Tag Archives: Pip Ballantine

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 71: Dealing with the Imposter Syndrome while Pining for Lin-Manuel Miranda (with Special Guest Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

You can’t say “No” to this…

NNNOOOO!!!!

It is the Lin-Manuel Miranda edition of The Shared Desk. Don’t think Lin-Manuel Miranda has anything to do with our topic, but as you listen to the show, you’ll understand why we are dedicating this show to the cast of the hottest musical to hit Broadway in decades…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • First show of the New year on account of a really rough start…
  • New drop in from Hamilton: An American Musical
  • Heading to Farpoint this weekend, but not the first event of 2017. At least, for Tee.
  • We got to make this event happen this weekend! We got to WORK!

03:54 — Episode 71: Dealing with the Imposter Syndrome while Pining for Lin-Manuel Miranda (with Special Guest Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

  • What are we drinking tonight? Viking Blod, the breakfast of writing champions!
  • The story of Blod and Smoky Writers Past.
  • A topic that came up during MAGFest…
  • The Imposter Syndrome
    • Defined by Tee
    • Defined by Pip
    • Defined by Lauren
  • The debate over the Imposter Syndrome
    • What do you say when successful indie authors are suffering this?
    • The next Hamilton reference…and another…
    • If your goal isn’t the validation you seek, then what is?
  • Are you listening to Words of a Feather podcast? Well, you should.
  • The Imposter Syndrome can come from a variety of sources…
    • Stress
    • Starting new projects in uncharted countries
    • Looking at where you are in your career and where you want to be
  • What’s attractive between both independent publishing and traditional publishing?
  • What’s tough to do between both independent publishing and traditional publishing?
  • Pip’s firmly planted in the Nick Kelly camp when it comes to the Imposter Syndrome.
  • Lauren owns it
    • …but Tee also copes with it…
    • ….and so does Pip.
  • Tee’s biggest Imposter Syndrome fear: He’s not a well-read guy.
  • How do we combat Imposter Syndrome?
    • For Lauren: Working harder.
    • For Tee: Jumping into a new idea.
    • For Pip: Solving the problem within the work.
  • Wired for Story — a resource all writers should have within reach
  • The return of Old Yeller

32:00 — Writers Off the Clock

  • So…fucking Lin-Manuel Miranda and his goddamn incredible talents…
  • Why were we resistant of the Ham Wagon?
    • For Pip: The girl’s a REBEL!
    • For Lauren: Her Obsessive Personality
    • For Tee: The Actor in Him and His Love of Musical Theatre
  • How did we finally surrender to the phenomenon of Hamilton: An American Musical?
    • For Pip: That reprobate from the Great White North…
    • For Lauren: Her roommate (and former guest of the show), Skribby
    • For Tee: He knew he was in trouble when watching Moana.
  • Sonic Boom was listening to Hamilton before we were!
  • Shout-out to the Howard Family who met one of the King George actors after the show…
  • Lot of cool things the Hamilton cast did during Lin-Manuel’s run.
  • Shout-out to JMU alumni behind the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express!

53:33 — The Wrap-Up

  • Drunk auditioning for Hamilton
  • More dates coming in 2017…
  • What was your favorite or most informative show in 2016?
    • 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.
  • Tee can still do the end tag even after Blod!
  • Tee’s got a surprise in the works…

1:01:23 — 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 #69 (Dudes!): Antagonists, Villains, and the Writers’ Challenge

With weeks remaining in 2016, we find ourselves hitting the show landmark that makes us both snigger like fifth graders: SHOW #69!!! We’re not talking about sex, erotica, or naughty bits. We are looking at the antagonist. Sure, the antagonist is a villain, but a villain is not always your antagonist. What are the challenges you face when developing the foil to your protagonist? Where is the line drawn between the mustache-twirler and the complicated antagonist?

Let’s talk about how good it is to be bad…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • As we have said before, we are twelve years old…
  • Can you feel the excitement over Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2?
  • Groot. The new Hodor.
  • Nobilis Reed, celebrating a new book and a new house!
  • Show #69? Do we talk about sex, baby? Do we talk about you and me?
  • No, we actually decided to take a high ground for this show, and go low…

02:28 — Episode #69: Antagonists, Villains, and the Writers’ Challenge

  • One writer’s villain is another’s antagonist…sometimes, according to Miss Fancy Pants.
  • New drop-in’s are getting a workout.
  • Tee has already talked about the importance of developing your villains, but it’s worth returning to.
  • This is Pip’s current dilemma in her new fiction coming in 2017. (Something to look forward to…)
  • If you want to know more about editor-of-infinite-awesome, Jennifer Meltzer, pay her a visit at One-Stop Writer Shop!
  • What is Pip’s villain lacking?
  • Pardon the Galaxy Quest tangent…
  • Pip can do villains and antagonists. Look at Geist and the other Books of the Order.
  • Worthy to note: Mysteries handle antagonists different than Epic Fantasy.
  • Then you got antagonists within antagonists ala The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
  • Tee & Pip audition for a Metallica tribute band.
  • Antagonists risk going neglected when “pantsing” through a work-in-progress.
  • The value of having a focus with your antagonist
  • No SPECTRE without Earnst Stavro Bloefeld
  • Lessons in antagonists from William Shakespeare
  • A turning point in the development of the game, Destiny.
    • The Fallen. Bad Guys. Eh.
    • Then we meet the Taken King…
      There’s your focus.
  • Making antagonists sympathetic
    • Done right: Loki and Marvel’s Thor
    • Done wrong: Vader and the Star Wars prequels
  • More on an antagonist’s focus
    • The lack of focus in Star Trek: The Motion Picture versus KHAAAAAAANNNN! 
    • The Phantom Menace. What was it again?
  • Antagonists as the central character of your property
    • Dr. Hannibal Lecter
    • Walter White
    • Dexter Morgan

24:57 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Pip tries to bleep herself. She fails.
  • The creepiest cover of “Edelweiss you will ever hear…”
  • Amazon Studios’ The Man in the High Castle
  • Talking about Dick
    • Lou Anders says it best…
    • Some great films coming from Philip K. Dick’s concepts
  • The details add a degree of creepiness.
  • A quick run-down of the cast form The Man in the High Castle
  • The story of The Man in the High Castle
  • It’s worth Amazon Prime just to have access to this!

