Orlando Heart Walk 2009

This past Saturday was the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. It’s a 5k walk to raise money for the Association’s fight against cardiovascular disease. The event started at 8:30am, with registration and what have you starting at 7:30am. I had planned on getting to the location, which was Loch Haven Park by 7:30, but traffic prevented that from happening. Traffic was horribly backed up because of the event at the designated exit off of I-4. And unfortunately, the rude drivers of the state were already out and about even before 8am on a Saturday. Trying to merge into the turn lane proved to be a nightmare because of this. One of those, everyone’s in a hurry and being nice to you is the last thing on their mind.

Thankfully, I got to Loch Haven Park eventually and found the Track Shack tent. I was walking with the Track Shack team for the walk. After checking in and getting my nice, spiffy Track Shack shirt, I was able to go over to the Tribute Wall and write my tribute to my grandfather, Lye “Pop-Pop” Chenoweth. Also, I got a tribute sticker to wear during my trek to let everyone know that I was walking in memory of someone.

Before I knew it, 8:30am arrived and the event began. There were a lot of people walking which was nice to see. I ended up losing track of my team, so I ended up speed walking and running on an off through the three miles. This gave me a great workout, especially since the route included uneven terrain (sidewalks, stone pavement, hills, etc). Along the miles, there were volunteer “cheerleaders” who cheered us all on as we walked as well as people handing out cold bottles of water. Each mile we made it through had a marker, so you knew how far you’ve come and how much further you had to go.

Heart Walk Orlando

That third mile sign came up and then the finish line. While it felt good to complete the 5k, now that I’m in such good shape it didn’t seem like as much work as the Breast Cancer Walk I did a few years back did. Amazing what getting healthy and in good physical shape will do for you. I discovered that I was the first Track Shack walker to make it back to the tent which was cool to hear. Obviously, it wasn’t a race, but that made me feel like I had come a long way.

All in all, I enjoyed the Heart Walk. I will definitely participate in another one, and have plans to do some other upcoming walk/runs with Track Shack.

Busy, busy, busy!

Apologizes for my lack of updates, life has been keeping me running around lately. I have a lot of thoughts and ideas floating around in my head right now, so much is going on. In fact, one of the things going on is my plan or goal to move back to Asheville next year. I have come to the conclusion that I just miss the mountains so much that I want to move back there as soon as possible. However, I stepped back and realized that while I would more than love to move back there tomorrow, I needed to be realistic. So, I have created a time goal for myself for moving back to AVL. This journey, to get things in order and all will be chronicled in a new blog I started called, Chasing the Dream: The Journey Back to Asheville. Please check it out if you’re interested. I will also use that space to post various Asheville news and what have you, as I am always checking in with what is going on there.

Nanowrimo 2009 is just a month and a day away. I will be participating again this year and cannot wait to get started. Last year, I barely started my crime novel when everything fell apart with my job and all, so I have decided to push the few pages I did write aside and re-start that novel. I haven’t even looked at what I did write, so this will be a completely fresh start on the story. I have already done so much research on it, and have been wanting to get back into writing it. Nano is the perfect time to do just that. So, I can’t wait to dive into a crazy month of writing my ass off. 🙂

This Saturday is the National Heart Association’s Heart Walk. I will be participating in my local 5k walk here in Orlando. Very much looking forward to this, as not only is is a great cause (I will be walking in memory of my grandfather), but it is a great workout. Pictures and a report of the event will be posted either after the walk this weekend or by Monday.

Finally, my married couple friends from Asheville are coming for a visit for a few days to Florida. I will get to have a nice lunch with them on Sunday (vegetarian/vegan style!), so expect some musings and such on that fun time as well with the next blog update.

2009 Vacation Day Six

August 30, 2009. It was Sunday, and my last day in New York City. I awoke just after 8:30am and took in the views and all from my friend’s apartment in Manhattan. It was a beautiful day out I could see, looking out the bedroom window in the room which I had just spent the night. The window had been open just a bit through the night, which allowed breezes of fresh air to enter the apartment. I took in deep breathes of the air, it was unlike what I was used to in Florida, and I loved it.

