Issue 17: Hindsight is 20/20, But Why isn't My Eyesight?
Of corneas of collaborations.
My eyes are terrible. I’ve worn glasses since the third grade, and regardless of how many carrots I eat, my eyesight has never improved. It just gets worse and worse. When I last went to an eye doctor—roughly five years ago—we finished the exam process and I bemoaned the fact that just like all of my prior exams, my visited had worsened. This prompted the optometrist laugh and say, “Well, look on the bright side… at least your eyes can’t get much worse!”
Over the past year I’ve often complained to my wife that I’ve had to bump up the font size or zoom level within the many documents in which I work day to day. After hearing this repeatedly for several months she said, “So, go to the eye doctor, dummy!” The moral of that story is that I’m never going to tell my wife anything ever again.
However, I caved and did in fact go to the eye doctor last week. But since I go there so rarely, I’m often amazed by all the new machines and technology that have come along in the field of eye care. What used to be a long and arduous process of getting my pupils dilated (the reason for which I’m still unsure of) had seemingly been replaced by me sticking my face into a series of differently and colorful machines that told the doctors everything they needed to know. I even got to see photos of the backs of my eyeballs, and I gotta say… they’re pretty sexy.
I wasn’t excited about the results of the exam. I assumed another heavy prescription change would be headed my way. But imagine my shock and surprise when the doc told me that my left eye—which, is not my favorite eye for matters of seeing things—had gotten better.
I also joined the army of aging computer-users who is officially making the switch to progressive lenses. If you don’t know what the means, trust me when I say that it means that I am cool and hip.
Oh, and then I picked out new glasses all by myself, which I never trust myself to do. I can’t wait to get them in a few weeks, hate them, and return them.
But enough about my drop-dead gorgeous eye-backs…
What happened last issue?
In Issue 16 (which was delivered waaaaay back at the end of January) I talked about not giving myself enough credit for the stuff I did in 2022. It was me being honest with me… for you.
In this issue:
Everything All at Once!
Everything All At Once!
In my world, things ebb and flow. Sometimes I have a lot to do and must scramble to spin numerous plates in the air. Other times, I’m able to focus on a singular task and see it through to completion.
While things in my professional world tend to quiet down over the winter holidays and into the new year, February came in hot and dialed my world up to 11.
After hearing from next to no one for months, February brought all the usual suspects to my inbox needing something, wanting something, or offering something. I promise I’m not complaining. I love when people need things or want things (or especially want to offer things) but between my day job and parenting, my schedule can go from free and clear to bursting at the seams in a matter of moments. And that’s what happened since we last spoke. One of my freelance clients needed some new and exciting work completed, a comic book needed lettered, offers to travel out of state twice in April to give writing-centric presentations were fielded, and then a big ol’ new project that I wasn’t expecting dropped into my lap, for which I happily signed on the dotted line (see “The Incoming Storm” in the project updates section for more info). In fact, this new gig might be the biggest job I’ve ever been offered in my career to date. It’s all exciting, if slightly exhausting.
However, I move forward into these murky waters with caution. After all, this same deluge of needs and wants hit me hard during the Covid pandemic. The pressure caused me to end contracts on a large amount of freelance work. And while that hit my wallet pretty hard, it did wonders for my mental health and stress levels.
Going from no external deadlines in January to a handful across February, March, and April, I hunkered down and knocked everything out. For I am a professional that does things when he says he will do them. And that’s probably why I keep getting offers to do stuff. My career is based off of fulfilling my end of various bargains, and I always deliver. They say if you want to have a successful creative career you can (1) be fast, (2) be good, or (3) be easy to work with, and you only need to be two of the three. I strive to be all three. I hope you do as well.
And, hey, now we’re in March!
In April, I’ll be traveling to Orlando, Florida several times to fulfill responsibilities I have with Full Sail University. I’m quite looking forward to these trips where I’ll be mentoring and working with writing students and participating in Program Advisory Committee meetings (can you believe they let me help steer the ship on the school’s writing curriculum?) and then two weeks later I’ll return for Hall of Fame Week where I’ll participate in a bunch of industry panels and presentations and watch six amazing graduates be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame—one of whom is my pal Aaron Hamilton Cook. Not only is he smart, giving, and a total sweetheart, but Aaron is also a producer at the video game studio Bioware and has spent the past several months working on the new Dragon Age title.
It’s shaping up to be an exciting spring. Bring on the sunshine!
