April 14th, 2005

breeden

(no subject)

I woke to the cheerful sound of the cat howling next to my ear. "Surely she's not REALLY next to my ear..." I thought. I turned my head, and nearly put my nose in the cat's mouth, as she let go another "Muuurrrrrrrrrawwww!" about an inch away. This cat does not meow. She has two sounds, a frustrated yawp and an adorable little chirp. This fell somewhere about halfway between, but much lower on the adorableness scale.

I sat up. The cat took off through the house. She had food, she had water, she had no interest in anything I could provide, it merely violated her sense of propriety that I was still asleep. James was up! She was up! The little birds were all up! Why wasn't I up?!

Like Arthur Dent at the beginning of Hitchhiker, a phrase wandered across my brain looking for something to connect to. Unlike Arthur Dent, the phrase was "Man, I like Vin Diesel." No clue how that got there. (I do rather like Vin Diesel, mind you, cheesy sci-fi geek that I am, but it's not something I generally think about unless there's a movie actually on.)

I had a dream about getting lost in the barrio and finding a little cafe staffed by part-time strippers, which had food all named after Shakespeare's plays. I was escorted out of the barrio by a sort of modern day Zorro who told me kindly that this was not a good place for nervous looking white chicks, and wound up back at a hotel, where an old boyfriend from over a decade ago yelled at me, and I had to sit through a support group meeting for relatives of people killed in the 9/11 bombing, who thought they were shapeshifters.

All in all, perhaps the cat did me a favor...

Edit: And then I went out to the mailbox and there was a nice little royalty check there. So that made everything better.
breeden

(no subject)

There is undoubtedly a way to put a poll in here. I don't know what it is.

However, yet another website question, O dear readers!

I am organizing the galleries. Or trying, anyhow.

Assuming that this is an either/or proposition, and that there will be a reasonably functional search engine, that each category will appear in a sidebar and the sidebar is not at this time collapsible, which categorization scheme would you find more efficient?

By species...ie. Anthro is broken into "General" "Wombats" "Rodents" "Pink Lizards" etc.

By...um...sincerity, I guess, for lack of a better term--i.e. Anthro contains stuff like "The Polar Court" and there is a seperate section for "Small and Silly" that has most of the little watercolor vignettes with no backgrounds, like the hamsters stabbing each other and so forth.

We've had calls for both varieties, so I'm trying to pick one. Thoughts?
breeden

(no subject)

I'm talkative this morning. Work avoidance, I suppose.

Working rather feverishly on the mini-story for the Digger collection. I am getting a little nervous about it--not because I think it's bad but because I'm getting the peculiarly exposed feeling that I get sometimes when I write fiction--the sort of "There is too much of me in this, and my soul is being laid entirely too bare to any casual reader" feeling.

Weirdly enough, sitting here and actually baring my soul and talking about myself doesn't bother me at all. Maybe the truths in fantasy are deeper and much more embarassing. Possibly it's because if I'm simply stating something, I can phrase it as delicately or as flatteringly as I wish, whereas the reader of a story actually SEES it. It's the difference between stating that you're Reubenesque and full-figured, and having somebody actually see the pudge and the flobbing flab in person. Or something like that.

While this story is supposedly the origin of the statue of the Ganesh--and without spoilering--it's essentially about the life of a sculptor. That his sculpture becomes an avatar of Ganesh became pretty much a footnote--the sculptor himself ran away with me. (People are more interesting than gods anyway.) He's pretty one-dimensional, a creative impulse and not much else, but seven pages isn't the place to write War and Peace. It's funny, of course--I mean, it's me writing it, I can't keep a straight face for more than a page or two--so there's a delusional emperor and random turnips and so forth, but still, I find myself looking at this with beady little eyes and go "Dude, you wanna just write "I AM BURNED OUT ON COMMISSIONS: A Pictorial Essay By Ursula Vernon" across the title page, or what?"

Probably I'm just neurotic--I'm sure all my myriad writers in the audience can tell tales of how they'll re-read something and think "Jesus, this says WAY too much about me!" when nobody else would neccessarily think that. Hell, maybe it's a good thing.

Ultimately, I think it's an okay little story, and that's the important bit. Of course, only the readers will tell in the end. *grin* And now I gotta get back to work on it, because too much navel gazing doesn't get the art done...
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breeden

Horror, Mixed With Absurdity

My father called. (If he's reading this, hi, Dad! This one I had to share...) Due to my stepmother's adoptions of two dogs who's owner had gone into hospice care, he now has five small black poodles in the house. At least one of them hates him. My father loves animals and is a basically decent person and so does not engage in the many fantasies he has of sending the dog to sleep with the fishes, but has hinted a few times that perhaps Poodle Rescue may wish to get involved.

He also has chickens.

One of these new small black poodles (I have met three of them, and they were reasonably good-natured, but had the peculiar I-so-could-not-survive-in-the-wild ineptitude unique to a purebred showdog) the one who hates him, has evidentally taken to killing chickens.

There are two kinds of chicken killing dogs. One kills chickens because it's a neat thing that runs away! Cool! Like a tennis ball with legs! The other one kills chickens because they enjoy killing a chicken. It is possible to rehabilitate the first variety, by, for example, smacking the dog upside the head and saying sternly "DON'T CHASE THE CHICKEN!" (repeat as needed) Dad's excellent Rottweiler, Brewster, had this problem, had sense beaten into him, and learned "Aha! I don't chase the chickens! And if I can't chase the chickens, nobody else gets to either!" and thereafter ran the farm with an iron paw, making a utopian world where chickens were kept safe from the depredations of other farm animals.* (The coyotes, skunks, etc, were another matter, but one dog can only do so much.)

The second variety, common wisdom has it, can only be rehabilitated by a completely chicken free environment, or a bullet.

Dogs, of course, are pack animals. If one mauls a chicken, the others, good dogs but lacking the strength of character inherent in Brewster, will be fascinated by the squawky bloody thing, and join in.

Although my father spared many of the details, I cannot shake the ludicrous and dreadful image of a pack of dogs made entirely of dainty, well-coiffed black miniature poodles, going in for the kill. It's horrible, sure, I mean, the poor chicken, and yet...I mean...all those tiny black poodles...

The poor chicken. And my poor father, who I do not think has ever committed any act so heinous that he should have a murderous pack of poodles inflicted upon him.

Fencing was erected. The chickens are safe. For now.


*It's worth noting that one of the dogs was allowed to pursue the chickens as long as the chicken never broke into a run. If the chicken ran, Brewster came down like a hundred and ten pounds of furred death on the offender. This dog would, therefore, follow his quarry, at a walk, for hours, or until the chicken got bored and stopped.