Sunday, December 26, 2021

A Week in Writing #384 - Happy Holidays

Hope everyone is having happy holidays, staying safe, getting boosted, and, of course, writing.

I will come clean this week and let you know this has not been a great week for writing. It seems that leading up to Christmas, there is always something to do, and writing sort of takes a backseat.

It wasn't all cookies and cider though. We started with the week with a meeting with the partners at Artithmeric to discuss our upcoming Kickstarter. The start got sort of pushed back to late February, though there was no explanation for the delay. We still have some work to do. I can't say I've done a lot of work on what we need to do, but that's what next week is for, right? We'll get it done.

Paul and I also shot a couple of videos for On the Air with Powers Squared back-to-back on Wednesday. The first one we posted was a look back, or Rewind as it were, for what we did during 2021, including publishing two issues, a signing, and 50+ podcasts. Of course, I encourage you to listen for yourself at If you're curious who we've interviewed you can watch some of them through our website at

Work still continues on Trophy Unlocked. On Wednesday, Paul's review of the indie game Octodad ran, and we finished the holidays with my review on Saturday of We're No Angels. I did write another Christmas review, A Carol for Another Christmas, but you'll have to probably wait a while to read it. I think we might be good for next year already.

I did some work on Skylar earlier in the week, but I haven't touched it since Wednesday. I know the next chapter I'm going to write but I haven't written it yet. I'm sort of tired of not working on it, to be honest. I think about the chapter almost every night, so I need to write it.

Well, that about does it for me. Hope everyone has a safe rest of the holiday and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A Week in Writing #383 - It's Almost Christmas!

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting boosted, and, of course, writing.

I know that the whole world seems to be in a hurry to resume "normal" life but I think we have a long way to go. I don't know about you but I'm feeling lucky to have avoided COVID so far and I hope my luck continues. The novel I'm working on takes place post-COVID or at least, in a presumed post-COVD Los Angeles.

The protagonist of the story is a private detective, J.D. Barrister, trying to restart his business after COVID had all but shut him down. I won't go into the story so far but after-COVID seems to be a moving and elusive target. I originally had this starting this past summer, but I may move it to Spring 2022. I'm incorporating things like masks and social distancing and it might be interesting to incorporate whatever is next with the pandemic as part of the story. I can't imagine any novel taking place during this day and age that can avoid the pandemic's influence on characters' lives.

One place it hasn't affected is the make-believe world in the comic book I work on, Powers Squared. As much as I wanted to incorporate it in the novel, it doesn't belong in this fantasy, not that it hasn't had an effect on the book itself. I won't go into a year-end look until next time but COVID has touched everything.

Speaking of Powers Squared, we're currently working on thumbnails and pencils for Issue 20, coloring and lettering for Issue 19, and a Kickstarter for a graphic novel of the first five issues. Our colorist is doing some chibis of characters we want to use as a tier. I don't have much to say so far on the Kickstarter but we're having a meeting this coming Monday about it, so I might have more to tell next time. I really want this to be a success and the last time we have to look at the first five issues again.

We had a team meeting with the creatives on the book, which you're welcome to listen to at We try to get together once a month to both check-in with everyone, but also to build a sense of team. I also want the creatives to be more involved with selling the book they're working on.

Just wrapped up a review hopefully for next December, Star in the Night, a short from 1945 that retells the nativity. I know it sounds like I'm really planning ahead but it sort of makes sense with holidays and Halloween films to write reviews when those sorts of films are easily available to watch and you're in the mood to watch them.

Speaking of Christmas, my review of Little Women (1933) was a Sunday morning review, since Saturday morning was dedicated to the 11th anniversary of Trophy Unlocked and founder Paul's review of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I have to give Paul credit, the blog has grown over the years and currently has over 1400 reviews and has been read by nearly 700,000 people.

Other reviews this week were three by Trevor as Trophy Unlocked's salute to the EyeToy wrapped with reviews of EyeToy: Play 2 on Monday, EyeToy: Operation Spy on Wednesday; and EyeToy: Kinetic on Friday.

Well, that about does it for me. I hope everyone reading this has a Merry and Safe Christmas if you celebrate. Keep writing and I'll see you again next week.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

A Week in Writing #382 - Getting Really Personal

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Not to get overly personal but on Friday I had a colonoscopy, which I encourage anyone of the age to get. The prep is not really too bad anymore, but you do sort of lose a day after being sedated, which I did. But that is a small price to pay for peace of mind. End of public service message and on to what I did or didn't do this past week, which is the point of this post.

No queries this week, partly due to prep for the above. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be doing any more for the rest of the year. I'm not seeing the point in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Agents, I assume, have families and lives and may, like all of us, be looking forward to time off at the end of the year. I'd hate to be something they either ignore or give quick treatment to in order to clear their desks.

Busy week with Powers Squared. We've been showing our pitch packet around and the comments have been positive and helpful so far, as we'll continue to tweak it before trying to sell the idea. I won't give away names but I do appreciate the feedback we've received so far.

More thumbnails from our artist, for pages for issue 20. It's interesting to see what you've written being, for lack of a better word, storyboarded. You see things that you didn't expect and sometimes seeing it drawn out leads you to want to make changes, which was the case this week with one of the pages we received. It's not the artist's fault but seeing it makes you rethink it sometimes.

The process of putting together a comic book, if you're not the writer/artist, is one of teamwork and compromise. Sometimes you don't get everything you want and sometimes you get more than you expected. The latter has been our experience for the most part. Our artist makes changes when she thinks the work is better than how we wrote it but we also get the final say.

More reviews this week. One new one for Fitzwilly, a Christmas heist movie from 1967. Look for it next year when we get back to holiday films. On Saturday morning, it was my review of The Holly and the Ivy, a British drama from 1952. Before I get too far into Trophy Unlocked, I did want to say the blog is about to celebrate its 11th anniversary. In honor of that, this past week's On the Air with Powers Squared was about the blog and holiday films, as well as a little bit about L.A. Comic-Con, for those who don't read this blog. Enough of crossing the streams.

Back to Trophy Unlocked, this past week has been devoted to the EyeToy with Trevor's reviews of  EyeToy: PlayEyeToy: GrooveNicktoons Movin'Sega Superstars, and EyeToy: AntiGrav. If you're saying to yourself, there are more EyeToy games than that, well there are and there will be more reviews next week. In addition, Saturday morning will be Paul's 11th-anniversary review. I'll let that be a surprise. Anyway, please check it out.

