I’m sitting in London Ontario at the Airport waiting to board my flight. Considering the time I have to kill, I wanted to take a moment to pause and reflect on the monumental week and a half of me gallavanting Ontario.
I am really fortunate to be able to do what I do. I realized this at the end of the journey hanging out with my dad. I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit, so I’m going back to the beginning.
For the first time in over a decade, I landed in Toronto. I hadn’t seen Kaleem Maxwell (@the_kmax) since his college days when he was producing KMAX Media. If you get the chance, google this footage; I’m still a huge fan of Kaleem’s early media days and hope at some point he does something like this again.
Probably the most important thing I did on the trip in Toronto was have a talk with him about the kind of future he wanted. That said, some things don’t change. Kaleem is still one of the kindest, gentlest human beings I know, and he was nice enough to be there for me. I want to thank him here for putting up with me for two days. Hopefully it will not be so long before I see him again.
I did two other super cool things in Toronto. I got to meet Florence Chan (@florenceachan) in person for the first time in several years. Florence is the amazing artist of the Watcher; she did a killer job on the book and we got a chance to talk and hopefully sometime very soon I can announce some cool stuff. Florence is someone I do admire. She’s been able to pursue her freelance aspirations to the fullest. She’s done some incredible stuff, and I wish her nothing but continued success, and hopefully continued chances to work with her again.
I also got to meet Liana K! Liana (@redlianak) is currently working on the podcast Ed and Red which you can find on soundcloud, hosts futurecon, and does a litany of other awesome things. I wish I had been able to submit to her forthcoming anthology in Tesseracts, but I think I’d really want to see a novel or story from her in the future. She is smart, opinionated and time willing, I’d love to see her tell some amazing stories.
From there I headed to London Ontario and met my mom while I was in town. It was a short but sweet visit. I had no business in London and took the time to just pass through. It was a pleasure to catch up with Brad Granger and Jon Swain. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging with both of them, and hopefully very soon I will get the chance to do it again.
From there I went to Windsor and got to meet Justine Dowsett and Murandy Damodred in person. They published the Watcher and I can honestly say I enjoyed the company of both ladies. Murandy and my sister simply cannot meet. Nor can my editor meet with her. I think the universe could not take the sheer mischief and mayhem that trio would cause. It was a sincere pleasure to hang out with both, and I enjoyed the book signing I had this morning in Windsor. It wasn’t the most glamorous, but it was fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
From Windsor, I journeyed to Detroit. Primarily, I made it a point to hang out with my grandmother. That said, there was one piece of business I had to take care of. My friend Dirk Manning(@DirkManning) was doing a signing at Wonderworld Comics. While we both caught up a little bit, I got to also meet Dennis Barger(@Wonderworldcmx), the owner of Wonderworld and found out about a convention in Detroit in February. This means that this trip I took this week will not be the last. I will be doing another like this in about three months.
Finally, the last part of the trip on the way back, I got to see my buddy Anthony Maniscalco. Anthony is a talented musician, formerly of the band Blurt – a punk band you can find and won’t regret if you do, who is trying to restart his music career with Soul Search Productions.
Whew…cool trip so far.
I found the issue of what we choose to do with our passions become a recurring theme on this trip. I’ve seen people struggle with what they really want – and I saw people move away from those things. and I saw people that were happy with what they were doing. On the later end, I really want to thank Dirk, Liana, Florence and Mirror World in particular personally. Every one of them are taking steps in their dreams and goals, and it’s inspiring to be around them.
I realized how lucky I was to actually be a part of each of their lives going on this trip. I’ve been chasing my own passions for a long time, and while I don’t really have the financial success, I find myself able to travel and see and work with some of these individuals. And I can’t help but feel that this is how it should be. This is my dream and this is my world I want to create for myself, and I find that world forming around me, and I really truly am grateful.
And it continues today.
My flight is boarding. I hope you all were well this week. I hope to have a couple of things to announce for the new year really soon.