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Next Step Leadership is a podcast dedicated to helping you make your next step your best step. Your next step could very well determine the trajectory or direction of your life. Where we step, how we step, and when we step are all vital considerations for your next step. Chris Maxwell and Tracy Reynolds combine decades of experience in ministry, higher education, writing, music, leading organizations, and developing teams to inspire you to aspire in life one step at a time. We desire to assi ...
 
Poured Over is a show for readers who pore over details, obsess over sentences and ideas and stories and characters; readers who ask a lot of questions, just like Poured Over’s host, Miwa Messer, a career bookseller who’s always reading. Follow us here for surprising riffs, candid conversations, a few laughs, and lots of great book recommendations from big name authors and authors on their way to being big names. New episodes land Tuesdays and Thursdays (with occasional bonus episodes on Sat ...
 
My podcast is set out to reach women dealing with pain from IC (Interstitial Cystitis), Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain, and Infertility on a daily basis. Listen in as I will be sharing my story in hopes to motivate, inspire, and encourage women like myself to feel free to do the same. So if you are feeling like there is no one out there that knows or understands what you are going through I’m here to tell you I share your pain and struggles. So let's talk about it! You are Not Alone! I believe t ...
 
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“I want to escape into these like incredible, immersive situations, really. But I think I try and balance this kind of creation of a world or this world building with the dialogue. And that's where things like the humor come in. And particularly with this one, because it's quite a gritty subject. But it was really important to have that joy and hav…
 
“So you know, something that is a big part of my project…is actually this idea that we deserve pleasure. I think that pleasure and care, these are antidotes against various kinds of violence and degradation that we're all beset with. And so for me, when I wrote this novel, I did not write it for a critic at The New York Times, you know. I wrote it …
 
“I think I figured a lot of things out literally as I was writing the book. I'm usually an obsessive methodical writer, or I have everything, if not mapped out, I kind of know spatially, what's going to happen in a piece of writing. But with this, I just kind of had to write it to figure out what it was. For years, friends knew that I was working o…
 
Kevin Durham is a fascinating communicator, leader, film maker, and story teller. His own life journey has inspired Kevin to help others find their own stories. Tracy and Chris enjoy their conversation with him and believe you will also. Kevin created the film Miracle Matt, and connected to many athletes helping them see the transformation of lives…
 
“I feel like very often when we have stories about womanizing characters, whether we piece those stories out, so we see each woman—individually or not, they don't really have stories. They don't really have lives except as they relate to that main character. So, it was always going to be each woman steps forward, each woman gets a chapter.” Laura W…
 
“I did nothing but read the entire time I was writing this….literally every waking moment, I was doing some type of research and a lot of research I did for this book was on joy and celebration and on community. Because, yes, we're going through all of these things, but there's a reason the cover is bright and celebratory, because that's also where…
 
“I think I made a shrewd pick when I chose this character. Because the last thing you want is to be able to say—I understand everything about you—is a character with a lot of ambiguity. And I think some of that is calculated ambiguity. And some of it is probably caused by the fact that the historical record is erased in one way or another. But ther…
 
“Ever since we left, when I was 13, it's a place that I think about constantly. I think about it in hypothetical terms. It's something that I just sort of lose myself in all the time. I left before things really got complicated. I left when I was 13. What if I had stayed until now? And what if I had left and gone back? You know, the book kind of st…
 
In this episode of Next Step Leadership, Tracy and Chris talk about practical ways to help others find balance in the uneven surfaces of life—while also remembering to apply that themselves. Tracy has used the book Equilibrium to guide church leaders to learn and live the key elements of a better life. The book is available for today’s leaders. The…
 
“I already had a kind of Don Quixote set up in mind. And so I was like, Wouldn't it be funny if Arthur was the sort of Sancho Panza in this? I'll just barely touch on it and see where it goes. And I thought he needs someone totally full of himself to shake him up…” Readers fell in love with Arthur Less — and Andrew Sean Greer took home a Pulitzer P…
 
“This book feels very much…drawing from the Black Saints: Whitney Houston, Paul Mooney, Little Richard, Luther Vandross, almost my own canon, my own tradition, my own history, to make sense of what's happening now. I’m not going back to Homer, necessarily. I'm kind of trying to create a new lineage, because I feel that we've been betrayed by our pr…
 
"Well, home is a complicated concept....So you've shaken me awake at three o'clock in the morning. Where's home? I’ll say Zanzibar without hesitation. Oh, but then on the other hand, I've been living here and working here for 50 years, my family, my children, and my grandchildren live here. The idea that this is not my home, it's just ridiculous. I…
 
In the second segment of their interview with Trés Ward, Tracy and Chris love continuing to hear his story. Leaders are bombarded with gifts and dreams and ideas, and they often unfortunately miss opportunities right beside them to serve others. Trés talks about finding his true life purpose means helping others find theirs. Trying to find what God…
 
