Showing that science is for everyone, Pallas the Librarian interviews people in various STEM-related careers about their work, performs fun science experiments, and discusses books that have inspired our guests. The entire first season of Yes! Science! has been enhanced and is now available to stream on The Show Starts Now Studios.
Originally filmed as a live-studio audience show in 2019, the enhanced season includes improved 4k picture and audio, a new Science Facts segment, pacing editing, and new graphical elements to tell guests’ stories better. Thank you to SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology and Exhale for working with me on the new Science Facts.
I have some exciting partnerships lined up, and Pallas and I are planning to make a second season this summer. However, I’m working on acquiring funding to pay everyone, build a set for the show, have funds for a marketing budget, and all of the other fun stuff that goes into producing a bigger, better show. Subscribe to The Show Starts Now Studios to watch the newly enhanced season and help support our next season! There is also Yes! Science! merchandise available, too!
Hello, Adventurers! Typically, I write my end of the year reflection on New Year’s Eve, but I was working with the Oklahoma City Arts Council on a big live-streaming Opening Night event. This reflection is going to be a little different, but last year was a different kind of year.
This is the part where I share numbers on how much I created, but the statistic that matters the most, I’m reminding myself, is that I made it through the year. Also, I made more videos for other people than myself. I’ve been able to help many organizations connect with their audiences through video content and live-streaming shows. I’m proud of that fact.
In the summer, I live-streamed a concert every week for the Arts Council OKC and then again in the fall, but every other week. For Oklahoma Contemporary, I made them about two videos a month. I helped take a live play Namron Players Theatre had planned and turned it into a movie for them. I worked with Therapy in Motion and the Norman YMCA to do a Healthy Living Series. I got to do a big New Year’s Eve show, which was a goal I noted in my previous reflection. Plus, I helped other businesses with some internal videos too.
To thank my clients for this year, I worked with Design Pickle and they made me this thank you card that I sent (and still sending out) to all of my major clients for the year.
Overall, I am grateful and proud of what I did create in the year, regardless of who it was for.
Uncovering Oklahoma in 2020
At the beginning of 2020, I raised the bar by producing videos in 4K HDR and closed captions on every episode. Pre-pandemic, I started strong with stories in Tulsa and Guthrie. I released 27 weekly episodes along with three art and event pieces.
With my growing library of content, videos I made in previous years picked up in popularity. Even though I didn’t make many new videos, the watch time in hours for the YouTube channel was 2,542.3, which was about what I got in 2019. Subscribers grew by 365, putting me over 1,000! According to my YouTube channel, these were the Top 5 watched videos in 2020.
The title for the most-watched 2020 story goes to The Study in Oklahoma City, which was the second episode I did when the lockdowns lifted. The first story I eased myself back into filming was on the Winchester Drive-In Theatre in Oklahoma City, which was my second most popular 2020 video and most-watched via Facebook. Sergio’s Italian Bistro, Pink Elephant Coffee, Re: Earth, and The Study were the most-viewed via Facebook.
Tales Unveiled in 2020
Jeff and I got three episodes recorded before the pandemic hit. We picked up recording later in the summer and released a total of 11 episodes for our third season. Our episode on Bartlesville was our most popular. Despite the shorter season, we had quality episodes. Great stories from guests all around!
Quarter Minutes in 2020
We made one episode! Go us!
Yes! Science! and Art & Victory in 2020
Due to the audience nature of these shows, I felt it was best to postpone them until the time was right.
The 16th Phoenix Universe in 2020
What’s this? A new category? One of my personal goals was to release a new short story every week for the year. With the exception of A Killer Among the Spaceship Game Show, which was released in two parts and the first part took two weeks, I kept up with my goal. I wrote 48 short stories!
Still, no new books. They were looking good in the first half of the year, but when client work picked up, writing time got spent on short stories.
According to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music, this was my 2020 soundtrack. As always, keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite song?
Plans for 2021
Although it’s a new year and I’m optimistic, but I’m going to be careful with my plans as we’re still dealing with a pandemic.
For Uncovering Oklahoma, with COVID cases rising, I’m playing things safe. It’s annoying when I’m filming a restaurant and someone walks past me to go to the bathroom without a mask. On top of all that, businesses are going out left and right. I’m going to focus on retail businesses and concepts where I can control the environment to be safe. I don’t foresee me making as many episodes as I did in 2019. I hope to get back to doing collaboration episodes soon.
For Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I did leave the show open for more episodes. I would love to travel out of Oklahoma this season or next. We plan to start recording season four in the spring with a fall release. (There’s a Friday the 13th in August.)
