Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home, Poppet People and Strange Light

At Balticon on Saturday, it rained. I excused myself from the conversation I was involved in and walked directly outside to relish the downpour for a few moments. I lifted my face to the rain with joyful abandon, but without the usual nostalgia.
Then last night, walking through the micro-cooled mists of downtown Palm Springs, I felt an unexpected and sudden sense of home. Am I falling in love with this desert?


In July, perhaps I'll come to my senses.

I truly enjoyed the Poppet Planet Launch party. There were exceedingly nice people there and I heard some insightful and thought-provoking comments.

Poppets tend to keep very good company.

There are some photos of the fun, and the fabulous cake created by Heidi (faeriedusted), here in "Spare Parts."

I enjoyed a bit of clowning around with Larry Niven, whose brilliance is complimented by a twinkling sense of humor.
I'm extremely pleased to tell you that he has agreed to adopt the "Strange Light" title in the Strange chapbook series.
The title is Larry's own suggestion, and seems to fit him perfectly. I'm looking forward to creating images for Strange Light. How cool is that? Already I'm clearing a room in my brain. Now to clear my schedule. No better motivation than a project I can't wait to dive into.

There's more...but Blogger imaging program seems to have stopped working for the moment.

In the meantime, I've put some Little Red Poppets up on Ebay, and a few of the "Little Pink" open edition casting as well.

You can find them here: Poppets

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pre-Balticon Post

This week was mostly for catching up and preparing to leave for Balticon.

Among the work I'm taking to the art show are "Little Pink's Play", which is sweet, and creepy (my favorite!)


"Schrodinger's Poppet", which strangely appears to hold an 'alive' Little Red Poppet when viewed from one angle, and a 'dead' Poppet when viewed from another, also creepy.
Creepy is good.
I thought about including a little text with the sculpture about Schrodinger and his famous dead and alive quantum cat. Ben said, "If they don't know already they don't deserve to know." Ben is evil. I'm thinking, we don't need any text. I'll be there for anyone who'd like to talk a bit about Schrodinger's cat.

Maybe I'll learn something new.
I did learn that it's extremely difficult to shoot video of a moving object enclosed in glass. We'll need more time for that one. Maybe next time I do a piece like this---which will be soon,

because I liked making this one a lot.

We're swimming again, Orion and me. In a few weeks, my hair will be greenish and I'll feel human again.
Pete and Orion already have plans for movies and swimming and arcades while I'm away. I'm looking forward to happy photos sent on cell phones.

If you're reading this and will be at Balticon, there will be a Poppet Planet Party on Saturday at 5pm. I'll be there to talk about Poppets, and art and whatever other bits of this crazy, charmed life come to mind. I'd love to meet you.
There will be cake.
It's rumored to be of the Poppet variety...
We have a backlog of great POT photos that will get added to the website after the convention. As our beloved webmaster Ravyn is also Con-Chair for Balticon, she's been a little busy these last few weeks.
But when we get back, we'll both be back to work with a vengeance. Or something like that.
Ben too. Because nothing else happens until the Fortune Teller is finished. Sheesh.

And swimming. And blogging. It's been fairly sporatic lately. I didn't feel well for weeks, which sucked enough to make me appreciate ordinary days more than ever.
Off to Balticon your artist goes...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Trick of the Light

Experience tells me it's very nearly impossible to get a decent photograph of the moon without setting up the tripod and camera properly. Still, I couldn't resist trying to catch the new sliver when I already had camera in hand. I tried a different approach--- jiggling the camera slightly. These three were the best of the seven I snapped--but one of them makes a pretty good Halloweeny mask.

thought you'd like them.

Everyone around here seems to be getting well.

Funny, my favorite new sculpture for the Balticon Art Show is based on a trick of the light too. I'm just finishing it up, being a bit behind schedule, but will put a couple of photos up before I whisk it away with me.

It's called Schrodinger's Poppet, and I think you'll like it too.

I was delighted when someone sent me a link to this niftyPoppet travel log: Sweet! Well, as sweet as Poppets get...


Sunday, May 13, 2007


That cold I mentioned the other day moved south, to my lungs, and grew into a real bear. If we want to consider resting to be productive, then I was indeed productive. I watched the entire first season of Dead Like Me, which I found to be layered and smart and extremely satisfying.
I read Sean Stewart's Mockingbird. (forgive my lack of links---I'm still under--will fix later).
Possibly I'm biased because the protagonist's family background seemed so familiar---sub tropical setting, elements of witchcraft and loads of Southern wisdom. It moved along with humor and grace and a touch of mystery. It left me with something worth keeping.
Thanks, Sean.

I did have some interesting ideas. I wrote them down.

That's it then. I'm still here, sort of.

