Tag Archives: K.T. Bryski

Episode #88: Writing in the Midst of Bad News, Bad Luck, and Grief

Hey there, remember us?

Yeah, we know. We thought we were done with the hiccups in the schedule, but this thing called February happened. Things didn’t get better in March. And April was not shaping up to be any kind of improvement. Sure, we had content in the hopper, we had stuff we wanted to talk about, and we wanted to talk to you all. Problem is, we had a full plate of ADULTING to cope with, and that is what this comeback episode of The Shared Desk is all about — when Life refuses to cut you a break.

We have some thoughts on what to do about it.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Remember us?
  • So that’s why Tee is so interesting to people…
  • Are you feeling defeatist? BETTER NOT!
  • It’s been some time, not that we are light on content…

01:04 —  Episode #88: Writing in the Midst of Bad News, Bad Luck, and Grief

  • We’ve got some really cool stuff in the backlog…
    • Chatting with K.T. Bryski about the 2018 Smoky Writers
    • An interview with Chris Lester
    • A reunion of Verena & Christina on the show
  • …but we were sidetracked. Or maybe we were derailed.
  • A bit of a bomb was dropped in Tee’s lap two weeks after the last show.
    • Sure, Tee would love to go full time with his writing. But there’s this thing called health insurance.
    • Attention was dedicated to finding Tee a job.
    • Not all bad news. Despite our efforts, our daughter is taking first steps into a writer’s life.
  • Coming off of Smoky, Tee was riding a wave. This is probably why Tee’s “short story” for Tales from the Archives is…not so short.
  • Tried accessing TeeMorris.com or HappyHourFromTheTower.com last month? Well, yeah, black (ass)hat hackers made that a little difficult.
  • So…job is in trouble, the hunt is on for a new gig, two of Tee’s sites get hacked. Could things get any worse?
    • Whenever your mom calls you at 6 a.m., it cannot be good.
    • Tee’s mom, Tee’s brother, and Tee sat down…and decisions were made.
    • Saturday, March 24.
  • Nope. Life is still not done with Tee as he returns to his Day Job to discover…
  • How do you get back on your feet?
  • Hold up, Fam —Tee’s good.
    • My Twitch streams have been helping him cope. It’s like the early days of podcasting, but with video games.
    • Tee kept the Day Job situation close to the vest for a reason.
    • The new Day Job coming has got Tee grooving to this song…
    • How having the new job already lined up helped Tee through his Dad’s Memorial.
  • There may be good intentions behind “Get back on the horse…” but sometimes, you need to keep your pie-hole shut. Tee knows this. Sadly. Concerning his friend, Kim Headlee.
  • Writers react to death, grief, and stress differently. That is a truth.
  • To the people who think Tee and Pip should be full time in writing by now…
  • Interviewing for Day Jobs — especially ones that are just for show — are exhausting.
  • There are different ways to cope with death, grief, and stress. It’s okay to ask for help.
  • What writers need to do: set a date for a return.
  • Escapes are good. Escapes are essential.
  •  Tee’s Dad may never appear in a novel of his, but there will be influences and reflections a-plenty.
    • The Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant will always be that story for his father.
    • Too bad his dad liked the first one more.
  • Allow yourself to grieve.
  • And remember, you are not alone in the world. You are not.
    • Tee shares his breaking point.
    • Cheesy as it may sound, there is something good about hitting rock bottom.
    • Through all this, Pip discovers a super power.
    • Embrace your Tribe.
  • When you are ready, turn your grief, your darkness, your pain, into characters that resonate with readers. When you are ready.

29:02 —  Writers Off the Clock

  • Holy shit, this soundtrack is AWESOME!!!
  • Spoilers, Will Robinson! We are going to riff a bit about…
  • To really understand this reboot, you have to travel back in time to the original Lost in Space
    …which doesn’t quite age well. At all. Let’s discuss.
  • Decades later, Hollywood decided to take Lost in Space into a darker corner…
    …and no, things didn’t really fall apart with Matt LeBlanc. It started with the script.
  • “But early Doctor Who is pretty chintzy,” you say? About that…
  • GENERAL FANDOM: Lost in Space is a sacred cow. No need to remake it, reboot it, or retool it for a modern audience.
    NETFLIX: Hold my beer.
  • What Tee and Pip did not like about Lost in Space
  • What did Tee and Pip like about Netflix’s Lost in Space? Where do we begin?
    • Acting — on point and incredible
    • Women were taking the lead without emasculating the men,
    • The management of huge cast — everyone had their moment!
    • Everyone felt real.
  • Let’s talk about Parker Posey, Dr. Smith, and how she polished this turd-of-a-character and redefines this science fiction villain.
  • The creative crew of this new Lost in Space slip in a lot of nods to both the original television and film.
  • Opinions on the Robot
  • Already planning a re-watch.
  • Kid-Friendly…but there are some tense moments…

54:19 — The Wrap-Up

  • Tee and Pip had a lot to share with the class.
  • What will Tee do on his off-week before the new day job?
    • Play video games.
    • Mulch the garden…if weather permits.
    • Read up on Open Source.
    • Write. Write. Write.
  • Where will Pip and Tee be, you might wonder?
  • Other news you should know about…
  • 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.
  • Watch for those shows from our audio vault! They are en route!

