And so without further ado,

because there’s been enough already,

and I’m a terrible, terrible person,

I give you:



You now have the opportunity to hear our beautiful, smexy, swoon-worthy, sparkly, unconditionally and irrevocably lovely voices.

feedburner link here.
livejournal link here.
direct download link to episode one here.

If you want to be really clever, go to iTunes, click ‘Advanced’, choose ‘subscribe to podcast’ and then put the feedburner link in. Should be able to do this within 24 hours of the feed going online.

Or you can click the feedburner link for more options to subscribe.

The livejournal link is there for no reason I can possibly fathom, however I needed it to set up the feedburner link, so I thought everyone else might want to see it too. It’s not that exciting, but what the hey.

Now, for the transcript, kindly typed up by Thea:


Intro music

Various imp sound snippets:

We have you now!
Somebody say something profound, quick
Bloody hell.
I get… questions
I hope so
I think I just lost a couple years off my life
Which is more disturbing
It apparently can’t be real
Wouldn’t you like to know?

I like minions personally—
Muhahaha! …Sorry, that was my evil laugh
Mute your microphone

All right, we’re stopped
Stay on topic
Stay on topic
Stay on topic…

intro music fades

Nate: All right, introductions again?

Steph: Okay, let’s take it from the top.

SlyShy: I’m SlyShy, you can call me Sly, for short.

Nate: This is Nate Winchester.

Rorshach: This is Rorschach, you can call me Rorschach for short.

SWQ: This is Snow White Queen.

Steph: I’m Steph.

Inspector: I’m Inspector Karamazova. But just call me Inspector. Please.

Steph: Nice.

Inspector: Or else.

Steph: Okay, so I suppose we should welcome all the listeners or something.


Inspector: Yeah, all two of them.

Steph: Oh, come on, there’s got to be people who love us more than that.

Nate: Whoever likes us, can we really call them people?

Inspector: (thoughtfully) Probably not.

Steph: Imps— we’re Imps.

Nate: Yes. Hello out there to our fellow Imps.

SWQ: I like “minions”, personally.

Nate: Only Matt can call us that. (with facepalm in his voice) Only S—only Sly can call us that.

Inspector: You’re gonna have to bleep out his name.

Nate: Edit that last part out.

SWQ: You’ve blown his cover!

Steph: I think everyone knows his name is Matt, anyway.

Sly: Yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say that. And everybody knows my last name too, which is more disturbing.

Steph: I can’t believe you did that. Just like…was like, “Hey this is my name, for reals, guys.”

Unless it’s fake and all this is a lie.

Nate: At least his social security number isn’t well known, which is 405-19-3—


Steph: So, I guess to start off this podcast we might start with ideas, and how stories grow from ideas, where you get your ideas from and stuff.

Nate: Yeah, it depends upon which story I’m working on.

Rorschach: So, for me, I mean it’s kind of like, well, if you’ve ever, like, talked to a writer, or maybe if you don’t, I mean the question we probably get asked the most is where you get your ideas from. And there’s not a secret place that I get them from; they just randomly pop into my head. Literally, the most inane, boring things can prompt a story. Usually it’s just a germ of an idea. I think of a scene, maybe a character and then I’ll start thinking, well, what could happen here? Who is this character? What are they doing? How did they come to be here? And then I’ll start to think about that I’ll start developing a backstory: what happened directly before this scene? And then of course what happens after.

There’s a series I’ve been working on; it was actually the first story that I ever completed. I ended up writing nine very, very poor books in that series, but it started—I was walking down to a gas station to get a coke, and I saw an RV drive by. And that’s it. I looked at the RV and a story popped into my head of someone trying to climb on top of an RV and go joy riding, and an entire series was born just about that germ of an idea.

So, I mean, they can really come from anywhere, at least for me, but as it’s usually just… I’m not even thinking about stories just going about my normal everyday life and something will pop into my head.

And I think really the difference between normal people, if you will, and writers—because writers are certainly not normal people—is that everyone gets ideas but most people are just like “Huh, that’d be interesting” and they just move on with their life, but because I’m a writer I’ll get an idea and I’ll start thinking, okay, how can this be a story? What are these characters’ motivations? What do they want? Um, you know, what happened before this? You know, who are these people? I start to develop just a little germ of an idea into what will slowly, you know, branch and become larger hopefully an actual short story or a novel or something along those lines.

Steph: That’s kind of similar to me and I like what you said about normal people just discarding the ideas but we go after them.

Nate: I was going to say when ‘Shach was talking about it there, when he said he wrote nine very bad stories, I wanted to say there’s not a very bad story just the unedited story.

