My last comic con in 2022 was The Cincinnati Comic Expo this past weekend!
I went to this comic con in 2021 and it was fantastic. I couldn’t wait to go back and it did NOT disappoint!
The crowd was so busy on Saturday that I hardly got a chance to talk to anyone because they just kept walking by. It was kind of like the “herd” mentality.
Even though I did sell a lot of comics I didn’t make a profit because my hotel cost was high. I assume the more books I have on my table the more people will have to choose from and the better chances I’ll have at making MORE money by selling more books.
Nonetheless, this is one my my favorite comic cons of the year because I always do well. I can’t wait to go back next year to The Cincinnati Comic Expo.
Someone gave me the suggestion of posting a few pages from my book The Taming Of April so people who might want to fund the Kickstarter will get a better understanding of it.
I decided to do you one better…below are the first 3 chapters of the book!
The first 3 chapters will introduce the 3 main characters in the story. Just so you know, this book has over 50 chapters so this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As you’ll soon see the story is told in first person perspective. In each chapter, a different character is telling YOU their part in the story. Enjoy.
The Taming Of April
Adam: The Breakup
Date: Late September 2008
Breakups can be hard on anyone. The more time you invest into a relationship with someone that you really care about the more it feels like a dagger plunged deep into your heart when the other person wants to end it. Combine that with crisp fall weather and you have my current breakup, which is incredibly hard for me. My name is Adam King. I just turned thirty a few weeks ago and I really wanted to get married and have kids before I hit forty. My life plan was looking good too, until recently. My girlfriend Kim Griffin was everything I ever wanted in a relationship. She was funny, slightly sarcastic and very thoughtful too. We had been dating for over three years. Things were going so well I moved into her house last year. I thought I had found the woman I wanted to marry. Life was good.
I feel I should also mention that she was also a very – how can I say this without sounding rude, ah – a full-size woman. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing close to 250 pounds Kim was what some people might call an Amazon woman. Her size never mattered to me that much. It was her personality that I was attracted to the most.
Well, if I’m being totally honest, her size did have a little to do with why I was attracted to her. I liked it. I’m what some people call a chubby chaser. My close friends and my mom told me I only liked Kim because she was fat but that’s not true. I was in love with her because of her great personality.
Sadly, all this ended a few months ago when she broke up with me. I wanted to get married someday and have kids but she didn’t want that. Getting married wasn’t the issue, it was having kids that she really didn’t want.
So, for the past couple of months, I prepared to move out. Having a broken heart will affect everyone differently. For some it’s depression, others it’s drinking. The breakup took its toll on me and I let myself go. I gained about 25 pounds, I haven’t cut my hair in over two months and I even grew a beard too. With my dirty wide-framed glasses, I looked like one of those chubby dudes people make fun of for living in their mom’s basement playing video games. I couldn’t help it. I was in love with her and she shattered my heart.
Today was the day I had to move out of her house and move into my very small studio apartment, on my own. The neighborhood was nice. North York, Ohio was about a 30-minute drive from my job.
My hair was a greasy bushy mess because I hadn’t showered in two days but I didn’t really care.
Kim was nice enough to help me move. Was she helping to get rid of me or did she really care for my well-being? She walked into this small shoe box that I called a living space and she asked, “Where do I put this?”
I told her, “Anywhere you feel like dropping it. It’s a studio apartment. There isn’t much room for anything.”
My ex-girlfriend stood there, in the arch of my doorway for a moment, soaking in what I said. She eventually put the box down in the corner.
I sighed, turned away from her and said, “Thanks for helping me move.” I appreciated her help but it was still very hard for me to face her. In my eyes I was still very much in love with her.
“Adam, don’t think of this as me wanting to get you out of my house. Think of me as a friend helping you move, because we are friends. You know that, right?”
What did she just say? ‘Don’t think of this as me wanting to get rid of you?’ Well, I guess I have my answer. I turned back in her direction but I still couldn’t face her. My heart couldn’t face her, “I know, but it’s hard. Three years Kim. It’s not that easy to just…” Then I shook my head and sighed again.
