October 20th, 2008

(no subject)

Yesterday was a strange albeit delightful day for me.

The event was the signing at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy bookstore for BOOK OF LISTS: HORROR (and A HALLOWE'EN ANTHOLOGY). I drove down with Del Howison and John Skipp, and met up with Amy Wallace, Scott Bradley, Nancy Holder, Richard Payne, Les Klinger and more in San Diego. We read from BOOK OF LISTS: HORROR, we signed lots of books, and the four hours of drivetime flew by in a flash of nonstop discussion of horror and writing and fast food and the mysteries of life.

The strange part of the trip involves knowing that I spent my teens in San Diego. Even at the tender age of 12 I was acutely aware that it wasn't Los Angeles, and by the time I was 16 and could drive I was heading north at every available opportunity. Later on, when I'd moved to L.A. and mom was still south, I made the trip probably hundreds of times.

But I haven't been to San Diego in nearly ten years, and I saw half-a-dozen friends yesterday whom I hadn't seen in much longer than that. It's always a shock to suddenly realize that people have aged, and I find I always react in one of two ways: I either think they haven't changed an iota, or I don't recognize them. I had plenty of both yesterday, and the strangeness was compounded by comments about how I was now "a celebrity". I certainly don't feel like one. I can't name a movie I've written that anyone's likely to have heard of, I haven't written a comic, and I haven't published a novel yet.

And then there was the drive down - which in parts is completely unrecognizable now. In the past, the lower end of Orange County was open field and chaparral; heck, I even remember how you could sometimes see the heads of the giraffes in Lion Country Safari (my God, it's been gone almost a quarter-of-a-century). Now the drive happens through one big urban sprawl until you reach Camp Pendleton.

I've never been much interested in nostalgia, and I'm glad today to get back to the business of polishing bad screenplays and writing about an under-appreciated actress...but I suppose an occasional day like yesterday isn't a bad thing to remind us all that time actually moves forward, and tends to do so while we don't notice.