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Hiveminded Episode 007

Episode 7! Guan talks about Rebecca Stead’s YA novel When you reach me, Bec talks about the movie Lion and Karen talks about Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love. Relationships, inspiration and the power of story: just a few of the things we cover this episode!


When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead).

Newbery Medal.

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle).

Clueless (IMDB).

Easy A (IMDB).

10 Things I Hate About You (IMDB).

The Magicians (Lev Grossman).

Sad Kermit (and the story behind Sad Kermit).

Austenland (IMDB). This is the scene Bec talks about:

Terry Pratchett.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood (Jennifer Senior) quote:

Young children may be gruelling, young children may be vexing, and young children may bust and redraw the contours of their parents’ professional and marital lives. But they bring joy too. Everyone knows this (hence: “bundles of joy”). But it’s worth considering some of the reasons why. It’s not just because they’re soft and sweet and smell like perfection. They also create wormholes in time, transporting their mothers and fathers back to feelings and sensations they haven’t had since they themselves were young. The dirty secret about adulthood is the sameness of it, its tireless adherence to routines and customs and norms. Small children may intensify this sense of repetition and rigidity by virtue of the new routines they establish. But they liberate their parents from their ruts too.

All of us crave liberation from those ruts. More to the point, all of us crave liberation from our adult selves, at least from time to time. I’m not just talking about the selves with public roles to play and daily obligations to meet. (We can find relief from those people simply by going on vacation, or for that matter, by pouring ourselves a stiff drink.) I’m talking about the selves who live too much in their heads rather than their bodies; who are burdened with too much knowledge about how the world works rather than excited by how it could work or should; who are afraid of being judged and not being loved. Most adults do not lie in a world of forgiveness and unconditional love. Unless, that is, they have small children.

The most shameful part of adult life is how blinkered it makes us, how brittle and ungenerous in our judgments. It often takes a much bigger project to make adults look outward, to make them “boundless and unwearied in giving,” as the novelist and philosopher C.S. Lewis writes in The Four Loves. Young children can go a long way toward yanking grown-ups out of their silly preoccupations and cramped little mazes of self-interest—not just relieving their parents of their egos, but helping them aspire to something better.

(Jennifer Senior, All Joy and No Fun, HarperCollins, 2014, pp. 98-99.)

“When I Grow Up” from the musical of Matilda by Tim Minchin (6:17 min).


Lion. Trailer:

A Long Way Home (Saroo Brierley).

Adopt Change.

On Dev Patel’s Australian accent.

Ladies in Black (musical). Trailer:

Women in Black (book) (Madeleine St John).

84 Charing Cross Road and Q’s Legacy (Helene Hanff).

Wishful Drinking (Carrie Fisher).


The Course of Love (Alain de Botton).

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.

The School of Life (YouTube channel).

“Because a story involves both data and emotions, it’s more engaging—and therefore more memorable—than simply telling someone, ‘Those berries are poisonous.’” (Source).

Alain de Botton’s lecture “On love” Opera House lecture as part of their Ideas series (1 hr 13 min).

The Good Marriage (Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee): terrific book on marriage that asks the question, “What makes marriages last?” and following on from Wallerstein’s lengthy and indepth research into divorce and the effect of divorce on American families.

The Art of Belonging (Hugh Mackay).

Robert McKee.

Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass.

Donald Miller’s Storyline and Storybrand.

Story Genius (Lisa Cron).

What we’re working on

Guan on Twitter (follow him to hear more about the Gathered podcast).

Mad for Markers’ character-a-week challenge (join in!)

Neil Gaiman on how stories last (1 hour 43 minutes). Quotes and highlights on Brainpickings.

Scott Myers from GoIntoTheStory interviews Mary Coleman, a senior development executive at Pixar:

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Hiveminded Episode 006

Guan is in the wilds of Malaysia with his family, so filling his shoes this week is none other than Kathleen Jennings. Unfortunately because I (Bec) forgot to properly brief Kathleen on recording things, there is occasionally a bit of an echo, the sound quality goes up and down throughout, and some of Kathleen’s comments are lost to history because I couldn’t tidy up the audio enough. Apologies, dear listener!

This is a bumper episode—over an hour long!—during which we discuss the animated movie Sing, Australian history and the irreverent book Girt, and aviation history and why Kathleen is passionate about it. We also talk about the Importance of Supporting Artists (one of Oscar Wilde’s lesser-known works), Patreon, crowdfunding and many, many other things. Enjoy!


1:57: Sing: official website/IMDB.

3:10: The song our Happy Meal toy was singing was “Set It All Free”, sung by Scarlett Johansson (Spotify link).

(Incidentally, one of the best bits of the film is where Johansson does Carly Rae Jepsen🙂

3:44: Garth Jennings on IMDB. (Official website.)

Background to Sing (Sydney Morning Herald feature piece).