34:41 — Voicemail

  • We had dinner with Nobilis…and told him “Share this with the show!”
  • Steve Saylor asks for our favorite Dungeons & Dragons stories.
    • We’re RPGing again, and you can hear all our current adventures at the Geek Wolfpack Podcast
    • Pip’s Memory: When Ashimei enjoyed her own “Leeroy Jenkins” moment…and some things still never change.
    • Tee’s Memory: When Eryk can’t hit the broadside of a barn. The next week, though, Tee goes all John Woo on the “hobogoblins” in range…
  • Nobilis Reed has a new book out…and he asks about shipping books and how you work it into the cost of a book.
    • Pip is a big fan of using Indica.com or Stamps.com, especially when it comes to shipping from our online store.
    • Flat rates are best for domestic shipping for one book.
    • Going international? More than one book? Well, there’s a grey area…

48:13 — Wrapping up

  • Not done yet with 2016!
  • We’ve got some bonus audio we are going to throw in to a feed for the holidays! Thanks for hanging out with out this year!
  • Best. Year. EVAR! For posting shows, that is…
  • ONE MORE SHOW for 2016…with K.T. Brisket. (Sorry, K.T. Bryski.)
  • What we have coming up in 2017…
  • What was your favorite or most informative show in 2016?
    • 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.
  • Join us for our final show of the year featuring 100% MORE CANADA! 

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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SPECIAL EPISODE: The Geek Wolfpack Podcast and the Nerd Out App Kickstarter

Hey, everyone!

No…this is NOT Episode 69, dudes.

We have a lot happening this month. We’re working on our final season (and yes we admit to be using the term “final” liberally…) of Tales from the Archives, work to do on Operation: Endgame, and planning a special two-part head-to-head episode here on the Shared Desk with in-studio guest Nick Kelly over a science fiction epic, and how it ended. However, we wanted to take some time and share with you this episode of the Geek Wolfpack Podcast, Nick Kelly’s premiere podcast featuring the entire Kelly family. (Give it a listen. It’s a hoot!) This particular episode features the Wolfpack Podcast’s first interview, their guest professional nerd and entertainment professional Elle Jensen, founder of the Nerd Out App.

Elle sits down with Nick, Tee, and Pip to talk about the app’s Kickstarter campaign and how geeks of all backgrounds should be taking advantage of this wonder of technology!

Episode 16 (Show notes by Nick Kelly)

0:00 – Intro
1:18 – Our Interview with Elle Jensen of the Nerd Out App!
1:42 – Pip Ballantine!
1:55 – Tee Morris!
2:31 – Elle Jensen, Founder of the Nerd Out App
2:48 – The plug bell
3:06 – What exactly is the Kickstarter for?
3:45 – App development is like LEGO bricks
5:05 – Nick starts counting cities where he’s used the app
5:13 – What exactly is the Nerd Out App? Elle’s Comic Con story
6:00 – Nerdy Burlesque!
6:33 – The growth numbers on Nerd Out App 1.0
6:44 – The Average Geek Show
7:15 – Where does the App team get their events?
8:04 – The Chicago crew needs to get on the Nerd Squad
8:22 – A Klingon Christmas Carol
8:39 – DreamstoBecome.com
10:12 – Currently, events get added via a manual process. It’s going to be way easier in 2.0
10:53 – #furriesruineverything
11:12 – How are events vetted?
12:31 – Nerding responsibly
12:57 – The coolest events ever hosted in the app
13:24 – Poltergeist as a burlesque
13:55 – Nick’s list of cities, and the count is…
14:08 – Shout out to Geektitude.com
14:30 – Nerdcon!
14:36- Dumbells and Dragons and the Wekk podcast
15:06 – Other features in 2.0 – Geolocation, additional locations
15:45 – NEW ZEALAND!
15:53 – EpicCon – V’s Cosplay will be there as Agents Books & Braun
16:35 – Overseas requests come in bursts, but 2.0 will be able to expand more
17:15 – What is the financial goal of the Kickstarter campaign?
17:54 – If you do a Kickstarter campaign, factor in taxes
18:15 – What questions does Elle have for Tee and Pip?
19:45 – What’s the frequency of posts?
20:15 – How many posts are we boosting?
21:00 – What was Pip’s strategy in boosting posts?
21:33 – The West Coast Steampunk folks need to get posting more!
22:08 – What are the incentives?
23:02 – Audiobook giveaways are popular
23:22 – Other authors are happy to provide eBooks
23:50 – Additional feature – filtering so you can keep it kid friendly
24:28 – Stickers! Game of Thrones! Harry Potter! Deadpool! The Flash! Stranger Things!
25:02 – The Con Survival Pack – Everything you need to survive a con
25:45 – Sponsorship levels
26:12 – Tee explains the uber level
27:32 – Personalization is a big, big thing
27:47 – Friday the 13th: The Video Game
28:28 – Mystery Science Theater 3000
28:50 – Habitica gets a mention
29:20 – What are some personalization options for Nerd Out 2.0?
29:49 – King or Queen Nerd of your town
30:50 – You could be the nerd in the logo!
31:50 – A launch party, with the nerdy burlesque people and Geeky Tees
32:38 – Do you have a plan b?
33:40 – The timing of the kickstarter
35:40 – Nick’s experience from the field – www.starwarsdays.com
36:00 – Garrison Tyranus of the 501st Legion
36:19 – +2 Charisma
37:06 – Tee foreshadows the Nick vs. Tee Westworld episode
38:30 – Here we go. Elle’s street cred…
39:02 – Agent Carter
39:35 – Riverdale
39:55 – The CW Alien Crossover event
41:44 – I know my value
42:32 – Where can we find Elle and the Nerd Out App
42:55 – Thanks from the Wolfpack to Elle, Tee and Pip!
43:50 – ADHD D&D
44:31 – We continue to search Vrath Keep, after a PSA about flammable oven mitts
45:03 – NO DEMIGORGONS!
45:50 – Comfy chair
47:16 – It’s a conference room
48:21 – We all react to the ridiculous goblin map
49:13 – Turgen wants halflings to eat
49:55 – Do not spill ranch dressing on yourself
51:45 – Young Shecky Greene
54:03 – Battle of Lexington and Concord
54:30 – Hey, Pharaxes, go set everything on fire!
55:39 – You want an arcana check?
57:20 – Take an automatic 20 (why not?)
58:58 – The nightmare refugee scenario
59:50 – Outro

