Sunday, December 25, 2022

A Week in Writing #436 - So This is Christmas

Hope everyone is safe, and, of course, writing. And, while we're at it, Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, if you prefer).

I don't know if it shows dedication or stupidity, but here I am writing out this post on Christmas evening. All the presents have been unwrapped, a couple of returns, and we're waiting on dinner but for the most part, the "fun" part of the holiday is over. If you're curious, the big gift for me this year was the Remastered Revolver set, which I held back on until Christmas. Items like that with a healthy price tag seem better suited to Christmas. But enough about me, well, the personal me, well, the really personal me; I mean this blog is pretty much about me, isn't it?

Writing, as it always does, tends to be harder, somehow, during the holidays. I think it has to do with the routine being thrown out the window. Big chunks of time and so many other things to do. As an example, I spent three hours getting a tire replaced this past week. While I really enjoyed walking around to shops and a bookstore, I had planned on doing something else during that time.

So, what have I done so far this week? Well, I did complete a 3000+ word review for Trophy Unlocked for the film O. Henry Full House. I've seen bits and pieces of the film for years and one night it was on, so I watched it. And when I watch, I review. As always, not sure when it will appear, but it's another one under the belt, so to speak.

There was a review from each one of us this week on the blog. Trevor started things off with his Wednesday (Game Day) review of Little Inferno: Ho Ho Holiday (DLC). My review of the short Star in the Night (1945) went up as the Saturday Morning Review on Christmas Eve. Today, Paul posted a review of  the TV Special Adult Swim Yule Log. I'm pretty sure you caught on to a general theme surrounding the reviews.

By the end of the year, or later this week, I have to write my Year End Wrap Up. All three of us write about the highlights of the year. I'm sort of limited to films, but Paul and Trevor can write about games as well. That's a little out of my wheelhouse. Didn't really see all that many new films this year and I'm pretty sure we've avoided most of what will be nominated for Academy Awards, though not on purpose. Ironically, one of the best films we did see in a theater was It's A Wonderful Lifebut that film is 76 years old, so I don't think it will count.

Did a little bit of writing on fka Skylar. Again, nothing to write home about and it's getting about as much mention as it deserves here.

More work on Powers Squared, though not all of it writing. As I believe I've mentioned once or twice, our artist, Rachel Wells, is leaving us at the end of the year and we're "auditioning" Julia Canon, our current colorist, for the gig. We had a productive conversation with her about some character designs. I have high hopes that it will work out. Should get revisions this week.

Wrote my premise for the pilot we've been toying around with rewriting and Paul did his own. I don't think we mesh exactly, but we'll have to work it through.

I also started working on an idea for a spin-off story, Billy and Raven, characters from an upcoming story arc. I'm just in the beginning stages of it now. Don't want to give too much away since the books they're from haven't come out yet.

We were used recently in a promotional video for Artithmeric. I tried to post it here but it didn't seem to work. We're just one of the books highlighted. It's nice to be recognized. You can watch it here, if you're interested in seeing it.

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

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A Week in Writing #435 - A Less Than Week

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

As far as I'm concerned, not my best week in that department.

Oh, I could blame the time of the year, but the output is somewhat due to work that isn't ready to discuss. I've been working on some ideas for the pilot script we've been working on for a couple of years now. Paul has been showing me how some other series have started and that's gotten me to think about how we should start ours out. So, nothing yet to show but thinking about writing does take time.

On the positive side, I did finish my two reviews this week; very differnt films. One review was for Sniowglobe, a 2007 TV movie, and the other was for Two Against the World, a 1936 melodrama. Because the latter was a remake, I put up the review I had written sometime back. One of the problems with doing that is that it's harder to remember where to put photos from the film. 'Is this a group shot early in the film or late?', that sort of thing. Hopefully, I got it right or close enough. We'll see when the review gets published.

The Saturday mornng review was keeping with our holiday theme, Trevor's for Home Alone. Sunday's, yes Sunday's, review was an anniversary, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, from Paul. The blog started 12 years ago today following watching Tron: Legacy on its opening weekend. Since then, there have been 1534 posts and 756062 views. I think that's pretty impressive and I'm happy to have been a part of it.

Because of all of the above, I hate to say it but I haven't worked on fka Skylar. I know, I've got to do better with it.

And, no queries this week either. I'm taking a breather and holding my breath at the same time to see if I hear back from the agent that asked for pages. Somehow, I'm not expecting to hear back until next year.

With Powers Squared, we're down to working on the cover for issue 23 with our artist, Rachel Wells, who is leaving us at the end of the year to pursue children's illustrations. We had our last team meeting with her on Friday. You can watch it on or wait for it on our YouTube channel; it'll be up on Wednesday. I'll wax more poetically about Rachel next week.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see back here next week. And hey, have a happy and safe holiday!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

A Week in Writing #434 - And Now for Something Completely Different

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

Perhaps it's a miracle of the Season but the unexpected happened this week. If you've been following along with this blog for any length of time, you know that I have had very little luck with querying. While I have received a few outright rejections, most of my queries have ended up in the DNR pile. That was until this past week.

