Wednesday, May 31, 2006

She returns

I'm back.
My luggage is not.
I have stories.
There will be photos too.

Once I've rehydrated and rested a bit, I will tell you about speeches and rat dances and art and times spent with favorite authors and new friends.

See you later.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Brains, drying on the rack

Last night I dreamt that my GOH panel followed Neil's, and that only two people stayed and they had no faces. Originally there were five, with faces.
This morning, actually. Last night I was awake, for no particular reason. Our satelite service has extra movie channels this weekend. I've seen Batman Begins, in parts, at least three times. I nearly made it through War of the Worlds, but the icing on the cake was catching Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow). I like the way it cracks me up.
It's that or I'm losing my need for sleep...

Hmm. Perhaps I could just keep Neil on stage for my lecture/sideshow (not slide-show), as a prop. Like the dancing guy in a Ska band. Except not dancing...

Entertaining the idea that this would actually work is unsettling on a number of levels including the idea that this kind of thing has worked in advertising for decades... and sometimes movies. So. Nix on that.

But the Frosted Side protests...

The brains are for the children's workshop. We will decorate lime-colored brains with fun stuff. We'll be talking about how to care for and feed our brains. We will do brain exercises and things that make us giggle. I'm looking forward to that.

I've finally managed to download some of the photos of the work on the 'Guardian'. (The male angel I'd posted on here:)
They're below. I just realized I forgot to post the photo of the feet. They're really nice feet, and you'll want to see them. So I'll post them now. Of course, that post will preceed this one, so you will have perceived that as occuring before this one, when actually I typed this before I typed SEE??WHAT DID I TELL YOU?
It's like.....time travel.
Two points of view...and other kid's stuff.

Orion expresses his displeasure over my extended studio hours. S'ok. Pete swims like a seal. Orion has just learned to do a forward flip. I see the future-- installing a diving board. Fun is being had.

One of the wings, ready for its base coat and sealer. Unpainted, you can see the texture and begin to appreciate how many individual, hand-torn bits of paper are there. You may begin appreciating now, dammit. Ow, my wrist...How about now?

Setting detail into the faces. The faces. And the faces. And, did I mention, the faces? When I started doing pieces with this kind of repetitive detail a few years ago, Jane Frank phoned me. Just to chat and catch up. Later she told me she wondered if I'd started to go over that 'edge' artists tend to 'go over.' Yes, I said. I like it over the edge. It's a fine place to visit.

I'll try to get more photos before I leave...but, no promises. I want to do the painting when I have time to give it my full attention. This work certainly wants that. I'm rather looking forward to it too.

Back to it. G'night

Friday, May 19, 2006


Today was for painting and cleaning, tonight is for rehearsing and writing. My wrist behaves when I do. The brace helps, unless I take it off. Then after a while I remember why I was wearing it in the first place.

Thanks Carl, I needed that.

My son's medical discharge has gone through. As of yesterday, he is a civilian. He tells me about the wide range of thoughts and feelings surrounding this change. Light and darkness in there. I tell him I'm ready to listen whenever he wants to talk. He tells me he has already started his beard. I tell him to take photos every day. We can sequence them so he looks like a human Chia.

My mind turns to other sons and daughters.

I'll keep doing what I'm doing, and not forgetting.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Boxes and Bitching---whining?

Huge boxes filled with art are headed out in the care of Fed X. My babies!!!! It's always worrisome to send them out. I agonize over the details of the packing. Even after all these years of it, sometimes I'll unpack a box and do it over completely. I imagine angry gorillas jumping on the boxes before tossing them down mountains of jagged rock, until they land on a highway where trucks clip the corners, sending them skidding into the path of a bus and careening onto the soggy banks of a river, where beavers begin to knaw at the corners.

And I pack accordingly.

My wrist is teaching me what my limits are. No-no's are rewarded with teeth-clenching zingers of pain. A new brace that immobilizes my rebelious thumb should take care of some of it.
Things I've discovered that are "NO"

opening any sort of jar or twist cap
turning a door knob
picking up a child
doing nearly anything in the studio
writing anything with a pen or pencil
giving Ben the finger
doing anything at the speed to which I'm accustomed

Then, this is a trivial thing. Really. I've been working on an outline for my GOH lecture for Balticon.