I apologize for the lack of focus in this newsletter. I usually like to have a set topic, but sometimes the real world is simply more interesting that curated content. With each newsletter I’ve promised to demystify the writing process, and this entry adheres to that mission. A writer’s life is often chaotic and disorganized, requiring the ultimate powers of time management in order to succeed.
Want to be a professional writer? Master time management, or risk drowning in the ocean of words and deadlines.
A huge thanks to all of you who backed my sci-fi series The Obsoletes last year when the first issue was published in June from Silverline Comics (following a successful Kickstarter campaign).
Issue 2 has sat pencilled for a few months, but we’ve just recently started the inking and coloring process. Sadly, series artist Aaron Humphres departed the title midway through drawing issue 3, so we’re promoting our inker, Jose Fuentes to art duties to finish out the third issue and to complete issue 4 (which I need to finish writing). These things happen in comics. You learn to roll with the punches.
Hopefully we’ll see the remaining issues of the series—about intergalactic miners who become displaced in time—reach readers in 2023. If you’d like to know more about The Obsoletes, below is a quick link to the Special Edition newsletter I sent last year that lays out everything you need to know about this fun series.
If you haven’t been following along at home, Unit 44 is still available for preorder from publisher Alterna Comics and the issue goes to print in April! We’re a little bit below our sales benchmarks at this time, so if you’d like to help me keep this series going, secure your copy of issue #7 for just $1.98 (maybe get two of them—one for a friend) at the link below and see what happens when I send our inept Area 51 employees after the Mothman of Point Pleasant!
ALSO! If you want to snatch up a Unit 44 T-shirt, they are available until March 20!
All of us creators at Alterna have been working to provide extra content for our readers, so each week or so, we’ve been taking to the interwebs to deliver fun and informative videos such as the ones below:
In other news, Unit 44 artist Aleks Jovic and I are really, really, really far ahead on the series with issues 7, 8, and 10 complete. Colorist Andrew Pate is putting the finishing touches on issue 9, and then we’ll essentially have the next year of releases already in the can!
In fact, Aleks and I are so far ahead on Unit 44 that we’ve been able to turn our attention to…
Sometimes I impress myself. The speed at which I shared the idea for this YA graphic novel, and then the speed at which I started writing it over the 2022/2023 holidays was remarkable. The script currently sits at 120 pages with just two chapters remaining to write. Artist Aleks Jovic even had some time to draw up a couple of character sketches based on his reading of the script-to-date!
Seeing the characters come to life under Alek’s digital stylus pen thingie has been great! I’ve had these characters voices in my head for a few months now, and to see their faces and bodies begin to take shape has been a real treat.
One of the things I love about Aleks is that he has such an accessible art style (as evidenced through his work on Unit 44). While I was unsure how he would translate his style to this project, I’m blown away and so happy with the decisions he’s made.
After Aleks finishes up sketches for the core cast we’ll actually produce 10-12 pages of the graphic novel—art, colors, letters—that we’ll use to pitch the series to literary agents. In the meantime, I need to finish up the script, a process that has been suddenly complicated by…
The Incoming Storm!
I’ve written several nonfiction books over the past few years (more on those in future newsletters) and I recently had the opportunity to sign on to write a children’s nonfiction book for a very, very (very) reputable publisher. Of course, with any nonfiction project comes a ton of research, so I spent the past month nose-down in books to learn all about… tornadoes.
I recently completed and submitted my outline for the book, and now it’s been a process of spitballing with my editor to flesh out a couple more ideas before I move to the manuscript process. It’s going to be a fun spring and summer, writing this one.
More on this project soon!
The Writer’s Path!
Because I just don’t have enough on my plate, I’ve also begun compiling submissions for the 2023 edition of The Writer’s Path. In short, the first volume (released a year ago) contains essays from 10 writers and graduates of Full Sail University, on the subject of their path to success. Each essay was filled to the margins with wisdom, charm, and inspiration.
For the 2023 edition, I’ve reached out to 10 more amazing graduates and am currently working to compile their stories, lending a fresh set of eyes or an editor’s red pen as needed. For more about The Writer’s Path (and to download a free copy) hit the link below to check out issue 6 of my newsletter, which was dedicated to this special compilation.
So, yeah, there’s a lot going on. But when isn’t there? If anyone needs me, I’ll be at my desk making words appear on a screen.
I’m Wes Locher. I’ve been writing professionally for more than a decade. I write comic books, video games, fiction, and nonfiction. I write whatever seems fun, cool, and inspiring. I also love helping other writers to demystify the process of making a living through words. This is my newsletter.