March 2008

Home again, home again…

Whew. Back at last.

Had a GREAT time at Technicon, enjoyed it thoroughly, if you’re ever asked to be a guest there, I recommend it highly. Met a lot of nice people, left a trail of folks who now claim not to recognize me if I’m not wearing a leather corset and the Boots of Doom*…life is good. (And it was worth having Brooke doing the “Lawdy, Miss Scahlett!” snark while lacing me into it just for the look when GRRM turned to me at lunch and said “So what kind of art do you do?” and I could say, with an expression of profound innocence, “I’m a children’s book author.”)

Suffering from the usual post-Con crash…all cons, but particularly when you’re the GoH, tend to take it out of you, because you have to be “on” all weekend–if you’re not on a panel, you’re at the table, being The Artist In Question. And I can do it without any problem, and believe me, I enjoy it thoroughly, but your brain is writing a whole lot of checks and sooner or later the body decides to cash them. (Actually, as many people have noted more eloquently before me, the clothes help with that immensely. They’re like armor. Psychological armor, mostly, although in the case of the boots, they could probably stop a bullet as well.)

So I stumbled into Kevin’s place yesterday, after dropping off the delightful Brooke, with the “charming” and “clever” centers of my brain more or less shut down for repair. He made sure I was fed, and I put in some quality time in an armchair next to the fireplace, with dogs wallowing happily over me. Dogs do not care how charming you are. I love dogs.

Anyway, got home, rescued Ben from the clutches of the vet, where they told me what a lovey cat he is (and he is, he is.) Now I have to do a Digger and unpack the suitcase and change the sheets.

Or possibly I’ll take a nap and THEN do that….

And the wonderful

got a pic of the Boots of Doom (and the knees wearing them.) There’s a leather horned skull on the toe of each boot that isn’t visible in this shot, but you get the gist.

Also, anybody who wants to add me as a friend, go ahead, no need to ask, more the merrier. (I know a few people from Technicon were asking, and it’s easier for a sweeping blanket statement. *grin*)

*”What? No leather? Who are you, and what have you done with our guest of honor?”


I finally have a spare moment to blog…been running from pillar to post, doing guest stuff. Brooke, of A Girl And Her Fed is like the best con buddy ever. We arrived late, I more or less dove through the door and into the opening ceremonies–where, to my mild embarassment and great delight, someone pointed at me and said “The boots! You must be Ursula!”–and while I was doing that, she singlehandedly unloaded and set up our dealer tables, and has been manning them patiently while I’ve been gallivanting off. (AND keeping notes on sales. It’s sort of amazing.)

She also took the fact that the hotel room they comped me only had one bed with great good humor, despite the fact that I snore. (Fortunately neither of us flails, because the bed’s only a queen.)

Boots are still awesome, and astonishingly comfortable–I’ve been wearing them for a good fifteen or sixteen hours for two days, and have developed no blisters or crippling agonies. New Rock is AWESOME. Wore the leather corset and gauntlet/sleeve/whatnots today. ( Funny, I don’t remember people wanting their picture taken with me so much at those OTHER cons…)

Many compliments on the tattoo, passed out a lot of business cards for Blue Flame. I suspect between tattoo and leather I’m looking rather alarming. (Hopefully hot, but I’m happy with alarming.) Enjoying it thoroughly.

Panels have been fine–light attendance, except for the one I shared with George R.R. Martin. (Dude. Talk about being outclassed on stage…) I figured it was my job to be funny, and his to be actually informative. Fortunately the man has a great sense of humor.  The title of the panel was “Character Abuse.” He turns to me at the opening and says “I don’t feel I’m particularly abusive. Are you abusive?”

I couldn’t help it. Here I am, wearing black leather from head to toe, looking like an advertisement for the House of Consensual Pain, and the man feeds me a straight line like that in front of a hundred people. I HAD to say it… “Not unless you buy me dinner first, honey.”

…I blame the boots.

Lotta fun. It was rather silly–I mean, Digger on stage with Song of Fire and Ice, of course nobody’s even HEARD of me–but I had a lot of people, Mr. Martin included, tell me that they really enjoyed that panel afterwards, so hey, must’ve gone well. (Spent the guest luncheon with him commiserating over the problems of working with flaky artists, so that was fun, too. Very nice guy. Still felt thoroughly outclassed.)

Sales aren’t bad at all for a small con, paid for boarding Ben, anyway, and lapel pins selling well–yes, I’ll probably try to figure out mailing on those–and one of my fans, to my infinite joy, went out to the ABC store for me. (I admit, I had a brief moment of “I’m sending a fan out for booze. Is this an abuse of power?” But she got free art, and I got absinthe-y stuff (you know, the stuff with the other kind of wormwood, DEFINITELY looking forward to that….)

