Last night, I had the pleasure of hearing one of my short stories read out on The MailMan’s Survival Guide to the Galaxy; a unique and thought-provoking podcast hosted by the Tennessee-based writer and entertainer Big D. He created the show to address the subject of mental illness and tackle the stigmas that surround it. He draws upon his own experiences of depression to inspire others to speak out about a topic which society continues to sweep under the carpet. I’ve always admired people who are brave enough to bare their souls in the name of art, something Big D does exquisitely. Throughout the various episodes he has discussed things which are close to his heart and impact his everyday life, like his mom’s cancer diagnosis. That instalment was particularly heart-warming and showed that it is possible to remain positive even in the darkest times.
I listen to the podcast avidly and I think the message it conveys is a vital one. I’ve witnessed the effects of mental health issues within my own family and I believe that we should do whatever we can to decrease the stigmas that encompass such conditions. I am of the opinion that most people’s misunderstanding of problems like depression and other psychological disorders is due to the inability to visualise them in the same way as a physical illness. Maybe if a fractured psyche could be bandaged as easily as a broken arm, people would have less trouble empathising with these plights?
Despite its heavy content, our esteemed host always manages to inject light and shade, by dedicating the second half of each weekly episode to something more creative. That’s where I came in.
Big D has supported Books, Films and Random Lunacy for a while and asked if he could read one of my stories in the second segment of the show. He’s a talented wordsmith in his own right and I was thrilled to have my work featured on such a fine podcast.
‘Beige Manor,’ the tale he chose is an absurdist horror short which was inspired by the wave of boredom that engulfed me whilst being forced to watch two episodes of ‘Downton Abbey.’
I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’m very pleased to have sprinkled some Random Lunacy into The MailMan’s Survival Guide to the Galaxy.
Click here to check out the podcast. http://mmsurvivalguide.podomatic.com
Follow Big D on Twitter @des2v1