Episode #63: Batman V Superman & Suicide Squad from the Writing Desk (with Laura Nicole)

 

This Shared Desk is, once again, a look at the silver screen from the Writer’s Desk. This time we have returned from watching Suicide Squad. With a re-watch of Batman V Superman fresh in our minds, we decide to do a breakdown of both films and discuss how Suicide Squad succeeded where BVS failed.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • The drop-in’s are hinting over what we’re talking about
  • Look who’s in studio—it’s Laura Nicole, the Gypsy in the Attic!
  • Tonight’s Drink
    • Tee’s going with an old favorite: Romantic Chemistry from Dogfish Head Ale
    • The ladies are embibing with a Richmond Favorite: Blue Bee Cider
  • Laura’s got a new book…provided she could remember this book’s title.

movie-breakdown

03:45 — Batman V Superman & Suicide Squad from the Writing Desk (with Laura Nicole)

  • In preparation for going to see Suicide Squad, we all settled in to watch Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. 
  • Working chronologically, but let’s talk a bit about the first impression of Suicide Squad.
  • Were there any funny moments in BvS? A few, actually…
  • Zac Snyder, fess up—you have no clue how to handle Kal, do you?
  • Stop playing favorites, Snyder!
  • Pip’s take on the plot of Batman V Superman: Utter ridiculousness.
  • How BvS is a great lesson in giving characters agency.
  • Tee’s new project: Bond CRIBS.
  • So why are people pissed at Superman again? Luthor? Senator Finch? Seriously, no one knows!
  • Even when the characters gained agency, the script stole it from them.
  • Anyone else think Doomsday was shoe-horned into this script?
  • No, Pip REALLY didn’t like Alexander Luthor.
  • Alexander Luthor, Social Media Douchebag.
  • For God’s Sake, Superman. Jesus Christ………
  • Addressing the 800-pound gorilla: DC Films is trying to catch up with Marvel.
  • Age of Ultron and Batman V Superman—what they share in common.
  • Pip loved Wonder Woman…but her presence was a little odd.
  • Both BvS and Suicide Squad suffered weak plots. That’s a shame.
  • The problem with Lois Lane.
  • What’s with the crazy dream sequences?!
  • The Writer’s Grades for Batman V Superman
    • Laura: D-
    • Pip: D
    • Tee: C- (I’m trying to be good to it, Billy Flynn…)
  • That script was begging to be Ol’ Yellered!
  • Onward to Suicide Squad
    • Better characters
    • The odd story was easier to follow.
    • AMANDA WALLER. Boom.
  • Where Tee wags a finger at Billy on the “multiverse” defense for these film, and talks a bit about the inherent problem with comic book movies.
  • In praise of flashbacks
  • Suicide Squad worked (more or less) with the ensamble cast.
    • Why didn’t Captain Boomerang get killed off? Why Slipknot, the one Native American character? I’m just saying.
    • Katana wasn’t needed…but she was awesome.
    • This wasn’t a Will Smith movie.
    • Tee’s favorite Harley Quinn Moment
  • One little problem: “The Big Bad”
    • Problems with The Enchantress as the main villain
    • The Joker. Okay…Tee’s trying to put behind him his own feelings on Method Acting. That being said…
  • A deep dive into the relationship between Joker and Harley (that Suicide Squad handled exceptionally well)
  • We wouldn’t say no to a Harley film.
  • This movie was not the mess that critics made it out to be.
  • The Writer’s Grades for Suicide Squad
    • Pip: A- (Like mother, like daughter)
    • Laura: B
    • Tee: B+
    • And a few tangents in-between…
  • Want to know the best way to take make an Aussie die in public?

54:56 — The LootCrate Lookie Loo

  • Time-shifting so we can get in this Lookie-Loo
  • Boom’s got her own Loot Crate happening. Stay tuned for that!
  • August’s Loot Crate: Anti-Hero
    • The Tee-shirt: Archer for President
    • Q-Fig Figurine: Harley Quinn and her hyena from the classic Batman: The Animated Series
    • Loot Wear: Kill Bill socks
    • Loot Crate pin: World of Warcraft
    • Loot Crate Exclusive: Hellboy’s Right Hand Of Doom
  • This crate is the first crate that we’re keeping EVERYTHING!
  • What’s in the Anti-Hero booklet?
  • Pip has a plan for all the pins…
  • Hold on, we’re time-shifting again!!!

1:02:12 — Wrapping up

  • Where will Laura be?
    • Chapatacon in October
    • Vally Free Radio (Vally Free Radio.org)
  • Tee steps up to see if he can still do the Radio DJ radio challenge. (And yes, he has still got it!)
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show or what we are rambling about at the end of the show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • And Laura is at GypsyLaura.com

 

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #62: Developments in Social Media for Authors

 

Oh the times, they are a-changin’…

Social Media has been really busy since we last dropped a show for The Shared Desk, and as we agreed to do in our Social Media for Writers title, we’re going to talk about some of the changes happening as well as go into the best way to maximize your dollar on Facebook and other social media fronts.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • We’re rocking into the Sixties!
  • Tee enjoys the Cute of Melissa Benoist while Pip gets a little homesick.
  • The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Scribe Approved!
  • Thanks to author and sometimes-guest, Nick Kelly, Tee is recording with FireWire again!
  • Now, moving forward…

01:06 — Episode #62: Developments in Social Media for Writers

  • Today’s show is brought to you by Social Media for Writers.
  • There have been some changes this week in favorite Social Media platforms.
  • Pinterest
    • Talking from the seat of authority is Pip Ballantine, the Pinterest Warrior Princess
    • Cosmetic changes in how pins appear.
    • Looking for the “Pin It” button? Look to you right.
    • Promoted Pins — a new venture, a new opportunity
    • Precautions against SPAM
    • If you want to use a Bit.ly link on Pinterest, don’t bother. (Thanks for the head’s up, Pinterest.)
  • Yeah, we got great communication as a couple!
  • Facebook
    • Facebook changed the layout of the Page…
    • …and chances are you’ve got new algorithms to figure out, too.
    • Yes, Facebook saw record profits this year, but with a billion people using their service, they need to keep the lights on.
    • Do you want to promote a Page or a post? Thanks to Veritasium, here’s why we boost posts…
    • A look back on the fun days of Organic Reach.
    • If you want people to see content, it’s going to cost you.
    • So BE SMART on what you boost.
    • And when people dig your boosted posts, you should notice an uptick in Page Likes.
    • Facebook’s Rules on text in images.
  • Instagram
    • Did you know that Facebook acquired Instagram?
    • Step One: Know where your Instagram profile. Tee does. Pip, on the other hand…
    • A new look and a new option for Instagram accounts…Photo Aug 09, 9 24 21 PM
    • When jumping to a “Business Profile” you decide what you do and don’t share.
    • Yes, now you can go on and directly contact us through Instagram…
      Photo Aug 09, 9 24 39 PMPhoto Aug 07, 10 07 01 PM
    • Now as a Business on Instagram, you can promote images like this….
      Photo Aug 09, 9 31 47 PM
    • CORRECTION: Text-heavy images like the #TeaserTuesday selections can be promoted on Instagram!
    • Analytics are provided.
    • There are a few hiccups to clear, but overall? WOW!
    • It was all thanks to Geektitude and the Average Geek Podcast where Tee discovered this new Instagram feature.
  • And Tee lapses into his inner-Donald. (Sorry about that, folks.)

34:32 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • July’s Theme — Futuristic (and Pip’s hosting the honors…)
  • You know all these Loot Crate items we’re setting aside as we’re not into that fandom?
  • A contest that we’re announcing a winner at LaurenCon! Here’s what you have to do!
  • Inside the July crate…
    • A tee-shirt from Rick & Morty
    • Your very own Megaman
  • Pulling back the Butterfly Girl to the topic on hand about what we’re doing with the Loot Crate stuff outside our fandom.
  • Back to the July Crate…
    • A Futurama statue…and Tee thinks it’s pretty cool!
    • Star Trek Live Long & Prosper lapel pin
    • A Valiant Comics exclusive — Valiant 4001 A.D. (with David Mack lending his talents…)
    • Quick Tangent: Tee wrote for Valiant’s Harbinger and Bloodshot for Kindle Worlds
    • A Star Trek Enterprise-D sticker
  • So many fandoms, not enough time…
  • Hey, LootCrate — how about a Stranger Things crate? Something to think about!

43:59 — Wrapping up

  • Closing in to the end of 2016!
  • A couple of people we need to reach out to…
  • Where are we going to be between now and October…
    • 19-21 August, LaurenCon 2016 in an undisclosed location in North Carolina
    • 25 September, Tee is running the 2016 Dogfish Dash, an 8K race at the Dogfish Head Ale Brewery!
    • 14-16 October, Steampunk unLimited in Strasburg, PA
    • 22 October, The Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis, MD for the “Day of Wrong”
    • …and then we’re taking a break. But if you or a friend have an event where you would like to see us…
      • Call us at 703.791.1701 (now accessible through the Instagram app!)
      • Send me email — tee@teemorris.com
      • Send Pip email — pip@pjballantine.com
      • …or find us on social media everywhere.
  • We got projects reaching critical mass. Hopefully, news incoming.
  • Weren’t we taking a break? BREAKS ARE FOR DUDES!

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or questions for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
We’ll talk about it!
And remember, you can find the show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #61: REPOST — Panel Etiquette (with Special Guest Nick A. Kelly)

 

 

Due to an odd hiccup in the FTP, here is a repost of Episode #61, and this time all of it should be there. Nice timing though as we can share a link with you…

EVEN AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
THIS CAN HAPPEN!!!

And now, to the show.

Back in the studio and back in your podcatcher of choice on the day we head out to Detroit, we are joined by Nick Kelly (who is taking notes on how we do things as we have another podcasting project in the works—STAY TUNED!) as we are asked by one of our listeners, “I am heading to conventions as a Guest. I’m on panels. What do I do?”

That’s why we are here for you. We know stuff.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Tee loses track of his cursor after a fantastic intro from Pip…whoopsie!
  • Still on track since the beginning of 2016!
  • Wait—Pip missed a Deadpool reference?!
  • Tonight’s Drink: Buffalo Trace (a bourbon…with a kick)
    • Reach behind you, Kelly, and pull out the bottle!
    • Sleeping well tonight with 90-Proof
    • Comparing Buffalo Trace to the Blade & Bow

02:53 — Panel Etiquette (with Special Guest Nick A. Kelly)

  • Yes, we take requests at The Shared Desk!
  • A good topic as we are heading to Detroit for Motor City SteamCon!
  • John Strangeway is going to be there. Joy!
  • The Potomac Nationals are not afraid to let their geek flag fly. Check out this jersey…
    IMG_0081
  • A tangent on Batman V Superman…
  • We Google “Cowboy Monkey Rodeo” so you won’t have to.
  • Minor Leagues will do ANYTHING to get people in the stands!
  • Heading to conventions not as Attendees but as Guest & Participants. So what can you do at a convention?
    • Pip defines a Panel and how it all works.
    • Tee gives a few stories behind how some Panels become Seminars.
    • Nick goes into the in’s and out’s of a Workshop, and how to make them a hit.
  • Do some research before your panel.
    • Who are you talking with on panels?
    • What are you talking about?
    • Who’s moderating the panel? Are you moderating the panel?
  • THE PHRASE YOU SHOULD NEVER UTTER ON A PANEL!
  • THE OTHER THING YOU SHOULD NEVER ASK ON A PANEL!
  • Remember, on a panel, it’s not all about you.
  • How do you handle a S.M.O.F.?
    • S.M.O.F. defined
    • It’s up to the moderator to tell the S.M.O.F. to STFU.
    • Stories of S.M.O.F.’s: the Good and the Bad
  • Moderators: The Panel’s SuperGlue
    • What Pip looks for in a Moderator
    • What happens when a Moderator doesn’t do their job, or has an agenda…
    • Moderators and S.M.O.F.’s: Game on, folks!
    • They are the Captains of the Panel and should be respected and obeyed.
  • Nick talks a bit about Lauren’s recent Shared Desk on panel etiquette.
  • Carl Cipra — Tee’s Yoda of Moderating
  • Our best moderator? Bill Blume of James River Writers. He read our books for a panel he was moderating with us!
  • Nothing says “insecurity” quite like a wall of books.
    • “I’m gonna build a WALL…and it’s gonna be beautiful…”
    • One or two books at the most in front of you.
    • Go digital and have an iPad showing off your cover art…but don’t make it a slide show about you.
  • Panels rely not just on your individual prep but on the prep of the other panelists.
  • Make no mistake: You can make an impression on an audience as a moderator.
  • What about Workshops? How do you prepare?
  • Nick Kelly IS a walking drop-in!
  • The peril of Workshops: Having one student that wants to comment on everything! (Let the other participants play.)
  • Always over-prepare for a workshop. Have too much to do!
  • When you get charged to run a workshop on dry material, you need to find some time to have fun.
  • The danger of Seminars: There are those audience members who think they are smarter than you.
  • A fine line between S.M.O.F.’s and a lack of social skills
  • How to handle a S.M.O.F. in a seminar
    • First Step: Be polite and try to answer the question.
    • Second Step: Take a firm stance.
    • Final Step: SHUT. THEM. DOWN.
  • With a final nod to the Great Pumpkin…

43:14 — Wrapping up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #60: Starting from Scratch…Again (with Special Guest Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

 

Hold on — Lauren “Scribe” Harris is back in studio?

Why, yes, yes, she is! With the Drakes out west, we need to fill the vacancy left behind; and Lauren is up for the challenge. Speaking of challenges, this week we’re facing that dreaded moment in a writer’s life when we look at a work-in-progress, realize that it is a ship sinking fast, and only one thing is left to do with it…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Yay! Lauren’s back!
  • Tonight’s cocktail comes courtesy of MurLarkey’s Distilled Spirits, a Virginia Distillery and Bristow’s first!
    • Cinnamon Irish Coffee made with Cincerity
    • Tee prefers Smoke on the Mountain
    • This drink has a practical application, Lauren discovers
  • What brings Lauren back to the studio…

03:54 — Starting from Scratch…Again (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris) 

  • What happens when the story isn’t clicking?
    • For Pip, it was Hollywood Sentinels. A great idea…but just not a pleasant experience.
    • The story is broken, and Pip can’t discover the disconnect.
    • For Lauren, her own“Tackle & Grapple” happened not once but twice.
  • And here’s a new writer’s term: Ol’ Yellering a Novel. (I am so, so sorry.)
  • Lauren’s two Ol’ Yellers: The Mark of Flight and Hellhound
  • Is Ol’ Yellering a novel worth it?
  • If something feels wrong in a work-in-progress, chances are there is. Trust the instincts and start again.
  • Happy Fourth of July from our subdivision!
  • When two ideas struggle for attention, and one of the ideas isn’t falling into place, another idea might be worth pursuing.
  • Do you scrap an idea when you’re under contract? Sadly, yes.
  • How do you snap back psychologically from making the call of trashing a novel?
  • Before investing the energy and time into a broken story, consider what you are putting into it and the return from that investment.
  • What can be more crippling than scrapping a novel? Never finishing a novel.
  • Tee faces all these demons with Blackstar Rising.
  • This is the “Man Crush” moment of the show, featuring Chuck and Phil
  • No rapping! No rapping!
  • Tee’s reboot of Morevi. Not. Happening.
  • Lauren is a walking musical. You just randomly break out into song…
  • Sometimes, it’s better to walk forward than look back.
  • Scrapping an idea is not a reflection on you as a writer. It is a reflection on you as a professional.

31:42 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Still a favorite of Pip’s.
  • First stop for the weekend — Cobbler Mountain Cellars
    • We popped a “Bear Cherry” together.
    • Lauren’s favorite of the tasting: The Ginger Peach.
    • The Jeffersonian — Tastes Like Slavery
    • Cider Talk
  • Next stop: MurLarkey Distillery
    • This distillery is far too close to us!
    • Tee recalls his Vodka Vault experience…and how terrible it was.
    • However, the Divine Clarity was amazing!
    • Another surprise—the Imagination.
    • What we brought back— Clemoncy and Cincerity.
    • And we’ve been mixing drinks…
    • The winner of the weekend: Smoke on the Mountain
    • Good times at MurLarkey!
  • Clocking in time in the Man Cave with…
  • Escape Velocity, the first convention hosted by the Museum of Science Fiction
    • Where is everyone?
      IMG_7584
    • We looked good…but we were the only ones in costume.
      IMG_7590
    • Fantastic programming, and apparently that was where all the people were.
    • Steampunk in Anime, Film, and Print—the panel that almost wasn’t.
    • The convention crew was spot-on amazing!
    • Charles Dunbar and Doomtastic were on the panel…and we had a great time.
    • Then came The Big Score…and communication was proving a bit of a challenge.
    • Escape Velocity still came through, and I was able to give the presentation.
    • Always nice when you do a giveaway and your winners get excited over the free stuff!
    • Some advice to the con organizers for 2017…
    • We need folks like Pamela Gay, Stephen Grenade, John Cmar, and others on account of the STEM focus.
  • Keep listening to see if Tee, Pip, and others return for Escape Velocity 2017…

58:34 — Wrapping up

  • What do you know? We went long.
  • Where Lauren will be?
    • 16 JulyCongregate in High Point, North Carolina
    • Sometime in August — LaurenCon 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show or what we are rambling about at the end of the show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …and on various corners of social media!
  • Listen up — here’s where you can find all of us online!
  • Whoops! Tee swiped Pip’s closing line.

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #59: Calling “Shenanigans” on Penny Dreadful (SPOILERS, AHEAD!!!)

 

If you have not seen the season SERIES finale of Penny Dreadful, turn back now.

As fond the Victorian Gothic (with just a dash of steampunk) series is at quoting literature, let us give a quick quote of our own:

Do you hear, let them be well used; for
they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
time: after your death you were better have a bad
epitaph than their ill report while you live.

While Tee and Pip would never go on record about their thoughts on another writer’s work, they let loose with the ranting as they feel betrayed both as fans and as writers. If you have been wanting a rant from Tee, here it comes NOW WITH 100% MORE KIWI!!!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Pip is working very hard to make everything interesting, even the show numbers…
  • We are nailing the posting schedule for 2016! How about that?
  • Jon Snow’s Tribute to Leeroy Jenkins — best thing on YouTube RIGHT NOW!!!
  • There are going to be a LOT of spoilers in this episode! Turn back now…
  • Deep breath, everyone…

00:44 — Episode #59: Calling “Shenanigans” on Penny Dreadful

  • Better buckle up…
  • Penny Dreadful. Some of the best television ever aired…UNTIL…
  • A word from show creator, John Logan.
    • 45-second audio from the video posted by Logan and Showtime
    • Series finale airs on Sunday night. This clip goes live the day after.
  • Finale ends. Announcement drops the day after of cancellation.
  • Then, all this week, images like these…
    13483009_638298629654871_2541983613324725551_o
  • “It was always intended to be three seasons…” Really? REALLY?!
  • S-Bombs Ahead!
  • If Penny Dreadful was Vanessa’s story, then what about all these OTHER characters we’ve gotten to know?
  • Who introduces a whole new set of characters for a final season?
    • One of these characters is introduced in Episode 6 of a 9 Episode season?
    • A total of eight new characters…all set up for a final season centered around the six principles.
  • Concerning Dr. Henry Jekyll
    • Tee is a bit envious as to Penny Dreadful’s take
    • A season of dropping hints about his temper
    • Building, building, building…and then, Jekyll “goes on his rounds”…
    • Frankenstein caves, and Jekyll is more than okay with it. Well, okay…I guess?
    • Fan service in 3…2……..
  • Characters betraying themselves, and Jekyll’s potential reduced to a Lab Assistant.
  • Kaetenay tells Ethan “I have given you the power to save her…” but he forgets that somewhere on the way.
  • How did Cat do what she did in the final fight?! Sir Malcolm noticed!
  • “Hey, Victor—fancy bumping into you here!” Are you kidding me? You want Frankenstein in a firefight AFTER SEASON 2?!
  • Time Wasters for (what was) the Final Season
    • Dorian & Lily — Anyone else remember the end of Season 2?
    • The Creature — The problem with that was the actor. Rory Kinnear was SO — DAMN — GOOD!
    • …but this is Vanessa’s story. Remember?
  • And now we get to Vanessa…oh Vanessa…
  • And Dracula? What does he do when he sees his soulmate dead in Ethan’s arms?
    winchester
  • What the hell, John Logan?!
  • Penny Dreadful was a fantastic show, and then Logan punted.
  • To say “That was the plan all along…” is a disservice. and terrible writing to boot. From people who know better.
  • Tee and Pip are still pissed. Turns out they aren’t the only ones.

30:27 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • Good thing we never not a Penny Dreadful crate.
  • Two boxes (again!) this go round!
    • May Clearance box
    • June Theme — Dystopia
  • Inside the May Clearance crate…
    • Funko Pop’s Han Solo from The Force Awakens
    • Star Trek Car Air Freshener of the Live Long & Prosper greeting
    • Batman v Superman indestructible wallet
    • Space Invaders necktie
    • Spy Mad Libs (Always cool!)
  • Inside the June Dystopia crate…
    • The tee-shirt — Robocop!
    • A Bioshock: Infinite blank key to turn into a house key
    • The lapel pin is a bomb….of course
    • A jigsaw puzzle from The Matrix
    • A Dorbs from Fallout
    • A Terminator 2: Judgment Day metal sign
  • What are we keeping, and what are we setting up for giveaways…
  • Still haven’t topped the Aliens crate. Yet.

36:12 — Wrapping up

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #58: A Crash Course in Networking (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

On the way up to the event that is Balticon, Lauren “Scribe” Harris spent the night with us…and then she spent another night with us on the way home! We fired up the mic to enjoy a one-show before-and-after to talk with this talented up-and-coming author about meeting agents at a con. How do you approach agents? How do you not come across like “that author” at an event? Pull up a chair and have a listen to what advice we offer before Balticon, and then see how she fared up afterwards.

Oh, and after Balticon? “Scribe” may have fixed cocktails for us. It’s an jam-packed show, heading beyond the hour mark so be ready!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Holy crap, we’re back already behind the mic! And this time, we are not alone….
  • And our favorite Bavarian provides another drop-in for the show.

01:22 — A Crash Course in Networking (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris) 

  • Lauren asks Tee and Pip to help her prep for Balticon 50
  • So we are clear what is NOT happening when George R.R. Martin is at Balticon.
  • Some background on Lauren’s quest for an agent.
  • How do you approach an agent and not be “that author” in front of an editor or agent?
  • There’s Verena again!
  • If you can tell a story, you can talk to an agent.
  • Have business card, will travel.
  • Different icebreakers for editors and agents
  • You never stop feeling like a n00b. Just ask Tee and who he almost did a panel with…
  • Eye contact. Firm handshake. (Lauren’s got this!)
  • Play up coincidences and be yourself.
  • Don’t always be pitching. That can get real old, real quick.
  • A quick tangent on moderating panels.
  • What we do and we don’t like in panels and panel moderation.
  • Lauren has a plan…kinda.
  • Tee’s got a few ideas on how to relax.
  • Pip evokes the “Pull Pip Back” drop-in….
  • Breathing is good. So is perspective.

22:26 — Elevator Pitching 101

  • Lauren pitches to Tee and Pip, and Tee goes to work.
  • Elevator Pitches for Tee’s works-in-progress
    • Blackstar Rising
    • Wolf in the Fold
    • Countdown
  • Tee gets a hold of Lauren’s query and tries to make a pitch on the fly…
  • Man—Lauren is a HARSH critic!
  • Look for the touchstones of your query, and build your elevator pitch around that.
  • Keep the elevator pitches short, quick, and all in one sentence.
  • And Lauren knocks it out of the park with an elevator pitch for Song of the Heretic!
  • We evoke Damon Suede once more on the show…
  • Check it—Tee stumped Lauren with a literature reference.
  • Remember: The Elevator Pitch is your hook.
  • Make sure the pitches line up.

38:14 — Fast Forward to Post-Balticon (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

  • We have cocktails!
  • Yes, PJ and Matt, we are thinking of you…and are bitter about it.
  • Lauren will be stepping in as a Deep Southern PJ Schnyder…
  • So, Lauren settles in with panels alongside the agent. How did it go?
    • Panel One: Dealing with Rejection
    • Lauren handles introductions with the agent like a boss!
    • Panel Two: The Fine Art of Negotiation (or Lauren Thinks Fast on Her Feet)
    • It is always nice to have an audience eager to ask questions.
  • Don’t always count on the audience to be hungry to talk to agents and editors.
  • 9 a.m. panels can have a good turnout.
  • Yes, Tee called Lauren “darling” and everyone was okay with it. #SouthernThang
  • Taking a moment to talk a bit about Balticon and their bumpy weekend, logistically speaking.
  • A.F. Grappin of the MeltingPotcast.com was taking advantage of the new scheduling app…but not everyone was using the app…
  • And the podcast descends into hashtags and drop-in’s…
  • Lauren manages to score a card! Good sign!
  • And another opportunity for Lauren to show some savvy.
  • Here’s a Myke Cole moment for you.
  • The verbal invite to pitch: Achievement Unlocked!
  • And we’re on boobs….for some reason.
  • Lauren critiques her con performance.

58:35 — Lauren’s Impromptu Pitch Development

  • Lauren got a few of the Balticon Tribe together and gave her pitch a screening.
  • A pitch should be like a picture of a meal in a sushi restaurant.
  • Lauren got a chance to WITNESS with Hugh O’Donnell, get to know new Tribe better, and just hang with others of the Smoky Writers Mafia.
  • Wrapping up the overall Balticon 50 experience.

1:03:23 — Wrapping up

  • I would not be so crazy as to purposefully cut off  “Scribe” but we have been going for a spell…
  • Oh my god, Pip’s glass is EMPTY!!!
  • Lauren adds praise for the new hotel.
  • Waxing nostalgic over the PG Holyfield Cookout…
  • BUDGET FOR PARKING!
  • Where Lauren will be?
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Lauren tempts Tee and Pip with Farpoint in February…
  •  …while Tee and Pip tempt Lauren back up to our area with Steampunk unLimited.
  • Go find Lauren online. Her website is right here!
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • You can find us on social media…
    • …and yeah, Tee is on Snapchat as TheTeeMonster
  • Let’s all try and find Lauren on Snapchat…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #57: The Value of Social Media (and Your Ability to Block Users)

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Can you believe it? During CRUNCH WEEK, and we’re still on a bi-weekly target with shows…and from the looks of blog comments, questions from social media, and voicemail, it’s paying off! So welcome-welcome-welcome to another Shared Desk! Pull up a podcatcher and stay for a spell.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Tee finds his true feelings about his better half via The Punisher.
  • Pip is stumped. Where did this drop-in come from? (It’s iZombie, one of Tee’s new favorites.)
  • You know it’s a traumatic Game of Thrones when you watch Penny Dreadful to cheer yourself up!
  • And the work within The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences continues!
  • Backers and their eReaders are very happy this week!
  • Pip is ready for the arrival and shipping of books!
  • JAM PACKED SHOW ahead…especially the Loot Crate haul! (Still unopened, so she really does love me!)

04:33 — The Value of Social Media (and Your Ability to Block Users)

  • Chuck Wendig makes a post on Facebook that resonates with Tee & Pip.
  • Chuck’s post…really does make a lot of sense.
  • Do you UNFOLLOW someone, or do you BLOCK? That is the question.
  • Did you know we have a few opinions on social media?
  • “Team Follow Back” = InstaBlock.
  • Grandma, lay off the booze!
  • Pip—and apparently, the entire nation of New Zealand—love the Unfollow and Block.
  • TD-0013 and I do not always agree…but we respect each other.
  • Why do you want jerks in your life? To build character?
  • “But you might block a fan!” Well, we just talked about that…
  • So far, we haven’t encountered any problems…on our pro Pages. Our personal feeds, however…
  • Some terrific advice: “You don’t owe them a damn thing.”
  • Both professional and personal feeds have value. Treat them as such.
  • There is nothing wrong with comment moderation, with blocking feeds, and with overall social media management.
  • The Hodor clip now serves as a way to keep Pip in line.

