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June 16, 2018

Here’s what we’re reading, watching, playing, and listening to this week

by John_A


How we’re spending our leisure time.

Everyone has a bit of quiet downtime once in a while. Whether you’re sitting quietly at home or trying to relax on a plane or just giving your busy mind and hands a break, it’s important to relax.

A good way to do that is to read a book, listen to some music or watch a movie or show. See what’s caught our attention for the week of June 16th.

Ara Wagoner


There’s a new season of Tangled coming June 24th, so I’m rewatching the first season and savoring the fun chemistry its killer cast built in the first season. New characters like Flynn’s thieving BFF Lance Strongbow — played by Tony-winner and Hamilton cast member James Monroe Iglehart — and Rapunzel’s attendant/bodyguard Cassandra allowed Zachary Levi to pull out all the stops in Flynn Rider’s comedy, and Mandy Moore shines bright as ever as a Rapunzel struggling with new responsibilities and not-so-new limitations. Sad as I am to hear less of Clancy Brown’s masterful voice, I am happy that we’re leaving behind King Frederic and his overprotective father bit behind. It was too cliché, even for me, and threw a dark cloud over an otherwise sunny season of character growth and magical mystery.

See on Google Play

Marc Lagace


When you write for a living it can be hard to stay motivated with your own creative writing. I’m also a terrible procrastinator when it comes to using my spare time effectively, so I’ve decided to do two things: shut down all electronics two hours before it’s time for bed (always a smart idea) and use the time to crack open some great resources for creative fiction and screenwriting and write a little bit each day. Here are the three books I’ll be revisiting throughout the summer:

“Save The Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need” by Blake Snyder is a book I read during my film studies in and it’s a fantastic entry point for anyone interested in writing a screenplay. Snyder writes in such an accessible and conversational tone as he explains the industry rules for taking your idea for a movie and turning it into a marketable script.

“How Not To Make A Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer” by Roberta Marie Munroe is a great resource if you’ve always kicked around the idea of getting some friends together to make a short film. Written by someone who managed the short film programming at Sundance Film Festival, there’s a lot of valuable information in this books that will help you avoid the big mistakes that plague many amateur filmmakers.

“Writer’s Gym: Exercises and Training Tips for Writers” by Eliza Clark is another fantastic resource for aspiring ficition writers. It’s filled with a ton of valuable interviews with successful writers, along with a ton of great thought experiments and writing exercises designed to help you develop your chops as a fiction writer.

I hope that these recommendations help someone out there dive get a start on that creative project you’ve been putting off!

See at Amazon

Joe Maring


I’ve been on a podcast kick for the better part of a month now, and this week, my ears have been filled with HowStuffWorks’ Behind the Bastards.

Behind the Bastards dives deep into some of the world’s most infamous people, including the likes of Joseph Stalin, Bill Cosby, Adolf Hitler, and Harvey Weinstein. Host Robert Evans does an excellent job at breaking down well-known events about the individuals, such as Cosby’s many allegations of rape and sexual assault, in addition to little-known-facts like Sadam Hussein once writing a romance novel.

It’s certainly an NSFW podcast as there’s a bit of language and the talking points can get a bit rough, but the conversations are excellent and absolutely worth listening to.

Tom Westrick

Because of someone’s title choice, my mind has been stuck on trashy but awesome 90’s music. This includes Seal, Alanis Morissette, the Cranberries, etc. All talented musicians, all great songs, but also all guilty pleasure. Anyway, here’s Wonderwall

Speaking of the 90’s, news broke this week that The Joy of Painting would return as an audio series, so I started doing what countless other have done and started listening to episodes of that on YouTube to lull me to sleep. It’s… kinda worked, but it also makes me want to grow an afro, buy some brushes and canvas and start making happy little trees.

Elsewhere, I’ve been playing the heck out of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas since the Xbox 360 version now works on Xbox One. I’ve bought this game four times now (PS2, Xbox 360 disk, Android, Xbox 360 digital), and it’s always been worth every penny. No matter how many times I’ve gone through the story, it’s still a great way to kill a few hours at a time.

See at Amazon

Your turn

What are YOU reading, watching, or listening to this week? Let us know in the comments!

Update, June 16, 2018: This is a weekly series where we tell you what we’re into, so check back every weekend!

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