Anyway, off to go eat, panel on adult art tonight, have to be reasonably fed for that…

Brief Girly Moment

Ahem. I am about to get all girly. Please avert your eyes, it may be disgusting.

They’re…they’re…knee-high, and black and have buckles and rows of spikes and leather flames and they are so wonderfully absurdly metal. These are Deathklok boots. They’re like body armor. They’re wonderful.

Two inch sole, too. I’m TALL.

I’m not sure if I would call these sexy, per se. More ass-kicking. Less fetish, more industrial. These things are solid. They will find any stiletto-heeled dominatrix boot around and kick it to the curb. (Mind you, there are probably plenty of people who find that sexy…) On t’other hand, if I wear ’em with that one leather skirt I picked up in Toronto, I will arguably look like the Gothest Cheerleader Ever.*

Pretty comfy, though. They weigh a ton, but you get used to that soon enough. New Rock gets kudos. I may be in agony at the end of the day, of course (and yes, I’m bringing along a different pair of shoes, because only a fool wears untried boots to a convention without emergency backup.) Only problem so far is that I can’t kneel or crouch in them. The leather bends fine, but I take a row of spikes in the back of the thigh, and nobody wants that.

On the downside, my wardrobe consists almost entirely of jeans, and they would not fit over the spikes at all, so I may have to–after thirty years of resistance–start wearing short skirts.


I think the cats are scared of them. Angus fled the room when I came tromping towards him, and Ben took his meds like a little lamb. We’ll see how he deals with getting shoved in the carrier, since he’s being boarded for the weekend so I’m sure his meds get administrered. (In the interests of full disclosure, I put the boots on as soon as they arrived, and have not taken them off. Since I was asleep when the postal guy arrives, this means I am currently wearing a fuzzy bathrobe, bright purple granny panties, and DEATH BOOTS. This is not particularly sexy, but it’s amusing the hell out’ve me. Possibly that may be what’s scaring the cats.)

Anyway, my boots and I will be at Technicon, so come on by and say hi! Buy some art! Check out the new lapel pins!

*Note to self–find black pom-poms before Halloween.

A morning spent running errands for con prep, which mostly involves me making a list, losing the list, and then trying to remember what was on the list by muttering to myself about what I need. Kudos to Kevin for falling gracefully into the role of herder-of-artists. (“What else do I need…?” “Receipt books.” “Right!”) This can be a particularly harrowing job because immediately before conventions, as a number of my friends have learned, I tend to start losing nouns. (“I need…err…THINGY!” *wild hand gestures*  “…is it bigger than a breadbox?”) I don’t know where the nouns go. They just wander off.

But I’m armed! I’m ready-ish! I have mats for my art, by virtue of strolling into the frame shop at Jerry’s and saying “Hi! You look busy, I’ll cut the mats myself.” “Good, ‘cos I don’t have time to do it…” (Which worked out well for everybody, because the mat cutter really needed the blade replaced, which isn’t a hard job, per se, but you do have know how to do it. And I got my mats free.) I have granola and power bars and beef jerky and booze and a new file tote for lugging prints in a delightfully garish pink, and although I’ve lost my jumbo print rack somewhere, goddamnit, I am otherwise set.

So tonight, I just have to mat the art–fortunately I rummaged up a few extra pieces from under the bed, and found the con stock of linoblock prints, which are at least affordable for people on a budget, I feel bad when there’s nothing on the panel that anybody can afford–and finish filling the furry print book.

And pack.

My New Rock boots are not here yet. They’re supposed to come in tomorrow, hopefully before I leave for the con, so that I can be all thuggin’. *grin*

ETA: And as I was walking back from the mailbox, a random stranger passing on the sidewalk said “Hey, gorgeous!” to me. I said “Hey, thank you!” *chuckle* Beats the heck out’ve the usual vague avoiding eye contact you get in this complex…

Birds, birds, birds!

A red-tailed hawk has been circling the apartment complex this morning, which is cool, and I got buzzed by a very large owl on the road last night, which was hella cool.

The coolest, however, was standing out on Kevin’s back porch, and hearing one of the few birds that practically anyone can ID by ear, even if they’ve never heard it before.

“Dude! Is that a whippoorwill?”

