Tag Archives: Balticon

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

 

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

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

00:00 — Introduction

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

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

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

32:40 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

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

47:36 — The Wrap-Up

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

48:26 — Warm, Fizzy, Sign-Off

 

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

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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

 

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SPOILER ALERT!

SENSITIVE TOPIC ALERT!

PIP RAGE ALERT!

Good. I think we have covered everything.

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

Tee and Pip don’t seem to think so…

00:00 — Introduction

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

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

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

38:49 — The Wrap-Up

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

 

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

 

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

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

00:00 — Introduction

10:21 — Getting a Writer’s Life Organized

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

33:56 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

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

37:46 — The Wrap-Up

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

  51:22 — The Outtake

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

00:00 — Introduction

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

02:46 — Making Tough Choices

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

20:51 — Writers Off the Clock

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

36:23 — The Wrap-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Shared Desk — Episode #005: Concerning Cons


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

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

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

00:00 — Introduction

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

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

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

59:15 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

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

1:06:16 — The Wrap-Up

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

More Shout-Out’s During the Show…

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

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