August 2005


This really isn’t my week.

I’d recovered nicely from the dental thing, and it no longer hurt unless I poked it with my tongue (which I did approximately once a nanosecond, to see if it would still hurt, because c’mon, it’s the law.) I’d gotten a little work done. I was anticipating getting some more work done.

And this morning, I was a little more stuffed up than usual. Not much. Not noticeably. Just a few more kleenex than usual. I was distracted, I paid no heed. Then I sneezed a bit in the car. Hmm. Perhaps I should take an Allegra.

I got home, got out of the car, and proceeded to whang my funny bone savagely on the car door. I said “Ow.” I thought nothing more of it. I went in and took a pill.

Alas, it was too late. The reaction had started, critical mass had been achieved, and the little white pill was insufficient to halt matters. I was in the middle of a full blown allergy attack before I quite realized it, clutching my head and snorfling and the headache and the sinuses like savage, weighty golf balls pressing down on my aching teeth, and the curried eyeballs. Unnghghhh. An attack like this can take me out for a day or more, since I become unable to sleep, which does not bode well for my work schedule–I finished my bestiary card through sneezing, but I suspect I’ll be working on Digger into the weekend.

“Can I get you anything?” asked James, as I lay on the couch whimpering.

“A merciful death.”

“I’ll get the hammer!”


“Just close your eyes and think of bunnies, and it’ll all be over soon…”

I tried to prop myself up on a elbow and noticed a peculiar wangling pain. I staggered into the bathroom and discovered that my earlier car door misadventure had resulted in a neat inch-and-a-half bruise slowly darkening across my elbow. It hadn’t hurt more than usual for a whack in the humerus, so I didn’t expect any outward sign, but there it is. (Isn’t that always the way, though? The agonizing ones don’t bruise, even though you feel that much pain bloody well deserves it, and then you get something that looks like the Mark of Cain and you can’t remember what the heck happened, maybe the desk gave you a sharp look or something?) Then I sneezed about five times in rapid succession and bit my own tongue.

Then the cat got a flat tire and I had to change it in the middle of traffic.

Okay, I made that last one up, but since I was whining anyway…

Working on a lot of small things today, which means that at the end of the day, I feel all unproductive, because even though I did work on a lot of stuff, I have nothing impressive to show for it. But eh, such is life. Working on my second beastiary card, working on Digger, working on a quick spot illo for T Campbell, occasionally wandering into the studio and making minor alterations to the latest incarnation of Horned Sculpey Thing, tapping out a few more thoughts on Eland when they come to me…just kind’ve a day made up of small stuff.

I haven’t done a big full painting for a few weeks, and I’m starting to get…err…not really the itch to do one, but the guilt at not having done one, I guess. It’s not at critical mass yet, but I suspect that by next week, it’ll flatten me, and I’ll have to take another swing.

Okay…I’ll give it a whirl.

Since I have a half-dozen pages of a travelogue sort of ostenibly narrated by the redoubtable Eland, we’ll start there, and see where it goes!

But first, of course, it’s not a proper narrative unless somebody first informs you that it’s full of crap, right?

(If I manage to keep up with this for more than a week, I’ll see about cobbling a slightly more interesting look together, but since I assume people will mostly be reading it via friend’s list anyway, it’s not a priority.)

So I’ve been contemplating doing a Gearworld blog.

A lot of people have expressed interest in Gearworld recently, and I’ve been shrinking from efforts to publish it or license it or whatever, since it’s such a nebulous and personal thing, but after the third or fourth such e-mail in a month, James turned to me one morning, and said more-or-less out of the blue “You need to write a Gearworld story.”

“Err.” I said. “I can’t do that. There’s no…no…plot…thing…” (My deep, gut feeling is that I cannot write a Gearworld story in the conventional sense. Normally I would question this, but with the haphazard, delicate, nailing-jello-to-the-wall method in which Gearworld proceeds, I don’t dare. When I try to force things, Gearworld gets mad at me and clamps down, and then I’m screwed.)

“Well, do SOMETHING,” he said, “before somebody else does.”

I stared into my coffee and considered.

The thing is, I could do a sort of…travel narrative…interspersed with random thoughts and occasional art. I can do that. Initially I thought it might be an interesting kind of webcomic idea–heavy on the writing, occasional spot illustration. But again, I’d be forcing the art frequently, and it would update sporadically at best, so…errf, maybe not.