Call me crazy–or more likely, call me from the west–but I’d never actually heard one before. Kevin got the brief, hunted look which crosses the faces of all my friends before long–the “Oh god, any hope of a quiet evening is about to run afoul of an enthusiastic ornithology buff with no sense and no qualms about trespassing” look–but like so many of my friends (who are generally  much better than I deserve) rose to the occasion and offered to take me searching for the elusive whippoorwill, although preferably at a time when I had boots.* Fortunately, birds can be listed based on call, so it’s a lifer, and I didn’t have to go tromping through the bracken after it (tempting though that might be.)

And now I need to work like a dozen dogs to get ready for the con…

*I have ruined a lot of pairs of nice shoes in pursuit of birds, and regretted none of them, but deer tick season is starting up around here

Well, not everything’s goin’ my way…poor Ben’s mouth hasn’t healed as much as it should have. A quick swab would indicate that cancer’s unlikely, a biopsy would require trauma to both cat and wallet, so the vet’s giving him a run of steroids. If it’s a particular type of disorder, the name of which I’ve already forgotten, the steroids will clear it up right away–it’d be weird for them to be in the mouth rather than lips, but god knows, animals are strange. And if it doesn’t clear up, then…well, we’ll figure it out. I have immense faith in my vet, and I would cheerfully bankrupt myself for Ben.*

Meanwhile the big fella’s now needing even more meds twice a day, so he’ll be getting the Death From Above treatment a lot more than he’d like. (Thank god Kevin was around this morning–Ben was Not In The Mood, and became a two man operation.) Poor guy.

Fortunately other than the mouth thing, he’s healthy, apparently happy, beating up Angus regularly, and so seems to be doing well.

*Well, perhaps not CHEERFULLY, but damnit, he’s only five, he’s healthy as an ox, and he’s my buddy.


I have been having a good few days. Had dinner Sunday with my boyfriend’s clan, who are lovely people. Had a good time. (Some of this might have been due to his sister’s skill with a rum and coke. Damn. I mean, I can taste alcohol in something from across the room, but this was good.)

Last night went out dancing, which was a great deal of fun. Did make the unsettling discovery that if one is going to wear a corset*, one must pretty much acquire the lower half of the outfit while wearing the corset. I did not know this. A pair of pants that fit me beautifully under normal circumstances turn two sizes too large as soon as everything’s laced up. This startled me–the waist, okay, yeah, but I didn’t expect to lose that much ass to an article of clothing that stops above the hips!

In other news, corsets are possibly the greatest article of clothing ever invented.

And the art sells. And my contract from Penguin should come through soon. And my con-prep is not looking so deadly this week as I’d feared, so a few days of casual printing and some small paintings, and I should be fine.

And my boyfriend walked into the apartment last night, cocked his head, and said “Hey, is this Billy Collins?”**

If my life gets any better, I’m gonna start assuming that I was hit by a car andam having coma wish-fulfillment dreams. Seriously. I realize I had a really shitty 2007 and all, and it’s very nice of the universe to give me a break, but much more of this and I’m gonna be looking for falling anvils or something.

*In this case, actually a leather halter top with back lacing, but same basic principle, and marginally warmer given our current cold snap.

**American poet laureate. There are all sorts of reasons to find someone attractive, but I confess that knowledge of and affection for the work of Collins takes a sledgehammer to the throw-panties-at-the-stage center of my brain. (This is perhaps dangerous information to put on the internet, I grant you, but I’m feeling reckless this morning.) Just when I think I’ve found the coolness limit on this guy, something else comes up…

Back to the Invisible Hand…

Let’s just make this easier…con prep is gonna eat my brain already this week…

Very Minor Sale of Very Minor Demon

Definitely thinking about the Seven Deadly Sins with him. A very clever buddy suggests that I could do a postcard set of 8, use this as the title piece, maybe, and sell ’em as a set. The minimum print run to turn a profit on that looks to be about 100, and I’d probably sell them for $10 or $12…if I can find a postcard place with satisfactory print quality, that’d be a cool thing to try. (It’d probably also be a limited edition set, because I suspect it will only take ONE drunken evening of my having to assemble the sets by hand in the living room to cause me to swear off ever doing it again. Ever.)

Anyway, something to contemplate if I manage to get the Seven Deadlies done, and if there was sufficient interest. *grin* Because god knows I don’t have ENOUGH on my plate.

Technicon prep this week, the art show is looking like it’ll be a half-dozen “NFS” pieces at this rate!–but hey, there are worse fates, and I’ll have prints!

I’ll also be debuting snazzy new lapel pins at this con–enameled metal, very slick, in three designs–Digger, Happy Cthulhu, and the Red Wombat logo. I’m thinking they’ll be $5 apiece at the table…have to see about mailing options, or if this is gonna be primarily a con exclusive.

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