I worked on Skylar for the first few days of the week, but the rest of the week was sort of taken up with what I noted in the first paragraph of this post. Enough said on that. But I do think I'm making progress on this version.

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

Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Week in Writing #381 - Report from the Front: L.A. Comic Con 2021

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

On Saturday, we did something we hadn't done in a while and went to a Con; L.A. Comic-Con to be exact and the first time we have attended that show. It's hard to compare Cons; L.A. is small by comparison and while we were there for about two hours or so, we managed to pretty much walk the entire floor.

One of the features is that the main stage is front and center when you walk in, which is very democratic in that everyone can see. The downside is that it's very loud and if you're trying to have a conversation with someone nearby, as we tried, hearing each other becomes nearly impossible.

We were able to meet a few old friends, and I will say I felt very special when an artist we hadn't seen in more than a couple of years recognized me. Maybe he's really good with names but I was wearing a mask, and even though I was also wearing a Powers Squared t-shirt, I was also wearing a jacket, since it was cold outside. The recognition really made my day.

In the era of COVID and the Omicron variant, we decided to spend as little time inside the Con as possible. I won't say we gave it a fair shake, but it was a little less like a comic book convention and more like a swapmeet. Mixed in with the artists were a lot of vendors selling all sorts of things. There were a few booths that didn't seem to match my expectations from a comic book convention but still got my attention. One was about changing how we get fresh food, another was a booth inviting attendees to dance, and another one was giving tattoos, several chairs no waiting. Not that I would ever want a tattoo but even if I did, I don't know that I'd want the passing world to watch.

Didn't attend any panels this time, again blame COVID, and the line to get to the autographs was too long to want to stand in line for. Not sure who there was to get autographs from anyway, but it was in another room from the main floor.

Would we go back? Possibly. I wouldn't say we saw L.A. Comic-Con at its best nor did we try to indulge too much in what it did have to offer. Would we table at this Con? I don't know. My budget is always tight with the book, so while that might help with our following, I can't afford too many money-losing outings. And I'm not ready yet to slap money down when I'm not sure we're completely past COVID.

So, what did I work on the rest of the week? Good question.

I did work more on Skylar but a name change is coming, as that character's name has been changed and her importance to the story diminished. I'm now calling her Lillie because the image that prompted her description was from an Instagram post of a woman with that name. The tontine idea is still alive but I'm having it come from a different source, the father of my protagonist's girlfriend. I don't want to get into too much detail but things are changing and I'm getting through it as best I can. I am back to about 11,000 words so far.

No new reviews this week from me, though I did start one for Lady on a Train (1945), a murder mystery set around Christmas, which I had DVRed last year. I hope to have that done and up for next Christmas, as the films for this year have already been selected. One of those, Batman Returns, which is set around Christmas, was Trophy Unlocked's Saturday Morning Review. Earlier in the week, was Paul's review of the video game Snake Pass.

I'm sorry to report there were no new queries from me this week. The one team I follow in the one sport I follow, the Dallas Cowboys, which is where I'm from, played that night, and I sort of lost focus after that. I will promise to do better next week.

We had an interesting On the Air with Powers Squared. I had talked to one guest about appearing and she invited her partner to join the show. Well, before we went live, the first guest bailed, I guess due to the bad audio. So we ended up interviewing only the danger half of Danger and Mayhem, who were on the show to discuss their new digital platform for comic creators, Comic Rebel. You can catch it here if you want to listen. It will be up later in the week on our YouTube channel.

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

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Week in Writing #380 - Holidayus Interruptus


Hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and, of course, did some writing as well.

That was me over the long holiday weekend, sneaking it in where I could. Now, part of the reason I didn't get as much writing done this holiday wasn't so much about Thanksgiving, though that did take most of the day in and of itself. I spent nearly eight hours watching The Beatles: Get Back on Disney+. It definitely took a big chunk out of three days. If you're curious what I really thought of it, hit the link above and read my review on Trophy Unlocked.

Speaking of that blog, there's been a lot of activity trying to map out the rest of the year and Paul is considering what to review for the blog's 11th anniversary, December 18th. But there will still be the mix of games and movies, with an emphasis on that other holiday, Christmas. We already started the holiday season with Trevor's Saturday Morning Review of 8-Bit Christmas, a new-to-streaming movie. There will be more coming, some traditional and some not, as the month progresses.

So far, this week, besides my review and Trevor's Saturday review, was his Wednesday's (Game Day) review of Smashing Drive on the GameCube. There will be lots more game reviews in the coming few weeks, so check it out.

Such was the holiday that we didn't attempt to do a new On the Air with Powers Squared, but instead replayed an edited version of the session we had a while back with the rest of the creatives playing Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, which was a team-building exercise. I'm sure it makes for great radio if you just playback the audio.

Did have a thought over the break about changing one of the future scripts for Powers Squared to give us a "holiday" issue. I'd written a script in which the boys' parents come for a visit. I had used the old idea of a parents' day at colleges but decided to make it so they're coming for a visit on Christmas. I'm working on that revision presently and hope to have it done this week.

I want instead to concentrate more on the coming Kickstarter, as in February. I just want to be done with my deliverables as soon as I can. Must write to Artithmeric to get guidance on what they want.

No queries this week, again the excuse is Thanksgiving. I will endeavor to send one next week. New letter old start pages; we'll see if that makes a diff.

Did manage to get some work in on Skylar, though the character's name has changed in the meantime. Still holding on to the idea of the tontine but who is involved is changing. I don't like to write too much about what I'm writing but I'm hoping the changes will make it better.

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

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A Week in Writing #379 - Back to Where I Started

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Well, so much for the new query letter for Broken People. The first one I sent was rejected four days later. Well, at least it was quick:

Thank you for sending me your query.

This isn’t something I can take on.
Please don’t think of that as
a negative assessment of your writing
or your book.

Agents are all looking for different things
and what’s not a fit for me can be exactly what
someone else is looking for.

Please don’t think of this as rejection
so much as redirection to an agent who will be a better match.

I hope you’ll query widely.
Warm wishes,

I know the agent said not to think of this as rejection but it still does because it is. Of course, this is a form letter but I'll give them points for trying to be nice about it. On the plus side, at least, I got a response. You have to wonder sometimes if anyone ever receives your emails.

Now, I'm wondering if it's the first five pages. When I sent a new query on Thursday, I did revert back to an old set of pages, this one wanted the first 20, so we'll see how it goes.

On the subject of my "other" writing, I've begun the rewrite on Skylar and things are a-changing. I'm moving away from what I've written so far, though I'm keeping the idea of a tontine, I'm changing who is involved, etc. Kind of looking forward to getting more into it.

