Hey folks, it’s been a while, and I’m sorry I’ve been to busy to keep everyone up to date on the big stuff, much less the little things. I’ll do that now, since the next two weeks are going to be certifiably crazy.
My hand continues to heal, and without surgery. I’m able to do most things with it splinted up, although I’m not looking forward to taping my fingers together for stability. Tendon injuries really stink. Thanks to everyone who rooted in their own way for it to get better.
Other than that, Cathy and I are slowly settling into the Plaza loft. Finally, we’ve got a bed and a dining room table to eat on—now we feel like adults again. The space is less of a disaster area, but still cluttered and unfinished. But we’re slowly getting it done.
I also recently did something that I’ve always wanted to do: I am now an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. This is, of course, merely a footstep or two away from establishing a Universal Church of Elvis. Think of the tax breaks! I actually did it because two good friends of mine are getting hitched and they asked me to perform the ceremony. Talk about an honor! Talk about a great excuse to go buy ministerial credentials.
I’m looking forward to the wedding.
The Vernon Plaza Theater is now a going concern. We’re generating great, unilateral word-of-mouth and everyone is very excited about what we’re doing. Our first big coup for the town of Vernon just went through: we’re premiering Spider-Man 3, a feat which will insure that we start our summer season (which is akin to Christmas time for retailers) with a bang. The website is about half-completed, but you can get a good look at the structure and form at www.vernonplaza.com. And yes, if you refresh, the poster change. You film geek, you.
Running the theater is very different from running a bookstore. If there’s a power outage, or some kind of technical difficulties, you can still take money at a bookstore. Whereas in the theater world, your technical difficulties grind everything to a halt. Interesting juxtaposition. I’ve got employees, though, and that’s a universal deal. The kids here are funny; they are all sharp, clever, and great workers. But I find I have to dial my pop culture output waaaay back for them, for a couple of reasons: I’m officially too old (or they are too young) for me to drop any kind of dialogue or movie quote from the 1980s or back. They just assume that I’m speaking nonsense. Also, the pop culture underground railroad has no stop in Vernon. They know ABOUT YouTube, but they’re not “into” YouTube, for example. It’s tough sometimes trying to relate to them.
In an amazing turn of events, Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, has been named a finalist in the Locus Awards Best nonfiction category. I am stunned and pleased, and I also think I have no chance of winning. But it’s very cool to be nominated, it really is. I just feel that the Tiptree, Jr. biography is going to stomp a mudhole in my ass. But wow, it’s a real honor to get nominated, alongside of Win and Sam Delaney, too. Will this mean that I might get a nod for a World Fantasy nomination? Jeez, who knows.
The other very cool thing that is about to happen: I’m going to take a week off in early May to spend a week at a Writer’s Retreat. We’re going to Rudyard Kipling’s old house in Vermont—no pressure to create something there, eh? I’ll be joined by several very talented writers: Award-winning author and publisher Chris Roberson, Eisner award winner Bill Willingham, and this year’s Eisner award nominee, Matt Sturges. Together, 8 or 9 years ago, we were known as Clockwork Storybook, and this will be the first time we’ve been together in at least five years. We’ll be joined by mutual friend and up-and-coming writer Bill Williams, and I’m certain that all of our latent one-upmanship will kick into overdrive.
Me? I’m going to finish the Gorilla Man mystery, long-dallied over, and rescheduled twice. This will be the first extended batch of fiction writing I’ve done in over a year. I’m hungry for it. I miss it, like I miss a brother. It’s going to be great.
I’ll post some of what I get done after I return, along with offline blog notes of the week. Wish me luck, or call me names, whichever leaps most to mind when I tell you I’ll be occupying the same physical space as one of the great classics authors of all time.