Sunday, August 28, 2022

A Week in Writing #419 - Burn it to the Ground


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

If you've been reading this blog, I mention from time to time about working on a pitch for turning Powers Squared into an animated series. And yes, we're still working on it. Had a sort of gut check on Friday with someone who is helping us. The verdict wasn't good.

We actually found out earlier in the week some of their opinions and as a result, some rather sleepless nights. They had seen something we had not in the story and gone down a rabbit hole that I believe shocked both Paul and me. We finally talked in a couple of Zoom sessions on Friday afternoon. To say the least, it was actually a good session. We're going to have to burn it down and start over. Some changes are going to have to be made and the stories, while similar, will be somewhat different between the comic book and the proposed TV series.

But that's a good thing. We didn't know what we were doing when we started Powers Squared and the person helping us knows what they're doing. Don't look for it anytime soon. With what's going on with Hollywood and streaming services, places to shop it may be thinning, but I'm of the opinion we need to have a good pitch and then worry about where we can sell it.

So, it's back to the drawing board on that.

On the subject of Powers Squared, and I know that topic comes up a lot, we had our monthly team meeting with our artist, colorist, and letterer. I usually enjoy getting everyone together and hearing what's going on with them. You can listen to it now if you want or wait until Wednesday to watch it.

Speaking of On the Air with Powers Squared, which we were, we're coming up on our third anniversary. We did our first show on August 30, 2019, back in the pre-times. I don't know what we're doing for next week but that's how it is more often than not.

Changing the subject, work continues on fka Skylar. Sometimes I don't get to it until late in my writing session but I do try to get to it every time. I believe I promised you a word count, which now is at 43,268 with more to come. I do feel like I'm finally on a flight path with the story.

For Broken People, one new query and no rejections, at least not in a form I would recognize as communication. I did DNR a couple that had reached their expiry. So, now I have 11 queries out there. I think I need to write a short synopsis, 1 to 2 pages, which I think would open up more possibilities for me.

I'm working on a new review for Trophy Unlocked, the recently DVR-ed The Easiest Way (1931). I've got it started but I was too tired last night to work on it very much. Just got to the downloading of photos and some research.

On the subject of Trophy Unlocked, the Saturday Morning Review was Paul's for 101 Dalmatians (1996). Wednesday's Game Day review was Trevor's for Destroy All Humans! (2020).

Another project I'm working on this week is The Hound Dogs' Howl newsletter which comes out next Sunday morning. Even though it's monthly, it's still more than I can do in one morning. I have a feature to write and updates to make after we've done our show on Friday. If you want to receive it, please enroll at SRCC today. It's free and there's no obligation to keep subscribing other than to make me feel better about myself.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Week in Writing #418 - Is it a rejection if they don't say "no"?

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

Well, let's start with the bad news, another rejection, or was it? I finally heard back from a query I sent on June 23, so it's been a little shy of 2 months.

"Thanks for writing to me about this book, but the _______ Agency is not accepting submissions from new authors for the foreseeable future."

So, is that really a rejection? Trust me I check the websites before I send out queries and I don't recall such a declaration on _________ Agency's website. But why did it take nearly 2 months? You'd think such an across-the-board decision would have generated an automatic response when I sent it, sort of like an out-of-office email.

I did send in another query this week; no telling when I'll hear back, or if I will. I have a couple out that are getting close to expiration. I'm reluctant to DNR them since, as we've seen, there is no strict deadline for rejection.

No new reviews this week for me. We didn't do our normal Saturday night and watch a movie. Rather, we did something we don't do very often of late and went out for dinner. Instead of a movie, we watched episodes of Primal when we got home. I don't really watch a lot of new TV shows. Yes, I know it's the new Golden Age, but I really don't have time to invest in too much television.

I do read, however, which is a segue to the latest episode of On the Air with Powers Squaredin which Paul and I discuss our summer reads. I've read sort of a mixture of books, in the last few months, including some graphic novels, one a version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and Blacksad, which I'm reading for the Powers Squared Book Club, which we'll shoot in September. I'm also reading the new Woody Allen collection of essays, Zero Gravity, and David Sedaris's Happy-Go-Lucky. These last two are ones you can read on from time to time as they don't really tell a linear story.

In protest of HBO Max's taking down of so many animated shows, we put up Paul's review of The Emperor's New Groove, which, is, of course, animated. Wednesday's GameDay review was Trevor's review of Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series (PS5). I'm sure one of mine will be back up there someday soon, though I think we're getting close to our Batman salute in September, which will include three of mine.

Work continues on fka Skylar. I'm getting better at mixing the two storylines together, so I'm happy with that. I'll give you a word count next week.

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

Sunday, August 14, 2022

A Week in Writing #417 - With Further Ado

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

Let's start off with Powers Squared, only because we received some press this week. I met Ed Catto at Comic-Con a few weeks ago and talked to him after the How to Get Press Coverage panel. The result was this story in his column, With Further Ado #210: More Actual Comics at SDCC – Powers Squared. If you read it you'll find more about us and see what we look like, so that should be tempting enough.

Other than that, sort of a light week with the comic book. Some updates from our colorist to some pages but no new art this week.

I do see why you do proofs. As I believe I've mentioned, I sent off a pdf to have a paperback version of the "graphic novel". After a long time, the book came back and we were shooting an unboxing video. Turns out one of the pages was very blurry. I was going to write the printer to complain when I looked at the pages I had sent them and, indeed, the tiff for that page was blurry. I still don't know how that happened. It's not like I hit the computer while I was putting together the pdf. So now, I'm retrying it again.

