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Two Hearts and One Braincell: Cassidy Carson & JT Hume Amateur Hour

Two Hearts and One Braincell: Cassidy Carson & JT Hume Amateur Hour

By Cassidy Carson and JT Hume

Cassidy Carson and JT Hume are longtime partners, readers, and independent writers who bring their decades of experience to the podcast world. We start with writing tips, techniques, and challenges, and goes on to explore the interesting world and universe around us.
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For The Birds

Two Hearts and One Braincell: Cassidy Carson & JT Hume Amateur HourApr 16, 2021

Finding Time
May 14, 202340:37
May 07, 202339:50
Writers' Workshop

Writers' Workshop

For Carson City's Mark Twain Days, we went to a writers' workshop on Nevada and came away with interesting perspectives and ideas. CC might even have a new story to tell.

Our thanks to the Nevada Arts Council for sponsoring the workshop. We discuss our own works in progress and our upcoming trip to Europe.

Here's a plug for CC's past colleague Rich Moreno who wrote a timely piece on "Frontier Fake News," available through the University of Nevada Press. Good guy and good writer.

Have a listen and check us out at TIA LYL!

Apr 23, 202324:13
Messages to Us
Apr 16, 202333:21
Words are Hard
Apr 09, 202327:28
Spring Cleaning
Apr 02, 202326:04
Reality vs. Memory
Mar 26, 202337:28
Dialogue and SM
Mar 19, 202337:15
Flooded Basement
Mar 11, 202332:31
Snow and Taxes
Mar 05, 202330:04
That Which We Leave Behind
Feb 26, 202336:18
Comfort Zones and FanFic
Feb 20, 202330:20
The Disharmony of Love
Feb 12, 202323:40
Feb 05, 202333:28
Jan 29, 202338:38
Jan 22, 202337:43
Adult Books
Jan 15, 202337:40
Episode 100

Episode 100

Twenty-two months since we started in isolation, and here is our 100th episode of the CC and JT Amateur Hour ("where production values go to die"). This episode coincides with the debut of "From Tundra to Tiara," so honestly, how could we not do this today?

Not all is sunshine as real life taught us a valuable lesson about perspective (trigger: COVID). We're also thankful that small businesses survive and thrive, like Hoffman Plumbing who helped us not have a flooded basement.

We chatted about our favorite episodes out of the 100, plus we learned something about Amazon Kindle fraud. Yes, it appears people are fraudulently downloading our books (sigh).

We are especially thankful to you, our steady and loyal listeners.

Have a listen, check us out at, and be ready to listen to more fun from the CC and JT Amateur Hour. TIA! LYL!

Jan 09, 202330:19
Almost Over
Jan 08, 202336:09
FTTT: Chapter Two
Jan 02, 202330:33
FTTT: Chapter One

FTTT: Chapter One

As promised, here we are, reading the first chapter of your future favorite Netflix/Hallmark cozy romantic movie. Well, we can hope, anyway. The first two chapters of "From Tundra to Tiara" are posted on our website, so feel free to follow along as we read.

We also chat about good and bad holiday movies, and we pick our favorite of the season: "A New York Christmas Wedding" on Netflix. And there's the usual talk about the holidays along with the hope and prayer that you're having the best season you can have.

Check us out on and take care of you. TIA! LYL!

Dec 24, 202230:01
Christmas Memories
Dec 18, 202232:28
Writing Your Space Epic
Dec 10, 202234:14
Posture and Mojo

Posture and Mojo

Our single brain is on display in this podcast because we wandered all over the writer's landscape today, starting with writing posture, segueing to mojo and frame of mind, and ending with a chat about writers spending money. We did learn that CC and I had different elementary school experiences. Have a listen!

Related: the podcast on Money got a lot of love this week, per the analytics. 

We're at the end of our first graphic arts class. Hope you enjoy the logo! 

We also did the usual update of our personal writing projects, so here's the usual reminder that we have a book coming out on January 9, 2023. Preorder it for 99¢ now for the price goes up on January 10, 2023. Here's the link.