Switching to Powers Squared, made some progress on pulling together more original art for the Kickstarter next year. Our colorist, Julia Canon, had drawn an image of one of our characters, Mocha, and we're going to have her draw more like that as part of a tier reward. We have some panels from the issues and character designs that our artist Rachel Wells had done for another project that we'll be using as well.

We had our monthly team meeting this past Friday on our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. I really like getting together with everyone involved in the book. Hit the link if you'd like to listen in.

Had a sort of brain freeze on Saturday with the morning review on Trophy Unlocked; I forgot to post about the review or any of the anniversary posts. I don't know what happened and I didn't realize it until I was prepping for Sunday morning. I'm cutting myself some slack, as I only occasionally miss what is my morning routine.

My review of Beauty and the Boss was the Saturday review I forgot to promote, so I guess I only let myself down. We watched Clifford The Big Red Dog, mostly because it was new and free and would give us a new film to review, not because we thought it would be any good. You can read Paul's review through the link. Wednesday was Game Day and featured Trevor's review of Crazy Taxi, an old PS2 game. The blog is coming up on its 11th anniversary next month. I did manage to write a new review of Seasoned Greetings, a short from 1933 starring Lita Grey Chaplin and Sammy Davis, Jr., but you're going to have to wait to read it.

Well, I think that about covers it. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

A Week in Writing #378 - Making Changes, Making Plans

Hope everyone is staying safe, staying healthy, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

For some reason, this year's daylight savings switchback didn't wipe me out like I was expecting it to do. Hope it's been smooth for you as well.

Well, I updated my query letter and did send one out this past Thursday. No way of knowing if it will make a difference. I hope so, anyway. Hard to know. I've never heard back from any agent saying "good letter." In fact, I can't remember when I last heard back from an agent on a query. It's been mostly radio silence, which I think is the new normal unless they're interested. You know, if I do hear back from anyone, either way, you'll know.

Paul and I had a meeting this week with our on-demand publisher Artithmeric to discuss the long-discussed yet-to-be-scheduled Kickstarter. The goal of the Kickstarter is to fund a French translation of Powers Squared for that market, which apparently is a larger market for comics than in the US. We had to talk them down from starting it after Thanksgiving, based on our own experience. Now, it's scheduled for February. There is still some work to be done, but it's nice to have a goal in mind.

On the subject of Powers Squared, we're working on Issue #20 with our artist Rachel Wells. Things are going pretty well, as Paul and I reviewed pencils for the first four pages this morning.

This past Friday, we hosted another creative, Steve Lafler, on our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. He had to reschedule from a couple of weeks ago when he had an active Kickstarter for his book Movie Star: 1956. It's always fun to meet and chat with other creatives. Lafler has been in the game, so to speak, for a lot longer than we have been. You can listen to the podcast at If you want to see it, you can watch it now on now or later, like Wednesday at 2:30 pm PT on our YouTube channel at

Busy week on Trophy Unlocked, actually it was Prince of Persia week. All Paul from Monday through Saturday with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Game)Prince of Persia: Warrior WithinPrince of Persia: The Two ThronesPrince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3), Second Look - Assassin's Creed , and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Film). If you think Assassin's Creed might seem out of place, in reality, the game started out as another Prince of Persia video game.

On Friday, we finally watched No Time to Die when it started its streaming window. My review went up this morning and you can read it here.

I did start working on my review of How to Watch Football, but it is only 8 minutes long and I'm not able to find much about it or any images. The review was turning into a bio on Robert Benchley, which is interesting but it needs more. I decided to include How to Be a Detective, which I haven't seen yet. I did start work on a review of Christopher Strong, Katharine Hepburn's first starring role in her long career.

One thing that got squeezed out of the week was Skylar. It's not that I'm not thinking about the book, it's just that I'm not loving the story so far. Changes they are a-coming. Stay tuned for just what.

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

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Week in Writing #377 - Ready for the Time Change?

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

I don't know about you but I sort of dread the coming week. Twice a year, the time shifts, today we fell back an hour, which sort of throws me off. I've made no secret that I have trouble sleeping anyway and this shift doesn't help. I'm not hoping for trouble, and I hope I don't but I just want to go on record now if I get nothing done next week. You were forewarned.

I'll start this off by admitting I didn't send out a new query this week. I decided instead to try and rewrite my query letter. What do they say about insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Well, sending the same letter over and over expecting a different result seemed to qualify as that for me. Of all the ones I've sent so far, nary a bite so I thought I'd change it up before sending out more.

We started a new issue of Powers Squared this week, which means a lot of thumbnails, with changes, Paul and I were reviewing over three nights, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Though the time diminished each night, it's still something we had to do. It's a familiar pattern for us and I'm pretty sure common for comic book creators.

While we're on the subject of Powers Squared, we did an On the Air with Powers Squared this week about the depiction of twins in popular culture, since our book is about twins. Trevor joined us and I think it was a good discussion. You can listen here and it will be up on our YouTube channel on Wednesday.

The first Sunday of the month also means a new newsletter, which went out this morning. We're always looking for people to enroll at San Romero, so here comes the plea. It's free! You get a free issue and the more of you who sign up the less I'm going to have to mention it here, so it's a win-win.

My review for Dune went up as the Saturday Morning Review. Wednesday's review, Paul's, might sound like a good one for this blog, The Novelist.

No new review this week from me. We opted to watch the first part of the Transformers: Cyberverse finale on YouTube. I did finish the one I was working on, Arsène Lupin, and I'm thinking about doing one for the short How to Watch Football but I haven't started it yet.

This brings me back to Skylar. I've been working on it all week but I'm not really happy with where it is going. I'm thinking, once again, about revamping it. I had the idea of having a murder right off the bat, spoiler alert, it's crime fiction, and had backed off that idea. Now, I'm thinking it needs a spark so someone might have to die. Writing it hasn't been hard and I think I can write dialogue until the cows come home, but it's not advancing the plot.

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

Sunday, October 31, 2021

A Week in Writing #376 - Getting Back on Track?

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

I had big plans this week to write a sort of day-by-day diary of my writing this week. However, that didn't get past Monday night. Oh, the best-laid plans...

My goal was to show what I was doing every night but that didn't pan out. I got the idea because after writing this blog last Sunday, I also reviewed pages for Powers Squared and wrote a review of Dune for Trophy Unlocked, and also worked on Skylar.