17:51 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • It’s a Lookie-Loo Times Two!!!
  • From Loot Crate, we got our Subscription…and a Special Edition!
    • May Theme: Power
    • Special Commemorative Crate: Aliens 30th Anniversary
  • May Crate
    • Avengers Infinity Gauntlet Grilling/Oven Mitt
    • An Incredible Hulk Figurine from Q-Fig
    • Plush keychain from Dragonball Z
    • World of Warcraft tee shirt (very high quality)
    • And a very cool Power guide!
  • Aliens Crate
    • The box is the crew carrier!
    • “Bug Stomper” tee-shirt
    • Alien Titan vinyl filter
    • 30th Anniversary hardbound Dark Horse graphic novel, Aliens
    • Cage Free Alien Eggs
    • Aliens metal print
    • Booklet also looks
  • Name that tune from James Horner
  • NONE OF THE ALIENS STUFF IS GOING INTO THE GIVEAWAY BOX!

29:20 — Listener Mail!

  • Still feeling the Loot Crate afterglow.
  • We’ve got feedback from a LOT of people this go-round!
  • Voicemail
    • Nobilis Reed presents a possible scenario for when you turn to family and friends for support.
    • Nick Kelly wants to know how sold are we on our upcoming series finale.
      • Tee and Pip chat about best and worst finales from television.
      • How do we feel about the approaching end of the Ministry?
  • Maria Myrbeck asks for a cost-effective solution for organizing notes. We offer Evernote.
  • Michael Spence wants to sell books. Is that hard? With the Square, nope.
  • Wait—we have a Square upgrade?!
  • And comments from the blog!!!
  • We’d better wrap this show up as the moonshine is kicking in with Tee!

46:32 — Wrapping up

  • We managed to get A LOT in this show!
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • You can find us on social media…
    • …and yeah, Tee is on Snapchat as TheTeeMonster
  • Pip’s going to stick her face into an egg now…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 56: Your Friends & Family Are Not Your Fans (Nor Should You Plan for That)

Nope, no special guests. This time, you’re stuck with us. Fair warning about that — we may be a touch slaphappy, too….

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Pip doesn’t want to wait for the dip in the music to start talking.
  • We got to crank out this show as Pip wants to get to Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful
  • So what have been up to? Simply put—The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
  • Killing two birds with one stone…
  • NO, WE ARE NOT GETTING THE EBOOK OUT TOMORROW!!!
  • The importance of a proof. Always get a proof before going to press!

04:55 — Killing Your Darlings

  • The inspiration behind this episode: A quaint (interpret that as a HEALTHY SIZED but WORTHWHILE) read from Virtual Wayfarer
  • Special note to Nobilis — The levels were off on account of me.
  • This platform has a lot of tie backs to the Podcasting Community and the platform of Giving It Away for Free
  • Even Wil Wheaton deals with the Free Model of the Interwebz.
  • Asking Piper J “Do you get the impression that authors cross promote other authors as they once did?”
  • Looking at that line between Fans and Friends
  • Keep your expectations low for your friends and family
  • Tee pulls up a memory of a bad book signing.
  • The Pity Buy — like the Pity Shag, just avoid it!
  • Your audience shouldn’t be your friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. They should be outside those circles.
  • When Tee came to grips with looking at his social media platform more realistically.
  • You want to read books from authors you respect? Yeah, good luck with that…
  • As we mentioned on Geektitude, we have to be selective about when we consume content.
  • Giving negative feedback? No, we disagree.
  • Reach outside those bubbles.
  • Statistics? There are pluses and minuses there, too.
  • And social media is not what it once was.

24:28 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • Hey, a con invited us to attend…sorta….
  • This event is a BIG event. HUGE. MEGA-SIZED even…
  • Wait…when’s the event?
  • Hold on…you waited a month before your event, I can’t make it, and now you want me to what?
  • A BLAST FROM THE PAST!
  • Aaaaaaand here — we — go……..
  • THE RETURN OF PIP RAGE!
  • Hey there, Idiot P.R. Firm, meet our friend Chuck Wendig

33:30 — Listener Mail!

  • No voicemail, but email! Cool!
  • Michael Spence asks us about formatting of Cover Letters, as mentioned in our previous show.
    • Now, agents and editors are working digitally.
    • Tee looks back on the Morevi presentation.
    • Keep it professional. Short and sweet.
    • What matters above all else — following the agent’s or editor’s submission guidelines.
  • Brian Webber wonders about the value and the publication of fanfic.
    • What is your goal — friends online or publication?
    • The value of Fan Fiction
    • Filing off the serial numbers of your fan fic and getting it published—pros, cons, and challenges.
    • Fandoms are hungry for new stories.
    • Kindle Worlds — a viable option for semi-pro fiction. Tee’s done it. Twice.

43:42 — Wrapping up

  • Did what we say make sense?
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
  • What’s coming up for us?
    • 13-15 May — The 2016 Steampunk World’s Fair
      • Pip believes that Tee’s met K.W. Jeter. He hasn’t.
      • And Tee gets a little surprise on what’s coming up for the weekend…
      • A special preview of The Ghost Rebellion will be ready as well!
    • 22-24 July, Motor City Steam Con in Detroit
    • Throughout the Summer, Steampunk U in Hershey, PA
    • Sadly….no Balticon. :^(
  • And now, off to the Tower of Joy….

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #55: While My Guitar Gently Leaks (RT 2016 Retrospective)

 

TSD-rockingVegas

Two writers.

One convention.

Madness in Vegas!

The plane had barely time to get properly cleaned by the ground crew before Pip and Tee started what was to be a week in Sin City. Sure they brought busy work in case there were any slow points…but thanks to Piper J. and Matthew J. Drake, that didn’t happen. Strap yourself in—it’s a retrospective of RT 2016 on The Shared Desk!

00:00 —  Introduction

02:15 — While My Guitar Gently Leaks… (An RT 2016 Retrospective)

  • RT Booklovers Convention in 2016 — a brand, new experience!
  • Arriving in Vegas early…
    • Tee rallies against the jetlag, and he and Matthew hit the Strip
    • Piper J Drake invites us to her “Rocker-Stripper Hangout” at the Elara.
    • We were teaching alongside Linnea Sinclair, Damon Suede, and Stacey Kade at the RT Pre-Boot Camp
    • Workshops a plenty for two days straight!
    • Even Tee picked up a few new things during the workshop!
    • A nice way to ease into the 2016 RT Convention…
  • Pip compares convention centers between 2015 and 2016.
  • Day One…and thanks to a purchase from the Miracle Mile, Pip and Tee enter the convention LIKE MOTHERF–ING ROCKSTARS!!!
  • “Vegas, baby!” — a phrase we used often.
  • Our first panel — “Steampunk: The Diverse Punk”
    • Addressing the 800-pound gorilla about diversity
    • How Tee felt being the “odd man out”
    • A quick tangent on peels and Nalini Singh
    • And we were off and running…
  • Pip Ballantine, always making new friends from Oz.
  • How an update to an app turned our “007 in a Corset: Spies & Steampunk” into The Tee & Pip Show.
  • Readers Entertainment Magazine loved us. I mean, they loved us!
  • We hooked up with  Starla Huchton eventually and it became a mini-Smoky Writers Reunion!
  • Later in the day, we hit the Social Media Fair…and we identify as the O.P.s (Original Podcasters) still rolling out the audio!
  • Jumping back to Damon Suede’s Cinema Craptastique and a treatment of Abduction. The horror, the horror……
  • Cirque du Punk
    • Pip meets Hope McCurdy, the embodiment of the Iron Lily.
    • Amazing circus performers!
    • Cyberpunked deejay FTW!
    • And here’s Pip, Starla, and PJ as the punked up RGB Scale…
      IMG_6934
  • So why was Tee getting attention during the day?
    IMG_6918
  • The Intergalactic Bar & Grille, hosted by Linnea and PJ. So — much — fun!
  • This was a healthy-sized collection…and an exclusive!
  • What an awesome experience! Really felt welcome!
  • Linnea must have liked me as she trusted me with her Mad Libs…
  • The RT Book Fair of 2016 — 600 authors, and a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE!!!
    IMG_6948
  • Ended the RT experience with a trip to Mandalay Bay’s Red Square.
    IMG_6983
  • The difference between infused vodka and straight vodka: delight versus rubbing alcohol.
  • The hard lesson of Vegas: EVERYONE IS TRYING TO UPSELL YOU!!!
  • And everyone is an enabler in Vegas. (Oooooh, Steve!!!)
  • But seriously, we loved Hash House a Go-Go!
  • Catching up with Rachel!
    • She’s working the Jersey Boys.
    • Off-the-Strip sushi…nom.
    • A really good beer place…that we can’t remember. (Help, Rachel!)
    • The Return to Frankie’s Tiki’s Room!!!
      IMG_6889
  • Was it worth it? Oh hell yes!

45:54 — The Loot Crate Lookie-loo! 

  • A new segment for the show…
  • We are newbies to LootCrate, and we LOVE it! So far…
    • February — The Dead Box
    • March — Versus
    • And now, April….
  • April’s LootCrate
    • The Labyrinth tee shirt
    • A drinking horn from Vikings
    • Harry Potter Horcrux socks
    • A d20 ice mold
    • A d20 lapel pin
    • Uncharted 4 poster
  • What’s in your box?
  • What should you do with the stuff you don’t like? (Free giveaways!)

51:48 — Listener Mailbox

  • Two shows in a row! Keep it up, everyone!!!
    • A quick update from Hugh O’Donnell and his “Warboy” drive from Tennessee to New York.
    • Doc Coleman asks about the decision process when picking and choosing conventions.
  • Keep the voicemail coming in at 703.791.1701 or drop us an email, Subject line — FOR THE SHARED DESK!

1:01:48 — Wrapping up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 54: The Post-Retreat (with Special Guests Piper J Drake, Matthew Drake, and KT Bryski)

 

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In our previous episode of The Shared Desk, Pip, Tee, Matt, and PJ all looked ahead to a week at the Smoky Writers’ Retreat. Now we jump ahead to the end of the week, and this time we are joined by KT Bryski. Cracking over an hour of word count goals, reflections on the fun, and serious talk about moonshine, The Shared Desk presents the Post-Retreat podcast.

Be warned — This way lies shenanigans!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • The drop-in’s reflect the week, pretty much…
  • It’s a NEW drop-in, just for Foo!
  • What is the name of this event?
  • Matt and Tee are ending the week as they started it — with Ole Smoky Moonshine’s Apple Pie!

03:54 — The Post-Retreat Podcast (with Piper, Matt, and KT!)

  • Only one hit of the shine, and Tee’s off the rails already.
  • What we accomplished at the Retreat…
    • Pip finishes The Silver Pharaoh, begins The Iron Lily, and continues into the Broken Galaxy; and she hit a Lowell! Just over 30,000 words accomplished.
    • Piper J Drake rocks her deadline with the True Hero series. 40,000 words in the can.
    • K.T. Bryski was a short story machine. BE AFRAID OF THE AWESOME!
    • Tee finally wrote Little Red Flying Hood, got handouts sorted for an upcoming RT workshop, and kicked off Blackstar Rising. Over 30,000 words in the week.
    • And now, Matthew J Drake, our accidental author…landing in over 20,000 words in a week!
  • A quick tangent on the Apple Pie Moonshine…and then, back to Matt….
  • Matt’s ascension into a full-fledged writer’s life.
  • Just avoid the dreaded note from KT Bryski, editor…
    grumpy-cat-no-1
  • KT Bryski does NOT care for the new drop-in.
  • The story behind Piper’s new drop-in. (We love you, Foo!)
  • That drop-in and Penny Dreadful…KT’s kryptonite.
  • And now—what happened after hours….
    • KT’s favorite time — the presence of Lauren, and composing music with Starla!
    • Matt’s favorite time — the first group reading
    • Jumping back to KT’s off-hours visit to the Titanic Museum…a surprising find in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and what an experience!
    • Piper J Drake’s favorite time — visiting Ripley’s Aquarium and the somewhat-lubricated, off-hours chatter between authors.
    • Pip’s favorite time — chilling with Alex White
  • The Moonshine of Gatlinburg
  • All the neat touches of our cabin…
    IMG_6608
  • Hugh O’Donnell goes WAR BOY on us all!!! WITNESS HIM!!!
  • What a great experience!
  • Bryan Lincoln almost lost his work on account of a cleaning fit from Tee.
  • Let’s talk about the food of Smoky Writers Retreat!
    • Katie’s favorite meal — the Sticky Toffee Pudding
    • Matt’s favorite meal — the handmade Gnocchi
    • Piper’s favorite meal — the Ribs and GROWN-UP Mac-n-Cheese
    • PIPER CHEATS! STEALS TEE’S TASTY-TASTY REUBENS!!!!
    • Pip’s favorite meal — the Beef Wellington
    • Tee’s favorite meal — the Crepes and the Scrambled Egg Sweet Poatoes
    • Scotch Eggs, Chicken and Waffles, Brisket….cue Deadpool.
  • Tee returns to Piper and Matt about the comparison between Smoky Writers Retreat, Writing Excuses Retreat, and other writing retreats.

1:02:0o — Wrapping up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 53: The Pre-Retreat (with Piper J & Matthew Drake)

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This Shared Desk is a look into the past where authors look to the future. If you didn’t follow any of us online during the week of the Smoky Writers’ Retreat, then all this will be new to you! It’s the night before we set off for the mountains of Tennessee, and after a terrible day-that-stretched-into-the-night at the Day Job, Tee downs a bottle of high test beer and leads the podcast. It’s an episode of goal setting and profanity dropping. Hang on to something….

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Tee is one beer in…and yes, he is feeling it.
  • We need to come up with a new drop-in for Pip.
  • Matt recalls his delightful visit to The Man Cave of Old Town Manassas…and Tee simmers like a fine beef stew….
  • Aren’t you a little old for Snapchat, HattsOfMatt?
  • There’s a J-bomb, an F-bomb, and people talking over drop-in’s to add to the insanity of the day…but now, the countdown is on.

03:44 — The Pre-Retreat Podcast (with Piper and Matt!)

  • This is all Matt’s idea…both the podcast and Tee’s condition!
  • Smoky Mountain Writers 2016 — TOMORROW!!!
  • Matt and Piper are worried about Initiation Night.
  • The whole retreat is happening on account of Alex White. This is where it all began, and now….
  • Dogfish Head’s Higher Math — Anger in a Bottle.
  • Want to know what a bottle can do?
  • Alex White discovered by accident this retreat would be a thing.
  • Pip takes you through Smoky Mountain Writers 2015, sans Tee.
  • PIP BALLANTINE! PODCASTER EXTRAORDINAIRE!!!!!! (Are you serious, Ballantine?!)
  • And now Tee is a mess because of Pip’s damn mic…
  • What did Tee do during last year’s retreat? Well, alongside PJ and Matt….
  • What went WRONG last year.
  • Even drunk, Tee can still handle the drop-in’s.
  • Now keep in mind, Pip’s sober…and she’s doing odd things with her accent!
  • So PJ, Matt…what’s on your mind about this upcoming retreat?
  • Deadpool’s back.
  • Tales of Drinkin’ Lincoln, greetings from Lauren “Scribe” Harris, and all kinds of shenanigans from Year One.
  • Tee puts the Drakes on the spot about the Smoky Writers Retreat from the Writing Excuses Retreat that the Drakes attended…
  • You can goof off at Smoky Mountain Writers, but when the Accountability Hour comes around, you’re screwed.
  • Beware of Laser Dick.
  • Piper J Drake goes into the details about Extreme Honor and the ass she is currently kicking!
  • Tee is dropping the F-bomb liberally. He blames the beer.
  • Making plans for the hot tub.
  • Daredevil: Season 2 is out…and Matt just figured out that it’s out!

37:1o — Writers Off the Clock

  • Right now, Piper and Matt are trying to figure out how to watch the new Daredevil in less than 12 hours.
  • We’ve only watched the first episode…at this point.
  • We broaden Matt’s culture with the stuff we talk about.
  • The Expanse. Best science fiction in the past decade. (Yes, Tee went there.)
  • Do your Man Cave a favor. Set yourself up with the Hue.
  • Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and what Marvel brings to Netflix.
  • Remember Charlie Cox in Stardust? Tee loves him in that movie.
  • Piper J Drake does have an advantage with spinning kicks. Well, okay, two advantages…
  • How True Detective made an impression on Daredevil
  • A terrific YouTube for movie fans—Every Frame Is a Painting
  • Another show Tee’s really enjoying—iZombie. What—FUN!
  • Pip is still sober…and getting MIGHTY CRASS!

50:33 — Wrapping up

  • Pip’s enjoying a fantasy with Deadpool and Daredevil.
  • What are our goals for the Retreat?
  • The next time we sit down, we’re looking back to what we did when in the Smokies!
  • Tee stumbles through credits.
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show? We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
  • And the anger consumes Tee…but he still gets in the plugs.
  • And hey, Matt and Tee are making a podcast! COMING SOON!

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 52: Kill Your Darlings — On Developmental Editing

 

Nope, no special guests. This time, you’re stuck with us. Fair warning about that — we may be a touch slaphappy, too….

00:00 —  Introduction

03:45 — Killing Your Darlings

  • Developmental editing — a lot like spending a weekend in either Midsomer County or Cabot Cove
  • We took a hatchet to our latest book, The Ghost Rebellion…but no worries, Verena & Christina, Eliza still gets to do the thing.
  • Starting at 120K, down-up-down-down-up….
  • Blah-blah-blah? Seriously?
  • The difference between developmental edits and line edits 
  • During these edits, our Kickstarter popped its head up to offer unexpected challenges.
  • I think Pip needs a nap…
  • The evolution of a character, thanks to SCIENCE! 
  • Oh, did you see what Pip did there with pushing our Ministry newsletter?
  • Cutting chapters is not the same as deleting characters!
  • Matt Drake is a bad influence on Tee.
  • Suna Dasi and Sarah Daniels are stepping in to help us out when we are culturally challenged. Maybe J.K. Rowling should have made a few calls…
  • What happens after the first round of developmental edits?
  • How Destiny comes into play with this show…
  • Want to make an author cry? Change a project’s parameters.
  • Walking the line between the integrity of your work and being a professional.
  • Tee’s Editing Patronus, Miss Sarah Hunter
    editing
  • Courtesy. It’s not all bad, you know?
  • Knowing the word count for your project is always a good thing.
  • Another problem with the developmental edits—making really hard calls when it comes to character’s individual fates.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut.

25:4o — Writers Off the Clock

  • What choo wanna do? I wanna shoop, baby…..
  • Talkin’ ’bout Deadpool.
  • Amazing what you can do with a limited budget.
  • What Deadpool and Howard Stern have in common…and then, going just that step further.
  • What Deadpool and The Passion of the Christ have in common…
  • This isn’t Verena’s first time modeling, but she is a little overwhelmed by being on a book cover. (Still, she loves it…a lot!)
  • Favorite one liners.
  • Ah, the joys of improvisation.
  • IKEA was paying attention when this movie was being made.
  • Remember, it’s not Wham……
  • What Deadpool got right, and kept getting right throughout the film…

39:25 — Wrapping up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 51: The ABC’s — Alcohol, Blizzards, and Cosplayers

 

TSD-back2back_cosplayers

 

The snow was falling.

The beer was flowing.

So we got into our pajamas, fired up the mic, and well…this is what happens when cosplayers and writers get together and drink! Christina’s back, Verena’s here, and we’re sharing the desk about cosplaying, Kickstarters, and the search for a craft beer that meets Bavaria’s approval.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • A quick intro from Tee Morris about how we cannot count.
  • Just to warn you, we may be here a while as we have nowhere to go presently…
  • In-Studio Guests
  • This episode brought to you by Hot Topic and Deadpool.

03:00 — Snowed In with Cosplayers

  • Food, Beer, and Toilet Paper…we are ready for the Epic Snowstorm of 2016!
  • The Ghost Rebellion Kickstarter brought the Bavarian and (unexpectedly) the Californian here…
  • Verena did not know us from a bar of soap, but she flew over here anyway.
  • Verena’s new love in America: Hot Topic.
  • Long before cosplay was a thing, little Verena was getting into cosplay for German book festivals!
  • What inspired these two cosplayers to decide on bringing Eliza to life?
  • Cover models at RT are not looking as badass as Verena’s or Christina’s Eliza.
  • Hold on—these two have been BFFs longer than we’ve known Verena!
  • Christina steps back to her first cosplay…and Pip gets a little lost while swimming in Lake Me.
  • The differences between cosplaying as Eliza and cosplaying as Sophia
  • Concerning cosplaying, showing off the goods, and Lauren “Double Pineapple” Harris
  • Recorded for posterity: We <3 Lauren’s boobs!
  • Verena’s philosophy on cosplay vs cleavage.

20:52 — A Day with GoForward Photography 

  • Spending the day with some really talented people at GoForward Photography
  • Shooting on a green screen. Optimal for cover composition.
  • Shooting for cosplay shots against book cover shots.
  • Studio Fotozon approached Verena a little differently from GoForward.
  • Christina is now taking applicants for Wellington cosplayers. Must look like Hiddleston…
  • This isn’t Verena’s first time modeling, but she is a little overwhelmed by being on a book cover. (Still, she loves it…a lot!)
  • Now Tee plays a nice drop-in, but Verena goes Deadpool. What a naughty Bavarian!
  • Pip has to do a double-take as Eliza was standing in front of her once Verena got into costume.
  • Then there is the cover shoot for Countless Hues of Crimson
    • It starts with a pineapple…
    • We named the pineapple. Mr. Heath Red.
    • Cue the madness. And an inappropriate joke or two. Or more.
    • Once back on topic, we were talking about fruit on a cover, and eventually, we reached the pineapple.
  • Heath Red, Drama Queen
  • Wait-wait-wait…how did David Bowie get into this?!
  • Christina has a lot of fabric…but no idea what to do with it.
  • At this point Deadpool becomes an unofficial fifth guest on the show.
  • What’s next for Verena? Apparently, it’s time for her to boldly go…
  • And at this point, Hot Topic becomes an unofficial sponsor for the show.

And here is the cover…

TheGhostRebellion_ebook

44:10 Writers off the Clock.

  • Sorry about the overmodulation, everyone.
  • Verena is not that impressed with the Craft Beer Movement here in the States.
  • Where we traveled to during Verena’s and Christina’s stay…
    • Old Bust Head Brewery
    • Dogfish Head Brewery and Distillery
    • Pen Druid Brewery
    • Copper Fox Distillery
  • Verena discovers Hot Topic, and we all descend into a Hot Topic tangent.
  • After Hot Topic, the adventure home…
  • And now, weathering the GREAT BLIZZARD OF 2016!!!

55:31 Voicemail!

1:18:48 Wrapping up

  • What the hell is wrong with my board?!
  • Maybe Hot Topic should sponsor The Shared Desk?
  • Your obligatory Idris Elba mention.
  • Tee’s planning to attend MAGFest 2016…which happened last week.
  • Oh, and the fifth book really needs to get done…which is done, and is now in
  • If you are in Germany, find Verena at the Leipzeig Book Fair 2016 and AnimeCon outside of Munich…
  • We need to get Verena set up online. She’s got great cosplay to show off.
  • “It’s not a Man-Purse! IT’S A SATCHEL!!!”
  • What was up with Jack Bauer and his mobile phone?!
  • Verena makes an appeal for patrons to fly Pip and Tee over to Bavaria. So talk to us! PayPal us!!!
  • Massive jelly over Thomas Willeford and his (apparently) rich patrons!
  • Did you hear that? We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
  • Where to find us online…

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 50: A Look Ahead to 2016

The Shared Desk episode 49

We are back. ALL OF US! We had such a blast talking about 2015, we decided to keep the mics hot and talk a bit about 2016, so let’s not keep you waiting!

And hey— this is Episode 50!!!
TSD-NewYear2016

00:00 — Introduction

  • The Mid-Life Crisis Episode….well, no not really…
  • Did we just drop a teaser for Episode #51?
  • Guests—SOUND OFF!!!
  • A liver joke…that K.T. doesn’t get?
  • So we were planning to talk about 2015 and 2016 all in  one show, but we all talk a lot….
  • When you have houseguests, get some mileage out of them.
  • Sonic Boom’s epic mic drop during her bedtime prayer. More like an audition for Trinity Episcopal.
  • What we’ve been doing during this wild weekend with houseguests…which includes getting in word count…
  • Drawing a parallel between Ex Machina and The Force Awakens

07:17 — Looking Ahead to 2016

  • To hear about what we accomplished last year, listen to this show.
  • K.T. Bryski is graduating from Stonecoast!
    • While waiting for her graduation, K.T.’s starting a novel
    • Tee blacks out on a really cool show done back in September where K.T. is working on a one-act play.
    • K.T. wants to work on other ideas germinating and gestating in her head.
  • Lauren “Scribe” Harris, has a multi-pronged plan for 2016
    • Obtaining her license
    • Completing second drafts on two novels
    • Completing audiobook projects
    • Writing a musical with K.T.
  • K.T. and Lauren share a moment of cuteness with just a touch of Jack Bauer
  • Lauren also has a cover shoot coming up
  • Matthew J. Drake
    • Piper is having a happy anime girl moment.
    • Matt is grasping the hard reality about the best laid plans.
    • Matt Drake, the Unexpected Author
    • Still pursuing advanced degrees and opportunities
    • Matt is still in video games, but not so much with Twitch.
    • Audio is drawing Matt into the flame….
  • Piper J. Drake kicks off 2016 with a BRAND NEW BOOK! 
    • Big step for PJD who is coming out of a box swinging HARD.
    • Hardcore promotion lies ahead.
    • With five books coming in 2016, she’s already lining up future projects!
    • Piper cracks the whip on Tee, and conspires with Pip…
  • Tee and Pip are also hitting 2016’s ground running
    • Complete The Ghost Rebellion
    • Complete Countless Hues of Crimson
    • Begin work on Operation: Endgame
    • Pip looks to complete The Silver Pharoh
    • Tee looks at Wolf in the Fold…again.
    • The Kickstarter has committed Tee to writing and recording Little Red Flying Hood
    • And with lessons learned in all our Kickstarter, Tee wants to pitch Crowdfunding for Writers to Writers’ Digest
  • …provided there are no surprise home D.I.Y. Projects.

27:41 — How do we make all this happen in 2016?

  • Piper J. prioritizes the projects by contracts, money value, and Any.do, day planners with neat-o re-stickable stickers, and Scrivener as a series bible!
  • A few thoughts about Evernote, something Tee needs to explore.
  • Matt just needs to narrow down his goals, and he’s planing a new website.
  • Technology is Matt’s jam, particularly a smartphone that does what it wants you to to do and has a LOT of space.
  • Lauren loves paper, by the way. That, and Angry Canadians.
  • An analog girl, Lauren works with old school day planners that are associated with their own unique projects.
  • Lauren’s secret for beautiful skin? A sound booth.
  • Lauren needs to get that license…then the creative endeavors take off.
  • How will K.T. make her 2016 happen? COFFEE. 
  • K.T. also has to schedule her creativity around Black Creek Brewery.
  • The struggle is real between creativity and exhaustion.
  •  How do you fit in time (and energy) for writing?
  • A discussion on Write or Die.
  • Another discussion on writing with music in the background.

56:13 Wrapping up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 49: A Look Back on 2015

The Shared Desk episode 49

This episode Pip and Tee talk about their experience so far with running a Kickstarter Campaign to fund the fifth Ministry Book, The Ghost Rebellion.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Way too hot in the studio to handle!
  • Guests—SOUND OFF!!!
  • Even Benedick is chilling out on the Cat Tree with all these studio guests
  • What is Matthew brewing up in Imagine That! Studios? (Everyone just hold on to something.)
  • Tea Bags for Beer? You’re soaking in it.

