Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Week in Writing #302 - And the Work Continues . . .

Sometimes, I feel like I live in a bubble, as my world has gotten smaller in recent months. I rarely get out of the block around my house and I haven't filled a car with gas in over three months. If I do, indeed, work from home permanently, I'm going to have to figure some way to expand outwards or the chair I'm sitting on writing this will become my whole world.

One of the downsides of working from home is that when work is over, I don't really move. I just shut off Citrix and keep working, though on my own stuff. Oh, I do go for a walk after work but there is no change of place really, something I had gotten used to with working. On the plus side, of course, is that I don't have to spend two-plus hours a day in the car, so the payoff is there.

Writing for me is what keeps me going, though I wish it paid better. Right now I'm spending far more than I'm making and I sometimes feel like that equation is not going to reverse itself. I enjoy the process and still hold out the hope that someone will pay to read what that process wrought. Until then, I keep plugging away.

Let's start with Powers Squared, which always seems to be a player when it comes to time. Since we're at the beginning of the month, there is always the process of renewal. Each month our artist sends us thumbnails for the next eight pages and the process of building a comic book begins anew. As does sitting down and making decisions about which thumbnail to use.

This month, we're starting our 15th issue, How They Met, which tells the story of how our heroes, Marty and Eli Powers, meet their benefactor, Mocha. It's a one-shot, meaning one issue story arc. Hopefully, it will provide a jumping-on point for new readers.

To that end, Paul and I did our Friday podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared twice. Once for Twitch, which was more visual and lasted about half an hour, and a shorter less than 10-minute podcast for PodBean and the other platforms it feeds reviewing those thumbnails. We were able to go live a little earlier than normal on Twitch and picked up a new viewer sort of out of the blue, bringing our grand total up to one but it was a different one so something to cheer. We decided that while reviewing artwork is great for a video stream it wasn't so great for listening, so we did a separate podcast about the process, telling rather than showing.

When I hear people say their podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts, I must admit I wonder how they pull that off. Right now, PodBean, which was chosen because a friend had a podcast on the site, feeds Apple Podcasts and Spotify. It's supposed to feed YouTube and Google Podcasts, but for whatever reason, the former is sporadic at best and the latter apparently takes forever to index. It also feeds to Linkedin, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter but those aren't really what the big podcasts are probably talking about.

In addition to the Podcast and simul-stream, we also do a video every Sunday on YouTube. Paul had the clever idea of mixing things up, so the last two weeks, we've done Character Profiles, which Paul puts together. Last week, we had our colorist, Julia Canon, read the one for Mocha and this week, our artist, Rachel Wells, narrated one for Jennifer Perry. I'm thinking I could read the one for Uncle Brian but we're hoping to get someone with real talent to read other ones. So part of this week was spent writing profiles for Dr. Atlas, Professor Theorem, and Uncle Brian.

Also, since we talk about Yokai in several of the profiles, I decided that our next story arc should probably include them, so I've been reworking an idea called Mocha and Raven. I hadn't looked at it for several years, the last draft dating from 2016. I was surprised at how freeform it was written and how long it was. I think I got it down to three 20-page issues so that's something. It needs much more work but I was pleased I could corral it in a few days.

In addition to the thumbnails, we also reviewed colored pages from Julia today and put out a newsletter, The Hound Dogs' Howl. That newsletter is once a month and every other week, we call it The Bark and it's slightly down-sized.

So, as you can see Powers Squared keeps us busy.

I managed to do some work on The Runaway this week as well. As I've written previously, I'm treading water until Paul's class get to query writing so I can see what I'm doing wrong before spending the time querying Broken People. A few weeks ago, I wrote about a query taking months to be rejected, well there was a guy on one of the social media that topped that; it took two years for him to receive a rejection based on his first query to an agent. Of course, in the meantime, he had found one, so it had a happy ending for him. When I get around to actually querying Broken People, I hope to hear back sooner than that.

I've been going through The Runaway at about two chapters a day, making basic changes and on Thursday got to a point where I needed to write a new chapter. However, by that time of the week, I was literally too tired to do it. So I haven't worked on The Runaway since Thursday night. I'm hoping with enough sleep I can tackle it this week and get back on track. I've lowered my goal to 90,000 words and I'm hopeful this chapter will help me get there. And no, I'm not writing it for the word count but because the story requires it.

On the Trophy Unlocked front, I returned to the blog this Saturday with Smart Money. I've posted some more for later in the month, which I'll get to as they are released. I'm working on one right now for later, The Sin of Nora Moran, which is part of our DVR deleting Saturdays. Not sure when that will go up but I'll finish that up tonight.

So, that's about it for this week. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

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