Tag Archives: yankees

Travel Woe Is Me!

You would really think that after an adventurous trip last weekend, I’d have smooth sailing this weekend. Not so! To begin with, I didn’t really leave Oxford on time to get to the Memphis airport. I thought it took an hour…it takes about an hour twenty. So I start the trip off running late. No biggie, I’ve got last week’s experience under my belt and actually breeze through security. Looking good so far.

Flight to Cincinnati goes on schedule and I move to my connection flight and stand in line. While standing in line, I hear an announcement looking for 20 volunteers headed to Philadelphia to get another flight. Warning bells go off. When I reach the counter, the lady tells me that I don’t have a seat on the plane. It seems the 70-seater plane has turned into a 50-seater and 20 folks suddenly do not have seats. I was one of the lucky 20.

So, I’m told the next available flight out of Cincy is 3:00…I was supposed to arrive at 12:45, now the earliest possible would be around 5:30. Very frustrating. And, had it not been for what happened next, I would have been writing here to suggest you avoid this airline as much as possible. BUT, the Delta representative paged me to the counter and made my unpleasant situation a little less unpleasant. They gave me a voucher for lunch AND for a future flight. So while I missed half a day in Philadelphia, I get to fly somewhere else at a later date…and likely have a similar experience.

Friday night I met Lloyd Wagner and his wife. Lloyd is one of the Elfin Writers and is doing some cool research on the ghosts at Gettysburg. I’m sure there are a few things that I’ll need to eventually set him straight on—especially on the subject of Yankees and Abe Lincoln, but I liked hearing about some of the non-comic work that he is doing. I also met Ratna’s son, Robin, who, after being a little shy at first, really seemed to open up and have a good time.

Saturday was the big day of the Convention and I actually enjoyed walking the Con-floor with Ratna, looking at the various methods of marketing and the wide range of product. I will say, not having really read mainstream comics in almost 10 years, I was surprised to find how similar it all looked; even the superhero books not produced by Marvel and DC. It all looks alike!

While there, I had the opportunity to meet some other folks who’ve worked on Elfin projects, including Andrew Harrar, Lewis Helfand and Tony DiGerolamo. I also had the opportunity to bump into (some briefer than others), several pals from days past: Ken Branch, Dan Nakrosis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Tom Romano, Rodney Ramos and Billy Tucci. They were pretty much like you would expect them to be 10 years later…a little heavier, a few more wrinkles and either a little greyer or less hair—some both!

It’s a little spooky walking during the evening hours, especially for a Southern boy feeling very out of place in the big city. I have been amazed to see Philly so busy—people are going to and fro in all sorts of directions. Granted, I have no idea where they’re going, but they’re a whole bunch of them going somewhere. Not only that, I’d have problems driving here. The cars are all so very close to one another—I’d be hitting pedestrians right and left just trying to steer clear of all the cars that look like they’re about to side-swipe me!

Sunday, Howard Mackie joined us and we continued to discuss things like royalties, contracts and story process. We did not go in circles around Philly! But, we did get a lot accomplished and so it is exciting to move forward. Of course, I have a stack of scripts just waiting for me to read!

As I write this, I’m still in the hotel room in Philadelphia. I have no clue what my flight back will be like. I will likely end up going through North Dakota just to get home to Mississippi.

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Voices in my head

My brain doesn’t have a pause, but man do I wish it did.

I’m sure that I only echo what most other creators will tell you: my hands/fingers can’t keep up with my brain. And I’m not a slow typist. I can pound out the keys on a keyboard when I really get in a groove, and while it doesn’t quite sound like Beethoven, it often sounds like music to my ears. Strange, I know.

Granted, I’m not as fast as my friend who owns an ad agency in Memphis. This guy claims he can type 100 words per minute. And while it sounds fantastic, I’m inclined to believe him as he once produced scripts for me on a pretty quick turnaround while I was editing out in Calif. No easy feat for a slave-driving fiction editor, let me assure you.

However, no matter how fast I’m typing, my brain can move a lot faster than my fingers. It mostly occurs when I’m writing fiction, and especially dialogue. When I’m writing an exchange between two or more characters, I “hear” them speaking to one another. Yes, I hear voices…can you sing the song “They’re coming to take me away?” I hear the characters talking completely with voice inflection and accent and attitude and all that stuff that comes with a conversation.

Not only do I need to type all that in, but creative writers want to mix in the little physical nuances that accompany speakers as they talk. You know, the furrowed eyebrows, the dimple twitches, the sideways glances. That sort of stuff.

That said, generally, I can’t keep up with the voices in my head. They talk too fast.

Not too fast like Yankees talk. But too fast in the sense that my brain is creating all this and I can’t get it down fast enough.

That’s why I wish my brain had a pause button. If it did, I could type everything that ran through my brain…hit the unpause button and let it run for another few minutes…hit the pause button again and start pounding the keyboard again.

Of course, if I simply had a record button in my brain, I wouldn’t need pause. I could just transcribe what goes on up there.

I also think it would be cool if I could just plug in to my computer and download my thoughts. Would sure save some typing time and potential carpal tunnel syndrome in my hands.

If I could do that, there’s no telling what sort of magical and poetic columns you’d be reading is this space.

Alas, I cannot and thus you are stuck reading whatever it is I can pull from the string of thoughts—or every other thought—out of my brain.

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