Tag Archives: Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The absent blogger

I’m afraid to look at the date before I “publish” this one…but I know it was sometime in July. Where oh where has the time gone? Well, for me personally, mostly school. Trying to balance my school with a busy summer schedule was hectic! With a capital WOW! There’s so much to catch up on, I hardly know where to start.

But I gotta start somewhere so I’ll start with Brittany having a go at American Idol. When we learned they lowered the age to 15 this year AND that there were auditions in Nashville AND it was conveniently placed next to Camp Electric on the calendar…well, we decided to do it. Brittany and I went to stand in line around 4 that morning and found the line already formed. However, once it was all said and done, we were in the first ¼ of the entire line. While she didn’t make it past the first round, it was a great experience for her. I was impressed by how efficient they were in their organization. Those guys know what they’re doing.

Brittany has been offered a contract/representation by CTA and we’re still examining those possibilities and praying about it. It sounds very good, but we don’t want to jump into it blind and make a bad decision that she’ll be stuck with. She’s competing in a contest that I’d encourage you to go vote for her here.

She’ll also be competing at the MidSouth Talent Fair Thursday, September 30. This will be her fourth year to compete there, her third in the “senior” category (which is ages 13-21). Come out if you can, and cheer her on.

Brett’s big event is his braces—which he didn’t want. He’s only had them on for two weeks, but we can already see major movement in his teeth!

I’ve had a busy summer also signing copies of Buying Time and working to promote it. I wish I’d had more time—maybe I should “buy” some, huh? Ha. Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis had me up for a reading and a signing and I was happy to have several family members and friends come out to support me. I can’t mention all of you, but if you were there, thank you for coming. If you couldn’t make it, DK graciously put some copies on their shelves, so go in and ask for it and pick up a copy!

This summer, I’ve managed to get myself some podcasting interviews. While I’ve been interviewed on television and for the paper and such before, this was a completely new experience for me—and I had a lot of fun. The first time I went on was with the Imagicopter folks. Next I went on with Andy Childress of bubbaworldcomix.com when we were at SFCC in Jackson. We were interviewed by Cody Shedd and Danny Rushing and had a blast. I’m hoping they’ll holler at me again for a follow up! And then, I had a very cool conversation with John Wilkerson, Jesus Geek. We had such a good time John had to split it into two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. In fact, we talked for another 20 minutes off air as we figured out that we knew some of the same folks out in Killeen, Texas! You should go listen to them—drive up the hits if nothing else! J

This coming Saturday, September 25, while the Razorbacks are beating Alabama, I’ll be at the Winston County Library in Louisville, Mississippi from 9 a.m. until that afternoon. I’ll be there with a handful of authors and artists, so if you’re in the area, come out and see us! You already know about Buying Time, Wizard of Oz, Huck Finn, but I’m also able to promote now Martyrs, an anthology of the early Christian Martyrs in which I wrote a 12 page story of Polycarp.

On October 2, I’ll be the keynote speaker for a Writing Retreat in Byhalia. I’ll be in Coffeeville, Mississippi the next Saturday, October 9. And then, I’ll blink my eyes and it’ll be November and I’ll lead the Hemingway Writers Retreat in Piggott, Arkansas. So, for those of you who read this blog regularly (thank you!), I apologize if I don’t get here as often the next several weeks!

4 Comments

Filed under General

One week later

It’s been difficult to post to my blog regularly lately. Can’t answer exactly why. Sure the family has been busy, but I’ve still had the time to write here, just haven’t had the energy to do so really. Not sure if that in anticipation of my upcoming school-work, which is about to begin, or what. It won’t do my “hits-per-month” very good, that’s for sure.

Brittany missed a few days of school this week. She was tested for Swine Flu but the test came back negative. The Dr. suggested it was her sinuses again—this happened once before last year. Still, her being tested for Swine Flu was a little tense. She’s got three friends who tested positive for Swine Flu and I think that’s the reason she was tested.

