Episode #84: What’s Going On at Goodreads?

We are horrendously late getting this episode out (but don’t sweat it as we’re going to be recording another one next week!) but let’s call it like it is: November was a cray-cray month! After a wild ride between the end of October and the beginning of November, The Shared Desk is reflecting on their week of solid creativity, and also share their thoughts about a creative Kiwi and his recent motion picture that you may have heard of.

So, yeah, it took us a few weeks to getting around to posting this episode. We blame jetlag, the holidays, and smoking meats…

00:00 —  Introduction

08:05 —  Episode #84: What’s Going On at Goodreads?

  • A development over at the social network for authors and readers worldwide: Goodreads
  • Tee thinks this Goodreads situation is actually a good thing, making authors stop and look at the value of a “giveaway” be it on Good Reads or book blogs.
  • What is the real R.O.I. on working with book bloggers and blog tours?
  • So now, what are independent publishers expected to do?
  • Publishers, from our own experience, do not throw money at authors and rarely throw money into promotion.
  • With the free giveaway gone, why stick around with Goodreads?
  • Disagree with us? Then sound off…
    • …on the voicemail at 703-791-1701
    • tee (at) teemorris (dot) com
    • pip (at) pjballantine (dot) com
  • What are the options remaining for authors?
    • Your email list is your email list. Always.
    • Social media platforms like Goodreads, Facebook, and the like? No, they are not there for you.
    • A content creator’s relationship with Facebook
    • Instagram and advertising — nice idea, but…
    • Speaking of Instagram, here’s the new schtick…
  • Tee has been returning to Twitter, thanks to Twitch.
  • Cover Reveals: Pro’s and Con’s
  • The great debate on writers blogging
  • Pip and Tee start planning for 2018…

29:08 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • Pip is cutting the show short in order to get to this month’s Loot Crate!
  • Neither Tee nor Pip can remember this month’s theme. Tee guesses…and gets it wrong.
  • November’s Loot Crate: UNIFY
    • From Funko Pop, a Loot Crate exclusive of Overwatch’s Widowmaker
    • The mini Q-Fig celebrates the Power Rangers. (And if you blink, you might miss a Red Ranger sighting in Stranger Things 2)
    • The Tee-Shirt: Voltron…in elegant 8-bit renderings! (Maybe Serena could wear it as a nightshirt.)
    • Wait a minute, Loot Crate, you think your cat is looking rough-and-tumble in the Punisher hat? Hold on…from 2016, thank you……
    • Pin: Superheroes assembled!
    • Comic Book Reprint: Justice League of America (their first appearance), presented by Brave and the Bold
  • Divvying up the Loot
  • Pip sometimes misses those details that matter.
  • Tee is counting down to December’s Loot Crate: EXPLORE.
    • Star Wars
    • Destiny 2
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • ….and a mystery franchise.
  • Since we mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy, how about DAT TRAILER!

    • Total nerdgasm at the Morris household!
    • Mantis: “Hey, Hemsworth!”

36:25 — The Wrap-Up

  • A few thoughts on Star Wars Day in Woodbridge, VA. You might want to not compare the U.S. Boy Scouts with…
  • Quick shout-out to TD-0013, the only Imperial Stormtrooper I love!
  • December 16, 10a – 7p — Jirani’s Christmas Con in Manassas, VA
  • Sadly, no MAGFest this year, but…
  • Happy Hour from the Tower is heading to GuardianCon 2018 in July!!!
  • Other events confirmed for 2018:
    • RavenCon (April)
    • Steampunk Symposium (April)
    • Steampunk World’s Fair (May)
  • Eyeing up Balticon for 2018.
  • Two weeks of Shared Desk, I know, right?
  • When did Old town Manassas get cool?
  • Pip’s Patreon will feature the first episode of her ALL-NEW PODCAST!
  • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, or if you just want to share an opinion about the show, here’s where to find us…
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.
  • See you in two weeks!

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 #83: The Benefits of Hanging with Creative People

We are horrendously late getting this episode out (but don’t sweat it as we’re going to be recording another one next week!) but let’s call it like it is: November was a cray-cray month! After a wild ride between the end of October and the beginning of November, The Shared Desk is reflecting on their week of solid creativity, and also share their thoughts about a creative Kiwi and his recent motion picture that you may have heard of.

So, yeah, it took us a few weeks to getting around to posting this episode. We blame jetlag, the holidays, and smoking meats…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Recorded just after the Virginia elections, and it’s been a really great 48 hours.
  • Respect the accent there, bro!
  • A shout out to Taika Waititi, and an invitation to drink.
  • Foreshadowing to this episode’s “Writers Off the Clock” segment.

01:49 —  Episode #83: The Benefits of Hanging with Creative People

  • In our last episode we were talking about Dragon Anywhere and we are going to be talking about her again!
  • Tee flew out the day before his birthday to get together with Chuck Tomasi for P.I.Y. 2017!
  • There were some very cool people at the event…
  • Yep, Tee met and shared hugs with Joe Hogan of Geektitude!
  • Jack Mangan’s daughter learns something new about her dad.
  • Will there be another P.I.Y. event? Well, about that…
  • Tee has a copy of Podcasting for Dummies in his hands! (And yes, the podcast is back!)
  • Quick shout-out to Chuck and Donna Tomasi’s AirBnB
  • Tee sat in with the crew of Technorama. Shenanigans occurred.
  • Six days away from home, and Tee was feeling the stress.
  • Finally, Tee and Pip reunite at the 2017 Drake Writing Retreat which kicked off Thursday.
  • When looking for a location for writing retreats, you will want to look at “places to write” at the house.
  • The challenges of finishing up a draft of Operation: Endgame and returning to a book Tee had not touched in years…
  • Meanwhile, Pip was cranking out words in transit. So she started a brand new project in the middle of the Retreat.
  • Pip’s new secret weapon of creativity: The Rocketbook.
  • Alex White’s thumbprint on Pip’s work-in-progress
  • The enjoyment of sharing space and oxygen with incredibly creative people
  • Official signings v. drive-by signings
  • The joy of creating content after talking about the creative process
  • The day after getting home, riding off  P.I.Y. and the Drake Retreat, Tee was in-studio, recording an interview for Happy Hour from the Tower.
  • How hanging out with creatives lead to other creative ideas…

27:34 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Sebastian wants LOVE!
  • What happens when Kiwis get a hold of a Norse god? THOR: Ragnarök happens.
  • Filmed in beautiful technocolour!
  • A brief look at the previous THOR movies
  • Get to know Taika Waititi
    • Flight of the Conchords
    • What We Do in the Shadows
    • Hunt for the Wilderpeople (and watch these commercials afterwards)
  • Did Taika do New Zealand proud? Oh, yeah.
  • SPOILERS HAPPENING HERE — jump to 47:12 to avoid them!
  • Pip was ready to riot if there was a problem with Idris.

48:25 — The Wrap-Up

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 #82: The One with the Dragon

Prepare to go deep into this episode where we talk about productivity and how Tee has managed to improve his with a new tool.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • No one likes the Mirror Universe, especially K T Bryski
  • Sebastian stops the bell. And makes his presence known throughout the episode.
    BUT LOOK AT DIS FAES! HOW KAN U RESIST DAT FAES?!??!
  • Tee’s commute was a word killer
  • Pip blames Destiny….just a little bit.
  • Piper J Drake makes an appearance…from the æther!

04:39 —  Productivity with a Dragon

  • Piper suggested Dragon Anywhere the mobile version of Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Tee is intrigued and gives it a shot
  • Syncs with Dropbox and Evernote
  • In Tee’s commute of about an hour one way, got 1500 words.
  • Pip reckons 3,000 per day is a nice pace
  • Tee reads how it came out, the first time… a little word soupy. Play the game while editing ‘what does that sound like?’
  • The app does learn and so does the person
  • Pip worries if there is a tangent coming…
  • There is. Battlestar Galactica dictation.
  • Still dictation is better than typing on your laptop in traffic.
  • The dragon stops listening if the phone goes to sleep, or if it doesn’t hear anything after 15-30 seconds
  • Tee didn’t read the instructions. Surprise!
  • Sebastian tries to send Pip to sleep
  • Night’s Plutonian Shore gets a mention
  • Sebastian continues to interrupt from the Desk
  • Just tell the Dragon to sync
  • Tee is much happier thanks to this Dragon, but his podcast listening will take a hit
  • Reading aloud really helps you spot the problems in your work

29:01 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • Tee gets to open the box the theme is not magic… its mythical
  • Sebastian deliberately messes with the soundboard.
  • Nice 80s neon Ghostbusters tee!
  • We divert to Stranger Things…
  • Thor is coming!!!
  • Tee gives Pip all the building to do… but it works out better
  • Pip promises not to watch Stranger Things 2 without Tee. Will she keep it?
  • Mr Pointy is a bookmark!

35:41 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip finishes the building! HUZZAH!
  • 2017 is nearly done
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition in Phoenix, AZ.  You can turn up at the door if you’ve missed getting your tickets!
    • Hardware track, software track, and the best practices track.
    • The Podcasting for Dummies Companion Podcast
    • Tee might bring this show to the East Coast next year sometime.
  • Star Wars Day in Woodbridge, VA with Tee presenting his soundtrack panel
  • Pip and Tee had a lot of peopling on the weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
  • Page After Page the bookstore within the festival!
  • Met friends from last year. Always a delight.
  • Pip saw her first centaur and a satyr!
  • Pip and Tee will be back next year with new books and the roleplaying game!
  • Pip’s Patreon will feature a horror story for this month.
  • Pip may have a new podcast idea, which Tee did not shoot down. (Heck, Tee has got ZERO GROUND to stand on. Look at what he started months ago. And then there’s this!)
  • We Don’t Talk About That will take you to the dark side of New Zealand. Coming sometime soon… maybe…
  • Pip was near four murders… so those will probably feature.
  • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, or if you just want to share an opinion about the show, here’s where to find us…
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.

52:29 The 2017 Podcast It Yourself Workshop and Book Launch

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 #81: Happy Anniversary, Baby!

On the Sunday when they recorded this, Tee & Pip celebrated their sixth anniversary. So for this episode of the Shared Desk, they speculate what kind of writers they would be in a Star Trek-esque Mirror Universe where they would have never collaborated. What kind of a world and what kind of career would it have been?

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Six years? Seriously?!
  • I think this is the longest drop-in we have…
  • Pip’s less Cerci and more Lady of Thorns…
  • Married for six. Podcasting The Shared Desk for four.
  • What have we been up to?
    • Pip edits Operation: Endgame…
    • …while developing the Broken Dead.
    • Tee has got Wolf in the Fold ready for pitching.
    • Pip is also trying to learn her Patreon URL.
  • Usually, Tee can say “No” to new characters trying to get into a novel; but is it impossible to do so when your characters is…

06:46 —  Episode #81: Happy Anniversary, Baby!

  • Getting personal on The Shared Desk (especially since LANI and her 15 minutes are done…)
  • Shout-out to Nobilis Reed who has always said we were making a CouplesCast. Well, today, you get your wish.
  • Where would we be if we never collaborated or got married?
  • Pip would be working with New York, but Tee would still be working with Dragon Moon Press.
  • Would Tee have ever written steampunk?
    • The original idea of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, set in Present Day. Less “James Bond in a corset” more Stargate.
    • Quick tangent on Timeless, a favorite show of theirs…
  • Happy 50th Birthday, “Mirror, Mirror” from Star Trek: TOS!
  • How would Pip’s writing style be different without collaborating with Tee?
  • What would be different if Tee and Pip weren’t writing together. If you’re a fan of Billi, you’re not going to like this. (Send complaints and death threats to pip@pjballantine.com or voicemail at 703.791.1701!)
  • What else would be different?
    • This podcast wouldn’t exist!
    • People we wouldn’t know?
      • Steampunk superstars like Thomas Willeford, Savan Gupta, Sarah Hunter, Diana Pho, and so many, many more…
      • PJ/Piper J Drake
      • Aly Grauer (and her husband of awesome, Drew!)
      • THE MIRROR UNIVERSE BLOWS DEAD BEAR!!! 
  • Tee still would not be able to get comfortable with short stories.
  • In truth, Tee & Pip have been writing together for a lot longer than their marriage, so yes things would be very different.
  • Tee has a moment as a very personal project would also not exist. (A moment for Patrick…)
  • MOREVI would still not be completed. But even without the Ministry, Billi would not be a sure thing.
  • Operation: Endgame has not been a cakewalk, even though Tee loves it. Not rough road. Just unexpected.
  • Pip would not necessarily have embraced steampunk without our collaboration.
    • Shout-out for our first promotion: Double Trouble.
    • Pip might still be writing for Puck (and other historical fantasies) in this universe free of collaboration.
    • When impersonations collide…
    • “I guess I’ve learned stuff from you.” — Pip Ballantine to Tee Morris, right here!
  • The Mirror Universe blows!

