Tag Archives: Universal

Marathon Mann (or a Mann of extremes)

I seem to have become a man of extremes; at least the past couple of weeks and it appears for the next few weeks. Yes, I know I told you last time I wrote in this space that I’d talk about my upcoming experiences.

I lied.

Not intentionally, of course. I’ll make good on my word next time because I’ve got some cool things to talk about. One of them can’t wait, though. I’ll be appearing all day at MidSouthCon this coming Saturday. Bring stuff for me to sign, or pick them up while you’re there, but come out and see me. I’m scheduled for 4 events, but will be around the convention most of the day: 11 a.m. Playing in Other People’s Sandboxes: How to write and publish media tie-in novels; 1 p.m. Pro-Row: autograph sessions; 3 p.m. Marketing for Authors: How to get your name out there and get people reading your work; 5 p.m. Indie Comics: IDW, Dark Horse, Atlas, Dynamite, etc. Good products from smaller publishers.

Back to extremes…It really began last week when the kids were out of school for Spring Break (hint here as to why there was no blog last week!). First extreme: We spent 13 hours driving to Orlando. All three of us crammed in to the cab of my truck!

Next extreme: Brittany’s new bikini was extremely…valuable! I mean the threads must have been dipped in gold. It’s not that we spent an incredible amount of money on it, but that the prices per yard…nay, foot, is extremely high!

Next: We had an extremely fun and long day at Universal thanks to Phil Mitchem and our wonderful tour guide (and my work colleague) Jennie Jarvis. What was planned as a 9 hour day turned in to a 12 hour day thanks—in part—to a two hour wait in the Harry Potter ride line. It was supposed to have a picture here, but my extremely busy daughter extremely forgot to send it to me.

The next extreme was a beach day where the kids got to see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. I didn’t realize when I took them that New Smyrna Beach is the shark bite capital of the East Coast. And no, no extreme pictures exist of the great white flesh!

Next: the 13 hour drive back to Oxpatch. ‘Nuff said.

Next: the Honey-do list waiting on me upon my return. I got extreme with the lawn, a copperhead (dead now, he is), and a flat tire on my riding mower—still flat unless BJ has extremely remedied the problem. Yeah, still flat.

Not quite so extreme, but close, the Sunday return to Orlando via jet plane cutting short an extremely short stay home.

Next extreme was the near 15 hours I spent in the office yesterday playing catch-up to last week (I still haven’t figured out how to grade papers while driving for 13 hours, but I will take any and all suggestions).

And…sigh…it looks to be like that again today.

And for the forthcoming extremes…well, you’ll have to wait an extremely shot 7 days for that!

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New job, Orlando musings

Well, it’s official. I have been offered—and have accepted—a faculty position at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. I will be teaching in the Creative Writing for Entertainment Master’s Program there. The fine line details have yet to be worked out, but needless to say, I’m very excited about it. For the time being, I will commute from my home in Oxford…yes, I did say “commute.” And this out-of-the-box idea was suggested by my future boss. Have I said how cool this program is?

So I don’t know how I can write the next paragraph or two without it sounding like a sales pitch for Full Sail, but what I’m intending it to be is simply my observations of the campus. The FS campus is super-high-tech, for every program: film students get state of the art computers for editing and such, digital design students get same, music students have fully equipped recording studios not just for their school work, but for their personal use (same as for the backlot for film students). Every program has state of the art equipment related to their chosen career. It’s a pricey school…but the upside of that is that every student that is there WANTS to be there (unlike some of the English Composition classes I’ve taught).

So BJ and I got to spend some time in Orlando not just at Full Sail, but driving around the area. The first thing I noticed about Orlando is that the lights are long. I don’t mean the physical shape, but the time it takes to change from one color to the next. That, and they seem to be in love with Toll Roads here. Felt like every time we made a turn, some booth was asking for 50 cents or a dollar. One booth asked for exact change—I had not expected the booth, and so it made me wonder what would happen if I didn’t have exact change (I don’t normally carry change in my pocket—when I come home with it, I usually add it to the “vacation” fund!). Truthfully, I don’t know what would happen.

Orlando reminds me much of L.A., flat and spread out. No, it isn’t nearly as big, but everything seems low to the ground. On one stretch of road there (Semoran), there is a McDonald’s every mile or two. Seriously. There are more Micky D’s in a 10 mile stretch from the airport to the University than in the entire city of Oxford (though the ones in Oxford are horrible—avoid them at all costs!).

BJ and I also decided to go out to Universal one evening. Thought we’d grab a bite to eat and maybe see a movie. No theme park stuff or anything. It costs $15 just to PARK! Lady at the booth said I could stay for 20 minutes and it would only cost $3. So, I don’t remember Universal in California costing anything to park. Granted, that has been some years ago, but we used to go out every now and again to catch a movie, or to eat. I don’t remember it costing to park.

More later, I’m sure.

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