Transcript for "Writing - with Lovelace Cook"

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00:00.00 podcomm Hello I’m craig konine hi love lace thank you so much as I say to everybody for taking the time I really appreciate you finding a spot in your schedule. There are I have 1 question in 37 parts which is a movie reference.

00:01.27 Lovelace Cook Hi I’m lovelace cook.

00:19.61 podcomm Um, when I asked you about podcasting you said a new lease on life and then so I’m wondering Why do you look at it that way. Did you get evicted or like what happened to the least that you had.

00:32.74 Lovelace Cook Well if you may or may not recall in the spring of 2020 when everything went tanked. Basically right I was working full time doing covid outreach for the government.

00:50.94 podcomm Um, I do remember that.

00:52.16 Lovelace Cook But I was also in my first akimbo podcasting workshop. So the work was so intense. Craig it was all consuming and took up most of my time. Nights weekends and it was very difficult for me to get my podcast going I mean to really launch it so it took another year however the podcasting gave me a balance in my life where I was exploring my creativity. And thinking and writing and I had this vision of what I was I wanted to do so I mean I thought about the podcast in the winter of 2019 but when I say podcasting gave me a new lease on life I was so busy with work. And podcasting I don’t mind I I enjoy my own company so I was at home alone and not suffering through the isolation of covid.

02:02.34 podcomm Was kind of I’m hearing in there a hint of like you’ve had a calling to do something before you began podcasting and I’m wondering if there was something particular about podcasting that you know sometimes you see something or or you haven’ an experience and all of a sudden you’re like oh. Know what I was stuck on like the thing that you’ve been like trying to untie the Gordian Knot then suddenly you find something that just makes it really clear how to slice through it and and was podcasting somehow a key to solve some thing you were trying to figure out.

02:36.57 Lovelace Cook It’s a part of it. Yeah, the podcast was going to be part of building a brand for myself and where if we can imagine a wagon wheel where the the person me the writer which is. What I do is at the center of the wheel and the spokes are the podcast a website the blog just so that’s that’s kind of what that was the goal and I I was prompted to do that I was. Had been deployed to mississippi for a disaster to work and I had a lot of driving to do and I listened to Joanna penn’s podcasts and I had already been involved with storygrid publishing with the storygrid group where I was working on revising a novel but when I heard. I don’t know Joanna pin’s podcast just inspired me I thought oh and I wanted do a podcast and it was a presentation I wanted to take a presentation called a literary journey through India that I had given in 18 talking about books and people books I discovered people I met while traveling through India and just um I realized that a literary journey through India just wasn’t going to cut it. You know I’m like. Come from a communications and marketing background and I needed to come up with a you know, kind of a sexy name for my podcast and so that it became bollywood in books and people said bollywood why are you talking about bollywood. Well you know and then you may.

04:17.10 podcomm Moving.

04:28.26 Lovelace Cook May or may not recall. This is rambling conversation but in 1 of our work. 1 of my many podcasting workshops that in which I was enrolled to get to from here there to here Shannon said you said Bollywood. But you’re not talking about movies thought oh. Right? Oh gosh. Yeah, okay, what do I know about Bollywood Cinema So Then that launched another a whole nother just whole another all it jettisoned me into another another world and I found that I love.

05:02.93 podcomm Facet here.

05:07.21 Lovelace Cook Bollywood movies I have been loving watching these hysterical some of them are just fantastic. I love the actors. The stories have so much heart. They’re really just the Hindi movies. The bollywood movies are. They’re great storytellers but I’ll I’ll slip back to right now I am in the writing and community 3 workshop with another akimbo group because I’m revising the novel that has been the never ending. Revision. Ah.

05:46.36 podcomm Um, I’ve heard that about novels I’m done Ha No, you’re not.

