Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Slush diving

Here is a wonderfully helpful post put together by new IGMS assistant editors Scott M. Roberts and Eric James Stone (and me) that could help your story get hoisted from the depths of the slush pile. I would recommend reading the entire post as it is full of good information for any fiction writer, but I'll paste my bit over here:

"I like stories that surprise me. I don't mind if a cliché is used, if there is a neat twist. What makes your vampire/werewolf/sorcerer's apprentice/space colonists story different from all the others? I once got a mutinous murder on a spacecraft story (cliché), but told from the perspective of a sanitation robot (twist!). I like detail, that makes the character/world real to me.

I like caring about the point of view characters, even if they are flawed. Why are they flawed? I hate stock villains. Villains you can empathize with, even just partially, are always more effective. I also love the themes of sacrifice, honor, redemption, and breaking/questioning tradition. I am inexplicably partial to stories about robots, empathetic monsters, and adolescent boys going through tough times.

I love captivating first paragraphs, and dislike impotent last lines. For most short stories, you have two pages to capture my attention. Do not waste these on exposition. Do not throw away first paragraphs with exposition. I like being shown why or how a character is a certain way, as opposed to simply being told. I like natural, realistic dialogue that comes across as sincere, as opposed to being convenient to move the plot along. I do not mind stylized, snappy, or
humorous dialogue if it fits in with the story and is creative.

One of my biggest turn offs in a story is when female characters are only described physically, or always initially described physically just because they are women. Especially when this only goes as far as letting us know she has great breasts. I hate stock beautiful women in a story that are not fleshed out (ha!). Violence and exploitation of female characters that is not important to the core of the story is a big pet peeve. It usually comes off as lazy or, duh, exploitative.

I also do not like stories where it feels like important or clarifying information is being withheld so it will feel like a surprise or a twist later. Being confused makes me impatient. Another minor thing that pulls me out of a story is "shoutouts." Shout outs to favorite bands, television shows, writers, etc. that are not integral to the plot. It doesn't usually ruin a story, but it often pulls me right out.

I like stories that make me feel passionate about how it will all end."


Painting by Vermeer, Oh, Vermeer.

What sorts of stories are you drawn to? Notice any trends?

Monday, November 23, 2009

All the colors of the wiiiiiind

This is what I do when I am stalling out on the comic script.



But seriously, I doodle and color shiz to help siphon out the anxiety so I can unwind my brain and be creative. Try it some time! It is good to connect to something physical with your hands while your brain meanders.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quick Review: Thirsty


By M. T. Anderson, published by Candlewick Press, first copywright 1997. Just finished this book today. It's a super quick read, and one of my new favorites. The teaser synopsis:

All Chris really wants is to be a normal kid – to hang out with his friends, avoid his parents, and get a date with Rebecca Schwartz. Unfortunately, Chris appears to be turning into a vampire.

I loved the tone the whole way through. I usually get impatient with present-tense narrative, but it really worked and was well done. I would put Thirsty on the same shelf as Fade, by Robert Cormier. I really seem to have a thing for stories with an adolescent male POV with a paranormal twist. Other themes in this book I seem to dig on the regular: survival, overwhelming odds, dysfunctional families, what it means to be human.

One of the best things about this book is that right at the point where it feels like the story is supposed to end, for both the reader and the POV character, you notice there is still half a book left. That means something is wrong. Oh, good...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grace

This is what I needed to see today.

The unspoken fears/desires of my tiny indigo-smudged heart.

Jeremy's website is here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Absence of Stars

Wish I wrote it myself! I was fortunate to receive The Absence of Stars by Greg Siewert in my slush pile for IGMS. These were my concluding comments to the editor in chief, Edmund Schubert, when I passed it along:

This was fabulous. The science was convincing and the
human element was stirring. Hot dang, this was a
great story. Buy it.


We did, and it was published in two parts, in issues 10 and 11. It went on to receive this years WSFA award for Best Story of 2008. Guys, this is the best story of 2008! How lucky are you that in celebration of Greg's award we have it up for free until the end of 2009? Very, friends.

