Friday, June 30, 2006

Burning angels, burning desert

I'm not going to complain about the weather, not with people in the East drowning. My sympathies go out to them.

I did burn my feet today. I thought I could make it to the shade, just a dozen steps, to retrieve Orion's swimsuit. Nope. My painful and red little feet (size 6) are encased in footies, slathered in ointment. DUMBARTIST is Lisa.

I'm trying to maintain my little micro environment. My ferns are still alive, thanks to the artificial rain. My gardener will be here tomorrow and we'll see what else can be done. It's nearly eleven pm right now and the thermometer on the back porch reads 103.

Aubrey has disappeared into her summer studies. She is ambitious. There is a tower of books on various religions in her room, studded with post-it notes and bits of paper. Of course, what can I say? The tower of books came off the shelves in our house. OK. I can say, YES. My offspring is seeking knowledge.

Orion is playing TAK under the fan. He 'should' have been in bed two hours ago. It's summer. He will have schedules soon enough.

I'm deep into working. I suspect you gathered that from my silence. Sorry. It is the nature of the art that sometimes I must sort of go away.

A few words on burning angels...

The first "Relic" sculpture I did was inspired by these vague memories of an experience I half remember from early childhood. The images are sharp. The facts are fuzzy and unverified, as relatives have long gone to other worlds....And dust.
It mostly has to do with a cross burning in my Aunt's yard that went from bad to worse. It mostly has to do with commotion, shouting and being carried out of a big old house. It mostly has to do with jouncing on an uncle's shoulder past a painting of an angel going up in flames. How much is remembered? How much is dream? What investigation I could do leads me to believe that the angel was actually a print or lithograph of Pinky. Thomas Gainsborough
Blue Boy was nowhere to be found. But for some reason the angel remains in my memory.

The chaos and conflict, the undertone of rebellion and the visual of the huge, gilt-framed painting in flames remains, immovable, in my heart of hearts. The falling of a once opulent and decadent family is a sepia toned history common enough in the south, real enough for me.

But, even more than mostly, I burn the works in this Relic series because I've always lived many levels of reality. Possibly because of my own mothers swings between genius and insanity, possibly because of the dichotomy of religion and folklore I grew up in. Likely because of my forays into chasms of dream, depression and imagination.

But possibly, it's simply that I like fucking with boundaries. Period. The Relic pieces (as well as many other works of mine) tend to blur the edge between two- and three -dimensional works, much to the chagrin of art directors who must categorize these pieces. They are both paintings and sculptures. When I burn one of these works----I refer here especially to
"Guardian of Sorrows" and El Maestro del Fuego, I not only incorporate fire into the story of the character I've created, but I spill the story out past the frame, into the presence of the viewer----namely, me and sometimes you.

So. I will have a glass of red wine and soak my feet in the pool and gather myself for tomorrow, which will come very, very soon. But first, I will email Gene Wolfe, because I miss him.

Have a good midnight

Monday, June 26, 2006

not a post but, then, sort of one

Actually, I spent most of my posting time answering comments. Still, I'm happy you're reading and thinking.

Yes, it is hot. And very cloudy and humid. The sun was a big red ball today. I tried a couple of photos, but they were unsatisfying.

I tried working on the cabinets but I only want to sit under the fan. Orion and I watched "March of the Penguins." wow. That was really, really lovely. More like that please. Less Hollywood crap and crap2 and son of crap. sheesh Lots of animals out there we know little about... I was daunted to discover how much the penquins reminded me of my puppets. Is it just me?

Today's Bennism: Yes, I am. I'm on both sides of the fence and underneath it too.

Can't live with him, can't shoot him.

But the best quote of the day comes from Patrick (SpongeBob) "At least I'm safe here in my head!"
Don't you just love Patrick?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Now and Then

Orion and I swam, then while he napped I started painting the kitchen cabinets. Actually, what I started is more like a painting that begins on the kitchen cabinets and will spill over onto the far wall. I've been thinking about it for some time and had the supplies on hand so, just like that, I sat down on the floor and began.

Tonight I picked Aubrey up from her friend's at 8:30. The thermometer read 100.

You've probably gathered already that I'm interested in doing some underwater photography. I emailed Mimi Ko and (she is so cool) she emailed me back some options for working with what I have on hand. Already I've found a case for my camera. Thanks, Mimi!
She'll be visiting in August and we'll get really creative---though, not necessarily under water.