“Adam, let’s not make this any harder than it actually is.” When I heard her voice again, I finally looked at her.
For a few moments, neither one of us moved. I think we were both waiting for the next one to talk first.
Kim broke our silence, “I should get going. You can handle the rest.” Did she want to leave because it was getting awkward? I’ll never know for sure.
I tried to hold back my tears as she walked out the door and headed to her car. I knew as she walked away that this was it. She was walking away for good now. I walked to my door and watched as Kim opened the door to her car and yelled back to me, “You’ll be fine. Before you know it, you’ll be dating a girl just like me. Knowing you, your next girlfriend will be bigger than me. You’re such a chubby chaser.”
Through the door I saw leaves on the ground. The cool fall air made my breath steam and my heartbreak even worse. I yelled back to her, “It was never about your size you know.”
She didn’t respond. I don’t know if she didn’t hear me or she was ignoring me. She pulled out of the parking spot and yelled, “Call me if you need anything.”
As she drove away, I whispered to myself, “I need my heart back.”
I closed the door to my small apartment and looked around. It wasn’t much to look at but it was my home, for now. I fell onto the couch and turned my head toward the pillow, and cried.
After a few days had passed I organized my apartment. It was generally easy to do since the place was very tiny. Without all the moving boxes on the floor, my place almost looked empty. I didn’t have a computer desk so my laptop was always on my kitchen table.
My first few days of living alone were spent working at my job, watching TV and sleeping 9 hours at a time.
After about a week of doing the same thing over and over, I finally had enough sulking and got the courage to try and move forward from my old relationship so I joined a BBW chat room on a website called PHAT (Pretty Hot and Tempting). I loved Kim for her personality but I also knew, deep down, I was a chubby chaser too. Or am I? I like big girls but I also wondered why I go back to the same type of people and do the same thing. I’ve always done the same thing over and over, again and again. Do I need a change?
As I pecked away on my keyboard. Pecked because I type with only two fingers, I always have. Anyway, I used my charm, wit, and great personality and talked to a girl from the chat room. She even gave me her number on a private DM. Her username was BRIANNABBW67. Her phone number popped up in my messenger – one – number – at – a – time. Her delivery was cute but she was also quite the smart ass too.
When our conversation was over, I got up from my computer to go to the bathroom. Before I relieved myself, to get ready for bed, I looked at myself in the mirror. What I saw was a chubby white guy with bushy hair who needed a shave and a haircut. It was time for a change.
The Taming of April
April: April Meets Adam
Date: Late September 2008
Now it’s my turn. I’m April Bender, a hair stylist at the Special Style Hair Salon. Now I know what you’re thinking, stupid name for a hairstyling place, right? All the other good names were taken. The name of the place isn’t that important anyway. It’s me you have to pay attention to and believe me when I talk, you’ll listen.
I’m in my mid 20’s, long red hair, (although it doesn’t stay the same color very long. I am a hair stylist, remember) 5 foot 6 and I’m about 145 pounds. You’re probably asking why am I giving you my weight and measurements. It’s because size and weight is important to the story. Adam is a chubby chaser and I’m by no means chubby. Well, not by his standards anyway. If you really think I’m fat I’m going to smack you. I’m just slightly over average.
I remember the first time I met Adam. It had rained overnight but when I came to work that morning the rain stopped. Cool autumn weather and the ground was still wet too. Your typical cloudy fall day. The sun was trying to poke through the clouds but they were being stubborn.
My boss Tori was a heavy-set woman with hips that mimicked the liberty bell. She was doing a customer’s hair so I was texting my friend Danielle Stulter. Most people just called her Dani. She was around my age and also a hairstylist who recently lost her job so I was trying to help her out. We’ve known each other for a long time so I was hoping to talk her into working with me here.
APRIL: I gave Tori your resume. Has she called yet?
DANI: No, girl, not yet.
APRIL: I’ll talk to her when she’s done with her…oh, wait a minute.
