Category Archives: Moving

Rambings about our moving, things related to moving and about moving in general

Organizing my bookshelves

I’ve blogged before about the trials of moving…and while we’re going through a certain amount of those things again, I won’t retread old ground and rehash those trials again. Instead I’ll talk about moving books.

Every time I move, which seems to be far too often, I swear that I’m going to get rid of most of my comics and books. If you’ve ever moved boxes and boxes of books, you know what I’m talking about. At one point in time, I had close to 10,000 comics. Over the last decade, I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of them, replaced some of them with compilations, etc., so that I’m less than that now, though I don’t know exactly how many. It’s still a whole bunch.

As for books, I also can’t give an accurate number except to say that I fill up about five bookshelves, all packed pretty tightly. Comics and books are different in that which comics I had were always pretty important: I mean, it was a big deal that I had a near entire run of the original run of Avengers—yes, I was an Avengers fan before most of the world knew who they were. Books, on the other hand, I just kinda got what I liked or what was recommended to me.

How do I organize them?

That’s a question I only get from other writers. I can’t recall anyone not a writer asking me that—well, maybe some bookstore employees (side note: one job I had during college was working at BOOKLAND, a job I mostly really enjoyed. It was the job I had at graduation and continued to work at until I was getting enough freelance work to quit). As you know, bookstores have meticulous shelving systems…some of my madness may stem from my time there.

So, in no particular order, here are my “sections:”

*Superhero fiction (alpha by author)

*Sci-fi (alpha by author, anthologies at the end. I include Fantasy here because I really don’t read that much fantasy)

*Li-fi (as far as I know, this is my own term, created because—at the time—I felt that the term “sci-fi” was a slam on the genre. It’s now cool to say “sci-fi.” I use Li-fi in reference to Literary Fiction. Alpha by author)

*Southern/Civil War fiction (alpha by author)

*Christian fiction (alpha by author)

*Reference (no particular order)

*Teaching (these are books that I either have because I thought they’d help me as a teacher, or because I got them as a student—books like Norton’s Anthology or any of the number of “readers” out there. Technically they could go in Li-fi…but I keep them separate.)

*Southern culture (no particular order)

*History (chronologically. Generally, I have three main sections: Civil War, WW2, Early American (which emphasizes heavily on Native Americans). Anything that falls outside of these three get shelved chronologically in the group)

*Religious stuff (no particular order. Wide range of stuff in this section, ranging from books on creationism to CS Lewis to angels (Billy Graham has an EXCELLENT book on angels!) to eternity, etc.

*Non-fiction (okay, I know that “history” is non-fiction, but this is stuff that doesn’t exactly fall into MY history section. It includes bios and autobios as well as some odds and ends like a really good book on New Orleans and a good one on the Yakuza.)

*Stuff I don’t know what to do with (yeah, I do have that section. Often it’s books I get as part of an “author-swap” [you know, when a fellow-writer—or myself, for that matter—says “hey, let’s swap books. Here’s mine, let me have yours.”], or when I pick up something a friend as done as a way of support and it falls outside all my other categories. Yeah, this is where it goes.

No, I do NOT have a poetry section. I’m sorry if that offends you.

So there you go…a tiny peek into the madness that is me.

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Filed under Moving

House = SOLD!

Yes, you read that right = we’ve finally sold the house. After more than a year on the market, we’re no longer paying for a home we don’t live in! And the timing is perfect—all on God’s time, of course—but we’d reached that point where we just couldn’t scrape the money together for two homes and had paid our last note. I wish I could tell you I was independently wealthy enough to afford a home here and a “Mississippi summer home!” ha.

