Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Week in Writing #432 - More Like a Week in Driving

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

Oh, the holidays are upon us, which means things get pushed to the side to make way, including writing, I'm sorry to say.

Thanksgiving is one of the hardest holidays for me, when it comes to writing. The week is short, so less time and there is a lot of driving involved, about 16+ hours over three days, and there is the pressure to socialize rather than write. And, I'm usually so tired that I can't concentrate enough to write anyway.

So, let's bottom line it: No queries this week. That's a Thursday thing for me and I think I was probably driving or eating when I would normally have queried someone.

No live On the Air with Powers Squared on Friday. We still did the podcast but it was a prerecorded meeting with the panelists for Under the Radar, the panel I'm moderating at L.A. Comic-Con. We recorded it a couple of weeks ago, and Paul was able to edit for playback on Friday. The big event is coming next Sunday, so I'm sure I'll be writing about it in this space afterwards. If you're going, hope to see you there.

Had a pleasant surprise on Thanksgiving related to Powers Squared. We were spending the holiday with my neice and nephew through marriage. If you've ever bothered to look at the Creative Team tab on our website and under Other Contributors you'll find his name since he designed the original logo for us. Well, on his own, he decided to update it. I am not one for change for the sake of change but I also like to make things better. We're going through some changes, so next year might be time to refresh the logo along with everything else. I won't unveil it until we've made the decision to make the update but I think it's coming soon.

If we do change the logo, I'm not planning on going back and updating older issues, but have the change reflected going forward on newer issues and on the various banners we have around the internet.

Had a less than pleasant surprise on Friday, when I discovered or at last realized that the date on our graphic for the panel was wrong. It said Saturday when it should have been Sunday. The artist, also a panelist, made the change that night and sent it to me but I had already included it with the press releases and it had already been used on the internet. I really hate myself for not being more on the ball with things like that. This isn't the first time I've messed up a press release with bad data.

No new review from me this week, as we watched the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special when we got home from our trip and Trevor will be reviewing that for Trophy Unlocked. It will be the first of our usual holiday reviews, so next Saturday. I did, however, have two appear on the blog this week. Saturday Morning's review was mine for See How They Run, and on Thursday we posted my review of Plymouth Adventure (1952) for Thanksgiving. The Wednesday morning GameDay review was Trevor's for Endling - Extinction is Forever.

Well, that about does it for me. Hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving and I'll see you here next week.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Week in Writing #431 - Not a Good Week for Queries

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

I try every week to query at least one agent about Broken People, which again this week, I did. Usually, I never hear back. Well, this week, that changed. Actually heard back from two agents this week. Unfortunately, both were rejections:

The first came in early in the week, and was a bit of a form:


Thank you for the opportunity to read your submission, which we have carefully considered but decided to decline. Unfortunately, due to the volume of queries we receive, we are unable to reply with individual feedback.We hope you will not be discouraged by this reply, as this is a subjective business, and other agents will likely feel differently. We wish you the best in finding the right match for your work. If, however, you end up querying a new project in the future, we would of course be happy to consider it.With warm regards,

The second was from the agent I queried on Thursday night, I received that on Friday afternoon:

Thanks for writing me. This sounds like a viable idea, but a bit too ‘genre. For my small list which means a bit more to the literary rather than the commercial.since you’re thinking down the road for series potential, I think you’d be better served working with an agent who’s a better March - best of luck in your continuing search.

I'm presenting as the agents sent it, without edits. I think the agent meant "March" to be "match" but it does seem to indicate that this wasn't a form, which I do appreciate, despite the rejection.

To top things off, I also DNRed another one after the time period to hear back, if I was going to, had expired. If you're counting, I have four out there for Broken People.

What do they say, that you have to keep pitching but sometimes it seems futile.

No new review this week for me. I had intended to write one for Out Yonder, a silent film starring Olive Thomas. I had read Laini Giles' The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas which I enjoyed and I was looking to actually seeing the actress at work. When I saw that TCM was showing it, I set it to record. The time frame given was 45 minutes and that was what was recorded. I had read that the film was over an hour but I figured that maybe it was a shortened "all we could find" version. Too bad for me, the film is 20 minutes longer. Imagine my surprise in the middle of a dramatic scene it cut off. I'll admit that I hadn't tried to HBOMax but this wasn't one of the films I could watch on TCM as Catchup and the only viewable version was the Dutch one from which TCM's version had been restored with new interstitials in English. Since I didn't see how it ended, I put it down to a lost cause, at least for now.

I did have two reviews this week on Trophy Unlocked. The Saturday Morning review was Elvis, as the blog plays catch up for the year. I also had a review up on Monday, as last week was Pinocchio week. We started off with my review of the original Disney film, followed on Wednesday by Trevor's review of the 2022 Disney live-action remake, and Paul reviewed the new Guillermo del Toro version, also 2022, which we saw in the theater prior to its Netflix premiere, for Friday. Busy week on the blog.

On Powers Squared news, we're getting ready for our panel at L.A. Comic-Con on December 4th. The below graphic, done by Don Nguyen gives you the details of the time and place. If you're going to be at LA Comic-Con, I hope you'll come by and see us.

More pages from our artist on her last issue, #23, for us.

