GCP S2:E11 – Writer’s Block: Excuse…or Opportunity?

Grendhill Chronicles Podcast, Season 2, Episode 11. Livestreamed on YouTube Sep 14, 2023. We had some technical issues that may result in awkward hilarity. One that we didn’t figure out until after the stream was over: YouTube was showing us a mirrored image, so I thought it was flipping it. So I flipped the image in software on my end to make sure it wasn’t mirrored…thus accidentally causing it to be mirrored.


-I have writer’s block, but wait – what does that mean?
-Is it valid? …Yes. It is a real experience that can be frustrating.
-Is it a valid reason to not write? …No, because there are ways around it. Let’s dig into it.

-Writer’s Block according to the Writer Dojo (podcast and FB group)
-Writer’s Block according to the Successful Indie Author Five Minute Focus Ep744 with Craig Martelle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls-zzLYrem0)

-What is my situation? – Nightshade Unicorn – semi-plotter, semi-“pants-er” (discovery writing)
                -Adventure is kicked off, but…now what?
                -Invent! Map, magic, events – plan it out.
                                -paper and colored pencils
                                -ChatGPT / others (see Joanna Penn) (I’m not using AI at present)


-Don’t forget “fantasty” – it’s still open, since we haven’t had a chance to really push it. I’ll close it 30 November, and announce a winner in December. $30 gift certificate to the restaurant or retailer of your choice.

Enter by: send picture and “#fantasty” to fantasty@thorn.link, or – @grendhillchron on social media.

GCP S2:E10 – Internship!

Updates in life and creative work. Live streamed on Sep 7, 2023.

Then I pulled the audio and did only very quick edits to the audio-only version: truncate silence (which got rid of empty gaps), noise reduction, amplification of dialogue to come closer to intro/outro music. Done and done.

Below are the notes that I referenced as we talked today.

Welcome to GCP.

I am your host, Don Bishop.

Today’s episode is live on YouTube. I will take this and upload it later to other locations, including the podcast proper which is where you’ll hear it if you listen on Spotify, YouTube, etc.

But it is live as I record it, so any “ums” will be left in place. It’s a trade-off, honestly, because that’s how I talk a lot of the time.

I’m doing this live to be quick and get an update out there. I didn’t publish a podcast episode in August, and I don’t like to disappear completely when I’m busy. I want to maintain contact with you.

So here we are, even though I’m still quite busy, recording live because I won’t spend hours editing it this way.

So, big updates:
                -Nearing the end of active duty service
                -out by end of year
                -SkillBridge internship with Full Magazine Publishing
                                -MOU needed
                                -graphic novels – aimed mostly towards veterans, telling their stories
                                -industry partner to “refine skills” for “follow-on career pathways”
                -I will be going to 20Books Vegas. I am registered and have booked my hotel room. No flight – thinking of driving our ‘95 civic instead. Cost, stops along the way.

Creative work updates:
                -GC currently on pause in lieu of other effort
                -Pushing through “Nightshade Unicorn”
                                -2k words/day
                -Expect some short stories
                -Expect some story narration!!!

-Don’t forget “fantasty” – it’s still open, since we haven’t had a chance to really push it. I’ll close it 30 November, and announce a winner in December. $30 gift certificate to the restaurant or retailer of your choice.

Enter by: send picture and “#fantasty” to fantasty@thorn.link, or – @grendhillchron on social media.

GCP S2:E9 – Birdsong

Welcome to the Grendhill Chronicles podcast, where we discuss world building and sometimes read aloud to you. Although this podcast was intended to be centered on the Grendhill Chronicles, we often go far afield. This is season two, episode nine, as I record this intro today. It is July 1st, 2023. First off, I’m going to apologize for some misinformation.

In the last episode’s intro, I mistakenly stated that I had not published an episode in the previous month in May of this year. But looking back, I did no big deal, but that’s the case now. True to my promise from the last episode, because of the audio issues, I promised that this episode would massage your eardrums.

To follow through and to keep true. The title of today’s episode, this is Birdsong. We’re not reading to you today. We’re not discussing world building. It’s just birdsong, almost nothing else. If you’re like me, lately, you’ve been going too fast and too frantic. So now go ahead and take a while and relax to these beautiful sounds.

Rejuvenate yourself and be refreshed. This audio was recorded in one continuous take. You’ll hear a couple of cars in the distance. There were a couple more of them, but I removed them because they were too noisy and it would distract from the piece. The other editing that I did here was amplification to bring the overall sound level up cuz the bird song was a little quiet.

And noise removal, just that kind of background that you often get in recordings, and that was done in Audacity. Also, at the end of the recording, you can hear a gait shut, and I negatively amplified that the squeal of the hinge was pretty loud, so I didn’t want it to be jarring. I don’t know the names of the birds that we hear in this recording.