Wonders of wonders, I received a request from an agent to send the first three chapters and a synopsis. Talk about being caught flat-footed, the synopsis has long been this nagging chore that I have procrastinated on writing. Well, I managed to get that done and Paul reviewed it for me and off it went. Now comes more waiting. But now that I have one written, a tight two-pages, there are more queries I can make, if, of course, this one doesn't pan out.

As I wrote last time, I'm off the query train until next year, anyway.

The 15th issue of Powers Squared dropped this past Wednesday. I gave up on having a special feeling when something gets out. There are no fanfares or public notice that something you've put time and money into has been released other than whatever I've put out. Usually, it's more of a rush, trying to make sure all the pieces fall into place. And despite how much you try, they never do. There is always one platform that appears to lag behind or a review you were counting on doesn't come out. Both happened this time around.

For some reason, Kindle has become more of a bother than a benefit. It seems like a month ago, we put 15 on the site. Using their program to assemble the upload is a bit of pain as it doesn't matter if you're doing everything correctly, it can still crash on you. With this past upload, we opened the previous issue, #14, to check on what answers we gave. Well, ever since then, neither issue is available. Not sure why 14 is affected but apparently there is some sort of review process which is taking way too long. We've missed the release date and 14 is no longer available. Since I can't recall making any money so far from Kindle or from its predecessor ComiXology, I'm wondering why I want to go through the trouble. They seem to more of a hinderance than a boon. Maybe it's time to move on from them.

On the Powers Squared front, our artist handed in thumbnails for the last four pages of Issue 23. We're having a little back and forth on possible covers but nothing really out of the ordinary on that front. Our colorist is down with COVID at the moment and we wish her a speedy recovery. Trevor has finished more pages and I think we're coming to the end of work on Issue #21.

If you wish you had attended our panel at last week's LA Comic-Con, you can watch it now. I posted it on our YouTube channel.

In a couple of days, you can watch our podcast from Friday here. We turned the script and did a Christmas special about reviews on Trophy Unlocked.

On the subject of reviews, my review of the Laurel and Hardy short Big Business went up on Trophy Unlocked as the Saturday Morning Review. I'm working on two reviews this week, one for One Fatal Hour and another one for Snowglobe. The latter will appear during some future Christmas holiday. Over the past two weekends we've watched Snowglobe and a sort of remake, A Snow Globe Christmas, which Paul is reviewing.

I'm sorry to say that work on fka Skylar suffered this week and I never had a chance to get back to it. I will have to do better this coming week.

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

Sunday, December 4, 2022

A Week in Writing #433 - Dog Drives Car - Doesn't Crash

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

Well, we can all take a deep breath now, the Under the Radar panel happened and, for the most part, was as successful as could be expected. The turnout was low, maybe 6 to 8 but judging what I saw at other panels not bad. None of the panels I saw were packed, though the one next door, New Rockstars: The Breakroom, was pretty loud.

The topic strayed a little bit towards the end but it was still pretty good. Before the panel, I went back and forth about whether or not we had too many questions or it wouldn't be enough to fill the 50 minutes. Well, I needn't worry about that. We didn't get to all of our questions but we managed to start on time and end on time.

My biggest disappointment was that no one stayed around afterwards and I was giving away copies of Issue #1 and #15. I'm not sure why that happened. Maybe they just didn't seem interested but, hey free books are free books. Oh well.

The high for me was that the volunteer managing our room had asked for the room because she was interested in our panel. That was a nice feeling going in. I was able to give her copies of the issues and she started reading them. We even signed one for her. We'll see if she continues to read them. I asked her to write us and let us know. So if we get one new reader that would be a success.

I think the participants liked the panel. Both Don Nguyen and Tina Cesa Ward thought I should try to  present it again at other cons. We'll see. I think I need to take a deep breath first.

Thinks I learned from my first panel: 1) Get out on time. The panel before us took their sweet time getting off the stage. We're supposed to have 10 minutes but I think we got less than five. I know we're no big shakes but they could have done a better job with the transition. 2) Be prepared for the unexpected. As I wrote, the panel didn't go as planned but I think everyone had a good time 3) Be nice to the volunteer, they might turn into a fan.

My wife recorded the panel, so we'll be posting that soon but not as an OAPS. I'll let you know when it goes up.

Oh, new issue dropping on December 7th. This will be Powers Squared's 15th issue; "How They Met" was an idea long time coming. The day that Mocha met Marty and Eli Powers would change all three of their lives, so says the synopsis. You should be able to find links where to buy at The Campus Store.

No new queries this week. I think I might be done for the year with those, not done for good. I think the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is not a good time to get attention. Besides, I should spend the time working on a two to three page synopsis. I've started one but never finished. I'll also try to research more agents. I should probably also start prepping another book for the query game.

And, no new review from me yet. I'll be working on one for The Automat, a documentary we watched on Saturday night after our first day at LA Comic Con. We had only new review this week on Trophy Unlocked, kicking off the holiday season with Trevor's review of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

As a bit of a bonus, I did make some progress on fka Skylar, 56356 words so far and counting.

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