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 #60: Starting from Scratch…Again (with Special Guest Lauren “Scribe” Harris)

 

Hold on — Lauren “Scribe” Harris is back in studio?

Why, yes, yes, she is! With the Drakes out west, we need to fill the vacancy left behind; and Lauren is up for the challenge. Speaking of challenges, this week we’re facing that dreaded moment in a writer’s life when we look at a work-in-progress, realize that it is a ship sinking fast, and only one thing is left to do with it…

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Yay! Lauren’s back!
  • Tonight’s cocktail comes courtesy of MurLarkey’s Distilled Spirits, a Virginia Distillery and Bristow’s first!
    • Cinnamon Irish Coffee made with Cincerity
    • Tee prefers Smoke on the Mountain
    • This drink has a practical application, Lauren discovers
  • What brings Lauren back to the studio…

03:54 — Starting from Scratch…Again (with Lauren “Scribe” Harris) 

  • What happens when the story isn’t clicking?
    • For Pip, it was Hollywood Sentinels. A great idea…but just not a pleasant experience.
    • The story is broken, and Pip can’t discover the disconnect.
    • For Lauren, her own“Tackle & Grapple” happened not once but twice.
  • And here’s a new writer’s term: Ol’ Yellering a Novel. (I am so, so sorry.)
  • Lauren’s two Ol’ Yellers: The Mark of Flight and Hellhound
  • Is Ol’ Yellering a novel worth it?
  • If something feels wrong in a work-in-progress, chances are there is. Trust the instincts and start again.
  • Happy Fourth of July from our subdivision!
  • When two ideas struggle for attention, and one of the ideas isn’t falling into place, another idea might be worth pursuing.
  • Do you scrap an idea when you’re under contract? Sadly, yes.
  • How do you snap back psychologically from making the call of trashing a novel?
  • Before investing the energy and time into a broken story, consider what you are putting into it and the return from that investment.
  • What can be more crippling than scrapping a novel? Never finishing a novel.
  • Tee faces all these demons with Blackstar Rising.
  • This is the “Man Crush” moment of the show, featuring Chuck and Phil
  • No rapping! No rapping!
  • Tee’s reboot of Morevi. Not. Happening.
  • Lauren is a walking musical. You just randomly break out into song…
  • Sometimes, it’s better to walk forward than look back.
  • Scrapping an idea is not a reflection on you as a writer. It is a reflection on you as a professional.

31:42 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Still a favorite of Pip’s.
  • First stop for the weekend — Cobbler Mountain Cellars
    • We popped a “Bear Cherry” together.
    • Lauren’s favorite of the tasting: The Ginger Peach.
    • The Jeffersonian — Tastes Like Slavery
    • Cider Talk
  • Next stop: MurLarkey Distillery
    • This distillery is far too close to us!
    • Tee recalls his Vodka Vault experience…and how terrible it was.
    • However, the Divine Clarity was amazing!
    • Another surprise—the Imagination.
    • What we brought back— Clemoncy and Cincerity.
    • And we’ve been mixing drinks…
    • The winner of the weekend: Smoke on the Mountain
    • Good times at MurLarkey!
  • Clocking in time in the Man Cave with…
  • Escape Velocity, the first convention hosted by the Museum of Science Fiction
    • Where is everyone?
      IMG_7584
    • We looked good…but we were the only ones in costume.
      IMG_7590
    • Fantastic programming, and apparently that was where all the people were.
    • Steampunk in Anime, Film, and Print—the panel that almost wasn’t.
    • The convention crew was spot-on amazing!
    • Charles Dunbar and Doomtastic were on the panel…and we had a great time.
    • Then came The Big Score…and communication was proving a bit of a challenge.
    • Escape Velocity still came through, and I was able to give the presentation.
    • Always nice when you do a giveaway and your winners get excited over the free stuff!
    • Some advice to the con organizers for 2017…
    • We need folks like Pamela Gay, Stephen Grenade, John Cmar, and others on account of the STEM focus.
  • Keep listening to see if Tee, Pip, and others return for Escape Velocity 2017…

58:34 — Wrapping up

  • What do you know? We went long.
  • Where Lauren will be?
    • 16 JulyCongregate in High Point, North Carolina
    • Sometime in August — LaurenCon 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show or what we are rambling about at the end of the show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
    • …and on various corners of social media!
  • Listen up — here’s where you can find all of us online!
  • Whoops! Tee swiped Pip’s closing line.