If you do, reach out and let me know. There are lots of beautiful birds in Virginia and I would love to isolate the sounds of each one.

The bird song was recorded on June 19th and the video that accompanies it that you’ll see if you’re watching on YouTube. Was recorded on June 30th in exactly the same place, and at approximately the same time of day, early in the morning before I went to work. And although the video was only 11 days later, the birds weren’t singing as much on the morning that I recorded the video.

And my guess is because that it was definitely warmer on the 30th. Let’s get ready to relax. We’re almost there.

There is an intro to this episode. Like always. However, today there will be no outro. The bird song will go to the end, and then there will just be silence.

When you hear the gate shut, that’s your signal. To know that we’re almost at the end of the recording. I will take a two minute sample from earlier in the recording and paste it after the gate shutting and. Then after that, there will be another 30 seconds of just silence. So if you’re listening on a platform that will automatically play the next video or podcast episode after this one ends, when you hear the gate shut, that will be your signal that you have two minutes and 30 seconds to stop the podcast if you just want to relax in the quiet.

Without further ado, please enjoy this roughly 40 minutes. Of Birdsong as much as I do.

GCP S2:E8 – ConLang with Martin L. Shoemaker

Let’s talk about inventing languages!


Welcome to the Grendhill Chronicles Podcast, where we discuss world building and occasionally read aloud to you. While the spotlight is intended for the Grendhill Chronicles, we often go far afield.

Today I present to you an interview with Science Fiction author Martin L. Shoemaker. We are going to discuss ConLangs, or constructed—invented—languages, and how language shifts over time. Before we get to today’s content, let’s catch up a little bit.

I did not publish a podcast episode in May. Several things hit at once or in close sequence, pushing this to the back burner so I couldn’t even do one episode. And that’s not even recording! This episode was recorded on April 15th, 2023, just over two months ago as I speak to you today on June 17th.

We’re trying to remedy the cigarette smell in our old house. We have quotes from ServPro but since there has been a period of several months with the mortgage draining our savings, we’re trying to do more of it ourselves in order to save money.

Also, in May my wife left town to tend to some matters, and although I took time off work to be with the kids, there was overlap between me going back to work before Laila returned. So my parents came to town to help cover the gap.

Somehow it got worked in there that my sister was coming with her kids, which sounded like a good idea at the time. Let me tell you now, that although I loved seeing my sister and nieces and nephews, and the cousins loved playing together, it was bad timing.

My sister homeschools her children, but my kids were still in school; they were not on summer break. So I found myself coming home from work and being the party pooper, calling and end to playtime, and stuffing food in faces as fast as possible in order to get my kids in bed. You may recall from another episode how early their school started, so they had an early bedtime while their cousins didn’t.

It was very stressful. Will we have them over again? Of course! But not while I have to go to work and Laila is out of town and the kids are in school and we’re not even fully settled into our new house and we still have to turn around our old house because the renters smoked in it…

Yeah. Good idea. Bad timing. Next time will be better!

My health has also been suffering. A couple of weeks ago I had a fever and chills, where two evenings in a row I was shivering uncontrollably and the only way I was able to stop was with a very hot bath. Then I did some profuse sweating for a few hours. Turns out it was strep. Got an antibiotic and it calmed right down.

And my knee. The doctor says with the amount of time that it has been without improvement, it may be time to consider surgery to debride the tendon. Kinda scary. I’ve looked up success rates, and while it says 77%…I’ve also seen things say that this issue never fully goes away. Decisions.

Now, I do have some big news in my life, which news is only 4 days old now, but I’m going to sit on that one and not share it because it hasn’t taken proper shape yet. Sorry.

So, one final item before we get into our discussion – a sincere apology in advance. I had audio issues. I didn’t realize it while recording, but my microphone record level was set much too high. This means that my side of the conversation suffers from clipping, a kind of distortion. I installed Audiate from TechSmith, which has an algorithm to try to fix the clipping, but maybe I don’t know how to use it right. Anyway, it’s good enough that you can clearly hear what I’m saying, so I hope you’ll forgive me. I’ll make up for it in my next episode, I promise. It’s already recorded.

Without further ado, today’s world-building discussion: ConLang. (Subscribe to the “Grendhill Chronicles Podcast” to listen to this in your favorite podcast app.)

