Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Week in Writing #423 - But It's My Birthday!

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

Yes, it is my birthday today just so we get that out of the way.

I know that I've complained here a lot about sending off queries and never hearing back. Well, I had the exact opposite of that this week with my rejection coming back within 8 hours. I sent my query for Broken People  at 10:38 pm on Thursday night and at 6:49 am, received the following:

Thank you, but this doesn't sound right for me.

I wish you the best,

I'm both impressed and disappointed but in record time. Not that I'm counting, but 8 hours and 11 minutes has to be some sort of record for rejection. Fortunately, it was only based on my standard query letter and not on the writing itself. My guess is there's a certain amount of churn going on. So, I'll say I am grateful to find out so soon.

If you were listening on Friday night, you no doubt know that we announced release dates for the next two issues of Powers Squared: October 19th for Issue #14, The Imposter Part 2; and December 7th for Issue #15 How They Met. Oh, what, you didn't listen? Well, now you know. Your patronage would be greatly appreciated. If you care to watch, we do an unboxing as well, it will be up on Wednesday at 2:30 pm on our YouTube channel.

Minor progress this week on pretty much everything. For some reason, schedules being what they are, I'm only getting about an hour to an hour and a half of writing time in. And I'm finding that I'm pretty useless by the end of them. I know sleep is important but it really interferes with getting things done. And the fun part is that no matter how tired I am while sitting at my computer, getting to sleep in a bed can take up to an hour.

I don't normally talk about what I'm reading but it's an interesting and entertaining history of Chateau Marmont, The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont by Shawn Levy. I've been aware of, but have never gone inside, the Chateau and, given the nightly rate of over $1300, I don't think I will be anytime soon. My fascination with the place started when I used it as a location in a book I've written, and which is still unpublished, Public and Private. At the time, I was just looking for a floorplan of one of the rooms to use. 

The Chateau came up again on The Offer, which we watched on Paramount+. Supposedly, Al Ruddy's wife was the owner. Even though the book was written in 2019, it dispelled that. Her former husband did own it but it appears he sold it before he married her. She's only a footnote in the book. When I saw the book at Barnes and Noble, finding that out was one of my reasons for wanting to read it.

Finished a review of Men Are Such Fools, a romantic comedy from 1938. The reason I wanted to watch it was for Humphrey Bogart, who is third-billed but really not a factor. I would suggest reading the review when it's published rather than watching the movie.

Batman Month concluded on Trophy Unlocked on Saturday with Trevor's review of The Batman vs. Dracula. The Wednesday Game Day review was Paul's for Hitman GO: Definitive Edition.

Final pages for Powers Squared Issue #22 are being worked on as you read this but that's about all there is to report on that.

And again, minimal progress on fka Skylar see above for my explanation.

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

Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Week in Writing #422 - Working During the Game

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

Another Sunday, and time to recount the past week.

Let's start with querying. I had to DNR another one this week. I sent another one for Broken People, another one that doesn't require a synopsis. I haven't had a chance to get back to the synopsis I'm working on. I've noticed that the agents' requirements are all over the place. Some only want a paragraph in the query letter, some want a page-long synopsis, and others want one that is two to three pages in length. I'm still working on the 2-3 page version.

On to the actual writing on fka Skylar. I've been working on the next chapter this week, on the two days I've had a chance to work on it. I hate the slow work on it. But I think I have the next chapter ready to go, I just need to get to it. That's sort of the process I go through when writing, especially these books. I always know where I want to go it's the getting there that's part of the "fun".

Not a whole lot new to report on Powers Squared. There is always something to do, even if there aren't new pages to review. We did approve some character designs, Marty and Eli's parents, as they appear in the issue we're working on with our artist. Hopefully, the rest of the pages for the issue will follow. However, I'm not counting on that, as our artist is apparently moving at the end of the month.

I did do some work today, while watching the game, on the newsletter as the turnaround will be tight at the end of the month for me. More on that later but I thought it best to do some preliminary work on it now rather than try to squeeze it all in. I try to do a profile on twins, real or fictitious. This month, I decided to write about Tim and Jim Possible from the TV series Kim Possible. We're sort of doing a survey of the series during meals, which means we're not watching every episode. Just became aware there were twin characters in the show, so took the opportunity to feature them. If you're curious about the newsletter, enroll today here.

We had our second Comic Book Club meeting on our OAPS podcast on Friday. This time it was Blacksad, the noir comic series created by Spanish authors Juan Díaz Canales (writer) and Juanjo Guarnido (artist)You can listen to it now on our website or several other platforms the podcast appears on. If you wait until Wednesday, you can watch it on our YouTube Channel. Next time it will be Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe, so read ahead and join us in November when we do it. Comments are always welcomed.

Wrote a new review for Trophy Unlocked this weekend, Pinocchio (1940). I sort of jumped on this one, since we watched both the animated feature and the new live-action one on Disney+. Trevor wrote that review. I'm not sure when these will appear. We might batch it up with a review of Guillermo del Toro's version, which is due out later this year.

My review of The Batman was the Saturday Morning Review on the blog; again part of Batman month on the blog. The Wednesday Game Day review was Trevor's review of Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed, a recent videogame release.

