Tag Archives: Campfire Kids

Writing this-n-that

If you’ve been reading here much, you know that I’m in the middle of revising my novel at the request of an editor for a potential sale. On top of that, I’ve been keeping my fingers busy with this and that, pounding the writer’s pavement, so to speak.

At the top of the list is the long-awaited (by me, anyway) release of my graphic novel adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I was very excited to get to adapt this classic novel as it is one of my personal favorites. In fact, it was one of the books I used in my English Comp classes. Of course, I realize that I’ve just given Comp teachers one more thing they’ve got to go look at before making out their tests. Yes, I used to flip through Cliff Notes while making my tests. I wanted to be sure that the students could not pass the test if they’d only read Cliff Notes. Huck Finn is currently only available online through the publisher. Click to http://campfire.co.in/, select your country, then select “Classics” and you’ll see it listed with several others. Cost is $6.26 and shipping is free. And yes, if you pick one up, I’ll be happy to sign it.

On Saturday, I wrote a guest column for my ACFW pal Tracy Ruckman, who is the Christian Writing Examiner for the Examiner.com. Saturday, of course, was Free Comic Book Day at comic shops all across the U.S. To read it, click here. Look for the Huck cover image. I’ve also written two others for Tracy, one will be released tomorrow, which is Cartoonist Day, and the other will be Saturday, which is the anniversary of the first cartoon ever printed in a U.S. newspaper. Saturday I talked about what a comic book writer does, and the two main styles of comic scripts. Tomorrow I talk about how a comic book is put together, and Saturday I’ll give suggestions to writers interested in comic script writing. If you go, leave a comment so Tracy will be encouraged to have me write more columns for her! J

A few weeks ago I submitted a “funny sports story” to Max Elliot Anderson’s website. By appearances, it seems like my story came in second. I submitted the true account of my old high school pal Scott Cook catching a fly ball in the outfield…after it bounced off his head. Back then, it was the funniest thing we’d ever seen. Realizing now, he probably got a concussion from it.

Back to the grindstone. Thanks for reading.

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Happy New Year 2009

Well, 2009 is upon us, and if you’re like me, you’re wondering where 2008 went! We’ve now been in Oxford for exactly one year but we still feel so very unsettled. Part of it, I think, has to do with the fact that we still don’t have a new home church. That’s been pretty hard on the family. We haven’t been without a home church since around 1998—10 years!

The kids seem to be doing well in school and BJ at work, but most of it comes from the fact that I’m stuck in that in-between world. I didn’t get accepted into the grad program last year. The director told me that they accepted only 3 applicants out of 80-something. I’m going to apply again this year, but not just for the one program as I did last year. Instead of putting all my eggs in the MFA program, I’m going to try for the PhD program. We’ll see what happens.

I was very fortunate this last year to have picked up freelance editing work for Campfire Kids (then Elfin) where I edited about a dozen graphic novels—Classics Illustrated style work. I also picked up some freelance editing work from my good pal Jim Chadwick at DC Comics and did some English Translation editing of some Japanese comic titles (Dorothea and Key to the Kingdom, if you’re interested).

On the writing side, I made a lot of progress on novel #3 before getting writing assignments from Campfire. I scripted Graphic Novel adaptations of Huckleberry Finn and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and am currently discussing my next assignment with the editor there. I made some good contacts at ACFW Conference in September, and now have an editor interested in my novel The Gifted. She’s asked for some revisions, which I’m happy to provide. I’ve said all along that I want an editor/publisher who feels as passionate about the message of The Gifted as I do. I feel pretty good about this one (no, not naming names yet), but time will tell yet.

I spent most of my writing time in November trying to turn Buying Time into a screenplay. One of the groups to which I belong forwarded around a message about a Christian Screenplay competition. The deadline was Dec. 1 and although I busted hump to do it, I couldn’t make the deadline. I’ve decided that I’ll continue to do it for next year’s competition, though. It was difficult work, but fun.

I started/joined a critique group in October which started and then fizzled. We’re going to try again in a week or so—we agreed to wait until the new year and try again.

I’m not big into resolutions; very rarely make them. But this year, I’m going to resolve to stop drinking Coke. Brittany’s softball coach has told the girls they can’t drink Cokes. I remember my football coach in high school telling all us the same thing. I think this will help support her AND help me lose weight. I did well walking on the treadmill in November and December, but I didn’t see any real weight loss. That was frustrating. So, I’m thinking if I give up the Cokes and continue the treadmill, that’ll help.

That’s the plan anyway.

I have a feeling 2009 will fly by just as quickly!

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A flyin’ I shall go…to NJ

I’ve just returned from a quick trip to New Jersey for business with Elfin Kids. It was my first time ever in NJ and the first time in about nine years since I’ve flown. And man, what an experience.

As often happens before I take a trip like that, I didn’t sleep well for fear I’d oversleep and not get to my plane on time. I did…and then I learned how much checking in had changed.

I had to be instructed how to have the freestanding computer spit out the ticket to me—a simple process. Then, going through security, I thought they were going to ask me to disrobe!

And then…they found it.

My pocketknife!

No, it wasn’t in my pocket. It was in my toiletries bag…in the side pocket…zipped up. This made it look all the more suspicious. And I didn’t even know it was there. I carry a pocketknife with me often, as do many Southern males. Yes, I knew that particular knife was missing (I have several), but I have no clue how it got there. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t treated like a terrorist. However, they wouldn’t “keep” it for me and my return trip (it has sentimental value), but they did allow me to run mail it to myself. I’m not sure my pocketknife will make it home via the U.S. Postal system, but I tried it anyway. I guess I’ll know in a few days after the mail runs!

Once finally on the board, I was seated next to Barbara from Bolivar, Tenn. She was traveling with a large group headed to Guatemala on a Mission Trip. We had good airplane conversation and she asked for prayer for the group this week.

I changed planes in Atlanta and an hour later the pilot announced we were on a holding pattern because traffic into NJ was so heavy. Thirty minutes later, he announced we didn’t have enough gas to make it to NJ and so we were going to land in Richmond, Vir. to refuel and continue.

So, originally scheduled to make NJ at 5:20 p.m., I didn’t get there until 6:30. I had made plans earlier to meet my friend Lou Bank at Enterprise at 6:30. On top of that, because it’d been years since I’d flown, it took me nearly 30 minutes to get to the Enterprise shuttle location. Then, I waited and waited. After 45 minutes, a very nice Indian family informed me that Enterprise had closed! I had initially thought that since my flight was late, maybe Lou’s was, too. But with Enterprise closing, I was, in his words “at the mercy of the taxis.”

The remainder of my trip will follow Wednesday—it gets better!

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