Haven't had much luck lately with attempts at unboxing videos. What we've opened has either had problems or wasn't what we were expecting.

We did have a guest, Brandon Starocci, on our Friday podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. Brandon is one of the co-creators of a new series called Avalon. Follow the link if you're interested in learning more about him and his work. The audio is available on our website and the video goes up on our YouTube channel on Wednesday.

On to the subject that usually gets short shrift, fka Skylar. I think I've mentioned here before that the character name has changed to Lillie but I don't have a title for the book, so it's still fka Skylar for the time being. I've been working on it more frequently of late, even some last night and today. I'm going back in and adding the second storyline into what I've written so far and making other changes as I go.

My main character, J.D. Barrister, is just reopening his office after the pandemic. He finds that he has a new neighbor who needs his help. Her name is Lillie, at least for now. I don't want to get into too much detail about her case but on top of that, his live-in girlfriend Leanne's father is coming for a visit post-pandemic and also wants to hire J.D. to help with a tontine dating back to World War II. Again, I don't want to get into the details but the two stories will cross and I'm hoping I can wrap them both up at about the same time. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

In other writing, I had my review of Sabotage appear on Trophy Unlocked as the Saturday Morning Review. We published a review of a Hitchcock film to coincide with the director's birthday that day. No Wednesday morning review this week. As promised, I did finish the two other reviews I was working on, The Devil and Miss Jones and Tomorrow is Another Day.

No new review this week, as instead of draining the DVR, this Saturday night, again in honor of Hitchcock, we watched the first episode of his TV Series, an episode called Revenge which he also directed. And then we watched a couple of episodes of Primal but that's not here nor there for this blog. I can say, though, that it is a learning experience for writing without dialogue.

One new query this week and no rejections to note. I'm coming up on a couple of dates wherein I should have heard back from the agent but until that date comes, I'm considering them still in review.

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

Sunday, August 7, 2022

A Week in Writing #416 - Eight Years On

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

It didn't really occur to me until I numbered this post that I've been doing this little blog for 8 years now. (52 X 8 = 416). I'm not sure what this proves other than I don't know when to quit. Shout out to Paul Hankins, who has been my editor for the entire eight years and the one person I know who has read every post. No telling how bad this would read without him.

I don't really want to spend this post going over what little progress I've made through the years. This has been my place to share the ups and downs of my writing journey. And, since it has been eight years, I guess I'm still on that journey. I don't know if I'll ever make landfall but I'll be happy to let you know if I ever get there, wherever there happens to be.

Part of that journey is trying to get representation for my writing. As I've been detailing my recent efforts using the book Broken People. If you've been reading this blog, you know how much I love this process and how sarcastic I can be. To that end, I did hear back on a query I had given up on. The query dated from 4/29/2022 and it wasn't until Monday I heard back.

Surprise, not, it was a rejection but one that at least seemed somewhat personalized, coming as a response to my original email, so color me impressed:

Hi David,

Thanks for thinking of me for this. While I did like the premise, I'm afraid that I didn't connect enough with the pages in order to pursue. I do wish you the best of luck in placing this elsewhere.

All the best,


I also realize, based on his reaction, that updating the book was probably a good idea; it is something I have done since. While I don't want to go into all the changes, the book used to start with:

Her hand was soft and surprisingly warm and holding it grounded me. I had spent most of the day playing errand boy for a law firm. My business card reads private detective but when times were hard, and my rent is already overdue, I'll do practically anything for money. Delivering subpoenas and summons wasn't below me.

Now it starts like this:

    The first punch landed and drew blood. If that hadn’t happened, the fight would have almost been comical. Daniel Redmond had to have a foot or more in height and nearly two hundred pounds on his opponent, a short, wiry Guatemalan former flyweight named Pedro Lopez, or as the ring announcer called him, the “Guatemalan Guerilla”. What Redmond didn't have was his wits about him and the flyweight was getting the best of him.

It gets to the action quicker and I hope that it might make an agent more interested in reading more.

Changing topics, work on Powers Squared continues. On Monday, we got pages from our colorist. Paul and I reviewed them and sent back some notes.

Sundays are busy for me when it comes to the comic book. I update the website with a new image every week, or what I'd like to call a peek-of-the-week. It's a glimpse at a future issue; currently, it's Issue #14. I also post Friday's OAPS on YouTube and set it to go up on Wednesday. Then I update Pinterest with both updates and finally set up some social media posts to go out on Tuesday and Wednesday, Tuesday for the peek-of-the-week, and Wednesday for the video.

This Sunday, being the first one of the month, means there is also a newsletter, The Hound Dogs' Howl to get out. A lot of it I do during the week leading up to it but there are still last-minute revisions and links to check before it gets sent.

I'm working on a couple of reviews this week, The Devil and Miss Jones was a movie I happened to catch while otherwise writing, and Tomorrow is Another Day from Saturday's drain the DVR exercise. I hope to finish them this week.

One of my reviews, Bull Durham (1988) went up as Trophy Unlocked's Saturday Morning Review. Wednesday's Game Day review was Trevor's for The Looker.

To round out the week, yes, I did work on fka Skylar, it's just not in a way that has increased the word count but I'm getting there.

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