28:46 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • Another thing we would not have: DROP-IN’S
  • Another Geek Parenting Milestone: Serena watched Blade Runner for the first time.
  • This month’s theme: ROBOTICS!
    • Tee-shirt: The Wallace Corporation from Blade Runner 2049
    • A build-it-yourself R2D2
    • The “Queen Takes Bishop” statue from Aliens
    • An exclusive IDW comic book set in the Mirror Universe with the Star Trek: TNG crew: Data’s Origin.
  • Quick shout-out to the Kellys that came up with a slick frame for the Destiny artwork and the Loot Crate patches…and we’re going to copy that!
  • No love for Portal or Ex Machina?
  • Pip, stop fighting the “Queen Takes Bishop” statue. It’s only going to fight back!

35:55 — The Wrap-Up

  • The All Blacks have a podcast!
  • And now, tormenting the cat…or the Queen….depending on how Sebastian reacts.
  • Let’s talk about Overcast!
    • The new iOS11 Podcast that Apple said will be a game changer? Well, about that…
    • Tee’s using Overcast now, and he’s loving it.
    • Easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to import your feeds from the Podcast app to Overcast.
    • Android users? Right now, nope. (Sorry.)
  • 2017 is coming to a close…
    • October 21, The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s “Day of Wrong” is coming. Stay tuned for details.
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition
    • And we have two events already booked for 2018…
  • Pip is actually working her Instagram! Make sure to give her a follow! And remember: Pip has a Patreon? SHE DOES, YOU KNOW!!! 
  • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, or if you just want to share an opinion about the show, here’s where to find us…
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.

45:44 The 2017 Podcast It Yourself Workshop and Book Launch

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 #80: Promotion Across Audiences

Guess who’s spending some time with us here at Casa de Morris? Piper J Drake is in studio, and we are bringing her on the mic for a brand new episode of The Shared Desk. Our eightieth show gets its topic of discussion from Twitter, and with Piper in studio you can be guaranteed of shenanigans happening!

 

00:00 —  Introduction

  • A little bit of pre-show silliness
  • Stand back, everyone! We know what we’re doing!
  • Piper J Drake is in the house. And has she been busy…
  • Pip sneaks in an Operation: Endgame burn while also kicking off a new series called the Broken Dead, set in Southern Virginia.
  • Quick plug for the Proper Pie Company.
  • Do you name drop in your works-in-progress? Topic for another time.
  • How about Tee? What’s he been up to?
    • The third Edition of Podcasting for Dummies is done…and it is for sale! (Pre-order, of course.)
    • Chuck Tomasi and I are celebrating the Podcasting for Dummies release with a special workshop!
    • Quick aside: Matt’s running again, but he still has to keep up with Tee as he’s got the Dogfish Dash and The Woodrow Wilson Half-Marathon coming up!
    • Spent Labor Day weekend at Escape Velocity 2017
    • Tee completes The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017 Challenge! (Enjoy the extra shows, everyone?)

10:11 —  Episode #80: Promotion Across Audiences

  • Today’s show topic comes from Twitter, where…
    • Tee can be found.
    • Pip can be found.
    • Piper can be found.
  • Colin Coyle asks us on Twitter about the challenges we face in promoting our works across audiences.
  • Piper’s cross-genre journey as a writer, and how she found herself in the Romantic Suspense genre.
    • The Safeguard series (which was reflective of Piper’s science fiction Triton Experiment series)
    • The True Heroes series (which features in Ultimate Courage a very familiar someone…)
  • Does an audience follow you or do they follow the genre? How do you bring readers into new territory?
  • What about when you straddle both non-fiction and fiction? Can you successfully market across that divide?
  • Speaking of podcasting, Piper is spreading her wings into the podosphere with Writing Excuses!
  • Non-fiction works can be regarded in writing as audition pieces for fiction.
  • How does your voice change from work to work, genre to genre? And will audiences follow you?
  • Tee’s heard both of Peej’s voices, and he likes them both!
  • There are different genres we all write in, but there are common traits in what stories we tell and what characters we create.
  • How do you look at your works-in-progress and upcoming releases from a promotional perspective?
  • Pip tends to hear whispers from Nick as she’s working on her works!
  • Thanks again, Colin, for the show topic!

33:41 — What’s Cookin’, Writers? 

  • Things Piper would never here in her kitchen…
  • Pip indulges ina Jeff Goldblum moment.
  • We dared the impossible: The Ramen Burrito

  • What Pip, Piper, and Tee put into their Ramen Burrito
    • Ramen noodles (quality be damned!)
    • Fried egg (runny)
    • Grilled Chicken Strips (including tips on how to make the most of frozen chicken strips)
    • Seasoning includes butter, Sesame Oil, chicken spice packets, and Chinese five-spice
    • Cucumber for crunch and for greenage in your Ramen Burrito (but we offer options)
  • The Ramen Burrito may be coming to Smoky Writers…
  • Our experience inspired others to create variations on this disturbing theme!
  • Would we do the Ramen Burrito aga—YES!!!

45:29 — The Wrap-Up

  • This “In the Kitchen” segment will probably happen again when Peej is in town!
  • 2017 is coming to a close…
    • October 21, The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s “Day of Wrong” is coming. Stay tuned for details.
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition
    • And we have two events already booked for 2018…
    • MAD LOVE FOR JOHN STRANGEWAY!
  • Piper was taking a break from appearances, but we did have some fun with her at the 2017 Nebula Awards in Pittsburgh. She’s kicking off her 2018 Appearances with Coastal City Magic in Florida!
  • Tee and Nick are planning to take Happy Hour from the Tower on the road.
  • The Steampunk World’s Fair will be a full-circle moment for Tee, Pip, Peej, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
  • And did you know that Pip has a Patreon? SHE DOES, YOU KNOW!!! 
  • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, here’s where to find us…
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.

52:20 The 2017 Podcast It Yourself Workshop and Book Launch

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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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: The Last Word

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Some were claiming Tee did not complete the Dog Days of Podcasting challenge…

…so here you go.

Now, we’re done.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: What’s the Takeaway?

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

And now the conclusion of the Dog Days of Podcasting

…where Tee answers that one last question.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Just Write

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Closing in on the end of the Dog Days of Podcasting, Tee covers a simple mantra for writers everywhere: Just write. You love to write in your office, in your favorite slippers, during a rainy day with a cup of coffee. That’s cool and all, but there are those times where the setting won’t be picture perfect. Too bad. Write.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Sometimes, It IS About You.

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

We have covered a lot on this Dog Days of Podcasting stretch, and Tee has talked a bit about putting the readers first. And you should. There are times, however, when it’s not about the readers or the fans. Personal space. Public reputation. Sometimes, it is all about you. How do you handle it?

Special shout-outs to Piper J Drake, Lauren B. Harris, and my daughter!

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: When Self-Promotion Goes Awry

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

This Dog Days of Podcasting covers that often-discussed topic amongst authors: Self-promotion. Tee-shirts, sticky notes, stylus-pen hybrids, and USB drives — the business of swag is a big one, but is it worth it? Will free stuff bring you new and loyal readers, or will you be known for the author giving away the best, coolest stuff? How would you prefer to be remembered?

Remember — it’s not about the swag.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Concerning Mary, Gary, and Ensign Jones

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Shout out to Brian “Arkle” Webber from Shameless Cashgrab and other podcasts for the comment and inspiring today’s Dog Days of Podcasting entry.

Recorded this morning and posted this evening, Tee settles in to talk about something else but follows the rabbit hole Arkle opens up about the “Mary Sue” complex that haunts fiction. The question is, should it? Can developing characters from your own experiences, hopes, and dreams, work in fiction?

It is a tricky tightrope to walk — very tricky — but it’s possible.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Raising the Stakes through Worldbuilding

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Shout out to Nobilis Reed from Nobilis Erotica and This Kaiju Life for the voicemail. Thanks!

For today’s Dog Days of Podcasting entry, Tee returns to the subject of raising the stakes; but instead of doing so from the character’s P.O.V. we think bigger, we look bigger. How safe is the world or the environment they are in? The real world is a dangerous place. How dangerous is yours?

He also ties this episode back to the bad book he was reading. He finished it. And Tee talks about it.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

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Episode #79: Writing in the Zone

With all these podcasts coming through this feed (and yes, welcome to the Dog Days of Podcasting, ya’ll!), would you believe we lost track of when we needed to post a Shared Desk?

My bad.

With inspiration from Germany, Tee and Pip are talking about writing in the zone, those wonderful times when the ideas and words show no signs of stopping. How do you manage — you know — the outside world? Well, here are  a few tips for you to consider.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Mmmmm…Blue Apron.
  • How about those drop-in’s from The Defenders?
  • Kreg Steppe, this is all your fault!
    • Closing in on the end of Dog Days of Podcasting
    • Pip liked Tee’s theme so much, she stole it for her Patreon podcast!
    • Shout out to Corbin J Drake, the four-legged addition to Piper J and Matthew J Drake, for being the face of Tee’s DDOP 2017.
    • Tee got so into this that he lost track of The Shared Desk posting’s schedule.
    • What a ride this challenge has been!
  • Tucking in with Operation: Endgame…finally.
  • Pip’s been having a long week along with Jessica Jones.
    • Also working on Operation: Endgame
    • Also working on Immortal Sisters
    • AND ALSO…working on a BRAND NEW novel!

05:45 —  Episode #79: Writing in the Zone

  • Got a note from a friend and fellow Guardian from Germany asking a question that inspired this show topic.
  • What happens when writers find themselves in “The Zone” and Real Life is still happening?
  • A quick look at The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
  • Pip feels less impulsive, more disciplined into her writing,
  • Multitasking happens with adulting, apparently.
  • When it comes to non-fiction, Tee does need to take a break. Fiction? Tee can still lose himself.
  • “The Smoky Effect”
  • It sucks when Habitica reminds Tee and Pip of what needs to be done.
  • A truly Kiwi Approach to Writing
  • It’s tough to stop when you get on a roll, but there’s an advantage to leaving words in the tank.
  • Quick shout-out’s to…
  • Tee’s a little obsessive about having a clean kitchen.
  • What about the opposite of the Zone — what happens when the desire is there but the focus and the energy is not.
  • Good times in Mechanicsburg, PA and the Mystery As You Like It Conference!
  • A tease of what our next episode may be…
  • Pip calls it meditation. Tee calls it a nap.
  • The pros and cons of slipping deep into “The Smoky Effect” in the real world.
  • Cats are great listeners, but lousy conversationalists. This is why it can be tough for Tee when he gets home.

23:47 —  Writers Off the Clock

  • Pip had to get in the last word.
  • Taking the scenic route home from Mechanicsburg, PA…
  • The other world along Blue Ridge Mountain Drive
  • So, Pip wanted to watch the highway fight scene from Episode 3 of The Defenders on the flat screen…
  • Luke Cage said everything we wanted to say to Danny Rand,
  • Iron Fist needed more crossovers with the headliners the way Jessica Jones and Luke Cage did.
  • In light of Jones’ ill-chosen words, he makes up for with this performance.
  • Evil Sigourney Weaver.
    • Awesome.
    • You had me at Sigourney Weaver.
  • Marvel Studios, rocking diversity
  • Again, The Defenders shows how rushed Iron Fist was.
  • Final thoughts.
  • Props to Mike Coulter and Finn Jones for creating some serious chemistry.

41:27 — The Wrap-Up

  • How are we ending of the summer?
    • Tee’s challenge of The Dog Days of Podcasting is still happening. AND WE’RE ALMOST DONE! 
    • 1-4 September, Escape Velocity in Washington, D.C.
    • October, The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s “Day of Wrong” is coming. Stay tuned for details.
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition
    • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, here’s where to find us…
      • 703.791.1701
      • pip@pjballantine.com
      • tee@teemorris.com
      • …and social media, of course.
  • And did you know that Pip has a Patreon? SHE DOES, YOU KNOW!!!
  • It would be great if Pip knew where our newsletter is. It’s here, by the way, and you get a free book when you sign up!
  • Announcements coming up concerning Operation: Endgame

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!
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Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: WTF Lani Sarem?!

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Shout out to the fans of The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy

Tee would be remiss in the Dog Days of Podcasting not to address current events, and yesterday, an atomic bomb of current events hit the publishing industry.

