Top 6 Favorite Episodes

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Top 6 Favorite Episodes – How To Write the Future podcast, episode 79

“I’m going to highlight a few episodes from the past that I really enjoyed doing. So let’s get started. And stay tuned to the end to hear about a special gift for you.”

In this latest How To Write the Future podcast episode, host Beth Barany shares her Top 6 Favorite Episodes from the podcast in 2023 (and one from 2022). Beth also shares how you can support the podcast and shares a special gift to help with the world-building in your story. 

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Episodes Mentioned: 

News and Updates from the World Of Futurists and Strategic Foresight Practitioners

Fiction Writing Tips, Stepping Into Another’s Shoes

The Power of NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is nearly over. So Now what

Inspiration For The Janey McCallister mystery series

How Space Debris Inspires My Current Novel

About the How To Write the Future podcast 

The *How To Write The Future* podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers. We cover tips for fiction writers. This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

This podcast is for you if you have questions like:

– How do I create a believable world for my science fiction story?

– How do figure what’s not working if my story feels flat?

– How do I make my story more interesting and alive?

This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

Transcript for Top 6 Favorite Episodes 

Hey everyone, Beth Barany here. Welcome to How To Write The Future podcast. I am coming to live, recording this live in Oakland, California in the unceded territory of the Ohlone people.

And I want to share with you the highlights from 2023. And also I might pick something from 2022 as well since I started this podcast back in July of 2022.

I’m going to highlight a few episodes from the past that I really enjoyed doing. So let’s get started. And stay tuned to the end to hear about a special gift for you.

All right. So in no particular order, here are some of my most favorite episodes that I did as solo episodes.

Ep. 19 – news and updates from the world of futurists and strategic foresight practitioners

So I really enjoyed giving news and updates from the world of futurists and strategic foresight practitioners. That was actually way back over a year ago, episode 19, November 14th, 2022.

Coming up in January, I will be giving some more news and updates from the world of futurists, strategic foresight practitioners, and folks doing some really incredible things to be thinking about the future of humanity. So that was one of my very favorite episodes.

Ep. 2 – Fiction Writing Tips, Stepping Into Another’s Shoes. 

Another episode that I really enjoyed was episode 2 actually – Fiction Writing Tips, Stepping Into Another’s Shoes. I really feel like there’s so much power in learning how to do that.

Learning how to be a fiction writer is really about learning how to cultivate empathy inside yourself so that you can become like another person. It’s very hard for humans to actually do this. And yet we do it through art. And fiction is just one of the best ways to do that.

So listen to Episode Two: Fiction Writing Tips, Stepping Into Another’s Shoes. So those were both from way back in 2022.

Ep. 61 – The Power of NaNoWriMo

Some of my other very favorite episodes…

I am going to talk about Episode 61, The Power of NaNoWriMo.  

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. I really enjoy this challenge. This National Novel Writing Month is every November. And it’s a really great container.

If you have never tried to write a novel and you want to get going, this challenge might be right for you now.

It’s not right for everyone. So if it isn’t right for you, really that’s totally cool. But it’s a fun way to be in the energy of worldwide challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel.

Now I recommend that you plan first and I have a planning book called Plan Your Novel, Like A Pro that I highly recommend and that I co-wrote with my husband. And then that brings me to another favorite episode.

Ep. 73 –  NaNoWriMo is nearly over. So Now what  

In fact, one that came out just at the end of November. And that was about what do you do once you finished your first draft. That’s episode 73: NaNoWriMo is nearly over. So Now what was the title of the episode because it came out November 28th or something like that.

So I did this episode with my husband Ezra Barany, and I kind of sprung it on him. And there’s this, there’s a secret guest star in there.

This is also a video. So I highly recommend that you go to my YouTube channel. And you can search my name: Beth Barany or you could search How To Write The Future.

And you’ll see, we have all of our podcasts episodes there and some of them are just audio. 

And then I got more comfortable with video. And so now they’re on video, most of them, except this one with my husband at the end of November.

As you can maybe hear from my voice and see if you’re watching from my enthusiasm, with my face, I love writing fiction. I’m working on my 16th novel. I’m editing it.

And there’s really nothing like actually holding a manuscript that you’ve written in your hand, you know, printing it out, holding it, having someone hold it and watch them experience the weight of writing of novel. It’s just so much fun. So thrilling. So satisfying. Incredible. And it’s a high every single time. Like, wow. I actually did that.

Ep. 67 – Inspiration For The Janey McCallister mystery series  

And then I am going to mention another favorite episode, episode 67, which came out October 16th, 2023 episode 67. It’s called Inspiration For The Janey McCallister mystery series.

Now this is my podcast. I’m a science fiction writer. I’m going to talk about what inspires me. I’m going to talk about my books. I’m talking about my services.

Right now I’m going to talk about the Janey McCallister mystery series. It came out of a dream, a real dream, the kind that you have when you’re asleep. Not just a daydream. And there’s some other things that inspired me that have been swirling around in my subconscious for years.

