Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 53 · 1 year ago

53: Flash Fiction Writing and Jazz Lounge Metal with Nancy Stohlman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to quarantine hobby life, y’all. We’re all trying to learn some new things as we continue to practice social distancing in our homes. But even with some extra time at home, we don’t always want to actually spend a lot of hours investing in something that may just turn out to be a passing fancy. Luckily, writer, teacher, and performer Nancy Stohlman is here to help — in the briefest way possible. 

Nancy is the author of Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction, an inspiration to flash fiction, showing that less is more to lovers of the craft and a valuable asset to those teaching it.

This book is super helpful and is also presented in flash fiction format. It shows veteran and newbie writers alike how to create, sculpt, revise, and collect stories, and is both delightful and super helpful. And guess what — you don’t need to know the first thing about flash fiction, or even be a flash fiction writer, to get a lot out of Going Short.

Nancy also teaches workshops and hosts retreats and knows her stuff, so if you’d like to become a better writer (as we all should aspire to be), then you’ll definitely want to listen to this conversation.

Good people cool things is concast feature and conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. Get inspired by their stories to do your own cool thing, and here's your host, Joey Hell. Welcome to good people cool things. I hope you're warm and cozy wherever you are. I know in Texas it's nice to not have six inches of snow on the ground, which is unheard of for down here, so that's been very nice to see some actual side walks again, and today's guest will only bring some more warmth. She's Nancy Stollman, author of going short and invitation to Flash Fiction, as well as for other books, and Nancy doing just something that I think people need to do more of. They see that there isn't really a resource or something out there that can help a bunch of people with problems, so she just goes out and creates it. There's a big fan of flash fiction. saw that there weren't a ton of books or guides out there to help people hop into that world, so she went out and wrote going short herself. It's a ten year long process. Write in a book an easy we say it it. It's not easy, but the end result is super helpful. Nancy takes us all throughout the flash fiction journey, from creating, sculpting, revisioning and collecting stories to best practices for writers in any genre. So if you don't even know what flash fiction is, if you're like it's novel or bust for me. There's plenty of good stuff in here as well and, as Nancy will talk about, she's got lots of different creative projects. In addition to writing, she teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. She's also the lead singer of the lounge metal jazz trio Kinky MINK, which again lounge metal jazz trio. That's a pretty unusual thing, but Nancy doing it in style. It's fantastic. We're talking about backstreet boys. There's lots of good stuff in this episode, so be sure to buckle up or just sit back and relax in your chair, because you really don't need to buckle up to listen to a podcast. And if you haven't headed over to the good people, cool things merge store lately, you might want to do it because there's a fantastic sale going on, twenty percent off everything in the store to celebrate one year of this podcast, this website, being a thing in the world that's worth celebrating, and what better way to do it than with a discount on some fantastic merch from hats, hoodies, shirts, mugs, whatever you need to warm up your spirit and your soul and your body, because these are real comfortable as well. Just had on over to good people, cool thingscom shop and everything is twenty percent off. You don't even need to type in a code, don't even need to go to a special URL. Just go, you pick out what you want and it's already applied for you a check out. We're making it super simple, as all things in life should be, just like this, super simply enjoyable conversation with Nancy. For those of you who don't know who you are, can you give us your elevator pitch, but can you also describe the elevator that we're on while you're telling us about yourself? Okay, well, first of all, we are on a vintage type elevator that creaks a lot and then as soon as you get off that ground floor you can actually see everything. You can see the floors like running past you and there might be like a big kind of metal cranky thing that's moving up. It's very frightening for some people, but it's really fun for me. And and as we're going up you can see this elevator which is like Victorian looking and all decorated, maybe like turn of the century, turn of the one thousand, nineteen hundreds of century decor and maybe even ladies with big hats and think Titan to Tanna. And my elevator pitch as I'm...