This is Lani (that’s Annie with an L) Sarem. Let’s talk about Lani, shall we?

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Raising the Stakes

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

You want to know the best way to really make a book dull? Let people know that “everything is going to be okay” because the author may be worried that audiences can’t handle the tension. No kidding. Authors do this. And today on the Dog Days of Podcasting, Tee cites his current read and his determination in getting through it to the end, despite the author’s insistence that  “It’ll be okay…” again and again. Tee suggests to torture your audience a bit. Raise the stakes. Make that book of yours a page-turner.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Avoid the Almanac Characters

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Thanks for the run in Destiny last night, P.C. Haring and Indiana Jim! That was good fun!

False start this morning, but the Dog Days of Podcasting rolls on with Tee breaking down the “Big Three” of the Justice League, and how characters should not be super-human and all-knowing. That way lies lazy storytelling and zero tension.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Enjoy Yourself!

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

BIG shout-out to Writing Excuses podcast for naming Operation: Endgame and The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences as the Read of the Week!

This morning, as the Dog Days of Podcasting nears its conclusion, Tee returns to his evening with Neil Gaiman at Wolf Trap. There was a pretty valuable takeaway Tee got from that two-and-a-half hours: it’s more than okay to enjoy your own work. Sure, there is a line of self-indulgence to be aware of. The trick is knowing where that line lies.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: “Show, Don’t Tell” Across Storytelling Platforms

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

With this show, Tee is only 10 SHOWS AWAY from completing the Dog Days of Podcasting challenge, and his brain is firing on all cylinders following his finishing up of Season 3 of Black Mirror. If you have not seen this show, Tee recommends jumping to the episode “Hated in the Nation” and taking notes, especially if you are a writer. This is storytelling on a whole new level, as well as a basic rule reinforced and beautifully illustrated.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: It’s Not About You

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Back from the 2017 Murder As You Like It Conference, Tee brings his experiences at different events to the Dog Days of Podcasting just to remind writers (and fans, on the rare occasion) that the world does not necessarily revolve around you, even when you are keynote speakers or Guests of Honor.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: #WriterGoals

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Tee’s on the road, but the Dog Days of Podcasting continues as he looks back on yesterday’s show. Tee explores the #WriterGoals hashtag he’s been kicking around since an evening at Wolf Trap with Neil Gaiman.

So what are your #WriterGoals?

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Trash-Talking Other Authors and Genres

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

This was a difficult topic for Tee’s Dog Days of Podcasting because he knows on The Shared Desk he and Pip have completely melted down on bad writing. Thing is, authors trash-talking other authors and their works can be a slippery slope.

So what do you do when you’re reading something that sucks? How do you handle it, especially when you’re in the public eye?

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Getting Organized

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Leave it to the Dog Days of Podcasting to remind Tee that TODAY he and Pip were supposed to put out a new episode of The Shared Desk.

Ooops.

Staying organized is hard, but Tee’s got a few tricks that help him out with projects, timelines, and appointments. What are you favorite organization methods? Share them with us here!

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
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The Dog Days of Podcasting: Look for the Hook

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Fresh from the workout, The Dog Days of Podcasting takes you on a nostalgic trip, or at least on a bumpy ride, to the 80’s. Okay, the 80’s that Tee remembers…and he addresses the dangers of too much nostalgia and too much meta. Remember — it’s your story people want to hear.

 

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Who’s Name Is on the Cover?

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Finishing the second week of the Dog Days of Podcasting, Tee was a little worried that he didn’t have a good writing topic for this morning. Turns out he did. Sometimes, in this game, things are going to happen that are not your fault, but it is expected that you fix it. Why? Look at the cover. Whose names are on there?

Exactly.

This one’s for Chuck Tomasi.

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Idea Harvesting

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Kicking off Monday with some Listener Feedback and a frog building a summer home in his throat, Tee’s kicking off the new week of the Dog Days of Podcasting with something you rarely hear from authors: the frustration of ideas. They are beautiful things, but they can be sources of frustration.

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: The Value of Happy Endings

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

If Tee sounds tired, it’s because he is.

You might be worried about him, considering recent events in Virginia. He’s okay. So’s the fam.

Today’s Dog Days of Podcasting may seem a little rough, but there’s a light Tee’s offering. He writes what he writes because of stuff like this.

Thanks for listening.

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Don’t Listen to Me

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

So…Black Mirror

That is just messed up. Not to mention hitting very close to home.

And on the Dog Days of Podcasting Tee has got some heavy writing advice for you this morning: “Don’t listen to what I have to say.”

Now listen to the podcast, and rate it. (See what Tee did there…)

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Follow That Gut Instinct

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

The Dog Days of Podcasting has its first crossover with Tee’s other passion project, Happy Hour from the Tower.  An interview with Twitch streamer 3vil_Aura  has Tee thinking about guy instincts and how important they are to follow.

Listen close that feeling, and have a great weekend!

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Rejection

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

WE’VE BROKEN INTO DOUBLE DIGITS! And thank you, everyone, for the feedback through voicemail, Twitter, and Facebook, over the Dog Days of Podcasting. Tee goes long on this episode (hey, it took him until the TENTH episode to shatter the 15-minute mark, so that is saying something…) but it was a real hot button for him: Rejection. It’s a matter-of-fact that in life—not just the arts, but in real friggin’ life, rejection is going to come into play. How do you cope? Does it get any easier? Why bother?

Tee doubles down on a fistful of observations and opinions, and offers up a perspective on the big R.

Hold on to something…

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Listen

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Two worlds collide today on the Dog Days of Podcasting as Tee looks back on his theatre days and finds a lesson that also applies to the writer’s craft.

There’s a lot you can learn about the story you’re telling when you listen.

 

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting: You Can’t Give Up

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

It may seem a little off that for this installment of the Dog Days of Podcasting, Tee is talking about cats. In particular, Benedick, his unexpected rescue cat…

…but it can be unexpected how furry, four-legged companions have a lot to teach us about artistic passions.

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting: Connected

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

I’m working on the routine of the elliptical again for the Dog Days of Podcasting and catching up on a Netflix cue. Back on track with Sens8 which is a tremendous show on all fronts. It also reminds Tee how important connection is in writing. A photo of Lauren and Verena (Facebook Link) also tugged at his own connection with people far off but not that far away in his life.

It all comes back in the writing.

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting: Writing Experiences

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

He make it six days into the Dog Days of Podcasting before his better half hopped on mic with him.

 

Today, Tee and Pip talk about the importance of writing experiences. Sure, word count matters, but so is living life to the fullest. Lauren’s adventures reminded us of this.

There’s also talk about dragon eggs and comparing them to this:

Find Tee on Twitter here,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Negativity

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Tee will argue that this is the sweatiest 2017 Dog Days of Podcasting challenge ever. At least, for Tee.

That being said, Tee’s talking about negativity which includes chatter about Destiny, the ridiculousness of remaking Death Wish, the value of positive people in an author’s life, and love for guys named Chuck.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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The Dog Days of Podcasting: Managing Expectations (feat. Indiana Jim)

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

The 2017 Dog Days of Podcasting challenge—a 10-minute podcast—got voicemail?

Seriously?

Yep, a blast from the past with fellow podcaster and storyteller Indiana Jim who left a detailed message for Tee about his first DDoP 2017 episode on Writer’s Rage. It’s advice that becomes real talk on expectations, something that matters to writers everywhere.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
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Episode #78: Authors Behaving Badly

We’re back. Miss us?

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Sorry for the break, everybody.
  • Anyone else stoked for The Defenders?
  • What are we up to?
    • How about that Motor City Steam Con?

    • So nice to get some time in with Chris Lester.
    • Talking a lot about the shenanigans in Detroit! What a great event!
    • Finishing up Podcasting for Dummies…finally.
    • Tucking in with Operation: Endgame…finally.
  • Pip’s been having a long week along with Jessica Jones.
    • Also working on Operation: Endgame
    • Also working on Immortal Sisters
    • AND ALSO…working on a BRAND NEW novel!

06:57 —  Episode #78: Authors Behaving Badly

  • If you have seen authors really hopping off the rails, share your stories with us at…
    • 703-791-1701
    • tee@teemorris.com or pip@pjballantine.com
  • First up: When Storytelling Goes Awry
    • We’re not naming names.
    • The problem isn’t the writing. It was the storytelling.
    • When the books ends abruptly — is that good storytelling?
    • How we stuck with a good story while keeping another story ongoing — yes, it can be done.
    • When you sudden;y discover YOUR CHARACTER IS ACTUALLY BOSS-POWERED!!! Wait, what? 
    • When a twist goes bad for Tee…and never gets better even with three books.
    • Is this a legitimate style, or is this just bad storytelling?
    • Oh…look….the gifted orphans.
  • Next on Our List: Authors Investing into Click-Farms
    • Yeah, you want to make an impact in the publishing industry, but come on…
    • Authors are no longer playing the game so much as authors are playing the system in the worst way possible.
    • Welcome to the wonderful world of Click Farms for Amazon KU. Ugh!
    • This was Tee’s biggest hangup with the KU Program from Day One.
    • These services are cheap. Are they ethical? OH HELL NO.
    • Where are these smart devices coming from, you think?
    • No, KU is a crappy system. Period.
  • Last Item: The Importance of a Workflow
    • Less about writers, more about the support staff you are working with.
    • New technology is cool, but you really should know about a new gadget before incorporating it into a project’s workflow.
    • Even Tee has new tech toys he wants t learn, but he understands limitations and learning curves.
    • Paper trails matter!
    • File Management matters, too! 
  • Pip is Tee’s Landshark of Love.

30:00 —  The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • This Loot Crate has been gathering dust…
  • July’s Theme: ANIMATION
    • Rick & Morty: A “Rick” statue that carries explicit content
    • Bob’s Burgers Recipe Collection (Very cool, LootCrate!)
    • Tee-shirt: Classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • A “SLURM” koozie from the world of Futurama
    • Nice Loot Crate pin, also from Bob’s Burgers
  • Tee grabs for the booklet as there really isn’t anything from our fandoms. We need help trying to figure out what this Bob’s Burgers item is all about…
  • This Loot Crate is a first for us, and that will make attendees of our panels VERY happy!

35:08 — The Wrap-Up

  • The things they say in New Zealand…
  • Oooooh, Coconut!
  • Where are we going to be?
    • Starting 1 August, The Dog Days of Podcasting is happening here! HAPPENING NOW!  (And here’s why Tee’s doing this here!)
    • 19 August, Murder As You Like It in Mechanicsburg, PA
    • 1-4 September, Escape Velocity in Washington, D.C.
    • October, The Maryland Renaissance Festival is
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition
    • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, here’s where to find us…
      • 703.791.1701
      • pip@pjballantine.com
      • tee@teemorris.com
      • …and social media, of course.
  • And with all this, we want Operation: Endgame to happen by Halloween
  • And did you know that Pip has a Patreon? SHE DOES, YOU KNOW!!!
  • We got lots to do, so see you in two weeks!

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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The Dog Days of Podcasting: The Value of a Routine

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Has the 2017 Dog Days of Podcasting challenge become a routine yet? Tee hopes so. See, a routine for a writer is a good thing. Routines help you get things done, and there’s real value in having routines for the day. Does this mean that routines go missed? Well, yeah, that happens. Life is not set in its patterns, and routines are sometimes disrupted. This is why they are so valuable to you as a writer.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!
And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
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The Dog Days of Podcasting: The Joy (and Fear) of Challenges

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

For this next installment of the 2017 Dog Days of Podcasting challenge, Tee looks at the challenge of exploring a world that you are familiar with. It’s a world you as the one who created it should know inside and out and intimately, but can you still discover something new within it, surprising yourself as well as your readers?

That’s the rush you feel when facing a new challenge.

Find Tee on Twitter at either here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!
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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Writer’s Rage

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Welcome to the 2017 Dog Days of Podcasting challenge. The Shared Desk is hosting this bold venture, and Tee will explain more about it in this week’s show. For now, just expect something completely different appearing in your feed this month alongside regular episodes of the writerly podcast you know from this site.

This episode looks at Writer’s Rage. At least that’s what Tee is calling it.

Find Tee on Twitter at either here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!
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Episode #77: Pip Is Learning New Things

We’ve been busy lately with wrapping up one project and starting a brand new one. However, we are never too busy to learn new things, and Pip is doing that presently with Nick Stephenson and his course, How to Find Your First 10,000 Readers. This may sound like we’re drinking the marketing guru’s Kool-Aid (mmmmm…fruity) but we are asking hard questions. Nick’s got answers.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • All the SEVENS!
  • Shameless plug for Happy Hour from the Tower
  • Sonic Boom is encouraging bad behavior at home.
  • What are we up to?
    • Podcasting for Dummies, the Third Edition
    • Operation: Endgame
  • Listening to Geo again, and still loving that skeptical goofball!
  • Where is Tee going to be ON HIS BIRTHDAY? Well, he’s launching Podcasting for Dummies in Phoenix, Arizona!
  • Jack Mangan needs to get back into podcasting.