06:07 — Looking Back to 2015

  • Piper J. Drake talks about creating identities and working through a year of transition.
  • Matthew J. Drake…who is this guy?
  • Lauren “Scribe” Harris, back in house with us…and memories of Smoky Mountains.
    • Back to school.
    • Finishing a draft.
    • Releasing a novel.
    • And recording audio.
  • And now, we’re on to our favorite Canadian…
  • K.T. Bryski looks back on her own year of transition and short story exploration.
  • Canadians make Tee cry.
  • Wicked Abs of Steel….coming soon from Lauren “Scribe” Harris…
  • Tee and Pip talk about 2015, their Year of Accomplishment.
  • Turning to the Beer Tea, after a time of steeping.
    • So we look at the color and we smell the liquid….
    • ….and it tastes like Popcorn Juice.
    • Lauren don’t beer.

36:20 — How did we make 2015 happen?

  • Katie and Lauren draw things with Sharpies.
  • Lauren is also into lists. And day planners.
  • Trash talking breaks out between Pantsers and Plotters.
  • Matt is getting into writing, and Habitica is his special place.
  • Piper is working with Microsoft Project, and loves it madly. Along with Macs, apps, and other tech toys.
  • The Mac Vs. PC debate raises its ugly head. Again.
  • Setting up dedicated work spaces.
  • Let’s talk about 2016….on a brand new show!

52:15 Wrapping up

TOTALLY EDITING THAT OUT….no she’s not…

So Tee is responsible for the lack of editing. Slacker.

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 48: A Writer’s Look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens (with Dr. Stacia and Nick Kelly)

TSD-back2back_NKSK

We managed to get into the studio and we’re letting colorful language and personal opinions fly as we welcome back to the Shared Desk Dr. Stacia Kelly and Nick Kelly into the new studio with a spoilerific episode at what all the nerdy kids are all running to the theatres to see…

00:00 Introduction

  • We’re back, and Tee still remembers how everything works!
  • Stacia’s lifting weights, and Nick is taking to edits on their works-in-progress.
  • Nick is refusing to look at the White Board Wall as The Ghost Rebellion is completely mapped out.

03:55  IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FORCE AWAKENS, STOP LISTENING NOW!!!

We kick back and talk all about….

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

1:07:18 Some After-Force, Slightly-Spoilery Banter

  • We talk a bit about what upcoming plans for travel, book events, and the like.
  • What to see in London.
  • Don’t be in London in case of any natural disasters…but if aliens show up, keep an eye out for a madman in a box…
  • Pip encourages a fantasy of Tee’s at the Globe Theatre.
  • No more Crazy Uncle Charlie.
  • A tangent on William Hootkins
  • What we are watching on television. MORE SPOILERS AHEAD!
  • Wrapping it all up…

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or Tee’s Periscope Channel on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #47 – Kicking with Kickstarter

The Shared Desk

 

This episode Pip and Tee talk about their experience so far with running a Kickstarter Campaign to fund the fifth Ministry Book, The Ghost Rebellion.

00:00 Introduction

03:42 Talking about Kickstarter at nearly two weeks in.

  • 162% funded!
  • Tee and Pip were involved in a Kickstarter with Galileo Games back in 2013
  • Now the Ghost Rebellion Kickstarter is live.
  • Pip lays down the situation that brought us to Kickstarting. It involves orphaning and sad violins.
  • Luckily we live in the new, shiny world of publishing, and we know people to help us.
  • We chose the barest minimum goal.
  • Don’t forget about taxes Kickstarters! Don’t forget!!
  • How social media bears repeating since it still misses people.
  • Good thing Kickstarter campaigns go a month or folks might miss them altogether.
  • Pip and Tee are excited and surprised to hit their goal so quickly.
  • Talking about stretch goals and add-ons. Oh my!
  • Plan for the basics, and then work from there.
  • Keep something in the tank for the mid-campaign slump.
  • As prepared as we were, we’re still a little caught out.
  • Do your math—especially for physical offerings—twice before announcing.
  • Our add-ons include hardbacks, signed prints from Verena Vosatz (including an exclusive Kickstarter only), key rings from Brute Force Studios.
  • Everyone loves exclusives!
  • Keep the graphics coming. People love images!
  • Kicktraq has some pretty great estimates, but we are keeping our feet on the ground.
  • Pip shares her plans for Operation Endgame.
  • Tee’s head is hurting, but Pip presents what she thinks they are doing right. Thanks for the education JR and Brennan.
  • Keep channels open, keep the updates coming for your backers, and listen to their suggestions.
  • Keep some fun in reserve.
  • Tee talks about failure, and Pip talks about leveraging New York.
  • Go in realistically.

23:58 Writers off the Clock.

  • John Cleese and Eric Idle Tour (which is wrapping up, which Pip and Tee didn’t know at the time of recording)
  • Tee hesitated, but lucky they added a new show.
  • Tee tells a story from Graham Chapman
  • Pip compares the stories of the early days of Monty Python to the early days of podcasting…
  • Pip suffers from wall to wall British.
  • If you haven’t seen Monty Python, go watch some…perhaps on Youtube.
  • We sang some fabulous songs…

37:11 Voicemail!

  • Nobilis calls in with information on the status of his innards
  • Violet calls in for Uncle Charlie
  • Uncle Charlie gets let out of the basement to Pip’s distrust.
  • Charlie listens to voicemail, and then says something we’ve never heard from him before.

42:50 Wrapping up

  • We love voicemail, so send us a question, comment for any of us.
  • We’ve booked another event for 2016—Steampunk Worlds Fair. Check out our appearances page to find out where you can see us.
  • Hoping the Tesla Science Center will be open then so we can see our Ministry Brick.
  • Concentrating on getting to $15,000 for the Ghost Rebellion
  • Pip has sent off Born in the Blood, their co-written project. Tee wrote the synopsis, while Pip drew a terrible map
  • Onwards to Christmas!
  • Pip tries to help, and there may be arguments…which Tee covers with music so Pip can’t edit it out.

 

TOTALLY EDITING THAT OUT….no she’s not…

So Tee is responsible for the lack of editing. Slacker.

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #46: KT and Grants…

 

The Shared Desk with Katie

This episode Pip and Tee are joined in the studio with Canadian powerhouse writer, KT Bryski.

00:00 Introduction, and a little Vanessa Ives

  • Tee wonders why he bothers…
  • KT Bryski joins us in the studio even while we have a Penny Dreadful moment.
  • KT drops the F-bomb and admits for an undying love of Eva Greene.
  • Pip finally gets a drink, a Winchester Ciderworks Malice, while a jug of Paranoia from Pen Druid Brewery awaits upstairs. The other two breweries KT and Tee partook from were Old Busthead and Dogfish Head.
  • Tee did the Dogfish Dash and the daughters make signs!
  • Tee has an interesting breakfast at the Dash, while the only beer Pip likes is donedoneDONE! (until next year)
  • Pip grabs a Dogfish Head Beach Beer with vodka in it. Noice!

11:18 Talking about grant writing

  • An artist who wants to live!
  • Exposure will kill you, especially in Canada!
  • In grant writing, KT is showing that she is using Canadian talent, and showcase Canadian stories.
  • KT is writing an audio drama containing five Canadian folk pieces.
  • Tee is disappointed by the lack of back-bacon, but this is more about awareness of Canadian culture.
  • Breaking down the budget is important. Where does every penny go?
  • KT is asking for a modest amount, but how did she learn how to write this?
  • Friends are very useful, especially when they have taken a grant writing course
  • Writing a grant is not a press release. It is an academic breakdown. Plain words, plain paper.
  • Use affirmative words, as if you are already in process.
  • So why didn’t KT use Kickstarter or Paetron?
  • KT actually does believe in spreading Canadian culture—that’s why!
  • Pip talks a little bit about something similar in New Zealand, but not being able to find enough actors…New Zealand actors!
  • We talk about government programs…
  • Just because something is produced in Canada, doesn’t make it Canadian…
  • What happens to a grant after you’ve written it
  • Letters of support from people like…Tee and Pip. Pip has experience with introducing people to foreign cultures!
  • Are you a professional?
  • Campfire Radio Theatre, Coxwood History Fun Park, and Beneath Northumberland are where you can find Blythe Haynes in action.
  • Ask KT if she’d do it again once she gets to the end!
  • It’s been quite a long three years.

29:53 Voicemail!!

  • Tee has a new bumper!!
  • We need more voicemail…send it!!
  • Call us back Nobilis
  • Chris Lester of Metamor City calls about the Nazi romance, and it’s all about Esther.
  • However…the romance and shoehorned romance make it wrong.
  • Tee calls it treason KT didn’t hear the last Shared Desk, but she figures it out

36:56 Wrapping it up with KT

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #45: The World is Full of Disturbing Books

 

 

TSD-what

This episode Pip and Tee find something to throw bricks at, and something to send flowers too…

00:00 Introduction, and a little commentary

  • Pip tries something different with her voice.
  • Tee tries to keep his board in order
  • A Shared Desk per month is #WINNING

03:37 Diving into the controversy of the RITAs

  • Flavourwire article
  • Bring on the Nazis!
  • Pip’s face tries to explain the face she is making…Tee just thinks it is inappropriate
  • Authors and publishers are allowed to publish whatever they like, but is it in good taste?
  • Pip and Tee wonder where the romance can possibly come from in this situation. Stockholm syndrome doesn’t make for good vibes
  • Has the trend for ‘fixing’ the bad boy gone WAAAYYY too far?
  • Tee comes up with some other suggestions for awful situations that also wouldn’t promote romance.
  • Pretty impossible to give consent in the book’s situation.
  • Tee talks about the Merchant of Venice, another problematic story. It shares the theme of converting to Christianity.
  • The world is full of disturbing books, and Tee is impressed by some of the turn arounds on them.
  • Something similar to this book happened in Schindler’s List.
  • Pip suggests a great way to fix Nazis, the Nuremberg trials.
  • Thankfully it didn’t win…

22:19 Writers Off the Clock: The Jazz Standard Edition

31:59 Wrapping this eclectic show up

  • Wrap up for the year of touring.
  • Tee is running in the Dogfish Dash and K T Bryski will be watching!!
  • Little announcement, Tee and Pip are the steampunk captains for RT 2016
  • We’ll be watching Steampunk’d with our friend Thomas Willeford in it. Go check it out!!
  • Send us voicemail!!
  • bit.ly/BecausePGH It has been a year since we lost PG Holyfield. Please consider buying the anthology we helped put together, or if you have already, please leave a review.

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #44: All About New Space

 

The Shared Desk

This episode it is just Pip and Tee in the studio…but it is a somewhat different studio.

00:00 Introduction, and a little commentary

  • Pip and Tee make eye contact for the first time on the Shared Desk
  • Tee has some new drop ins…
  • The duo look forward to seeing Ash vs the Evil Dead.
  • Pip has cracked and is looking for drop ins herself
  • Stuff is getting painted because Pip looks at too much Pinterest

05:26 Making time to make author space

  •  The old ‘shared desk’ is dead after a hammer attack
  • Two desks together mean Pip and Tee can talk to each other. Here’s what they went with.
  • No one likes upside down kit set furniture
  • When choosing furniture, make sure to take into account cats
  • Pip is getting used to it, after perching!
  • Getting cocky with a rubber band Pip found in her desk!
  • Does new space mean more creativity?
  • Less distractions and being together seem to be helping
  • Shared offices often mean side to side seating, or back to back.
  • Nick Kelly and Stacia D Kelly have a interesting layout in their office.
  • Pip likes her drawers
  • The benefits (and dangers) of having multiple monitors.
  • Tee now has his back to the door.
  • Pip and Tee have no chance of an author shed

 

23:18 Writers off the clock. Sense8

  • As writers Pip and Tee are digging Sense8
  • Even though Tee spells it wrong
  • Sense8 has some of the most global, diverse and fascinating writing.
  • Check out the cast
  • Supporting characters are also amazing
  • Like writing novels, having a plan is a good idea. Sense8 has a five season arc apparently.
  • Exposes watchers to different realities.
  • Tee waxes lyrical on actors he has known
  • Even the music is beautiful
  • Conan and Van Damme have their moments

38:44 Wrap Up

  • There is no chance of a half an hour the Shared Desk
  • Since Pip is staring at the board now so she’s in charge of upcoming appearances
  • If you’re in New York at the Writer’s Digest Pip and Tee are talking about social media and steampunk
  • Look for the duo at Steampunk Unlimited.
  • Tee and Pip are working on the fifth Ministry book and on an epic fantasy series called, the Blood Road (lots of dead people already!)
  • New supplements for the Ministry Initiative have been approved so look for the villains soon! Buy Tools of the Trade now
  • Donations were made to Inn Roads Ministries and TavernCon
  • Our model will hopefully be back for Book Five of the Ministry
  • Thanks to the fans, we’re on Locus Bestseller List
  • Send us a picture of your writing space!

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #43- The Cosplay with Christina episode

Cosplay with Christina

Last week, we were supposed to be at Capital Con, but at the very last minute the event was cancelled. This meant our cosplaying guest Christina Payton was coming from California to Virginia, with all her outfits, for nothing. Well, that wouldn’t stand with us, so in this episode we wander into the unfamilar to us world of cosplayers and authors.

00:00 Introduction and VirginiaCon

  • We begin with much head-bopping that doesn’t really work for podcast.
  • We welcome Christina Payton to the Shared Desk
  • Deadlines…but a 70k book that is Social Media for Authors! (Pre Order now if you like)
  • We discuss the demise of Capital Con
  • Hotels, knock off being mean to geeks
  • Tee talks about his past experience with cons and shenanigans
  • So Pip and Tee whip up VirginiaCon.
  • Luray Caverns, and eating at Pavemint. Also, beer sneaks in. Sweet Baby Jesus…and some other beer…
  • VirginiaCon then rolled onto Old Busthead Brewery and the Bone
  • Pip played Mom and dropped off Tee and Christina at the Northern Virginia Summer Brefest
  • Look for Tee on Untappd as Teemonster
  • Flying Dog and Hunter S Thompson
  • Everyone loves food trucks, but DC Slices is highly recommended by Tee
  • Finally some cider for Pip. Winchester Cider works.
  • Atlas Brewery in DC has a steampunk theme, so maybe we could do something there.
  • The Pip and Tee take Christina to Proper Pie, and Blue Bee Cider. All three of us lose our memory…
  • And we visit Agecroft Hall for a little history…
  • VirginiaCon ends in the Manassas area.

26:58 Christina shows her mad cosplay skills

 

  • Christina reveals her cosplay as Eliza D Braun from the Diamond Conspiracy, when she goes in disguise as a gentleman…
  • Shout out to Verena in Germany
  • Pip and Tee sum up our connection with Christina. It goes back to Emerald City and Demicon.
  • Christina’s cosplay includes; the Antarctica mission, the opera dress, and the suffragette.
  • Cosplay is all about finding the right fabrics.
  • Cosplay also evolves as you find more accessories
  • Christina surprises Pip with her cosplay of Sorcha!
  • Tee asks how authors can help out cosplayers. Christina says it’s like picking your favourite song.
  • So which was more complicated?
  • Apparently Christina is great at whacking
  • Pip loses her mind and asks the probing questions. Jason Chan is hopefully happy.
  • Pip and Tee think about Mysticon
  • V’s Cosplay
  • But where are the Wellingtons?
  • We’ve had a Ravyn Macallister
  • So what drives someone to cosplay?
  • Christina talks about what got her into it.
  • Pip waxes lyrical on her experience with satin…
  • Christina reads the first three chapters of book five, and already has ideas…
  • Christina and Verena get chatty

51:34 The Wrapup

  • Pip is surprised that time passes
  • Christina talks about where you can find her. Wizardworld Comic Con in LA. Maybe a visit to the lighthouse in California from Dawn’s Early Light.
  • A gender bent, steampunk Thranduil might be coming your way.
  • Look for Pip and Tee at the Writers Digest Convention
  • Pip and Tee had a fun time at the Rosemary House. There might be a return visit in the future, especially if we can sort things out with Mystery Books
  • Find Christina at ElizaDBraunismyguru
  • We’re looking out for teashops…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #42 The Beer with Katie episode

The Shared Desk with Katie

This episode we head on back to March this year, when Katie Bryski was staying. The three amigos talk beer

00:00 Introduction, and a little commentary

  • Tee gets his acting fix in and devours some candy
  • Pip and Tee boogie down to some Canadian music.
  • Pip gets cranky about passing time, but reminds listeners this is probably NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
  • Pip fears the show notes…again…

4:31 We begin with beer

    • Tee and Katie are happy. Pip is concerned she hasn’t drunk anything for this podcast.
    • Katie enjoys her drop-in and claims sobriety.
    • The King’s feast is all about meat

Dogfish Head stein

  • Dogfish brewhouse should be the sponsor of this show
  • Beer is better from handmade steins
  • Katie is impressed with how much meat America has
  • Tee has trouble with his Facebook posts, and Pip is a supportive wife.
  • Katie and Tee wax lyrical about Dogfish Head’s ancient ales.
  • And then wander towards Old Busthead Brewery
  • Apparently Pip is bored by beer, and hands out some side-eye

15:43 The Topic at hand is found!

  • Pip, K T and PC Haring head to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee
  • The second year of Smoky Writers is held, and organized by Alex White
  • The intrepid travelers meet a white out…not an Alex White out though…
  • When trucks pull over, it’s a good and safe idea for you to pull off too.
  • Welcome to the monastery of writing wherein we find Starla Huchton and Abigail Hilton
  • The joys of a writing retreat—being surrounded by creative people
  • Hugh O’Donnell and Bryan Lincoln
  • There were awards
  • Shout out to Chris Bupp and Renee Chantel White who cooked our meals
  • Mention episode #40 here, live from Smoky Writers
  • Pip has a biffing stone…whatever that is
  • Alex White has a great series of blogposts on how you can do this kind of writing retreat. Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four.
  • Uh…ohhh problems with the cabin, but Alex is still awesome…
  • Outlets, alcohol, food, friends, hot-tub(s)

25:09 What Tee got up to while we were away

  • PJ Schnyder and Matt Ord worked with Tee on a book trailer, and shot in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Tee waxes melancholy on previous book trailers, but admits some faults
  • Thanks to James River Writers and Bill Blume
  • Pip let’s Tee give his deep South story
  • Once again the Proper Pie Company pops up again. Why are they not sponsoring this podcast too??!
  • Pip tries to make a slogan for them.

34:46 Writers Off the Clock- Vampires and Gothic

  • Pip and Tee introduce Katie to What We Do in the Shadows
  • It is now available in the US, on itunes and other outlets
  • So vampires flatting together
  • Everyone does the accent, even the mayor of Wellington (Vellington)
  • Everyone loves Stu!
  • Even the Smoky Writers loved this movie!
  • Katie is now hooked to Penny Dreadful
  • Timothy Dalton reads Keats, and we all get it.
  • Dave Robison reads for Katie’s work at Black Creek Pioneer Village
  • Great cast, and great writing- but also lots of nakedness…
  • Oh dancing so close to steampunk!

46:46 Time to wrap up

  • Apparently they broke their stein
  • Because of time shifting you’ve already missed us in Rotorua, Ravecon, and even Balticon
  • Some Australians did actually come over!
  • Katie hit AdAstra with Eric Buchanan
  • Katie plugs her diabolical plot, but timeshifting means…whoops it has already happened!
  • Katie hates to leave, and Viola doesn’t want her to go. Neither do we…
  • The team heads out to watch Penny Dreadful with a bunch of apologies

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #41 – Editing Anthologies (with Special Guest Nobilis Reed)

 

TSD-back2back_Nobilis

Working our way through the recorded backlog, and keeping this on track. We should get a medal…well instead we got an award! We’ll be talking about the RT convention in a future episode, but for now we’ll be talking to Nobilis about editing anthologies.

00:00 Introduction and Time Shifting

  • Some professional banter between Tee and Pip.
  • Looking forward to Balticon this weekend!
  • Nobilis is taking our hand through running our own Ministry Initiative game.
  • At the time of recording Nobilis was working on a charity anthology, and we were finishing Tales of a Tesla Ranger
  • Where you can find Pip and Tee at conventions

 4:21 What we’re working on

  • This was waaaaay back, when we were finishing the final line edits of the Diamond Conspiracy!
  • Pip had finally finished the edits of the audiobook Weather Child.
  • Tales of a Tesla Ranger is now out there.
  • Apparently Pip’s life as kitty litter scooper and laundress is still rolling on
  • Nobilis had put up episode 315 of his podcast up. Putting us all to same.
  • Nobilis has an app for that for iphone and Android
  • Nobilis has had novel nibbles, and is involved in tentacle romance.
  • Pip gets too excited by tentacles.
  • Tee and Pip are working on book Five for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
  • The Social Media for Writers is coming! Seriously it has an Amazon page and everything…
  • All the BUYMYBOOKBUYMYBOOK people need a couple of copies…
  • Moving to the Tee loves Chuck section of the podcast. Check out Chuck Wendig’s blog
  • What…what…we recorded this back around Christmas!?!
  • Seriously the Krampus!

14:17 Looks like we finally found the topic!

  • Nobilis is working on developing a charity anthology called Coming Together: Outside the Box, that will benefit an organization researching the cancer that took PG Holyfield–  The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.
  • Nobilis’ anthology Coming Together: Outside the Box is available now from Smashwords or Amazon.
  • The more submissions the more, Nobilis has to choose from.
  • Nobilis is up to four anthology.
  • Digging through the slush pile can be somewhat depressing…
  • The Woodhull Freedom Foundation
  • Coming Together in Flux was Nobilis’ first anthology he was in from the start.
  • What you need to become an editor and rally an anthology. First, networking…
  • So many places now to sell short fiction these days.
  • How Nobilis decided to do Outside the Box, and finding a research organization
  • PG Holyfield, pioneer inspired the theme
  • Coming Together is a huge range of fiction available, including anthologies
  • With Tales of a Tesla Ranger we ran it through a few people
  • Some charities go all in!
  • Sometimes you have to move fast to get things done.
  • Shout out to Bruce Press Photography
  • We gave PG adventures he never got to have
  • Anthology contains some of PG’s previously unpublished works

36:06 The actual editing of stories

  •  You think writing is tough, try editing!
  • Pros and cons of invitation vs open submissions
  • Finding the flow of stories for the anthology
  • First and last stories are very important
  • First stories especially as that turns up in the sample when people are deciding if they should buy or not
  • Pip’s happy to be the end
  • Anthologies are like a sampler box of chocolates

44:40 Writers off the Clock- House of Cards, Disney Infinity

  •  We delve into the world of Frank Underwood and House of Cards.
  • West Wing by David Fincher
  • Frank doesn’t let Tee get off the elliptical
  • Pip has enjoyed playing Disney Infinity
  • Pip is either Gamora or Thor…not to say why…
  • Nobilis is worried about a conspiracy from Bioware. He’s been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Pip and Tee have to control themselves from rushing out to buy it.
  • A beautiful example of game writing
  • The issues of romance in game
  • Pip says no brain eating

1:03:51 Outro

  •  The Christmas Market (yeahhhh we got sick and never got there!)
  • What break? We don’t recall one…
  • Nobilis apparently went to Farpoint, next one is coming February 2016
  • Pip explains Boxing Day
  • Find Nobilis here

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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#40 The Smoky Writers…without Pip or Tee

TSD-what

Are you ready for the the second on time podcast this year? It’s hard to believe but true. This weekend we venture to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and let you experience a writers retreat…without Tee or Pip. But don’t worry, they do plenty of intro/outro!

0:00 Introduction to Smoky Writers

  • Tee tries not to choke
  • Pip gives the rundown on Smoky Writers
  • Pip searches for a proper descriptor for Alex White.
  • PC Haring whips out the mics even while Pip has to flee the ice, and the White Walkers.

4:26 Live from the Smoky Writers Retreat

  • PC Haring, Lauren Scribe Harris, Foo, and Starla Huchton take over the show!
  • Evil Laugh!!
  • Cabin, food, writing…oh where to start??
  • Food was as always amazing, thanks to our chefs.
  • Renee White made cabbage and brussel sprout wizard.
  • Apologies for any drooling our listeners may experience. *here’s a towel*
  • Hugh O’Donnell joins the merry bunch.
  • Starla missed breakfasts because…BAT CAVE!
  • Renee White accidentally ends up in the podcast, and receives love for all her cooking.
  • We battled snow both in an out.
  • Okonomiyaki is delicious….seriously, even if cabbage pancakes sound horrible to you, try them.
  • Cooking for nineteen people ain’t easy…
  • The alcohol budget might need to be increased. Hemingway would have been pleased.
  • But also writers also drink a lot of coffee and tea.
  • Onto the cabin up the hill of death. The Chevy Volt made it!
  • The cabin looked lovely, but we had power. One hot tub down, leaks, bugs, and a few maintenance issues. You’d think that would bring people down.
  • Alex took care of business, but did not toss any cars.
  • Did the Dukes of Hazard get there before us?
  • Internet pain…oh teh pain.
  • As long as you know there will be no internet, it could be better for productivity.

28:08 Onto the writing

  • Hugh, Foo and Scribe actually shared a desk!
  • Brian Lincoln pops on in
  • Some people staked their claim on a place, some moved around to experience hanging out with other people…even though it was silent. Writers can be funny that way.
  • Everyone has their own method.
  • The group reads! Last year was fewer people, this year we had to break up into groups, and everyone read something they wrote that day.
  • Bryan writes audio dramas, so he got us to read his stories.
  • Musicals were written, What We Do in the Shadows was watched.
  • Discussions over dinner were useful. Basically the best part of a convention without all the stuff don’t want all the time.
  • A writing retreat is a great place to focus, and get those words out! Lack of distractions really help…sorry kids and loved ones.
  • A community feeling of writers, where we are all allowed to suck.
  • Brian recommends going to a retreat with a plan.

47:27 Recommendations for those going to a writing retreat

  • “Try to arrive 15lbs under weight…”
  • Sync all your Dropbox files just in case.
  • Have an idea of what you want to achieve, and an outline might be a good idea.
  • Bring comfortable clothes, maybe pjs…
  • Rosemary joins the conversation. Don’t depend on the internet. Be comfortable with your software, so you don’t lose time to finding out how to operate it. Extension cords can provide freedom.
  • Isolation means having a backup strategy.
  • Bring enough projects just in case…
  • Bring something to reward with yourself
  • Car pooling can be awesome.
  • Stay healthy!
  • Make friends!

60:00 Sign off

All these links are above. Click on them…click on them!!

61:03 Pip and Tee sign off too.

  • If you want to plan your own retreat, do check out Alex’s blogposts on how to set one up. Part One and Part Two
  • Next year, we’re moving to a little later in the year, but Tee will be there!
  • Look for Pip in RT in Texas next week
  • Tee sings…
  • Then look for us at Balticon, and come to the meat and great on the Friday at the Marriott Residence Inn.
  • Capital Con is in our backyard…but not literally.
  • We’re importing kiwis apparently…
  • Pip and Tee thank Paul for doing all the work!
  • Doing all the things, but how long can we last!?!

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #39 – wait…what…it’s 2015??

The Shared Desk

We’re back, and we have been doing things honest.