You can learn all about us at our website:

Have a great week, everyone!

Dec 04, 202237:34
What Did You Say?
Nov 27, 202235:11
We Did This To Ourselves

We Did This To Ourselves

A little bit longer post for this week's podcast.

Tomorrow starts the presale of our new book on Amazon. This week, we discuss kicking off our marketing campaign tomorrow (Monday, November 21) with all sorts of plans and incentives. We're doing the title reveal this week and the cover reveal next week. 

The biggest challenge will be navigating through the uncertainty of social media, which may disappear without warning. Here's our plans to push this book:

1. We will be offering free books from our Amazon libraries (CC and JT) sometime in the next few weeks.

2. The new book will be released on Monday, January 9. Between Monday, November 21 and the release date, you can preorder the book for 99¢. On Tuesday, January 10, the price of the book jumps to $2.99. Pre-order while it's cheap!

3. When you preorder the book, reach out to us via our contact page on our website or email ( with your name and address. We'll send you a holiday slash thank you card with our picture and special message.

We will put together a mailing list someday, but if you have a WordPress account, you can get automatic updates from our blog posts.

We are doing all of this extra stress and anxiety to ourselves because we believe in our book and we believe in you. Thank you for playing along.

Our website is

(PS: We're so wrapped up in our plan that I think we said Tuesday (Nov 22) is the title reveal. Nope. It's Monday (Nov 21). Sorry for any confusion.)

Nov 20, 202235:11
Writing for the Holidays
Nov 13, 202233:16
Writing About Politics
Nov 06, 202237:15


Welcome to Halloween 2022, and we pick what we feel is the iconic horror film of the genre: Alien! We thoroughly spoil this 1979 classic that pushes back on all (well, most) of the clichés, and we explain why we feel this is mandatory viewing for writers dabbling in the horror and/or sci-fi genres. 

We also chat (or kvetch, if you will) about our Graphic Arts class, and we touch on Nanowrimo and our ongoing works in progress.

As always, stop by our website at and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL! 

Oct 30, 202237:04
Marketing Part 2
Oct 23, 202224:22
Settings Part Two
Oct 16, 202233:43
Settings Part One

Settings Part One

This week's podcast has us on the road to Lone Pine, California, home to many movie settings, some of which you've seen. We use a visit to the Museum of Western Film History and the Alabama Hills as background for a chat about Settings.

They can be a challenge to writers as we try to strike a balance between adding a colorful dimension versus overwhelming the reader with details and extrapolation.

We thoroughly spoil Pleasantville and Blade Runner (1982) as examples.

Next week, we talk about how a setting can become the dominant tone of a book. 

We update listeners on our manuscript at the editors, our graphic design class, and JT's retirement (also mentioned here).

Please visit us at for pictures. TIA! LYL!

Oct 03, 202235:11
Road Not Taken
Sep 25, 202230:19
Anxiety Attack
Sep 18, 202228:33
Interesting Times
Sep 11, 202230:36
Imposter Syndrome
Sep 04, 202238:29
Marketing is Cruel

Marketing is Cruel

Episode 81 is all about making a plan to market our book and sticking to it. We say "Marketing is Cruel" because we are not the kind of people to rush out and beg people to read our books. We talk about the baby steps we're taking to get over that hump and why we're taking those steps.

We spent the first part of the podcast talking about our experience with the Van Gogh Immersive Experience, from the 3D exhibitions to the moving galleries to the virtual reality walk.

We segued into a discussion into the "tortured artist" stereotype, and we agree that it is a complex and difficult subject to talk about. There was a lot of unwrap here.

If you think you may need help, here's a webpage to get you started.

As always, check us out at our website: Take care of you. TIA! LYL!

Aug 28, 202226:57
Comedy is Hard
Aug 21, 202222:33


Busy episode, so let's dive in:

- Book covers w @99designs
- Editing with @RAPublishing
- Lessons learned from writing together
- The status of our individual WIPs
- Pixar Storytelling rules via @lawnrocket
- Karma. Be kind. Always.