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

Sunday, September 11, 2022

A Week in Writing #421 - Is Football Season a Good Thing?

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

I'm writing this prior to watching a game of football. My team, the Dallas Cowboys, plays tonight and I'm thinking about the topic question prior to a win, lose or draw with the Bucs. I've been a fan of the Cowboys almost all of my life, having grown up in Dallas. Unlike many men my age, I only follow one team in one sport, so I lay everything on the line for one game.

Now, I have tried to write or whatnot while watching a football game and it is next to impossible to do both and pay either the attention they're due. This is especially true if the game is close and gets exciting. I don't begrudge the game for that but still, it makes doing anything, save eating and drinking, mostly moot.

And if the team loses, the time spent seems like a real waste for some reason. I mean three-plus hours and I'm left with a losing effort and I'm sort of miserable over the other things I could have used that time doing. If the team wins, I'm spending time looking for highlights and interviews, which in and of itself is also a time suck. I'm sure this would be true of whatever team I followed. Having grown up in Dallas, the Cowboys have been my team.

So, either way, watching football is a bit of a time suck. If you're one of those men who watch multiple teams in multiple sports, I don't know how you do it, especially if you're trying to do something creative on the side like I am, and I don't want to find out. There's more to life than sports.

This week, I've been sort of divided between projects and not really getting anywhere with any of them. I really think it's the past week and not the projects. Have you ever had one of those weeks when nothing seems to work as well as it should?

I'm supposed to be working on a review of Elvis but I haven't started it yet. We finally watched the film on HBO Max on Saturday night. By the time it was over, it was pretty late and I was pretty tired. I actually fell asleep on the couch, which is something I haven't really done in years. I'm not sure if the flu shots we got on Saturday morning had anything to do with that or not.

On the subject of reviews, my review of Batman: Under the Red Hood was the Saturday Morning Review on Trophy Unlocked. All part of the site's Batman Month celebration. On Wednesday, GameDay, it was Paul's review of Hitman 3: Ambrose Island (DLC).

Friday's On the Air with Powers Squared was about Disappearing Content on streaming services like HBO Max, and how that might impact us somewhere down the line. You can listen now here or watch it later here when it goes up on Wednesday.

I started working this weekend on a synopsis for Broken People, the book I've been querying agents about. Trying to keep it to two to three pages, which will be somewhat hard. But I've only just started that project. One of those things I might have worked on more had there not been a football game. I did send a new query this week. I haven't heard back from any in quite a while. I'm thinking that I might do a synopsis for another book and try to query another book; I have several I should be trying to get representation for.

Speaking of books, I'm moving forward, slowly, on fka Skylar. I'm finally past where I had been editing and am in the process of transferring from one storyline to another.

And let's not forget Powers Squared. Our artist is getting close to finishing the artwork on Issue 22. Paul and Trevor have each written stories for the next story arc. And I'm still working on the Pitch Deck redux. Again, slower progress than I'd like.

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

Sunday, September 4, 2022

A Week in Writing #420 - Happy Labor Day!

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

If you're in America, Happy Labor Day!

Let's start this week with On the Air with Powers Squared. This past Friday, Paul and I celebrated the third anniversary of the podcast by reviewing the guests we've had on the show, which is a fairly impressive list considering the number of viewers we have. For the most part, I can't think of a guest we haven't enjoyed having on the show. If you're interested, you can listen here or watch it next Wednesday on YouTube.

More progress this week on Issue #22, as our artist sent new thumbnails as well as possible covers for Paul and me to review.

This Sunday was also the newsletter, which takes a few days of work to put together. But we got it out, which is the important thing. If you are ever interested, you can always enroll at SRCC. It's free and there's no obligation, plus you'll be helping me out, which I'm sure deep in your heart of hearts you know you want to do.

On the query front, not only did I send a new one on Thursday, but I also set 4 older ones to DNR as they reached their expiration dates. I never know if I'll hear from one of them but I have to assume after three months or 10 weeks or whatever timeframe they set that it won't be "please send us more." If I hear from them, there will probably be something along the lines of "not right for my list" or "not what I'm looking for."

I don't know if you took advantage of Saturday's $3 cinema admissions but we did. It was a great opportunity to take a chance on a movie for pretty cheap, though the chain I bought it through charged me an additional $7.20 for the pleasure. (I miss the Arclight.) We took a chance on Bullet Train and I'll admit, we were happy we did. I wrote a review that will be up on tomorrow's Trophy Unlocked.

We also watched another movie that same night, The Wild Party, which I also reviewed. Not sure when that one will go up. Between the two, I wrote over 3000 words.

On the subject of Trophy Unlocked, my review of Batman vs. Two-Face was the Saturday Morning Review. I think I wrote it a little over a year ago so you never know. We're kicking off Batman month on the blog and I believe I'll have three of the posts.

Trevor wrote Wednesday, Game Day's, review for Destroy All Humans! 2 which was timed to go up on the same date as the new game came out.

More work on fka Skylar though most of my work was at the beginning of the week. Making progress but it always seems slow.

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