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Journals of a Journeyman Bard

Journals of a Journeyman Bard

By Jasmine Arch
In which I talk, rant, rave, and rejoice over the ups and downs of my journey as a storyteller, writer, poet, narrator, and crazy dog lady.
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31. I have been remiss of late, so here's a rambly chaotic update...
Heh... in which I talk in completely chaotic fashion about the overabundance of things I need to keep track of.
February 26, 2022
30. Happy Feckin' New Year!!!
Well what a year it has been. Hopefully 2022 will turn out for the better. How did you end your year?
January 13, 2022
29. I may not reach this goal and I have to make my peace with that.
So D has returned home, but his absence was not the thing making life hard this time. Despite telling myself and other writers time and time again that hitting the mark on the ambitious end goal of nanowrimo doesn't make the reaching for it a failure, I do find it hard right now to accept that my chances to get there are slim this year. I am not as philosophical about it as I'd like to be.
November 09, 2021
28. Medusa Found a Home!
I can't believe how excited I am about this news!
October 22, 2021
27. Work continued until I got sick (NOT COVID SO DON'T WORRY)
In which I talk about progress, not sacrificing my mental health for it, and my utter dread at having missed a deadline. And also, about my adventures as a fledgling tiktokker. (@jaztellsstories).
September 21, 2021
26. To boldly go... where my romance coach leads me
So, yeah. You should try anything at least once, right? On that note, I will both be diving into a co-writing project, and into a completely new genre. I enjoy reading it now and then, and absolutely adore one of the women who stood at the very beginning of the genre: Jane Austen. Meaning I'll be trying my hand at historical romance, in collaboration with Bradley who is already coaching me with Tomb of the Giant, the novel I wrote that turned out as a romance by accident. Heh. Colour me surprised.
August 25, 2021
25. Life continues to be a lot and I'm ready for it to be over. Seriously.
In which I talk about good stuff, and behave a meltdown over bad stuff, and even lack the energy to lament the fact that I'm barely writing at the moment.
August 04, 2021
24. All the updates. And yeah. Some revelations too.
Apparently, after over a year of working on my novel, I had to stop being in denial about it and just accept that I'm writing a romance novel, as scary as that seems to me. And updates on the doggies of course. Later friends!
July 19, 2021
23. I swear I am not a panicmama when it comes to my dogs.
This episode will reaching you a bit late, as it not my third attempt at actually getting it to load, and I didn't realise immediately that something had even gone wrong. I originally recorded it on the 28th, the day of Henna's surgery. I needed the distraction of doing a podcast episode. It is also sort of the announcement my new podcast, and sharing a poem in honor of said podcast. Links mentioned will be added as soon as I can get my shit together in a sensible way.
July 09, 2021
22. Quick update on Henna's health issues
Just thought I'd hope on and give a quick update for those wondering about the dilemma we were facing around the possibility of surgery for our thirteen-year-old border collie, Henna. All good. I mean, it's scary but she'll be fine.
June 17, 2021
21. Let's talk about batching, baby.
Yes. Let's talk about batching so I can more effectively avoid thinking and worrying about other things that are much harder to deal with. Ahem. So, while enabling my avoidance habits, it has also helped me be more efficient in using my creative time, and I'd love to find out about your experiences with it, if you tried it, or whether you are using other productivity strategies that are working well for you. As always, hit me up on Twitter (@jaye_arch) or email me ( to let me know. Later, friends!
June 08, 2021
20. I guess I'm going to keep going!
In which I discuss the feedback I got from some lovely folks after posting episode 19! Hah!
May 27, 2021
19. Changes on the Horizon
Hello friends, it has been a while, hasn't it. Between a man coming home from deployment and destroying the silence I had gotten used to in my house these last five months, and work, and springtime sun and rain making weeds shoot up all over the place, I have been running around doing all the things in my typical chaotic fashion, but that's not really the reason it took me so long between episodes 18 and 19. For that, you'll have to listen to the podcast. I would love your thoughts on this episode's topic and the question at the end, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter or via email, and add your two proverbial cents! Until next time, Later friends!
