Tag Archives: mom

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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How long?

Hi blog. Did you miss me? I missed me.

Seriously, though. Things have been a mess time wise, but I hope think they’re cooling down. I know, don’t get my hopes up because the holidays are right around the corner, right? Sigh.

My classes have been full, but I’ve made some cuts to the graded work and have actually gotten some help—so that is good. I still enjoy the heck out of the campus classes—I mean, what’s not to love about teaching comic writing, right?

Brittany receiving her diploma

Brittany receiving her diploma

In other big news, Brittany graduated from Full Sail–and she was the Valedictorian of her class! That’s right. Tis true. And she is anxious as everything to get to work! I’m pretty anxious for that to happen, too! Ha! The cool news is that in just the last few months she was cast in major roles for two independent films. She was the lead in Love Waits and is the co-lead in The Colors of Emily (she plays Emily). She’s slated for another big role in March, and The Colors of Emily is actually a trilogy and so she’s booked for both of those in the future. All in all, fantastic success out of the gate!

As you can see from the picture, Mom, Dad and Ang were able to come down for not only Brittany’s graduation, but for Thanksgiving. We had a great time, but man did it go by in a hurry. Brittany wanted to go to Hard Rock Café to celebrate…so we lost our hearing while we were there. I think we sat in the loudest spot in the place.

Brett marched for the last time, as well, and was pretty bummed about it. They put on a pretty cool end of semester show that wasn’t just the

Dad, Brett, Mom, Angie, Brittany, BJ, and Me at Hard Rock.

Dad, Brett, Mom, Angie, Brittany, BJ, and Me at Hard Rock.

band, but kind of an all-around “talent show.” We snagged the family picture one of those nights goofing around. The show was really very cool.

Cat & Mouse is in the hands of a couple of publishers now so it’s just playing the waiting game. I think it has a better shot with one more than the other…but my contacts are better at the other one.

An independent publisher is looking hard at trying to make The Gifted happen as a series of graphic novels. As an indy publisher, but biggest obstacle to getting a graphic novel done is the art. Even if it doesn’t happen, I’m thankful they are making the effort. I’ll talk about that more when I can, of course.

Nothing new on Beah, Citizens or Rejects, but you’ll be the first to know.

I’m also hopeful that I’ll get Buying Time on Amazon and Kindle within the week—hopefully before Christmas.

Okay…hopefully I don’t crash and burn before next week! See you then!

Us being us

Us being us

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I’m Attached to my Teeth

I like my teeth.

I’m rather attached to them. Or rather, they’re attached to me.

And I don’t say that to suggest I’ve got the million-dollar actor-perfect teeth—though my parents might suggest I do after seeing me in braces for two and a half years. Funny story about that.

I love to chew gum. I particularly like double-bubble bubble gum, y’know, the kind you used to be able to get for 1¢ per piece. (Remind me to tell you a story about my dad and bubble-gum…but that’s digressing far too much this time) I love the stuff and one of the most difficult things for me to do when I had braces was to give up chewing gum…and ice. But this story is not about ice.

So I hadn’t had my braces that long when I had to go in to get them “tightened.” Anyone who had braces before the last decade or so knows that tightening hurt like the dickens. I was in pain. I was in my bed moaning—okay, I was probably crying—I was in 7th grade, after all. My mom walks in and you could tell she felt very sorry for me and was doing her motherly best to sooth me. In fact, she tells me she picked up a treat for me to help my brace-blues. She reaches behind her back (this was in the days before Wal-Mart, kiddies), and gives me a huge pack of—you guessed it: GUM!

I would like to tell you that I burst out laughing because I thought it was a good gag. I would even be happy telling you that I chuckled knowing she meant well and then gave it out to all my friends the next day at school. I wouldn’t be horribly disappointed to tell you that I broke the rules and chewed the stuff anyway.

Nope. I broke out in tears (I was in 7th grade, I said!) and couldn’t believe my own mom would torture me in such a way.

Those of you feeling sorry for my mom right now must know that she’s heard me tell this story a million times and so she knows I’ve recovered from that dark episode in my youth.

So when the dentist tells me that I’ve got a crack in my otherwise fairly healthy teeth, I don’t react too well to that news. I’m a pretty good dental patient when it comes to cleaning and all. But my mind will not block out the filling of a cavity (after I got my braces off, no doubt) in which the dentist informed me he could give me no more pain/numbing shots because I’d reached the max and proceeded to fill the cavity even though I could feel it! No, my mind will not block that out. So when they tell me that not just a filling will do, they have to “shave” my tooth and put a “crown” on—like calling it a crown is going to make me feel better about it—I’m not the best patient.

Yes. I recently went to the dentist.

Yes. I like my teeth. But not quite the way you think!

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