The source of the Pixar storytelling rules:

Take a wander through our website at and let us know what you think!


Aug 14, 202234:52
Chapter One
Aug 07, 202231:41
Plot Prompts

Plot Prompts

Two weeks ago, CC gave me random prompts and had me make up a story on the fly, testing me as a pantser. CC took her turn as a plotter with these three prompts:

Dropped into an alien world
High school romance
Teenage girl superhero

(Giving credit, the prompts came from

We had an interesting conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of being a plotter, and we narrow it down to one four-letter word.

We give you an update on the book we're writing together and, oy vey, this thing has taken on a life of its own.

Check us out at and leave some comments. TIA! LYL!

Jul 31, 202231:14
Team Editing
Jul 24, 202225:41


Pantsing (also known as winging it) is the term Wrimos use refer to writing without a fixed outline (an outline that the writer will force themselves to follow). A Wrimo who adopts the pantsing approach to writing is called a pantser. (source)

Today was a fun podcast on Pantsing with CC challenging me with surprise writer's prompts:

Dropped into an alien world
High school romance
Teenage girl superhero

Next week, CC is going to do the same prompts, but from a plotter's point of view. (Giving credit, the prompts came from

We also discuss on how we draw on the classics when we write our own books, and we touch on our two current works in progress and the big free book giveaway next week.

Check us out at 


Jul 17, 202236:00
Jul 10, 202233:07
Summer Reading
Jul 03, 202232:25
Ghosts and Books
Jun 25, 202230:07
Writers Retreat
Jun 19, 202235:04
Jun 12, 202233:56
40th Anniversary
Jun 05, 202230:10
May 29, 202227:11
Purple Porkchops
May 22, 202236:48
May 15, 202242:43
Mother's Day Therapy
May 08, 202233:14
May 01, 202228:06
Apr 24, 202227:17
Implied Bias and Stupid Romance
Apr 17, 202229:17
Hell Week
Apr 10, 202230:37
Mar 27, 202234:22
Mar 20, 202233:43
Irish Themes
Mar 13, 202241:19
Postcard from Ireland
Mar 06, 202258:56
Why Don't People Write?
Feb 27, 202232:11
Feb 20, 202227:45
Production Values
Feb 18, 202214:44
Feb 13, 202248:31
Trigger Words

Trigger Words

We talk about the challenges and dangers of using “power words” and “trigger words” in this week’s writer’s podcast.

Our definitions: “Power Words” can be used to develop an emotional connection between the reader and writer, where “Trigger Words” exist to illicit an emotional response, often a knee-jerk negative emotional response. Candidly, we struggle to draw the line between the two.

We talk about both in general communication, and we use the vaccination argument as an example. For writing, we use the romantic genre in how power words can shape a writer’s manuscript.

Trigger warning (ironically): we use personal examples from our upbringing and, yes, we get wound up.

Spoilers: “Arrow” and “A Very Brady Sequel.” There is also singing (sorry).

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

(Also: “Impactful” is not a real word.”)

Feb 06, 202251:28
Banning Books
Jan 30, 202257:26
Play Ball!
Jan 23, 202252:40
Elmore Leonard's Rules
Jan 16, 202246:11
Creativity and Writer's Block
Jan 09, 202237:41
Writers and Routines
Jan 02, 202225:54
New Year's Eve 2021
Jan 01, 202255:19
The Christmas Episode
Dec 25, 202151:49
The Christmas Movie Episode
Dec 19, 202154:42
Underneath Big and Harry Potter
Dec 11, 202142:60
Laundry List

Laundry List

The one where we unloaded a laundry list! 

-Our Podcast with a Professional Editor
-The Crocker Museum and the Museum of Science and Curiosity
-Monet and Rodin
-Eppie's, Carol's, and Taqueria Ay Jalisco
-Cochlear Implant
-Invading Personal Space
-Booster shots
-WIP, Fan Fiction, and Serialized Writing
-Sir Patrick Stewart
-Upcoming December Holidays

And Charley!