00:00 Introduction and a wee Catch Up

  • Phil Rossi has chosen Tee Morris as his Best Man. Will he be great at that?
  • Pip has crossed the Pacific four times already, so…excuses…
  • Gail Carriger’s latest book Prudence is out.
  • We might not have released any episodes…but we have recorded a bunch.
  • Promise we have two months worth of stuff for us.
  • So hold it to us (WHAT???)
  • Pip had a tough first trip, but all is well now.
  • The second trip was loads of fun, so lets dive in…
  • To Deadlines…
  • Social Media for Writers is now coming Fall, but apparently social media platforms are a moving target
  • The Shared Desk promises to get sensible (again don’t hold it to us)
  • The Diamond Conspiracy is OUT! We love it, and we hope you do to.
  • Dawn’s Early Light wins the RT Reviewers Choice Award
  • Tee makes a choice between moonshine and craft beer…

8:25 To New Zealand

23:07 On to Rotorua

27:39 On to Oamaru

  • Tee and Pip travel to Steampunk Oamaru, and are made to feel welcome by the steampunks of Oamaru. Thanks to Agent Darling.
  • Severely underestimation on how much there was to see and do.
  • Finally above the fold!
  • This is a town that has embraced its past, and then found steampunk
  • Steampunk HQ is art gallery/interactive display/playground/mind-trip
  • Pip and Tee struggle to adequately describe everything they saw. So go see it. Thank you to all those steampunks that came out.
  • Possibility of a new short story.
  • Steampunk play grounds rock!
  • Even Pip got weirded out by driving through literally nowhere…no signal…nothing.
  • Queenstown, the most touristy town in New Zealand with the worst parking. Still cool stuff to do.
  • Pip won’t let Tee jump off a bridge, but finds a soda bar that serves wine.
  • The New Zealand Whisky Collection, in Oamaru.
  • Could be why we came back so relaxed.

41:13 Writers off the Clock. Daredevil

  • Pip and Tee have a lot of TV to catch up on.
  • Violent and will written.
  • Tee admits liking parts of the movie. Pip manages not to run out of the room screaming…
  • Charlie Cox has always been a great actor, but a bad-ass??
  • The cinematography is just beautiful.
  • More realistic fight scenes. Yay!
  • Vincent D’Onofrio is intense but surprisingly touching as Wilson Fisk.
  • Great television needs great writers and great actors.
  • Pip and Tee love how it is tied into the wider MCU

54:07 What lies ahead

  •  We reach the end of a rather large Shared Desk
  • No talking about what’s going within the writing community, unless you buy us a drink somewhere…
  • Tee is the Best Man.
  • Pip heads to RT in a pretty dress to pick up the award.
  • Pip has some panels in Dallas.
  • Then Balticon to celebrate with our tribe, and remember PG Holyfield
  • We’ll have plenty of books to sell, including Tales of a Tesla Ranger, to benefit PG Holyfield’s Childrens Trust
  • Roleplaying games will be had
  • CapitalCon right in our backyard…not literally. Come meet our first cosplayer.
  • See you soon!!

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #38 – Wait..what…it’s November??

 

TSD-crackup

Hard to believe it is November, but here we are. This week we talk about the new cool way publishers want to release books and why authors may not like it, and we get into the ultimate eagle vs kiwi, RUBGY!!

Have a listen, comment on the blog, and feel free to reach out to us at 703.791.1701 to share your thoughts with us!

 

00:00 — Introduction & Catching Up

 

13:12 — Publication schedules…things are getting intense

  • Getting three novels published in three months
  • Jeff VanderMeer and the Southern Reach Trilogy. Actually they came out in February, May and September.
  • Are we all going to be expected to get books out this quickly?
  • Self-publishing is pushing this move. New York is taking a trick from them.
  • Some people can crank books out this quickly.
  • Even if these books are written before hand, what about the next three?
  • Authors are expected to do more than just writer these days.
  • Pip invents a new word for the marketing world…
  • There is more than just cranking out a first draft…like editing…
  • Foreword Literary is now Fuse Literary, but still helmed by the Agent of Awesome Laurie McLean
  • Tee and Pip argue other media competition.
  • Pip goes all Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Readers who wait until a series are completed, but that doesn’t tell your publisher you want more…
  • Pip talks about the days of constant writing
  • For most authors it doesn’t seem sustainable
  • Pip anticipates now they will get a contract like that!

27:04 — Eagle vs Kiwi The Rugby Edition

  • To Chicago…chilly but awesome Chicago
  • Pip points out it wasn’t just a rugby game.
  • 100 years since the All Blacks played the American Eagles on American soil
  • PC Haring hosted Tee and Pip while Aly Grauer, and Mel Fox joined in the shenanigans
  • Pip points out there is no stopping in rugby, while Tee waxes lyrical on the difference between American and this game of rugby
  • Pip and other kiwis feel a little pity, but there are no pity points in rugby either.
  • Who knew there were so many American All Blacks fans!
  • Aly and Mel sum up the attractions of rugby.

34.59 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip and Tee talk about how David Bowie makes them feel like slackers. Pip wrote a blogpiece on it.
  • It could be the pants 
  • Tee is obsessing about a Walkman
  • Some awesome kid Ziggy Stardust…there is hope for the future
  • Pip has a moment or two, and now so does Sonic Boom
  • Tee learns Bowie appreciation, and his acting
  • Pip and Tee think of Alex White and Bowie…with an inappropriate dropin
  • Tales from the Archives wrapping up by the end of the year. Plans of the fourth season to be firmed up
  • Pip is finishing up the audiobook of Weather Child
  • Ministry Protocol is now out as an audiobook
  • Pip does indeed do the shownotes
  • Pip does indeed get the tumblr address for the Ministry right
  • One-Stop Writer Shop will have a deal coming soon for all those Nano participants

Related Links

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #37: Kindle Unlimited — Whether You Like It or Not

 

TSD-crackup

Amazon, man. Amazon.

After a month of writing, blogging, event planning, and deering-do, Tee and Pip return to the mics (finally!) for a brand new Shared Desk…but wait, didn’t we talk about Amazon last time? Well, yeah, we did, and once again we return to the latest “sweet deal” for you. It’s a look at Kindle Unlimited, and a look back to Tee’s Past all caught on video in this latest podcast.

Have a listen, comment on the blog, and feel free to reach out to us at 703.791.1701 to share your thoughts with us!

 

00:00 — Introduction & Catching Up

  • Waxing nostalgic over Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant
  • July got by us. Let’s just say that.
  • Pip’s feeling the sting of hard-core audio editing.
  • Pip’s been spending a lot of time in Deadly Hollywood.
  • If anyone has zero room to talk about our edits as being “light tweaks”…
  • Tee and Pip are waiting to hear from ACX and Writers’ Digest…on separate subject matters.
  • We may not be at San Diego ComicCon, but our work is.
  • One degree closer to Del Toro!
  • Got to love that agent-of-awesome, Laurie McLean, and the way she’s working our works-in-progress…
  • Darkwater is going through the pitching phase again.
  • Tee’s still working on Wolf in the Fold.
  • Publication date for The Diamond Conspiracy: End of March 2015.
  • Sometimes Pip will let Tee in on what ideas she’s hatching…

AmazonHold

9:04 — Kindle Unlimited…and Bad Timing on Amazon’s Part

  • We’re not turning our Shared Desk into the “What the Hell is Amazon up to this show?” show…
  • Kindle Unlimited
    • Spotify for Books. (Don’t you call that a library?)
    • Another great idea for Amazon…until the details come to light.
    • How “deep” does this pool reach?
    • There’s a deal for Kindle Unlimited for the Big Six, for indie authors, and for indie authors of a certain caliber.
    • Hugh Howey got this “special” deal.
    • And we turned to Joe Konrath for an opinion….
  • Just so you know, it’s not just us who are stopping to wonder…
  • The feudal system of authors on Amazon
  • How Amazon surprised — or strong-armed — indie authors into this program…
  • It’s a great idea with terrible timing.
  • We’re trying this, but only with a couple of our titles.
  • Three months of exclusivity? In book terms, that’s an eternity.
  • Seriously, Jeff Bezos — between that letter to Hachette authors and now this little stunt, are you not thinking about how this looks?
  • And Tee, once again, turns to Joe for comment on this matter of KU.
  • If you think the comparison to Spotify is good, it’s not.
  • Pushback from Episode #36 
  • Kindle Unlimited is a nice idea, but we want to try it on our terms.
  • When it comes to Amazon and their services, know the terms.
  • Exclusivity is never a good thing!

25:27 — “Writers Off the Clock”

  • In this household, we support a swash and a buckle…
  • It was The Musketeers that motivated Tee to go through stacks and stacks AND STACKS of videotapes.
  • What have we discovered in this deep dive into Tee’s Past?
    • Tee in his long-haired-hippie days.
    • Tee taps!
    • Tee on stage with ComedySportz, JMU, and Vpstart Crow
  • My plan: Go through VHS footage, and then edit it all down to one “master” performance.
  • Still searching for an edited rehearsal and footage of The Three Musketeers, on stage with Vpstart Crow.
  • Why go through and edit all this? New ideas for #ThrowbackThursday.
  • Signing with Swords — coming soon!
  • Other great gems discovered…
    • Some footage of me and my father, spinning tunes for WXJM
    • Glyn JonesRed in the Morning, premiering at JMU
  • Tee discovers in this stumble down Memory Lane an interview in 1986…and I had the worst acne on my chin…

35:41 — The Wrap-Up

  • Tee puts up a case for hanging on to some of these VHS tapes.
  • The Curse of the Blair Witch Project…a better production than The Blair Witch Project.
  • Besides digitizing video, we are…
    • Having a sale on One-Stop Writer Shop. Check it out!
    • September 13 — S4, coming soon!
    • September 26-28 — Steampunk Unlimited in Strasburg, PA
    • October (possibly November) — a special event at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA
    • October 25 — HallowRead (alongside Kate Smith and PJ Schnyder) in Ellicot City, MD
  • Tales from the Archives — yeah, we fell off the rails…but we’re getting back on track.
  • Anxiously waiting for word from The Parsec Awards
  • …and ACX on the audio edition of Ministry Protocol.
  • Onward, to the future…

Related Links

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #36: When Amazon and Hachette Lock Horns, Authors Take the Critical Hits.

TSD-back2back_Laurie

 

You’ve heard about it in the news. You’ve heard the published of all backgrounds rattle sabers and give the battle cry from on high.

Now, a voice of reason steps in and looks at this from a business perspective.

This is a Shared Desk that pulls no punches and tells it to you like it is as Tee and Pip welcome back to the show, Laurie McLean. Laurie, if you recall, was here on The Shared Desk previously, talking up Amazon shenanigans in 2012 and what it was intending with the publishing world. Now, as the Internet Jager that is Amazon go toe-to-toe with Hachette’s Kaiju, authors duck and cover…but still remain the casualties in this financial throw down.

TSD-amazon_hachette

00:00 — Introduction

  • Pip feels as if she’s a little off on account of being drop-in free…
  • Welcome back to the show Laurie McLean of ForewordLiterary (found at ForewordLiterary.com!)
  • You’ve heard authors talk about what’s going on. How about we get someone with a deeper connection to the business chime in…

1:55 — Amazon, Hachette, and the Authors Caught in the Middle

  • What is going on between Amazon and Hachette?
  • From an agent’s perspective…
    • Step back to the 1950’s on how publishers figured out costs and royalties…
    • Fast forward to Present Day when digital publishing found its feet.
    • Tee is really missing his drop-in’s.
    • Publishers continue to hang on to their large piece of the financial pie even with the reduction of costs for eBook production.
    • With the larger profits of eBooks, Amazon argues that Hachette can afford to give a little more.
  • The battle is now extending to Warner Brothers and to a German distribution company.
  • The Germans should be advising Amazon about fighting a war on more than two fronts.
  • It’s difficult to avoid Jon Hamm’s bulge with all this going on.
  • This is not a good guy/bad guy thing. This is a battle between playground bullies, and authors are the kids waiting to see which one’s going to
  • Amazon can always change the rules (as Hugh Howey — yes, that Hugh Howey — reports here back in February…)
  • Tee snaps against Howey and Konrath who are held on high as “heroes” when these two are towing the lines for Amazon.
  • There’s a big difference between Amazon and Hachette, and the U.S. Congress.
  • Jeff Bezos, Lex Luthor, and Walter White — the same person? Maybe…
  • How realistic is it asking readers to boycott Amazon?
  • Laurie waits with interest to see what will happen when a larger house (like Penguin and Random House) faces off with Amazon?
  • Tee fondly remembers his favorite Bud Ice commercials…
  • Who will blink first? Amazon or Hachette?
  • The fallout from all this: Damage to the new and midlist Hachette authors.
  • Amazon, while good to Tee last summer, is not your friend!
  • Did publishers make this bed with Amazon, or did readers and indie authors give them this power?
  • What Amazon has become: How can you say “no” to that?
  • Perhaps the publisher should think about learning from Amazon instead of butting heads with them.
  • What kind of damage control can authors do during this?
    • The authors taking the biggest hit? Those who do not have the name recognition.
    • The loss of Hachette pre-sales and no suggestions from Amazon are cutting into their profits.
    • It’s affecting even bigger names like Elizabeth Bear, and she’s doing the right thing — talking about it.
  • Authors are getting taxed more and more to be self-sufficient. Is this the future?
  • Will publisher’s expectations become greater as authors take on more?
  • The publishing business is currently split between two kinds of markets: a place for great stories (independent publishing) against a place for great writing (Big Six publishing).
  • How can authors take sides in this matter when you’re caught in the middle?
  • As this show’s patron saint, Chuck Wendig, puts it: This isn’t a Us vs Them sort of thing.
  • Writers still matter. Remember Moonlighting? How about Heroes?
  • Know Hachette authors? Blog about them. Give them a voice.
  • Serious love for Stephen Colbert! (Part One and Part Two)
  • Sounds like Laurie is also not that impressed with Mr. Konrath…
  • Show some love to Elizabeth Bear, friend of the show and kickass science fiction author!!! BUY HER BOOKS!!!

30:36 — Lightning Round Edition of “Writers Off the Clock”

  • Quick review of Edge of Tomorrow
  • Tee calls it the Pacific Rim of the summer, and that is not a good thing.
  • Tee has a moment concerning Emily Blunt.
  • TRIVIA: Edge of Tomorrow was released on the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing.

31:51 — The Wrap-Up

  • When and where is this going to end?
  • The talk at BEA…as it was held in New York…was a bit biased.
  • Will this get worse before it gets better?
  • Tee needs a quick recap on the iBook Store kefuffle that got the Department of Justice involved…and he gets it. (And knowing is half the battle.)
  • And because of these Apple shenanigans, we are now here.
  • Gazing into the crystal ball to wonder what lies ahead…
  • Had the publishers not been greedy, they wouldn’t have to contend with another greedy entity…
  • Now that we’ve gotten the straight talk about Amazon and Hachette, let’s hear about Foreword Literary.
  • Why Laurie believes in the hybrid author and working with the author to make awesome happens.
  • But enough about Foreword Literary. Talk more about us…..
  • Foreword snatches up Alex White. #winning
  • Tee and Pip chat a bit more about what Foreword Literary does for the author.
  • Are you a writer? Looking for an agent? Pay Foreword a visit, follow the steps, and pitch. (Tell “The Bulge” that Tee and Pip sent you.)
  • YES! We want your feedback — 703.791.1701

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #35: The Shared Desk — RECORDED LIVE AT BALTICON 48!!!

 

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Recorded LIVE at Balticon on the final day of the event, Tee and Pip are joined by a lively audience, all of whom take pains to keep Tee in line and muster up the courage to ask Crazy Uncle Charlie a few questions on writing…

….and Crazy Uncle charlie has a few surprises in store for them! It’s a wild ride with the Parsec-nominated podcast, The Shared Desk, at Balticon 48.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Shutting it down like a boss!
  • Reflection on a Balticon Cookout. (Thank God we made it out alive!)
  • We’re keeping this episode on a tight(ish) schedule because we got stuff to sell!

3:35 — Perspectives (or the “I Love You, Man!” Show)

  • Lessons learned at Balticon
    • Pip was enjoying many an “I love you, man!” moments last night with the grown-up Gummi Bears.
    • Sonic Boom in the House!!!!
    • P.C. Haring…put back in his box by Nick (MOTHER F-ING) Fury.
    • Leading into a quick shout-out to our Intern of Awesome, K.T. Bryski.
    • And if you’re wondering what people were laughing at…10265531_10203014335618254_8819894192693187496_o
  • A Perspective on Success
    • There was something about Balticon this year…
    • People were really excited for the Ministry, and yet Pip and I still feel like were the rookies of steampunk.
  • When J.R. Blackwell and Jared Axelrod pull you aside to have a heart-to-heart, you know it’s about to get serious.
  • The audience looks at Tee and thinks “Wow, that’s Tee Morris! What an ass.”
  • And a few thoughts from Sonic Boom…
  • A slip of the tongue…and people pile-on correcting Tee. (But he comes back for more. Always.)
  • The thoughts of Jared and J.R. and Jon Stallard of the 501st: It’s not the same. Can we go back there?
  • But is that a bad thing? Don’t we want to spread the geek love? (Phrasing.)
  • In the middle of Balticon, Pip wanted to tell friends how it is…and that’s a good thing.
  • Pip even said something sweet and endearing to her husband. Kind of.
  • Tee looks back on his first Balticon as P.C. Haring brings Cybrosis in print to the event.
  • Our kid can do math! Huzzah!
  • From Rockstar Treatment…to the Real World.
  • The dangers of losing perspective.
  • Remember — there’s always someone in the playground bigger (and in some cases, meaner) than you.
  • Considering the Up’s and Down’s of 2014
    • Pip’s found her zen.
    • Tee’s winding up and going on mic with his “I love you, man!” moment.
    • OMG! We have to mention TEH KITTEHS of New Zealand!!!
    • When it comes to friends, we are in the 1% tier.
  • What else is going on with us?
    • Our agent is pitching new properties from Tee & Pip
      • Deadly Hollywood, a new property from Pip Ballantine
      • Immortal Progeny, Pip’s Epic Fantasy currently in the works
      • Darkwater, a spinoff title from the world of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences featuring Rafe Rafton (100% Elf-Free!)
      • Wolf in the Fold, Tee’s first step into Urban Fantasy
      • The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh, Pip’s Y.A. spinoff from the Ministry universe
  • Tee gives a quick shout-out for a steampunk Y.A. film The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, the best-kept secret of steampunk films.
  • Yes, we have enjoyed success, but we’re ready to level up.
    • The audience wants to start up a new hashtag — #MoPOForever
    • Pie-in-the-Sky dreams for who would produce the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series
    • Shout-out for Hiddlebooks and Jenna Louise-Coleman with Brian Cox and Nathan Fillion on deck….

32:40 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • And the room goes rather silent as Charlie enters the room…
  • Sonic Boom is not fooled.
  • Crazy Uncle Charlie is having a tough time knowing where he is…
  • Question #1: Writer has a short story, popular with his peer readers, but he’s having a tough time selling it. What should he do?
    • Charlie is momentarily distracted by Lauren “Scribe” Harris. (Could Charlie have a potential stalker on his hands?)
    • And Charlie comes out of box, swinging…
    • Hold on….is Charlie making sense?
    • And then, we come back to the Charlie we know and love.
  • Question #2: Writer wants to know the sweet spot between “creative inebriation” and “rat-faced hammered” for consuming alcohol.
    • Charlie reveals the line between inebriation and genius. It is cotton balls.
    • Writing drunk is like drunk tweeting. Think before you plot.
    • Be responsible for the words you herd. (Holy cow — Charlie is working a new strategy in writing advice!)
  • Question #3: Writer wants to skip the laborious process f writing and editing and just get to sharing the story. How do you develop the discipline?
    • The Concept is the Process, and the Process is the Concept
    • What kind of writer are you? A Pantser or a Plotter. (Charlie doesn’t believe in pants.)
    • Find your routine and stick with it.
  • Question #4: Why do first-time writers balk at the end of projects? Is it a fear of failure? how do we get past that stumbling block?
    • That fear never goes away.
    • Every new title is a challenge, a new place for the bar to be set.
    • Let the fear fuel you.
  • Charlie blanks out for a moment, then pulls it together for a giveaway.
  •  And there is jubilation over the Shared Desk’s Mega-Prize Pack and Super-Prize Pack…
  • …hold on — what’s this third prize pack Charlie is giving away?!

47:36 — The Wrap-Up

  • THAT. WAS. CLOSE.
  • Giving The Shared Desk sign-off very quickly…
  • Now — let’s sell some books!
  • YES! We want your feedback — 703.791.1701

48:26 — Warm, Fizzy, Sign-Off

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #34: DemiCon 25 Wrap-Up (with P.C. Haring, Aly Grauer, Melissa Fox, and Christina Payton)

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Two cons back to back — RavenCon and DemiCon — and Tee and Pip are snapping back from the shenanigans in Virginia and Iowa. As this episode is a few days late, your show hosts super-size this episode with many different perspectives and reflections on the weekend that is DemiCon 25. Strap yourself in for some serious silliness on mic and insights into the weekend of geeking in Des Moines.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Getting in a quick intro and a a drop-in fix.
  • It’s a DemiCon 25 wrap-up for this week’s show!
  • Pip’s working on Immortal Progeny so I’m bringing us into this show.
  • So let’s step back in time…

1:55 — DemiCon 25 Wrap-Up 

  • Introductions.
    • Tee’s coffee cup is broken.
    • Let the hazing begin.
    • The ladies from Chicago show up.
    • On the Mic: Tee, Pip, P.C. Haring, Alyson Grauer, Melissa Fox
  • Food arrives…and eventually, we will get this show on track.
    • If you are curious, the crunch-crunch-crunch is the taco shell of our salad.
    • Aly thinks a Shared Desk at Bennigan’s is a bad idea.
  • Space Happens: The Kickstarter project currently on Aly’s and Mel’s plate…and it looks funny.
  • What brings Tee back to DemiCon?
  • P.C. Haring is sharing the wealth with the ladies…
  • Aly wants to do the ding along with the bell.
  • Aaaaaaand more hazing of the Author Guest of Honor…
  • What brings Aly Grauer and Mel Fox to DemiCon?
    • Aly’s first step into the Indie Author realm.
    • All of Pip’s dreams involve Idris Elba. Shocker that.
    • The Buffalo is fighting against Pip.
    • A quick review of Bennigan’s and the quality of hotel restaurants.
    • The best thing about the convention circuit: Networking.
  • What brings “Paul from Des Moines” back to Des Moines?
  • DemiCon 18 versus DemiCon 25
  •  DemiCon actually began on Thursday…
    • Voiceover Workshop at Theodore Roosevelt High School
    • A killer book signing at Barnes & Noble with Joe Halderman
    • …and ending with a blurry night in Des Moines.
  • DemiCon on Friday Night
    • Aly, Pip, and Tee talk about Barnes & Noble and the attitude towards a drive-by signing…
    • Aly was worried that we were going to be divas.
    • Tee reflects on being in a car with Terry Brooks. (OMG, he hates me!!!)
    • Meet the Ministry Panel — our kickoff panel
      • Captain Jack the Dapper Cat, making appearances throughout the weekend
      • We start talking about True Detective…but hop back to Vikings.
    •  The True Detective Panel
    • THE NIGHT OF PERKINS
  • DemiCon on Saturday
    • Collaborating with Friends (with P.C. and Pip)
      • The many bromances of Tee Morris
      • Christina Payton — our Eliza cosplayer — joins us, making the weekend wrap-up complete.
      • Pip suffers from trust issues, and nearly chokes Aly in talking about it.
      • Manners, please!
      • Hi, Christina! Tell us about your costumes…
      • “This waitress is out to get me!” — Tee
      • We brainstorm on the various Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences action figures.
    • The Book Signing
      • Reactions from Aly and P.C.
      • Plan 9 Burlesque in Chicago — Aly’s first signing, but not her FIRST signing which was DemiCon…kinda.
      • “Pip is an exotic specimen.” — Aly Grauer
      • And once again, the Mango Smoodie story rears its ugly head.
    • Epic Tea Time with Alan Rickman
      • Aly regales us with stories of P.C.’s naiveté.
      • P.C. tries to #blametheboot, and thus a new hashtag is born.
      • Christina and Mel share thoughts on the DemiCon tea party.
      • Reflections on Gung Fu Tea
    • The Guests of Honor Panel Discussion
      • Kind of “Meh.”
      • Not what Tee was expecting or hoping for…
      • Theatre of the Mind: Aly Grauer displays her skills in stealth.
      • The GoH Discussion reflects the tone of DemiCon 25. Not a bad tone, just a little exclusive.
      • Aaaaaaand the server releases another salvo….
    • Women in Steampunk (with Pip)
      • Complete with an appearance from #DapperCat
      • Pip updates and bulks up the Library of Congress talk.
      • A better turnout at DemiCon.
      • Pip name drops. A LOT!
      • Aly shares her favorite things about the talk.
    • The Reading
      • Pip was speaking in cursive.
      • Giving a reading in the style of scandalous actors.
      • What sobers you up? An Australian accent for Pip, apparently.
      • The different stages of speaking: Cursive, Calligraphy, Wingdings
      • The League of Fonts (A College Humor video)
    • The Masquerade (with Aly and Mel)
      • Aly’s incredibly awesome Smaug costume.
      • Mel brings it to DemiCon with the Doctor Who Clockwork Invaders…clockwork_01
      • Doctor Who‘s Weeping Angels…for Dummies.
      • Mel takes the Masquerade!
      • It’s off to the hot tub!
  • DemiCon on Sunday
    • The Podcasting Panel
      • GREAT turnout for a 9 a.m. panel
      • The Jesus Sightings
      • P.C. joins Tee for the Podcasting discussion.
      • Tee prefers to be on panels…with other people.
    • What Are You Watching?
      • Tee and Pip stay in genre and then drift out of genre…
      • We forgot Orphan Black. DAMMIT!
  • Coming back full circle to Bennigan’s…
  • What we all walked away with following DemiCon 25…
  • The genesis of Space Happens
  • The potential of Space Happens — go and donate at their Kickstarter!!!
  • Christina — you’re on mic! GO!!!
  • Reminiscing about Emerald City Steampunk Expo…
  • And Jolie swings by the table to say “Hey!” and to prove she is still upright after the DemiCon 25 weekend!
  • THE SCONES!!!! THE SCONES!!!!

1:28:15 — The Wrap-Up

 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #33: Game of Thrones, Hot Buttons, and Responsibility…from a Writer’s Point-of-View

 

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SPOILER ALERT!

SENSITIVE TOPIC ALERT!

PIP RAGE ALERT!

Good. I think we have covered everything.

With Tee and Pip flying solo in studio, the original topic for The Shared Desk is set aside for the controversy and the (important) debate fans, geeks, and writers of Game of Thrones have been engaging in since Sunday night. Has everything that could have been said about what happened in Westeros been said already?