It's mostly just like this blog, with the same kinds of topics and pictures too. Just live, with gestures and sounds and well, me. So of course there will be silliness. But it's difficult to be silly sometimes, when I watch the news and think of things outside this tiny world I've created for myself. I'm crushed to pointlessness by what I see and hear.

But I go on doing what I do. Because that's what I do.

Back to it then. This week will go by very quickly.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


There is a curse decending upon Balticon. Or maybe it's the full moon. Possibly some other, unknown force is brewing?

All three and more have been offered up for my consideration. I considered, and the best candidate is that it's because I missed picking up some of the 300 or so tiny resin 'fiddly bits' I dropped on the studio floor yesterday.
I found them later with my foot, slipped, and now have a sprained wrist. In hindsight, I realize it might have been a good idea to drop the sculpture and catch me better.

So... that's two Balticon Guests with injuries. At least Malena was catching a kid. She's, well, sort of a hero. I, however, have only myself to blame-- and the laws of physics. But mostly just me. I have the grace of Wile-E-Coyote.

There are those among us who will disagree with my Cause and Effect theory. They will wait and speculate about what will go wrong next because these things tend to happen in threes. Hmmm. Is there power in threes? Anything is possible, but I'm still going with cause and effect on this one.

Neil Gaiman phoned (from his car) and ask me if indeed it's true I said I'm terrified when he drives.
I told him that it's well, not that I'm truly terrified, I guess---then, I did remember going quite fast over some hills (I think I said mountains---hills tend to look more mountains as one approaches the speed of light) and though I might not have called it terrified, I did notice that,well, I might've held on during a couple of turns. And, possibly I may have squeezed my eyes shut, tightly, maybe once. Then there was just the going very fast in a very small car part. So I said yes, I would say he is indeed very dangerous while driving.

ok thanks byebye

I mention this only because I have just become painfully aware of having set myself up perfectly for the Well, that may be, but I'm not particularly dangerous while walking -- that, sigh, will eventually follow. Though, likely, I have it coming.

I seem to be nearing the end of my patience with one-hand typing. Tomorrow I will dictate and someone else will type. Now to trade my softening bag of frozen peas for a nice bag of frozen turnips.

Well, good thing the art got finished.

Oh. I'm supposed to mention that copies of Strange Birds will be available at Balticon and that there is a signing scheduled for Gene Wolfe and myself at some time during the weekend.

ok then. got my ace support on, Naproxin coursing through my system. All is well. Still perhaps I'll light a little sage.....just in case.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Strange Birds Indeed

Here is the Locus review of Strange Birds (Nick Gevers):

Dreamhaven Books has started a series of story chapbooks illustrated by Lisa Snellings-Clark - her bizarre images prompt the writers' imaginations - and the first, "Strange Birds" by Gene Wolfe, is very good indeed. The opening tale, 'On a Vacant Face a Bruise', relates the arrival among circus folk of a runaway boy, Tom, who, guided by a curious trio of talking "birds," joins the outfit as an assistant, and, eventually, a beast master. As they tour the galaxy, Tom grows up and seeks justice for those around him; the atmosphere is richly peculiar. But the true highlight of "Strange Birds" is 'Sob in the Silence', a contemporary story about a "horror writer" bent on a horrible, self-indulgent crime; as becomes obliquely evident, the nihilistic mindset of his genre is the true guilty party, and the ghosts who haunt his house and entrap him are only avenging a philosophy that explicitly denies them Heaven. This is chilling, masterful writing, Wolfe in exceptional form.

And even better, the books are now available to order: DreamHaven Books, Strange Birds

My coffee has been drunk. It's time for making art.

EAT AT JOE'S Enter the SlaughterHouse

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

When I woke this moning I found a Jelly Belly Rat, a very cool new coffee cup, Emergency Chocolate from (packaged just like an OTC drug.) There was a very interesting Strawberry and Pepper Dark Chocolate from and a vase of white roses.

