July 2010

It was here just a moment ago…

Can’t find where I put my camera. So the photo of the latest oversize work was taken with an iPhone, and the quality is about what you’d expect. Nevertheless!

18 x 36. Uneven lighting a function of using a camera phone, not of arty-artness on my part.

It’s done on a piece of board, and this time I mean “an actual honest to god BOARD,” woodgrain of which is visible through the body of the rabbit, that being the reason I picked that board. (I think it’s a piece of the composite stuff they use for butcher block.)  It’s quite large, and the size has the impact I was hoping for, so I’m happy on that front. Ready to hang, too, there’s little nail hooky deals in the back–I used a drill! All by myself! And no one died!–and while not terribly expensive as my originals go, I warn you that shipping on this one is likely to be pricey if anybody is interested in the original.

Prints are unlikely, unless I can find my camera.

Right, right…back to work…

Well, yesterday was certainly exciting. Haven’t been accused of being backed by the Illuminati occult before. Some really awesome people re-tweeted me and linked to it, including a couple that made me fangirl and do the “oh god! So-and-so knows I exist!”

And my father even called to congratulate me on my new status as occult handmaiden. Since I have never given any indication to any member of my family that I am capable of finding my way out of a paper sack without assistance, Illuminati membership is a definite step up. *sigh* If only they had dental…

However, before this all goes behind us as one more bizarre amusing incident in life, I go back to writing books and painting hamsters, a couple of things:

1. The corset is from Northbound Leather in Toronto. They have a website, it is not safe for work, they do a lot of…err…rather more extreme leatherwear, and my visit to the shop was a series of “What the heck is…OH MY GOD!” moments for me, but their quality is truly fantastic, and they have some very nice work for those of us who want a corset for non-Ren Faire dress-up. They are Not Cheap. The boots are New Rock. Yes, those are The Boots. They are also Not Cheap.

2. So far as I know, there is no way to get the posters without being affiliated with the library in question. However, I’ve got a ton of 8 x 10’s (closeups of Goatywuggins) and enough bookmarks to hold places in the Library of Congress, so give me a couple days and I’ll figure out how to do some kind of giveaway so that I can move these out.

3. Thank you to everybody who obeyed the Prime Directive. You guys are so awesome–I can’t think of another group of people where I could say “Please don’t engage,” and they wouldn’t.  Stuff like this, you gotta laugh or you’ll cry–but we didn’t go into their playground and kick sand, and I really appreciate that.

4. And, tangentially related to that–if you are one of those people from said forum who followed the links back wondering why they suddenly got so many pageviews–while I’m not sorry for laughing at the absurdity, I am sorry if seeing all those pageviews got your hopes up. This may sound like a weird thing to apologize for, but I’ve been a mod on low-traffic forums before, and getting a wave of apparent activity made us hopeful too, and it was sad when it didn’t pan out. Unintended consequence.

5. Finally–I’ve got a lot of Christian readers, a lot of them have sent notes, e-mail, left comments, and made impassioned pleas during Monday night gaming,  saying “Please, we’re not all like this, these people do not represent us!” I’ve tried to reply where I can, but just to cover it all–guys, I KNOW you’re not with those people. The wall between “amusingly eccentric” (which I think we all are) and “barking moonbat” is a much wider one than the walls between good people of various creeds just trying to do good and get by as best they can in the world. We’re cool. Heck, the boyfriend’s Lutheran, and he bakes a mean casserole! And I know full well that y’all are far more bothered by crazies waving Bibles than I will ever be, so…we’re cool. Promise.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled wombats…

Really? (I mean…REALLY?)

So today I got a very nice e-mail from a librarian who has participated in the summer reading program, for which I did the big poster and art and whatnot. (Which, hey, I can post now!)

In addition to the main poster, I did a bunch of little spot art that went into various T-shirts and bookmarks and tote bags and stuff. They kept the aquatic theme, and the committee was very clear on what they wanted, so honestly, a lot of it looks like something that would go on a pair of board shorts, and at one point I found myself doing a shark covered in tribal tattoos, about which my feelings were…well, damnit, if anything in the fish world would get tribal tattoos, it would be a mako shark, and did I mention they were paying REALLY well?

