Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Week in Writing #104

Took a break from the comic book on Monday and tried to play catch up with the queries for Public and Private. Well, no surprise the three outstanding queries went unresponded to by their "expiration" date. One of them has a follow-up mechanism via, so I did that and on Friday, I did hear back from her. She asked me to send the entire manuscript on, but I think she has to open the submission for me to do that. Spent an hour or so spell-checking before I realized I couldn't submit it by myself. A bit of a disappointment, but happy that someone is asking to see it. Of course, I will update here no matter how it goes.

Made updates to my query list based on the Writer's Digest issue. Going to give a couple of agents a second try, though I'd be pleasantly surprised if the outcome was different. Decided this would be a good time to rewrite my query letter since it appears to have underperformed so far. There is actually a sample "successful" query letter in the issue, so I'm going to try to mimic that in this go around of queries.

On Tuesday night sent out my first query using the new letter. Actually sent it to an agent I had met at a Writer's Digest conference several years back and who ended up rejecting the book I pitched. But I thought it might be an opportunity to try the new format, since I'm going in expecting a rejection, based on our track record.

The Trophy Unlocked blog posted it's 700th review during the week: DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition. I think it's an important milestone for the blog, though without those Russian hackers our pageviews seem to be down. What have we done to upset the Ruskies?

On the subject of the other blog, Wednesday night while as I was preparing to send queries, I remembered I had to put up a post for Saturday. Even though it was already written, editing and adding photos took close to an hour. I did publish How I Won the War (1967) as this week's Saturday Morning Review.

Later in the afternoon, we published a review of Kubo and the Two Strings, which is currently out in theaters now. Interestingly, both films have a tenuous relationship to the Beatles. John Lennon stars in How I Won the War and Kubo uses a very effective version of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps over the closing credits.

Managed to do a little more work on my review for Cafe Society, but it's going to have to wait until it's out of theaters. Also, planning on reviewing D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916) as Labor Day will mark its 100th Anniversary. Have never seen the movie and frankly I'm a little concerned about watching it, but that's fodder for a future post.

Did more follow up this week on my From Fan to Creator pitch. I know you're thinking it's been 10 months, if there was any interest I'd know by now and that's probably true. On the other hand, I get the sense I'm getting a little of the brushoff; since I'm an employee my idea isn't really being taken all that seriously. Well, it turns out with a little presistence and a lot of patience, you can get what you want. Finally able to nail the development guy down to an actual meeting, but it isn't until next week. I'll be sure to update this blog, so check back.

Thursday brought more pages from the artist on PowerSquared, layouts for pages 5 through 7. Our comments, at least we think so, were pretty minor. I'm never sure if we're actually pissing off (can I write that in a blog?) the artist or the colorist for that matter. I don't know what their expectations are, whether or not they think we should be happy with whatever it is they send us? Or are they expecting comments and feedback? There's a part of me that would like to know, but then we want what we want. I try to be nice about asking, but in the end, I am paying for it and as long as what I'm asking for isn't outrageous, I don't think I'm asking for too much.

Speaking of PowerSquared, we had a sort of a frustrating weekend. My goal is to wrap this up on Sunday and get it out, but:

My letterer's computer is in the shop, which I think we can work around, but it is an unwelcomed complication. Maybe that's the beauty of cloud-based software as hopefully he'll be able to continue making final changes on my computer.

Our colorist doesn't seem to be able to make a change we've been asking for for about 10 days now. Not sure if he's being obstenate or he simply can't make it work. We're going with the best one we have.

And the guy we gave a version to on Wednesday to give us his opinion, not only still hadn't four days later, but nearly lost the thumbdrive it was on to the FBI. Apparently they raided his home looking for pirated movies (his roommate apparently has 2000 illegal films on various harddrives). A really colorful story, but he didn't get it done. I spoke to him on Saturday after the raid and even though he still has access to a computer and knows what we're trying to do, the soonest he says he'll get back to me is Sunday night, which is too late for me. Sometimes the guy with the colorful personal story isn't the one you can rely on for help in a pinch.

All that said, we decided we'd taken this version as far as we could. With a few tweaks to the best cover, we put it to bed. Spent a good part of Sunday afternoon making pdfs out of TIFFs, again. Found a simpler way to do it, which made the pdfs smaller, but combined they are still too big to email to someone I'd like to look at it. Emailed him to see if there is an alternative method I could use that he'd be comfortable with.

So overall, I think I made some progress: got a response back from an agent, set a meeting with development on my months old pitch and finished a version of part one of the comic book. But with writing the only real progress is getting published, something that still eludes me.

Maybe next week...

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