Go read it. You won't regret it. If you've never read science fiction before, this is a great introduction. If you dig it, I implore you to subscribe to our latest issue. It is el cheapo, full of great stuff, and I would love you that much more. Feel free to drop a comment and let me know what you think.

Two of the stories featured in Issue 15 are by Mary Robinette Kowal, and Bradley P. Beaulieu. I attended Literary Boot Camp with them, and they were both awesome writers, and great people. Also, Mary Robinette makes puppets. You really can't be cooler.


(Space Girl, by Travis Charest.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spontaneous Geek Moment


Angel season 4: kinda draggy, and not like blue mascara and rhinestones. It might be the whole Connor business. Connor = Dawn. Both are often irrational crybabies. (I can see my friend Aaron shaking his head, "Teens, yo. Gotta avoid those teens.")

So I was not feeling it all over the past several episodes, but then they bring back Faith. I wasn't in love with Faith when she first showed up in Buffy, but I didn't hate her, either. I totally love her in Angel. Especially in the season 4 episode, Salvage. First, when that ugly beeotch tried to shank her in the prison yard, but then I actually started bouncing on the couch when Wesley talked to her via window prison phone, and told her about the whole Angelus/Apocalypse deal.

"Stand back from the glass." BOOSH! Faith totally dives through the glass window, shards flying freaking everywhere, and bam biff kapows her way outta there. Yeay-ya! Don't be messing with crazy ass slayers who've been kicking it in prison, aiight?!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tired.

Sometimes I think the only solace of adulthood is eating ice cream for dinner.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hands off.


I'm five feet tall. This is relatively short for a mostly white American adult female. This does not revoke my status as an adult. This does not revoke my rights to personal space. This does not make it okay to scruff up my hair, squeeze my shoulders, rub my arms, poke my stomach, sling your arm around me, or rest your chin on my head. I am a 28 year old woman, not your 6 year old nephew. Especially since I have no idea who you are.

I'm not exaggerating. I'm a shorty, and this makes a lot of strangers think it is perfectly okay to physically interact with me as though I were a child. It was somewhat understandable when I was a 20 year old that looked 15. No excuse these days. I'm a very physical person, but I just loathe the assumption. Would you go up and playfully squeeze some 35 year old lady that walked into a doctor's office? You might, but it would be wildly inappropriate. Everyone knows this, so why do strangers keep SQUEEZING ME?!

It is most often men that do this, which may reflect on the infantilization of women in general, but that's another post entirely. Stop touching me. Unless of course we are friends. In that case, don't stop, never stop. Hold me, squeeze me. Love me forever and ever even until after we are dead.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spontaneous Geek Moment


In the The Doctor's Daughter episode of Dr. Who, when Martha Jones falls into the sinkhole, and then her new Hath friend sacrifices himself to save her. Martha breaks down so hard, so real. It was very upsetting, but supremely well done. You suddenly felt for everything Martha had ever lost, or was afraid of losing. Will Martha Jones get back home?? Also, those are great thighs.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Get out of my face:

Natalie Portman.

If we don't tolerate rape, why do we tolerate meat?

I am all for vegetarianism, but there are some people in this world who have to depend on meat for survival. Nobody has to depend on rape for survival.

Speaking of rape, this just happened. A commenter at Jezebel responded to this quote:

"These suspects are monsters. And, I don't understand how this many people capable of such atrocious behavior could be in one place at one time."
-Richmond, California Police Lt. Mark Gagan

with this:

Does anyone else feel like this cop doesn't get it? The sheer number of men/boys involved in this attack indicates a societal problem, not a random gathering of particularly heinous people.

I'm inclined to agree. THIRTY people participating in the assault and victimization of a lone woman at a public event strikes me as a manifestation of deeper problems within our culture and communities, rather than a tragic random happenstance.

Then there is the whole Roman Polanksi deal, and while I do advocate the victim receives the peace and privacy she has begged for, this poem by Calvin Trillin sums of the truth of the matter.