04:50 —  Episode #77: Pip Is Learning New Things

  • You can be marketing books for years (like us) and still miss steps.
  • When marketing goes bad…
  • Pip decided to take a deep dive course in marketing with Nick Stephenson of Your First 10,000 Readers
  • Who is Nick Stephenson?
  • Who is endorsing nick? Well, Joanna is, for one…
  • You can see some of these changes happening here.
  • Pip begins to share her newfound knowledge…and channels a Beatnik instead.
  • Your website should be doing this. (I didn’t know that!)
  • Free really isn’t “free” when you look at it.
  • Tee wants to buy Nick a pint based on his sense of humor.
  • Nick practices what he preaches.
  • A look at how to value your work.
  • Pip is learning a HECK of a lot!
  • When covers go bad, it’s EPIC.
  • Authors can really be cheap.
  • With lessons learned and learning from the lessons of others, it’s time to a To-Do List.
  • Launching a book? Tee’s got that covered.

23:45 —  The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • Who’s opening THE BOOOOOOXXX?!?!?
  • June’s Theme: Alter-Ego (Something Pip and Tee are familiar with.)
    • Tee-shirt: A Classic Transformers shout-out.
    • A Spider-Man Q-fig
    • An Incredible Hulk bowl, perfect for a raging teenage barbarian!
    • A poster book of DC Comics’ New 52 comic book covers
    • Nice Loot Crate pin nod to Spider-Man’s nemesis, the Green Goblin
  • We made a dent in our Geeky Prize Giveaway Stash at AwesomeCon, but we’re filling it up again…

28:52 — Writers Off the Clock

  • It was a VERY special weekend at the Morris household….
    • Introducing our daughter to ALIENS
    • She handled The Matrix really well, but it wasn’t the R rating that bothered us.
    • Do you have to show someone Alien before you introduce them to Aliens?
    • Pip will not be writing freehand anytime soon.
    • There is only ONE — DEFINITIVE — VERSION — of Aliens
    • What the Director’s Cut adds to the Aliens experience.
  • Aliens have inspired successful games. One of them scared Phil Rossi!
  • After 30 years, the movie is still solid. Masterful storytelling in film.
  • Character development in Aliens
  • Even the music plays a part.
  • The writing question: Why do the sequels and prequels fall so short? Where do you go after Aliens?
  • Tee’s one question for Alien: Covenant

43:51 — The Wrap-Up

  • Well, AwesomeCon lived up to the hype!
  • Where are we going to be?
    • 30 June-July 2, BlerDCon in Washington D.C. (Sunday only! BRIGHT AND EARLY!!!)
    • 14-16 July, Motor City Steam Con in Detroit, MI (Break out your PJ’s!)
    • 19-20 August, Mechanicsburg Mystery Weekend in Mechanicsburg, PA (Lots to do during this Mystery conference…)
    • 1-4 September, Escape Velocity in Washington, D.C. (A weekend of hardcore geekery with Nick Kelly!)
    • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, here’s where to find us…
      • 703.791.1701
      • pip@pjballantine.com
      • tee@teemorris.com
      • …and social media, of course.
  • Ah, the glamorous life of writers…

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 #76: Wonder Woman from a Writerly Perspective (with Mary Katherine “M.K.” Backstrom)

Tee and Pip invite the newest member of the the Smoky Writers Mafia to the show after she — that’s special guest M.K. Backstrom, if you’re curious — suggested we all get on mic and talk about Wonder Woman…

…and that’s just what we did. And you’ll find out VERY QUICKLY why we fell in love with this Power Blogger.

00:00 —  Episode #76: Wonder Woman from a Writerly Perspective (with Mary Katherine “M.K.” Backstrom)

  • Welcome to the podcast Mary Katherine Backstrom of Mom Babble and Scary Mommy!
  • Tee cashes in on the new friendship with M.K.
  • Tee is the odd man out with this discussion on Wonder Woman, and that is just fine.
  • Quick check of the household, kids-wise to find out who did you go see Wonder Woman with?
  • SPOILERS ARE COMING IN THIS PODCAST!
  • For M.K., the movie was way more emotional than she expected.
  • Pip’s emotions swelled with both Moana and Wonder Woman.
  • Tee knew it was going be a good ride with the film’s soundtrack.
  • Tee found a few takeaways from Wonder Woman
  • That moment when Lynda Carter rendered Tee speechless.
  • Differences between Carter’s Diana and Gadot’s Diana
    • When dudes write for Wonder Woman
    • There wasn’t eye candy for guys in this movie? Well, depends on the guy…
    • “Why, yes, I do like older women.”
  • How Steve Trevor was written…
  • Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman with men writing for her…
    • Both Pip and M.K. want to vacation on Themyscira.
    • A quick House of Cards tangent…
    • Some love for Etta!
  • The scene at Trafalgar Square
  • M.K.’s advantage over Tee and Pip: No other Wonder Woman eras to compare to.
  • The emotional impact of World War I (and Pip’s trivia on that moment)
  • Social commentary in Wonder Woman? It could happen.
  • The storytelling of Wonder Woman compared to the storytelling of Batman Vs. Superman
  • Girl Power in Wonder Woman: Organic or Heavy Handed?
    • M.K. gets the Analogy Bell!
    • Tables turned back to Tee
    • Is Tee getting woman-splained? Well, yeah, he is. *LOL*
    • SERIOUS FEMINIST LOVE FOR ALIENS! (Where was the male outrage there?)
  • Commentary on the inevitable love scene…which still caught Tee, Pip, and M.K. by surprise.
  • Did we think Wonder Woman was perfect? Oh no, not by a longshot…
  • Wonder Woman raises the bar for Justice League.
  • 51:34 — The Wrap-Up

    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 #75: Recorded LIVE from the 2017 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference

photo from Heidi Ruby-Miller

Tee and Pip make to Steel City for the 2017 Nebula Awards, and at the en masse signing, the pace for them slowed down. That tends to happen when the SFWA bookstore doesn’t stock your books. Fortunately, Tee stocked his satchel with the iPad and a Shure MV51. Five minutes later, Tee and Pip are bringing the 2017 Nebula Awards Book Signing and passer’s-by to you! Welcome to a moment at The Nebula Awards Conference where Katie, Tee, Pip, Lauren, Piper, and Matt — the Smoky Writers Mafia — gathered amongst the best in science fiction. Give them a call at 703-791-1701, and ask about anything concerning this conference. It was quite the education!

00:00 —  Episode #75: The 2017 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference 

  • Promo: The Nerd Out App
  • LIVE from Pittsburgh!!!
  • Pip thinks she has a “radio voice” but it’s not really
  • Looks who dropped by! It’s Mel!!! And Heather is here as well!
  • What brings Mel and Heather to The Nebula Awards? Well, this is Mel’s hometown!
  • Notes from The Nebula Conference, Confluence, and Pittsburgh on a whole
    • Beer tastings happen, especially when K.T. Bryski is around!
    • Avoid food served in a bucket.
    • Pip might get in some sight-seeing…
  • Tee’s asked to sign a program. As he looks for a place to sign, have a listen to the Programming of the conference.
  • Pip recalls her panel of awesome with Mary Robinette Kowall.
  • Escape Artists, Inc. shows up in force at the Nebulas.
  • A few words on audio rights, and how important they are…
  • Tee reflects on his first panel: Other Day Jobs for Writers…
  • …then came Podcasting 101 with Piper J Drake and Pip in the Moderator’s Seat.
  • What happens when you sit down with Apple iBooks…
    • Want to visit the Mother Ship in Cuppertino? (YES!!!)
    • Changing travel plans for December.
    • Apple wants to talk to authors, and be more author friendly.
  • We get a visit from Heidi Ruby Miller (right) who is rocking this cool retro sci-fi pattern…
  • And just like that Heidi’s on the podcast.
  • Yes, there is a ball app and Tee travels with one.
  • Heidi has snuck away from the Penn Writers Conference to hang with science fiction authors.
  • What was Heidi up to at the Penn Writers Conference?
  • What Heidi and her husband, Jack, are up to on social media?
    • Check out Small Space, Big Life on YouTube
    • And Jack is shaking his backsides at the Nebulas.
    • And as Larry Connelly passes by, Tee recognizes him from Podcasting 101!
    • Larry, it turns out, is a podcasting veteran.
  • No books to sign, but we do have autograph cards!
  • Grabbing Jennifer Dawson, a Stonecoaster alongside K.T. Bryski, to clock in some time on the mic…
    • A quick opinion on Stonecoast
    • And what does Jenn write? Well now…
    • The support of a community matters.
    • Tee tells Jenn about the James River Writers, and how he found out about them.
    • Turns out Omaha has a LOT going on for writers!
    • Jenn’s favorite panels from the conference.
  • The power of podcasting: Keeping ourselves entertained when books are not around.
  • Signing off…

34:59 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo (with The Kelly Family!)

  • Nick, Stacia, and Brandon wanted to be around when we opened up this Loot Crate…
  • May’s Theme: Guardians
    • Q-Fig of Rocket and Groot! How about those Q-Fig creations?
    • The tee shirt is Goonies-riffic!
    • A Star Wars Coloring Book?! Tee is 7 again!
    • The Loot Crate pin is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not his fandom, but it’s pretty sweet.
    • A Character Class Patch Set from Destiny
    • …and the box becomes your Ghost, as we talk about in Happy Hour from the Tower.
    • Here’s what it looks like when it’s done…
  • NICE HAUL!!!

45:45 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip needs some Stark-splaining!
  • WE GOT TICKETS FOR WONDER WOMAN!!!
  • The Nebula Conference was fun! So was our visit to Balticon 51!
  • Where are we going to be?
    • 16-18 June, AwesomeCon in Washington D.C. (No, we’re not going to get that photo with Stan Lee…)
    • 30 June-July 2, BlerDCon in Washington D.C. (Wait, hold on, what’s BlerDCon? And what are Nick and Tee up to?)
    • A quick tangent on Star Trek: Discovery...
    • 14-16 July, Motor City Steam Con in Detroit, MI
  • This ain’t Tee’s first rodeo. Obviously.

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 #74: Your Voicemails!

It’s so nice to breathe again, and because we got over the bug that we’ve passed back and forth to one another, we are back with a brand new Shared Desk! We have The Nebula Awards Conference this weekend, so as we are prepping for that, we’re turning to our voicemails and spending some time with you this go-round! (See—when you leave us Voicemail, we put you on the show!) We are also debuting a new segment for the show. Make sure to let us know what you think at 703-791-1701, and we may feature you in a segment or a special show just like this one.

Well, not just like this one as we are not going to get the exact feedback.

You know what we mean!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • No longer shouting into the mic. See, Pip can be taught!
  • Thanks, Billy, for the sweet drop-in!
  • Big shout out for all this great geekery on the television. Well, not all of it…
  • Anyone else excited about The Defenders?
  • Finally over the sniffles, the coughing, and the congestion…

03:54 — Episode 74: Your Voicemails!

  • Some Voicemail love
    • We’ve been letting the voicemails stack up, so we’re giving the whole show to them.
    • Some cross-promotion for Happy Hour from the Tower
    • Upcoming Podcasting for Dummies shenanigans
    • …and yeah, a lot of podcasting in the works for the both of us!
  • First Voicemail: Brian Webber & Episode 69
  • Second Voicemail: Chris Lester & Episode 71
    • Chris knows how to plug!
    • The theory of what brings on The Impostor Syndrome
    • Chris’ introduction to Hamilton parallels Tee’s
    • Some Hamilton trivia, especially Lin-Manuel Miranda at the White House
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Creative Process
    • A discussion about being a “Genius”
  • Third Voicemail: Nobilis Reed & Episode 73
    • When authors don’t want to move forward, why does that mean readers can’t?
    • The end can be the beginning, whether it is a role-playing game (like ours!) or writing fan fiction.
    • Fan fiction is a healthy extension of where an author’s work ends.
    • Mike Rigg launched the Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast as an extension of his own world (and Tee loves to listen).
  • Fourth Voicemail: Steve Pritchard & Episode 73
    • More reminiscing over Billi Baddings
    • Passing along notes to other writers and passing the torch…
    • Looking back on Iron Fist
  • Yes, we love Listener Feedback so drop us a line…
    • 703.791.1701
    • tee (at) teemorris (dot) com
    • pip (at) pjballantine (dot) com
    • ….or leave us a comment right here in the show’s post! 
  • Pip gets all foreign on Tee again.