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 #55: While My Guitar Gently Leaks (RT 2016 Retrospective)

 

TSD-rockingVegas

Two writers.

One convention.

Madness in Vegas!

The plane had barely time to get properly cleaned by the ground crew before Pip and Tee started what was to be a week in Sin City. Sure they brought busy work in case there were any slow points…but thanks to Piper J. and Matthew J. Drake, that didn’t happen. Strap yourself in—it’s a retrospective of RT 2016 on The Shared Desk!

00:00 —  Introduction

02:15 — While My Guitar Gently Leaks… (An RT 2016 Retrospective)

  • RT Booklovers Convention in 2016 — a brand, new experience!
  • Arriving in Vegas early…
    • Tee rallies against the jetlag, and he and Matthew hit the Strip
    • Piper J Drake invites us to her “Rocker-Stripper Hangout” at the Elara.
    • We were teaching alongside Linnea Sinclair, Damon Suede, and Stacey Kade at the RT Pre-Boot Camp
    • Workshops a plenty for two days straight!
    • Even Tee picked up a few new things during the workshop!
    • A nice way to ease into the 2016 RT Convention…
  • Pip compares convention centers between 2015 and 2016.
  • Day One…and thanks to a purchase from the Miracle Mile, Pip and Tee enter the convention LIKE MOTHERF–ING ROCKSTARS!!!
  • “Vegas, baby!” — a phrase we used often.
  • Our first panel — “Steampunk: The Diverse Punk”
    • Addressing the 800-pound gorilla about diversity
    • How Tee felt being the “odd man out”
    • A quick tangent on peels and Nalini Singh
    • And we were off and running…
  • Pip Ballantine, always making new friends from Oz.
  • How an update to an app turned our “007 in a Corset: Spies & Steampunk” into The Tee & Pip Show.
  • Readers Entertainment Magazine loved us. I mean, they loved us!
  • We hooked up with  Starla Huchton eventually and it became a mini-Smoky Writers Reunion!
  • Later in the day, we hit the Social Media Fair…and we identify as the O.P.s (Original Podcasters) still rolling out the audio!
  • Jumping back to Damon Suede’s Cinema Craptastique and a treatment of Abduction. The horror, the horror……
  • Cirque du Punk
    • Pip meets Hope McCurdy, the embodiment of the Iron Lily.
    • Amazing circus performers!
    • Cyberpunked deejay FTW!
    • And here’s Pip, Starla, and PJ as the punked up RGB Scale…
      IMG_6934
  • So why was Tee getting attention during the day?
    IMG_6918
  • The Intergalactic Bar & Grille, hosted by Linnea and PJ. So — much — fun!
  • This was a healthy-sized collection…and an exclusive!
  • What an awesome experience! Really felt welcome!
  • Linnea must have liked me as she trusted me with her Mad Libs…
  • The RT Book Fair of 2016 — 600 authors, and a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE!!!
    IMG_6948
  • Ended the RT experience with a trip to Mandalay Bay’s Red Square.
    IMG_6983
  • The difference between infused vodka and straight vodka: delight versus rubbing alcohol.
  • The hard lesson of Vegas: EVERYONE IS TRYING TO UPSELL YOU!!!
  • And everyone is an enabler in Vegas. (Oooooh, Steve!!!)
  • But seriously, we loved Hash House a Go-Go!
  • Catching up with Rachel!
    • She’s working the Jersey Boys.
    • Off-the-Strip sushi…nom.
    • A really good beer place…that we can’t remember. (Help, Rachel!)
    • The Return to Frankie’s Tiki’s Room!!!
      IMG_6889
  • Was it worth it? Oh hell yes!

45:54 — The Loot Crate Lookie-loo! 

  • A new segment for the show…
  • We are newbies to LootCrate, and we LOVE it! So far…
    • February — The Dead Box
    • March — Versus
    • And now, April….
  • April’s LootCrate
    • The Labyrinth tee shirt
    • A drinking horn from Vikings
    • Harry Potter Horcrux socks
    • A d20 ice mold
    • A d20 lapel pin
    • Uncharted 4 poster
  • What’s in your box?
  • What should you do with the stuff you don’t like? (Free giveaways!)

51:48 — Listener Mailbox

  • Two shows in a row! Keep it up, everyone!!!
    • A quick update from Hugh O’Donnell and his “Warboy” drive from Tennessee to New York.
    • Doc Coleman asks about the decision process when picking and choosing conventions.
  • Keep the voicemail coming in at 703.791.1701 or drop us an email, Subject line — FOR THE SHARED DESK!

1:01:48 — 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 54: The Post-Retreat (with Special Guests Piper J Drake, Matthew Drake, and KT Bryski)

 

TSD-back2back_PJ-Matt-KT

In our previous episode of The Shared Desk, Pip, Tee, Matt, and PJ all looked ahead to a week at the Smoky Writers’ Retreat. Now we jump ahead to the end of the week, and this time we are joined by KT Bryski. Cracking over an hour of word count goals, reflections on the fun, and serious talk about moonshine, The Shared Desk presents the Post-Retreat podcast.

