Tag Archives: dads and daughters

Con Report: Wizard World Richmond 2016

wizardworldrichmond9wizardworldrichmond10I meant to do this last week, but didn’t get around to finishing it—started it, just didn’t finish it. Had a great time, though, at the Richmond Wizard World.

I traveled to Richmond with daughter, Brittany…via motor vehicle. Yes, all ten and a half hours! wizardworldrichmond7Quite the drive. We arrived just in time to not be able to unload at the loading dock! So we had to hoof it all the way from the parking deck pulling my convention set-up. Friday was an incredibly dead day. Not sure exactly why, could have been “the races.” I have no idea what those were, but when we checked in to the hotel they asked if we were here for “the races.” I assured them I had no idea what that was and was there for the comic show.

wizardworldrichmond5Saturday was better, but only after Gene Simmons stopped talking. The doors opened at 9am, but nobody—and I mean NOBODY hit the floor until shortly after 9:30, which is when Gene stopped answering questions. After that, though, Saturday turned into a fun day with a lot of traffic. This time, I was able to snap some photos of some proud new owners of assorted works of mine (see all the photos attached!). wizardworldrichmond8I’m hopeful—as I asked them all to do so—they’ll drop me a line to let me know what they think.

I was next to Jose Delbo, too, and it was nice to chat with him and his family. I’d never met him before and aside from being talented, he was incredibly nice!

Me and Danny Fingeroth!

Me and Danny Fingeroth!

I sat in on a fun panel moderated by Danny Fingeroth about comic writing. Also on the panel were Gary Cohn, Victor Dandridge and Michael Lent. (wish I had a picture of that, but I don’t…sorry) Danny always puts on fun panels and so I’m glad he continues to ask me to participate.

I got to meet Sam Jones, who most of you will know as Flash Gordon from the 1980s sci-fi piece Flash Gordon, complete with soundtrack by Queen. Now, normally I’m not really into the media personalities.wizardworldrichmond4 I mean, it’s cool they’re there and all, but there’s pretty much no one I want to meet so desperately that I’d pay $30 for a photo with them. I saw a “break” in the line with Sam Jones, so I really just went up to tell him I appreciate his work on Flash…and the dude ended up being one of the nicest folks ever!

wizardworldrichmond6A highlight of the weekend was having dinner with Todd Fisher and the super-talented Larry Elmore. Elmore is from Kentucky and we talked about all sorts of fun southern stuff. I’d met him before, sometime back in the late 80s or early 90s, but never had the opportunity to “hang out.” Brittany and I hadn’t planned to even hang out because of being tired from the drive, but when the night was over, we were very glad we did!

Brittany, Me, Ashley, Larry Elmore, Todd Fischer

Brittany, Me, Ashley, Larry Elmore, Todd Fischer



Filed under Speaking/Presenting/Appearances

Watching the J Bros.

So, daughter Brittany dragged me out to see a free Jonas Brothers concert for a July 4th (on the 3rd) celebration. Apparently, they’re “back” together (I never knew they broke up) and this is part of their grand reunion kick-off. I asked Brittany how long they had been broken up and she said three years. I laughed and told her that some of the classic rock bands took that long just to compose their next classic album. It wasn’t near as funny to her as it was to me.

Before we went, she said she wasn’t much of a fan…and yet she sang along with every song they played. I, on the other hand, had never heard ANY of them. When we arrived, I think we parked as far away as humanly possible…but we didn’t allow that to slow us down. Getting to the park (Pigeon’s Roost…or some such) we found the viewing area cram packed. It was body to body, small steps moving forward. At one time, I’m absolutely certain there were more people there to participate in the festivities and see The Jonas Brothers than live in Oxford! Before the rain, that is.

TJBs played ONE song…and the last 20 seconds or so was only the bass player. Technical difficulties stopped them for a period of time. Then, the announcer said the show was postponed because of a quickly moving thunderstorm. Looking behind us, we could clearly see the line of clouds that signaled the storm.

So we waited.

For the longest time, everyone pretty much held their spots. When it started sprinkling, cries of surprise rang out (really? Because the dude warned us about four times!). When it started raining hard, about forty percent of those in the crowd vanished. That was good for Brittany because we got to step forward a bit and get a better vantage point.

We also got drenched.

