Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Week in Writing #179

For the first time this year, I really felt like I got my writing humming along on all fronts. Some days working on reviews for Trophy Unlocked, pages from Powers Squared and getting in a thousand words a day on Familiar Stranger.

Let's start with the reviews. Published two this week, one of them was our usual Saturday Morning Review: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), the remake of the film we reviewed last week. On Sunday, published one for The Shape of Water, as part of our effort to watch and review as many of Academy nominated films that we hadn't yet seen. For the blog, I'm thinking of doing reviews of shorts in February to celebrate next month's distinction of being the shortest of the months.

Our artist has been very persistent with pages and revisions this week. She's been very patient with and very responsive to our tweakings. For the nearly dozen of you out there who have read the first two issues and hopefully, the next three when they get published later this year, you will see a very different art style with Issues 6 and 7. I hope to put up some images on the website once they've been colored.

We've been going over the first eight pages of Issue #6 with some minor changes made as we go. A couple of pages have gone through up to two revisions. Sometimes it's a different image we had in mind or a different presentation. I'm hoping that this is a collaboration. While I know what we want going in, I'm hoping that the final result is more of a coming together between Paul, the artist and myself.

Also during the week, Trevor came up with a pretty good story idea for a future issue of Powers Squared. At the pace we're going, we've got stories to last a couple of years. Hopefully, we can hang with it that long.

We're still in a bit of holding pattern with our contact at ComiXology. I gather from Facebook that he's in France, so it's not someplace where the internet doesn't go, but we'll have to wait for him to be back in the office to make an appointment. Sometimes I think I'm on the wrong end of the stick with this comic book. Somehow being creative and traveling don't really mix. Europe seems like a pipedream.

I feel like I've made some real progress this week on Familiar Stranger. I'm up to a little over 70,000 words and 380 pages. I'm liking what I've written so far with this revision, but I know nothing is written in gold. When you write in a vacuum it all seems good until somebody else reads it. I'm trying to do some editing as I go, but I know when I'm done there will be another round by me and then a final round by an editor. Speaking of which, I need to reach out to him pretty soon. I uncovered his contact information last week, but haven't thought about contacting him at the right moment.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Week in Writing #178

Well, this is a no excuse week for me and if you're a regular reader of this blog (thanks) you'll know that is not always the case. I feel like progress was made on all fronts, whether or not it's enough we'll get into as we go.

To begin with, Powers Squared seems to be going well. Our artist submitted pencils of her first four pages and with the exception of some minor changes, they look good. The look will be very different than the first five issues, but I think it will look better. Once we have finished pages then it's on to our new colorist. Knowing how long the other five issues took to get made, we' re in for several months of fun as we put these next two together. But this time I don't think it will be the artist who is holding us up.

Still considering Kickstarting these issues to help alleviate some of the costs. If anyone has any advice about that, would love to hear it. I'm always nervous about doing the wrong thing.

We did hear back from our contact at Comixology. He's apparently on the road until after the first week of February. At least it's somewhere where they have wifi and internet. We won't really have that heart to heart about publicizing issue #3 until after that date. So we'll put a pin in it for now.

Continued writing for Trophy Unlocked, publishing a review of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) on Saturday morning. On Friday night, we watched the 1956 remake, so I'm working on a review of that for next week; got a ways to go on that one but it has been started.

Also found time to work on Familiar Stranger. Worked on it this weekend. I know that word count is not the only measure, but it is an empirical reference. I mean a thousand words a day isn't just the name of this blog, but also the goal. I'm up to about 65500 words and 351 pages. I'm not sure how bumpy this section of the book is, again that's for an editor to decide, but I'm at least getting through it. I see light at the end of the tunnel.

So the new week promises the same opportunities and pitfalls that all of them offer. I need to finish my review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, make more progress on Familiar Stranger and keep an eye on Powers Squared. Promises to be a busy week.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Week in Writing #177

Sometimes this blog feels like the excuse of the week and sadly this one is no different. And here's one that you wouldn't necessarily associate with writing: rain. Seems we had a few hours of rain on Tuesday morning here in Los Angeles where I live. That morning, we discovered a bit of water in the ceiling of our bathrooms.

While I went up that morning, in the dark and in the rain, to throw a tarp over that part of the roof, it was really the night that got away from me. Had to rent a dehumidifier to make sure the water was dried and go up on the roof again with Henry's to try and patch up what I thought was the issue. (Turns out it wasn't, but amateur home repair is a subject for a different kind of blog.) Then there was returning the dehumidifier the next evening and a couple of nights were sort of blown through as far as writing goes.

That said, there was still some progress made. I did work some on Familiar Stranger. I'm still in that section where I've punted before, so I'm trying to take it carefully. Worried that I'm being too dependent on dialogue, but I'm thinking that's what editing is for. And despite all the rewrites, that's still the next step in the process.

Our artist on Powers Squared sent us two sets of thumbnails for the first eight pages of Issue #6. Very interesting to see it coming together, even at such an early stage of the process. Makes you think about things big and small, like adding sound effects, etc. We'll see how it comes along from here, but it is encouraging.

We haven't heard anything from the editor at Comixology yet. This was supposed to be his first week back at work, so I'll be bugging him next week and will report back here next week on what happens (or doesn't).

Spent more time this week on reviews. Finishing and publishing about 5200 words on the Marx Brothers' The Cocoanuts (1929), their first film for Paramount on Trophy Unlocked. Worked a little more on a future review of Pacific Rim and another one on The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). I'm about 1500 words into the latter. We also published another review this week, a review of Undertale for PS4.

So, hopefully, no more excuses for not writing more next week.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Week in Writing #176

Sometimes when I sit down to write this post, I dread it. There is nothing like having to think back on the past week and realizing all that I didn't do or how I spent my time other than writing. I can offer a lot of excuses but those always sound hollow. When I don't write there is always a reason, whether its because there is something else I have to do or I'm simply too tired. Like most of you, I do find myself sitting at my laptop in a semi-asleep state trying to write at the end of the day, but not able to really kick into gear.

But this past week I don't feel like I really got into the swing of things. The start of the New Year is a restarting of sorts of the routine that takes up most of my day. That statement is not an excuse, but more of an explanation of this past week. For all intents and purposes this was a short week, not really starting in earnest for me until Wednesday when I started back to work. So how did I spend my time?

To begin with, my biggest regret is that I didn't work as much on Familiar Stranger as I would have liked. I did make a few edits, but I didn't really move the needle all that far. I'm up to about 62,200 words and 333 pages. I see, looking back, that I hadn't worked on it since Thursday which was probably the only day I did. I really want to make this my priority next week.

Most of my writing time was spent on reviews for Trophy Unlocked. I worked on two this week, both of which aren't quite done. I'm about 2300 words into one on Pacific Rim, a film we watched this past Friday, movie night, and about 5300 words on a review of The Cocoanuts, a Marx Brothers film we watched over the holidays. The review for Pacific Rim is still not done and one for The Cocoanuts is perhaps too long. Will have to spend sometime to fix them both.

I did publish the first Saturday Morning review of the year, Beggars of Life (1928), a silent film starring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Louise Brooks and directed by William A. Wellman.

Powers Squared took its first steps towards Issues #6 and 7. Our new artist is officially on the job. Can't wait to see what she does. Will be following up next week on Issues #3,4 and 5 with our editor at comixology. Hoping to get some feedback and plan the release.

So not too bad, though I know I could have done more. Hopefully next week will tell a different story.