Well, I spent Father’s Day at (what are the odds?) my father’s. Had a fabulous meal, swam in the pool, reminisced about disasterous family vacations past. (“Hey, do you remember the time we went to Crater Lake and Mom got stung by a bee and we had to stay in the camper and wait to see if she was gonna go into anaphylatic shock?” “Hey, yeah!”) Which was fun, more so because, due to him being out of the country most of the time, and a decade of general geographic incompatibility, made this the first such holiday either of us had celebrated in…err…I wanna say twelve years, which sounds insane, but is certainly possible. So that was a good day.

Today, I did nothing particularly extraordinary–did a quick little watercolor of Chu and Dusty, on the off chance that someone at Anthrocon loves “Irrational Fears” with a rare and financially-backed passion, worked on some commissions, fooled around with the layout for the next page of Digger. Got a few initial nibbles from the submissions, but nothing more for a few days now. My in-box remains as silent as a tomb, although if we were going for an accurate metaphor, it would be as silent as a tomb that’s knee deep in flyers about how to increase my penis size and make millions transferring money from Nigeria. Still, I am determined not to worry too much. Even the few nibbles will hopefully translate into something good in the not-terribly-distant future, and I am feeling much better about my recent career angst. I’m 26, and no, I am not yet a wildly successful illustratrix, but I don’t do half bad, and my art, while perhaps not extraordinary, has been getting better-than-we-usually-see feedback from said nibbles, which is nice. Things will come. And c’mon, I didn’t go into this for the money. Going into art for the money is like going into prostitution for the health benefits. I went into art for…err…the lifestyle! Yeah! That’s it. Where’s my beret?

Meanwhile, I’m reading mysteries. This is unusual for me, but having exhausted most of the interesting looking fantasy recently–“Kushiel’s Dart,” “The Swan’s War,” and “Dragon Weather” are my votes so far this year, by the way, and I recommend “Kushiel’s Dart” for a fairly small segment of the population who likes a good swashbuckling romance and has a very, very open mind. (Generally a really novel concept makes me go “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!” but “Kushiel’s Dart” was more of a “I never would have thought of that. And I’m sort of glad, really.” Still an excellent book, far and away my favorite of the year, but…yeah.) Anyway, having run out of good fantasy for a bit, I am forced to find amusement elsewhere, which is either horror or mystery. Since horror let me down most recently, with “Black House” (which suffered horrible, horrible sequelitis) I went for mystery, and picked up a couple by Laura Rowland, which are set in feudal Japan. They’re not high art, but they’re entertaining, anyway, and not quite as brain-rotting as Mercedes Lackey. And some days, that’s all you ask in a book.

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