Stranger on a Train XXI

Heading home, and I’ve got 21 for this entry; so Double Down if you can.

Yesterday was a day I want to put behind me, but I admit it was a crossroad kind of day. Revelations. Lapses of reason. Manning up. And as pissy as I felt, I find out I have a friend — you know, one of those best kinds — facing a shut storm that reduced my day to just a chocolate drizzle. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

Something tells me you’re reading this, bro. Don’t go stealth on me. You were there for me. My turn now…

Today, I was dealt a few pleasant surprises. Discovered more folks in my corner. Got validation on a few things gnawing at me. And then there was the writing. It just feels great being back in this world, and I am planning to go farther. I was in full stride today, and now I have to wonder if I can pick that stride up tonight.

I’m not worried about it. That surprises me a bit. I don’t know. Should it?

Getting ready for work this morning, I purposefully chose this shirt. Part of me was worried it would send the wrong message, but I wanted this message for me. I needed some reassurance, and Kal-El’s never let me down, sour sequels and a heartless reboot not withstanding. Maybe Supes was the boy scout of the JLA…but he was the boy scout that you could always count on. Today was my facing down of dragons. I’m good.

Superman or Raiders of the Lost Ark — which one has the more iconic fanfare, you think?

Whatever. Both kick ass.

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The Power of Three Stooges

While Twitter, Whrrl, and Facebook are my go-to-tools in online sharing, their limitations can stunt my stream-of-consciousness on a subject. So I’m taking ideas that come from other discussions and networks, bringing them here, and expanding on them.

Also, I too am annoyed when people post a waxing philosophic dissertation as a Facebook status. No, I’m not going to become “that guy” on the Social Networks.

This blogpost was inspired from a Twitter exchange I enjoyed with one of the sweetest ladies of Social Media, Vivid Muse. Viv was easing into her day, and fired off this tweet across my starboard bow:

VividMuse: Also, Three Stooges are even dumber than I remember. It would be interesting to try and classify all men as Larry, Curly or Moe. Possible?

My reply: Continue reading

Come on, Baby, Cover Me!

Final Covert Art for Phoenix Rising

click image to view full size

We’ve been sitting on this cover art for months!

When Pip Ballantine and I first saw it, we were over the moon. Imagine the heartbreak when our editor, Diana Gill, told us “You can’t post this anywhere just yet.” To watch the evolution of this cover, from the earlier drafts to the final product, has been a real trip; and while this is my fifth novel, it feels like my first. Continue reading

GUEST BLOGPOST: In Which a Delivishly Clever Archeologist Writes with a Most Scandalous Flair!

Hey, everyone! You may all think I’m suffering some sort of steampunk kick; but as you heard in my previous podcast, it is the focus of my attentions. My current work-in-progress now circulating the market is a steampunk romp entitled Books & Braun: Volume One — Phoenix Rising, co-written with Philippa Ballantine. I have always been fascinated with this sub-genre ever since hearing about it from two of the most creative people I know, J.R. Blackwell and Jared Axelrod.

And it was another creative type, the incredibly-witty, and delightfully-sultry Gail Carriger who — in a ways and means of promoting her paranormal steampunk romance, Soulless — made the offer to write guest blogpost.

Gail is my first. You always remember your first…

So I’m bumming about the internet, as you do, and Tee tweets me…

“Wanna guest blog?” says he.

“Delighted,” says I. “Got a topic?”

“What makes Steampunk so sexy?” says he. Continue reading

The New Gig: What I’m Doing and How I’m Doing

IMG_0584With a whopping 42 comments to it (and as that is the big answer, I thought the time was right for this post…), I think it’s pretty much common knowledge by now that I got a new job. I didn’t really consider how quickly the wheels got rolling on getting me in there; but on retrospect, this place did not diddle around. I was offered the job on August 4, taught my final class on August 14, and then on August 17 I walked in, filed paperwork, went through the orientation, and was then literally thrown into the thick of it. I didn’t hit the ground running. I bitch-slapped the ground, made it call me a pretty girl, and had it beg for more when I was through with it.

