Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Week in Writing #322 - Missteps


Hope everyone reading this is staying safe and wearing your mask.

So, this week, let's start with Powers Squared. We finally took the last step in publishing Issue #10, submitting to comiXology but we didn't get past the first step. I'm not blaming comiXology but somewhere along the way, two series were set up for Powers Squared. We found this out the hard way when we published one issue and it ended up being listed separately from the other issues. Not sure how that happened and the digital publisher did fix it right away. They also told us that they had removed the second series so we wouldn't have the same issue the next time.

Well, when Paul and I sat down to submit, guess what we saw:

They're not the same number, so we're not seeing double but we didn't know which one to choose. We tried to search for something on the website that would point us to the right one but that's not available or at least we couldn't find it. This Series number is a background thing but we didn't want to go down the slippery slope and pick the wrong one, so we stopped the process and emailed support to sort it out.

Did some work on the Pitch Packet. Trying to get more current images into the deck, as the current visuals are closer to what we want to present. There are only a couple that we can't seem to replace. I'd really like to get this behind us. As with everything doing with Powers Squared, we're sort of learning as we go.

In other writing, I completed another review for Trophy Unlocked. As per the usual, we watched a film on our DVR so we could delete it. This week, it was Our Betters (1933), a film I believe I came across by accident but was interested in based on the pre-film discussion on TCM. They were discussing an actor who didn't appear until the last five minutes and his importance to LGBT depiction in films in pre-code Hollywood. Curious, I recorded it and really forgot about the why until we watched it. What did I think will have to wait.

In the meantime, my review of Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein was the Saturday Morning Review. But earlier in the week, Trophy Unlocked celebrated its 1100th review with one Paul wrote for P.T., a playable teaser for a video game that was never made. The game, Silent Hills, was to be a horror game designed by Hideo Kojima and Gullermo del Toro, and also fit in with our Spooktober theme for the month.

To further mix the streams, Paul played the teaser on our Powers Squared Twitch channel. Streaming a video game was something Paul has been wanting to do but this was the first time. He asked me to sit with him for support, so if you watch it, you'll see me reacting and asking the occasional question.

As far as my other writing goes, I did some more work on Skylar, though never enough. I believe I got through another couple of chapters and moved the story forward, so that's good.

On the subject of querying, I did some more prep work on that this weekend. I researched if there were any new agents and deleted one from my list as their definition of mystery is cozy. I also realized that I have a little more to do based on the first online query I started. Not only do I need to decide who would want to read my book, but also provide a one-line Pitch. I know, excuses, but they're all I have.

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Week in Writing #321 - One More Birthday!

Another week, another birthday at my house. This final one of the year belonging to my wife. No age or birth year, but if you've been paying attention, we're all Libras, which means decisions here are few and far between. Just thought I'd point that out because of the hole in the week.

Has this ever happened to you? I had sort of an interesting night of it on Thursday, the day after the B-day mentioned above. I basically live with insomnia always being a possibility. I may lay down my head on the pillow but if something is off in my routine, I stop reading too soon or turn off the TV too early, or whatever, I can lie awake for hours. What kept going through my head this night was that I hadn't really written anything that day. So to get over that, I got up at about 2 a.m., came out to my office, the end of the dining room table, and made myself write 1000 words on the Skylar story I believe I've mentioned here a few times. Now, what I wrote, I think I'm going to scrap, not because it's bad but because it doesn't fit in with the story I'm writing now. It does work for an idea I've been tossing around during those sleepless nights so I'll put it aside for now and get it back out when I start on that story.

Per my Fitbit, I got a 76 rated sleep, which is both surprising, given the shortness of time (3 hours and 22 minutes), and good for me in general. A great night of sleep for me is an 80 and that is sadly very rare; I'm usually in the mid to low 70s. I'm not writing to get sympathy, but sometimes the lack of sleep does play into the output of the next day. While I made it through work and OAPS with no real issues, I did fall asleep off and on during our Friday night movie. I hate it when that happens.

Speaking of movies, we played drain the DVR again on Saturday night and I wrote a review for Trophy Unlocked as a result; No Questions Asked (1951). Not sure when that will come out, though another one of mine went up on Saturday, The Curse of the Cat People (1944), as part of our October Spooktober series of horror films. This past Wednesday, videogame review day, Trevor's review of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.

Big News: This coming Wednesday, Trophy Unlocked will be celebrating a milestone 1100 reviews. I won't ruin the surprise, but there is a special review planned for that day, so please check back then for that review.

In Powers Squared news, Julia Canon, our colorist, joined us for our On the Air with Powers Squared twitch stream/podcast this Friday. She's always fun to listen to, so I hope you'll tune in somewhere it is available. See for where you can watch and/or listen to it.

This week, I submitted the Covid Cover for Issue #10 to both Ka-Blam and Artithmeric for proofs. We've never had an alternative cover before, so it's a big deal for us. Not sure we'll wait for them to come back before we submit to Comixology, which we still need to do. There's always something on the horizon that you've got to do.

I wanted to give you an update on our copyright issue. So you don't have to scroll back and look for it in a previous post, we had a slight issue with copyright for a couple of issues, i.e. the script got copyrighted but the artwork didn't. The copyright office told us to rectify this through a Supplementary registration, which didn't seem like it worked. I called the copyright office at the end of September and they couldn't tell me what we had submitted, which sort of scared me, since who else would know what the copyright office had besides the copyright office?

Well, it turns out that what we were trying to do might actually work after all. I got an email from the U.S. Copyright office during the week, asking me, in fact, what we were trying to do. Paul and I sat down today to read through their question and I sent a response to them. They gave me 45 days to respond, which might tell you how fast things move in that bureaucracy. Fingers crossed things will work out for us. I'm at least hopeful now.