This is sort of typical for me. Sometimes I work on one project but usually, my writing time gets divided up between different projects, or different aspects of the same one. Like on Monday, there was one page to review for Issue #19 of Powers Squared and then I worked on an updated version of a character description that we want a friend of the book to read. After that, back to Skylar. While progress seems to be slow on that, I am working on it most days.

After that, I lost track, so let's go back to basics.

I'm currently working on a review of Arsène Lupin (1932) for Trophy Unlocked. I'm about halfway through, so I'm hoping to wrap it up today or tomorrow. We watched it as part of our drain the DVR Saturdays. I recorded it recently when I saw that TCM was going to show it. The story that the film is based on has been made many times and was the inspiration for the Lupin III manga and anime, which was part of the attraction in the first place.

While we're on the subject of Trophy Unlocked we were celebrating Halloween in our own way this week, starting with Paul's review of Call of Cthulhu, a horror video game. Our Saturday review was Trevor's review of the animated movie Monster House, and we added a special review today with Paul's review of Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 and 2, which we watched over two nights. I understand my review of Dune will appear next Saturday.

We had a bit of a hiccup this week with On The Air with Powers Squared. Our guest had to cancel at the last minute, actually, the night before. We had to audible and switch up topics. We had talked about doing a Halloween twitch and talk about horror films. Now that we had to come up with a show, we decided to move it up to Friday. When we got to talking about horror films, we decided we like more psychological horror and decided on aspects of Frankenstein that we liked, so that became our topic. That's how the sausage gets made sometimes. You can listen to our discussion, which included Trevor, on our website at

I did send out a new query on Thursday night (virtual pat on the back). I have one that has been out there almost to expiration but until it does, I'm still counting it, so I have three out. My goal is to send another on Thursday and I trust you'll hold me to it.

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

Sunday, October 24, 2021

A Week in Writing #375 - One Last Distraction

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

I believe I mentioned this in last week's post, but this week was sort of bifurcated by one more event, which sort of threw things into slight disarray. And I know when I say what it was it's not going to seem like much of anything or at least nothing bad. On Thursday, we went to Disneyland.

What that means to my week in writing is that I didn't send out any new queries, nor did I check on any in the pipeline. As I wrote previously, Thursday night is my night for queries. I know, I'm being bad about this, and I know it's something I need to work on next week for sure.

If you're wondering, Disneyland was exhausting. Fun but exhausting. Between the tram not running and walking to the Rise of the Resistance attraction several times to check on it, which broke down during the day, we ended up walking about 12 miles. I don't know about you but that's about 6 more than I usually do in a day on average. We took Friday off to recuperate, so there's another day gone, so to speak.

No new reviews for me this week, as we watched Part 1 of Batman: The Long Halloween on Friday night and Part 2 on Saturday, rather than our usual drain the DVR. Paul ended up writing the review for the 3-hours+ Batman animated film.

I did finish my two reviews this week, Hocus Pocus and Racket Busters, no TBA for either, though I would imagine Hocus Pocus is a good year off from being published.

On the topic of reviews, mine for The Return of Doctor X appeared as the Saturday Morning Review on Trophy Unlocked. On Wednesday, Paul's review of The Evil Within 2, sort of mixed GameDay with our October Halloween theme.

Next week, besides sending a much-needed query, I'm going to write a review for the new Dune, which we watched on Sunday afternoon/evening.

More pages to review from both our artist, Rachel Wells, and our colorist, Julia Canon. Last week, we had Julia on last week's On the Air with Powers Squared as we reviewed her last batch of pages. She made the updates over the weekend and placed them in our Dropbox. We also got inks for the last four pages and the cover for Issue #19 Kamaitachi also over the weekend.

We had the entire creative team on the show this past week for our monthly staff meeting. You can listen to it here if you're interested. Short show, only about 15 minutes.

Next week, we're having a guest, Steve Lafler, an illustrator and cartoonist. We had put out the word on various Facebook pages that we were looking for guests and he reached out to us. Going to be interesting, since we've never met. He also has a Kickstarter that we'll discuss as well. Always fun to meet new people.

While we're still talking Powers Squared, our on-demand printer Artithmeric featured us on their social media on Friday with Meet the Creator. We can always use some extra publicity. I'll have more about that in our newsletter.

I did work pretty consistently this week on Skylar, so I am making good progress there. I need to keep up that momentum.

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

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Week in Writing #374 - Almost Ready for Copyright

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Thursday plays big this past week.

I was off from work that day, it was my wife's birthday but I was hoping to squeeze in registering Issues #13 and #14, The Imposter Parts 1 and 2. I hadn't actually made a .pdf out of the pages yet, which we would use to copyright them, and as it turns out, we hadn't done a final review of the issues. Found a couple of change that needed to be made. Mostly it was moving a speech balloon, but there was one that went back to the actual artwork in one panel on one page.

Long story short, the inks were changed this morning and now it's back to the colorist, who is aware of the issue. Speaking of Julia Canon, we had her as a guest on Friday night on our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared, to discuss her work on Issue #19, Kamaitachi. Paul and I went over the eight pages she had handed in earlier in the week and gave her live feedback. It's the first time we've done something like that and it went pretty well.

Feel like I got in some good work this week on Skylar, though I'm still thinking about changing the name. One of the things I enjoy is sometimes going back and planting something for use later and I had that opportunity this week. Something minor, like a photograph, but I think it adds a little detail to the story and that rings true as well.

No queries this week, again blame it on Thursday. For some reason, I have it in my head that Thursday night is query night and there were priorities on Thursday. A little preview, next Thursday doesn't look good either but for other reasons, which I'll get into next week.

I don't know about you, but there are times during work when I look forward to working on something. You can sort of taste it all day and when I finally get the opportunity to work on it, that's all I want to do. For me that week was the pitch packet for Powers Squared, which I did finish a draft of. (BTW, I never look forward to doing queries, too much like homework.) I know there will be changes but it felt good to bring it finally. I had been hoping we would have had this together months ago, but things kept getting in the way. It's all about balancing priorities.

I'm working on two reviews at present. Don't hold your breath for when they'll come out. One is Hocus Pocus, a Disney film from 1993. We sort of have this Halloween covered for reviews but it's good to be ready for next year. The other is Racket Busters (1937) from drain the DVR Saturdays. It's more of a programmer with Humphrey Bogart. I'm about three-quarters finished with both, but I couldn't get it done.

Speaking of Halloween, Trophy Unlocked blended that with GameDay Wednesday with Paul's review of The Evil Within. For the Saturday Morning Review, we took an anniversary over Halloween with Trevor's second look review of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure + Adventure Packs.

