Into the belly of the beast with Eric Walker

Image by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay

Imagine being a slave on a southern plantation whose mistress died and you were under suspicion. Obviously, you would need to leave as soon as possible before retribution. The most reasonable course of action would seem to be going north, but what if you don’t know anyone in the north? Without family, who would help you? Who could you trust?

That’s the conundrum facing John Billingsly, the protagonist of Eric Walker’s book Lost Souls Recovered, who must leave his mother and their slave cabin on a plantation in Richmond, Virginia, to find safety with a cousin in Mount Hope, Alabama, a decidedly southern direction or, as Walker puts it, “into the belly of the beast.”

Author and amateur genealogist Walker heard stories throughout his life from family members describing the struggles of their African American ancestors. Eventually, he decided to take these stories and make them into a fictional representation of his family with this book.

The creation of the book itself is a saga years in the making, with Walker putting it down for a decade after it was written and edited. Listen in to hear about how he got started with his writing, how he wound his way through a variety of publishing options, and what he’s working on now.

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Plotter + Pantser = Plantser: The writing of JD Blackrose

Some authors plot out their books in detail. Some write by the seat of their pants. And some, like JD Blackrose, combine these approaches to create works in a variety of genres. Her books include The Devil’s Been Busy, A Wrinkle and Crime, and The Summoner’s Mark series. Her dark fantasy story “Welcome, Death” appears in The Jewish Book of Horror and looks at the pogroms of 1918 and 1919. She also has an urban fantasy series, a genre she finds attractive because “one of the great things about urban fantasy is that a lot of the writers are female.” You can read more about her work at www.slipperywords.com.

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The Steel Wheels: Where are you from?

When someone asks “Where are you from?” is your answer a region? An area of a state or country? Or do you think of the home where you lived as a young person?

For Trent Wagler and the other members of the Steel Wheels, where they’re from is all of this and more, an amorphous assortment of memories that have meaning to them. As Trent put it

“when we talk about home, sometimes you really do think about the old windows or the drafty heat, or the weird wobbly floors of an old building as home. But, of course, for most of us, it’s the experience of the sounds and smells of dinner being cooked or the laughter of your friends or family in that space.”

If you’d like to catch up with the sounds and smeels of home, the Steel Wheels will be in town with Six String Concerts on January 21, when you can buy their latest, Everyone a Song Volume Two, featuring the song “Where I’m From.”

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Craft Halloween 2022

Once again, Craft Studios and Ready-to-Bake Pizzas offers you the finest in Halloween merriment, from psycho killers stalking the innocent to teachers struggling with urges to massage therapists with unexpected clients – we aim to entertain and inform. We hope you’ll have nightmares because of enjoy this year’s smorgasbord of madness. If not, that’s just part of the terror of Halloween.

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T Rex appetites and who owns the sky?: A conversation with Randall Munroe

Every so often a hero arises. A hero who can take the most far-out questions about science, do the research, and crunch the numbers so we get the answers we need.

Randall Monroe, author of WHAT IF? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, is just such a hero.

Listen in as we discuss such vitally important questions as

  • How many hamburgers would a Tyrannosaurus rex eat if it could stand McDonald’s?
  • What shouldn’t you do at Old Faithful?
  • If national borders extended up forever, which country would own the most parts of the galaxy?

If that doesn’t make your day, I don’t know what will.

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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Carolyn Aaron: Make a difference to one

The daughter of a 1950’s widowed working mother, Carolyn Aaron grew up in an unusual circumstances, some of which she’s used in her acting. She calls her civil rights activist mother an “inverse influence” on her character of Shirley Maisel, because her mother “would not have any relationship to Shirley whatsoever.”

Aaron has plenty of other projects besides acting, including her podcast Angst And Daisies, a call to political action, which she looks at as “I feel like everything I do… has to do with…how do we make things better?” For her, it comes down to taking a measured view and not trying to make huge changes but to “make a difference to one [person].”

So make a difference to your day by listening to Carolyn Aaron.

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Sumukh Torgalkar is back in Columbus

Comic Sumukh Torgalkar will return to central Ohio after a few years on the West Coast to record his second comedy album at Madlab on June 3. Listen in as we discuss his comedy interests, the impact of the pandemic, and what kind of comedy he prefers to do.

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Get Blacklisted with Jeff Black at Six String Concerts

Singer-songwriter Jeff Black will appear on June 3 with Columbus’ Six String Concert series. He brings a back catalog of 12 albums and a new one that he’s in the process of writing, so be prepared for something potentially new. We talked about his career, his childhood musical interests, and how the pandemic may have played to his strengths of being something of an introvert, a feeling to which I can relate. We also discussed the genre he’s often placed into – roots/Americana-and what this means for him.

And thanks to the magic of Zoom, you can now watch Jeff Black. I once again play the role of the hidden interviewer as I do on WCBE, 90.5 FM every Wednesday at 8 PM.

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Vance Gilbert: 107 online concerts makes him ready for a live one!

Vance Gilbert has released 13 albums so far, with another one on the way that he’s been working on live in concert. When the pandemic struck, he switched to the live streaming concerts every Monday at 7:30pm. For the past 107 weeks, he’s donated 10% of his live stream tip jars to charities with 107 checks sent out so far. Vance Gilbert will appear with Six String Concerts on May 6.

One of the things that I’m excited about is doing a show with pants on because, you know, I’ve been sitting in front of my computer doing shows.

Vance Gilbert

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Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis and Love and Loss: The Storied Nature of Nursing Home Care

In and out of care facilities for many years, Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis persevered and became director and general manager of OUB public media at Ohio University in Athens, where she served for 13 years as the first woman and first African American to lead this entity and the first woman to be emerita. While recovering in different health care facilities, she decided to write a book about her experiences and those around her, which became Love and Loss: The Storied Nature of Nursing Home Care. Listen in to hear her remarkable journey of healing and writing.

Over 26 years, I’ve been in six nursing homes and seven hospitals. In 1995, I had a spinal cord tumor that completely paralyzed me, so I had to learn how to walk [and] just about everything all over again.

Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis

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