For the studio audience shows, I honestly don’t know when I’ll start those up again. I might do them without an audience or I might do something entirely different.
For the 16th Phoenix Universe, instead of a weekly short story, they will be monthly. Writing every week has helped me build my fictional universe. I want to take some time on the stories and maybe release longer stories. I want to build upon other stories I’ve written in 2020 for 2021 and allocate writing time to other works. I plan to revisit all the 2020 stories, send them to an editor, and publish a book collection.
Also during the weekly short story creation, I’ve started two new books. One is based on A Question for the Writers and the other is from Upgrade Cave. I want to finish my other books before I get too involved in those stories.
Now, for new projects! Last year, I did start writing a feature film script although my writing time got spent on short stories. I would like to get that written out at least this year.
One of the first major projects I have in the works for the first half of the year is an interactive branching narrative that takes place in Downtown Norman. More about this later as we’re planning an April or May release.
Finally, I’m researching a project that might be a huge move I’ll make to get closer to the studio goal. Way too early for me to say anything about this publicly yet.
Thank you for following me throughout this year! You can join me on Patreon to help support these projects and get special rewards.
“Yes! Women in Science!” explores the challenges women face in STEM careers and inspires change for better. The award-winning documentary short visits a diverse cast of women and professions about what they love about their job and advice for those pursuing a career in the sciences.
The documentary made its premiere at The WIFI Film Festival on April 11, 2019, where it was Award Nominated for Achievement in Social Progress Through Film. It screened at Twister Alley Film Festival (Award Winner of Best Oklahoma Documentary Short and Award Nominated for Best Director of a Documentary Short), Doc Sunback Film Festival, and the Tri-Cities International Film Festival. With the festival tour over, the documentary was publicly released on YouTube today, April 16, 2020.
The documentary filming process for Yes! Women Science! was a collaborative venture. Filming took place in 2017 and 2018. Guests were given questions in advance, which they were allowed to change, remove, or add to them. Guests also collaborated on filming locations, camera angles, b-roll suggestions, etc. Before the finished video was submitted to festivals, guested got to approve the video and make suggestions, including reshooting their interview.
It’s time for my New Year’s Eve tradition of reflecting back on the year. I like to start off with some numbers in regards to my accomplishments.
Uncovering Oklahoma Episodes: 52 (more if you count Artist Statements and event coverage) Yes! Science! Episodes: 6 Tales Unveiled Episodes: 14 Quarter Minutes: 4 Art & Victory: 6
Before I talk about how each of the series did, I want to note that this year I made a big step toward my TV studio goal. I bought live-streaming equipment and started live-streaming shows! I got familiar with the equipment thanks to Startup Grind OKC as I live-streamed those fireside chats. I also filmed shows with a live audience!
Uncovering Oklahoma in 2019
Since Uncovering Oklahoma was my biggest project for the year, I’m going to start off talking about that series. Here were the top ten most viewed videos on both Facebook and YouTube. This list only includes videos that were made in 2019.
Same deal as last year, YouTube count is based on views while Facebook is from minutes watched. I upload episodes directly to each platform for maximum reach. My total minutes watched from all videos (includes previous years) via Facebook was 107.1k, which was up 3.8 % from the previous 365 days. As for Uncovering Oklahoma’s YouTube analytics: Totals views: 61.2k (up 49% from 2018), watch time in hours: 2.5k (up 62%), and 351 new subscribers (up 81%).
Uncovering Oklahoma is still growing! At the time I’m writing this post, likes for Facebook was 15,946 (was 13,130 at the start of the year), Twitter was 3,962 (3,549 last year), Instagram followers was 2,550 (1,426 last year), and YouTube subscribers was 669 (351).
I released a feature documentary, Welcome to the Plaza Walls, which premiered at the Tower Theatre on April 15, the ten year anniversary of Uncovering Oklahoma. It was a wonderful treat! After some feedback at the screening, I made some changes and released it for free shortly after. It was the only feature documentary I made during the year, other than a compilation for Amazon Prime. My focus has been weekly episodes.
My collaboration episodes included Creative Burgers Vol 1 and 2, Black-Owned BBQ Restaurants, Oklahoma State Fair Food 2019, Zero-Proof Cocktails, The Collective, Streetcar Ghost Stories, Parlor OKC, and Downtown in December. All of the collaborations were a hit. I was inspired by how well the ones I did in 2018 that I had to do more in 2019 and I plan to be doing even more in 2020.