5:37: Taron Egerton on IMDB.

5:43: Kingsman: The Secret Service: based on the Secret Service comics by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons (which I have not read), but a lot of things were changed in the adaptation. Being a Mark Millar project, however, it is super violent and unnecessarily gratuitous in places (like the final scene, which is apparently a reference to the James Bond film Moonraker). But the best thing about it is Colin Firth being superhero-ish—for example, this clip (2:21 min):

(The later scene where he completely tears up an American church under the influence of the supervillain’s frequency is very hard to watch though.)

(Also, for a very interesting but extremely long [i.e. about 16,000 words long] take on Kingsman, I recommend this article by Film Critic Hulk.)

6:03: Tori Kelly (official site).

8:33: Zootopia.

10:45: Peppa Pig.

11:29: The Little Mermaid.

12:06: Robin Hood (the 1973 Disney version).

12:39: My Neighbour Tororo (one of my favourite Studio Ghibli films).

13:04: Whisper of the Heart (my FAVOURITE Studio Ghibli film).

13:30: Diana Wynne Jones.

14:18: Ponyo (Studio Ghibli goodness for very little kids).

14:46: The Ponyo theme song:

The My Neighbour Totoro theme song:


15:11: Girt: the Unauthorised History of Australia (David Hunt).

15:22: Audible.

17:22: True Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia Volume 2 (David Hunt).

17:50: Woolmers Estate.

20:37: Great British Tales of Terror: Gothic Stories of Horror and Romance, 1765-1840 (Peter Haining)

22:15: Frances Burney’s account of her 1812 mastectomy.

25:42: Ancestry.


30:40: Kathleen’s Patreon. Also, we never really explained what Patreon is: it’s a site where fans can sign up to financially support creators they like, becoming, in effect, patrons of that creator. Creators offer their patrons exclusive bits and pieces depending on the amount of money the patron pledges.

31:38: Empire of the Clouds (James Hamilton-Paterson).

Marked for Death: The First War in the Air (James Hamilton-Paterson).

32:42: My God, It’s A Woman (Nancy Bird).

34:14: Flying Nurse (Robin Miller).

34:57: Early Birds (H.C. Miller).

36:46: The Wind Rises: Studio Ghibli feature biopic about Jiro Horikoshi, who designed fighter planes for World War II.

38:48: Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein).

40:28: Harriette Wilson’s Memoirs (with introduction by Lesley Blanch).

42:20: The Letters of Private Wheeler (ed. B.H. Liddell Hart).

43:26: The Lie Tree (Frances Hardinge).

43:42: Cuckoo Song (Frances Hardinge).

What we’re working on

46:19: Elastagirl from The Incredibles.

46:26: Helen Mirren in Red 2:

48:15: Kathleen’s masquerade ball drawings (January calendar).

51:42: Tremontaine.

56:10: Cranky Ladies of History (ed. Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely).

57:49: Ryan K. Lindsay.

1:01:41: Rory Shiner’s article on church scheduling, in which he talks about time, energy and money. Here are the relevant parts:

People have basically four things they can give—time, energy, gifts and resources—but the mix can vary enormously. Generally speaking, university students have copious amounts of time, significant supplies of energy, limited though fast-emerging gifts, and very limited resources. University-based ministries intuitively recognise this. It’s not uncommon (and in many ways not unreasonable) for a student to be involved in a couple of small groups on campus plus an evening small group at church, to be active in the church’s youth or children’s ministry, and to attend two or three conferences a year. Time and energy are the principle commodities students have to give, and they often given them generously …

Now consider the circumstances of the average family in a local church. Families have those same four resources—time, energy, gifts and resources—but the deck is dealt very differently. A family with young children; with one or two people working; with school and associated commitments; with life-administration; who also want to have meaningful relationships within their community… People in this stage of life have extremely limited time resources, and very limited energy. Their gifts have by now emerged and been developed, and there is often now a stable income with a base for sustainable giving. But time is very precious, and every draw on that resource is a zero-sum game. It’s the same with energy. A late-night, poorly-chaired elders meeting can take literally two or three nights to recover from in terms of the sleep-debt. The weekend lie-in is a long way off. At certain stages of family life, it does not exist. Time and energy are finite resources.

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Hiveminded Episode 005

It’s the end of the year and we are each sharing three of our favourite things from 2016. There’s lots of good stuff, including the delightful NZ flick Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the body positivity doco Embrace, the pop perfection of Taylor Swift and lots more!


2:02: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (trailer).

5:09: “The Paradox of Kanye West: Review of The Life of Pablo”.

5:27: A Seat at the Table (Solange).

7:39: The Game of Kings (Dorothy Dunnett).


11:14: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver).

14:10: Cooked. Trailer:

16:36: The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)

17:11: Embrace


Get it on iTunes and have a bunch of friends over to watch it and talk about it. Seriously.