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

Sunday, October 10, 2021

A Week in Writing #373 - Virtual Pat on the Back

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

I'm giving myself a virtual pat on the back this week. When there wasn't a movie to review this weekend, more on that later, I used the time to do what I should be doing, and that's query Broken People. I know, about time you say, but I knew this was an opportunity and didn't waste it. I wonder how many queries arrive in agents' mailboxes at odd hours of the day and week. I know I've been rejected at odd times during the day, so I imagine the same is true in reverse. Are there more out there like me?

I know there are rarely any comments on this blog and that's not by my choice. This would be an opportunity to start a conversation about when you query. And do you have a favorite means? It's down to between email and forms. I prefer emails. What about you? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

If you're keeping track, I've got three active ones, but the clock is running out on another one, so there are really only three active ones with another about to DNR officially any day now.

This past Saturday, we did our usual clean the DVR, but we watched a documentary about Buster Keaton, The Great Buster: A Celebration. I didn't feel that a review was necessary since it should really be the movies and shorts themselves that get reviewed rather than a documentary about them.

Busy week on the blog for me, as I had four reviews up this week, as Trophy Unlocked celebrated James Bond week leading up to the release of No Time to Die. Monday was Casino Royale (1954), followed by Goldfinger on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we reverted back to Game Day with Paul's review of Death Stranding Director's Cut. We got back on the Bond bandwagon on Thursday with Tomorrow Never Dies and the week ended with Casino Royale (2006) I know the idea would be to do a review of the new movie as a follow up to the week, but that would require going into a theater and that's a bridge too far right now for us. Our Saturday Morning Review got us back to the Halloween theme with my review of The Mystery of the Wax Museum.

Not much happened this week on Powers Squared, which of late has been dominating my weeks. I did do some work on our Pitch Packet, working with Paul on a three- to five-page version. Once that's settled, we'll work on a full version. Trying to be prepared for what they would be looking for. Sort of like having to have a short version of your book's synopsis as well as a full-length one.

We did review some inks for Issue #19, but that was about all we did. Once we get the tiffs for those, we can turn our attention to Issue #20.

Did some good work this week on Skylar. Now I've caught up with most of the edits and am starting again on new pages. I've been enjoying having the time to work on it.

Well, that's about all for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A Week in Writing #372 - Provocative Title Here

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Took a couple of vacation days this week. My sons were having their birthday on Tuesday. As it turns out, I had one of those really good days of writing on Tuesday. To begin with, I finished my review of The Case of the Lucky Legs, wrote over 1500 words on Skylar, wrote up a 577-word feature for the Hound Dogs' Howl newsletter, and made some minor updates to Mission Istanistan, the next script for Powers Squared. These kinds of days don't happen all the time, so I really appreciate them when they do.

It felt good to get back to work on Skylar, so I kept working on it all week, I don't have a word count but I think I made some good progress, a combination of rewrites and new passages. I'm toying with the idea of changing the name of the book at some point, and I might even change the character's name, too. I'll keep you posted.

The work I did on the newsletter was good to get out of the way. Even though the newsletter is only once a month and fairly standardized, it's still a couple of hours of work, not including the feature on twins that we would do. If you want to see what we put into it, you can read it here. If you do, and like what you see or just want to be encouraging to a struggling writer, you could always sign up here.

So, the high I was feeling from Tuesday came crashing down to Earth on Wednesday, which was query rejection day as it turned out. Received a negative response from one of the agencies I had queried back in the middle of August. "Thank you for sharing your work with us, and for your patience as we reviewed. While we enjoyed the idea behind Broken People, it doesn't seem like quite the right fit for our list, so we've decided to step aside."

Not sure what to make of that. Most likely a form letter. I  really doubt any agency sends out a "you suck" email, so I'm guessing this is a form and they drop the name of the submission into it. Sounds encouraging but non-committal, the best of both worlds, from a rejection email for the agency to send, not to receive. Always disappointing no matter how much they sugarcoat it, a rejection is a rejection.

While I was updating my query list, I decided to call another one, sent the week earlier than this agent. It's been more than the 6 weeks they claim to need so another DNR for me. So that makes three "active" queries and only time will tell if I hear back from them.

I usually try to query on Thursday, but this time it got pushed. I believe I was working on Skylar and maybe on some other project but not a query insight.

No new review this week. We ended up watching a couple of documentaries on early animation on TCM then something I feel like I could review. It's not that I haven't reviewed documentaries before but somehow the review would have been more about the animation shorts and I didn't want to get into reviewing all of them.

That doesn't mean that I won't be represented on Trophy Unlocked this week. This is going to be James Bond Week on the blog. The idea was to do some reviews leading up to the new film. Even though we're not going to be going to the cinema to see it this week, it will still be a tribute to the character. Even though we went to a restaurant recently for the first time since before the pandemic, I don't think we're ready to be theater-goers just yet.

We did kick off our month-long salute to Halloween with Trevor's review of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This past GameDay Wednesday was Paul's review of Antichamber.

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

Sunday, September 26, 2021

A Week in Writing #371 - The Week That Wasn't

Hope everyone is well, staying safe, and, of course, writing.

Every Sunday when I sit down to write this post, I like to look back on what I did during the week. Just so you know, I'm doing this as much for myself as I am for you, dear reader. I like to think this is a way for me to stay true to my goal of writing and trying to make a living out of it.

Well, this is one of those weeks when I look back in horror and the evidence of my writing is hard to find. I know I sat down at this little laptop every night, but what I have to show for it seems less than normal.

Now, let me start with the excuses. Saturday was my birthday, and I know what you're thinking, great, a day to do what you want and, of course, writing would be right there at the top of those things. Well, it didn't quite work out that way this year. Instead, I scheduled someone from AT&T to come and upgrade our wifi to fiber optics and our speed along with it. It wasn't like I was going to go anywhere and it seemed like the best time to do it. But even though he was here for about two and a half hours, it sort of took the guts out of the day. We had to move things to give him access and then there's the fun of putting it back.

After we got around to the celebratory dinner, Chinese food, and watching The Maltese Falcon, I wasn't good for much, though I did manage to work on the review I've been working on since last weekend, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, though I'm still not done with it yet; I mean it was one of those weeks.

The only thing I can remember really working on was Powers Squared and even then, it wasn't much. Oh, there was the usual looking at thumbnails and giving comments, but that really only shot a hole in one evening. The rest of the time, I was working on a one-sheet for our Pitch Deck. It was harder than I would have thought to try to get it down to one page. In fact, it took four nights but I sort of think I managed. Still waiting for feedback, so I'm sure I'm not done, and then it's on to a shortened pitch, like 3 to 5 pages, before a full-length one.