Volleyball is in full swing and Brittany is having a great time. She’s one of the “setters” for the team and that seems to really excite her. BJ and I are still learning about the game. Something will happen and I’ll ask her what the call was…she doesn’t know either. Kinda fun to learn, though. Unfortunately, they were spanked pretty bad by arch-rival Oxford last night.

I’m actually moving sluggishly through the writing project on my plate now as well. I’m still working on Last of the Mohicans GN, and I’m finding it difficult to do. With Huck Finn, I knew the book so well, I moved through the entire process quickly. With Wizard of Oz (no release date from the publisher yet), it was a fun and fast read…and made the scripting easy. LOTM is 430 pages of very heavy text. How in the world do you condense that into a 64 page graphic novel? Don’t get me wrong, I like the book and think there are many visually exciting scenes…but wading through the text to get them is just very, very laborious.

It could be that I’m ready to move on to the project that will follow that. My agent, Kimberly Shumate, is still working hard at placing The Gifted, but we’ve swapped emails and had phone conversation about the “next” thing for me. As soon as I finish LOTM, I plan to get back to Cat & Mouse, the novel of which I’ve already got about 25,000 words written. No, it is not a “novelization” of my comic series—as someone recently thought. Instead, it is a different story inspired by my comic book stories. There will be a few supporting cast members who readers of the comic book will recognize, but beyond that, it’s brand new material. AND, I’m anxious to get back on it.

Lastly, Brittany is competing in the Mid South Fair talent show contest tomorrow. It’ll be in the Desoto County Civic Center Auditorium thing—a place we’ve never been but I understand it is quite BIG! Don’t know what time she goes on, but the competition starts at 2pm. Hope to see some of you there!

1 Comment

Filed under General

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

For those of you who have been following, you know that I’ve been working on a Graphic Novel adaptation of the L. Frank Baum novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I have just completed the draft of my script and await editorial comments, but I thought I’d talk some about the book—which, I’d never read before.

That’s right—I even surprised myself once I started reading it, I realized that I had only ever seen the movie. Wow. But I’d also be willing to bet that most Americans have only ever seen the movie.

For me, however, that error has been corrected. Granted I read it because I had an assignment, but I’m now glad to have done so.

While being very close to the movie in parts, there are quite a few things that the movie leaves out or just flat changes. But y’know, we have to remind ourselves (or I have to remind us for the moment) that the movie was ALSO an adaptation of the same novel I’d just read. And we all know how liberal Hollywood gets with their adaptations.

The company I’m working for is trying to stick very true to the originals—this isn’t one of those “loosely based on” ideas. The goal is to stick very close to the original and get young readers visually interested in the work so that they might actually seek the original out—or something different. Their thoughts (and generally mine, too) are that if the original is good enough to be considered a “classic,” why change it?

What are some of the differences? Well, I’m glad you asked.

The biggest difference for me was that the movie left out the second half of the book completely. After the balloon takes off sans Dorothy with the Wizard, Dorothy and crew take a whole ‘nother trip to the South where they are to see Glinda. Of course, in the movie, Glinda just magically appears.

AND—here’s the biggie, the movie treated it all as an unconscious dream for Dorothy while the book treats it as reality. In the end, when Dorothy returns home, Uncle Henry has built a new house to replace the one taken away by the tornado.

Another odd thing: When Dorothy meets the first good witch in the book, she kisses Dorothy on the forehead before sending her off on the road made of yellow brick. This red “kiss mark” is on her head throughout the entire book. In fact, it gives Dorothy protection because those who see it stay away, or decide to do her no harm.

My last thought is a funny one. Dorothy melts the Witch not to put out a fire, but because she is angry. The Wicked Witch wants the shoes, and thus devises a plan where she trips Dorothy. She succeeds in taking one of the silver shoes, and Dorothy wants it back. She gets so angry, that she grabs a pail of water and throws it on the witch. When the Witch melts, Dorothy takes another bucket of water and just sweeps her out the door—VERY funny.

Good stuff.

4 Comments

Filed under Books/reading, Projects, writing