...in this elevator, is that I am a writer and I'm a writing teacher and professor and everything that goes with writing, but I specialize in flash fiction. So I began as a novelist and I've done all the kind of regular routes of writing and I really landed in flash fiction, which are these really tiny, compressed, beautiful little nuggets of stories and that has just been my sweet spots. So I write it, I teach it and my new book is all about introducing you to it if you've never heard of it before. So if people have never heard of it before, I like that you said flash fiction. This is in the book, not like you just said this, but that it was. It was once marooned in a wasteland and it's become more popular over the past twenty five or so years, but I think there's still some back and forth. I mean I think most people know fiction versus non fiction, but then you've got all these different subsets within it, flash fiction of course, being one of them. There's also micro fiction. You've got like vignettes and all that, all that good stuff. So how do you define flash fiction compared to the others? Right, so the official definition, I would say, is two things. It's under a thousand words and that's pretty much the agreed upon standard. So a thousand words are less, and it's telling a story. So it's different than say, a poem that might be composed of sentences and might look like pros on the page but maybe isn't telling a story. So flash fiction really has the elements of storytelling, plot, character, that sort of thing. And Yeah, I think that people have always been writing these tiny little stories. I mean you can go back in every culture in every time and people wrote tiny stories. But I think that flash fiction really has come into its own with the moniker. Frankly, I think as soon as somebody, and James Thomas has credited for naming it, coming up with the flash fiction as the name. I think once you kind of created a flag and stake to that ground, then suddenly people who have been writing all these little tiny stories but didn't really know what to do with it or what to call it, or how do I publish it, or or you know, what is it? It's like a little monster. Now everybody can gather and they're like wait a minute, guys, all the little stories over here, we have a name, we are official, and so I think that because of the moniker and because of that legitimacy that comes from that, it's become a genre that's just exploding in the underground. I mean, I can hardly keep up with people who are finding flash fiction and and, you know, suddenly like getting their world blown open as they're either reading or writing FLASH FICTION FOR THE FIRST TIME and realizing like wow, this is a whole different thing and it's really cool. Now I'm picturing a little flash fiction monster and there's not a mascot already. We'll have to do some some design work to make it of it. And Yeah, I think I mean my my introduction the flash fiction I think, is probably similar to a lot of people's of like, you know, I came across some of it and was like wait a minute, like this is a full story, but it's like so condensed and shut and it's I think it really is a good example of like how to be direct and cut down on your words, but you can still be descriptive even with that sort of upperword limit, and it's like a very nice balance of kind of being, you know, not overtly flowery, which I think is super easy to do, but also having like a lot of good descriptors in it. And so do you remember, and I'm sure you have consumed all kinds of flash fiction, but do you remember the first time you ever read it or the first one that made...

...you think, wait a minute, this is something I want to be doing. MMMM well, yes, I definitely remember the first time I was introduced to it and it was when I was in graduate school, so this was about twelve years ago, and at the time I was I considered myself a novelist and I was, I had always been writing kind of long form, kind of classically structured pieces, and I took a class on flash fiction because I never heard of it and it sounded interesting and I remember the first few weeks of the class as I started absorbing what this was, and we're talking like two thousand and eight so it was even less defined then than it is now. I was as I was writing it, turning it in, I was really struggling. I was like I'm so used to writing long form, so I would kind take my long form stories and just sort of chop them up and then submit them as flash fiction, and that works for a little while. You can kind of pull that off for a little while until you realize like you're missing the point. The point of Flash Fiction is like you just conceived the world differently. It would be the same as if I took a short story and I put line breaks in it and I called it a poem. It's not really a poem, it's a short story with line breaks in it. And so for me it was all about realizing that I could see the world through an entirely different Lens, through this tiny little flash fiction lens, and then when you kind of hold that lens up to the world, you see all these little tiny stories everywhere. And so for me it was it was like permission to stop adhering to this kind of classical structure that I'd been so married to, partially because I didn't know there was any other way. So as soon as I really embraced it and started actually writing flash fiction pieces, not just cannabalizing my own work, I realized like wow, sometimes you really only need five hundred words to say it, and if you thought it needed to be ten pages long, you could end up creating this sort of diluted thing that really should have only been five hundred words. To be in with, you went from novels to flash fiction. But then why a book? Why? What inspired you to put this book together? Was it just like hey, I'm seeing all this kind of misinformation out there, or you were like hey, this would have been super helpful when I was getting started, so why not make it happen? Kind of both and all, as early as two thousand and ten, I would say, as I started publishing flash fiction, and then I actually with the people in my graduate flash fiction class and I in graduate school, we actually put together a press, like an indie flash fiction press. So we started publishing flash fiction and just kind of playing around with it, making anthologies and and so I as early as two thousand and ten, people were coming up to me and saying like wow, can you recommend, like a book about Flash Fiction, like I want to learn more about flash fiction and how to write it, and I couldn't recommend a book because there wasn't a book. And the only books that there were were anthologies of people's flash fiction, including the nortonly anthologies, which are great, and those are those are the ones that James Thomas has been doing for years and where the name came from. And as a teacher, which I quickly became a teacher after that, we had to just use the anthologies and we had to kind of create our own curriculums because there weren't these craft writing books that were flash fiction specific. So so I decided I bet a write one, since there isn't one, and I sort of thought it would be I didn't think it was going to take me ten years to do it, basically, but but I started writing it and I was like, okay, all the things that I keep having to tell people over and over, I'm just going to write them down now, and all the things that I'm using in my workshops, I'm going to just start writing them down.

