Sunday, August 16, 2020

A Week in Writing #312 - Six Years On

Well, I don't want to break my arm patting myself on the back, but this is a bit of a milestone; six years ago today, I started writing this little weekly musing on my week in writing. I'm not sure if I should be happy that I've gone this far or a little sad that I don't have more to show for the years in between.

Before I go on any further, I would be remiss not to mention that my son Paul has been edting this blog for the past six years. I really appreciate his help and endurance in this endeavor. I'm sure it wouldn't be nearly as readable if it wasn't for him.

I think I've learned a few things along the way, but I really think I have some much more to learn and to, obviously, do to get where I want to get to, which is making a living at what I really want to do. I know the deck is stacked against me and that it is rare anyone nowadays makes a living just writing, but that's the sort of thing dreams are made of.

Well, no Literary Agent, at least not so far. I am working on this project at the moment; researching potential agents to query. It's a rather slow and boring process if you haven't undertaken it yourself. A couple of things I'm seeing: First, more and more agents are moving towards Online Query Forms. Yes, something even more impersonal than an email and no doubt easier to ignore. Response times are also getting pushed out, rather than four weeks, it seems more common to find six and even longer, that is if they respond at all. Many are now saying they'll get back to you in 12 weeks only if they are interested. So no more of those impersonal form letters/emails. Just if you don't hear from us that means "no".

That doesn't mean I haven't been writing. I think I've written one, rewritten two and started a fourth novel since I began this blog. So, when the day comes, and I get an agent, hopefully, I'll be ready. I will, of course, give you a blow by blow of the process once it gets going. I'm still trying to find 10 agents to query as a first wave. I'm still building my list, to borrow a phrase.

In the past six years, I'm going to guess I've written about 300 reviews of movies for Trophy Unlocked, not all of which (45) have yet to be published. As an example, this week, I wrote two, one for Morning Glory (1933), as part of our drain the DVR Saturday program; and one for Night Club Scandal (1937), a film I just happened to catch on TCM while working on something else.

One of mine did get published this past week, Kindergarten Cop (1990). I was outraged by the "controversy" surrounding the film when it was canceled from a drive-in program in Oregon and we decided to watch it. While I can see how some films, like Gone With The Wind or The Birth of a Nation, might be considered controversial, Kindergarten Cop didn't deserve to be thrown in with those titles. Well, as you can imagine, it rubbed me the wrong way and I had to say something about it.

In other Trophy Unlocked news, Trevor's review of Ghost of Tsushima went up on Wednesday, which seems to be the day for video game reviews.

Six years ago, we were still looking for an artist for Powers Squared, now we've published nine issues and are getting ready to publish our tenth, while number 15 is getting worked on. I think we've come a long way but, like most things, have a long way yet to go.

Even though this hasn't been the best seller I think we thought it would, it still has been fun. I like working with my sons on it. Paul and I work a lot together on podcasts and videos, which I do enjoy. I've also really enjoyed working with our artists, especially Rachel Wells and our colorists, shout outs to Julia Canon. Comic books are a collaborative art and I really like the idea of making it better.

And I've enjoyed most of the ancillary work, like the website, the podcast, the videos, the social media and the newsletters. I hope you've taken a moment to take a look at them at least once in the past six years. (Shameless plug:

There is a big difference, I think, between Issue #1 and Issue #10, not only in the art style but also in the storytelling. I'm anxious to see if we can take this further but I feel like COVID has kept us in neutral. We're still working on the engine and I think we'll be better placed when race day comes around again.

We'll enough with the metaphors. Keep writing and I'll see you back here again next week.

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