Ditch Diggers #25: The Absolute Guide to Failure 2, Electric Boogaloo

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s doll hospital, and spend way too much time talking about doll hospitals in general and Morgan’s doll hospital in particular.
  • The Ditch Diggers bring you up-to-date on their professional lives. Mur starts over. Matt needs to write faster.
  • Mur experiments with delayed segues.
  • Neither Matt nor Mur have touched best-selling authors in inappropriate ways, they swear.
  • The Ditch Diggers’ Guide to Absolute Failure returns!
  • Matt and Mur read Guide contributions from listeners, including a former literary agent intern.
  • Matt doesn’t know how to use “shutes” properly, and a certain percentage of the food you eat is bugs and plastic.
  • Mur on “negging” in author interactions, and her new best friend.
  • Writing is easy, and the internet doesn’t really exist.
  • The second installment of The DD Guide to Absolute Failure concludes.
  • Email/Twitter questions and answers!
  • Guide to Literary Agents 2016: http://amzn.com/1599639408

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(Aside- dammit, Six Wakes has a cover, and it’s awesome, and Amazon hasn’t put it on the site yet…)

Ditch Diggers #24: TV Writing with Margaret Dunlap

We welcome Emmy-winning writer Margaret Dunlap, writer for The Middleman, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and the serial Bookburners.

Show notes!

  • Coming to you live from Morgan Freeman’s tornado shelter with special guest co-host Margaret Dunlap!
  • Margaret is the bomb at calculus, yet cannot derivate a function to save her life (or anyone else’s).
  • On the tradition of passing the Campbell Award winner’s tiara which is actually a diadem.
  • Margaret talks about breaking into television writing, and how useless it is to ask the question, “How do you break into TV writing?”
  • On being a TV writers assistant, “freelance” scripts, and the power of getting coffee.
  • Hollywood as a cronyism town vs. a nepotism town (and why that’s a good thing for new writers).
  • Celebrating small victories, and how sushi, beer, and ice cream are scaleable.
  • TV writing vs. webseries writing
  • Margaret is adapting Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books for television with John Rogers’ Kung Fu Monkey Productions! (And the glacial pace of writing projects.)
  • Mur and Margaret talk about Bookburners, and the structure of TV writing meeting fiction books.
  • Q&A with Twitter.
  • Obligatory shilling of Matt’s books and the fact Ditch Diggers is STILL eligible for Best Fancast in the Hugo Awards.
  • Margaret’s website: http://www.margaretdunlap.com/
  • Margaret’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/spyscribe
  • Bookburners: https://www.serialbox.com/serials/555d1163ada6e26d95b9e785
  • Producteev Task Management Software: https://www.producteev.com/

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Ditch Diggers #23: Organizamouional Prbklems

We talk organizing and distractions. It’s unorganized and distracted, just so you know.

  • Mur and Matt discuss Morgan Freeman’s obsession with Franklin Mint Collector’s Plates featuring older, fatter Elvis.
  • Mur restates the premise of the podcast, old school, as if it were an early episode.\
  • Matt and Mur talk about their current editing schedules.
  • Mur attempts to use the above to smoothly segue into the show’s topic, but Matt derails the conversation after an off-hand comment about his hair.
  • Matt and Mur finally reach the topic of the episode, organization for professional writers.
  • Mur talks about prioritizing.
  • Matt talks about being your own assistant.
  • Social media as a distraction and a tool, and the appropriate amount of time to spend on it to prevent the former and enable the latter.
  • Apps that help you focus on writing, including real ones like Forest and ones that don’t exist like Matt’s hostage bunny app.
  • Simple alternatives to app solutions, like shutting off your WiFi, and Post-it notes.
  • Matt and Mur debut a new segment, the Writer’s Torment Corner, and talk about World Fantasy Con’s woeful lack of harassment/accessibility policies.
  • Email and Twitter questions.
  • Matt and Mur remind everyone Ditch Diggers is an awards eligible podcast and it is podcast season.
  • Apps mentioned in this episode…
    Forest: http://www.forestapp.cc/
    Write or Die: http://writeordie.com/