05:51.11 Lovelace Cook It it it is you know it started out as it started out as a real journey and notes in journals and and photographs and and thank heaven for scrivener which helped me organize a lot of disorganized material and then it. Went into a memoir and on a personal note ah kind of a breakup with the my significant other who was who was a brit who had been my travel companion just I thought well you know what? this is my story I’m gonna make it fiction. And so I switched from I don’t mind talking about this but I switched from Memoir to let’s just go ahead and jazz this story up and and make a novel out of it. So I have been rewriting that and in the writing and community wic 3.

06:36.74 podcomm Make a novel out of it.

06:48.91 Lovelace Cook Um, every a couple of times a week I’m in the right now sessions which I did this morning. That’s when I said I was busy for the from nine 30 to ten thirty I wrote in community and where we also shared with another couple or a couple of people what we were working on and then. Right? after that from 10 30 until 11 we had an out loud session in which I read for five minutes aloud the first time I was exhausted now I’m becoming much more comfortable reading aloud from my own material I was surprised. Because having a podcast I didn’t think it would be any big deal to read aloud from what I’m rewriting. So that’s and that’s kind of and then after this at 1 o’clock I have a story grid meeting about what’s going to happen with the story grid guild next year and then we’ve got Seth’s group Seth is doing a 3 o’clock session for the writing and community group. So it’s it’s just a busy day. Plus I’m rewriting and by the way editing a new hallelujah a new episode from my podcast. Ah it.

07:56.20 podcomm And.

08:04.68 podcomm Say you’re just sitting around doing nothing. What I think we have identified the problem here.

08:06.37 Lovelace Cook I just sitting around not doing a thing. You know we we have it’s I thought but this morning after I finished the hour and a half with my cohort and in wick 3 I felt so happy. It’s been it’s been a month a little over a month since I left the chaos of ah my job and detoxing from the dysfunction has been a challenge.

08:41.65 podcomm Um, you mentioned the the challenge or the difficulty the physical difficulty of reading converting written stuff into spoken and um that that’s interesting to me I’m.

08:43.95 Lovelace Cook I was tired emotionally physically.

09:00.90 podcomm Wondering if you have any insight as to why and and maybe is it because you wrote it like does that make it harder or is it just any written word.

09:05.30 Lovelace Cook No, no, no the first just it was just the first experience when I was the first time I read aloud when I was reading reading face to face with a couple of other people. It was just it was tiring I don’t know why. But. It’s not that way anymore. There’s there’s a level of comfort that has I don’t really understand it because I don’t mind doing a podcast I don’t mind videoing and but this was a little different and at the same time I real in my writing as I revise i’m. Very conscious of trying to to make sure that the sentences are not cumbersome I’m not a literary writer I’m writing to entertain I’m writing in hopes that I can encourage people to change or to open their minds. So I want to make my writing. Really accessible and have a goal in mind of of recording it myself to do an audiobook.

10:12.76 podcomm When you do podcast episodes are you are you doing mostly host on Mike or are you doing a mostly conversation or you like what’s what’s the format that feels most comfortable for you.

10:24.29 Lovelace Cook Well, they both do it takes a lot more work to do host on mike because I have to write a script and you know make make it a story but I just finished an interview with ah an indian-american author vina rao about her book purple lotus. Which is garnered a lot of awards and and it was a great interview. She’s a wonderful person. Um I do enjoy the writing of of a podcast and what I’ve been doing with the podcast where I’ve done host on mike I’ve taken some episodes from. My novel and kind of expanded them and to maybe a ten minute recording I my podcast is evolving and it’s not what I started out to do.

11:03.82 podcomm And.

11:11.30 podcomm So.

11:18.82 podcomm Well, that’s probably a good thing.

11:22.40 Lovelace Cook I think is just fine. Ah, it’s turning into a meeting and finding all these really fascinating indian american authors who ah I’m fascinated with the cultural differences. The difference between coming from a patriarchal society where there are arranged marriages to the western culture which is far more permissive liberal liberal and some of the topics of the books. It was not so in fact, someone asked me are you writing about this and I said. No, but some of the topics or the themes of the books have to do with domestic abuse in arranged marriages which is and how women overcome the difficulties or gain a sense of self-worth after being in abusive marriages. That was not intended. My goal was to really to talk with indian-american authors and and discuss the differences in in culture and the difficulty in transitioning if if they’ve come from if their homes in India or they’ve grown up with the culture. That is has been ingrained in this patriarchal society where people don’t question values family values to America and then go back and forth. How is it? What does it? How does it feel and how is it informing their writing so that’s. That’s been. There are a couple of authors I’m trying to get to talk with.

