Tales from the Trunk

15
Jan

Episode 23: Fran Wilde - “How Sentient Kudzu Solved the KRYPTOS K4 Code and How the CIA Covered It Up A Revolution in Four Parts”

We're joined this time around by Fran Wilde (@fran_wilde), who reads her story, "How Sentient Kudzu Solved the KRYPTOS K4 Code and How the CIA Covered It Up A Revolution in Four Parts," which leads us into a discussion of invasive plants, poetry, and some unexpected connections from our shared alma mater.

 

Things we mentioned in this episode:

Gritty 

Kryptos 

Kudzu 

Philadelphia World's Fair 

Elise Tobler 

Shimmer 

John Bartram 

Warren Wilson College 

Rita Dove 

Debra Nystrom 

Gregory Orr 

Charles Wright 

Heather McHugh 

Eleanor Wilner 

Brigit Pegeen Kelly 

Larry Levis 

Joan Aleshire 

"One Art," by Elizabeth Bishop

George Oppen 

"Without," by Fran Wilde, in Nature: Futures

"Everlasting," by Fran Wilde, in Daily Science Fiction

Updraft, by Fran Wilde

The Nebula Awards 

Life on Mars, by Tracy K. Smith

Julia Rios 

Lanternfish Press 

Klein bottles 

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, by Theodora Goss

Fran's Patreon 

Ideomancer 

Sam J. Miller 

Uncanny Magazine 

Viable Paradise 

"The Ghost Tide Chanty," by Fran Wilde

"Mayor for Today," by Fran Wilde, in Asimov's, January/February 2021

"Rhizome by Starlight," by Fran Wilde, in Rebuilding Tomorrow 

The Ship of Stolen Words, by Fran Wilde

Riverland, by Fran Wilde

Narnia 

Clock Star Rose Spine, by Fran Wilde

Boskone 

Futurescapes 

Cat Rambo's classes 

Wester Colorado University's MFA in Creative Writing program

 

Join us again on February 19th, when Jason Sanford will be our guest!

1
Jan

Shelter In Place 10: 2020 Awards Eligibility

Happy new year, everyone! It's been awards season for a hot minute already, but it takes a little while to do a roundup for all my guests who are interested in being a part of it, so here we are!

Works mentioned in this episode:

When We Were Magic, by Sarah Gailey

Upright Women Wanted, by Sarah Gailey

“We Don’t Talk About the Dragon,” in The Book of Dragons, by Sarah Gailey

“Drones to Plowshares,” by Sarah Gailey

“Tiger Lawyer Gets It Right,” by Sarah Gailey

“Everything Is The Hunger Games Now,” by Sarah Gailey

Here's the Thing 

Sarah's awards post 

“Raff and the Scissor-Finger,” by R. K. Duncan

“Clever Jack, Heavy with Stories,” by R. K. Duncan

“For Every Jack,” by R. K. Duncan

"Witness," from Fireweed: Stories of the Revolution, by R. K. Duncan

R. K. Duncan's awards post 

Prime Deceptions, by Valerie Valdes

Chilling Effect, by Valerie Valdes

The Archive of the Forgotten, by A. J. Hackwith

The Library of the Unwritten, by A. J. Hackwith

Finding Faeries, by Alexandra Rowland

Be The Serpent 

Beneath the Rising, by Premee Mohamed

“Everything As Part Of Its Infinite Place,” (Patreon-locked) by Premee Mohamed

“The Redoubtables,” by Premee Mohamed

“Restoration of function to Biochemical Structure 34 using iterative molecular construction techniques: teaching an old dome new tricks,” by Premee Mohamed

“An Empathy of Fear,” by Premee Mohamed

The Big Idea: Premee Mohamed, John Scalzi's blog, March 2020

Whatever, John Scalzi's blog

Premee's awards post 

“And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands,” by Sharon Hsu

“Upon What Soil They Fed,” by Jennifer Mace

“In the Salt Crypts of Ghiarelle,” in Silk and Steel, by Jennifer Mace

Silk & Steel: A Queer Speculative Adventure Anthology 

"saltwashed," by Jennifer Mace

“Open House on Haunted Hill,” by John Wiswell

Machina, by Fran Wilde, Malka Older, Curtis C. Chen, and Martha Wells

 

A transcript of the show is below:

--

Before we get started, a quick reminder that I’ll be returning as a guest on the next episode of We Make Books, which should be hitting the feed on January 5th, talking about the process of trunking things. A huge shout out to Rekka and Kaelyn for inviting me back on the show!

[“Paper Wings” plays]

Hello, and welcome to Tales from the Trunk: Reading the stories that didn’t make it. I’m Hilary B. Bisenieks.