After relaxing for about an hour and getting ready, I headed out into the city. While the subway station closest to the apartment was down the block and around the corner, I decided to keep strolling along and take in the neighborhood some. There were people lined up down one block with various clothes, electronics and what have you for sale on blankets. Normally, street vendor types in NYC have folding tables, so I figured this was a garage/street type sale going on. Though, later I learned from another friend that this sort of thing is common in the city, so maybe it was typical street sales going on after all.

Spotting a subway station, I decided to head over and take a train to Times Square. Before I knew it, I was walking up the subway stairs and greeting Times Square. There truly isn’t anything like New York’s Times Square. It’s always buzzing with activity and excitement year-round. I took some pictures and then got in line at the first Starbucks I spotted. Yes, a much needed caffeine jolt was in order. Mocha Light Frap in hand, I walked around the Square taking it all in. Then, I headed down the street in search of the NBC Studios store. I wanted to pick up a new Biggest Loser tee shirt, as the one I owned already was very big on me now after my weight loss thus I couldn’t wear it outside of the house.

Spotting the Studios, I entered the building, only to quickly come to the realization that while yes, I was in the NBC Studios building, I had no clue where the store was. Then, I saw a couple of security guards and walked over. One of the guys smiled at me as I asked my touristy question and informed me that I looked like a young Carmella Soprano. This make me smile and laugh. The guard told me he meant it as a compliment and smiled back at me. We chatted for a couple minutes about New York and Florida and then he directed me toward the part of the building where the store was. Inside the store, I was in love. I had found the section just for The Biggest Loser and it was neat. Nearby, there was merchandise for e.r., Law & Order and many other NBC shows. I looked around the store for awhile before finally making a decision on which Biggest Loser t-shirt I wanted (Team Jillian!). Also, I picked up a neat syringe pen from e.r. for my mom who loved that show.

Having had my fill of the Times Square area, I located the subway again and got on. Now, I was headed to the seaport in search of some New York hoodies for myself and mom. Next stop, Fulton Street! Upon arriving at the destination, I got off and headed down the block to the infamous Seaport. The last time I was up this way was a couple years ago with my mom and Aunt Kyle who showed mom and I the neat area. The Seaport was as busy as Times Square was, lots of people, mostly other tourists everywhere. I looked around the shops in search of New York merchandising goodness to take back with me to Florida. Ended up getting a good deal I think on New York embroidered hood jackets, each were $20. Got a grey one for myself and an aqua colored one for mom. Also, I found a neat vintage-looking New York tee for myself. Then, I went outside and shot some great photos of the Brooklyn Bridge before finally heading back to the subway.

I got back to my friend’s apartment almost an hour before I needed to be at the train station. This gave me the opportunity to climb out onto the apartment’s fire escape and shoot a lot of cool pictures of the old buildings in her neighborhood and the great view being at this height gave you. The late afternoon breeze out really made the experience even more memorable and enjoyable.

Robyn accompanied me on the subway through part of the ride to Penn Station. She got off a few stops before me and we said our goodbyes. I thanked her for allowing me to stay with her, as I had a great time in the city. At Penn, I bought my train ticket and then got a smoothie and the day’s New York Post as I awaited the LIRR train that would take me back to Long Island.

Looking back at the weekend I spent in New York City, I have to say it was the best experience of my entire trip up to New York this year. Obviously, I wish I had more time to take in NYC, and plan to give myself another day or two next time to do just that. New York City is definitely one of my most favorite places to be, and already can’t wait for my next visit.

2009 Vacation Day Five

My vacation was closing in on it’s ending at this point, but these were the two days I had been anticipating the most. The weekend was here and that meant it was time to head into the city!

Saturday, August 29th, I got up at 6am to get ready to go. I was taking the 7:40am train into NYC. Once I was ready, my Uncle Bill drove me to the train station which was about 5 minutes away. I bought my ticket from the ticket machine and awaited the arrival of the L.I.R.R. The train pulled into the station right on time and I got on board for the two and a half hour ride into Penn Station. During the long ride in, I kept myself occupied by reading copies of The New York Daily News and The New York Post from the previous day. Yes, it’s quite the trip into NYC, but the time doesn’t seem too drag on too much when you keep yourself busy reading and whatnot.

