The Freshman S4 E1 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – The Freshman (Season 4 Episode 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy faces a whole new world - college. This podcast episode looks at: (1) a new world for Buffy the character – and the show; (2) whether the antagonist is vampire Sunday or that whole new world? (3) less metaphor than we usually see in Buffy; and (4) so much foreshadowing. As always, the discussion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of w...
Read More

Buffy Season 3 In Review (Buffy and the Art of Story)

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Review, where listeners, patrons, and guest podcasters share their thoughts on the season, including: (1) the Mayor's deep love for Faith, and the way he manipulates her; (2) Faith's lack of faith in herself; (3) Xander's family life and his shining moment; (3) Willow's growth, identity, and happiness;  (4) recognition for Buffy at last; and (5) what Buffy Season 3 says about otherness, your crew...
Read More

Graduation Day Part 2 S3 E22 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Graduation Day Part 2 (Season 3 Episode 22 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy fights her last high school battle. This podcast episode looks at: (1) how character actions convey emotions and move the story; (2) costuming choices that reflect character growth; (3) strong foreshadowing; (4) a pyrrhic ending; and (5) the season arc and theme. As always, the discussion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty o...
Read More

Graduation Day Part 1 S3 E21 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Graduation Day Part 1 (Season 3 Episode 21 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Faith poisons Angel and Buffy prepares to fight the Mayor, including: (1) the way the theme (of what graduation means for each character) is woven into this fast-paced story; (2) callbacks to previous episodes that make this almost like part 1 of a series finale; (3) the interplay of key episode plot turns with the major plot twists for 2-episode finale; and (4)...
Read More

The Prom S3 E20 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on the podcast Buffy and the Art of Story – The Prom (Season 3 Episode 20 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy fights monsters that threaten the Prom and Angel questions whether he and Buffy have a future together. Also:  (1) What looks like resolution of the Buffy/Angel relationship -- but is it? (2) A very subtle Story Spark or Inciting Incident; (3) Why the A plot is not obvious until we reach the episode's Climax;  (4) No real major plot turn at the three-quarter...
Read More

Choices S3 E19 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Choices (Season 3 Episode 19 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy takes the fight to the Mayor, including: (1)  comic moments that foreshadow key plot developments; (2) merging the last major plot turn, climax, and falling action; (3) thematic bookends; (4) a main plot that doesn’t change the Buffy/Mayor overall conflict but moves multiple longform story arcs Next Up: The Prom Last Episode: Earshot Work On Your Story ...
Read More

Earshot S3 E18 (Buffy and the Art of Story)

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast Cover
This week on Buffy and the Art of Story – Earshot (Season 3 Episode 18 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), where Buffy gains a dangerous power and someone threatens the entire high school. And:  (1) A different kind of audience mislead than we saw in Enemies (2) The role of happenstance and luck  (3) What happens when you sideline your protagonist (4) How rewriting and revisions here heightened the dialogue and themes As always, the discussion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is spoiler-free...
Read More

Sneak Peek at The Troubled Man (A Q.C. Davis Mystery)

The Troubled Man (Q.C. Davis Mystery 4)
Chapter One  What’s the one thing you want to do before you die? That question was printed in neon green chalk at the top of a blackboard hanging just inside Niche’s Women’s Room. I hadn’t noticed it when I walked in, but now I studied the chalkboard as I washed my hands. Ten numbered white chalk lines underneath provided spaces for restaurant patrons to write answers. It was early in the evening, and only one diner had filled in an answer. She wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands. Despite a...
Read More

Tour A Mysterious Historical Mansion In Chicago

Last holiday season my niece, a theatrical scenic designer, asked whether the historical mansion depicted in my mystery The Worried Man was real. I told her no, but it was modeled after Chicago Gilded Age mansions. A month or so later she said my Christmas gift wouldn't be ready in time. I never connected it to her question about the mansion. First, our family has a long tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts in March or May and sending birthday presents months late. Second, she's a de...
Read More

Mad Men, Buffy, And More

A quick announcement: On Thursday December 17, 2020, you can hear a few more of my thoughts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer along with insights into my favorite Mad Men character, Peggy Olson, if you check out the podcast They Coined It. I was lucky enough to be a guest for part of an episode discussing Season 2's Maidenform. Co-host Roberta Lipp and I also talked a bit about plot and theme in Mad Men and how the previous episode, The New Girl, impacted the character arcs in Maidenform. After ...
Read More