On this week's On the Air with Powers Squared, we had our third Comic Book Club meeting on Friday, discussing Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe. You can listen here, if you're interested. Next January, we're going to discuss Locke and Key.

Some more work on fka Skylar but not really enough to mention. Sorry about that but some weeks are harder than others.

Speaking of hard weeks, with Thanksgiving next week, I don't know how much I'll get done. But I will be trying. More on that next Sunday.

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

Sunday, November 13, 2022

A Week in Writing #430 - Is Routine a Good Thing?

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

If you're like me, you like a little routine in your writing. I try to hit all the basic food groups so to speak every week: Powers Squared, Trophy Unlocked, fka Skylar, and, a query. It's good to get to everything but is it a good thing? Is it getting me anywhere?

Even writing this blog is part of the routine. It takes about a half hour to 45 minutes to write down what I did during the week. I know that I need this as much as a reminder as anything else.

Routine is good and all but every so often it's good to shake things up. That's coming for me in early December when I moderate the Under the Radar panel but that's several weeks away. And, of course, we have the start of the holidays, and then routine is totally out the window.

But until then, let's go through the routine:

With Powers Squared, our artist delivered pencils for four pages this week. All were good with a couple of changes but overall it's looking good. Nothing else new to report, except that our next issue drops on December 7th.

As part of the release of a new issue, I do a little feature each Sunday, called peek-of-the-week. It goes up every Sunday morning on our website and on Pinterest before sending out messages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook about it on Tuesday. Again, the looking's free.

This month on Trophy Unlocked, we're playing a little catch-up for the rest of the year, that is movies we've seen, perhaps late, but want to get reviews out before the end of the year. We started that this past Saturday morning with my review of Everything Everywhere All at Once. There will be more to come. Wednesday's Game Day review was Trevor's review of Stray.

I'm currently working on a review for probably next year of Batman & Mr. Freeeze: SubZero. We watched a couple of animated Batman movies on Friday night out of respect for Kevin Conroy, who died. He had been the voice of Batman for many years.

I finished my review of Plymouth Adventure. Maybe this Thanksgiving?

On Saturday night, we went to Santa Monica to see Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. Paul will be writing the review, as we will be doing a Pinocchio week this month as well. The Classic and two of the 2022 entries. Something to look forward to.

As far as writing, I worked on fka Skylar during the early part of the week. I'm up to 54,423 words. A lot of writing for not much progress. There are always so many other factors that get involved.

One new query this week for Broken People. I DNRed several old ones. No response is the new "no" in looking for an agent.

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

Sunday, November 6, 2022

A Week in Writing # 429 - Darkness is Coming

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

Sorry about the apocalyptic-sounding headline, and I don't mean anything political by the way, but I wanted to talk about everyone's favorite topic at this time of year, Daylight Savings Time, or the end of it as the case may be.

Usually, this plays havoc with me. I have sleep issues as it is but the change in time can affect me for a week or so. A heads up, if in the coming week or so it doesn't sound like I'm doing much of anything, blame the time change.

I see we're getting back to normal readership levels, so I personally want to thank those of you that read me every week. For a few weeks there, instead of my usual 7-9, we were getting up into double digits. Not sure what caused that spike or what brought it back down to Earth but I will continue to produce this every week no matter the numbers. I do this as much for myself as anyone.

On to writing. More progress this week on fka Skylar (I'll have to come up with a better title at some point). We're up to 53,429 words, which is up from last week but not a sky-high number, I know. The point is progress is getting made and I believe I've worked out the endings of the two stories. More writing to come.

Another query this week for Broken People. One a week is all I can do, honestly, though I keep thinking maybe I should query another title as well. No responses so far, save for an automatic "we've received your query."

On the Powers Squared front, pages (9-16) from our artist, or actually thumbnails for pages. I hate to keep saying this but these are Rachel's last set of pages 9-16 that we'll be getting from her as she leaves us at the end of the year.

As far as the panel goes, no news this week. I know the time is 11 am on Sunday, Dec 4 but not the room. If you're going to LA Comic-Con, I hope you'll come by.

We inducted a guest into the Five-Timers Club at On the Air with Powers Squared. Lucas Scheffel, the Australian creator behind Angry Fred made his fifth appearance and earned himself a special t-shirt for his trouble. We always have a great time with him and you can catch the audio here and the video on YouTube on Wednesday here.

Today was newsletter day for Powers Squared, The Hound Dogs' Howl. It takes a while to put it all together, so in case you're interested, please enroll today at San Romero Community College.

I'm working on a review this week for Plymouth Adventure (1952). We were looking for something Thanksgiving-ish to review and I recorded it from TCM. I'm still working on that one.

Paul's review of Wendell & Wild was Trophy Unlocked's Saturday morning review. The Wednesday GameDay review was Paul's review of the video game The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge. Monday's review was Trevor's review of The Nightmare Before Christmas. That review, for those of you keeping score at home, was the blog's 1400th review.

Does anyone have any thoughts about Twitter they want to share? I'm not sure it's worth $8 a month to tweet without being ghosted. How do you feel about that proposal? Any alternatives you'd recommend? I'm not looking for anything remotely political as that's not my purview, but we're looking for some backup plan in case Twitter gets too much trouble to deal with. I've been tweeting several times a day, but only about something going on with this blog, Powers Squared, or Trophy Unlocked.

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