121008-1311-itsbeginnin1.jpg 121008-1311-itsbeginnin2.jpgBut, all with most new chapters in life, there are positives and negatives moving on. We have a lot of really great memories in the home in Oxford. We were there for five good years: Brittany was in the 7th grade and Brett was 2nd grade when we moved in: Brittany had graduated and Brett was starting 8th by the time we moved. Man…talk about changes (just look at the pictures).051713_1825_Youaretheon2.jpg

Brett7thgradeWe went there knowing only the person who hired BJ at the University—which is what took us there. We leave with a host of people we know and love (even those who have the misfortune to cheer for the Mississippi school UpNorth)—and it’s really them we’ll miss the most. Fortunately we live in a day and age of Facebook and Twitter and whatever else, so we’re expecting to stay virtually in touch.

We watched the Hogs rise…and then fall in the sports programs, particularly when it came to playing Ole Maid. Heck, prior to moving there, the football team had won 7 of the last 10 games. While we lived there, we only won 2 out of 5 against the mascot-ly confused Black Bears. Many of the other sports were in similar reversals (all but the Track team—which continued to dominate on a national level). I’m hoping now that I’m gone and can’t watch them live, they’ll start winning again!

060111_0437_Gradumicate4.jpgI started—and finished!—my MFA while there. Was part of a great MFA program at Spalding University and made a lot of very cool writer pals who are doing great writer things today! The novel that was my thesis is making rounds with an agent and I’ve had good comments from those few who’ve read it.

We all witnessed our largest snow ever—a full 10 inches! I know, I know, you folks in the northern climes laugh at that, but for us it was pretty cool (see what I did there?).

Anyway, it’s nice to have closure on the home…and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of memories to create! And, of course, I’ll put a good bunch of them here. As always, thanks for reading.

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Filed under Kids, Moving

Exercising my 2nd Amendment rights

Several months back my family had the honored pleasure to be guests at the Dabbs home outside of Oxford (I’ll have you know the first draft of this blog entry read “weeks”) where we fired automatic weapons and blew up a stuffed duck. My family considers ourselves very fortunate to have the Dabbses as friends. Our path to friendship, though, is an interesting one.

I’ve written before (and here)of the trials of moving and as we get situated here in the Orlando area we’re dealing with those things all over again (yes, we’ll take recommendations for doctors, dentists, whathaveyou in the UCF area). I did find a place to get my hair cut; I use the local Paul Mitchell school…but every few months I’ll have to get a “new” student as they graduate.

We hadn’t been in Oxford long when we had to carry Brett to get to the ER to get a staple in his head. We went to the same doctor for the follow up. Liked him just fine. Shortly thereafter, Brittany got sick and we went to see said doctor except that it was his day off. So we saw the other one, Dr. Dabbs. But as we sat in the waiting room, I started noticing these cool war machine models, particularly one really cool one of a Confederate ironclad! So, while he was examining Brittany, I asked the doc who did all the models and we kicked up a conversation. Over the next year or so we had regular conversations and figured out we had a lot in common; he was even friends with Dean Zachary, a very talented artist who I had the privilege of getting to hire when I was an editor at Malibu and Marvel. Most importantly, we had our faith in common.

When we changed churches we were extremely delighted to find the Dabbs family in attendance. The doc told us he lead a small group so BJ and I decided to attend and we enjoyed every class.

We experienced the Summer of the Superhero together at the theaters and other things that cemented the friendship of the families.

Back to the original point: our visit to the Dabbs compound, as it is situated snuggly in a valley with Lake Dabbs just outside the back door, came to fire some weapons the doc has stored up in anticipation of the zombie apocalypse.

Talk about fun! I’d fired weapons before and I’ve accused BJ of being Annie Oakley (the very “first” time she fired my pistol she outshot me, my father and my mother!), but she had some experience with firing handguns. Brett and Brittany had both fired low caliber rifles. But none of us were quite ready for the fun we had shooting that day.

I’m embarrassed to say that I couldn’t really tell you the different guns we fired, but Brett probably could. There were times when he and the doc were talking about weapons and I thought they were speaking in German!

If you get the opportunity to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights in like fashion, I highly recommend it. The experience will be all the better if you have family friends like the Dabbses to share it with.

(I HAD pictures but can’t locate them–If I do, I’ll add a few)

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Filed under Columns, Moving