SWQ: Well, since he went first he hit a lot of the points that come to me, but I think one of the points that he kind of touched on which was really important to me is asking questions. I normally don’t get an idea of plot; I get questions. Like, if I see a bad marriage, I ask questions about that bad marriage and then I incorporate it.

I don’t really plot all that well. I just have all these little scenarios and then I just put them all together, like a magpie. I don’t know if that’s the best way to do it but the results are usually very interesting!

Inspector: I agree a lot with what Rorschach said. I often find ideas from literature, whatever I’m reading, but often it’s something I hate and I try to make it better. And from there what I’ve tried to make better, it just blossoms into its own thing. The current story I’m working on, the longest one started as an attempt to…I don’t know if you guys have heard it, they play this song all the time around Christmas, you know that Christmas shoes song? Where the stupid little kid’s trying to buy shoes for his mother because she’s dying or something like that?

Steph: (gleefully) Oh no, sing it, sing it, I’ve never heard it.

Inspector: Oh, I’m not going to sing it. You’ve got to hear the lyrics; they’re the sappiest thing ever. Anyway, I took them and went “Okay, I want to write my own story and make it better”. And now it’s nothing like that but that’s where I began.

SWQ: Yeah, I like clichés…I like to think about clichés. You know like in Aladdin you would—you would never really think—the Disney part of it doesn’t think about how the socioeconomic difference between Aladdin and Jasmine would cause a whole lot of problems in the future.

That’s the kind of stuff that I think is fun to think about, so I get a lot of inspiration from pop culture.

Steph: Like deconstruction.

SWQ: Yeah, that’s a lot of fun.

Steph: Yeah.

Rorschach: I think that honestly that’s one of the most interesting types of stories for me to read, is the type of story where you take something that’s maybe really, really well-worn, a standard kind of trope and put a very new and unique twist on it. That’s something I’ve tried a few times with stories. I’ve really had good ideas, taking some sort of trope that’s kind of well-known and seeing what can I do with this that will make it completely new and original.

SWQ: Most of the time you don’t really have to change all that much much, you just have to think about it more than it’s usually thought about when people use it.

Nate: I think it’s a requirement to be an Imp, to over-think things.

Steph: Definitely.

Inspector: I do most of my thinking while I’m at work, because my job doesn’t require any thinking. And so I’m sitting for six there for six hours stapling or typing and the entire time I’m re-plotting and reformatting whatever story I’m currently working on.

Steph: Sly, you got anything to add?

Sly: Yeah, well, for me there are two story modes that I think in. So there’s kind of short story mode and there’s longer fiction. So for longer fiction, my ideas usually come in the form of…well, I mostly write in science fiction for longer fiction, so my ideas are based on: what’s a development in human history we could make that would really change the world, and what would those effects have?

Or, what’s a philosophical conundrum that we’re going to deal with in the future. Like what’s the affect that performance-enhancing drugs are going to have in sports—that’s something we’ve been dealing with recently, but even in the future we might have performance—performance enhancing drugs that people take while they’re at work. And there’s a really interesting science fiction novel called Beggars in Spain, where humanity basically turns into two classes of people. These ‘sleepless’ people who are up 24/7 and make all the money in the world because they never sleep and they have all these enhancements, and then you have the people who could never afford these enhancements in the first place and thus never get jobs and just die.

But for short stories, I really go around and I look for a single scene that I think would be a scene that has a big impact on the story and then I figure out what would be the events that lead up to this scene.

Steph: Cool.

I, like what Inspector Karamazova was saying, I see a lot of bad fiction and stuff. You have no idea how many like…how much fiction I’ve written just based on trying to fix Twilight. And I think it’s been an inspiration for a lot of people across the interwebs. I know Artimaeus had that, um, parody or whatever it was and Nate’s got his Nagasaki Moon thing going.

Nate: And I have a quote from a more famous writer along those lines. Hang on a minute, I’ll find it.

Steph: Okay. So I can keep talking? Cool.

So yeah, I like to see stuff in books or in real life or I see the typical tropes or clichés or whatever and I’m like “Ooh, okay. I want to try and subvert this, or it would be really interesting to subvert this”. Like you know how, for example, in the chick flicks/teen chick flicks, you have the popular girl always going out with this really nice goy—nice guy, and she’s like, really snobby and all of that. And then the plucky underdog that we’re supposed to root for during the movie ends up with the really nice guy because she’s completely embarrassed the popular girl into like never appearing again. And I thought what if that really nice guy just stayed with the popular girl because he’s just that nice and if they really had something…to subvert the typical, you know, expectations of the movie audience.

And sometimes I get ideas on like I have a couple of scenes in my head and I’m like, whoa, it would be so cool if I write that and then I sort of build the story around the scene.

I think… the basic thing about getting ideas and being a writer is you need like this constant… you need to be constantly asking “what if?” and then try and turn it on its head as much as possible.

