Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Week in Writing #183

Testing out a new logo for the blog. Let me know if you like it or not. I thought after over three years, it was time to liven up the proceedings a little.

Not necessarily a week with a lot of output, though, as always progress has been made. I've been really tired all week for some reason, lack of sleep, so that does affect my writing, wakefulness being required to do things like think and push down keys on the laptop. As always, I'm full of excuses for not doing as much as I wish I could.

Let's start with a little sad news. I found out last week that while Powers Squared had made it to the Semi-finals of a short story to screen contest I entered last year, we did not make the quarterfinals. That's not too bad for a comic book, I guess. Still hurts.

The week was sort of dominated by Powers Squared as a matter of fact. We got a lot of pencils and inks from our artist. While we're not officially done with them, we're up to page 16 with the art and pretty close to page 8 with colors. So, pretty fast as compared to our first five issues, which took two years to get done.

Updated some of the images on to show the changes from the first five issues and issue six, Kirby: Good and Evil. Here are some examples of the new Marty, Eli, Kirby, and Don:

More will be added as pages are colored. Check the website for write-ups about all issues and characters.

We also finally heard back from our contact at comiXology. If you've been reading this blog regularly (thank you), you're probably aware that we've been trying for over a month to get a response from him. Persistence finally paid off late Friday afternoon, when after weekly pinging we got a reply. (Point of interest if you find yourself in a similar situation with a publisher, you might want to be showing them something new rather than just begging for a response.) Luckily with this issue coming together as quickly as it has, having new things to show has been fairly easy to put together. Now, did we get the meeting we've been asking for since Comic-Con? That's still to be seen but you have to take it one step at a time. First, they have to acknowledge you before they'll meet with you. Check back here for updates.

Spent Monday and Tuesday nights working on and posting a review for Trophy Unlocked for Runaway Brain, our last short film for February, which was published on Saturday Morning. Runaway Brain is a little known Disney animated short featuring Mickey Mouse. No new review from Friday night movie night, we rewatched The Graduate (1967), but our first review for March is already ready to go, so no worries.

Alright, finally down to Familiar Stranger, the oft-mentioned mystery novel I've been rewriting for the past several months. For whatever reason, this always seems to get short shrift. Well, the needle didn't move all that much this week: 73643 words and 401 pages for those keeping track.

So, that about wraps it for this week. Hopefully, more progress gets made and I'll let you know what did or didn't get done.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Week in Writing #182

As is the usual, every time you think you know what you want to do, real life sort of gets in the way. This has been a week of interruptions and the object is to overcome them as much as possible. However, as a result, this hasn't been my most productive week. To begin with, I was sort of forced to buy a car this week.

A couple of weeks ago, I was hit on the freeway on my way to work. As a result, my car was totaled by my insurance company. Heartbreaking as that was, I needed to buy another car. I had certain things I was looking for, which was basically to replace my old car with one very much like it. Looking for a car can be very time consuming and my insurance company gave me only a few days.

Shopping online, I managed to find one but had to actually test drive it, which means one evening sort of taken away. Then the next night, which was also Valentine's Day, had to buy it, so a second evening and night pretty much gone. I don't mean that Valentine's Day was a waste, it wasn't, but it meant I couldn't really write that night. I'm saying all this to explain my diminished output this week.

That's not to say no writing was done, but it's never as much as I would want.

Let's start with Familiar Stranger, what is supposed to be my main focus. Well, not so much this week. I'm going back through the last chapter I wrote, making some edits and additions, before hopefully getting to the final chapters. I'm hoping to use the final chapters from a previous rewrite. I'm hoping that they're more plug and play, but I also know everything needs to be edited. Right now, I'm up to 73,550 words and 401 pages. I'll set a goal to wrap this up by the end of March, which is a bit of a cheat as well as realistic.

Wrote and published one review this week, County Hospital (1932), a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy film. 1227 words, so a short review for a short film. Watched the film on Monday, posted the review on Tuesday, published it Saturday morning on Trophy Unlocked.

Over the weekend, we went to see Black Panther. Wrote a 1200 word review over Saturday and Sunday and will publish it tomorrow.

The process will start all over tomorrow, with an as of now undecided short to be picked and reviewed.

Progress was also made on Powers Squared, at least creatively. Our artist has penciled up to page 12 and our colorist has gotten up through page 4. Everything has to be reviewed, which doesn't take that much time but does demand your attention. So far, both have taken our suggestions on changes, which sometimes might seem insignificant, but they've been very receptive.

