November 2010

Moving right along…

Yesterday was actually surprisingly productive, all things considered. Obligatory Dragonbreath done, ran more prints, then took the laptop out to Starbucks and sat there for two hours until I had gotten The Thing With The Hedgehog to the cut-off point and written the synopsis for it. One goal down!

I seem to be becoming a coffee shop writer. This is kind of annoying. I never was one before. I know it happens to a lot of people–over time it becomes easier to work without the myriad distractions of your own space, which I have filled with Lots And Lots of Distractions–but I didn’t expect it to happen to me, and I feel a vague sense of miffedness about it. Will I eventually be crashing in remote cabins owned by friends when I need to finish a book?

Still, the work gets done, and that’s the important bit. However it gets done is immaterial.  And there’s a cafe in town with booths with plug-ins for laptops, free refills, and terrible service, so you can kill two hours there fairly quickly before anybody thinks to bring you a check (or in some cases, a menu.)

And I finished poking at a painting, which is always a good thing. Although I may have destroyed a second one by second-guessing myself. We’ll know once the paint has dried enough to paint over it again…

Gorman's Rabbit IV

Generally I get sick of variations on a theme after about three paintings–sometimes two, sometimes just the sketches–but I keep coming back to these.  (There’s a very large deer woman painting hanging on the wall of the stairwell that I really need to photograph at some point, as it defies scanning due to sheer size…)  With this one, I think I decided that the figure needs to be a little larger in proportion to the space–the rhino filled the space more thoroughly, and that adds something to it. But doing it on collaged manga was kinda fun and gives it a nice subtle visual texture.

Anyway, prints available, original is for sale, drop a line about pricing, etc.

Meanwhile, it is time to take a shower and go put on real pants and get to work.


Despite some moderate insanity today, I have not forgotten that it is the start of November and thus of my personal NaNoFiMo!

I have set myself three goals for this month.

1. Finish that one short story (henceforth known as The Thing With The Birds.)

2. Finish a half-finished thing (most likely the novella known as The Thing With The Goblins. It has Sings-to-Trees and is the precursor to Elf/Orc, so while I don’t promise that Elf/Orc will ever be continued, if I can get this done, it will be a step closer. On the other hand, it’s always possible that I’ll get inspired on one of the others and slather words on it instead. Still.)

3. Get the one YA novel (The Thing With The Hedgehog) to a good cut-off point (I know where that is, even!) and write the outline for the rest of the book and generally beat it into a shape where I can send it to my agent to ask if she can find somebody to pay me to finish it.

Okay. That probably won’t add up to 50K words, but I’m not real worried about the final word count–I’m worried about getting these projects to a point where I can move them on to the next stage of their existence.  Two of them have been hanging far too long, and the short story will fall off my radar and join the legions of unfinished projects if I don’t get cracking on it, so that’s the goal.

#3 is probably gonna be attainable in short order–I put in a thousand words on it today, and finishing one scene and poking it with a stick a few times will get it to the cut-off, and then it’s just outline. Really, a solid day or two on it should see it through. The other two will take however long they take, but I’m optimistic.

Meanwhile, I have to continue doing either a Digger & 2 Dragonbreath illos or 3 Dragonbreath illos a day, five days a week.  And write about half of the next Dragonbreath book–Campbreath–which is due January 3rd and which I’m not even figuring into the writing time yet.

Needless to say, now that I have all this writing to do, I am madly inspired to paint. Because that’s just how it works. But there’s something to be said for painting that feels like you’re getting away with something, so I’m not gonna complain.

Well, crud.

I am suddenly remember WHY I don’t do the Taxman prints often–my mailing place presented me with a bill for the first set to go out last wee, and it was…rather more than anticipated.

Which is not their fault, they’re giving me a good discount and kicking ass, but they were using free boxes from DHL for packing up until very recently, and now that DHL stopped that, they have to pay for their boxes, which adds to the price, which they then have to charge me. Cardboard is spendy.


The way to make it all work is to ship these in tubes. I had been somewhat resistant because I’m not a huge fan of tube-kind myself–and also, honestly, stuffing the things myself is murder–but it now saves me something like $8. Per print. Which is not inconsiderable, and kinda makes the difference between the making money and the not making money in this case, and potentially between raising my shipping costs on the website and possibly lowering them by a buck or two, at least domestically.

I realize that some people absolutely hate tubed prints. If this is the case, since this is absolutely a late addition and you weren’t warned about it–please e-mail me at ursulav (at) and I will ship yours out flat at no extra charge (and if enough people hate it, I will go ahead and just raise the shipping cost on the website and not do the tube thing.)

Regular sized prints will continue to go out the same way as ever–this only affects orders with jumbo prints in them.

  • Archives

  • I write & illustrate books, garden, take photos, and blather about myriad things. I have very strong feelings about potatoes.

    Latest Release

    Now Available