And that’s it—oh, I have the phrase “fantastic conceits” in my notes, which I just wanted to throw in there. And that’s me.

Nate: And I found that quote: “One of the spurs on the heel of the boot of the muse that jabs us in the butt and gets us to spend long hours hunched over a typewriter is this: we read a book and think we can do it better.”

Steph: Aye, aye.

Nate: “Not that we can do any old book better, we read some particular book and we say, ‘I can write a better version of that’.”

Rorschach: I think that’s the—

Steph: I definitely agree.

Rorschach: I think that’s the inherent arrogance that all writers have, because writers are, of course, incredibly arrogant. We all believe that, for some reason, the words that we think up and write on paper are going to be so interesting and entertaining that other people are going to want to read them. I think that’s the absolute epitome of arrogance.

Nate: I’m not arrogant; I’m more humble than anyone.


SWQ: As far as ‘wanting to be better than what you consider to be a bad writer’ motivation…I was inspired by Tolkien (and this is an opinion of course), but I think that he is one of the best fantasy writers—definitely one of the most influential, so I don’t think I’m necessarily arrogant enough to think I could write better than him—I mean obviously he’s not perfect—but he inspired me to try and do better than I was already doing. If that makes any sense at all.

Nate: Oh it’s not opinion. It’s a fact that’s he’s the best, and an inspiration to us all.

SWQ: Yeah, my first thing I ever tried to write, I was twelve—sixty page fan fiction, Lord of the Rings. You can imagine how well that turned out. I’m kind of sad I don’t still have a copy, ‘cause I’m sure it was really funny!

Rorschach: I have this, technically it’s a bit of fan fiction but it’s really just kind of a comedy piece set in Lord of the Rings that I wrote, oh, probably about 2002 and the funny thing is that it’s actually still on and about every six months or so I’ll get an email or a comment on saying oh this is really funny and reminding me, oh yes, I wrote that, way, way back in the day.

SWQ: Actually the computer I used to write that fan fiction—still the one I’m using, but I think wiped the hard drive after I lost everything to a virus some time ago, so unfortunately I don’t think I have any of my old stuff anymore. Sad.

Nate: (smugly) See, all my old stuff is on floppy drives, so nobody will ever be able to read it.

Steph: Bahaha, you’re so old.

SWQ: I guess the general rule is: don’t delete stuff. Store it in the corner, but don’t delete it.

Inspector: I keep, like, everything I’ve ever written ever since I was, like, twelve—like with a few exceptions that got corrupted or deleted—so sometimes I go back and look at my old stuff and feel better about what I’m writing now.

Steph: Oh, I really do regret deleting some of my old stuff. Like I wrote this thing, like a vampire thing and I was like, “Oh my gosh, have I really written this? I’m going to delete this now!” I think, you know, I was just so shocked I’d written something vampiric, and now I really wish I hadn’t deleted it, ‘cause I could have cannibalized it and used it for something else. Of course, I was probably proud of really bad writing. So maybe it’s a relief.

Rorschach: Well, there’s nothing inherently wrong with vampire books. I mean, it’s just that every single one that is coming out now days is just a rehash of Twilight. It’s getting ridiculous to the point of walking through, like, the urban fantasy section of most bookstores and libraries

Steph: Yeah, the thing is, though, I’m Christian? So I was really, really surprised that I wrote it, you know? I was like, “oh, this would be really cool” and then I’m like “wait a second, what have I done?”

My dream is to write a vampire story that incorporates some Christians as well, because I think that would be really interesting. I think one lady’s already done it, I think her name is Sue Dent and she wrote this book called Never Ceese, which I haven’t read yet, but I really want to. And she found it really hard to get a market because, a) it was Christian, so it didn’t appeal to a broad audience, but it had vampires in it so pretty much every Christian was like, “No, we’re not going to touch this.”

(obvious edit is obvious)

Anyway, did I just break the no religion talking rule?

Nate: No, we all had a Stephanie Meyer joke pop up in our heads.

Inspector: When I was young I would always be shocked because I come up with these stories where everyone would always die in the end pretty much. So I would show them to my family and they’d all be like at me for writing such depressing things. I was a terrible person.

SWQ: Ha ha, I used to have a Mary Sue problem, especially with female protagonists. I don’t know, I guess it was just vicarious wish fulfillment or something. I hope I’ve gotten beyond that, though, but it’s always good to acknowledge the problem.

Inspector: I don’t know, I think a lot of people’s first character is a Mary Sue because when you start writing young you haven’t really read all that much and so basically you’re basing everything on yourself.

Sly: Yes, we all happen to be perfect people.

SWQ: Yeah, yourself as you wanna be, right?

