Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Week in Writing #441 - Getting Some Things Done

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

Well, fewer things are in progress than last week but there's still a lot I'm still working on. Let's start with an example of both.

I finished one review for Trophy Unlocked, the one for Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter. I'm close to the end with my review of Lord of the Rings and I've started a new one for Bullets or Ballots, a 1936 crime film with Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart, the latter being from the Saturday night drain the DVR viewing.

I did have a review on the blog, the Saturday Morning Review was The Automat, a 2021 documentary about the automats in New York and Philadelpha. The Wednesday Game Day review was Trevor's for Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time.

Work continues on the new issues of Powers Squared that we intend to release this year. Trevor made all of the edits and now I'm resizing and making .pdfs.

I also completed my fifth go at what I'm calling The Great Escape (title subject to change) a one-shot issue that would resolve a question left over from Issue 18, which you'd have to read in order to understand what I mean. 18 is one of the issues we're planning to release this year, so you'll have to wait, I guess, to find out.

We had our monthly team meeting this past Friday for our podcast On the Air with Powers Squared. It was our first without Rachel Wells, so it kind of felt like someone was missing. It was the third time this month that we've had Julia Canon, our new artist on the show; she's getting to be quite the regular, which is nice.

No progress this week on the pilot outline, still too many balls in the air for that to get the attention it deserves.

I still haven't had the chance to fix my GoDaddy/Facebook issue but I've got a sort of work around, using IFTTT, which should connect Instagram posts with Facebook. The issue is that you use handles on Instagram that don't apply to Facebook but that can be cleaned up on the backside. I'll see how that goes for this week. It's just a matter of priorities with me.

I did manage a new query this week. Having a synopsis ready to go has really opened up some additional opportunities for me. I'm still trying to do one a week, so as not to over due it. I don't want to send out a bunch and run through the list too quickly, if that makes any sense. I've also started thinking I need to do a synopsis for another story that I think is ready to go, Past Present.

Unfortunately, aka Skylar got the short shrift this week. One of the issues for me was that sometimes when I'm writing late at night, I'll say after ten, I can fall asleep at the keyboard and so I lost the place I was at with the book. I discovered that late one night as a matter of fact.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2023

A Week in Writing #440 - A Lot of Work in Progress

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

I feel like there is a lot of work in progress this week.

Let's start with my least favorite part about writing, the query. I did send one but I'm now down to two active ones; the one that asked for pages and this new one. There is one in limbo, the agency's instructions are to follow up if you haven't heard back. I'll do that this week. However, the rest of them I ended up DNRing, since the response time would have appeared to have expired.

I did work some on aka Skylar but I only worked on it through Tuesday; I'll get to why later. Up to 58,156 words. Should be better and I'll continue to work on it.

I've got two reviews in progress, the one from last week, Bakshi's Lord of the Rings and a new one, Nancy Drew... Trouble Shooter (1939). I'm over 2000 words on both reviews and I'll try to finish them both this week.

Speaking of Trophy Unlocked, the reviews this week were both Trevor's. The Wednesday Game Day review was Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures and the Saturday Morning Review was A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.

So, now we're down to why so much seems to be up in the air, Powers Squared. We've got a couple of things going on at the same time. New issues, 16-19, which we're trying to get ready to release this year and the old pitch that we've been kicking around for a while now, and in particular the pilot script, which I'm trying to write.

Paul went through the four issues and made good notes. He's much better with grammar that I am, so is Trevor for that matter. One of the things he mentioned as something we need to do, and I won't give that away just yet, but it got me to start working on that story. And considering it's a 20-page issue, I'm about 2/3 through a draft.

Got feedback, as well, on my pilot script outline. Again, good notes but we need to talk about it before I take another try at it.

BTW, I'm still having social media post issues with our GoDaddy website; Facebook won't connect. They want me to spend the time recording what I'm doing in incognito. It doesn't sound like it will take that much time really but this week it's been that bridge too far.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2023

A Week in Writing #439 - Writing Without a Net

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

I've been working most of this week without any backup, or way to back up what I've been doing. (I know there's backing up to the web but I'm not set up for that.) While I was writing, in the living room, which I do every night, the battery was getting low. I have a separate power supply in the room just for situations like this and when I got up to retrieve it, my foot got caught up in the cord for the mouse.

