29 July 2005

Friday Fey Update

Happy Friday-before-the-long-weekend! I've added the latest page of Fey: page 46, in which we learn more about gargoyles. Also, I added the missing text from a word balloon on page 45. (Er, how come no one told me it was missing? Does that mean no one's reading it?)

25 July 2005

Sad Things

This is the last night my big, silly dogboy Darwin will spend at my house. Tomorrow, he's off to his new home with Heather and Badger-who-used-to-be-Viktor. I shall be very sad, but it would have been unfair to drag big D across the country to live in a tiny downtown apartment with no company but the scary, scary cat for many hours a day. I might cry. There will be ice cream after, and probably books (we're going to Hillside mall after, since we'll be downisland anyway, and I know no better way to drown my sorrows than looking at books, except maybe buying books then spending absurd amounts of time reading them while eating ice cream) (chocolate ice cream, or maybe peanut butter cup ice cream). So.

23 July 2005

Name Changes

I forgot to put this in the last post . . .

Some time ago, I wrote a YA novel that I titled Taken, 1941. I never really liked the title. My original idea was to call it In the Fairies, 1941 (the date was mainly to make it clear when the story was set; I keep changing my mind about whether it should stay or not). "In the fairies" is a Newfoundand term meaning something like "pixie-led," or lost and disoriented due to stumbling onto fairies or fairy property. I let someone (I shall not say who) convince me to change it. Since I don't think I ever used "in the fairies" in the book, but I did use "taken," it didn't seem like a big deal. But, as I said, I never much liked that title. So. Not so long ago, I decided to change the title to The Stolen Child. I had since written another YA novel called The Secret Common-wealth, and I liked the idea of using the titles of famous old fairy literature. The Secret Common-wealth has that title for a very good reason (not just because I wanted to steal something well-known to fairy enthusiasts)--it's set in Aberfoyle and is strongly connected to the events surrounding the Rev Kirk's death (Kirk being the author of the original book of that title, ca 1692).

Anyway. I've since realized that I really need the title The Stolen Child for an entirely different novel (yes, another YA with fairies in, which I will probably do for this year's NaNoWriMo). So I can't use that to retitle Taken (and, to be honest, it never felt quite right anyway, but I couldn't think of a better famous-fairy title to borrow, and nothing I thought up of my own worked, either). So. One evening while getting ready for bed, I realized what the title would be. The Coming of the Fairies. The original book was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and concerns the Cottingly fairy incident. While Doyle's book hadn't yet been published at the time my novel takes place (the Strand articles it was assembled from were, though), the events he wrote about had happened (two decades before, if I remember correctly). And another book about Cottingley, E.L. Gardner's Fairies: A Book of Real Fairies (which I think appeared under some other title, too, but I don't feel like looking it up), figures fairly prominently in the story. I'd use that title, but it's just not as interesting.

  • Taken, 1941 is now called The Coming of the Fairies (possibly with 1941 tacked on)
  • Fairy Rings is now called The Stolen Child (and I will starting it all over from the beginning, leaving little or no of the content I've already written, except some of the plot and a few of the characters--it really wasn't working, but I still like many of the ideas)

So there you go. I guess it's a good thing I haven't been sending my mss out much--I keep changing their titles. But no more. I'm happy with the titles. Now if I could ony get the revisions done and be happy with the whole ms. Sigh.

Writing: White Foxes, etc

Last night, when Daily Planet was over and I was waiting for Friday night anime to begin, I sat down and wrote 1,157 words of chapter 17 of White Foxes, Full Moon. That makes 47, 979 so far (or 50, 751 if you count the already-written final chapter which may or may not stay once I get to the end). I'm well over halfway now, but not yet at 2/3. My original outline was for 27 chapters, but I suspect there may be 30 or so by the time I get there.

I also thumbnailed and laid out the panels for pages 50-52 of Fey. I have to get going on the pencils on those today (and see if I can finish chapter 18 of Foxes).

What else? I know there was something else I was going to say . . . Oh, yeah. I find it most interesting how you can earn about characters things you never dreamed of until there they are, in words on the page in front of you (or in pictures). I found out something about Watcher (one of the two main characters in Foxes) yesterday. He was telling Maring (the other main character) a story--a kind of origin story about the island they live on. Turns out he may be older and more powerful than even I suspected (he certainly didn't know; he doesn't remember much about his past).

