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Cold

Cold

By Victoria Dougherty

Cold is the storyteller's church. It is the way revenge is best served; the way a war was fought; the way a story should be told. Join fiction writer, essayist, and blogger, Victoria Dougherty, to ponder the creative life, and endeavor to look at the stories we tell and the stories we live with a cold eye, but never a cold heart.
And please visit the Cold blog at www.victoriadougherty.wordpress.com.
Wordpress, which hosts over 70 million blogs has named Cold as one of its best blogs on writers and about writing.
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Say Anything: Here’s a Conversation You Don’t Want to Miss
Say Anything: Here’s a Conversation You Don’t Want to Miss
This week in the Cold, we're talking about the art and purpose of conversation.  Not just any conversation, but the kind that allows for nuance, true insights, a real connection. As a fiction writer, my greatest tool is observation. To be able to capture the essence of a character and do it generously is what makes for a good story, as far as I'm concerned. Something that feels light on the page and sticks with you. Having conversations with people - even when they are very different from me and hold opposing views - is what enables that. That's why I also want to offer you what I think is a long, meandering, complex and wonderful conversation. It's between me and my friend, Ricardo Lopes, aka The Dissenter, and happened on his podcast of the same name. As promised on this week's Cold, here's the YouTube link: #730 Victoria Dougherty: Science and Literature, Character Development, Realism, and Free Speech - YouTube The Dissenter with Ricardo Lopes is also available on Spotify and all the usual suspects.  And here's a link to my Amazon page: Amazon.com: Victoria Dougherty: books, biography, latest update  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2023/01/27/say-anything-heres-a-conversation-you-dont-want-to-miss/
14:03
January 29, 2023
On the Pursuit of Excellence
On the Pursuit of Excellence
This week in the Cold, we talk about the thrill inherent in doing our absolute best. How the pursuit of excellence is a noble exercise; especially when we’re able to separate the pursuit from the actual outcome.  www.victoriadoughertybooks.com BREATH series: Breath (3 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com) The Cold War Chronicles: The Cold War Chronicles (2 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com) This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2023/01/13/time-resolve-and-the-pursuit-of-excellence/
16:15
January 16, 2023
Apocalypse Now and Then
Apocalypse Now and Then
This week in the Cold, we're talking about writer's block, being at war with time, and surviving an apocalypse or two. Especially the apocalypse part.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/apocalypse-now-and-then/
19:14
January 08, 2023
Celebrating Art That’s on the Edge
Celebrating Art That’s on the Edge
This holiday week in the Cold, we're celebrating art that's on the edge, that's...creepy. To me, creepiness is a much broader concept than it would seem, at least on the surface. It’s not just eerie, ominous, weird or macabre. Creeps and creepy images, concepts, and stories are zoetic and always in motion. I mean that literally. The very nature of a creep is to…creep. To move slowly, stealthily across boundaries. To reveal possibilities thought out of reach or out of bounds. And if you want to celebrate the creep with me on my Facebook Author Page, especially on "Creepy Tuesdays," please go to this link and follow:  https://www.facebook.com/victoriadougherty.author Breath Series- Breath: https://www.amazon.com/Breath/dp/B08FXSMZDS Of Sand and Bone: https://www.amazon.com/Sand-Bone-Historical-Fantasy-Breath-ebook/dp/B0BDY4942C Savage Island: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YLCXZDL This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/12/16/creeps-eccentrics-and-maniacs-celebrating-art-thats-on-the-edge/
18:20
December 18, 2022
This is Everything I Know About the Spirit of Christmas
This is Everything I Know About the Spirit of Christmas
This week in the Cold, I have some suggestions for getting the Christmas spirit right this year. For getting our stories straight. I’ve collected these from experience and tried every single one of them myself. I can say with complete confidence that even putting some of these directives into play has brought people closer to me - whether they be family, friends, colleagues or readers.  And if you put any and all of these suggestions into play, please let me know how that turned out for you! email me at: victoria@victoriadoughertybooks.com This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/12/17/this-is-everything-i-know-about-the-spirit-of-christmas/
12:16
December 11, 2022
A Dispatch from the Middle
A Dispatch from the Middle
The week in the Cold, we talk about the middle place in any creative endeavor. If you're a writer, it's that frustrating, hard won, simultaneously deflating and thrilling point in any novel, trilogy, or series. It's one that always leaves us with the question, "What now?"  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/06/17/a-dispatch-from-the-middle/
15:32
December 04, 2022
For All Things Great and Small
For All Things Great and Small
The Cold annual list of all things (great and small) for which to be grateful is here! Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/11/18/for-all-things-great-and-small/
12:40
November 21, 2022
Transformation, Transcendence, and Realization: The Spirit of Halloween Has a Greater Impact Than We Might Think
Transformation, Transcendence, and Realization: The Spirit of Halloween Has a Greater Impact Than We Might Think
This week in the Cold, we talk about the holiday that is the ultimate storyteller's dream: Halloween!  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/10/29/transformation-transcendence-and-realization-the-spirit-of-halloween-has-a-greater-impact-than-we-might-think/
13:53
October 30, 2022
Romance: A Love Story
Romance: A Love Story
This week in the Cold, we talk about the wild, wonderful and weird Romance genre. Pour yourself a glass of champagne and slip into something more comfortable because this one will leave you breathless! This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/10/07/romance-a-love-story/
21:11
October 17, 2022
The Real Beauty is in the Struggle
The Real Beauty is in the Struggle
This week in the Cold, we talk about the existential thrill of the struggle. How taking on enormous endeavors - like writing novels or running marathons - has unique rewards that are great for our both our mental and physical health. They make us feel alive, of consequence, and at times...invincible. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/07/29/ive-got-a-great-new-word-youre-going-to-love/
14:48
October 02, 2022
Cold Men and the Cool Women Who Love Them
Cold Men and the Cool Women Who Love Them
This week in the Cold, I'm not only paying homage to my male readers (and the women who love them) but offering you all a glimpse into the historical fantasy BREATH series and giving you the lowdown on my newest BREATH novel, titled "Of Sand and Bone."  In just a few short days - Tuesday, Sept. 20th to be exact - I’ll be debuting this new novel…another I owe to you. All of you, but especially “my guys.” Not because I wrote these stories for those of you with an X chromosome, exactly. It’s more that I wrote them because of you. They are whole thanks to your imprint upon them. You showed me how a man thinks about love. You’ve shown me your hopes and dreams, your hearts, and I hope I’ve done them justice in my stories. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/08/26/cold-men-and-the-cool-women-who-love-them/ FYI, the "Of Sand and Bone" ebook will be debuting at its launch price of $4.99 for THIS WEEK ONLY. Beginning next week, it will go up to its regular retail price of $9.99, so get it while it's COLD. And if you wish to join my newsletter, visit victoriadoughertybooks.com, click GET IN TOUCH at the top, then click on SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER.