Orion and I ate the Emergency Chocolate almost immediately. Pete asked what the emergency was. We replied that we'd unexpectedly come upon unopened chocolate.

I worked only a bit today in the studio and only then because I'm working on a piece I'm truly into. Today was for enjoying.

My sister phoned. It went sort of like this:

"Hey Sis, it's me."
"Hey you! How are you?"
"I'm fine. I'm here, at Mama's grave. I thought you'd like to be here with me."

"...well, no, actually. But gee Sis, thanks so much for the mental trip to the cemetary. I like that so much more than being here in the pool in the sunshine. Are you high? Go play with your grandmonsters. Tell them about the time Mom thought the squirrels were planning to take over our attic."

"Don't make me laugh, you idiot. There are people around. My mascara is running. I look like a lunatic."

"Good. My work here is done."

"Some things never change. Brat."

"Love you too."

This might have been a more appropriate time for the Emergency Chocolate bar.

The Hachez is the sort of chocolate one eats very slowly, and never before eight pm.

and chocolate.

The Jelly Belly Rat had a vaguely pleasant marshmallow/vanilla flavor (It also comes in Licorice, Orange and Cherry.) I was surprised by the texture, which I expected to be sort of like Peeps, but was a lot more like galoshes. It came with a card of 'rat facts' including a couple of my favorites: A rat can last longer without water than a camel. A very large rat can fit through a hole the size of a nickle.

Ghiradelli has arrived.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, those with us and those not.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Holy Hotcakes, Batman

It was 103F here today. I'm going to say this is what has me in such a somber mood. It's reason enough, in my mind.

LepreCon was a bit of a strain. The art show space was attractive and organized and the people running the convention were as terrific as always, but the logistics of dividing time between the convention and the Nebula awards weekend twenty miles away took its toll.
Still, it was good to see friends I don't see often and to see talented people rewarded.

The Harlan rat auction went very well. There is a story about a smack-down between Harlan and Ellen Datlow, involving paper bags and taking up collections from the audience which reportedly includes much comedy. I'm hoping someone who was there will give a full accounting for us.

I'm finishing up two male flyers, one commissioned months ago and one for Balticon. They are very different from each other and require oddly different types of concentration.

Orion and I did start diving yesterday. And, with sore muscles (me, not he with the rubber skeleton) more today. The water will be our refuge, once again. And our hair will be green.

I'm told I have a wildly creative mind.
The best thing about a wildly creative mind is that it's always going full tilt. The worst thing about a wildly creative mind is that it's always going full tilt.

Everything has a price.


Orion's whole convention experience was unique in ways only a four-year-old can understand. At least, it seemed that way to me.

LepreCon. Costumes. Of course. There are always costumes. These two were particularly good, and particularly interesting to Orion, who, not surprisingly, chose to admire them from afar. Things are different in three dimensions, it seems, than in movies.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Road Trip! We set out for LepreCon and the Nebula Award weekend. Everything arrived in one piece, set up is done and Orion is ready to find someone with which to discuss all things Jedi.

We stopped to get the hairbrush and toothpaste I forgot and saw a vending machine with Magic the Gathering cards in it. Weirdness. Pete says Debtors' Knell is a not-crap rare at bargain prices. Ok. That's my geek-out for today.

It's a new experience, attending two events at once, located about twenty minutes from each other. It's not at all like time travel. However, today it was really, really good to see Harlan Ellison, and fun to see my painting on the bags and badges.

Tomorrow will be packed full with Art Show, Nebula events and the Awards Banquet tomorrow night. I hope to get photos of attendees then. Today was for being happy to see people I adore and see rarely. Now is for pizza and swimming and Orion jumping on hotel beds.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A look underneath the one-of-a-kind Harlan Ellison Rat that will be at the Nebula Awards Charity Auction this weekend. I had a bit of fun with this one. It's quite Harlanesque, I think.

View from above.