Friday, March 16, 2018

An Update is Occurring as We Speak

Finally or at last or why not, as we speak an updated website version is being ftp'ed up to the GoDaddy servers wherever they are. This has a small and not very good cover scan of The Digest Enthusiast, issue 7, where editor and publisher Richard Krauss took a very long conversation and turned it into a nice twenty-some pages of interview. He liked it so well he commissioned a portrait created of me for the cover. How much it actually looks like me, well, ah, um, I'll leave it to other people's imaginations.

The sad story behind it is that the painting was done by a guy named Joe Wehrle, Jr., whom I'd conversed with in the past on Harlan Ellison's board back in the days when the man himself would actually spend time there. The way I understand it, Joe complained of pain in his ear on December 10th and passed away on the 12th.

When I got back in town from wherever I was, there was a package for me dated December 5th. The return address was in Joe's handwriting. Inside was a nice note, the original artwork, and a few prints of other work that he'd done in the past. It was the first time I'd ever opened a package from a dead man.

I sent Joe's daughter an e-mail and she sent back a very nice reply where she told me that Joe had completed other work since he'd done the thing for The Digest Enthusiast which I found a comforting thought. I haven't thought about why and I don't think I will. Overall it's just a sad story.


At last year's Creatures, Crimes & Creativity (C3) Conference in Columbia, Maryland, which is put on every year by Austin and Denise Camacho, Cynthia Lauth, and the other fine people at Intrigue Books, Jess Williams of the Maryland Writers Association talked to me about doing a workshop and moderating some panels at their conference this year. That's going to happen this coming Saturday, March 24th in Baltimore.

A few months after that, I received an e-mail from someone else asking if I'd do not just one but two workshops at their conference. I'd sent them something so much earlier that I'd actually forgotten about it and when the e-mail came, I thought it was for the same conference as the Maryland one. I wrote out a reply telling them that I was already coming but that I'd been dealing with Jess Williams when something made me stop and check it out....

This was for another conference completely. In New Jersey.

The first thing I did was delete my e-mail reply. Then I told them that I had another gig on Saturday but if they were willing, I could do both workshops on Sunday. The woman said she'd have to check with her board and long story short, this week is going to be busy.

On Wednesday I've got an all day dental thing going on. I think my dentist needs a new car. And when did these guys start working four-day weeks? And I used to wonder why people would want to work in other peoples' mouths. Clearly they knew something I didn't.

Thursday I head out for Baltimore by automobile. I bought a car that's supposed to be comfortable that even my bent and twisted spine can drive it for distance and so far it seems to be working. Friday I'll lurk the first day of the conference and hopefully relax a little after the hellish schedule I've been working (seriously). Saturday I'm on the floor from 8 until 6, presenting one workshop, appearing on one panel and moderating three others.

Good thing I'll have new teeth. At least temporary ones. Hint: don't guzzle a gallon of fresh-squeezed citrus juice every morning for years. Apparently the enamel of your teeth can't stand up. On the other hand, neither did all the Florida orange and grapefruit groves that are now office buildings. Try to find fresh-squeezed juice from an orchard anymore--I think your teeth are safe.

Saturday night I drive away to Iselin, New Jersey and present two workshops the next day, Sunday, March 25th. If I'm still able I'll drive back to New Hampshire that night, otherwise its hotel time. Stay around NH for a few days, then drive through the wild flats of Canada to Minneapolis for the 31st Anniversary event at Once Upon a Crime Books from mid-morning on.

And then, because there's no such thing as too many miles, or anything worth doing is worth over-doing, or hey, I haven't blown an engine in decades, I'll drive to Florida and see to a couple of things that need seeing to, like writing more of the next book and watching sunsets sink beneath lakes. Or maybe the Gulf of Mexico.

Wait, I just realize--then I'll have to drive back to New Hampshire, about 31 hours. And have another marathon (get it?) session with the dentist. I better have a better time in Florida than I'd planned.

How much trouble can you get in when you're on a soft food diet?


Anonymous Richard Krauss said...

May he rest in peace, Joe Wehrle, Jr. left us a lifetime worth of stories and artwork: Fawn the Dark Eyed, Stovepipe, and Cauliflower Catnip foremost, but covers for Mirage Press and Arkham house and many others. Thanks for your post, Rick. Joe's tribute coming up in TDE8 will include all the works mentioned here and lots more.

9:16 AM  

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