13:03.50 podcomm I Know your sounds like you’re just beginning to dive into that but that begs the question. What are the differences like how does it work for them when they go back and forth between the culture like have you any have you found any insights into that question those questions at this point.

13:19.56 Lovelace Cook It’s It’s early days. It’s I Really wish you know that’s I’m I’m trying to kind of press for that without in being intrusive because some big.

13:22.90 podcomm Rats. Ah.

13:30.55 podcomm Yeah, yeah, try to be mindful.

13:34.78 Lovelace Cook Yeah I’m trying to be mindful. There are a couple of people I’ve talked with and you know just that I’m another indian-american author I’m going to interview but I can’t talk about her novel. So that’s that’s going. We’re going to talk around.

13:52.20 podcomm The elephant in the room. That’s always a little hard but.

13:52.43 Lovelace Cook Around that it’ll be interesting but she’s a she’s an intriguing person.

14:00.39 podcomm Yeah I think a lot of the really good work comes out of I mean maybe the hurdles or the problems aren’t necessarily. You know Oh let’s make this hard for ourselves. You know the challenges or can be real like there is an embargo on this thing we can’t talk about it but a lot of times when you’re forced. To create in a smaller box then well you get pretty creative like oh how can we get all this furniture in this tiny room like what? what if we put it on top of each. You know what? if we built a loft and put the bed above the desk and I think there’s an interesting you’re like. Being set up for success or you’re setting yourself up for success by you know, going straight at this challenging I’m going to talk to these types of people who have these types of books and. But I’m guessing by their very nature. They would tend to be a little like to play their cards a little closer to the vest and to to be a little more careful about what they want to say and who they want to say it to and you’re pointing a microphone at me. So I think um I think if you keep at it. Just. But what I know about you I think you’re going to wind up coming up with some really good lessons and some really interesting material.

15:04.23 Lovelace Cook Well I will say that in my most recent interview vina told me you know that that an immigrant american an immigrant who comes to this country expects to fail and they’re going to persist and that’s what she did. She actually started up. A newsletter a newspaper. She the first indian american woman or the first indian woman to start a newspaper outside of India. So yes, I’m I’m pressing to try to find that was. You know that was a difficult transition. She’s going back to india today I think and they’re going Back. People are going back and forth to deal with their you know deal with family issues life exactly that 1 life gets in the way.

15:50.61 podcomm Life erect. Yeah yeah.

16:01.13 podcomm Um, here’s a random sounding question for you. Um, if you could um, imagine you wake up tomorrow morning and a miracle has occurred I mean like like you don’t explain the miracle to me or even tell me what changed. But what I want to know is after the miracle that you’re imagining happens. What does the world look like from your point of view after the Miracle why god is I’m like I don’t think I’ve been to cornwall what I will.

16:22.17 Lovelace Cook It looks like I’m in cornwall.

16:34.25 Lovelace Cook I I think I think I’m somewhere around St Ives I don’t know just kind of an arty community and watching the water and thinking about Van Morrison and listening to some good music and writing and.

16:34.78 podcomm What what’s up with cornwall.

16:48.61 podcomm Um.

16:53.68 Lovelace Cook Then a beautiful part of the world and I might be on my way to India pretty soon. That’s that’s.

16:57.80 podcomm Nice I was just going to say I think it was Yuval Hari I might have the name wrong. We said something like sometimes I see birds in trees and I wonder if they can fly anywhere in the world. Why do they stand 1 place and then I ask myself that same question. So I was just goingnna say like whoa. Why don’t you go to Cornwall but you’re clearly already planning on on um, adventures in the real world you yeah I never want to Jnks set and I would say like oh all this good and then you know like oops I got I’m so I’m sequestered like I was around somebody who has subsequently been.