I think I had this dream easily over 10 years ago, maybe more, maybe 15, but it wasn’t until 2016 that I sat down to work on this book.

So also just because I’m a writing teacher and a coach, I just want to let you know that it can take a long time for the seedling. And the inkling and the notion in the image to be ready, to be even mature enough so that you’re ready to work on it and my philosophy is if the idea comes back around and around and around and around it, doesn’t leave you alone.

And finally, when you’re ready to write a new story and you’re like, oh, is it this? Or is it this look at all these seedlings? And like, what is ready? What is the seedling that is ready?

So, this was what I was facing in 2016.

And I was debating between what later became the Janey McCallister, first book mystery Into The Black, or a continuation of my paranormal romantic suspense series. Actually, it’s currently sweet, cozy paranormal romances. I have written a book, that’s a paranormal romantic suspense, and I thought, okay, I could turn that.

There’s a series that I have been sitting on since – oh my gosh – 2005 that I had this idea, so it’s not ready. So I debated between that series. And so, yeah, I chose Janey McCallister. 

And now I have four books and I’m working on book five.

So a little bit more also about some of the inspirations are in episode 67, Inspiration for the Janey McCallister mystery series.

So enjoy that.

Ep. 57 –  How Space Debris Inspires My Current Novel 

All right. I want to tell you of one more. This is episode 57. And it is about – I forgot I did this this episode. So I’m really excited because I’m definitely gonna be doing more on this topic.  Episode 57 is How Space Debris Inspires My Current Novel.

So this is, so the previous one I was mentioning was about what inspired the series, what inspired the initial four books. I am working on a new for book quartet, same main character, same world. it’s a whole new set of adventures.

So, yeah, I’m really excited to relisten to this ’cause I have some big things coming about space debris or space junk or orbital debris, however. It’s said a lot of different ways. I like calling it space junk, but when I talked to people in the industry, they call it space debris or orbital debris. This is the junk that is spinning around the planet in low earth orbit.

It’s rocket bodies. It’s a dead satellites. It’s paint chips. It’s all kinds of things.

So Episode 57, How To Space Debris Inspires My Current novel. You’ll hear me in this episode talk about what different countries are currently doing to combat and protect Earth’s orbit. And I also talk a little bit in this episode about tips on how to start research on topics for your science fiction and fantasy stories.

Yeah, this is a big topic that’s in book five that I’m working on and it’s actually going to be part of books. 5, 6, 7, and 8. Because I’m planning another quartet.

Those are my top episodes.

Special Gift For You  

So my special gift for you.

If you’re new to the podcast, or a long-time listener and you haven’t yet downloaded my gift, and you’re a science fiction or fantasy writer, or even actually any kind of fiction writer. I encourage you to sign up for my world-building workbook, which is this PDF workbook with tips on how to think about designing your story world. And there’s some extra goodies that I share along, along with it.

And it’s a way also to stay in touch with everything that I do as a writing teacher and a coach and a speaker. Of course, you can unsubscribe whenever you want. but I encourage you. If you are struggling with your world-building or you want some support there, here’s a free workbook for you to help you in your writing process.

So that is it. That is my gift for you today.

I want to let you know that I am a working coach, a working novelist, a teacher, a speaker. 

You can hire me to come speak to your writing community, either online or in person. if you like what I’m doing, but you’re not a writer, then a great gift for me, and for those in your life would be to share my podcast with them, either the audio or the video on YouTube.

And also lastly, I’m sharing with everyone that. I offer a lot of free things into the world as a writing teacher and a coach. And I have been for the last 17 years.

Ways To Support This Podcast  

So if you would like to support me and be a cheerleader for everything that I do, and maybe you’re not a writer and you’re not a futurist, but you think what I’m doing is just fabulous. thank you And you can support me if you want.

And if you can by buying me a virtual coffee. I can buy me a coffee. The link will be in the show notes. Your support means the world to me.

It takes all of us to create a future that we will be proud to leave to the next generation. And not just leave to them, but help them create as well. I’m an educator. 

I’m on a mission to help us think differently about our future. I have always been hopeful, even when things are gray.

Of course, I fall into the doldrums too.

We Are Creative 

But I always come back to: we’re creative. We can take our creative abilities and re-vision a new path for humanity. Because as I say, usually at the beginning of every episode: When we vision, what is possible, we help make it so.

All right, everyone ciao for now.

That’s it for this week.

Write long and prosper.

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Image of Beth Barany

Beth Barany teaches science fiction and fantasy novelists how to write, edit, and publish their books as a coach, teacher, consultant, and developmental editor. She’s an award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist and runs the podcast, “How To Write The Future.”


Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites: 


Author siteCoaching site / School of Fiction / Writer’s Fun Zone blog


Contact Beth:












SHOW NOTES by Kerry-Ann McDade


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