14:18
September 18, 2022
The Right Book Cover Can Be a Sublime, Mood-Setting Piece of Story Candy.
The Right Book Cover Can Be a Sublime, Mood-Setting Piece of Story Candy.
The week in the Cold, we're talking art. Book cover art to be more precise.  Probably my favorite part of the pre-launch of any new novel is when I get the finished cover in my inbox. For me, a book cover is a work of art, and its composition must reflect the heart of the story. But the cover must also communicate quality, years of passionate story writing, plus the world-building and fine-tuning that’s built into every novel, series, or epic. We share some of that process today - that of creating an image, or collection of images that help a reader enter into a story universe. I'd also love to share some actual cover art images from my "Breath" series with you. "Of Sand and Bone," the newest book in the historical fantasy saga is launching next week, along with all new and gorgeous covers for the series! You can find them on my blog: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/08/12/a-cover-reveal-and-other-sublime-mood-setting-story-candy/ And my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victoria_dougherty/ And my Facebook author page: (20) Victoria Dougherty | Facebook
11:02
September 11, 2022
Writing the End of a Fairytale
Writing the End of a Fairytale
This week in the Cold, we wrap up our ongoing autopsy of the fairytale genre, as well as finish the fairytale we have been building chapter by chapter from scratch. Although like many, if not all fairytales, the end can signify a new beginning. That beginning might be assured – with the time-immortal words “And they lived happily ever after,” or it might be more ambiguous... This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/06/18/and-so-we-come-to-the-end/
25:08
August 28, 2022
To Hell and Back: The Role of the Quest in Fairytales
To Hell and Back: The Role of the Quest in Fairytales
This week in the Cold, we continue our autopsy of the fairytale, focusing on the quest. In most fairytales, at least the ones that really capture our imaginations in a lasting, generations-long manner, a lover – often a prince or princess – must go on a quest. He or she has to perform a series of trials in order to prove worthy, not only of true love, but of a kingdom they are poised to inherit – whether that be a literal kingdom, an actual realm in a fictious country, or a place in God’s kingdom. The Brother’s Grimm tended to focus on the the former, while Hans Christian Andersen had a far more spiritual approach. Both interpretations are dramatic, exciting, and virtually irresistible. And damn it, not only are we going to examine what makes them so, but we're going to write a quest that'll blow you away! This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/05/28/to-hell-and-back-the-role-of-the-quest-in-fairytales/
21:33
August 21, 2022
The Role of Friendship in the Fairytale Genre
The Role of Friendship in the Fairytale Genre
This week in the Cold we continue our autopsy of the fairytale genre, focusing on the role of the friend. The friend, in any fairytale worth its salt, is instrumental in conquering evil and often acts as love's handmaiden. He clears the path for a pair of would-be lovers, so that order and prosperity can be restored to the realm. We are also continuing to write our own fairytale and building on our examinations of the tropes that are crucial in creating a great story that withstands the test of time. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/05/21/in-fairytales-friendship-is-instrumental-in-conquering-evil/
20:29
August 14, 2022
And They Lived Happily Ever After…Maybe
And They Lived Happily Ever After…Maybe
This week in the Cold, we're tackling the love stories that are the heart-center of every fairytale. Whether it's a platonic love, like the one between the siblings in Hansel and Gretel, or a romantic love like in Sleeping Beauty, all fairytales are love stories. And as we continue in our endeavor to build our own fairytale from scratch, we have a big decision to make. Will our lovers live happily ever after, or is there a darker, more complex lesson in their love story?  At the end of this episode - you'll get to vote how our tale with end! This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/05/07/and-they-lived-happily-ever-after-maybe/
21:00
August 04, 2022
The Moral of the Story
The Moral of the Story
 This week in the Cold, we talk about the moral center of every story, and how in fairytales, curses and choices play a primary role in constructing that moral. As we continue to build our own fairytale, we're playing with the importance of these moral choices, too. How a fairytale’s protagonists are shaped by their responses to curses, magical forces, and plain old bum luck. Through their actions and inactions, they teach us, the reader, how the choices we make today, will build the lives we will live tomorrow. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/04/23/curses-and-choices-the-moral-center-of-every-fairytale/
27:17
July 31, 2022
Bewitched: The Role of Magic in Fairytales and Great Storytelling
Bewitched: The Role of Magic in Fairytales and Great Storytelling
This week in the Cold, we’re continuing our autopsy of the fairytale genre, as well as the construction, from the ground up, of a brand new tale of magic, morality, and love, titled “Romakaji.” The role of magic is at the center of our episode, so get ready to be bewitched. All fairytales have an enchantment at their core, and the most memorable include some manner of sorceress casting spells and creating mayhem, right? Like putting a princess to sleep, feeding a poisoned apple to a step-daughter, turning a handsome, young lad into a frog or a beast. Evil Queens, witches, and fairy godmothers change the course of a maiden’s life, most often entangling her lover in their mischief, providing obstacles, but also opportunities for a smitten pair to show their devotion to one another, to demonstrate their worthiness of true love.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/04/16/witches-and-enchantments/
20:35
July 24, 2022
Writing the Damsel in Distress
Writing the Damsel in Distress
This week in the Cold, we venture into our third episode focusing on the fairytale genre. Not only are we writing our own fairytale, using all of the common tropes we loved as kids, and let's face it, still fall for as adults, but we're trying to figure out just what makes each of these tropes so compelling. Probably the most popular trope of is the damsel in distress. Writing a damsel in distress is tricky business. Damsels must be beautiful, have a moral dimension, and a memorable backstory. Most often, they are cursed, so they come with a lot of trouble. In other words, this is going to be fun. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/04/09/damsels-in-distress-and-dysfunction/
19:16
July 11, 2022
Strange Stories and the Strangers Who Inhabit Them
Strange Stories and the Strangers Who Inhabit Them
The moment a stranger enters a story there is a seismic shift, and reader or audience member knows things will never be the same...for good or ill. This week in the Cold, we examine the role of the stranger. How a stranger is introduced, and the way he is woven into a story. We then weave a stranger into our continuing story...the fairytale we've been writing by the seats of our pants. Please join us for this second chapter of "Romakaji." This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/03/26/strange-stories-and-the-strangers-who-inhabit-them/
10:06
June 27, 2022
The Genesis of a Fairytale
The Genesis of a Fairytale