May 17, 2021
18. Existential Dread, Birdsong, Hay Fever, Cherry Blossoms, and Finishing Energy!
In which I sneeze out the pollen invading my sinuses while enjoying the song of birds and other features of spring, and discuss what it feels like to finish a project, both the exhilarating feeling of typing the end, and the dread that usually follows when I realise that I now no longer have a goal to work towards. I'd love to hear about your experiences with these things, so hit me up on Twitter, or shoot me an email! I would love to hear from you. Until next time!
April 02, 2021
17. Telling the truth: dictation sucks.
So it has been a while, hasn't it? I've been somewhat hampered by an injury and when everything takes you twice as long to get done, something's got to give. And during the month of February, I'm afraid that was this podcast. However, we are back in the saddle, or trying to, at least!
March 08, 2021
16. Celebrate your battle scars and reject the instagram effect
First of all, due to the use of expletives, I had to mark the episode as explicit, as per the policies of certain podcast distribution platforms, but about the most explicit as this gets, is bad words and snoring dogs, so not to worry. In this episode, I talk about rejection, because as Mur Lafferty said on a fairly recent episode of I Should Be Writing, they're something to celebrate. And she's been in the business considerable longer than me. Am I even in the business at this point? Doesn't matter. But she said it too, and I'll take her word for it even if I can't always trust my own. So let's talk!
January 31, 2021
15. In which I plan to talk about celebrating victories
Hello friends! I finished a short story last night, after two months of procrastrination followed by two actual weeks of daily drafting. And I decided to celebrate by rambling to you about some of the amazing things I learned during the research for this story, which is set in the middle of the Battle of Normandy, in a British field hospital. And then I ramble some more about how my own family history is a big part of why I found the WW2 research so fascinating. Links mentioned: 4TheWords, the writing game that I'm allowed to be addicted to. (If you would like to give it a try, you can use my referral code and get a wee bit of currency tokens to play around with) Sisters In Arms, British Army Nurses Tell Their Story, by Nicola Tyrer: This is the book that taught me most of what I was able to find about Queen Alexandra's Imperial Army Nursing Service, and the work QAs did on all fronts of WW2. The Halloween Horrors of Old Mill Lane, including The Host of Old Mill Lane, the first story I wrote featuring the main character of the recently finished draft. And then, of course, I am super curious about the ways in which your own personal or family history influences your stories. Hit me up on Twitter, shoot me an email, or come and visit me on Discord on the INKubator! And of course, I will talk to you later!
January 31, 2021
14. My favourite short story ever. Seriously.
So, I recorded this episode 3 days ago and promptly proceeded to forget all about uploading the thing. Oops. But HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2021 bring us safety, good health, prosperity, and governments more capable of making sound decisions. (Yes, Belgium, I'm looking at you too.) But let's get down to business. In this episode, I talk about a short story that so far, is my absolute favourite one ever. It's called The Coven of Dead Girls, written by L'Erin Ogle and featured on episode 651 of Pseudopod, in June 2019. This discussion contains spoilers so if you don't want those, go and read or listen to it first! Other links mentioned: L'Erin's website and Twitter Another kicker story by the author: Timelines, published in Syntax and Salt TwoNursesTalking Newsletter by L'Erin Ogle and Cassie Alexander And that is all she wrote for now, guys. Talk to you soon!
January 31, 2021
13 Distraction baking
Hello friends! We are back. With a slightly disfunctional back. But all will be well. The injury is a minor one, and certainly nothing to worry about. Links mentioned: 4 The Words, and if you use my referral code, you get a small allowance of crystal tokens to start with (LIENN46474) The Host of Old Mill Lane, where I first met Hazel Hobbs. And of course, there is a playlist with the whole (highly bingeable) series available on YouTube as well. OneTab: the plugin that cleans up your tabs for you without losing a single one Next week's discussion topic: Coven of Dead Girls, by L'Erin Ogle and published in Pseudopod in June 2019 And of course, if you want to contact me, have a chat, or exchange some thoughts about the short story linked above, feel free to hit me up on Twitter, email me, or fill out the contact form on my website! Don't be a stranger! I will talk to you again soon!
