Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Week in Writing #170

Just as I suspected, time was hard to come by this week. Holidays don't provide a lot of alone time that writers need to create. There's the driving, the eating, the game, more eating, talking, more eating, shopping, more eating and then a return drive home. (Do you see a pattern here?)

I did manage to do some rewrites on Friday after spending the day shopping and between meals. I sat down at one of the tables and while people watched basketball in one room and a college football game in the other, as well as carrying on a long distance call in front of me, I did get through two chapters of Familiar Stranger. I don't know if this is usual, but I tend to read aloud the dialogue as I'm rereading/rewriting it, wanting to hear how it sounds. That's sort of awkward to do with so much going on around me, but I sort of whispered the parts as I went through them. I wasn't trying to get attention with what I was doing, rather I wanted to get some work done.

I'm trying to be systematic about this rewrite, only adding back in the chapter I'm working on so I can tell you I'm up to about 31,000 words and 168 pages. I'm guessing that I'm about a third of the way done, judging on the other books being about 100,000 words and 500 pages.

Everything took a backseat to the holiday, which means I didn't get much further with my review of Scrooge for Trophy Unlocked, but I did complete and publish the review for 36 Hours (1965) as part of our Saturday Morning Review. It was a little-hurried posting on Twitter and Facebook about the review that morning, but I did get through it. No matter what is going on, I'm trying to be consistent with my self-imposed deadlines, including reviews for Trophy Unlocked.

To celebrate the original publication of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the blog posted a review hub of the films and video games we've reviewed based on the story. A little embarrassed to say that we don't have a review of the Disney Animated Classic, but that's something we'll have to correct next year.

Not a whole lot new happened with Powers Squared. Everything is done save for the lettering for the next three story arc. While we were around family over the holiday I cajoled two nephews (grown men) into buying the first two issues off of Comixology. Always Be Shilling!

Our last colorist did send us an updated color guide for Powers Squared, including the issues she did and the characters and places that were new to that story-arc.

Well, that about wraps up this abbreviated week in writing. Hope you found some time for your own work in between pieces of pumpkin pie.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Week in Writing #169

This may be the last complete week of the year before the Holidays totally take over, and while some good things were accomplished, there is still a lot that didn't get done. This may be a rather short post this week as I just don't think there is, sadly, that much to report.

As I wrote last time, I put Familiar Stranger aside for most of the week. The last time I touched it was Monday night. I'm up to a little over 23,000 words and 125 pages. I'm not happy that I wasn't able to get back to it, but I kind of figured that was what was going to happen. Next week is a short week, with travel and Thanksgiving on Thursday, shopping on Friday and a return trip on Saturday, so I'm not hopeful about getting much done.

Part of the reason is that I need to finish a review for Trophy Unlocked for Saturday on Tuesday rather than later in the week. I'm close to completing one for 36 Hours (1965), a film we watched on Friday night. It's a little bit of a juggling act since we won't have our usual movie night this Friday, thanks to being away from home for Thanksgiving.

I'm also working on one for Scrooge (1935), a film we watched the previous Friday. That one will come to play in December when Trophy Unlocked focuses in on Christmas.

Trophy Unlocked's Saturday morning review this week was Godzilla (2014), a film we watched on the anniversary of the original Gojira's release in Japan.

The other project that got attention this past week was Powers Squared. Our search for a new colorist was finally completed, so we're excited about that. I don't mention names without permission so I won't say who we selected. As we launch into Issue #6, we're going to have a somewhat new creative team. Not sure how all that will play out, but we can go through that together.

Right now, we're pretty close to finishing off this story arc. We have almost all of the artwork and we're still missing a few pages of lettering, but I'm hopeful we'll get it all done in the next couple of weeks.

Well, that about does it for this week. Hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. And try to write when you can.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Week in Writing #168

Time once again for my weekly ramble on the progress I've made on the various writing projects I've given myself.

I can report that the time change didn't mess me up as much as I thought it would, though getting a cold in mid-week didn't help. Even though it wasn't a major one, it does tend to slow you down.