Before I knew it, I was at Penn Station. Having not gotten much sleep the evening before, I decided my first stop should be a Starbucks one. I wanted to be as awake as possible so as to enjoy the full day I had planned in the city. Mocha Frappe in hand, I found the subway and bought a day pass. Upon locating the number one subway train, I boarded and was on my way toward my friend’s part of Manhattan. My friend, Robyn had invited me to stay with her when I was up visiting New York and I was thrilled, since I had never seen New York City at night. Usually, I go into the city and then have to head on out at the end of the day so I can get back to Long Island. This was a nice change of pace.

It was a wet, rainy morning I quickly discovered when I emerged from the subway underground at my friend’s stop. Which made me all the happier that I had packed an umbrella with me. I popped open the handy dandy covering device and followed the directions Robyn had provided to find her apartment building. After originally heading in the wrong direction, I thankfully quickly did a 360 and arrived a few minutes later at her building. She buzzed me in and I headed up.

After greeting one another and exchanging hugs, I dropped off most of my things and we headed out to enjoy a day in the city. It was still drizzling, but it wouldn’t be for much longer. Within an hour, the rain subsided and it became a beautiful day for walking around NYC. We did some shopping with Robyn in the lead, showing me the best places to go, and then headed to a perfume store. My friend and the lady behind the counter ended up giving me a brief education on perfume. I even ended up buying a bottle.

Next up was the NYC Taco Tweet-up that I had helped plan with a twitter friend who lives in New York. The event was held at the awesome Rosa Mexicano in Union Square. There was a great spread set up for our gathering. They had $2 tacos for us with choice of meat (chicken, steak or pork) as well as an array of toppings. Also, there were chips, peanuts and guacamole to be had. The food was amazing, very delicious. Highly recommend Rosa Mexicano if you are in NYC or near one of their other locations. And, the meet up itself was of course great. It was nice being able to put some faces to the twitters I speak to on a regular basis. Fun was surely had by all who attended I’m sure.

At some point, Robyn and I pulled ourselves away from the fun at Rosa Mexicano and continued our shopping/browsing around in Union Square. We went to Barnes & Noble, where I got to meet one of her roommates who works there. Pam was pretty cool, and we briefly discussed the experience of being a B&N employee since I had previously worked for them. Then, Robyn and I left the bookstore and ended up at Forbidden Planet. Very busy and cool comic book shop. They have lots of indie books which was nice to see, as a lot of shops don’t have such a good selection.

Strand Bookstore was up next, and I wandered around the huge shop for awhile before settling on a Cornell Woolrich book. I have never read his work before and have been wanting to. By this point, Robyn wanted to chill and watch the performers playing in the square. So, I headed into Trader Joe’s by myself. Honestly, the store was so chaotic and busy that it didn’t take me long to turn around and decide to just browse around Whole Foods instead. Whole Foods in Union Square is huge. Unlike the location I’m used to here in Orlando, the NY location had multiple floors. And, yes it was busy as well. I located a few items I wanted and went toward the checkouts. This location has two sides for customers to use to check out. One side is Express, the other is for people who have more than 10 items. I used Express, which in and of itself impressed me. Customers stand in about five different colored coded lines and watch the TV screen above them once they reach the front of their line. Then, a register number appears telling you which one to go to. I was impressed, as this system really kept the lines moving fast. New York knows how to keep lines moving!

Eventually, I met back up with my friend and we headed for pizza. She took me to a great place called, Famous Famiglia. According to the signage, they are the official pizza of the New York Yankees. We each enjoyed a slice and some garlic knots. While the pizza was great, I still think the pizza I had my first day in New York was the best slice I had while up in New York.

Robyn and I both agreed to that even though it was still a bit early, we would head back to her apartment and watch a movie. Twenty minutes later, we were back at the apartment and popping in a DVD. I ended up falling asleep as we enjoyed the movie, Push.

The day was over and I had a great time in the city. 🙂

2009 Vacation: Day Two through Four

August 26th and 27th were fairly uneventful in terms of blogging excitement. That Wednesday, I met my cousin Laurie and her daughter at the shopping outlet. The two of us hadn’t seen each other in like three or four years, so it was great seeing her. We ate a quick late lunch and then wandered around the outlet shopping and talking.

