Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Week in Writing #196

Okay, let's start with the things I didn't get completed as that seems like a good place to start:

I haven't finished the review for Crime Wave, though I am about 1200 words into it. I've completed summarizing the movie but its the opinion part I'm struggling with. It has more to do with time than anything else.

I didn't reach out to my editor until this evening, so I have nothing new to report on Familiar Stranger. Hopefully, that's going well.

I haven't started to write a press release for Powers Squared yet. I'll put that to time, too. I wanted to get to a certain place with the scripts before I did that and I haven't gotten there yet, either. Part of the problem for me has been a "dry" spot in one of the scripts that I've been trying to get right.  When I get that done, it's on to trying to write a Press Release.

I started to get back to Instagram but after my first photo, I had phone problems and that stopped me cold. I've gotten it fixed, but it may be a day or two before I'm back at it. Seems the battery is being very slow to charge and quick to drain. Oh, the joys of modern living.

Let's get back to what we have done this week. On Friday, I did publish the first of our videos about Powers Squared on YouTube: First chance to see me on video.

I'm sure it's me, but the fact that my YouTube account and the rest of my Google apps are under different logins has not been fun. When I tried to update Trophy Unlocked on Saturday morning, I found myself locked out of that blog and this one as well. I managed to figure it out but not without having to redo the password on this Google account. More frustrating than anything else.

Other progress on Powers Squared, include our artist sending us pencils of pages 13-16 of Issue #7, our colorist finishing the first four pages of the same issue and our letterer finishing Issue #6, minus the cover and inner page.

I think we're on target for having the next issue ready to go when needed, which I believe will be July.

It's been a busy week on Trophy Unlocked. On Monday, we published a review of Deadpool 2, on Tuesday there was a review of Early Man on the date it was released on home video. Thursday saw a review for the video game Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. Our Saturday morning review was another video game, Thimbleweed Park. We got back to the movies today with my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Please hope you'll check out the reviews and the video. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Week in Writing #195

Time this week, like the last few weeks, was mostly spent working on Powers Squared with time for a future review for Trophy Unlocked.

Most of the writing was working on Part 2 of a future story arc and the beginnings of combining Parts 3 and 4 into one for the same story arc, What's in a Name? While it's not the final draft, I feel I got it to at least draft worthy of sharing for feedback. I'm about halfway through with the scripts for the next three story arcs that we've planned out after we finish with Kirby Good and Evil.

On that front, our artist submitted pencils for pages 9 through 12 for Issue #7, the colorist sent the first four pages for the same issue and our letterer, Trevor, submitted 8 lettered pages for Issue #6. Paul and I ran out of time today to review everything, so my apologies if any of our creative team is waiting for us. We'll get to them tomorrow, I promise.

This afternoon got away from us. We went as a family to see Deadpool 2 and after that, the boys shot interviews to be edited down for a future video(s) on Google. Time just got away from us for anything else.

Over the weekend, added some images of locations from various issues of the comic book, including future ones. You can see them at and they will be distributed on Instagram in the days ahead.

We also heard back this week from Comixology and we'll be talking to them again the first week in June about the publication of the next batch of comic books. After I finish the next script, I'm going to work on a press release since I'm not sure what to expect. The problem will be after writing it, who to send it to, but that's getting ahead of ourselves.

The review I wrote was for Seven Chances and that will appear soon, but this past week was given to the other writers on Trophy Unlocked. Trevor wrote a review for Shrek, which we published on the anniversary of its release this past Friday. Paul wrote what became our Saturday Morning Review of Shrek 2, which was also published on its anniversary.

This next week, I hope to finish the script I'm working on, start work on the Press Release, review all artwork submitted in a timely manner, contact my editor about Familiar Stranger, post the first of the Powers Squared videos on YouTube; and start working on a review for Crime Wave, a film noir I watched on Saturday night.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Week in Writing #194

Another week working on the next scripts for Powers Squared and writing reviews for Trophy Unlocked. I've put the mystery writing on hold until I get through the comic book scripts. At that point, we should be good for a year or more and I can get back to more in the series I've been writing. If my editor sends back revisions, I'll address those, but in the meantime, that series is on hold for new material.

Spent Saturday night at the Soraya at CSUN listening to one of the more successful writers, David Sedaris, perform. I think that's the right word for it. He read pretty much new things, ones written after he submitted his manuscript for his new book Calypso as well as a commencement speech he's giving at Oberlin College and Conservatory. He also read some excerpts from his current book, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) and the follow-up diary book due out in 2020, I believe.