Now in case, you were wondering, THIS is when Adam came into my life. The bell rang to let us know someone was in the shop but I didn’t need a bell. When he came in through the entrance the clouds parted to let the sun pour over him. A warm glow bathed his body with light letting me know this man was something special. Cue the cheesy romance music because this was the universe telling me that this man was going to change my life forever!
What…too much? Alright, I’ll tone it down a little.
When he came in through the entrance the sun shined behind him as he opened the door. Boring. I like my version better. Anyway…
He was a little overweight, had a mop top for a head of hair and those glasses were hiding his beautiful blue eyes. He stood 6 foot 2 and damn I love a tall man. Sorry, I got distracted by his height. I licked my lips and finished texting Dani.
APRIL: Whooo, a tall glass of water just came into the salon.
DANI: A tall glass of water? What is this, 1999?
When Adam walked through the door, I was still texting Dani back, so I actually only saw him walk into the shop for a few seconds. Just enough time to drool over how tall he was and get back to my phone, Tori saw I wasn’t paying attention and let me know with her aggressive voice, “April, pay attention. Customer.” She can be a nice boss but if I wasn’t paying attention to the customers, she would let me know it.
APRIL: Shit, gotta go.
I put my phone down at my station and walked to Adam waiting by the front desk. I noticed right away that he couldn’t take his eyes off of Tori.
I asked him, “Hello. Can I help you?”
He woke from his daze, “Oh yes, I’m here for a haircut.”
I could tell he was staring at Tori but she was busy, “Are you waiting for Tori?”
“No, actually this is my first time here. I guess it doesn’t matter who cuts it.”
I smiled at him hoping to get his attention, “I could cut it for you.”
Adam responded, “Let’s do it.”
In my mind, I was thinking, ‘Let’s do it? Wow, he’s very forward!’ but I knew what he meant.
It took me close to 25 minutes to cut that bush off his head. As I was working on his hair, I took a quick look at him in the mirror. He took his glasses off so I could cut his hair and he looked so much better without those glasses. Now all I needed to do was to convince him to clean that scruff off his chin and I’d jump him. I know, I need to control myself and I did. Even with the glasses and beard, he looked totally different from when he first walked in.
As I put the finishing touches on his cut, I saw him still looking at Tori. As much as his eyes were glued to her, I had to know why. “Do you know Tori?”
“No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t stare.”
I broke it to him gently. “You know, I hate to disappoint you but she’s married.”
Adam blushed a little, “I wasn’t going to ask her out or anything. I was just admiring her from afar. She’s very pretty. It’s okay to admire people, isn’t it?”
I told him, “Of course.” As I secretly hoped he would admire me too.
“Anyway, I have a date tonight.”
“Oh, now I know why you came in for a haircut.”
I was almost done with his cut which was a short spiky style. It needed a finishing touch so I reached over for the American Crew hair gel on my station. I wasn’t going to let him say ‘no’ to this gel. It’s amazing. I told him, “Here, this will ‘wow’ her. I love the smell of this stuff. I’m sure your date will too.”
I squirt a little bit in the palm of my hand and then I took a big whiff of it and smiled. My eyes almost rolled in the back of my head as the aroma just about gave me an orgasm. My smile wasn’t simply a ‘happy’ smile it was a ‘damn, this smells good’ smile. No, seriously. The scent of this stuff makes me want to change my panties. It smells like a man.
Rubbing the gel in his hair I was a bit jealous he wasn’t taking me out on a date. I swung the chair around and put him in front of the mirror. “How’s that?”
“It’s a little shorter than I’m used to.”
“Na, I’m on the verge of many changes anyway.”
He got out of the chair and gave me a $5 tip. “Thank you and good luck.”
I walked him up to the front desk so he could pay for his haircut, rang him up, and out the door he went. He shouted back to me, “Thanks again.”
Tori walked by me and I started to sweep up the fresh cut hair on the floor, “Watch the store as I head to the bathroom.”
