November 2006

The Annual Plug

Okay, boys and girls, it’s That Time Of Year again.

Once again, let me suggest that prints are a great Christmas present for all the weirdos on your list. The vast, vast majority of my art is available in print form, and they come signed, and with the little stories on request (either on the print itself, or if the composition doesn’t allow, printed seperately.)

Prices start at $10, they’re all reasonably priced, and we offer discounts on sets like the Weird Fruit, Elemental Mice, Wombat Tea Labels, etc. Plus there’s free shipping on orders over $100 (U.S. only.)


If you’d like to order some prints, I highly, highly recommend that you order early. I can’t guarantee Christmas delivery any later than the first week of December, and it’s much less murderous for me if you order this month. (Plus then you’ll have time to get ’em framed!) For international orders, I’d definitely order this month. Plus if you’re sending a check–well, it’ll take some time in the mail, so consider ordering early!

I take Paypal, check and money order. I can take credit cards through Paypal. I take cowrie shells, shiny beads, and some forms of livestock. (Please, no llamas.)

You can see our whole selection at and you can order by e-mailing me at [email protected] any time! Just say “I want a print!” and put in a list, and I can get you a total. It’s easy! It’s fun! It’s a great gift for the person who has everything!

Thank you. That is all.

(Nanowrimo: 11,024)

I have been virtuous. 10,300 words, 1/5th of the way done, a day before schedule (and nothing like 1/5th of the way into the story, I fear…)

I can’t say it’s great writing, but the important thing is to get the words down. I can go back and make them better words later, or hack them apart, or whatever. One way in which Nanowrimo fits pretty well for me is that I generally don’t obsess over my writing–I just hammer it out, and figure I’ll worry about it later. Sometimes I’m lucky and I don’t have much to worry about, sometimes I’m not and I have a tangled mass of prose that needs to be unknotted like a wet shoelace–but at least I’ve got the stuff down. A word in the hand is worth two in the brain, at least for me.

I had 8400 words on Nanowrimo, and then James bought me Neverwinter Nights 2.


On the bright side, Ben’s been a regular snugglemeister lately, giving shoulder hugs to all and sundry. I was in the depths of character creation when I heard James:

“Oh, hi, Ben…hi there…yeah…yeah…you’re a good cat, yeah…you’re a…um…you’re licking my ear…”

I peered over and saw Ben stretched over his shoulder, purring thunderously and grooming James’s ear. James looked as if he didn’t know whether to be flattered or fear for his cartilage.

Ben did take a half-hearted swipe at me a few hours ago, and I let out a shrill yawp and stomped off. He went and hugged James again, then lurked until he thought I might have forgotten about it and hugged me. I’ll keep it up–it’s what the cat fancier website recommends for stopping rough play, so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m gonna try and get at least a few hundred words down before I go back to Dungeon Crawling…

The Alliance for Marriage is spamming me.

I should probably just have found a way to get off their mailing list* instead of sending them a note saying that I would be sure to take every opportunity to vote against anything they stood for because their constant spam had irritated me so damn much, and I hoped the whole country bloody well married goats if they were going to spam like this, but I’m in one of those moods.

*I KNOW I was added involuntarily, ‘cos there are some things I would chew off my own arm rather than agree to subscribe to, and that’s one of ’em.

Catness proceeds apace. Athena’s still unhappy, and growls in his presence, but they’ve only come to blows once more, when he jumped up on the back of the couch and startled her and she got him in the side. Ben still makes no effort to retaliate and flees the scene at once, to lurk under the bed until she calms down. Athena’s gettin’ better, but it’s sporadic.

The one problem we’re having is that occasionally if you go to pet Ben, he thinks it’s an invitation to wrestle and tries to disembowel your hand. Not at all uncommon behavior in cats, god knows, but rather unsettling, since he’s very strong and we haven’t yet figured out his body language enough to know when he’s in that kind of mood. (Athena telegraphs it very obviously, bless her dim little heart, mostly by rolling on her shoulders and biting the floor.) However, it definitely seems to be misplaced play behavior, rather than aggression–humans always have to intiate the contact, and in cases where he’d normally display actual aggression, (i.e. with Athena) he’s an absolute pacifist. And he doesn’t make any I-want-to-kill-you sounds–he just seems to think that it’s a free-for-all, and doesn’t really understand why we yelp and recoil.

