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Tell The Damn Story
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Tell The Damn Story

Author: Alex Simmons

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Where we'll talk about books, comics, film, conventions, and other creative arts and pop culture topics.
191 Episodes
With Alex in the hospital, and with Chris recovering from a royal butt-kicking courtesy of his second Moderna vaccination, we discuss: how honesty is a key skill for the creative; the blessing of supportive people(and pets); the need to invest in your creativity via hiring editors, and how THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER might be the most important statement the MCU has ever made. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at: #Marvel #thewritersjourney #amwriting#writingtips #authortips #howtostructurestories #thefalconandthewintersoldier 
Today Alex must heroically persevere through Chris's awful Irish brogue and endless tributes to Roddy Doyle and Tim Fielder to discuss lingering questions about WandaVision and what it's like to write heroic characters.  A hero is usually someone who does “the right thing, at a precarious time.”  Or they face something life threatening for the sake of others. They save lives, invent cures, sacrifice themselves in some outstanding manner in a just cause or selfless act. So how do you write about such characters?  Is it simple and easy, or ... could it have a more complicated side? Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:``` Editor's notes:  1) The word Chris cannot remember this episode is "agency". 2) we apologize that our feature "Alex Simmons' Time Machine" did not appear this episode - Alex was too busy being FREAKING AWESOME! #roddydoyle #love #paddyclarkehahaha #thecommitments #WandaVision #Marvel #TimFielder #Infinitum #afrofuturism #Batman #Superman #Tarzan #Archie #ScoogyDoo #Orpheus #Blackjack #SherlockHolmes #BlackPanthertalesofwakanda #amwriting #heroiccharacters #amwritingfiction #writingtips #authortips
It's a jam-packed episode of TV shows, international animation, and the value of writer's groups. Today Alex and Chris talk about getting vaccinated, WandaVision episode seven and eight and how that show is offering master classes to creatives.  Alex talks about spending the week on panels to promote the upcoming Tales of Wakanda anthology that he is a part of.  He also mentions appearing virtually at the Jamaica Animation Con, while also teaching his usual load of screen writing classes, including a class consisting of students from all across Africa (told you he was a globetrotting adventurer).  During our segment called "Alex Simmons' Time Machine", Alex issues Chris a challenge to watch any four episodes from season one of the old Perry Mason show now on Netflix.  Then Chris is supposed to watch the eight episode Perry Mason reboot on HBO Max for discussion next week. (Challenge accepted. Come join in!)  Finally, we discuss in detail the pros and cons of leaving a writers group, taking a close look at honoring commitments versus getting out of a bad situation. There's a little something for everybody in this episode so dive on in!  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.   Or write to us at: #pandemic #vaccination #Disney+ #WandaVision #ElizabethOlsen #PaulBettany #KathrynHahn #emmys #screenwriting #acting #production #sets #wardrobe #directing #AlexSimmonsTimeMachine #PerryMason #Netflix #HBOMax #BenjaminPercy #ThrillMe #TimFielder #Infinitum #writersgroups #writerscritiquegroups #honoringcommitment #acceptingfeedback #Blackpanthertalesofwakanda #TalesOfWakanda #Blackjack
TELL THE DAMN STORY podcast inspired by #chadwickboseman and is devoted to telling stories that touch us deeply.  Stories in books, films and TV shows can simply entertain.  But quite often one story can get to us, and stay with us forever. This episode co-host Alex Simmons, guest Omar Holman and I discuss stories that have stayed with us.  We also share a slew of written comments by #WaltSimonson, #MichaelWright, and others, as they add to a celebration of tales.  You are sure to find a favorite and some new things to track down in episode #155.   By the way, Is there a story that for some reason, you've never forgotten? Please write down the name here in the comment section.  You can even add 1 or 2 sentences telling us a little about it. Or leave any writing questions, challenges, or solutions you may have?   Or write to us at: #lovercraftcountry #mattruff #hbo #theoutsiders #sehinton#durangostreet #frankbonham #stephenking #thestand #richardbach #illusions #fictionillustrated #chandler #steranko #robertehoward #conanthebarbarian #docsavage #lesterdent #philipjosefarmer #captainamericaandthefalcon #starman #jamesrobinson #black #jamaligle #kwanzaosajyefo #timsmith #avengers #roythomas #johnbuscema #ikillgiants #joekelly #jmkenniimura #nealadams #dennyoneil #greenlanterngreenarrow #thespectre #johnostrander #tommandrake #planethulk #gregpak #johnromitajr #planethulk #aaronlopresti #carlopagulayan #howardtheduck #stevegerber #genecolan #geoffjohns #boostergold #bluebeetle #superman #loneranger #tonto #sherlockholmes #JohnWatson #RaymondChandler #raybradbury #somethingwickedthiswaycomes #donmcgregor #spenser #robertparker #nerowolfe #RexStout 