While we're on the subject of Powers Squared, Issue #12 "What's in a Name? Part 3" finally drops on Wednesday on ComiXology. I'm still glad we went ahead and released it, no reason to wait for them, but if you've been waiting for that release of the issue, check out the link on our website:

As it turns out, even though I didn't finish a new review, an older one of mine was Trophy Unlocked's Saturday Morning Review: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2. Coincidentally, Part One came out on that day, my birthday, back in 2012. Wednesday's GameDay review was Paul's review of Deltarune Chapter 2.

So, there's nothing new to report on Skylar this week and no new queries, but that should hopefully change next week. I'm going to make more of an effort to get more done.

Anyway, that's about all for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

A Week in Writing #370 - New Issue Release and First Signing in 2 years

Hope everyone is staying safe and, of course, writing.

This was a big week, and a busy one, for Powers Squared. It's one thing to watch presentations on building a brand and quite another to actually build one. Nothing shows you how far you have to go when you release a new issue and do a signing.

Despite our best efforts, which included a notice on the store's Facebook page, a story on a comic news website, a good review of the last issue, and my own social media mentions, including a Facebook ad,  the turnout was somewhat light at Golden Apple yesterday afternoon.

I would call it a disappointment because I think we had a good time but you'd always like to make sales and sign up new people to your mailing list. We did do some of the former but sadly, at least so far, none of the latter. There were people who seemed interested but the only person who signed the mailing list was someone who was already on it.

That person happened to be a former teacher that Paul and Trevor had in middle school. She had an appointment in Hollywood that day and dropped by the say hello and to purchase not only the graphic novel but also issues 6 and 7. She was our biggest customer. That does show that the connections you make can last a lifetime. We were very surprised that she showed up and we do appreciate her support.

We were also very happy to have our current colorist, Julia Canon, join us for this signing. She normally works on Saturdays but arranged to be off. It was my first time to actually meet her mask-to-mask. I really appreciate her support on social media.

Her work, however, wasn't really on display. We had just released Issue #12 and she didn't start until Issue #13. She had completed some work on a new back cover for an upcoming Kickstarter, which she finished on Thursday night. I decided to print some up on better paper at home so she'd have something of her own to sign. We didn't charge for those, but it was something extra we could provide. She also did a really cute drawing of Mocha, one of the comic book's main characters. You can see this image and photographs from the signing on our events page.

It's safe to say that the new issue dropping, prepping for the signing, as well as our Friday night OAPS, which featured Tina Cesa Ward from Delegates, left little time for much else in the way of writing. No new queries, which shouldn't come as a surprise.

Surprisingly, though, I did work on Skylar pretty much every night during the week, but I didn't finish the review I was working on.

Thankfully, Trophy Unlocked is not dependent on me for reviews. Saturday Morning's review was in the spirit of Batman Day, as well as the blog's month-long salute to the Caped Crusader, Paul's Second Look - Batman: Arkham Asylum. On Wednesday, it was another game review, Trevor's The Pathless. Trevor's review of Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog, the film we watched on Friday night, appeared on the blog this morning.

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

Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Week in Writing #369 - Report From the Front - Lightbox Expo 2021

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Before I get too far, I do want to remind you, dear reader, that I do have a book coming out. Powers Squared Issue 12, What's in a Name? Part 3, drops on Wednesday, September 15th. If you want to buy a copy, and, of course, I hope you do, check out our website for links on Wednesday, September 15th.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, on with the rest of the blog.

From time to time, when I attend a convention or in this case, Expo, I like to let you know what I learned. This Friday, I attended the 2021 Lightbox Expo, a virtual event this year. While my sons have been attending Lightbox since its inception in 2019, this year I attended. My goal was to learn more about pitching, which is something I've talked about from time to time in this blog.

There were three different sessions on Friday dealing with pitching: HOW TO PITCH NELVANA with Athena Georgaklis – Head of Development and Marc Hartlen – Development Coordinator; DEVELOPING WITH DISNEY TVA with creative directors Emily Carson (Manager of Development – Disney Channel and Disney +; and Kitty Walsh (Director of Development) – Disney Kids; and METHODS FOR PITCHING WITH BENTO BOX ENTERTAINMENT with Ben Jones – Creative Director, Brooke Keesling – Head Animation Talent, and Chloe Shipco -Development Coordinator.

It was interesting how similar the Nelvana and the Disney Television Animation presentations were in that they seemed to cover many of the same points. Bento Box was a little less organized, scattered and their advice on pitch packets differed greatly from the other two's.

Some of the advice repeats but this is what I came away from the presentations:

While all would prefer for you to have representation before approaching them, only Bento Box won't talk to you without having representation.

The initial pitch packet does not have to be your Production Bible, but rather something short, 3 to 5 pages per Disney and while Nelvana didn't specify a length, they did say short. Only Bento Box, which showed one that Jones had himself done, seemed to be 10 to 15 pages long.

While Bento didn't discuss the length of the meeting, the other two made it clear that you would have 10 to 15 minutes to pitch your idea. Apparently, the usual pitch meeting is about half an hour. The first five minutes are introductory, followed by the pitch, then five minutes for questions, and then five minutes of goodbyes.

Both made it clear that you should rehearse your pitch before you give it. Nelvana acknowledged that you still might be nervous, but they want you to succeed.

Nelvana's advice:

1)  Decide who to bring to the pitch. People in the pitch are there for a reason.

2) Don’t pitch too many ideas at once. No more than two.

3) Pitch should be 10-15 minutes, you may get 30 minutes total.

4) Send creative materials as soon as possible but realize they might not get to it right away. Okay to nudge in a couple of weeks to a month.

5) Take feedback if they give it. But don’t be surprised if there is no feedback. They are very busy.

Disney's advice was more along the lines of their own story pillars. (My apologies if you're wanting to pitch a pre-school show to them, since I wasn't, I didn't really take notes when Kitty Walsh went over what Disney Kids was looking for.)

1) Know your audience: Children are less shielded than in years past. They want to have access to opportunity and empowerment.

2) Certain stories always resonate: Stories about Families, Fish out of water, With great powers come great responsibilities, etc.

3) Disney +'s audience: Kids + Parents, parents without children, looking for appointment viewing.

4) Comedy with Heart: If it’s not funny it’s not going to work; sophisticated comedy, not mean-spirited.