Fortunately for us, we were next to a big TJB fan and she shared her umbrella with us. Of course, I’m big enough that the water running off the umbrella all ran down my back. Umbrella aside, we still got wet.

But, like most afternoon thunderstorms in central Fla., this one passed over fairly quickly (20 minutes?). But the entire thing took long enough that the authorities determined to have the firework show first, and then the return of TJB. The fireworks were nice—snippets of just about every patriotic song were played while the fireworks went off. They must have spent a ton of money on them!

TJB took the stage and played seven or eight songs to throngs of screaming girls (mostly…few dudes there looking not so dudely in their screaming) and generally put on a good show. By the time they started playing, most of the forty percent who’d left had returned and it was all crowded again. But we still had a much better view (see the pic).

All in all, we had a fun time…even though I still wouldn’t recognize any of their songs if I heard them now.


Filed under family, Kids

You are the one


Are the one who reacted to the sound of my voice when you were pressing on your mommy’s ribs.


Are the one we worried about because you were born five weeks too early.


Are the one I called “squeaky” when we brought you home…because you just didn’t cry.


Are the one who we “cooked” in the sun the first two weeks you were alive because the doctors told us to.


Are the one who couldn’t say grandma and grandpa…and so you have a Magoo and Paco.


Are the one who told me when I skipped a word in a book that I read to you at night.


Are the one the doctors told us had scarlet fever and we could only think of all the old films where people died because of it.


Are the one who celebrated her seventh birthday on the battlefield at Shiloh and loved it (except for the cold feet) despite your mommy’s trepidation.


Are the one who has a musical heart—and always will, in more ways than one. Don’t let it worry you—sing for joy at its tune!


Are the one who thought we had bears in the trees behind our house…and I pretended I saw them…often.


Are the one who lost a front tooth because you ran face first into a classmate…a boy.


Are the one who played baseball with the boys for two years because there were no girls teams…and you were the starting shortstop.


Are truly my daughter: the only one in your class to have read The Constitution by fifth grade and to not just know that Lincoln freed no slaves, but why he didn’t.


Are truly my daughter: you’ve read more cool books and comic books than most of your friends…and you’re proud of your “geek” badge!


Are the one who asked me questions about things you heard at school…things that made me turn razorback red…but that I always answered, even if I had to think about the answer for a day.


Are the one who still loves me despite my parental errors.


Are the one whose boldness in your faith inspires me…and continues to inspire me. Don’t lose that confidence!


Are the one with whom I’m still close, despite so many of my female friends telling me that would end at 16.


Are the one graduating with honors.


Are the one of whom I am incredibly proud for so many reasons. I hope you at least know some of them.


Are my Mo.


Are my baby-doll.


are my daughter.


Are the one that I love…

…this’a much and more!


Filed under family, Kids

I don’t get it

Brittany, my daughter is 14 and is fully into everything “teenager.” All in all, she’s a good kid and I feel very blessed that she’s mine! I know she reads this sometimes so I have to be careful what I say anymore—ha. But there are some things that I have to chalk up to the age or “generation gap,” because I just don’t get it.

The first thing I don’t get is all the pseudo peace signs/gang signs. Why on earth does every single teenager in the world want to do that? It’s getting to be so you can’t see a picture of a teen anymore without the gang/peace sign. When my Japanese students did it, I just thought it was goofy…now that American teens are doing it, don’t they realize they’re only copying the Japanese? Is this just a part of the Manga invasion? It doesn’t look cool when it’s in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE ever taken.

On that, what’s up with the peace sign making a comeback? I never liked it to begin with even way back when when “I” was a pseudo-hippy (complete with music but w/out the mind-altering drugs). Don’t they realize that the origin of the peace sign is actually a broken cross…a cross which is representative of Christianity. Okay, admittedly “I” didn’t know that way back when either.

But back to pictures…what’s with the tongues, too? Seems to be an overwhelming number of pictures with tongues. Granted, there have always been pictures of folks sticking out their tongues, but those were generally relegated to the “mass cut-up” shot. Y’know, the one where someone threw themselves across the front of the group. Now it seems that especially the girls like to stick out their tongues…often. I have it on good authority that they think it’s “cute.” Really? Surely I haven’t been affected by my teaching of international students; some cultures consider it quite rude and vulgar for the tongue to be seen outside the mouth by someone else. I’m almost beginning to understand where they came from—their teenagers probably did it first!

