Tag Archives: Life

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 #19: Catching Up with Tee & Pip

Mic check. Hello? How does this thing work again?

Yes, we have returned to the mics (finally); and for this show, we are putting segments and subjects on hold to take some time to get you all caught up on what we have been doing since (ouch!) August when we last recorded. This is a catch-up show where you might not learn anything about the writing process but you’ll get a look inside the writer’s lifestyle.

00:00 — Introduction

  • I hope we remember how to do this!
  • Pip mocks the opening drop-in’s.
  • O hai! We’re back!!!
  • Welcome to the Catch-Up episode of The Shared Desk

01:39 — Life Happens…even around Dragon*Con

  • Tee gets laid off again the day Tee & Pip get back from Authors After Dark.
  • The good news: I saw the writing on the wall this time, and now I’m working with the American Public University System.
  • The new job pulls me away a day early from Dragon*Con 2013.
  • It was a neat orientation…what I remember of it…
  • Good times at the W Atlanta and at Dragon*Con.
  • Didn’t think D*C could get any bigger, could you? Guess what…
  • Some lovely perks of staying at the W
  • Could D*C be getting too big?
  • Special props to Doc Quartermain for running a killer Steampunk/Alternative Track!
  • Some stargazing at D*C…and Pip fangrrls again.
  • THE GEM FROM PIP: When do you know you’re done? (And here’s Pip’s answer…at 16:22…)

13:24 — Baltimore Book Festival

  • A terrific experience from SFWA, but not as enriching as our journey there…
  • Some terrific panels and great people to enjoy time with like…
    • Lianna Heiber
    • P.J. Schnyder
    • Rich White
    • Ellen Datlow
  • Getting cozy with the Nissan LEAF
  • Winding down from the day, and we find a new love that is the music of Joe Bonamassa

17:40 — Emerald City Steampunk Expo (Wichita, KS)

  • Pip adds a new state to her “Places I Have Visited”
  • Abney Park and Unwoman — show-stoppers of the ECSE
  • Pip wants to user her Rafflecopter to give away some steampunk music swag!
  • Other cool stuff in Wichita
    • Giant steam engines!
    • Melissa Conroy
    • Our First Ministry Cosplayer!

20:01 — Facebook Pages and Deadlines

  • Pip kicks off a Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page
  • Pip’s Deadlines
    • First edits for Harbinger are off.
    • Pyr Books gets their Kindred & Wings
  • Other cool stuff
    • The Omnibus of The Books of the Order is coming from the Science Fiction Book Club.
    • Pip is pretty stoked about the new K&W cover art.
  • Oh yeah…and we not only turned in the third Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel but signed a new contract!

22:29 — The Future of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Part I)

  • What is going to happen in 2013, either with Ace or with Kickstarter…
  • The Anthology to Be Named
    • Authors are signed on. Well, two are signed on.
    • We have a wish list of writers.
    • Two stories are ready and complete.
    • The question is how, with who, and when.
    • There goes December…
  • The anthology is our bridge between books, depending on the timing of Dawn’s Early Light.
  • How about this? A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences of RPG!!!
    • Produced by Galileo Games
    • Designed by J.R. (MF) Blackwell!
    • Written by P.J. (MF) Schnyder!

27:49 — What Is Tee Working on?

  • The steampunk reboot of MOREVICodename: Darkwater — is now underway.
  • What is different between MOREVI and Codename: Darkwater
    • This is not me pulling a Lucas. This is a whole new universe.
    • My characters are present, Lisa Lee’s characters are not as omnipresent.
    • No elves. Period.
    • Smaller (much smaller) word count, and tighter plotlines.
    • No Defiant.
    • No parallel universe. Working in historical China with some help from Aleen the Peacemaker.
  • The difference between a rewrite and a reboot
  • Taking MOREVI and making it my own.
  • Rafe Rafton…a character born for steampunk.

33:42 — More deadlines and Projects from Pip 

  • Clockwork Fairy Tales is coming in 2013
  • Pip is on the “tail end” of her steampunk novella based on “The Little Mermaid”
  • A new project in the works: The Touchstone Empire.
  • This year, it is Pip’s turn to write the Tales from the Archives Christmas Special.

35:23 — The Future of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Part II)

  • Tales from the Archives has jumped the rails…but coming soon….
  • Shame on us…we jump the shark after winning twoParsec Awards!
    • P.C. Haring brings home the gold for “The Seven”
    • Pip Ballantine also scores a win with “The Precarious Child.”
  • The Bookie Awards in Savannah, Georgia give a nomination to The Janus Affair for Best Steampunk of 2012.
  • Then there is Goodreads and we are in the running again for The Janus Affair!
  • Tee makes a prediction as to who will take the Goodreads title for Best Science Fiction of 2012…

40:22 — And Here’s What Happens when Real Life Comes a-Callin’….

