Tag Archives: First Amendment

Episode #107: Writers and the 1st

Pip and Tee host Michael Ventrella to talk about publishing, writing, and the 1st Amendment.

The Shared Desk has tried to remain politics free, but then politics collided with writing and publishing.

  • 8:46 : Michael has been involved in the Tales from the Archives, but he is currently a practicing defense lawyer, and has taught the Constition. He is the author of How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative.
  • Tee has some background with the 1st Amendment…. Pip has of course none.

Well, one of us isn’t…

  • 05:55 : So of course, Pip reads the 1st Amendment…
  • Michael points out why the 1st is so short and succinct.
  • 08:22 : Tee brings up, why we are discussing this on the Shared Desk. A fresh senator got his book contract cancelled, and tries to use the 1st Amendment as a shield.
  • Michael points out, that there are plenty of dumb lawyers out there.
  • Many lawyers read the Constitution to be what they want it to say.
  • 11:03 : We touch on the other hot button 1st Amendment, people being blocked off social media.
  • Pip (the foreigner) points out the very first word.
  • Michael says a smaller publisher will probably pick his book up. (Addendum: He was right… Apparently the senator has found a new publisher.)
  • 14:33 : Isn’t it more about that sweet advance?
  • That’s part of it, but also playing to the base with an eye on a presidential run.
  • 15:21 : Pip wonders about ‘morality clauses’.
  • 16:12 : On the left side of the aisle, writers have run into those too.
  • Writers have to be aware of them, and understand that they also can’t claim oppression. Most contracts have provision these days to protect the image of the corporation.
  • 18:02 : Social media rights as far as the 1st Amendment.
  • Michael points out if you want to talk about regular conservative talking points you can.
  • What you cannot talk about is violence and racism.
  • All social media platforms have Terms of Service… even if people click through them without reading. They are there.
  • Michael points out the peaceably portion of the 1st Amendment.
  • 22:47 : Tee posits a question to Michael
  • Michael says not with the 1st, but contractually there are more grey areas depending on the situation.
  • 24:27 : Michael brings up how some authors make claims of being censored.
  • The government censors, but everything else is editing.
  • No Shirts. No Shoes. No Service. But it has to be applied in a non discriminatory fashion.
  • Shout out to the Legal Eagle
  • 34:58 : Tee, Pip and Michael discuss WandaVision on Disney+ NO SPOILERS!
  • Plenty of throwbacks to Bewitched and I Love Jennie, Pip enjoyed it
  • Michael enjoyed the first ten minutes, and then wanted a bit more to happen.
  • There were a lot of deep cuts for those deep into Marvel history.
  • Tee brings up the excellent HBO Max show Snowpiercer
  • More clues are revealed in the second episode.
  • Pip enjoyed how they used vintage feel to full advantage- including consulting Dick Van Dyke!

Find Michael A Ventrella here, and pickup his book How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative. Also, his steampunk book with Teddy Roosevelt, Big Stick – which Pip highly recommends!

If you have an event in 2021 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
…and social media, of course.

Show art by Candy Cane Studios
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.
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and we’ll catch you later.

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

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

00:00 — Introduction

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

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

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

48:45 — The Wrap-Up

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


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