Sunday, February 26, 2023

A Week in Writing #445 - Trying Not to Feel Like a Failure

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

When you've been writing about your writing for over 8 years and having been writing for much longer than that, it sometimes might be hard to shake the feeling that you've failed, especially when others may feel like you have. It's not something that I really try to think about, though it's hard not to contemplate such things.

Let's start with this little blog. I began writing this becauese I didn't have anyone in my life that I could really talk to about what I was doing and what I was going through. Readership most weeks is in the single digits and I'm frankly okay with that. This is where I can put down what I'm doing, and I do try every day and every week to write. Some weeks are better than others and some are worse. Being a part-time writer, with a house and a family, there are many things that can get in the way of reaching your goals. Everyday, it seems, there are obstacles to writing; I don't think I'm alone in that.

The goal is always to make a living writing and short of that get some sort of recognition for what you're doing. Part of that is to write everyday and to do whatever you can to get your work out there.

While I have yet to sell a book, does that mean that I should stop trying? I would say no. I try to do the work, like querying agents. I may be cautious about it but that is from experience. If you send out the same query letter to 40 agents and either don't hear back or are rejected, you've shot through 40 agents and perhaps learned nothing from the process. That's why I only send out one a week. But the process is forcing me to do more, like write that synopsis, which I don't think many writers enjoy writing.

And I keep trying to work on new books. Again, it's a time thing but I am working when there are gaps that allow me to do it. I think I've done good work on Skylar this past couple of days. Some of that work has been done while waiting for the next thing to happen, whether it was the podcast on Friday or before dental appointments on Saturday morning.

Writing reviews for Trophy Unlocked is something I enjoy doing, even though I feel like I have a backlog of reviews that will never see the light of day. I am only one of three writers and I'm willing to wait my chance but I don't think I should quit writing them. I don't want to think that not getting my reviews published is a failure but more waiting for the right opportunity.

That said, I did have one go up this week on the site, my review of  The Banshees of Inisherin was the Saturday morning review.

And Powers Squared could easily be seen as a failure. We're putting out our 16th issue and it is not a runaway best seller by any stretch. I do what I can, or at least what I think I can, with social media and getting press but I feel like I'm the only one doing anything, even though I'm not the only one working on the book. And I know pretty much about what I'm doing so it is a recipe for failure. Should I quit doing it? Perhaps financially I should. There are other things I could do with the time and money I'm spending on it. I always hoped this would be something we would do as a family and I've tried hard not to leave anyone behind. And I still hope that we can make something out of it.

But I also enjoy the work and enjoy trying to think of new stories we can tell. You've got to keep trying.

There are a lot of obstacles to finding success but I don't think you can consider failure unless you give up.

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

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A Week in Writing #444 - Getting SomeThings Done For a Change

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

More time spent this week prepping the next issue of Powers Squared, #16 "Mocha and Raven, Part 1", this time for Kindle fka ComiXology. I transferred the pages to .pngs since the Kindle Comic Creator app didn't seem to like .tiffs and .pngs are better than .jpgs. The KCC is a bit clunky and it took more than one go to get it right. On Saturday, Paul and I loaded it up to Kindle and now we're in that awkward waiting for approval game. With the last issue, that took what I think was a couple of weeks, which is just too long. We missed the release date, though we're not counting on Kindle for the release.

Sent off to have proofs made at Artithmeric and Ka-Blam on Wednesday. Received the Ka-Blam one back on Saturday, which I think is pretty impressive. Haven't looked at it yet, I'm always thinking of unboxing videos. The other platform we output to is GlobalComix but there is no review, it just goes up, so we can put that one off for a few days. Anyway, we're looking to a March 15th release date.

Got some feedback on one of my future scripts for Powers Squared from Paul. It seems sort of fitting but it's a spin-off of the characters we're introducing in Issue 16, titled Billy and Raven. Paul's suggestion was to sort of invert the story and I think that would work better, so I'm going to have to try that.

Finished two reviews this week, for Dick Tracy (1945) and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. I'm also done with the writing but haven't posted it yet, so I'm technically still not done with Rockabye (1932) and I think it's going to fall to me to write one for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which we watched this afternoon. The Saturday Morning Review on Trophy Unlocked was Paul's review of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. We're trying to play catch up with the Academy nominations.