That doesn't stop total crap individuals like Gore Vidal from saying things like:

"I really don't give a f-ck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?"

A thirteen year old hooker is not a hooker. She is a victim of abuse. She is a rape victim. She is a child.

Thirteen. Thirty. Neither of these numbers are acceptable. Not-Rape, Rape-Rape. Whatever. We obviously have a problem with hating women, and that problem is that we are okay with it.

Bioshock



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Wolves in the Walls


Or the rabid squirrels. Or undead raccoons. Not sure exactly what they are, but they are SCARING THE PEE OUT OF ME. They started running through my walls again just as I began typing, as if to emphasize the power they wield.

My new bedroom is on level with the attic. Our attic is apparently full of zombie squirrels and sarcophagi. They spontaneously run across the floor inside the walls, and it sounds like they are in my room. I think soon they will be.

Today I was sitting at my desk (So far that is all that is in my room. A gloriously dark wooden desk, with a cute little steampunky desk lamp. The most expensive piece of furniture I have ever purchased. It gave me palpitations.), and I heard this terrible shuffling sound at the back of my closet. This is the closet that has terrified me since childhood, with the not-ever-quite closed trapdoor to the attic situated in its bowels.

When I moved back to my childhood home a few weeks ago the trapdoor was laying on the floor, and the miniature (aka EVIL) doorway into the attic was wide open. Multiple times a day, for several days in a row, I would walk up the mini staircase to the bedroom. I would take a breath, open the closet door, and peer into the blackness. Five seconds. I would shut the door. A few hours later. Ten seconds. Fifteen. On and on until I managed to stare a full minute into the abyss. I even went with a flashlight the last time, but couldn't work up the nerve to shine it into the horrible dwarf doorway.

I think my mom caught on how terrified I was both of the room and the closet. One morning while I was still in bed, she hammered the trapdoor back onto the doorway. Huge relief. Sort of.

The shuffling. Today I was sitting at my desk sifting through the slushpile for IGMS, when it started. I looked in the closet and noticed that the trapdoor is only nailed shut at the top. Something really determined could push its way out-- like a large rodent. Or a mummy.

I grabbed the hammer, two long nails, and braced my feet up against the door. Brave, like Joan of Arc, Sara. Strong like John Henry! I pounded and pounded, while something sat scraping from the other side.

The nails wouldn't go through. This is why I crammed all my clothes and toys into the back of the closet when I was little.

Something is going to get out.

Something is going to eat me.

(Picture by Jon Foster.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dark glass

I need to save some money for a spiffy digital SLR. It will give me something to do in between reading bad scifi and avoiding bathing.

I think taking photographs is a good way to help you gain patience with a place. I would like to hone in on the details that make Virginia Beach interesting, worthwhile, and its own. I need to explore, and have a more willing eye.

I am having a hard time adjusting. It's all well and good not putting on makeup, or real pants, for days at a time, but I'm starting to feel a little claustrophobic. I'm also having a really hard time breathing, literally. Virginia, especially in the fall/winter is very hard on my lungs.

I know coming here for a while was the right choice, but breathing always comes in tops. My lungs are already on serious drugs, and I've cut out dairy; not sure what else I can do. Acupuncture? Hypnotism?

If this move stops me from dancing I'll have to karate chop someone in the throat. And then go crawling after my inhaler.


(Doesn't that look comfy? Waah.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chiquitas

Hey, if you're going to APE (Alternative Press Expo) in SF this weekend, make sure you check out these two awesome ladies.

Meghan is the artist I am collaborating with on the graphic novel. She is also a great friend. She will be at booth #228, along with her awesome boyfriend, Chris.

My best friend Valerie will be at table #216 with some other cool ladies.

Hooray, ladies!!!!! So sorry I couldn't be there, but it was just too close to the move.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kwaheri

Long overdue updates. My father is doing well! He is at home and making a good recovery. Because I spent my time in Atlanta at the hospital or child-wrangling, I only went to Dragon*Con for part of Friday. This was one of my favorite costumes:




I have already left Los Angeles. It was terribly, terribly difficult. I hope it is temporary. My friends threw me a Bollywood themed farewell party. And hired a male bellydancer. It was hilarifying.