It’s awards season once again, and while I’ve already made my obligatory awards post on social media, that doesn’t do a whole lot if you don’t follow me or the show on Twitter. So once again, I’m collecting awards information for the show and all interested guests here in the feed.

This show, Tales from the Trunk, is once again eligible for Best Fancast and is my only eligible work for 2020.

Sarah Gailey, who appeared on our very first episode in March of 2019, is eligible for the Lodestar and other YA awards for When We Were Magic. They are eligible for Best Novella for Upright Women Wanted, (one of my favorite books of the past year). In the Best Short Story category, they have the following eligible stories: “We Don’t Talk About the Dragon,” “Drones to Plowshares,” and “Tiger Lawyer Gets It Right.” They are eligible for Best Related Work for their essay “Everything Is The Hunger Games Now,” and for Best Fan Writer for their newsletter, Here’s the Thing. A link to their awards post will be in the show notes.

R. K. Duncan, our May 2019 guest, has three stories eligible for Best Short Story: “Raff and the Scissor-Finger,” “Clever Jack, Heavy with Stories,” and “For Every Jack.” Additionally, their poem, “Witness,” is eligible for various poetry awards. A link to their awards post will be in the show notes.

Valerie Valdes, our July 2019 guest, is eligible for Best Novel for Prime Deceptions, the excellent sequel to last year’s Chilling Effect.

A.J. Hackwith, who was on the show in September of 2019, is in her second year of eligibility for the Outstanding Award for New Writers. The Archive of the Forgotten, the sequel to last year’s stellar debut, The Library of the Unwritten, is eligible for Best Novel.

Alex Rowland, who came on the show in October of 2019, is eligible for Best Novella for Finding Faeries, and Best Fancast for Be The Serpent, along with our October 2020 guest, Jennifer Mace.

Premee Mohamed, who joined us in November of 2019, is eligible for Best Novel for her debut, Beneath the Rising. The following are eligible for Best Short Story: “Everything As Part Of Its Infinite Place,” “The Redoubtables,” and “Restoration of function to Biochemical Structure 34 using iterative molecular construction techniques: teaching an old dome new tricks.” She is eligible for various nonfiction awards for her essay “An Empathy of Fear,” and her appearance on John Scalzi’s “Big Idea” feature on his blog, Whatever. A link to Premee’s awards post will be in the show notes.

Sharon Hsu, our December 2019 guest, is eligible for Best Short Story for “And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands.”

Macey, AKA Jennifer Mace, who joined us in October of this year is eligible alongside their podcasting compatriots, Alex Rowland and Freya Marske, for Be the Serpent in the Best Fancast category. Macey’s stories, “Upon What Soil They Fed” and “In the Salt Crypts of Ghiarelle” are both eligible for Best Short Story. Silk & Steel: A Queer Speculative Adventure Anthology is eligible for the World Fantasy Award for Best Speculative Anthology, and “saltwashed,” is eligible for poetry awards.

John Wiswell, who joined us in November of 2020, is eligible for Best Short Story for “Open House on Haunted Hill.”

Finally, Fran Wilde, who will be joining us on the show in two weeks, has the Serial Box serial, Machina, eligible for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, along with Malka Older and Curtis C. Chen.

Links for eligibility posts, as applicable, along with all the works mentioned on this episode will be available in the show notes.

Tales from the Trunk is mixed and produced in beautiful Oakland, California.

Our theme music is “Paper Wings,” by Ryan Boyd.

You can support the show on patreon at patreon dot com slash trunkcast. All patrons of the show now get a sticker and logo button, along with show outtakes and other content that can't be found anywhere else.

You can find the show on Twitter at trunkcast, and I tweet at hbbisenieks.

If you like the show, consider taking a moment to rate and review us on your preferred podcast platform.

And remember: don't self-reject.

[“Paper Wings” plays]

18
Dec

Episode 22: Phoebe Barton - “More Things Than Are Dreamt Of”

This time around, it's my pleasure to welcome Phoebe Barton (@aphoebebarton | phoebebartonsf.com) onto the show! Phoebe reads their story, "More Things Than Are Dreamt Of," which leads us into a great conversation about how the submissions game has changed since we got started and what Phoebe's just-released interactive fiction game, The Luminous Underground, taught her new things about writing linear fiction.

You can find links to purchase The Luminous Underground on the Choice of Games website. 

 

Things we mentioned this episode:

SFWA 

Cowboy Bebop 

Bakka-Phoenix Books 

Analog 

Asimov's 

“The Paragon of Animals,” by Phoebe Barton (Analog, March 2013)

F&SF 

Weird Tales 

Chocobos 

John W. Campbell 

Choice of Games 

Ghostbusters 

Choice of Games: pitching 

Twine 

NaNoWriMo 

Clarion West 

Worldcon 

 

Join us again on January 15th, when our guest will be Fran Wilde!

