Tag Archives: Geek Gathering

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2015

As if being over near Cape Canaveral where rockets frequently blast off into space (how cool is it to know that still happens regularly?) wasn’t cool enough, where miles of Atlantic beaches await the sunworshippers, the area is going to have a geek convention this weekend…and YOU should be there.

Space Coast Nerd Fest in in Melbourne, Florida and is happening tomorrow and Sunday (that’s May 23 and 24, for those of you who are checking in late on this blog). The website tells me that tickets are $10 for one day and $15 for both days. That’s a steal! And I gotta tell you, in my experience, shows that charge less at the door are generally going to offer you more of a personal experience inside.

SCNerdFestIf you’re coming out to see me—and I hope you do!—I’m only able to be there on Sunday (12-5). But there will be some pretty cool guests there, including Michael Winslow, the guy who makes all those cool/whacky/funny sounds in the movies. Michael Koske, from The Walking Dead will be there. Met him up at the Geek Gathering in Alabama and he’s one heck of a nice guy. So if you’re a WD fan, go meet him and get his autograph. Tell him I sent you and to leave your brains intact!

I’m supposed to be participating in a panel on Sunday, but I’m not sure what time that takes place. A full report will be coming next week—maybe I’ll have a new tan, too, you never know! Meanwhile, head on over to their facebook page and give them some Rolo-love and “like” them. See you there!

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Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year everyone! I think I’ll do for 2015 what I did for 2014: I’ll post “a look back” this week…and “a look ahead” next week. WordPress provided me with an interesting report, but they’ve gussied it up so it’s more flair than substance this year. A few interesting tidbits from it though:

My most popular post for 2014 was The Origin of Hotty Toddy, a post I wrote in an attempt to poke fun at the obnoxious University of Mississippi football chant. I think what happens is that since they were winning this year, more people heard the chant and wanted to know a little something about it and my post turned up in the google search. Kinda funny.

The most popular day for my blog in 2014 was Oct 4, which was, probably not coincidentally the day after the Black Bears beat Alabama. Yeah, I post about other stuff (like this entry), but random googlers tend to find the Hotty Toddy post.

032714_2005_MegaCon20142.jpgMy top commenters are some pretty decent writers/bloggers, so I’m honored they visit AND comment on my page. Because of that, they get a shout out from me now! Krystol Diggs, who is a former student of mine from Full Sail. Kayla Dean, who I met when she attended the Hemingway Writers Retreat in Piggott, Arkansas. Freeda Baker Nichols, another writer I met at Hemingway and who is a far more consistent blogger than I am! Dot Hatfield, yet another writer I met at Hemingway! You see a trend, don’t you? Rounding out the top five is my mom—thanks, Mom! Show these writers some love and check out what they have to say since they’re often nice enough to leave comments for me here!

I did a handful of shows/appearances/speaking engagements again this year and had a blast at all of them. In March I returned to Memphis where I was the keynote Speaker at the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. I met a small press publisher that expressed interest in my work. We’ve been talking for several months. Nothing hard and fast, but it’s promising.

In April, I returned to the Hemingway Writers Retreat where we had a great retreat. I was also a comic guest at MegaCon again this year. I moderated a panel “Break-in Stories” with a handful of really talented folks!

In September I got to go back to the Shoals Alabama area where I was a guest at the Geek Gathering in Sheffield. It was a fantastic little con and I sure wish they’d had something like that when I lived there. That area remains the only place I’d willingly go back to in a heartbeat! Then in October, I was a presenter at the Florida Writers Conference where I met a whole slew of new people.

Creatively, it’s been a decent year, too. I’ve been talking to a few artists not mentioned on this page before about projects, so hopefully something will come of those and you’ll see it here.

ArkansasReviewIn August, my short story “Broken Down Truck” was published by Arkansas Review (v.45 #2) and in September, my graphic novel adaptation of The Remaining was published.

With all the advances in digital media, I’m looking to release some of my older comic work digitally and possible make it available via print on demand.

My novel, Buying Time, was made available in print via Amazon and in Kindle format on Christmas day! So I hope you’ve picked up your copy! Autographs are free! J Oh! And if you’ve already read it, pop on over there and leave a review on Amazon. I hear they really help!

It’s cool to see technology advancing so quickly…cool, but a little scary. Hopefully you’ve all “liked” my author page on Facebook so you can keep up with all the new stuff.

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TSA broke my stuff!

Y’know, I get that TSA has to check bags regularly and randomly as part of their work keeping the skies safe from terrorists. I get it. Really, I do. But right now, they are one of my least favorite organizations.

After I left full time comic work, I rarely flew. From about 2000 until 2010, I could probably count the number of times I flew on one hand. When I started work at Full Sail in 2011, I flew very regularly until 2013 when the family joined me in Orlando. I probably averaged flying every third week for that year and a half. Not once…not ONE single time did I ever receive a notice that my bags had been examined.

When I went to The Geek Gathering in The Shoals area of Alabama recently, I arrived there to find a note that my bag had been examined. Not a big deal, it was mostly full of the work I’d written so that I could have it available at the show. I noticed, however, that the plastic sign that I normally put my name on, or sometimes put a comic in it, and display on my table had a chip and a crack. While it upset me a little, the sign is over ten years old and had probably seen it’s better years.

So I sighed and went on…and didn’t think another thing about it.