Steph: I think when we start up writing we all start writing self-inserts and we identify with our characters like really heaps, and then, as we get better at writing, we start to put less of ourselves into the characters.

Nate: Yeah I think also part of it comes from the fact that when you’re younger you only really know yourself. But as you get older then you start understanding how to look from other people’s perspectives and you become more aware of things that are around you. So that’s why I think Mary Sues tend to decrease as people get older.

Although you tend to see them occur more often with authors that get a little more insular as they get more famous and don’t spend as much time around others and probably regress back to that youth mode where everything’s focused around them and they forget about things beyond themselves.

Steph: Could you also say it was—if they hadn’t really written much before and weren’t used to thinking about things from other people’s perspectives. Like I’m thinking of Stephanie Meyer ‘cause Twilight was like…you know, she said that was her first thing.

Nate: Oh, undoubtedly yeah. You can tell she was definitely much inside her own worldview and the perspectives of the world she’s more comfortable with. Like I can tell, even when I was growing up, I was around a lot of different people, I still didn’t I think become as aware of other perspectives and outside methods ways of looking at things until I really started getting on the internet and going other places around the country and started talking and socializing with other people and how they looked at things.


Steph: Has anyone read or watched anything good lately that they reckon everyone else on ImpishIdea should see? And also, if anyone wants to pimp out their own sites, go ahead.

Sly: Well, I’m running a website called ImpishIdea. It’s pretty cool.

Inspector: Well, I’ve never heard of it. I guess I’ll have to check it out.

Nate: It’s a little overrated; don’t get your hopes too high.

Sly: That’s

Inspector: How do you spell “idea”? Is that with the ‘r’ or not?

Sly: Yes, it’s Impish Idearrrr, it’s the British version.

SWQ: I’ve already talked about this book on the main site, but I would really recommend, if you like reading or like writing, read Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. Yes, that is her actual name, it’s the best name ever for her chosen profession. But it’s a book where basically she takes passages out of really well written books and short stories and she breaks everything down and tells you what’s good about it. And she starts from the ground up—with word choice, then she goes to sentences and paragraphs. It’s one of those books that you really want to read and reread because it just teaches you so much

Sly: Yes, basically reading like a writer is the best book on writing that I know of. I always recommend it first when people ask me because the approach is just so great because people read all the time and so if you’re becoming a better writer every time you read a book, that’s extremely valuable.

Steph: I read this thing once, I’ve got the link somewhere, I’ll put it in the notes of the podcast, and it was that when you read a book you shouldn’t say, okay, was that good or bad, but should try to evaluate whether the author did what they set out to do. Like Stephanie Meyer did what she set out to do even though her books pretty much stink, she still wrote this romance that connected with heaps of people and yeah, made s-loads of money.

Rorschach: I wouldn’t necessarily agree that she set out what she wanted to do because as I recall I think she was setting out to create the most epic and amazing and wonderful romance that has ever been in any literature in the history of the universe and she did not really succeed in that, as popular as it was.

Steph: She created the illusion for a lot people; does that count?

Rorschach: The illusion is going to lead to battered women syndrome? I don’t know about that.

Nate: Yeah, illusions don’t really count ‘cause they’re not real.

Steph: Oh, shut up.


Rorschach: I recently finished reading George R.R. Martin’s Dance with Dragons, which I’ll be writing a review and posting it on ImpishIdea soon. But it was a very good novel. There were some problems to it, it didn’t move the plot as forward as much as I would have like. But Martin is an incredibly gifted writer and is an absolute master of characterization, so even when he’s a little bit off of his mark which I think this book was, it’s better than the vast majority of novels you’ll read out there. And I mean you can teach classes in terms of the writing quality in there.

Steph: Okay, so I’ve been reading this really awesome webcomic lately: it’s called Red Moon Rising. So its, and it’s like this steampunk, urban-fantasy adventure thing. It’s pretty slow to start off with, and the main character kind of a grouch—but the author’s really aware of it, and the art is amazing. So I highly recommend it. Check it out. ‘S’awesome.

SWQ: I know this is really belated but actually a couple days ago I actually read Limyaael’s rants on fantasy. If you like writing, and especially if you write fantasy and if you’ve never heard of them before or never checked them out, I would definitely recommend that you do it. They’re really insightful—really angry, but really helpful. They make you think about things that you might not have thought about otherwise, and that’s always a good thing if you’re a writer.

Rorschach: I will actually second that. I’ve also read Limyaael’s rants. They’re very informative. They do tend to be very fantasy focused, so if you’re a fantasy or science fiction writer they’re very, very good, but a lot of the points she makes are very relevant for literally any kind of story that you’d be writing.

