June 2004

Annnnnd new art!

One odd and silly little piece:

and at long last, the walrus! (The transvestite walrus, admittedly. But I am not gonna be the one to tell a thousand pound bull walrus that he can’t wear a pretty hat if he wants to.)

I was just at Barnes & Noble.

I was browsing around the fantasy section, and I spotted a binding that had an oddly familiar font. I tilted my head, read the title–“Lucifer’s Crown”–and thought “Hey, wait, that’s–”

That’s my first cover in a major bookchain, is what it is. I’ve had interior art in big stores before (once), I’ve had covers in small specialty game stores, but never a cover in a big store. I was floored. (I didn’t expect to see it there at all–I thought it was just library editions. Not that I’m complaining!)

For my next milestone, I’ll shoot for a cover that’s actually “me”–this one was a pretty straightforward illustration-to-spec job. They provided all the reference material and while it’s a solid, marketable cover job, it’s not the kind of art you sell prints of or anything. I’m arguably the only person likely to get excited by the fact it’s on the shelf (with the possible exception of the author.) But I still nearly squealed. (I didn’t, however. My gravitas is unshakeable. Also, I’d forgotten to breathe, so I didn’t have anything to squeal with.)

Today has been such a damn good day that I cannot fathom it, do not deserve it, and am a little baffled by it. Lot of work done, sold an original, got another off-the-cuff piece done, and now this. Life is going so well right now, despite my horrendous busyness, that I’m half-convinced a herd of rampaging wildebeest is THIS close to running over my drawing hand…

There was a slight gap in my schedule where a project that didn’t work out had been–nothing much, just several weeks that were going to be “fairly busy” instead of “probably sleepless.”

Fortunately, something immediately rushed in to fill it, so I don’t need to sweat that I might suddenly have to deal with free time. That would have been terrible. But it’s a cool project that pays fine, and I’m excited to do it–details if and when it comes together.

The vacation did me a lot of good–got a cover mostly finished, barring twiddling, and even whipped out two 5 x 7 mixed media pieces to send up to Anthrocon.

http://yerf.com/vernursu/thegrape.jpg (This is MY grape.)

http://yerf.com/vernursu/seasock.jpg (This one would be autobiographical, if I were a sea serpent. I find sock puppets a little…off. But then again, that’s a pretty big ‘if’.)

And! I finally finished the walrus! Now I just gotta photograph him…

And thus Ursula learns the powerful object lesson–if going away for four days, do not leave the mousetraps open.

I thought I smelled something.

Poor little bastard. I’d removed the bait specifically to prevent such things, but he must have just wandered in to see the view or something. Obviously, therefore, he was a very stupid mouse, but I still feel bad for him.


Lots of groovy new merchandise up at Ellen Million–t-shirts with art, postcards, oversize prints, the lot! Check ’em out!


Anyway, I promised to talk about my trip, so…um. Good trip.
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In Which Ursula Does Something Pretty Dumb

We’re back!

I had planned to write about the trip, but A) I’m tired, and B) I just did something sufficiently dumb that I am inspired to write about that instead.

Our trip back was complicated by my having a full blown allergy attack–nearly six hundred miles of snuffling. Rest stop toilet paper is lousy for this, because it is essentially one-ply sandpaper, and thus manages to abrade the nose without absorbing the mucus to any degree. I failed to take a Claritin in time to head off the histamine reaction, at which point it becomes a giant Tic-Tac with drug interaction warnings, so I snorfled my way home, which made for some interesting driving during savage sneezing fits. The linings of my nasal passages are basically raw hamburger by this point.

This will be important later in the story.

So we get home, drop off stuff, soothe the hysterical cat (who just wants to punish us for having left her ALL ALONE for YEARS ON END with NO FOOD, even though my buddy Kathy dropped by and fed and watered and snoogled her.) James went off to get dinner, and I went to check on the wren nest, which hasn’t hatched yet (thankfully, since I still need to get photos.)

While I was out, I noticed that, unsurprisingly, the suet feeder was empty. So I grabbed a cake of suet and dumped it in the feeder, and as luck would have it, a second later I had a dire sneezing fit, nose started dripping madly, and I staggered inside, clutched the Kleenex, and began blowing my nose.

And then wiping my nose.

Bringing my fingers in contact with the lining of my nostrils.

My raw, painful nostrils.

My suety fingers.

Did I mention this great hot pepper squirrel-repellant suet that I use?

Boy howdy. I don’t know if eating the stuff conveys quite the effect of rubbing it on painfully raw flesh, but if so, I feel a little bad for the squirrels.

Making appalled “ungh! ungh!” noises, I rushed into the bathroom and tried to rinse my nose off.

Hands up, who remembers basic chemistry and that capiscin oil, the “hot” in hot peppers, doesn’t dissolve in water, but does get spread around nicely by it? Well, you’re smarter than I am. After thoroughly spreading it around my right nostril, I ran around in circles for a minute, yelping, trying to remember what you do when you eat hot peppers, and remembering that you were supposed to eat bananas or bread. The prospects for shoving either one up my nose seemed unlikely. I settled for rubbing some calendula lotion for sunburns up my nose, which seems to have worked.

And that was my homecoming experience. Travel broadens the mind…

Hey, gang, updating from my parents’ place up in the Pennsylvania backwood thingies. And someone’s watching me type, so I’m not very clever. But anyway! It’s cool up here, good weather, and no one is dead, so it’s all good.

Shall return to NC fairly soon, expect update then when I’m not on dial-up. (The…horror….)

Is it wrong of me that I find the notion of hibernating lemurs fascinating?


Go dwarf fat-tailed lemur! Doze! Doze like the wind!

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