20:21: Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert).

21:33: “Magic Lessons” podcast.

23:34: 1989 (Taylor Swift).

“Blank Space”

“Shake It Off”


24:39: Red

24:44: Fearless

“Love Story”

“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together”


“All Too Well”

25:45: Raina Telgemeier





28:48: Fabled Kingdom (Queenie Chan)

29:58: Scott McCloud on closure in Understanding Comics

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Hiveminded Episode 004

Oh we rambled here, we rambled there, we rambled pretty much everywhere in this episode! Bec starts us off with thoughts about Gilmore Girls and the reaction of loyal fanbases to reboots. Karen shares thoughts that sprang from conversations with Kathleen Jennings about creativity, the creative process and how different creative people work. Guan pivots from that into talking more about Lisa Cron’s Story Genius and the hacks we sometimes need to use in order to create. We also talk colour theory and gardening, new story ideas and lots more!


1:15: Gilmore Girls.

Gilmore Girls: A year in the life.

2:40: My box set (I mean, did the designer even watch the show?!)

4:32: Gilmore Girls‘ Amy Sherman-Palladino: The Revival Post Mortem Interview You’ve Been Waiting For.

5:05: Gilmore Girls’ final words change everything we believe about Rory and Stars Hollow.

10:18: Sandman Overture.

10:42: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Other things:

AV Club on the new opening sequence.

Lauren Graham Talks Return to Gilmore and Her “Fall” Monologue.

My favourite recaps so far because they don’t shy away from the problems with the reboot, but they don’t hate on it either: AV Club.

More of my own musings on the responses to the reboot.


14:22: Comic Street.

14:54: Kathleen Jennings’s blog (she is the patron saint of our podcast!)

Magic Lessons podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

17:19: Art and Motherhood: The Divided Heart by Rachel Power.

One of the interviews with Rachel Power (and others) where people seem to imply that mothers shouldn’t be engaging in creative work (goes for about 54 minutes).

17:55: My messy desk: it’s a sea of encroaching piles!

18:31: Bullet Journal.

21:58: Plotters vs. pantsers: an exploration by Cindi Myers.

24:31: The source for the Ann Patchett quote:

Over lunch she tells me that she read a Charles Bukowski poem that morning that ends “those who/ succeed/ know/ this secret:/ there isn’t/ one.” It’s stayed with her, perhaps because writing, more than any other art form, is susceptible to “rules”, chief among them being to write every day.

“Don’t you think men are the ones that always say that?” she says. “I’m not sure I’ve heard a woman say you have to write every day. They’re too busy making dinner.”


Film Crit Hulk agrees with Guan that the Force Awakens is a terrible movie.

30:36: The Creative Habit (Twyla Tharp).

31:18: The Artist’s Way (Julia Cameron).

32:13: Story Genius (Lisa Cron).

36:49: The Feel of Steel (Helen Garner).

37:46: Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott).

41:58: Rising Strong (Brené Brown).

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Hiveminded Episode 003

Hiveminded Episode 003

It’s episode 3—in which we learn that Guan seems to be reading the “best book ever” every week, Bec seems to be only consuming things that are about historical events, and although Karen is a wordsmith, she’s not really a lyrics person.


1:23: Tam Lin by Pamela Dean.

Retrospective on Tam Lin on Tor (some spoilers).

3:43: Class (Doctor Who spinoff).

10:12: Fairy Tale series edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow.

10:40: The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess.


13:43: The Crown.

I’m enjoying the Fug Girls’ recaps: it’s kind of the commentary I imagine I would have if I was watching the show with a friend.

15:25: Victoria: The woman who made the modern world by Julia Baird.

15:33: Queen Elizabeth: A Portrait of the Queen Mother by Penelope Mortimer.

16:06: The Young Victoria.

16:33: The Queen.

17:06: The King’s Speech.

17:21: A Royal Night Out.

17:29: I’m Not There

18:39: I didn’t really “just remember”, I looked it up 😛 (see link above).


19:13: Sia’s website.

21:15: “Breathe Me”, which was used for the finale of Six Feet Under.

24:24: Pitch Perfect 2.

Jessie J: “Flashlight” (3:52 min).

25:28: Music video to “Chandelier” with Maddie Ziegler (3:51 min).

26:14: Sia performs “Chandelier” on The Ellen Show with Maddie Ziegler dancing (4:35 min).

Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Sia (10:58 min).

27:56: Spotify playlist of Karen’s favourite Sia songs (err… there are 38 and they’re in rough chronological order).

What we’re working on

28:55: Story Genius by Lisa Cron.

29:27: Gathered podcast, companion to

32:05: The Everyday Gratitude Diary.

34:51: Comic Street: Saturday 3 December, 12-6pm, Queen Street Mall stage, Brisbane CBD.