Recently Pete called in to the Marshall Gilbert radio program regarding rabidly right wing Ann Coulter's new book The Church of Liberalism. He requested Gilbert present another side(ours) by interviewing Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith. The End Of Faith, by Sam Harris
We're sure that Gilbert, who is as Right as Right can be, will not, but hope the mention may have sold a couple of books for Harris.

I finished The End of Faith several weeks ago and will say that, though I don't agree with it wholesale, it's a smart, rational argument and well worth the read.

Since the upsets in the Catholic Church, the religious infestation of the White House and the flack over Dan Brown's mediocre but fun Da Vinci Code, people seem to be talking about religion more openly than ever before. This, at least, is a step forward.

On that note, here SlaughterHouse Studios: Sacred Sand I explain how I came to The "Church" of the Desert. It's a "rerun" for those of you who've been with me for a long time, but some of you found me more recently and might enjoy it. Somehow, in today's heat, it carries a strong presence for me.

Since I began writing this it's cooled down to a brisk 98 outside. Aubrey, Orion and I are going for a quiet nighttime swim before bed.

On Tuesday I'll be back in the studio. If I fail to tell you about what I've decided to to for Tiny Stories, please remind me. And back in there, I'll remember to say what I wanted to about burning. But I can't sit here any longer. It's cloistering, even in the air conditioning.

If I haven't said so lately, thanks for being here. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for thinking.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


My fugue state continues though it's not troubling and probably is exactly where I need to be. An intense creative state is coming. I don't sense it directly, but I've become increasingly aware these past few days of the clean place it will eventually occupy. There are rhythms and cycles in this creative weirdness that are distinct and familiar, possibly because I've learned to watch and recognize them. Strange as it may sound, the best way I can describe the process is to picture the world in my head as just that---a world, a place with vast spaces, places very different one from the other. Those things I make are tokens, mementos.

Some spaces are indescribable.

I'm working on building strength for the rescue techniques--better breathing and efficient movements. Yesterday I swam just under the water's surface, studying the glassy plane a foot above and the space below where even the most familiar things obey different laws. Light is no exception.

Is it childish to become so lost in such simple things? Shades of blue, the taste of ice cream, a watch spring or the contours of a face can become places to explore with senses and thoughts and tools. I'd rather think of it as a childlike ability that most of us put aside for as many reasons as there are people who put it aside.

Some view these little journeys as insanity.

Sometimes little mental wanderings help me ease back into sleep. I've been waking at very nearly 3AM for many nights. Twice now, at exactly 2:59. Hmmm, I saw "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." So, last night, at 3:02, I wondered whether demons were aware of Daylight Savings Time, if they wore wristwatches, and if so, what kind. I imagined a particularly nasty demon tapping his claw, waiting because someone's bedside clock was slow. I thought of demons complaining that digital clocks don't tick, that sometimes every clock in a house is different and that they get sucked into watching reruns of MASH when people leave their sets on.
Then I fell asleep.

So...yes. This is my fugue state. Functional, yes. Little journey's that prepare me for larger ones. I can do laundry, answer emails and even write posts. I can sculpt and mail rats and such, but there's a sort of vibration, like distant sound underwater, that warns me to take some vitamins and clear my schedule, stock up on food and soak up some sun because sometime, not immediately and not too far off, I might go in.

Those of you who go in---you know. You know that in is vastly larger than out. At least the distances we can travel in our heads at present is far greater than the distance we can travel through space.

There's always the ever so slim chance of not returning.

So...better take a sweater.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Weirdness. We were without phone lines for three days, and I had a terrible toothache and walked around in a haze of pain for two of them until my dentist, whom I adore, took wonderful care of me and now has a signed copy of Strange Birds. I did manage, however, to play with Orion a little with PlayDoh. This is what came from Tylenol 3.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Technical Difficulties....

--------- Ravyn here...

Phone lines are down in the desert. i've been talking to Lisa on her cell phone today, tracking a package that was somehow sent **LOW** Priority Mail, heh.

But when she called me while i was in a meeting, i was treated to baffled looks from my client (and passers-by in Panera Bread), when my purse started bleating like a sheep... **grin**. Yes, i found a custom ring-tone for her number that sounds JUST like a sheep.