Thursday, I hung out with my Aunt Linda, Uncle Bill and the kids. We went that afternoon post-lunch to the local inlet so the kids could collect snails and shells. This gave me a good opportunity to shoot some photos which was nice (see http://shannonshots.deviantart.com).

That brings us to Friday, August 28th. That morning, my Aunt Kyle and cousin Kim picked me up and we were off to Montauk Lighthouse. It ended up being a drizzly day, but we were determined to enjoy not only our time together, but the lighthouse despite the inclement weather. The drive out to Montauk took longer than per normal due to weekend Hampton traffic. This didn’t bother me though anyway because it gave me time to have a good conversation with my Aunt and cousin. We only see each other about once a year usually, so that was cool.

Once we got to the Lighthouse, my cousin decided she wasn’t interested in climbing it or seeing the sights inside. So, my Aunt and I went in while she wandered around the gift shop and read her book. The bottom portion of the place has a lot of pictures and history information about the lighthouse. The literature talked about erosion of the ground surrounding the lighthouse and how it has held up over the years. After you get through the history part, you can get in line to actually climb to the top of the lighthouse. We waited for about 15-20 minutes and then got our chance to do just that. Only fifteen people can go up at any given time, thus the wait can be long. The stairs up to the top are winding and narrow. With other visitors coming down as you are going up, it can be a little nerving as you make your way to the top of the stairs. Once you get there though, there’s nothing like it. The view was amazing. Very cool indeed.

After we climbed down from the top of the lighthouse, the drizzling rain had subsided, so I had a chance to shoot some photos from the ground of the beauty that surrounds the lighthouse. After popping into the gift shop, we decided our experience at Montauk was complete. A good time was had, but it was time to find someplace to have lunch. It took us just about as long to get back to Riverhead as it did to get there due to heavy traffic, but it gave me another opportunity to see the Hamptons from the car window as we drove.

Upon arriving back in Riverhead, we went for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Normally, I don’t indulge in this kind of cuisine, but I was on vacation and had been craving some oriental food for awhile. I ordered Pepper Steak (my favorite) and it was delicious. Definitely worth allowing myself this treat while I was on vacation.

It was mid-afternoon once we finished eating lunch, and since I hadn’t been able to really do all the shopping and looking around that I had wanted to do two days before, we headed to the local outlet mall. My aunt was awesome in helping me find some nice pants and tops, which I was in great need of. I ended up finding some nice clothes in Eddie Bauer and the Gap, my favorite of which is the light jacket I bought at Eddie Bauer. I think it’s safe to say that Eddie Bauer is now one of my favorite places to shop. 🙂

We looked around the outlet for a little while longer and then headed to Borders. I have an addiction to bookstores, a love I share with my cousin. At the bookstore, I found a great book, Manhattan Noir 2 (I have the first one already) and got a cookies and cream frap at the coffee bar. My aunt and cousins found a couple of things to purchase, then the three of us headed out.

My aunt then brought me back to my Aunt Linda’s house and we said our good-byes. Fun was definitely had on this day, and I was very happy to have had the chance to spend the time with my Aunt Kyle and cousin Kim.

2009 Vacation: Day One

I had hoped to start posting my vacation journal stuff before now, but obviously, that didn’t happen. Anyway, here we go! 🙂

Tuesday, August 25, 2009. My most anticipated vacation week began with my alarm clock buzzing loudly to arouse me just before 9am. I got up, ate breakfast, showered and dressed. After ensuring I had everything, I gathered up my bags and loaded them into my dad’s Grand Prix. We were then off for the Orlando International Airport for my 9am flight.

The check-in was quick and easy, which is just how I always hope it will be. The security checkpoint wasn’t too bad despite a couple of folks in front of me who always seem to not know how to put all their stuff on the x-ray belt and remove their shoes. Sometimes, it’s the things that most of us see as simplistic and not requiring much brain activity that boggles the minds of a select few… reminds me of the people who think ordering a sub at Subway is a rocket science. I have to force myself to chuckle at these sorts of things and people, or I might go insane.

