Tag Archives: Smoky Mountain Writers’ Retreat

Episode 53: The Pre-Retreat (with Piper J & Matthew Drake)

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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 #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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Episode #28: Reflections on #SmokyWriters2014

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Recorded on the final night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, writers of different backgrounds, interests, and works waiting to become works-in-progess gather around the microphones and look back on an amazing five days of food, booze, words, and hut tub soakings.

Welcome to the Smoky Mountains Writers’ Retreat of 2014.

Wear earbuds or send the kids and your mom out of the room. The authors are hitting the sauce, so we get saucy…

00:00 — Introduction

  • Yes, two shows in a week! How about that?
  • Tee’s appetite is still adjusting to realistic standards.
  • Trust me — Chuck Wendig is right about living a lifestyle
  • The Shared Desk steps back to the last night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee…
02:36 — Reflections on the Smokey Mountain Writers’ Retreat
  • And here is the origins of The Shared Desk and getting Pip to the mic
  • The participants of #SmokyWriters2014 and what they were working on…
    • Philippa Ballantine (Y.A. novel entitled The Silver Pharaoh)
    • Rosemary Tizledoun (short story entitled “Snap Dragons”)
    • Lauren “Scribe” Harris (high fantasy novel entitled Song of the Heretic)
    • Hugh O’Donnell (urban fantasy novel entitled Changeling and superhero short story)
    • Bryan Lincoln (high fantasy audio script)
    • Tee Morris (urban fantasy novel entitled Wolf in the Fold) who gives a special “thank you” to his eight-day employer…
    • AWKWARD MOMENT [REDACTED]
    • Alex White (the man behind the long weekend and dark comedy novel entitled Domains.)
      • Picture The Office set on Mount Olympus.
      • We call it CubicalPunk.
  • The goal in getting writers together under one roof
    • Alex wanted to have a setting where people would get along.
    • Alex wanted people to produce.
    • Rules were set to maximize productivity.
    • Meals were seen to.
  • Hopes & Realities for Rosemary
  • Hopes & Realities for Lauren
  • A break in Lauren’s assessment to quote our mantra: Food. Booze. Words.
  • Hopes & Realities for Lauren (continued)
  • Hopes & Realities for Hugh
    • Feeling as if he was stepping in the house of the “Big Dogs” in his mind.
    • In praise of Hugh’s short story featuring the Spirit Animal of Smoky Mountain Writers’ Retreat
    • Meeting expectations and intimidating those around them…
  • Hopes & Realities for Bryan
    • “Drinkin’ Lincoln” in college…and in the Smoky Mountains
    • Writing audio scripts and the challenges within.
  • Hopes & Realities for Tee…and putting his put in his mouth in the process.
  • And now…THE FOOD.
    • OMNOMNOMNOMNOM!
    • Alex White…a sneaky culinary bastard…
  • Eating like Mother F-ing Rock Stars
    • Bryan’s favorite meal — The Salmon with Spinach Artichoke Orzo
    • Meet Cookie! (His favorite meal — the Steaks. Those fantastic steaks…)
    • Hugh’s favorite meal — the Ruben with Butternut Squash
    • Lauren’s favorite meal — the French Toast and Bacon (with strawberry compote)
    • “I don’t usually like [insert dish here] but this…”
    • Rosemary’s favorite meal — the Strata (with props to the Flan dessert)
    • Alex’s favorite meal — Okonomiaki (Japanese Pancakes)
    • Cookie’s favorite dessert — the Jameson Bread Puuding
    • Pip’s favorite meal — the Salmon dinner
    • Tee’s favorite meal — the Ruben with Butternut Squash
  • Pip offers the most awesome segue to the weirdest conversation we had…
    • Tee’s going on the grill.
    • Pip’s a lovely rack…
    • Hugh Stew
  • Pip’s survival instinct kicks in with an interrupting stinkbug.
  • Improving #SmokyWriters2015
    • Planning around con season…
    • More people?
    • Lauren asks for more time.
    • Planning the trip
    • Will Hugh dare to stay with the Morris clan?
    • Tee proposes a full week with a field trip set aside one day.
    • Gatlinburg, Tennessee — “Myrtle Beach in the Mountains”
    • Pip’s concerns about the number of participants.
    • Tee also suggests more games, especially Cards Against Humanity and Poker Night.
    • Breaking up into other Reading Groups and Brainstorming sessions
  • Congratulations, Alex White — you did it. And he totally brain-dumps his heart on the retreat…
  • …and Tee goes for Pip’s jugular….
  • Returning to Alex’s heart-felt reflection.
  • How do you throw a writers’ retreat?
    • Look for a place.
      • SmokyMountains.com
      • HomeAway.com
        • Consider hiring a chef.
        • Find people who will pay their share.
        • Be prepared to use the credit card.
        • Lay down Rules and Expectations for the weekend. Get. Work. Done.
  • Pip’s expectations for next year…

1:02:41  — The Wrap-Up

  • Congratulations, Alex White — you did it. And he totally brain-dumps his heart on the retreat…
  • …and Tee goes for Pip’s jugular….
  • Returning to Alex’s heart-felt reflection.
  • How do you throw a writers’ retreat?
    • Look for a place.
      • SmokyMountains.com
      • HomeAway.com
    • Consider hiring a chef.
    • Find people who will pay their share.
    • Be prepared to use the credit card.
    • Lay down Rules and Expectations for the weekend. Get. Work. Done.
  • Pip’s expectations for next year…
  • And yes, Tee’s got his ending memorized and ready for this remote recording…
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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