And the really frightening bit? After a week, I’m still not sure how my voice mail works.

But what exactly is the job? I didn’t really go into detail on that in “Perseverance and Peter Gabriel” as that post was less about the job itself and more about the job hunt. Amidst the comments of congratulations and inspiration, a few of you have wondered “So what is this job you got?” I wanted to wait until I finished the first week before I shared details, and I’m glad I did. Last week was overwhelming, amazing, and eye-opening, on a lot of levels.

I was also beat at the end of every day. Slept a lot. Now, with some of the blur that was last week processed, here it is…

Intersections is a security firm, based out of Chantilly, VA. Since 1996, Intersections has dealt with credit history and digital identity protection. They are in the business of making electronic transactions, be they financial or personal, safer; and I have been hired as their Social Media Manager. (I’d like to point out that this job falls under Corporate Communications, not Marketing. That thrills me like you wouldn’t believe.) They were looking for someone who could not only apply Social Media, but understand the different initiatives out there and what they offer.

They were also looking for someone who could write. Yeah, I think I got that covered, too.

What I’m particularly excited about with this job is the angle Intersections takes with Social Media. Obviously, I’m being called upon to manage blogs, create podcasts, edit video (which I’m doing right now), and manage an outreach program with Twitter and (soon) Facebook; but I am also being asked to investigate and research security in Social Media, something I’ve touched on in Bird House Rules but only scratched its surface. On Friday, I was forwarded some news about Social Media from a security perspective and I was floored. The ironic bit is, that morning I was catching up with The SpyCast and listening to a fantastic interview with Dr. Terry Gudaitis who specializes in cyberintelligence gathering. (That’s the June 15, 2009 show if you’re interested.)

I feel as if I am starting all over again in Social Media, this time from a new perspective I hope Blogworld will let me speak on this year. I am officially on their schedule. I’ve confirmed “But Honey, It’s For the Studio” but am working to change topics concerning my second talk. So, if you’re at Blogworld this year, stop me and say “Hi.” It should be good fun in Vegas this October!

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A cublicle in transition

So in the end, I am using my knowledge and background on Social Media for good, not for evil. While I will help in the promotion of what Intersections does, I will also be their on-call specialist in Social Media while I find out more about security matters with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and the like. My brain has been firing on all cylinders since Day One, and I’m soaking it up like a thirsty sponge. The first week just blinked by, and I’ve not slowed down yet.

If you were wondering, though, how the day job will affect my writing, it will only make me more productive. Now that I know my hours, I can regiment and manage my time efficiently. I’m still writing for AppAdvice; and this weekend Pip and I completed the first draft of Books & Braun: Phoenix Rising, our Steampunk CSI peppered with hints of James Bond. I’m also planning to dust off Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and start working on that. I’ll give up details with an upcoming Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy…and yes, that will be its final episode.

It’s a long story and a hard decision concerning The Guide, and I’ll save the rest for that show.

My job at Intersections is now underway, and my writing is moving forward. From here, all that I have to face now are the possibilities.

Feeling the Love from across the pond!

In this picture are two people that I hold very dear in my life. One of them is my daughter. I will let you try and figure which one of them is her…

martyn_kiddo

The other “bloke” is Martyn Casserly, a journalist, an accomplished musician, and now he is an award-nominated podcaster with his one-minute Movie Mantras podcast. (Martyn is also a dad and a good mate to boot…although his opinions concerning the new Craig-Bond films and recent Doctor Who are completely wrong, but I digress…) With the many endeavors he had going, Martyn approached me this Spring to talk about an article he was penning on podcast authors. He was optimistic that Wired Magazine (UK) would pick up the column. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

This morning, I checked my Twitter stream and found this waiting for me:

My article about Podcast Authors is up on Wired ! @scottsigler, @sethharwood, @jchutchins, @teemonster all appear. http://bit.ly/Pv53w

Now live on the site, Wired Magagine (UK) picked up  “Novels by Podcast” where Martyn discusses how we authors are giving away our hard work in audio format for free. He also goes into the genesis of the podcast novel and why we do what we do.

