Sunday, April 28, 2019

A Week in Writing #244

For the first time, in quite a while it seems, this was a more balanced week. Still heavily weighed towards Powers Squared, there was still some time left for other "literary" pursuits. But let's dispense with the big dog on the block first.

To begin with, there is the signing coming up next week. If you're in the San Fernando Valley on May 4th, the co-creators and I are having our first ever signing at the Galaxy of Comics store at the corner of Louise and Saticoy. If you're on the mailing list, or follow us on Instagram or visit the website, you may have seen our banner. If not, here's a peek:

Everything seems to be either in place or in delivery mode. Our final order is still coming in but should be here early next week. Otherwise, we should be ready to go.

We're trying to look at this as a sort of con-lite. While I would like to sell out all the issues we'll have, I'm not sure how realistic that will be. Everyone tells you to have low expectations. The goal is to get names and emails for our mailing list.

To that end, I started the coursework at ListLaunch, part of the service that we started at the beginning of the month. I sat through my first two sessions on Wednesday night and there is still many more to come. We need to have a more robust mailing list before we attempt a Kickstarter, which we need to do.

If you're interested in joining the mailing list and won't be at the May 4th signing, you can get on the action here: We'll include you on our weekly newsletter featuring all things Powers Squared.

Speaking of which, it's been a busy week as far as the comic book goes. Rachel has sent us four new pages, penciled. Paul and I asked her to make a few changes, which she did. Part of the process is to discuss the look of the panels she sends us versus what we had in mind when we wrote the script. Sometimes, I will admit, that we're looking for changes when we see her artwork. When we can, we try to send her a photographic reference to use. Usually finding an image we're looking for is only a Google search away. This week, I came to find that that is not always the case. There are some images that are out there, or else, I don't know how to describe it properly.

If you're like me, and you lived in a time before mandatory seat belts, you most assuredly had this happen to you: the car is in traffic, your mother is driving and you're sitting in the front seat, which is where you sat back in the day. All of a sudden, your mother applies the brakes hard. There is nothing that stops you from hitting the dashboard, except your mother reaches over and with only her hand, holds you back. I mean, who needed seatbelts? Well, I was looking for that image to send to her but could not find one on the internet.

The best we could do was that Paul and Trevor, who had no reference to that either, remembered a similar gesture in the manga and anime for My Hero Academia. Paul managed to take a photo off his computer from the TV show and after reversing the image, we came up with this:

All Might is doing the gesture we tried to describe to her.

Our colorist is preparing more pages, which we should have before the month is over.

In addition to work on Powers Squared, I managed to complete a review of Batman (1989) which will appear next month. Trevor had the idea of making May Batman Month on Trophy Unlocked. We have all the reviews written so look forward to that next month on Trophy Unlocked.

This past Saturday, we published a review Trevor wrote of Whiplash, a videogame for the PS2, so we're going back aways in time with that one.

I also managed to write a little more on The Runaway, but not enough to write home about, though I will mention it here. I also sent off a couple of query letters for Broken People. My goal is to send off a couple every week. Got to keep that dream alive as well.

I'm sorry I don't have more to report, but that's all for this week. Until next week, keep writing.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Week in Writing #243

Writing time this week, like I predicted, was spent working on a five-day Kickstarter Challenge run by ComixLaunch. The assignments weren't really all that hard, just time-consuming. It required me to listen to a one-hour live Facebook lesson every day at work from 11 to 12 and then at night write up what I needed to provide.

A good exercise, not only did it get me to write a new bio, but also write up a story about my creative origins (as they relate to Powers Squared), think about where I want to get to in five years, think about the next milestone and then map out what I know and, more importantly, don't know about a Kickstarter project. I also had to play tag team with another creator, Josue F. Kure, who has his own comic book which he is producing called Bloody Reaper Comics. Kind of cool to connect with him and others in the challenge. Good to get out of my comfort zone.

For Powers Squared, we made some progress towards the signing we have scheduled for May 4th (Free Comic Book Day) at Galaxy of Comics (ours won't be free). We received the banner we ordered last week on Friday and put up an unboxing video on our YouTube channel. It's pretty cool. If you want to see the banner, it's the Peek-of-the-Week on our website. While you're there, answer the poll question and sign up for our mailing list. The second newsletter has gone out, you don't want to keep missing out, do you?

Trevor delivered the next four pages of Powers Squared, so he's caught up with what our colorist has delivered. By the end of the month, we should have more pages from both Rachel and Nina and the show goes on.

Paul, Trevor and I shot our weekly vlog this afternoon. Since there weren't a lot of pages to discuss, we spent a good deal of time in a discussion of the 21 MCU films so far. It was an idea that we had after a spontaneous discussion earlier in the week about the same topic. Paul captured the essence of the discussion in a post on Trophy Unlocked, Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe (So Far).

Speaking of Trophy Unlocked, I published my review of Life of Pi as the Saturday Morning Review. Mine was the last review of the three films we watched on our recent plane trip to Dallas at the beginning of the week. I also started, barely, a new review for Batman (1989), which will be a part of Batman Month on Trophy Unlocked, starting on May 4th.

Managed to do a little writing on The Runaway and sent out two more query letters for Broken People. Had that "Oh s---!" moment when I realized I had a misspelled word, one of those where it should be "that" rather than "than". Damn. Of course, no word back from any agent I've queried since my rejection letter. So now there are four out there, though I suspect the first two are "lazy passes", meaning the agent will not write back to tell you they're passing, you're just supposed to realize it on your own. One of them was the agent from the Writers Digest Novel Writing Conference that I really wanted, but I guess the feeling wasn't mutual.

