Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat — InkStains Ep 52

In honor of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday this week, host John Urbancik tries to remember how and when he was introduced to the work of Poe. Readings include Poe’s poems “Eldorado” and “Annabel Lee”, and also “The Black Cat”.

Host John Urbancik discusses writing, photography, art, and creativity, and also reads stories.

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Cabinet of Curiosities — InkStains Ep 51

We all write our first stories for the same reason: we have a story to tell and the means by which to tell it. But none of us know what we’re doing. Not yet. First, we go over motivations, and the kinds of things we learn that are necessary to tell a story. Then we review Guillermo del Toro’s CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, not because he just won an award for Best Director, and tie that into this week’s InkStains challenge. Then it’s notebooks: journals and diaries and sketchpads. Stories include “Dry Seas”, about a boy and a mermaid and the Leviathan; the fairy tale “Snow Sparrow”; and a Midnight story, “Motorcycle Race”.

Host John Urbancik discusses writing, photography, art, and creativity, and also reads stories.

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Lapse of Vengeance — InkStains Ep 50

What happens when the angel of vengeance fails to do his job because of a really good cup of hot chocolate? First, we congratulate you for surviving 2017, then immediately tell you it’s time to get back to work. We discuss intentions, paths, the future, and all sorts of indefinable things. Then it’s fashion sketches for secret projects! Readings come from fifteen years ago: “Lapse of Vengeance”, in which an angel fails to do his job because of a distraction; and “Celia”, something of a ghost story.

Host John Urbancik discusses writing, photography, art, and creativity, and also reads stories.

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End of the Year — InkStains Ep 49

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity. This week: favorite books and movies of the year, a call for everyone to participate in a Book Flood, and the end of a yearlong project. Yes, the InkStains stories are almost all written, but the show goes on. Readings include a ghost in a hurricane, a madman roaming the streets of New York City, and an almost entirely true memory of Matchbox cars in the early 1970s.

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From Star Wars to The Last Jedi — InkStains Ep 47

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity. This week, he talks about one of his earliest foundational influences: STAR WARS. This is not a review, not of the original movie, not of the prequels, and not of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, or The Last Jedi, and there are no spoilers. This is about inspiration, and the fires that spark your creativity. Readings include a story about a tree, a changing tattoo, and a woman who forces her own birth from the heart of a volcano.

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I Came to Casablanca for the Waters — InkStains Ep 47

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity. This week, he discusses lighting in fiction and answers why he wastes time pursuing other forms of art before delivering a new InkStains challenge. He does not review The Library at Mount Char (by Scott Hawkins) or The Ballad of Black Tom (by Victor LaSalle) or the Nero Wolfe books (by Rex Stout), but claims he’s reviewing the classic film Casablanca. Readings include finding a moment of beauty during the robot uprising, a failed writer picking a new thing, and what lies underneath the skyscraper during an apocalypse.

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Saving the Justice League — InkStains Ep 46

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity. This week, he discusses persistence, the most important tool in the creator’s arsenal, and he issues his most expansive InkStains Challenge yet. Also, he offers to rescue the Justice League. Readings include a card game of sorts, InkStains instructions, and what happens when the cards come to life.

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The Naming of Names — InkStains Ep 45

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity. This week: Names. He discusses the importance of the naming of characters, the naming of cities and streets and record shops, and the naming of books and stories. Readings include the construction of dreams, the queen of the gods on a subway, and Jill and a wolf.

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Thieves and Dragons and Magicians, Oh My — InkStains Ep 44

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity. This week: another handwritten project, his annual Christmas cards. Also, he discusses themes, the conscious and subconscious themes in our work; and he answers a listener question about the existence of dragons. Readings include a Christmas story, a tale of thieves in the opera house, the Japanese art of Kintsugi, and what happens when a man challenges Merlin to a duel.

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Necropolis Part V — InkStains Ep 42

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity on InkStains. This week: the conclusion of the reading of the novella NECROPOLIS. Two couples and a woman on her own are in the necropolis when twilight falls. But it’s a long twilight, and a lot can happen, especially as they each realize they’re not as alone as they thought. Also, John Urbancik talks more about novellas, discusses the the difference between first readers, editors and gatekeepers, hints at a future for his DarkWalker series.

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Necropolis Part IIII — InkStains Ep 41

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity on InkStains. This week: part four of the reading of the novella NECROPOLIS. Two couples and a woman on her own are in the necropolis when twilight falls. But it’s a long twilight, and a lot can happen, especially as they each realize they’re not as alone as they thought. Also, John Urbancik discusses the creation of novellas, the day he bumped into Clive Barker, his obsession with writing even random words, and his writing process for the next novella.

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Necropolis Part III — InkStains Ep 41

Host John Urbancik discusses writing and photography and art and creativity on InkStains. This week: after discussing the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival and cartography (map making), part three of the reading of the novella NECROPOLIS. Two couples and a woman on her own are in the necropolis when twilight falls. But it’s a long twilight, and a lot can happen, especially as they each realize they’re not as alone as they thought. After, John Urbancik discusses unsympathetic characters, the overload of Edgar Allan Poe references, and spiders.

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