28:07 — What’s Cookin’, Writers? 

  • And now, the Spirit Animal of Tee and Pip’s Kitchen
  • How did this segment come about? It all started with a Facebook exchange from Tommy Garza…
  • If you think we cook like crazy, how about that Piper J Drake?
  • Smoking Meats: The Basics
    • Step 1: Get Yourself a Smoker

    • Be careful—you may get so attached to your smoker, you may put your life before this appliance.
    • Char-Broil Electric Smoker. Great device, dodgy app.
  • The Zen of Smoked Meats
    • This is not an impulse thing. You plan for smoking meats.
    • Smoking meats is great for writers!
    • You want wood? We got wood!
  • Char Broil has a great website for tips on smoking meats.
  • Try different flavors with your wood. Find out what works for you.
  • Whatever the cooking time, add one hour.
  • Smoking Ribs: The 3-2-1 Method
    • Enjoy your double innuendos.
    • The Tea & Spice Exchange is great for rubs!
    • Farmers’ Markets also carry terrific rubs.
    • Apply rub to your meat, smoke that for three hours.
    • Then baste your meat, smoke for two hours. (We love using cider from Cobbler Mountain Cellars.)
    • Cover in a sauce of your liking, smoke for an hour.
    • Serve, eat, and you’re welcome.
  • And now, since we’re talking about poultry, let’s talk about spatchcocking.
  • Shout out to Scott Sigler!
  • Closing with brisket
  • Want to try Blue Apron? Reach out to us. Let us know…

45:45 — The Wrap-Up

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 #73: Something Old, Something New

We’re baaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Sorry for the skip in the weeks. We’ve been kind of busy these past few weeks. Let us bring you up to speed!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Creeping towards Show #100….
  • Missed a week here and there, but we are on a….somewhat regular-ish schedule?
  • Sure, we got some feedback in the hopper, but we’re going to focus on something else…
  • Pip’s got a new book out! Have you got your copy of Immortal Progeny yet?
  • Tee’s trying to keep up with writing, but his Dad has not been making things easy…
  • The K.T. Brisket has been perfected. So we’re waiting for K.T. to come back for another visit!

03:58 — Episode 73: Something Old, Something New

  • I ask again—have you got your copy of Immortal Progeny yet?
    • This is her first solo book since Harbinger!
    • A synopsis…with drop-in’s.
    • What took this book so long?
    • Pip goes deep into an epic fantasy locked in a religious war, and two more are coming…
  • While Pip has been working on Immortal Progeny, Tee gets tapped by Wiley Publishing again!
    • Podcasting for Dummies, 2nd Edition hit the shelves over a decade ago.
    • On the third royalty check for this decade-old book, Tee started making calls.
    • In February, offers were made. In March, contracts were signed.
    • Coming to shelves in September 2017 — Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition. BETTER. STRONGER. FASTER.
    • Anyone remember the iRiver?
  • Updating a decade-old book…
  • So what happened today? Somebody asked Tee about Billibub Baddings.
  • When working on titles, it’s not about the art. It’s about paying bills. It’s about survival. It’s about business.
  • A lesson for writers with Elizabeth Bear from Edgar Allan Poe
  • Tee doesn’t want to phone it in…and there was a nagging voice Tee was haunted by…
  • Even Pip wants Tee to get back to DOPE.
  • A full plate. That is what is going on in 2017—a full friggin’ plate.
  • Tee is picking a direction. It is forward.

31:46 — Writers Off the Clock

  • We prefer to be positive in our Writers Off the Clock segment…but we’re talking about Marvel’s Iron Fist.
  • Was it the whitewashing? Nope. Was it Finn Jones? Nope. (But he did not help his case at all.)
  • WHO’S TO BLAME? THE WRITERS!
    • Iron Fist is what happens when a project is rushed.
    • PROPS TO THE LADIES!!!
    • This is a first draft. A terrible first draft. LET’S FILM IT!
  • Another problem I got: The way martial arts are handled.
    • Absolute amateur hour.
    • When you watch Into the Badlands, this is your bar, Marvel Entertainment. You have to clear it.
    • What was Marvel doing? Cutting corners with martial arts? In Iron Fist?
  • QUICK UPDATE FROM TEE ON FINISHING IRON FIST
  • The script remained throughout a real disservice to the actors.
    • This isn’t all Finn Jones’ fault.
    • The big finale…meh.
    • Lots of time in corporate boardrooms…or BOREDrooms?
  • Does Finn Jones get a pass for not knowing martial arts? EXHIBIT A: The Matrix.
  • Iron Fist was a rushed project, and it shows.

47:43 — The Wrap-Up

  • Hey, Marvel, don’t like our compinions? FIGHT US!
    • Call us at 703.791.1701 (now accessible through the Instagram app!)
    • Send Tee email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Send Pip email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …or find us on social media everywhere.
  • What’s coming in 2017…
    • 28-30 April, RavenCon 12 in Williamsburg, VA
    • 18 – 21 May, The Nebula Awards Conference in Pittsburgh, PA (It will be Katie, Tee, and Pip…along with others from the Smoky Retreat!)
    • Tee and Pip will be visiting Balticon
    • Events in the works…
      • A steampunk tea in Ellicott City, Maryland…
      • Guest speakers at a Mystery conference…
      • …and a return to Revel Grove in October!
  • And Tee isn’t busy enough so he’s launch a new podcast all about the video game, Destiny!

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 72: The 2017 Smoky Writers Retreat Wrap-Up (featuring K.T. Bryski…and even MORE Hamilton!!!)

We’re baaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Another year, another retreat in the Smoky Mountains. Here’s how it all went down…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • How many times is Pip going to make this joke?
  • First time with new mics? Why, yes — yes, it is!
  • Special Guest — K.T. Bryski who is always writing like she’s running out of time…
  • New drop-in’s from Hamilton: An American Musical…again!
  • So what’s the new gear and what do you all think?
    • Tee’s on a Heil PR781 for the first time, and digging it!
    • Pip is working the Heil PR40 while using a Heil PL2T Boom Mic stand.
    • Katie is the rebel of the three of us, recording on the MXL BCD-1  (which came with a WS-002 windscreen) with the BCD Boom Mic stand.
    • Thoughts and opinions on the new gear…
    • So why the upgrade? Tee Morris and Chuck Tomasi are returning to the stands with Podcasting for Dummies: The Third Edition!

06:48 — Episode 72: The 2017 Smoky Writers Retreat Wrap-Up (featuring K.T. Bryski…now with even MORE Hamilton!!!)

  • What are we taking with us? (Sing along if you know the drop-in…)
  • Always nice to see Stephen Grenade when you get there.
  • A look at the man behind the Smoky Writers Retreat….
  • Great Things about the New Cabin
    • Double the hot tubs!
    • Everyone had beds!
    • Where we found our place to write in Valhalla?
  • Katie is being distracting!
  • Tee starts up a new routine: A Brisk Morning Walk — UPHILL — BOTH WAYS!!!
  • Watch one of the videos from Tee & Tim’s Morning Walk, and laugh at how hard we are working…
  • What we were working on…
    • For Pip: The Illuminal — first draft, now at a 50K word count
    • For Katie: She started off wanting to write a novel, but took a step back to work on short stories.
    • For Tee: Dope, now over 27K deep and running at a good pace
  • If you are not reading Piper J. Drake’s bestselling trilogy, you should be!
  • WHAT WAS THE FAVORITE FOOD?!?
    • For Katie: Salmon and Soba Noodles
    • For Pip: She refuses to choose…
    • For Tee: The Lamb Curry
  • Tee starts taking risks with Sirracha.
  • A Day at MagicQuest
    • How to fix MagicQuest from authors who have never grown up…
    • The Mirror Maze — FUN!
    • Blacklight Pirate Golf, as you do!
  • Smoky Writers is NOT a vacation.
  • Just accept it — we all love M.K.!
  • This year saw the founding of the Smoky Writers Chamber Choir!
  • Thank you M.K. for picking up the official SWR Guitar!
  • The reasons we may be returning to Valhalla…
  • What brings us back to Smoky and how this is Alex White’s show…
    • The waiting list could be a retreat in itself.
    • So how about learning from the master? Read this and this.
  • So…are we there yet?

32:03 — Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • The Loot Crate arrived before we left…
  • February Theme: BUILD
    • The Lego Batman Food Container — MINE!
    • The tee-shirt is Volton …and now it is Katie’s
    • Lego Dimensions: Benny and Benny’s Spaceship
    • Tetris Magnets. That’s a distraction waiting to happen.
    • Secret Order of the Keys…something for later.
  • The BUILD crate marks the one-year anniversary with Loot Crate!
  • What else came in the mail? A special Cards Against Humanity expansion pack!
    • It was M.K.’s first time playing, and we were all worried about how she was going to take it…
    • …well, not all of us were worried. There was “That bitch, Stacey!”
    • And what did Tee pick up? A Mass Effect Expansion Pack.

37:36 — The Wrap-Up

45:03 — Post-Show Groove

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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The Official Promo for this Three-Year-Old Podcast

 

It took us long enough, but we finally got around to it…

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 71: Dealing with the Imposter Syndrome while Pining for Lin-Manuel Miranda (with Special Guest Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

You can’t say “No” to this…

NNNOOOO!!!!

It is the Lin-Manuel Miranda edition of The Shared Desk. Don’t think Lin-Manuel Miranda has anything to do with our topic, but as you listen to the show, you’ll understand why we are dedicating this show to the cast of the hottest musical to hit Broadway in decades…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • First show of the New year on account of a really rough start…
  • New drop in from Hamilton: An American Musical
  • Heading to Farpoint this weekend, but not the first event of 2017. At least, for Tee.
  • We got to make this event happen this weekend! We got to WORK!

03:54 — Episode 71: Dealing with the Imposter Syndrome while Pining for Lin-Manuel Miranda (with Special Guest Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

  • What are we drinking tonight? Viking Blod, the breakfast of writing champions!
  • The story of Blod and Smoky Writers Past.
  • A topic that came up during MAGFest…
  • The Imposter Syndrome
    • Defined by Tee
    • Defined by Pip
    • Defined by Lauren
  • The debate over the Imposter Syndrome
    • What do you say when successful indie authors are suffering this?
    • The next Hamilton reference…and another…
    • If your goal isn’t the validation you seek, then what is?
  • Are you listening to Words of a Feather podcast? Well, you should.
  • The Imposter Syndrome can come from a variety of sources…
    • Stress
    • Starting new projects in uncharted countries
    • Looking at where you are in your career and where you want to be
  • What’s attractive between both independent publishing and traditional publishing?
  • What’s tough to do between both independent publishing and traditional publishing?
  • Pip’s firmly planted in the Nick Kelly camp when it comes to the Imposter Syndrome.
  • Lauren owns it
    • …but Tee also copes with it…
    • ….and so does Pip.
  • Tee’s biggest Imposter Syndrome fear: He’s not a well-read guy.
  • How do we combat Imposter Syndrome?
    • For Lauren: Working harder.
    • For Tee: Jumping into a new idea.
    • For Pip: Solving the problem within the work.
  • Wired for Story — a resource all writers should have within reach
  • The return of Old Yeller

32:00 — Writers Off the Clock

  • So…fucking Lin-Manuel Miranda and his goddamn incredible talents…
  • Why were we resistant of the Ham Wagon?
    • For Pip: The girl’s a REBEL!
    • For Lauren: Her Obsessive Personality
    • For Tee: The Actor in Him and His Love of Musical Theatre
  • How did we finally surrender to the phenomenon of Hamilton: An American Musical?
    • For Pip: That reprobate from the Great White North…
    • For Lauren: Her roommate (and former guest of the show), Skribby
    • For Tee: He knew he was in trouble when watching Moana.
  • Sonic Boom was listening to Hamilton before we were!
  • Shout-out to the Howard Family who met one of the King George actors after the show…
  • Lot of cool things the Hamilton cast did during Lin-Manuel’s run.
  • Shout-out to JMU alumni behind the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express!

53:33 — The Wrap-Up

  • Drunk auditioning for Hamilton
  • More dates coming in 2017…
  • What was your favorite or most informative show in 2016?
    • Call us at 703.791.1701 (now accessible through the Instagram app!)
    • Send Tee email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Send Pip email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …or find us on social media everywhere.
  • Tee can still do the end tag even after Blod!
  • Tee’s got a surprise in the works…

1:01:23 — Post-Show Groove

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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SPECIAL EPISODE: The Geek Wolfpack Podcast and a Review of MAGFest

A SYNDICATED SPECIAL
with the Geek Wolfpack Podcast!

