Free Elk's Run, Pressers, Chapters and On the Way Down: Back to Boston

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Newsarama posted the first full issue of Elk's Run for those that want to see what the fuss is about.

The always wise Matt Dembicki has posted his new Small Presser column, this one focusing on reviews. Check it out and drop some comments, you know how us blogger types enjoy discourse and proving how smart we are.

I put a deadline on myself to get my first chapter book finished and ready for selling by early December. I found a place that I’ll be able to get it printed off for about a buck-fifty. I’m going to tag it at $4.99 for bookstores, I think, but distribute it through my website for a discount. The first book looks like it’ll be around eighty to ninety pages. It’ll be self-contained but part of a larger story.

It’s funny, when I was thinking about pricing I was focused on tagging it at three-bucks a pop which would basically make it impossible for me to make money through retailers. But then I thought about it – five bucks for 80 pages of strong prose – we all pay three-fifty for twenty-two pages of decompressed story that takes ten minutes to read. Five bucks is a steal. Hopefully the non-comic world thinks so as well.

Sorry about the weak story yesterday. It was sort of filler; I could have summed it up in a paragraph. It’s like that weak episode you get before the season-finale, it’s just there to get to a point you need to be at but you didn’t need the full time slot to do it. Eh, hopefully today’s turned out better. But first, the disclaimer…

This whole week is basically one big story that continues a longer story. You can click back if you want to catch-up. Monday has the whole collection of links. Not a great week for newbs, this is more of a pay-off week. This is like starting Watchmen at issue 11 minus Cold War fears and fake alien invasions (SPOILERS!). Feel free to check out the "Best of" to see if you like it here first. Yesterday’s story.

I get back to school almost two weeks early for RA training. I move into my dorm room in Towers on the same floor I just lived in for the past two years. The room is small, two tiny windows giving me a view of the new School of Management and hardly a drop of sunlight. I didn’t really meet any of the RAs that first day, I just hunkered down, got some dinner and went to bed early – my first night in Boston in which R and I weren’t together – it was pretty lonely to say the least.

I start RA training and all of the RAs seem pretty cool. I meet Guam for the first time and I originally thought he was gay (seriously, dude, you have that Ultimate Limp-Wrist thing going on whenever you tell a joke). I click with a couple of them, Steph is wicked cool and the exact opposite of my usual crew, I instantly fall in love with Amy because the girl just exudes warmth (seriously, she’ll melt you with a look), Kat (who ends up becoming Robin’s RA) is the fun token drunkard assigned to the German house (the German house has a long history of hiring RAs that party with their residents until they get fired – it’s tradition, really).

I start to find my groove, get comfortable. It’s still lonely at night and RAs, although fun to hang out with, don’t tend to be the “get drunk and get fucked” type (at least not when they hang out with each other). Nights out were more inline with frozen yogurt and a movie.

The training was long – it was 8-12 hours a day for around 5 days. Most of it had a fun element to it except for the suicide prevention and drug prevention training programs. At least we cracked the occasional joke with the drug prevention stuff, the suicide prevention was just horrid – if you so much as smiled you were an insensitive bastard.

Halfway through training my father calls me. It was pretty late on a weeknight, I was sitting on my bench and writing, when my cell phone rings. He tells me that Uncle Alex is sick with pneumonia and he’s flying out to see him. I find it kind of odd but my father and his brother were always close and I thought my pops found a good excuse to make it our to Arizona. He tells me not to worry, but if I want to come out as well he can fly me out. I tell him I can’t I have to finish RA training and I wish him a good trip.

RA training continues. We have this thing out on some island, a team building thing. It’s as fun as team-building can get and it’s followed by a barbeque and some volleyball. We take the boat back to Boston, hang out for a little while and break apart because we’re all beat.

My father calls from Arizona and tells me that the rest of the family is coming out to see Uncle Alex. Grandma, Grandpa – all of the sisters and brothers. My mom’s not going, neither is my sister. He asks me again if I want to come out. I don’t understand what’s going on, I ask him, “It’s only pneumonia, right?”

He assures me that it’s pneumonia but that it’s really serious. I tell him I can’t go; I still have to finish my training. He understands (like he always does) and he tells me he’d keep me posted.

The next day we have the awards dinner, the last day of RA training. We all get dolled up and go eat, dance, have fun. We laugh at the speeches and congratulate ourselves – prepare ourselves for the coming year with words of inspiration and talk of jobs well done.

That night my father calls me up and tells me my Uncle Alex died from complications caused by HIV. They’re having a memorial service later on in the week and in between sobbing he tells me I should go to it. I tell him school is starting and I can’t make it.

I hang up the phone before he can protest and RA, school – everything fades away. I tried to fight it all summer, all last semester but the severity of the situation hits me – life really hasn’t been good lately.


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