But a blog…I could probably manage a blog. As LJ has proved, I can write blog entries all the live-long day. I am GOOD at blogging. I could string together a rambling and disjointed travel narrative with general gearworld thoughts and whatever art I do produce, and completely random moments. And if it doesn’t update regularly (as it certainly wouldn’t) people are less likely to write and say “Have you done more yet! Do more! Do more!” which is an absolute creativity killer and simply ensures that it’ll be at least another week before I can even think about it again. (A sense of obligation is no substitute for a muse.) It’d have to be something I could put down whenever I didn’t have any interest, or was too busy, and not feel guilt over. Gearworld comes when it comes, and I have no control over the process. But like anything, I suspect it would respond well to momentum, and the sheer ease of updating a blog might make that momentum easier.

I dunno, any thoughts?

So today, after long months of insurance wrangling, in which I first exceeded my yearly dental allowance, and had to wait nearly six months, which was then complicated by James’s company switching dental insurance providers halfway through the process, forcing us to start back at square one (or actually square zero, ‘cos I now had a known pre-existing condition, which thankfully turned out not to be an issue) with a much crappier insurer, everything was approved and I went in to get my new crown put on.

Except that they had to take an impression first, so the crown could be made to fit. Which they hadn’t done right after the root canal, ‘cos of the insurance wrangling, so I had that temp in for a loooong time.


See, after about eight months with a temporary crown, the gums, like a hedge, get a bit overgrown. They tried yanking them back a coupla times, and then, at last, they got out the hedge clippers and did a little oral topiary.

I knew it was a bad sign when the nurse leaned over and said “Honey, y’all evah had kids?”

“…gnofb?” I said.

“‘Cos this is gonna feel like yo’ gums just had a baby.”


These are not comforting words. When she handed me six Advil and a glass of water a few minutes later, this was exceedingly welcome, but again, not comforting. The Novocaine is still in full force–they gave me four syringes worth, after the first batch got metabolized a teensy bit too quickly–but I can tell already it’s gonna be pain–a light, sharp, raw pain, rather than a bone-deep ache, significantly less than the mule-kick agony of a root-canal in the making. On the scale of pains, perhaps only a 3 or a 4. Nevertheless, pain.

I had hoped to get some stuff done today, like my second Beastiary card, or the recreation of the Horned Sculpey Thingy, but instead, I believe Ursula will be spending some quality time with her bottle of Vicodin.

Some days you get the bear…

My latest Sculpey head fell over while firing, which, because of the quite large antlers, resulted in some serious burnification, a fact I noticed right as the house was filling with billows of carcinogenic smoke.

Head was a total loss. On the bright side, I got it all cleaned up without anything catching fire, and learned a valuable lesson about the proper way of propping stuff up for firing.

Darn, I liked him, too. He had character. Still, when I redo him, I’ll probably give him antelope horns instead of deer antlers, which’ll look better. And into every life, after all, a little rain must fall…

And now, I must go forth and get more Sculpey with which to recreate him!

There is probably something cuter than a baby wolverine, but I am at a loss to think of it at the moment.

And the knowledge that the adorable little handful of cuddly fluff–the best combination of ferret cute and bear cub cute imaginable–will grow up to be an unstoppable killing machine is just icing on the cake.

I love nature shows.

Today I worked with more sculpey, and it was good. This one’s not gonna have a body, per se, so much as the sort of tall, wrapped cylinder look you get in saints and totems. We’ll see whether it looks like a freaky religious artifact, like I’m hoping, or just like I didn’t want to sculpt a body. The heads are the fun bit, what can I say? I could do heads all day. But then I’d need to figure out some use for a whole bunch of weird heads, like wall mounts. And then after awhile I would no longer be able to fight off my inherent evil nature, and I’d be forced to recreate the trophy head collection of Rutherford X. Higgins, big gnome hunter. And that just wouldn’t end well at all.

A very quick doodle of an anatomically way-the-hell-off-but-that’s-why-it’s-a-doodle cow, and Obligatory Small Mammal. I’m trying to do more little quick gesture sketches into little loose watercolors, just as a switch from the usual, and somehow, this emerged from the depths of my brain.

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