Wise the Simple’s Writing Resolutions for 2016!

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In 2016, I resolve to…

1. Write 22 comic pages per month

Over the past few months, I’ve been learning the art of writing comic book scripts.  I’m currently working with a writing partner and artist (the collaborative project I alluded to back in August) on an original series that we hope to shop around and/or crowdfund sometime next year, as well as a few scripts on my own.

In my early career as an indie comic creator, one great resource has been /r/ComicBookCollabs on Reddit.  The subreddit moderator there posed 22 pages a month as the New Year’s Resolution challenge to the community.  22 pages is the length of an average issue, so fulfilling this task would be comparable to the work one would do on a monthly comic.

I’ve really enjoyed writing comic scripts so far.  As far as resolutions go, this one is great in that I’m actually excited and raring to start!  Should be a fun way to get into a monthly comic mindset, especially with the community accountability through /r/ComicBookCollabs.

2. Write (at least) one blog post per week

I know, I know.  I’m terrible at keeping a steady blog schedule.  Some months I’ll post a bunch, and then I’ll disappear for weeks at a time.   The worst.

So we’ll keep it simple: One blog post a week.  That should be manageable, right?

3. Write “something” every single day

As someone who fancies herself a writer, I’m not very good about writing.  Sure, I do a lot of brainstorming and note-taking and researching and planning.  But the actual creation of content?  The actual sit-down-and-write-ing of it all?  I’m pretty bad at doing that daily.

So, in 2016, I resolve to write “something” every day.  Be it a blog post, a prose piece, a comic script… whatever — I resolve to write every. single. day.

4. Produce and/or share something

The thing about resolutions is that they’re useless without accountability.  I could very well promise to do all of these things and let them slide without anyone knowing.  Especially since (apart from this blog and short responses to prompts on Reddit) I am unpublished as a writer.

So instead of hiding away due to fear of being inadequate, I’m going to start sharing my creations with the public.  While I have high hopes for the comic project I am working on with the aforementioned team, I’ll probably start producing content on my own before that gets off the ground.

Haven’t quite figured out how I want to start sharing content yet.  Current thoughts are: submitting short prose pieces and/or comic scripts to online publishers or anthologies with open submissions, writing and producing a low-budget audio-drama, or making a webcomic with my mediocre art skills.  I have already started working on all of these possibilities (my fear of inadequacy has not yet overcome the early stage of creative optimism), and hope to get “something” out as an example of my work within the next year.  There’s a high probability that many of these ideas will crash and burn (e.g., while I’ve done some amateur voice acting, I know next to nothing about sound production, so the audio drama thing may be a complete pipe-dream without garnering a lot of extra help), but they all really interest me & pique my creative spirit.  So I’ll keep exploring all my options until something sticks.  If all else fails, I may just start posting short fiction here on the blog.  Guess we’ll see!

5. Read more

I’ve always believed in the idea that to be a creator of good content, you should also be a consumer of it.  This year, I watched a lot of television and movies, listened to a lot of podcasts, and (in the latter months) read quite a few comics.  The amount of book reading I did, however, was unfortunately rather slim.

Books were my first love.  They were my gateway to imagination and creativity, and it saddens me to realize how few novels I actually finished this year.  I constantly buy books; my shelf overflows with each addition to my To-Read list.  I hope this next year I can put a dent in that list.

I’ve really delved into reading comic books this past year, which has been a blast.  I’m currently into a lot of Image and Marvel titles (and signed up for Marvel Unlimited, which is awesome), and hope to read more indie & DC series next year as well.

Since I’m newish to the whole scene, I’ve basically been binging on comic books, and don’t see me slowing down anytime soon.  So I don’t think I’ll put a benchmark goal on that.  In regards to prose novels though… maybe a book a month?  That should be manageable, right?  I know many people put their reading goals way above that, but given the amount of writing I hope to do and my propensity for procrastinating/making poor use of my time, I’ll set the bar at a lower, more reasonable setting for me personally.

