We got used to the Hollywood life pretty quickly… for the weekend.
I officially dedicated myself to a full time writing schedule as of April 15—and I’ve had almost no time to write since. Three weeks of back to back trips has kept me occupied.
The first trip was for 310 Nutrition to LA. They brought Mr. Smith and I there to shoot a small video about how I lost the fifty pounds last year. There were two other “big losers” happily participating. 310 really fêted all of us.
We went to Pancho’s for some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had and we got to work with a real Hollywood make up artist and camera crew. Mr. Smith was there to demonstrate an awesome new line of home work out equipment created by 310 called 310 Gym.
Flying back, I spent a day at home and turned around and went right back to California for StokerCon 2017 on the haunted Queen Mary ship in Long Beach. Same airport, passing the same places. I had serious déjà vu.
This is what a group of paranormal investigators look like at 4 a.m. after 5 solid hours of hunting.
Stokers was as amazing as always. I met fantastic writers—my highlights include taking Jonathon Maberry’s Act Like a Writer class and Linda Addison’s poetry workshop.
Biggest thrill? Maberry reading a copy of my poem, Fear Shimmers, from Escape Claws. At the (violent) prompting of my assistant, I had the presence of mind to take a quick video but the audio was too faint.
Too bad. His reading was so well done it sent chills down my spine. When he handed me the book back I realized that my poetry sounds amazing when read by Jonathon Maberry. To be fair, he could probably read a grocery list and make it sound good. This remains one of my favorite memories of StokerCon 2017.
I made many new writer friends, met George R. R. Martin and had the best volunteer team (and personal assistant!) beside me fighting fires and managing the crowds.
I also took a five hour paranormal tour in
Flying back from LA again was full of exhausted shenanigans.
the underbelly of The Queen Mary. Did I see anything? No, but I was poked in the back twice by John who lives in the boiler room and had an interesting conversation with him via dousing rods.
He and I talked about who he missed the most, and through a series of yes/no questions, he told me his father. Later, this was verified separately. I was pretty excited when the rods started actually working!
As soon as I was done with Stokers it was home for a few days and then on to Panama Beach for the weekend. This time I got to relax as a guest of a Baptist Ladies Retreat group. Yes, I realize some would see my follow up trip as ironic but I enjoy all sorts of people as long as they are kind people. The women I met this weekend were definitely kind people and I enjoyed myself.
Panama City Beach was a welcome bit of down time on the beach with wonderful new friends.
That brings us up to now. I am home this weekend but playing catch up with quite a lot. I have a final trip coming up mid-May to watch my oldest son graduate from Navy boot camp.
I am preparing my fall class schedule at the college. I’ve signed up to participate in Crestview Library’s Local Author Meet & Greet May 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. I was recently interviewed by Joe Compton (great interviewer!) for Go Indie Live and I’ll post that video when it’s available.
Right now I’m working on a full size version of Snakespeare (I know, finally!) and working on a new Lizard story that involves a super fast reading tarantula named Trueman. I also have a full schedule of appearances scheduled thanks to the diligent work of my assistant Laura who constantly pushes me outside of my comfort zone… for which I’m grateful.
Those are the highlights. I am appreciative of all the wonderful people I’ve met in the past few weeks. I actually ran out of business cards for the first time ever and had to order more. All three trips were amazing adventures, each of them a yearly highlight individually, but back to back as they were they made for a three week marathon of good times.
Still, happy to be home and living the boring life… for at least a week.