As I tried to free myself, I managed to topple the TV tray I use and my laptop fell to the floor. The "h" key, which has been known to become detatched popped off but other than that everything was okay. I put the h key back and all was right with the world, except the two thumbdrives I use to back up my work were both worse for wear; bent and damaged.

I was surprised how hard it was to find replacements and get them in a timely manner. If  I was still willing to wait for delivery, I could have ordered from Amazon, which is my go-to site for such things. Instead, I found them on Office Depot but I had to wait three days to have them delivered.

Both of the drives are 512 GB; though I don't really need them to be that big, it's the potential they provide. Maybe I should be a little disappointed that all my writing, outside of Powers Squared, amounts to just shy of 5 GB of data. The Powers Squared files, amount to closer to 400 GB of data. It is the latter replacement that seems to be taking forever to transfer the data. It flucuates from 6 and a half hours to over a day depending when I look at the progress bar. Even then I had to skip a section when I accidentally jarred the drive while it was copying and had to start again picking up where it left off.

I've been trying to write more this past week, alternating on two projects. Every night, Monday through Thursday, I tried to get through a chapter or two of what I'm going to start calling aka Skylar. Making some progress every day helps keep me engaged. 58022 words if you're keeping score at home.

I've also been working on the outline for the pilot script for the animated Powers Squared show we want to pitch.

I spent a good portion of the weekend resizing every page for the next four issues of the comic book, about 92 pages including covers, and saving tiffs and jpegs for each. Not the most fun I can say I've had but I at least got through it and made pdfs to review before we apply for copyrights.

On the subject of Powers Squared, I'm still having fun with the website and the social media posts I can do from it. Instagram came back on it's own but Facebook, even though it's owned by the same people, is still not connecting; I get the Blue Circle of Death everytime I try, even incognito, which they keep asking me to use. Since what they're suggesting isn't working, the Go Daddy people want me to record my steps, etc but I think, once the above backup is done, I'm going to try to clear the cache to see if that makes it work. I know they mean well but I only have so much time and I don't really want to spend it recording my steps on my laptop and then figuring out how to get them to my phone so I can text it to them. They even said, after I asked, that clearing the cache might work but they still wanted me to do the incognito/record method. I may be recording but I want to try my way first.

We had our fourth Comic Book Club meeting this week, with Rachel Wells, Julia Canon and Trevor joining Paul and me to discuss Joe Hill's Locke and Key. You can listen here or wait until Wednesday and watch it on YouTube. If you're itching to watch something now, there is our Holiday Soda review that Paul hosts.

No queries this week, but I'm committed to starting up that process next week. No word, read that as no rejections, so far this year, though I'm sure I'll have more than a few DNRs. But that fun will have to wait.

No new reviews for me so far this week. We're watching movies worked on by our next guest on our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. We record on Monday for uploading later so I consider it prep. Besides, Paul and Trevor are writing the reviews for the two movies we've watched so far.

The reviews this week on Trophy Unlocked  have been Trevor's; Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. for GameDay Wednesday, and Shaun the Sheep Movie for the Saturday Morning Review.

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

Sunday, January 8, 2023

A Week in Writing #438 - New Year Old Routines

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

Starting over with the new year is sometimes harder than you think it will. I don't know about you but going back to the full time gig is more tiring than you might think it will be. It's sort of like using muscles that you haven't in awhile.

It also means I'm back to trying to squeeze in whatever writing I'm trying to do in a couple of hours every night. So, back to the old routine as it were.

Routines for the most part are good when it comes to writing but at the same time, they are very limiting. And getting back to them is sometimes hard. All this as a prelude to explaining my output for the week.

I do want to say I worked on aka Skylar but like last week, I'm sort of going through and making changes to what I've already written so far and not making progress on completing the story. So, if you're keeping track at home, I'm up to 57,652 words with at least another 30,000, I'm guesing, to go.