4
Dec

Shelter in Place 9: Post-NaNoWriMo

For this month's bonus episode, I'm talking a bit about NaNoWriMo! The transcript for this episode follows:

--

Hello, and welcome to Tales from the Trunk: reading the stories that didn’t make it. I’m Hilary B. Bisenieks.

Twenty twenty might have been simultaneously the best and worst year to try to do NaNoWriMo. Best because we didn’t have our usual distractions thanks to the pandemic, so we could spend more time at home working on our writing. Worst because, well, everything. And despite or because of all that, many of us tried to write a novel this November.

As some of you may have seen on my main twitter account, I won NaNo this year. This was my first time winning—by which I mean writing over fifty thousand words during November—though it was my sixth November attempt. I wrote fifty thousand, four hundred and fifty one words of a brand new manuscript in November, which represents what I estimate to be about fifty five percent of the first draft of this book. So yes, I “won” NaNo in that I wrote all those words, but I didn’t finish the book in November.

That’s ok, though. I’m over halfway done with the first draft of a novel. I wrote more in the past month than I did in the previous few years combined. That’s a huge win for me. And like John Wiswell said on our November episode, if you manage to write any words in November, you’re doing better than most writers out there. So however much you wrote in November, good job! And if you didn’t write in November, guess what? You’re still doing great.

So as someone who finally won after five quote-unquote unsuccessful attempts, what did I learn? What were my secrets?

Mostly it came down to having support. Nobody actually writes (or creates any other art, for that matter) in a vacuum. In my case, I couldn’t have written as much as I did without the support of my spouse (who won NaNo on her first try!) or all my friends online, who encouraged me to sit down and write for half an hour with them at whatever time I was at my computer. Elizabeth, Macey, Noah, Caitlin, Rem, Val, Laura, and so many other folks were right there cheering me and everyone else along.

It turns out for me that doing sprints like that is the most-consistent way I can get words out. If I just sit down to write with the goal of just making wordcount for the day, often I’ll just stare at the blinking cursor. If I sit down and put on a timer for fifteen or thirty minutes and announce on twitter or slack or to my spouse that I’m going to write for a set amount of time, that creates enough pressure on me to get words out, and if I can just keep going after that timer goes off? Great! And if not, there will be another run after a short break.

The other thing, which I learned about myself a while ago, but which doing NaNo really reinforced for me, is that I need an outline for longer works, but that I shouldn’t be too precious with it. While for most of the month I had at least two thirds of the book outlined, I only really needed to have the next two chapters firm in my head, because anything beyond that was likely to change in some way or another anyway.

Finally, I learned that I can, in point of fact, win NaNoWriMo. I went in with the goal to write fifty thousand words, an average of sixteen hundred and sixty-seven words a day, and I did that. If I didn’t hit par one day, and I frequently didn’t, that was fine. And if I hadn’t won? That would have been fine, too. Any words I made in November would be a win. Any words you can make any month are a win.

NaNo doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s ok. You know the best way to make words for yourself, and anything anyone else tells you is at best a helpful suggestion.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make some more words. This novel isn’t going to finish itself, however hard I might wish that it would.

Tales from the Trunk is mixed and produced in beautiful Oakland, California.

Our theme music is “Paper Wings,” by Ryan Boyd.

You can support the show on patreon at patreon dot com slash trunkcast. All patrons of the show now get a sticker and logo button, along with show outtakes and other content that can't be found anywhere else.

You can find the show on Twitter at trunkcast, and I tweet at hbbisenieks.

If you like the show, consider taking a moment to rate and review us on your preferred podcast platform.

And remember: don't self-reject.

20
Nov

Episode 21: John Wiswell - “Tonight at the Palindrome”

This month, we're honored to be joined by John Wiswell (@Wiswell), who reads an excerpt of his story, "Tonight at the Palindrome." After that, we talk about our experiences navigating non-genre bachelors programs as genre writers and why it's so important to be open about our rejections as well as our sales.

