Sunday, September 27, 2009

Poppets Go Rogue

Poppets do love adventures. We all know that. And I've made so many Poppets, I'm like the old woman in the shoe.

Ok. I'm not old. But I've created thousands of Poppets.


And, they're out there. In the World. Having Adventures.

Ravyn sent me a link to this video of Rogue. Poppets show up at about 3:08. Don't skip though--watch the video--it's well done. Hmm. I'm thinking of collaboration... What do you think?
Animation? Ideas? Volunteers?

Poppets love to dance, for sure.

So many adventures.

I think I'll get some sleep. Have a good breakfast and a swim. So much to do.

We have a new Landing Page
It's pretty simple, but takes you to all the important spots. Thanks Ravyn and Kevin.

and The Halloween Sale starts Oct 1st.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Which End? The What What?

It's 10:45. I started working today at 7:30 a.m. I'm having a glass of wine now. It's a good glass of wine, but I'm still having it at home, and I'm still working. What a loser.

I knew there would be days like this. I didn't know there would be years like this. Is the recession going away or getting worse? One out of every eight mortgages is in foreclosure. Is this true? The ice caps are melting. California has no freaking snow pack. Again. Snow pack, btw, is where we get our water.

I mentioned the commercial that scared Orion. I found it online. Look at this. This is the commercial that assaulted Orion (7) in the middle of the afternoon while watching SpongeBob SquarePants on Cartoon Network. I wrote them a scathing email, but I don't expect an answer.
What the hell? Is this appropriate for a 7-year-old? Shouldn't I be able to trust that he can safely watch afternoon cartoons without seeing something that will give him nightmares for a week? I'm totally pissed off.

I'm an artist on this tiny pellicle of earth, trying to make some sense out of things that just don't. I do my best. I recycle. I'm not wasteful. Evey time I leave my house or watch the news I feel bombarded with excess and stupidity.

There are over 100 golf courses in this desert. Right. With grass. Thirsty, thirsty grass.

I remember my parents talking late into the night, quietly sitting together at our dinner table with drinks or coffee. They were angry too, and afraid, I would imagine. They talked about the recession of the 70's. Before that, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Very scary human stuff. I was oblivious, mostly, thanks to the insulation of being a kid in the seventies. It was the end of the world then too.

So, the end is nigh. Of course it is. What kind of arrogance would make anyone think humanity would last forever? Five hundred years from now the end will be nigh. Next week too.
The end is always nigh. The end was always nigh.

So, screw it. Forget it. I didn't make this mess. I just live here. Tonight I'm going to sleep. Tomorrow I'll look for beauty in the moments of the day.

It's the best this silly human can do. Honestly, between you and me, I have Poppets to thank for that.
No kidding.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poppets Are Always ...Watching.

So... Have you picked out your costume yet?
Some of the Poppets were, um, wondering.

Poppets do love Halloween.
For sure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lights, Literacy and Little things

Finally Autumn's Child has her lights. She seems more real to me now than ever. She seems like a child, stretching her reach to its limits, she seems to have been doing so since before time. I'm pleased.

In the September issue of Wired is an article by Clive Thomson about the effects of the internet on literacy. It's been thought for years now that literacy was being eaten alive by the net. Certainly language is affected by the 'new' medium. But language is a living thing, and prone to change with the times, not always for the better. Thomson's article argues that now that students are writing for an audience, writing skills are actually improved overall. There does seem to be some peer pressure motivation at work here. Despite the dribble and fluff of myspace, twitter and the like, students are at least writing more. Does practice make perfect?

I don't know. I went online to learn more. Interestingly, Thomson's article came up first in my search results.
There seems to be a fair amount of interest in the subject. I'll be watching. I'm interested to hear what you think.

This evening Orion accidently saw a preview on television for some upcoming Halloween programming. Dammit. It had clips featuring Chucky and the clown face from Saw. It was brief, but enough that he said it freaked him out a bit. So after reading I promised to stay until he fell asleep.
I put on a Samauri Jack DVD quietly for some familiar background noise and read with my booklight. After about ten minutes I felt him jump. He opened his eyes and told me he felt as though he fell. He was smiling and a little embarrassed. I explained that this is something everyone does, and how it's a thing that happens when our brains tell our muscles they can relax. Something that everyone does. Not children, but everyone. It was another of those reminders that he's not just my child, he's a person, an individual, subject to the same life curriculum as the rest of us humans. It's a curriculum I can't insulate him from. I know this. I've already watched my other children cross boundaries into their own spaces. And I've known since he discovered the alphabet that he was well on his way. It makes me a little sad. Of course it does. Because it's evidence, proof even, that everything changes and that we can hold onto nothing. But it was a beautiful moment, his smile, his realization that he'd straddled the boundary between asleep and awake. I feel extremely fortunate to have been there to see it.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Logan's second run, working despite ghosts

She wondered if the rain would start before the boat arrived. The sun hid itself hours ago.

