, Derailed Trains of Thought. Show Notes
69 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Episode 117 – Bulk Up Your Creativity Today!
Creativity is valued in many areas of life. Whether you're writing a book, starting a business, or writing a script about a cheese shop, being able to think outside the box and come up with new solutions is a vital skill. But how do you get better at the hard work of thinking up new things? Worry not! Hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden have answers. Aided by the wisdom of the one and only John Cleese, they lay out methods by which you, too, can beef up your creative chops. In the second half, Tim and Nick put their skills to the test in a classic What If?, pulling out multiple "solutions" to creative prompts. It's time for some spring training for your brain. Listen in and get ready to work out with episode 117 of Derailed Trains of Thought, your premiere podcast on storytelling. Show Notes
73 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
Episode 116 – The Lie
"Did God really say...?" From the beginning, lies have been a central feature of the drama of mankind. Not surprisingly, they also fuel many of our stories. Hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden dig into layers of deceit to determine why and how best to use untruths in stories. Then, in the second half, we have a special A Bit of Story. Guest Nathan Marchand reads the exciting first chapter of the new novella, Zorsam and the God Who Devours. But wait, there's more! We finish up with a two-truths-and-a-lie inspired Challenge Accepted! Truly, this is your premiere podcast on storytelling for the creator and the consumer. Listen in! Show Notes
78 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Episode 115 – What Was That Title Again?
Remember your favorite episode of Derailed Trains of Thought? Yeah--that one. It was about...I mean, there was a funny What If? and...yeah, a great discussion about books...or something. Have you ever found yourself forgetting the details of your favorite stories? Do you read a book and realize a month later you remember nothing about it? Hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden discuss just such circumstances and what it means about the purpose of stories. In the second half, we have our annual New Year book edition of Our Take on Tales. (You didn't forget, did you?) You can't be expected to remember everything from 115 episodes of a podcast, even if it is your premiere podcast on storytelling. But you can enjoy it while you listen. Show Notes
62 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
Episode 114 – The Gift of Creativity
It's Christmas, a time for giving and receiving presents. And, contrary to popular belief, not all gifts come from Amazon. In fact, the very act of creativity can be a gift. At least, that's what hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden suggest in this episode's Story School as they explore the generosity of story and other forms of creativity. In the second half they share a holiday remembrance from the Journals from the Realm of Derailed Thoughts and put creative gift-giving into practice in It Came from the Intrawebs! So, come unwrap episode 114 of your premiere podcast on storytelling, Derailed Trains of Thought. As always, it's our gift to you. Merry Christmas! Show Notes
75 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Episode 113 – Everybody to the Limit!
A blank page is a frightening thing. It represents limitless possibilities. But once a genre is chosen, or a point of view, or a character, or anything, suddenly there is direction. There are now limited possibilities. And that is a freeing thing. Limitations for the creator can be beneficial, as Nick and Tim argue in this episode's Story School. In the second half, your intrepid hosts put this thesis to the test in Challenge Accepted! In this quick-thinking creative exercise, they word vomit stories confined by specific and somewhat random limitations. You could listen to any of innumerable podcasts, but you chose this one. Take some time and enjoy this 113th episode. It is, after all, your premiere podcast on storytelling. Show Notes
83 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
Episode 112 – Previously On…the Last Decade
Do you remember what it was like ten years ago? Netflix was still sending out DVDs and people were still using camcorders to make found-footage movies. And, believe it or not, the first episode of your premiere podcast on storytelling, Derailed Trains of Thought, was sent out into the Internet. Ten years ago. Ten years. Count them. Ten. Hosts Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden look back at the last decade of podcasting in this anniversary episode in a special Story School. In the second half they reminiscence on old theater experiences in place of their annual summer movie review. Come take a trip down memory lane with this landmark episode of Derailed Trains of Thought. It only happens once a decade. Show Notes
67 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Episode 111 – Brought to You by All the Numbers
Most people think they don't want math in their mysteries, or numerals in Numenor. These people are wrong. Many times, numbers are integral to our enjoyment of stories. In the 1st half of episode 111, your favorite 2 podcasters, Timothy Deal and Nick Hayden, look 4 ways in which numbers ADD to the TAKE AWAY value of stories. Then in the 2nd half, we have 3 distinct segments--the return of the 1 and only Pun Times!, followed by a PRIME example of A Bit of Story. Finally, to ROUND out the EQUATION, we enjoy some unPARALLELed Intrawebs finds. So, now that we have your unDIVIDED attention, listen in to this unEQUALED foray into storytelling, numerology, and fun. This is our eleventieth first episode, so you know you can COUNT on a good time! Show Notes
67 minutes | Aug 6, 2020
Episode 110 – The Weird, The Bizarre, and The Ugly
Some stories are safe; some are nightmare fuel. Some stories reflect the world we live in; others subject us to worlds of pure imagination. Some stories present us with pleasant characters; other star David Bowie in tight pants. What is the appeal of these strange, unusual stories? Tim and Nick consider stories on the scale of oddball to downright disturbing in this episode's Story School. The second half features a downright normal Take on Tales. So find a pleasant spot and listen in to your premiere podcast on storytelling. All the normal people do. Show Notes