“I'm heading into my mid 70s and I really want to just get into a novel and live inside it. No sense of hurry. No deadline, no sense that anyone's waiting for this. I don’t want to talk to anyone about it, but I just want to inhabit it.” Award-winning author Ian McEwan’s new novel, Lessons, takes readers on an emotional journey through the life of …
 
“I start with the emotion. I don't know what the story is. I don't know who the characters are necessarily. I'm working on very little like, I'm thinking, ‘oh, well, the way this light looks through a window’, or something — very few details here and there. But I don't know what happens in this story.” Join three amazing authors talking about their…
 
“…In this particular book, I think I wanted to combat the feeling that we were already inundated with, and even the feelings that are attached to social justice issues. I wanted to combat the feelings of anger and helplessness and all of that with joy.” Margaret Wilkerson Sexton follows her NAACP Image Award-winning novel The Revisioners with On th…
 
Tracy and Chris interview Trés Ward in this week’s episode of Next Step Leadership. Trés is a wonderful singer, musician, and teacher who has a heart for guiding the younger generation through these uncertain times. He presently serves as Assistant to the President and Director of Ministry Teams at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. His…
 
“That nine-year-old kid still follows me and is with me and is very much a part of me... And this is the hope for the book, not only for non-immigrants, but for immigrants, to really start to have that internal conversation about what we have been through. And I think this book is mostly for them. The book was for me, and then putting it around the…
 
“I think about food constantly, but more so than anyone else it's the people I work with who are inspiring me now.... I'm always inspired by the people I cook with, and the people I work with in the restaurants, and they're, you know, they're the ones who are inspiring me most right now, because they're making it all happen.” Chef and restaurant ow…
 
“I think it is a conversation I'm having with my younger self, who loved the idea of time travel, who loved the idea that these people perhaps not so different from us, who quite quickly could imagine herself out of her body and into another world against all the laws of physics. And I know I'm not alone in that. I think so many people want to read…
 
Chris Maxwell and Tracy Reynolds usually interview guests. In this episode, they engage in a conversation with each other. They review recent podcasts and invite people to pursue help when situations aren’t easy. How can leaders become better at dealing with sadness, hurt, anger, grief, and uncertainty? How can leaders pause and seek support? What …
 
“I think they grew out of the setting of this weird island, this odd place, this place of southern stories and ghosts and food and how they are misfits, but they find their tribe, they find where they belong with other people who think they don't belong either. And I think that is a universal truth for us all.” Sarah Addison Allen’s charming new no…
 
“I think it's really important to remember that poetry has always sort of existed in the moment. It's full of the life that we're living right now. It is a remnant of the life that we're living right now. You know, distilled moments, it's the mess of our life. It's all of those things. And I think we do ourselves a disservice if we think those thin…
 
“We're all constantly translating ourselves to the world—we all are trying to take the inevitable stuff that happens in our psyche, our fears, and hopes and desires and dreams and trying to communicate that with others. And some of us are more successful at it than others.” A group of four friends find themselves at the center of a deadly battle be…
 
In their second interview with Pastor Kevin Bordeaux, Chris and Tracy appreciate the honesty as he tells his story. Many people in leadership are facing difficulties. Life is not always simple. Too many leaders lead in isolation. Kevin offers healthy insight through his experience and his wisdom. Stress, depression, burnout, anger, anxiety, and con…
 
“And so, then I thought, Who do I most admire? Who taught me the most, and also, they're doing it for completely selfless reasons, right? And I thought, Oh, that moment and the parking lot. So, I thought, I'm going to start a book in the parking lot of a McDonald's dumpster in a dying town and show you how, in the most unlikely places, magic is hap…
 
“But I had fun growing up, you know, kids Double Dutch and playing football in the front yard, trash can basketball, running around 40 deep into projects with extended family, cutting the lights off—we really have fun. Of course, you've seen the drug selling, you've seen the dice games. We found a way to become comfortable in an uncomfortable situa…
 
“To me, science is the rigorous attempt at understanding the world around you. And most people think that that means you're in a lab wearing a coat, working with test tubes. But I think that that's just a matter of using the scientific method in your everyday life. It's a matter of observing the world around you and being curious enough to ask ques…
 
Pastor Kevin Bordeaux talks with Tracy and Chris about pastoral work, family, and leadership. Kevin tells about his life and ministry. His major spiritual transformation reveals a journey of growth and development, and his story reminds leaders how life includes wonderful experiences and also seasons of change. Through his heart and vision for chur…
 
“This is one of the great differences between journalism and literature, which I practice in. You write journalism in order for everything to be absolutely clear at the first reading … you write fiction in order to reflect the complexity of the world. And that complexity isn't necessarily grasped at first meeting.” Elizabeth Finch is the latest (an…
 
