In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading to Jacksonville, FL for a small convention. It’s held on Saturday and Sunday in the Hyatt Regency Waterfront, and the images of the hotel on its website are absolutely gorgeous. The show is relatively small and still fairly new, and there aren’t really any big names attending. Still, I’m excited about it because it’s an opportunity to spend some time with my children. I’ll be heading down on Thursday and not coming back until Monday, so it’ll almost be like a vacation. Hopefully, I’ll sell a few books and expand my reader base a little to help defray some of the expenses, but really, the time with Collin and Finn is all I care about.
I don’t get to read much for pleasure during school because of the amount of prep time and grading that’s involved, but when I do get to fall into a good book, it rejuvenates me. Recently, I found an old Lewis Grizzard paperback from 1989. It’s a collection of his articles from the Atlanta Journal Constitution where he wrote. The articles are all centered on topics relevent to the 80’s–Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, radon, fiber–they are very clever, and have taken me back to my childhood in a good way. He was such a funny guy, very insightful, and always able to cut through the crap and get straight to the heart of a debate. Because of his wit, he was misunderstood by a lot of people. He offended liberals, conservatives, feminists, bigots, homosexuals, heterosexuals, unsuresexuals, and proponents of more fiber in breakfast cereal.
I’ve enjoyed reading him. It’s a shame he passed away so young.
If you’d asked me when I was younger how I saw myself at 36, I probably would have given some answer like successful, married, couple of kids, blah, blah, blah. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have said divorced, single, and still trying to establish as a writer, but that’s where I am. The funny thing is, I’m kind of happy. Despite all the negative things that have happened to me over the last few years, I like myself. I’m decent to people, a good teacher, a good writer, and most importantly a good father. I like not having a spouse to nag at or criticize me for things. I like not having someone trying to make me into a “better” version of myself.
Being single allows me to focus on the things that really matter to me: my writing, my career, my students. The only downside is being separated from my sons. I miss them terribly every moment of every day, and the times I do get to spend with them are never long enough. That’s one of my few regrets in my life, that I don’t get to be a full-time father to my sons.
But overall, as I sit here on Father’s Day 2009 thinking about my boys and hoping they are safe and happy, I am glad to still be able to pursue my passions and strive for my goals. One day, I will get there.
I write fantasy action-adventure. Some people hear that and think that I write mindless, hack and slash garbage. To some people, that may be the case, but most of my readers tell me that they love the character development and the richness of the world I’ve created. More sophisticated readers have caught on to the undercurrent of racial and gender equality that is portrayed, and the struggles we as individuals face trying to live a just life. I’m a serious novelist who was classically trained, and my biggest influences are Ernest Hemmingway, Harry Crews, Toni Morrison, Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, and John Cheever. I just happen to write fantasy because that’s how my brain is wired.
If you haven’t yet read my first two novels, The Brotherhood of Dwarves and Red Sky at Dawn, you should give them a try. I’m currently working on the third installment of the five book series and hope to have it out next year.
I’m a novelist from Tennessee, and I’ve been blogging on MySpace for years, but recently, the activity on there has really slowed down, so I figured I step up to WordPress and give it a try. Primarily, I write fantasty action adventure, and most of my blogs are about what I’ve got going on with publicity and promotion, but I’ll write about anything from the NBA Finals to NASCAR to politics. Hope you enjoy my aimless ramblings about whatever pops into my head at that moment.