5) Kids like to see themselves in the stories. Diversity was played up but not just race and gender; can be other aspects including neurodiversity, relatable and inspiring characters and worlds.

6) Fantastical Wish Fulfillment: Not just Disney magic, they want stories that matter.

Disney seemed to emphasize know what your story is really about.

What Disney is looking for:

What is your creative vision: What is your show really about: themes, etc.

Visual Development

Characters and Relationships

Original Stories – Not Disney stories

The Pitch Bible should be 3-5 pages in length and include:


Episode premises: a variety of shows that show emotional range

Character Descriptions: Main Characters and relationships


Since the pitch will be a ZOOM call, they recommend a tech rehearsal and to have a backup plan.

Introduce Yourself

Have a visual aid

Do your homework: Will your show fit? Does it already exist on another channel?

Lead with your personal story: Why are you the one telling the story?


Don't come in with consumer product plans - that will come later.

Leave Behinds – Go Digital

Be Patient – Okay to F/U but they have 70 shows in development at any one time. Keep at it. They are only interested in about 1 out of 100 pitches.

How does one go about pitching? Do Not Send Unsolicited pitches.

Reach out through Representation or set up a general meeting. This is advice all three presentations agreed on, again Bento Box was the only one who won't talk to you without representation.

Disney expects you to drive your pitch through the process of Greenlighting a pilot, which can take 2 to 5 years. And there is no guarantee even if you get to pilot it will become a show. Yes, it sounds like an impossible hill to climb.

They also recommended if the answer is "no" to take it graciously and not "fight" it. There will be other pitches. It's about making connections if nothing else.

Bento Box seemed to have a long view in mind, as in you're just out of school and trying to build a career that will someday lead to your having the opportunity to make a pitch. Not great advice if you're many years out of school and are not willing to wait for 7 to 8 years to make a pitch you have now.

I also attended a presentation that was titled HOW TO GROW AN ONLINE FOLLOWING, hosted by artist Phil Saunders. The actual presentation was really more about how to use your online presence to drive people back to your website and to subscribe to your newsletter. He used a lot of Venn Diagrams to illustrate the desired Flow of Content, which is something I can not recreate here.

He said that creatives have three goals: the need to create, the need for validation, and the need to make money and in his Venn diagrams there are places where the circles overlap.

Saunders is someone with a large social following but even he knows that doesn't mean much when it comes to selling his work. As an example, you might have a 500,000 following. Out of that group, maybe 30,000 would see a particular post but only a few hundred might click on the profile and even fewer will go to the website. A rule of thumb he used was that if 10 people like something, only one will buy it.

He also made the point the goal is to get subscribers to your newsletter. These are people that are more invested in your work. Social media platforms will come and go but people's email addresses rarely change and the fact they've given you an in means they're more interested in your work than someone on say Instagram.

Paul, Trevor, and I did an On the Air with Powers Squared about our experience at the online con, which includes their experience with other presentations, so it might be worth a listen. You can catch it here.

Part of the weekend was spent getting ready for our signing at Golden Apple Comics on the 18th. We have all the issues we need, we think but it's also the peripherals like signage and handouts and on and on. Got a bit of good news: our colorist, Julia Canon, will be going with us. I want her to feel a part of the group even though we're not selling any issues she's worked on just yet.

There are also pages to look at during the week from our artist, Rachel Wells with a few changes along the way. Issue 19, Kamaitachi, is really going to look different than our other issues.

I started a new review this weekend for The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), a silent animated film from Germany, but I didn't get that far as of this writing. While we're talking Trophy Unlocked, this week's Saturday morning review continued our month-long salute to the caped crusader with Paul's review of Batman: Gotham Knight. Game Day Wednesday featured Paul's review of No More Heroes III.

No new queries this week. I have my desired amount out, five, and besides, I had to watch my team, the Dallas Cowboys, lose their opener so time was tighter than normal; you've got to have your priorities.

Did a little work on Skylar, and by a little, I mean a little. Some things get the short shrift and my novel seems to be what gets it. But I did work on it and that's the important thing. It may only be a few minutes a day but I do try to get to it whenever I can.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you again next week. But hope to see you Saturday.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

A Week in Writing #368 - Happy Seven Years

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Happy 7th Anniversary. Traditionally that would be copper or wool; now it would be Desk Sets, or a Pen and Pencil Sets. The latter doesn't seem all that modern anymore, does it?

I've been writing this blog since September 1, 2014, which seems like ages ago. Everything seems longer ago in the COVID age we live in. It's hard sometimes to imagine life before lockdowns, masks, social distancing, and vaccines. Life without masks seems like a million years ago.

I'll be honest, I'm not always up for writing this every Sunday but that's part of having a routine. You may not always feel like doing it but it's the thing you do. And like it or not, this is something I do. I started this to keep myself honest about writing. If I'm going to blog about what I've done, I've got to do something. Believe it or not, sometimes that is the motivation to write during the week. I feel bad if I write I'm going to do something and I don't do it. You may not care or not, but I feel like I'm making a promise to you and if I don't do it, I'm breaking it.

Case in point, this past Thursday, I made a point of sending out my fifth query, partly because I need to and partly because I wrote that I would. I know I don't keep every promise I make but I do try to be honest here so I'm being honest with myself. Hopefully, that makes sense.

I've tried over the past seven years to share what I learn with you as well. I'm not talking about the ups and downs of my writing life as much as when I attend a conference about writing, I try to share. I figure that's the least I can do. If you're willing to read my missives then I should try to provide information that might be useful.

On that subject, I'm going to virtually attend LightBox starting on Friday. I'm looking for information on pitching and growing audiences, so I'll be sure to pass on that to you next week. Obviously, I don't know the secret sauce of either.

With the BD coming up and the usual work on an issue, Powers Squared has been keeping me pretty busy. A lot of that has been reviewing the work of others, this week our colorist, but I think it's paying off. We're doing the BD (which stands for a French word for what we might call a trade paperback or trade hardback) for one of our on-demand publishers, Artithmeric. They're going to do a Kickstarter to raise money to try and have our book translated so it can be sold in Europe.

Paul and I worked on rewriting some of the dialogue in an effort to improve it. Trevor has finished re-lettering all but a handful of pages as a result. It's really the artwork we can't change but we have worked on a new cover and back cover for the book. So far so good.

