Tag Archives: writing

Episode #59: Calling “Shenanigans” on Penny Dreadful (SPOILERS, AHEAD!!!)

 

If you have not seen the season SERIES finale of Penny Dreadful, turn back now.

As fond the Victorian Gothic (with just a dash of steampunk) series is at quoting literature, let us give a quick quote of our own:

Do you hear, let them be well used; for
they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
time: after your death you were better have a bad
epitaph than their ill report while you live.

While Tee and Pip would never go on record about their thoughts on another writer’s work, they let loose with the ranting as they feel betrayed both as fans and as writers. If you have been wanting a rant from Tee, here it comes NOW WITH 100% MORE KIWI!!!

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Pip is working very hard to make everything interesting, even the show numbers…
  • We are nailing the posting schedule for 2016! How about that?
  • Jon Snow’s Tribute to Leeroy Jenkins — best thing on YouTube RIGHT NOW!!!
  • There are going to be a LOT of spoilers in this episode! Turn back now…
  • Deep breath, everyone…

00:44 — Episode #59: Calling “Shenanigans” on Penny Dreadful

  • Better buckle up…
  • Penny Dreadful. Some of the best television ever aired…UNTIL…
  • A word from show creator, John Logan.
    • 45-second audio from the video posted by Logan and Showtime
    • Series finale airs on Sunday night. This clip goes live the day after.
  • Finale ends. Announcement drops the day after of cancellation.
  • Then, all this week, images like these…
    13483009_638298629654871_2541983613324725551_o
  • “It was always intended to be three seasons…” Really? REALLY?!
  • S-Bombs Ahead!
  • If Penny Dreadful was Vanessa’s story, then what about all these OTHER characters we’ve gotten to know?
  • Who introduces a whole new set of characters for a final season?
    • One of these characters is introduced in Episode 6 of a 9 Episode season?
    • A total of eight new characters…all set up for a final season centered around the six principles.
  • Concerning Dr. Henry Jekyll
    • Tee is a bit envious as to Penny Dreadful’s take
    • A season of dropping hints about his temper
    • Building, building, building…and then, Jekyll “goes on his rounds”…
    • Frankenstein caves, and Jekyll is more than okay with it. Well, okay…I guess?
    • Fan service in 3…2……..
  • Characters betraying themselves, and Jekyll’s potential reduced to a Lab Assistant.
  • Kaetenay tells Ethan “I have given you the power to save her…” but he forgets that somewhere on the way.
  • How did Cat do what she did in the final fight?! Sir Malcolm noticed!
  • “Hey, Victor—fancy bumping into you here!” Are you kidding me? You want Frankenstein in a firefight AFTER SEASON 2?!
  • Time Wasters for (what was) the Final Season
    • Dorian & Lily — Anyone else remember the end of Season 2?
    • The Creature — The problem with that was the actor. Rory Kinnear was SO — DAMN — GOOD!
    • …but this is Vanessa’s story. Remember?
  • And now we get to Vanessa…oh Vanessa…
  • And Dracula? What does he do when he sees his soulmate dead in Ethan’s arms?
    winchester
  • What the hell, John Logan?!
  • Penny Dreadful was a fantastic show, and then Logan punted.
  • To say “That was the plan all along…” is a disservice. and terrible writing to boot. From people who know better.
  • Tee and Pip are still pissed. Turns out they aren’t the only ones.

30:27 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • Good thing we never not a Penny Dreadful crate.
  • Two boxes (again!) this go round!
    • May Clearance box
    • June Theme — Dystopia
  • Inside the May Clearance crate…
    • Funko Pop’s Han Solo from The Force Awakens
    • Star Trek Car Air Freshener of the Live Long & Prosper greeting
    • Batman v Superman indestructible wallet
    • Space Invaders necktie
    • Spy Mad Libs (Always cool!)
  • Inside the June Dystopia crate…
    • The tee-shirt — Robocop!
    • A Bioshock: Infinite blank key to turn into a house key
    • The lapel pin is a bomb….of course
    • A jigsaw puzzle from The Matrix
    • A Dorbs from Fallout
    • A Terminator 2: Judgment Day metal sign
  • What are we keeping, and what are we setting up for giveaways…
  • Still haven’t topped the Aliens crate. Yet.

36:12 — 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)

 

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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 #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 #29: All About Stonecoast (with Katie Bryski!)