There’s been so much to cover that I started releasing videos on Tuesdays in addition to my Thursday videos. The ones one Tuesday were more time-sensitive, such as event coverage and artist statements. I renamed the Tuesday Treats feature to Creator Conversations and moved it to Wednesdays.
Website traffic is down again this year, however, video views and social media engagement is up, so I’m happy. I want people to watch the videos more than I want them to visit the website.
Tales Unveiled in 2019
Tales Unveiled took off in popularity this year. Episode download averagers for the first season were 2oo to 300 while the second season averages were over 1,000! We were featured on Stitcher, Oklahoma Gazette, and Oklahoma Today, which you can read about that coverage here.
Taking advantage of my new live-streaming setup, I reinvited the series as a talk show hosted by Pallas the Librarian. We started the new season in March, doing monthly live events for six months. The show didn’t take off in popularity but the series was well received. Pallas has been an amazing host. All of the guests have enjoyed their time on the show. Plus, I learned so much from producing it. I’m taking the knowledge I’ve gained to make a better season for 2020.
Art & Victory in 2019
A new series! Art & Victory is a panel discussion series for creative entrepreneurs. Themes range from industry-specific discussions to more broad topics for all creatives working to make a living with their art.
Due to the lack of good wifi at the venues, I wasn’t able to do this a live-streaming show, but I did do it with an audience. Another step closer to the studio goal!
Quarter Minutes in 2019
After not making any in 2018, we made four stories in 2019. We enjoy making these super short films and I’m determined to keep getting better. I had a goal of releasing one a month, but when my other series started to pick up, Quarter Minutes fell through the cracks. With as much as I do, perhaps one every other month or every quarter would be a more realistic goal for 2020.
Top Songs of 2019
These were my most played songs in 2019 according to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music. Keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions. It’s all good fun.
Plans for 2020
My plans for 2020 are to keep upping my game.
For Uncovering Oklahoma, I’m going to start releasing videos in 4K HDR. I’ve released videos in 1080p simply so I could get creative with my framing, but I want to flex my skills. I recently got an HDR computer monitor and I’m in love with HDR. My Panasonic GH5 is capable of shooting 10-bit HDR, but I never really used it until recently. I know it’s going to be overkill, but this move will be more about producing higher quality content.
I want to take Yes! Science! to the next level. I want to build an elaborate set and up the overall production quality. I would also love to get it on a major streaming service to fund the series so I can bring out of state guests.
For our third season of Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I are going to continue traveling the state for ghost stories. We are planning to start recording in January this time as Jeff is still working on his ghost stories of Oklahoma book, which he plans to release in the fall.
I’ve been picking up more freelance work and I’m worried that will take away time from all my shows, but I need the money to make those shows happen. On the subject of balance, I’m getting better at balancing everything I do.
In my past end of the year recaps, I talked about my books and how those are so close to being done but never get released the following year. I have written out Intertwined by Cracks, which has undergone some major changes this year and needs some more work as the last feedback I received was that the story moved too fast. Collecting Cassie’s Soul, the sequel to The Crashing of Heaven and Hell, has been finally written out all the way! I’ve also been working on a third book this year, but not much as the other two have been my main focus.
I’m looking into starting a political satire series in 2020. Been learning what it takes to do a live show in 2019.
There are some random things I want to do: create some interactive public art piece, film a Borderlands short fan film out in the Little Sahara, write weekly short stories, make a feature-length horror movie, film something out of state, make a scripted mini-series, do a space drama podcast, take more artsy photographs, do a big New Years Eve special show for those that want to stay home, and get some famous women on Yes! Science!
I feel so inspired. There’s so much I want to do. Seriously. So much I want to create. I want to thank you for following and if you want to support these amazing endeavors of mine, join me on Patreon.
Pallas the Library interviews Autumn Loveless, a software developer at amshot in this episode of Yes! Science! Pallas and Autumn also talk about making robots, 3D printing, and the book, “We Are Legion (We Are Bob)” by Dennis E. Taylor.
Autumn’s previous experience ranges from managing servers, to creating a project management website for computer science students, to supplementing development staff at several small and large companies. The common denominator in her job experience is designing creative solutions to problems. She likes to view each challenge as a puzzle, which, coincidentally, she also spent time designing while working at an escape room.
Autumn spends her free time competing in Ludum Dare, building robots, and creating smart gadgets, especially if they are eco-friendly or look like magic tricks (like her “floating” lightbulb creation, made with a magnet and a wireless charger). She also regularly serenades her wife and two cats on one of the many instruments she plays.