My friend Steve (Snowdays Comix) generously asked me along to see Stephen King speak, for his Doctor Sleep Tour this past Wednesday, and it was wonderful.
To understand how wonderful it actually was, you have understand that King's work was a fixture in our household from the date of my birth until my Mom passed away in '09. She was a Stephen King fan, and I remember his books lining our shelves and sitting in stacks along my mother's bedside table for 27 years. When I think back on it, he was the first literary rockstar I could fully conceive of. His name was everywhere, in the movies, on television, he even has his own credit card commercial! The fantastic part is that is was an author! We don't blink an eye today when getting saturated with Drake or Miley Cyrus, but the fact that a novelist can reach that same level of celebrity, has me gobsmacked.
Mama bought every book and story the man ever produced, and we watched and taped every mini series based on his work. Stephen King became like a family friend and when I began reading his books, I saw instantly why my mother had cheered him for years. "He writes like people talk!" she'd say in that warm, country accent. I agree, but he also writes like people think, and that's what makes his books so horrifying.
Seeing him in person was not as surreal as I thought it'd be, he was funny and personable and kept the audience laughing. When the event ended, and we were all let out with a brand new copy of Doctor Sleep, Steve and I were both giddy, but couldn't really articulate why we were so excited. It wasn't until we were on the road driving back from Boulder in the dark, that we started to talk about it. Growing up in Colorado , a "fly over state" as we are constantly reminded, it thrilling to see an artist of his renown have such a connection to our state and not only a connection, but use it as the setting for several of his books*. "I'm usually ambivalent toward state pride, but it's really neat to see us mentioned in books that everyone has read." Steve said. "It's like he's a cool uncle, seeing him onstage. He's funny and very personable." We both were smiling ear to ear, and then it hit me. "Steve, do you realize that we just heard a man speak, who's important enough to be a voice on The Simpsons?" We both laughed and continued to smile the whole way home.
In other news:
I'm back in the saddle again, I've knuckled under and bought a subscription to Photoshop so that i can continue to make my animations. It's different, this new version, but not so different that I don't know how to use it. I was able to finish up the animation plates. The only thing left for this new episode if to record and finish it up. Hopefully next week.
The air in my neck of the woods has turned chill and as of the time of this writing a fine mist fills the air. Leaves are starting to turn, and fill my driveway which means that I'll be doing more yard work soon. I can finally run after work without waiting until 8 or 9 PM so that the pavement doesn't cook me. Also, Halloween is almost here, so my wife can look forward to a month solid of horror related material on our television. I can't wait.
I've been writing until my fingers bleed this weekend, and have realized that my time is now at a premium. I'm close to being set up, so that I deliver everything I've promised over the next several months, but it's going to require some ass-kicking on my part. I have several articles coming out for Nerd Reactor in the month of October, and a new episode of Victorian Cut-out Theatre. This time must also be spent peddling my wares to new audiences, clients and entities who might feel like paying me for things that, up until now, I've been doing for free.
I also need to figure out how to get my damn lawn mower to stop spewing black smoke. Ah, the charmed life of the modern creative.
*The Shining, The Stand, Misery, The Skinner Sweet Prologue in American Vampire takes place in Sidewinder, Colorado.