Browse Episodes

187. The Joy and Stress of Writing and Change

A couple of short announcements before the episode. First is that I’m not doing my usual “A Few More Words” feature today. I’ve done a lot of interviews over the past month or so, and I want to get those posted. I still have well over 150,000 words to go in English, so that feature will be back in a week or so. Second is that I was interviewed on a podcast hosted by the guy—his name is Matt Balaker—I co-wrote a book with about 4 years ago now, a bio of a standup comedian. Our topic is, well, that book (and a few other things). If you want to listen to or watch it, check out the link in the show notes. So, on to today’s episode. My guest today is Diane Hatz. We talk about transitions in one’s writing career, not only psychologically but also technically, as in: should I have my own blog? should I be on YouTube? should I stick to Substack? It’s a great chat. This is “The Joy and Stress of Writing and Change,” episode 187 of the podcast.

Diane’s Blog

Diane’s Substack

Diane on YouTube

Wayne Being Interviewed by Matt Balaker

186. This Is What I Mean by Literary Fiction

I’m solo today and this episode is a kind of prequel. I’m going to be interviewing the great American writer Lorrie Moore in a few weeks about her new novel, I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home, due to be published later this month. I’ve been a lifelong fan of her work, and in this episode I will give an overview of her past works, and my views on what it is about her books and her style that makes her exceptional. The title of this episode is “This Is What I Mean by Literary Fiction,” number 186 of the podcast.

Loorie Moore’s Amazon Author Page

Lorrie Moore’s First Published Story in “Seventeen” Magazine (1977)
(scroll to page 92) 

185. Writing, Illustrating, and Editing Books for Kids

My guest today is Heidi Fiedler. She’s a writer, editor, coach, and teacher, with a focus on children and pre-teen adolescents. I asked her to come on the show to talk about the whole process of putting together a successful book for these readerships.

Heidi's Website

184. A Few More Words: Deprecate

I talk about the two most known uses of this word in English, one the very common "self-deprecating," and the other, the less well-known sense in computing. Along the way, I discover that the two big dictionaries, the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Unabridged, don't include the latter meaning, and the definition in the OED hasn't been updated fully in a long time.


Collins COBUILD Dictionary (scroll down)

Dictionary of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology (editor: Philip A. Laplante), Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2017

183. Worse Writing Is Harder to Get Through

Before I get to today’s conversation, I have an announcement about swag. In the next few weeks I will publish my 200th episode and I wanted to celebrate a little by giving thanks to you, the listeners. I started the show in January last year, and both listenership and downloads have increased steadily, which makes me very happy. And I’ve been very grateful for the nice things some of you have said in reviews. I don’t have hard-to-find first editions for you, or cold hard cash, but a mousepad inside a small cotton totebag, both with the show’s logo. Small tokens, yes, but my thanks are big. Just go to the contact form at and send me your mailing address, and I’ll send them to you (until they run out). Again: thank you.

So, for today’s episode …

My guest is Todd Brison, who describes himself as an “optimist who writes.” He's an Amazon best-selling author and award-winning ghostwriter. I met him on Substack, where he writes What Makes Great Writing? We had a great discussion about the importance and impact of the quality of writing in all sorts of media. This is “Worse Writing Is Harder to Get Through,” episode 183 of the podcast.


Todd’s Website







182. Enhancing the Oxford English Dictionary

My guest today is Dr. David Williams, who is an associate professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, located in Waterloo, Canada. He has a five-year academic grant of over $250,000 to continue his work on the Oxford English Dictionary, with two main goals, which we talk about.

David Williams

The Life of Words: Poetry, Lexicography, and Computing

181. A Few More Words: Doomscrolling

I talk about the word doomscrolling and make some searches in dictionaries, in a linguistics corpus, and in Google advanced search to try to get an idea of when it first started being used. I end with a brief etymology of the very old word, doom itself.

Merriam-Webster: Words We’re Watching
“On ‘Doomsurfing’ and ‘Doomscrolling’”


NOW Corpus (News on the Web)

The Decibel
“The Problems with the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive”

180. A New Author Talks about His Disappointment with Hybrid Publisher Friesen Press

My guest today is Furkhan Dandia . He’s a first-time author of Pursuit of Self-Love: 30 Uplifting Messages and Reflections, which he paid to have published by the hybrid publisher Friesen Press, in Manitoba, Canada, just this past March.

A bit more background here before I get to my conversation with Furkhan. If you’re a regular listener to the podcast, you may remember episode 152 in March, when I told the general story of my efforts to get Friesen to answer two simple questions for me: why are there books priced anywhere from 30 to 100 percent more on Amazon than they are on the Friesen site, and do they inform authors of this before contracts are signed? I ended up talking directly to the president, who hinted she might sue me, but refused to answer the questions.

Furkhan is one of two Friesen authors who told me that in fact they were never informed of the Amazon pricing issue, and he agreed to come on the podcast to talk about his experiences regarding the editing of his book as well.

This is “A New Author Talks about His Disappointment with Hybrid Publisher Friesen Press,” episode 180 of the podcast.


Furkhan’s Website

Furkhan’s Book on Friesen’s Site: $21.99

Furkhan’s Book on $48.13 

179. Two Christians, One Atheist, and No Lyin’

My guests today are Susan Gabriel and Steven Eurioste. Susan runs a Christian publishing house with an eight-member team, including Steven. She’d contacted me about being a guest on the podcast, and I agreed as long as we could also talk about theism and atheism. She was amenable to that and brought along Steven as well. We don’t agree on much, but we have a good discussion.

Soul Sonshine

Susan Louise Gabriel

178. A Few More Words: Bad Faith

Sitting on a bench by a beach in my home city of Ottawa makes me think of "bad faith," and in this episode I talk about one very specific meaning of the term, one fairly specific, and the general meaning that most people are familiar with (but I also give a bit of its etymology).

Being and Nothingness, by Jean-Paul Sartre

"Bad Faith," Wikipedia