Inspector: The one writing book that I’ve read many, many times is How Not to Write a Novel and it’s pretty well known, but if you haven’t read it you definitely should. It was written by these two editors who see the same mistakes over and over again. And they post fake excerpts of what can go wrong and then explain why it’s wrong, and they’re hilarious and awesome.

Sly: Everybody should read To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Virginia Woolf has… kind of bad reputation, almost, as a really florid writer, but her writing style is just amazing. It’s probably one of the most unique books I’ve ever read, and it’s really inspirational how well she’s able to flow between every single character in the scene and give you each character’s perspective during that scene. It’s really mind blowing. And the depth of her psychological observations are really, really impressive.

SWQ: So I guess Virginia Woolf is going on the list: the infamous list of like a hundred books now that I have to read. Too many good books, not enough time.


Steph: Okay so the second topic that we wanted to discuss on this podcast was the ethics of sporking. And is it okay to tear down another writer’s work. Rorschach, do you want to start us off?

Rorschach: Sure, okay. So first of all, to kind of expand on the question, one thing that a lot of people level as a criticism against us here at Impish, and also back in earlier incarnations as when some of us were on Anti-Shur’tugal. They basically kept asking why are you so focused on negativity. Why do have to keep talking about things are bad if they’re bad why don’t you just ignore them, and not spend any time analyzing them? Why do you—why don’t you just read books that you like?

It’s a fair point but honestly I think that…I don’t think you need to make an ethical case for sporking something. I think that if, as an individual, you truly enjoy complaining and tearing something apart and if you actually enjoy doing that, who are we to say that you’re wrong? But I don’t think that really for the most that Impish or Anti-Shur’tugal, um, I don’t think that’s what we’re about, that’s certainly not what I’m about.

(obvious edit is again obvious)

Now that Impish Idea has branched out to people who are interested mostly focused on Stephenie Meyer, Gloria Tesch, as well as having articles on how to write and things like that. I don’t think that even though we spend a lot of time focusing on the bad that we’re really a negative community at all. That’s certainly not what I attempt to do with my sporks.

When I spork something I really have two intentions. The first one of course is to entertain my audience and hopefully to amuse them and to make them laugh, but also the second part of that and what is equally important in my eyes is I actually want to critically analyze the writing that I’m sporking. I want to delve into it to kind of expose what’s wrong it, to analyze why it doesn’t work. And hopefully by doing that it’s actually going to provide helpful writing advice if you read it by explaining and illustrating, you know, what not to do when you’re writing; what mistakes to avoid. And I actually got an email from my site: someone thanking me for sporking them. And this is probably my favorite piece of feedback that I’ve ever gotten from anybody, but basically this is just a quote from the email they wrote me:

“Your genuinely insightful commentary as to how a book should be written has actually inspired me to take up writing again after about five years’ absence.”

And that’s kind of an example of how basically critically analyzing though even though the basis of sporking is just going over in detail a poorly written book, it actually is informative to a writer and it can help writers develop skills and learn how to be a better writer.

Steph: Whoa, okay, that’s cool.

I’m not sure where I stand on sporking still. I mean sometimes it feels a bit like the sporking is gossiping about the author? Because you wouldn’t want them to actually see what you were writing about their stuff, but you’re happy to like talk and laugh and talk about it. I’m saying ‘you’ generally, not pointing out specific sporkers. But that’s sometimes how I feel. But then again, if okay with the author seeing it, I guess then it’s okay to do it. I guess it’s just about honesty? I’m not sure, I’m really not sure.

Rorschach: Well, I mean. Let’s be honest here. If we’re gossiping, let’s say for example, I had a friend who wrote a book and I found it and got it off the computer and we just sat down and ripped it apart, I think that would be absolutely inappropriate. But the thing is, if you publish a book you are essentially putting it out there for the world to read and analyze. When you publish a book you know people are going to buy it, you know they’re going to talk about it, you know they’re going to write reviews, both positive and very negative reviews of it and you’re also aware that people are going to sit down and absolutely shred your book. That happens to virtually any book, I think, that’s published or self-published. And I think that’s part of being a writer. You put your work out there and people are going to respond to it. If an individual—and basically any of the people that we spork, Stephenie Meyer published her books, Christopher Paolini did, Gloria Tesch, even though she isn’t really published, I mean—they self-published their books, they put them out there for people to read, and that kind of feedback is a part of it.

Now to say that, would I be slightly embarrassed if someone read the things I’ve written about them? I might be a little bit, but honestly, I stand behind the things that I’ve written and the things that I’ve sporked. If Gloria Tesch were to read it I honestly think she’d probably improve her books if she decided to rewrite them.

Steph: I see where you’re coming from. I really want to agree with you, but I’m also playing devil’s advocate here, so yeah. But no, I like what you said. I think you should have gone last and summed everything up because, yeah, that was pretty good.