Still waiting to hear back from our contact at comiXology. Funny how we get an email when he's overseas, but radio silence when he's back in town. Very frustrating for me. Have so far sent two emails, using the excuse that we had the first four pages done, hoping to elicit a response but so far nothing. Will try again. Something I've learned is that you can't accept when people don't respond the first or second or third time you reach out to them. Never give up.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Week in Writing #181

Another week of writing when time permits, which I know is what a lot of other writers with day jobs go through, too. It seems like the rest of the world has other plans for you, but you've got to stay true to yourself and your goals. There is always something else that wants your time, some good, like family, others not so good, like errands and some downright blah like laundry and ironing. And there are all the other things that you don't get to that you should, like yardwork, so you can have more time to write. It's all give and take.

I sometimes think I try to do too much with the time I have available. But everything is important and sometimes having choices is good. When I don't feel like writing fiction I have reviews to work on. And then, there is, of course, the comic book, Powers Squared. Some weeks this is a real time demon, others it's very quiet. This was one of those weeks.

No word from our artist since we reviewed her layouts last week. That doesn't mean she isn't working on it, but I get kind of nervous when there is too much time between communications. That was one of the things that bothered me with our first artist, the long periods of radio silence, but I know our new one is pretty dedicated to getting her pages in every month.

No pages yet either from our new colorist, but she did email us about having the pages next week, which shows progress.

As promised, I did reach out last week to our contact at comiXology, because he wasn't going to be reaching out to me. Now, I waited until Friday, of course hoping I was wrong and he would. So nothing new to report there.

The only updates were the minor ones I made to the credits on the webpage: and they are minor, so no need to drop what you're doing and go take a look. Unless you really want to, then go ahead.

As far as reviews are concerned, I've probably spent an inordinant amount of time on them. Monday night, watched several shorts, including You Nazty Spy! (1940), a Three Stooges short making fun of Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. While I probably watched most of the Three Stooges' shorts durng my mispent youth, I hadn't watched one in years. There is a sameness about them, but this is a bit special since they were doing something no one else in Hollywood was doing at the time. I spent Monday and Tuesday night on that review and published it on Trophy Unlocked on Saturday morning.

On Friday night, my official night off, we watched Kong: Skull Island. I'm about 2000 words into a review of that film, over the weekend, so look for that one later.

That leaves Familiar Stranger getting the short shrift again. I did work on it, but it has been since Thursday night. I am further along, over 73000 words and on page 398, but I wish I was further than that. I am about one chapter away from plugging in a large chunk from a previous version. That's not going to be a slam dunk, but I can see the light and I want to get this rewrite finished.

So, this is the time I talk about goals for the coming week. They always seem to be the same, to do more, get further, but that's not always as easy to do as it is to say. I've got a review to write for next Saturday and I want to get that next chapter completed in Familiar Stranger. I'm also hoping to hear more on Powers Squared, both from the artists and also from those I need advice from.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Week in Writing #180

I'm always writing in the creases. By that, I have to find a little bit of time that I can call my own. It's not easy to find, as there is always something else to be done with work and commuting taking up the biggest chunks during the week. On the weekend, there are always things to do and errands to run.

Still working on Familiar Stranger, though I don't think I made as much progress as I did the week before. I'm now up to page 388 and about 71,500 words. Getting close to the portion I can add back in from a previous version, so I'm hoping at that point the rewrite will pick up speed. But as usual, I haven't really written on it since Thursday night.

Friday night is movie night at our house. This week we finally watched The Big Sick, which is nominated for Best Original Screenplay and I wrote a 1450 word review on Saturday which I'll publish later. In addition to that, I wrote another review, about 2000 words, over Monday and Tuesday nights, which was published on Saturday morning: A Dog's Life (1918), a short Charlie Chaplin made for First National.

We're celebrating the shortest month, February, with a look at short films. This coming week, I'll need to watch another short for Saturday; I'm not sure which one yet. That's the nice thing about shorts, they don't take all that long to watch. With A Dog's Life, I think I spent as much time looking for the disc I had it on as I did actually watching it.

In addition to my review, Trophy Unlocked published one for Coco on Sunday. As I believe I've written before, the movies we review are the ones that interest us and well Coco didn't when it was first released. After all the hype we heard we decided to go see it this weekend and really enjoyed it.

So that leaves Powers Squared and there, too, progress is being made. We sent the first four pages to the colorist and she asked some pretty good questions about what we were looking for. It's all good as far as that's concerned.

Our artist sent us layouts for the next 8 pages on Saturday night. Sunday, after the Super Bowl, Paul and I sat down and reviewed them. She sends us two possible layouts for each page, so it ends up being a little from column A and a little from column B as we go through each page against the script.

So it feels like good progress was made on all three fronts. Hopefully, next week things will continue to move forward.