And a week or so ago, I started to sketch out an drawing to enter in a scholarship (deadline is the end of August, I think). I was trying to draw something elegant and sort of intricate--a portrait of some fantasy character, perhaps. Something that would turn out well, but that I wouldn't mind sending to a contest and not getting back. I started with a face, and made him into a king. The idea of "ancient king" popped into my head, so I tried to make the costume simple, elegant, and rich. I wasn't too displeased--in fact, I kind of liked how it was turning out, even though my attempt to add a dragon didn't work (too fantasy-cliché to begin with). Anyway, I had most of the figure down when I realized who I was drawing. Adding small pointed ears clinched it. I'd just drawn a portrait of the mysterious Gannon, villain (maybe) of Fey. And I think he may have been a king, too, though now he's just high up in Faery nobility, due to various events in fey politics and the like. Weird, though. I created his character as little more than a name to oppose Robin et al's efforts to . . . well, you'll just have to read the comic. Later on, as I was pondering the bizarre pathways of literary and comic creation, it occurred to me that Gannon (Gannon ap Rhys, I think) is very probably the father of Pier (aka Rapier) and Sabre (and also Katana, their half-kitsune sister). Phew. Of course, for all I know, once I get around to telling those bits of the story (if they ever make it in to the main tale) everything might have changed, and I may have learned different things (sometimes, you see, characters can lie to their creators) (really; it's weird).

22 July 2005

Fey: Part 3 Begins for Real

While I'm still not as far ahead as I'd like, I do have the next page ready for you all to look at: page 45 (that's page 1 of part 3, if you're keeping track). I'd have had it up sooner, but I had to convince my scanner to play nice with Síog. I discovered that if I set it up so the images opened in Photoshop Elements, everything slowed down so much it might as well have frozen, on account of PE has to run in Classic and having 2 OSs running at the same time takes up a lot of memory. So now everything scans and opens in iPhoto. Once I have it all scanned, I open PE, and edit away. Probably I shouldn't scan at such high resolution (even the Mac gets a little sluggish when I cut and paste the bits together), but I like it that way. Oh well, I'll work it all out. Probably, things will improve some once I get OSX native software.

And in more scanning news, I scanned a couple of slides of arctic terns I was going to enter in this contest. Alas, they were more out of focus than I'd thought (you try focussing a manual camera on a small bird while it's divebombing you). It doesn't look as bad in a small size, so I may post it here later on (it's from my Arctic trip, way back in 1995). I'm going to see if any of my Peary caribou shots turned out any better (they weren't attacking me, but they were rather far away). Maybe I'll find something to enter in that contest yet.

Optimus Keyboard

This is so very cool. I want one. (Link via Scott McCloud.)

21 July 2005

Myth Envy

Oh, I sooo want to do this: MythBusters: Design an Experiment Application. I even have an idea that might work. Alas, you have to be a US citizen. Crap, crap, crap.


Right, so as of yesterday afternoon, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Hmmm. What to say? Really, for a 600-page book, not very much happened, until right near the end, and most of what did happen was easily achieved and without much sense of conflict or struggle. What kept the book going, I think, in the absence of any great conflict, was a general underlying sense of unease and uncertainty, mostly generated by things happening off-camera. All-in-all, I think it was tighter than the last book, even if there wasn't much action. There were a few annoying things (the all-Slytherins-are-evil thing seemed more pronounced, but was at the same time mitigated by at least one sympathetic Slytherin character). There was an interesting depiction of a "pure-blood" wizarding family after many generations of inbreeding, which was a nice contrast to the snooty Malfoys. The writing was the usual fairy mediocre -- it's the characters that are the heart of this series, and definitely not Rowling's writing. I think I am rambling.

Basically, it seemed to me that a lot of the clichés of the series were both reinforced and undermined in various ways. I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet, but it's interesting.

Ryan commented the other day about how, in the last book, Harry had become a real dick (I think those were his words, more or less). Sue said something like, "Yeah, he's become a teenage boy." (It was amusing, you see, because Ryan turned 16 recently and is, himself, very much a teenaged boy.) Harry is still a bit of a dick, but it's a little easier to see where he's coming from this time, I think.