Inspector: When I decide whether or not I’m going to spork a book, I generally take the author’s attitude into account, too. If the book is bad, but the author is humble about it and isn’t snotty, then I’m not going to rip it to shreds. But if the author has written this mediocre to bad book, and has just an attitude about it, I feel I have it coming. But that’s just me.

Steph: And, as we all know, you’re a really evil person.

That was a joke, I’m sorry!

Everyone’s going to think if they listen to this that I’m just going to rip you to shreds.

Inspector: I—

Steph: But you deserve it.

Nate: Yes, when Steph makes a joke, everyone unmute and begin laughing.

Steph: Or you know, I could laugh at my own jokes—that could work, too.

Nate: Just get a recording of your laugh and then just insert it when you edit.

Sly: (providing much-needed direction to off-topic conversation) I agree that once a book is published, it’s basically fair game for being sporked—because if you think about it, the editor should have been sporking the novel so to speak. So if the editor failed to do that, and we’re noticing things that are easy to make fun of, than the book deserved that. The one thing I didn’t spork intentionally was Midnight Sun. I thought it would be slightly unfair to Stephenie Meyer if we were to spork her unedited, pre-draft kind of book. But, definitely, her Twilight Saga has enough to spork to begin with.

Nate: I was just going to say when I been sporking stuff like the Twilight and Philosophy series, there’s a reason I try not to bring up what the author’s name is: both for myself and for the reader, to let people know that it’s not personal or anything.

Steph: Yeah, you’re really more about attacking the arguments and stuff in that one, aren’t you? And having fits of rage over their justifications.

Nate: Yeah trying to let them know it’s nothing toward them as a person. Of course that’s tough for writers because we put so much of ourselves into our work that almost any criticism of our work comes off as just a little bit personal.

Steph: Chorus of yeses, please. That’s how I feel anyway, because it does feel pretty personal.

SWQ: I don’t know about anybody else. But I do put a lot of thoughts and ideas and sometimes even situations from my own life into my book. I don’t necessarily deal with it in the way that I wish things would be dealt with or anything like that—or it’s not even necessarily an honest representation, but yeah, a lot of myself goes into those books.

Inspector: And sometimes it’s like subconscious. You know, I once I wrote this story and someone in my life read it and recognized something that happened between us and he got really offended. He was like, “how could you write that kind of thing about me?” and I’m like “I… didn’t… It just kind of happened.”

SWQ: That’s why I’m nervous about showing my family and other people like that what I write, I’m afraid that they’ll see themselves in it. It happened once; it was not fun.

Nate: Also, my parents and I are just different enough that they are not the audience that I really write for. Even if they wanted to be my biggest fans.

Inspector: Oh, same here.

Steph: My sister’s, like, my biggest fan. I keep finding her on my computer just reading everything I write, and I’m like, okay, this is weird. But actually the first story I ever wrote and submitted to a competition, it was, you know those comedy articles, it was like Dave Barry? You know how he writes about his life? And I stuck my sister in there and she was Not Happy that I put her in there. Although, you know, in this case it was very obvious it was her, since I used her name and everything.

She was upset about that.

Inspector: Did you ask her permission, or did you just put her in?

Steph: (sheepishly) I just… put her in.

Nate: Yeah, you shouldn’t have used her name.

Steph: I just—yeah, well it was only a throw away one liner thing, so I thought she would be really happy. Because if mentioned me in a novel—ha ha—I would just be like oh—

Nate: As they have.

Steph: I still can’t get over that. Thanks Nate. Love you forever.

Nate: It’s how you get the ladies.

Inspector: How many things are you sporking at a time, Rorschach?

Rorschach: Well,

Nate: (interrupting merrily) As many as his sanity will allow.

Rorschach: I usually try only to do two. Like at the moment I’m doing Maradonia, and I’m slowly working through Stanek’s books, which are just so insane they take forever to do. But I’m thinking of just doing a smaller, like not nearly as in-depth as I do Maradonia, but just a little paperback that my friend got for me because he knows I spork things. And it’s intensely bad.

Inspector: I know, I can only focus on one bad book at a time. What I hate is when I run up a library fine on something I’m sporking, that’s even worse.

Nate: Yeah, nobody should have to pay a library fine for something like DLT.

SWQ: Ha ha! Oh my God, I remember that.

Steph: I do too. I think Australia has 11 copies of that sitting in public libraries around the place. I need to get one.

Rorschach: I actually just got a copy of the Dragon’s Lexicon Triumvirate. In the mail a couple weeks ago and I’m planning on sporking that again at some point.

Sly: That would make you a personal hero of mine.

