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Suze is Hunting Muses, 6

A return to true crime

By Proud ViM ProductionsPublished 17 days ago 5 min read

Hi. My name is Suze Kay, and I’m a proud moderator of Voices in Minor, a community of Vocal authors who desire to uplift, inspire, and support one another. Every Wednesday, PViM will publish a weekly round-up of whatever lures my muses closer to my writing nook.


The rain is ceaseless and spring has stalled in my corner of the world. But I'm still writing away, and I hope you are too. It's been a big week for me! My muse has been flirting with me from every angle. Let's get into it.


I started listening to The Last Podcast on the Left almost six years ago. It feels like a lifetime has passed since then, and in some ways, that's true. I've moved twice, changed careers three times, lived through a pandemic, returned to school, graduated, got engaged, got married, and still, I regularly tune in biweekly and listen to three doofuses talk about true crime, aliens, and paranormal activity.

Some episodes are standout hits (their series on the Black Plague, Joseph Kallinger, and Lizzie Borden stand out), and I listen to them repeatedly while I fall asleep. Over the years, I've done a full listen-through of their catalog a couple of times. When I do that, I'm reminded of how much the hosts (and their humor) have changed. Their early episodes are full of rude, line-crossing jokes that I never really found funny (I started listening after growth had already taken place). But their more recent work is still in line with my sense of humor, and their ability to take dry (or gory) facts and craft riveting narratives has improved dramatically.

This weekend's episode on serial killer Herbert Baumeister (embedded above) got my writing engine revving. I wasn't so intrigued by his horrible acts. Rather, I was very interested in the dynamic he held with Juliana, his wife of 25 years. Listening to LPOTL's description of his violent behavior, the numerous red flags he threw, and the odd, slow manner in which their marriage fell apart while he grew lazier and more impulsive was fascinating. I just knew there was a deeper story there, from her perspective. But I couldn't find that story anywhere, so I've felt the pull to write it myself.

Those thoughts have inspired a new series I've committed to, titled "Women Who Stay." The first three parts are out now, and I'm working on the next three this week. I'm not telling the story of Herbert Baumeister. I'm not even telling the story of his wife, Juliana. I'm telling the story of a woman who lives with a monster, who chooses willful ignorance to get what she wants.


My book club just finished reading Babel: An Arcane History by RF Kuang. I've read another of her books, Yellowface, which frankly, I enjoyed reading more. Yellowface is fastpaced and modern, a picture of womanhood and creative energy that gripped me into pulling an all-nighter to finish it. In comparison, Babel felt almost excruciatingly slow. It tells the story of a young boy, Robin Swift, who is raised for one purpose: to attend the Royal Institute of Translation at Oxford, where linguists craft magical silver bars by forming 'word pairs' from different languages. At its core, the book is about the horror of colonialism, and Kuang does an excellent job of stripping the paint from its face.

Despite my frustrations with the book's pacing and the main character's inclination to do nothing for hundreds of pages, I enjoyed the read. Kuang spends a lot of her word count musing on the inherent flaws of translation and its uncomfortable bedfellow, violent colonialism. She is at her best there, delving into the granular aspects of meaning and syllabic mutation, sketching larger parallels in the world of empire and conquest. There are many incredible quotes to be drawn from the book, many of which made me think more deeply about the words I use and their history.

Here's one of my favorites, from a resonant speech spoken by a character who ultimately becomes a villain to the truth he speaks:

“Betrayal. Translation means doing violence upon the original, means warping and distorting it for foreign, unintended eyes. So then where does that leave us? How can we conclude, except by acknowledging that an act of translation is then necessarily always an act of betrayal?”

If you're interested in a slow burn, you may like this book, too.


You probably know Nathan W. Pyle from his series of cartoons, "Strange Planet," which depicts charming aliens exploring the idiosyncracies of life on Earth. He's a great follow in general, on instragram, twitter, or wherever you can find him. He's always got a funky little thing to say, which makes me look at my world with more tenderness, love, and curiosity.

This tweet was everything I love from his perspective in a nutshell. I had to screenshot it as soon as I saw it, because... YEAH! I've got three dead switches in my apartment that I can't figure out. How funny would it be if, every time I clicked them, I darted into a parallel world? There's a story there. It's not jamming for me just yet, but I can feel it on the horizon. Maybe you, dear reader, will get there first. I'd love to see what you can do with it.


Well, I hope this small selection of the things I've thought of this week sparks something for you! I hope you have better weather than I, and that you tune in again next Wednesday to see how inspiration looks for me this coming week. 'Til then.

criminalsquotesbook review

About the Creator

Proud ViM Productions

Alone, we are letters floating in the wind. Combined, we are an Opus. We hold community in our core, "We all rise when we lift each other up"

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran17 days ago

    I've listened to Herb's case on the Rotten Mango podcast. He's one of my favourite serial killers. Well I tend to say that about every serial killer, lol 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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