TSD-back2backwKatie

After two days of recording and a plethora of technical glitches, we are back for another episodes with our new intern and return Canuck, ForeWord-nominated author, Katie Bryski! Join us as Katie, fresh from Stonecoast, come in-studio to talk about this amazing experience that she has embarked upon…

00:00 — Introduction

  • We are on a roll!!!
  • G’day, eh? We have a guest in the studio again! Throw on the back bacon — it’s Katie Bryski!
  • Things you shouldn’t do after the Smoky Writers: Have your liver tested.
  • Pip bitches about the drop-in’s. Again. (And remember this…for later on in the show…)
  • Since the Smoky Writers events, what have Tee & Pip been up to?
    • The Silver Pharaoh is submitted to Laurie.
    • Wolf in the Fold is also submitted to Laurie.
    • Audio recording for Ministry Protocol is underway.
    • Tee’s still job hunting, still working on Wolf in the Fold, and also working on something for Valentine’s Day.
  • What Katie has been up to since Stonecoast?
    • She’s our intern for February!
    • Katie is still working on a book that is formally known as formerly known as Styx.
    • In Season Three of Tales from the Archives, things get very Canadian!

 14:48 — All about Stonecoast (with Katie Bryski) 

  • The first challenge of Stonecoast: Get to the right Portland!
  • What exactly is Stonecoast?
    • Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
    • Low-Residency (so you can do this from home…)
    • Residency is in Portland, ME
  • Tee’s mic problems and Pip’s odd need for editing…eh, just go with it!
  • Working with Mentors (who are working authors)
  • This isn’t NaNoWriMo or a writers’ retreat, folks. This is graduate school. For writers.
  • And there is Tee, just being far too ‘Murican.
  • From #MicFAIL to #DropInFAIL
  • Pip asks who would Tee want to have as his Writing Mentor…and Pip makes an uber-#SteampunkFAIL.
  • But Katie is a published author already…so why does Katie need a Masters Degree in Writing?
  • Katie looks at the goals of Stonecoast she’s looking to accomplish through this program.
  • Tee and Pip are a touch green with envy over Katie’s journey with Stonecoast.
  • For someone who hates drop-in’s, Pip’s asking a lot from Tee in this episode.
  • Does Stonecoast have business angles covered?
  • Stonecoast offers another aspect of the writers’ community

33:44 — Seriously?! Seriously.

  • Another #DropInFAIL but we’ll get this…
  • It’s kind of important before you go into a blog tour to know what to do when you’re on a blog tour.
  • Copy-Paste-Here’s-Your-Blogpost….no, that’s not what you do.
  • If you are too busy to go on a blog tour because you are too busy promoting, you’re lost in #EpicFAIL
  • There are bigger problems afoot if you don’t have evergreen blog content to offer a blog tour.
  • Is the problem a lack of ideas? (As we show, nope.)

41:25 — The Wrap-Up

  • So excited that we have Katie for a little more time!
  • Katie is gathering a lot of dirt on it.
  • And she’s a good intern ’cause she’s getting Tee coffee!
  • Pip and Tee struggle to keep the show on target
    • Weather Child now has a cover.
    • Tee & Pip head down to Richmond for The Writers’ Show!
    • Dawn’s Early Light hits the shelves at the end of March!
    • Something special coming up in February….
    • Oh yeah, RavenCon as well!
  • Sweet as! Katie is coming to Balticon!!! And she’s talking about beer!!!
  • We need a better sign-off for Katie…
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

TSD-back2back_SMWW

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

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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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The Shared Desk — Episode #17: Ending a Series

Deadlines, distractions, and…something else that starts with D…but who cares? WE’RE BACK and we’re kicking off August with news about the Parsec Awards, where we will be this month, and that time when you have to say “Goodbye” to the worlds you have created.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Since when is “17” a landmark?
  • What the hell is Pip thinking about stepping on my drop-in’s?!
  • Whodathunkit? We’re a Parsec Finalist for 2012!!! (And we blanked on the good people at Roundtable Podcast! Don’t hate the game, bros — hate the playas!)
  • Flashing back to sharing the desk with P.J. Schnyder