As soon as she was gone, I texted Dani.
APRIL: OMG! He was 6-2 and thanks to me, he looks hot!
DANI: Did U give him a cut and blow?
APRIL: I just met the man.
DANI: I bet U $5 you’ll end up sucking his dick by the end of your 1st date.
APRIL: I’m not that type of girl. I’d make him wait at least a week.
DANI: A week my ass.
APRIL: Besides, he came in for a haircut because he has a date 2night.
DANI: Doesn’t matter. He’ll come back or you’ll find him. You are such a slut.
APRIL: Shut up! I’m not a slut. To prove it I won’t have sex with him unless I fall in love with him.
DANI: YR on.
The Taming of April
Dani: April to The Rescue
Hello. I’m Dani.
The one that April was texting. She didn’t say a whole lot about me so I thought I’d pop in here and give you a little bit of background on me and my best friend.
As you know my name is Danielle Stulter. I’m in my mid-twenties (a year younger than April). I’m April’s best friend. Here’s a quick rundown of my family. I’m an only child. I live with two moms in a nice house in North York, Ohio. One of my moms, Aliyah, does payroll and accounting at a chiropractor’s office. She’s half Latino and taught me Spanish. My other mom, Julia, is a manager at a restaurant in town. When they were younger, they were both a little wild. Aliyah was an artist but she ditched the colorful hair for a short black pixie cut to fit into the chiropractor’s office. Julia still has her fun blue hair and some piercings.
You might be wondering, is it difficult growing up with two moms? Nope, not at all. Aliyah is my biological mom but it doesn’t matter who actually gave birth to me my mothers are very good loving parents.
However, back when I was in high school, they were concerned when I spent most of my time alone in my room reading with no friends. No, seriously. I never had sleepovers; my parents wouldn’t allow it and I didn’t have siblings to talk to either. My closest cousins lived very far away so I felt lonely for the longest time.
April and I met in her senior year of high school so I’m going to take you back a few years. The year was 2003. Here we go.
I’ll never forget that day. These three seniors Cameron, Jim, and Drake, strolled into the lunch room like they owned the school. Some of the teachers did a very piss poor job of controlling them because they were the star football players. They always turned a blind eye to those three punks because our school went to the state championship two years in a row and these guys were needed on the team to make the school look good.
April was sitting with her cheerleader friends as I walked in. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that. She was a cheerleader her senior year. Although that didn’t last long as you’ll soon find out. Back in those days, I wasn’t a nerdy girl but I was a loner. A very shy girl who mostly kept to myself hardly ever talking to anyone. I was a little fatter back then too so I wore clothes to cover what I didn’t want other kids to see. Being a woman of color with kinky curly hair I wore stuff that helped me hide from the world but that also made me an easy target.
As I was walking in the cafeteria with my tray of food in my hands, that asshole Drake tripped me. My body flew forward and I landed on my tray causing my chocolate milk to spill all over my white sweatshirt. A few kids sitting closest to the incident laughed at me.
April just happened to be behind me in line, holding her tray. She saw everything and screamed, “Leave her alone, dickhead!” Without a second thought, she dropped her tray and shoved Drake in his chest with both hands which knocked him on his ass. He fell backward, tripped over my tray of food on the floor, and hit his face on the side of a table, giving him a bloody lip.
Jim and Camren were mad. As revenge Camren tried to hit April when she wasn’t looking but before the blow struck her April caught his wrist in mid-air! “Don’t even try it!”
Camren and Jim were now at a loss for words. They were the stars of the football team and this cheerleader just knocked Drake on his ass. No words were spoken. The look on their faces said it all, “Holy shit!”
April let go of Camren, reached her hand out to me, and asked, “Are you okay?”
This was a little weird. Do you know how in those high school teen movies where a cute guy comes to the rescue of a nerdy girl? I wasn’t a nerd but I sort of fit that description. The cute guy wasn’t a guy, it was a beautiful cheerleader. She stood above me with her hand out as I answered trying to mutter out words, “Yea, I…I think so. Thanks…I mean. Ah, thank you.”