A special episode (dropped into the Shared Desk feed via the Geek Wolfpack Podcast feed) where Papa Wolf  (Nick Kelly) and his special guest (Tee, first time in studio!)  recap the events of MAGFest 2017. Hear these two discuss the unique vibe of this festival, cosplay, retro gaming, our panels, and all sorts of insanity from this incredible Washington, DC music and gaming festival over fine, malted beverages…

MAGFest Recap Notes

0:00 – Intro
1:07 – Fanboyglass – Destiny glasses
2:02 – MAGFest

2:16 – Brie gets her cameo
2:35 – Momma Wolf gets her cameo
3:08 – Rob Aldrich at www.teachthesky.com
3:49 – Rob’s panel on the Top Ten Episodes of the Transformers

Rob Aldrich presents on the Top Ten Transformers Episodes

4:11 – What is MAGFest?
4:50 – Tee’s intro to MAGFest
5:41 – Awesomecon
6:45 – The attendees are as diverse as it gets, and we love it
8:04 – Our friends at the Geektitude podcast and State of the Geek
8:14 – Locked, Loaded and Liberal
8:54 – MAGFest did a great video of our panel, Storytelling in Video Games
9:03 – Tee’s podcast, The Shared Desk
9:37 – There might be Time Travel
10:03 – Last year, Tee did “The Big Score: The History of Soundtracks in Movies and Video Games
10:22 – Major kudos to all of the staff. The A/V crew was amazing.
11:10 – Always give thank you’s in the most public way to sound, A/V and lighting people
11:45 – Thursday’s arrival
12:20 – eBro-la is now a thing
13:08 – 4 day cons are actually 6 days long
14:14 – Battletech: Fire Storm
17:04 – The end of a con is not unlike Fat Tuesday

Squirrel Girl!

17:31 – Comics & Gaming
17:51 – Thermal’s new Assassin’s Creed jacket

18:18 – Ashamei got new earrings
18:50 – Sonic Boom gets Overwatch ears
20:16 – How Tee and Rob Aldrich met (in 2003)
21:51 – Hingle McCringleberry
22:10 – Pre-Order Rob Aldrich’s “Rockaiju
22:55 – Rob mentioned Final Fantasy VI
23:35 – Rob also mentioned Ratchet and Clank
23:38 – Nick talked about Asheron’s Call
24:04 – Xenoblade Chronicles
24:31 – Tee talked Myst
24:45 – Tee also talked Destiny
25:28 – Get a gaming crate from Lootcrate
25:35 – Smuggler’s Bounty – Star Wars themed crates
26:14 – When is the story too much?
26:36 – Overwatch needs a story mode
27:27 – Matthew J Drake
28:25 – Overwatch was the predominant cosplay
28:55 – Rayden from Mortal Kombat
29:40 – The giant Team Skull contingent was outrageous
31:40 – Garrison Tyranus from the 501st Legion
32:35 – The Wolfpack did Friday
33:10 – The Voice Acting Panel
34:57 – Say “good-bye” like this…

Thermal Wolff’s Assassin’s Creed jacket

36:14 – Rail Theory Kickstarter in February
36:36 – 2064 Read Only Memories
37:44 – Shout out to Machinae Supremacy!
38:11 – Old Town Man Cave – Manassas, VA
38:26 – IT WAS COLD!
39:12 – Buy an electric vehicle
39:20 – The Blink charging app
40:12 – Aldrich is reviewing every episode of Transformers ever

43:42 – Do not Chipotle at MAGFest
44:03 – Redstone American Grill
45:27 – We love Luke Cage. Congrats to their stunt crew!
46:18 – We played Joust!
47:55 – The sound that ties MAGFest together, the Colossus roar!
49:00 – Some of the pinball machines (There’s a Big Lebowski game!)
50:28 – Our late night panel, “Slightly Off-Key: Great Soundtracks to Truly Terrible Films”
52:35 – A little Billy Idol history
54:02 – Steve Stevens has a grammy for flamenco

Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition showed up at MAGFest

54:55 – Why Nick is pissed about Heavy Metal 2000
56:42 – Brian May’s involvement in the New Horizons project
57:45 – We gush over Highlander
58:20 – We talked a ton about Jim Steinman on the panel
59:02 – Nick loves Meatloaf
59:55 – The types of movies we cover: “If they weren’t absolute stinkers, they were train wrecks.” – Tee
60:30 – Where the video game based movies rank on RottenTomatoes.com
62:03 – Shout out to our friends at Horrorview
63:57 – The Batman vs Superman movie themes – fortissimo or djent, however you want to put it…
65:34 – We sold books!
66:16 – We agree to disagree on Van Helsing
66:56 – The different scores of Legend
69:33 – So, Nick, how did you feel after the panel?
71:29 – There’s a lot of Jim Steinman to the Protomen

View from the stage during the Thursday panel

74:22 – MAGFest is a two-way communication at all times
75:44 – Tee had fans of the Ministry in attendance
76:34 – The vibe at MAGFest is contagious
78:44 – Reciprocity!
80:34 – Shout out to Tyler Waldman
81:05 – Shout out to Pip Ballantine!
81:30 – Countless Hues of Crimson
81:38 – Pip Ballantine’s “Immortal Progeny
81:45 – The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh
81:56 – Shout out to the staff!
82:06 – MAGFest
82:29 – Happy Birthday David Bowie and Elvis Presley. Bowie released an EP on 1/8/17
83:18 – All MAGFest all the time!
83:38 – Outro

Finally….The Colossus Roar!

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Episode 70: A Panel at MAGFest (with Nick Kelly and Robert V. Aldrich)

 

So with January behind us, you might have thought, we intended to take a break.

No, we didn’t.

After a rather rough start to the year, we’re coming back—baby steps, mind you—into posting on a regular basis. We got a lot of stuff planned for you in February, but let’s ease back into our podcast with a look back at a panel at one of Tee’s favorite events…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • As we have said before, we are twelve years old…
  • Where were we in January? This blog post sums up the month.
  • New show coming, but right now it’s a Shared Desk from MAGFest 2017!
  • The topic? Storytelling in Gaming!
  • Major props to the MAGFest A/V Team!
  • Want to hear Nick and Tee riff about MAGFest? Stay tuned next week for a special syndicated episode of the Geek Wolfpack Podcast
  • Like the panel? Send us feedback!
    • Call us at 703.791.1701 (now accessible through the Instagram app!)
    • Send Tee email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Send Pip email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …or find us on social media everywhere.

03:27 — Episode #70: Storytelling in Gaming (with Nick Kelly and Robert V. Aldrich)

  • Introductions of panelists
  • Callsigns for Tee’s Gaming Crew
    • Nobilis Reed — Callsign: WikiReedia
    • Nick Kelly — Callsign: The Punisher
    • Tee Morris — Callsign: Wrong Way
  • What makes a good story?
    • Internal consistency
    • Consistent characters
  • Each panelist has picked two games and will be taking deep dives into what makes them good storytelling video games…
  • Robert apparently loves Tee’s slide shows…but he has a tough time giving feedback on them. *LOL*
  • Robert V. Aldrich’s Favorites
  • Nick Kelly’s Favorites
  • Tee’s Favorites

43:39 — The Wrap-Up

  • 2017 is underway, and here is where we will be…
    • 18-19 February, Farpoint 24 in Timonium, MD
    • 24 February – 5 March, Smoky Writers Retreat in Gatlinburg, TN
    • 28-30 April, RavenCon 12 in Williamsburg, VA
    • Nick Kelly and I are reaching out to future events to see if they want us…
    • …but keep up with what geeky things are happening in your neck of the woods with the Nerd Out App!
  • What was your favorite or most informative show in 2016?
    • Call us at 703.791.1701 (now accessible through the Instagram app!)
    • Send Tee email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Send Pip email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …or find us on social media everywhere.
  • Geeky Goodbyes: Richard Hatch (71) and Brian Ford (48)
  • No outro music. Just ending on a more reflective tone…

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 #69 (Dudes!): Antagonists, Villains, and the Writers’ Challenge

With weeks remaining in 2016, we find ourselves hitting the show landmark that makes us both snigger like fifth graders: SHOW #69!!! We’re not talking about sex, erotica, or naughty bits. We are looking at the antagonist. Sure, the antagonist is a villain, but a villain is not always your antagonist. What are the challenges you face when developing the foil to your protagonist? Where is the line drawn between the mustache-twirler and the complicated antagonist?

Let’s talk about how good it is to be bad…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • As we have said before, we are twelve years old…
  • Can you feel the excitement over Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2?
  • Groot. The new Hodor.
  • Nobilis Reed, celebrating a new book and a new house!
  • Show #69? Do we talk about sex, baby? Do we talk about you and me?
  • No, we actually decided to take a high ground for this show, and go low…

02:28 — Episode #69: Antagonists, Villains, and the Writers’ Challenge

  • One writer’s villain is another’s antagonist…sometimes, according to Miss Fancy Pants.
  • New drop-in’s are getting a workout.
  • Tee has already talked about the importance of developing your villains, but it’s worth returning to.
  • This is Pip’s current dilemma in her new fiction coming in 2017. (Something to look forward to…)
  • If you want to know more about editor-of-infinite-awesome, Jennifer Meltzer, pay her a visit at One-Stop Writer Shop!
  • What is Pip’s villain lacking?
  • Pardon the Galaxy Quest tangent…
  • Pip can do villains and antagonists. Look at Geist and the other Books of the Order.
  • Worthy to note: Mysteries handle antagonists different than Epic Fantasy.
  • Then you got antagonists within antagonists ala The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
  • Tee & Pip audition for a Metallica tribute band.
  • Antagonists risk going neglected when “pantsing” through a work-in-progress.
  • The value of having a focus with your antagonist
  • No SPECTRE without Earnst Stavro Bloefeld
  • Lessons in antagonists from William Shakespeare
  • A turning point in the development of the game, Destiny.
    • The Fallen. Bad Guys. Eh.
    • Then we meet the Taken King…
      There’s your focus.
  • Making antagonists sympathetic
    • Done right: Loki and Marvel’s Thor
    • Done wrong: Vader and the Star Wars prequels
  • More on an antagonist’s focus
    • The lack of focus in Star Trek: The Motion Picture versus KHAAAAAAANNNN! 
    • The Phantom Menace. What was it again?
  • Antagonists as the central character of your property
    • Dr. Hannibal Lecter
    • Walter White
    • Dexter Morgan

24:57 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Pip tries to bleep herself. She fails.
  • The creepiest cover of “Edelweiss you will ever hear…”
  • Amazon Studios’ The Man in the High Castle
  • Talking about Dick
    • Lou Anders says it best…
    • Some great films coming from Philip K. Dick’s concepts
  • The details add a degree of creepiness.
  • A quick run-down of the cast form The Man in the High Castle
  • The story of The Man in the High Castle
  • It’s worth Amazon Prime just to have access to this!

34:41 — Voicemail

  • We had dinner with Nobilis…and told him “Share this with the show!”
  • Steve Saylor asks for our favorite Dungeons & Dragons stories.
    • We’re RPGing again, and you can hear all our current adventures at the Geek Wolfpack Podcast
    • Pip’s Memory: When Ashimei enjoyed her own “Leeroy Jenkins” moment…and some things still never change.
    • Tee’s Memory: When Eryk can’t hit the broadside of a barn. The next week, though, Tee goes all John Woo on the “hobogoblins” in range…
  • Nobilis Reed has a new book out…and he asks about shipping books and how you work it into the cost of a book.
    • Pip is a big fan of using Indica.com or Stamps.com, especially when it comes to shipping from our online store.
    • Flat rates are best for domestic shipping for one book.
    • Going international? More than one book? Well, there’s a grey area…

48:13 — Wrapping up

  • Not done yet with 2016!
  • We’ve got some bonus audio we are going to throw in to a feed for the holidays! Thanks for hanging out with out this year!
  • Best. Year. EVAR! For posting shows, that is…
  • ONE MORE SHOW for 2016…with K.T. Brisket. (Sorry, K.T. Bryski.)
  • What we have coming up in 2017…
  • What was your favorite or most informative show in 2016?
    • Call us at 703.791.1701 (now accessible through the Instagram app!)
    • Send Tee email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Send Pip email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …or find us on social media everywhere.
  • Join us for our final show of the year featuring 100% MORE CANADA! 

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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SPECIAL EPISODE: The Geek Wolfpack Podcast and the Nerd Out App Kickstarter

Hey, everyone!

