Monday, May 14, 2012
On the morning we arrived back at the port in Miami, Terry got incredibly sick to her stomach. Passengers started getting off the ship at 7am. I left her lying on the bathroom floor with a pillow, and made my way down to the medical office. No one was there. I then went to the concierge to try and get some medical help. There was a long line of people complaining about this expense or that. When I finally got up to the counter, the concierge informed me that the medical office had just opened. So, I went back down. The nurse gave me a few pills in an envelope and I rushed back to the cabin. Terry took them and sprawled out on the bed. Passengers disembarked in waves based on a letter printed on the room key. We were among the last called. Terry couldn't get out of bed so I went back down to the concierge to try and get a wheelchair. A porter came to the room with the chair and we were off. We slipped past lines of people waiting to get off. Elaine Pasekoff picked us up curbside and after a short ride, Terry got to lie down again in Elaine's guest bed.
Elaine is the host of a literary radio program called "The Book Report." She interviews authors about their books. The show airs in nine major markets. That evening she was going to Books & Books to see author Brad Meltzer. I joined Elaine and Derek Hewitt on their outing to get a sketch, unfortunately Terry still couldn't move, although she was regaining strength. Brad was at Books & Books to talk about the book he wrote for his six year old daughter called, "Heroes for my Daughter." A few years prior he had written, "Heroes for my Son" and his daughter kept asking, "Where the heck is my book?" Brad pointed out that our American culture seems to only highlight the achievements of sports stars and actor/celebrities. He told us how a middle school teacher encouraged him to write. She told him, "You can really write." He figured everyone knew how to write but she saw his talent and encouraged him. He sought her out years later to thank her. These were the types of heroes he wanted his children to know about. He was wearing a T-Shirt with Abraham Lincoln on it. The shirt said, "I am Abraham Lincoln." This line of shirts were designed for kids to emulate real role models.
The room was packed, with people standing in the back of the room. Brad's wife and children were there, as a matter of fact his six year old daughter did the reading. An audience member asked Brad how to get started writing the first book. Brad equated writing a novel to placing grains of sand in a bottle one at a time. "If you write a page a day, then at some point you will have a book." Another question came from a comic book fan. Brad has written for the comic book industry for years. The fan wanted to know if there was any comic art that Brad favored above all the rest. Brad did covet some art done by Rags Morales of Batman and Robin crying. Brad went so far as to contact the artist to purchase the original art. Unfortunately it had already been sold to another fan. Years later Brad was signing books at a comics convention. A fan walked up to him and asked him to sign the very same piece of art. He tried to convince the fan to sell it to him but he must have come on too strong. He scared the fan away. Years later however the fan contacted him and sold him the piece.