And it just became this crazy, I don't want to use the word monster again, but it just became this unruly thing where it was like, the more I started writing about flash fiction, the more I grew as a writer and the more that the genre changed. It's been, you know, this is a living genre that's growing and changing like right under our fingers all the time, which is extremely exciting, and so I had to keep adding to it and updating it, and then I became smarter and I would have to change a whole section because I didn't even know what I was talking about two years ago, and an on and on and on, and so finally, ten years later, the book came to a stopping point. I won't say that it's finished, because I could still be writing it for the next ten years, but it came to a stopping point and it was time. It was time to put it out there, and so much of what's in there came from me being both a teacher and a writer of it, like in the mud of it. So it feels very personal to me as well. As you know, this is everything that I know from like being on the forefront of Flash Fiction for the last twelve years. I hope it helped you, basically, and do you have plans to kind of turn it almost like an encyclop media where you're coming out with updates since it is such a rapidly changing world? Or is it like I've spent ten years on this, there's a lot of good stuff in it enjoy at least for the next couple of years? Right, I've never considered that, but I'm going to sock that idea way. I take two percent royalties for the idea. Yes, you can one person, persons. That's right. No, I think at least as soon as it came out, I had this feeling almost of like exhaustion, where it's like I literally have nothing else to say about plash fiction that I haven't said in that book. So there's a little bit of this feeling of like everything that I know about plash fiction I put in there now a couple years for now I'm going to have so much more to say about it and I'm already kind of saying new things about different angles of it. But yeah, there's a part of me that feels like that one's going to be good for a little while and I suspect that now that the ground is kind of been broken a little bit, that there may be other people who kind of throwe their two cents into the arena as well, and that will sort of round things out. Yeah, for sure, and you can say, Hey, I was here before all it is so yes, yes, and of course, you know there are always people before me. We all we all stand on the shoulders of others. Absolutely. Have you, or, I guess, since the book is still so new, are you introducing it to your class as part of the curriculum, or do you just kind of mentioned like hey, maybe, maybe you should read this too? Yeah, I've sort of been doing it that way for now. I haven't figured out a way that felt like a tactful to be like. And by the way, if you turned to very just twenty of my book, you will see. But I do definitely quote it. You know, I'll be talking about something and I'll say, you know what, I already said that in the book. So I'm just going to kind of cut and pace the book here and quote that section there. So I'm using it more in that way right now. I'm kind of offering little tidbits that are separate from the whole book and I'm I'm feeling like that's what I need to be doing more, even on social media to is just kind of offering these little like insights so that people, you know, I think it especially for somebody who maybe doesn't know about flush fiction. I think, you know, buying a whole book that can be intimidating it. So I think just kind of offering these little lessons as people start to warm up to the idea, I think, is the next thing that I'm going to be doing and things like that's being on podcast talking about it, writing, you know, for other magazines and such. So yeah, that's that's sort of how I see it happening, but I don't know, it is brand new, so I don't really know. Yeah, I think it is kind of a big sandbox where you can experiment...

