In which I talk about following your passions and such.
There’s a point in your adolescence that every age beyond your own seems old. So very old. So distant.
Thirteen you can go to ‘PG-13’ movies.
Fifteen and you can learn how to drive.
Sixteen and you can drive.
Seventeen and you can get into ‘R’ Rated movies.
Eighteen and you can vote – and join the military – and gamble – and get into bars.
Twenty-one and you can drink.
And on and on.
All of it seems distant and strange and those who live in those far off lands seem alien. You dream of driving, of working, of having your own money, your own place, and your own freedom, never seeing the struggles, the stress, the heartache, or the pains it will take to have these things. Never appreciating how magical it can all be once you earn it.
I, like a lot of my generation never saw myself reaching 40 for a variety of reasons but yet here I am, forty years old. An age that seemed so old once and still does. I look around my house and see weird toys, movie posters, hundreds of movies and so much STUFF and it’s strange to think of myself as an adult, let alone as being a husband and being forty. I think back to being a teenager, trapped in a prison of depression with walls I build myself and never seeing a life beyond those walls. I hate high school. I hated school in general. I had few friends and movies were my escape. Movies and writing. I fell in love with writing as a teenager and that is one thing that has not changed.
I never dreamed of college – making friends – falling in love – having a full time job. I never dreamed of what it would be like to move out of my parent’s house – something I did later in life and which came all of a sudden – probably the best way it could.
I still get scared by the future, by my job, by what comes after this job, and what comes five years, ten years, twenty years from now. I have no idea how I will retire, if that’s even possible in a world that has destroyed the middle class and inflated the upper and lower classes. An era where the idea of being debt free is a dream. A distant dream.
This is 40. I feel older. My health isn’t great, my body has changed, and there are times when my brain feels absolutely broken.
It’s hell getting older.
But it’s heaven too.
I have lived. I have loved. I have been places and met people I would never imagined. I have written books, published books, vended at conventions and sold my ‘art’ to strangers and friends alike. I have been involved in the arts and that experience helped me create my own art shows with friends. Those art shows led to our bar rummage sales. And all of those things lead to the creation of a horror convention on my home town. I have lived to see technology evolve and change and in turn have watched as mankind has evolved around technology. I have seen concerts that have made me fall in love with music anew. And I have had so many friends, so many great people in my life that I am lucky to have even had this long to know them.
I have regrets. I have SO many regrets, and have made so many mistakes and make more every day. But this is part of living. These are the daily lessons that make it possible for you to survive. And sometimes that’s what getting older is, sometimes what life is – survival. Surviving yourself long enough to find a sort of balance and peace so you can appreciate the good things and not dwell on the bad.
And there is bad. More bad than you can bear sometimes but though the years you will meet people, will love people that will make you stronger and who will be there to keep you upright when all you want to do is collapse. And with the bad there is more good than you can imagine. More bliss, more happiness, and more surprises than you’d ever dream.
This is 40. And it’s old. Boy is it old. But in being forty I have so many memories, so many stories, and I have lived so many dreams that I never would have imagined possible as a kid. There’s no real rulebook or guide to life, no real straight path to anything because life will never go as you hope, imagine, or fear. All you can do is find your own path and be willing to change course when necessary.
This is 40 and I am lucky to be where I am, as rocky as the ground may be and am curious where this strange trip will lead me.
And, it’s over. Take down the banners, put away the tables, and take a bow kids ‘cause the whole show is over. Phew.
Sunday is usually a drag of a day because it’s the slowest of the days, the end of a long weekend, and by this time I tend to be under-slept and over-sugared. Seriously, it’s like going to some sort of camp, this weekend – you eat for crap, act a fool, and are usually mauled by a bear. Or at least a furry.
The day began as a disaster for me and looked bleak but two book sales and the sale of a painting, both sales within fifteen minutes of one another, really turned the day around – and allowed me to buy a zombie toy. YAY!
Sundays are usually a great day to talk to people. The guests, famous and not, are tired and ready for the weekend to be over and are usually open for a conversation. Two big comic book names that were there were wandering around speaking to other artists and it was really great to see. Some amazing costumes again today, but not as many as yesterday. People on Sunday are out for the bargains, which they will find more times than not. I love the buzz that you get from this place when it’s ‘right’. You see how excited people are to meet an artist or celeb they admire, and it’s great.