Be warned — This way lies shenanigans!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • The drop-in’s reflect the week, pretty much…
  • It’s a NEW drop-in, just for Foo!
  • What is the name of this event?
  • Matt and Tee are ending the week as they started it — with Ole Smoky Moonshine’s Apple Pie!

03:54 — The Post-Retreat Podcast (with Piper, Matt, and KT!)

  • Only one hit of the shine, and Tee’s off the rails already.
  • What we accomplished at the Retreat…
    • Pip finishes The Silver Pharaoh, begins The Iron Lily, and continues into the Broken Galaxy; and she hit a Lowell! Just over 30,000 words accomplished.
    • Piper J Drake rocks her deadline with the True Hero series. 40,000 words in the can.
    • K.T. Bryski was a short story machine. BE AFRAID OF THE AWESOME!
    • Tee finally wrote Little Red Flying Hood, got handouts sorted for an upcoming RT workshop, and kicked off Blackstar Rising. Over 30,000 words in the week.
    • And now, Matthew J Drake, our accidental author…landing in over 20,000 words in a week!
  • A quick tangent on the Apple Pie Moonshine…and then, back to Matt….
  • Matt’s ascension into a full-fledged writer’s life.
  • Just avoid the dreaded note from KT Bryski, editor…
    grumpy-cat-no-1
  • KT Bryski does NOT care for the new drop-in.
  • The story behind Piper’s new drop-in. (We love you, Foo!)
  • That drop-in and Penny Dreadful…KT’s kryptonite.
  • And now—what happened after hours….
    • KT’s favorite time — the presence of Lauren, and composing music with Starla!
    • Matt’s favorite time — the first group reading
    • Jumping back to KT’s off-hours visit to the Titanic Museum…a surprising find in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and what an experience!
    • Piper J Drake’s favorite time — visiting Ripley’s Aquarium and the somewhat-lubricated, off-hours chatter between authors.
    • Pip’s favorite time — chilling with Alex White
  • The Moonshine of Gatlinburg
  • All the neat touches of our cabin…
    IMG_6608
  • Hugh O’Donnell goes WAR BOY on us all!!! WITNESS HIM!!!
  • What a great experience!
  • Bryan Lincoln almost lost his work on account of a cleaning fit from Tee.
  • Let’s talk about the food of Smoky Writers Retreat!
    • Katie’s favorite meal — the Sticky Toffee Pudding
    • Matt’s favorite meal — the handmade Gnocchi
    • Piper’s favorite meal — the Ribs and GROWN-UP Mac-n-Cheese
    • PIPER CHEATS! STEALS TEE’S TASTY-TASTY REUBENS!!!!
    • Pip’s favorite meal — the Beef Wellington
    • Tee’s favorite meal — the Crepes and the Scrambled Egg Sweet Poatoes
    • Scotch Eggs, Chicken and Waffles, Brisket….cue Deadpool.
  • Tee returns to Piper and Matt about the comparison between Smoky Writers Retreat, Writing Excuses Retreat, and other writing retreats.

1:02:0o — 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 53: The Pre-Retreat (with Piper J & Matthew Drake)

TSD-back2back_PJ-Matt

This Shared Desk is a look into the past where authors look to the future. If you didn’t follow any of us online during the week of the Smoky Writers’ Retreat, then all this will be new to you! It’s the night before we set off for the mountains of Tennessee, and after a terrible day-that-stretched-into-the-night at the Day Job, Tee downs a bottle of high test beer and leads the podcast. It’s an episode of goal setting and profanity dropping. Hang on to something….

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Tee is one beer in…and yes, he is feeling it.
  • We need to come up with a new drop-in for Pip.
  • Matt recalls his delightful visit to The Man Cave of Old Town Manassas…and Tee simmers like a fine beef stew….
  • Aren’t you a little old for Snapchat, HattsOfMatt?
  • There’s a J-bomb, an F-bomb, and people talking over drop-in’s to add to the insanity of the day…but now, the countdown is on.

03:44 — The Pre-Retreat Podcast (with Piper and Matt!)

  • This is all Matt’s idea…both the podcast and Tee’s condition!
  • Smoky Mountain Writers 2016 — TOMORROW!!!
  • Matt and Piper are worried about Initiation Night.
  • The whole retreat is happening on account of Alex White. This is where it all began, and now….
  • Dogfish Head’s Higher Math — Anger in a Bottle.
  • Want to know what a bottle can do?
  • Alex White discovered by accident this retreat would be a thing.
  • Pip takes you through Smoky Mountain Writers 2015, sans Tee.
  • PIP BALLANTINE! PODCASTER EXTRAORDINAIRE!!!!!! (Are you serious, Ballantine?!)
  • And now Tee is a mess because of Pip’s damn mic…
  • What did Tee do during last year’s retreat? Well, alongside PJ and Matt….
  • What went WRONG last year.
  • Even drunk, Tee can still handle the drop-in’s.
  • Now keep in mind, Pip’s sober…and she’s doing odd things with her accent!
  • So PJ, Matt…what’s on your mind about this upcoming retreat?
  • Deadpool’s back.
  • Tales of Drinkin’ Lincoln, greetings from Lauren “Scribe” Harris, and all kinds of shenanigans from Year One.
  • Tee puts the Drakes on the spot about the Smoky Writers Retreat from the Writing Excuses Retreat that the Drakes attended…
  • You can goof off at Smoky Mountain Writers, but when the Accountability Hour comes around, you’re screwed.
  • Beware of Laser Dick.
  • Piper J Drake goes into the details about Extreme Honor and the ass she is currently kicking!
  • Tee is dropping the F-bomb liberally. He blames the beer.
  • Making plans for the hot tub.
  • Daredevil: Season 2 is out…and Matt just figured out that it’s out!