No…this is NOT Episode 69, dudes.

We have a lot happening this month. We’re working on our final season (and yes we admit to be using the term “final” liberally…) of Tales from the Archives, work to do on Operation: Endgame, and planning a special two-part head-to-head episode here on the Shared Desk with in-studio guest Nick Kelly over a science fiction epic, and how it ended. However, we wanted to take some time and share with you this episode of the Geek Wolfpack Podcast, Nick Kelly’s premiere podcast featuring the entire Kelly family. (Give it a listen. It’s a hoot!) This particular episode features the Wolfpack Podcast’s first interview, their guest professional nerd and entertainment professional Elle Jensen, founder of the Nerd Out App.

Elle sits down with Nick, Tee, and Pip to talk about the app’s Kickstarter campaign and how geeks of all backgrounds should be taking advantage of this wonder of technology!

Episode 16 (Show notes by Nick Kelly)

0:00 – Intro
1:18 – Our Interview with Elle Jensen of the Nerd Out App!
1:42 – Pip Ballantine!
1:55 – Tee Morris!
2:31 – Elle Jensen, Founder of the Nerd Out App
2:48 – The plug bell
3:06 – What exactly is the Kickstarter for?
3:45 – App development is like LEGO bricks
5:05 – Nick starts counting cities where he’s used the app
5:13 – What exactly is the Nerd Out App? Elle’s Comic Con story
6:00 – Nerdy Burlesque!
6:33 – The growth numbers on Nerd Out App 1.0
6:44 – The Average Geek Show
7:15 – Where does the App team get their events?
8:04 – The Chicago crew needs to get on the Nerd Squad
8:22 – A Klingon Christmas Carol
8:39 – DreamstoBecome.com
10:12 – Currently, events get added via a manual process. It’s going to be way easier in 2.0
10:53 – #furriesruineverything
11:12 – How are events vetted?
12:31 – Nerding responsibly
12:57 – The coolest events ever hosted in the app
13:24 – Poltergeist as a burlesque
13:55 – Nick’s list of cities, and the count is…
14:08 – Shout out to Geektitude.com
14:30 – Nerdcon!
14:36- Dumbells and Dragons and the Wekk podcast
15:06 – Other features in 2.0 – Geolocation, additional locations
15:45 – NEW ZEALAND!
15:53 – EpicCon – V’s Cosplay will be there as Agents Books & Braun
16:35 – Overseas requests come in bursts, but 2.0 will be able to expand more
17:15 – What is the financial goal of the Kickstarter campaign?
17:54 – If you do a Kickstarter campaign, factor in taxes
18:15 – What questions does Elle have for Tee and Pip?
19:45 – What’s the frequency of posts?
20:15 – How many posts are we boosting?
21:00 – What was Pip’s strategy in boosting posts?
21:33 – The West Coast Steampunk folks need to get posting more!
22:08 – What are the incentives?
23:02 – Audiobook giveaways are popular
23:22 – Other authors are happy to provide eBooks
23:50 – Additional feature – filtering so you can keep it kid friendly
24:28 – Stickers! Game of Thrones! Harry Potter! Deadpool! The Flash! Stranger Things!
25:02 – The Con Survival Pack – Everything you need to survive a con
25:45 – Sponsorship levels
26:12 – Tee explains the uber level
27:32 – Personalization is a big, big thing
27:47 – Friday the 13th: The Video Game
28:28 – Mystery Science Theater 3000
28:50 – Habitica gets a mention
29:20 – What are some personalization options for Nerd Out 2.0?
29:49 – King or Queen Nerd of your town
30:50 – You could be the nerd in the logo!
31:50 – A launch party, with the nerdy burlesque people and Geeky Tees
32:38 – Do you have a plan b?
33:40 – The timing of the kickstarter
35:40 – Nick’s experience from the field – www.starwarsdays.com
36:00 – Garrison Tyranus of the 501st Legion
36:19 – +2 Charisma
37:06 – Tee foreshadows the Nick vs. Tee Westworld episode
38:30 – Here we go. Elle’s street cred…
39:02 – Agent Carter
39:35 – Riverdale
39:55 – The CW Alien Crossover event
41:44 – I know my value
42:32 – Where can we find Elle and the Nerd Out App
42:55 – Thanks from the Wolfpack to Elle, Tee and Pip!
43:50 – ADHD D&D
44:31 – We continue to search Vrath Keep, after a PSA about flammable oven mitts
45:03 – NO DEMIGORGONS!
45:50 – Comfy chair
47:16 – It’s a conference room
48:21 – We all react to the ridiculous goblin map
49:13 – Turgen wants halflings to eat
49:55 – Do not spill ranch dressing on yourself
51:45 – Young Shecky Greene
54:03 – Battle of Lexington and Concord
54:30 – Hey, Pharaxes, go set everything on fire!
55:39 – You want an arcana check?
57:20 – Take an automatic 20 (why not?)
58:58 – The nightmare refugee scenario
59:50 – Outro

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 #68: Writing Under Duress

Welcome to December.

One month remaining in TWENTY-FREAKING-SIXTEEN!

How are you holding up?

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Nope. Not THAT episode. One more to go…
  • We are about as mature as toddlers.
  • Misfires on the drop-in’s and headphones
  • Is 2017 here yet?
  • So how about we get back to it?

01:54 — Episode #68: Writing under Duress

  • Watching the Facebook feed at the end of NaNoWriMo….and not seeing a lot of happy writers.
  • Let’s be honest about November and 2016 on a whole.
  • We got off to a great start…and then we lost two legends in one week!
  • Good thing The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh had a deadline before the 2016 Election.
  • Pip didn’t even vote and she shut down.
  • Watch us dance around the current political climate…
  • Creativity can sometimes be a path out of the darkness.
    • For Pip, she pulled out of a rough patch with 4000 words.
    • Tee got some help from Countless Hues of Crimson.
  • Does comedy help unlock the funk?
  • Tee’s trying to tell a story, but Pip is giving him a look…which doesn’t work well in audio.
  • When surrounded by tragedy, Tee found a groove with MOREVI.
  • Writing can be an escape. Writing can also be commentary.
  • The science fiction of the 1960’s was truly a chronicle of the time.
  • Tee turns the tables on Pip…
    • When Pip was at rock bottom, she created worlds.
    • Writing was a positive light in her life.
    • Without Pip’s divorce, Geist wouldn’t have happened.
  • We love Roger Ballantine on this show!
  • 2017 is going to be a GREAT year for us, writing-wise!
  • Comparing the angst and suffering against the Smoky Writers atmosphere
    • Duress doesn’t always have to be bad
    • Even in a nurturing environment, there is pressure!
    • Brussel sprouts are GOOD at Smoky Writers!
  • Regardless of the positive or negative duress, the quality of words is not necessarily different. They are still good.
  • 2016 can take a flying leap! (UPDATE: No, the cabin didn’t make it.)
  • A moment about creativity during darker times…
    • Pip has been sending Tee mixed messages about what kind of Bowie she likes.
    • Look at the Romantics and their own poetry of the time…
  • Tee explains Communism versus Socialism through a cookout analogy.
  • Crawling out of the muck of depression
  • When do you need help?
  • Take care of yourself.

27:54 — Listener Mail!

38:59 — Wrapping up

  • Got a question or a comment for us? Let us know at 703.791.1701 or email us an mp3 file at…
    • tee (at) teemorris (dot) com
    • pip (at) pjballantine (dot) com
    • Or drop us comments on social media!
    • And don’t forget that FANCY way to contact us via Instagram!
  • What’s coming up?
    • NOTHING!
    • Baking for the holidays. Smoking meats for the holidays.
  • Kicking off 2017 in January
  • A full writing schedule…
    • Countless Hues of Crimson (coming in December)
    • Audio version of Magical Mechanications (coming in December)
    • Tales from the Archives: The Final Season (going live at Christmas)
    • …and new stories from Pip and Tee coming in 2017!
  • We have a new name for our Canadian daughter…
  • Are you listening to Words of a Feather? How about Tee & Pip playing Dungeons & Dragons?
  • We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line!

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 #67: Young Adult Fiction 101 — Part Two (with Scribe and Scribby)

With Curse of the Silver Pharaoh now out in print, Tee and Pip head to a renaissance festival for hilarity and sheananigans. They invited for their little merry jaunt a pair of Laurens who know a lot about writing Young Adult fiction. So even thought it is Tee’s birthday, we are giving YOU a present with this podcast for your Friday!!!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Missed a week, but for good reason!
  • BEST WISHES FOR PC AND JEN HARING!!!
  • We were having so much fun with Scribe and Scribby that we broke the show up into two parts!
  • So how about we get back to it?

01:57 — Episode #67: Young Adult Fiction 101 (with Scribe and Scribby) 

  • Picking up where we left off in looking over Tee’s blogpost on writing Young Adult fiction…
  • So as we are dealing with street kids in The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh, you might want to accept that they are not going to be little angels. IOW, they will not be talking like little angels.
  • Sonic Boom thought about taking on a Herculean task…
  • The conversation stems from a recent blogpost of Tee’s…
  • Quick shout-out to The Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • Turning to the Books of Potter on harsh language
  • So where is The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh falling?
    • Checking your age range
    • Tee’s first encounter with a “concerned” parent
    • Scribby’s own encounters
  • Reading habits of the Ladies in studio
  • How a book serves as a “safe space” for teens and tweens
  • A moment of fangirl awesome as Scribe and NYT Bestseller Gail Carriger meet Mercedes Lackey
  • The discovery of gay characters for a young, impressionable Lauren Harris? Not a big deal.
    • Scribby dealing with a “No Gay” Zone at the Library
    • The Pros and Cons of Labeling
  • A quick request for voicemail at 703.791.1701 on some music trivia
  • You got a church? PROTEST OUR BOOKS!!!
  • Tee’s Final Point: The Angst Level
    • The Light versus the Dark: Comparing The Flash and Supergirl with Arrow.
    • How Stephen Amell would make the  situation in The Fifth Wave work…
    • Teens are now laughing at the angst.
  • How angst changes between teens and adults
  • Remembering the balance of angst against the good times
  • Hey, Pip, who are The Famous Five?
  • Treating angst with care
  • So…what actually did go on at Pip’s private girl’s school???
  • Another reading from The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh
  • When it comes to S-E-X: Go gently in to that good night.
    • Scribby, there is a huge difference between a “love triangle” and a “threesome” if you are wondering…
    • Back to Gail Carriger and her handling of romance
    • The romantic ways of teens
    • Earning affections — not always so easy
    • And Tee is twelve years old, for the record
  • The real reason authors avoid sex in Young Adult: that “first time” is a little disastrous.
  • How author John Green gets it right
  • How Leigh Bardugo got it right for Scribe
  • Sex in Y.A. — more emotion, less scrappin’

34:57 — LootCrate Lookie-Loo

  • Two crates? What is this madness??? Oh, it’s the Loot Vault!
  • And do we need to remind you that Tee is twelve?
  • Loot Crate — July 2015 (Heroes 2)
    • Fresh from the 60’s, a Batman Q-Pop
    • A Star Trek air freshener (and Pip just got a new ride, so…)
    • A sweatband from Legend of Zelda for those extra-long runs!
    • From The Dark Knight, a multitool of a bottle opener and a keychain
    • A D.C. Bombshell Wonder Woman poster for Sonic Boom…maybe?
    • And with The Legion of Regrettable Superheroes, Tee’s collection is complete!
  • Loot Crate — January 2016 (Invaders)
    • A reminder of Tee’s childhood with a Q-Pop Space Invaders alien!
    • A plushie Face hugger!
    • Pip finally gets her Multi-Pass from The Fifth Element
    • A X-Files LED flashlight
    • Mini-prints from War of the Worlds and The Day the Earth Stood Still
    • The X-Files tee shirt…that only Tee recognized
  • How the Vault differs from regular Loot Crates
    • All loot in the older crates are revealed
    • All crates are at a discount
  • Why is Boom in the doghouse tonight?
  • Loot Crate upgraded their pins between 2015 and 2016…and this is a good thing!
  • *sigh* Sometimes, Nerd Parenting is hard.
  • Going into details on what’s in the Vault.