...with things, and I was over here nodding saying yeah, that's what I'm doing with podcasting to like some people are not in a position or mood even to listen to a forty five minute podcast, but don't listen to US thirty to sixty second audio clip and still get something of value out of it. So I think those are all good ways to kind of take it and I think that's something that is very enjoyable about the book is that you you can, you know, get through it pretty easily. I think there's a lot in it, but it's not like overbearing. I and that everything is laid out really nicely and neatly, and Kudos to you for making it something that I think is accessible, even if people really don't have an introduction or much knowledge around flash fiction. Thanks and and I'm glad you brought that up because for people who are listening I'll try to describe what it looks like. So there's a lot of white space in the book and I actually wrote the chapters as as if they were flash fiction pieces. So you'll get a chapter that's just one page, you know, or maybe one and a half pages. So you can pretty much sit down, open the book to any page and you could read a chapter in about three minutes. And that's really intentional because it was sort of like, let me talk about the form while demonstrating the form, and so yeah, there's a lot of white space. I think the whole book is around a hundred and it's just over a hundred pages, I want to say, and you could probably read it in a couple of sittings if you were really dedicated. But I think you could also use it almost like a like a divining mechanism where you, you know, open it up and get your lesson of the day and then get to work writing. At least that's how I was hoping that it would be used. No, I think I think that fits in nicely and maybe I need to start doing that. It'll be my little like three minute wake up call. I love it and get into writing. And obviously flash fiction is its own BOHEMOTH, for lack of a better word, m but can people who are maybe doing novel writing or putting a non fiction book together, can they have some takeaways from this too? Definitely, definitely, and that's one of the things that I say early on in the book is that I think, you know, people come to flash fiction from different doors. So some people are new to writing in general, so everything they're going to learn about flash fiction is also just going to help them become a better writer. But if you're coming from, say, long form fiction, like writing novels or writing nonfiction, so you're writing memoir or from poetry, you're going to come into flash fiction with different strengths and you're going to find your weaknesses. So I think that it can help you be a better writer regardless. For instance, so if you're a novelist, say, coming into flash fiction, you're probably already pretty good at storytelling, narrative, Plot Kara, after all of that sort of thing. You're probably going to struggle with the word count. You're probably going to find the challenge is going to be around that constraint of a thousand words and you're going to want to go over, you're going to feel like it's not enough and you're going to really have to challenge yourself to rethink what you want to say through a smaller Lens. On the other hand, let's say, let's say you're coming from poetry, you're probably pretty good at working in a small space, you know, working within constraints, getting very precise about your language, using white space, but maybe you have not honed the skills of plot and storytelling in that small space. So I feel like, even if your intention is to be a different sort of writer, flash fiction is going...

...to teach you things about your own writing that are going to help you regardless, regardless of your genre or your aspirations. Yeah, for sure. And one other thing that I always love asking authors about is the book cover. You know the old phrase never judge book by its cover. WHAT PEOPLE DO? People see covers, especially nowadays if you're doing your shopping online, although I still think one of the simple pleasures in life is visiting a bookstore, a physical bookstore. I think it's they're so wonderful, so charming and quirky and fantastic. But a lot of us are maybe doing our browsing through digital windows. So the Milar to podcast in your scrolling through you've got maybe like fifty options right in front of you. So talk about the cover here and how did you come to the final decision? Hmm, I love the cover of the book. Covers are one of my like special pleasures and having worked only with indie publishers up until now, I've got, you know, five different books out there and I've been able to design, or at least have a hand in designing, all my covers. So that's one of the gifts of working with indie publishers. But I love this cover. It was designed by Janice Leet a Gra. She's also a wonderful flush fiction writer and a wonderful artist. She's got all sorts of things online. I will say her name Slower Janis Lie Gret L A G R A, and the idea for me was that the cover, I wanted it to have this alice in Wonderland feel without being overtly allison wonderland, because I had this idea of, like, you know, she going short. You know, the book is called going Short, and this idea of like, you know, do you know, drinking the cool aid and suddenly ending up tiny and going through the tiny door, like there's the tiny little door, but you're too big to go through the tiny door until you drink the KOOLAID. And the book is like the Ghulaid. So so the cover has this very kind of it's subtle, but it's got this kind of subtle trippy feeling to it that it's, in my mind, reminiscent of inviting you in to the tiny door to see what's in there. So I really loved the way that she pulled that off and yeah, I just think it's delightful. I love it. Yeah, I think it's a really eye catch and cover and I like the Alice in wonder I could definitely see some of the influences of that there and I like, to me, I like the the door, like the doorway of leaping into it and exploring this new world. Very well done. Thanks. Yeah, I love it, I think. I mean for me, I'm you know, I'm obviously a writer, but I'm very like I dabble in all sorts of creative realms and so the visual is just so compelling to me. I think if I had other lives I would, you know, dabble in all sorts of other things. But yeah, I would never, I would never have a cover that didn't just like knock my socks off. I look at some people's covers and, you know, it's a simple cover and that's beautiful and elegant. My covers are not usually elegant, they are usually a little wild. Yeah, I think that's that's more. That's more my speed too. I can appreciate a good like catcher in the Rye just, you know, a white cover basically. But right, if I'm designed it, I want I want some random, random stuff in there, maybe even an Easter ag or to throw through a coupleness things that I actually Yep, and you you kind of tied this up nicely talking about your other creative endeavors as well, and we're going to have to talk about Kinky Mink, your lounge, metal, jazz, trio, which I don't know if I've ever seen those words in succession of a lounge metal jazz trio. How did how did all this come about? Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, and I think again it was one of these ideas that was ahead of its time. We...

