O Gentle Reader, your faithful correspondent thought it would all go so well. Taking the Greyhound Bus (now with alleged Wi-Fi and power outlets!) across the country from Las Vegas to Providence, Rhode Island over 3 full days would be an honest homage to H.P. Lovecraft, who traveled by bus back in the day before regular commercial flight (and, apparently, quixotic attempts to write a novel draft on two cross-country bus trips).
Yes, folks, “riding the dog” across our fair land was a FAIL creatively and even makingsensely. Even when the Wi-Fi appeared AND the plugs were working (“A fuse musta blown,” several drivers in a row said, and also said that only mechanics at a major stop could flip the breaker back into the “Keep bored passengers from forcing the bus off a goddamn cliff” position), did you know that a bus is an incredibly distracting environment to work in? This is why you rarely read historical reports of Vincent van Gogh or Hieronymus Bosch doing their best work at 70 mph seated next to a sweaty farmboy.
Anyway, my takeaway from this is (a) don’t try to use a Chromebook that works (despite Google’s claims) only in the presence of a Wi-Fi signal; and (b) someone with a bad back shouldn’t sit on a rumbling bus coach for 72 hours straight.
So, this being my original plan for writing the 50,000-word first draft of Tesla & Darwin Using Giant Robots to Fight Megalodons (a title which seems downright Boschian, now I think of it) turned out to be about 600 words. And my back and ass hurt as much as you’d expect on a bus stopping at public restrooms every 300 miles or so, but for all the wrong reasons.
All right, so Operation Bus Novel went the way of Operation Flush A Cantaloupe Down The Toilet (age 7) and Operation Try To Get Adult Superstar Lexi Belle To Notice Me (age 46). Faily-fail-fails.
However, my travel sponsor Shoggoth.net (whose fez and/or shirt I wore to every single event at NecronomiCon Providence the weekend before last) took pity on this poor boy and flew me back to Las Vegas, where I was a complete exhausted grouch for about a week before my painful-but-necessary attitude adjustment from the Spousal Unit. The flight had like only 25 people on it and I slept lying down in a row all to myself. Sleep is GOOD.
Case in point: One can make bad public selfie choices when deprived of sleep for three days. (The original was not pixelated, unfortunately for my peaceful marriage.)
So, like all the best-planned lays of mice and men, the whole “productive HPL bus trip” went highly awry, although I learned more about landfill maintenance than I had ever dreamed after 4 hours sitting next to a waste management inspector who I started talking to because he does his own comics and had cool samples. I then, tragically, asked if he did that full time. (No. No, he didn’t. But he did do [4 hours of horrific and/or just disgusting stories of life at the landfill.])
Comic book talk: Surefire bait for landfill experts to “bring in” new listeners.
But now I have been back for a week, which was mostly spent work-work-work trying to set up my various Cons, book signings, Patreon and workshop business, and ordering books to be delivered at key points in my Con-O-Thon. I took yesterday off and just read and also watched Bride of Re-Animator, which wasn’t as good as the original but was better than most of the fecal matter in cinemas today (IMHO).
It is now time to get back to work. I’m going to be posting OMG SO MANY cool pics from NecronomiCon on the @ShoggothNet account (as well as on this blog) that you will betray all your loved ones to get to the next CthulhuCon or Necro and experience the blissful joy of cosmic horror yourself.
You can start with Bosch’s “Big-Eyed Puppy Wuvs U,” painted while on Greyhound.
I also have a new worksheet to keep my draft moving, STARTING TODAY, to be completed before I embark on #ConMarathon2015—because that always ensures it’ll get done, right?
So follow the hashtag #NecronomiConPVD on Twitter for EVERYBODY’S great stuff, including mine, and if you’re not following @ShoggothNet already, my god, man, get to it! Unless you’re lame … and we both know a little better than that, don’t we? (You rock, is what I’m trying to say. Now go follow the links.)
Next: NecronomiCon pics and stories galore!