GCP S2:E7 – In-betweeny Talk-isode

I’ll just copy and paste my notes-to-self I made before we recorded:
In-betweeny talk-isode – this is not the episode I promised last time. NEXT TIME is a chat with Martin L. Shoemaker….
ROSE! She’s creative, too.
Also, last week spring carnival at school, found more guests!
House – Airbnb, Ramsey: carpet, paint, rent again…or sell?
New house – a pool!
Laila cross country for … house again.
I’m not working next week.
Parents coming.
Sister coming.
Also, last week spring carnival at school, found more guests! –
To help us build the podcast, please tell us what you think; give us comments, likes, subscribe, tell your friends.
Remember, Fantasty – newsletter (URL) and a tweet/email

CGP S2:E6 – Logo and ConLang 0

The Grendhill Chronicles Podcast

Today we continue discussing making logos, and touch on ConLang, or constructed languages. Also, we discuss our “Fantasty” contest, which is open now!

As mentioned in this episode, you can subscribe to our newsletter at https://thorn.link/Grendhill/newsletter/ .

Send your “fantasty” submission via email to fantasty@thorn.link, or tweet it @GrendhillChron with the hashtag #fantasty.

#Grendhill #fantasy #fantasty #contest #win #logodesigner #ConLang

Catching up…

I know, I’ve been relatively quiet lately.

Ideally I would have a constant online presence, posting on social media almost every day, sometimes multiple times per day. But I have a day job, we’re still selling into our house, the kids take time, editing the podcast takes time, revising The Grendhill Chronicles takes time. The usual excuses.

In the middle of it all, I’m certainly not a very good blogger. I have so much I’d like to say, given the time. Like how even though our old house still has no tenants, it’s still there, and with an HOA that means I have to go more the lawn. And how even though we have an electric lawnmower for the old house and a gas lawnmower for the new house, I’m having trouble starting the gas mower, so I have to put the electric mower on the cargo rack on the back of our SUV to carry it between houses. And how the new house has a big lawn. And the electric mower has an aging power switch and activating lever. And how I fixed it! But it’s still annoying because the extension cord can’t reach the entire lawn.

At least the new house doesn’t have an HOA, so if I decide I’ve mowed enough, then I’m done.

And how I caught this guy eating our shed.

What even is that thing? Some kind of wasp that looks pretty dope. I left him alone.

And how this doctor’s office I went to totally looks like a mountain resort.

Oh, and my apple tree is full of leaves! I was concerned because it was late to come out of winter, and I had heavily pruned it.

You know what? I think I feel a newsletter issue coming on. I’m late, after all. I’m trying to publish three podcast and newsletter every month at least, in the middle of the month. I published a podcast episode a week early, intending it to be an off-cycle episode and to still publish another episode… Ten days ago. I’m still sitting on the episode, hoping to get it out there this week, plus get back on track for May.

Tell you what: I’ll try to get the newsletter and podcast episode out this week. (I’ll include pictures of the apple tree in the newsletter.) I’ve already queued up my weekly Grendhill Chronicles story revision to publish tomorrow, so I’m good there. And don’t forget our “Fantasty” contest that I still haven’t told you everything about because I’m still sitting on that podcast episode. Maybe we’ll extend it to the end of June because we’re having trouble getting the word out.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so you can be entered in the Fantasty contest!

“Fantasty” Contest

I am glad to announce a contest! It actually originates from a slip of the tongue in our upcoming podcast episode, so be sure to check it out when it is published.

So, the contest. We’re calling this “Fantasty.” 

Here’s how it works: you show us what you’re cooking. You can either tweet it at author T.S. Pedramon with the hashtag #Fantasty or email a picture to fantasty@thorn.link with “Fantasty” in the subject line. At the end of May June we will choose the “Fantastiest” winner from among our newsletter subscribers (you can sign up for the newsletter here) and we’ll send you…we haven’t settled on this yet. A coupon? A gift card? Help us decide!

Here’s a review: 1) Subscribe, 2) Email or tweet your “Fantasty” photo, 3) Cross your fingers that you’ll win!

We’ll see you next week!

GCP S2:E5 – Complaint-isode

In today’s so-called “in-between-isode,” rather than talking world-building or providing story narration, we discuss some updates in our lives. Specifically, my planted grape seeds, the ongoing saga with our Airbnb property, and designing a logo for Grendhill Media.

My grape seeds aren’t sprouting. 🙁

Our Airbnb saga continues – they’re offering a low-ball payment that doesn’t cover the estimates we were given by contractors, let alone our labor, the mortgage and utilities while the property sits vacant due to their delay, lost profits, and of course,

Seriously. Lots of anxiety and life upheaval. They’re offering 82% of our plain-and-simple expenses to remedy the situation. Add our labor, mortgage and utilities, general contractor overhead and profit, and what they’re offering is about 50% of what appropriate compensation should be.

Now we have to decide – it’s a bird-in-the-hand-vs-two-in-the-bush situation. Do we capitulate, or hire a lawyer to push on them harder to bring their number up? What do you think?

Also, what do you think of the logo prototype?

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