  • Tee throws a political gauntlet down as he talks up the new car….
  • The 2013 Nissan LEAF from Sheehey Nissan Manassas.
    • It is an incredibly cool drive…
    • …until someone doesn’t do a head check before bolting out of a parking spot.
  • Want to know what NOT to say at the sight of an accident? It’s in this podcast.
  • Another story that tops Tee’s 24 hours with a new LEAF.
  • Fortunately, our iPod with wheels is in the body shop, and it’s covered. Then Pip gets the car for one week. ONE.

45:10 — The Wrap-Up

  • Congratulations! You are now up to speed with Tee & Pip!
  • Pip now wants to talk about books we haven’t event started.
  • Pip and Tee pursue the Medifast Plan to get back into shape.
    • Pip wants to reward her goal weight with a kickin’ new steampunk ensemble.
    • Tee just wants to fit in his pants again.
  • Tee & Pip promise to return in two weeks! No, seriously….
  • Defying the odds, Tee nails the Creative Commons tag, Pip is stunned! (And so am I!)
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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The Shared Desk — Episode #008: Dealing with Deadlines


It’s been a month! Where have these two been?! Well, Tee & Pip have been tackling deadlines, and that struck them as a good topic for the next Shared Desk. So join these two in a deep dive into the wonderful (no seriously, wonderful) world of deadlines.

00:00 — Introduction

  • What are you sitting on, Pip? (No, it’s not a euphemism!)
  • Running down a laundry list of what’s happened between episodes
  • The Janus Affair is now off to New York!
  • Thoughts on the Goodreads Choice Awards (We were #8 in the Top Ten…and that rocks!)

01:55 — Deadlines

  • What is it about being sick around deadlines?! (It’s something Pip and Tee do well.)
  • The importance of deadlines — why they are needed
  • Defining a deadline
  • Congrats to all the participants of NaNoWriMo
  • How we love buffers in podcasting…and with deadlines.
  • What happens during deadlines — Life.
  • Deadlines are not a terror, but a motivator for the writer
  • Good catches during the editing process
  • From an editor’s point-of-view, how do you gauge time to give contributors for deadlines?
  • Understanding benefits and consequences when fiddling with a deadlines
    • Acceptable “Life Happens” siutations
    • When the deadline is kept — promotion and touring
  • Managing multiple deadlines
  • Reviewing the future deadlines we  have on our chalkboard (Personally, I like Barn & Mule…)
  • After you reach your deadline and send things off, celebrate!
    • What did we do?
    • Tee is the g–damn Batman!
    • Pip does something she hasn’t done in a while — started a recreational read!
  • Getting caught up after a deadline, and looking ahead to what we need to do…
  • And while Tee takes a drink…Pip goes quiet.

21:03 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • Some things were going down in the publishing world…and it hits Tee’s hot button.
  • Thanks to Tee Tate and her blog, Lit Stack for bringing this to our attention.
  • Here’s Quentin Rowan a/k/a Q.R. Markham, and his story.
  • Does his story sound familiar? That’s because he copied it from someone else.
  • What pissed Tee off? He wanted us to feel sorry for him.
  • With soundtrack, the dramatic reading falls apart…kind of like this guy’s lie.
  • And now Tee and Pip go off on Quentin Rowan’s “addiction”

29:32  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Taking a breath…
  • With Pip being sick, Tee and Pip curl up with Bridesmaids.
  • A review…complete with spoilers
  • What we liked about the movie
    • Not afraid to go there
    • Meeting the various bridesmaids
    • Rock solid funny…up to a point.
  • The fourth act…what the hell happened?
    • Chris O’Dowd — kept Tee’s attention
    • Two of the Bridesmaids disappear for the remaining of the film
    • The movie stops being an ensemble piece and becomes a formula rom-com-buddy-chick-flick
    • And what the hell was the end sketch with Melissa McCarthy?!
  • This movie was marketed like The Hangover…but it felt more like The Hangover of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

43:22 — The Wrap-Up

  • Hanging in there…
  • How we’re wrapping up 2011
    • The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel— We got the cover…and it’s BEAUTIFUL!
    • Hunter & Fox — Another pretty cover…and we’re sitting on that one, too!
    • Still trying to narrow down release dates for 2012
    • Let your favorite bookstores know about our upcoming releases.
  • One more show for the year…and what a year it has been.
  • The final show of 2011 will cover Setting Goals, and the first show of 2012 will be the Fan Appreciation show!
  • Where to find us online…including a Goodreads Discussion Group!
  • And here’s where Tee completely shuts down…
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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