This week in the Cold, we talk about how our very surroundings inspire us creatively, and how a change in our environment can find us walking new paths, dreaming new dreams, and conjuring stories we'd never entertained writing before. This happened to me recently, and I hadn't even left my house. I only contemplated doing so, staring at a picture of an old, stone cottage in the Cotswolds in England. Before I knew it, I was writing a fairytale...  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/03/19/come-dream-with-me/
17:38
June 20, 2022
What I've Learned About Sex and Love from Driving Carpool
What I've Learned About Sex and Love from Driving Carpool
This week in The Cold, we're talking about S-E-X from the ground up. From the way teens (at least the ones I eavesdrop on during carpool) view their own budding sexuality, to how our choices affect our lives in the long term, to the manners in which we interpret all of the conflicting information about sex and love, all the way to what we read about this monumentally important topic and why. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/eavesdropping-on-teens-as-they-talk-about-sex/
22:26
June 06, 2022
Typing THE END is Just the Beginning
Typing THE END is Just the Beginning
This week in the Cold, we talk about THE END. Because the weeks after finishing a novel can be sticky. It’s a time of fits and starts, frustration, and lack of focus. Even if you've got a dozen story ideas tucked away for just this occasion, there’s this feeling of depletion. You've given all you've got, and while proud of the work and relieved the story has made it to the finish line, a pervading sense of detachment and disorientation creeps up. You might feel like starting a new novel is a skill you've lost, like doing the splits, and you might not be able to master it again. And if you do feel that way...this week in the Cold is just for you, because we're going to do something about that! But if This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/05/20/a-plot-twist-worthy-of-a-coming-of-age-novel/
18:30
May 23, 2022
From Movie Stardom to Baseball: Childhood Dreams Leave a Mark on Our Lives
From Movie Stardom to Baseball: Childhood Dreams Leave a Mark on Our Lives
This week in the Cold, we talk about what we want to be when we grow up. Or at least, what we wanted to be when we were kids. This past week was also Carol Burnett's 89th birthday, and when I was a girl, more than anything in the world, I wanted to be Carol Burnett. That didn't happen, obviously. I became a novelist who writes some pretty serious books (although I'm still funny, damn it). But Carol has without question left a huge mark on my life. The truth is, whether we fulfill them, absorb and repurpose them, or reject them outright, childhood dreams give so much more than mere career direction.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/from-movie-stardom-to-baseball-childhood-dreams-leave-a-mark-on-our-lives/
17:07
May 02, 2022
Scary Roller Coasters are as Bad as Cancer
Scary Roller Coasters are as Bad as Cancer
Sounds crazy, right? But in a way, it's true. That's why this week in the Cold, we're talking about the ways in which we, as humans, and our favorite fictional characters, as people imagined by humans, process, interpret, and express pain and difficulty. We dive deep, we go to the roots of resilience and survival. You don't want to miss this one. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/scary-roller-coasters-are-as-bad-as-cancer/
19:03
April 25, 2022
In the Still of the Night
In the Still of the Night
This week in the Cold, we talk about the night, and what it brings to our creative and spiritual lives. I've had a complicated relationship with the dark all my life. Truth be told, I'm afraid of it - always have been. Yet, when I'm awake in the middle of the night, I often find it to be a time of potent magic. It's when my best ideas come, and I find myself immersed in a world of wonder and fantasy...and yes, sometimes fear. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/04/08/you-up/
15:49
April 11, 2022
Facing the Music
Facing the Music
This week in the Cold, we talk about the importance of music as an inspiration in our work, and our lives. The way it can change a mood - have us get up to shake and groove, make our hearts race, or curl up into a ball and let the tears flow. It can focus our thoughts, and help us reimagine our futures. Music can, quite literally, be the conduit for a shift in our destinies. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2018/09/14/face-the-music-and-dance/
21:13
April 04, 2022
A Map of Manhood from Antiquity to James Bond
A Map of Manhood from Antiquity to James Bond
Manhood. It almost feels archaic to write the word, because it’s become so muddled, seeming to have as many definitions and contradictions as there are coffee beverages offered at Starbucks. But manhood has been on all of our minds of late - you know it's true. As the Ukrainian conflict continues to unfold, and we watch (mostly) men leaving their families to fight the Russian invaders, as we ponder trans issues, as we try to sort out just why children who are raised without fathers are so at risk. That's why I think it's worth revisiting a clear map of manhood that has been right in front of us all along. It's one that was first drawn by the ancients, and fleshed out over millennia by various scribes who to the time to think about what it means to be a man, and wrote down their conclusions in the form of legends, novels and films. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/01/08/a-fictionistas-map-of-manhood-from-antiquity-to-james-bond/
21:45
March 21, 2022
A Long Day’s Journey Into Light
A Long Day’s Journey Into Light
It's been hard for me to consume news the past couple of weeks. For someone with my family history - two generations of political refugees, a mother who was an actual political prisoner and Enemy of the State - the crisis in the Ukraine has a very familiar ring, an awful, pit-in-my-stomach feel. I know I should at the very least be reading the front page of the paper, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do anything but...pray.  While I can't even pretend to have a workable grasp of the intricacies of the geopolitical forces at play in this conflict, all of this has the feeling of a "ground shifting beneath our feet" moment. I don't know what NATO should do or not do, or what the American President should be saying to the world. I do know, however, that people are suffering. And that's why I want to share a few words about prayer, and my continuing faith journey from Catholic to atheist to agnostic to shaky, often crappy, humbled, confused believer. It's not a strident piece that's trying to tell anyone what, if anything, to believe - and if you have no interest in my ruminations, I won't be offended. What it is is a sincere, if clumsy, explanation of why I even bother with this faith business. Why, despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to let it go. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/a-long-days-journey-into-light/
18:47
March 14, 2022
When Words Are Destiny - Written, Spoken, or Exchanged
When Words Are Destiny - Written, Spoken, or Exchanged
This week in the Cold, we talk about the art of conversation. There is a reason why in so many ancient cultures, the written word is synonymous with destiny. "It is written," they say. It's because words - written, spoken, exchanged - can have a profound effect on our lives. Conversations with lovers or strangers, even fictional parleys in a novel can adjust our perspectives, pull us away from a precipice we didn’t even realize we were standing on. They can remind us anything is possible, and that most of us don’t fit neatly into the slots we’ve been assigned by birth, media narratives, political plots, and traditional mythologies. We are all bundles of potential ready to be realized, firecrackers yearning to be lit.  "Breath" (Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Epic) by Victoria Dougherty: https://www.amazon.com/Breath-Victoria-Dougherty-ebook/dp/B08927XDZ2 This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2022/02/25/conversations/