January 31, 2021
12. Oh My Goddess. We made it!
It is december 1st, and NaNoWrimo is officially over. I am both glad and relieved and proud at the same time. But the work is not over yet and my lizardbrain is fully cooperating with Resistance-with-a-capital-R and telling me it's OK to take a break. I did a huge thing and I deserve a rest.  Right? Right??? Wrong. At least, if I want this monstrosity of a draft finished before we wave out 2020. So let's look for ways to keep that motivation going. I will definitely be buying myself a gift if I manage the finished draft before the 31st. And now. Links mentioned: Every Time She Kills Him, by J.A.W. McCarthy, featured on episode 461 of Tales to Terrify, narrated by yours truly The two amazing poets who I got to attend a workshop from at Augurcon: Dominik Parisien and Terese Mason Pierce. Of course I explored their work later, and I will be including links to my favourite pieces in my newsletter. (Sign up here) If you have more tips to keep me on task, I'd love to hear about them. Hit me up on Twitter, or shoot me an email.  I will talk to you later. Stay safe and remember to practice kindness! Jasmine
January 31, 2021
11. Productivity as Busywork
In which I talk about avoiding bedtime for the last two nights. Because, I am now faced with a house devoid of all human activity except mine, for the next five months. In the middle of pandemics and lockdowns. Something tells me I will be diving into all sorts of creative projects just to keep myself from noticing the silence in the house. Anyway. Links mentioned: NaNoWriMo 4TheWords Mythsterhood of the Travelling Tales As always, I would love to hear how you're getting on in this lovely year of 2020. How are you coping with the stress we're all under? Is it making you more productive? Less productive? Because either is fine, you know? Feel free to @ me on Twitter, or shoot me an email and I will do my absolute best to get back to you really soon. Later friends!
January 31, 2021
10. Nanowrimo, milestones, and sheer exhaustion
Of course, exhaustion or not, I had to record on Friday the 13th. How could I skip that? In this episode, I talk about my Nanowrimo adventures and goalsetting. Unrealistic goalsetting. And an utter lack of goalsetting. And how I seem to flop from one extreme to the other but can't seem to find that point of goldilocks homeostasis, when you think, "This is just the right amount of energy and motivation." I'd love to discuss this, so don't be a stranger! My door is always open, both on Twitter (@jaye_arch) or in my inbox. I will talk to you later. Bye friends!
January 31, 2021
9. The Quiet Before the Storm
Well, It's October 31st, and I'm starting to get slightly nervous for the onslaught of writing sprints that will be hitting me at midnight. It is NaNoWriMo time! Will I make it to that magical milestone of 50k? Who knows? But I will do my damnedest, I can tell you that! Links mentioned:  The Other Stories Halloween special: check out the whole series on YouTube, or if you prefer audio only, here is episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5, and episode 6. My stories at Altered Reality Magazine: Bus Stop, The Crop, A Blade Remembers, and Still Waters. Mythsterhood of the Travelling Tales And of course, how can I forget: the NaNoWriMo website of course! As always, feel free to email me, or hit me up on Twitter. Don't be a stranger! Hugs Jaz
January 31, 2021
8. It's not all fun and games, but some of it really is.
In which I talk about my attempts to make writing fun again. I found myself needing an antidote for stress and sadness and life and this demonic year called 2020. Links mentioned:  OhWrite: Word Sprints with your friends (I heard about this game on episode 217 of the Kobo Writing Life Podcast) 4 The Words: Defeat monsters with your mighty words! Should you want to give this game a try, you can get a few tokens to play around with, by using my referral code (LIENN46474) and I will receive a few as well, if it turns out you enjoy the thing). NaNoWriMo participants will also have access to a discount code that extends the free trial by another 15 days, so be sure to check that out! And, as mentioned in the episode: don't be a stranger. If you try one of these two apps out, let me know what you think. Have other ways to keep your work fun? I'd love to hear about that even more. Email me or hit me up on Twitter, or send me a carrier pigeon if all else fails. I'll try to keep it safe from the dogs. And of course, I will talk to you again soon. Hugs Jasmine
January 31, 2021
7. Stories for Crazy Dog Ladies
In which I rant about a short story I fell in love with a few weeks ago. Written and narrated by M. Douglas White, and published in Metaphorosis Magazine on October 2nd, Good Boy is very much worth your valuable time. The story is available in text or audio, so you can choose the format that suits you best. I tried to keep this episode spoiler-free, but discussing a piece without giving anything away is so hard. If you don't want to risk it, do go and listen or read first. I would love to hear what you thought of the story, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter or email me! Don't be a stranger, now! Hugs Jasmine