Check out our podcasts at

Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Dec 05, 202151:06
A Real Editor
Nov 28, 202144:01
Thanksgiving Day Memories
Nov 26, 202129:32
Stephen King Films and Creative Control
Nov 21, 202153:21
Stephen King Books
Nov 14, 202152:16
Nov 06, 202129:44
Happy Nevada Day!
Oct 31, 202147:11
Oct 23, 202129:09
Context & Perspective
Oct 17, 202141:54
Oct 10, 202128:51
Comfort Zones and Singing
Oct 03, 202127:51
Little Women
Sep 26, 202129:43
A Writer's Journey

A Writer's Journey

The one where we talk "A Hero's journey" as outlined by Joseph Campbell, but has been used in literature for hundreds of years.

A lot of serious spoilers in this podcast: Star Wars, Treasure Island, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Spaceballs, King Arthur, Hunger Games, The 300, Harry Potter, Flash Gordon. And the one I couldn't remember: Divergent.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. TIA! LYL!

Sep 19, 202128:38
A Writer's Trauma
Sep 11, 202128:54
14,339 Days of Marriage
Sep 06, 202129:53
Writer's Magic
Sep 05, 202129:44
Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

We recorded this episode on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in beautiful Fort Bragg, California. So what did we talk about? Perhaps the most iconic, romantic form of transportation: the train!

Send feedback to and take care of yourself! LYL!

Aug 29, 202129:02
A Writer's Ear
Aug 22, 202129:32
A Writer's Voice
Aug 15, 202128:50
Totally Unprepared

Totally Unprepared

The one where we were totally unprepared to do a podcast and it showed. Discussed:

Our current #WIP after two weeks of writing thirty minutes every day.

Memorable concerts:




@JanetJackson and her family


And we talked about the challenges of balancing how we enjoy an artist's work versus their politics. We'll talk about that more next week.

One correction: I said "Alan Dean Moore" when I meant "Alan Moore." 

Have a listen and send feedback via Thank you much. Love you all!

Aug 08, 202128:17
Writer's Tears
Aug 01, 202129:52
Proust Speed Round
Jul 25, 202129:46
Speaking Steinbeck

Speaking Steinbeck

The one where we record near the shores of Monterey Bay, invoking John Steinbeck and the history of Cannery Row. We spend some time discussing how writers can use words to illustrate scenes and characters to their full richness.

No real spoilers. Send us feedback at

Thank you!

Jul 24, 202128:38
Writer's Myths

Writer's Myths

The one where we talk about the legends and misconceptions of being a writer, especially an independent writer. CC and I picked three specific myths that we felt affected us as writers.

No real spoilers, though we chat about one of my favorite TV shows: "Kolchak: The Night Stalker."

As always, send feedback through our website at Take care!

Jul 18, 202127:01
In Media Res

In Media Res

The one where we talk about jumping in media res ("in the middle") of the action in your favorite books and movies. Prime examples discussed include Georgette Heyer's Friday's Child, Dumas' The Three Musketeers, and basically every James Bond movie. No real spoilers in this one. Feedback welcome at


Jul 11, 202128:45
We're Only Human

We're Only Human

The one where we talk about the three real-life philosophies we apply to our writing.

CC: Love Conquers All, Nobody's Perfect, We're Only Human.

JT: Perception Forms Reality, Be Honest, Be Kind.

No spoilers this week.

Jul 04, 202129:12
Podcast: Jacobellis v. Ohio

Podcast: Jacobellis v. Ohio

The one where we discussed hardcore sex in writing and popular media. Like so many people, we struggled between "porn for porn's sake" and "porn for art's sake." Jacobellis v. Ohio comes up. And, hey, FREE BOOK!

Midnight Cowboy, Clockwork Orange, Pretty Woman, Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Doom Patrol, American Gigolo, Jacobellis v. Ohio.