02:47 — Ending a Series

  • Pip is gearing up for the big goodbye to the characters of Geist.
  • What are the feelings an author harbors when writing that final scene in a series?
  • Pip compares ending her adventures with Sorcha, Raed, and Merrick against her adventures with Shakespeare and Puck.
  • How (and why) do authors grow so attached to their characters?
  • Is this the end of Pip’s journey with The Order, or just this generation?
  • How do authors plan a series? Well, a lot it hinges on the contracts.
  • Wow…Tee is kinda quiet….at least, with his comments. (The drop-in’s on the other hand…)
  • What about the Ministry? Well, if Pip gets her way…
  • Searching for the sweet spot in a series length.
  • Looking at The Dark Knight Rises from a writer’s perspectives.
  • When you wrap-up, how do you handle loose ends? Bloodbaths?
  • Suddenly, Pip’s Ace pixie-like editor sounds like a mobster.
  • THE GEM FROM PIP: When do you know you’re done? (And here’s Pip’s answer…at 16:22…)

16:50 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • Taking questions from Twitter for Crazy Uncle Charlie…
  • From @PaperBullets
    • How do you make sure you’re showing, not telling?
    • What are your suggestions for writing peyote-fueled dream sequences?
    • Charlie goes deep into the philosophy of writers and the mantra of “Show, Not Tell”…
    • …but when it comes to the peyote, Charlie keeps it brief.
  • From @Goochi26
    • I finally finished my book, what do i do now?
    • Charlie shares his own little rituals (and maybe PVC fetish) when finishing a manuscript.

21:58 — The Wrap-Up

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

 

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The Shared Desk — Episode #16: Making Tough Choices (with P.J. Schnyder)

 

So it’s been a while since we have sat down and recorded a Shared Desk, but how about this — when we finally got a chance to record a Shared Desk, we did it with the lovely P.J. Schnyder. This episode is about tough choices we make as authors in bringing about the demise of a character. Why do we do this to our creations? Is it for shock value? Is it for impact? And do we really care in the end?

 

00:00 — Introduction

  • A brand new Shared Desk, and this time we brought a friend!
  • Who is P.J. Schnyder?
  • The way to a woman’s heart: Meat and Explosives
  • Letting the drop-in’s fly!
  • And God said “Okay, Tee, enough with the drop-in’s!”

02:46 — Making Tough Choices

  • What happened between Shared Deskepisodes
  • The dangers of drinking with agents, editors, and new friends…
  • Getting complaints — a second one from a book critic — concerning a choice Pip and I made in The Janus Affair…
  • Do we create characters simply to kill them?
  • Evoking the name of Joss and when he kills beloved characters in his works.
  • When do authors cross a line?
    • Did J.K. Rowling go too far (or not far enough) in The Deathly Hollows?
    • Tee’s gripes on Farscape and clever twists on bringing characters back
    • Jumping genres and discussing a gratuitous death (or was it?) on M*A*S*H*
  • We do care about the characters we kill.
  • Do we write for entertainment, or to make an impact?
  • TANGENT: Waxing happily about random drop-in’s for computers and future shows…

20:51 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Sonic Boom is away at summer camp…so we have been indulging…in watching movies…
  • Tee and Pip are talking about John Carter. (P.J. is talking about porn, we think…)
  • A pleasant surprise of John Carter
    • Terrific characters
    • A lot of charm
    • Fantastic visuals
  • Tee, Pip, and P.J. go into Disney’s bungling of John Carter‘s marketing
  • This movie had a lot going for it! (Even the credit sequence was good!)
  • Bringing it back to marketing of books — when it works, when it doesn’t, and when it boggles the mind….
  • What does P.J. do to relax?
  •  How does P.J. manage her time?
  • Shout out to Stella Price!

36:23 — The Wrap-Up

  • Drinks to mix, food to prepare, and stuff to blow up!
  • Time to plug away!
  • And here’s where we drop a little surprise on P.J. Schnyder as we all wait to hear from The Parsec Awards…
  • What’s coming up for us…
    • Pip has Hunter and Fox out and Wrayth coming soon…
    • Pip is aiming to start a new series in November
    • Now that The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel is out, Tee & Pip work on Dawn’s Early Light
    • Tee is looking up  Tales from the Archives: Volume 2 launches on April 10 with new stories from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
  • Upcoming Conventions
  • P.J.’s Upcoming Conventions
  • …and Pip shows up Tee on the Creative Commons tag. Again.
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #15: The Listener Appreciation Show (Volume 2)

Call in with your questions and comments!

WOW! We collected enough comments, questions, and overall opinions from you, the listeners, to make this show our second Listener Appreciation Show! We got some questions on Kindle, Scrivener, and Book Reviews, but we also got questions on topics we have never tackled before on mic.

