A Thank You Note from Tee Morris

20140121-202530.jpgBeen searching for a writing topic of late (and I have at least two “authorly” blogposts that just need a few more words and a spit-polish before they go live) but the start to 2015 has truly been a mixed bag of nuts. I’ve been Vaguebooking a little around it, but it’s February now and I think I’m starting to see daylight again. The past week afforded me a moment to take a step back to take stock in things, and it came to my attention that I did not do something that happens often on social media. You will see those panicked calls to prayer and for support when things go south in a life. These calls happen often, and sometimes when the follow-up’s come, we wish they wouldn’t. Usually, it’s bad news.

Not this time though.

This isn’t my story. This isn’t Pip’s story either. It does involve us, though, directly. Thing is, it’s not my story to tell; but I will say this much: someone in our family went in for what was described as a “common procedure” but things went south. Pip had flown back to New Zealand for what was supposed to be a week of recovery. Her trip turned into a waiting game. “He could come out of it. He could die…” we were told. A far cry from what we were expecting. Pip and I turned to you all—Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists, Atheists, and everyone in between—and asked for your support. Whether they were prayers, blessings, or just thoughts of kindness, you all were there. Each and every one of you.

I know bad things happen; and sometimes, even after people rally around you and shower you with love, bad things still happen. This isn’t me saying “Because of you, everything’s okay!” This is me saying “Thank you for sparing a moment to keep us in your thoughts, hearts, and prayers.”

The dust is settling now, we are all recovering, and things are returning back to normal. We’re okay, and we’re all happy and healthy.

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The support you all showed me and my family reminded me of the same support you all bestowed on me during my job hunt during 2014. Actually, this job hunt started back in 2012 when I had been let go at Intersections. To say “It’s been a bumpy ride…” would be an understatement, but throughout it all you all have been there to keep me going. Sure, I had the writing and the Kickstarter project success to take in and keep me going. There was also a lot of things happening behind-the-scenes that felt like anchors around the ankles. I needed to keep going, keep pushing; and plenty of mornings, I felt lost with no drive whatsoever.

IMG_0450Sometimes, it would be one comment. Sometimes, it would be several comments. Here. On social media. In real life. It would be that support, a moment of positive reinforcement, that would get me out of bed and keep me going. You all kept me, my awesome wife, and my incredible kid in mind, and I don’t know if I ever took the time to say “Thank you” and I apologize for that. It’s been an eventful start to the year, and I wanted to take a moment and give kudos to you. You were there, and you helped me through it all.

Thank you.

Now, I’ve got a book to release, some writing to accomplish, and more days ahead of me. You’ve made it with me this far. I hope you continue this journey with me, together.

Talk to you later.

Barbecue Zen: A Life Lesson from a Cookout

(photos from Nutty Nuchtchas and Bruce F Press Photography)

10385393_10201495629506364_381941092020939126_nThe week following Balticon 48, my social media feeds could easily be broken down to two topics: retrospectives of the event (which was awesome, by the way, and if you weren’t there—think about being there in 2015) and a variety of perspectives on the #YesAllWomen hashtag. While nostalgic and contemplative the looks back to the Memorial Day Weekend were, it’s been equally disheartening reading stories from people I admire and hold in high esteem like Dr Pamela Gay, Jared Axelrod, Chris Miller, either being victim of or watching others victimized by people who think they are cast in a season of Mad Men. Sure, there are men who behave badly in our culture but I had no idea just how deep this dark, twisted rabbit hole reached.

In this post I want to talk about both. In particular I want to talk about that amazing cookout you may have heard Balticon talk about on Friday night, and what we all can take away from it. Continue reading

Heroes of Cosplay: Cautionary Tales of Competition

syfy-heroes-of-cosplayI am not a fan of reality television. There are few exceptions that keep my attention; and with friends I have in the reality television business, some of the scripting and direction behind supposed slice-of-life docudramas is just painful to watch.

But enough about Amish Mafia. I want to talk about the latest reality show that has gotten many a geek and especially that sub-culture within the subculture that I love supporting — cosplayers — into a close-on-rabid uproar. I speak of SyFy’s latest offering, Heroes of Cosplay. Continue reading

5 Things to Do after You Lose Your Job

Tee Morris, Adventurer...for hire.It’s hard to believe, but last Friday marked a month since my last day at Intersections.

For the past four weeks, I’ve taken in a lot. Good and bad. Of course, the irony of all this is that when I was hired by Intersections, the Recession was in full swing. And at the beginning of 2012, where a variety of news outlets from around the world were all noticing an economic turnaround at the beginning of 2012, I was downsized.

In this month, from the day I was let go to now, I’ve learned a lot. Granted, each layoff is different. Some involve severance packages. Others do not. Some employers treat you with respect. Others waste no time in getting you out of the door. It’s hard to predict how bad news like this will come, but I can say — after a month of letting the dust settle — there are at least five things to keep in mind when Corporate America pulls the rug out from under you. Continue reading

So Long, and Thanks for All the Tweets: My Final Friday at Intersections

Staying on track.You might have noticed a few enigmatic tweets from me on Friday. I got a few responses of concern but I was okay. Still am.

No, really, I’m good. January 6, 2012 was a date for the books so I’ll just go ahead and kick off this blogpost with what happened.