...started doing it in two thousand and eleven, I want to say. My partner is a classical pianist and we just started kind of messing around. You know, I'm a singer, not I wasn't a professional sing at the time, but I've always been a singer, musical theater background and all of that. So just you now we're messing around. We would just start playing through like s song books but start, you know, improvising them in these jazzy lounge styles. It's definitely been something that a band like the postmodern Jukebox is doing now and that sort of thing, but it just caught on and with my partner being, you know, classically trained and all of that, he can do all those classical trills. We just said. You know, what would happen if we did Ozzy Osbourne Jazz Lounge Style and I got in a sparkly dress and laid on top of the piano and very influenced by like the fabulous Baker Boys, which is a great movie. If you haven't seen it, any of your listeners out there, it's classic s Michelle Piper lying on the piano and singing, and so we just did a lot of that, and I mean Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica and, you know, then things like Bon Jovi and just zeezy top and just had so much fun and then, of course this whole element of theatrics with it. We got a drummer, so there was three of us and yeah, we just had so much fun and we have so many stories too of like being booked to play in a, let's say, quote, Regular Jazz Club and then next thing they know they're getting like white wedding and I'm in like a wedding dress, you know, singing this crazy like white wedding lounge style with reverb and all this stuff, and they're like Um, yeah, you can't come back here. But it's been so much fun and it's just been this other place for me to expoolore creativity and all of these things in for my writing. So I think the more creative avenues you have the better. But it's just been such a joy I just love it. And then we've written a couple original things to we've got a couple of music videos on Youtube. The one of them is timing up for Christmas, which is our big Christmas song, and it's very silly and yeah, so you can have fun or watch those as well. Fantastic. I'm looking forward to it. I didn't know there was some youtube action as well. And Hmm, Christmas, Christmas songs. That's a smart musical play. You always get. Yeah, get that longevity that. Yeah, they don't always get exactly like it. I like it. Creative and smart business accument exactly, and something I always like to ask musicians, although maybe you touched on this with the surprised jazz venues, but if there is a worst gig than that, what's the worst show that you've ever played? Worst show? Yeah, I mean I remember playing in this French restaurant and she the rest we should have known that the restaurant was not going to make it and therefore their client till they may not have a lot of people, but she was like, you know, I'd love you to do like a Brunch, and at that point we'd added a few things to a repertoire that were, you know, family friendly and that sort of thing. So, you know, riffs on Sinatra and that sort of thing. But she's like, I'd love you to do like the Sunday brunch and we've got, you know, this French brunch and the Moses in the whole bed and so we said okay, and it wasn't. It was an ideal gay but we were like, you know, it seems cool. This French restaurant art cafe was...