17:49
February 28, 2022
Love and Forgiveness
Love and Forgiveness
Stories of love and forgiveness compel us in both literature and life. They help us examine our own behaviors, and understand the motives of our loved ones. They offer hope. Today in the Cold, I have just such a story to offer you. It's a magnificent, damned near miraculous story of love and forgiveness, and it is so much better than a mere Valentine. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/love-and-forgiveness/
15:48
February 14, 2022
Exploring the Art of the Love Scene
Exploring the Art of the Love Scene
This week in the Cold, we're talking about sex and love and how to make it burn in a story - lighting a fire that spreads from page to page. It's easier said than done. Because one of the hardest parts about writing a love scene is the simple act of letting go. Allowing yourself to experience the same feelings of bonzai-passion, trembling-fear, vein-popping love, and button-exploding lust in which your characters are awash during their most intimate moments. So, please, slip into something more comfortable and join us. Also, there a historical fiction and historical romance audio book event going on this coming Friday and Saturday, the  11th and 12th of February, on Facebook. This is your chance to win some wonderful audio books, including my own novel, "Breath" which is the first in an epic and romantic historical fantasy series. Don't you want to have sweet nothings whispered into your ear for hours upon hours? Join right here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/289526993161348/ This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/love-at-first-write-on-the-tricky-art-of-writing-a-love-scene/
14:01
February 07, 2022
A Love Letter to Winter
A Love Letter to Winter
This week in the Cold, we talk about what makes winter so damned enchanting, and why it's the most creative and romantic time of the year. I'll tell you about why I love the cold, and how I celebrate the poetry of winter - even as I sit through our second major snow storm in as many weeks. The first had us out of power and water for days. We lit a fire, boiled snow, shivered under blankets...and went to a lovely, old bed and breakfast when it all got to be too much. But that was part of the charm! Please join us. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/01/22/winter-in-the-cold/
14:59
January 17, 2022
There But for the Grace of God
There But for the Grace of God
This week in the Cold, we talk about those "there, but for the grace of God" moments. The missed opportunities, sharp left turns, and steps through the looking glass that might flip our lives upside down, but also offer unexpected gifts...like hope, clarity, and wisdom. Sometimes, they even save our lives. These abrupt changes of plans are the stuff of novels, of the stories we fiction writers love to conjure, but they're also real, psychically savage episodes in our human drama. And they happen to all of us. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/there-but-for-the-grace-of-god/
15:12
January 10, 2022
How to Make a New Year's Resolution...and Break It!
How to Make a New Year's Resolution...and Break It!
New Year's resolutions are famous for being comically short. We often start out strong, but by early spring have lost our mojo. If we haven't kicked our resolution to the curb entirely by that point, we've surely cheated. But all is not lost. This week in the Cold, you'll hear a story that will make sure you never feel shame for breaking a New Year's resolutions ever again. You might even fell a sense of thrill about your lack of resolve...especially when you look back and take note of what even your failed resolutions have brought into your life. My bet is that it's more than you think.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/12/31/how-not-keeping-a-new-years-resolution-turned-out-great/
18:48
January 03, 2022
My Kind of Town: The Glories of Chicago in the Cold
My Kind of Town: The Glories of Chicago in the Cold
This week in the Cold, we ring in the New Year with a few words on the magic of spending the winter in a f-f-freezing climate. You heard me. The enchantments happen in cities like Chicago, Toronto, Minneapolis, Prague, and Copenhagen. These are places where people have no choice but to make the best of it. They drink and cook and play games and tell stories and fall love in front of a hot fire! I dare say, that after this podcast, you'll never complain about the cold again. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/my-kind-of-town-the-glories-of-chicago-in-the-cold/
17:24
December 27, 2021
A Little Story to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit
A Little Story to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit
This week in the Cold, I have a story for you that will not only renew your faith in humanity, but leave you agog. It's about a man, an art collection, and a simple transaction between two sons that might just heal the world. Please join us. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/a-little-something-to-get-the-holiday-season-started/
12:49
December 13, 2021
Atonement, Enchantment, and Candy on St. Nicholas Day
Atonement, Enchantment, and Candy on St. Nicholas Day
This week in the Cold, we talk about the enchanting, utterly wonderful, magical, charming-as-hell traditions of St. Nicholas Day in Prague, and the spirit of atonement this day brings to the holiday season. This is armchair traveling at its finest, and storytelling at its most sincere. I've also got some St. Nicholas Day treats for Cold listeners. Just visit my blog in the link below and scroll down. There, you'll find links to my novels "The Bone Church" and "The Hungarian" (books 1 & 2 of The Cold War Chronicles), which are on sale all this week for a song. That's ebooks, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers. Happy St. Nicholas Day!  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/12/03/a-st-nicholas-day-secret-just-for-you/
14:27
December 06, 2021
A Candle for Dina, and a Prayer in Honor of the Power of Art
A Candle for Dina, and a Prayer in Honor of the Power of Art
This week in the Cold, I offer you one helluva story. It's a war story, a love story, and an account of survival from a woman I knew. I offer it in honor of the human spirit, in honor of Hanukkah, and my one quarter Jewish heritage. Most of all, in honor of art and the hope it inspires. And I do hope you'll join us. Here are the links to Dina Babbitt's interview for the Shoah Foundation. Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRMWD8L1xDg Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e85gLhT5c2A This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/a-candle-for-dina-a-prayer-in-honor-of-the-power-of-art/
16:30
November 29, 2021
A Cold Eye for Giving Thanks
A Cold Eye for Giving Thanks
A few years ago on my Cold blog (see link below), the first of what would become an annual list of gratitude was born. It was conceived as an opportunity to take stock and think about all of the elements of our lives – great and small – for which we're truly grateful. This quirky, misty-eyed scroll of various people, places, and things serves as a powerful reminder, that no matter where we are on our journey, we're still capable of feeling enchanted. Happy Thanksgiving Cold listeners. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/11/22/a-cold-eye-for-giving-thanks/
12:13
November 22, 2021
The Truth About Big, Fat Lies
The Truth About Big, Fat Lies
This week in the Cold, we ponder lies and the lying liars who tell them. I don't want to give too much away, because it's just too good. Swear it is! Please join us. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/herein-lies-the-truth/
14:46
November 15, 2021
What makes up a Hero?
