Sunday, May 28, 2023

A Week in Writing #458 - Another Setback

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

What's a week without a setback?

I can't confirm it, but I think the panel I proposed for San Diego Comic-Con is a no-go. I don't know that for sure but all signs seem to point to it. I was basically proposing the same panel that I did at Los Angeles Comic-Con, but I'm guessing there is more competition with SDCC. The reason I don't know for sure is that it appears you only hear back if they accept your proposal and people have started to hear back last Thursday and Friday.

Speaking of not hearing back (see the seque there), I had to DNR a query that I sent on February 9th, as the 90 day window to hear back from the agent had expired. I spent a little time last week looking up other possible agents on my list and I found a new one to query.

I overslept today and spent the morning playing catch-up. On Sundays, I post a new peek-of-the-week and upload the video from Friday night, update the website, schedule a couple of posts for later in the week, and update Pinterest as well. Well, today, I had two videos to upload (our Friday OAPS for Wednesday and our third taste-testing video; Cherry sodas from Galcos) and, in addition, a new post on Trophy Unlocked to promote (we'll get to that in a minute) and then some anniversary posts for Twitter for movies and games released today. Normally, I get through those in about an hour but this morning it took like three. That's what you get for sleeping in, which is something I rarely do.

I need to work on a review this week for Gold Dust Gertie, a film we watched on Saturday night. This morning's new post on the blog was Trevor's second look at the Super Mario Bros. movie to coincide with it's 30 anniversary. Speaking of movies based on games, the Saturday Morning Review was Paul's review of the original Dungeon & Dragons movie.

The news on Powers Squared is that we had our May Team Meeting on Friday night, with the big news that we're looking to hire a new colorist. Their first work will appear on Issue 24, "Gashadokuro", which Trevor wrote and is also Julia's first as artist.

Later that night, Paul and I did an unboxing video of the three new issues; the earliest of which, Issue 17, "Mocha and Raven, Part 2", drops on June 14th. This prompted us to change the cover on the Ka-Blam versions. I had added a border which didn't seem to look as good as the ones without one. Not sure if that's going to complicate the release on their platform, Indy Planet, or not. I'm hopeful but cautious.

As always, did some work this week on Skylar but, as usual, not enough to share.

This coming week, I also need to work on the next newsletter, which will go out next Sunday. Never too late to sign up; enroll today at

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

Sunday, May 21, 2023

A Week in Writing #457 - What's a Week Without a Rejection?

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

What else is new but another rejection. This is a query I sent on March 23rd with a 4-6 week window to hear back. I kept it active until, of course, I received the rejection:

Thank you so much for your query! I have had an opportunity to review your query, and although intriguing, I'm afraid it's not quite right for the list I'm building at this time. Since it is so vital for an agent to be just as passionate about your story as you are, I feel it best that I bow out at this time.

I welcome future queries on exciting new projects from those who have submitted to me previously, so please keep me in mind. Otherwise, I definitely encourage you to continue submitting to others, as what may not work for one person may work perfectly for another. Out of all the wonderful agents you could submit to, I thank you so much for trusting me to look at your work, and thinking of me for representation. I wish you the best of luck in placing this with another agent.

Is it just me, or do all rejections sort of sound the same. "Thank you for your submission", "not right for my list", "best of luck" I feel like I've read those before. There is never anything deeper than that. I've had a few in the past that I was close on and they gave more feedback but lately they sound pretty much the same. But maybe I'm just thinking about the bad news aspect. And I do want to give this agent credit for actually writing back. Most just sort of ghost you with their rejection.

I did send a new one out, so fingers crossed and all that.

My review of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was the Saturday Morning Review on Trophy Unlocked. Spoiler, I've played the game a couple of times but I really enjoyed the movie. I'm working on a review of What! No Beer? but I had hoped to do one on Too Many Kisses, a film I had caught on TCM but somehow the recording got erased before I could.

It seems like every week I'm having some new internet calamity; the website has had issues, etc. Well, this week, the entire internet became a problem as my laptop stopped connecting, at least through wi-fi. I had two virtual visits with Geek Squad but the issue wasn't resolved. Now I'm using a 50-foot ethernet cable while waiting for an in-house visit later in the week. I'm not sure what caused it to stop working and I don't know what the agents fixed or didn't fix, as they tend to disappear into the ether after the computer reboots.

That said, we did do a podcast on Friday, a comic book club meeting to discuss Made in Abyss by Akihito Tsukushi. You can listen to it here or wait for the video on Wednesday.

Next week will be a Team Meeting and things seem to be back on track with Powers Squared. After some discussion, our new artist, Julia Canon, decided that she couldn't handle both the art and the coloring, so we're looking for a new colorist. She suggested three people who were interested, so we sent them a little test page to color.

Paul and I sat down this week and submitted issues #17 and 18 to Kindle. In their infinite wisdom, 18, which comes out in September was the first to get cleared. Haven't heard yet about 17, which comes out in June. If you're curious, you can see a preview here. If you do look, and you should, you'll see that the cover is four thumbnails. That goes along with the new peek-of-the-week.

When I can, I've been working on Skylar, the little project that gets no respect. There's always a time crunch and that book gets the short shrift.