But that chapter of my life is closed. No more bellydancers. Just lots of sitting in a creepy room writing creepy comic books.

I'll let you know how it's going.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Interrupted

Several hours before going to LAX to fly out for Dragon*Con, my older brother called me. It was 3am his time, so I was a little alarmed. Turns out my father had a severe heart attack, and my brother was on his way to Macon to go see him.

I am now in Georgia, and my expedition for a weekend of sci fi and fantasy has been superseded by a whole lot of real life. My father is being held in a synthetic sleep. He is being pumped full of painkillers, sedatives, and a drug to induce amnesia. What does one dream in such a sleep?

He is supposed to have a quadruple bypass tomorrow morning. I don't know how this story ends.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Con Artist


I will be attending Dragon*Con in Atlanta this September! I will be there officially as the assistant editor of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine show; and unofficially as a soon-to-be graphic novel author and all around decent human being. Please come say hello.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Have you seen me?

Not likely. I probably won't be updating for a couple months. I'll be finishing the script for the comic whilst editing, dancing, and avoiding anything like romance. But I'll be back. Like a rash. Only more attractive.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ghost of summers past

Getting ready to fly out tomorrow back to my mom's house in Virginia for a few weeks. Going to pick berries, go swimming, cook southern goodness, and oh yeah FIGHT GHOSTS.

What should I pack for my haunted house? Sage? Tarot? TARO?!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My middle finger is so clean, classic American

Have you ever applied for a job at Abercrombie & Fitch, a.k.a. HITLER'S YOUTH?????

You best not have a prosthetic arm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Phat as hell

Hooray for lard! It's back, it's trendy, it's delicious. I'm not gonna lie, when my mom makes pie crusts from lard it is the best thing ever. Way better than Crisco.

An excerpt on how to make your own:
you can make your own if you can get your hands on top-quality fat from a small producer—back, belly, or kidney fat will all work. Cut it into chunks and cook them very slowly over low heat until the fat seeps out and only crispy bits are left. Strain it and save the fat in the refrigerator almost indefinitely. Salt the cracklings and eat them as what Mexicans call chicharrones.

(Thanks to http://twitter.com/LAFoodie for linkage. I highly suggest following them. Their tweets entertain and enlighten all day long. Pic by Winston Smith.)

PS: My new favorite web site: FOOD PORN DAILY. Click, drool, repeat. A great place for meal inspirations. And fantasy. Gosh, I'm dying over here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A thin line


Love: Twitter. I like knowing what Neil Gaiman is doing with his day, what is going on at the LACMA, and what my BFFs are doing when we aren't together. I also like telling the world every time I spot a hobo jungle, a fanny pack, or feel an onslaught of pathos because I am not a cyborg.

Hate: People who aren't really your friends on Facebook writing passive aggressive emails meant to induce guilt because you ain't trying to accept their friend request. Pretty much everyone I care about in high school, I still talk to. They don't have to come find me, they have my number. You don't live by me, you've never been to my birthday party, you don't know how many brothers I have or what hand I write with-- we probably aren't friends. It's okay, doesn't mean I wouldn't give you a ride during a zombie apocalypse. Just means I don't want to rifle through your vacation pics.

Love: American Apparel tees. It's like Renee said, "every frikkin' color of the rainbow!" They fit. They're soft. I wear them to death.

Hate: American Apparel. Dov Charney, drugs, explotation. Hate their ads. At least you get paid a living wage? I swore them off for a good while. But then I got tired of wearing the same inside out Transformer tee shirt every day.

Love: Sad robot stories.

Hate: Happy elf stories.

Love: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Best feminist icon ever. Great characters, great acting, great writing, great story archs. Cheesy genre hijinks mixed with snappy dialogue and deeply human stories. Sex, violence, good vs. evil, evil that turns good, and good that goes bad. Plus Joss Whedon is a really cool guy. I would love to work with him some day. Not feeling the whole Joss-less Buffy movie on the horizon. A newfangled Slayer movie could be cool. But I think we all know it won't be.

