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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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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: “Show, Don’t Tell” Across Storytelling Platforms

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

With this show, Tee is only 10 SHOWS AWAY from completing the Dog Days of Podcasting challenge, and his brain is firing on all cylinders following his finishing up of Season 3 of Black Mirror. If you have not seen this show, Tee recommends jumping to the episode “Hated in the Nation” and taking notes, especially if you are a writer. This is storytelling on a whole new level, as well as a basic rule reinforced and beautifully illustrated.

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: #WriterGoals

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

Tee’s on the road, but the Dog Days of Podcasting continues as he looks back on yesterday’s show. Tee explores the #WriterGoals hashtag he’s been kicking around since an evening at Wolf Trap with Neil Gaiman.

So what are your #WriterGoals?

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

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The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017: Don’t Listen to Me

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

So…Black Mirror

That is just messed up. Not to mention hitting very close to home.

And on the Dog Days of Podcasting Tee has got some heavy writing advice for you this morning: “Don’t listen to what I have to say.”

Now listen to the podcast, and rate it. (See what Tee did there…)

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

Leave a Comment

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The Dog Days of Podcasting: Connected

Special thanks to Corbin J Drake for the photo.

I’m working on the routine of the elliptical again for the Dog Days of Podcasting and catching up on a Netflix cue. Back on track with Sens8 which is a tremendous show on all fronts. It also reminds Tee how important connection is in writing. A photo of Lauren and Verena (Facebook Link) also tugged at his own connection with people far off but not that far away in his life.

It all comes back in the writing.

 

Find Tee on Twitter here,
leave a voicemail or questions for the Dog Days of Podcasting at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
I’ll talk about it!

And remember, you can find this show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

Leave a Comment

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Episode #44: All About New Space

 

The Shared Desk

This episode it is just Pip and Tee in the studio…but it is a somewhat different studio.

00:00 Introduction, and a little commentary

  • Pip and Tee make eye contact for the first time on the Shared Desk
  • Tee has some new drop ins…
  • The duo look forward to seeing Ash vs the Evil Dead.
  • Pip has cracked and is looking for drop ins herself
  • Stuff is getting painted because Pip looks at too much Pinterest

05:26 Making time to make author space

  •  The old ‘shared desk’ is dead after a hammer attack
  • Two desks together mean Pip and Tee can talk to each other. Here’s what they went with.
  • No one likes upside down kit set furniture
  • When choosing furniture, make sure to take into account cats
  • Pip is getting used to it, after perching!
  • Getting cocky with a rubber band Pip found in her desk!
  • Does new space mean more creativity?
  • Less distractions and being together seem to be helping
  • Shared offices often mean side to side seating, or back to back.
  • Nick Kelly and Stacia D Kelly have a interesting layout in their office.
  • Pip likes her drawers
  • The benefits (and dangers) of having multiple monitors.
  • Tee now has his back to the door.
  • Pip and Tee have no chance of an author shed

 

23:18 Writers off the clock. Sense8

  • As writers Pip and Tee are digging Sense8
  • Even though Tee spells it wrong
  • Sense8 has some of the most global, diverse and fascinating writing.
  • Check out the cast
  • Supporting characters are also amazing
  • Like writing novels, having a plan is a good idea. Sense8 has a five season arc apparently.
  • Exposes watchers to different realities.
  • Tee waxes lyrical on actors he has known
  • Even the music is beautiful
  • Conan and Van Damme have their moments

38:44 Wrap Up

  • There is no chance of a half an hour the Shared Desk
  • Since Pip is staring at the board now so she’s in charge of upcoming appearances
  • If you’re in New York at the Writer’s Digest Pip and Tee are talking about social media and steampunk
  • Look for the duo at Steampunk Unlimited.
  • Tee and Pip are working on the fifth Ministry book and on an epic fantasy series called, the Blood Road (lots of dead people already!)
  • New supplements for the Ministry Initiative have been approved so look for the villains soon! Buy Tools of the Trade now
  • Donations were made to Inn Roads Ministries and TavernCon
  • Our model will hopefully be back for Book Five of the Ministry
  • Thanks to the fans, we’re on Locus Bestseller List
  • Send us a picture of your writing space!

 

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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