Episode 114: Writing outside Your Lane

This week Andi and Lise discuss the old writing adage of “writing what you know” and how that is or is not problematic. They delve into “writing outside your lane” and writing characters who aren’t like you, and being responsible about doing that and why it’s important, and why you need to think about the lens through which you view the larger society. There are no easy answers, but the conversations are important. 

Writers on “writing what you know” 

Mo Black on writing diverse characters 

Alexander Chee at Vulture on how to unlearn everything: “When it comes to writing ‘other,’ what questions are we not asking?” 

Writing the Other — Resources 

Shout-outs: Lise shouted out horror novel The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher in which a woman, freshly divorced ends up living in her uncle’s house and discovers a portal to other worlds haunted by scary things. Andi is shouting out working on getting her stress levels under control and also, she would like to shout-out Lise for doing the editing on the audiofiles! GO, Lise!!!!! 

Episode 113: Check, Please!

Andi and Lise agree that this graphic novel will make your heart fill with love and warm fuzzy-ness. Check, Please! is book 1 in Ngozi Ukazu’s absolutely fabulous comic about a young southern gay man who is a figure skater who goes to college on a hockey scholarship in the Northeast. Book 1 covers his freshman and sophomore years. We absolutely LOVE this graphic novel (like gajillions of other people do) and we love all the warm fuzzies it gave us. This is how we wish the world could be. 

Find Ngozi Ukazu at her website

You can find Check, Please! as a print book all over (libraries and to buy), but you can also read it on Tumblr HERE

It took the world by storm! 

Shout-outs: Lise watched the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, which is about two Icelandic musicians who are best friends who call their band Fire Saga. Their dream is to be in the Eurovision competition. Stars Will Ferrell and Rachel MacAdams. Andi points out the grim Reddit forum HermanCainAward, but notes that the forum is trying to get people to vaccinate against COVID and also does good works, like raising a bunch of money for vaccines. And that’s really what vaxxing is trying to do—keep you safe so you’ll be around a while for your friends and family. 

Episode 112: Beetlejuice: Does it Hold up?

Andi and Lise discuss the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, which has become somewhat of a cult [Halloween-ish] classic. They both agree that watching it again in current contexts made them re-think a few things and appreciate a few others, and both think this could be a candidate for a re-boot – as long as Tim Burton does it.  

Beetlejuice original trailer 

Beetlejuice IMDB page 

Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” 

Shout-outs: Andi shouts out Lise for getting her writing projects done! YAY! 

Happy early Halloween, all – Lise and Andi will not be live for the next show, but we’ll load up a Halloween show from the vault and be back in November with more happy fun times! 

Episode 111: Gunpowder Milkshake

Andi and Lise discuss the 2021 Netflix movie Gunpowder Milkshake, a “neon noir” and cinematographically gorgeous stylized film with a great kickass female cast (including Karen Gilland, Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino) in a female assassin plotline. However, it’s not without a few glitches and they’ll talk about those. Regardless, entertaining! Also, lots of stylized violence; we don’t recommend it for kids. 

Gunpowder Milkshake trailer 

Shout-outs: Lise has been playing The Outer Worlds by Obsidian Games, a first-person shooter in which a colonist ship is lost in transit and then when it comes out of transit years later, facing a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the colony. Corporate apocalypse themes! Andi started reading the Lady Sherlock series, set in Victorian London and written by Sherry Thomas. In this incarnation of Holmes, Charlotte Holmes takes on the pseudonym Sherlock Holmes while navigating the social hang-ups of the Victorian classes.

Episode 110: Mulan: Does it Hold up?

Andi and Lise discuss the 1998 Disney animated film Mulan to determine whether it holds up after 23 years. They discuss its representation, gender, what it might have meant to different audiences, how it may have resonated with certain people, and the story it told. 

Note: the story of Mulan is derived from a centuries-old Chinese poem/ballad created during the Wei Dynasty. 

1998 trailer 

Shout-outs! Lise recommends the The Vault, which she watched on Netflix. It’s a heist movie (both Lise and Andi are huge fans of heist movies). In it, an engineer and his team are trying to crack an allegedly impenetrable safe beneath the Bank of Spain. Andi shouts out alcohol-free spirits! Get creative and enjoy a tasty and sober (and much lower calorie) happy hour. She’s also been bingeing the true crime podcast Park Predators, which deals with murders in national parks. 

In the course of the discussion, Lise mentioned Kameron Hurley’s essay: “‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ Narrative”. The full text can be viewed at the link, and also in Hurley’s book of essays Geek Feminist Revolution, which Lise also highly recommends.