Hate: Twilight. Not completely accurate: I like that it exists. I just don't care about it. I am not invested in obsessive actions with no motivation. I'll probably see New Moon, though. It will be amusing. Well, and I also really like when people turn into wolves.

(Sad Robot by Sam.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Slush


I'm the assistant editor for Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. As a result, I read a LOT of short science fiction and fantasy. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it just doesn't cut the mustard, and other times... well.

I know as a writer feedback is appreciated, but I never have the time to respond to such requests. I get dozens of stories a day. This is not my only job. It is, however, the most time consuming. That said:

I've decided to start a new regular feature on my twitter, Reasons Why I Might Reject your Story. Maybe it will help a few of the new writers out there from making some common mistakes. Granted, there are exceptions to ever rule. For every forty utterly cliché vampire or anthropomorphic stories out there, there has been one that was original, surprising, and thought provoking.

There is one reason I would like to devote more than 140 characters to. Plagiarism. You'd think this would be obvious. But some people out there really suck. I once received a cheeky little story about a reluctant prince. It was very funny. I liked it; I think it sent it on to the Managing Editor and Editor in Chief.

A YEAR later I was riding with part of my family on a car trip from Indiana back to Virginia. My Oldest brother (who has quite possibly read every science fiction and fantasy story there is) began reading aloud from a book called Blue Moon Rising by Simon R. Green. It was a cheeky little story about a reluctant prince. A few paragraphs in and I was already feeling déja vu. I stopped my brother and summarized what ended up being the entire first chapter.

Gross. People, write your own stories. And go easy on the anthropomorphism.

http://twitter.com/saraellis

(Art by Dorian Cleavenger. I'm sorry. )

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Night

My roommate is at some hipster hotel pool party in a black string bikini.

I'm at home writing new pages on the comic book script in a sports bra and sweats.

I should really give her a lesson in glamour. And everyone else. Pay me, World. I will tell you what is beautiful.

Just let me wash this chocolate mochi off my fingers first.


(Marilyn Minter is so bomb. KerPow.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gracious

I have the day off tomorrow. I need dollars, but I think right now I need time more. Last week was a five day flamenco workshop, and so I got nothing done on the comic. Plus I've got magazine work up to my eyeballs. That didn't stop us from having a freaking fantastic Chosen Wednesday tonight. We watched the season 1 finale of Buffy. I baked a cake. There was a lot of red and black. And a fog machine.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Artists Don't Work For You.

Unless they do. And that involves money.
A good rant about paying artists for their work.

Related, a good rant by Neil Gaiman about how people, and authors, are not machines. (After the letter in bold.)



Also related, I would very much like Neil Gaiman to read me bedtime stories every night. I'll even pay.

Unrelated, my roommate is in the shower singing Poker Face.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dance Challenge!


I have been struggling with an array of injuries and health problems for a fair bit. They recently settled their differences and are now functioning under a unified front. This is no good for dancers dancin'.

Lying in bed, I realized that despite the inevitable weakening of my physical muscles, I could put more effort into keeping my imagination and choreography skills active and sharp. Beefy, even!

So. A weekly choreography/movement challenge. A prompt image and parameters. Feel free to participate, and even to share your results!

This week's prompt is:

Drowning: To be explored/performed within the confines of 10 sq. feet. Music optional.

(Art byValerie LaPointe, inspired by a poem by me me ME.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Port Timberbottom Central Library

The Break Room.

The librarians' break room is in the basement, where they keep all the film strips and microfiche.

It is a small room with one window at the very top of the far wall, on level with the sidewalk. They leave it open except for when it rains. This is because all the librarians smoke.

There is a card table with folding chairs, and a slouchy green upholstered loveseat against the right wall. In the back left corner is a brown mini fridge, that often functions as another chair. In the far right corner is a soda machine-- cans only, big plastic buttons with the soda labels displayed underneath. Sprite, Coke, Diet Coke, and Grape.