Next week, I'll be sending out press releases for our May signing; wish me luck. Hopefully, time for other writing as well. In the meantime, keep writing.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Week in Writing #242

If it feels like these are becoming Powers Squared-centric the last few weeks, there is a reason for that. My work on Powers Squared has seemed to have taken over my writing time because it has.

To begin with, we received pages from Rachel and from Nina this week. Rachel sent us four penciled pages from Issue #11 and Nina sent us four pages from Issue #10. Both are doing their usual really good work and Paul and I have been happy with what they've sent us.

There is a bigger and bigger share of the work that I would refer to as the business of a comic book. We're scheduled to do a signing on May 4th, Free Comic Book Day, at our local store, so there is a lot of work involved in getting ready for that. Chief amongst them is having books to sell. I'm pretty sure we'll have them but in order to make sure, I had to expedite the shipment for the first two issues. With shipping, the prices are such that even if we sell out, we'll lose money on the deal. I put some of it down to poor planning on my part, but I'm trying to look at the upside. Hopefully, we'll have more fans afterward, which should make doing things like the Kickstarter easier.

Also, we decided to buy a banner for the event, which I know is more money, but again we're hoping it is something we can use more than once. Not sure if you've ever tried to buy a banner on the weekend, but it's rather hard, as most print shops are closed on Saturday and Sunday. There are in fact two places in our neighborhood, but they never seem to be open at all. We went to FedEx/Kinkos and while they were very helpful and informative, their prices were too high for us, again considering we're losing money on the signing to start with. We ended up buying one online which comes with a stand for about $80. When it arrives, of course, there will be video and photos to share.

We managed to squeeze in our weekly vlog which you can catch on our YouTube channel and on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Linkedin. So really, when you think about it, there is no excuse for not watching it. Paul and I had some constructive discussions after our taping about future vlogs. We both know we can and will do better, so please keep watching.

This weekend, we also bought a selfie stick for our Instagram videos as my arms are only so long. We'll hopefully start using it next week.

We also sent out our first newsletter to the people on our mailing list. I was a little disappointed that it ended up in my junk mail, but I think that's probably par for the course. You, too, can sign up for that by going to and signing up. Be sure to add to your contacts to avoid the junk mail issue. If you received it, I would really like to hear what you thought. Always want to make it better.

Next week, I/we are going to go through a ComixLaunch 5 day training on Kickstarter. Hopefully, it won't be all time-consuming, but you never know. The mailing list and newsletter were just steps in a longer process.

Not all the writing time was about Powers Squared. I did manage to complete a review of Life of Pi, which should be up next Saturday on Trophy Unlocked. Trevor published a review of Smallfoot mid-week and Paul published his review of Venom this past Saturday.

Sad to say, no novel writing worth mentioning and no new queries but also no new rejections, so I'm still two out and one rejected. I'm going to have to follow up on the first query soon, so I'm girding for disappointment. (I know, such a positive attitude.)

Well, that's about it for this week. Next week, no doubt, more Powers Squared. In the meantime, keep writing.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Week in Writing #241 - Short Trips and the Effect on Writing

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that travel and writing don't always go hand in hand. Case in point, my own recent trip this past week to Texas to attend my mother's 95th birthday party.  Not only is there some prep time required, but there is also the travel part. I don't know about you but I can't write on an airplane. Not that I couldn't think of something to write, but the small trays they give you don't really allow you to set up any sort of laptop on them. I may be a pantser, but I need a computer to write on.

While visiting family, writing is never on anyone's mind but yours unless you come from a family of writers and I'm sure even then there is the general sense that you're supposed to put your writing on hold. If you ever get the time it's doubtful there is any place to actually do the work. That's certainly the case when we go back to visit my mother. When there is time, there is no place to actually do it, unless of course, you can use the edge of a bed for a desk. (Hint: I can not.)

All of this is to explain the rather small output this past week from me.

I might have managed maybe 250 words on The Runaway, which is negligible, especially for a blog called 1000 Words a Day, but that's all I had time for, I'm afraid. And, of course, no word on Familiar Stranger. No new queries and no new rejections, so there are still two out there but I need to do more.

This week, no new reviews from me but that does not mean there was nothing up on Trophy Unlocked. Trevor wrote an April Fool's review for Sly Cooper and the King of Thieves, a long-awaited, though never released, sequel to Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. We also published his real review of Shazam!, a film that we saw a couple of weeks ago at a preview screening; one that we paid to attend.

Of the time I had for writing, Powers Squared seemed to take most of it. The night before we were going to leave, I spent most of the time adjusting the DPI on two issues, #6 and #7, that I had submitted to Ka-Blam. Apparently, when I shrank them to fit the printer's template, I also managed to reduce the DPI to 72 when it should be 300. After figuring out how to make that adjustment, I updated about 44 pages and resubmitted the two issues. Still waiting on the printing, but I'm going to have to reorder more, possibly before I know how well it came out, so I can get them ready for our scheduled signing on May 4th.

Wrote a press release during the week to send to the colleges the boys attended, Pierce College and CSUN, that are also nearby Galaxy of Comics, where the signing will take place. We also want to see if Warren at GOC would want to add to it or not. We'll have to approach him later in the week.

Despite our travels, Paul and I did our usual weekly vlog on our YouTube Channel. We're tired, but the show must go on, as they say.

Rachel also sent us thumbnails for the first 8 pages of Issue #11, so Paul and I spent part of Monday night going through them, choosing A or B versions as we did. This is the second issue in the story arc and as always, it's really great to see the story come to life through her drawings.

We also encouraged her to help us with adding names to our mailing list. Not sure if she's done that yet. One of the things we did back in Texas was to ask some of our relatives to sign up for the mailing list. So here comes the pitch to you, the reader. We would like you to sign up as well on It will be the usual stuff about the comic book, but it will be mailed to you with links. Hope you sign up.