BAAAAAAHHHHHHHH...... (i'll have to get her to call me more often, at random times)

So, when it was looking like she wasn't going to get phone service anytime soon, she told me i could post in her place if i wanted. Sooooooooooooo i'm hijacking her blog tonight, and subjecting you to my "baby" pictures, heh.

This is Ravynesque, just over three years old now, modeling her brand new halter. i have more baby pictures, and other silly things, on my blog. Check it out before she gets her phone service back and sees what i did to her blog muah hah hah hah hah!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Some days it's like this..

This is sort of a test post as Blogger seems to be down for my journal, though not for journals of others we regularly check. Hmmm.
It's 111degrees outside today. Pete pitched his tent last night to air it out before he leaves for his annual "hippyfest"High Sierra Music Festival > High Sierra Music. It's an eight-day gig where he does staging for the bands, but he enjoys it so much I know he'd likely go even if not to work. For him, as for me, sometimes his job doesn't seem like a job.
The tent is set up underneath the "main canopy" outside, but we still must check to make sure the floor doesn't start to melt.

I'm trying to be in the studio, but keep getting pulled out to handle this call or that, mostly with shipping issues. Some days my job seems like a 'real' job. No thanks.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Guardian of Sorrows

Guardian of Sorrows. I thought to start with his face, because that's where I really understood who he was. I wrote more about him after the other photos, below.





Guardian of Sorrows

Guardian of Sorrows,

Antithesis to El Maestro del Fuego. Someday, someone will give me a great deal of money and I will sculpt a massive wall piece. Within it, the two will be engaged in immortal combat, angel against angel, skulls against hands. Balance. Ballet. Fire.

I can see it in my head.

Someday, likely, I will sculpt it anyway because, damn, that's hot.

I finished this today and I'm so ready for a shower, chocolate and rest. I've been thinking about the process, the actual burning of these pieces. I'll take a stab at explaining that next post, and answering technical questions.

Guardian of Sorrows was commissioned by Roland Chisolm and Robert Johnson. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to create this sculpture for them. Thanks, guys!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Guardian of Sorrows in progress - Painting, day 2

I usually begin with the flesh tones. I thought you'd enjoying seeing the palette I use for that.

Guardian of Sorrows in progress - Painting, day 2

Painting facial details. I enjoy sitting on the floor to paint detail.

Guardian of Sorrows in progress - Painting, day 2

Here, with some flesh-tones added.

Guardian of Sorrows in progress - Painting, day 2

detail of face. I'll be spending tomorrow with him as well.

Guardian of Sorrows in progress - Painting, day 1

Alison will be leaving soon. She had some decisions to make and came here to make them---sometimes home is her Camp David, she says. I don't mind that at all.

I'm going to check through the journal and answer comments. Then it's off to work for a bit. Ok, I'll admit it----I'm off to play in other worlds. But, that is my job...sometimes.

Guardian of Sorrows in progress - Painting, day 1

In a short while, I'll gather the things I need, just as I would to prepare for any journey. I'll leave the household in Pete's hands. That done, I'll close myself in the studio, put on some coffee, put on some music, climb into my inner space and start painting. Possibly tonight I'll have photos. Possibly I'll be too tired for photos and they will happen tomorrow. I have to say I'm looking forward to the trip. And yes, it's like time travel.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mixed Bag, 1 of 6 Burn Baby Burn

Well, I'm back in the studio. Yesterday was for setting things aflame. This is the first angel I've made in real summer weather, which meant that I couldn't light it outside.
We don't light fires outside in the desert, in summer.
I knew I didn't want to breathe the stuff paint becomes as it burns, so I decided to set him afire before painting.
What I learned is that unpainted paper mache burns far faster than painted.

Quite an exciting experience. In other words, what a rush!!!

Right now, our guy looks a bit like a sort of evil genie. But painting will tell a different story.

Aubrey took the photo. I told her I don't like it much. I look like a bit of a smartass. Aubrey says I generally do, so not to blame her photography. Still, I think it's something she does.

Mixed Bag 3 of 6 Stop Burning Now, please?

This picture taken just before things got....interesting.

Bennism, sort of : "Hey Lisa, next time you make a supply run, try to buy less quality paper towels than these...I think they're called 'air'."

And, Ben news!!!
Ben has agreed to accompany me to the World Science Fiction Convention in LA (August) where he will show at least one of his kinetic sculptures. For those who speculate that Ben is a figment of my imagination, see us in LA. Take photos for other skeptics.