Miss Pelmouth is the only one who drinks Grape, but she mostly avoids the break room since walking in on Mr. March and Miss Olivia Dross in a compromising position on the loveseat.

She is currently applying for a transfer to the Redbee Branch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

May your burdens be light,

and occasionally tasty.

A more accessible deity; dedicated to Tiffany.

Dinosaur Comics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apo(plectic)logies

Twitter has really sucked the life out of the blog. Sorry, true believers. I won't be so vain as to assume this is hurting anyone.

No, I take that back. Sorry for withholding what had been the best part of your day.

Some quick updates:

- Little brother is leaving this summer to Kobe, Japan for two years. Happiness/tears. Will be visiting VA at the top of July.
- Still working at dance studio. Poverty. Still working for IGMS. Drowning in slush.
- Am the writing half of an awesome comic collaboration with Meghan Kinder. Progress is slow but steady. I hope to have the whole script finished before the end of June.
- Lungs slowly recovering from months long lameness. Swimming, and slowly getting back into dancing form.
- Every other Wednesday has turned into Chosen Wednesday; a night of Buffy and potato tacos in K-Town.
- My neighbors in the next building over usually have loud sex around midnight. At least it sounds satisfying.
- Animated .gifs and fan art are my new late night crack, thanks to this chick .

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter

And me without my hat.



Sadness.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why???

I came to the Night of Soft Rock late, but at least I came as the chubby Annie Lennox.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday Slayage

It started with a scream. It ended with a resurrection. It was my birthday!

My California Friends™ orchestrated the best haunted Buffy-style slayer quest of slightly terrifying adventure and delightful hysteria ever for my 28th. I had no idea, and I was caught wearing my dinner mustache. (You know, to be fancy.)

Wendy climbed up our balcony while I was sitting in the living room playing with modeling clay-- but Wendy always comes up our balcony, so I had no idea that anything paranormal was afoot. Then Emily screamed from her bedroom! I found her dead on the floor, with bite marks in her neck, and threatening messages scrawled in blood on her arms and chest. Vamps! Vengeance would be mine!

I was ill prepared for slayage. After much panicked rummaging for weapons (and my gold sneakers), I left with Wendy (my watcher) out into the darkness of Santa Monica, armed only with a tape recorder, my courage, and holy water in a mustard squeeze bottle. Note to potentials: squeeze bottles are a fabulously effective way of disseminating holy water.



I was compelled on a winding journey (of approximately one mile) where I was put up against the following foes, all of whom became my tenuous compatriots:

A Snuggie Phantom, by Bonnie. The lonely echo of a soul trapped between this world and the next, lurking between parked cars. A blanket with sleeves. Spooky!

A coke-addled Homeless Woman, who wouldn't stop quoting my own poetry at me, by Tiffany. This was hilarious, because I did not recognize Tiffany, and she is an amazingly committed actress. I assumed she was the real deal, and politely tried to brush her off, as I had no money on me.

Scary Old Woman stalking me in her car with the headlights off, by Broek. She offered me old lady candy, aka cough drops. It was gross. I almost got in the car with her, but Wendy warned me that it might be a bad idea.

My Doppelganger, by Dax. This was horrifying. I was put face to face with my own mortality, as Dave tumbled a hanged effigy from the boughs of a tree he was hidden in. It smacked me in the face. And then I saw that its face was MY FACE. My terrible wide-eyed, carnival-toothed face.



Hooligan in a Dapper Cap with Baseball Bat, by Jared. These people are so good at jumping out at me! Even after "Oh, it's you!" I regretted not having my wooden sword. Jared's bigger than me!



Uncouth Goat Demon, by Erin. Hidden behind a very large bush. She moved dreamily, and kept trying to touch me. It was another couple of blocks before I was sure of her mortal identity.



Hood in a Hoodie, by Renee, and Screaming Bloody Banshee, by Jenni. Again with the jumping out at me! Terrifying, but Jenni's wounds smelled of fruit roll-up. Perfectly adequate reason to have them come along.





