Cifiscape (Cifiscape Vol. 1: The Twin Cities) asked recently how I met Bob Lipski, the author and illustrator of Uptown Girl, and the cover artist for my book of short stories, The Many Lives of Inez Wick. I'm surprised that I haven't told that story. The story is an interesting one.
It all began long ago, or perhaps not so long ago, in the hallway outside of my classroom. The hall is long. On one side of the hall are classrooms, including the one in which I teach English, Literature, and Environmental Science. On the other side of the hall are offices, one of which (I'd find out later) belonged to Bob, and a bathroom. Now what must be understood is that the halls are long and the next closest bathroom is at the other end of what must be a two-city block long hallway. What also must be understood is that my memories of those past events are burly at best. I remember Bob, the hall, my classroom, and the distinct urge to pee. In my blurred memory, Bob and I met thus:
I had just saddled up to one of the two urinals in the men's bathroom. My class was taking a ten-minute break. I had to let loose and get back my classroom to setup whatever came next in my lecture that day. While I was relaxing and relieving the pressure on my bladder, in walked a tall, handsome, dark haired fellow. We exchanged one of those looks that only men, real men, share in the bathroom: a look that said, "Hey man, I'm busy. Don't you fucking talk to me while I'm peeing, or I'll put your head through the fucking tile."
I fished up quickly. I hate bathroom conversation. There is nothing so important that needs to be said to me by anyone or by me to anyone that it can't wait until we are some place else. However, it looked like I was going to be forced into yet another one by Mr. Handsome. You know what else I hate, someone who out dresses me at work, and Mr. Handsome had gone one-step beyond me and was wearing a matching suit, complete with a sports coat. So there I was in the bathroom, washing the pee from my hands before returning to class, and Mr. Handsome in a suit starts washing his hands next to me.
While washing the pee from his hands, Mr. Handsome says, "Hey! Your Aaron Wilson, right?"
Great. Here we go. I was drying my hands, and I was almost out the door, but I had to answer. I had to be polite. "Yeah, that's right. I'm Aaron Wilson." And now, to be polite, "And you?"
"I'm Bob." He says. "Bob Lipski. Uptown Girl. We're both in Cifiscape Vol. 1: The Twin Cities." He holds out his now dried hand for me to shake.
I shake his hand, dumbfounded. "Wow! You're that Bob Lipski. Uptown Girl, Lipski. My wife and I are fans. She even reviewed your comic for the Uptown Neighborhood News a few years back ("Comic Relief" May 2008). Crap. I was having a conversation in a bathroom.
"Yeah, that's me. Thanks. Anyway, how'd you find Cifiscape?"
I opened the door to the hall. We moved out into the hall, thank the gods. "I was searching Craigslist, and I took a chance. You?"
"Through a friend."
So not only was this guy handsome and a snappy dresser, but he was also a successful comic. In that moment, all I wanted was a way to take advantage of his fame. How could I become a bit more successful though knowing Uptown Girl, Lipski. However, in awe of meeting Uptown Girl, Lipski, all I could say was, "Cool. I've got to get back to class. We should talk later."
"Yeah. We should." He gave me a look as if I were giving him the big brush off and went though the door on the other side of the long hall, disappearing into the sea of offices and cubicles.
I watched as he disappeared. "Fuck," I thought, "That was Uptown Girl, Lipski."
Well, I'm not sure if that is how our first meeting went down or if it is how I want to remember our first meeting. Like I wrote many words ago, I remembered Bob, the hall, my classroom, and the distinct urge to pee.
A few weeks later, I was closer to finishing The Many Lives of Inez Wick, and I knew how I wanted to try and take advantage of knowing Uptown Girl, Lipski. I asked him to design the cover. If you are interested in his artistic process, you can checkout Bob's blog post, Cover Me, to see how a comic artist's process.
Special Note: Yes, I have a story in Cifiscape Vol. 1: The Twin Cities - "What's For Dinner" - so I have a vested interest in the anthology selling. However, all the authors in the anthology are local Twin Cities' authors, and the stories are excellent. Cheers!
"The Many Lives of Inez Wick" is a collection of short stories that focus on the sometimes eco-heroine, Inez Wick, as she treads the underbelly of domestic terrorism, occasionally blowing up resource exploiters and pouters.
- The Bike Mechanic - Inez Wick is desperate for help. She's just blown up a water bottling factory and needs to escape Homeland Security. However, her search for help has led her to Dan Seward, an ex-activist with a secret past that he'll fight to protect.
- Lady Aqua - Inez Wick thought that the water bottling factory was empty as she set homemade explosives. Her intention wasn't to take lives but to send a message to wakeup the community. The water bottling factory was pumping so much water the downstream river had dried up.
- Beyond Peaking - Inez Wick, in a life seemingly unconnected to her others, works hard in a office by day, and by night she only wants to retreat into the world of TV mysteries. However, tonight, her mysteries will be interrupted by a special announcement by the President of The United States - the world's oil wells have been depleted.
- Dog Fight - Here, Inez Wick has been abducted by sex traffickers that force her to fight in gladiatorial matches to the death.
- No Compromise - Inez Wick returns to her true calling. She's in China on a mission. She must infiltrate a coal power plant, set explosives, and get out quickly.
- Apophis - In an academic world ruled by men, Inez Wick plays along hoping that her doctoral advisor and lover will soon graduate her. However, something isn't quite right with her equations that predict that Apophis, a large asteroid on a near-mis course towards earth, will pass between safely between the earth and the moon.
- Spilling Sunlight - A glimpse into Inez Wick's the back story. She's just turned sixteen and want's nothing more than to spend time her father. However, her father is a roughneck, and he's off to manage Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.
I wanted to try my Android's Blogger App, so I'm posting a picture and a tidbit about a new project that I'm going to undertake.
I love the tragedy of Oedipus. I've been teaching the play for almost three years. In those three years, it has been the character of the slave and shepard, who took pity on three-day old child of King Laius, who interests me. This shepard-slave bookends the story of Oedipus.
So my question is who is this slave and what is his story. I hope to findout.
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eFiction Magazine - ePub & PDF
|eFiction Magazine - ePub & PDF|
Amazon $3.99 - Kindle edition
June 2011, vol 15
- "The Lilly Pad" is the story of a self-professed fairy princess out clubbing with her girlfriend entourage. While clubbing, she meets a mysterious frog-like creature that come to her rescue.
eFiction Magazine has been a wonderful advocate of my writing. When you are done with the June 2011 issue, please also check out their back issues containing my fiction:
June 2010, vol 3
- Author Spotlight: an interview with me about writing fiction.
- "A Tea Party" is a horror story about a young boy who gets more than he bargained for when a seemingly homeless girl surprises him one late night while taking out the trash.
- "Running of the Cows" is and action story that takes place on the US-Mexican border.
- "Keeping Watch" takes place on a satellite orbiting Earth. Everyone wants to immigrate to a satellite, and it is the job of lowly immigration officials to process the paperwork.
September 2010, vol 6
- "Apophis" is an asteroid that will come close to impacting Earth. In this story, the academics are entangled in an inappropriate Thesis Advisor-Student relationship that could spell disaster for everyone.
October 2010, vol 7
- "Alhazred's Walls" is a horror story that revolves around a tattoo shop with a mysterious ink-slinger and owner.
March 2011, vol 12
- "The Return of Melanoplus Spretus" has everyone running for cover. They are back and they are hungry and ready to swarm.