Mixed Bag 2 of 6 Otter Pop Wisdom

Otter Pops are a staple around here all year, but especially May through Sept, where the studio fridge almost never holds less than several dozens..

Otter Pops come in colors, not flavors---even the tropical ones.

Otter Pops taste best if you eat two different colors together.

Green Otter Pops make passable light sabers.

It's virtually impossible to be truly angry while eating an Otter Pop.

It's highly possible to be extremely irate when Otter Pops aren't available.

When I came back from Baltimore, Orion had a new haircut. Who IS this kid??

Mixed Bag 4 of 6 Thanks General Mills

This time they blew it. At least for this household. I like Cheerios. I thought Orion might too---and good for him compared to most cereals. But he won't eat them.
Finally he explained why. It's the photo of the kid on the box, he told me. Though I try to explain that she's laughing, he insists she looks as though she has a stomach ache.
A really bad one.
Well, really, he could be right.

Bad, bad marketing department.

Mixed Bag 5 of 6 Sue's Clay Garden

Ivenotime (Sue) sent me this magnet she made. It's so very cool. She says it represents her 'black thumb' gardening skills. I say she should grow aloe. You can't kill it. Really. You'd have to try with extreme measures that involve blowtorches or running over it with your car.

Thanks, Sue. I'd like to see more from your "My Garden" collection.

Mixed Bag 6 of 6 Thanks, O

Thanks, Orion.
Alison is visiting this week. When my spawn get together, they tend to enjoy talking about plans for my old age and interment. I pretend not to hear them, so they get more ridiculous until I finally say "alright, that's it." Then, of course, peals of laughter.
I have no one but myself to blame.
It occurs to me that if Orion has anything to do with inscriptions, he's likely as not to choose as a quote:
"Hang on sweetie, Mommy just has to write something down."
So, this one for the records---thanks, you.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

By Way of Weather

On Thursday, it rained. It rained while the sun baked the rocks. It rained from clouds too bright to look at.
While rain splashed down in the hot sunshine, Aubrey and I stood in the kitchen, watching it sparkle on the pool, when the windows began to shake, then the floor.

"Earthquake," I said, not whisking my kids to the safe spot, but freezing, staring at Aubrey while she stared back at me.

"What WAS that???" called Orion from the den.

"Earthquake," we said in unison, "only a little one." ( A large one, far away, would've lasted longer.)

“What a waste”, said Aubrey. “I'm soooooo disappointed! Why couldn’t this have happened on 6-6-06? Believers all over panicking in their shoes…running naked into the streets.... Damn. That would've been great."

Yesterday Orion and I swam in the evening. Despite care, we are both developing deep tans and greenish hair. No sunscreen stays on for long in water, though I can buy products to get rid of swim blonde (otherwise known as lime green.)

I squint in the bright white light and remember well my winter post Claws so arrogant as to garner many comments, even one from the great panjandrum Himself.
We bask like Gods…

The ‘cowering like rats’ season is upon us. Nearly every time I go outside-- now impossible without shoes or mats to walk on--I enter some science-fiction planetary disaster story. On Tuesday, Pete and I measured for the canopy we’re building over the pool. The canopy I mused about last summer. The canopy I thought would be nice but that now I know is necessary.

Bright Light is loud in my head. Now is the test. How well can I recall standing in silent snowy woods, when the sun burns even the part in my hair?

The sun is our star, and our life source. The Desert, well, is what it is.

But we will build shades and drink water and make art that feels like crisp, cool air. In my heart of hearts, I am Winter Folk.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Brains....lots of brains

Here is a link to lots of brain creations, and some of the kids who made them. I had a great time with these little (and not so little) guys.

A couple of people didn't get brains. Kristina took names. There is no escape. Your brains will be arriving in your mailboxes.... and soon.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tenacity saves the bunny.

My shins and knees are bruised from the rescue lessons. I looked at them as I changed for bed last night, recalling the unyielding floor of the pool. I’d expected some bruises, but not these marks-- deep purples and blues nearly black. What the hell? The sight was a catalyst, an invitation into a fatigue-induced depression already brewing. Of what use is this crazy thing I'm doing? I'd sort of felt it coming but hadn't paid attention so, when the chasm opened, I dutifully jumped down its throat like, well, a good little rabbit.
I don’t like it down there.
I only see reflections.
My greatest efforts seem pointless in a place where nothing has a purpose, even those things I love most.