37:1o — Writers Off the Clock

  • Right now, Piper and Matt are trying to figure out how to watch the new Daredevil in less than 12 hours.
  • We’ve only watched the first episode…at this point.
  • We broaden Matt’s culture with the stuff we talk about.
  • The Expanse. Best science fiction in the past decade. (Yes, Tee went there.)
  • Do your Man Cave a favor. Set yourself up with the Hue.
  • Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and what Marvel brings to Netflix.
  • Remember Charlie Cox in Stardust? Tee loves him in that movie.
  • Piper J Drake does have an advantage with spinning kicks. Well, okay, two advantages…
  • How True Detective made an impression on Daredevil
  • A terrific YouTube for movie fans—Every Frame Is a Painting
  • Another show Tee’s really enjoying—iZombie. What—FUN!
  • Pip is still sober…and getting MIGHTY CRASS!

50:33 — Wrapping up

  • Pip’s enjoying a fantasy with Deadpool and Daredevil.
  • What are our goals for the Retreat?
  • The next time we sit down, we’re looking back to what we did when in the Smokies!
  • Tee stumbles through credits.
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show? We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
  • And the anger consumes Tee…but he still gets in the plugs.
  • And hey, Matt and Tee are making a podcast! COMING SOON!

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 52: Kill Your Darlings — On Developmental Editing

 

Nope, no special guests. This time, you’re stuck with us. Fair warning about that — we may be a touch slaphappy, too….

00:00 —  Introduction

03:45 — Killing Your Darlings

  • Developmental editing — a lot like spending a weekend in either Midsomer County or Cabot Cove
  • We took a hatchet to our latest book, The Ghost Rebellion…but no worries, Verena & Christina, Eliza still gets to do the thing.
  • Starting at 120K, down-up-down-down-up….
  • Blah-blah-blah? Seriously?
  • The difference between developmental edits and line edits 
  • During these edits, our Kickstarter popped its head up to offer unexpected challenges.
  • I think Pip needs a nap…
  • The evolution of a character, thanks to SCIENCE! 
  • Oh, did you see what Pip did there with pushing our Ministry newsletter?
  • Cutting chapters is not the same as deleting characters!
  • Matt Drake is a bad influence on Tee.
  • Suna Dasi and Sarah Daniels are stepping in to help us out when we are culturally challenged. Maybe J.K. Rowling should have made a few calls…
  • What happens after the first round of developmental edits?
  • How Destiny comes into play with this show…
  • Want to make an author cry? Change a project’s parameters.
  • Walking the line between the integrity of your work and being a professional.
  • Tee’s Editing Patronus, Miss Sarah Hunter
    editing
  • Courtesy. It’s not all bad, you know?
  • Knowing the word count for your project is always a good thing.
  • Another problem with the developmental edits—making really hard calls when it comes to character’s individual fates.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut.

25:4o — Writers Off the Clock

  • What choo wanna do? I wanna shoop, baby…..
  • Talkin’ ’bout Deadpool.
  • Amazing what you can do with a limited budget.
  • What Deadpool and Howard Stern have in common…and then, going just that step further.
  • What Deadpool and The Passion of the Christ have in common…
  • This isn’t Verena’s first time modeling, but she is a little overwhelmed by being on a book cover. (Still, she loves it…a lot!)
  • Favorite one liners.
  • Ah, the joys of improvisation.
  • IKEA was paying attention when this movie was being made.
  • Remember, it’s not Wham……
  • What Deadpool got right, and kept getting right throughout the film…

39:25 — 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 51: The ABC’s — Alcohol, Blizzards, and Cosplayers

 

TSD-back2back_cosplayers

 

The snow was falling.

The beer was flowing.

So we got into our pajamas, fired up the mic, and well…this is what happens when cosplayers and writers get together and drink! Christina’s back, Verena’s here, and we’re sharing the desk about cosplaying, Kickstarters, and the search for a craft beer that meets Bavaria’s approval.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • A quick intro from Tee Morris about how we cannot count.
  • Just to warn you, we may be here a while as we have nowhere to go presently…
  • In-Studio Guests
  • This episode brought to you by Hot Topic and Deadpool.

03:00 — Snowed In with Cosplayers

  • Food, Beer, and Toilet Paper…we are ready for the Epic Snowstorm of 2016!
  • The Ghost Rebellion Kickstarter brought the Bavarian and (unexpectedly) the Californian here…
  • Verena did not know us from a bar of soap, but she flew over here anyway.
  • Verena’s new love in America: Hot Topic.
  • Long before cosplay was a thing, little Verena was getting into cosplay for German book festivals!
  • What inspired these two cosplayers to decide on bringing Eliza to life?
  • Cover models at RT are not looking as badass as Verena’s or Christina’s Eliza.
  • Hold on—these two have been BFFs longer than we’ve known Verena!
  • Christina steps back to her first cosplay…and Pip gets a little lost while swimming in Lake Me.
  • The differences between cosplaying as Eliza and cosplaying as Sophia
  • Concerning cosplaying, showing off the goods, and Lauren “Double Pineapple” Harris
  • Recorded for posterity: We <3 Lauren’s boobs!
  • Verena’s philosophy on cosplay vs cleavage.