17:20.13 Lovelace Cook Well, it’s part of we hope we hope.

17:34.49 podcomm Ah diagnosed I haven’t been diagnosed but I’ll also wait 2 weeks and then find out well I’m I’m not too worried about it I’m vaccinated. It’s not a big deal but it’s like yeah you never know like 1 day it’s like fine the next day it’s like oh by the way you were around me on Saturday just you know, ah rats.

17:35.58 Lovelace Cook I Sure hope you’re going to be okay.

17:50.12 Lovelace Cook I.

17:51.58 podcomm So we’re using it as an excuse to go through all the food in the house like no going outside. Oh anyway, well let’s see far ranging and eighteen minutes gone. Um. And think I’ll spring to mind for you in the last couple of Minutes.

18:08.70 Lovelace Cook You know I feel so grateful for the workshops for all of the akimbo workshops but especially for the people the community. You know you’re my people now.

18:24.70 podcomm Yeah, isn’t that funny a bunch of people from all over the world right.

18:28.82 Lovelace Cook Ah, all all over the world and same with in a way with Story grid. But but I think the akimbo Community has a different mission and and I’ve learned so much this the whole idea of generosity people. I. Have found that people are surprised when I offer something and then I Also so you know when I when I give without asking for anything in return and are so people are surprised and I also see how.

18:54.94 podcomm Yeah.

19:05.70 Lovelace Cook In some instances where I might ask someone for information who’s not a part of akimbo or this group who holds things tightly close to their chest you know who is not like afraid. Yeah for can I.

19:15.97 podcomm Um, yeah knowledge is power. Yes.

19:24.40 Lovelace Cook I don’t want to go over but can I share just 1 thing there’s a there’s a very good. There’s a very good podcaster and she’s an audiobook narrator and her son built her a sound booth. She was a journalist. She has a very.

19:25.60 podcomm Sure you can.

19:42.52 Lovelace Cook Very nice. Little Newman you know microphone and everything is very Clever. We started our podcast right about the same time and I wanted to ask her for just some tips on… Basically she told me to podcast under a blanket. And I I looked at you know on Audible I mean I looked at her reel to see her demo reel because I won’t want to learn how to do audio recording and she’s an Audiobook narrator as well and I thought oh well look at her equipment look at her reel you know this was not.

20:09.20 podcomm Um.

20:19.77 Lovelace Cook This was real easy to have said well just take a look at my reel or this is the equipment I have this is what my son did for me but you know get under a blanket I mean I may be exaggerating to some degree but that’s the way it came. Ah.

20:30.20 podcomm Yeah, people people do that I have people do record my eyes under blanket and if emily’s listening going what it turns out that a lot of the Junkie noise comes from the rest of your room. The sound of your voice going to the left or bouncing off your computer and then getting to the mic. So if you if you go into a blanket.

20:41.98 Lovelace Cook Right.

20:47.33 podcomm It cuts down a lot of the room noise but it’s also hot and sweaty and uncomfortable and stuff. So yeah, there are lots of tips. But.

20:49.21 Lovelace Cook Oh I I I understood the the tip I Just thought it was insulting. Ah.

20:57.25 podcomm Ah, yeah, it’s there’s there. There are so many I’m the other way people ask me people ask me questions and I’m like here’s eighty 3 rabbit holes and then they’re like oh stop craig that’s too much though. Yeah, yeah, everybody’s different all right? Well as much as I hate to say it. Um.

20:59.67 Lovelace Cook It was clear to me she oh no, it was just clear. She did.

21:16.63 Lovelace Cook Thank you, Thank you Craig I Appreciate your taking the time.

21:16.89 podcomm Lovelace I think that’s a good place to stop. Thanks for taking the time. It’s my pleasure to have you for a little chat today.

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