I’m a fool there, soon to become an old fool, then nothing at all.
It’s a place like grief and heartbreak and deep as a well, claustrophobic as a grave.

But it’s a familiar place. I’ve been there often. And…as many times as I’ve been there, I’ve come out again. I knew this, somewhere. And the knowing was like a voice from another room. I didn’t need to understand the words to get the message.

The rescue lessons start in shallow water. Like learning a dance, the student memorizes the movements. The bruises came from my early efforts, when I struggled against the water instead of using it, trying to gain leverage against the slippery tiles. Over and over and over and then some.
Then, clean as the click of tumblers in a lock, mind and body merged. The water became a tool and with my left hand, and a wrist of a mere 5 1/2 circumference, I rotated Pete, 6 ft 5 and 300 pounds, onto his back and pulled him to the surface in one smooth movement.
He emerged with congratulations for both of us, teacher and student.

Practice makes perfect.

Writers, artists, chefs, dancers, carpenters, singers, parents, lovers, lifeguards.

The merits of lifesaving acknowledged and set aside, I know it’s the ‘click’ that drives me. The click always drove me, this time into deeper waters.

I know how to pull myself out of a depression. It can be learned. It can be taught. Last night, for a while, there seemed to be no purpose in living. This morning, I felt great pleasure in opening a new bar of scented soap in the shower.

I’ve introduced speakers and accepted awards for myself and others, but my GOH presentation at Balticon was the first time I’ve ever stood in front of an audience spoke aloud the stuff I usually write alone in the safe corner of my den. The speaking was much harder than the dancing. I’ve watched the tape several times now. It’s painful somewhat because I see mostly the flaws. I don’t like the sound of my voice and I’m not nearly as articulate and entertaining as I’d like to be. The first time I watched it I decided I should never do it again.

But what if I do, and in time, it clicks too? What a rush that would be!

I must mention the Balticon staging crew. Elaine Brennen and Marc Gordon went far beyond expectations to enable me to do the best job possible. The crew were courteous, professional and warm, the announcers congenial and well-prepared. So many things to be considered: lighting, logistics, sound, recording, timing, seating. From where I stood, the coordination seemed smooth and effortless. But I know it was not. I know that a great deal of effort went into it.
I’m fortunate to have worked with such fine people.

Alright. Enough time at the desk. It’s time to make some art. But first, we swim.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Wrats and Writers

A couple of less blurry shots, though I agree with RRNN, I sort of like the 'bigfoot sighting/UFO' quality of Robert's shots. Also, RRNN, thanks for your comment! "I never know what to expect upon entering this blog." That, sir, made me feel happy!

Today we worked on a technique called the dos-e-doe (Docey-doe), which is very much like a dance move. It uses a big circle for leverage to turn a body face up. If it's done correctly, it doesn't require a lot of strength. If done incorrectly, it's no good at all. It's one of those things that has to click. The first twenty times were awkward, then suddenly I 'felt' it.

Gene Wolfe and I are having an ongoing discussion on how to cook the best scrambled eggs ever.

No Furries

The sign reads "NO FURRIES". If you have to ask, don't.

I have many people to thank for many things that happened at Balticon, but I must pause here and thank Rebecca (aka Jordan's Mom) for renting and delivering the costume to me. She is very cool and meeting her in person was one of the highlights of the weekend.

I'm told tapes and DVD's of the programs will be available later. Neil was especially helpful---when he realized I was sweating under the lights in a twenty-pound rat suit, he carefully dragged out his introduction, glancing occasionally at me suffering in the wings. I'd say, from where I stood, with a bit of evil satisfaction. But then, possibly I imagined that...but, just in case, thanks to you too, Mr. Gaiman.

Mattie and Me

More Balticon pictures. Here with author Mattie (Marilyn) Claiming Her: Books: Marilyn Mattie Brahen,Mattie Brahen

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tiny Stories and Deep Water

I put the Tiny Stories project aside several months ago to meet deadlines for other projects. That's not a terrible thing because, even though the delay was longer than I'd expected, the time and experiences helped me visualize the project better. I'll be working on that again very soon, now that the spring conventions are finished.

I'll be attending and exhibiting at the 64 World Science Fiction ConventionL.A. Con IV in Aug/Sept and the World Fantasy Convention 2006 in November. I'm not sure how much programming I will do, if any, but will post it on the news page when I get schedules.

