Sunday, April 24, 2022

A Week in Writing #401 - Funded, Now What?

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

Well, the Kickstarter funded with days to spare; whew! I will admit I don't enjoy the process, as I've detailed in the previous posts during the past month. Often frustrating, we did finally get over the finish. If anyone reading this took the hint and backed us, I want to thank you. As a writer, I want people to want to read what I write. I'm not doing this blog for the heck of it (more on that later). I have goals, just as everyone does, and I consider Powers Squared a brand I helped to create, and as such, I want people to read it.

I'm not quite ready to do a post-mortem on the Kickstarter, I'll actually wait until it has finished before I do that.

Back to the more on that later bit from above. On our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared, we had as our guest Doug Neff, the moderator of San Diego Comic-Con's Comic Creator Connection and the author of Epic Win! The Geek's Guide to the Journey from Fan to Creator. You might not realize it, dear reader, but that book was responsible for this blog. In it, Doug talks about building a team to help you with your creativity. Sadly, I didn't have a team like he described. I feel like I'm self-motivated but I didn't have a coach, someone to make sure I was trying to reach my goals. So, I hit on the idea of making the internet my coach, so I started this blog to keep me accountable.

Paul and I had also been through the Comic Creator Connection several times and even though we never were able to make a lasting connection with an artist there, we still kept up with Doug and his husband, Corey, and try to be sure to see them at every con we both attend.

If you're curious about what we talked about, you can listen to it on the Powers Squared website:, or on PodbeanApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAmazon MusicTune Inand our LinkedIn page. And coming up on Wednesday the 27th, you can watch it on YouTube at but you'll have to wait.

Big week for Trophy Unlocked with three reviews published. Wednesday/Game Day featured Paul's review of the videogame River City Girls. The Saturday Morning Review was Paul's review of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Today (Sunday) the third review went up, Trevor's review of the just-opened The Bad Guys. Not to be outdone, I wrote on for The Batman, which we watched on Friday night but mine will wait for the appropriate time when the blog does a spotlight on Batman. Of course, I'll let you know when it goes up.

After finally getting to the chapter I've been wanting to write for fka Skylar, I've continued working on it more though it never seems to be enough. It's never enough. I'm up to 34,585 words at present with many more to go.

No new queries this week. I think I ran out of steam on Thursday night. It's a window that if I miss it, I'm afraid I miss it. Coach, I'll do better next week.

Well, that seems like a good place to stop. Keep writing and I'll see you again next week.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

A Week in Writing #400 - Almost There

Hope everyone is staying safe, getting boosted if you need it, and, of course, writing. Hope everyone had a happy holiday no matter what you might be celebrating.

I'll get the numbers out of the way since I sense people reading this blog for the most part don't care about them, but we're a hair's breadth away from funding our Kickstarter. I have shaken every tree, sometimes more than once, and there you go, I can't quite raise 1000 pounds on my own. On the other hand, my partners in this, well it's actually their Kickstarter, have brought in sizably less money than I have. I really think they expect me to do most of the heavy lifting and I have as much as I can do in a couple of hours every night and on weekends. I apparently have a limited appeal.

I have learned a couple of things. Most importantly, if you're trying to build up favors by backing other people's Kickstarters, then you can pretty much forget it. I went back to about 13 Kickstarters I had backed in recent memory, some within the past two weeks, and only two reciprocated and backed ours and for far less than I backed theirs.

I've learned that you get as much credit for the lowest amount as you do for a moderate amount. So, unless there is something I really want in print, it's the first tier for me.

I've also found that people will say they'll back you and then "forget" to actually do it. Or they'll tell you they can't because they're short at the moment, which is a bit of a frivolous argument since you can back someone for $1 and still get credit for backing them. It's not that the money comes out of your bank account right away, it has to fund first, and then, if you're paying by credit card, which you have to, then that $1 doesn't come due for another 30 days after that.

I know I sound bitter because I kind of am. This is the part of the Kickstarter process that I hate, the feeling like you're being judged as worthy or not.

This was made clear to me when I went on a show the other night. It was other creators discussing their Kickstarters. I got the sense that I was an intruder at someone else's club and my camera didn't work but I persisted. They showed the Kickstarter, I gave a brief explanation about it, and answered the one question that was asked. One of the other creators said something to the effect of "I can't back that but look at this" and then made a visual joke using a black mask as if it were the beard of another creator on the call. Not a great way to build up your confidence. That said, I netted 12 pounds from the evening, as three of the creators on the call backed us.

On the other side of the equation, we did a similar Kickstarter, at least for a Graphic Novel for the first five issues, about two and a half years ago. We funded at a much higher amount, too. And, even though we rewrote most of the book for this one and paid for new covers, I think that plays into it, too. Even family doesn't want to get pinched twice, I guess.

But we'll fund, I know that. I can still back it and put it over the top, but I've been trying to let others have that honor. And the other creators who ignored me can pretty much write off any future funding from me. It may sound petty but I'm keeping a list.

We are moving forward on Issue #21, the conclusion of the "Mission: Istanistan" story arc, which finds Marty and Eli called in to help the U.S. military with a rogue nation's WMD. Look for it in a couple of years, at the rate we're releasing. We're planning to release three more issues this year, "The Imposter" issues 13 and 14, as well as a one-shot "How They Met" issue #15. No dates have been set just yet.

Onto other writings. I finally got to that chapter I've been talking about for a couple of weeks now in fka Skylar. It didn't come off as good as I had it in my head, they never do, but at least I got it down and can go back later when I finally edit this puppy. And I have no idea where I am with respect to the book's length. Still more to write, but I have been trying to work on it in between messaging within Facebook groups.

