It’s been a while since my last blog post. Since then I discovered my job ended due to something unrelated to me or my stay in the hospital. And to be honest, I couldn’t have kept it up anyway because I’ve spent so much time with doctors in the time I’ve been out of the hospital. In fact, my leg needs almost daily wound care for the time being so I am checking into a long term facility in Waco by the VA where I will get care and can heal up. It will also keep me off the streets for over a month and save me all those motel bills.
My fund has been depleted by cab fares and motel stays as I didn’t even have time to look for a place and couldn’t check tem out if I wanted to. I didn’t have the means as I can’t drive currently. But fortunately I have also been accepted by Metro Access so I can get inexpensive transport to appointments by the city’s disabled transport service. It’s hard to get into so I am relieved I was accepted.
I feel good and I think I am getting better. Despite the one area on my leg that they’re watching most of it is healing nicely. So I hope it will be healed up in a few weeks or so. And hopefully I will get the rehab I need so I can get a prosthetic limb in a couple months and start walking again.
Naturally, being out of work for another month will cut into my funds even more, and I will need money to get a place when I get out but at least I won’t have to pay for my stay in Waco.
As I have from the start I remain committed to getting back on my feet and back to work as soon as possible. My attitude has remained positive and this whole experience has been valuable for my character development. It has really opened my eyes about what its like to be handicapped and dependent on people. I have always been a fiercely independent person but some people don’t have that luxury. I have learned that through this experience. It is teaching me a lot and helped me appreciate many things a lot more. My friends have really been a great help as has the comics community. Thanks to all who have supported my cause.
Here’s the latest on my situation. I got out of the hospital on Thursday. That day I had got the word that my job was gone, They decided to close the project I was on and said they will hire me when they start another but they don’t know when that will be. And because I am in a wheel chair I can’t live in my old place so I am currently living in motels trying to find somewhere to live, that’s affordable and accessible in Austin. I don’t doubt I will be working again. My skills are in demand. But I have to find a place to stay soon before my money runs out.
It’s ironic, I came to Austin from San Diego in September for a job I thought was going to last a while. I came here to start fresh. Well, I guess the second part is true. Starting in a strange town where I know so few people and being disabled is a new one and a daunting challenge. But those are the cards I’ve been dealt.
All I can do is keep looking and hope for the best. I can’t say how much I appreciate the support I’ve been given by so many people. You have my undying thanks.
If you were wondering where I’ve been lately the answer is the hospital. I almost died three weeks ago from an infected diabetic ulcer on my right foot, I had no idea how close I was to death even though I had been caring for and cleaning the wound every day. How it started was a a blister on the bottom of my foot, from walking.
I have type 2 diabetes so that blister turned into an ulcer instead of healing normally. The irony was after six months it was healing, It was getting smaller. But it still got infected some how and I got really sick. It became septic meaning the infection got in my blood. I decided to check myself into the hospital even though I didn’t want to. I figured they would have me there 5 days or so. I was wrong. I am still here after three weeks.
If I had waited one more day I’d probably be dead. All my organs were shutting down. Kidneys had failed, blood pressure was about A LOW s it could get and still be alive. I was so weak getting out of a chair was extremely hard.
I checked into the VA here in Austin but they don’t have a hospital so they sent me to St. David’s, who they work with here. It’s very nice place and they have been taking good care of me.
But the foot had to go. It was too far gone and infection had got into the bone.
So I am now disabled and have to wait six weeks or so before I can get a prosthetic foot and walk again.
Because I was living in an upstairs place I need to find new living quarters as soon as I get out. And because I work as a contractor I am not being paid for all the weeks I have been out. In fact, I may be out of a job because of this. I need to get that resolved. As result of all this I am technically homeless and potentially unemployed. A fund has been created to help me out. Any donation will be a big help.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. I am looking forward to a lot of obstacles to overcome in very near future. Please forgive me for not writing sooner. And if you can help it woud be much appreciated.
Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. I do must of my posting on my Facebook page these days. Anyway, I wanted to sing praises of this ever growing movie theater chain which is doing it the right way. When I was a kid I wanted to run a theater chain. But the old single screen model is dead. The chain model of the 70s and 80s is dying. This is really the way to do it. First they have real restaurant style food and beer and wine. They have waiters. They enforce quiet so you can really enjoy the film and not be annoyed by jerks. Every seat has a table as you see here.
The prices aren’t that bad. You can get pizza, hamburgers, etc. I had garlic hummus with veggies and pita bread today when I went. And the drinks are bottomless for soda and the like. They serve free water if you want it. Before the movie they show old cartoons and trailers based on the movie they are showing. I saw Gone Girl today so they showed trailers like Laura and The Vanishing. I always get there early for the pre-shows.
They have these robot ticket sellers out front if you want to skip the lines. I’ve seen a lot of these innovations copied at other chains but not done as well. I have to say, they’ve renewed my love of going to the movies. Especially when you add to the fact that they show lots of classics. This October they’re showing all kinds of classic horror movies and comedies like Shaun of the Dead, The Exorcist, etc.
I’ve been having a good time in Austin having been here one week. The food is great and there has been plenty of entertainment.
I’ve especially been enjoying the Alamo Drafthouse, a very cool theater chain I’ve been hearing about for years. I sent and saw the latest Sin City movie there last week. I liked the pre-show trailer compilation they did, which featured a lot of retro crime movies, cartoons and music videos. They show a lot of old movies which is something I miss about the old days when revival houses were more common.
