Monday, November 24, 2008

Florida visit and going to Utah next week... again

[I wrote this over the weekend]

I'm in an Orlando hotel right now, so my Internet isn't so great. Tomorrow will be the last day of the Tri County Comic Book Convention / Jani Con. The hotel is massive and absolutely beautiful. It's the largest Marriott in the country. I've never been in such a huge hotel before. Surprisingly enough, the rooms aren't that expensive, compared to the hotels I've stayed at with all the other book events. I'm guessing that's because we're so close to Disney World, Universal Studios, etc. BUT where they get you is by the amenities. I'm looking at the breakfast menu and it's $5 for a simple orange, plus 20% service charge, $3 trip charge and tax and tip. When you're all done, you've spent like $10 for a 20 cent orange. Shouldn't oranges be cheaper in Florida? You'd think. Anyway, that's just an example (their cheapest breakfast meal will run you over $20). Needless to say, I haven't been eating at the hotel! The convention promoter was kind enough to take me out to dinner tonight.

Last night I had dinner with Lori Alan (Sponge Bob, Fantastic 4, Family Guy, etc.) and Gregg Berger (Garfield, GI Joe, Transformers, etc.). What wonderful people. Since I just did my audiobook, it was fun picking their brains. I don't plan on going into voice acting, but I'm sure I would do well with it, since doing character voices comes very natural to me, especially anime-type voices. (My biggest complaint with my audiobook was that I had more voices I could have done but no suitable characters to fit those voices–and that's after doing like 70 male voices!).

I'm surprised at how fast I was able to create friendships with the other celebrities. While I was waiting for the shuttle to take me to the hotel, I struck up a conversation with a woman and soon found out that she was Lori Alan, one of the fellow celebs for the convention. What a coincidence.

Oh, before I hit the hay, I need to mention that I'm visiting Utah next week. I might do a school visit.


At the airport home, I met some triplet 13-year-old girls (and 2 of their younger siblings), who ended up buying my book and talking to me for an hour or two. Then on the airplane home, I ended up talking to the TV producer of PBS and a radio show in Arizona, so he's going to book me for the shows. What an eventful trip!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Too tired to write anything sensible

You know you're tired when you spend 30 seconds trying to remember the name of the main character you just wrote about. AHHH! Where's my brain gone!

Looks like I'm going to Utah again at the end of this month. Hopefully, I'll get at least one school visit in before I leave. But before that, I'm heading on to Florida for the Tri County Comic Con. Should be fun. I hope to sell a lot of books.

On a totally weirdo note: I just got my 30,000th visitor today on my website: (YAHOO!).

Here's a part from my latest newsletter: "Well, a few days later, the new mickey ruptured, just like the first one! This time, my wife caught it soon enough and was able to put it back in herself to keep the hole from closing until we could get yet another button that wasn't ruptured. Anyway, it was a nightmare, but he's all right now."

November Newsletter:

Oh, the World Fantasy Convention was just wonderful. My panel was great. I talked about mystery in young adult fantasy. Here are a couple of photos of me with some famous authors. You can see more photos in my photo albums.

David Morrell (creator of Rambo) and Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson, Carrie Vaughn, & George R. R. Martin (NYT bestseller) 

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our First Black President!

I promise that this will be my last political blog... until next election. I don’t know what’s gotten in to me lately. I’m so not political, but I guess I’ve got these thoughts running through my mind and I’ll share them with anyone who wants to listen.

No matter which man won the presidency, America was still going to have a first: either the first black president or the first female vice-president. Just goes to show how far our country has come. I will definitely support Obama, and I hope everyone else does too.

In the end, I would rather have had Mitt Romney as president--someone who actually has a track record of getting a state out of serious debt. We needed a businessman who understands large organizations and does what he says he’ll do. Upon entering office in 2003, Romney faced a $3 billion deficit, but by the end of 2004, not only had he gotten rid of the deficit, but Massachusetts ended the year with a $700 million surplus and a $500 million surplus the next year! Actions speak louder than words in my book. Neither Obama nor McCain can even remotely say the same thing regarding the states they represent. For those of you who didn’t know this, Illinois (the state Obama represents) had the largest deficit in U.S. (3 billion dollars) a little while ago. It’s too bad that Obama didn’t help his own state out. Perhaps with his idea of “change,” he’ll change the way he did things in Illinois and help our country out of the financial crisis it’s in. He didn’t do it for the state he represented, but I’m sure he’ll do it for our country, right? Miracles can happen.

I’m not saying McCain would have been any better in this regard. Arizona is in a deficit as well, and it really irritates me. Senators don’t have the same type of power and issues as Governors, so it's not exactly apples to apples, BUT you can’t ignore the simple fact that Mitt Romney knows how to deal with financial issues, which is what our country needs so badly right now. It’s too bad that religious bigotry got in the way. I just read all the jokes the TV personalities said about Romney and polygamy (he’s a Mormon). The funny thing is that from the Republican candidates, he was the only one who hadn’t had more than one wife (i.e. been divorced and remarried). I find that very ironic.

As a side note, my wife said something interesting to me today, and I think only a mother would even come up with this thought. She said, in a way, that she’s glad McCain didn’t win, because perhaps Governor Palin can now be a better mother to her 2-year old Down Syndrome child. We have a 2-year old with a very similar condition as Down Syndrome, so I think it affects my wife to see a mother put her career before her little child. Of course, many people praise Governor Palin for doing this. As for me, I’ll just remain quiet on the issue. Everyone has their right to do as they please. Perhaps that’s why our country is in the condition it’s in right now. I’m just glad that my wife has chosen to stay home with our five boys. I know they are better for it. Being raised by a loving mother is always a better alternative than being raised by the TV and by minimum wage daycare workers who could probably care less about your child's moral and social upbringing.

One last thought. This is a free country. Regardless of the issues, we have the right to believe and vote for what we want. It saddens me to hear that people on both sides of the issues regarding the "gay marriage" propositions defaced each other's signs. Someone was "kind" enough to remove the sign in my front yard a few days ago. Probably the same people who spray painted "NO" over the "YES" on the large signs I've seen around the city. Regadless of this, Prop 102 in Arizona passed and it looks like Prop 8 is going to pass in California (a little too soon to tell, but I'm not going to stay up any later to find out). If anyone calls me a gay-hater, they're just being ignorant of the issues and ignorant of who I am. I would give my life for gays and non-gays alike.