Episode 5 - "Revisiting Enemy Lines - Trump Rally"

Last year, on march 5th, 2016, Donald Trump came to the University of Central Florida, in Orlando for a rally. At this time of the primary, Trump was still a long shot for winning the Republican nomination and an even longer shot for winning the presidency — that he won both was a surprise to everyone — to many, it was a horror. Trump shook the political landscape, shook it till it fell away in tatters — he defeated the other candidates — playing brash, playing with an unkempt style… playing dirty. 

What happens next, we don’t know. He’s already shaken the core of democratic values by calling the free press his enemy, by making his “us or them” rhetoric policy. There has been signs of resistance, people showing that this rhetoric, these policies will not define the country and that people are welcome — that everyone is welcome. 

But why did he win?

There are a number of theories. Some point to Clinton’s failures, her loss among the states that were her firewall; others point to the “silent Trump” supporter; some (many really) talk about the Russian’s meddling; or the Comey Letter. 

But do these really answer the question? Do these questions really help in understanding how he won? Do these help in understanding the people who voted for him?

No, I don’t think these questions help us in understanding the voters who voted. 

To understand something is not a way of accepting it. To understand why something happened is not a way of condoning acts of bigotry. 

I hope this is useful to those who have yet to accept this election and who still don’t understand. That night, after he won, I was in shock as many were — I tried to grasp what happened, understand how he — how such a divisive candidate, who ran such a divisive run, with such divisive rhetoric, could have won. 

When I did these interviews — when I did this interview — there was one sentence that I could not shake. I recalled it that night when the results were rolling in:

“He’s a shot in the dark.” 

This episode of Thanks4Listening is a revisit to the first episode of Thanks4Listening, a rewriting of the episode — a year after it was posted. I hope this helps. 

As always, thanks for listening. 

Episode 4 - Short Story "The Filmmaker's Almanac, 1492"

Filmmaker's Almanac, 1492

Time traveling filmmakers want to create the most historically accurate film, instead they recast history. A comedy of errors. 

At the end of each story I try and give some insights on how I wrote it and writing in general. 

Writing a comedic short story isn’t easy. I had this idea for years before I was able to write it. I thought: “Wouldn’t it be funny if filmmakers could go back in time and film the most historically accurate films possible?” Then I realized if filmmakers had this power, they’d immediately try and jazz history up. You can’t have a bland leading man, or woman — can you? 

The story took me years to write because it was hard to try and get the right tone. I always find tone is the most difficult aspect. 

What helped me was realizing that having the narration in first person opened up more personality in narration. Then the story unfolded. 

So my suggestion to anyone who wants to write humor - first person is where it’s at. I mean, just look at PG Wodehouse, many of his comedic novels are lively because they are written by lively characters. 

Seriously though, check out The Code of the Woosters, It’s a great read by Wodehouse.

Episode 3 - Nonfiction “Westworld: The Invention of Michael Crichton and the Techno-Thriller”

Thanks4Listening, Westworld

The making of the film "Westworld" was also the making of the writer Michael Crichton.

What Crichton learned from directing “Westworld” he took with him and put into his later books and films. From “Westworld” we get Jurassic Park, but we also get Michael Crichton, the acclaimed novelist.

But how exactly did filmmaking make the man? This podcast will answer that question. Also check out the essay “Westworld: The Invention of Michael Crichton and the Techno-Thriller” 

At the end of each story I also try and give some insights on how I wrote the story and about writing in general. 

A few years ago I had this idea. I’d write a biography on Michael Crichton. It was Crichton’s writings that had first inspired me to want be a writer.

The idea of "Westworld" came about when I found the contact information for Paul Lazarus and was able to get an interview with him over the phone. My biggest regret was I wasn’t able to record our interview. 

Writing is a tricky thing, esspecially when it is nonfiction. Before this project I hadn’t really written much nonfiction. So this took about a year to write, on and off. Writing is like that. I find that the hardest things to write are the things that should be the easiest. I knew most of the information, had it at my finger tips — but the words just wouldn’t come.

I find that when you can’t write, you have to unfortunately force yourself to sit and write - shutting off all distractions. 

As of this recording, I have yet to have seen the "Westworld" TV series. I plan to. I hope this has been a supplement to that series, or to the film - to show you where the idea came from and the hardships of filmmaking - and maybe even the hardships of writing. Maybe someday I’ll try and write that biography. 

As always, please subscribe to my podcast. 

Episode 2 - Short Story "Two and Forty Hours"

Two and Forty Hours_T4L

This is Thanks4Listening. An idea, a blog and a podcast. This month is the short story “Two and Forty Hours.” 

I had the idea for Two and Forty Hours for a number of years. I tried to write it but I could never get the words out.

Eventually, I went to a park and hand wrote it. I rarely do that, but the story felt like it required that kind of extra attention. I find most of my writing needs time to ruminate before it is able to be put onto paper.

The idea was a thought that came to me: What if Romeo of Romeo and Juliet did not die from poison but instead took the same potion that Juliet took to fake her death. Unaware he awakes to find a world upside down. His love is dead? Who is to blame?

Episode 1 - Behind Enemy Lines at a Trump Rally

Behind Enemy Lines at a Trump Rally

This is Thanks4Listening, a podcast about tomorrow, today—an in-depth coverage of people, their voices, their beliefs, their opinions and the things they do; from political activists to the everyday woman and man; Thanks4Listening is about voices that aren’t always heard; ideas that aren’t well-known; and people who just want to be listened to.

This month, is about what’s going on in politics.

How can people support Donald J. Trump? I went behind enemy lines to a Trump rally to find out; interviewing supporters and protestors to get a better idea of what’s really going on from the voices of the people who are there.