What makes up a Hero?
Come join us this week in the Cold, as we take a hard look at the feats and character traits that make up a hero in both fiction and real life. The common definition of what it means to be a hero has become muddled in the past few years, falling victim to a culture war that has had us arguing over a lot of words and deeds that we used to pretty much agree on. Despite this, I think we all still know a hero when we see one. That's why it's worth endeavoring to put the hero back together piece by piece into someone we can all look upon with wonder again. A man or woman we can admire, emulate, and get behind. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/who-are-you-calling-a-hero/
18:27
November 08, 2021
Dracula, the Gothic Pimp
Dracula, the Gothic Pimp
Today in the Cold, we are talking about possibly the most fascinating, alluring, and confounding character in all of literature...Count Dracula. What is it about Bram Stoker's "Dracula" that inspired a global phenomenon that turned so many of us into undead junkies? Was it masterfully written - yes. Stoker wove a complex, culturally sophisticated, and truly terrifying horror story. Ultimately, though, I think the secret lies with the Count himself... This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/dracula-the-gothic-pimp/
11:52
October 25, 2021
My Life in a Haunted House (for real)
My Life in a Haunted House (for real)
As promised, this week in the Cold, I'm telling you all about what it's like to live in the wonderful, old, story-machine that is my home. Did I mention that it's haunted? Yes, haunted! But life in a house with a bit of history, and a smidge of woo-woo spirituality is not what you think. Don't even consider skipping this episode! This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/life-in-a-haunted-house/
13:31
October 18, 2021
The (Ghost) Stories We Tell
The (Ghost) Stories We Tell
This week in the Cold, we're talking about the woo-woo, the spiritual, the paranormal, and why even the most rational of us just love, love, love it. The paranormal is such a tasty spice in the stories we read and write. It can be a smaller element of a greater work of literature or genre fiction, like the witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth," or commandeer an entire story, as it did in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" or Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" and Maggie Steifvater's "Shiver." Big or small, it draws us in, opening up a world full of mystery, showing us both our darkest and best selves. Reminding us that anything is possible. I'm also including a link to a blog radio program I was on some years ago, hosted by two lovely women writer friends. I came across it again recently and had a listen. It's a great conversation about Historical Fiction and the paranormal elements in the stories we love, and I think you're going to enjoy it. Cover to Cover with Michele Gwynn and Jami Brumfield right here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cover2cover1/2015/07/16/historical-fiction-in-novels This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/the-ghost-stories-we-tell/
13:02
October 11, 2021
The Dangerous Allure of the Horror Story
The Dangerous Allure of the Horror Story
It's October, which means Cold is going all-in on ghosts, monsters, aliens, and all creatures of the night or things that go bump in the dark. This week, we're diving head-first into the bloody, brain-splattered world of the horror story! Horror, second only to Romance, is the most maligned genre in fiction. Rarely taken seriously, and treated more like a carnival sideshow. But I charge that horror is as integral a theme for our psyches as the love story, and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s presented in the form of schlocky genre fiction or serious literary endeavor. In the end, all horror stories serve the same master: An instinct to solve mysteries, seek out danger for the sake of mastering our fears and our environment, tame the monster within or without. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2020/01/10/truth-and-dare-the-dangerous-allure-of-the-horror-story/
16:58
October 04, 2021
The Lost Cosmonauts of the Soviet Union, and Other Harrowing Real-Life Space Tales
The Lost Cosmonauts of the Soviet Union, and Other Harrowing Real-Life Space Tales
Today in the Cold, we have some harrowing real-life stories that sound like they're straight out of science fiction. We uncover chilling tales of the lost cosmonauts of 1950s and 60s Soviet Russia, including what may be actual audio from one of these failed missions. It includes a female cosmonaut no less! We also ponder the very different ethics which distinguished the American and Soviet space programs of the Cold War. This episode comes right on the heels of Elon Musk's newest SpaceX endeavor - the Inspiration 4 - which is the first all-civilian mission to go into orbit. Our new space race - taking place mostly amongst our eccentric billionaire class, has a very different feel to it, and has certainly re-energized my passion for the stars. It's also gotten me thinking about the way we, as a culture, approach risk and danger as we venture back into manned space flight. Do check out the Inspiration4 homepage, as it details their mission including the pillars of leadership, hope, generosity, and prosperity that define it, and how the four crew members were chosen to exemplify these qualities. It's truly a science fiction writer's dream.https://inspiration4.com/  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/the-lost-cosmonauts-of-the-soviet-union/
21:25
September 20, 2021
Getting Damned Serious About Humor: How the "Outlander" Novels are a Gold Standard for Weaving Humor into an Epic
Getting Damned Serious About Humor: How the "Outlander" Novels are a Gold Standard for Weaving Humor into an Epic
This week in the Cold, we talk about humor as a crucial element to any story that endeavors to rise above cliché. We zero-in on Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" novels as a gold standard for tackling very serious topics like war, history, and love with a confident and unapologetic sense of humor. We look back on Shakespeare, Twain, Hemingway, Chandler, even ancient literature in order to illustrate how humor isn’t just something meant to make us feel good. It is defiant, subversive and smarter than we are. Through humor we can say things we’re too afraid to say, and speak truths that polite society won’t tolerate. Because ultimately, humor reminds us that no word or circumstance can hold power over us. You don't want to miss this one. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/getting-damned-serious-about-humor/
16:22
September 13, 2021
A Picture Becomes a Thousand Words: The Transcendental Role of Photography in Constructing a Historical Narrative