My airline of choice to Long Island, New York is Southwest Airlines, as they not only tend to have reasonable fares, but their staff always treats me right. In the past, I’ve flown with a few others like Delta (I recall the short-lived Delta Song!) and JetBlue, and while they were okay, honestly, they didn’t impress me in the least. I don’t expect a lot when I fly, but some airlines just know how to treat their customers better it seems.

The flight into Islip was pretty smooth, not a lot of turbulence. I had a local Long Island mom to my right who was returning home after helping her sophomore college son settle into his dorm. In the window seat was a middle-school aged kid who was also returning back home to Long Island, after visiting his dad in Florida for the summer. Both nice people to chat with during the two plus hour flight from Orlando.

Upon arriving in the Big Apple, my mom’s sister, Linda picked me up in her new Civic. In tow, my Aunt had my cousin Jimmy’s two kids, Brianna and Cameron. Having never met my second generation cousins, it was nice to finally get the opportunity to do so. Brianna is fourteen and starting high school this year, Cameron is six. The kids wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese to play some games, so that was first up. Now, I haven’t been to a Chuck E. Cheese since I was probably like ten years-old. So, my feeling that the experience was going to be unlike it is through the eyes of a kid was spot on. To say the place is loud and overwhelming is probably and almost certainly and understatement. Kids of all rugrat sizes and ages were running all over the indoor playground. Between the sounds of kids squeeling for joy, the musical sounds of the games themselves and the blaring loudspeakers singing the praises of Chuck E. Cheese world, a few minutes of this place is enough for any adult to go bananas. How parents can manage to survive this sort of thing with their children, I do not know. It didn’t take me long to imagine how my own parents must have felt when I longed to play there as a youngster. For those years, I’m so sorry mom and dad.

Once my Aunt and I were able to prod the kids along in spending all of their game tokens, the experience wasn’t over, oh no. There were tickets won by playing said games that now needed to be redeemed on toys, ie: junk that is of course worth nothing…well, nothing unless you’re a kid that is. Watching my little cousins decide on prizes, my mind again went back to my childhood. I vividly remember an arcade place where you won tickets that you could exchange for similar junk toys or candy. My dad used to take my brother and I there pretty regularly when we were in elementary/middle school. So, I had to smile when I saw the indecision that my cousins went through in choosing their prizes.

Laffy taffy and plastic rubbery toys in hand, we finally left Chuckie’s land and made an immediate beeline for a a place I had been waiting for since booking my plane ticket the month prior. It was time for some real New York pizza goodness! And, it’s no lie that the best slices are found at “holes in the wall.” Totally true, at least in the state of New York it is. No atmosphere, but hands down the best pizza I had my entire trip. Oh, and the garlic knots are great as well. I had a good chuckle when my six-year-old cousin proclaimed out loud that Virginia (his home state) had better pizza that the slice he was slowly munching on. Ah, kids say the funniest things, don’t they?

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We went back to my Aunt and Uncle’s place, where my Uncle Bill and I got to admire each others weight loss from the past year. He had lost more than 90lbs whereas I’ve lost 70lbs, and he looked great. He took me out to his local health good store, Wild By Nature. It is a nice store, I was impressed. It is down the road from their house, where a King Kullen grocery had previous been. I picked up a few items as did he before heading back to the house. We then changed into our workout clothes and headed out to the Nature Preserve for a walk. The Preserve has great trails for walking and I enjoyed taking in the fresh air as we went along the paths.

The day came to a close with a viewing of the Iron Man movie that I brought up with me. My Uncle and Aunt had never seen it, nor had the kids, so it was cool watching it again with people who hadn’t seen this awesome film before. Especially neat seeing the excitement in the eyes of a kid for it. All in all, it was a nice first day of my vacation. I was happy to finally be back up in New York.

New York 2009

I had an awesome time on my vacation up to New York. I’ve been posting some of my photos on my deviantart site, http://shannonshots.deviantart.com and will be updating here with more details on the trip itself. Came back to Orlando on Monday night, and had to go back to work on Wednesday, so as they say, there’s just not enough hours in the day to do it all. 🙂 Since this coming weekend includes a holiday (Labor Day), I have an extra day off, which will make getting some things done (aka writing more), easier.