I could have done without all the snogging, but then I'd probably have loved it when I was a teenager. Same for the toilet humour (not so much of that this time, though; the tone of the books continues to grow more serious).

My only real gripe with this book is that there is one chapter near the beginning (chapter 2, in fact) that really should have been cut (chapter one wouldn't have been missed much, either, really, but it didn't annoy me). I think Rowling needed to write it, so she knew what was going on, but I think it should have gone. The reader doesn't need it. It annoyed me to no end, knowing the information that was in it. And I think the big event at the end of the book whould have had much more power and impact -- much more emotional punch-in-the-guttedness -- if that chapter had not already tipped us off. I'd advise people who haven't read the book yet to skip chapter two the first time through, but I know you're not going to listen to me anyway.

So. Those are my first thoughts on the new Harry Potter. Anyone else got any ideas? Am I full of shit?

17 July 2005

Yee Yaw! (Fey and Síog)

So, as promised, the long-awaited Fey: Drawing Borders, Part 3 Cover. The colours turned out a wee bit muddy, because I overcompensated on account of worrying about them being too bright. But, for my first attempt to use my 6-bazillion-colour package of markers, it's not too bad (actually, I think there are 60 colours, and they only cost about ten bucks at Staples, and are guaranteed not to dry out even if you leave them with the cap off for three days) (which I have not tried; I will be happy if they don't dry out until they are actually empty of ink).

And if you are wondering "okay, so that's Fey, but what the heck is Síog?" you shall soon need wonder no more. Síog is my Mac. There is a tradition among Mac people, of naming their machines. My old LCIII was Banshee (notice a trend?). The current machine is very small, so Síog seem suitable (for some reason, I always think small when I see the word síog, though it really just means "fairy"). I tried naming my first pc, but it never really stuck (and I don't even remember what the name was), so I didn't bother with the rest.

Anyway, this (Fey cover 3) was the first page I did on me Mac that needed much editing (or any, really). And I have to say, Holy Fucking Crap, I love my Mac mini. It's not blazing fast, but it does what I ask without complaining, or crashing, or even hiccuping. And the fan is hardly audible. Yes, I am happy. Garage sale tired, but very pleased.

16 July 2005

Fey Delay

Because I don't ever seem to be quite on top of things, there will be a slight delay in today's page of Fey. Never fear, you shall soon have the cover of part 3, as promised, just probably not today. If you are pining for a Fey fix immediately, you can go read Faerie or Bust, right here. (You can look at the cover if you want to, but it's not much). This was my 24-hour comic from a few years back. It's kind of . . . odd.

I spent most of the day getting ready for our garage sale this Saturday and Sunday (at my aunt's place on Sears Road in . . . er . . . Cobble Hill, I think). I can't imagine what state I'd be in if I hadn't already been mosty ready from last time. So I am sleepy and just want to sit and watch cartoons and eat ice cream and then go to bed and sleep deeply because I have to get up too early tomorrow. And the iron supplement that is supposed to make me less sleepy doesn't seem to be working. And, though the discs I burned from my old desktop machine read just fine in my Mac, I seem to have negected to save one thing I need, so I have to send it from my laptop, where it lives as a raw tiff scan, instead of a nice touched-up file I can just copy and paste onto my pretty image for the cover and I believe I have begun to babble. The short of it is, I can't face staring at a computer screen for even the short time it should take to put the cover together (plus the time it takes for me to navigate Photoshop Elements in the Classic Environment (aka System 9, which I have to use because my PE version is so old is doesn't run in OSX), and also I have to navigate System 9 itself, which is not so different from what I remember of System 7, but is not so elegant as OSX, and I am babbling again and this is not at all short). I have to go before the nearly non-functional "l" key on this laptop causes me to throw the machine out the window, which would be okay except I need this machine for working in the time between leaving here and getting internet acess (not to mention a place to live) in Haifax. Can you see my brain dissolving through cyberspace? Urgh.

Really long story short this time, I will do my best to have Fey cover 3 done tomorrow, though I may be dead after garage sale, day 1 (this time around). Going now.

