…and it’s writing.

A tipsy discussion of writing craft. Writers D.C. McNaughton and Avery Ames imbibe a few drinks while they review and revise their old (and often cringey) writing. Each episode focuses on a particular aspect of craft and features a themed cocktail pairing.

Ep 007: Dos and Don‘ts of First Present

September 6th, 2021

First-person Present Tense is often hated, but why? In this episode we chat about the reasons many dislike it, but also the ways it can be useful. We share excerpts from our writing that illustrate possible ways to tackle some common pitfalls of this tense/POV combo, as well.


Toward the end of the podcast while discussing Howl's Moving Castle, Avery incorrectly refers to Sophie as the middle child instead of the eldest. Sorry, that drink was a strong one, whoops.

Books mentioned in this episode:

  • Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt
  • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, by V.E. Schwab
  • Feed, by Aveda Vice
  • Skin, by Aveda Vice
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  • The Seven-½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
  • Dune, by Frank Herbert
  • Howl's Moving Castle, by Dianna Wynne Jones


Drinks from this Episode:

Matcha Elderflower Last Word

  • ¾ ounce gin
  • ¾ ounce green chartreuse Liqueur
  • ¾ ounce ​maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  1. Mix all in a shaker with ice
  2. Shake well
  3. Strain into a coupe glass or Nick and Nora glass


Greatest CEO In The World

  • 1½  ounce Lagavulin 16 Year Scotch
  • 1½ ounce Avery’s Magical Maple Cherry w/ Cinnamon shrubs
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 peel of lemon
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 wedge of orange
  • 1 splash club soda
  1. Drip 3 dashes of Angostura bitters on a sugar cube, in a glass
  2. Put a thin wedge of orange, a lemon peel, and a maraschino cherry in the bottom of glass, and muddle the fruit.
  3. Pour Lagavulin on muddled fruit.
  4. Pour in Cherry shrubs.
  5. Put a handful of ice in a whiskey glass, stir, and finish with a dash of club soda.


Maple-Cherry Shrub Recipe:

  • 1½ cups dark sweet cherries (frozen ok)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup red wine vinegar
  1. Mix cherries, cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar in a glass bowl or tupperware container and cover. Leave in refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days, checking and stirring once a day, until the sugar has pulled the juice from the cherries and there's a good amount of liquid.
  2. Strain juice through a mesh strainer and remove cherries. (These can be pureed into a jam for toast and will last at least a few days in the fridge, if you'd like to save them.)
  3. Add vinegar to the juice and stir well. There may still be some stray sugar granules at this stage, but these will dissolve eventually.
  4. Pour into a sterilized glass bottle or jar and refrigerate. Will keep for 3-4 months if refrigerated. The flavor will change slightly for about the first week, but then will stabilize.
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