Tee and Pip don’t seem to think so…

00:00 — Introduction

  • Angry drop-ins set the tone for this episode
  • Where are our in-studio guests?
  • What has Tee been working on since the last show?
  • Pip refuses to slow down after the launching of Dawn’s Early Light.
    • Pip’s Kickstarter story, Tangi A Te Ruru/The Cry of the Morepork featuring Aroha Murphy, is close to release. 
    • Her latest idea combining early Hollywood and Mesopetanian Gods has been submitted.
    • Continuing development on Immortal Progeny, and Silver Pharaoh featuring Verity Fitrzroy and the Ministry Seven.
  • There’s another idea in the mix about a social media guide for writers…

6:20 — Game of Thrones, Hot Buttons, and Responsibility…from a Writer’s Point-of-View

  • Multiple Alarms for this Shared Desk
    • Spoilers Ahead.
    • Hot Buttons Ahead.
    • Trigger Warnings.
    • If this kind of talk bothers you, please, JUMP AHEAD TO TIME MARKER 38:49
  • THAT scene from last Sunday’s Game of Thrones from both a fan’s point-of-view and a writer’s point-of-view.
  • Jamie rapes Circe.
    • It was rape. Pure and simple. We’ve established this.
    • Since Sunday, the Internet has lost its mind over this episode…
    • …but a LOT has happened over three seasons, hasn’t it?
  • Comparing the book to the miniseries. Not much better.
  • Back on the project organization…
    • Lauren does the longhand approach.
    • Pip can’t read her own handwriting, but she still grabs random scraps of paper to get notes down.
    • Tee prefers the digital approach to notes.
  • One issue (of many) that Tee has with the scene/episode: It’s being handled by George R.R. Martin and HBO terribly.
  • Westeros — not the safest place to be…
  • Tee and Pip agree — Circe did not ask for it.
  • Is anyone really “entertained” by rape?
  • Tee (and Chuck Wendig) go on record about Jamie that few (if any) admits to with Jamie — people started to LIKE and TRUST Jamie Lannister.
  • Pip goes into the relationship of Jamie and Brianne.
  • Jamie Lannister. Not really a nice guy.
  • Jamie Lannister in the baths. Okay, we LIKE him.
  • Tee spells out Jamie’s rough and bumpy homecoming, and shows the build-up and the psychological snap that led to this moment.
  • Where did Tee get his degree in Psychology? The ID Channel, of course.
  • Comparing Jamie Lannister to Ted Bundy. (Yeah, we go there.)
  • Fans don’t understand why “good” characters make terrible choices.
  • Jamie doesn’t know what true honor is.
  • Should rape be addressed in fiction or in movies, television, and other mediums?
  • Tee really doesn’t like “entertainment” used in the same sentence as “rape.”
  • Pip echoes Chuck’s opinion while playing the Woman Card.
  • Rape as a character flaw…
  • ….and how Vikings plays rape strictly as a character flaw, and offends both Tee and Pip
  • No kidding, Pip and Tee have been talking about this FOR DAYS!
  • The difference between the Angle-Saxon Princess and Jamie Lannister — we got to know him.
  • Does this episode of Game of Thrones mean we as writers should not write about these topics? Not at all.
  • Tee lays himself on the chopping block with Legacy of Morevi…which he wishes GRRM and HBO would do.
  • If you’re going to write about ugly issues, prepare to research things you won’t like to research.
  • Showing love for Hannibal…and recognizing the difference between serial killers and rapists.
  • Be aware of your audience.
  • We love Vikings…but we didn’t care for this particular moment.
  • Take responsibility for your writing and understand the impact of your words.

38:49 — The Wrap-Up

  • That bumper music feels a little inappropriate, doesn’t it?
  • YES! We want your feedback! On this topic…or others.
    • 703.791.1701
    • Leave us comment here!
  • This podcast needed to happen. Words have weight.
  • Where will we be in the next few weeks?
  • See you in two weeks!
  • And if you’re still listening to us after this show, thanks!!!

 

Featured People in this podcast:
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #32: Getting a Writer’s Life Organized (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

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When you have house guests, you make sure you show them a good time. When you have house guests who happen to be writers, you get them on the mic which is exactly what Pip and Tee did when writer and podcaster Lauren “Scribe” Harris came up for a visit, enjoyed a visit to the Madison Tea Room, and quality time with the Boom. Today on this episode of The Shared Desk, these three multitaskers sit down and talk about what they do to stay organized.

00:00 — Introduction

10:21 — Getting a Writer’s Life Organized

  • So many plates spinning for all three of us…
    • Tee attempts to rattle off all the ideas we have working right now…
    • Pip reveals her new idea concerning Hollywood and accent gods and demons.
    • Tee is torn between where to focus his own attention between writing projects and contracting.
  • Most writers are terrible at organizing their projects. True or false?
  • Lauren gets scared of über-organized people
    • …but she herself is wicked-organized!
    • Lauren: “That’s called worldbuilding.”
    • Scribe shows what a bad influence she is.
  • Pip completely derails the show with a drop-in request…and then it delves into wacky fan fiction…
  • Back on the project organization…
    • Lauren does the longhand approach.
    • Pip can’t read her own handwriting, but she still grabs random scraps of paper to get notes down.
    • Tee prefers the digital approach to notes.
  • Lauren uses checklists to keep on track with her day.
  • Tee and Pip meltdown in front of PJ Schnyder, not in a nasty way, but just in a self-imploding sort of way.
    • PJ was thinking [cue Archer drop-in]
    • We were terrified by what we were facing on our To Do List.
    • Tee remembers the first thing erased off the list.
    • Colored “thumbtack” magnets help prioritize ideas and things to do.
  • Scribe gets bored with the conversation and starts playing with Tee’s magnets.
  • Pip wonders how having two writers in the same house affects our productivity.
  • Before you get organized, find where your “hub space” is and hang your white board there.
  • Scribe reveals the Covey Quadrant…and Tee gets an ice cream headache.
  • And Tee uses that Archer drop-in again for the social media addicted ladies in studio.
  • Downtime/Self-time for yourself needs to be a priority.

33:56 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • Scribe and Crazy Uncle Charlie are reunited…and it feels so good.
  • Scribe has a fangirl moment. We’re not sure why.
  • Pip doesn’t want to admit it…but she has missed Crazy Uncle Charlie.
  • Charlie gives his own approach to organizing projects…which resembles something of a jumbles mess.

37:46 — The Wrap-Up

  • And once again, the studio smells of cheese.
  • Got some organization tips? A question for Crazy Uncle Charlie?
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip (at) pjballantine (dot) com
    • tee (at) teemorris (dot) com
  • Later on in April…
    • DemiCon 25, May 1-5
    • Balticon, May 22-26
      • Lauren describes Balticon for anyone who may be coming to the con.
      • Pip, even with her power as the Dark Goddess, can’t get fast service at the Hunt Valley bar…
      • The Podcaster Cookout. It’s coming!
      • And…..
  • The Ministry of Peculiar Pajamas: The Pajama Initiative
    • How did this idea come around?
    • People want this to be a thing.
    • Maybe Sunday night, starting early.
    • This is an idea in progress. Bear with us.
  • Pip’s glad March is done, but April is coming in hard…
  • Lauren’s got another mini-writing/mini-podcasting stretch coming soon!
  • The power of a Phil Rossi drop-in.
  • Go out and get Dawn’s Early LightNOW!!! 

  51:22 — The Outtake

 

Featured People in this podcast:
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #31: Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Blog Tour (with Nick & Stacia Kelly)

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What a grand time we had in studio! If you remember from a previous Shared Desk, we enjoyed good panel with Stacia Kelly & Nick Kelly, another husband and wife team in the Science Fiction and Fantasy market. We finally got them over at Imagine That! Studios, enjoyed the last of the gas in the grill, and got them on mic. In this first in-studio appearance (and something tells me, far from the last) we talk about the recent Endless Possibilities Book Tour, lessons learned, and where we are going from here.

00:00 — Introduction

  • We’ve got alcohol introduced into the system which means the drops-in’s are leaning towards the ruder side of things. Even with guests in-studio.
  • Welcome for the first time in-studio our special guests, Nick and Stacia Kelly.
  • Bitching about the winter that shows no signing of ending…
  • Good things about Trinity Episcopal: We meet awesome people!
  • What do you do when you’re about to have a book released?
    • Tee — Goes on a CLEANING BINGE!
    • Pip — Drinks. (But Tee has other opinions as to what she does…)
    • Stacia — When she is nervous, she dances! Then cleans up after herself….
    • Nick — Channels his inner-Jaeger pilot. (He tends to cave to peer pressure from the show host, too.)
  • Go out and get Dawn’s Early Light! NOW!!!
    • A lot is riding on this new book.
    • There’s been a lot of hype around the book.
    • Our blog traffic is up by 300% (Now 400%….)
  • No one touches the bell!
  • A lot has been happening across all our blogs… 

08:47 — Reflections and Lessons Learned from a Blog Tour 

  • Blog Tours
    • What did we learn?
    • How do they happen?
    • How do you organize one?
  • Stacia — “This was my idea.”
    • WbtR wanted to try something new with book promotions!
    • First time with the blog tour — Sixteen participants! (Yikes!)
  • Nick admits there was a learning curve, but there were some challenges ahead.
  • Tee had a problem: The traffic during the blog tour dropped. Oooops…
  • Is there a strategy at composing blogposts?
  • What are tips for participants new to blog touring?
    • A “How to Blog 101” blogpost or “class” for those involved
    • Understanding a commitment level
    • Advantages: a new pool of content for my blog
  • Rules for repurposing blogpost and creating content
    • Nick — Ask yourself “What makes you want to read a blogpost?”
    • Tee — Ask your blog host “What would you like?” and pitch ideas.
    • Pip — On evergreen content
    • Stacia — Change more than 20% of a blogpost before you think it is a repurposed blogpost
    • Nick — On a blogpost’s exclusivity
  • Timing on topics does matter.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  — does it really work?
  • What Tee has to deal with on a daily basis…
  • So someone is intimated by Tee? For what exactly?!
  • Oh MySpace’s Tom, where are you now?
  • Tee builds up a joke about DC (Comics) but Nick thinks it’s about (Washington) DC…
  • Another resource for blogposts — Writers…who behave like idiots
  • A tangent on SFWA…
  • Another tangent — albeit a much longer one — on Kickstarter…
  • If you are going to blog about something out there or controversial, own it.   
  • Other bits of advice for writers new to a blog tour
    •  Know the works of the authors
    • Look for a sweet spot for blogpost length

35:30 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • So much stuff to choose from for this week’s section…
  • Pip reads the web, and Nick is happy.
  • A threat that that is creeping up on established authors of the Empire: The Loss of their Cushy Offices in London!
  • Are these writers serious?!
  • Nick and Stacia take the blame for what happening to toad’s professional author.
  • Stacia shares an opinion on those who rely solely on traditional house publishing.
  • Your obligatory Doctor Who reference…
  • What you, as an author, need to do to survive in today’s modern publishing world.
  • Do authors really need a downtown metropolitan office?!
  • Nick Kelly steps up and knocks it out of the park!

46:04 — The Wrap-Up

  • Now THAT’S a segue!!!
  • Pip and Tee have an jam packed week this week between…
  • Later on this Spring…
    • RavenCon, April 25-27
    • A quick cameo from Sonic Boom who wants S’mores and feels the need to plug America’s Funniest Home Videos
    • DemiCon 25, May 1-5
  • What Nick and Stacia have on their plates…
    • Finishing and releasing Gian in time for Earth Day
    • “Catwalk: Jericho” coming
    • Catwalk: Lineage coming this Halloween
  • Remember: Always honor Rule #34!
  • Nick Kelly gushes for a moment about James Langton…while explaining the moment he figured out why Pip and Tee call this podcast The Shared Desk

  50:57 — The Outtake

cover art by J.R. Blackwell 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #30: What’s a Writer’s Internship? (with K.T. Bryski)

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Our intern from the Great White North, ForeWord-nominated author, Katie Bryski, has reached the end of her February internship. The mics are hot and we ask our intern the tough questions

00:00 — Introduction

  • Show #30 — we have been good this year with our regular posting, and Tee’s got some new drop-in’s!!!
  • This is the end of February, and Katie Bryski is hanging in there with her internship at Casa de Morris!
  •  Foreshadowing what’s coming up with this episode…
  • Pip channels her inner-Chole and goes into what she’s been working on…
    • Weather Child — the layout continues with the recent proof
    • Immortal Progeny — After checking with the Book of George (R.R. Martin), the novel is taking shape.
    • We’re looking overseas with our indie books and our agent of awesome.
  • What Katie has been up to since the last show…
    • Apply a few gold medals and Canuck gets cocky!
    • Notes are back from her Stonecoast Mentor.
    • “Research” for her day job…which means she’s drinking beer.
    • Apparently, when it comes to giving us a bit of feedback on how hard Tee & Pip work her, silence is golden.
  • What has Tee been up to?
    • Reworking Wolf in the Fold
    • The Billibub Kickstarter is starting to make some headway after one week. 31%. Not bad.
    • The blog machine rolls on with the Endless Possibilities Blog Tour and on TeeMorris.com!
    • Tee’s drinking beer with Katie. Good times!!!
    • And the job hunt rolls on, but Tee’s considering options…

10:15 — What’s a Writer’s Internship? 

  • How did this whole idea of Katie becoming our intern actually happen?
  • What does an intern for a writer do?
    • There’s a fine line between intern and stalker.
    • Pip takes a guess as to what you’re supposed to do during an internship?
  • What Katie wanted to learn right off the bat: Survival Techniques for Indie Authors
    • Working with Adobe Photoshop
      • It’s all about the image.
      • Mac Boy Vs. PC Girl
      • Getting our digital hands dirty with layers.
      • DepositPhoto.com — Pip’s new friend. And now, Katie’s
    • Working with InDesign
      • Katie LOVES this program…and templates are her friend!
      • There’s still some terms she needs to get familiar with.
      • Giving books personality with InDesign.
      • Pip and Katie share the story behind Weather Child and how Katie went on a journey with the podcast…and now she’s laying out the book in print.
    • K.T. Bryski, editor
      • Taking the red pen in hand.
      • It’s a big step in editing another person’s work, but Stonecoast’s lessons were applied.
  • Katie was learning stuff from how Pip and Tee were dealing with writers in everyday life. (Yikes!)
  • Pip has a pupil in her School of Love and & Despair.
  • But Mighty Mur comes to save the day! (Love ya, Mur!!!)
  • How our intern helped us out
    • Networking us with other podcasts and blogs like 3 Geeks in a Pod
    • Katie drops her contact info — contact (at) ministry of peculiar occurrences (dot) com
  • Katie wants to come back for eBook layout classes
    • A constantly changing technology
    • Barnes & Noble Nook #FAIL
  • Other stuff we did with Katie
  • Katie is leaving….but she’s not leaving.
  • What did the Intern teach the Mentors?
    • Katie is an impressive student, picking up new tools in audio and video.
    • We learned that our Intern is very possessive.
    • Writers don’t have set hours.
    • Just having assistance in setting up the calendar — awesome!
  • The Intern’s First Assignment when she gets home: The Most Canadian Steampunk EVAR!
  • Jack Mangan, the gauntlet has been thrown!

36:21 — Writers Off the Clock: Talking True Detective

  • #DropInFAIL with both of the girls talking over the bumper…
  • Setting the tone for this segment with “Far From Any Road” from The Handsome Family
  • THE. BEST. TELEVISION. SHOW. EVAR. True Detective, on HBO.
  • What is it about True Detective and the appeal of Southern Gothic to geeks?
  • Some critics thought the show was slow, but that’s because they were watching it on Thursday…
  • You have to pay attention with this show.
  • Matthew McConaughey is stepping up as an actor.
  • The characters of this show is like Louisiana — broken.
  • True Detective from a film buff’s perspective.
  • Katie’s perspective from a show “she would never watch.”
  • The gothic science fiction touches throughout True Detective
  • The good news for Katie: She found a source for the last two episodes!
  • Talking about the writing of Nic Pizzolatto, the Executive Producer, Writer, and Creator of True Detective
  • The relationship between Chole and Hart….played seamlessly by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson
  • A comparison between True Detective and Homicide: Life on the Street

53:47 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip Ballantine just ignores the music cue. Shocker that.
  • The rise of the anthology? Is it happening?
  • Katie learned stuff with us…but we still have stuff to be teaching her!
  • Pip and Tee turn to the Intern one last time for what’s coming up…
  • Where to contact everybody…
    • Podcasters, bloggers, and media folks, if you want to book Tee & Pip, send a line to contact (at) ministryofpeculiaroccurrences (dot) com
    • Drop Tee and Pip a voicemail at 703.791.1701, or drop us a comment here or in email.
    • SHOW #35 ANNOUNCED AS OUR NEXT VOICEMAIL SHOW!!!
  • How do you say goodbye? Giant freaking robots beating up monsters!
  • Drop-in by request…
  • …and Katie breaks out in to spontaneous song.
  • Tee stumbles though the Creative Commons tag on account of teh feelz.

1:01:07 — The Outtake

cover art by J.R. Blackwell 

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #29: All About Stonecoast (with Katie Bryski!)

TSD-back2backwKatie

After two days of recording and a plethora of technical glitches, we are back for another episodes with our new intern and return Canuck, ForeWord-nominated author, Katie Bryski! Join us as Katie, fresh from Stonecoast, come in-studio to talk about this amazing experience that she has embarked upon…

00:00 — Introduction

  • We are on a roll!!!
  • G’day, eh? We have a guest in the studio again! Throw on the back bacon — it’s Katie Bryski!
  • Things you shouldn’t do after the Smoky Writers: Have your liver tested.
  • Pip bitches about the drop-in’s. Again. (And remember this…for later on in the show…)
  • Since the Smoky Writers events, what have Tee & Pip been up to?
    • The Silver Pharaoh is submitted to Laurie.
    • Wolf in the Fold is also submitted to Laurie.
    • Audio recording for Ministry Protocol is underway.
    • Tee’s still job hunting, still working on Wolf in the Fold, and also working on something for Valentine’s Day.
  • What Katie has been up to since Stonecoast?
    • She’s our intern for February!
    • Katie is still working on a book that is formally known as formerly known as Styx.
    • In Season Three of Tales from the Archives, things get very Canadian!

 14:48 — All about Stonecoast (with Katie Bryski) 

  • The first challenge of Stonecoast: Get to the right Portland!
  • What exactly is Stonecoast?
    • Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
    • Low-Residency (so you can do this from home…)
    • Residency is in Portland, ME
  • Tee’s mic problems and Pip’s odd need for editing…eh, just go with it!
  • Working with Mentors (who are working authors)
  • This isn’t NaNoWriMo or a writers’ retreat, folks. This is graduate school. For writers.
  • And there is Tee, just being far too ‘Murican.
  • From #MicFAIL to #DropInFAIL
  • Pip asks who would Tee want to have as his Writing Mentor…and Pip makes an uber-#SteampunkFAIL.
  • But Katie is a published author already…so why does Katie need a Masters Degree in Writing?
  • Katie looks at the goals of Stonecoast she’s looking to accomplish through this program.
  • Tee and Pip are a touch green with envy over Katie’s journey with Stonecoast.
  • For someone who hates drop-in’s, Pip’s asking a lot from Tee in this episode.
  • Does Stonecoast have business angles covered?
  • Stonecoast offers another aspect of the writers’ community

33:44 — Seriously?! Seriously.

  • Another #DropInFAIL but we’ll get this…
  • It’s kind of important before you go into a blog tour to know what to do when you’re on a blog tour.
  • Copy-Paste-Here’s-Your-Blogpost….no, that’s not what you do.
  • If you are too busy to go on a blog tour because you are too busy promoting, you’re lost in #EpicFAIL
  • There are bigger problems afoot if you don’t have evergreen blog content to offer a blog tour.
  • Is the problem a lack of ideas? (As we show, nope.)

41:25 — The Wrap-Up

  • So excited that we have Katie for a little more time!
  • Katie is gathering a lot of dirt on it.
  • And she’s a good intern ’cause she’s getting Tee coffee!
  • Pip and Tee struggle to keep the show on target
    • Weather Child now has a cover.
    • Tee & Pip head down to Richmond for The Writers’ Show!
    • Dawn’s Early Light hits the shelves at the end of March!
    • Something special coming up in February….
    • Oh yeah, RavenCon as well!
  • Sweet as! Katie is coming to Balticon!!! And she’s talking about beer!!!
  • We need a better sign-off for Katie…
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #28: Reflections on #SmokyWriters2014

TSD-back2back_SMWW

Recorded on the final night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, writers of different backgrounds, interests, and works waiting to become works-in-progess gather around the microphones and look back on an amazing five days of food, booze, words, and hut tub soakings.

Welcome to the Smoky Mountains Writers’ Retreat of 2014.

Wear earbuds or send the kids and your mom out of the room. The authors are hitting the sauce, so we get saucy…

00:00 — Introduction

  • Yes, two shows in a week! How about that?
  • Tee’s appetite is still adjusting to realistic standards.
  • Trust me — Chuck Wendig is right about living a lifestyle
  • The Shared Desk steps back to the last night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee…
02:36 — Reflections on the Smokey Mountain Writers’ Retreat
  • And here is the origins of The Shared Desk and getting Pip to the mic
  • The participants of #SmokyWriters2014 and what they were working on…
    • Philippa Ballantine (Y.A. novel entitled The Silver Pharaoh)
    • Rosemary Tizledoun (short story entitled “Snap Dragons”)
    • Lauren “Scribe” Harris (high fantasy novel entitled Song of the Heretic)
    • Hugh O’Donnell (urban fantasy novel entitled Changeling and superhero short story)
    • Bryan Lincoln (high fantasy audio script)
    • Tee Morris (urban fantasy novel entitled Wolf in the Fold) who gives a special “thank you” to his eight-day employer…
    • AWKWARD MOMENT [REDACTED]
    • Alex White (the man behind the long weekend and dark comedy novel entitled Domains.)
      • Picture The Office set on Mount Olympus.
      • We call it CubicalPunk.
  • The goal in getting writers together under one roof
    • Alex wanted to have a setting where people would get along.
    • Alex wanted people to produce.
    • Rules were set to maximize productivity.
    • Meals were seen to.
  • Hopes & Realities for Rosemary
  • Hopes & Realities for Lauren
  • A break in Lauren’s assessment to quote our mantra: Food. Booze. Words.
  • Hopes & Realities for Lauren (continued)
  • Hopes & Realities for Hugh
    • Feeling as if he was stepping in the house of the “Big Dogs” in his mind.
    • In praise of Hugh’s short story featuring the Spirit Animal of Smoky Mountain Writers’ Retreat
    • Meeting expectations and intimidating those around them…
  • Hopes & Realities for Bryan
    • “Drinkin’ Lincoln” in college…and in the Smoky Mountains
    • Writing audio scripts and the challenges within.
  • Hopes & Realities for Tee…and putting his put in his mouth in the process.
  • And now…THE FOOD.
    • OMNOMNOMNOMNOM!
    • Alex White…a sneaky culinary bastard…
  • Eating like Mother F-ing Rock Stars
    • Bryan’s favorite meal — The Salmon with Spinach Artichoke Orzo
    • Meet Cookie! (His favorite meal — the Steaks. Those fantastic steaks…)
    • Hugh’s favorite meal — the Ruben with Butternut Squash
    • Lauren’s favorite meal — the French Toast and Bacon (with strawberry compote)
    • “I don’t usually like [insert dish here] but this…”
    • Rosemary’s favorite meal — the Strata (with props to the Flan dessert)
    • Alex’s favorite meal — Okonomiaki (Japanese Pancakes)
    • Cookie’s favorite dessert — the Jameson Bread Puuding
    • Pip’s favorite meal — the Salmon dinner
    • Tee’s favorite meal — the Ruben with Butternut Squash
  • Pip offers the most awesome segue to the weirdest conversation we had…
    • Tee’s going on the grill.
    • Pip’s a lovely rack…
    • Hugh Stew
  • Pip’s survival instinct kicks in with an interrupting stinkbug.
  • Improving #SmokyWriters2015
    • Planning around con season…
    • More people?
    • Lauren asks for more time.
    • Planning the trip
    • Will Hugh dare to stay with the Morris clan?
    • Tee proposes a full week with a field trip set aside one day.
    • Gatlinburg, Tennessee — “Myrtle Beach in the Mountains”
    • Pip’s concerns about the number of participants.
    • Tee also suggests more games, especially Cards Against Humanity and Poker Night.
    • Breaking up into other Reading Groups and Brainstorming sessions
  • Congratulations, Alex White — you did it. And he totally brain-dumps his heart on the retreat…
  • …and Tee goes for Pip’s jugular….
  • Returning to Alex’s heart-felt reflection.
  • How do you throw a writers’ retreat?
    • Look for a place.
      • SmokyMountains.com
      • HomeAway.com
        • Consider hiring a chef.
        • Find people who will pay their share.
        • Be prepared to use the credit card.
        • Lay down Rules and Expectations for the weekend. Get. Work. Done.
  • Pip’s expectations for next year…

1:02:41  — The Wrap-Up

  • Congratulations, Alex White — you did it. And he totally brain-dumps his heart on the retreat…
  • …and Tee goes for Pip’s jugular….
  • Returning to Alex’s heart-felt reflection.
  • How do you throw a writers’ retreat?
    • Look for a place.
      • SmokyMountains.com
      • HomeAway.com
    • Consider hiring a chef.
    • Find people who will pay their share.
    • Be prepared to use the credit card.
    • Lay down Rules and Expectations for the weekend. Get. Work. Done.
  • Pip’s expectations for next year…
  • And yes, Tee’s got his ending memorized and ready for this remote recording…
RELATED LINKS
 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #27: Talking about Works-in-Progress

TSD-overtheshoulder

It’s taken us a while to get back to the miss but get back to the miss we did! Pip and I took a few minutes before a Writers’ Retreat to fire up the studio and let loose their tongues on works-in-progress. What’s coming down the pike? What will be percolating while in Pigeon Forge? And is it a good idea to talk about works-in-progress? It’s back in black for Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris on this, the first show of 2014!

00:00 — Introduction

  • Working to get back your trust…
  • The Shared Desk returns! (And what do you know — more drop-in’s!)
  • Nine years ago, MOREVI went live. Where did the time go?
  • Tee laments on the lost “new” job.
  • Vinnie over at Trinity Manassas Church gives Tee a little perspective
  • A Writer’s Retreat is now in our future!
    • Organized by Alex White
    • What Pip is looking forward to.
    • Living like rock stars for five days!
    • Woah! Tee’s sleeping with his new boss!!!
  • A promise of recording audio at the Writers’ Retreat.and other audio that we captured…
  • Big thanks for the writing keeping us sane…
08:11 — Talking about Works-in-Progress 
  • Tee reflects on The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy.
  • Pip and Tee disagree on revealing works-in-progress
    • Pip likes teasing her audience.
    • We have found a new favorite drop-in for Pip.
  • Talking about works-in-progress is good.
    • Shows the audience you have new stuff in the works.
    • Actually delivering on an idea as opposed to just talking about it.
    • Pip’s new work-in-progress — The Immortal Prodgeny
  • Talking about works-in-progress is bad
    • Tee Morris and Billibub Baddings
    • How the Powerpuff Girls worries Tee about returning to the Billibub Baddings Mysteries
  • Tee’s work-in-progress — Wolf in the Fold
    • Has Tee done urban fantasy before?
    • Will this be a spoof or will Tee turn tropes on their head?
  • Another idea from Tee — Villainy LLC
    • No, this is not Playing for Keeps. It’s more like The Tick…taken to the next level.
    • In this story, Tee goes after Richmond and Social Media douchebags.
    • If NYC and the agents pass on it, Tee can always go the self-publishing route.
  • Anxieties on sharing works-in-progress
  • Pip’s attitude on sharing works-in-progress with the readers: FOLLOW THROUGH!
  • Another idea taking shape for Pip: Verity Fitzroy and the Ministry Seven in The Mystery of the Silver Pharaoh.
  • And to add to the retreat’s schedule — Tee and Pip’s next idea: Broken.
  • Continuing to look ahead with the Ministry in 2014…
  • Upcoming news on Pip’s latest Pip blanks on her special New Zealand day…

30:30  — The Wrap-Up

  • Keeping it simple on account of the upcoming road trip.
  • Pip gives Tee a truly “Bazinga” moment….but Tee doesn’t play that drop-in.
  • Write by the Rails is holding a blog tour! Come join us!
  • What’s coming soon…
  • Thank you, everyone, for the kindness and support through the false start that was Tee’s “new” job.
  • And Tee pulls out a flawless ending. Not too shabby after nine years….
 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #26: On the Growing World of the Ministry and eBooks Deconstructed

TSD-what

We’re making eBooks. We’re making print books. We’re gaming. And we’re winning Parsecs! We’re talking about what we’ve learned in creating Ministry Protocol, and we’re going into the details of putting together a great looking eBook. Hang on for this crash course in InDesign, digital publishing, and what to expect when your eBook is ready…for testing.

Also, in light of this unexpected Parsec win, Tee and Pip give shout-outs and thank you’s to everyone keeping tabs on the bumpy year-so-far that has been 2013.

