Story Kernels

Alli Martin & KL!

Welcome to Story Kernels, the podcast that takes the kernel of a story idea, drops it in hot oil, and lets it fluff into a delicious snack. Tune in as two sci-fi/fantasy authors work through writing prompts to develop an idea into a story.

S1 E8 Time Travel Like an Egyptian
4d ago
S1 E8 Time Travel Like an Egyptian
This week's story asks, "what happens when a naive woman in her 30s and a time-traveling woman in her 50s love each other very, very much?" The answer is they try to stop the Victorians from eating mummies. Listen in as Alli becomes unhinged about time travel and Victorians, and everyone is a lesbian. In addition to our quest to develop a story, we also respond to listener messages about our first episode. Thanks for writing in! Digressions include: gendered languages; KL's musical interludes; time travel devices, rules, and limitations; the ghostliness of cassette tapes; ugh, colonialism; and pufferfish art. Today’s Prompt System: Plot Generator from writingexercises.co.uk What’s Been Inspiring Us Lately: • Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire • A Potpourri of Icelandic Poetry Through Eleven Centuries, edited by Hallberg Hallmundsson • The Allusionist Podcast External Links: • Wonderwall by Oasis (music video) • They're Lesbians, Harold (meme) • The Price of Salt (or Carol) by Patricia Highsmith • Cassette tapes • Terminator time travel sequence (video - warnings for nudity, language, and violence) • 1890s Fashion (you better believe Alli already had a link for this) • Rockabilly Fashion • Kyber crystals (probably not used for time travel) • The Time Machine time travel sequence (video) • Mummies and the Usefulness of Death • The Mummy (trailer) • Damien Williams' blog, "A Future Worth Thinking About" Music: Cherryblossom by Raptorface is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives.  If you want to help support the podcast and receive additional inspiration, check out our Patreon.
S1 E7 Fate's Dirty Laundry
Aug 11 2022
S1 E7 Fate's Dirty Laundry
This week KL! and Alli get washed away by a romance for the ages and also grapple with whether or not stardust can get blood stains out of our whites. We discuss the myth of the Washer at the Ford, the lengths we’ll go to to protect those we love, and if fate can tell if you’re committed enough to murdering a guy. Then we answer your questions about how to maintain focus in your writing. (Advice which is not reflected in the meandering content of this podcast episode.) Digressions include: unreliable narrators, KL!’s dream Batman film, and love (re: hurts, scars, wounds, and marks). Alli recorded the first half of this episode inside of a tin can, so please excuse the unusual audio quality. Today’s Prompt System: The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John and Caitlín Matthews What’s Been Inspiring Us Lately: Dracula DailyMoon Knight External Links: • Jonathan Harker in Frankenstein • Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Gutenberg.org link) • Fight Club (trailer) • Memento (trailer) • Unreliable narrators • "The Ghost of You" by My Chemical Romance • What If…? (trailer) • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures (which is essentially the kind of Batman movie KL! needs in the world) • Guinevere (and Lancelot) • "Blaze of Glory" by Jon Bon Jovi • What is grief if not love persevering? (video) • "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce (Gutenberg.org link) • Pomodoro Technique Music: Cherryblossom by Raptorface is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives. If you want to help support the podcast and receive additional inspiration, check out our Patreon.
S1 E6 Are You Afraid of the Space Dark
Jul 28 2022
S1 E6 Are You Afraid of the Space Dark
This week we welcome (and summarily terrify) special guest and friend of the show, Nanci Schwartz! Nanci is the author of the forthcoming Robber Barrons Trilogy from Aethon Books, which will hit our hot little hands September 13th. Be sure to pre-order it if you can! With Nanci in the cockpit, our thoughts turn to outer space. We take a fantastic voyage to the moon to discover what’s hiding in the perfect dark. Digressions include: what KL doesn’t know about physics could fill a moon, night science, when we learn we’re afraid of the dark, whether or not Nanci will ever sleep again, and elongated men. Today’s Prompt System: Rory’s Story Cubes distributed by Zygomatic studios What’s Been Inspiring Us Lately: • Loki Soundtrack (TVA Theme especially) • Fringe (trailer) • Stranger Music by Leonard Cohen External Links: • Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold • Bluey (video) • Mandela Effect • Le voyage dans la lune by Georges Méliès (video) • Moon's First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship written by Susanna Leonard Hill & illustrated by Elisa Paganelli • Moon’s haunted (meme) • For All Mankind (trailer) • Stargate: SG-1 (trailer) • Contact “They should have sent a poet.” (video) • The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike • RayBan ad from the late 90s with the vampires (video) • Slender Man • The Expanse (trailer) • The X-Files “Tombs” (video) Music: Cherryblossom by Raptorface is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives. If you want to help support the podcast and receive additional inspiration, check out our Patreon.
S1 E5 The Importance of Being Arboreal
Jul 14 2022
S1 E5 The Importance of Being Arboreal
This week, KL! and Alli delve into the most universal parts of the human condition by trying to unravel the motivations of hope, despair, and semi-sentient alien trees who just want to give back to the planet that originally made them. How should humans act when confronted with a climate crisis so imminent that there’s nothing to lose? Digressions include: KL!’s Lord and Savior David Jenkins, kind media, Ents, Bob Mossy, alien Punk’d, nature as a haunting, and infrastructure. As it’s been a few months since recording, we’d like to report KL! has now seen Our Flag Means Death all the way through roughly 13 times. It was the most watched streaming show for 6 weeks in a row before being unseated and then clawing its way back. Please come yell at KL! about the pirates. It’s literally all they talk about anymore. Also, KL! has never and will never set Alli on fire. Today’s Prompt System: Complete the Story released by Piccadilly USA Inc. What’s Been Inspiring Us Lately: • Our Flag Means Death (trailer) • The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee External Links: • oh this is like GAY gay i thought we were all just fantasising again (tumblr) • David Jenkins talking about queerbaiting (gif and text spoilers for episode 9 of Our Flag Means Death) • Everything happens so much. (Horse_ebooks) • Do Trees Communicate? (Smithsonian Magazine) • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater • Arrival (trailer) • "Don't Trust Me" by 3OH!3 (video) • Annihilation (trailer) • Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer • You wouldn’t download a plant! (meme) • Alien (trailer) • The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen Music: Cherryblossom by Raptorface is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives. If you want to help support the podcast and receive additional inspiration, check out our Patreon.
S1 E3 Duck Duck Truce
Jun 23 2022
S1 E3 Duck Duck Truce
Have you ever wondered what it was like to try and recapture a story after it’s become entirely unhinged? Have we got an episode for you! Take a journey with us through the dark underside of the bright lights of Orlando, Florida as we learn about Duckmasters, goth mafias (the gothia), the ways trauma can manifest in your body and your relationships, and the importance of reassembling yourself to be able to accept the love you deserve. Diversions include the underground blood trade (where anticoagulants are expensive and necessary), Morrissey dance-offs, every movie scene where someone gets buried in cement at a construction site, financial planning for early retirement, and duck voyeurism. KL! also completely blanks on Donald Glover's name, for which they apologize. We’re sorry Mr. Glover! We love your work! Today’s Prompt System: The Story Engine Deck by Peter Chiykowski What’s Been Inspiring Us Lately: • A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers • House of X/Powers of X (X-Men) by writer Jonathan Hickman & artists Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva and Marte Gracia External Links: • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown • Danny the Street (Doom Patrol character) and additional video (warning for language) • Jay and Miles Explain the X-Men • The Duckmaster, which is a write up on the current Duckmaster in Memphis, but gives good duck, and a video of the Orlando Peabody march. Hey! I guess the ducks DO get a penthouse! • Batman: Death by Design by Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor • I-4 Dead Zone • I-Drive, for all of your shiny, blinky needs • Count Duckula • Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe Music: Cherryblossom by Raptorface is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives. If you want to help support the podcast and receive additional inspiration, check out our Patreon.