Jun 27, 202129:01
From Rhett to Ahnold

From Rhett to Ahnold

The one where we venture into the middle ground of sexual relations in writing (PG, PG-13, R), and how writers can express tension and climax.

Spoilers: True Lies, Aliens, Gone with the Wind, Moonlighting, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 10 Things I think About You

Jun 20, 202129:09
The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

The one where we delve into sex in the G-rated literature and media environment. We discuss the history of sex in books, the use innuendoes, cultural shifts, growing up on Harlequin romances, and gender roles.

Triggers: Sex, Domestic Violence

No spoilers

Jun 13, 202129:17
All You Need Is Love

All You Need Is Love

The one where we talk about the most dangerous thing: True Love. We discuss the many challenges and rewards of bringing personal romantic experiences to our novels and other works. We quote Thomas Mann and we sing for a few seconds (sorry about that).

Triggers: Relationship Violence, Death, Divorce, Love

Spoiler: Lucifer (Netflix), Empire Strikes Back, Ghost

Jun 06, 202129:16
Thy Dying of the Light

Thy Dying of the Light

The one where we get personal about Death, along with the challenges of presenting this great equalizer in fiction. This episode is our most intimate podcast to date.

Triggers: Death.

Spoilers: Harry Potter, Twilight, Supernatural, Avengers, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula.

May 30, 202129:06
The Seinfeld Episode

The Seinfeld Episode

The one where we don't talk about much at all, other than old casinos, being kind, and developing characters through watching people. No spoilers in this one, folks.

May 23, 202124:22


The one where CC and I talk about our personal writing inspirations as we grew up and matured into professional writers. We go from childhood to the Air Force to our college professors. Lots of stories and lots of fun for the two of us. Our tenth episode already! 

May 16, 202128:16
Erin go Bragh!

Erin go Bragh!

The one where we talk about Ireland's literary and historical heritage. CC goes in depth on how Frank McCourt's life and his most famous book, "Angela's Ashes," parallels her own mother's upbringing, and how they influence CC's life and writing.

May 09, 202129:21
Fantastic Formula Fiction

Fantastic Formula Fiction

The one where we talk about gaining possible writing success by traveling the tried and true path of formula fiction. Special shout-out to Ronald B. Tobias, writer of "20 Master Plots," for guiding our discussion.

*this week's spoilers* When Harry Met Sally. Star Wars, and Harry Potter

May 01, 202127:48


The one where CC and I visit beautiful Lake Tahoe, and talk about our separate and mutual connections to one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We even talk about Mark Twain and Mario Puzo.

Apr 27, 202122:01
Darth, Batman, Superman and...Tucci?

Darth, Batman, Superman and...Tucci?

The world literally moved while we were discussing my favorite book and its flawed protagonist, Tucci. A 4.0 earthquake couldn't stop this podcast!

Apr 25, 202124:32
Sunshine of the Matrix

Sunshine of the Matrix

The one where CC and I discuss Reality and writing about Reality through "The Matrix" and "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." 

Apr 18, 202128:17
For The Birds

For The Birds

We chat about the local wildlife, fur-babies, bedtimes, and we salute two icons from the 1970s Soft Rock Era.

Apr 16, 202119:20
Tower of Doom!

Tower of Doom!

The one where we chat about...

- Writing spaces. 

- Public service. 

- NV Outdoors. 

- 50% Vaccinated.

And we shout out to coffee, Carson City Parks and Rec, and the University of Nevada Cross Country Track Team!

Apr 04, 202128:25
The Road To Lovelock

The Road To Lovelock

CC and JT chat about our new website and the lessons learned, photography and artistic expression, our trip to Lovelock, and our thoughts and impressions about Nevada overall. 

Mar 28, 202127:24
Welcome to the CC and JT Amateur Hour

Welcome to the CC and JT Amateur Hour

The one where we introduce ourselves, talk about inspirations, and blather about plans.

Mar 21, 202121:27