Let’s Talk About Murder and Stuff

I think I am a crime junkie. I get upset when the ID Network takes cases they have already covered and redo them. Like put on a new dress and different make up and you get a third into it only to realize you’ve seen this. And now you’re pissed because they took up your time.

I have a Spotify Premium subscription and I think my kid enjoys it more than me. But, there comes a time either Saturday or Sunday, I am out of stuff to listen to. Like a junkie, I’m whipping through podcasts and I’ll tell you, this is what I hate: talking.

There was one podcast about an alleged haunted house. The three people laughed and whatnot for ten fucking minutes. Yo! It was a thirty minute podcast-wtf?! Yeah, I was pissed. You missed out on ten minutes I could have been peeing myself but noooo.

When will they learn that no one gives a shit about the ten-fifteen minute banter at the beginning. Because I love the three of you, I have suffered enough and listened to a bunch of crime podcasts (and supernatural) and these are some favorites:

Hey, let’s shake on it. Yeah, these are the hands of a killer.

In no particular order, but with some subtle info:

Crime Culture (their website is awesome because it goes into neurotic detail, which is what I do after I listen to a podcast.)

True Crime Garage (starts with a beer, has lots of side discussion and these guys are from Ohio. I’m not biased but hey…j

The Minds of Madness ( host has a very comforting voice)

Cults on Parcast Network (okay, they give you background on the cult leaders and cults. Drink a beer when you get to the a-ha moment when the cult leader is like, “I’m so fucking drunk on power. Nothing can stop me now!”)

Rotten Mango (honestly, her voice is annoying and sometimes she drifts from the mic. Her boyfriend gives a true reaction and spends most of the show gasping but, hey-it’s good. The Dildo Submarine Murder is theee best episode.)

Park Predators (I don’t go camping and guess what?! I’m not going camping after listening to this show.)

Serial Killers (See if you can find the three things that make a serial killer: setting fires, wetting the bed and killing animals. Drink when they mention one each. Lots of background info on the killers. They overstate that the chick on the show is not a psychologist. Yep, sometimes she gets it WRONG)

Crime Junkie (I think this started out in Indiana and branches out everywhere. These chicks get scared sometimes and you do too! They played a 911 call where the girl was being held hostage…full body chills.)

Crimes of Passion ( the things people do for love or money or both. There is no person so good that I would kill for them. I mean, I’m asexual anyway, but I’m just saying.)

Female Criminals (yeah, I’m all up in the Parcast podcasts. This one has some of the most heartless and evil women I’ve ever listened to. I feel like there is a “Crimes of Passion” crossover)

Sword and Scale ( do you wanna hear a guy with the driest voice ever? Add a dose of sarcasm and you’ve got it. He plays lots of recordings, which can be garbled at times.)

Casefile (okay…just whoa…Casey and his Australian accent will scare the shit out of you. Then you realize most of these crimes are in Australia and it’s like how many actual people live here because they have a bunch of sick crimes that happen. But the episodes are well researched and I love how he says, “Seek help at you local crisis cent-ah”)

I guess I need to give an honorable mention to The Last Podcast On the Left but they got a bit chatty. I will listen to it once in awhile but I can only take so many ball/shit/weed jokes.

Go forth and be anti social. I listened to most of these in the before times. You know Pre Pandemic, when I’d have to catch the bus or walk around the GW University Campus looking spaced out.

This is for YOU

I hear phrases like “write what you know” or “write what you want to read”…what happens when you feel like you don’t know much about what you want to write?

One example, I love to read short stories but a book has got to start off with a huge BANG or I’m not interested. I’ve gone through so many books and short stories that when I write what I want-well, I’ve been told that it seems a bit too speedy. (slow it down…describe what’s going on…give me some scenery….) That could be me trying to get all the ideas out of my head as fast as I can because if I don’t, some other random thing or random assignment for my kid will pop in. (Like I just remembered I forgot to send a copy of my driver’s license to her school to get her reregistered for fall. #parentingfail)

Now, I’m a person that likes to cross genres and boundaries. Maybe I’ll read a little cyberpunk here, a little exorcism there and try to make it work for me in a short story.

But I’m gonna tell you, the best ideas come from my dreams (and other dream like states). When I wake up, it’s like a mad house trying to find paper or something to write what happened down OR figuring out how to record my dreams on my iPhone at 3:30 in the morning, in the dark. Those are the funnier ones.

One story I wrote-from a dream-was sooooo good and scary that it made people very uncomfortable. (Note-I’m not here giving you a trigger warning. If you don’t understand horror, then that’s on you. If I pick up a book labeled horror, I will be ready to be scared. Like if I pick up a George RR Martin book, I’m expecting maps, very small font and lots of history. Get used to it.) I liked the short story because it took place in one of two worlds I write in-the near future or further out into the dystopian future mixed with cyberpunk.

Okay, so now you’ve read my ramblings. Let’s get down to the grits and gravy. If you are running short on an idea or something-I like to read a story and think, “How would I retell this story?” Like if the story was mine. That’s always a start, then you can add other extraneous stuff in there to take it off the original path. 

Another thing is using (the never use in college or academic research) wikipedia. That’s right. If you dig deep enough, you will get trapped in a k-hole of absolute terror. I was watching a movie about Sada Abe and ran across the word “ero guro“. Let me check wiki…oh dear god. What the fu– hold on…let me click that other link in this definition and get lost. Trust me, sometimes you get stuck down there and you need a cartoon or something to snatch you out.

Okay folks, so that’s my thing for now. I did listen to a podcast (Write Minded) where Veronica Roth said something to the effect of not feeling like you have to stay within the boundaries of your genre. Explore, look around! I mean, when I was 7, I was impressed that we had a digital clock where the numbers flipped. Then we got the Zenith tv and let me tell you, not having to hold the channel with a book of matches was giving me new life!

Another place I like to look is Pinterest. Yup. Pinterest. The gift of inspiration. If you are trying to think of a way to write a psychological horror story about a sexy ghost-type it into the Pinterest search bar. I guarantee you will pop back with an idea. OR you could like for prompts. I have found some interesting prompts. Even setting up a page with sub pages (I’m telling you, Pinterest is the ish. And I was an Evernote junkie!)

Another thing is podcasts. There are so many podcasts out there about cults, murders and horror. There’s a really good Mythology podcast on the Parcast Network (I listen to them the most). They have a crew of actors that act out parts of it, which is cool. I am thankful, however, that the cult podcasts do NOT have actors. (Once I listened to a podcast where the hosts were discussing a murder and making fun of it and laughing about it. I hate that.) Anyway, you can find out some really great crime details or even investigation details-which is better than CSI and incorporate them into your work.

If you aren’t feeling inspired-check out Digital Underground and Doowhatchulike

Or you can “Do What You Feel” like the Simpsons

Either way, I hope this inspired someone a little because I hot linked the shit out of this and it’s only 2 in the morning.