Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Week in Writing #213

Another week with less than glamorous results as far as pages and reviews go. Didn't have the same excuse as I did last week but for reasons, I never did get around to everything I thought I would. And like last week, that isn't to say that things didn't get done, just not as much as I would have hoped for.

I've been negligent in my review writing. To begin with, I still haven't finished The Secret of N.I.M.H. and I've even started another one, Get Out, for Trophy Unlocked's annual salute to horror films in October. I'll probably still have to complete N.I.M.H. sooner than later but I'm not sure we'll actually need it as I have some other animated film reviews on file. On Saturday, the 20th anniversary of its release, we published Paul's review of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.

Work continued this week on Powers Squared. We discovered a couple of glitches between the script and the story if that makes sense. We had the boys doing some things they couldn't based on the circumstances of the storyline and previous artwork. Our artist, Rachel, had found one and we had discovered the other. Luckily, it was only two panels and Paul came up with a really good solution that everyone was amenable to make. So we're getting close to the end of the artwork for Issue #8.

Nina, our colorist, is not too far behind. She normally works one month behind Rachel and is on target, having already delivered half of the pages. I'm hoping to give her Indiegogo project a bit of a boost by mentioning it here. She has her own project, a Children's book, Talia and the Droplets and you can support her here:

Related to the colorist, I had a rather aggravating issue with PayPal when I tried to pay her. At the beginning of the month, our main credit card was compromised with over $600 worth of charges, including about a dozen Uber trips no one has taken and two train trips, not to mention some Groupon and Jamba Juice charges as well. Well, one of the charges I questioned, which I made through PayPal, proved to be a legitimate charge. I didn't recognize the company receiving payment as the one I thought I was paying (Apparently, I'm not the only one to make this sort of mistake.) Even though I had called the credit card company, several days before to right the wrong, PayPal was still blocking me.

I was unable to clear the problem on their site, since the solution was either circular, taking me back to the same page or they wanted information I had no plans to send them, like the credit card statement (none of their business). When I tried to call them, it was an automated voice that could not understand me or seemed unwilling to transfer me to a real human being. It took more than one call and a lot of yelling on my part, that I was put in line to speak with a person. And then, since it would take about 40 minutes, they would call me back. (I had a similar experience with Go Daddy some weeks back for an issue I haven't been able to clear.) Well, I was able to get this taken care of over the phone, but it took about an hour. Not really sure what the point of the story is but to share my pain.

Meanwhile, Trevor has started to letter Issue #8. Paul and I are reviewing the lettering for Issues #6 and #7, not so much for misspellings but some omissions and some possible changes. It is always a different experience to see everything in print to get ideas to float up. Nothing really big.

Still working on the motion comic video. We've been having some issues with the files we've sent to be used. Not sure, but he hasn't been able to see anything once they've been downloaded. I had gone through and made about 20 reduced .pdfs but those didn't work for some reason either. Now, I'm sending him TIF files through WeTransfer, a rather time-consuming process, given their size. As I'm writing this, the upload process has been going for over an hour and has about 50 minutes still to go, though it should all be done by the time anyone actually reads this.

On my other writing, no new pages from my editor on Familiar Stranger, which is disappointing. I hate it when I feel like I have to harass people to get a response. When we talked briefly a couple of weeks ago, I thought he was anxious to get this over with, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

I've been working on rewrites for The Runaway and I've come to see why I might have abandoned it at the time. It gets to be a little confusing, which I think I need to streamline, though a little convolution is a good thing with stories like this just not so much that it weighs the story down. And, if it confuses me, how would a reader fare?

I usually don't try to write about what is going on in the news but a recent story caught my eye as I had written about something similar from a fictional point-of-view. In one of my earlier J.D. Barrister stories, A Killer Blog (a name I'm not really crazy about), I had a character, a former newscaster, who had lost her job and her credibility by being caught on video having sex with another couple. In my earlier version, she was a somewhat willing participant, though she wasn't aware it was being videotaped. As a result, she was not viewed very well by readers and potential agents.

This past week, the news story broke about a couple in Newport Beach, California, who was arrested for drugging and raping women they both had sex with and videotaping the encounters. The situation really reminded me of what I had thought up six years before. Now, making my character more of a victim, given this reality, might make her more sympathetic to everyone. I may have been the only one who liked the character, so I'm interested in seeing if I can ressurect her reputation with some rewrites. At the moment, that seems more interesting than trying to start an out and out rewrite of The Runaway.

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