And Pip gets not one but TWO drop-in’s of her own…

00:00 — Introduction

  • A quick shout out to Geek Radio Daily for their own touch on the show…
  • Even more of YOUR CALLS, YOUR EMAILS, YOUR SOCILA NETWORK COMMENTS! 
  • Yeah, Tee is showing the kind of love that only Soundboard can truly deliver.
  • …and the Shared Desk Voicemail Line for the next one — 703.791.1701

04:30 —  Your Voicemail and Email

  • Guy Barber from Cornwall, UK, sends us kudos for the audio version of HarperAudio’s Phoenix Rising and The Shared Desk, and puts in his vote for an audio version of Geist.
  • Ben from Florida asks close on the same question as emails from Valkyrie Page and Chris Forshner on how we collaborate and the creative process between the two of us.
    • Tee talks about Pip’s strengths and then discusses his own.
    • How other authors collaborate against what Pip and Tee do.
  • Melissa Hay surprises us with a call, and brings up the topic of book bloggers and how authors and publishers are keeping the peace, at least for now…
  • Terry Arman asks us what we thought of the promo he cut for us…but has us at a loss.
  • Nobilis Reed wants to know how we collaborate using Scrivener.
  • P.C. Haring Calls “Shenanigans!” on our Scrivener…and we call him to the mat with some help from Phil Rossi!
  • David from the Scrivener Crew writes us a killer “thank you” note.
  • Our Anonymous NYT Bestseller gives inside dirt on Amazon and their own titles…
    • Pip finds herself derailed by her bumper and a lack of breakfast.
    • Is there anyone “big enough” to stand toe-to-toe with Amazon? Well, yes
    • More discussion about Amazon, and a shameless plug for The Janus Affair
  • Rick Asplund calls in to give us BVL (big Viking love) from Chicago.
  • Dan Dan the Artman drops a voicemail that calls forth the humbled (and slightly vaklempt) Crazy Uncle Charlie.
  • Michael Spence mainlines The Shared Desk and gives his own opinions on shared universes.
  • Tony Mast takes Tee to task for releasing Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device for the Kindle exclusively.
  • Gail Carrigerwants to know what the “Shared Desk” really looks like……so here it is:

  • And from the Great White North comes Steve Saylor, asking of working with video to promote your writing.

1:03:03 — The Wrap-Up

  • The Second Listener Appreciation Show is DONE, and now we need your comments for Show #20!
  • Hunger may be pushing Pip closer to PIP RAGE!!! 
  • Where to leave your comments for us…
  • April 10 — Volume 2 of Tales from the Archives goes live!
  • Tee’s cheat-sheet is swiped from him…but he nails the Creative Commons exit.
Some Related Links
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #014: All About Scrivener…Almost.

 

Yes we wound up being a day late on this show, but as you will hear in the end we have been anything but idle. This episode is all about Scrivener, that popular software authors swear by. Tee and Pip share their likes, dislikes, and future possibilities for the application, and then Tee shares a rant about Seth Godin and a liberal use of the C-word.

UPDATE: With special thanks to Steve Saylor, we have discovered that YES, you can export your Scrivener works in digital publishing formats. Under the “File” menu, scroll down to “Compile” (keyboard shortcut is Option + Command for the Mac) and select from the sub-menu of “Compile for:” the “Kindle” option. (Click on the image for a larger version.)


Well played, Scrivener. Well played.

UPDATE: And with extra special thanks to Nobilis Reed, we have discovered that Scrivener has a Linux version, currently in Beta.

00:00 — Introduction

  • A voicemail from Dan Shurette that provides Tee & Pip with instpiration
  • The show launches with a moment’s pwnage!

01:49 — All About Scrivener

  • And the show kicks off with Tee giving the wrong URL for Literature and Latte.
  • Scrivener makes TechRadar’s Top Ten Most Loved Programs
    • Scrivener ranks #9 between Lotus 1-2-3 and Solitaire.
    • Tee reads off the other Top Ten
    • Tee’s Metallica impersonations still hold up apparently.
    • Also on the list — Fotoshop (for fashion models everywhere!)
  • When did we find Scrivener?
  • What Pip Likes: Keeping all your notes, thoughts, and research in one file
  • The price of Scrivener — $45USD
  • What Tee Likes: The Research Mode and the ability to import web pages
  • What Tee & Pip Like: The Corkboard
  • What Pip Likes: Rearranging chapters with a click-and-drag ease
  • Pip calls for the put-down of the Courier font.
  • What Tee Likes: Comments
  • What Pip Likes: Customizing your workspace
  • What Tee Would Like to See: A “Track Changes” Feature
  • What Pip Would Like to See: More “Export Options”
  • What Tee Likes: Project and Text Statistics
  • What Tee Would Like to See: More people in the industry using Scrivener
  • What Tee Would Like to See: An easy transition between Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms
  • Getting schooled by Scrivener: A history that Tee and Pip didn’t know….
  • What Tee Can’t Wait to See: Scrivener for the iPad

