Tag Archives: AwesomeCon

Episode #94: Writers Consuming Content

Remember The Shared Desk? That was a pretty cool podcast. Too bad it podfaded, right?

Well, no — we didn’t go anywhere! Well, hold on, actually, yeah, we did go somewhere. It was Clockwork Alchemy and it was a right blast!

The Shared Desk, now recorded LIVE on Twitch at Tee’s Twitch Channel, finally got behind the mics after the dust from a government furlough and a trip out west finally gave them a chance to catch their breaths and record. What are we talking about, you wonder? Well, we’re specifically talking about writers consuming media. Sometimes, writers need to relax. Thing is, that can be hard when we’re always critically looking at how other writers do things. Can writers effectively turn their brains off, relax and enjoy the show?

Let’s find out.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Well yeah, there was another Episode #94, but Tee never got to the editing part of it…
  • the audio may sound a little weird. Wait until you find out why! (At the end of episode, of course.)
  • Adult beverages all around?
  • When is Game of Thrones coming back? Oh yeah…
  • Tee is not hip, but he is old.
  • Addressing the stream and a changing of the guard.
  • A nod to Destiny and Happy Hour from the Tower
  • Sorry, Katie! Maybe we can do something special with that episode? Maybe drop it into Pip’s Patreon?
  • The original bell will not go quietly!

05:18 —  Episode #94: Writers Consuming Content 

  • So where did this all start?
    • As many ideas comes from, it started with a series of rants on Facebook…
    • Pip defines “turning your brain off” as a writer.
    • What inspired the show topic …
  • Tee and Pip have really been enjoying Star Trek: Discovery.
    • Is it worth the cost of CBS All Access?
    • This will be a spoiler-free episode, we promise!
  • Going back to Season One, we meet THIS CHARACTER…
    • We want to know MORE about THIS CHARACTER.
    • The, in Season Two, we get an episode dedicated to THIS CHARACTER…
    • …so we could watch THIS CHARACTER die.
  • Then we get Discovery’s next stop in the galaxy: Talos IV.
    • A bit of Star Trek history
    • Some nods throughout the series coping with canon
    • Where Tee is triggered in all this
  • The writing crew of Discovery handles canon with real reverence, but the new, original stuff is slightly clumsy.
  • Sprinkling seeds throughout chapters or episodes versus cramming it all into one moment
  • After a moment’s rant, Tee asked “Maybe I’m expecting too much from these writers?”
  • Pip thinks writers make terrible media consumers.
    • Pip’s current read is dickering around with time jumps, and she’s got issues.
    • Writing passages in time are not always easy.
    • Tee still believes he can relax and enjoy it, but Pip is struggling…
  • The dice-roll in reading another’s book for the purpose of blurbing it
  • Tee loves a slow burn, and it triggers him when shortcuts are taken.
  • A good example of new canon and a slow burn done right…
  • Massive shout-out to Ethan Peck who gives great Nimoy without doing an impersonation of Leonard Nimoy.
  • As a writer and an actor, Tee’s got a jelly on.
  • Want a glimpse at Lauren Harris‘ next cosplay?
Ensign Sylvia “Space Merida” Tilly
  • Where you can find them, watch “Short Treks” in between seasons.
  • No, not all writers are perfect. It’s when you show how good you are, but then take cheap or manipulative short cuts?
  • A spoiler from Season One that shows ridiculous, shoddy writing: grafting a personality to someone. (Beg your pardon?)
  • Yes, we get it. We suspend disbelief. But there are limits.
  • Can writers appreciate good writing better than their own? Oh yes!
    • True Detective, Season 3
    • The Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Game of Thrones, Seasons 1 – 8
  • But really? Cat scratch fever? Really? (Okay, we can give that a pass.)
  • Good writing — no matter the media — should be inspirational to other writers.
  • Since we’re talking about good writing and bad writing in media, it’s time to re-open this old wound…

32:04 — Writers off the Clock

  • This is a beautiful theme, but it’s not ready for The Big Score (coming soon to AwesomeCon this weekend)
  • How about this for an unexpected surprise?
  • You’re going to want to see this. Seriously.
  • Why Shazam! works
    • Giving Shazam’s suit a makeover
    • Really coherent, cohesive writing by keeping it simple but not stupid
    • Billy Batson is a teenager, so Shazam acts like a teenager. And it works!
  • This was a fun ride, but it does go dark when it needs to. Billy Batson’s story, for example…
  • Zachary Levi delivers as the Big Red Cheese.
  • This is DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Tee and Pip wonder why Dwayne Johnson is an Executive Producer? Well, rumor has it…

39:57 — The Wrap-Up

45:32 — Behind-the-Scenes Blooper

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 #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 #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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