The blackbirds didn't offer a word.

Like old southern families, blackbirds keep their secrets.

She sighed.

Yesterday was Logan's 2nd birthday. Aubrey, Orion and I spent the day with him and other people who love him too. There was amazing cake. Alison made it.

Other stuff happened too, but I'm too tired for talking about it. Besides, I haven't even begun to sort it out yet. I worked on the very-large-even-larger-than-me sculpture. I was very good and took photos. And I finished two very small paintings. The photo above is of one of them.

Time for swimming. Orion is already testing the water. Not much longer, and it will be too cold for comfort. Then it will be time for walking.

I need chocolate.

I wish you a good Monday. Not too bright, not too blue.


Friday, September 18, 2009

are we there yet?

Have we made it to October?

not quite. But September isn't so bad. There are little signs of Autumn's coming.

Thanks for all your well-spoken ideas about the end of books.
Yikes! Even the phrase makes me shudder.

We'll find a way to evolve along with the medium. Hopefully we'll have some time. Not sure we'll have generations. But then, things change in unexpected ways. We might discover another way to make 'paper.' We expected flying cars and got the pc. We expected walking, talking robots and got the human genome project.
Let's take some good advice from our predecessors, e.g. Ray Bradbury, and wait and see what happens next. It's a pretty good show, sometimes.

Carl made a good point on the book post, about taking photos in progress of the new "larger than me" piece. I'm just getting started on the armature, so took some photos. I'll try. (That's the best I can do right now) to get some photos up of the progress and some notes on the process.

Tomorrow is for Logan's birthday, but on Sunday I'll be building the frame. Right. I'll go get the tripod now.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rabbit Relativity









Years fly by. Decades Lost. Eons forgotten.
A distant memory is
clear as yesterday.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. Don't forget to set your alarm.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

everything changes

This weekend MimiKo is visiting. Today she swam with Orion and played DDR and patiently watched Full Frontal Fashion while I plugged away at writing that was absolutely and unquestionably due t o d a y.

I've begun the second painting for the art show, and the armature for a sculpture that is taller than myself.
I like working on art that's larger than me. A lot.

I rested and read yesterday. One of the few magazines I read from cover to cover is Wired. Aside from the articles, it's filled with little bits that the geek in me enjoys. There were a couple of articles on subjects I've wanted to mention here. Both addressed the move away from paper. The first was a article advocating the end of cash for transactions. Obviously, cash---both paper and coins---is expensive to create and to maintain, not to mention dirty, clumsy and arcane. One of the more interesting points was the possibility of a system for trading goods and services---barter--using technology for transfers. The element that wasn't mentioned in the least was the question of security.
Not that a lot of people hide wads of bills in their mattresses(or that this practice is secure in any way), but a global system for 'flash' exchange via cell phones would be even more vulnerable than the electronic systems we use now, wouldn't you think? The other thing that occurs to me is, when paper money is no longer attached to a value, what will happen to it? Will we be able to make stuff out of it? Will it become eBay fodder?

That was one bit to think about. But the other article is one that I think about on a regular basis. It was about publishing, and books.
The fact is--and we all know it--that books are going away. Maybe not today, but they will be gone. I get it. I accept it. Books will become collectors objects. Reading will not go away. Publishing and readers will evolve. I see the benefits of not printing books on paper, just as I see the benefit of losing paper money.
But I don't love paper money.
And I love books.

One of the writings I worked on today begins with, "Growing up, there were always books around us, lined up on shelves, with broad ones in stacks. None of them were dusty. We were readers."

But as books go away, so will the people who love them. Children will start out with electronic books.
The smell of the bindings and the crispness of the pages will fade just like home churned ice cream, horse carriages, jesters and parchment scrolls. They will be meaningless to those who didn't live with them.

All that said. Does the idea of the end of paper books affect your reading?


Friday, September 11, 2009

survivor inspiration?

Tonight I am amazed at my own tenacity.

On Monday I became suddenly and violently ill. Thought it was food poisoning.
Oh, the fun of it.

I won't dwell on details, was very bad.

I slept all of Tuesday.

On Wednesday Orion became ill. I took him directly to urgent care. With quick meds, his was much shorter, but he is seven and sixty five pounds, and well, there you are. Upon our return from the doctor, I learned Spencer had taken ill as well.
(As of now, no one else I know has. though I was told by the school that many have.)

Now Orion is sleeping. He's much better, but not completely, and all our days and nights are upside down from it.

Everyone is mostly better. Yesterday and today were spent cleaning and disinfecting EVERYTHING, 10% bleach means 'die you little fuckers!'
Soups and juices and Gatoraide. No one is much interested in food yet.

It was so difficult, these last few days, trying to care for others, take care of things when still feeling weak and tired. Everything seemed an act of sheer stubborn will. Like animating a puppet with mind-power. A stiff one, made of lead.