31:22 — Seriously, Seriously: Going for the Godin

  • Seth Godin…using his evil powers to mess with Tee’s mic
  • So what does Tee have against Seth Godin? (Just listen….)
  • What Tee doesn’t get: When the Press and Bloggers Rally around Seth Godin
  • Seth Godin is not being censored. He’s trying to take advantage of Apple.
  • Tee then goes off…and goes…and goes…and goes….
  • And here’s the post that  gets Tee going EVEN HARDER

41:15 — The Wrap-Up

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

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The Shared Desk — Episode #011: Concerning Reviews

 

Bleah! Between the Power Bug that Sonic Boom brought home from school and final reviews of The Janus Affair, Tee and Pip are finally back behind the mic, bringing a perspective on book bloggers, book reviews, and keeping it classy in light of a bad review.

00:00 — Introduction

  • We’re back! (Did you miss us?)
  • The joys of school-bred viruses
  • The Janus Affair is now heading to press.
  • What to expect from Wellington Eliza, and friends in the next few months…
  • A plea to whomever sent me the drop-in’s.
  • Working on steampunk faerie tales
  • Elder Cat says “Oh hai!”

08:01 — Concerning Reviews

  • We’d love to do a show on Scrivener, but writers (and now agents) keep doing some really stupid things!  
  • Elder Cat says “Oh hai!” again
  • Goodreads — an online network that loves Phoenix Rising.
  • It all started with a review…or two….
  • …and it ended with agents getting into the scrap.
  • Rule #1 of Reviews: Not everyone will love you.
  • How bad behavior affects your book
    • Tee still hasn’t read The Night Circus on account of spam.
    • The Tom Cruise Effect
    • How bad reviews reflect positively on authors’ works
  • An Authors’ WTH Moment: When Agents Attack
  • Respecting the Book Bloggers
  • How Book Bloggers Stand Taller than Amazon/Goodreads Reviewers
  • If you don’t want an honest review, don’t approach Book Bloggers.
  • Taking the fight to other networks like Twitter, Facebook, et. al.
  • When is it a good time to question a bad review?
  • Looking for common threads in good and bad reviews
  • Why you must love Book Bloggers…like our girl, Mel!

33:58  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Hold on — Tee’s got a WotC for Pip?
  • The name of the game is Skylanders…and we bought it for Sonic Boom. (No. Really. We did!)
  • A friend of Starla’s. A friend of ours. And her (bad) influence on the Boom…
  • Sonic Boom was fighting back, so we were looking for and advantage. (In comes Skylanders.)
  • And at 38:02, this happens…
  • What Skylanders is all about
  • How Sonic Boom plays into this new obsession
  • Feline distractions
  • Laying down the Law (and enjoying the results)

44:39 — The Wrap-Up

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

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The Shared Desk — Episode #007: NaNoWriMo (or The “I Hate Nathan Lowell!” Show)


With the 2011 Con Season behind them and friends jumping into the writerly madness of November, Pip and Tee spend the show looking at NaNoWriMo or the National Novel Writing Month. They got rants, they got opinions, and they got their own bits of advice for those brave enough to jump into the competition.

To all those taking the NaNoWriMo challenge — good luck!

00:00 — Introduction

  • Hold on…it’s November?!
  • Quick — Get to the topic!