January 31, 2021
6. Always Always Always Be Kind.
Content warning: miscarriage and grief.  In which I admit to not being fine, as much as I resent that.  But yes. Sometimes we're not fine, and that is just how life and people work. And we need to give ourself the grace to get through those times, and not self-flagellate over our lack of productivity during those moments when the world just sucks too much.  Links mentioned: none, this week. I will make it up to you next week, when my synapses stop misfiring. Promise. In the meantime: give yourself, your pets, or your partner a hug. One of you probably needs it. Hugs Jaz
January 31, 2021
5. So What's the Big Deal With Stories Anyway?
If I had to describe what defines me as a creative in one word, I'd have to say storyteller. I can't do without, and I can't even write out a bloody recipe without attaching a story or memory to it. But why is it that stories and storytelling are so important to us? Join me and the horses out in the pasture, and let's have a chat! Especially on this episode, I would love to hear your thoughts, so don't be a stranger. Hit me up on Twitter, or shoot me an email at I anxiously await your messages, so don't let me down, guys! Hugs Jaz
January 31, 2021
4. My Body: Tool or Sanctuary?
In which I talk about a scary AF morning, and how it made me stop and reflect on the definition--and more importantly, the value--of health. It is also very unlikely that you'll get another chance to hear me discussing my breasts in the near future. Though I have zero links mentioned in the episode, I can strongly advise The Holistic Herbalism Podcast, if you want to learn about supporting your body through the stresses and rigours of life in 2020. What else do I want to say? If you have a uterus and you're 4O or older, get your breasts checked out regularly. If you have mastitis and you are not lactating, get them checked out too. If you have close relatives (parent, child, or sibling) who got breast cancer, get them checked out. If you are at all unsure about anything regarding breast health, contact your doctor. You know your body. Listen to it and never tell yourself you're being silly. OK, this is me stepping off my soapbox. Be safe, be kind to each other and yourself, and stay healthy. Hugs Jaz
September 30, 2020
3. Harvest season turned out not too shabby!
In which I follow up on the homework I set myself in episode two and reflect on the seeds I've sown and nurtured this past year or so. If you did some reflecting of your own, I'd love to hear about it. Hit me up on Discord, Twitter (@jaye_arch) or email me at and let me know how you got along. Hugs Jaz Links mentioned: The Other Stories The Career Author podcast The Coven of Dead Girls,  by L'Erin Ogle, Pseudopod, June 2019 (If you can, check out the audio version, as Nika Harper brings it to life in a way I can only dream of) Hybrid Fiction On the Nature and Origin of Dragons, 87 Bedford Historic Fantasy anthology, May 2019
September 23, 2020
2. Gratitude is damn hard
In which I promise to stop undermining myself, and challenge you to do the same. Added to that, is a second promise/challenge, to reflect not only on what we hopeto  harvest in terms of our writing career, but what we did to achieve it as well. No wine for me this time, all I had was my bed, dogs in my lap, and the comfort of hearing man's voice downstairs, which means he's still here. Links mentioned: Hybrid Fiction, Issue 6 Benjamin C. Kinney (do check out some of his work, totally worth your time) Writers of the Future
September 21, 2020
1. What the hell did I get myself into this time?
Hello friends, and welcome, In this first episode, I drink rosé and talk about the why of this project. I'd love to have your company on my journey. Sit down, have some coffee, wine, or any other beverage of your choice, and let's have a chat. hugs Jaz Mentioned links:  Dragon's Lament at
September 21, 2020