Nate: I was going to say, actually, TheDrunkFox and I may just forcefully assimilate you into our efforts. Because we got about half-way through, and then we started have technical problems with our grand plan, and you may be just what we need to bring it all together.

Rorschach: That’s a possibility.

Steph: Oh, I remember those sporkings: that was how I found ImpishIdea, actually.

Nate: It was a gateway drug.

Inspector: I don’t know, I lurked around the main page a lot before I actually joined the forum.

Rorschach: Wait, there’s a forum on Impish?


Nate: You’d think somebody would have told us about it.

SWQ: Yeah, I know, right? I think I found the site about two weeks after it came up, which is kind of weird to think about.


Rorschach: I’m interested in sporking Dragon’s Lexicon Triumvirate because I actually do have something against the author. Most authors that I spork, I don’t really have anything against. I think that Gloria Tesch is mostly just naïve and Chris Paolini about the same…Stephenie Meyer.

Sly: Kenneth Eng is straight up racist. And crazy.

Rorschach: Yes, yes. I do actively dislike Robert Stanek, though.

Nate: Kenneth is the only author that I really feel like… he made it personal. Every paragraph of his work was him just rising out of the pages and slapping me in the face.

SWQ: That’s an interesting image, actually.

Nate: Yeah, they call those pop up books.

SWQ: It would be really funny if books and movies or whatever it is, if you have books and they’re mistreated for any reason or if they just don’t like you for whatever reason? Yeah, the authors or the spirits or whatever, or the characters even, rise up and slap you if they don’t like you.

Steph: I love that.

(We think this is Sly): I think that already happens in the Harry Potter universe.

SWQ: Yeah, I mean they scream, but they don’t really do anything.

(Then again, maybe it’s Rorschach): Well the one book tries to kill you…

SWQ: Oh, right, right!

Steph: Oh, no! No spoilers, please, no spoilers. I still haven’t read all of it yet.

Sly: You haven’t read Harry. Potter.

SWQ: It’s the first book!

Steph: No, I’m a bad, bad imp.

Nate: She hasn’t even read Lord of the Rings, she’s very slow.

Inspector: I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

Rorschach: Yeah, this podcast is over.

dead silence


outro music


As a side note, I’ve noticed that the words I speak sound a lot more intelligent when you’re hearing them, not reading them. Gonna have to work on that.

[and this text is just here to remind me to insert a link to the next episode when that one goes up, because navigation would otherwise be a nightmare]

Hope you enjoyed!

Tagged as: , ,


  1. Puppet on 17 December 2011, 03:14 said:

    The different accents are interesting. :D

  2. BlueMask on 17 December 2011, 03:22 said:

    Both hilarious and informative. Nice topics. I’m going away to listen to it now.

  3. Fallling on 17 December 2011, 06:15 said:

    I definitely agree with the notion of not deleting, but rather keeping to possibly cannibalize later. For one thing, I thing it makes the editing process easier. Sometimes you have to kill your pet ideas and so setting them aside makes the decision a little more straight forward then eradicating them.

    PS. You all should do this more.

  4. Sweguy on 17 December 2011, 07:13 said:

    Just finished listening to the pod. It’s really good, and it warms my heart to hear the voices of the people whose sporkings/critical texts I’ve read for the last 6 years or so :) I want to join you guys and your pod! You sound like a funny bunch of… thingies…

    Great that you bring up some analyzing and critical points about writing, also, thats always appreciated. Though I think you could’ve dwelled in the ethics-of-sporking subject, cause it’s one which I’ve been wondering about lately and which I don’t really have a satisfying answer to.

  5. Apep on 17 December 2011, 14:35 said:

    Nice work, guys.

    Talking about the sporking of DLT made me feel really old, because I think I was here when those were first posted.

    I need to read some of the writing books mentioned. I feel so unacomplished.

    Regarding sporkins, I also think they can be used as an educational tool for other writers, a way to encourage you to think about what you’re writing, because the writer of the work being sporked probably didn’t.

    Minor note: the webcomic Red Moon Rising is at is a completely different website.

  6. Snow White Queen on 17 December 2011, 19:08 said:

    YAY! It’s finally up!

    What’s the outro music, out of curiosity? It’s pretty epic.

  7. Snow White Queen on 17 December 2011, 21:47 said:

    I just realized that what I thought was the outro music was my iTunes moving onto the next song in my library, which was Iron Maiden.


    Still, this was pretty epic.

  8. Nate Winchester on 18 December 2011, 00:17 said:

    Dunno about that Nate guy, but the others are all right.

    Rorschach, DF and I are still waiting to hear from you…

  9. Steph (what is left) on 18 December 2011, 00:36 said:

    I definitely agree with the notion of not deleting, but rather keeping to possibly cannibalize later. For one thing, I thing it makes the editing process easier. Sometimes you have to kill your pet ideas and so setting them aside makes the decision a little more straight forward then eradicating them.