One new query this week, so patting myself on the back for that, for Broken People. I came close but stopped short of doing one for Past, Present, the book I've been considering putting out. I think I got flusttered with the actual query letter; while it won't be much different than the one for Broken People, I still have to summarize the story, which is what gave me pause.

While I normally bemoan my lack of work on Skylar, I did have a good session on Friday afternoon and another one on Saturday afternoon. I'm back to editing what I've already done but have made some changes and am considering another one that came to me while editing. The point is, it's getting there.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2023

A Week in Writing #443 - Release Dates Set

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

I don't want to bury the lead, so I'll get to it. Paul and I spent part of Friday applying for copyrights on four issues of Powers Squared, and then setting release dates for those four issues. We announced them on the Friday podcast but in case you're not up to listening, here they are:

Issues 16-18 make up the "Mocha and Raven" story arc which reintroduces Billy O'Shea who made a brief appearance in a flashback in Issue #1 (and yes, it was planned). You can catch a preview of issue 16, here. We're also introducing another yokai, a yatagarasu, Raven, whom Mocha has some history with. Her yatagarasu form is this week's peek-of-the-week. Issue 19, called "Kamaitachi", has Marty and Eli attacked on the college campus by three weasel-like yokai.

I finished three reviews this week for Trophy UnlockedBullets or Ballots; The Banshees of Inisherin; and The Lord of the Rings. Of those three, I think Banshees will probably appear first but no promises of when. I'm working currently on two others, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris and Dick Tracy. A note on the latter, this isn't Warren Beatty's version but rather an RKO film from 1945.

We're getting serious about the Academy Awards, which is why my review of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On was the Saturday Morning Review.

I did send a new query for Broken People and started to put together a new spreadsheet to start querying Past Present. I'm trying to make sure that I don't hit up the same agents I did with the original version of the story and ones that have not responded to Broken People.

In between the reviews, I did manage to get to some work on Skylar. Again, not as much as I should and, as always, I need to do more on it.

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

Sunday, February 5, 2023

A Week in Writing #442 - Getting Behind, Again

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

I don't know about you but I feel like I'm falling behind, again, on my projects. It's not one thing in particular but just the week that was.

I started working on a synopsis for another book, this one called Past Present. This is another one that I've written with J.D. Barrister, my LA private detective. In this one, he's hired by an ex-girlfriend to follow her husband. And what starts out as a rather routine case ends up in murder when incest is revealed. I won't give any more away than that. But I realized once I was into the book that I had already written a couple of synopses for it back in the days I first tried to get representation. I know it sounds conceited but I really like this book, at least the characters and interactions in it.

So, I guess the next step is to query that, avoiding of course, those agents who already turned it down. Surprsingly, not a long list but I'll have to do that separate from Broken People, which I'm currently querying around, and yes I did send a new one out this week. Do I get a gold star now?

I started going through Past Present and making changes so there goes a couple of nights.

I'm behind on everything else, with poor Skylar once again getting neglected. It's nothing personal, just so many hours in the day.

I did spend a good portion of the week on Powers Squared related items, including struggling with my GoDaddy website. It all started when I wanted to add a Character Page for a new one we're introducing in the next book and a preview of the next book, Mocha and Raven. However, the character page would have been my 51st and that's too many for dear GoDaddy. So, I spent a good porition of this week trying to work around that, deleting some old pages and trying to combine issues into story arcs. I had the notion to turn all the issues into one page but there would be too many sections for a GoDaddy page to handle.

It's not that I mind web design, but it's the limitations that I'm getting tired of. Not sure I'm ready to move on but I'm starting to lean in that direction.

The rest of the time was spent on The Hound Dogs' Howl newsletter. It's a monthly wrap up of all things Powers Squared. This my regular ask for new subscribers. If you read this and are interested, you can get your own copy by enrolling at SRCC, the college where much of the action takes place.

It probably won't surprise you that I'm somewhat behind on my reviews for Trophy Unlocked. I did finish one for Marcel the Shell with Shoes but I'm still not quite done with Bullets or Ballots, Lord of the Rings (1978) and now I have to do one for The Banshees of Inisherin as we race to catch up with some of the Academy nominations.

The Saturday Morning Review was Paul's review of Bluey's Big Play, which we saw recently in Los Angeles.

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