00:51 — NaNoWriMo

  • What exactly is NaNoWriMo?
  • 1:53 — FIRST MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
  • The Two Camps of NaNoWriMo…and the camp that Evo Terra rules over.
  • Drawing a line between a Writer and an Author
  • Why November?!
  • 5:41 — SECOND MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
  • Just because you win NaNoWriMo doesn’t mean you’re ready for publishing. (Shame on you, Smashwords!)
  • A few words of love (both tender and tough) for NaNoEdMo.
    • February? The shortest month of the year?! Seriously?!
  • Tee & Pip find out why NaNoWriMo is in November…and Tee goes on a rant…
  • Why NaNoEdMo is so important
  • What we truly love about NaNoWriMo
    • It’s a fantastic way to get into the regiment of writing.
    • 13:22 — THIRD MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
    • An inside look at putting together a novel, from soup to nuts
    • If you’re going to do NaNoWriMo, you should commit to NaNoEdMo.
    • 15:01 — FOURTH MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL (and some pining from Tee…)
  • Pip is derailed by Tee…
  • Advice in approaching NaNoWriMo…before, during, and after November…

19:50  — Writers Off the Clock

  • Unplugging in Autumn…a beautiful time to do so
  • Pip is digging the change of seasons.
  • A quick photo break…

  • Showing some love to the vineyards, especially to Corcoran’s Vineyard and Brewery
  • Take the Doctor’s advice: “A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”

26:21 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • And here we are with yet ANOTHER rant…
  • Pip adopts Wil Wheaton’s philosophy concerning panelists that don’t play well with others.
  • Some advice for being a good panelist.
  • Some advice for being a good moderator…and how to be a good panelist when you got a qualified moderator.
  • As a moderator and a panelist, read your audience. (If you don’t know how, learn.)
  • When panels work, it’s like a fine-tuned symphony. Cue Pip at New York Comic Con.
  • As a panelist or moderator, DON’T BE THAT GUY!

37:06 — The Wrap-Up

  • After all this ranting, Pip and Tee are exhausted!
  • Ending our 2011 con season with the badasses of steampunk, The League of S.T.E.A.M.
  • What’s coming in 2012
    • The Janus Affair: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel— May
    • Hunter & Fox — July
    • Wrayth: A Book of the Order — September
    • 40:03 — FINAL MENTION OF NATHAN LOWELL
    • Pip, stop with the whining.
    • And there’s even more stuff coming from the Ministry…
  • Working on the 2012 Con Schedule
  • Where to find us online
  • And check us out on Goodreads AND VOTE!!!

Drop-Ins: The Silence of the Lambs, Battlestar Galactica, Sideways

More Shout-Out’s During the Show…

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

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The Shared Desk #002: The Writer-Agent Relationship (with Laurie McLean)

Fresh from their WorldCon experience, Tee & Pip bring to The Shared Desk their first interview and introduce a new segment to the show. There is also talk of their next con appearance and what lies ahead for the Fall.

00:00 — Introduction

  • Two episodes and fresh from the land where finding a cab is a Herculean labor…
  • Do you remember the D-Con Roach Motel?
  • A few thoughts on WorldCon in Reno, Nevada.

02:28 — Working with Agents: An Interview with Laurie McLean

  • Introduction of the Agent Savant herself, Laurie McLean
  • What exactly does an agent do?
  • Laurie names off the top of her head the “Six Sisters” of Publishing
  • 06:50 — An idea for an alternate Worldcon
  • The evolution of publishing and where an agent fit in
  • How some agents are reacting to the change in publishing
  • On the adversarial relationships people harbor against agents (Note to J.K. Rowling’s former agentRETIRE!!!)
  • Something to know — all agents are different
  • What happens backstage between agents, editors, and bookstores
  • The challenges an agent has when representing a collaborative writing team
  • What is “hot” in the Science Fiction and Fantasy market
  • 35:26 — A sneak peek at a new segment coming later in the episode…
  • Where to find Laurie online

39:59 — Writing Advice from Crazy Uncle Charlie

  • Introducing a voice of our generation, and the sage advice he wants to bestow to writers everywhere…
  • The question for Crazy Uncle Charlie: How do you know you have found a good literary agent?
  • Crazy Uncle Charlie reveals his foolproof method of researching a literary agent.
  • Another method Crazy Uncle Charlie endorses: Writers Beware ®

42:56 — Wrap-Up

  • Why does the studio smell of cheese?
  • Where you can find us and send questions, comments, and feedback…
  • Feeling the love after two episodes…
  • Where we will be in September: FenCon (September 23-25,2011)
  • With folks like Matt Bowerman and Beth Case helping out the fans, we’re thinking a tweet-up is in order.
  • Anticipation for FenCon — yes, we are stoked!!!
  • Shout out to Hurricane Irene!

Websites We Give a Shout-Out to

Show Photos 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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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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