Things that we mentioned this episode:

"Tank!" by John Wiswell

Ellen Datlow 

Arkady Martine 

A. T. Greenblatt 

Uncanny Magazine 

Shimmer 

Julia Rios 

Fireside Magazine 

Worldcon 76 

Bogi Takács 

NaNoWriMo 

Curtis C. Chen 

Mary Robinette Kowal 

Seanan McGuire 

Warren Wilson College 

Louis L'Amour 

Stephen King 

J. R. R. Tolkien 

Ursula K. Le Guin 

Richard Matheson 

"The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson

Bennington College 

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold

William Faulkner 

Tor 

Peter Jackson 

Campbellian monomyth 

Astounding 

Amazing Stories 

TSR (the publisher, as opposed to "TRS," as in the Tandy TRS-80, which was mistakenly name-dropped in the episode)

Lois McMaster Bujold 

Diana Wynne Jones 

Cowboy Bebop 

"Tank!" by Yoko Kanno and Seatbelts

Personal Canons: Dragon Ball by John Wiswell (free to read, despite what was said on the show, but do consider subscribing anyway)

Sarah Gailey's Here's the Thing 

Orson Scott Card 

"The Bottomless Martyr," by John Wiswell

The Bathroom Monologues 

 

Please join us again next month, on December 18th, when our guest will be Phoebe Barton!

6
Nov

Shelter in Place 8: Fae’s Purrs

It's been a week, y'all, so here's some comforting content.

You can catch me on We Make Books on November 17th.

Join us again on November 20th, when my guest will be John Wiswell.

16
Oct

Episode 20: Jennifer Mace - Hagstone

Darling listeners, we're joined this month by Jennifer Mace (@englishmace), one of the hosts of Be the Serpent, a podcast of Extremely Deep Literary Merit. Macey reads us a chapter out of the trunked novel that was to be her YA debut, and we talk about murder-boards, Nanowrimo, and some previews of upcoming Serpentcast episodes! Silk & Steel, a queer adventure anthology that Macey co-edited, will be released in November of 2020.

Also, if you can't get enough of me, I'm happy to announce that I will be on the next episode of Rank & Vile, talking about one of my favorite horror movies, 28 Days Later, which will be going up on their Patreon this Saturday, the 17th, and in the public feed the following week. Also, I will be appearing on Story Hour at 7PM Pacific on Wednesday, October 21st, along with Laura Pearlman.

Things we mention in this episode:

Hag of the Hills 

#PitMad 

Tithe, by Holly Black

"A Cradle of Vines," by Jennifer Mace

"saltwashed," by Jennifer Mace

"A Step Out Into the Blue," by Hilary B. Bisenieks

"Thou Shalt Be Free As Mountain Winds," by Jennifer Mace

Managing Mayhem with Murderboards - We Make Books Podcast

Design documents 

NaNoWriMo 

Brandon Sanderson lecture series 

Quick Sips Reviews 

"Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time," by K. M. Szpara

Binge Mode 

Haikyu!! 

 

Join us again next month, when our guest will be John Wiswell!

2
Oct

Shelter in Place 7: Exquisite Corpse

Hello, and welcome to Spooky Season!

We've got a bit of a weird one for you this time around, but I think it came out well. I asked a number of friends of the show if they would contribute to a literary exquisite corpse and got some phenomenal submissions.

Thank you so much to John Wiswell, Aimee Kuzenski, Premee Mohamed, Kate Lechler, Laura Blackwell, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, R. K. Duncan, Dave Ring, Hana Russell, Tyler Hayes, and Jordan Kurella, our literary doctors Frankenstein.

A transcript of this episode is available here.

18
Sep

Episode 19: Caitlin Starling - Untitled Faerie Story

This month, we're joined by Locus and Bram Stoker Award nominated author, and winner of this year's Ladies in Horror Award, Caitlin Starling (@see_starling @authorcstarling)! Caitlin's new novella, Yellow Jessamine, came out on September 5th from Neon Hemlock Press. We're treated to an excerpt of Caitlin's trunked novel, Untitled Faerie Story, which can be affectionately described as "idiots to lovers," before having a wonderful conversation about the whys and hows of writing horror and how online text-based roleplaying helped to shape Caitlin's writing.

 

Things mentioned in this episode:

The Luminous Dead, by Caitlin Starling

Valerie Valdes 

Guild Wars 2 

Martha Wells 

Max Gladstone 

Clockwork Boys, by T. Kingfisher

Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett (GNU)

The California State Railroad Museum 

Zootopia 

Megan E. O'Keefe 

Animal Crossing 

The Death of Jane Lawrence, by Caitlin Starling

Rubber duck debugging 

Harrow the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir

Silk and Steel 

 

Join us again on October 16th, when our guest will be Jennifer Mace

4
Sep

Shelter in Place 6: Q&A

We've got a Q&A for this month's bonus episode! Thank you to Miri, Jo, D. H. Dunn, R. K. Duncan, Nina, Diane, Valerie, Sarah, Dave, and Amanda for submitting questions on such short notice! I promise I'll give everyone more than a couple weeks advance warning before I do another of these!

Join us again on September 18th, when Caitlin Starling will be on the show!

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