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.