00:00 — Introduction

13:40 — eBooks Deconstructed 
  • The eBooks are done and we are now working on the final details for the print
  • Pip goes through her workflow in making the 99-Penny Dreadfuls (and other works we produce) into ePubs
    • Keep your fonts simple.
    • Formatting. Not a good idea.
    • Short stories are a piece of cake compared to a novel or anthology.
    • Rethinking the workflow
  • The challenges of eBooks and digital reading devices
    • Control is in the readers’ hands, not the publisher.
    • Each ereader handles the source file differently.
  • Tee’s workflow for eBooks and print books
    • First stop — Adobe InDesign, Tee’s weapon of choice.
    • Next stop — Calibre, as InDesign was squirrelly about exporting something to Kindle.
    • What Tee prefers: a file per chapter as opposed to one massive file. Insane? Well….
    • Creating a Book file in InDesign: why it works so well.
    • Tee’s fastest turnaround time: 24 hours (for Pip, actually…)
  • The difference between eBooks and print books — personality.
  • Workflow, Part Two
    • Create two copies of the InDesign files, label one “PRINT” and the other collection “DIGITAL”
    • In the DIGITAL folder, use “Find Font” and remove all instances of “unique” fonts.
    • Times New Roman — the “go to” font for eBooks.
  • Tee’s looking ahead with Weather Child, re-worked by Pip and edited by Tee Tate.
  • Before you release your eBook, test it on as many platforms as possible.
  • And after you do test it, test again! Otherwise, your eBooks can wind up like George R.R. Martin’s…and not in a good way.

35:03 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Hard to believe Pip is a two-time Parsec-winning podcaster…
  • Tee, Pip and the Boom head out to Comics and Gaming of Gainesville, VA.
    • Great place, and kid-friendly!
    • Enjoying some “geek parent” moments…
  • Purchasing some games. One is called Planet Steam. (Anyone know this?)
  • A COOL DISCOVERY — Pacific Rim: Shuffling the Deck
  • What looks like a gimicky card game actually works as a great game of strategy and concentration.
  • Wait — hold on — is Pip REQUESTING a drop-in?!
  • A great game for fans (or giant robots fighting monsters) of the film that doesn’t get too cutthroat.
  • This game has been Boom-Approved.
  • …and while you’re visiting your local bookstore…

44:35 — The Wrap-Up

  • Lamenting about Dragon*Con. There was some people and things we missed.
  • There was also a lot of things we didn’t miss.
  • Big shout out to Mike seals who made it on live Atlanta news shows!
  • What’s coming soon…
  • And Tee’s got some contract work. w00T!
  • Tee’s waiting to hear from Kindle Worlds on his Valiant Comics novellas.
  • Quick shout-out of condolences for the friends and family of Frederick Pohl.
  • Works in progress for both Tee and Pip
  • Another shout-out — this one, a warm fuzzy — to Steampunk India.
  • Thanks, everyone, for keeping us in your hearts this year.
  • And Tee gets cocky…
 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #25: An Audience with Alex White, Master Collaborator

TSD-back2back_White

Tee and Pip pull off the miracle podcast and reach NUMBER 25, but they don’t do it alone. From the headquarters of The Gearheart comes Renaissance Man Alex White. He’s an artist. He’s a writer. He’s a musician. He’s brought so much of his talent to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, and now he comes on mic with The Shared Desk to talk about how he got his black belt in collaboration fu.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Tee goes with a HBO theme on the opening drop-in’s…
  • Welcoming a special guest, Alex White, who is in town…because he wants to be!
  • What’s going on with the three of us?
    • Pip’s turning in new pitches. (Titles need a bit of work…)
    • Tee’s closing in on his Kindle Worlds’ deadline.
    • Alex has a new work-in-progress that delves into the paranormal.
  • Paying authors: We think it’s fun!
7:29 — An Audience with Alex White, Master Collaborator
  • Apart from Jack Mangan, Alex White has contributed and collaborated with us the most concerning the Ministry.
  • Alex and the crew of Disasterpiece Theatre
    • What’s the pitch? (Not the show, but that is the show.)
    • It was a great show…until Shia LaBouff was brought into the Ministry.
    • What’s the fun in prepping your guests?
    • Be careful, Alex. Hollywood, SyFy, and Michael Bay is listening…
    • …and Tee goes there. “Inappropriate.”
  • The recent collaboration(s) between Alex and the Makers of the Ministry
  • On working with Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, the editors
    • The importance of editing
    • Making editors into the “bad guys”
  • On working with Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, cover art clients
    • We got a beautiful cover….
    • ….but it was a tough journey getting there.
    • RELEASE THE DROP-IN’S!!!
    • Revealing what’s behind the curtain when cover artists and clients work together…and when things are not what are expected.
    • Beware the “sternly-worded nut-slap” from Pip Ballantine.
    • And then came the back pedal…
  • Working with Friends: the Pros, the Cons, and the LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY EXCHANGING HANDS… 
  • Again, beware Pip’s sternly slap-to-the-nuts.
  • Alex gives some advice for the author when working together to create the cover you want.

39:18 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • Alex reveals a cold, hard truth about The Shared Desk.
  • Talking about trust — how about that Cuckoo’s Calling book?
  • Hold on…who’s writing this book again?!
  • QUICK LOO BREAK!
  • Should J.K. Rowling be pissed?
  • A look at the insecurity of a successful problem…and how we wish we had it…
  • You hire a lawyer with a degree of privacy in mind.
  • The dangers of when besties get together, whippin’ out their secrets….
  • …and Tee goes there. Again.

47:24 — The Wrap-Up

  • Big props to Alex White for joining us on the 25th show!
  • Alex made us love him all over again.
  • Alex White and Harvey Keitel — worth every penny!
  • What’s coming soon…
    • For Alex
      • Dragon*Con appearing, including a LIVE Disaterpiece Theatre
      • A possible BIG reveal for DTP fans
      • Catch him at the Parsecs as Fire in the Snow by Starla Hutchton is in the running….
    • For Pip & Tee
      • Authors After Dark
      • Baltimore Book Festival
      • Strasburg Steam Festival
      • Cover Reveal of Ministry Protocol — August 8!
      • And an unexpected sale that is coming to bookshelves for the holidays!
  • And how about this for an ending — hitting it on all cylinders!!!

RELATED LINKS

 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #24: Collaborating Couples (with Nick & Stacia Kelly)

TSD-back2back_Kelly Holy cow! Two in two weeks?! The deuce, you say! We do say! And it’s a special Shared Desk as we’ve recorded our panel at the Write by the Rails meeting that included a panel discussion with couples that collaborated on their writings. Joined by local authors Nick and Stacia Kelly, Tee and Pip share stories and approaches on how they make a collaboration work and also share advice on how to keep collaborations successful.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Flying solo in the opening…
  • Throwing in a special episode without making it special…
  • Hooking up with Nick and Stacia Kelly (and yeah, Tee trips up on her name a bit in the introduction…)
  • Quick Announcement — Tee & Pip will be working the York County Library on JULY 30!!! 
  • Teasing the next special guest for The Shared Desk
2:47 — Collaborating Couples (with Nick & Stacia Kelly)
  • Recording LIVE from the Write by the Rails writing group here in Manassas, VA
  • Sadly, we can’t enact the “Bar Panel” rule here…
  • Who’s on the panel tonight?
  • What’s the collaboration process between us?
    • Stacia got an idea, but wanted to write with her husband, Nick.
    • Nick works more with the nitty-gritty, not so well on the romance…
    • Nic and Stacia discover their differences in how they write.
    • The truth of successful collaboration, and how marrying your writing partner is not the sure-fire solution to a great process.
    • Pip and Tee talk a bit about Discovery Writing.
    • When you do the open idea sessions, all four of us need to write it down!
  • Pip & Tee flinch over the “Red Pen” experience with Harper Voyager.
  • How does collaboration go with people outside the writing experience?
    • Editorial pains
    • Working with cover artists
    • Okay, Tee could get behind the “Hot Tub” sessions….
    • Working on the covers of Kindred & Wings and Dawn’s Early Light
  • When Collaborations go wrong…
    • Stacia stands alone as the writer amongst the experts. Let the madness commence!
    • Tee finally reveals the story behind his first story…and it is as epic as the story itself….
    • Pip’s “bad experience” was actually not that bad.
    • Facing the worst-case scenario as a married couple.
    • The panel goes deep into having an Exit Plan and the importance of communication.
  • Mad props to Delilah S. Dawson for coming through…
  • Unexpected Collaborations
    • Working with book bloggers on blog tours
    • Collaborating with other authors in your worlds
    • Spending some quality time on Jack Mangan and his influence on The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences….
  • What you need for a solid collaboration — Trust, Communications, and an Editorial Timeline

40:45 — Questions from the Audience

  • How do you divide responsibilities between yourselves?
    • Pip and Tee evolve their collaborative process from when they went from a podcast-for-pay to a series from Harper Voyager and Ace.
    • Pip & Tee’s biggest argument
    • Stacia makes Nick put on a “special suit” for working out fight scenes.
    • Nick breaks down their writing process using a musical analogy.
  • How did Pip and Tee first meet?
    • Meeting online
    • Everybody wanted to collaborate with Tee because…
    • The open honesty from New Zealand
  • Do you all do your own editing?
    • Why hiring an editor is so important.
    • Stacia’s editing resource — http://autocrit.com
    • But you should still edit your own drafts before going to an editor.
    • When is the editing done?
    • The little discoveries when you go deep into editing
    • What an editor should never say to a writer…
  • How many Beta Readers do you have?
    • What to expect from Beta Readers
  • What are you doing when you’re not writing?
    • It’s a wide field of expertise.
    • Tee’s suggestion: A social media panel for writers (with a quick tangent on John Scalzi)
    • A quick discussion on Hootsuite and other strategies in social media
  • ….and that’s all from us here at Write By the Rails!
 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account, leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701, or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #23: A Writer’s Kit and Giveaway Swag

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Newly acquired drop-in’s. A flashback to the days of The Survival Guide. A movie review, and Pip’s bunk moment with Idris Elba. Get ready for another episode of The Shared Desk where Tee and Pip go into convention and book signing preparation. What do you carry with you from appearance to appearance?

00:00 — Introduction

  • Holy Moses, two episodes in one month?!
  • Pip’s having a ‘Driis Moment….
  • Three weeks have gone by…
    • Katie and Heather have come and gone…
    • Pip’s on a blog tour…
    • Book release on book release from Fort Kickass!
    • Tee’s switching gears with Kindle Worlds and writing for Bloodshot.
    • Kickstarter anthology is now in layout phase…
    • …and we’d better get the look of the eBook right, otherwise we bring the wrath of Lou Anders!
  • Busy, busy three weeks!

8:20 — The Writer’s Kit and Freebies for Fans

  • Stepping back into the (too-loud) T.A.R.D.I.S. to journey back to the days of The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy
  • How do we pack for a trip? (Following the advice of Chuck Wendig…)
  • A quick tangent for Johnny Depp and his focused crazy in Bat Country.
  • What are you keeping your kit in? Here’s ours…
    photo
  • What is in our Kit?
    • The Square (Oh how Tee loves the Square…)
    • Starting cash and change (roughly $30)
    • Pens, pens, and pens…and a Sharpie.
    • A stylus for the Square
    • Lucky Charms (not the cereal, but the mascots that travel with you…)
    • Lanyard 101
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Carmex. Best — lip balm — EVAR!
    • Wisps. Just in case you indulge in the garlic hummus in the Green Room right before your signing…
  • What’s your giveaway swag?
    • Your swag may vary, but put some thought into your giveaway items.
    • Book cover buttons
    • Bookmarks
    • Business cards, and making the most of the design
    • Post It notes
    • Postcards for friends of the Ministry
  • Where and when do you take your kit?
  • Prioritizing your freebies (with approval from the kitteh) — What do you get first, and how much do you invest?
  • Clever swag vs. bad swag vs. “You spent how much on that?!”

31:44 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Pip needs to remember what our bumpers sound like…
  • Here comes the spoilers and the geekgasm that is…
    36504_533604943372474_2100743015_n
  • Tee demanded giant robots kicking the crap out of robots, and del Toro delivers.
  • Kick back for some love from us for the ‘Dris.
  • Why IMAX 3-D really works for Pacific Rim
  • The plot summary…
  • PIP RAGE: Mako is a STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER…and enjoying a memory of ‘Dris.
  • Chuck Wendig’s review of Pacific Rim — a nice sum-up.
  • Comparing Armageddon and the redeux of Godzilla against Pacific Rim
  • Applying attention to the details
  • del Toro made this film a fun homage to Godzilla and anime.
  • Jack Mangan: Best Pacific Rim review EVAR!

46:22 — The Wrap-Up

RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #22: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zones

TSD-back2backwKatie

So following the hangover that is a Kickstarter and edits for Ace Books, Pip and Tee wanted to take a break…but after a fun week with houseguest and ForeWord-nominated author, Katie Bryski, the microphones were dusted off, Soundtrack Pro was fired up, and Tee, Pip, and Katie put together a truly international experience with this edition of The Shared Desk.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Yeah. It’s been a while…
  • G’day, eh? We have a guest in the studio! Throw on the back bacon — it’s Katie Bryski!
  • What the heck have we been up to?
    • A successful Kickstarter
    • Edits for Dawn’s Early Light
    • Exclusive short stories for Ace and Pyr
    • Katie’s even been up to a lot of stuff!
    • Tee & Pip have been working the book events.
  • If you’re waiting for us to promise that The Shared Desk is back on track…no, we’re not…

7:18 — Stepping Out of Comfort Zones

  • Giving a shout-out to Trinity Manassas. Episcopalians RE-RAH-SENT!
  • An epic day out in Virginia…
  • Tee and Katie share an EPIC COFFEE EXPERIENCE.
  • From the owner of Vino 124, the two questions God will ask you…
    • Were you afraid?
    • If you were afraid, did you brave it out?
  • No seriously, this was REALLY GOOD COFFEE!
  • Katie Bryski talks about her own big steps out of a comfort zone.
    • Podcasting a novel. Seemed like a good plan.
    • Submitting a novel to Dragon Moon Press
  • Tee’s new project: Writing tie-in’s for Valiant Comics and Kindle’s Shared Worlds
  • Who knew our resident Canadian had a nemesis?!
  • This new project Tee has nicknamed TeeMoNaNoWriMo. 50,000 words between now and July 31st.
  • Who is the first person you call to get guidance with comic books: Jared F-ing Axelrod!!!
  • Going off on a comic book tangent…
    • My modest comic book collection
    • Calling Pip to task about my tangents and going off on the film M
    • My collection against the ManCave of Jared Axelrod!
    • Returning to comics…
  • Prequels — what’s the point?
  • How you grow from stepping free of a comfort zone?

32:30 — Eagle Vs. Kiwi

  • Tee feels uncomfortable with the whole “Beaver” reference in this segment…
  • Pip and Katie put Tee to task on why marshmellows are an acceptable addition to sweet potatoes.
  • Tee pulls out the Paula Dean card…and it goes downhill from there…
  • Why does everything have to be so sweet in the South?
  • And all roads lead back again to Vino 124 and THAT INCREDIBLE COFFEE!

38:59 — The Wrap-Up

  • From wild beaver attacks to another Paula Dean rant!
  • Where is Katie headed after this wild ride?
    • Well, back home to Canada…
    • Katie has a “job” where she teaches about Canadian history through beer. (No, they’re not hiring.)
    • …and she’ll be back at Dragon*Con in 2013
  • Where we are headed next…
    • ConTemporal, this weekend — June 28-30
    • Talking about steampunk in July in Yorktown, VA
    • Authors After Dark in Savanna, GA
    • Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA
  • Pip’s got books and stuff coming out this summer…
  • Wow, everybody, we just did a show!
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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Episode #21: Giving the Fiction Away for Free

TSD-what

And finally, we sit behind the mics and fire up the wayback machine and the cart software for a new episode of The Shared Desk. We’re staying topical with talking about the change of heart podcasters are experiencing — reassessing the model of free. Once upon a time, we were all about making our fiction free in this new, daring audio medium that was podcasting. Here were are, eight years later, and oh how the times, they are a-changing….

00:00 — Introduction

  • Look at us! We’re back!
  • Oh Key & Peele — how we <3 you!
  • Possibly the shortest introduction section ever!
  • We’re looking back in this episode….

1:30 — Giving the Fiction Away for Free

  • What happens when you decide “I don’t want to give it away.” when you have been doing fiction for free?
  • The big question: Why did you give it away?
  • Tee looks back to 2004 and 2005 when Tee made the call to podcast MOREVI
  • Looking back eight years, and now considering podcasting in 2013
    • The playing field in 2005.
    • Since our friend and podcasting juggernaut Scott Sigler, we have not seen a new “breakout” artist.
    • It’s no longer a “community” but a “market” and few of the OP’s (Original Podcasters) are featured or even listed prominently.
    • An honest assessment of the path of podcasting
  • Why did Pip make the big jump into the podiosphere?
  • Tee and Pip podcast because we love it, not because we’re planning to overthrow “traditional media” with this platform.
  • Quick shout-out to The League of STEAM!
  • Pip asks Tee the tough question: Is Tee disappointed in the evolution of podcasting fiction?
  • The ROI of Podcasting
  • Not only is the playing field changed, so has the audience.
  • Giving your work away for free is not a contract with your audience. It’s a giveaway.
  • The Market of Giving the Fiction Away for Free still works, if you approach it properly.
  • Yes, it has worked for Scott, for Cory Doctorow, for John Scalzi…but…….
  • Would I advise a new author if they want to give it away for free? (Tee might surprise you…)

29:05 — Seriously?! Seriously.

38:29 — The Wrap-Up

  • Still getting back into the swing of things…
  • …and Tee needs to remember what drop in’s he has on call.
  • Looking forward to the next show
  • Dawn’s Early Light — it’s coming in 2013! In December! November!
  • What happened recently? Tee’s a free agent again…so take a look at what he offers at Imagine That! Studios.
  • And we are writing, writing, writing…and Darkwater is now out in the wild, along with Pip’s new proposal!
  • Foreword Literary — our new agency!
  • The Diamond Conspiracy (Book Four of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences) is also underway…
  • Next event in May — Up in the Æther
  • Ending with a belated holiday wish….from Lauren “Scribe” Harris and Crazy Uncle Charlie.
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #20 — Nothing Personal: Rejection Amongst Your Peers

TSD-back2back

We were a few days late on posting this, but we have posted — determined to stay on schedule! Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re a few days late but we’ll be back in two weeks time with some more news and a new topic for you all in what will be a podcast-packed end-of-the-month. All this and more in this — the twentieth episode of The Shared Desk — where we are looking hard at the art of rejection from the toughest people to get it from — your peers.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Hey now…two in a row! Sort of…
  • Right now, the hosts of The Shared Desk are bit peckish.
  • Tee welcomes back the drop-in…
  •  On the upside, we’re working the Medifast hard!

03:00 — What’s going on in the Writing World

  • Working title: The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences — Declassified, and the first round of invitation have been sent
  • The Janus Affair places 7th in Goodreads 2012 Choice Awards
  • The Janus Affair is released in Germany (and Tee lets the inappropriate humor fly)
  • Pip revels in more incredible Cover Art Fu…
  • Ace’s Clockwork Fairy Tales coming in 2013…
  • …but Tee talks about the success of Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device just to get in a last word.
  • Tee and Pip also release Christmas Tales from the Archives on Amazon and other markets.
  • We’re planning a few consecutive episodes of Tales from the Archives as a holiday “Thank you” for the end of the month.
  •  Wouldn’t it be great to have a personal assistant? Looking at 2013, yeah, we would.

10:17 — Nothing Personal: Rejection Amongst Your Peers

  • A unique experience — sending out invitations to our anthology’s Dream Team
  • Having a chat with friend-of-the-show, P.J. Schnyder, about why she’s a friend but not on the A-List
  • Writing with friends is fun. When you’re working for an anthology, however, you need names.
  • Author Jeff Vandermeer turned us down…but come on — COME ON — I’m just thankful I can approach him.
  • Sometimes, you have to say “No.”
  • Tee’s prepping for rejection (and not taking it personally) with Darkwater based on a rejection for The Case of the Singing Sword.
  • Remember this about publishing — It’s a business.
  • Looking ahead with Kickstarter and advice from J.R. Blackwell.
  • Rejection is not a personal thing.

19:22 — Seriously?! Seriously.

  • A brewing issue in geek circles: Fake Fan Girls
  • Pip believes this whole debate began in high school.
  • What Tee’s noticed — the debate rages about Fake Fan Girls that cosplay, but never about Fake Fan Boys?
  • Pip takes umbrage with girls that are showing up as Lollypop Chainsaw, taking pictures of (or with) them, then complaining about how they are “fake.”
  • Tee wonders why did the rage about out-of-shape superheroes at Comic Con disappeared while this argument rolls on? (And yes, I found out it was Men’s Fitness, not Maxim magazine)
  • The Flawed Logic of a Fake Fan Girl
    • Tee’s obsession with the ID Channel creeps into this rant…
    • Do hotties REALLY WANT the attention of the average con?
  • Pip and Tee go into a little commentary on the source material and how tough it is for BOTH sexes, but ESPECIALLY for women…
  • When it comes to Fake Fan Girl: Who are you to judge?
  • Celebs that step up — Fake Fan Girls? We don’t think so.
  • Tee stumbles through awkward memories of high school…
  • Geeks and their territorial tendencies
  • What happens when Geekdom goes mainstream: People get upset and don’t want to cope.

34:12 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip’s already a confirmed guest at Dragon*Con
  • New Archer is coming soon!!!
  • Looking forward to the holiday
    • We’ll be recording on Boxing Day!
    • Screw Medifast — we’re having Christmas Pudding!
  • Tee Morris: 2 for 2 with the Creative Commons tag…
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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The Shared Desk — Episode #19: Catching Up with Tee & Pip

Mic check. Hello? How does this thing work again?

Yes, we have returned to the mics (finally); and for this show, we are putting segments and subjects on hold to take some time to get you all caught up on what we have been doing since (ouch!) August when we last recorded. This is a catch-up show where you might not learn anything about the writing process but you’ll get a look inside the writer’s lifestyle.

00:00 — Introduction

  • I hope we remember how to do this!
  • Pip mocks the opening drop-in’s.
  • O hai! We’re back!!!
  • Welcome to the Catch-Up episode of The Shared Desk

01:39 — Life Happens…even around Dragon*Con

  • Tee gets laid off again the day Tee & Pip get back from Authors After Dark.
  • The good news: I saw the writing on the wall this time, and now I’m working with the American Public University System.
  • The new job pulls me away a day early from Dragon*Con 2013.
  • It was a neat orientation…what I remember of it…
  • Good times at the W Atlanta and at Dragon*Con.
  • Didn’t think D*C could get any bigger, could you? Guess what…
  • Some lovely perks of staying at the W
  • Could D*C be getting too big?
  • Special props to Doc Quartermain for running a killer Steampunk/Alternative Track!
  • Some stargazing at D*C…and Pip fangrrls again.
  • THE GEM FROM PIP: When do you know you’re done? (And here’s Pip’s answer…at 16:22…)

13:24 — Baltimore Book Festival

  • A terrific experience from SFWA, but not as enriching as our journey there…
  • Some terrific panels and great people to enjoy time with like…
    • Lianna Heiber
    • P.J. Schnyder
    • Rich White
    • Ellen Datlow
  • Getting cozy with the Nissan LEAF
  • Winding down from the day, and we find a new love that is the music of Joe Bonamassa

17:40 — Emerald City Steampunk Expo (Wichita, KS)

  • Pip adds a new state to her “Places I Have Visited”
  • Abney Park and Unwoman — show-stoppers of the ECSE
  • Pip wants to user her Rafflecopter to give away some steampunk music swag!
  • Other cool stuff in Wichita
    • Giant steam engines!
    • Melissa Conroy
    • Our First Ministry Cosplayer!

20:01 — Facebook Pages and Deadlines

  • Pip kicks off a Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page
  • Pip’s Deadlines
    • First edits for Harbinger are off.
    • Pyr Books gets their Kindred & Wings
  • Other cool stuff
    • The Omnibus of The Books of the Order is coming from the Science Fiction Book Club.
    • Pip is pretty stoked about the new K&W cover art.
  • Oh yeah…and we not only turned in the third Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel but signed a new contract!

22:29 — The Future of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Part I)

  • What is going to happen in 2013, either with Ace or with Kickstarter…
  • The Anthology to Be Named
    • Authors are signed on. Well, two are signed on.
    • We have a wish list of writers.
    • Two stories are ready and complete.
    • The question is how, with who, and when.
    • There goes December…
  • The anthology is our bridge between books, depending on the timing of Dawn’s Early Light.
  • How about this? A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences of RPG!!!
    • Produced by Galileo Games
    • Designed by J.R. (MF) Blackwell!
    • Written by P.J. (MF) Schnyder!

27:49 — What Is Tee Working on?

  • The steampunk reboot of MOREVICodename: Darkwater — is now underway.
  • What is different between MOREVI and Codename: Darkwater
    • This is not me pulling a Lucas. This is a whole new universe.
    • My characters are present, Lisa Lee’s characters are not as omnipresent.
    • No elves. Period.
    • Smaller (much smaller) word count, and tighter plotlines.
    • No Defiant.
    • No parallel universe. Working in historical China with some help from Aleen the Peacemaker.
  • The difference between a rewrite and a reboot
  • Taking MOREVI and making it my own.
  • Rafe Rafton…a character born for steampunk.

33:42 — More deadlines and Projects from Pip 

  • Clockwork Fairy Tales is coming in 2013
  • Pip is on the “tail end” of her steampunk novella based on “The Little Mermaid”
  • A new project in the works: The Touchstone Empire.
  • This year, it is Pip’s turn to write the Tales from the Archives Christmas Special.

35:23 — The Future of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Part II)

  • Tales from the Archives has jumped the rails…but coming soon….
  • Shame on us…we jump the shark after winning twoParsec Awards!
    • P.C. Haring brings home the gold for “The Seven”
    • Pip Ballantine also scores a win with “The Precarious Child.”
  • The Bookie Awards in Savannah, Georgia give a nomination to The Janus Affair for Best Steampunk of 2012.
  • Then there is Goodreads and we are in the running again for The Janus Affair!
  • Tee makes a prediction as to who will take the Goodreads title for Best Science Fiction of 2012…

40:22 — And Here’s What Happens when Real Life Comes a-Callin’….

  • Tee throws a political gauntlet down as he talks up the new car….
  • The 2013 Nissan LEAF from Sheehey Nissan Manassas.
    • It is an incredibly cool drive…
    • …until someone doesn’t do a head check before bolting out of a parking spot.
  • Want to know what NOT to say at the sight of an accident? It’s in this podcast.
  • Another story that tops Tee’s 24 hours with a new LEAF.
  • Fortunately, our iPod with wheels is in the body shop, and it’s covered. Then Pip gets the car for one week. ONE.

45:10 — The Wrap-Up

  • Congratulations! You are now up to speed with Tee & Pip!
  • Pip now wants to talk about books we haven’t event started.
  • Pip and Tee pursue the Medifast Plan to get back into shape.
    • Pip wants to reward her goal weight with a kickin’ new steampunk ensemble.
    • Tee just wants to fit in his pants again.
  • Tee & Pip promise to return in two weeks! No, seriously….
  • Defying the odds, Tee nails the Creative Commons tag, Pip is stunned! (And so am I!)
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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The Shared Desk — Episode #18: Authors After Dark (recorded LIVE in New Orleans!)

photo credit: TwiMom 227 (Thanks!)

Yes, this is completely unhinged, completely off-the-cuff, completely EXPLICIT, but it is what it is — Authors After Dark! the event that you have heard Pip and I blog about is now coming to you raw, uncut, uncensored, and absolutely off-the-wall. With special guest, AAD founder Stella Price goes into the why’s behind this incredible event, what it takes to succeed at Authors after Dark, and who is going to be attending Authors After Dark in 2013…

…and yes, Crazy Uncle Charlie even makes an appearance, much to the alarm of Stella!