He wasn’t doing this when we had him in the spare room, so I think the increase in frequency is largely due to several days of living with the constant stress of Athena wanting him dead. (Lord knows, that’d probably get me keyed up and wanting to blow off steam too.) I’ll go back to giving him a few hours alone in the spare room a day and see if that calms him a little–possibly he just needs a break where he knows he can nap without keeping one eye open!

I suspect this is one behavioral problem that’ll work itself out once we all learn to read each other a bit better. We did figure out that he hates to be picked up if he’s laying down, but if he’s standing up, you can pick him up just fine–he’s not keen on being carried for long distances, but he doesn’t flail or claw. He just doesn’t like being picked up when he’s laying down, for whatever reason.

Eh, cats. What can you do?

My first experiment with the oil paint sticks. It’s almost all acrylic, but I brought in the paint sticks for the sky.

It’s interesting. I may have to fool around with this for awhile yet. The glow around the guys I don’t like all that much, but as they say, it’s a learning experience. For one thing, I learned that if you try to scrub oil off gessoboard, you generally take the acrylic underpainting with it.

I am unable to resist posting this. It was the only bit I had already written on this as a story, beyond the Dour Brotherhood image description, and it was what sold me on trying to continue it at all. (I haven’t yet figured out where it GOES in the story, mind you–it was one of those chunks that shows up splendidly isolated and you have to write a hole to drop it in–but I liked Big Matilda’s…err…problem…way too much to resist.)

I might’ve posted this as part of the fragments I occasionally put up, in which case my apologies for the repeats–and this is arguably rather tasteless, in which case my apologies for my crudity. *grin*

Read more

So, in a fit of madness, I am thinking of doing Nanowrimo this year.

I never have before–couldn’t justify the time–but heck, I seem to be at least part a writer these days, so I might as well try it. Nurk only took me about three weeks, so I know I can beat out something worthwhile in a month. (Granted, Nurk is only around 20K, a very short chapter book, but still.) This may not be worthwhile, but I believe firmly that nothing is ever wasted, and having the bare bones of even a very rough novel at the end of the month wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I would not be doing it with Elf vs. Orc. I know, people may be disappointed, but I like how that’s going, and if it turns out that forcing myself to write a novel in a month is a soul-killing muse-destroying experience, I would rather not do it on something I cared about. Also, you’re supposed to start fresh on this thing, right?

So I’m starting–not quite fresh, I confess–but with a few hundred words. Namely, my notes about the Dour Brotherhood of Quantitative Sorrow–basically the expanded image description from the painting, about the guy getting kicked out of the brotherhood. It’s not something I’ve done much of anything with, I don’t have a plot or anything else, I’ve just got a strange guy with a bird on his head. Hopefully that falls under acceptable prep. (If not, screw it, I’m doin’ it anyway.)

We’ll see if that goes anywhere.

Heck, we’ll see if I can get the NaNoWriMo page to even load…

Postcards from the Neutral Zone

This afternoon, the cats finally came to blows, and they did so on that time-honored battleground–my lap.

I laid down for a nap. Athena, as is her right and tradition, perched on the back of the couch to supervise.

This looked like entirely too much snugglezone for Ben to pass up. I heard a “mrrp?”, opened one eye, and saw a big tabby head by my ribcage.

“Don’t do it, Ben!” I cried, in despair, but it was too late. He leapt into my lap.

Athena reared up, hissed, and smacked him a good one up’side t’ head. To her credit, there was no apparent claw, but bugger if some strange giant was gonna sit on HER HUMAN on her watch.

Ben vacated my lap so fast that my thought process–ohshitohshitohshit–got to about osh– and then he was under the coffee table, on his side, looking as harmless as possible.

“Athena!” I said, exasperated. She ignored me. This was cat business. My opinion was unimportant.

After much growling, they finally settled on an agreement. Athena retained the back of the couch. My anatomy, from the knee up, became a no-man’s-land akin to the Romulan Neutral Zone. Ben was allowed to curl up in contact with my feet.

I suspect the cats got to sleep long before I did.


Do they just not DO Halloween in the South? I mean, no beware of dog sign, nice neighborhood, porch light on…nuthin’.

Now I have three bags of candy that I’ll have to dispose of the old fashioned way–by eating as much as I can stand and making James take the rest to work. Oh, woe!

On the bright side, I got a lovely Wombat Crossing sign from FatFred, and a cute little book titled “Grandpa Wombat’s Snore.” And the cats got through the night with no fighting or casualties. So that was good.

Plus, it’s November, and that means, new EMG-Zine, and new “Wombat Droppings” column, on the seasonal topic of ideas-as-mulch.

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