For Trophy Unlocked, I completed a new review, this time for Three Strangers, a 1946 film noir crime drama starring Sydney GreenstreetGeraldine Fitzgerald, and Peter Lorre. As always, this was a film I had seen playing on TCM and decided to record and was part of our Saturday night DVR cleaning; see it's all routine. And, as always, I don't know when it will see the light of day.

The Saturday Morning Review this week was Paul's for Weathering With You, a 2019 animated film from Makoto Shinkai, the same director behind Your Name (2017). This film was one we watched on Movie Day, which in my family is the day after Christmas. The British have Boxing Day, in my house we have Movie Day.

On the topic of Powers Squared, and you knew we were getting here, we agreed on the premise, so now it's on to the outline.

We had our new artist, Julia Canon on our podcast On the Air with Powers Squared. With all of the other changes going on this year with the book, it's nice to have her stay with us. It's a bit of continuity, even though there will be differences in her style versus Rachel Wells' had been.

Based on this idea, the peek-of-the-week is a comparison between the three artists we've had, Sika Murti, Rachel and Julia, and their character designs for the main characters. This week it's Marty.

I also made some changes with the website and the merchandise. We decided to take down some of the t-shirts and make available ones with the new logo on them. If curious, you can check out The Campus Store.

I had a bit of hiccup with my usual routine, since we're on that topic. On Sunday mornings, I post the peek-of-the-week and upload the OAPS video on YouTube. And then, I do some future social media posts for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using Go Daddy, the platform the website resides on. Only today, the links with Facebook and Instagram didn't work and I couldn't reconnect them. After spending about an hour on it, I finally found out it's more system wide than just me. When you only have so much time, spending it chatting with a service rep is not the best use of it. And, now I have to go back and redo them later this week, yay!

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

Sunday, January 1, 2023

A Week in Writing #437 - New Year's Day 2023

Hope everyone is staying safe, had a happy new year, and is, of course, writing.

I finally had a chance a couple of days ago to sit down and actually write on fka Skylar. I was going back through some of the work I had already done and made changes. Always trying to make it better. I need to move it forward but sometimes after I've been away from a project, I need a running start to get back into it.

Even on my own, I'm finding that I'm only good for about three hours of work and then I get sort of physically tired.

I'm also thinking of changing the name to aka Skylar, since that seems to fit in better with the story. The book has two storylines. The main character is a private detective, J.D. Barrister. He's just reopened his office after Covid using his old apartment. He finds that he has a new neighbor, Skylar, who is a stripper by trade. She needs help with an overbearing ex-lover, a Russian drug dealer, who is free using her to pay back an over-inflated debt. Meanwhile, Leanne's, J.D.'s girlfriend's, father Ken comes to town and hires J.D. to help find surviving signatories to a tontine her grandfather had been a part of. If this were a sitcom I'd say hilarity ensues, but it's not like that.

No new queries and no word on any outstanding either. I put it down to the holidays and I'm not expecting to launch any new queries until a couple of weeks into the new year.

Busy week on Trophy Unlocked, with the holidays and the end of the year. Saturday being New Year's Eve, all three of us who write reviews did our highlights of the year posts. Since we all saw pretty much the same movies, the choices are similar but different. You can read Paul's, Trevor's and mine; theirs include video games as well.

And as if that we're enough, we posted my review of Repeat Performance at 11:59 pm on December 31st since the movie's story has New Year's Eve as bookends. I finished my review of Beat the Devil and am currently working on one for Sin Takes a Holiday. No TBA for when either will appear.

The new year was on our minds on our podcast, On the Air with Powers Squared. Paul and I talked about the coming year: new issues, a new logo and a new artist for Powers Squared. There really wasn't much doubt, but the artist will be our current colorist, Julia Canon. She's been with us for a couple of years and will bring a different look to the book.

We're planning to release three to four books next year, a three-issue story arc, Mocha and Raven, and perhaps the one-shot Paul wrote, Kamiatachi. More to come on that front.

A new logo and the changes in the creative team gave me a reason to explore the current bios for our former and current members and the joy of figuring out how to update logos on all of the social media platforms we're on. Not as easy or as much fun as you might think. Still, I think I got to all but one banner today, which was the goal.

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

Paul and I are closer but not copasetic on the premise for the pilot script. We'll get there, hopefully, soon.