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Episode 16: Christmas For Evangeline

On today’s show we hear a fantastic story by prolific author C. Courtney Joyner called Christmas For Evangeline.

After the story, Court tells me all about the creation of this story, and the expansive creative life he leads every day. This is a great show, I know you guys are going to love it!

You can find all of Joyner’s work here: https://www.amazon.com/C-Courtney-Joyner/e/B0031GD188

Be sure to check out all of our great episodes at www.theravenpodcast.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week.

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner.

Episode 15.5: For The Love Of Women

I have quite a show for you tonight, I’ve asked our community of poets to contribute pieces representing and honoring women, and I’ve going to read them for you. Now on some of these I’ll offer a little commentary, but not all. Some poetry doesn’t need commentary, and to be honest, some of these are so deep that I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

A lot of amazing people have contributed poems to this show, and some of them are exclusives, never before seen or published. Here’s who’s on the docket for this evening: L. Bachman, Robert Cano, Lily Luchesi, Paula Wilson Udell, Stacey Filak, J.D. Estrada, Ally Malinenko, Samuel Peralta, Jenn Waterman, Jessie Wier, Zan Stringer-Lund.

I hope you enjoy the poetry tonight, I’m going to do my best not to mangle any of it, and while you’re listening, give a little thanks to the amazing women in your own life. Cheers!

Episode 15: Not Today

On today’s show we hear a gritty Western thriller, Not Today, by Wes Rand.

After the story, Wes gives me the run down on writing in the old West, and the creation of his signature character, Evil Stryker.

You can find all of Wes’s work here: http://www.evilstryker.com

Be sure to check out all of our great episodes at www.theravenpodcast.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week.

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Max and Alyssa Blumer. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.

Episode 14: The Fountain

On today’s show we hear a passage from a young adult fantasy novel, The Fountain, by Suzy Vadori.

After the story, Suzy and I have a great talk about how this story came together, and how she crafted her characters and their relationships to be realistic and meaningful.

You can find The Fountain here: https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-Suzy-Vadori-ebook/dp/B0189N18BY/

Check out all of Suzy’s work here: https://suzyvadori.wordpress.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week. The Raven is sponsored by my friends at Creative Edge publicity.

Look for them on their website at www.creative-edge.services

Creative Edge:  Your Brand, Your Future

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.

Episode 13: Policy Of Truth

On today’s show we hear a passage from a motorcycle club thriller, Policy Of Truth, by Scarlett Holloway.

After the story, Scarlett tells me how she developed the club and the amazing characters in this story.

You can find Policy Of Truthhere: https://www.amazon.com/Policy-Truth-Sacred-Heart-Continuum-ebook/dp/B07MJW93Q8

Take a look at the trailer for Policy Of Truthhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNg0xXXK2f0

Check out all of Scarlett’s work here: https://scarlettholloway.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week. The Raven is sponsored by my friends at Creative Edge publicity.

Look for them on their website at www.creative-edge.services

Creative Edge:  Your Brand, Your Future

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.

Episode 12: Reborn

On today’s show we hear a passage from a dystopian fantasy novel, Reborn, by Jenna Green.

After the story, Jenna and I have a great talk about how this story came together, and how she built this unique world.

You can find Reborn here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JZKCMLX/

Check out all of Jenna’s work here: https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Greene/e/B07MFR13KY/

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week. The Raven is sponsored by my friends at Creative Edge publicity.

Look for them on their website at www.creative-edge.services

Creative Edge:  Your Brand, Your Future

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.

Episode 11: Grayson House

On today’s show we hear a frightening and disturbing short story by J.E. Taylor called, Grayson House.

Stay tuned after the story for an entertaining interview with the author, and her thoughts on writing and life.

Check out all of J.E. Taylor’s work here: https://jetaylor75.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week. The Raven is sponsored by my friends at Creative Edge publicity.

Look for them on their website at www.creative-edge.services

Creative Edge:  Your Brand, Your Future

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.com and see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.

Episode 10: Magpie’s Song

On today’s show we hear a passage from the gritty, urban fantasy novel, Magpie’s Song, by Allison Pang.

After the story, Allison and I have a great talk about how this story came together, and how Allison’s personal struggles have made the story what it is today. There’s so much more to this incredible creative process than I can describe here, so be sure you listen to the interview!

You can find Magpie’s Song here: https://www.amazon.com/Magpies-Song-IronHeart-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B072MNKBYV

Check out Allison’s work here: https://www.heartofthedreaming.com

And her awesome web-comic here: https://sadsausagedogs.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week. The Raven is sponsored by my friends at Creative Edge publicity.

Look for them on their website at www.creative-edge.services

Creative Edge:  Your Brand, Your Future

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.

Episode 9.5: How To Love Someone With Depression

A special midweek episode with an article by Michaelbrent Collings.