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Ditch Diggers #22: The Guide to Absolute Failure

  • Matt and Mur discuss whether or not Morgan Freeman’s five-story igloo is technically an igloo.
  • It’s Matt’s fault there will be no live Ditch Diggers at ConFusion.
  • Matt and Mur remember David Hartwell.
  • The Ditch Diggers Guide to Absolute Failure.
  • Chapter One: Cons, in which the bathroom becomes a central focus.
  • Chapter Two: Submissions, or how your query letter should be a statement of personal revenge and entitlement.
  • Chapter Three: Manuscripts, a.k.a. the poorly utilized glory of Comic Sans.
  • Chapter Four: Money, and how exposure is the currency of the future.
  • No time for questions this week because Mur has physical therapy for her ankle.
  • Matt shills his book LUSTLOCKED dropping Tuesday, January 26th. [PST THAT’S TOMORROW]
  • He also reminds everyone Ditch Diggers is awards eligible and it’s nominating season.

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Ditch Diggers #21: End of Year Review

Matt and I look at our careers, what happened this year, and what will happen next year.

  • Morgan Freeman’s private plane was crippled after landing on an armadillo and Mur and Matt discuss the potential of armadillos both as next-gen super soldiers and the basis for a SyFy movie about next-gen super soldier armadillos.
  • Podcasters recording and releasing episodes out of order (Matt is *very* insistent Mur think fourth-dimensionally like in Back to the Future III).
  • On the end of the year (but NOT the end of the world).
  • Mur and Matt review the year they’ve had as pro writers.
  • Matt on a “building/set-up” year for his career (Mur disagrees with this assessment), making book deals, signing with a new agent and manager, and returning to fiction publishing as a way to reignite his film and television writing.
  • Mur on her own “building” year for her career (Matt also disagrees with this assessment), submitting/pitching proposals, losing some confidence, her new deal with Orbit, and Bookburners, and building her backbone up.
  • Matt makes a case for Mur’s year as a “RE-building” year, dragon-ing up, and rebounding.
  • Mur recaps the exciting Bookburners project for which she’s writing.
  • Mur on working with the right agent.
  • Matt and Mur talk about their concrete business plans for their pro writing careers over the next year, including their plans for Ditch Diggers.
  • Awards Eligibility: Ditch Diggers is eligible for potentially two Hugos! Figure out which one and vote for it if you’re able! [EDIT- Twitter talk is leaning toward Fancast] Also, Nebulas and any other award you think Ditch Diggers should win!
  • The final Q&A of the year!

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Ditch Diggers #20: Starring Guest Host Ursula Vernon

We had a number of tech problems, but hopefully you can’t tell… much. And parents, Ursula is, among other things, a kids’ book author, but this podcast still has an explicit tag.
lolwut

  • Mur and Matt welcome special 20th episode guest co-host, Hugo and Nebula Award winner Ursula Vernon!
  • We establish Ursula does everything except sing and dance.
  • There are many technical difficulties, which we overcome with editorial aplomb.
  • When authors have to get electrodes taped to their ass (Ursula demonstrates her blogging candor as a writer).
  • We talk to Ursula about writers and mental health, including her recent bouts with anxiety and depression and balancing that with deadlines, how it’s okay and absolutely necessary to seek treatment, and how depression in writers is perceived by non-writers.
  • How it’s really hard to find a good pill case.
  • We take questions from the email bag and Twitter.
  • Ursula talks about the benefits of creating a popular internet meme.
  • We discuss the value or lack thereof of author tours. Ursula talks about touring as a children’s author vs. an author of non-kid lit.