A Picture Becomes a Thousand Words: The Transcendental Role of Photography in Constructing a Historical Narrative
Join us in the Cold today as we excavate the past through photographs, and talk about how to make new worlds out of old ones. Photography is invaluable for me when I'm creating a work of historical fiction. Photos help me conjure stories I could have never constructed without the help of someone else's eye. The eye of a person who is perhaps long dead, but whose perspective lives on through the pictures they took for a newspaper article, or maybe just to commemorate a personal occasion or family vacation. These snapshots can have so many lives, and continue to reinvent themselves through the eyes of any imaginer who happens upon them. And if you'd like to see some of the photos that I use as inspiration every day, follow me on social media. I post a lot, and I mean A LOT of old pictures. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriadougherty.author/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victoria_dougherty/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicdougherty  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2021/07/30/a-picture-becomes-a-thousand-words/
24:41
August 30, 2021
Why Would Anyone Ever Have Children? (A few words on being a mother and living the creative life.)
Why Would Anyone Ever Have Children? (A few words on being a mother and living the creative life.)
I contend that raising kids and writing novels isn't a whole lot different. Both are hugely creative, ambitious, and gobsmackingly intimidating labors of love. So much so that a lot of people contemplating the creative life (and we use this terms loosely - there are a lot of ways to live a creative life) may wonder if taking on two such enormously challenging endeavors is even possible. That's why, in this longer episode of Cold - twice as long as our usual - we explore balancing the personal and professional. What are the trade-offs, the joys, the burdens, the mind-blowing emotional rollercoasters we might find ourselves riding? We ask...is it worth it? And yes, I do answer the question. Honestly.  Warning: Your time in the Cold this week might make your heart swell, or make you cringe - it might make you angry or hopefully or even more confused than when you started. But that's what we're here for.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/why-would-anyone-have-children/
29:45
August 23, 2021
The Sublime Whisper of the Bad Habit in Both Life and Literature
The Sublime Whisper of the Bad Habit in Both Life and Literature
There's isn't a truly compelling fictional story, let alone a real-life one, that doesn't in some way involve a bad habit. Whether it's a propensity that's relatively straightforward, like an excessive love of drink, or more opaque, like a secret lust for bad women. Bad habits have black magic - there's just no getting around that. As much as we might hate them, or hate ourselves for succumbing to our more base instincts, or look down our noses at others for their particular weaknesses, we're fascinated by them. More often than not, when it comes to the bad habit, we keep coming back for more. That's why this week in the Cold, we're going to do a bit of a deep dive into some of our worst proclivities, looking into our own personal motivations, as well as the impulses and inclinations of some of our favorite characters in literature. Buckle up - it's going to be a fun ride...unless we crash. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/the-sublime-whisper-of-the-bad-habit/
17:18
August 16, 2021
Chance Encounters and the Weird and Wonderful Ways They Transform Our Lives
Chance Encounters and the Weird and Wonderful Ways They Transform Our Lives
Last week in the Cold, we talked a bit about how huge adventures and calamities, like wars, for instance, are a breeding ground for coincidences and other extraordinary sequences of events. It's a big topic with so much to unpack, and it's well-worth expanding on. Only this week, I want us to approach it a little bit differently. I want to delve into how chance encounters, those little occurrences that happen in our day to day lives and can appear insignificant, can also utterly change our destinies. And the way fiction, when it's done right, not only mimics these uncanny developments, but wraps them in mystery and fantasy. It can make us believe in miracles and even shoot for the stars. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/chance-encounters/
15:33
August 04, 2021
The Communist Who Peed His Pants and Other True Stories
The Communist Who Peed His Pants and Other True Stories
There is a twisted, tangled, and often tactical relationship between true stories and works of fiction. True stories can inspire and influence a fiction author's work, bringing a level of enchantment to her story. Or a true story can stumble its way into a perfectly good tale and wreck it, make it seem unreal somehow.  But when it's done right, it can change an author's heart and blow a reader's mind.  I've mixed a lot of fact and fiction in my stories - especially in my earlier novels - the ones closer in theme to my own family lore. I don't know how many minds I've blown, if any at all, but I do know that my own mesh of fact and fiction has changed my heart. And if I've put you in the mood for seeing if any of my work can change your's, even potentially blow your mind, check out my novels here, on my website: www.victoriadoughertybooks.com This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/the-communist-who-peed-his-pants-and-other-war-stories/
16:27
July 26, 2021
The Vital Role of Music in Storytelling
The Vital Role of Music in Storytelling
I've always used music to juice myself creatively. I can't imagine writing a work of fiction without using music as an inspiration, and even go so far as to actually build soundtracks for every story in my catalogue. That's why on this week's Cold, we're talking music and its often crucial, magical connection to the construction of a story. I use a variety of music genres to inspire my work, and the genre of music depends on the nature of the story I'm writing, but I defininetly play favorites when it comes to pairing songs and music styles with fictional universes. In this episode I focus specifically about how and why I use the Blues to animate my Cold War Historical Fiction, as well as almost any scene, regardless of the genre, that has an element of grit and heartache. For those interested in my Cold War fiction, links to Books 1 and 2 of The Cold War Chronicles follow. The Bone Church: https://books2read.com/u/4A5wEK  The Hungarian: https://books2read.com/u/m2loOR This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/even-cowgirls-like-me-get-the-blues/
13:57
July 19, 2021
Memories, Myths, and Alchemy: What Makes Up a Work of fiction?