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Hiveminded Episode 002

Apologies for the weird sound issues—occasional echoes, Bec sounding like she’s speaking through a pillow, and other things. We’ll get it right one day!

In this episode, Guan talks about Lillian Beckwith’s Hebridean Tales, Bec gushes about Hamilton, and Karen reflects on the many things she saw at the GRAPHIC festival in Sydney. In the mix, we also chat about the value of art, what constitutes an interesting story and what we’re working on at the moment.

Here are links to things we mentioned:


1:27: The Hills is Lonely—Lillian Beckwith’s Hebridean Tales.

4:49: John OliverLast Week Tonight: Some videos may or may not play depending on where in the world you are (grrr), but you can often find unofficial YouTube clips that others have uploaded.

5:40: A Prairie Home CompanionGarrison Keillor.

7:17: Rosehaven.


11:05: NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month.

11:44: Hamilton on Broadway.

13:13: Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter.

13:20: Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton.

13:38: Lin-Manuel Miranda at the White House Poetry Jam.

15:31: Hamilton: The Revolution, aka the Hamiltome.

15:58: Hamilton’s America—stream at PBS until November 18 2016.

16:27: Hamilton soundtrack and mixtape details.

17:28: Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins.

18:28: Pop Culture Happy Hour Hamilton episode.

19:13: One of Guan’s fave podcasts, The Memory Palace.


20:15: GRAPHIC Festival homepage.

20:50: Neil Gaiman.

The Truth is in a Cave in the Black Mountains (illustrated by Eddie Campbell).

21:25: Matt Groening’s Wikipedia page.

21:39: Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories TV series.

Most of the short films in Likely Stories were adapted from his short story collection Smoke and Mirrors.

(KB: Forgot to mention this: Neil Gaiman appeared in an episode of The Simpsons in season 23: “The Book Job”.)

21:43: Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously.

21:58: KB: I was wrong: Neil Gaiman’s newest book (due out in February) is called Norse Mythology.

22:50: Bill Plympton’s website. (KB: I forgot to mention that he did a couch gag for The Simpsons, which you can view here [1:26 min].)

23:10: Brandon Graham’s website.

23:34: The Wicked and the Divine comic series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. (#17 was done by Brandon Graham, who blogged about the experience and put up some behind-the-scenes process stuff on his blog. Warning: adult content and language.)

Australian comic creators:

24:47: THX 1138.

25:56: Book Create Australia: A site that raises awareness of the government’s plans to introduce parallel importation. (While we’re on the subject, please consider signing the petition against this move.)

26:05: Break down of the current round of Australia Council funding.

26:15: A Sydney Morning Herald article about the proposed changes the government wants to make to degrees in creative fields.

28:28: The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World (Lewis Hyde).

What we’re working on

31:22: Guan’s working on another podcast as part of Gathered, about compassion and creativity!

33:13: Everyday Gratitude: website and Facebook page.

33:41: Kathleen Jennings’s blog.

35:07: Anthony Calvert: “The Light”: Pat Herbert, founder of the Hurdy Gurdy Museum, recalls the first time he heard radio (5:21 min).

35:43: Creators for Creators grant.

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Hiveminded Episode 001

It’s our very first episode—recorded in the Inner West of Sydney, a closet in the Inner West of Sydney, and in the outer northwest of Launceston. Yep, we are separated by geography, but technology is a wonderful thing. Apologies for any audio oddities; this was our first run at recording in different locations and splicing it all together. We shall improve!

In case it’s not immediately apparent, the structure of the podcast is for each of us to introduce one topic and then we all chat about it for around 10 minutes, making the podcast roughly half an hour. We’re aiming to post a new episode every second Wednesday.

We hope you enjoy it!

So here are the show notes:

1:03: Guan talks about microcommunities and social networks.

1:52: Uncommon: The internet’s front porch. Gathered: A digital co-working space for compassionate creatives.

9:35: “What Will Break People’s Addictions to Their Phones?”: an article about social media and the processes driving monetization (and the person trying to stand in the way of it).

10:20: Bec talks about revisiting beloved shows, books and films to see whether they stand the test of time. She has recently been rewatching the ABC TV series Seachange.

Seachange official site: good for nostalgia’s sake, or for those too young to remember what websites looked like in the late 90s.

And because who doesn’t love a good ‘where are they now’: “The stars of Seachange—where are they now?”

15:37: A Little Princess (the movie).

17:15: Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar books.

19:40: Karen has been reading Brené Brown’s books. The ones she has been reading are: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and she’s currently in the middle of I Thought it Was Just Me (But it Isn’t).

20:20: Brené Brown’s TEDxHouston talk on “The power of vulnerability” (20:19 min).

21:15: Related to the depression and worthiness stuff, Brown talks about worthiness and feeling “enough” in more detail in this podcast interview with Koren Motekaitis (58:30 min).

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