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 #85: Ending a Series

Did you hear? We have a new book on the shelves! (The digital ones anyway.) With Operation: Endgame out and waiting for you to read, The Shared Desk is looking back on the ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and talks about everything a writer thinks, feels, and fears when wrapping up a series and dropping the curtain on familiar grounds.

And really, are they done with the Ministry? Well……

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Whew! It’s been a week…
  • If you want to relax, Dunkirk is NOT the movie to help you with that.
  • Okay, if you didn’t hear about it today…
    • Operation: Endgame is coming out today in all digital formats.
    • And did you know a new Christmas story is out for Tales from the Archives?
    • Audio and print books are coming in January/February 2018.
    • There’s also a special offer on 12/26 and 12/27 so download your copy now!

04:08 —  Episode #85: Ending a Series

  • You are having so much fun with this series, but now comes a time to wrap it up.
    • Nothing new for Pip with the Books of the Order.
    • For Tee, reaching the end has been proving elusive.
  • There’s a lot of time invested into a series, its characters, its world…and you wonder if you have one more book in you.
  • Is the drive and the desire there?
  • Pip was sad to see Sorcha and Raed go…but she got over it.
  • Tee’s issue with getting Operation: Endgame done — REAL LIFE.
  • Tee’s failed attempts at writing a series
    • MOREVI (which has fans on PSN and Twitch apparently)
    • The Billibub Baddings Mysteries
  • Tee may not have wanted to say goodbye to Books & Braun just yet…
  • The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is not going anywhere. The podcast and this series, however, are done.
  • Ending on your own terms feels pretty damn good.
  • Kickstarter made it clear: A demand was there.
  • Tee finished Operation: Endgame…and fell apart.
  • Achievement Unlocked: We reached the end we had planned.
  • Verity Fitzroy is making the sting of ending a series less painful.
  • Change of all kinds take place in Operation: Endgame.
  • We do resolve things in the book…mostly.
  • BIG SHOUT-OUT to our editor, K.T. Bryski who will be here next week!
  • Humble beginnings to the series and the wild ride that ensued…
  • And we’re still married…but there was that one time during Curse of the Silver Pharaoh….
  • Taking a break from now until the summer because we got stuff to do on our own!
  • How can we forget Countless Hues of Crimson? Rivaled only by this amazing work of literature
  • Taking a bittersweet Victory Lap

26:40 — Writers Off the Clock

  • We just finished a book. LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES!!!
  • Let’s talk about some of the movies we saw over the weekend….
  • Dunkirk

    • Hans Zimmer decides to actually give us a really amazing score for this cinematic triumph.
    • Wait? you mean, things happened in World War II before Americans got involved?
    • Just brace yourself for those first ten minutes.
    • Hands down, Nolan’s best film.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

    • Spoiler Alert — JUMP TO TIMECODE 42:09 TO AVOID SPOILERS
    • LAST CHANCE — 42:09 TO AVOID SPOILERS
    • Tee liked it more than Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but did not like it as much as Rogue One
    • Thoughts on the middle section
    • Thoughts on Rose
    • Thoughts on humor in Star Wars
    • Thoughts on Mary Poppins
    • Thoughts on Fan Rage
    • Thoughts from someone else about how we’ve been here before…
  • Bright

    • Bright is, according to Pip, Shadowrun.
    • It was more like Training Day: Shadowrun, but here’s the rundown of this (pretty damn clever) plot.
    • This is not high art, but it does not pretend to be anything else than what it is. AND IT WORKS!
    • Definitely rocking a Men in Black or Alien Nation vibe.
    • We talked about Suicide Squad, but this is a better film.
    • Critics are hating Bright…but Netflix is listening to the audience. 
    • Why Alien Nation was a better television show than it was a movie.
    • Is race an issue in this movie? Yes. Because LOOK AT OUR FREAKIN’ HEADLINES!

50:42 — The Wrap-Up

  • The Adventures of Centaur Cop, coming soon from Pip Ballantine.
  • We’re done for the year. So, go out, use that Amazon.com gift card, and buy our new book!
  • K.T. Bryski is coming!
  • 2017 was better than 2016, that’s for damn sure.
  • Foreshadowing for the next show — Your Author Word for 2018!
  • 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.
  • Pip’s Patreon will feature the first episode of her ALL-NEW PODCAST!
  • See you in 2018!

54:15 — The Last Word

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

TSD-back2backwKatie

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

00:00 — Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

53:47 — The Wrap-Up

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

1:01:07 — The Outtake

cover art by J.R. Blackwell 

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

 

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