Until I returned home…and opened my suitcase to find another note from TSA that they’d pilfered through my bags on the return trip, too. In their repacking of this sudden invasion of my “stuff,” they failed to repack it the way I had it, causing a different plastic display to break and lose part of the back that holds it up: it won’t stand up—it won’t “display” anymore. And this one is a brand spanking new display—it had been used all of ONCE!

Now, here’s the problem I have. I still don’t really have a problem with them looking. I’ve got nothing to hide and so I really don’t care. However, I take a LOT of time packing my breakables very carefully, surrounding those things with my table cloth and with socks and tee-shirts. I take meticulous care because I know the airline doesn’t handle my bags with the same care that I do. I get it. It’s part of flying.

But when you open my dang bag and pilfer through it as part of your job, take the time, care and consideration to pack it back the way you found it. I’m not asking you to add padding, just put it back like it was. If you can’t do that, then keep your hands out of the bag and go find a real bomb or something more dangerous than the comics and novels I write.

The item is worth about $45 bucks, which, granted, is not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things. But it’s my $45 bucks, and it’s a big deal to me. I’ve either got to find a way to fix it (without using duct tape, the Southern answer to everything broken, because of how that would look) or go buy another one.

Grrrrrrrr.

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Artist Ignition—Tomorrow! Plus a Geek Gathering report

Ignition   For all of you in the Central Florida area, get on over to Longwood between 12noon and 8pm tomorrow. Come during halftime of your favorite college game if you have to, but come. It’s going to be geeky rockin! There’ll be artists, cosplay and writers…and a Mario Kart tournament. The event is hosted by the really cool comic shop, Acme Superstore, who will be running sales on merchandise all during the event. That alone is reason enough to come, right?

Last weekend’s Geek GathGeekGatheringMEering was a big hit. I was both amazed and a little surprised to see so many geeks come out to support the two day show (which I didn’t realize was a two day show until just a few weeks beforehand, d’oh!). I kid you not, there moments when it was all a person could do to get through the aisles.

Barry, Leia, and me

I had the opportunity to make some new writer pals in Barry Reese, Amanda Porter, Leia Barrett Durham (who was named after Princess Leia AND I discovered is the main squeeze of writer Martin Powell, with whom I used to work!) and a cool artist who calls himself Float—but I can’t find the cards he gave me so I can’t remember his real name nor can I point you anywhere. Barry, Leia and I did a panel together (see the pic in which Leia is mentally charging those in attendance to go buy our books!) which was a lot of fun.

Zombie Mike Koske and me

On Friday I got to enjoy a very nice meal in downtown Florence with con organizers John and Cori Alsbrooks along with Zombie Mike Koske, who was also an incredibly nice guy. I don’t know a whole lot of actors, but he’s definitely one of the coolest (those of you up on things will remember I edited one a long time ago…and that was quite the challenge!). I haven’t watched a lot of The Walking Dead, but hanging out with Koske a little means I’ve got to go watch some and look for him now!

John and Cori Alsbrooks and their crew did an outstanding job. You wouldn’t have known this to have only been their second show! I know, right? This show featured everything geek shows in the south need: comics, actors, games, cosplay and a nice dealers room!

Me and Chris Roberts

I also got to see and hang out for a fraction of time my old pal Chris Roberts (see the pic!). It hardly seems believable that it had been ten years since I’d seen him. He hadn’t changed a bit…still as geeky and cool as ever. And still stuck on all that vinyl stuff (for those wondering, Chris is the lucky man who bought my old vinyl collection—every bit of it!).

I also ran into local filmmakers Corey Hannah and Jim Torres. We touched on an old project that I’m going to dusk off ASAP. More to come on that later.

So, come on out tomorrow to IGNITION at Acme Comics in Longwood…we’ll take our own pictures! Bring some books…better yet, bring a wad of cash and buy some art and some comics! Autographs are free…well, from me they are!

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Get Your Geek On!

This weekend (and next weekend—but that’s below) all of you who consider yourselves in the “geek” family (and that includes close cousins, the nerds) and live in the Shoals area in Northwest Alabama (which includes Northeast Mississippi and South Central Tennessee) should be at The Geek Gathering held in Sheffield, Alabama. While I’m pleased and honored to report that yours truly is an Author Guest at geekgatheringthe show, there are also an entire slate of guests you can see after you say hi to me (and buy a book—or get your copy signed!). If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, this is the place for you to be as several actors from the show will be in attendance. Additionally, there will be other authors there with their work and a handful of artists with lots of cool art-type stuff. You can find out more about it at the website here: http://www.thegeekgathering.net/

Or if you’re a Facebook kind of person, you can go to their page and “like” the event!

https://www.facebook.com/TheGeekGathering

So, come out, say hi, buy a book, get an autograph, meet a famous actor (the first for me, the last for the actor), see some cool cosplay costumes. If you don’t know what that is, then you’ll want to show up to see it. It’ll be like a mini-San Diego Comic Con…only in the Shoals!

Next Saturday, then, all those in the Orlando area head over to Longwood to Ignition, an artist alley event at the IgnitionAcme Superstore (you know, the COMIC store!). Once again, I’ll be set up behind a table telling folks about the cool comics and graphic novels they can get from me…which come with free autographs, of course. There will also be a bunch of spectacular artists and even some cosplay there, too! It’s a one day only event, so set your calendars and clocks now. Doors open at 12 noon on Saturday (Sept 27) and will be open until 8pm. Ignition has a Facebook event—go join it now! https://www.facebook.com/events/633419250107106/

Invite your friends and make a fun day out of it.

And say hi to me when you’re there!

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