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Season 2 Episode 20

Outro s2 e20

Welcome back my survivor friends.

This is your host Maddog comin’ at you from the pollen-soaked hills of early summer in in New England.

The Pollen Apocalypse – good name for a flower-power punk band.

This, my friends,has been episode 20, the final episode of season 2.

I know, we have some loose ends in the narrative, but not too many.

I’ve always operated under the assumption that you folks are smart enough to live with a certain amount of uncertainty. – And as I’ll talk about below, that uncertainty actually has a payoff.

It is designed in. It’s a feature, not a flaw.

This was a fun season. We got to make some new friends, establish some new locations, and develop our main character arcs.

We started mapping Season 3 last night.

My intention is still to go 5 seasons in this series.

I know I was a week late in pushing out this episode. I have excuses but I won’t bore you with them, because you, especially you binge-listening in the future, don’t care.

What you do care about is what’s next!

So let’s get to that.

Season 2 is a wrap!

Now we’ll take a break and get started building season 3. It’s like the old days when people used to take the whole summer off. It is great for me, because it’s summertime in New England and I’m relocating to Cape Cod for the summer!

We are investing!

Fear not - during this break we shall still be working.

- I have already turned the Season 2 scripts over to my friendly copy editor in Jamaica. She will copy edit them into a manuscript. When I get that back, I’ll be looking for readers to typo-hunt that manuscript in a couple of weeks.

o I’ll probably put season 2 up on the Kindle Vella site as well, as a serial, because it doesn’t cost me anything and allows me to build another audience.

- It’s time to turn the season one manuscript into an actual book. I have recruited from our membership here 6 beta readers so far to help. I’ll probably put a pre-order date of the end of this year on the first book, because, hey, don’t we all work better with deadlines? If you want to be a Beta Reader join my mailing list, or shoot me an email, or message me on Facebook – it’s in the links – and you’ll be hearing from me.

- But, fear not that the ever-widening gap of silence on the podcast feed – we will take steps to fill the sand bags and stack them into a dike of fresh new content to hold you over while I’m lying in the hammock. I will salt in a number of other content pieces to the podcast feed. I’m doing some interviews. Some where I am getting interviewed and some where I’m interviewing. When you see these in the feed, I’ll clearly identify them in the title with the word ‘interview’ or whatever, so you can make an informed decision like responsible adults do.

- I am also collaborating with Mike Darling from the apocalypse post on another storyline. This is from the contest we had on Facebook. I storyboarded it out and it is developing into a great “Alien McGuffin Noir” – again I’ll make sure to label them, so you know the difference.

- I am creating new cover art for each season of the podcast and I’ll take a look at the theme music as well.

So that’s the plan – feel free to reach out to me if you have any other brilliant ideas for fun stuff to work on or fun places to get involved to spread the word.

I do have some fantastic milestones to share this week.

First, when I checked the downloads last week AND we peaked at 17,000 downloads over the previous 30 days. That’s awesome. Let’s keep getting the word of mouth out. If you are in any Facebook groups or Discord forums drop our show link in there to scare up some more survivors!

B, we now have 165 members in our Facebook bunker from all over the world. It’s awesome. We’re having some good, clean, fun and it gives me a place to exercise my odd sense of humor.

Third, we had people asking to support the show through Patreon, we have that, and I appreciate the help. Links are in the show notes – you can go there an do a subscription or I think you can do a one-time donation. I appreciate the help.

D, we also have folks showing off their After the Apocalypse apparel items from the TeePublic store – which is fun.

All of the links are here in the meta-data on this mp3 file and in the show notes on the post.

Patreon to support the show ->

That’s where you can find salvation to you apocalypse woes.

Now let’s talk about something fun…

The road.

I was reminded this week by my friend Michael of the 2006 apocalyptic novel “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. (Not On the Road by Beat writer Jack Kerouac, who was on a different journey, maybe a shade less apocalyptic. BTW – Jack Kerouac and I were born in the same city – Lowell, Massachusetts.)

But that’s a story of r a different day, today’s story is about the apocalypse of Cormac McCarthy)

My friend Michael sent me a note and asked me if I had read it. “Of course,” I said, “I loved it!”

So let me wax (or maybe wane) poetically about The Road.

It’s odd that there are a few moments in your life that you remember very precisely. I remember first learning about The Road very clearly. I was in Logan Airport in Boston, sitting in the A terminal waiting on a flight.

There was a discarded Boston Globe on the seat next to me. The entertainment section. This would have been in 2006 before all physical newspapers were outlawed by the alien overlords. I was an avid physical newspaper reader so I snatched it up and began reading the book reviews, like you do, when you’re stuck in the airport waiting for a plane.

There was a positive review of this book – The Road and I remember being somewhat electrified by the discovery. Because this book was clearly right in my sweet spot. Apocalypse? Check! Well written? Check!

I think I may have torn that little bit of the paper off, or at least took a note, so I wouldn’t forget. And bought a hard copy of the book when I got the chance.

And I loved it. Why? Of course the apocalypse is my jam but that’s not what makes this book special. What makes this book special is the writing.

The prose is powerful and wonderful.

There are certain scenes that are seared into my brain from this book. Actually, many scenes. Because the writer did such a good job of putting you into the characters minds and shoes. You are not observing the horror. You are living the horror with them.

It is the excellence of the prose, the construction, the word choice that makes this work.

The other thing I love about the writing ion this book is the sparseness of it. He doesn’t give endless exposition about who these people are and what is happening to them. He gives you just enough to construct your own narrative. And this pulls you in as you give pieces of yourself to fill the gaps in the sparseness of the writing.

An example.

He never says it was a nuclear war. But, he describes in one scene where the bodies and the suitcases of the fleeing refugees are melted into the road. He doesn’t have to tell us it was the heat from a nuke. He doesn’t have to.

Another example:

The man with no name who is the protagonist is progressively becoming more sick as the story progresses. The author never tells us why he is sick or what the sickness is. But we can maybe assume this is radiation related?

These are the ways my mind filled in the sparseness of the prose. In this way it becomes my story. I am now on the inside as a partner in the creation of the narrative. I own it.

I often run into this in the editing process when my editors want me to add more detail to a scene. I push back sometimes because I believe you, the listener are smart and engaged. You are capable of filling in the details and it really doesn’t matter to the narrative if you have your own vision. That is more than ok – that is great because now you are a partner in creation, a co-owner.

The movie wasn’t bad either. They went with a sepia tone to try to simulate this narrative sparseness. It’s not perfect back it comes close. Viggo Mortensen does a good job as the man. They filmed it Pennsylvania, for the tax breaks, and also there are a lot of ready-made apocalyptic settings. Like abandoned coal fields and parts of Pittsburgh. Some scenes were actually filmed on Presque Island State Park – where I ran a marathon in 2013 – so yeah, if they told me it was the apocalypse I might have run faster.

That’s it, stay in touch, don’t be strangers and…Keep Surviving.


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