But inspiration comes when it will, as I've known it to do these years. I find myself excited and happy tonight, looking forward to tomorrow, to painting. It's Saturday, so being off schedule won't matter terribly.

Possibly I'm grateful to have survived. Possibly inspiration is a normal result of recovery.

At any rate, while sitting with Orion, when, yesterday? I looked through the images posted on Poppets On Tour. Some of you have been having a great deal of fun with Poppets.

These are a few that snagged my attention. There are many, many good photos up there, some thought-provoking, some that cracked me up.I won't try to force Blogger to line up titles with the photos, but the author and title should appear when you run your mouse over them.

Another September 11 has come and gone. I remembered, then went on. The world is a different place entirely. Sometimes I feel not much a part of it and other times I know I'm not.

Tomorrow I'm going back to work, where I belong.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

a finish and a gift

Today I finished a painting I've been working on for weeks. That felt good. I stood back and crossed my arms and said, "Ok, I'm calling it."
I didn't look at the clock.
It's for the World Fantasy Convention cover. I took photos. I look forward to telling you about how it came to be and showing you the details.
Yesterday while driving, I saw a man watering his flower garden. He looked to be at least 80. He was dressed only in a pair of pale blue dolphin shorts. He was bald and bent and very thin. I could see the knobs of his spine. He had a face of peace and fullness. He must've noticed that I slowed, because he glanced up at me.

His eyes were full of stories. I broke into the grin of a child. I couldn't help myself.

He was beautiful.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Stumbling into the One Thing, for now

Yesterday was devoted almost entirely to finishing a painting.

I'm still under the weather, physically and mentally. I tell myself it's life, it's physiological, it's biology, it's my turn to feel lousy.

But there were times yesterday while working that I wouldn't have traded places with anyone.

It's the 'one thing' we've talked about on this blog.

So. At least there's that. It's an anchor, a post to hold onto during the storm. We all have them, trick is sometimes knowing what they are and how to find them. Everything else changes, which is a very good thing.

I put photos of a couple of new pieces above, for those of you who don't see the sidebar. Aubrey is photographing work that's been waiting, and getting it up into both the etsy and ebay shops, and I'm going back into full right-brain mode and painting, to give the rest time to fix itself.

---and breathing. That too. I keep hoping that eventually I'll figure this stuff out. In the meantime, I guess you get to stumble along with me. I'm lucky to have you along, for sure.

Have a good Saturday. If I make any discoveries, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It is what it is.

"water plants" was the first item on my list for today.

I got to that one about ten minutes ago.

Today was a bad day. Not a terrible day, not a disastrous day, but an unhappy, bad day the kind of which beats the spirit right out of a person.

I'm still happy to have lived it, don't get me wrong on that. There were moments when I wanted to disappear. But I know I can't do that. That would be stupid.

There were other moments when my mantra worked.

I can have peace in this moment.

I'm, hmm, preparing to try meditation. I have no idea what I'm doing. It's like trying to learn to surf by reading a book. I never really put much stock into it. It always seemed too close to twirling. But then, there's plenty of good evidence that controlled breathing works, including personal experience. So maybe what I'm trying is more like breathing.

Anyway. there were moments. Finally I think I'm tired enough to sleep instead of lying there and thinking over all the things I did wrong, today and every other day I can pull from memory.

If not, I'll try breathing. I'm thinking it's a matter of discipline and practice.

We'll see.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fire season is upon us early, and more.

It would be my style to write "California is burning, again."

Because it is again. It's still a couple of weeks until fire season.

Fires aren't uncommon here, as hurricanes aren't uncommon in Charleston.

Both can be devastating.

Again, reminds us of regularly, which leads to normal, with leads to ordinary.

There's nothing ordinary about disasters. Right now there are eight fires burning in the state. The closest to us is the fire in San Bernardino.

These are devastating, huge fires that will go on for weeks. Here, I watch the sky. It's crazy hot and oppressive and the usually crisp dry air of the desert is heavy.

I worked all day in the studio. In the evening, we sat outside and watched a surfing documentary and the odd-colored sky. I made notes for projects and took a few photos because the light outside was so strange. I'm still playing with the image above-- thought you might like it.

The patio television sits on a salvaged bubble gum machine. I plan to gut the thing and turn it into a bubble gum machine that looks and sounds and runs like I made it.

I don't know when. I've had it for four years. It doesn't even have a place in line yet. That used to bug me to no end, but not anymore. I'll get to it when I need to. Everything's eventual, as Mr. King teaches us.

I wish you well. I hope for everyone affected by the fires, especially the firefighters and their familes. This is really serious stuff.

And, weird enough, there's a hurricane in Baja California currently.

If this isn't the setting for a story for someone, I don't know what would be. I'm going to call Larry Niven. Not for the sake of stories, but to see if he's okay.