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

Sunday, May 14, 2023

A Week in Writing #456 - One Up, Three Down

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing. Happy Mother's Day as well, if it applies to you.

You might have noticed that I haven't been talking about the actual process of making the comic book, Powers Squared, lately. That's pretty easily explained by the fact that we've been in sort of a lull, production-wise. Our new artist was our former colorist and had some catchng up to do before she could begin working on the new issue. The wrinkle for that issue, #24 "Gashadokuro", was written by Trevor, his first to write alone. The companion issue, #25, was written by Paul, but let's not get ahead of ourselves with that one.

It appears we're headed toward hiring a new colorist, as our new artist doesn't have the bandwidth to do both the drawing and the coloring, so there will be another process to get through to find a replacement. I'll report on that when it starts, but I'm hoping for sooner rather than later.

Just to confuse things, we did videos with our artist emeritus the last two weekends. Both videos have been about Free Comic Book Day: What's in My Bag,  Part 1 and What's in My Bag, Part 2 - The Discussion. In the first video, which we made a week ago Saturday, was about what issues we picked up at our local comic book store; and the one we made this past Saturday was about what we read and our thoughts about them. You'll have to watch to see.

And those are additional videos to our normal podcast, which this week was about Summer Movies 2023. We'll getting back into comic books next week with our next Comic Book Club and the next week, our team meeting.

Did my usual query this week but also DNRd three that seem to have outlived the timetable of the agency where they were submitted. I'm sure I'll probably hear something more official from one of them in the coming months but for now the queries are dead, as far as I'm concerned.

I wrote a review of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which we watched on Friday night. And, no, no knowledge of the board game it's based on is required. Not sure when it will appear but probably soon as it is still out in theaters.

Busy week on Trophy Unlocked, starting with my review on Monday of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 3. Wednesday was Game Day with Trevor's review of  Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, followed on Friday with his review of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. The Saturday Morning Review was Paul's for The Angry Bird Movie, which I believe is the last review from the movies we watched during our recent plane rides to and from Dallas in April.

Work continues on Skylar. I won't say rewrite since I haven't yet finished the draft and I'm to a point where I will probably be deleting more than I'm adding for awhile, so no word count this time as it will probably only go down.

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

Sunday, May 7, 2023

A Week in Writing #455 - Getting Things Ready

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

I think I spent the past week on the business of writing and not so much on the craft, and I'm afraid I'm not 100% done either. My main focus this week was to get the next three issues ready for printing; not an arduous adventure but one that took longer than I had hoped. Some of it has to do with working after hours with businesses in Florida and England. Best to hope for is twenty-four hours later to hear back, but that's not always the case.

Artithmeric, which is outside of London, has a 24 hour hold on .pdfs you upload before you can submit them for proofs. And granted that hold doesn't necessarily last that long but for me it might as well. They were very quick about releasing them but, even 11:35 PM is after hours for me, so it has to wait until the next evening. And it doesn't help if you upload the wrong .pdf, which I did for one issue. Granted, they caught it, but we're back to the 24 hour cycle, no delayed a day by my error.

Ka-Blam, the Florida printer, requires that you pay first before you can upload the .pdfs, so it's at minimum a two-day process for me while I wait for the invoice to be generated.

Still need to do Kindle and GlobalComix; the former is much more difficult to work with than the latter. Kindle, which used to be called ComiXology, has an approval delay in the process though they are much more strict than the others and take much longer. We had one issue that seemed to take a month to get approved and by then, the release date had come and gone. But of course, the sales make up for it, which is a lie.

The other work project I took on was getting the newsletter ready to go. And, yes, here comes the monthly ask for subscribers. You have to "enroll" at San Romero Community College to receive the newsletter. It's Free, of course, and it would really make me feel better if you did, if you indeed care about my well-being, dear reader.

I've got myself in a bit of a reading pickle. Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and we did a video with our former artist, Rachel Wells, What's in my Bag? FCBD 2023, Part 1. Well, now I have to read five comic books by next Saturday and I read about five to ten pages a night, so I feel doomed to fail. And I have to read another book, Made In Abyss, for our Comic Book Club and I just got my chance to start last week as well. (I finally finished Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I feel like I had been reading for months.

Worked more on the pilot outline. I guess I'm ready for it to be reviewed, I just haven't submitted it yet.

Did some work on Skylar this week. It's a bit of a cheat, as I wrote the ending, which had been swirling around in my head for a couple of weeks, so I thought I might as well get it down in Word. Things never read as well on the screen as they sounded when you're driving around thinking about it, but at least the first draft of that part of the book is finished. Now, it's just the next 10 to 20,000 words in between. Piece of cake, right?

One new query this week and so far, knock wood, no new rejections. Of course, that doesn't mean I haven't been, as I'm sure some time frame has elapsed on one of them, but I like to think I haven't been rejected yet on those; gives me hope.

Seeing as it was FCBD, my review of Dick Tracy (1945) went up as the Saturday Morning review on Trophy Unlocked. Now, I'm being tasked with writing the review for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a movie we saw this morning, so I should probably get on with that.

Keep writing, and I'll see you next week.