No new review from me this week. It may sound weird but you can blame my lawn for that, or more exactly, my new lawn. I know what you're saying, a new lawn in Southern California in the middle of a drought, you cad, how could you? Well, I haven't had one in about ten years or more and I finally decided I wanted to put one down before there is no more water. And I'm putting down a drought grass to boot. So after it gets set, I only have to water it every so often rather than three times a week for 15 minutes as someone at a nursery told us we'd have to do with some grasses.

The reason there was no movie was that the delivery, which was supposed to happen between 8 and 10 in the morning, didn't happen until almost 6 pm at night. By the time all was said and done and they put the sod in that evening, it was too late for a movie with dinner. Instead of a new review, I moved one I had written sometime back for Gulliver's Travels (1939) up on the blog for future consideration.

I was the coveted Saturday Morning Review on Trophy Unlocked this week with Crime School (1938) starring Humphrey Bogart and the Dead End Kids. Trevor's review of Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition was the Wednesday Gameday review.

No new queries this week, as I was being humiliated on the internet, see above.

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

Sunday, April 10, 2022

A Week in Writing #399 - The Kickstarter is over 75 Percent Funded

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

I don't mean to bury the lead, so yes the Kickstarter is 75 percent funded with a little more than two weeks left to go. If you're reading this I ask that you take a look at the Kickstarter, as it means a lot to me and I want this to be funded and beyond. All writers want their work to be read and that doesn't only mean serious writers of literary fiction, that means all writers. I've put a lot of sweat and perseverance into Powers Squared and I would hope others would give it a try. Chances are if you read the book, you just might like it.

Shameless plug over.

Had my first experience in a movie theater in over two years. On Friday, my family and I went to see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (read the review on Trophy Unlocked). It was weird to be back. The last film we'd seen in a theater was the first Sonic The Hedgehog film, so this was a nice bookend, though I'm not convinced, yet, that it will become a normal thing for me. I'm one of those people who still wears a mask in public and I'm not convinced the pandemic is really behind us. The theater was nice and all that but I'm not ready to book my next excursion.

On the subject of Trophy Unlocked, Sonic 2 was the Saturday Morning Review and Paul's review of Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition was the Wednesday Game Day review.

My future contribution is one that I wrote for Murder at the Vanities (1934), a pre-Code murder mystery set on the opening night of Earl Carroll's Vanities. Since we saw Sonic 2 in the afternoon, trying to avoid crowds, we went with something short for our Friday night movie. As always, not sure when it will appear.

Paul and I talked about our experience and about going to WonderCon on our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared on Friday, so the feelings were still fresh. We were back on the air after missing last week's show due to Paul being under the weather.

My main focus over the past week has, no surprise, been the Kickstarter. On the advice of our consultant, I started doing a series of posts on Facebook and Instagram getting more into the story behind Powers Squared with a link to the Kickstarter rather than just an out-and-out plug. Not sure how well those are going over but I'm planning at least a couple of more before the week is out.

No new queries this week, I sort of lost the will to do one. No new rejections either, which really doesn't mean anything.

More work on fka Skylar. I'm finding that I usually work on it at the end of the week, like today, or the beginning of the week, like Monday. I really wish I could work on it more than I do but something's gotta give.

Well, it's a short one this week. Keep writing and I'll see you again next week.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

A Week in Writing #398 - WonderCon 2022/Back the Kickstarter

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

Did something this past weekend that I hadn't done in several months and attended a convention, WonderCon in Anaheim. A little apprehensive about the excursion on a couple of fronts. First, still worried about COVID, but everyone was supposed to be vaccinated and wear masks, though not everyone did the latter. Also, my son Paul was recovering from being under the weather, not COVID, and we weren't sure he was going until the morning of. Even then it took us over two hours to drive down there.

We didn't really stay long or attend any panels, so no news from the front report this time. There were some I wanted to attend but we were late to one and there was a speed-dating type Creators, Assemble! Comics Community Creating Camaraderie that I wasn't really prepared for, plus there was at least one of us who would be left to hang for an hour at the end of the day, so I backed off. I was hoping for more of a networking opportunity and peeking in through the doors it looked more serious than that.

Did make contact with some old friends. It's not a convention unless we run into Gary Teetzel, someone I've probably known for over 20 years. We used to work together at MGM, which he still does though it's now spelled A-M-A-Z-O-N. He is very much a convention goer and it's always great to run into him and catch up.

There were some creators we know, Don Ngyuen, Sean Galloway, Patrick Ballesteros, and Stephen Silver, that we made a point to say hello to. And there was Mr. Comic Creator Connection, Doug Neff, and his husband Corey Rothermel that we try to see at every Con. We're trying to get Doug for our show On the Air with Powers Squared.

Speaking of which, we didn't have one this week, due to Paul being under the weather. We should be a go next week. It's the first time in over two years since we didn't do a show. It was kind of weird to have that time available on a Friday. Didn't really know what to do with myself if you must know.

Our Kickstarter launched on Monday and we're off to an okay start, just shy of 50% of the goal. I had really hoped for a bigger kickoff but I guess we're not big enough for that. Either that or we need images of big-breasted girls on the covers, those books always seem to fund multiple times over. Again, I would appreciate if you're reading this that you support the Kickstarter. It would really mean a lot to me.

I spent a lot of my time posting about the Kickstarter this week but I did find time to query another agent to represent Broken People.

And I did make some good progress on fka Skylar. I'm stlll getting to the chapter I've been thinking about for what seems like months now but I hope to get there this week.

Wrote a review for Trophy Unlocked, Torch Singer (1933), a pre-code Hollywood film starring Claudette Colbert. I had heard about it from the Renee Patrick newsletter. It was a film they liked. Again, not sure when it will appear. Saturday's Morning Review was Trevor's Winnie the Pooh (2011) and GameDay Wednesday's was Paul's review of Aperture Desk Job for PC.

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