20:52 — A Day with GoForward Photography 

  • Spending the day with some really talented people at GoForward Photography
  • Shooting on a green screen. Optimal for cover composition.
  • Shooting for cosplay shots against book cover shots.
  • Studio Fotozon approached Verena a little differently from GoForward.
  • Christina is now taking applicants for Wellington cosplayers. Must look like Hiddleston…
  • This isn’t Verena’s first time modeling, but she is a little overwhelmed by being on a book cover. (Still, she loves it…a lot!)
  • Now Tee plays a nice drop-in, but Verena goes Deadpool. What a naughty Bavarian!
  • Pip has to do a double-take as Eliza was standing in front of her once Verena got into costume.
  • Then there is the cover shoot for Countless Hues of Crimson
    • It starts with a pineapple…
    • We named the pineapple. Mr. Heath Red.
    • Cue the madness. And an inappropriate joke or two. Or more.
    • Once back on topic, we were talking about fruit on a cover, and eventually, we reached the pineapple.
  • Heath Red, Drama Queen
  • Wait-wait-wait…how did David Bowie get into this?!
  • Christina has a lot of fabric…but no idea what to do with it.
  • At this point Deadpool becomes an unofficial fifth guest on the show.
  • What’s next for Verena? Apparently, it’s time for her to boldly go…
  • And at this point, Hot Topic becomes an unofficial sponsor for the show.

And here is the cover…

TheGhostRebellion_ebook

44:10 Writers off the Clock.

  • Sorry about the overmodulation, everyone.
  • Verena is not that impressed with the Craft Beer Movement here in the States.
  • Where we traveled to during Verena’s and Christina’s stay…
    • Old Bust Head Brewery
    • Dogfish Head Brewery and Distillery
    • Pen Druid Brewery
    • Copper Fox Distillery
  • Verena discovers Hot Topic, and we all descend into a Hot Topic tangent.
  • After Hot Topic, the adventure home…
  • And now, weathering the GREAT BLIZZARD OF 2016!!!

55:31 Voicemail!

1:18:48 Wrapping up

  • What the hell is wrong with my board?!
  • Maybe Hot Topic should sponsor The Shared Desk?
  • Your obligatory Idris Elba mention.
  • Tee’s planning to attend MAGFest 2016…which happened last week.
  • Oh, and the fifth book really needs to get done…which is done, and is now in
  • If you are in Germany, find Verena at the Leipzeig Book Fair 2016 and AnimeCon outside of Munich…
  • We need to get Verena set up online. She’s got great cosplay to show off.
  • “It’s not a Man-Purse! IT’S A SATCHEL!!!”
  • What was up with Jack Bauer and his mobile phone?!
  • Verena makes an appeal for patrons to fly Pip and Tee over to Bavaria. So talk to us! PayPal us!!!
  • Massive jelly over Thomas Willeford and his (apparently) rich patrons!
  • Did you hear that? We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
  • Where to find us online…

 

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 #37: Kindle Unlimited — Whether You Like It or Not

 

TSD-crackup

Amazon, man. Amazon.

After a month of writing, blogging, event planning, and deering-do, Tee and Pip return to the mics (finally!) for a brand new Shared Desk…but wait, didn’t we talk about Amazon last time? Well, yeah, we did, and once again we return to the latest “sweet deal” for you. It’s a look at Kindle Unlimited, and a look back to Tee’s Past all caught on video in this latest podcast.

Have a listen, comment on the blog, and feel free to reach out to us at 703.791.1701 to share your thoughts with us!

 

00:00 — Introduction & Catching Up

  • Waxing nostalgic over Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant
  • July got by us. Let’s just say that.
  • Pip’s feeling the sting of hard-core audio editing.
  • Pip’s been spending a lot of time in Deadly Hollywood.
  • If anyone has zero room to talk about our edits as being “light tweaks”…
  • Tee and Pip are waiting to hear from ACX and Writers’ Digest…on separate subject matters.
  • We may not be at San Diego ComicCon, but our work is.
  • One degree closer to Del Toro!
  • Got to love that agent-of-awesome, Laurie McLean, and the way she’s working our works-in-progress…
  • Darkwater is going through the pitching phase again.
  • Tee’s still working on Wolf in the Fold.
  • Publication date for The Diamond Conspiracy: End of March 2015.
  • Sometimes Pip will let Tee in on what ideas she’s hatching…

AmazonHold

9:04 — Kindle Unlimited…and Bad Timing on Amazon’s Part

  • We’re not turning our Shared Desk into the “What the Hell is Amazon up to this show?” show…
  • Kindle Unlimited
    • Spotify for Books. (Don’t you call that a library?)
    • Another great idea for Amazon…until the details come to light.
    • How “deep” does this pool reach?
    • There’s a deal for Kindle Unlimited for the Big Six, for indie authors, and for indie authors of a certain caliber.
    • Hugh Howey got this “special” deal.
    • And we turned to Joe Konrath for an opinion….
  • Just so you know, it’s not just us who are stopping to wonder…
  • The feudal system of authors on Amazon
  • How Amazon surprised — or strong-armed — indie authors into this program…
  • It’s a great idea with terrible timing.
  • We’re trying this, but only with a couple of our titles.
  • Three months of exclusivity? In book terms, that’s an eternity.
  • Seriously, Jeff Bezos — between that letter to Hachette authors and now this little stunt, are you not thinking about how this looks?
  • And Tee, once again, turns to Joe for comment on this matter of KU.
  • If you think the comparison to Spotify is good, it’s not.
  • Pushback from Episode #36 
  • Kindle Unlimited is a nice idea, but we want to try it on our terms.
  • When it comes to Amazon and their services, know the terms.
  • Exclusivity is never a good thing!

