Friday, August 28, 2015

California Trip Recap and What I've Been Up To lately

Hey, guys! Didn't mean to go MIA in the blogosphere for so long. This post is a month late, but as they say, better late than never. Part of my delay is that this trip has left me with a heavy case of the feels. Southern California is the region I grew up in. Seeing it again after 10 years was a major throwback. Ready for the slide show? Here we go!

It started with a couple days at Huntington Beach, where I'd spent many summers treading the sea and catching waves. My wife and I decided, not only would we enjoy our 10 year anniversary to the fullest, we would hit as many items in our bucket list as we could. Dining in a restaurant that's on a pier was great way to start.

This was followed by a full day at the beach. Luckily enough, I was reacquainted with a cousin I hadn't seen in forever, and it was to my surprise that her friend was checking out the copy of Woven I gave her. It's official, guys; people are reading Woven on the beach!

And of course, as you would expect, beachy shenanigans ensued. 

This chapter of our trip concluded with a sunset walk along the shore. How could we not? I think we walked a good five miles that evening. It was a literal walk to remember, hand in hand with the woman I love.

Cut to the next day. Did you know some have asked if I created my middle name so it would look cool on a book cover? Nope. "Powers" is my real middle name, and I have this couple to thank for that, buried not far from where we had stayed. Miss you, Poppy and Grammy.

Fun fact: my wife had never been to Disneyland before. Check that item off her bucket list! Just in time for the 60th anniversary of the park, no less. Since I grew up so close to Anaheim, Disneyland was a biannual deal for most of my childhood. I still remember when they had the sky buckets and the little motorboats. Much of the park has stayed the same after all these years, with a few upgrades. One of my bucket items was to finally dine at The Blue Bayou, that restaurant you can see at the start of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Pricey, but undoubtedly gourmet. And the Fantasmic show afterward was amazing. Disneyland should be a more regular thing for us, I say.
 Inside The Blue Bayou - as you can see, I got lots of sun that day.
The next night, we were treated to dinner by my former neighbors in the animation industry at Tam O'Shanters. I had never been, though I had no idea how close it was to home or that the building led to the inspiration for the cottage in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Cool! Thanks again for having us, guys! (Photo Credit: Sara Sanford).
And now, my home town. Burbank has really chanced over the years. Much of it was remodeled or built anew, but it was a blast to show my wife where I grew up. See that black building in the back? My father used to work there. Now the Cartoon Network logo is on it. Yay!
That afternoon was the big homecoming event, a signing in the very Barnes and Noble store where I had decided to start writing. Such a surreal experience, and we had a good turnout. Hadn't sold so many books since the launch in January, and I was told the signed copies I left with the store were gone shortly after I left. Thank you everyone who came to the event. (Photo Credit: Mary-Alexandra Smith).

The trip concluded with a terrific dinner at the Castaway, a special restaurant up the hill which gives you a fantastic view of Burbank valley at night. But I have to be honest here, the brightest light of them all is this beautiful girl right here. My beacon, my light, my love. Thank you for an incredible 10 years together. Happy Anniversary. :)

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So, what have I been up to? Why my leave of absence for so long? Much of that will be explained on Wednesday for my IWSG post, but for now I will say I'm actually glad summer is winding to a close. It's been the busiest and weirdest of seasons this year. Now that school has started and I have resumed a 4/10 work schedule, I get an extra day a week to take care of writing business. That's always nice.

Thank you for checking in on me. The plan from here on out is to take the Laire off autopilot and resume regular postings again. Until next time my friends, keep sailing through those clear skies.

What have you been up to this summer? Have a special celebration of your own? If far from where you grew up, planning to go back?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Major Update: Recap of the Illinois Tour, Guesting at SLC Comic Con 2015, and California, Here I Come!

Hey, everyone! It's been a long time since I last updated. In case you've wondered where I've gone to, no worries. I'm still alive. Just working on a few life-related adjustments and sorting out the old hat. Throw a two week long family road trip in the mix and, yeah ... you get the idea. And it's not going to slow down anytime soon. Now I'm getting ready for a much needed vacation in California with a book signing in my childhood town to cap it off. I look forward to that!

But first, here's what I've been up to. I had the honor of presenting to these amazing youth at the Quincy Public Library, including some aspiring writers. I hope to see their names on a book cover soon.

I also had a couple signings, one there and one up north. Got to meet a few tourists from different parts of the country, and a couple from Canada. Overall, I'd say the trip was a fun and successful run. other news, I'm officially guesting and paneling at Salt Lake Comic Con. Details have yet to be announced, but I've got to say, it's an honor to play a small part in America's fastest growing comic con. Check the guest list here for all of the amazing peeps I'll hang with. Where's my camera?

As for writing, there's a discovery I've made. Publishing a book is very much like opening a door. In my case, this door has led to a long hallway with many other doors. I am in the process of opening each one and carefully deciding which one to enter, as either choice will set the course for my career. I kinda like to know my options, so I'm checking each one. You will know when it's official when I finally know which door to walk through.

Time for me to start packing. You guys want a recap of my California trip? Let me know in the comments and I'll make it happen. When I return, I plan to be active online again. See you in a few weeks!

I'm David, and "the end of your world is the beginning of mine..."