45:28 — Wrapping up

  • Heading into the end of the year.
  • Pip doesn’t want to take a break. So got a question or a comment for us? Let us know at 703.791.1701 
  • What’s coming up?
    • Countless Hues of Crimson (coming in December)
    • Audio version of Magical Mechanications (coming in December)
    • Tales from the Archives: The Final Season (going live at Christmas)
  • Where are we going to be between now and the end of the year: 18-20 November, PhilCon in Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Mad love to New Zealand!
  • Kicking off 2017 in January
  • A full writing schedule, including Pip’s latest novel, coming in 2017…
  • We are getting your voicemails and email, but we’ve been recording jam-packed shows of late. We will be getting to them soon! Until then…
    • 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.
  • BONUS OUT-TAKE: Some behind-the-scenes silliness

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 #66: Young Adult Fiction 101 — Part One (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris and “Skribby”)

With Curse of the Silver Pharaoh now out in print, Tee and Pip head to a renaissance festival for hilarity and sheananigans. They invited for their little merry jaunt a pair of Laurens who know a lot about writing Young Adult fiction. So even thought it is Tee’s birthday, we are giving YOU a present with this podcast for your Friday!!!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Little wins can sometimes include kicking off a podcast
  • Epic Sized Introduction Drop-In’s for Epic Sized Ladies
  • On Tee’s To-Do List: Harvesting Kate McKinnon Outtakes
  • This visit all started at LaurenCon
    • Featuring really good vodka from Murlarkey Distilleries
    • Scribe and Scribby spent their visit hanging with the Boom…and the Boom LOVED it!
  • Did I mention Boom is twelve?
  • Librarians know how to party!

06:53 — Episode #66: Young Adult Fiction 101 (with Scribe and Scribby) 

  • We have EXPERTS in the studio on this!
  • See, we got The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh out now…and holy crap—it’s out!
  • Tee’s pitch for Silver Pharaoh
  • The conversation stems from a recent blogpost of Tee’s…
  • A brief moment of political discourse…
  • First Lesson: Don’t treat your audience like kids.
    • The danger of talking down to your audience
    • Comparing Harry Potter to The Hobbit
    • Pacing tends to affect the word count as well.
    • How tweens and teens deal with and explore morality, both in groups as well as in individuals
    • The matter of POV’s in Y.A. Fiction
  • Second Lesson: Your heroes are not prodigies.
  • A collection of Chosen Ones
    • The Maze Runner
    • Divergent
    • The Fifth Wave
  • What Harry Potter gets right about handling the Chosen One trope
  • Defending the Chosen One Trope
  • Tee and Jo? Yeah, we’re tight.
  • Now, if you want to talk Chosen Ones, TAKE A LOOK AT NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM….
    longbottomDamn, bro…
  • How Harry become the Chosen One
  • The Fifth Wave, exploring the power of the abs…
  • What set Katniss apart from other “Chosen One” heroes.
  • WE HAVE A LOT MORE TO SAY ON Y.A. but we will just have to pick up where we left off in two weeks.

30:49 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Where were we this weekend? This little party called The Maryland Renaissance Festival
  • Pimp that Kiwi — COMING IN 2017 ON THE CW!
    • First Stop: Barnes & Noble Power Plant…which was a disaster.
    • Next Stop: Barnes & Noble at JMU
    • Final Stop: Page After Page at MDRF
  • Comparing the North Carolina Renaissance Festival to Revel Grove
  • Doc Coleman — Your Map to the Grove
  • Tee’s Approach to Revel Grove, and how Page After Page is the center of this Tudor Nexus
  • Let Tee tell you about Puke & Snot
  • The show Tee never wrote for Shakespeare’s Skum
  • Another great thing about the Grove: SHOPPING!
  • What clothiers want to hear: “I wanna look like Claire.”
  • Skribby Fangirling is precious.
  • Boom’s Adventures in Revel Grove
  • Stuffed Dragons AT — THE — DOOR!
  • Boom was working the crowd like a champ.
  • Good first impression on Boom from Loot Crate!
  • Hey, LootCrate — how about a Stranger Things crate? Something to think about!

45:15 — Wrapping up

  • It’s all gold…so should we break this up, you think? (Spoiler Alert: We did.)
  • Our next podcast: Three Nasty Women and One Bad Hombre Podcast
  • What should be the content of a podcast? Let us know at 703.791.1701
  • Quick promo and shout-out for Revel Grove
  • Where will Scribe and Skribby be at the end of the year…
    • They just moved! (And they are so tired.)
    • Leaving really cool digs on the farm for a bachelorette pad of nasty women
    • Catching a breath and unpacking boxing
  • Bringing Katie and Skribby together — We must make that happen!
  • Where are we going to be between now and the end of the year: 18-20 November, PhilCon in Cherry Hill, NJ
  • We need to also get in writing with Countless Hues of Crimson
    • Mad love for Verena Vorsatz
    • Broadening the reach of the Tribe
    • Final Fantasy cosplay shenanigans abound
  • Where to find Scribe and Skribby
  • A full Hogwarts house in this recording!
  • We are getting your voicemails and email, but we’ve been recording jam-packed shows of late. We will be getting to them soon! Until then…
    • 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.

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 65: New Collaborating Couples (with Piper J Drake and Matthew J Drake)

TSD-back2back_PJ-Matt

This Shared Desk is back with the timeshifting content as they unleash a new, collaborating couple on the world…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Our podcast can now retire…but why, when we are having this much fun?!
  • Pork?
  • And our special guests…Piper J Drake and HattsOfMatt who are visiting!!!
  • It’s a great visit because MurLarkey was involved!
  • Alright, time to sober up…

06:47 — New Collaborating Couples (with Piper and Matt!)

  • Look at who is collaborating on a book together!
  • And the drop-in’s are a-flying!
  • Matt passes the buck.
  • Piper J and Matthew are working on two proposals together!
  • Piper blanks on the name of the inspiration behind her Fantasy epic…which is Inkarnate.
  • Pip tries to pin Tee’s (then-current) stress level concerning The Silver Pharaoh on him, but…..
  • The original plan for Silver Pharaoh
    • This was supposed to be a solo project…and not for Tee.
    • We pause for a few moments of madness.
    • Tee brings it back…
    • …and this is how Pip and I wound up having another shared title.
    • That being said, Tee is loving the ride with the Ministry Seven.
  • Pip’s Advice on Collaborating with a S.O. — Don’t hold a grudge.
  • Yeah, this happened while Peej and Matt were here… (Expect to hear this at random points throughout the show.)
  • The advantage and disadvantage of working across really long distances…
  • Piper is stalking authors Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine, working on a book together.
  • Piper’s jam for collaboration: Google Docs.
  • Tee’s secret weapon for getting in the last word: Good vodka.
  • A joy of collaboration: The Second Brain.
  • Remember that deadline we gave Matt back on Show #54? Well….
  • Playing on strengths
    • Tee makes people fight.
    • Pip sets the scene.
    • Matt relies on Piper to transcribe everything!
  • Spitballing Sessions: That’s good times there, bae!
  • If you listen close enough, you can hear Matt blushing.
  • Tee’s Advice on Collaborating with a S.O. — Be able to take criticism.
  • The Underwoods ain’t got nothin’ on Pip Ballantine
  • Pip’s a black belt in Passive Aggressive behavior…with an emphasis on the aggressive.
  • Matt’s Question: Why do you keep coming back to projects together?
  • Quick plug for the Geek Wolfpack Podcast and PIP’S EMBIGGONING.
  • Another reason to collaborate with a S.O.? It’s hella-fun!
  • Oh dear, we broke Matthew.

35:11 — Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • A return visit from Sonic Boom!
  • The themes for this go-round
    • For Mom & Dad — Speed
    • For Boom — Battlefield
  • Boom’s crate was a psyche-out — it’s just the membership tee-shirt.
  • So Boom joins in for Speed
    • Stark Racing from Iron Man II is the tee-shirt
    • The Batwing from Tim Burton’s Batman.
    • It’s Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds.
    • A Flash hoodie. Not the kind of hoodie you would think though…
    • A niiiiice Cylon Raider from Battlestar Galactica (the reboot)
    • The Loot Crate pin — slick!
  • Geeky parents are stepping up to see where their daughter’s crate is.
  • What about these other geeky properties?
  • Batman…not Boom’s fandom.
  • Cars…could be Boom’s fandom.
  • Boom waxes about past birthday parties and looks ahead to an upcoming celebration.

45:12 — Wrapping up

  • Timeshifting back to the present day!
  • The Loot Crate update
  • What’s coming up…
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show? We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
  • Too much timeshifting!
  • And here’s a quick throwback to when we were at Steampunk unLimited last year…

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 #64: Following up with K.T. Bryski and Her Writing Grant

 

The streak ends.

We managed to post on our bi-weekly schedule without fail from the beginning of this year to August 24, but as our break was on account of the upcoming Curse of the Silver Pharaoh, we thought you would be okay wth that. Our next two shows we have pre-recorded and are timeshifting the crap out of them, but we are back on track after a month of hardcore editing!

On this episode of The Shared Desk, we’re following-up with frequent guest and adoptive-Canadian-daughter, author K.T. Bryski, talking about her podcast Six Stories Told at Night. If you recall on Episode #46, we talked about the grant she submitted for this project. Now hear about the end result!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Tee flies solo in the introduction
  • So ends the streak.
  • Getting back on track with author K.T. Bryski.

01:55 — Episode #64: Follwing Up with K.T. Bryski

  • We like running video with Skype because we like the eye contact.
  • What brings K.T. back to the Shared Desk?
    • Back in October 2015, we talked about Grants onIf you recall on Episode #46.
    • Now, welcome to Episode #64.
    • A good chunk went to the vocal talent, Blythe Haynes. (And yes, she earned it!)
    • What is Six Stories Told at Night…apart from awesome?
    • What a breathtaking score! WHAT TALENTED MOFO DID YOU HIRE?!
    • And now, Tee works through his insecurity with Alex. (No, no, no….I love you, Alex…)
    • How some alcohol at the Smoky Writers Retreat becomes an incredible original score.
    • And, of course, artwork from Starla!
  • You got the idea. Now how do you get money from DAT HANDSOME PM and his governmental friends?
  • Where do you learn how to write grants?
  • Why not use Kickstarter instead of applying through a grant?
  • The Shared DeskTOTES UNEDITED!!!
  • When applying for grants, what happens when you are done?
    • Is there a review of the project?
    • Is there promotion from the grant foundation?
    • What happens after the project is done?
    • How is the accountability handled?
  • How has K.T.’s podcasting platform and recent writing accolades affected the Six Stories launch and its run?
  • 2016 has been the Year of Bryski!
  • K.T. and Blythe are up to some shenanigans at Black Creek….
  • What’s the response been to Six Stories?
  • And K.T. displays her bass drum skills.
  • A bit more man-love for the Canadian P.M.
  • Wait, what was the question? (Mmmmm….Trudeau……….)
  • So—Grants? worth it?
  • What’s next for K.T. Bryski?
  • Where will K.T. be?
    • CanCon (come and gone….)
    • Road Tripping to Northern Virginia!
  • And Tee lapses into his inner-Donald. (Sorry about that, folks.)

34:32 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • First time in-studio special guest…
    sonicboom-lootcrate
  • How’s THAT for a trip down Memory Lane?!
  • One of Boom’s Early Words: “Podcast” (Parenting Done Right!)
  • Boom went with Gaming out of the Loot Crate options. Here’s why…
  • Overwatch? Yeah, that’s Boom’s jam.
  • Inside Boom’s FIRST crate…
    • August’s Theme — Mecha (as part of Loot Crate Gaming)
    • A cyberpunk figure from Deus Ex
    • A tee-shirt from Destiny (and Dad can’t trade it with Boom because it isn’t his size…DAMN!)
  • POP QUIZ: What are the three classes in Destiny? #ProudGamerParentsMoment
  • Back to the Loot Crate…
    • A baseball hat from Lawbreakers
    • A “Big Daddy” patch from the original Bioshock
    • A “Clap Trap” bottle opener from Borderlands 2
  • The interior of the crate reminds Boom of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and we go into the science of the box art.
  • Anyone out there know Lawbreakers?
  • Running down Boom’s first crate: Keep, In the Geek Box, or Something for a Friend?
  • Good first impression on Boom from Loot Crate!
  • Hey, LootCrate — how about a Stranger Things crate? Something to think about!

50:24 — Wrapping up

  • The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh drops tomorrow!
  • Where are we going to be between now and the end of the year…
    • 14-16 October, Steampunk unLimited in Strasburg, PA
    • 22 October, The Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis, MD for the “Day of Wrong”
    • 18-20 November, PhilCon in Cherry Hill, NJ
    • We are getting your voicemails and email, but we’ve been recording jam-packed shows of late. We will be getting to them soon! Until then…
      • 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.

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 #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)

TSD-back2back

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)

 

TSD-back2back_PJ-Matt-KT

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)

TSD-back2back_PJ-Matt

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!!!

 

TSD-what

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)

TSD-back2back_Scribe

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 blo