15 July 2005

Fun With Harry

So it's Harry Potter day (well, really not till tomorrow, but if you stay up till after midnight to buy the book, it's almost like it's today. Or something). The last time a new HP book came out, I wrote a couple of "top ten" articles for work:
And here (via Making Light) are some of the entries to a recent Guardian contest: The alternative Potter: Dumbledore's death, because someone important is rumoured to die in Book 6 (wasn't that the rumour for Book 5, too?). The fun continues in this Making Light post: Pushing Up Dumbedores (and especially in the comments).

I admit, I didn't read them all, but my favouite of those I did read is this one, in the style of William Carlos Williams:
This Is Just To Say

I have killed
the wizard
who was in
your novels

and whose death
you were probably
for book seven

Forgive me
he had it coming
so beardy
and so old

So, do I buy the new book tomorrow, or do I hope somebody gets it for me for Christmas?

13 July 2005

No Go

Pooh! No shuttle launch today: Return to Flight.

09 July 2005

The Meddling is Over

Or, the "Meddling Spirits" Fey short is. I just put the last page up. Next week, we'll continue with part 3 of the main story (aka Drawing Borders). Bet you're all really excited!

(Hmmm. The "l" key on my laptop seems to be sticking . . .)

07 July 2005


After waking me up way too early, one too many times--by chewing on the bars of his cage--InuYasha is now banished outside. He's well-sheltered, out of the wind and rain, and also out of range of me throwing things from bed.

Anyone want to adopt a very cute bunny? (He really is sweet, and if you happen to get up at 6 am anyway, he won't even be annoying.) He comes with a cage and everything.

02 July 2005


I'm testing out Blogger's new photo feature, so here's pic I took a couple of days ago of Bast, aka Supreme Ruler and Goddess of Everything.

(Interestingly, the photo upload feature doesn't work in Netscape, so I had to do this in Explorer. Bleah! Also, I can't figure out how to get it to tell me how much of my allotted 300 megs I've used.)

Latest Reading: Quickly

I've got so very far behind in blogging my recent reading that I'm only going to put in very brief comments.


  1. Shinju by Karen Joh Rowland. A historical mystery set in Japan that completely absorbed me. Not bad for 25 cents from the library discards. I've got another in this series to read, too.
  2. The Dragon Path by Kenneth Morris. Lush, beautiful short stories by a Welsh Theosophist. I've got one of his novels on my shelves. Probably I'll get to reading it sooner, now.
  3. Mr Doyle and Dr Bell by Howard Engel. A novel about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that puts Doyle in the role of Dr Watson alongside Dr Bell (apparently the real-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes). It was well-enough written, but just Sherlockian enough to make me wonder why I just didn't read a Sherlock Holmes novel instead.
  4. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai. A strange, literate mythic-past and near-future novel. I couldn't resist the title, and now I'll be watching for more of Lai's work.
  5. The Great God Pan by Donna Jo Napoli. I started out disappointed that Napoli chose to make Pan the son of Hermes (as he is in some of the myths, though Pan himself actually pre-dates most of the Olympian gods). In the end, though, I was very pleased with the way the novel ended. Napoli's books never seem to be quite as good as I'd like them to be, but they're usually worth reading once.
  6. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. One of those YA/children's classics I've been meaning to read for ages. Quite a lovely book, though I rather wish it didn't have a cover from the movie adaptation.
  7. The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman. A good read, but I really wanted more of the alchemical items from the title, and their story and how they affected the present day. Still, I like the way the past narratives and ongoing present story were interleaved and intertwined.
  8. In the Forests of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip. Whenever I become disillusioned with fantasy fiction (which is often--the genre seems to have more than its share of crap), I only need to read McKillip to have my faith restored. She manages to transplant folkloric elements to fantasy settings and make them seem perfect. Plus her writing is beautiful. In this one, I especially liked the fantasy version of Baba Yaga.
  9. Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. A fun read written by the two authors exchanging letters as if they were their characters. The result is a delightful story, and really, really makes me want to try this. Anyone want to write fantasy character letters with me?
  10. Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip. More gorgeous McKillip writing. This one's got a huge, ancient library, which is one quick way to my heart.
  11. The Beekeeper's Pupil by Sara George. Bees! I love bees. This novel is written as a diary, and is as much about scientific discovery as about people. Go, read it. (Personally, I would have titled it The Beekeeper's Assistant, since The Beekeeper's Apprentice was already taken. "Pupil" is just sich an awkward, unlovely word. And it's a lovely book; I've already requested George's other book from the library.)