Zigzagging Zombie, by Kat. As our little Halloween gang paraded down the hill towards beach, a dark figure shambled uphill at an alarming rate. She tried to eat my brain. It kind of tingled.

Then things got eerie. Gatekeeper Peter (you should know that mystical gatekeepers dress like assistant producers) stood on the seawall and beckoned forth. My dead roommate was laying inside a ring of Mexican Saint candles (Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos y Virgen de Guadalupe ), guarded by a Veiled Dark Oracle, by Todd. Just behind them, were Jeff and Kristen, pilots of an ominous black kite.

Pictures really can't do this justice. It was just about the creepiest thing I've ever seen, and perfectly still but for the wind and the sound of the ocean. I had to resurrect Emily with a vampire cupcake (made by Wendy: chocolate, with cherry filling, vanilla icing, two puncture wounds seeping sweet, sweet, blood) and by blowing out all the candles.

Victorious, I laid down inside the circle of smoking candles, and everyone stood around me and sang Happy Birthday.





Holy water spent, masks removed, they walked me back home, peeling off one by one.

The most magical parts of the evening lay in the fact that they turned my neighborhood, where I walk every day, into a dark and whimsical place. Each block hid terrifying creatures and menacing characters, who once confronted, became my ragtag band of spooky and dangerous friends.

My apologies for squirting you all with holy water-- but you were evil. And evil must be vanquished.

Suck it, losArs

My blood, that is. Aaron keeps resisting my ever-growing passion for the dark whimsy that is vampires. But mayhaps this will help sway him to the Big Bad. ( Supplied by Comptron, from her many travels.)



Kids and grown-ups love it so!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Earthbound misfits

I cannot hear Pink Floyd without immediately thinking of my older brother, Sam. And then I can't help but remember nights and mornings around a dining room table playing Star Wars the RPG, barely keeping my crush on Johnny Sandal in hand because he was the best GM evAR.

For Immediate Release

Ellison sues Star Trek.

You should read this letter. It is awesome. We love this man.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Again and again and again and again

Before work at the studio this afternoon I stopped at the Yogurtland on La Brea to satisfy my newly persistent craving for peanutbutter/Cap'n Crunch/strawberries/chocolate/mochi. Yeah, my cravings are pretty specific.

It was really gorgeous out, so I sat at one of the little tables on the sidewalk and read some Ray Bradbury while I ate (with the pink spoon because I am a girl; that is the rule at Yogurtland). A man in a business suit with spiky hair sauntered past with his own bowl of froyo. "It's addictive, isn't it?" he commented conspiratorially.

Why yes, I nodded. Yes it is. Was it something in my eyes, something in my posture, that revealed I had been there not quite eighteen hours earlier?

I would like to replace the liquor store on my street corner with a Yogurtland. But I suppose it would have to sell toilet paper for those nights when we run out at 2am. And Diet Cokes, for Emily.

Happy Birthday

Mr. 51773

Monday, March 2, 2009

Anti-Social Socials

Music to draw to.

What a lovely idea. I've known for a while about various Drunk&Draws around town, but I would like to start the occasional anti-social social myself. Having CompTron over on Friday helped propel me through twenty some stories in the space of time that I'd normally go through eight or nine, tops.

I haven't been much for real socializing lately, and have a lot of pushing to do with my current comic project. But I work so much better when I can feed off the Real Live Energy of other people. This could be a perfect solution.


A link to one of the best comics of all time. (You can read it in the flesh in Mome, volume 14.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

If you ask me

Dreaming about your parrot doom-prophesying in the middle of the night is as good a reason as any to lay off the Nyquil.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stranger than

I only fall in love with fictional characters. Sure, I get crushes on real boys. But eventually they take off their Real Boy masks, and inside is a small, rather sucky sort of person. That's fine. Plastic lips aren't any good for kissing, and I'd rather kick things.


Art by Sina Grace Face.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My style icons

Joan of Arc



plus...



Joan Holloway?


Not exactly Tim Gunn approved.