How to Love Someone with Depression

by Michaelbrent Collings

We moved a few years ago, and I was thrilled. Not because of the great neighborhood (though it was great), not because the new house was nice and big (though it was nice and big), not even because it came with its very own trampoline (boing!).

No. It was the garage. More to the point, it was the garage ceiling.

See, in my old place, the garage had one of those ceilings with exposed rafters. You know the kind: perfect for shoving stuff that’s not quite nice enough to actually have out, but not quite nasty enough to throw away. Keepsakes and mementos from some birthday you half remember; boxes just in case you move again; kids’ toys the next one in line will probably use.

The new place didn’t have the exposed rafters. Which meant no more extra storage. The boxes would stick out like a sore thumb, right in the middle of the new garage. The keepsakes and mementos would have to find new homes – or be thrown away outright. Old toys would be given away.

But I was happy. Because in the old garage I spent hours looking up at those rafters, wondering which one would be the right one, the heaviest one, the strongest one.

Which one would be the best one to hang myself from.

Now, in every important way I have a pretty great life. I have a wife who is better than I deserve. I have children who fill me with wonder, and who make me laugh. I have a job that most people would kill for. So it’s not like I should be trying to escape.

But I also suffer from major depressive disorder with psychotic breaks.

This last part sounds scary. But don’t worry. It just means sometimes I’m utterly incapable of understanding my proper relationship to the rest of the world. I can’t conceive of a universe where I in any way belong. Of an existence that needs me, or where I have anything but a negative effect.

So I would go to the garage. Or maybe I would stand in a corner and slap myself, because some dim part of my brain hoped the physical pain would drive out a small bit of the far greater mental and emotional torment.

The new garage doesn’t have those rafters. It’s just blank ceiling.

Although I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I still get that way sometimes. Sigh.

Chances are that anyone reading this either suffers from or knows someone who suffers from depression. What do you do to help someone like that? Someone who has forgotten this one basic truth: that we all have value. That we all are special. That in our humanity lies a kernel not just of greatness, but of inestimable beauty.

I will tell you what my wife does. She isn’t just my Dream Girl – I could never have dreamed up something like her. She’s my Better Than Dream Girl. And when I’m at my worst, this is what she does, this is her magic: she follows me.

She goes with me to the garage. She stands with me in my corner. She holds my hands firmly so I can’t hurt myself, but not so tightly it hurts in and of itself. She whispers how she loves me, how she can’t let me leave because that would be a wound to her and to the world. She says things she knows I cannot believe, but that I will look back on and remember – things that will build a reservoir of strength for the future.

She stands with me.

She eventually puts an arm around me and leads me to a couch or a bed. Still embracing me, she helps me to sit or to lay down. She holds me. Perhaps scratches my back in silence. The words are done. There is only the fact that she is there, that she is not going anywhere. The silent reminder that in this moment, in this small now… I am not alone.

The great tragedy of depression is a crippling loneliness. A conviction that we are not and never can be worthy of anything but isolation. That the world has cut us off from all human connection – and that that is a good thing, because any other person coming in contact with us would simply suffer.

What to do then?

Stay with us.

When we are ready, hold us.

And in so doing, show us that we have that spark of worth, that potential for beauty.

Depression will not allow us to believe in our value. It forbids us any hope.

But…

But I have found that – with the right help, with the right friend – it will allow the hope of future hope. And in that we may walk away from the rafters. We may move to new, safer places, and find brighter paths.

 

Episode 9: Wild

On today’s show we hear a vicious little short story by Justin M. Woodward, Wild.

After the story, Justin and I talk about how this story came to life, his personal connections to the material, and how fiction can have huge value in society.

Check out Justin’s work here: https://justinmwoodward.com

Thank you so much to all of you listening, you are the reason I’m doing this, to share my love of story with all of you. If you enjoyed this episode, please click subscribe, so that you can hear another great episode next week. The Raven is sponsored by my friends at Creative Edge publicity.

Look for them on their website at www.creative-edge.services

Creative Edge:  Your Brand, Your Future

If you enjoyed the story reading today, and you’d like to hear more stories narrated by me, check out the Tales From The Canyons Of The Damned on Audible, each issue has four to five great short stories, and they’re all narrated by yours truly. https://www.audible.com/pd/B07MXQMK95/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140415&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140415_pd_us

In addition to narrating stories, I also write them, and I have five full-length novels available now. If you’d like to check out my writing, head on over to my website at www.jnlavelle.comand see what you think.

For those of you who have supported me on Patreon, you’ll find some great bonus material. If you haven’t connected with me on Patreon, you can find me at patreon.com/jasonlavelle, where for only a few dollars a month, you can support the show and let me know that you enjoy it. In return, you will have access to additional stories and discussions, author Q&As, and personal and professional updates from me. Music for this episode was composed and performed by Justin Turner. Thank you again, and I’ll see you next week.