...kind of cool. And there was just one person in the audience for about the first forty five minutes, and that person was a person that I hadn't buy it or who had gotten the notice through my social media. So I hadn't seen her in years and there she was like with her husband and they're both eating their eggs benedict and looking embarrassed for us and we were just like, oh my gosh, you don't have to look at us. Finally, of course people started coming in, but you know, it went out of business shortly after that. So yeah, I think we really learned to not just take any GIG because it was offered, but to make sure that if we're going to get our audience motivated that it's going to be worth their time. Yeah, I think that's a good a good lesson. Hopefully you got a nice brunch out of it though. If nothing yeah, we did, we got we got a good brunch, French brunch. It was tasty. Yeah, French brunches usually pretty good. It's very nice. Yeah, yeah, it's the Nice perks in it. But and and it makes for a good story later on. I thought that was very enjoyable. I know it's always terrible in the moment, but that's one of my favorite things to ask musician's right. Well, and so much of what we did, especially at the beginning, was we were just over the top so much that our audiences would you know, they would leave with their jaw sort of like I don't even know what to say to that. You're all like just not expect acting at at all. Like, as I was talking with the wedding dress. So when we would do white wedding, I would put on this whole wedding dress and then come like walking through the Isle of people, which is great if you're in like a weird club, but when you're in like a classical jazz club and they're expecting classical jazz and here's like, you know, like a weird procession, gothy looking, you know, into this white wedding. I remember we used to laugh there was this jazz musician who is really well known in Denver and he came to one of our shows and we overheard him at the bar talking to somebody else and he was like that ain't jazz, and we just said we should name our next album that ain't jazz. So yeah, I find that what I do creatively tends to be at these crossroads of multiple genres. So that's kind of what happened with Kiki make is that, you know, we hit this crossroads of Jazz, lounge music, s heavy metal, like performance. You know, I'm want guard performance and and and it created this thing that didn't doesn't really have a name, it doesn't have a category, and that's probably how flash fiction seemed to people for a long time. You know, what is this? Is it a stories at a poem? I don't know what to call it. I don't know where it fits. And so I find that a lot of my creative work ends up in these crossroads of multiple categories. I mean I think that's more fun to me. It sounds like you get to you get to dip your toes in a lot more than I mean, do you just want to be playing straight up jazz now? Now, now the people are much more comfortable with it, but it's boring. As a creative it's boring. One of the things that I created with that, with my partner and with people who are in Kinky mank and and others, we did I wrote a book in two thousand and thirteen called the monster opera, and it's very avant, guards the weirdest thing I've ever written, and my partner wrote an opera score to it and we actually made like an Operetta out of it and then performed this operetta multiple times and again people were like what was that? You know at the end. But what was cool is that we did at once and everybody just sort of had this like shocked look on their faces they were leaving, and then the next year we did it again and it was just packed and people...