Despite that, I did make more progress on Familiar Stranger this week. I'm up to about 23,000 words since the Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference. I feel more excited about this rewrite as I feel I am somewhat renewed in my interest and I feel like I have more of a purpose. I even managed to do some work on it at lunch at work, which is something I rarely if ever do, but I was in the zone so why fight it? I've just written past my first major plot point, the sudden disappearance of the protagonist's girlfriend and am working on the second act at the moment.

All that said, I may have to put it aside for a few days while I play catch up on other projects. I only get a couple of hours a day, so I have to divide my time accordingly.

I feel like I'm behind on my reviews for Trophy Unlocked. I started but have not yet finished a review for Godzilla (2014) and I have a review to write for Scrooge (1935), the first of our December-Christmas ones. I did publish one for The Letter (1929) on Saturday morning and one this afternoon for Thor: Ragnarok, which we saw over the weekend. I know we're about a week behind, but that's all about real life taking precedence, as we had other plans for the weekend it opened. The same will be true for Justice League as that film will have to wait for the weekend after Thanksgiving.

As far as Trophy Unlocked goes, our page views are back up from where they were at the end of the summer and up to around 800 a day on average. I think a lot of it has to do with school being back in session, as our review of Romeo and Juliet has received about 410 page views so far this month. At least it feels like someone is reading our review blog.

Powers Squared is wrapping up Issue #5. We have a cover in the works, which also still needs to be colored. And there are still pages for the letterer to finish and then a final review of the three issues before I feel like we're done. My goal is to have everything completed in mid-December so I can enter it in a short fiction contest. I feel five issues would put it in better stead than only two.

There are some changes in the works, but I'm not ready to go into those, but we're hoping to make Powers Squared going for the foreseeable future.

Well, that's about it for this week. I hope your own writing projects are going well.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Week in Writing #167

Last week's Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference really had a very positive effect on me and helped me to focus on my rewrite for Familiar Stranger. I know I've been mentioning this rewrite like forever, but this time I feel like I have a purpose. I've rearranged some chapters, deleted some passages I really liked, but which didn't work to keep the story moving forward and I feel like I'm making smarter edits. I've been trying to do a chapter a day and I'm up to a little under 17,000 words so far.

I don't have a deadline date, but I would really love to be done by the end of the year. As a writer, you always like to think you're getting better and at least with this one, I feel like I am. That's a good feeling.

In the meantime, I think we're closer to wrapping up the next story arc of Powers Squared. This past weekend, we received the final page from our artist for Issue #5. Our colorist has the last four pages and our letterer is more than half-way through the issue. There are still some covers and corrections to go through before they're done, but there is a feeling that we're getting close.

Our search for a new colorist is pretty much complete. We asked four "applicants" to submit their version of a page from Issue #2. We're waiting to hear from everyone we asked to judge, but there is one candidate that I believe we will ultimately go with.

Soon, we'll have to turn our attention to Issues # 6 and 7, the next story arc.

Continued work on Trophy Unlocked. Published Side Street (1949) as our Saturday Morning Review as well as a salute to Noirvember, a month when many review bloggers turn their thoughts to the dark side. Maybe it's the pending holidays that bring it out with reviewers. While we love film noir at Trophy Unlocked, or at least this review does, I'm not sure we're going to be able to participate every week in the endeavor.

With Christmas coming, our thoughts turn to our holiday films and we only have one down so far and limited weeks to see them. In the meantime, there will be new films as well.

Did complete a review of Twins (1988) for future use and watched Godzilla (2014) on the anniversary of the original Gojira's release in Japan, so there is another one to write this week.

The object is to keep things moving forward on all fronts. This coming week, I'm hoping to keep the momentum up on Familiar Stranger as well as continue work on Powers Squared and Trophy Unlocked.

Of course there are always obstacles besides the usual ones: work and commuting. To begin with there is the time change to deal with. In the past that's sort of wierded me out for a few days, so that might effect my usefulness when I get home from work. And on Tuesday night, I'm considering going to a How to Pitch a TV Show seminar which means that will be a night when little will else gets done.

But that's all in A Week in Writing, because if everything went smoothly there wouldn't be much to write about.