In this episode Alex and Chris talk about loss and gain, and carrying on.  First they they take a moment to eulogize the loss of acting artistry with the passing of Chadwick Boseman (portrayed Black Panther, Jackie Robinson, and more).   Then they answer more questions about about all things dealing with the challenges of creative writing.  It's the power of words, whether performed or written.  It's sadness lifted by the arts once again.  "...Not all human beings are made up of the worst of our traits, habits, and instincts. We are a product of what we believe, what we practice, and what we do..." Got a few questions of your own?  Send them in, or drop them in the comments. Or write to us at:
And no, we're not PC cursing in the title.   Alex and Chris enjoy a fun and intriguing episode of Tell The Damn Story with special guest pop culture author, Caseen Gaines ( @caseengaines ), speculating about the upcoming season 2 of #twilghtzone. We show and use our respect for @jordanpeele as a springboard to play “what if” about themes, issues and storylines using episode titles as prompts.  Come share some big fun, a wide range of topics, some good laughs, and an occasional deep thought, all aimed at psyching fans up for Season Two of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. (Cue the eerie music.) Have a thought about this episode? Sure you do.  So leave a message in our Comments section. Or send an email to: #jordanpeele #rodserling #twilightzone #writers # social issue #humandrama #oldtvshows #newtvshows #getout #caseengaines #whatifwecould #whatifthis
For filmmakers and novelist what's old is new again, and again, and again!  It always has been! First, Alex and Chris remember DC author/editor legend Denny O'Neill, who passed on June 11.  Then they jump back-and-forth through time to explore classic tropes (story themes) that are being updated and renewed in clever and creative ways.  From Kevin Smith to Greta Gerwig to Jordan Peele, creatives are encouraged to look at classic form and ask "What If" as a means to tell the damn story reflecting modern sensibilities.  Listen as Alex and Chris discuss the creative and thought-provoking process behind it. Do you agree or disagree with our POV?  Leave a message in our Comments section.   Or send an email to: #TheInvisibleMan1933, #TheInvisibleMan2020, #TheThinMan, #AnimalHouse, #RealityTV, #LittleWoman1933, #LittleWomen2019, #LittleWomen, #IntruderInTheDust,  #JustMercy, #BrooklynTheMovie2015, #TheQuietMan, #SusanSleptHere, #SummerOf42, #BillAndTedFaceTheMusic, #LaurelandHardy, #AbbottandCostello, #JayandSilentBob
Alex and Chris launch a new decade with a new feature, "Get Yer Write On" offering practical advice on a wide range of storytelling skills, this week including Motivation (two kinds!), Character, Conflict, and Creating a Character's Arc. And that's after discussing current events and personal news. All this and laughs! Don't miss it! Share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: Click here for the TTDS's 20 Character Bio Questions Guide. Read BLACKJACK: Trial By Fire, Trial By Ice (written by Alex and Chris) on Amazon. #littlewomen #starwarstheriseofskywalker #themandalorian #getyourwriteon #writersmotivation #Thefugitive #Theequalizer #shotgunhoney #blackjacktrialbyfire #blackjacktrialbyice
Alex and Chris offer a little of their good buddy banter before they present another interview Chris recorded at the Deadly Ink Conference.  This time it's with Eileen Watkins & Peggy Earhart, two authors of a special genre known as Cozy Mysteries.  And though it may sound tame, it does beg the title question, how cozy can murder be?  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at:
Alex and Chris introduce another interview from the Deadly Ink Mystery Writers Conference. Today we hear from not one but two local presidents of the national Sisters in Crime mystery writers organization, New Jersey President Linda Rawlins and Delaware Valley President Jane Kelly, discussing the resources and benefits and support SinC offers members (open to sisters and brothers) and their own writing challenges and goals. We're all facing similar struggles and having the support of an organization really helps.  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at:
No one said it couldn't be done ... So we did it anyway!!! Alex and Chris (a few listeners) review, revere, recount and revisit their journey of interviews, doubts, tips, issues, and revelations on the way to 100 episodes of TTDS!  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below.  Or write us at: 
