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  1. Happy Halloween! That's the one with the fireworks and red, white, and blue Jello desserts, right?

    No, wait. Wrong holiday.

    It's the one with...candy, yes? Yes. There's chocolate? Chocolate bunnies! bunnies? Huh. Okay, give me a hint.

    Pumpkins? Never heard of them. Let me search Wikipedia.

    OH, GOT IT. Halloween. Okay, yeah, I remember this one. This is the one where kids knock on the front door and then it's really awkward when I they can see me checking who they are in the window. I've never actually opened my front door for anybody other than the UPS guy, and these kids always seem to show up at dinner time. I don't know them, and I'm pretty sure the "No Solicitation" sticker is still on the front door, so I just let their inherent short attention spans take care of the matter.

    Anyways, who cares about Halloween when you can celebrate NaNoWriMo Eve! Tons of people all over the world giving over a whole month to crank out 50,000 words! Some of those words will turn into published stories! The rest of them will... well, they won't do much, but hey, still an accomplishment, right? I'd rather shuffle around a .doc file than scoop the remains of a rotten Jack-o-Lantern off my porch.

    There are plenty of people who pilot NaNoWriMo by the seat of their pants, but perhaps you want a little leg up on your word count. Might I suggest Inside Creative Writing.

    The kids wanted me to give them candy? Now you're just making stuff up.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Subscribe via RSS feed!
    Subscibe via iTunes!

    Host Brad Reed is a writer who writes and then talks to other writers who write and together they talk about writing. Inside Creative Writing has had topics like the Snowflake Method, "defamiliarization", when to use adverbs, and speaking with authors on how they captures moments that spark stories. Reed leads each episode well and engages the guests so that they willingly share their secrets to success and provide insight to the listening audience.

    Inside Creative Writing is less straight up instructive than Writing Excuses, but there is still plenty to enjoy. The tone is friendly and conversational and it gives writers a chance to find a new POV on their craft (see what I did there? EH?). 

    Content RatingClean and grammatically sound. These folks really know where to put a preposition at.

    Average Episode Length:  A sample of five episodes gives an average time of about 37 minutes. The episodes don't feel too short or too long, each topic gets a proper amount of time.

    Drinking Game: Oh...well, gosh! I just can't think of any way to tie the craft of writing, and writers themselves, to drinking. Do writers even drink? Surely they perform their art stone-sober, to reflect the gravity of creating the written word. No, no, I don't think I can come up with any classical authors to which you might mimic their drinking patterns and/or choices in alcohol. Gosh.

    Go get some tea, I suppose?

    Release Schedule:  Weekly!  Yay!

    Unintentionally Good Part:  All the picture of the host that I've seen have him wearing one of those newsboy caps, which I find to be a good fashion choice.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  If you are a writer, you will feel guilty that you're listening to this instead of writing.

    Unrelated rating:  Five people pretending to write at Starbucks out of five.

    BONUS CONTENT:  Seriously, there is a thing called NaNoWriMo and it starts tomorrow. Join up and prove you can write a novel! It's a good bit of fun and at the very least you can be a snot like me and read Tumblrs that mock people on the forums.
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  2. Lou Reads the Internet for YOU!

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Lou Fernandez is a man with ambition. His goal is to be a professional voice actor, which is a rad goal. As he attempts to make it to the big time he has decided to practice his reading so as to refine his skills. However, rather than reading...anything else, he has made great efforts to read from the depths of the Internet.

    And my friends, we all benefit from his efforts. Welcome to Lou Reads the Internet for YOU!

    I don't understand things and I don't think I want to.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site! Features lots of different ways to find the podcast.
    Listen on Stitcher!
    Lou on Facebook!

    Lou Reads the Internet for YOU! is a podcast of contradictions. On one hand you have Lou Fernandez, a dude of what I'm going to assume is a mild-mannered nature with a very nice voice. Deep without going into Barry White territory, soothing enough to sell me something without bothering me. I can imagine him narrating a yoga DVD or something like that.

    Then you have the stuff he reads to you. Is horrifibad a strong enough imaginary word to describe to you the content of this podcast?  I have reviewed other podcasts that focus around the "Atrocity Tourism" shtick of finding gross things and reading them but yeesh. Here there be dragons.

    If you are familiar with the podcast The F Plus then I can tell you with sincerity that it is more tame than Lou Reads the Internet for YOU! Seriously, this is a view into the unvarnished interior of some messed up people.

    So do I like this podcast? Is the smooth voice enough to pave over the horror-show content? Well, yes. For one, you feel WAY BETTER about yourself as a human being after listening to the weird stuff people get up to in their day-to-day lives. I'd recommend this podcast as an occasional listen, because you really do need to maintain at least a shred of faith in humanity somewhere in your head.

    To be clear, Lou doesn't truck with any of the stuff he reads and there is no sympathy for the psychopathic minds that decide one day to open a forum thread and chat about what drugs they put where on their body that week. He's just a man with a good voice and a Something Awful account.

    Content Rating: Explicit! The titles of the episodes will let you know exactly what you're in for.

    Average Episode Length: Ooh, it's all over the place. Earlier episodes are quite short, just a few minutes each. Current episodes run around a half-hour long.

    Drinking Game:  Practice your own melodious reading-aloud skills with the Fox on Socks drinking game.

    Release Schedule:  Looks like there is a release about twice a month.

    Music: A little zippy piece of music that I assume comes with a copy of Garage Band. I love it! It's got a beat you can dance to and remains charming after several listens.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  I'm assuming my expression of dawning horror as I listen to the various stories and admissions people put on the Internet. Holy crap, y'all. I think I strained my eyebrows after I lifted them so many times in disbelief. There was one episode where I had this open-mouthed scowl going on because I couldn't deal with what I was hearing.  WHO DOES THIS STUFF?

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  The only thing that trips me up is that there's no change in tone when Lou goes from reading an excerpt to his own thoughts or comments. Makes me do a double take from time to time.

    Unrelated rating: Two stairs from your house out of three.
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