New York writing space

Vacation and a cold?

So, here it is Sunday, just hours away from my vacation beginning, and I’m getting a cold? I woke up this morning and my throat felt scratchy and things just seemed to continue down that path today. As I sit here at 9pm, all I can hope is that the airborne I picked up today as well as the echinacea and vitamin C I’ve been downing will help me beat this thing. Not only do I want to be sick during my vacation, but I definitely don’t want to feel like crap flying in a plane to New York on Tuesday morning.

Stopped by Mini Megacon this afternoon for a couple of hours to see some friends who were in Artist Alley. Jeez was the con hall freezing! By the time I headed out, I was anxious for a parka or some sort of jacket. Brrrr! It was great seeing everyone, wish I could have hung out longer, but packing for my trip had to be attended to since I work tomorrow. Brought my camera and planned on shooting some pictures, but didn’t end up shooting one shot! Ha.

Mulder's Secret Past

I recently came across some old short stories and such that I have written throughout the last few years. This is a piece of a story that I wrote during season 9 of The X-Files. I was a huge fan of the show, and of course dreamed of being able to write for it. I feel I should note that I obviously have no legal right to The X-Files and it’s characters. This is merely a fan-fiction of sorts. And, while like I said, I don’t own the characters, if for some reason you want to re-post this somewhere, please ask first. Thoughts are welcome, as always. Thanks.

Scully enters her apartment after a long day at work. She is exhausted. “Mmm. What’s that wonderful smell?” She inquires aloud, as Fox Mulder appears in the entry way wearing an apron around his waist.
“Dinner. So, how was your day?” Mulder asks the redhead as helps her out of her beige trench coat.
“This case we’re working on has me downright exhausted. Thank goodness Agent Doggett was willing to stay behind, because I sure didn’t have the energy to look at those reports again today,” Scully muses. “How is William?”
“Sleeping. Just you, me and Fettuccine Alfredo tonight,” Mulder replies with a smile.
“Mulder, you never cook. What’s up?”
“Can’t a guy merely cook for his favorite G-woman without someone thinking that something is wrong? Now, you go change into something comfortable and I’ll take care of everything else.”
After a brief beat, Scully turns and makes way toward the bedroom. Mulder notices the question and apprehension in her eyes, but ignores it. He has already gone over it in his head again and again all week long. Tonight was the night he was going to tell her. It had to be.

The two enjoyed a candlelit dinner together complete with a bottle of champagne. It was all picture perfect and relaxing. With dinner over, Mulder took a deep breath, “there are some things I need to tell you Scully; some things I need to explain.”
“Mulder,” Scully began, “there isn’t anything you need to explain to me.”
“Please Scully, please just hear me out. I need to do this,” Mulder counters back at his former partner.
“After Quantico, I may have been everything my superiors envisioned in a future Bureau Director, less for my obsession for the paranormal. Things aren’t always what they seem however. Good profiling and investigative skills can only take you so far. To keep me on the fast track, I was introduced to a women and fellow F.B.I. Agent. The reasons for her being there were no secret. She was to keep me on track no matter what it took. It wasn’t long before I fell head over heels for her. She was everything I thought I needed or wanted in a woman. She filled in the gaps in my life. She even seemed to understand everything I was going through. My head told me to run, run as far away as I could from her. But, it was too late, she already had my heart wrapped around her finger. Six months later, we were walking down the aisle.”
A look of surprised shock overcomes Scully. She had never thought of the possibility that Mulder may have been previously married. Noticing the look, Mulder takes another deep breath and continues.
“If the Bureau thought I had lost interest in the paranormal and the search for my sister, they couldn’t have been more wrong. I played the good Agent for awhile, allowing them to believe that their plan had worked. This was until I had a run in with the Lone Gunmen. Although, they weren’t the Lone Gunmen back then, not yet. A simple case of apprehending a suspect turned into much more for everyone involved. And, when the day was done, I had far more questions than I had ever had before. Questions which their answers might only be found in the discovery of The X-Files. And, well, you know the rest of the story.” Mulder looks over at Scully, awaiting her response.
“I’ll admit, I never thought for a minute that you had been married.” Scully finally tells him, “but, that doesn’t change anything between us Mulder. The past is the past.”
Mulder shifts uncomfortably in his chair, “for some of us, the past really isn’t in the past,” he explains to her.
“I don’t understand, Mulder,” Scully echos back.
Mulder stands up and reaches into a nearby desk drawer, pulling out a large yellow manila envelope. He hands it to her.
“That came in the mail earlier this week,” he tells her.
Scully opens the envelope, revealing it’s contents. Inside is a handwritten letter, on plain white typing paper. As Scully reads it, Mulder watches her reaction with a knot in his stomach.
The letter is from Diana Fowley, stating how sorry she is that she couldn’t go through with signing the papers after all. That, it was too difficult for her to do.
After a brief moment, Scully looks over at Mulder, the pieces of the puzzle slowly coming together.
“Monday would have been our eleventh wedding anniversary,” Mulder manages to mumble.

