Sunday, February 23, 2020

A Week in Writing #287 - The Runaway Taking Shape

Every week is different when it comes to writing. This week, I think I was able to spend more time on The Runaway, making some progress on the book. I don't have an exact word count but I was able to write to the point where I was able to insert the section I had written ahead, which was over 5000 words. I'm still not sure the book, as it's currently shaping up, will be long enough. That still remains to be seen as I'm not done yet but I do have it in the back of my mind as I think I'm on the downhill side of writing this book.

I also had an idea about how to change my query letter for another novel, Broken People. Had sort of a sleepless night and the wording sort of came to me. It takes me one step closer to actually sending out query letters again. That's a really necessary step but one that will take a lot of time, which is always at a premium, especially over the next few weeks.

That takes us to Powers Squared and what's on the schedule for that project. On March 14th, we have our signing at Golden Apple Comics, which we're very excited about. Before that, Paul and I will be attending a two-part seminar at UCLA that's supposed to help us with our idea to pitch the book as an animated TV series. That's the goal at least. So the next three Saturdays, prime writing time, are taken up with what I like to think of as the business side of writing. It has its place but it does take away from the actual art-side of the equation.

New pages this week from our artist, Rachel Wells. She's completed pencils on the last four pages of Issue #13 and the cover. We had only one brief change we wanted her to make and she made that as well.

Our new colorist, Julia Canon, started working this week on Issue #13. I know this, in part, because she is Twitch streaming her work. You can follow along at I'll admit I've watched a couple of hours so far. I feel a little like I'm spying on her, if you know what I mean, but I really appreciate her being public about her work and publicizing the book on a consistent basis. That's the sort of help that we really haven't gotten before from one of our artists.

No new reviews from me this week. I did finish up one on The St. Valentine's Day Massacre but that doesn't really count. This week's Saturday Review on Trophy Unlocked was Paul's review of Slayer: The Replentless Killogy. Trust me when I say the film is a big difference from what we had been reviewing during last week's Sonic Week.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

A Week in Writing #286 - Under the Weather but Still Writing

Being under the weather and writing don't go hand-in-hand, or at least you really can't be one and do much with the other. I'm mentioning this because I've been a touch under the weather for the past few days. Nothing serious, not even really a cold or the terrible Coronavirus. Just a little dry throat, running nose and weak in the knees. As I'm writing this, I'm feeling better but this isn't how I wanted to spend the day off I took on Friday nor the upcoming President's Day holiday. But what is it they say, life is what happens while you're busy making other plans. I'm sure I've used that before to describe a week of writing that has not gone as planned.

Let's start with Trophy Unlocked this time to reveal how little I've done this week. No new reviews from me, though the blog has been busy. Seven reviews were posted in seven days, a rare feat for the site. 6 of them were related to Sonic Week, five reviews of games and a Japanese OVA leading to the release of Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) and that review, which was posted today. The Saturday Morning Review was Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind + Concert Video (DLC). None of these seven reviews were written by me, which is fine. Sonic is not really in my wheelhouse.

I did have an idea for a review but when I sat down to work on it I couldn't concentrate enough on it to make any headway. The review would be for next Valentine's Day, The Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), which I happened to have seen the next day on TV in its entirety and without commercial interruption. It seems fitting for next year. I just have to write it.

Did some work on The Runaway. There was another unrelated news story that I was able to weave into the story, or at least I'd like to think I was able to. All the same, not really all that much progress was made overall on the story.

This leaves us with Powers Squared, and it is once again here that I think I spent most of my time. This week, Paul and I each, separately, went over the last three issues of the book, 10-13, What's in a Name? looking at the lettering. For the most part, there weren't any issues, just a couple of run together words and some misplaced punctuations. Paul did edit down some dialogue and had Trevor, who does the lettering, move a speech bubble. This led to our weekly podcast, On The Air With Powers Squared, inviting Trevor on as a guest and talking about the importance of lettering as the topic.

Finishing them off allowed us to send out the last of the Kickstarter rewards. So, we're finally finished with that project.

During the week, I managed to nail down our signing at Golden Apple, a very important comic book store here in Los Angeles. We're scheduled for two hours on the afternoon of March 14th. I spoke to one of the owners by phone on Monday so I guess it's as official as it will get. I've ordered issues to sell and we've designed a special trading card for the occasion. We're hoping to make the most of the event as we can.