“Giving away your stories isn’t a risk… it’s a competitive advantage,” explains Scott Sigler. “If a reader who’s never heard of me has $25 to spend and they’re looking at my book next to a Stephen King book, who are they going to choose? They take King. He’s a proven storyteller. But if King is $25 and my story is free they may try me out first. Why not? It’s no risk to them. If they like me, they buy me. If they don’t they buy King. Whatever happens the customer gets what the customer wants.”

It is a tight article covering successes and milestones; and while many who follow us on Twitter, on blogs, and through podcasts, may consider what we do “old hat” after four years, podcasting — and more importantly, podcasting fiction — is still a brand-spanking new concept to the mainstream market. Articles like Martyn’s and venues like Wired are getting the word out about what we are doing. That’s what is important here: getting people to listen.

Show Martyn appreciation by blogging about this article (and yep, I got it covered from the business perspective over at Imagine That!), syndicating his link in your feeds, dropping him comments on the article’s page, and talking it up on your podcasts. Let Wired know we’re paying attention and appreciate their support, and let Martyn know both on Twitter and on Wired that his words ring true.

Thanks, Martyn. Well done!

Perseverance and Peter Gabriel

joy

Today, I got a job.

Today, I got a full time job in Social Media.

While this sounds like something simple, the point I want to make, if I teach the world anything, is not to give up. Don’t give up.

Remember that song? There’s a darkness in that song, sure. I mean, hey, it’s Peter Gabriel. But there’s that optimism (voiced by Kate Bush), that assurance, you can make it through the storm.

I frakkin’ love that song.

People on Twitter and at KrakenQuest’s Great Reveal all knew I was having a tough time at this job hunt, but let me give you the run down that only a few have heard…

October 2007

First, there was actually dusting off the resume. I realized straight away there was a problem: I hadn’t done this in nearly ten years. I had no real experience, apart from my skills in the classroom. It amazed me how many people thought that would make me a valuable asset because I had the mad skills. InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, and so on and so on. This was going to be a piece of cake.

I knew better. Even with two books in podcasting under my belt, I knew I had a lot of knowledge, but not the experience that people would want. Still, I gave the resume an overhaul with the help and encouragement of Paul Fischer & Martha Halloway, and began the job hunt.

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

February 2008

I was thrilled to connect with a headhunter that found me a client wanting someone knowledgable in Social Media. I went in for the first interview and made such a good first impression that one of the interviewers chased me to the elevator to say “Goodbye.” The headhunter prepped me, said I was close. One more interview. It was supposed to be with the president of the association. Well, okay then. The president and an associate? No problem. We set the time for a late afternoon, after a class; and I cut my class off early so I could make the 4:30 p.m. interview. I walk into the office and meet the president and two associates. Two? Well, okay then. Two. I proceed with the interview, the two associates just watching me and the president wanting me to regale her with tales of my theatre days. (Another blog post about that to come….) After being there for over an hour, the president of the association cuts me off and says “This isn’t going well.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

Continue reading

TeeMonster on the Move!

tee-jumpPhoto by Kreg Steppe

Hey, everyone! I’m closing in on a pretty busy chunk of time, and it all starts next week. As you can see in the photo, I attempted to jump to New Zealand, get a head start on the travel. The only problem is this picture is taken at CREATE South 2009 in Myrtle Beach, so that puts me by the Atlantic.

Oh yeah, and while I got some serious hang time in the photo…my distance was FAIL!

Before I get into the schedule, I got good news on All a Twitter: the manuscript is now at the publisher and currently being prepped for printing. You can pre-order the book but keep an eye on Imagine That! Studios for latest developments on my latest book concerning Social Media, and get ready — I got something else coming this summer.

Oh yeah, and I’m nearly done writing my smut for Chef Pip. I really am a naughty boy.

