Neil Gaiman gives the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture

Neil Gaiman (author extraordinaire, patron saint of this writing podcast) was asked to give the Douglas Adams Memorial lecture this year. A good portion of the lengthy, wonderful lecture is about discussing the nature of stories, their lasting qualities, and achieving a kind of immortality. This lecture is well worth your time if you have any interest in storytelling, Douglas Adams, writing, or thinking creatively. Please give it a watch and donate to Save the Rhino if you can. It's a great cause that was near and dear to Douglas Adams' heart. 

4 Self Help Books that might be worth your time

Comedians seem to think that they are really good at telling other people what to do.

They're not wrong. Comedians generally observe people and themselves a great deal more than, I propose, the average human does. Most people just wander through life, taking it as it comes. Comedians encounter life, ask "What the fuck are you doing to me?" and move through the bullshit. The only other group of people who analyze themselves nearly as much, in my estimation, are therapists.

Emily Gordon; funny lady, insightful human, wrote a book.

Emily Gordon; funny lady, insightful human, wrote a book.

That's why this first book that is coming out sometime around my birthday has me most interested. Emily V. Gordon, funny lady, "comedy mom" to folks who frequent the Meltdown in Los Angeles, and general awesome lady is writing/has written a book that is supposed to be coming out in September. I don't know what it's called yet, and according to her talk with Pete Holmes in the most recent episode of "You Made It Weird" she doesn't totally know either. But! Emily was a licensed therapist who then got really interested in comedians, and even married one. She does her own funny business herself and has been featured on @Midnight quite a few times. If you have never heard her podcast "Indoor Kids" on the Nerdist Network, or her appearances on "You Made It Weird", you should look them up. She is a very insightful lady, and I for one am anxious to read her book. 

Chris(t) Hardwick, comedian, host of things, grand emperor of the Nerdist Network

Chris(t) Hardwick, comedian, host of things, grand emperor of the Nerdist Network

Next on the list: "The Nerdist Way" by Chris Hardwick
I've read this book several times, owned it since it debuted, and when I actually follow it's advice, generally, my life gets more manageable. I've even met Chris Hardwick and had him sign a copy of this very book, but then lost it when I lent it to someone. Regardless, I bought another copy, and hope to get back in to this very soon.

Hannah Hart, youtube personality, funny dame, drunken life coach

Hannah Hart, youtube personality, funny dame, drunken life coach


That's not really what it's called. I haven't read it yet. But I adore her YouTube channel, she has great advice on her non-drunk episodes, and I am very anxious to read her book. Based on the sample chapters I looked at, not only are there super cool recipes in this book that I think I could afford to make on my menial budget, but there is some really great organizational, life-progressing advice throughout the book. Or at least in the bits I read. It's out, look it up on Amazon, buy two copies. Give me one.

Grant Morrison talks about his life through comics

Grant Morrison talks about his life through comics

This one isn't so much explicitly a self-help book, but it is a very inspirational book for those of you who are interested in writing fiction, or writing comic books.  Or thinking about your place in the universe in general. I can't really do it justice beyond that. This book is half creative inspiration, half memoir of Grant Morrison. Either way, it is very much worth the read.

So please, check these books out. You've heard me talk about a few of these in the podcast, and you'll hear me talk about a few more when I actually purchase them, but until then, get your learn on.

Keep on writing,

Comedy Livestream on 1/24/15 at 9:00pm EST

Starting tomorrow night at 9pm EST, we will be Live Streaming AN EVENING OF COMEDY at MAHOGANY'S BAR hosted by Vince Vlaisavich. Additonally, we will be recording the entire show, as well and interviews with comedians to put up as a podcast at a later date.
This will be our first venture into livestreaming, and if you folks like it, we'll try to do more of it in the future. To hear tomorrow's show, be sure to be on our website, on this very page, and click on the LIVE AUDIO player above ^^^  You should be able to listen from your mobile devices as well!
Big thanks to for providing the means to livestream this event!

Writing at the Table

I suppose I'm not really a fan of celebrating a lot of greeting card holidays and Thanksgiving definitely falls under those parameters. A whole day dedicated to eating just blows my mind. Always has. When I was seven years old, my family used to gather for what seemed to me to be TWO Thanksgivings: one at home, eating Turkey, watching some parade stuff, trying to not get in the way of adults running trays of food back and forth from the kitchen to our modest dinning room table; and another gathering at either an Aunt or Grandparent's house with more adults, loud football games and a variety of pie. Despite so many people around, family, friends of family, all manners of animals, I always found myself off in a corner with a clipboard or pad of paper writing or drawing or just generally trying to put some distance between myself and the rest of the household. When dinner or dessert was called to be served, that pad of paper would come with me, and I would sit at the table with it in my lap and if no one was demanding my attention, I'd prop it up against the table and keep working on whatever I was doing. By the end of the evening, I'd have at least a few sheets of doodles, some perhaps with food stains, but always something to mark the my time spent. Even if the food was terrible, or dinner was awkward, I'd still have those drawings.

I find myself thinking a lot about those times today. Since leaving for college, I've spent a few years where I wouldn't really have a Thanksgiving, or spend it with friends, or just sit in my apartment and watch a Mystery Science Theater 3000 streaming marathon. These past two years, it's been more of the latter. I'm not necessarily complaining about the solitude, but I have noticed these past two years in particular, I haven't been making the most of my time as I did when I was younger. The notebook stays on the shelf, I don't make an effort to draw or paint. Seasonal laziness has seemingly creeped into my Thanksgiving traditions.

With that in mind, I call on you, dear Workshoppers: make the most of this holiday. Have a good time with friends, family, or a MST3K marathon, eat, drink and be merry, but be sure to take a moment an seize the creative potential of today. No matter your circumstance, whether you're knee-deep in family and friends, or having a solitary day, make something of it. Draw, write, create. Mark the occasion.

You've made it another year, and that's something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving

- Ryan
The Write Idea Workshop