The lameness of the day came from a neighboring table, which was held by a shrew of a girl I have seen at the con for years and years and years. For some reason she decided that a patron from the previous day that had come to her table and spoken to her was ‘creepy’ and ‘weird’ and went to great pains to tell all who would listen about the person. It was utterly uncalled for and ridiculous to make fun of people at a comic con for being who they are. Are there creeps? Boy are there ever. Creeps are a dime a dozen at these things, wanting to get as close to girls as they can. But jeepers, this is a place where we can all fly our freak flags, and to act as if you are better than anyone else is a bit absurd.Lest we forget, we are not there, at these things, were it not for the impassioned (and oft-times smelly) people who come to the shows. We are all nerds here, so let’s have some darn solidarity! We all, every person on the earth, pokes fun at people from time to time, but there is a fine line between acknowledging the absurdity of people and making someone a target of bullying, whether they are there before you or not. This girl is the reason I don’t like cons all the time. Her awful attitude and sense of entitlement. Drives me nuts. I live for the few people that like what I do. I don’t really have ‘fans’ per se so I LOVE when people want to talk to me and get into my stuff. It’s what keeps me going. She’d be well to remember that.
It was a good con overall but there really has become too much of an emphasis on nude and Playboy models. Get them, sure, but only after you have pursued cult actors and others that may be a draw. There needs to be just…well, MORE. I hated, as a fan, knowing that I did everything while I was there. You’d rather people left wanting more, knowing they didn’t get a chance to do everything. That’s the fun. And get the celebs and artists out from behind the tables and interacting in some capacity.
It was a fun show, and one of the better ones I have had. I had a great time, talked to a lot of wonderful people, and met a rad writer I admire. The heck of it is that, for me, I dunno that it makes sense to do the shows any more. Fiction (red:non-picture) books are not what people are interested in there, and my art, for the interest it got at times, just doesn’t seem to work there. I really need to learn to promote though, seriously. That is what I need to work on. The books are good, but I am just a rough person to sell them because I am so close to them. For as much as a table costs, for as much as the ticket price is, I want more. Heck, as a person with a table I want a free show shirt, darn it. Gimme a shirt!
We shall see what the future holds on that front but for me, I am glad the weekend is over, and am back to promoting the books and art and move ever forward.
If you got here, to my blog-ranch, via the convention and were interested in my books or art, point yer mousey to the right there and you can find out more about me, my art, and my books, and will hopefully find something of interest.
Thanks for stopping by.
Ok, not that anyone noticed, but I haven’t been as active on here this week, and for that I apologize to, well, no one as there are not a lot of people poking around here. I mean, sure, some of you go and peek in the garbage but there isn’t much to find there, I bury the bodies out…oh, um, yeah, so, uh, bumble kitties. You know, kitties with crazy wingies and buzziness? Yup.
I will get some movie reviews up ASAP. It’s birthday week for me though so I have been knee deep in revelry but will get new stuff up this weekend. Man did we watch some terrible stuff on Netflix for my birthday. It was epic and wonderful. So look for more reviews of awful movies soon.
Until then…have you ordered my books yet? If not, get over to the right side of the page and get on it.
Seriously, I can’t depend on you guys for nothin’.
I have been doing comic conventions off and on since 1994. I started going when a magazine I did with some friends got picked up by a publisher and we went to start promotions for the thing. I have since been going to promote my writing and to sell books. This year I was there to sell books and art, if I was able. I had a lot of stuff but nothing really moved. I had a decent time over all though. I will say that cons have changed. It used to be the fun of the con was the comaraderie and the friendships you built but it isn’t so much like that now. People are there for work, and if they get to know you then cool, but if not, then that is cool too. It’s weird. I miss the days when it was a big weird family by the end of the weekend. I miss that a lot.
Here’s what some of the con looked like for me.
Hey there, my name is Chris, and you are?
Great, great, great. Thanks for coming by________. It’s great to see you again/for the first time.
So, what’s that, who am I and what do I do?
Why ______________ I am glad you asked.
My name is Chris Ringler and I am a writer and artist living in Flint, Michigan. I was involved in ‘zines for a good many years but pursued my passion for writing towards fiction and write short fiction now. I have written one novel that will hopefully see publication some day.
It’s pretty rad and has zombies, and rednecks, and monsters, and angels, and demons, and weirdness, and the main character has a pumpkin on his head.
I have a book out, a short story collection I sell myself (the publisher went out of business years ago, alas) entitled BACK FROM NOTHING. Dark, spooky, harrowing stories that stick to the darker corners of the heart. I sell it for five bucks plus three bucks shipping.
I am also a painter, and photographer when I have the time.
Here you’ll find a lot of this and a little of that, all of it examples of what I do. If you like what you see, check out what I have for sale and let me know what you are looking for.
You can reach me at this email addy –
Take a look around and see what there is and let me know what ya think.