“To me, the thing as a writer that you should always be working towards is like, how can I make this just be delicious for the reader?” Jana Casale has perfected the art of writing about the ordinary lives of women in such a way that fans of Elena Ferrante and Sally Rooney will flock to, and her latest story following the lives of three young women…
 
Chris and Tracy invite you to continue listening to Jacob TEN20 Thompson. Jacob is an author, poet, pastor, speaker, husband, and dad who lives with Friedreich’s Ataxia. He also lives with the love of Jesus giving him a hopeful destiny amid his physical struggles. Wise leaders recognize their weaknesses. Rather than denying their battles, they choo…
 
“All three of the books that I have written during the pandemic have really been my way of going into another world and finding a place where none of this was happening. And that I could just relax and have fun. And so, I hope that my books are that kind of fun, joyous of maybe slightly salacious time for readers, too, because that's what I enjoyed…
 
“To write a young woman who refuses to define herself by anything other than her activism, her mind, her curiosity, that was just a delight, and she wasn't the most predictable character, but she was the one who told me what to do on every page.” How to describe Tess Gunty’s dynamic debut, The Rabbit Hutch? Think Jennifer Egan + Denis Johnson. Thin…
 
“But when I write, that's when I feel I can take part in society, I can contribute to ideas, and to teach and to share, and to say, I love you to society—to maybe talk about some of the difficult things in life, but to affirm that these experiences only serve to make life what it is.” From space aliens and cursed violins to a Queen of Hell with a h…
 
Life does not always go the way we prefer. Disappointments appear. Disturbances occur. How do we respond? How should we? Jacob Thompson tells his story about God meeting us in times of weaknesses and questions. Jacob is the author of From Diagnosis to Destiny: Your Trials Aren’t Meant to Break You; They’re Meant to Make You—a book offering authenti…
 
“There's just so much rich material in Hollywood during the 1940s—which is where much of the book is set—there is just sort of an endless rabbit hole you can go down. And of course, one of the problems with writing a book about the movie industry is that sitting around watching movies technically counts as research.” We still think about Anthony Ma…
 
“I just had so many questions about adoption and motherhood. And you know, you've read my books, you know that I'm very interested in what makes a family and how does our family influence us. And that's all part of this book, too.” From her sparkling debut, The Weird Sisters, to her latest, Any Other Family, Eleanor Brown writes big-hearted novels …
 
In the second conversation with author and leader Tim Elmore, Tracy Reynolds and Chris Maxwell ask a few questions and listen again in amazement to Tim’s inspiring wisdom. Tim goes into more details of his book The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership: Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace. Each chapter from the book includes a case…
 
“What's really interesting about taste memory is it's not that you're trying to necessarily replicate the dish exactly as it was, I think you're actually just trying to replicate your memory of it, because your memory is always going to be the platonic ideal of it.” Eric Kim has a delightful approach to food, and his debut cookbook is a charming ex…
 
“One thing I really have learned—or at least for myself about writing—is never to explain why a person is the way they are, just to make a dramatic case for why they are the way they are. So, the moments I have that are backstory, or that go back and forth in time, it's because that backstory or that moment of slippage of time is dramatically relev…
 
Tim Elmore Is a well known leader, speaker, and author. His wisdom is an ideal fit for the Next Step Leadership podcast. Tracy and Chris ask Tim a few questions and his compassion comes with his responses. Churches, schools, and businesses need to hear Tim’s practical principles during today’s difficult seasons of life. Tim’s ministry, Growing Lead…
 
“I wish I could tell you that I went to a cabin and wrote it perfectly and got it in on time, and it just flowed out of me. But really, the truth of the matter is, it came in fits and starts. And it was written on notepads and half-filled notebooks and phone apps and bar napkins….I grew up in a time of a lot of white men writing, Oh, my sad childho…
 
“The primary intent of these books is to take a break... have something you can just curl up with for an afternoon. This is a book that is not going to hurt you. And I think that that's so vital in this day and age, to be able to just pause for a second. I want the book to feel like a cup of tea as well... But I wanted to give you the option of che…
 
“When you're writing a children's book, it shares much relation with horror, because it has to be usually very immediate and very visceral and gripping. Because otherwise the kids are gonna get bored. And your window of opportunity to grab the reader is … longer with horror, you can do the slow creeping dread better, but you have to grab the reader…
 
Chris and Tracy continue their conversation with international professor Eric Foster-Whiddon. With Eric’s learning and ministry experience, he has a compassion to serve deeply and train ministers to serve well. Today’s culture is desperate for artistic and intellectual leaders. Eric thinks biblically, academically, creatively, and as community. Tra…
 
“But there is joy in advocating for changing of the world for the better, for not allowing the world to tell you who you shall be, but rather reimagining a world in which you can be anything.” Award-winning journalist and professor at Northeastern University Caleb Gayle delivers a stunningly original story of America in his first book, We Refuse to…
 
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