When something is good, it’s good despite all the bad things that sometimes attach themselves to the thing that is good and true and right.
Thus when my friend, writing partner, publisher, and co-host of the Games and Writer’s Show, Craig Hart decided to step away from producing TGWS because it had become a bigger animal than he (or I) were capable of taming, there was great potential for much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
We both really loved doing the show. We loved the amazing people we got to know and talk with as a result of doing the show, we loved the fun we had being complete goofs, and we loved that people also seemed to enjoy what we were doing, as we quickly built up something of a following.
But there was, as I hinted, some bad stuff that attached itself to the show, and when the first season was finished, Craig decided that a second season was not going to happen, and I concurred.
Neither of us, however, thought that the end of TGWS was the end of us having a internet presence, because there was so much good and (relatively speaking) so little bad.
So when Craig put a bug in my ear (as the saying goes – full disclaimer, Mr. Hart has never actually put insects in anyone’s orifices to my knowledge) about doing an audio only podcast, I was all in.
I don’t think either of us, when we actually got down to working through the idea, guessed that the most difficult part of getting started would be to find a name for the podcast.
We knew we wanted it to be related to writing in some form or another. Our first idea was my suggestion. I, (as I believe I’ve revealed in one of my many tearful confessions in this forum), keep a good old-fashioned paper journal. A lot of people poo-poo (technical term, sorry) the keeping of a paper journal in this day and age, and sometimes I am one of those people. Because when I’m writing a lot of pages of trivial content I often accuse myself of wasting ink, but when I’m writing something worthwhile, I call it “spilling ink” which I thought would be a fabulous podcast title.
And I was right! Unfortunately I realized I was right by learning someone else had already used the name. They (definition of “They”: anyone any time anywhere, where the person or persons cannot actually be identified or quantified, or whom I’m just too lazy to mention by name), had also scooped up just about every other literary-themed title in the English language.
After I while I began to get frustrated and turned my thoughts in a different direction, thinking a good literary character’s name could make a workable title, and suggested Jake Barnes, who is one of my favorite Hemingway characters. Craig, who is a scant 19% cleverer than I, but cleverer nonetheless, thought quotes might be the way to go and the first one he brought to the table was the Sylvia Path gem that opens this post.
Thus was born a brand new podcast, with a brand new title that no one had yet thought to use. If that isn’t a miracle in and of itself, then the rapidity with which we (mainly Craig) got things in place certainly had to have been. (I’ve got the Vatican on speed dial, so I’ll call and check with them to see if we meet all the criteria for a miracle – in which case I’ll start lobbying for the show’s beatification).
In addition to the logo, featuring peace sign dropping Craig and time-traveling, “We’re #1” Scott, he commissioned a very slick and funny show opening intro, and a completely original musical theme to close the show. (I say “completely original,” even though in my heart of hearts I’m pretty sure he ripped off the third, adagio movement of Dmitri Shostakovitch’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, (also called the “Leningrad Symphony”). I also say “completely original” to throw Dmitri’s descendants off the scent.)
Oh, and there are two episodes already available. The first is out introductory opus, in which we go into a little more detail than I am here about the podcast’s genesis and goals, and the second is a repackaging of our interview from The Games and Writer’s Show of Angelique L’Amour, the daughter of legendary American author Louis L’Amour, who is known primarily for, if not for creating the Western genre then certainly for perfecting it, although there is much more to his work than tumbleweeds and six-shooters.
And because I am a benevolent despot, I’m giving you the links to each right here. Did I mention they’re available on Spotify? Which I hear is a fairly popular platform for music and podcasts? And which someday I have to check out? (Full disclosure – If I had to pay for my Spotify subscription on a per-song basis, I’d be bankrupt. It’s ALWAYS on).
Now, I’m not saying that listening to these podcasts will turn your life around, but just listen to what it did to a totally real and not at all made up listener:
“I used to have halitosis and bad skin. The girls never gave me the time of day. But once word got out that I follow the podcast ‘Good Sentences’ by Craig A. Hart and S.J. Varengo, I can’t keep the girls away. Of course they mainly want to use my ear buds to listen to Craig and Scott, but you can’t tell that in the selfies!”
– A Totally Real and Not Made Up Listener
So, check us out and be on the lookout for information about the Good Sentences blog companion to the podcast, coming, as they say, soon.