How a creator-led storytelling podcast is supported and funded.

Introduction

Stories from the Hearth is a fledgling, creator-led, fictional and educational storytelling podcast and community. I started it in January of 2021, and have watched with humble joy as it has grown ever more popular since. However, running an entire podcast as just one person is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding in ways I could never have envisaged, whether I’d read every advice article on the internet before starting or not.

I thought I would take a moment to talk a little about Stories from the Hearth – what it is, why I produce it, and how I keep it going. Hopefully in doing so I can offer a little advice to those looking to start their own podcast, or soothe the anxieties of those who already have but are – like me – still at an early stage, in which everything still feels excruciatingly ‘make or break’.

Continue reading “How a creator-led storytelling podcast is supported and funded.”

All we have is our pale blue dot

A look behind-the-scenes of Stories from the Hearth’s first ever collaborative episodes, and the making of The Pale Blue Dot (E07/08)

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us… The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.”

So said Carl Sagan, when describing the pixel-sized speck of almost nothing that was Earth, floating in a tiny pocket of an immeasurable vastness of space, in a photograph (taken by the Voyager 1 space probe in 1990) which became known as ‘The Pale Blue Dot’.

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Idols Lost – The Interpreter’s House #75

Today – 9th October 2020 – my short story Idols Lost is published in issue #75 of The Interpreter’s House.

Idols Lost is a story of love in the aftermath of cataclysm, set in a black-out apartment in a crumbling Tokyo, whilst satellites fall from the sky to shatter in the atmosphere like fireworks.

You can read my story, and a host of other beautiful stories and poems, in The Interpreter’s House #75, here: https://theinterpretershouse.org/issue-75

Anomaly (2020) – Sci-Fi Short Film

Watch my film here!

In Anomaly, humanity scours the far reaches of the cosmos for asteroids to mine and planets to inhabit, building spacestations as they go. For Pan, lone engineer, tasked with maintenance of the remotest outposts, life in outerspace is a drag. It’s hardly made more bearable by the constant presence of her AI companion, Dual – an acerbic autopilot with a dry wit and little else. When a rogue frequency promises an injection of adventure into an otherwise dull and lonely life, Pan leaps at the opportunity to track it to its source. Hyper-jumping to an unexplored region of space… what could possibly go wrong?

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Before the Cataclysm

‘I miss music the most. Real music. Synth. Bass. Heavy bass. Trance. Keys. Sub whoofers. Ecstasy. I miss ecstasy. Goose-bumps during work that day. Half a pill to get you ready. Meticulously crafted bombs, timed to bring you up as your heel hits the dancefloor and the track melts, entering your consciousness by osmosis. Baggies to dab from, keep you level, keep you on an even keel, keep you purgatoried between twilights. Glacial water on tap to swill powdered bitterness from your mouth, to run against the back of your neck and raise the hairs on your arms. Nothing but you and the DJ who, for all you care, is the messiah.

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Black Star

‘Do you think we’ll get another referendum, then?’

Something disrupts the song I’m listening to, a sixth sense, a feeling there are eyes on me. I turn around. Un-suction waxy earphones. He repeats his question.

‘Do you think we’ll get another referendum?’

He’s spilling out the bench and his crumpled white shirt. Comic banker rotundness stacked in folds beneath an old suit, topped with bowler hat.

‘I don’t know,’ I muse, ‘probably not any time soon.’ I’ve used this line before, it feels aged, but not like wine, not like whisky.

‘I reckon they’ll block it at every turn.’

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