The shark became a bookmark.  I thought no more about it. And then the very good-natured librarian wrote me, eyes rolling audibly–and I shall not mention name or location to protect the innocent–to say that one of her patrons had become concerned because those squiggles! They looked like Arabic! And the patron had used the bookmark in her Bible!

You know, not a single person has said “By the way, your poster is a GIANT GOAT GOD RISING FROM THE SEA! Repent, sinner!” and thrown holy water. I was kinda braced for that. I had a little speech prepared about the mythological representation of Capricorn as a sea-goat and the Tropic of Capricorn and so forth.  (Actually, a couple people wrote to ask what the inspiration was, but they were all very nice about it.)  I mean, heck, back in that regrettable period when Mom was married to a crazy evangelical, unicorns, rainbows and stars were secret Satanist signs,* along with the moon and the Beatles.   Had they had their way, goat-kind would have been exterminated, and the loss to our collective cheese culture the price we paid for virtue.

So I was ready for that. I didn’t agree with it, but I was ready for it.

Tribal shark tattoos resembling Arabic…that was not something I was expecting. (The librarian was very clear that she thought said patron needed to get real things to worry about, but wanted to give me a chance to address it.)

God, I love the world. It’s batshit crazy sometimes, but it’s never, ever dull.

Compositionally this one looks weird naked--the dead space at the top went to text, and a lot of the bleed got...well...bled, so he looks bigger and more imposing in the final. Still, for a piece with a lot of committee input, I feel it came out rather well.

*I have been picturing Satan carrying around a Lisa Frank Trapper-Keeper ever since, possibly doodling “Satan + Milton 4 EVAR” on it in gel pens.

Steampunk Rooster

Bock, madam.

Lord Stanley Feathergoiter, of the Cluckworth Feathergoiters, came back from India a changed rooster. Certainly he had made his fortune, and was now quite indolently rich, certainly the hens found his world-weary air to be irresistible, but he was also plagued by dreadful nightmares of the torments suffered at the claws of a cult of Thuggee peacocks, and was now shamefully addicted to a bizarre drug, assembled secretly from unknown and unwholesome herbs herbs, known only as…”the sauce.”

This painting started as a painting of a steampunk girl and her chicken. After far too much painting, I realized that she wasn’t going anywhere, and restarted the whole thing because the chicken was clearly the main event.

Prints available, as always.

Slice of Life: Boyfriend Division

Kevin is sitting in his dark office, lit only by the blue computer screen, slumped back in the chair, tattooed arms on the desk, brow furrowed, to all appearances in Angry Bald Man mode. Sami, the black cat, is laying on the desk, her tail flicking in idle annoyance. We are also currently having a thunderstorm, just to add to the mood.

Kevin is listening to the News from Lake Wobegon.

“Awww!” I said, pausing in the doorway. “The lights off, Prairie Home Companion on…it’s…emo Lutheran!”

He mimed taking a drag off a nonexistant cigarette. “Life is shit, dontcha know.”



The first time I ever felt like a grown-up was when I bought my first large appliance.

Later on, I signed my own leases, got my own jobs, bought my own car. I got my own health insurance, and of course I learned, as most of us do eventually, that we are all sweaty and insecure inside our skins and half of us on some level expect to be yelled at for eating paste thirty years ago, and that adulthood is more like an ocean* than an achievement.

Yesterday, I talked to a lawyer and among the other things Kevin and I needed to get made up, like medical powers of attorney, I set up a will. I have little enough in the way of possessions and cash, but the one thing that’s been hammered into my head by reading Neil Gaiman’s blog is make sure you leave clear records of where your creative properties go when you die.

So I did.

I can’t imagine that you get to be any more of a responsible adult than that.

Still don’t feel any more grown-up.

Oh, well.



*Lots of treading water. Often fun.  Occasionally treacherous. Now and again you drown.

Loris in Wonderland

“We’re all mad here,” said the cat. “I’m mad. You’re mad.”

The loris thought that the cat should probably speak for itself, but was too polite to say so. There was an awkward silence.