25:27 — “Writers Off the Clock”

  • In this household, we support a swash and a buckle…
  • It was The Musketeers that motivated Tee to go through stacks and stacks AND STACKS of videotapes.
  • What have we discovered in this deep dive into Tee’s Past?
    • Tee in his long-haired-hippie days.
    • Tee taps!
    • Tee on stage with ComedySportz, JMU, and Vpstart Crow
  • My plan: Go through VHS footage, and then edit it all down to one “master” performance.
  • Still searching for an edited rehearsal and footage of The Three Musketeers, on stage with Vpstart Crow.
  • Why go through and edit all this? New ideas for #ThrowbackThursday.
  • Signing with Swords — coming soon!
  • Other great gems discovered…
    • Some footage of me and my father, spinning tunes for WXJM
    • Glyn JonesRed in the Morning, premiering at JMU
  • Tee discovers in this stumble down Memory Lane an interview in 1986…and I had the worst acne on my chin…

35:41 — The Wrap-Up

  • Tee puts up a case for hanging on to some of these VHS tapes.
  • The Curse of the Blair Witch Project…a better production than The Blair Witch Project.
  • Besides digitizing video, we are…
    • Having a sale on One-Stop Writer Shop. Check it out!
    • September 13 — S4, coming soon!
    • September 26-28 — Steampunk Unlimited in Strasburg, PA
    • October (possibly November) — a special event at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA
    • October 25 — HallowRead (alongside Kate Smith and PJ Schnyder) in Ellicot City, MD
  • Tales from the Archives — yeah, we fell off the rails…but we’re getting back on track.
  • Anxiously waiting for word from The Parsec Awards
  • …and ACX on the audio edition of Ministry Protocol.
  • Onward, to the future…

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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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 #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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Episode #25: An Audience with Alex White, Master Collaborator

TSD-back2back_White

Tee and Pip pull off the miracle podcast and reach NUMBER 25, but they don’t do it alone. From the headquarters of The Gearheart comes Renaissance Man Alex White. He’s an artist. He’s a writer. He’s a musician. He’s brought so much of his talent to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, and now he comes on mic with The Shared Desk to talk about how he got his black belt in collaboration fu.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Tee goes with a HBO theme on the opening drop-in’s…
  • Welcoming a special guest, Alex White, who is in town…because he wants to be!
  • What’s going on with the three of us?
    • Pip’s turning in new pitches. (Titles need a bit of work…)
    • Tee’s closing in on his Kindle Worlds’ deadline.
    • Alex has a new work-in-progress that delves into the paranormal.
  • Paying authors: We think it’s fun!
7:29 — An Audience with Alex White, Master Collaborator
  • Apart from Jack Mangan, Alex White has contributed and collaborated with us the most concerning the Ministry.
  • Alex and the crew of Disasterpiece Theatre
    • What’s the pitch? (Not the show, but that is the show.)
    • It was a great show…until Shia LaBouff was brought into the Ministry.
    • What’s the fun in prepping your guests?
    • Be careful, Alex. Hollywood, SyFy, and Michael Bay is listening…
    • …and Tee goes there. “Inappropriate.”
  • The recent collaboration(s) between Alex and the Makers of the Ministry
  • On working with Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, the editors
    • The importance of editing
    • Making editors into the “bad guys”
  • On working with Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, cover art clients
    • We got a beautiful cover….
    • ….but it was a tough journey getting there.
    • RELEASE THE DROP-IN’S!!!
    • Revealing what’s behind the curtain when cover artists and clients work together…and when things are not what are expected.
    • Beware the “sternly-worded nut-slap” from Pip Ballantine.
    • And then came the back pedal…
  • Working with Friends: the Pros, the Cons, and the LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY EXCHANGING HANDS… 
  • Again, beware Pip’s sternly slap-to-the-nuts.
  • Alex gives some advice for the author when working together to create the cover you want.

39:18 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • Alex reveals a cold, hard truth about The Shared Desk.
  • Talking about trust — how about that Cuckoo’s Calling book?
  • Hold on…who’s writing this book again?!
  • QUICK LOO BREAK!
  • Should J.K. Rowling be pissed?
  • A look at the insecurity of a successful problem…and how we wish we had it…
  • You hire a lawyer with a degree of privacy in mind.
  • The dangers of when besties get together, whippin’ out their secrets….
  • …and Tee goes there. Again.

47:24 — The Wrap-Up

  • Big props to Alex White for joining us on the 25th show!
  • Alex made us love him all over again.
  • Alex White and Harvey Keitel — worth every penny!
  • What’s coming soon…
    • For Alex
      • Dragon*Con appearing, including a LIVE Disaterpiece Theatre
      • A possible BIG reveal for DTP fans
      • Catch him at the Parsecs as Fire in the Snow by Starla Hutchton is in the running….
    • For Pip & Tee
      • Authors After Dark
      • Baltimore Book Festival
      • Strasburg Steam Festival
      • Cover Reveal of Ministry Protocol — August 8!
      • And an unexpected sale that is coming to bookshelves for the holidays!
  • And how about this for an ending — hitting it on all cylinders!!!

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 #000: Tee and Pip Say “O Hai!”

A general scope out of who we (Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine) are, what we plan on doing with the Shared Desk podcast.

Hopefully this gives you an idea what you can expect as we proceed forward in this new endeavor.

If you have any ideas, queries or comments then please email either pip AT pjballantine DOT com or tee AT teemorris DOT com, or drop us a voicemail at 703.791.1701.

 

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