On Finding the Story (Hopefully)

Once again I’m staring at the screen wondering what I should write about for today’s post.

It happens every time I go to write a piece of non-fiction. Sure, I’m killer when it comes to keeping a diary (I need a new one every few months or so), but when I’m expected to share something online, I freeze up. Suddenly, everything I have to say seems unimportant or uninteresting. I’m one voice screaming in a crowd of millions; my words get buried by #hiddleswift and “Can we guess your non-negotiable apartment amenity?

Continue reading “On Finding the Story (Hopefully)”


How to Work With Voice Talent

As a budding writer thrown into the tornado that is the advertising industry, I’ve had to learn the ropes fast on what it means to be a copywriter. If you’re in a small agency like me, you’ll probably be doing more (WAY MORE) than just writing—and no, unfortunately you won’t get to play foosball with your friends during lunch (damn you, big fancy agencies with your fancy cafeterias and fancy creative workspaces!)

One of these duties that I (and perhaps you) have had to learn quickly was the art of voice casting.

The relationship between a copywriter and voice actor is a delicate one, and over the past few months I’ve learned what to do and what not to do when you’re about to send a flood of casting emails to talent. 

Continue reading “How to Work With Voice Talent”



As a long-time fan of Naomi Novik’s outstanding (and recently finished!) Temeraire saga, I approached her 2015 surprise standalone novel Uprooted like a small, sudden waterfall on my whitewater rafting trip. I considered myself familiar with the water, swept up and delighted by the exhilarating rush and tumble of eight books about a dragon and his aviator navigating the Napoleonic Wars. I was happy with the river’s current character and the rhythm of the ride. As excited as I was for a new book and my next beautiful thrill, I was a little nervous about something so different and unexpected appearing from my favorite stream. I had perfect confidence that Novik would tell her new story well, but my beloved Temeraire seemed so perfectly suited to my taste, so massive a sample of her ability and style, and so relatively niche in adult fantasy, that I just didn’t know what to expect.

I needn’t have worried, because Uprooted is breath-taking. Continue reading “Uprooted–Review”

I Delved Too Deeply Into Property Brothers Fanfiction So You Don’t Have To

I Delved Too Deeply Into Property Brothers Fanfiction So You Don’t Have To

Anyone who knows anything about TV will no doubt be aware that there is a network called Home and Garden Television—hereafter referred to as “HGTV”—on which there is a show called Property Brothers. The titular brothers are attractive dark-haired male twins in that vague late thirties-early forties age range who possess some talents for home improvement and real estate. The plot, such as it is, of each episode is that the brothers help two people engaged in some type of relationship to purchase and then renovate so-called “fixer-uppers”—the kinds of houses that you think are gonna be fun to remodel but quickly end up being a pain in parts of your body you didn’t even know you had. This is all I know about the subject, and, as it happens, all anyone needs to know in order to read the inevitable fanfiction this show has spawned. For your entertainment I dived into this small (but not as small as you’d think) corner of the Internet, and I will present my findings to you now.

Continue reading “I Delved Too Deeply Into Property Brothers Fanfiction So You Don’t Have To”

The One True Plot Summary of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

You might have realized that we have a few Harry Potter fans on staff here at Pudding Shot. What you didn’t know was that through some connections that will remain unnamed, we managed to get tickets for the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (I know what you’re thinking. But how do you know that I didn’t fly to London for two days? How do you know that I’m not directly in cahoots with J.K. Rowling? You have no way of knowing for sure. So.)

At the end of the show, the cast passed around papers with a fake plot on them, one that’s been circulating around the Internet (something silly about non-canon time travel and Voldemort having a daughter and a redshirt named Craig). We were given a few minutes to read them in bewilderment, and then the cast explained that this was an EVIL PLOT of J.K. Rowling’s, in which first viewers would disseminate hoax summaries all over the Internet, to stave off the temptation to spoil the real plot until July 31st. Because nothing’s more fun than fooling an entire fandom, right?

We were all in this together. As A Very Potter Musical’s Dumbledore would say.

However, the very real distress and horror I’ve seen from fans who are convinced that Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way has been made flesh has changed my mind about the whole #KeepTheSecrets campaign. So I’m going to #SpillTheSecrets instead.  Continue reading “The One True Plot Summary of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

On Orlando

On behalf of all the staff at Pudding Shot, our hearts go out to all those affected by the outrageous atrocity at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub this Sunday. Today, Pudding Shot will save its scheduled post and be silent in memorial of those who lost their lives in the attack and out of respect for their families and friends, the survivors, and the LGBTQ community and Orlando community at large as they grieve and heal.

The highest calling of literature is to teach and share our humanity, and one of its greatest lessons is the enduring power of love. Please consider making a donation to this GoFundMe drive organized by Equality Florida Action, Inc., a 501(c)(4) civil rights organization that advocates for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, on behalf of the victims of the shooting. All funds raised through this page will go directly to the victims and their families, and Equality Florida is working with other local and national organizations to ensure the money is distributed properly.

If you are local to Florida, please also consider donating to one of the many blood drives going on across the state. Blood donations are sorely needed for the injured. According to oneblood.org, the surrounding community’s immediate and remarkable response quickly filled the blood centers to capacity on Sunday. However, the organization encourages people to continue donating in the coming days to maintain a ready supply.

Love overcomes. Some will try to erase the LGBTQ community from this tragedy; some will try to inspire further hatred by blaming a group for the actions of one; some will try to excuse or mitigate the magnitude or availability of the violence. We must not forget, and we must stand together and support each other to make our country improve.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for any help you can give. Pudding Shot will resume its posting schedule on Wednesday with today’s intended content.

Straight Outta SciFi – PAINBOTS

Straight Outta SciFi – PAINBOTS

In Robot Lore, Asimov stands king. His short story collection “I, ROBOT” is the ur-text, the foundational cornerstone for all Robot Stories that followed. In “I, ROBOT,” he set out the now-famous Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The laws went through all sorts of iterations (someone out there should really write a History of Robot Lore). As robotics has become a real, physical, tangible field, the Laws have pervaded real-world thought on how our future overlords should interact with us.

Recently, a team of researchers at Leibniz University of Hanover have boldly gone where no scientist has gone before, and made tremendous strides towards canonizing the Third Law. These researchers taught a robot to feel pain.

Continue reading “Straight Outta SciFi – PAINBOTS”