00:00 — Introduction

  • In a moment of late night punchiness, Pip breaks the Prime Directive of this Parsec-Nominated podcasta Parsec Finalist .
  • What a slap-dash opening…and we blame the previous week of Tee’s life
  • Unless Texas wants to sponsor a trip for us, were backing out of FenCon this year.
  • Tee goes there concerning the Revealing Eden author, setting the tone for this madcap and HIGHLY EXPLICIT episode of The Shared Desk.

03:28 — Authors After Dark with Stella Price (and a Rogues Gallery of authors, bloggers, and good people)

  • Straight from the Big Easy…
  • Who is in Pip and Tee’s Suite for this Shared Desk?
  • The inspiration behind Authors After Dark: Providing a playing field that is fair.
  • No, seriously, Stella’s got a bone to pick with RT…
  • Who made P.J. a host?!
  • Everyone is on equal ground at Authors After Dark, and Stella does this because she believes in the industry.
  • And a real, honest moment is shattered…
  • Pip and Tee give their feelings on the intensity of Authors After Dark.
  • What makes Authors After Dark so different…
  • Authors chime in on the AAD Atmosphere (Part One)
  • 16:35 — First Dakota Cassidy mention (and she’s an awesome bitch!)
  • Authors chime in on the AAD Atmosphere (Part Two)
  • TwiMom think she’s stalking us…but little did she know……
  • Stella makes it clear that the super-fans find themselves in a different world at Authors After Dark.
  • Dragging a slightly-tipsy Sidney on to the mic, here’s a new author’s perspective.
  • 25:35 — Another Dakota Cassidy mention… (Why isn’t this woman on our show?!)
  • Suzan looks at the AADNOLA experience as both an author and as a reader.
  • Turning the mic over to Tee Tate who only swung by for the public signing event — what did Tee Tate and Lit Stack think of the event?
  • Tee and Tee…but which Tee did Tee meet first?! And then there is Lia Habel’s doppelganger around AAD…
  • TwiMom covers the process in becoming a Featured Blogger at AAD.
  • “ARCs Up the Ass” — the new slogan for AAD
  • It’s over….but it’s not over yet…but Stella calls the 2012 event “the best one yet” on all levels!

37:13 — Writers Off the Clock

  • For many of us, this is our first time in “Nawlans” and so we came up with a way to describe the Big Easy.
  • The things you see when walking down Bourbon Street…
  • You know you’re in New Orleans when strip clubs are used as landmarks.
  • According to Stella, there is no truth in advertising of the “Little Darlings” nightclub.
  • If the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out, blame Lia Habel’s mom…
  • Hey, wait a minute — what flavor are those Slurpee machines?!
  • The things you see…in red dresses…for charity… (What IS this charity, after all?!)
  • The 2013 Savanna event takes inspiration from New Orleans — take a shot, buy a book, HAVE A BALL!!!
  • Pip’s perspective of her first adventure in the Big Easy — “I see dead cross dressers.”
  • I like the way Stella says “cockroaches” — don’t you?
  • No, seriously, there are some beautiful things to see in New Orleans. Ask TwiMom.
  • Once again, Pip — there is no one in Louisiana that looks like the cast of True Blood.

53:28 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • And the reactions to Crazy Uncle Charlie begin, almost as if they know him….intimately
  • Crazy Uncle Charlie goes for broke with Stella Price…
  • From Lia — What P.O.V works best — First Person or Third Person?
    • Someone didn’t circulate the memo to P.J. that this segment is NOT to be taken seriously!
  • From P.J. — How do you get a feel for a city or setting you want to incorporate into a new work?
    • Wow…people are taking this segment SO SERIOUSLY!!!
  • Turns out that Crazy Uncle Charlie digs the moms, too…..
  • From TwiMom — What if your work-in-progress’ setting is a Fantasy or Science Fiction? How do your travels and life experiences translate into that work?
  • From Sidney — With multiple-partner-group-sex scenes, how do you handle pronoun usage?
  • Sadly, Sidney walks away with an unexpected truth — never trifle with Crazy Uncle Charlie.

1:03:38 — The Wrap-Up

  • Looking ahead to 2013 with Authors After Dark
    • Stella is planning more mischief and mayhem in Savannah, Georgia!
      •  An exclusive event for Young Adult authors, sponsored by four of the Big Six.
      • A Riverboat Dinner
      • Taking over a hotel. (No kidding…the entire hotel!)
      • …and much, much more. (So long as you don’t feed the alligators.)
    • August 15-18. Mark your calendars.
  • Giving a bit more love to my name twin and her kick-ass blog…and to all the book bloggers out there…
  • Once more, Pip and Tee give their love for Authors After Dark.
  • If you want to come, you’re going to want to register and book. Soon!
  • A quick push on where to find all of us online…
  • And while we didn’t mention it in the show, here’s what’s coming up with the two of us in August and September?
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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The Shared Desk — Episode #17: Ending a Series

Deadlines, distractions, and…something else that starts with D…but who cares? WE’RE BACK and we’re kicking off August with news about the Parsec Awards, where we will be this month, and that time when you have to say “Goodbye” to the worlds you have created.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Since when is “17” a landmark?
  • What the hell is Pip thinking about stepping on my drop-in’s?!
  • Whodathunkit? We’re a Parsec Finalist for 2012!!! (And we blanked on the good people at Roundtable Podcast! Don’t hate the game, bros — hate the playas!)
  • Flashing back to sharing the desk with P.J. Schnyder

02:47 — Ending a Series

  • Pip is gearing up for the big goodbye to the characters of Geist.
  • What are the feelings an author harbors when writing that final scene in a series?
  • Pip compares ending her adventures with Sorcha, Raed, and Merrick against her adventures with Shakespeare and Puck.
  • How (and why) do authors grow so attached to their characters?
  • Is this the end of Pip’s journey with The Order, or just this generation?
  • How do authors plan a series? Well, a lot it hinges on the contracts.
  • Wow…Tee is kinda quiet….at least, with his comments. (The drop-in’s on the other hand…)
  • What about the Ministry? Well, if Pip gets her way…
  • Searching for the sweet spot in a series length.
  • Looking at The Dark Knight Rises from a writer’s perspectives.
  • When you wrap-up, how do you handle loose ends? Bloodbaths?
  • Suddenly, Pip’s Ace pixie-like editor sounds like a mobster.
  • THE GEM FROM PIP: When do you know you’re done? (And here’s Pip’s answer…at 16:22…)

16:50 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • Taking questions from Twitter for Crazy Uncle Charlie…
  • From @PaperBullets
    • How do you make sure you’re showing, not telling?
    • What are your suggestions for writing peyote-fueled dream sequences?
    • Charlie goes deep into the philosophy of writers and the mantra of “Show, Not Tell”…
    • …but when it comes to the peyote, Charlie keeps it brief.
  • From @Goochi26
    • I finally finished my book, what do i do now?
    • Charlie shares his own little rituals (and maybe PVC fetish) when finishing a manuscript.

21:58 — The Wrap-Up

RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

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The Shared Desk — Episode #16: Making Tough Choices (with P.J. Schnyder)

 

So it’s been a while since we have sat down and recorded a Shared Desk, but how about this — when we finally got a chance to record a Shared Desk, we did it with the lovely P.J. Schnyder. This episode is about tough choices we make as authors in bringing about the demise of a character. Why do we do this to our creations? Is it for shock value? Is it for impact? And do we really care in the end?

 

00:00 — Introduction

  • A brand new Shared Desk, and this time we brought a friend!
  • Who is P.J. Schnyder?
  • The way to a woman’s heart: Meat and Explosives
  • Letting the drop-in’s fly!
  • And God said “Okay, Tee, enough with the drop-in’s!”

02:46 — Making Tough Choices

  • What happened between Shared Deskepisodes
  • The dangers of drinking with agents, editors, and new friends…
  • Getting complaints — a second one from a book critic — concerning a choice Pip and I made in The Janus Affair…
  • Do we create characters simply to kill them?
  • Evoking the name of Joss and when he kills beloved characters in his works.
  • When do authors cross a line?
    • Did J.K. Rowling go too far (or not far enough) in The Deathly Hollows?
    • Tee’s gripes on Farscape and clever twists on bringing characters back
    • Jumping genres and discussing a gratuitous death (or was it?) on M*A*S*H*
  • We do care about the characters we kill.
  • Do we write for entertainment, or to make an impact?
  • TANGENT: Waxing happily about random drop-in’s for computers and future shows…

20:51 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Sonic Boom is away at summer camp…so we have been indulging…in watching movies…
  • Tee and Pip are talking about John Carter. (P.J. is talking about porn, we think…)
  • A pleasant surprise of John Carter
    • Terrific characters
    • A lot of charm
    • Fantastic visuals
  • Tee, Pip, and P.J. go into Disney’s bungling of John Carter‘s marketing
  • This movie had a lot going for it! (Even the credit sequence was good!)
  • Bringing it back to marketing of books — when it works, when it doesn’t, and when it boggles the mind….
  • What does P.J. do to relax?
  •  How does P.J. manage her time?
  • Shout out to Stella Price!

36:23 — The Wrap-Up

  • Drinks to mix, food to prepare, and stuff to blow up!
  • Time to plug away!
  • And here’s where we drop a little surprise on P.J. Schnyder as we all wait to hear from The Parsec Awards…
  • What’s coming up for us…
    • Pip has Hunter and Fox out and Wrayth coming soon…
    • Pip is aiming to start a new series in November
    • Now that The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel is out, Tee & Pip work on Dawn’s Early Light
    • Tee is looking up  Tales from the Archives: Volume 2 launches on April 10 with new stories from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
  • Upcoming Conventions
  • P.J.’s Upcoming Conventions
  • …and Pip shows up Tee on the Creative Commons tag. Again.
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Live from Balticon: “Crazy Uncle Charlie” at the New Media Cookout (NSFW)

Well, it had to happen. Crazy Uncle Charlie came with us to Balticon.

He promised us he would take his medication. What he failed to tell us was he would take his med only by grounding them into a powder, inhaling them deeply, and then wash them back with shots of Cookie Dough Vodka. We thought he was too far gone to operate the door handle, but nevertheless Crazy Uncle Charlie wandered down to the open patio of the Residence Inn, and it was all caught on video…

Pip and I are still working hard in bringing you more fiction, so episodes of The Shared Desk are on hold. However, we are expecting audio from Balticon soon. When that is made available, we will be back on track with our podcasts.

In the meantime, enjoy this candid moment with Crazy Uncle Charlie, captured forever in video amber…

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Love of Adventure: The Crossover Between Steampunk Tales & Epic Stories

I am currently blog touring to celebrate the release of “The Gathering of the Lost”, the second novel in my epic The Wall of Night quartet.

I was delighted when Pip and Tee asked me to stop by here at The Shared Desk:  not least because when I read the rambunctious, rollicking opening to their Phoenix Rising, the first in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, I thought, ah—now here are a pair of storytellers who share my own love of an adventurous tale!

This of course got me thinking, because although the Wall series is epic fantasy, steampunk is a genre I have loved since first reading Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates—and I have been a keen follower of Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius Online for quite some time now… “Adventure, romance, mad science”—what could be better? Unless, of course, it is “adventure, romance, and ‘strange magic’”

Adventure is definitely one of the key ingredients I enjoy in my storytelling. Yes, I like the deeper questions around who we are and why we are here, and what makes for the good and true between protagonists or within a society. But if that comes in a wrapping of rooftop chases and duels, border skirmishes and glorious charges, bands of brothers—and/or sisters—standing shoulder to shoulder against the odds, then I know I shall more than likely enjoy the read. And the two most adventurous classes of fantasy, in my humble opinion, are steampunk and epic fantasy.

Another similarity between the two is that both tend to draw heavily on particular historical periods. With epic it is usually the medieval period, although David Gemmell’s Lion of Macedon and Dark Prince duology uses alternate classical history. Steampunk’s era is the mechanical age of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, although tales such as Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series also bring in “Darwinist” ideas of genetic engineering.

The ethos of each genre is not only the culture of weapons and clothes, technologies and social mores, but also the sense of adventure inherent in the age. This can mean the tournaments and heavily armored knights that feature in “The Gathering of the Lost”, or the Victorian notion of the “gentleman adventurer” that pervades both Phoenix Rising and The Anubis Gates. Full-blown war characterized both historical eras and can be seen not only in The Lord of the Rings, but also in tales such as Girl Genius and Leviathan. In “The Gathering of the Lost” too, one feels that war is coming…

I have also been debating whether there is a substantive difference between the two styles of fantasy, beyond the trappings of culture and historical era. On balance, I think there may be—but it is not a toss up between “mad science” and magic. Instead I feel that conflict in epic fantasy is more often centered around a “twilight of the gods”, the notion that everything will fail if the great war is lost. (And there is almost always a “great war.”) I pick up on this theme in The Wall of Night series with the epithet, “If Night falls, all fall.”

In steampunk, I find that the conflict is usually less “final”—a society or regime may be at stake, but not life and the universe as we know it. Within these respective frameworks though, the style of storytelling remains very similar. These are tales of quests and chases and mysteries to be resolved, with plenty of swashbuckling fun and edge of the precipice adventure to keep the reader entertained.

And on that note, here is a little rooftop adventure from “The Gathering of the Lost”:

“… Kalan was moving as he spoke and Malian sprang to catch up, feeling a rush of exhilaration, so darkly fierce it was almost joy, as they cleared the first narrow street, cobbles flashing beneath them. To fall would be to die—but they were not going to fall. Her blood sang as they ran on, keeping to the narrow lanes and close-packed houses of the poorer quarters where there were plenty of sharp angles and deep shadows to hide in.
Soon they were running as one, each knowing intuitively how the other would move, racing up roof slopes without hesitation and plunging down the far side, floating effortlessly across the gaps between buildings until Malian felt as though she were flying above Caer Argent. The pale gold moon kept pace alongside, so close it seemed she might touch it, or gather the white stars for a crown … if only she stretched out her hand at the right moment.
They dropped down to street level again several times, but the old parts of the city were a maze, the streets little more than alleys with many dead ends. The roofs offered a clearer path, and they could orient themselves by the towers of the palace complex, and the basilica’s dark crown. Malian was unsure when the mindsweeps stopped, but it was a long time after that when she noticed the stars growing pale, a reminder that the midsummer dawn came early. She knew they must have crossed half the city and by rights she should feel tired, but instead she felt wonderfully and gloriously alive.”

 

Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, and interviewer. She has won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for achievement in SFF for both Thornspell (Knopf) in 2009, and The Heir of Night (The Wall of Night Book One) in 2011. The Heir of Night has also just been shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award and Helen is currently the Ursula Bethell writer-in-residence at the University of Canterbury. She posts every day on her Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog, on the 1st of every month on the Supernatural Underground, and occasionally on SF Signal. You can also follow her on Twitter: @helenl0we.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #15: The Listener Appreciation Show (Volume 2)

Call in with your questions and comments!

WOW! We collected enough comments, questions, and overall opinions from you, the listeners, to make this show our second Listener Appreciation Show! We got some questions on Kindle, Scrivener, and Book Reviews, but we also got questions on topics we have never tackled before on mic.

And Pip gets not one but TWO drop-in’s of her own…

00:00 — Introduction

  • A quick shout out to Geek Radio Daily for their own touch on the show…
  • Even more of YOUR CALLS, YOUR EMAILS, YOUR SOCILA NETWORK COMMENTS! 
  • Yeah, Tee is showing the kind of love that only Soundboard can truly deliver.
  • …and the Shared Desk Voicemail Line for the next one — 703.791.1701

04:30 —  Your Voicemail and Email

  • Guy Barber from Cornwall, UK, sends us kudos for the audio version of HarperAudio’s Phoenix Rising and The Shared Desk, and puts in his vote for an audio version of Geist.
  • Ben from Florida asks close on the same question as emails from Valkyrie Page and Chris Forshner on how we collaborate and the creative process between the two of us.
    • Tee talks about Pip’s strengths and then discusses his own.
    • How other authors collaborate against what Pip and Tee do.
  • Melissa Hay surprises us with a call, and brings up the topic of book bloggers and how authors and publishers are keeping the peace, at least for now…
  • Terry Arman asks us what we thought of the promo he cut for us…but has us at a loss.
  • Nobilis Reed wants to know how we collaborate using Scrivener.
  • P.C. Haring Calls “Shenanigans!” on our Scrivener…and we call him to the mat with some help from Phil Rossi!
  • David from the Scrivener Crew writes us a killer “thank you” note.
  • Our Anonymous NYT Bestseller gives inside dirt on Amazon and their own titles…
    • Pip finds herself derailed by her bumper and a lack of breakfast.
    • Is there anyone “big enough” to stand toe-to-toe with Amazon? Well, yes
    • More discussion about Amazon, and a shameless plug for The Janus Affair
  • Rick Asplund calls in to give us BVL (big Viking love) from Chicago.
  • Dan Dan the Artman drops a voicemail that calls forth the humbled (and slightly vaklempt) Crazy Uncle Charlie.
  • Michael Spence mainlines The Shared Desk and gives his own opinions on shared universes.
  • Tony Mast takes Tee to task for releasing Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device for the Kindle exclusively.
  • Gail Carrigerwants to know what the “Shared Desk” really looks like……so here it is:

  • And from the Great White North comes Steve Saylor, asking of working with video to promote your writing.

1:03:03 — The Wrap-Up

  • The Second Listener Appreciation Show is DONE, and now we need your comments for Show #20!
  • Hunger may be pushing Pip closer to PIP RAGE!!! 
  • Where to leave your comments for us…
  • April 10 — Volume 2 of Tales from the Archives goes live!
  • Tee’s cheat-sheet is swiped from him…but he nails the Creative Commons exit.
Some Related Links
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #014: All About Scrivener…Almost.

 

Yes we wound up being a day late on this show, but as you will hear in the end we have been anything but idle. This episode is all about Scrivener, that popular software authors swear by. Tee and Pip share their likes, dislikes, and future possibilities for the application, and then Tee shares a rant about Seth Godin and a liberal use of the C-word.

UPDATE: With special thanks to Steve Saylor, we have discovered that YES, you can export your Scrivener works in digital publishing formats. Under the “File” menu, scroll down to “Compile” (keyboard shortcut is Option + Command for the Mac) and select from the sub-menu of “Compile for:” the “Kindle” option. (Click on the image for a larger version.)


Well played, Scrivener. Well played.

UPDATE: And with extra special thanks to Nobilis Reed, we have discovered that Scrivener has a Linux version, currently in Beta.

00:00 — Introduction

  • A voicemail from Dan Shurette that provides Tee & Pip with instpiration
  • The show launches with a moment’s pwnage!

01:49 — All About Scrivener

  • And the show kicks off with Tee giving the wrong URL for Literature and Latte.
  • Scrivener makes TechRadar’s Top Ten Most Loved Programs
    • Scrivener ranks #9 between Lotus 1-2-3 and Solitaire.
    • Tee reads off the other Top Ten
    • Tee’s Metallica impersonations still hold up apparently.
    • Also on the list — Fotoshop (for fashion models everywhere!)
  • When did we find Scrivener?
  • What Pip Likes: Keeping all your notes, thoughts, and research in one file
  • The price of Scrivener — $45USD
  • What Tee Likes: The Research Mode and the ability to import web pages
  • What Tee & Pip Like: The Corkboard
  • What Pip Likes: Rearranging chapters with a click-and-drag ease
  • Pip calls for the put-down of the Courier font.
  • What Tee Likes: Comments
  • What Pip Likes: Customizing your workspace
  • What Tee Would Like to See: A “Track Changes” Feature
  • What Pip Would Like to See: More “Export Options”
  • What Tee Likes: Project and Text Statistics
  • What Tee Would Like to See: More people in the industry using Scrivener
  • What Tee Would Like to See: An easy transition between Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms
  • Getting schooled by Scrivener: A history that Tee and Pip didn’t know….
  • What Tee Can’t Wait to See: Scrivener for the iPad

31:22 — Seriously, Seriously: Going for the Godin

  • Seth Godin…using his evil powers to mess with Tee’s mic
  • So what does Tee have against Seth Godin? (Just listen….)
  • What Tee doesn’t get: When the Press and Bloggers Rally around Seth Godin
  • Seth Godin is not being censored. He’s trying to take advantage of Apple.
  • Tee then goes off…and goes…and goes…and goes….
  • And here’s the post that  gets Tee going EVEN HARDER

41:15 — The Wrap-Up

RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #013: Amazon, Authors, and Armageddon…at a Discount!

No Crazy Uncle Charlie.

No Writers Off the Clock.

No drop-ins.

Authors at the mercy of Amazon

This is a raw and candid conversation with our agent, Laurie McLean, on Amazon and their February power plays against the Big Six publishers. How will these shenanigans affect authors, and what can we do to avoid becoming cannon fodder in the war between Amazon and New York’s Six Sisters?

00:00 — Introduction

  • Pulling a McGyver in order to bring our agent, Laurie McLean, on this episode
  • Diving right into the madness…

01:03 — Amazon, Authors, and Armageddon…at a Discount!

  • WTF AMAZON?!?!
  • What happened last week
  • Why is Amazon doing this?
  • What happens when a book seller gets too big to control, even by the publishing powers-that-be
  • A history (in brief) of Amazon.com and the pro’s and con’s of their success from selling books to turning eBooks and digital publishing into a viable market
  • Tee steps back to his independent publishing past, sharing memories of Dragon Moon Press and her struggles with Amazon.
  • MacMillan and Amazon square off in a pricing war — the beginning of Amazon’s pushback against New York.
  • Another glimpse of Amazon’s Dark Side: The “App Testers”
  • Reviewing the numbers on Amazon sales compared to other eBook venues
  • Can the NYT Bestseller title still matter in a world of digital authors dominating Amazon’s charts?
  • What matters more to an author — a full-time career in writing or the “New York Times Bestseller” title?
  • Completely Off-Topic…. ARCHER FARMS ROCKS!!!
  • Laurie speculates on when the honeymoon with Amazon ends…
  • What can the Big Six or other booksellers do against Amazon?
    • Amazon answers the challenge of brick-and-mortar stores…by opening their own?
    • Authors are finding themselves in a war between Amazon and New York.
  • Authors need to understand the business just as much as the art of their craft.
  • Could Amazon be the next Apple Store success? Or could they be the next Gateway?
  • Where can Amazon open their brick-and-mortar stores? (Where is your closest Borders?)
  • Challenges to Amazon’s brick-and-mortar stores
    • Will it be books…or books and other stuff
    • Customer service in real time
  • Pip draws a parallel between authors and Les Miserables…and Tee reminds Pip that things didn’t end well for the folks at the barricade…
  • The fate of authors in this future with Amazon
  • The dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket
  • Diversification: What authors (and agents) need to do

53:09 — The Wrap-Up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #12: When to Sound Off and When to STFU

We want to do a Scrivener show — we really do — but what a Valentine’s Day week we had. It was a week of politics and heated discussions on Facebook that ended up inspiring this week’s episode topic. With special guest Lisa-Anne Moore, authors take a look at those soapboxes we all have in a corner and ask the tough question — when do we as authors (of any standing in a career) voice our opinions, and when do we walk away from heated debates?

00:00 — Introduction

  • Pip is trying to sing the lyrics to our theme song. One problem….
  • Special guest via Skype — our Skylanders pimp, Lisa-Anne Moore
  • What have we accomplished since the last Shared Desk?
    • Lisa nears completion of the first draft of her novel.
    • Tee released for the Kindle (and only for the Kindle) his first novella.
    • Pip finishes Mechanical Wings and is asked to give a nip-tuck on it which she did…in between her deep dives into Ancestry.com.
  • A quick thank you here in the show notes to Logan Waterman for the Big Bang Theory drop-in’s.

05:35 — Authors and Opinions: When to Sound Off and When to STFU

  • Why we brought Lisa on board this episode
  • What happened last week
  • Now that you know the background, here’s what happened to Pip…
  • …and here was Lisa’s reaction to what was going on in the news and in the State and Federal forums.
  • Lisa’s (heart-felt and honest) blogpost from Life in a Nutshell. (This is a raw and honest reaction to the Virginia bill, so be ready for this.)
  • How did the ladies feel not about the issues, but in voicing opinions and emotions that might be “unpopular” (in a broad sense) with readers, agents, and publishers?
  • Tee draws a line in the sand on where authors damage their careers
  • Tee breaks the Prime Directive and drops a few names of authors that go deep in their non-writing rants
  • When should authors step up and when should they let the argument go?
  • And while authors face the issues, the cats make their own opinions know. (Tee recommends Bissell.)
  • When Tee made the “delete a comment” call…all very personal.
  • Can one comment or a single blogpost completely destroy a carrer or reputation?
  • Beware the Perfect Storm of PIP RAGE!!!
  • Tee, Pip, and Lisa talk about the authors whose politics and philosophies affect their works.
  • The three go deeper into the topic…
    • When authors (and other artists) use their notoriety to push an agenda
    • When artists and commentators use their notoriety to step into a different arena
  • The big questions authors should ask before taking a stand on current events

48:45 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip comes up with a GREAT description of our special guest…
  • Places where we are going to be this year:
  • Lisa-Anne’s Tuesday Special — The Fox Mill Writing Group at the Fox Mill’s Starbucks
    • A writing group of 14 where we pwn a Starbucks in Herndon
    • Some spontaneous comedy from the FMWG
    • Join us on Tuesday mornings between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Where to find all three of us online…
  • …and Tee nails the Creative Commons tag! (He celebrates by cleaning up cat pee.)
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #011: Concerning Reviews

 

Bleah! Between the Power Bug that Sonic Boom brought home from school and final reviews of The Janus Affair, Tee and Pip are finally back behind the mic, bringing a perspective on book bloggers, book reviews, and keeping it classy in light of a bad review.

00:00 — Introduction

  • We’re back! (Did you miss us?)
  • The joys of school-bred viruses
  • The Janus Affair is now heading to press.
  • What to expect from Wellington Eliza, and friends in the next few months…
  • A plea to whomever sent me the drop-in’s.
  • Working on steampunk faerie tales
  • Elder Cat says “Oh hai!”

08:01 — Concerning Reviews

  • We’d love to do a show on Scrivener, but writers (and now agents) keep doing some really stupid things!  
  • Elder Cat says “Oh hai!” again
  • Goodreads — an online network that loves Phoenix Rising.
  • It all started with a review…or two….
  • …and it ended with agents getting into the scrap.
  • Rule #1 of Reviews: Not everyone will love you.
  • How bad behavior affects your book
    • Tee still hasn’t read The Night Circus on account of spam.
    • The Tom Cruise Effect
    • How bad reviews reflect positively on authors’ works
  • An Authors’ WTH Moment: When Agents Attack
  • Respecting the Book Bloggers
  • How Book Bloggers Stand Taller than Amazon/Goodreads Reviewers
  • If you don’t want an honest review, don’t approach Book Bloggers.
  • Taking the fight to other networks like Twitter, Facebook, et. al.
  • When is it a good time to question a bad review?
  • Looking for common threads in good and bad reviews
  • Why you must love Book Bloggers…like our girl, Mel!

33:58  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Hold on — Tee’s got a WotC for Pip?
  • The name of the game is Skylanders…and we bought it for Sonic Boom. (No. Really. We did!)
  • A friend of Starla’s. A friend of ours. And her (bad) influence on the Boom…
  • Sonic Boom was fighting back, so we were looking for and advantage. (In comes Skylanders.)
  • And at 38:02, this happens…
  • What Skylanders is all about
  • How Sonic Boom plays into this new obsession
  • Feline distractions
  • Laying down the Law (and enjoying the results)

44:39 — The Wrap-Up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #10: The Listener Appreciation Show

Call in with your questions and comments!