The whole Spiderwoman variant cover “Controversy” was a hilariously, overblown example of how a bunch of screechy scolds in the press get outraged over nothing while journalists and kids are beheaded by zealots and genocide is making a comeback, while cops with tanks mow down civilians. By all means, lets get angry over a variant comic book cover!
This video makes plenty of good points about the insanity of this whole “issue.”
I got a job offer in Austin, Texas and felt like making the change. I’ve been hearing for years how great it is there. I have friends there and there are all kinds of advantages compared to San Diego for living there, so I’m making the move next weekend. I haven’t been to Austin, but I used to live in San Antonio which is close. Back when I was in the Air Force. That was a log time ago. I’ve been waiting to explore more of the midwest and east and, so Austin is a good place to make a base. I’ll still go to San Diego Comic Con if I’m able, because it’s a ritual with me. But I’m really looking forward to checking out some of the eastern and southern Conventions. There’s one in Austin a week or so after I get there.
I’ll be posting images from my road trip on here or Facebook.
I see I haven’t posted anything in awhile. The world’s going nuts and my life has been kind of a whirlwind of sorts. More on that later but I’ve been busy with everything from working on my novels to cataloging my archives and so on. I decided a while ago to lay off the politics for awhile. People get spun up by the press. So much of what they are told is lies or hysteria and if you try to say something reasonable you get attacked as being insane. It gets tiring. The riots in Ferguson and Gaza have more than one side to them and it’s sad people can’t see that.
In any event here’s a picture of me at Comicon last month signing a book at a friend’s booth. People say I look good, but I still have a bunch of weight left to lose. It’s slowly coming off. I’m determined to get to the mid-200s hopefully by my birthday. It’s doable.
Here’s a picture of myself and Dan Brereton at the start of our careers in comic. I had been in the business about three years and Dan had just finished a book for Eclipse called the Black Terror and was starting on The Psycho with me for DC. We did a signing at Dan’s local comics store, Flying Colors, which is still very much in business and is a leading retailer in the industry. I’m trying to get back to that weight I had. This photo is good inspiration for me.
I’m working on two novels and some screenplays and to keep track of where everything is, how the stories flow and how to see the big picture, it’s important to have a good tool to organize all your ideas and information. For me, this tool does it best and for a great price. Only $15. I can break down my story into acts and create little index cards inside the acts and draw relationship lines between themes, scenes and characters. It’s great. Check out the video below if you’re interested how it works.
Once in a blue moon a movie comes out of nowhere that flies under the radar and exceeds everyone’s expectations in such a way it creates a mountain of good will and becomes a huge sensation. In 1977 it was Star Wars, which was a fun space opera that didn’t take itself too seriously. We all know how that played out. Today we have its successor, Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie that outdoes Star Wars at its own game and is actually a lot more fun and entertaining without being a rip off. If anything, this is one of the biggest surprises of many years because early trailers had me cringing a little at the broad humor and 70s pop tunes. What I didn’t know is those are two of its strengths.
This is one of the most light-hearted, fun adventure films I’ve seen in decades. It’s funny all through the story and yet it has plenty of thrills and excitement. It’s heavy on CGI but the characters keep you so entertained that you really don’t mind. That is something so many modern films fail to get. Movies should be about characters you want to hang out with for the ride. Entertaining movies should be entertaining. But they often feel like chores. This movie is entertaining all the way through but in an unforced, natural way that will have you smiling and laughing.
I remember seeing adults act like kids when the first Star Wars came out because it tapped something inside of people that made them feel young again. This movie has that same magic. It’s not mean spirited or too dark. It has a genocidal villain who wants to destroy a planet and unlike Man of Steel and Star Trek: Into Darkness, the heroes all do their best to risk their lives to save people from harm before trying to stop the villain. What a difference that makes.
Without revealing too much, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is Star Lord. He is a member of the Ravagers, a group of Space pirates lead by Yondu (Michael Rooker), a kind of space hillbilly who loves figurines for his dashboard. But Star Lord is going it alone when he finds a mysterious orb he wants to sell in some ruins. A group of bad guys show up to take it from him but he gets away. They put a bounty on him and he soon ends up in prison with a bunch of other characters who team up with him to escape the slammer. And when they do he convinces them to join him to sell the orb because an insane zealot named Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) wants it to destroy a planet.
Quill has a mix tape of old tunes that used to play on the radio when I was in high school. It’s all he has to remind him of his home where he was abducted as a child. The music and his comments about earth culture provide some great jokes because the aliens don’t know what he’s talking about.
And personally, one of the pleasures I got from the film was seeing so many friends of mine get credit in the closing credits for creating characters in the movie. I especially loved the bit at the very end of the credits which shows a character no one was expecting. Then the names of two good friends of mine show up. That was very cool.
If you want to have a good time, go see this movie. It will cheer you up. This is a secret ingredient so many films today are lacking. The Feel Good factor. I suspect it will be one of Marvel’s most successful movies of all time.
I had a great time at Comicon this year. I got to meet a couple great writers, Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss. And I got to hand them my novel. I even got a signed copy of Abercombies new book Half a King!
On Sunday I did a Secrets of Writing panel and my friend, writer Dr. Terry Cronin helped out. We mainly discussed the secret of creating a good logline and why it’s so important. We had a pretty good crowd.
I took lots of fun pictures which you can check out on my Facebook page. Now, it’s back to the real world.