Comic Book Review: INFERNO

INFERNO (One-shot, DC Comics)
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Greg Scott

To begin with, I feel I should note that until this summer, I have previously been a dedicated Marvel fan and reader. Easily, 99% of my pull list at the comic shop was for Marvel titles. This isn’t to say that I had anything against DC Comics. On the contrary, I just never knew where or when I could “jump on” to a particular titles seeing as how DC’s books seemed to always have some kind of a Crisis going on which connected everything together. For someone not overly familiar with the DC Universe, I felt a bit overwhelmed by their offerings.

This all has seemingly changed in 2009. DC Comics has, in my opinion, really become accessible for any and everyone. Yes, there is a huge storyline going on with Batman, but entering into their world has been fairly easy. I feel as connected to Batman or the Lantern Corps as I do with Marvel characters like Spider-man or The Avengers. To this I must say, “bravo DC creative team, bravo.”

INFERNO is a one-shot book written by J. Michael Straczynski with artwork by Greg Scott. I spotted this title on the shelf at my shop and immediately passed by it. That was, until the scribe of the book caught my eye, Straczynski. It was his work on Babylon 5 that lead me to read comics at all (with the help of a friend). My first taste of comics and JMS was the first arc of his creator-owned series, RISING STARS. Wow, was that an amazing, mind-blowing tale. Truly, a work of greatest in my mind. Definitely go out and pick up the first arc collected if you have yet to, highly recommended. Anyway, since Straczynski had done me nothing but good in the past with his work in comics (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MIDNIGHT NATION, the list goes on), I figured this INFERNO book was worth a second glance.

In the book, we meet an odd man who is the only survivor of a cruise liner explosion that killed more than two-hundred people. The man has given a name to the hospital staff, but no one knows for sure if the name belongs to him or if he was trying to tell them something. This lone survivor appears to be suffering from a bout of amnesia. He doesn’t remember anything beyond that there was an explosion. Meanwhile, the one name he spoke, Frank Verrano becomes a dead end for the police detective looking into the case. She cannot find a single piece of information, not even a birth certificate.

The mystery man is suddenly attacked in the hospital and a huge, fire-filled action sequence breaks out. Fire-filled due to amnesia man being able to turn into his own version of the Human Torch. Anyway, his overseeing doctor plays a big role in the scenes to come as well. Another boat becomes victim to an odd bombing and an APB is put out on the fire man now calling himself, INFERNO. His story is one part of something called The Red Circle.

Now, I looked into this Red Circle a bit to see if I could find out anything since this is the first I’ve heard of them. According to Wikipedia, DC Comics recently bought the licensing for the catalog of characters from the former Red Circle Comics line. Red Circle Comics first came to light in 1973, publishing a title called Chilling Adventures in Sorcery. The comic book line ascends from the well-known Archie Comics Publications, as the company used it to publish stories that were non-Archie characters, specifically superhero stories.

The bottom line is, definitely check out this book. Not only is the writing superb, but Greg Scott’s artwork is beautiful and really compliments Straczynski’s words. This is the first work I’ve seen from Scott and thus far, I’m impressed and look forward to seeing more of what he can do.