My wrist is still not 100%, but I'm recovering by degrees from the last month. I'm at least back in the water. Orion's diving skill continues to grow. Pete has begun teaching me to rescue. My goal is to be able to retrieve an unconscious person much larger than myself from deep water, while keeping his/her neck in alignment. (Chances are, a person unconscious in water has a head or neck injury.)
Acquiring this ability will take time and energy. Practice makes perfect, after all. And, as Gene Wolfe stated recently, "If you want to be a good writer, you must write."
It's a very specific skill, rarely called for, and rarely learned well. It will likely be challenging.
Which makes me want to learn it.

I could certainly have worse hobbies...

In exchange I will teach Pete to sew on buttons. He seems to think that's a fair trade.

Ok then.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I continue to receive photos. Thanks, all! Here with me are Neil Gaiman, Peter Beagle and Anne Murphy.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Strange Birds, More Strange, and Mimi Ko

Where to begin?

We'll start with Strange Birds. The chapbook made its debut at Balticon to much praise and admiration. It's beautifully done from DreamHaven Press, with vivid color covers, interior black and white images and two thought-provoking (okay--disturbing) new stories by the astoundingly talented Gene Wolfe.

Nick Gever Review for Locus (and photos)

Copies of Strange Birds can be ordered at DreamHaven Books, Strange Birds. If you plan to follow this "Strange" series, you'll definitely want to get a copy of this one sooner than later---there's only ever one first printing. (At only $10 each, you might get one for yourself, and one for someone who will love you for it later.)

I couldn't be more happy about this volume, and am looking forward to Neil Gaiman's Strange Machines in the future.

AND, even more Strange:

Peter S. Beagle, author of the classic The Last Unicorn and one of my all time favorite books in the world, A Fine and Private Place, will write one of the Strange series chapbooks.

He has a list of titles in hand, and I eagerly await his choice. I'll keep you updated as I get news from Peter, whom I truly enjoyed getting to know at Balticon. Until last week, I was unaware of the legal struggles Peter faces regarding The Last Unicorn. This is not RIGHT provides details and opportunities for fans of Peter's work to lend support.

I also had the great fortune to meet Mimi Ko. She is a lovely person and a very talented photographer. You can see her elegant and subtly haunting images at .

I'm not sure exactly what it might be, but I'd definitely welcome an opportunity to work with Mimi at some point and was so taken with her and her work that I plan to visit her in NY this summer.

I slowly recover, with the help of lots of water, tea and rest. I'm told other GOH's are recuperating similarly. I await the return of many large boxes of art and will be busy for another week or so thanking people who made the art show and convention such a success. Yes, yes,the rumor is true...I dressed as a giant rat and danced almost without shame on stage. Yes, I know, I'm a silly wabbit.
Footage is forthcoming, I'm told.

Now to settle down with my clan and watch Howl's Moving Castle.

g'night EAT AT JOE'S

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I am as tired as I can remember being in a very long time. I came back from Balticon several pounds lighter, dehydrated, and feeling the accumulated effects of two weeks without nearly enough sleep. My luggage did make it back. It lay on the floor for a day, looking more eviscerated than unpacked. I burrowed to make sure the most important items were there, and left until tonight. Still, many good things happened at Balticon, and I will tell you about them in bits. Scroll down for photos of the Brainiacs from children's programming.

El Maestro del Fuego made his debut at the Balticon art show. Interestingly enough, my 'angels' have evolved over the years, but they still like playing with little red balls... I don't ask. Likely you shouldn't either. Can you see his wings in this photo?

One of the many clever designs created by the Balticon Brainiacs, a group of over 25 kids who came for our "Fun With Brains" activity. We talked about how to care for and exercise our brains. I was delighted by some of the very clever ideas these brainiacs came up with, including a 'bird brain', a 'pirate brain' and a 'brain with extra eyestalk brains'. Good fun.

So, "Jordan's Mom", who comments here occasionally, is also "Jack's Mom". Jack, who is ten, (and not in this particular photo of brainiacs) having finished his brain, asked for a photo to be taken of it. He then surprised us by taking all his decorations off it, cleaning it carefully with paper towels, and giving it to the little girl who came in a bit late and didn't get one. Chivalry lives! I knew I liked Jack...