Thinking Out Loud 124: Addressing the Cultural Appropriation in Your Manuscript


Elisabeth and Merianna talk about being brave in sharing our truths in our writing and in our conversation. Are we brave enough to ask for feedback even when it means examining our own assumptions, stereotypes, and privilege? Are we brave enough to engage in a creative community that inspires us as well as challenges us?

Show Notes

What are Elisabeth and Merianna reading this week?

Thinking Out Loud 123: On The Big Screen


How do you separate yourself from your writing? Elisabeth and Merianna talk about the struggle with ego, perfectionism, and imposter syndrome in the revision process in order to become an author on the big screen. They talk about how the amount you invest in the process both in editing, in graphic design, and in time pay off in the end. 

Show Notes

What are Elisabeth and Merianna reading this week?

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Daring Greatly Brene Brown

Thinking Religion: No Bread, No Bag, No Money


Thomas and Sam discuss titles, office spaces, new jobs, being unplugged from the hive mind during the work day, and everyday carries (along with some deep philosophical ideas you’ll have to stick around for).

Thinking Religion 89: Do You Want To Talk About Pants?


Thomas and Sam discuss pants, button down collar dress shirts, briefcases, leather goods, and the role of religion in political rhetoric.

Thinking Out Loud 121: Even Superheroes Have Flaws


“But I thought you were a superhero?” Elisabeth and Merianna talk about that moment when someone you know discovers that you have flaws and how that impacts your relationship. This is why it is important to make sure your characters have flaws as well. Even superheroes have their kryptonite. 

Show Notes

Thinking Religion 88: Snapchat is the New Oral Tradition


Thomas and Sam, along with guest host Roshan Abraham, discuss Jonah’s presumptive bisexuality, Classics’ past present and future, Ephesus as the ancient 4chan, roles of the public intellectual, autobiographical memories, textuality, authority, and Bernie vs. Hillary sexism.

Thinking Out Loud 120: What World is This?


“But that could never happen!” Elisabeth and Merianna talk about world building, especially in regards to changing technology. What should you include? What will make your story seem outdated and irrelevant? How do some authors get away with having outdated technology, but still have avid readers?

Show Notes

What are Merianna and Elisabeth reading this week?

Thinking Religion: Trading Places

Thinking Religion

Most Christians are Republicans and a few liberal ones are Democrats (or something like that). That’s been the conventional thinking for the past few decades, especially with the rise of the Moral Majority and Evangelical movement going back to the late 60’s and early 70’s. However, the election of 2016 is pointing to a possible shift in perception of this old adage. Are we seeing a role reversal where the Democratic Party becomes the party of patriotism, American Exceptionalism, and faith while the Republican Party becomes the party of angst, cynicism, and Russian influence? We discuss the last two weeks of both parties’ conventions and why that role reversal might just be the case.

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Show Notes

Highlights from the Week of July 17-23, 2016

On this week’s Thinking Out Loud (“Words Matter“), Merianna and Elisabeth talk about moving your draft from the splatter paint on the canvas, letting the words fly off your fingertips to a manuscript with purposeful meaningful words. Words matter. Choose them carefully, especially if you are staff writer for a presidential candidate:


Meanwhile on Thinking Religion (“Permission Slip“), Thomas and Sam discuss how to use social media effectively, why you shouldn’t invoke God when comparing others to Lucifer, and ways to save money on all of your internet subscription services:


This week’s Thinking Religion newsletter includes Thomas opining about how different the current U.S. political election seems compared to the past:

“You know by now that we love politics as much as we love beard oil and leather goods, but this week has been tough for us. This week should be heaven for political junkies like us, and it is, but only to an extent. It’s also been pretty hellish. We have been utterly dismayed at the gaslighting that’s been on full display, the “lock her up” chants, and the show trial Chris Christie put on.”

Finally, Merianna and Sam discuss the notion of hospitality and how various churches welcome (or don’t) visitors and strangers into their worship services on Thinking Baptists (“Welcoming Visitors to Your Church“):