...are like you have got to see this, and so yeah, I think that I find that a lot of my work is like a little bit ahead of what people are comfortable with, but they eventually catch up. That's a wonderful way to put it. That's some good word of mouth as well, getting getting the jaws up off the floor and getting bodies in the seats. Our, I guess standing probably is is no more accurate there, but fantastic all around and I will certainly link to the music videos and the show notes for the episode so everyone can get some good jam's. One other music question before your before we head into the top three, outside of metal songs, what is one of your like? It comes on, you have to start belting singing along, you know, if you're in the car, you're out at the park, even you're listening to headphones while your grocery shopping. What's one of those songs? Right, pretty much anything, but am I am I allowed to say backstreet boys? I will. Yeah, so I will start singing backstreet boys, and you know, I have a son who's horrified by this, and that's okay. I'm also like, I love Ella Fitzgerald. I will sing anything that ellaps Gerald is singing. I think she just has like this magical, syrupy voice that I love so much. But Yeah, my guilty pleasure is the backstreet boys. Do you have a favorite backstreet boy? No, no, I have not gotten that deeply into it because I'm ashamed. That's fair. That's fair. I am alarmed at how extensive my backstreet boys knowledge is. I was okay, yeah, yeah, I would like to credit my sister, who was she was fourteen or fifteen when Baxter boys were hitting their peaks. So you know, that's that's prime time for getting into that mine. Yeah, can still certainly name them all. I definitely fell off after the you know, the prime years in their early s. But right I I can name more than a handful of Baxter boys songs, which is probably I love it, probably more than most people can do. And I thought the documentary was pretty interesting as well, which I am totally blinking on the name on but certainly not groundbreaking. But it had a couple moments in it where I was kind of right. You know, there's some internal turmoil that we never knew exists. Right, yes, the making of a good documentary. I have not seen that documentary, but I'm going to see it now this weekend. Probably Excellent Excelm so yeah, I yea inspire you and there's yeah, there's I remember very little from it except why I don't want to spoil the scene, but there's it's when Brian and nick are yelling at each other. So when when you get to that part, you'll know, I'll know, I'll know exactly. Yeah, how fun. Oh, I'm excited. This makes my day that this exists. I'm gonna know so much more. I'm going to be able to answer which is my favorite one, if you talk to me after the weekend. Oh, I'm following up on Monday with immediately with the back stretvoice quiz and question are I'll be ready because I'm I'm prepared like that. Excellent, excellent. I know it'll steer you the right way and we're almost steering ourselves to the end of this podcast. But first we've got to wrap up with our top three, and we were chat a little bit before this that one of the things in your bio is that you aspire to be a pirate someday, and so I assume this will be one of your answers, but maybe you'll go rogue with three other ones. But what would your top three alternate lives be? Well, I have to put pirates. Yeah, of course, and I've always had this like overly romanticized ideal of the pirate as just this like lovely rebel, and I think that's really what I am deep inside, is this...

...lovely rebel. I mean I think that I don't want to necessarily kill people so that, but if I could just have the pirate life without any of the killing part, I think, just looting and, you know, drinking and throwing things, it just it's so lovely. There's just something every time I see a pirate flag or anybody like flying a pirate flag, there's just this kinship to me where I'm like yeah, like you and me, let's do it. So, yeah, I would have to be a pirate. Alternate lives, I think a movie star like that was my that was my first one, as early as your four years old, where I was just, you know, anything having to do with being a movie star. I went to you know, I was a musical theater person and had all these different like aspirations that how I was going to go to Hollywood and all of this. And there're still this time, a little part of me that's like, you know what, I could still do it right now. So definitely being a movie star. And then I think my third would have to be something creative. I think that there's a part of me that would love to like be a fashion designer, maybe not necessarily a model, but like creating clothing. I'm really into fashion and just kind of the all the not again, not like classic French fashion, but more like David Bowie, you know, like how could I, how could I take fashion and again hit that juxtaposition of multiple things? So yeah, if I could have a couple extra lives this time around, I think that's what I do with them. Fantastic choices. I'm certainly more of the I don't even think I'd be in David Bowie. I'd be like what can I put together with these like eight scraps of fabric that I have, and I look atrocious, but hopefully someone would enjoy wearing it. Exactly. Fantastic. Well, Nancy, thank you so much. I thought this was absolute joy, much like reading. Going short is if people want to pick up a copy of the book or want to learn more about you, where can they go? Yeah, so my website is my name, Nancy stolemancom. That's Stohl and an all together. Ad Hoc Fiction is the publisher Ad Hawk, two words fiction and books on Amazon and all of that as well. And also on my website if you are wanting to learn more about workshops that I'm giving. I also do flush fiction retreats as soon as we can travel again. I've got all sorts of great plans for that workshops, especially over the summer. So there's a lot of good stuff happening over my website. I'd love to see you over there. Fantastic will all be there and of course we'll share some kinky mink as well. Given all the creative outlets some love and, as we often do, I say often, as we always do on this show, let's end with a Corny joke and we'll keep it writing themed. What do you call a writer who doesn't follow the classic rules of sentence structure? Oh No, I don't know. A rebel without a clause. After today, people, I love that. I'm going to use that. Good people, cool things is produced in Austin, Texas you does this episode. Go ahead and hit that subscribe button, whether you're on apple podcast, spotify, stitcher, podchaseer or any other podcast APP. I want to keep delivering great content to you. You want to keep hearing it, tap that subscribe button. We'll see you next time.

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