“And it’s no use saying you don’t want to go among mad people!” said the Cheshire cat, its voice rising hysterically. “You can’t help it!”

The little primate hadn’t planned to say anything of the sort, being of the opinion that it was best not to engage with clearly deranged people.  It folded its paws neatly and waited for the cat to finish, an expression of polite interest on its face.

“Bugger this,” muttered the cat. Its grin had vanished some time ago, and the rest of it followed suit. The lashing tail stuck around longer than the rest, and the loris waited for the angry shadow to melt into the dappled shade of the trees before it continued down the path.

Reports of its demise were greatly exaggerated…

Well, color me behind the times–Kirkus Reviews isn’t dead! They had announced that they were going to die, but apparently somebody bought them and they live to review another day.  (This all happened in February. You can tell I am really up on the latest news. On the other hand, if they find a weird fossil in Paupua New Guinea, I am all over it, so I guess it’s a matter of priorities.)

The survival of Kirkus is important for our purposes because A) we hate to see the demise of great institutions upon which many rely, and B) they gave Curse of the Were-Wiener its first starred review, including phrases like “impossibly droll escapade.” (And they even mentioned the Joseph Campbell joke! I’m so glad I slipped that in…)

Thank you, nice people at Kirkus! I would send you cupcakes, but people would assume I was trying to bribe you, and we don’t want that.

Review comes out July 15th, Were-Wiener is out September 16th, and if I don’t stop writing blog posts and checking Echo Bazaar and do some work, Ghostbreath will never come out at all.


Having been playing around with painting on book pages, Kevin offered me a stack of water-damaged Shonen Jump from the garage. He had about eight boxes, and I’ll probably end up using most of them as the bottom layer of a sheet-mulched garden bed* but they’re an entertaining surface to doodle on, even if I have nothing more exciting to doodle than Ben’s butt.

6 x 6, mixed media. For sale, if anybody really needs a pink cat butt on an advertisement for more Shonen Jump. Drop a line...

*Ganesh only knows what evil will grow from such a base…

God help me, I’m a snob

I can go into any drugstore in the known world and buy condoms, athlete’s foot creme, Vagisil and tampons, and feel not a jot of shame. If they sold horse lube and bananas, I could buy those in concert and not worry that anyone was judging me (although I would certainly make note of such an unusual drugstore!) I could buy with a pregnancy test and a pack of wire coat hangers and make direct eye contact with the clerk the whole time.* I am too damn old and too damn busy to worry about anyone’s opinion of my sex/fungal/menstrual life, and also I know the great secret of retail, which is that if you’re not an asshole, they couldn’t pick you out of a line-up thirty seconds after you leave the store.

But god help me, the stamping aisle of the craft store still fills me with intense shame. I worry someone will think I’m a scrapbooker. I fight an intense urge to grab passers-by and yell “No! It’s ok! I’m a REAL ARTIST!” which is probably not true and certainly horribly judgmental and anyway, it’s not like we have ID cards with our height, weight, favorite media, and yearly income from art printed on them to prove it (and all that would prove is that we are commercially viable, not that it’s any good, and god knows, Martha Stewart’s net worth makes my operation look like a lemonade stand with the “E”s written backwards, so that’s no proof anyway.)

I know this makes me a bad person. Even thinking such things is dreadful of me. Scrapbookers are often very lovely people who make very pretty things and are certainly much better with brads and glue sticks than I am and the line between scrapbook and assemblage art is thin and the line between good and bad assemblage art seems to mostly hinge on how ironically you use vintage photographs, and so I slink out of the craft store clutching my serif lowercase alphabet with numbers that I need for this really great idea that I have already realized is WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG and I am going to do it HORRIBLY WRONG and oh god, how dare I call myself an artist, at least the scrapbookers have nice photos of family vacations adorned with hilarious pre-printed thought-bubbles asking who farted, all I have are bunnies covered in zeros and why didn’t I become a medical test subject when I had the chance and how, in this day and age when I can buy condoms and horse lube without shame, can I still be such a snob?

*Oh, relax, I wouldn’t DO anything with them, other than hang clothes. I don’t consider my uterus to be a user-serviceable part, and would make an appointment with my doctor forthwith.

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