As promised — kicking off a new year of podcasting — is comments, questions, and overall opinions all from you the listeners. Tee & Pip present the first (hopefully of many) Shared Desk Listener Appreciation show where they get questions on worldbuilding, character choices, and requests for more drop-in’s.

There’s a even a quick “hello” from Crazy Uncle Charlie….

00:00 — Introduction

  • Nobilis Reed, our first voicemail…
  • No normal show segments this time around. This time it is YOUR CALLS, YOUR EMAILS. 
  • Tee tries his best to do his best Flynstress
  • …and the Shared Desk Voicemail Line for the next one — 703.791.1701

02:27 —  Your Voicemail and Email

  • Doc Coleman berates us a bit for finally getting The Shared Desk going, for the lack of a promo, and for handling deadlines.
  • Laura Nicole mainlines the first two Shared Desks, and reminisces about Podcasts of Balticons Past.
  • Tee’s still having a blast with Soundboard, just so you know…
  • Indiana Jim calls in with an EPIC voicemails…and Tee professes his man-love for the intrepid geekologist. He also touches on…
    • Writing in shared universes (where Jim forgets the title of his book, and brings about the wrath of the Sarge…)
    • Tales from the Archives
    • Gaming and it’s place in the Writers’ World.
  • “Cousin George” calls in…and asks Crazy Uncle Charlie about writing for homosexual characters.
  • Nobilis Reed, raps our knuckles for his own reasons…
  • Dan Shaurette asks about Scrivener and inspires the topic of our next show!
  • Ben from Florida calls in and gets a pep talk from Crazy Uncle Charlie and the Mason Jar of Winning.
  • Indiana Jim provides validation for Tee’s love of the drop-in’s.
  • Logan Waterman sends in an email and gives Tee & Pip a question about worldbuilding and how deep to go.
    • Pip gives her own work as an example. Is it a horse, or something else?
    • Tee remembers Joe Murphy and Legacy of Morevi.
  • Odin, still new to podcasting, asks about the pros and cons of being your own podcast host.

59:39 — The Wrap-Up

Related Links
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #009: Looking Back and Planning ahead

Welcome to the end of 2011, and with a busy Christmas behind them, Tee and Pip are releasing an onslaught of podcasts (starting actually back on Christmas eve with a Tales from the Archives Christmas Special), and The Shared Desk is part of that aural assault. Ending one heck of a year, Tee and Pip not only look back on 2011 but share a few ideas for what they are planning for the new year…

00:00 — Introduction

  • The first (of many) drop-in’s hits Pip without warning…
  • Tee’s got a new set-up for the show — a new toy called Soundboard.

01:11 — A Look Back at 2011

12:00 — Planning for 2012

  • Pre-production on The Janus Affair book trailer
    • Lessons learned from the Phoenix Rising book trailer
    • Parts are being cast, and ideas are flying…
    • What we’re planning for this book trailer, and any additional footage.
  • Tales from the Archives: Volume 2, coming in April
  • The 2012 Convention Tour
    • How Tee and Pip narrow down their con schedule
    • What are the “definities” of the 2012 con schedule?
  • Pip’s upcoming releases — it’s a busy, busy year for the kiwi!
  • Pip’s quick rant on cover art theft
  • Some quality talk about Hunter & Fox, the new series Pip launches with Pyr Books in 2012
  • Other ideas kicking around in our heads for the new year
  • As writers, plans are important. Take some time and map out a realistic plan.

28:38 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • From The Guardian comes a story about Lucía Etxebarria, a writer in Spain who is really talented when it comes to bad career choices
  • One of Spain’s outstanding novelists is making a claim that book piracy has driven her out of the industry.
  • And Pip soldiers through the onslaught of drop-in’s…
  • The publisher’s solution to combatting book piracy in Spain: Don’t offer it as an eBook.
  • A discussion about book piracy
  • What we’re calling a “Seriously?!” on — the writer’s reaction to her lackluster sales.
  • Playing the Blame Game in Publishing
  • We write because we love it. Can book pirates really steal your thunder like that?

37:51  — Writers Off the Clock

  • False start…complete with background noise…
  • Catching a movie over the holiday — Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  • An off-the-cuff review…complete with spoilers. Fast forward to The Wrap-Up if you want to avoid our chatter.
  • What we liked about the movie
    • The original stories from a variety of Conan Arthur Doyle’s classics
    • The bromances throughout the film
    • More steampunk elements introduced
  • Breathing a sigh of relief at the timing of our book against this movie…
  • Highly recommended for people who want to have a fun time at the movies….and not accurate adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories.

43:59 — The Wrap-Up

  • Now we’re going to wrap up the episode…
  • This is the BIG wrap-up for the year!
    • Thanks to everyone who has been listening.
    • Tales from the Archives — the final episode of Volume 1 is almost here!!! (Pip’s fault.)
  • Get your voicemail in before January 8 so we can get them in for our Listener Appreciation Show.
  • What’s the plans with Chronicles of the Order?
  • Tee stumbles through the CreativeCommons outro while Pip nails it on the fly…
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #008: Dealing with Deadlines


It’s been a month! Where have these two been?! Well, Tee & Pip have been tackling deadlines, and that struck them as a good topic for the next Shared Desk. So join these two in a deep dive into the wonderful (no seriously, wonderful) world of deadlines.

00:00 — Introduction

  • What are you sitting on, Pip? (No, it’s not a euphemism!)
  • Running down a laundry list of what’s happened between episodes
  • The Janus Affair is now off to New York!
  • Thoughts on the Goodreads Choice Awards (We were #8 in the Top Ten…and that rocks!)

01:55 — Deadlines

  • What is it about being sick around deadlines?! (It’s something Pip and Tee do well.)
  • The importance of deadlines — why they are needed
  • Defining a deadline
  • Congrats to all the participants of NaNoWriMo
  • How we love buffers in podcasting…and with deadlines.
  • What happens during deadlines — Life.
  • Deadlines are not a terror, but a motivator for the writer
  • Good catches during the editing process
  • From an editor’s point-of-view, how do you gauge time to give contributors for deadlines?
  • Understanding benefits and consequences when fiddling with a deadlines
    • Acceptable “Life Happens” siutations
    • When the deadline is kept — promotion and touring
  • Managing multiple deadlines
  • Reviewing the future deadlines we  have on our chalkboard (Personally, I like Barn & Mule…)
  • After you reach your deadline and send things off, celebrate!
    • What did we do?
    • Tee is the g–damn Batman!
    • Pip does something she hasn’t done in a while — started a recreational read!
  • Getting caught up after a deadline, and looking ahead to what we need to do…
  • And while Tee takes a drink…Pip goes quiet.

21:03 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • Some things were going down in the publishing world…and it hits Tee’s hot button.
  • Thanks to Tee Tate and her blog, Lit Stack for bringing this to our attention.
  • Here’s Quentin Rowan a/k/a Q.R. Markham, and his story.
  • Does his story sound familiar? That’s because he copied it from someone else.
  • What pissed Tee off? He wanted us to feel sorry for him.
  • With soundtrack, the dramatic reading falls apart…kind of like this guy’s lie.
  • And now Tee and Pip go off on Quentin Rowan’s “addiction”

29:32  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Taking a breath…
  • With Pip being sick, Tee and Pip curl up with Bridesmaids.
  • A review…complete with spoilers
  • What we liked about the movie
    • Not afraid to go there
    • Meeting the various bridesmaids
    • Rock solid funny…up to a point.
  • The fourth act…what the hell happened?
    • Chris O’Dowd — kept Tee’s attention
    • Two of the Bridesmaids disappear for the remaining of the film
    • The movie stops being an ensemble piece and becomes a formula rom-com-buddy-chick-flick
    • And what the hell was the end sketch with Melissa McCarthy?!
  • This movie was marketed like The Hangover…but it felt more like The Hangover of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

43:22 — The Wrap-Up

  • Hanging in there…
  • How we’re wrapping up 2011
    • The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel— We got the cover…and it’s BEAUTIFUL!
    • Hunter & Fox — Another pretty cover…and we’re sitting on that one, too!
    • Still trying to narrow down release dates for 2012
    • Let your favorite bookstores know about our upcoming releases.
  • One more show for the year…and what a year it has been.
  • The final show of 2011 will cover Setting Goals, and the first show of 2012 will be the Fan Appreciation show!
  • Where to find us online…including a Goodreads Discussion Group!
  • And here’s where Tee completely shuts down…
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #007: NaNoWriMo (or The “I Hate Nathan Lowell!” Show)


With the 2011 Con Season behind them and friends jumping into the writerly madness of November, Pip and Tee spend the show looking at NaNoWriMo or the National Novel Writing Month. They got rants, they got opinions, and they got their own bits of advice for those brave enough to jump into the competition.

To all those taking the NaNoWriMo challenge — good luck!

00:00 — Introduction

  • Hold on…it’s November?!
  • Quick — Get to the topic!

00:51 — NaNoWriMo

  • What exactly is NaNoWriMo?
  • 1:53 — FIRST MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
  • The Two Camps of NaNoWriMo…and the camp that Evo Terra rules over.
  • Drawing a line between a Writer and an Author
  • Why November?!
  • 5:41 — SECOND MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
  • Just because you win NaNoWriMo doesn’t mean you’re ready for publishing. (Shame on you, Smashwords!)
  • A few words of love (both tender and tough) for NaNoEdMo.
    • February? The shortest month of the year?! Seriously?!
  • Tee & Pip find out why NaNoWriMo is in November…and Tee goes on a rant…
  • Why NaNoEdMo is so important
  • What we truly love about NaNoWriMo
    • It’s a fantastic way to get into the regiment of writing.
    • 13:22 — THIRD MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
    • An inside look at putting together a novel, from soup to nuts
    • If you’re going to do NaNoWriMo, you should commit to NaNoEdMo.
    • 15:01 — FOURTH MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL (and some pining from Tee…)
  • Pip is derailed by Tee…
  • Advice in approaching NaNoWriMo…before, during, and after November…

19:50  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Unplugging in Autumn…a beautiful time to do so
  • Pip is digging the change of seasons.
  • A quick photo break…

  • Showing some love to the vineyards, especially to Corcoran’s Vineyard and Brewery
  • Take the Doctor’s advice: “A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”

26:21 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • And here we are with yet ANOTHER rant…
  • Pip adopts Wil Wheaton’s philosophy concerning panelists that don’t play well with others.
  • Some advice for being a good panelist.
  • Some advice for being a good moderator…and how to be a good panelist when you got a qualified moderator.
  • As a moderator and a panelist, read your audience. (If you don’t know how, learn.)
  • When panels work, it’s like a fine-tuned symphony. Cue Pip at New York Comic Con.
  • As a panelist or moderator, DON’T BE THAT GUY!

37:06 — The Wrap-Up

  • After all this ranting, Pip and Tee are exhausted!
  • Ending our 2011 con season with the badasses of steampunk, The League of S.T.E.A.M.
  • What’s coming in 2012
    • The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel— May
    • Hunter & Fox — July
    • Wrayth: A Book of the Order — September
    • 40:03 — FINAL MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
    • Pip, stop with the whining.
    • And there’s even more stuff coming from the Ministry…
  • Working on the 2012 Con Schedule
  • Where to find us online
  • And check us out on Goodreads AND VOTE!!!

Drop-Ins: The Silence of the Lambs, Battlestar Galactica, Sideways

More Shout-Out’s During the Show…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #006: New York Comic Con & The Airship Awards


To say that “A lot has happened…” since Episode 5 and now would be a massive understatement. We cover it all in this review of the biggest event we have ever attended. No Writers Off the Clock. No Crazy Uncle Charlie. Just us and a look back on a really eventful two weeks.

00:00 — A Vignette from the Archives

03:21 — Introduction

  • Tee and Pip give a quick shout out to their childhood
  • It’s been a wild ride since the last show…
  • How ’bout them world-champion All Blacks?
  • Pip can truly make a segue happen at a moment’s notice

06:15 — A Wrap-Up of New York Comic Con

  • Where do we begin? Let’s begin with the unexpected, shall we?
    • Pip is officially clean…well, of leprosy.
    • A note to Tee’s day job: There is a different between putting together a Powerpoint presentation and putting together a video presentation.
  • Comic Con— Day One: Hitting the Ground Running So Hard, the Ground Hit Back
    • Here’s what happens when you lose a day in your plans.
    • Tee and Pip arrive to Comic Con, and are surprised as what they find.
  • A quick review at some of the guests on the steampunk panel
  • Our first gripes of Comic Con
    • The location of the Jarvitz Center
    • The Mythical Shuttle (with the crappy schedule)
    • If you’re having a con, make sure you have solid internet access
  • We love our Comic Con HEROES! (These volunteers rocked our world!)
  • Comic Con — Day Two: Follow the Fairy and the Trail of Geeks
  • A good lesson from our travels: PRINT OUT agendas, maps, etc. Don’t count on Internet access.
  • Comic Con: A Circle of ADD Hell
  • Pip’s signing at Ace…and her second rock star moment for the weekend…
  • Comparing New York Comic Con to Dragon*Con
  • What you would have found at the Fables of the Flying City booth…
  • OPERATION: GUILD GEEKOUT
    • The unexpected surprise — Sandeep Parikh
    • On the choice celebs make in stating “No Candid Photos” at the cons
    • What we wrote in the hardbound edition of Phoenix Rising (which quoted The Guild)
    • Pip fangrrls all over Felicia…and makes me look like a chump.
    • Yes, Pip is damn cute when she fangrrls. Especially with Felicia Day.
    • Geeking out on Dragon Age: Redemption and Felicia Day’s kickassery
  • Pip’s “Winter is Here” panel: brushing by Felicia Day, a SRO panel, and a well-moderated panel
  • Why Pip and Tee may sound a little tired…
  • Another gripe of New York Comic Con: No “decompression chamber” for the guests.
  • Banging interviews at Comic Con
  • So was that enough excitement for a month? No, not yet…

37:01  — The 2011 Airship Awards

  • Wait. Hold on. What did Starla just tweet?
  • What exactly are The Airship Awards?
  • The Nominations for the 2011 Airship Awards for Best in Literature
    • The Curious Case of Spring-Heeled Jack (a Philip K. Dick Award-winner)
    • Camera Obscura
    • The Half-Made World
    • …and us.
  • From the Airship Ambassador, confirmation — K.W. Jeter accepted the award for us
  • This award is dead sexy.
  • And with New York Comic Con and the Airship win behind us, what’s it all mean?
    • What to keep in mind when you win an award
    • Some thank you’s
    • Humbling moments from Comic Con
    • Our hopes for 2012
    • Another bit of advice: Prepare to network on the way home…
  • Can we take a breath now?

46:23 — The Wrap-Up

  • Nope…we’re not done, but thanks for asking!
  • Heading out to Los Angeles for BlogWorld: L.A. to talk podcasting, and then Pip and I get our punk on at ComiKazie Expo
  • Looking forward to hanging with the ragamuffins of steampunk, The League of S.T.E.A.M.
  • Then maybe — maybe — we can take a breath!
  • We’re putting together a list for 2012
    • RavenconYES
    • BalticonYES
    • Dragon*Con — YES
    • If you want us at your con, let’s talk.
  • Where to find us online

More Shout-Out’s During the Show…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #005: Concerning Cons


Breaking well beyond the boundaries of an hour, The Shared Desk brings you another on-the-road recording. This time, Pip and Tee are in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas for FenCon VIII, and are joined by a rabble more of vile confederates:

  • Gail Carriger
  • Olivia M. Grey
  • Odin1eye
  • Beth Case
  • Ash Robbins
  • Machelle Grimes

The topic of the night — CONVENTIONS. Why do we pack up and head out for destinations unknown and why should authors consider paying them a visit? Join Tee & Pip poolside for this round table discussion on conventions from the author’s and the fan’s perspective.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Are you sure you’re Philippa Ballantine?
  • It was supposed to be a paperwork ceremony, but the neighbors had other ideas…
  • Kick back for this hour-long extravaganza recorded in the great state of Texas!

02:28 — Concerning Cons (with Gail, Olivia, Ash, Machelle, Beth, and Odin)

  • Introductions all around…
  • So what brings our guests to FenCon and what did they expect?
  • Odin gives his approval for FenCon’s Phineas & Ferb panel
  • Speaking to Gail about experiencing a con from the GoH’s point-of-view
  • Pip comes clean on how tough it was to “return to reality” after the Guest of Honor treatment.
  • What do you as a potential guest offer to the cons?
  • Tee shares a major faux pas that programmers can do to “enthusiastic” participants…
  • SHOUT OUT TO BALTICON!!!
  • A few words on Gail’s rack…
  • Beth Case introduces herself. (She was late as she was playing with robots.)
  • Ash is put on the spot: What could a newcomer bring to a con? (Let Tee tell you…)
  • What is a Rite of Ascension for a Would-Be Author?
  • The difference between Cons and Writers’ Conferences
  • SHOUT OUT TO SIN!
  • For Beth and Odin, what should the fans bring to the con? What would be considered good fan etiquette?
  • “Fanboi” can happen to anyone…even Pip’s dad…
  • Beth squees under peer pressure….and so begins spontaneous squeeing through the remainder of the podcast….
  • Moments of fanboi happen, even with authors on meeting their heroes
  • Felicia Day makes Gail squee.
  • Pip and Tee look ahead to ComiCon…and Tee gushes a bit over Jared Axelrod. (Easy to do.)
  • Closing comments and promotions…with a SECOND SHOUT OUT TO BALTICON!!!
  • breaks the ONE HOUR BARRIER!

59:15 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • If you’re going to break the one hour barrier, it might as well be with a Warlock Rock Star from Mars.
  • Questions for Crazy Uncle Charlie
    • From Olivia: What is your process for creating characters?
    • From Machelle: Should I use an outline, or dive into writing a story?
    • From Gail: Should I use a pseudonym?
  • C.U.C. is a little distracted by the present company, but he soldiers on…
  • What is it about Odin1eye that bothers C.U.C.?
  • Pip tries to keep C.U.C. on track. She tries…and tries…and tries…

1:06:16 — The Wrap-Up

  • The audio is barely two week’s old…and it’s already dated.
  • Heading to New York Comic Con this week!
  • Check out our websites for our New York Comic Con schedules.
  • We’re on an app!!!
  • But we are not done yet! We’re hooking up with friends at ComiKazie Expo in Los Angeles.
  • Chillaxing?! Seriously?!
  • Thanks, Gail, for this episode’s album art!
  • Yes, the next episode will not be super-sized. It’ll be just us. (Maybe…)

More Shout-Out’s During the Show…

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk: Episode #004 — Collaborating in Shared Universes

Hey-hey-hey, podcaster and author P.C. Haring is in town, kicking back with Tee and Pip; so of course the mics are going hot. Here, Tee, Pip, and P.C. go into the mindset when you collaborate with other creators and play in another author’s sandbox.

00:00 — Introduction and Tangents galore

  • The magic of a false start (and BTW, this is Episode 4…)
  • Introductions all around that digress into impressions of Angry Birds
  • Welcoming in-studio guest P.C. Haring, author of Cybrosis
  • Taking a moment to remember Whrrl…
  • …and Wingin’ It from Farpoint Media (where you might still be able to catch hints of Tee podcasting in 2005)

03:38 — Collaborating in Shared Universes

  • Whose sandbox have you played in?
  • What a dirty, dirty sandbox Erotica ala carte is…
  • When working in a shared universe, how hard do the rules apply to your writing style?
  • P.C.’s genesis of “The Seven” featuring Agent Brandon Hill
  • Talking a bit about “The First Day”
  • How guest authors go from writing in canon to creating canon (with a shout out to Jack Mangan)
  • Defining boundaries with your guest authors (and being a pro about it)
  • When you invite writers into your world, expect only one thing — the unexpected!
  • Another advantage of playing in another’s world: Writing out of your comfort zone

33:38 — Writers Off the Clock: Gaming on the xBox 360

  • P.C. Haring…also known as The Great Enabler
  • The story behind the xBox 360, and how we were dodging the gamer’s bullet…until…
  • It all started with Kinectimals and Dance Central
  • Tee squees hard over Batman: Arkham Asylum (and yes, even Pip, a bit of a Batgrrl…)
  • Then comes Portal. (Damn you, P.C. Haring…)
  • Tee flashes back to the days of Myst.
  • And if our banter doesn’t convince you, take a moment to watch this…

  • And here are a few of our current favorites on the iPad:
    • Highborn
    • Galaxy on Fire 2
    • Angry Birds
    • Crimson: Steam Pirates
    • Cowboy Guns
    • Battleheart
    • Tetris
    • Unblock Me
    • Words with Friends
  • Shout out to Felicia Day for her Guild goodness!
  • The good and bad for gaming writers — Give yourself the break, but don’t get lost in the time
  • Leave it to Mister J to get in the last word…

51:39 — The Wrap-Up

  • Kinda nice to have P.C. there for the end and the beginning…
  • Some feedback from Logan Waterman concerning Episode 3 of TSD and High School of the Dead
  • We didn’t think HSotD could get any titillating. Silly us!!!
  • Where you can find P.C. Haring online!
  • P.C. Haring heads to Archon while Tee and Pip head to New York Comic Con!
  • Where you can find us (and even our steampunk characters) online for feedback and questions for Crazy Uncle Charlie

 

Drop-In’s: Mark Hammil as The Joker in Batman: Arkham Asylum

Websites We Give a Shout-Out to

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk #003: The Strategy for eBooks

Fresh from their WorldCon experience, Tee & Pip bring to The Shared Desk their first interview and introduce a new segment to the show. There is also talk of their next con appearance and what lies ahead for the Fall.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Tee reflects on his days in radio…and when he needed to pee.
  • Still free-forming it, and it’s WINNING!

01:24 — The Strategy with eBooks: What Tee & Pip Are Planning, and Why

  • In Reno, the Agent Savant herself, Laurie McLean, challenges us to develop a digital strategy
  • Pip is hardly a stranger to eBooks with Chasing the Bard and Digital Magic
  • People thought the earthquake caused the damage at Washington Cathedral…
  • The evolution of eBooks, starting with MOREVI’s EPPIe nomination
  • Calling “Shenanigans!” on changes in contracts, sales reports, and pricing.
  • The painful experience of reading eBooks (then again, it could have been the book I chose…)
  • 9:56 — Pip’s calls Tee out (and since Tee said “You’re right…” he sleeps soundly.)
  • Technology’s offerings for eBooks
  • What really happens at Pip’s “Card Night”…
  • eBooks from the authors’ point-of-view
  • The appeal of a 99¢ short story
  • The method within our eBook madness
  • An iTunes approach to anthologies
  • What is a 99-Penny Dreadful?
  • Digital publishing — the new market for short stories and novellas?

29:01 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • A new trend in authors marketing themselves as BESTSELLING AUTHORS
  • When Scott Sigler called himself a “bestseller” before he hit the New York Times Bestseller List
  • When authors abuse or cheapen the “Bestseller” title
  • Why we don’t call ourselves “bestsellers” (even though we could)
  • Other titles that authors throw around alongside “bestselling”
  • Put up, or shut up!

36:34 — Writers Off the Clock: High School of the Dead

  • An import from Japan has grabbed our attention…
  • What past ladies in Tee’s life thought of anime
  • In High School of the Dead, the T&A in the opening credits also happens in the anime!
  • We’re not hung up over sex, but we are distracted.
  • Tee’s defines “alternative anime,” and compares it to the mainstream.
  • Now for the good news — High School of the Dead is Walking Dead good.
  • A good anime series, but be prepared…

47:44 — The Wrap-Up

  • This show is just getting easier and easier…and time flies!
  • Where you can find our 99-Penny Dreadfuls
  • NEXT SHOW: Special Guest P.C. Haring, in studio with us to talk about writing in other authors’ universes
  • Counting down to FenCon (September 23-25,2011)
  • Get details about schedules, tweet up’s, and such at Tee’s and Pip’s Facebook Group pages
  • Are there tiki bars in Texas?
  • Where you can find us (and even our steampunk characters) online for feedback and questions for Crazy Uncle Charlie

Websites We Give a Shout-Out to

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk #002: The Writer-Agent Relationship (with Laurie McLean)

Fresh from their WorldCon experience, Tee & Pip bring to The Shared Desk their first interview and introduce a new segment to the show. There is also talk of their next con appearance and what lies ahead for the Fall.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Two episodes and fresh from the land where finding a cab is a Herculean labor…
  • Do you remember the D-Con Roach Motel?
  • A few thoughts on WorldCon in Reno, Nevada.

02:28 — Working with Agents: An Interview with Laurie McLean

  • Introduction of the Agent Savant herself, Laurie McLean
  • What exactly does an agent do?
  • Laurie names off the top of her head the “Six Sisters” of Publishing
  • 06:50 — An idea for an alternate Worldcon
  • The evolution of publishing and where an agent fit in
  • How some agents are reacting to the change in publishing
  • On the adversarial relationships people harbor against agents (Note to J.K. Rowling’s former agentRETIRE!!!)
  • Something to know — all agents are different
  • What happens backstage between agents, editors, and bookstores
  • The challenges an agent has when representing a collaborative writing team
  • What is “hot” in the Science Fiction and Fantasy market
  • 35:26 — A sneak peek at a new segment coming later in the episode…
  • Where to find Laurie online

39:59 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • Introducing a voice of our generation, and the sage advice he wants to bestow to writers everywhere…
  • The question for Crazy Uncle Charlie: How do you know you have found a good literary agent?
  • Crazy Uncle Charlie reveals his foolproof method of researching a literary agent.
  • Another method Crazy Uncle Charlie endorses: Writers Beware ®

42:56 — Wrap-Up

  • Why does the studio smell of cheese?
  • Where you can find us and send questions, comments, and feedback…
  • Feeling the love after two episodes…
  • Where we will be in September: FenCon (September 23-25,2011)
  • With folks like Matt Bowerman and Beth Case helping out the fans, we’re thinking a tweet-up is in order.
  • Anticipation for FenCon — yes, we are stoked!!!
  • Shout out to Hurricane Irene!

Websites We Give a Shout-Out to

Show Photos by J.R. Blackwell
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk #001: The Editorial Process

Tee & Pip, for their first official episode, talk about the editorial process as they get their notes for Of Cogs & Corsets: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel.

00:00 — Introduction & Show Topic

  • Yeah, this is how the pros intro a show!
  • Entering the editorial process
  • Picking and choosing your battles
  • Pip defends her choice to time travel in Spectyr
  • Giving-and-Taking with Editors
  • Taking the Editor’s Chair as a Writer

18:12 — Eagle Vs. Kiwi

  • Culture Clash between the Kiwi and Outback Steakhouse
  • Tee’s awful Kiwi accent
  • 20:42 — First “Back in Box, Morris.”
  • Seriously, Pip — it’s the Outback! What did you expect when you saw “Alice Springs Quesadilla” on the menu?!
  • An Epic Faux Pas with New Zealand Lamb

24:32 — Writers Off the Clock

  • True Blood —  Cajun Craziness with Sookie Stackhouse and the good folks of Bon Temps.
  • The dangers of cranking things up past 11.
  • Plotlines that have GOT to go!
  • A quick tangent on Alexander Skarsgård, Eric, and Battleship (Seriously, dude — Battleship?!)

40:20 — Wrap-Up

  • The end of Tales from the Archives are coming, but there’s more to come!
  • We’re heading to WorldCon. See you there!
  • We might be busy, but we’re not that busy.
  • A new project from our friend, Alex White
  • Got a question for the show? Track us down and ask us!
Drop-in’s featured: Serenity
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account, leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk #000: Tee and Pip Say “O Hai!”

A general scope out of who we (Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine) are, what we plan on doing with the Shared Desk podcast.

Hopefully this gives you an idea what you can expect as we proceed forward in this new endeavor.

If you have any ideas, queries or comments then please email either pip AT pjballantine DOT com or tee AT teemorris DOT com, or drop us a voicemail at 703.791.1701.

 

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