Time to be horizontal again.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cold and Hot

A few days ago I finally succumbed to the cold Orion had, and promptly lost my voice to the merest whisper. Now it's returning, in part, skipping like a cheap ballpoint pen. It's an entirely annoying thing, and impossible to control. Here is where I gain sympathy for adolescent boys.

Once again I wonder if the Fortune Teller is indeed cursed. Last week was slated for finishing it. Instead I spent it nursing this cold, eating chicken soup and taking vitamins, trying to avoid the pneumonia I'm prone to, and being thoroughly depressed. Adding insult to injury, my cold meds completely wired me last night, so that I was able to conjure every possible thing I could worry about, which doesn't allow for a lot of sleeping.

Ah well. It takes living through a few real catastrophes to help one appreciate an ordinary crappy day for what it is. I'll take it. After all, it will pass. They always do.

Poppets are headed out to people who bought them in the auctions. Thank you. And now I'm starting to prepare for Balticon. For about five minutes I considered taking Fortune Teller with me. I don't dare. It's already impossibly late for its destination and I'm not tempting fate any further.

And now I hear Griffith Park is burning. It's not fire season yet. It's going to be a hot, dry summer. I need a popsicle.

Friday, May 04, 2007

POT Coachella and Rage


Poppets on Tour, courtesy of Pete, who worked the Rage Against the Machine stage at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival last weekend.

Here, during a performance of "Wake Up."

(Poppets do love that song--I do too.)

My Poppets head-bang. Do yours? You can catch them at it, if you're very quick.

Poppet surveys the crowd from center stage.

Poppet plays cool for adoring fans.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In Praise of Ordinary Days - Nearly

Our house has begun to take that smudged look particular to houses with home offices, studios , various humans and their stuff.
Things get mixed up and sort of homogeneous.
In other words, no one can find anything and I begin to suspect that with a spark of electricity, the carpet in the den could generate life. These are sure signs it's time to stop working, tidy up, then take a few days off.

I decided to get a start on it Sunday evening, putting things away in our bedroom closet. (The coat closet is full of comic books.---there are never enough shelves.) Orion, getting over a spring cold, was playing quietly on the bed. I saw just a flicker of movement in the closet's far corner. Not Gurtie. I'd just seen Gurtie outside. I put down the basket I held and walked over, pushed aside a shoebox and was surprised to discover a very young rabbit, still and all tucked in as though, well, hiding.

I scooped the little fellow up and thought about it for a moment. He began to wriggle wildly.

What I wondered was whether to show the rabbit to Orion. I decided not to. He'd been ill and I wanted him to rest. But it wasn't just that. It was because, when I discovered the rabbit there in the corner, it was sort of creepy. I mean, why? Can you think of anything less threatening than a rabbit? Maybe it was the way it was just there, looking at first like lost sock.

So I put him outside in the front yard, where the grass was extremely soft, where nearby there were other yards with other rabbits--one of them likely his mother-- and where he was relatively safe from Death, watching birds in the back garden, unaware, at the moment, of rabbits. He scampered off into the hedges.

I came back inside and washed my hands, wondering again why the encounter was disquieting.

I checked around the mouldings, hoping to find out how the rabbit got in still wondering why I felt creeped-out. Then, just like that, I discovered another rabbit, still as the first, hunched and flattened to fit the space it had wriggled into between box and wall.

This is where things could get interesting.

But they didn't.
I checked and tidied the closet, and that was the end of rabbits. Except for the unaccountable creepiness.

Thing is, I love that moment of the unexpected, the small oddness in the ordinary. Many good stories start out that way. Possibly my awareness was already primed. Ben picked up a book collection from an estate recently and I've been tearing through books by Clifford Simak and John Wyndham.

"When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere."

So begins John Wyndham's "Day of the Trifids."

Works like these, where strange things happen to quite ordinary people set in ordinary surroundings, are often labeled 'cozy catastrophes.' I'm very glad I've never let that label put me off. I'd have missed some fine reading over the years, including some H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury. Like any other sub-genre, there's quality work to be found.

Later that night, when I was settling in for sleep (with another book, of course) I applied the very real sensation of finding the rabbits to other discoveries., purly imagined, for fun.

What if the rabbits had been subtly wrong somehow? What if when I turn off my reading light, and my eyes adjust to the darkness, I notice something pale and child-like, crouching in the darkness just outside my window?

Really, what would I do next? What would you do?

Creepy is a good ride. I read a lot, and don't mind stepping into an alien environment right off the first page, but I especially enjoy a story that approaches quietly, empties my pockets of the trinkets of truth I hold on to and shoves me square into the unknown.

Likely, I should've shown Orion the rabbits. Generally, if there's no danger, I'll choose to share the experience. Still, something definitely caused me to hesitate. Maybe something subtle.

Maybe it will come to me later.

Maybe I'll wish it hadn't.
At any rate, soon we'll be conducting a thorough search for small openings.