One of the nice things about his "concerts" is that he signs books before and after. I've heard that the after sessions can go on until 1 am, which is frankly later than I would want to stay unless there were refreshments. We were earlier enough to meet him before, which allowed time to autograph the six books I had brought. My favorite of his is "Thanks for making me rich." Am I the only one he wrote that to?

He sort of drove the conversation, asking me if I had any doctors in my family. I happen to have two brothers who are surgeons, which prompted him to ask me if I thought I could operate on someone. "No," was my answer which prompted his question, "What if it was someone you hated?" "If I wanted to kill them."

He did get around to asking about the people I was with, and I introduced my sons and my wife. He asked them what they did and when Paul told him he was working at UCLA Extension's Writing Program, he offered the advice, through the question, "Do you write every day?" to which the answer should be "Yes", which is my roundabout way of sharing this advice with you. During a Q & A session at the end, mostly with the house lights down, someone asked him about writer's block. His advice here was that he had never found a writer who had writer's block and that there was always something to work on, even if it didn't pan out in the end. He said he never thought that it would ever be easy and mentioned that he rewrites some of his essays many times, so don't think you're alone in that process.

As far as my writing goes, I've spent a good deal of time working on the first twenty pages of the next Powers Squared story arc, What's In a Name? Originally this was mapped out at 4 issues so there will be some slogging ahead. After that, is another story arc, The Imposter, so I'll be at this for the foreseeable future.

Our artist delivered pencils for the second set of 8 pages for Issue #7, but we haven't heard anything from her for a few days.

In related news, we finished editing the third of the interview videos I did for Powers Squared, though I'd like to have a release from the interviewer before we put them out, as well as get on with interviewing the boys. Scheduling is always hard with him so hopefully, we can get to it next week. Again, I think I've threatened to let you know when these finally start popping up on YouTube.

Finished the review of Sky High and am about 2800 words into a review of Seven Chances (1925), a Buster Keaton silent comedy, for Trophy Unlocked. On Mother's Day, we went to see Sunset Boulevard (1950) and used that as an excuse to watch Seven Chances, as Keaton does have a small bit in the film, on Friday night. Both reviews should be up in the next few weeks, but this weekend the Saturday Morning Review went to a review of the latest God of War video game. Check it out!

So, the following week is pretty well set, more on What's in a Name? and finishing my review for Seven Chances. Maybe more videos as well. At least that's the plan.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Week in Writing #193

Another week of writing and another week working on Powers Squared and Trophy Unlocked. Part of the time was spent reviewing the artist's work. She finished inking the first eight pages and in addition, sent us two sets of thumbnails which Paul and I had to review. We asked her to make one change to the inks before we sent them on Saturday to our colorist. Our final selection for the next 8 pages was, as it always is, some from the set labeled A and some from the set labeled B leaving it up to her how to bring it all together. By the end of the month, we should be about a quarter of the way through Issue # 9.

As discussed in previous posts, Paul and I have talked about where to take the comic book next. To that end, I worked this week on writing the script for the next story arc, two issues, currently called Mathemagical. I finished a draft for 40 pages. Paul, Trevor and I had previously worked on the idea but had not taken it to completion. I gave the draft last night to Paul for him and Trevor to comment on.

In the meantime, I'm starting to tackle the next story arc, currently called What's in a Name? Like Mathemagical, this arc will introduce new villains out to continue the work of the boys' arch-nemesis, Dr. Atlas. The first draft, written several years ago, was sort of unwieldy, taking up 4 issues. There have been changes in the story since this story was first written in 2015 with some additional work done in 2016.

This work consumed most of my writing time this week save for time to complete a review for South of St. Louis (1949), a western, that was the Saturday morning review on Trophy Unlocked. On that front, we finally got a chance to see Avengers: Infinity War. Paul, who wrote a popular primer for the movie, also wrote this review. Check it out.

I'm working on a new review of Sky High, our Friday night film. I hope to have that completed this week, though the Saturday Morning Review may go to a review of the newest God of War video game. There is more to Trophy Unlocked than just movies.

What there was no time for, and probably won't be for the next several weeks, is a follow up to Familiar Stranger. I haven't really had a chance to consider what to write or rewrite in the series. No word yet from my editor, which is not unexpected. When I get his feedback I'll address his suggestions. In the meantime, my protagonist, J.D. Barrister, is on the sidelines resting.

But there's no rest when it comes to writing and I'll be back next week to let you know how I do.