We also have a new issue dropping on September 15th and then we're doing a signing on the 18th, which I know I've mentioned before but here it goes again. My sons and I, and hopefully our current colorist, Julia Canon, will be at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles on Saturday the 18th from 1 to 3. We'll have all the issues plus some extras so I'm hoping if you're in the area you will drop by and say hi. If you tell me you read about it here, I'll try to do something special for you.

On other writing, I did some work on the Skylar manuscript several days this week but I'm still going back through what I've written so far. I am making changes and there are more to come, but I think I've sort of mapped it out in my head, just not on paper yet.

As far as reviews go, I did complete the review for Mystery of the Wax Museum, which I believe will see the light of day in October during our usual horror month. I also wrote a new review of Picture Snatcher (1933), which may not get published for a while but at least it's done. Trevor's review of Batman Forver (1995) was this past Saturday's Morning Review and his review of Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut for the PS5 went up on Wednesday morning.

I would be remiss not to thank my son Paul, who has been a willing editor on this blog since its inception. This wouldn't be near as good without his help.

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

Sunday, August 29, 2021

A Week in Writing #367 - Powers Squared Takes Over

Hope everyone is staying well, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

I know Powers Squared plays a major role every week in my creative space but this week it seems to have, at least temporarily, taken over. Part of that is due to getting ready for our signing on September 18th, the release of Issue 12 on the 15th, getting the Remastered version of Issues 1-5 ready for the Kickstarter in the Fall, and working on our Pitch Packet.

To start the week off, ComiXology rejected our submission, not for content but because there was some pixelation on page 3 of the book as well as other issues with Compression. They also complained that we had set it up under the wrong Series number. To tackle the last one first, for some reason there are two numbers for Powers Squared when we submit, even though they've told us they've removed the unnecessary one. We picked the first one listed but apparently, that's the wrong one. When we resubmitted, there was no way to correct that, so we're hoping our note in the "Tell Us About Your Book" section will explain and they'll tell us the right one to use so we don't have to guess in the future.

As far as the pixelation and compression issues, we went back to Trevor and his original files. He has a new version of Adobe and we're hoping that will do the trick. The other platforms, both print, and digital, did not have any issues.

In the past, we've let Comixology set the release date but we decided to go with the 15th even if they're not ready yet.

I wrote and Paul edited a press release about the signing and the release of the new issue. The first news site I submitted to on Sunday, published it on Sunday. If you regularly read the First Comics News site, you may have already seen it, if not here's a link. As always, if you're in the LA area and want to show some love, the signing is at Golden Apple Comics on September 18 from 1-3. We hope you'll be there.

There were also new pages to review for Issue 19. We even had our artist on our podcast On the Air with Powers Squared on Friday to discuss putting together the issue. She had sent pages earlier in the day and we used the show to talk about one more change we wanted her to make. We also discussed the back cover she's drawn for the BD for the Kickstarter. That's really coming along.

On that topic, Paul and I both individually reviewed the 100 pages Trevor had re-lettered. We have a few changes we need to have made but nothing too significant and nothing that is really his fault. It is interesting to see the first 2 story arcs at one time and see what still needs to be updated. We've been looking at that in conjunction with talking about the pitch packet, which Paul has also edited this week. Oh, the changes we would have made if we only knew what we were doing. Frankly, from a creative point of view, I'm getting tired of the first five issues and want to move on to better issues in the future.

There's more that I could discuss about Powers Squared but hopefully, that gave you a taste of what we've been through.

Let's move on to Trophy Unlocked. I've been tasked with writing two reviews, one for the animated film Batman vs. Two-Face (2017), which I've completed but not posted, and the other is Mystery of the Wax Museum (1932), which we watched on Saturday which I'm only partially finished with. The Batman review is for a planned salute to the Caped Crusader in September and Wax Museum is for October and our salute to horror.

Otherwise, the blog just completed No More Heroes week, with four reviews. On Monday, it was No More Heroes (Wii), on Tuesday it was No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, on Thursday No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Switch), and on Friday Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (+ DLC) (Switch). All were written by Paul, as was Saturday morning's review of Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train.

Despite everything, I did send off a new query on Thursday for Broken People; another email one, the type I prefer. While it is essentially the same query, there are some subtle changes. This time, I did some rewrites on the brief synopsis agents seem to want. So, that brings me up to four.

I also did some more work on Skylar this week, though, honestly, it is never enough time.

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

Sunday, August 22, 2021

A Week in Writing #366 - Finally Scheduled a Signing

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated, and, of course, writing.

Well, persistence pays off, at least sometimes. After several months of writing with no response, we finally had a breakthrough with Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles and were able to reschedule our March 13, 2020 signing that was canceled due to COVID. My sons and I, and I hope our current colorist, will be there on September 18th from 1 to 3, Delta permitting. It seems like a long way off and the world can go to shit many times before that date, but here's hoping. I've been buying copies of older issues, the current collection of the first five, and even bought some business cards for San Romero Community College. I hope if you're reading this and want to be supportive, you'll make the effort to come by and say hello.

Oh, by the way, this won't be the only time that you hear about the signing, so don't worry about that.

In other Powers Squared news, we looked at thumbnails for the next eight pages of Issue #19 and reviewed colored pages from Issue #18. Meanwhile, we're still working on the BD for the Artithmeric Kickstarter coming in, I believe October. Trevor has finished his updates to the lettering for the first five issues. We've settled on both a front and back cover to the book. I'm hoping that we get everything we need to provide as soon as we can. I don't want to be scrambling at the last moment.

Sort of out of the blue, I had a friend contact me to help him with a graphic novel. I wasn't really sure what to say. I sort of had plans for the weekend, so I didn't want to commit to calling him. He sent me seven pages from a movie script and to be honest, I'm not 100% sure what the film is about. I want to be helpful, but I don't feel like I have a whole lot of time to commit to it. But we'll see.

I managed to send a new query this week. Another email and one with a time limit to hear back from with the proviso if they're interested. I will, of course, let you know if I do hear back and even if I don't, that's the point of this blog.

I did some writing but more thinking on Skylar this week. It's coming together in bits and pieces and I'm hoping to work more on it tonight, as a matter of fact. I did work on it this week, but it's been several days since I've actually written on it.

On to Trophy Unlocked, where for the second week in a row I had the Saturday Morning Review. This week, it was Rain (1932). That was followed on Sunday with Trevor's review of PAW Patrol: The Movie, so you can see we cover everything from pre-code films about prostitution to animated films about cute puppies saving lives. Wednesday was Paul's review of the videogame Return of the Obra Dinn to round out the week on the blog. I did write a new review of Breakfast For Two (1937), but no idea when it will go up, so stayed tuned.

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