Monday, April 15, 2002

The Return of Libra

Dear god... it's been 9 and a half months since my last blog entry. I've really let things slip ... But, this gives me the opportunity to condense my life into a few brief paragraphs.

I spent July and August writing like I'd never done before. I probably got about 6 stories done in those two months ... Then September 11 came.

I was sitting in my car, on the way to a meeting with a principal. I heard about the first plane crashing right as I got out of the car to go to the meeting. Twenty minutes later, I came out of the school and got in my car ... and shit had gone surreal on me. I couldn't believe that a second plane had hit. I had to teach a demonstration class ... when I walked into the school for that class, the towers were still standing ... when I walked out, they had collapsed.

The whole day I felt numb. When I got home, I realized that my forehead was burning. My whole body was burning. What I had thought was just shock was actually a full-blown illness. Felt like crap and missed a couple of days of work ... and had to cancel a date with a beautiful woman who was actually interested. By the time I was actually able to make plans, she had to awkwardly inform me that she'd met someone else. This, my friends, is life.

I went to the World Fantasy Convention in November ... and a tooth cracked while I was eating some bread. Turned out that an unfortunate softball incident several years ago, which resulted in a trip to the oral surgeon, had left unpleasant after effects. My right front tooth had actually been "reabsorbed" into the gums at the root -- in short, the root of that tooth was disintegrating, which was "not uncommon" with teeth that have been knocked out and re-inserted. So after several weeks of soft foods and excrutiating pain, I was able to get a temporary bridge ... which was crafted a bit too high, so it irritated my gums, causing swelling. This meant that the castings they took for the permanent bridge were TOO SMALL, leaving the top of my shaved down teeth exposed. So another two months with the (now fixed) temporary bridge while they made a new permanent one from new castings. I finally got the bridge in February. Someday, the graphic details of this excrutiating experience will make it into a story.

Then, on February 14 (yes, that's Valentine's Day), my grandfather died. I went home for the funeral -- my third and last grandparent in 2 and a half years. There was a military service and, as the only grandson, I got the flag from the ceremony. We also received three shell casings from the 21 gun salute. One each went to my sister and cousin. Mine is in a display case of glass and wood, pressed tight between the glass and the folded up American flag. Prior to September 11, I likely wouldn't have cared all that much ... now it's my most cherished possession.

Work has been a bitch. I love working with the kids, but numerous external concerns -- district politics and such -- have begun to take up more of our time.

I spent this last weekend at the World Horror Convention in Chicago. I met a wonderful group of people. A full overview of it, complete with pictures, will be showing up on my website soon.

So now I am back at home ... I am taking time to relax and to write. I seem to be getting my life back into something resembling order. All in all, this is good.

Be looking for new additions to the website ... new links, new reviews, and maybe even a new story or two.