So, those are my writing resolutions for 2016!

Hopefully this blog will keep me accountable.  I’ll try to check in every once and awhile to let you know how things are going 🙂 How about you?  Any writing-centric New Year’s Resolutions?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy New Year! 😀

Aside

A Post-Thanksgiving Ramble

Hello all!  My brain is still in vacation-mode coming off of Thanksgiving, so I’ve yet to regain any motivation to write a “real” blog post this week.  I’ll try to put something out in the next few days, but until then, here are some stream-of-consciousness rambles about my extended holiday weekend:

  • I had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and hope you did too!)  Had dinner at my cousin’s place, watched the Bears-Packers game (As a born and raised Cheesehead, it was pretty depressing), and played some Bang! and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.  Overall, it was a great time with my immediate & extended family.  I love them all dearly and was happy to spend time with them all on Thursday!
  • For the next few days, I stayed over at my brother’s apartment in Chicago.  We watched movies, played Rock Band 4, and just lazed around.  It was fantastic 🙂
  • While my brother played DOTA 2 at various points throughout the weekend, I read through several Image comics I had picked up recently:
    • Lazarus (Vol 1-3) – I had only recently heard of Lazarus, but it had been highly recommended and sounded to be right up my alley.  And boy is it!  I’m still very much a comics noob, but this series is already one of my faves.  The worldbuilding is just so great.  I’ll probably do a review of the series thus far after the fourth trade comes out in January as that book will finish up the first main story arc.
    • Saga (Vol 1-3) – I re-read Volumes 1 & 2 to read Volume 3 since it had been awhile since I first picked them up.  Saga is all the rage right now, and justifiably so.  Everything about it is fantastic.  I’ve been taking my time reading this series since I’m so far behind and a trade-waiter anyway 🙂  Can’t wait to get my hands on Volumes 4 and 5.
    • I Kill Giants – I picked up this graphic novel at the recommendation of the Image Comics subreddit. (I haven’t posted anything on that thread as of yet.  But nice try, would-be cyberstalkers!  😛 ) I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I definitely enjoyed it.  A truly unique and interesting read.
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Forever Carlyle from Lazarus  (Art by Michael Lark.  via Greg Rucka’s blog)

  • My siblings, cousins, and some friends have our own Turkey Bowl each Thanksgiving weekend.  We’re all pretty out of shape, but it’s still a lot of fun.  We played on Sunday morning, and as of today (Thursday morning), my leg muscles are still kind of sore.  I seriously need to exercise more 😛
  • Saw two movies in theaters this weekend and both were fairly disappointing.
    • The Good Dinosaur – As far as Pixar films go, this was one of their weakest entries.  It all just seemed so rote and color-by-numbers.  There was apparently a lot of trouble behind the scenes during the movie’s production, and it shows.  Though it tries really hard to convince you that it does, the film just doesn’t have that Pixar heart.  On the positive side, the visuals were stunning, and I liked the hints of the western frontier theme.  Now I wish they had doubled down on that and made a cowboy dinosaur movie.  At least that would’ve been something new instead of the bland film we got instead.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 – aka Speeches: The Movie.  I swear, at least a third of this movie was spent by characters pontificating.  I remember enjoying Part 1, but haven’t rewatched it since.  Still, I imagine Part 2‘s failings could’ve been avoided by keeping Mockingjay as a single film.  But them’s the breaks.  Definitely the weakest of the series, which is a shame since it ended the movie franchise on a low note.
  • Watched the early-released pilot episode of The Expanse and loved it!  I’ll write up a formal review when the show formally debuts on SyFy in a few weeks.  But I just wanted to say that the show does not disappoint.  I loved Leviathan Wakesand the television adaptation seems incredibly faithful and very well produced.  (Also, they included a Belter version of Tighten Up by The Black Keys.  Amazing.)
  • I ate sushi twice this weekend.  I love sushi 🙂

Now I’m back at work, and with this post, gradually easing back into writing.  Alongside making progress on some other creative endeavors, I hope to get some more blog posts out by week’s end.  So until then… See you, space cowboys!