    TOTALLY. I regret not saving so, so much.

    Though I think you could’ve dwelled in the ethics-of-sporking subject, cause it’s one which I’ve been wondering about lately and which I don’t really have a satisfying answer to.

    I kind of want to come back to that. Maybe a part two?

    Minor note: the webcomic Red Moon Rising is at is a completely different website.

    Yeah, I kind of facepalmed when I read over that and realised what I’d said. I meant to change it and include the proper link at the bottom, but that got deleted. :( I’ll have to try again. Sometime.

    Dunno about that Nate guy, but the others are all right.

    I know several people who think he’s gorgeous.

    bats lashes

  10. The Drunk Fox on 18 December 2011, 02:13 said:


    [hides under a pillow]

    But yeah, Rorschach, when you get a moment feel free to e-mail us? [re-hides]

  11. Curly on 18 December 2011, 03:44 said:

    Steph. You. Haven’t. READ. HARRY. POTTER!?
    But as an aside, you have an awesome voice, so it sorta makes up for it. Or maybe that’s my natural Aussie bias.

  12. Steph (what is left) on 18 December 2011, 12:27 said:

    I should also point out that I wasn’t quite paying attention when we were talking about that. I’ve read up to book five.

    But as an aside, you have an awesome voice, so it sorta makes up for it. Or maybe that’s my natural Aussie bias.

    It seems that that kind of bias is natural to everyone. I enjoy the implications of this greatly.

  13. NeuroticPlatypus on 18 December 2011, 13:42 said:

    This was so great, you guys! I couldn’t get on my computer to listen to it yesterday, and I was really excited to hear to today.

    Anyway, everyone’s voices sound so different than what I would have thought, and now I have a bunch of stuff to add to my “To Read” list.

    Can’t wait for the next one!

  14. Karamazova on 18 December 2011, 15:06 said:

    Oh, I hate my own voice. It’s great to finally hear this though.

  15. Snow White Queen on 18 December 2011, 19:01 said:

    Oh, I hate my own voice.

    It’s funny to hear how people sounded…I never thought that Nate would have that southern twang until I actually heard him speak.

  16. Spanman on 18 December 2011, 19:26 said:

    I think I heard this around a month ago, but as I recall I remember thinking that Rorschach is just as formidable a speaker as a writer, which intimidates me greatly (and makes me more excited for another podcast).

    Also Steph’s voice is pretty awesome, but since I’m American and everyone else in the podcast was American, it might just be an exaggerated reaction to the novelty of an Aussie alone in a crowd. :D

    Anyway, great job everyone (and bring us more soon!).

  17. Kyllorac on 18 December 2011, 20:10 said:

    We need to have an evil laugh competition one of these days…

  18. NeuroticPlatypus on 18 December 2011, 20:41 said:

    Also Steph’s voice is pretty awesome, but since I’m American and everyone else in the podcast was American, it might just be an exaggerated reaction to the novelty of an Aussie alone in a crowd. :D

    I thought so too.

    Also, the title is awesome because Star Trek.

  19. WulfRitter on 19 December 2011, 04:17 said:

    This was pretty cool. I haven’t listened to the podcast (I know, I know, I’m technologically backward), but I really enjoyed reading the transcript.

  20. Fell Blade on 19 December 2011, 11:58 said:

    Cool guys, thanks for posting this.

    Sly: Well, I’m running a website called ImpishIdea. It’s pretty cool.

    Hahaha, awesome!

  21. Kitty on 21 December 2011, 00:40 said:

    Man I’m offended nobody wanted me to be on this one. :P

  22. Nate Winchester on 21 December 2011, 08:32 said:

    @Kitty – Maybe next time you’ll sign up on the forums. XP

  23. happycrab91 on 21 December 2011, 19:56 said:

    Yeah it was a pretty good podcast good work guys. Gave me some things to think about. Wow Steph really sounds Australian. I don’t sound Australian at all. I don’t know what the hell my voice is.

  24. Steph (what is left) on 19 January 2012, 22:04 said:

    Kitty, I had no idea you were even still around!

    Wow Steph really sounds Australian.

    You think? Man, I have to do my impression of the lady at the butcher’s shop some time. You have never heard such a drawl.

  25. Jaggers on 15 February 2012, 15:13 said:

    Um, I would like it in the record that the book that steals your soul is in the 2nd volume of the Harry Potter series, not the first. And the reason why it steals your soul is because it is a *******, and its true significance is not revealed until No. 6.

    Have you seen the films, Steph? That’s cheating if you haven’t read the books.

  26. Steph on 2 October 2012, 23:38 said:


    What do you take me for? Nope, never seen any of them. :)