Somewhere around 10:15 a.m. last Friday, I was told my services at Intersections, Inc. was no longer needed.

If you’re expecting a complete and utter meltdown against my former day job, you’re not going to get it. Never will. I will only say this: Continue reading

Counting down to one wild weekend ahead…

Yes, it has been a little quiet on my blog…but that doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still.

The 2011 Steampunk World's Fair

Our first steampunk exposition, The Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey, is happening this week; and they are making us feel welcome! The guest list is mind-blowing, and yet we — the steampunk rookies — make their Lovecraftian promotional poster.

I think this is a sign of a FUN weekend ahead!

Both Pip and I will be there as part of “Ministry MAY-hem” and there are more details about the weekend to be found at the Ministry website. Track the weekend on Twitter by following the #SPWF hashtag.

We hope to see you this weekend as we get our steampunk funk on!

I Remember Joe: 2010

I’m not the biggest fan of April Fool’s Day. Never have been. The history behind April Fool’s Day is quite cool, but that’s about it. I don’t like pranks played upon me and playing pranks on others I’m not too crazy about. (I do remember one prank, though, where a college suitemate covered another suitemate’s doorway with newspaper. Guy opens the door and sees a wall of headlines staring back at them. I had a hand in that, and that was funny. Not to mention, harmless.) April 1st Is also crappy when you have to report news or stay on top of current events, and too many news outlets now think it’s “fun” to throw in gag stories. And now, on Twitter, tweetpranks are running amuck.

Yes, I hate April Fool’s Day.

I hate it all the more as one of my best friends, Joe Murphy, passed away on this day in 2007.

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Every year, Jack and I ask that you remember our fallen friend, Joe Murphy. From the reaction on Facebook to my profile picture already (only posted an hour ago, and Robin Hudson, Marc Bailey, and Robert Goshko suggest Root Beers to be drank in his honor), the Community keeps Joe in their minds and hearts.

For those of you new to podcasting, you might have missed the audio wit and always-clever banter of my friend, Joe Murphy. He was (and still is) an amazing guy, his voice now part of the history of such podcasts, as Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi, The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas, and the award-winning The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. He was taken from us too soon, and on April 1 we remember him.

I got to see Joe a month before he died, and it was hard. He was sick. You couldn’t deny that. On April 1, I remember my friend, Joe, in memories like the one I have posted above. I remember his banter against Michael, Evo, and the crew of the original Wingin’ It. I remember his loyalty. He pushed me to be a better writer, and he never pulled punches on how I carried myself, both as a writer and as a person. This is how I remember Joe. A smile that can turn around a bad day. An honest opinion that you could grow from. He was an amazing guy, and I miss him terribly.

Please syndicate this tribute show (originally produced in 2008 as part of the Give Us a Minute podcast.) through your feeds, blog about Joe Murphy, tell a friend today about Joe, show your support in an avatar change (be it a picture of Joe or a candle in remembrance), and let the Community know that you also remember Joe.

INTERVIEW: Tee Morris on Blog Talk Radio’s Breakthrough Business

I’m starting to get my groove back (like Stella) in producing ideas, writing (seriously), podcasting, and playing with Sonic Boom. This road has been difficult (and no kidding, a blogpost is written, but I am not ready to drop it just yet. Bear with me…), but I’m taking everything one step at a time, one day at a time…

One of those positive steps is getting back into the interview circuit. Recently, Que Publishing contacted me concerning All a Twitter. The book is being featured again in Barnes & Noble Bookstores everywhere, and Que is hoping to get the first Twitter guide written from a user’s perspective (and when my byline says “written by Tee Morris” it means it!) into new readers’ hands. They asked me “Whatever you can do to get the word out…” and so I sent out a query to my Twitter networks.

Meet Michele Price. She queried me before I tweeted!

Michele is the host of Breakthrough Business, and on her BlogTalkRadio show we talk about Twitter, about my job at Intersections Inc, and about approaches that go against the grain of the marketing books. We talk about how “old school marketing” just doesn’t work with Social Media, and how businesses need to understand that Twitter (and Social Media, on a whole) is about people.

We had a blast on this interview, and there are more slated for the month. The geekier ones I’ll feature here, but if you want to hear more about the Social Media, take a trip to Imagine That! Studios for the full blogosphere-podosphere interview tour!

Litopia Daily: Tee Morris Staves Cabin Fever via Podcasting with Peter

The day after the Great #Snowpocalypse of 2009, I felt the walls closing in a bit…and the twins inviting me to play with them really wasn’t helping. Fortunately, saving the day was Peter Cox all the way from Central London when he rearranged his schedule to sit down, open up the mics, and talk with me about podcast fiction. Seems that Litopia has opened a floodgate in talking about podcasting, Social Media, and the modern writer, and Peter wanted to sit down with the guy that started it all.

If you don’t know Litopia, you should. Lipopia is  run by writers for writers. It’s a podcast, it’s a blog, it’s a forum. It’s an inside look and a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry, and what was supposed to be a fifteen minute podcast…well, we went a little longer…

Enjoy this bit of time travel through the history of podcast fiction, and looking at the present day and possible tomorrows of Social Media in the publishing industry.

Listen. Comment (here and at Litopia). Share.

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…

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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!