Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Week in Writing #17

Writing and the holidays are not a good mix. There are so many other demands on your time that it makes it very difficult to work on anything but family and fun. Quite a choice to make. Sometimes you can squeeze in some writing during the down times in the holidays, but there are several days that I wasn't able to write this past week. I did have some time to think, but actually sitting down for any length at a keyboard was out of the question until today.

I did manage to think of a new story for the comic book I still want to work on. We have scripts, it's really just a matter of finding an artist to work with. This project has taken a backseat since Comic-Con, but it is not forgotten. About a quarter of the way through a first draft.

I think I'm also finally past the sticking point in my rewrite of Familiar Stranger, the spot I've been circling for about a month or so now. I'm hoping I can continue to work on it to completion. I'm about 60 percent through the rewrite.

Nothing this past week on the agent front. No new queries and no new rejections, requests or DNRs and no new edits on Public and Private to report, but I really didn't expect anything to happen until after the New Year. Planning to send out some new queries after everyone returns to work in January.

As far as other writing, posted on Saturday my last Stubs review of the year on Trophy Unlocked, the aptly named Holiday (1938), Still need to write a wrap-up for the year post for the end of the year. Not sure what to write/post for the start of 2015.  Always like to start the year off with a comedy if at all possible, but which one?

Well, that about sums up this week for me. Not a lot to report, but I'm hoping to get more done this next week. I will, of course, report it all right here. Until then, hope you have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Week in Writing #16

Ho, ho, ho. The week started with a DNR (Did Not Respond) turning into a full fledged rejection. DNRs are sort of like maybes and give you a little bit of hope that they just haven't seen it yet. Nothing better to put you in the Christmas spirit than a form letter turning you down. Merry Christmas, let me rub a little salt in that wound for you.

Wrote and edited a 3300 word future review for Trophy Unlocked. Not sure when the piece about The Cameraman (1928) will appear. Watched it on Sunday night. Buster Keaton is really funny.

Had a tweet retweeted, though it had nothing to do with my writing, rather a review that appeared on the blog. The writer of the comic book liked the review. Whew! But I doubt he would have re-tweeted a negative response: Check out this review. They hated my work.

Did have one of my own reviews, Bachelor Mother, re-tweeted. The pageviews went up by about 60 percent as a result; thank you Warner Archives.

Worked on another review for the blog, the last for the year, Holiday (1938), about 2800 words. Chcck Trophy Unlocked on Saturday when it should be published. On the topic of the blog and reviews, we decided to do one of Team America: World Police (2004) as a reaction to the cancelled release of The Interview. Team America had been the choice of some smaller theaters as a replacement, only to have Paramount nix that. That review, by another writer on the blog, should be published on Christmas Day.

Speaking of Trophy Unlocked, it just had it's fourth anniversary, which is quite an accomplishment. I've only been writing for it for about three and a half years and I really enjoy having a place to publish reviews of older movies that we watch at home.

Back to my mystery writing, I did get some rewrites done, but with work and Christmas, it's hard to find the time to get too far. I'm still going through the same patch, but this time I'm determined to get past it. I'm hoping that the holidays, with more than a week off, will give me the time to get more done.

I did hear back from the agent who has my manuscript. She says she's behind in her reading, which I take at face value. For now, it's not a rejection, so I'm happy it's still in play. If she likes it, but wants rewrites, I'm open to that as well. My goal is to have a publishable novel, so any and all suggestions, comments and edits that make it better are welcomed.

All in all, between reviews and rewrites, I made my 1000 words a day goal, I just feel like there is more I can and want to do. Well, one more week of the year to go. Hope everyone has a happy holidays and a Merry Christmas.

And above all, keep writing.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Week in Writing #15

Keeping to my success with PitMad, I entered something called PitchMas, another twitter-inspired mass pitch-fest, with the top 50 pitches being featured on the blog at
I came across this one quite by accident and unfortunately did not make the cut. Par for the course, I'm afraid.

As promised, I nudged the agent who has the manuscript for A Killer Blog. Unfortunately, the agent isn't accepting new queries and has her email set to send out such a notice the way some people have their work email tell you they're out of the office. The result is I don't have an update for you. I don't know if my follow up made it to her eyes or not. I'm hoping no news is good news. It would be better for the agent to contact me, rather than me contact the agent.

Not sending out any new queries until the new year, but I did find a useful blog I'd like to share: I'm finding agents and details that I haven't found on Query Tracker, which is my go-to site. Still accumulating agents to query.

Published one review on Trophy Unlocked for A Christmas Story:  and wrote two more future posts totaling about 5800 words between the two.

Even with those reviews, I'm not sure I made my 1000 words a day goal this past week. Still working on my rewrites for Familiar Stranger and still seemingly caught in a mobius strip of editing. Having a hard time getting it going.

Anyway, that's all for this week. While I will post next Sunday, I can't guarantee how much holiday creep will effect my output. Cards to write, etc. Do those count? I didn't think so.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Week in Writing #14

Sometimes when I'm doing rewrites, I feel like I get caught up in the same few pages of the manuscript, going over and over the same territory, sort of like trench warfare. One change here makes for changes a few pages back, etc. So I can't say I've made much real progress on my rewrite of Familiar Stranger.

No new queries. Doesn't seem to be much point of querying between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it makes it too hard to calculate their 4 to 6 to 8 weeks to reply. Are they in the office the week before Christmas? In between the holidays? When do they get back to work? So for the next month or so, I'm going to cool my heels as far as sending out query emails. Still four more queries moved to the Did Not Respond pile, which is always disappointing. It's always nice to know your query has been at least looked at.

I did take a shot at PitMad, a Twitter-only query free-for-all. I'm following someone on Twitter, who is behind PitMad, but still I really stumbled across it this time on the 4th. Takes a lot to summarize a book in 140 characters. Per the guidelines that I read, I sent out three versions of Past Present. I chose that one, since the agent who has A Killer Blog was a visible participant on PitMad. Didn't want to offend. Well, no worries there. I sent three different versions several hours apart. Three up and no response, or in the case of PitMad none of the tweets were starred, which would mean someone was interested in reading more.

So, it's not been a banner week for the mystery writing. This next week, I'll get back at it. This is also the week I should be able to follow up with the agent with A Killer Blog. I'm always wary of having to write to an agent to follow up. I hope it means they're not done looking at it, rather than they thought the reject email had already been sent. This whole process has been going on for over 7 months, which means there's been a lot of waiting.

Published two reviews on Trophy Unlocked: Stubs Goes Blu(-ray) - Yankee Doodle Dandy and
Remember the Night (1940). The former was retweeted by the Warner Archive, which really increased the view count on the blog. They had sent us a review copy so that we could compare it to the DVD we had reviewed in July 2013.

The latter is a kick-off to Christmas movie review season on Trophy Unlocked. I also wrote another review of a Christmas-themed movie for next week. The holidays, as I wrote last week, make it a little harder to have the time to write. There are gifts to buy, trees to purchase, lights to put up; and we're still three weeks out.

Well, back to it next week. If you're writing too, it may be hard to find the time, but you have to stay focused.