Episode 109: Cosplay: Fan-fic in 3D

Cosplay: Fanfic in 3-D 

Andi and Lise are doing something a little different in this show! Here, Andi interviews Lise about her involvement in cosplay – specifically propmaking and even more specifically, cool weaponry and armaments. Here we talk about how she got into it, some of the materials she uses, and what cosplay is all about for her and others who are involved. Cosplay rocks! Lise also notes that you can find all kinds of resources for cosplay on YouTube, like Punished Props Academy, who does tutorials and TNT Cosplay Supply, which offers tutorials on using EVA foam, which Lise discussed. There are tons of other cosplay YouTube channels; start browsing! 

Some links of interest: 

Geeks: History of Cosplay 

The abridged yet complete history of cosplay 

The Nerdd: The history of cosplay 

Shout-outs: Lise started watching The Owl House, an animated fantasy TV series available on Disney. It follows the adventures of Luz, a teenaged Dominican American girl who ends up going through a portal to another world where she befriends a witch and becomes her apprentice at the Owl House. Andi shouts out Sam the Sword, a gender fluid trans guy who is also a master sword fighter and artist who also works on film crews. Find Sam on Instagram and Twitter

Episode 108: Tremors: Does it Hold up?

Andi and Lise introduce a new feature for LGO; “Does It Hold Up?” in which they look at older media and determine if it could, basically, still hold up today. Here, in the inaugural episode of the feature, they are pleasantly surprised that the 1990 creature feature flick Tremors does hold up, and also had some interesting and cool aspects for the time in which it was made. In this flick, residents of a small, isolated Nevada town are confronted by mysterious underground creatures that are picking them off one by one. Good popcorn movie! 

Two-minute clip that will tell you what you need to know without watching the trailer, which actually had some spoilers. 

Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends the board game Ticket to Ride, in which players collect and play matching cards that allow them to claim railway routes that connect cities throughout North America. Fun strategy game! Andi is reading books by Carl Hiaasen, a Florida-based journalist who writes absolutely hilarious novels with pointed commentary, usually based to some extent in Florida. Nobody escapes his wit. Hiaasen is a master at capturing every day cray and how things can go totally off the rails. 

Episode 107: Snapdragon by Kat Leyh

Andi and Lise simply LOVE the graphic novel Snapdragon by Kat Leyh (published 2020). The main character is Snapdragon (she goes by Snap), a young girl who ends up befriending the town’s alleged witch. It’s a delightful, layered story about outsiders, found family, and finding magic within yourself. POC rep, queer rep (including great butch lesbian rep FINALLY), feminist rep and storylines that blend seamlessly. Lise and Andi read it several times because the story really resonated with them. Kat Leyh is also one of the creative forces (writer and cover artist) behind the series Lumberjanes, which Andi and Lise discussed way back when in episode 6

Snapdragon description via Macmillan 

April, 2021 interview with Kat Leyh  

Find Kat on Twitter: @kaymlay 

Shout-outs: Lise is super-stoked about writing her very first blurb for author Cathy Pegau’s forthcoming release (November!), The Demon Equilibrium, which features kick-ass women and great world-building. The two MCs are demon-hunters and romantic partners as well, but they’ve been separated and must find each other. Andi has started reading the first offering in the latest Star Wars ’verse project, The High Republic. One of the first books is Charles Sproul’s Light of the Jedi. Fun space opera with lots of tension and it’s nice to see the diversity of authors lined up for more of this. High Republic is set 200 years before the Phantom Menace. 

Episode 106: Viva Las Vegas! Army of the Dead!

Andi and Lise chat about the movie Army of the Dead (2020), a zombie heist gore-fest directed by Zach Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 2004). That’s right, heist. A zombie outbreak has occurred in Las Vegas after a military convoy crashes and patient zero escapes into the city and the government has to build a wall all around it. A rich casino owner wants a team to sneak into the city to crack a vault in his casino and snag two hundred million dollars. However, all may not be as it seems, either with the casino owner, the heist plan, and the zombies themselves. Andi and Lise highly recommend that you not dig too deep into this; you’ll only end up asking WTF more than once. Take it as pure adrenaline-fueled entertainment and don’t scratch the surface. Also, this movie probably isn’t appropriate for young folx (kids, ’tweens, some teens) because it is, as mentioned, a gore-fest. 

More info and trailer can be found at IMDb; stream it on Netflix. 

Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends the series “The Great Pottery Throw Down,” available on HBO Max. It’s a British reality show along the lines of the “Great British Bake-off” in which the competition is to decide Britain’s best home potter. Four seasons now streaming. Andi raves about the graphic novel Snapdragon (2020) by Kat Leyh, about a girl who doesn’t fit in and ends up befriending the town “witch” and in doing so, finds out more about her own capabilities. Queer rep, amazing art, great story, wonderful characters. 

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