Jessica Jones Binge-Watch & Blog-Along (Part One: Eps 1-3)

Welcome to the Jessica Jones Binge-Watch and Blog-Along!  I am your host, Wise the Simple, and I totally took off work today just to watch Netflix. #geekpriorities 😉

Jessica Jones first appeared in the Marvel comics universe via the Brian Michael Bendis-penned series Alias.  I just finished reading the omnibus earlier this week, and loved every moment of it.

All 13 episodes of Jessica Jones were released on Netflix today, so I thought I’d do a “binge-watch and blog-along.”  What does that mean exactly?  Well, I will watch the show and type up my reactions immediately after watching each episode.  So theoretically, we’ll see how my thoughts about the show change throughout this series of posts.  I’ve tried it before with sense8, but I watched that show in chunks over the course of a week instead of trying a binge-watch marathon in one day.  Odds are I’ll stop and pick it up later if/when I need a break.  (Practice safe binge-watching, kiddos!)

At any rate, there will obviously be spoilers ahead!  This first post will include reviews and reactions to the first three episodes.  But enough with the preamble —  Let’s get to the show!

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Alias: In Which We Meet Jessica Jones

Happy Jessica Jones Week, e’erybody!

As you all know, Netflix’s Jessica Jones series is coming out this Friday, November 20th and I am HYPED!  In preparation for this, I just finished reading Alias, the comic series that introduced her to the Marvel canon.

Alias was written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Gaydos.  The series was the first to be published under Marvel’s MAX imprint which specializes in mature, R-rated content.  The story is very much in the style of a gritty detective noir, with Jessica Jones as a private investigator with an acerbic tongue and a penchant for cigarettes and alcohol.

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Little Hits: The Continuing Adventures of Hawkguy & Lady Hawkman

I adored the first volume of Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja, and was excited to jump into the next trade paperback.  This second volume, Little Hits, collects issues 6-11 of the series.  And bro, it futzing delivered.

No need to beat around the bush — I loved this book.  Not only did Little Hits continue & expand upon everything that was great with My Life was a Weapon, it took what few issues I may have had with the first volume and fixed them nicely. Continue reading

Bro. I Just Read My Life as a Weapon, Bro.

As a kid, I didn’t read too many comics.  But now as a twenty-six year old woman, I’ve been trying to make up for that by diving headfirst into the realm of sequential art.  I’ve generally been sticking to indie, creator-owned, non-Big 2 comics since I’m afraid of missing out on important backstory and/or references to the extensive Marvel and DC universes.  But as a fan of their respective mythologies via other media, it was nigh on inevitable that I would pick up some superhero books.

Enter Hawkeye.

Hawkeye Vol. 4 was written by Matt Fraction with illustrations by David Aja and various other artists.  After hearing many rave reviews about it, I picked up the four trade paperbacks that comprise the Fraction/Aja run.  The first of these, My Life as a Weapon, contains issues 1-5 as well as a Fraction-penned issue of Young Avengers Presents.

Let me start off by saying that I had little to no knowledge on Hawkeye prior to reading this book.  I was introduced to Clint Barton with the other comic non-savvy plebs in the MCU’s Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012).  So to me, Hawkeye was just the “normal guy” who fought alongside the powerful Avengers with a bow and arrow.  Color me amused, then, when Barton himself lampshades this in the opening panels of the first issue.  In fact, you could say the whole volume is about exploring this strange dichotomy.  While the other Avengers are demi-gods or wear superpowered armor, Clint Barton is just a guy trying to keep his neighbors from being evicted from their building.

The opening description puts it thusly:

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Unlike many superhero comics, there are no universe-ending, global-scale issues at stake here.  Fraction’s Hawkeye is more of a street-level hero.  But the great thing about this series is that although the stakes may be smaller scale (e.g. the eviction of Barton’s building), there is still a weight to them since they are personally important to our characters.

*Spoilers from here on out!* Continue reading