Chris is back from the wilds of creative career contemplation, and Alex has returned from panels and presentations at the San Diego Comic Con!  They're here to share some insight on the challenges of pursuing your goals and dreams. and they're not alone. They've brought with them Michael Uslan, the executive producer of every Batman movie since 1989.   Actually, it's a recording of his presentation to a packed auditorium at Comic Con International. Micheal's pursuit of his goals and dreams will resonate with anyone who has ever imagined achieving what seemed to be impossible.  (*Because the recording was on a small handheld device, the sound is not at the quality we would prefer. But the message is well worth the occasional bleeps, or peaks.) Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: 
Writers often talk about character motivations. Basically why do they do what they do? Though that is a major question, another equally important one is, Why Do We, the Writers Do What We Do?  Alex explores that question because the answer often impacts and empowers our choices for topics, plots, characters, genres, and audience.  Sometimes, more than we suspect. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: 
For the Memorial Day weekend, Alex & Chris take a look at creative demons and angels in an unusual way.  First Chris shares some honest and painful insight into his own struggles with doubt and fears, while trying to build his career.  Then it's a look at Alex's creative battles, but through his being interviewed by Jerzy and Rob, co-hosts of the podcast LEAN INTO ART.   It's another of TTDS' revealing experiments in artistic transparency, but from an additional point of view.   Click here for Alex's interview on the podcast, Lean Into Art. Please leave your comments and questions in our comments section. Or write: Join Alex for the 1st of his summer Write Right Webinars, May 30, 2019, 7 PM EST, on Facebook Live.  Get a head start on his free writing tips by click here, WRITE RIGHT: COMPELLING CHARACTERS.
In this week's episode, Alex and Chris discuss why care who you write for, yourself or an audience.  Does it make a difference as long as you tell the story in your head? Does knowing who you're trying to reach affect what you write and how you accomplish that task?  Does making that decision ahead of time affect the quality of your work, the topics you'll tackle, or the genre you'll use?  They'll share their knowledges and experiences.  Will you? If so, drop a comment in our Comments Section. Have questions for us?  Then post them too ... Or write:
Part 2: Alex and Chris continue their analysis of Avengers: Endgame from the perspective of older fans and writers/creators. The result is a two-part extravaganza celebrating the writing/producer/directing/acting/behind the camera efforts to create this epic conclusion to an unprecedented 22-film tapestry of a story. Our opinions differ at times from other podcasters and YouTubers coming at this from a younger perspective (or, in one case, a Hawkeye hating POV), and we alternate between being fans of a certain age and longtime creators offering insight, but, ultimately, we hope you enjoy  our take on a masterful example of creatives all working together to Tell The Damn Story. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?  Then post them in the comments section below ... Or write:
Chris and Alex are comparing a multi-billion dollar property (with a multi-million dollar promotion budget), with a grassroots kids comic convention in the Bronx?! Yes.  They're set to discuss both and more in this episode of Tell The Damn Story. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?   Post them in the comments section below ... Or write: For info on the KIDS COMIC CON: www.KIDSCOMICCON. COM
A little while back, Chris attended the Deadly Ink Writer's Conference in central New Jersey.  There he met and interviewed several other talented authors to get a glimpse of their process for telling the damn story.  So listen up as he shares some process and experiences of mystery writer and ex-journalist R.G. BELSKY. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you will? Post in the comments section below ... Or write:
This week Alex and Chris discuss what Black History Month means, what it should mean, whether Michael B Jordan should play Superman, and explore Blackjack's place in American history. Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at:
In Part 2 of our double your fun Brown Coat podcastic experience, Chris and Alex take a walk on the Whedon side. JOSS WHEDON, that is. They discuss the works, creative phIlosophy, industry influence of the man who created Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and more. as well as the director of the Avengers. Special Episode Question To The Public:  What comics book or graphic novel characters would you like to see in  a movie, or a TV series? And what do you think of what's been done so far? Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at:
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