On that upbeat note, I'll sign off for today. Keep writing, stay safe, and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Week in Writing #320 - Getting On Track and Off


Hope everyone is healthy and staying safe.

Sometimes I wish I kept track of things as the week went on. From a writing point of view, the week seemed to get off to a good start. But now as I sit here on Sunday evening, I'm having trouble remembering everything I did.

Monday, I worked on a couple of different things, including a script Paul had worked on for a future issue of Powers Squared. I had read it and made some comments that I put into the script. I think it's coming together.

I also worked on my Skylar manuscript. Completing 1000 words on Monday, hitting the goal for the first time in a while. During the week, I managed to get through a complete chapter when I finished working on it on Thursday. I think it's going well but some much more to go.

No queries this week. I know, I know, I'll never find an agent this way. I guess I'm avoiding it, though I know better. There always seems to be something else to work on. I know I need to and I will do it soon. Check back here for those updates.

A lot of work on Powers Squared. New thumbnails from Rachel for the next 8 pages for Issue 16 (Mocha and Raven) and colors from Julia for Issue 15 (How They Met). Trevor has also lettered the first 8 pages, as it were, for Issue 15. So things are moving forward there.

We received copyright registrations this week for Issues 10-12, which is good since we're getting ready to publish the first one of those soon. That only took 8 months. We've had them go much longer than that.

We posted a new Unboxing Video on Wednesday, related to Issue #10, print versions, and t-shirts. We've decided to change up our posting schedule from Sunday morning to Wednesday afternoons. There's supposed to be more people watching YouTube videos then.

We're still doing our Podcast on Friday nights and we had Rachel on as a guest. You can watch it on If you want to listen to it, go to for where you can listen to it.

Two of my reviews up on Trophy Unlocked this week. On Friday, my review of Woody Allen's A Rainy Day in New York went up, the same day the title was finally being released on Vudu. On Saturday, to celebrate Spooktober, White Zombie was published.

But wait, that's not all for that blog this week. Paul's three reviews for Resident Evil 7 went up throughout the week: Resident Evil 7 Teaser Demo: Beginning Hour (+ Kitchen Demo); on Wednesday Resident Evil 7: Biohazard; and wrapping it up on Thursday Resident Evil 7: Biohazard DLC (Banned Footage Vol. 1 and 2 + Not A Hero + End of Zoe).

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

Sunday, October 4, 2020

A Week in Writing #319 - More Birthdays and Frustrations

A new week and what did I do?

I hate to keep using this excuse but Birthdays played a part in this week as well. Yes, mine was Friday but my sons' were this past Monday. Not that that taints the whole week but that was another day I didn't really try to do too much. If you're new to this blog, Paul and Trevor are my sons but also the co-creators on Powers Squared, that comic book I keep writing about.

Then there was the Presidential Debate on Tuesday. I'm not getting political here but watching that and the follow-up coverage did sort of take a lot of time away from other pursuits like writing. I don't plan to watch any of the future Presidential ones, as it was a colossal waste of time, though I will watch the Vice-Presidential one on Wednesday, so don't expect a lot from me that day.

And while I had the promise of working on Thursday night, the breaking news sort of dominated me after that. So, that's the better part of three nights. And besides the podcast, I don't really try to "write" on Fridays, as that's pizza and movie night.

For the rest of the week, I felt a sort of general ennui which is not conducive to getting a lot done. I don't know if it was the odd, for us, schedule we'd been keeping or maybe just a bit of overload getting the best of me. I kind of felt like doing more of the menial rather than creative aspects of the writing. As an example, I spent a couple of nights updating Pinterest with the reviews that are either scheduled so far or will be having anniversaries this month. So that's gone now as an excuse for next week.

Did a little writing on Skylar and think I've finally finished the chapter I was working on. I already have some ideas for the next few, it's just a matter of putting the ideas down.

Getting back to Powers Squared, we had a good podcast on Friday. Seth Laderman, a former production exec at Lionsgate, was our guest. He's someone I've known for the past several years and he was a supporter of our Kickstarter. You can check it out on our YouTube Channel.

We also had some review work that Paul and I did on Thursday with pages from Rachel. Judging by Twitter and Twitch I think we're getting closer to finishing the coloring on Issue #15. There were some pending questions from the colorist that we've tried to answer but that's still unresolved for now.

Did some "editing" on a script Paul wrote for a future Powers Squared issue. Made some suggestions and am actually making some changes to present to him as a possible way for it to go. I made one pass and am reviewing that before I show it to him.

I did promise to fill you in on my conversation with the US Copyright Office. I spoke on the phone with one of their Information Specialists on Monday but I don't think I got the answer I was after. The woman was very nice and admitted that we had gotten bad advice from one of their own but there was no mention of stopping the process and refunding my money. And she couldn't tell me what had been submitted to them back in 2019, which seems odd for the repository of copyrighted IPs. I couldn't either, but I think we did submit everything, so there's still hope it will right itself in the end. I'm afraid I'm going to have to wait until next year to find out for sure, since that's how long these seem to take.

On Trophy Unlocked, my review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) went up as the Saturday Morning Review, the kickoff of Horror month on the blog. There should be a new horror film review every Saturday through the end of the month. On Wednesday, Paul's review of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS for the PS4 was featured. We're getting frightfully close to the 1100th review on the blog, so that's pretty cool.

I did write a review of Smarty (1934), for future use. Another drain the DVR movies that have been on there since Joan Blondell was the featured star on TCM. I honestly don't know how long ago that's been but it's safe to say awhile.

Well, that about wraps it for me for now. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.