She helped me up as I looked at her, smiled, and asked, “Where…what, ah, where did you learn how to do that?”
Beaming with confidence she responded, “My mom’s current boyfriend taught me a few moves but I also picked up a few things from watching TV. Being a flexible cheerleader helps too.”
When I was finally fully on my feet she turned around, faced the other two boys, and put herself in a fighting stance ready to kick some more ass if she needed to. She looked like that famous crime-fighting cheerleading cartoon Kim Possible only April had blonde hair, not red.
With a small growl in her voice, she told those guys, “I don’t ever want to see you pick on this girl again or I’ll kick all your…”
Before she could finish Coach Stamper walked over and grabbed her arm. “Did you give him a bloody lip?”
I tried to help her and explain what happened but all these coaches care about are their players and protecting them. I said, “Drake tripped me and…”
“I saw the whole thing from over there. You fell and this girl pushed Drake.”
Camren smiled, “Yep, that’s what happened.”
April was pissed, “He’s lying! That’s not what happened.”
Then some of the other cheerleaders came over to defend their football players. Jessica, the cheerleader captain, and the most stuck-up blonde girl that any school has ever seen scolded April. “You got in a fight with a football player? Cheerleaders support the players, not…”
You could almost see the flames burning in April’s eyes as she interrupted her, “Shut up Jessica. Drake’s an ass and you know it.”
Coach Stamper yelled at April, “Language!”
Jessica squawked back, “We don’t want you on the cheer squad if you’re not going to defend the team.”
“Fine, whatever. I didn’t like being a stupid cheerleader anyway. You’re all a bunch of stuck-up hoes.”
The whole cheer squad felt the sting of that insult and gasped. I laughed because truth be told I heard rumors about a few of the cheerleaders and all three of these guys. I won’t go into details I’m sure you can figure it out.
After that, April quit the team, and then she got suspended for three days for fighting with a fellow student, all because she helped me.
We started hanging out a lot more from that day on. From high school to graduation. When I invited April over for my first sleepover my mom Aliyah was a little worried. She saw the influence April had on me but Julia saw that I was finally coming out of my shell and being more active. I think they both wondered how deep would April’s influence affect me in the years to come.
After high school, we went to the same beauty academy together where we learned how to style hair and, sometimes, we worked at the same beauty salons together too. We both had our own lives but we were always there for each other. We were close back then and we’re still best friends today.
And that’s how April and I became friends.
First off, I’m going to be using my blog here on my Frank James Bailey website more often. I’m still going to have a Newsletter but I thought sometimes I what to talk about something that isn’t really a “newsletter.” It’s just my thoughts and opinions on things. Like the last newsletter, I wrote was about my home studio equipment. That’s not really a “Newsletter” thing.
So my Newsletters will mostly be about my writing (Tercona, The Taming Of April, and so forth…) what comic cons I’m going to attend or info on my Kickstarter. My blog will be about other things like this…
Today I want to tell you about some soaps my wife Amy and I have been using by a company called SBU Skin Care.
A Delectable Scent!
Sweet Cherry Almond expertly blends the sweet scent of cherry with the rich, nutty scent of almonds. In addition to the natural oils we put in all our soaps.
- Intentionally handcrafted with great care to maintain the highest quality standards.
- No parabens, sulfates, phthalates & harsh chemicals
- Not tested on animals
- Made in the USA
With so many benefits, no wonder this soap is so popular!
Wash away your stress with the gentle scent of lavender. Lavender essential oil combined with slight sandalwood undertones creates a scent that has a calming effect and promotes relaxation & sleep. Smooth your skin and make it glow with the gently exfoliating clay and allow this moisturizing bar to nourish your skin.
Patchouli Paradise soap is made with coconut milk to help produce a creamy, & rich lather. The intoxicating aroma of Patchouli flowers is complimented by citrus undertones. Rich in glycerin and natural shea butter, this is a moisturizing bar that will leave your skin feeling soft.