Memories, Myths, and Alchemy: What Makes Up a Work of fiction?
I often forget how opaque the creative process may seem – even to those who live with artists. Few people outside the realm of painters, writers, musicians and their ilk have anything more than a rudimentary understanding of the way it all really works. That's why I thought it might be interesting if we tried to articulate some of the steps that go into writing of a work of fiction. To pick through the bones that hold up each and every discordant part, providing architecture to the stories we endeavor to tell. Because for those on the outside, the creative process might seem like magic. It can appear to be an almost paranormal journey with exciting bursts of imagination that turn into a warm rush of ideas that can make a narrative feel like destiny. And while that's true sometimes, that journey can just as easily turn into a hot mess. Or have a hard time getting started at all. And if you're interested in reading "Savage Island" or "Breath," which are referenced in this episode, here are the links. "Savage Island" by Victoria Dougherty - https://books2read.com/u/bowBVR "Breath," by Victoria Dougherty - https://books2read.com/u/31Kkwa This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/tonights-lecture-will-be-on-the-creative-process-whether-you-like-it-or-not/
17:14
July 13, 2021
Fireworks and Cold War Facts and Fictions
Fireworks and Cold War Facts and Fictions
In honor of the coming 4th of July Holiday here in America, we're going to take some time here on Cold to celebrate independence, free thought, and free living. We'll do it through the lenses of both fiction and non-fiction, and talk about my own personal stories of Cold War adventure that include my family's dangerous exploits and my life and travels in post-communist Eastern and Central Europe. Fun, heartbreaking, and darkly comic stories that will stay with you throughout the day, and give you something to think about while you're watching the fireworks this coming weekend. And if you just can't get enough of the topic - and who can? - please visit my friend Mark Bakers travel blog on Central Europe at  https://markbakerprague.com/ Mark makes his home in Prague and has been in the region a long time, critter-crawling through little-known towns, haunting eccentric-looking cafes, taking gorgeous pictures, and writing for publications like Lonely Planet. He has such an artistic eye and knows a great story – the kind you’ll rarely find in mainstream publications. As for the fiction part, if you're in the mood for some Cold War fiction full of atmosphere, eccentric characters, danger, passion, and soul, please check out books 1 and 2 of The Cold War Chronicles, The Bone Church and The Hungarian. I've started writing book three and it's a wild ride! Get em here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08W1HDX4T?ref_=dbs_p_mng_rwt_ser_shvlr&storeType=ebooks This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/100-craptastic-years-of-communism/
16:22
June 28, 2021
How to Time-Travel Without a Time Machine
How to Time-Travel Without a Time Machine
We are all time-travellers of a sort. Maybe few of us actually step into a time machine or through some standing stones and find ourselves in a new (or rather, old) time and place, but jumps in time happen to us nonetheless. It's when we visit an old haunt, move to a new city, or start going out into the world again after a long pandemic lockdown. That, too, makes us move in time. It's juices us creatively, matures us quite suddenly, and gives us a brand new perspective...sometimes a new lease on life. That's what we're talking about today on Cold. How these jumps in time nourish our imaginations and bring texture to our lives. How we would be lost without them, even if they can feel frightening and destablizing. If you're interested in reading "Welcome to the Hotel Yalta," the book of Noir short stories I reference in this podcast, you can dowload a free copy right here:  https://books2read.com/u/mYRRGW This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/on-old-haunts-daughters-and-time-travel/
19:10
June 21, 2021
Men in Love and War
Men in Love and War
Men. As a writer and a woman, this is a topic of endless fascination for me. Given that I'm a thriller writer at my core, and add to that the fact that I've been endeavoring to write a great, epic romance filled with sensuality, violence and adventure, it's a topic that's become of great professional interest over the years. Because writing men of adventure is the easy part. We know what to expect from that man, that character in fiction. We know he will go on the journey, take the red pill, run into the burning building. What's a bit more complicated is fleshing that man out, making his character, his values, his dreams of love simmer beneath the surface. So, that's why today in the Cold, we are delving into the hearts and souls of the most compelling men in our lives. The ones we want to write and read about. The one's we desire as lovers, husbands, fathers of children. The ones that make us stay up all night long, turning page after page. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/men-in-love-and-war/
23:23
June 14, 2021
Repeating History: Why Writing About the Past Matters
Repeating History: Why Writing About the Past Matters
Writers of historical characters and events have always had to balance being true to a given era and yet relatable to contemporary readers. But doing this is easier said than done...especially in today's cultural climate. That's why we're talking about the strictures that political correctness can place on writers of Historical Fiction, and whether this is having an impact on the genre both artistically and commercially.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/repeating-history-why-writing-about-the-past-matters/
16:56
June 07, 2021
Perils and Pleasures of the Writing Life
Perils and Pleasures of the Writing Life
This week in the Cold, we're talking about the writing life in all of its complicated glory. Not only how we writers evolve and develope the daily habits that allow us to finish massive pieces of work, like a novel, but the emotional journey of mining our personal experiences for our creative efforts. How very differently we deploy our imaginations when writing fiction versus non-fiction, and the mine fields we need to navigate as we expose not only our own hearts, but potentially the hearts of those we love. Folks, it is daunting, and it is beautiful.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/the-writing-life/
14:07
May 24, 2021
What Happens When You Vow to Say "Yes!"?
What Happens When You Vow to Say "Yes!"?