Ursula on Twitter: @UrsulaV
Ursula’s main blog: http://ursulav.livejournal.com/
Ursula’s fiction for adults: http://tkingfisher.com/
Red Wombat Studio: http://www.redwombatstudio.com/

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Ditch Diggers #19 – Humor

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s scooter garage and compare Morgan’s European scooter collection to his American Segways.
  • Why Germans are so polite (it’s because of the Holocaust).
  • Obligatory NaNoWriMo coverage.
  • Writing and selling on proposal vs. writing and selling spec novels (Mur admits Matt’s better at metaphors than her).
  • Obligatory NaNoWriMo coverage throwback (Matt used to be a chronic parade urinator)
  • Further proposal vs. spec discussion.
  • Comedy writing. Nothing is harder or more terrifying.
  • Why the key to writing comedy is characters who never give up.
  • Dude, Where’s My Car? as an unappreciated classic.
  • Matt and Mur reveal the winners of the Ditch Diggers ENVY OF ANGELS book giveaway.

Links:
“Spring Break Anthem” by The Lonely Island: https://youtu.be/jUw4Qh9uFK8

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Ditch Diggers #18 – Kelly Sue DeConnick Joins Us

HEY GUYS MATT’S BOOK IS OUT TODAY! GET IT NOW: Envy of Angels: A Sin du Jour Affair

Ahem. Sorry.

Amazing comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick joins us to talk project juggling, the satire of difficult topics, and more.

  • Mur hints at why Matt is no longer allowed in Morgan Freeman’s musical theater.
  • Matt and Mur welcome guest host, acclaimed comics writer and entrepreneur Kelly Sue DeConnick!
  • Kelly Sue’s creator-owned comic BITCH PLANET and why Mur and Matt both love it.
  • Kelly Sue talks about balancing multiple projects and takes us through a typical day in her working life.
  • When, why, and how Kelly Sue and her husband, writer Matt Fraction, founded their own company, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, Inc..
  • Branding very different projects under the same banner, audience engagement, and just plain being yourself.
  • The importance of owning your own content and learning from the history of comic book creators who didn’t own their IP.
  • Matt, Mur, and Kelly Sue take questions from Twitter on pseudonyms and soliciting recommendations for MFA programs.

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Ditch Diggers #17 – Blisters

Blisters come whether you hate digging ditches or love it.

  • Mur and Matt establish it is very early in the morning.
  • Moat Building 101
  • Being overwhelmed with multiple projects, multiple deadlines, and how to (and how not to) prioritize your time.
  • Mur talks about her involvement in Bookburners, and how much time non-writing tasks take up when you’re writing.
  • Matt makes a bunch of fancy announcements and talks about having a novel to finish while simultaneously having to write the third book in his Sin du Jour series in a month.
  • Composing a plan to deal with your multiple deadlines and balancing it with the rest of your life.
  • Writing, deadlines, and significant others.
  • Mur talks about her experience with renting office space to write and removing herself from social media.
  • Mur and Matt take email questions and questions from Twitter on story structure, the hardest parts of writing for a living, and MFA programs.
  • Serial Box presents Bookburners.
  • Tor.com Publishing announces Matt’s new book deal.
  • Oh, and we’re sorry, Kate Elliott. Check out her book, Black Wolves, coming out next month from Orbit!

Books on story structure recommended by Mur in this episode…

ENVY OF ANGELS giveaway: Email mightymur AT gmail and answer the question, “What are you doing besides writing to advance your writing career?” Best, most proactive answers win free copies of Matt’s new book dropping October 20th! Keep answers brief. No essays.

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Ditch Diggers #16 – Live from Worldcon

Matt and I did a live Worldcon Ditch Diggers event with amazing guest stars Fonda Lee, Linda Nagata, Kate Elliott, and Aliette de Bodard, and then we interviewed (somewhat belligerently) Tor.com editor Lee Harris.

For the record, Lee was right about what we were arguing about. I can dragon up and admit this.

Thanks to Sasquan for hosting us!

NEW- Rapper Devo Spice turned in our theme song right before our event, but we had no microphones to play it, but you get to hear it now!

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