  1. At the Water's Edge: Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life by Carl Zimmer. How did mammals evolve from aquatic animals to land animals, and then back again? Cool evolutionary science in a very readable style.
  2. A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit by Alan Lightman. I'd have liked to read more about the author's experiences as both a scientist and a novelist--the clash of art and science and all that. Some of the earlier essays were kind of slow, but about halfway through I was totally absorbed and finished the rest at high speed.

Sequential Art:

  1. Fruits Basket volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya. I think I'm in love with these characters, and I'll definitely be adding this title to my must-read list.
  2. Hellsing volume 2 by Kohta Hirano. More stylish occult action.
  3. 9-11: Artists Respond. A wide range of styles and themes in this fundraiser. Worth reading, but not something I need to own.
  4. Elfquest: Wolfrider by Wendy Pini et al. I used to be a big EQ reader, but eventualy drifted away. Our library is well-stocked with EQ volumes, so I thought I'd pick up a few I'd missed. Uneven art and stories when Wendy Pini isn't in control of her creation.
  5. Rurouni Kenshin volume 2 by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The usual delightful mix of fun and serious.
  6. Elfquest: Kahvi by Auklandus et al. See notes on Wolfrider.
  7. Rurouni Kenshin volume 3 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
  8. The New Comics Anthology edited by Bob Callahan. New being the 1990s, if I remember correctly. Quite a lot of the stuff in here really didn't appeal to me, but then quite a lot did. It was worth reading, though, just to see work I'd missed when I read little other than Elfquest. A interesting mix.
  9. Rurouni Kenshin volume 4 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
  10. Elfquest: Shadowstalker by Auklandus et al. See notes on Wolfrider.
  11. Elfquest: Wavedancers by Pini et al. See notes on Wolfrider.
  12. Rurouni Kenshin volume 5 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
  13. Dark Shadows: The Comic Strip Book. I've never seen any of the cult-tv series, but picked this up on a whim when I saw it in the library. Fun reading in a campy sort of way.
  14. Demon Diary volume 1 by Kara (art) and Lee Chi Hyong (story). Pretty art and a not-too-bad story. It won't be at the top of my to-read list, but I'll probably pick up others in the series. Might not buy any more, though.
  15. Amphigorey Also by Edward Gorey. It's Gorey. Need I say more?
  16. PhD: Phantasy Degree volume 1 by Son Hee-Joon. I got this for Selena for her birthday, and then read it before I gave it to her. [insert evil laughter] Does my "best auntie" award get revoked? It's a cute, humorous (mostly) series. I'll probably read more, though I don't feel the need to own copies.
  17. Naruto volume 1 by Masashi Kishimoto. A high-energy shonen series about a village of ninjas and the outcast kid who is determined to be the best ninja of all and so gain the villagers respect. Well-drawn, too.
  18. B.B. Explosion volume 1 by Yasue Imai. Not really my thing (it's a bit too girly), but I did enjoy reading this story about a girl determined to make it as Japanese idol singer. I might get more from the library, if they happen to be on the shelf, but I won't go out of my way.

Also read: Book by Karen Brookfield--one of the Eyewitness series with lots of pretty pictures with explanatory captions. I might like to own this one, just because of the excellent photographs of books and book-related items; The Sandman: King of Dreams by Alisa Kwitney--short essays on each story arc of Neil Gaiman's renowned comic series. I learned a few things, and enjoyed reading about the series as a whole, but it's not really something I must have; assorted issues of Wired, Discover, Nintendo Power (yeah, sometimes I'm a game geek), and probably other magazines I've forgotten. I could go look on the finished magazine shelf, but I'm too lazy.


  1. Shivers 2: Harvest of Souls (pc). Not quite as good or absorbing as the first game, but still an excellent adventure game. There were a few really annoying puzzles that I couldn't wrap my brain around (yeah, I resorted to a walkthrough a couple of times), but all in all, it was pretty good. A good thing, though, that I'm really good at tangrams, 'cause there were a whole lot of them.

So, for once I've read more fiction than non-fiction. Hmm. Probably because I set aside the most recent dinosaur book to concentrate on the stack of libary books. Oh well.

01 July 2005

Page 7

New page of Fey here.