Last year, about six weeks before the COVID lockdowns hit, I made a vow to say yes to any invitation that came my way - no matter who it was from or what kind of event I was getting myself into. The results, in just those few short weeks, were dramatic. Not only did I end up at a freakin' KISS concert (I did say I'd accept ANY invitation, right?), but I made new and true friendships that helped take me through a long and stressful pandemic. That's why, as COVID structures have begun to relax in earnest, I  have vowed to retake my vow of YES. And I'm inviting you all to join me! This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2020/02/12/how-i-ended-up-at-the-kiss-concert/
22:11
May 17, 2021
Why a World Without Pain is a Wasteland
Why a World Without Pain is a Wasteland
Pain is awful, frightening, destablizing, and thrilling. Yes, thrilling! It's why a writer must put her characters through the wringer or else risk losing the reader. We want to experience a character having to do battle, to transcend agonizing, sometimes impossible circumstances, to rise above them, or perhaps, as a cautionary tale, let their pain consume them. Reading about pain is a dress rehearsal for confronting our own challenges, and for performing a kind of autopsy on our real-world reactions to painful episodes in our lives. It's why I believe that a world without pain would be a wasteland. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/why-a-world-without-pain-is-a-wasteland/
17:08
May 10, 2021
Under the Spell of the Moon
Under the Spell of the Moon
I don't know anyone who has not fallen under the spell of the moon at one time or another. We stand under the full moon, gazing up into her face, letting her cold, blue light wash over us. We dream, we yearn, we make wishes. We stay up to photograph supermoons, like many of us did last week when a pink supermoon appeared in our skies. Every creative person I know believes in muses of some sort, or has talismans they use to inspire them, summon ideas. For me, that muse has always been the moon. And in this episode of Cold, we talk about the magic of the moon, and the very process of harnessing that magic and deploying it in our creative lives. In the spirit of moon magic, I'm also offering Cold listeners a chance to get a promo code to listen to "Savage Island," the teaser novel to my "Breath" series for FREE on Audible. I'm giving away ten of these promo codes to you all, so please get in touch via  Twitter (@vicdougherty)  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriadougherty.author/ Instagram: victoria_dougherty My website: https://victoriadoughertybooks.com/contact-us/ Just say, "Hit me up, woman, I want to listen to Savage Island!" and if you're one of the first ten, your wish is my command. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/under-the-spell-of-the-moon-on-savage-island/
17:44
May 03, 2021
Bad Writing Day. In All Its Mundane Glory.
Bad Writing Day. In All Its Mundane Glory.
This week in the Cold, we're talking about what a bad writing day is really like. We've all had them. Days when none of our usual tricks work. We can't go for a walk to reboot - the weather is crap, no amount of research or internet surfing is delivering that spark of inspiration, the words trip out onto the page like bad dancers. But there's a method to the madness, and there are ways we can turn these terribly, awful, no good, very bad days into something we can use. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2020/08/14/bad-writing-day-in-all-its-mundane-glory/
18:26
April 26, 2021
Why We Must Write What We Don't Know
Why We Must Write What We Don't Know
This week in the Cold, we're talking about the noble art of writing way outside of our experience. "Write what you know" is not bad advice for a beginning writer. It gives us a place to start that's familiar and tangible. But it's incomplete, because a crucial part of the magic of writing fiction, or non fiction for that matter, is in discovery. Imagination is the fairy dust that makes our stories come alive, and walking in the shoes of a being that may be nothing like us, in a culture that is as alien as a distant planet, is not only the stuff of great fantasy, but it is the foundation of compassion. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/writing-what-you-dont-know/
16:47
April 19, 2021
Eye of the Beholder: Beauty in Myths, Fairytales, and Great Stories
Eye of the Beholder: Beauty in Myths, Fairytales, and Great Stories
This week in the Cold, we talk about beauty. The way it shapes how we view the world and how it can alter our perceptions for good or ill. The role beauty plays in how we write or interpret a story and its characters is crucial and infinite. Because beauty is about so much more than a pretty face or a hot body. In great stories, we use it to inspire empathy, to foment passion, to find the weakness in another human being and use it to destroy them. It is truly an awesome tool. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/the-eye-of-the-beholder/
17:24
April 12, 2021
Wander with Me
Wander with Me
Whether we wander in our backyards or neighborhoods, or wander all over the world, wandering is an important prerequisite for any creative person. It juices us, opens the doors to the made-up worlds that we build and inhabit when it all gets to be too much. Wherever and however we wander, wandering enriches our lives in ways we can rarely predict. And we rarely regret that we ever embarked on the journey. So, please come wandering with me today... This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2020/11/12/wandering/
17:54
April 09, 2021
The Bone Church: Real and Imagined
The Bone Church: Real and Imagined
Last time in the Cold, we talked about where we write and how the places where we compose our stories help us create worlds that a reader can experience with all of their senses. How our various talismans - photos, artifacts, books, furniture - discipline and inspire us. Today, we're looking at place a little bit differently. We're pondering the places we write about and how they can serve as the anchors of our stories. And I tell you about a very specific place that inspired me to write my first novel. It's a sacred place of mystery, love, and even horror. It's called The Bone Church, and once you hear about it, you'll be dying to go there. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/the-bone-church-real-and-imagined/
11:36
April 05, 2021
Where We Write and Create
Where We Write and Create
Today in the Cold, we're talking about how the spaces we occupy when we endeavor to write or create affect our work, and inspire our imaginations. Place is very important to me. I like to surround myself with talismans, artifacts, and photos that help me build my fictional universes from the ground up. That's why I'm going to give you a tour of my home office - where I love to create. Some of the things I've got in there might surprise and delight you, while others might make you queasy or uncomfortable. Either way, come have a seat in my home office...the coffee is good and so is the conversation.  This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/my-life-in-a-9-by-9-foot-cell/
16:02
April 01, 2021
Welcome to The Cold
Welcome to The Cold
I'm Victoria Dougherty, fiction and essay writer, blogger, collector of family lore. And I want to welcome you into the Cold. Cold is the way revenge is best served; the way a war was fought; the way a story should be told. It's a forum for people who love great stories. Ones that are real, made up, and everything in between. The kind that make you take a sharp inhale of breath and dig-your-fingernails-into-the-sofa. Time-old tales of lovers, killers, curses, and destinies.  So pour a plum brandy, tip your hat, pull your raincoat shut, and light a fire. It'll be the best ten minutes of your day. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://victoriadougherty.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/baby-its-cold-outside/
08:20
March 29, 2021