Paul and I, despite being under the weather, did our weekly video A Week in Powers Squared and sent out the latest edition of our mini newsletter, The Bark. As they say in the theater, the show must go on.

Well, that about does it for me this week. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

A Week in Writing #285 - New Colorist for Powers Squared

This feels like it has been a rather busy week for me, as far as writing goes. There were several developments with Powers Squared, a breakthrough of sorts on The Runaway and a new future review for Trophy Unlocked.

Let's start where we usually do, with Powers Squared. The biggest news is that we have a new colorist, Julia Canon. We had three candidates, all of whom did test pages. Julia's was the closest to complementing the previous coloring style that we want to continue. We've announced her, though she still hasn't signed our work for hire agreement yet. I don't really like things when they're tentative like that.

Which leads me to other tentative news that I can't really get into too much, but they involve a possible signing at a comic book store and a new project with Artithmeric, both of which are not nailed down yet, so I can't really comment too much but to say I hope they both come off. When things are set I will definitely go into it here.

I was able to do some good writing this week on The Runaway. Even though I'm a pantser as a writer, I decided to try and capture my ideas down for the rest of the book, so now I've got direction, which I think will help me get to the end of it sooner than later. I had a couple of ideas that I had to go back and incorporate earlier in the book, which seemed to make a lot of sense. This is the part that I think I like best about the writing process, making it better. There are times when I can't tell where I'm going and I like it when it seems to come together.

There was a bit I wanted to get to write that was later in the book then I was at, so I decided to go ahead and work on those chapters. I don't know if you're like me but I spend a lot of time commuting every day. It gives me a chance to run dialogue with myself and, in this case, the dialogue in the book would be taking place in a moving car so it seems really appropriate. The problem is that it is never as good by the time I get to sit down behind the computer. I think that's a common problem so at least I'm in good company.

This week, a couple of reviews I'd written showed up on Trophy Unlocked. We were trying to get as many of the films reviewed before the Academy Awards. On Wednesday, we published Parasite and for the Saturday Morning Review JoJo Rabbit.

With the passing this week of actor Kirk Douglas, we watched Lust for Life on Friday night and I wrote a review of it for future use on Trophy Unlocked.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

A Week in Writing #284 - Realities

There is a lot of excitement around getting published, even self-published, which is essentially what we're doing. January 29th was the date ComiXology decided to put up our latest issue of Powers Squared: Mathemagical Part 1, or Issue #8 so that became our publication date, and if you remember from last week's post, Powers Squared Day.

We did what we could to get the word out but there is a good chance most of the world doesn't know it's been released, let alone know the comic book exists. But that's not to say we don't want it presented in the best way possible.

With this issue, in addition to ComiXology and Artithmeric, we added a third platform, IndyPlanet but in some ways that only added to the difficulties, or realities that headline this post. Before I discuss these, I do want to point out that each one was taken care of quickly, though they did still happen. Names will be changed to protect the innocent and all that and really no real harm happened.

To begin with, one platform put it out there early and had to pull it back. For another, Issue #8 was listed separately from the previous seven. And finally, one item that we thought would be up wasn't listed. Again, all of these issues were quickly dealt with but it is a sign that you can never really totally relax and assume everything will go according to plan.

Speaking of plans, we're closer to selecting a new colorist. We had three very good candidates and have received test pages back. We're still evaluating them, as not everyone on the creative team has had a chance to weigh in. But the decision will be made soon.

Meanwhile, progress continues to be made on Issue #13. Rachel sent us new pages and Paul and I used reviewing them as the basis for our weekly Podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. We try to take people behind the scenes and this week we went as far behind the scenes as we possibly could.

One new review from me this week, Parasite, the 2019 Korean film that is getting all the hype and buzz. We watched it on Friday night and the review should go up on February 5 as Trophy Unlocked tries to play catch up before the Academy Awards.

New reviews in that vein on the blog, with Trevor's review of Frozen II getting published as the Saturday Morning Review. Check it out. Also coming, Sonic Week, leading up to the release of the new film, which will most likely be our first 2020 film to be reviewed.

I continued to work on The Runaway, finishing up a couple of new chapters as I'm going. I had what I think is a really good idea on Saturday morning which I can't wait to get to for the book. Sometimes things come together in bits and pieces so I'm hopeful this book will work out. It's the writing and having the time for the writing that is keeping me back.

Well, that about does it for this week. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.