Now, here’s my upcoming schedule. This is where I will be:

May 22-25
Balticon 43 in Hunt Valley, MD

May 29-June 1
Conscription in Auckland, New Zealand

June 2
ANTI-Social Media, presented for LIANZA, 12pm-2pm
Room 420 Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

All a Twitter, presented for LIANZA, 3pm-5pm
Room 420 Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

June 3
Social Media Mainline Workshop for LIANZA, 9am-5pm
Computer Lab Room 433, Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

June 6 (JUST ADDED!!!)
Podiobooks: The Best Audiobooks FOR FREE Online for Tararua District Library, 1pm-2pm
Dannevirke, New Zealand

June 15
ANTI-Social Media, presented for LIANZA, 12pm-2pm
Seminar Room, Reserve Bank of NZ
2 The Terrace
Report at ground floor reception no later than 11.45am
Wellington, New Zealand

All a Twitter, presented for LIANZA, 5pm-7pm
Conference Room, Department of Conservation
18-32 Manners Street
Report at ground floor reception no later than 4.45pm
Wellington, New Zealand

June 16
Social Media Mainline Workshop for LIANZA, 9am-5pm
SOLD OUT (Waiting List available)
Computer lab 510, Level 5, WelTec Wellington Campus
11-17 Church Street (off Boulcott Street)
Wellington, New Zealand

June 17

Speak Geek to Me, for Te Papa Tongarewa: The Museum of New Zealand, 10am-12pm
Location: TBA
Wellington, NZ

If you are in New Zealand and looking for a primer on Social Media, you can still sign-up for the Auckland workshop. I could not be more excited about this upcoming trip the Land of the Great White Cloud…

18.5 hours on a plane…AFTER I fly from DC to San Fran. Whoofah!

Next time we talk, I’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere. See you on the other side of the world!

The ONE Video Podcast Your Social Media Life Depends On…

Imagine That! Studios presents…

A FIVE-PART
EPIC MINISERIES
VIDEO PODCASTING
EVENT!

*explosions — screams — kittens and puppies*

Yes, Tee Morris premieres his seminar, ANTI-Social Media: What NOT to Do with Web 2.0, today! Running exclusively at Imagine That! Studios, Tee brings his opinions and commentary on Social Media askew in this…

FIVE-PART
EPIC MINISERIES
VIDEO PODCASTING
EVENT!

*explosions — screams — kittens and puppies*

…and critics are raving!

@PodcastJunky says:

“It’s coming from the house of awesome so it is nothing less than fabulous.”

@akaMonty raves:

“Tee Morris once again proves that he’s more than just a beefcake”

Social Media trendsetter Chris Brogan

…didn’t return my calls and I don’t know what the restraining order is all about.

@zard proclaims:

“Tee Morris is holding me at ransom unless I write this blurb. Send help!”

Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit pushes you down, presses his foot against your trachea, and states:

“If you can’t be a good example, be a bad example: Tee Morris brings you Anti-Social Media.”

So you — yes, YOU — must stop whatever you’re doing, focus on the screen, and bask in the awesomeness that is this…

FIVE-PART
EPIC MINISERIES
VIDEO PODCASTING
EVENT!

*explosions — screams — kittens and puppies*

(And if you really dig what you’re seeing, the rest will be made available in installments at Imagine That! Studios. Thanks for playing along, everyone, and thank you, Jason, for the “Epic Miniseries” idea. Nice way to kick off a week!)

Exercising the Gift for Gab…

Tee on Audacity

photo by Kreg Steppe

Are you in the Washington D.C. area, within driving distance of the Nation’s capital, or happen to be in my stomping grounds next week? If you are, you have two chances to catch me speaking on Social Media. The Washington Network Group and The Washington DC Write to Publish Group have invited me to come in and speak, and I am thrilled to present:

ANTI-Social Media: What Not to Do in Web 2.0

Thursday, February 26
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

hosted by
The Washington Network Group
Merrill Lynch Conference Center, 6th Floor
1152 Fifteenth Street, NW

Ξ

Social Media for Writers: Making Web 2.0 Your Marketing Machine

Saturday, February 28
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

hosted by
The Washington DC Write to Publish Group
Arlington Central Library
1015 N. Quincy St., 2nd Floor Meeting Room
Arlington, VA

If you are in the area, I hope you can make it for the discussions. Feel free to pass along the appearance links on your own feeds, and I hope to talk to you then!