And continuing with girls and pictures—okay, you’re wondering how I’m seeing so many pictures. I just have one word: Facebook. No telling how much disc space Facebook has devoted to pictures alone. But what is it with the puckered lips? My suspicion is that most of the girls who do that think they’re trying to be sexy…when really, they look like they’re just eaten a lemon. Not sure if age plays in here (them, not me)…but it just ain’t working and it all goes back to the “silly” look. So, maybe all the puckers are trying to be silly. I’m the first to admit that funny pictures are funny…but after the 100th one, not so much so anymore.


Filed under Columns

Lost electricity and I got an agent!

My daughter came up with a very good funny the other day…was so good it put me in stitches. Many are aware of the line of really nasty storms the mid-south region has had the last few days. Friday afternoon was the worst one here: started around 4 p.m. with large marble-sized hail. First time since we’ve lived here that both vehicles sat (mostly) under the garage.

We lost power around 4:30.

As things go, we ate dinner and played Uno by kerosene lamps. Brett was able to play his various electronic games until the batteries all ran out and Brittany was able to watch her DVD player also until the battery ran out. I sat on the couch and continued reading Last of the Mohicans by the oil lamps. As it came time to go to bed, I jokingly told Brittany that Abraham Lincoln had to do all his reading by oil lamps. Without pausing to even think, she said “maybe that’s why he signed all those things he shouldn’t have signed—he couldn’t see!”

I got a very good belly laugh out of that.

But while we’re talking about reading and writing, I’m very pleased to announce that an agent has offered to represent me and my works of fiction, especially The Gifted, which is what caught her attention. Yes, you could say that I’m incredibly excited. I intend to sign, seal and deliver the offered contract this week. I would have done it already, but BJ insists on taking pictures of the actual signing—I was trying to just stage it but she would have none of that.

The agent is Kimberly Shumate and a link to her blog is here—go visit it and tell her what a “smart” decision she’s made! 😉 It’s all new ground to me, so I’m sure I’ll be talking about some of it here.

So, my revision of The Gifted is finished and I’m now working on a “proposal” in the format sent to me by the agent. I guess I should say “my agent.” J It’s quite detailed and is proving to take a lot of time.

Fun time, though!


Filed under writing

Dear old Dad

Okay, before you read any further, you need to clearly understand I love my Dad. I need to make sure I’ve got that out of the way upfront here so there’s no mistaking it. For the most part, I’ve always had a good relationship with Dad—with the exception of this short period before I moved out of the house…and we couldn’t agree on the proper length my hair should be. J

But Dad has a knack for fixing things up. Well, mostly. If he doesn’t understand it, he’ll tackle it and try to understand it. He’s very mechanical-minded, too.

I’m not.

In spite of the fact that he tried very hard to pass that mechanical-mindedness down to me, it just didn’t take. It was just one of those things I never really had an interest in. Yeah, I like my car. I want to put gas in it and I want it to go. I don’t really care what happens under the hood as long as it gets me from point A to point B.

When my sister, Angie, and I lived at home, he would always do stuff for us, sometimes on the sly to see how long it would take for us to notice. Keep in mind, before he retired, my Dad would wash the cars once a week—whether they needed it or not.

Once, when my sister was having tire-problems of some sort (brakes? I dunno), Dad worked on them and then decided to go with her to buy new ones…or something. As Angie was driving down the road, she suddenly looked out her window and saw her tire passing her by on the road! Yep. Dad forgot to tighten the lugnuts and it held for a while, but the tire eventually came off and rolled right past her while she was driving on the road!

Throughout the process of our move down to Mississippi, most of our stuff has been stored in Dad’s big (new!) shed for some time. Once we bought our house, it was time for us to get all the outside stuff, too: lawnmowers, etc.

As I loaded up, Dad let me know that he’d worked on my riding lawnmower while we were in Oxford and the mower was under his shed—something I was very grateful for. He’d greased it and all that sort of stuff—tuned it up.

Well, the other day, I was mowing and suddenly noticed the grass was cutting funny. No, my tire didn’t sail past me. But as I got off the mower to look at the grass, I noticed a lawnmower blade sitting pretty as you please in the path behind me. Now, I would have thought if the blade came off, it would have shot out. But I think I’ve figured out that it simply just “unscrewed” as it cut…and then just dropped off. I found the nut right beside the blade.

That’s my dear old Dad!


Filed under family