Wow, More Shiny Things!

As you may or may not know, I’ve had an Etsy site for a while, even sold a few things off it, but not a lot. The intent was mainly to keep an online presence during the winter when Cons wound down.

Now, an online presence is a must. But Etsy does charge for a listing, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll hang onto that site. It’s nice to have, for sure.

All along, I’ve also used Square, and I had a site there, but I didn’t publicize it much. Square is now streamlining and their sites have been updated, and therefore I took some of this ENORMOUS downtime to start revamping and making more use of it. Visit now, to discover jewelry, new artwork, or old artwork I haven’t put out, or things that simply got buried at Cons because I can only put so much out on an 8′ table. Tiles got damaged in my car, and were’t initially waterproofed, so they have ALL been redone (and only a few are on the site, I will update as they sell, but I like to keep those in reserve for live shows).

Likewise, jewelry and magnets got bashed around in transit, and I am revamping, repairing, retooling…and creating a system where I can find anything ordered quickly. (I had one incident where an item was sold at a Con, and not marked off, and then ordered on Etsy a week later…at least it was a print, but not gonna let that happen again!)

So please, check out the site, and keep checking back, because over the course of the weekend, I’m going to keep adding to it. The only things not found there are the books. Those go through Amazon, or me (and I’m out of all coloring books, but do have limited supplies of Break, Scales, and Oz on hand for signing). And as always, if you see a piece on Facebook, on my page or the Trials page, that you want but isn’t listed in either shop, IM me.

Ooooh Those Experts!

Before you get your panties in a twist, this isn’t really a political post. Those are very rare to come from me, mainly because politics polarizes us like nothing else, and leaves a horrific taste in my mouth. I see way too much of it on social media, and choose not to contribute to the chaos.

No, I’m pointing out…EXPERTISE!

It started with sports, but you had to work for it. The devoted fan learned every stat there was to know, and sucked up numbers like there was no tomorrow.  They may not know how much to tip on a restaurant check, but damn, they can tell you any player’s RBIs, or the score differential in every Super Bowl back to 1971, or how many managers have touched the Stanley Cup.

Then along comes both reality TV and the internet, and now, we’re all masters. Pick a topic, and its fanatical master is somewhere among your friends. A few hours of Paranormal Telly…oops, I mean Travel Channel…and now ALL of us can decipher those pesky EVPs. Yes, I listened a few times, it’s a male voice, saying “help me please”. Or is it “too much cheese”? Or is it a ghostly dog complaining of fleas? You can actually get EMF detectors on Amazon (handy for finding electrical issues in the home, too).

A little Jackson Galaxy and we’re all cat experts. Well, ok, maybe Jackson’s not to blame for that. But I’m in a black cat group on Facebook, mainly to look at pictures of my favorite kinds of kitties, and…yeah, stick to looking at pictures, because stopping to read most of the posts is an exercise in hair-pulling. Any given post starts with the simplest question, and quickly devolves into the “go to the vet why are you asking the internet” vs “I have 36 cats and I am telling you the problem is he needs a friend, get another cat”. The squirt bottle is bad. The squirt bottle is good. Use double-back tape to make your cat stop scratching. No, you ass, if you love your cat, you’ll let him scratch whatever he wants. Don’t let your cat out. Yes, let him out, into the condo you’ve built.

Yeah, the things we do for furry love.

Then Food Network. Hey, I can’t knock it. I’ve learned a lot from there, and I use it. But for the love of Pete, suddenly everyone and their brother are food critics, and every sentence is either “this protein is cooked perfectly”, or “needs more acid”. Fine. Ten points if you can explain why it needs more acid, and what exactly is acid. Hydrochloric? Sure, some is legit, but some is also opinion. A professional chef judge can tear a dish apart because the protein is undercooked, but myself, and a few other people I know, will eat rare steak, even blue, in a heartbeat. I like pasta al dente, to others, it may underdone. Yes, I salt the water, and no, I don’t break it. Oh, wait….I’m Italian, so I didn’t need Scott Conant to tell me any of that. Also, watching Gordon Ramsey spew f-bombs all the livelong day, and Robert Irvine spit out food while looking like a dyspeptic turtle do nothing to increase my food knowledge.

The internet does the same thing. It’s good that so much knowledge is at our fingertips. It’s also bad that so much knowledge is at our fingertips. Not everything on the intrawebz is true, kids. You have to work at it. Investigate. Sometimes as careful as you may be, you may read too much on a topic, and (it happens to me too, I’m not being accusatory) little bits of article A stick with you, and a paragraph from article B, but then there’s one factoid from article C that really caught your eye. You go to post, or comment, and suddenly, you aren’t accurate, either, because your brain has jumbled all those bits together. It’s like the old game of passing along a story, and seeing how it changes after it’s gone thru fifteen or twenty people.

Now we’re all experts on viruses, and the flu, and what masks do. But I’m not pursuing that any further, because over the past few days, some of what I’ve read has aggravated me to no end. I’m just pointing up that exposure to info does not make us experts. If we’re lucky, it does educate us, but we still have to sort truth from semi-truth from fiction from propaganda from flat-out lies. Spit out the undercooked protein (IT’S RAW, YOU DONKEY!). Debunk, debunk, debunk (not an orb, it’s a moth, it has fuzzy antenna). Save the sports stats for trivia night (I have a hatred for numbers in general, but percentages give me aneurysms).

If you want to be an expert, put the work into it, and look beyond the internet and cable channels.


An Excerpt

As most of you know, being out of work, I’ve tried to ramp up efforts on the third book, and even though video games, depression, anxiety, and a dozen other things keep interfering, I’ve gotten a lot done, and have the rest of it mapped out in my head. So, to tempt you (and possibly get you to read the first two books, if you haven’t), here is part of a scene from the third, aka Sorrow’s Aid:


Even this four, standing apart from the others, make a stunning palette.

            Lucifer, golden Lucifer, with eyes of garnet. Satanas is boldly crimson, with black-tipped pinions making up his great wings, his eyes deepest jet. Pazzuzu, the only female of them, is the rich, velvety blue of twilight while her eyes sparkle the yellow-green of peridot.

            And he, he is unblemished, purest white from head to toe, with turquoise for his eyes.

            Before the Creator they stand, the host gathered behind them in curiosity and just a little unease.

            The Creator does not wear the form He has shown to a few mortals. This is not Random, the befuddled man that Frank Rhoades, and a few others, have met.  Today, in the midst of His beloved companions (never servants, they are far more to Him), He is the blazing column of iridescent energy. He is the raw power of Creation.

            He is the Balance. And He loves this host, and the four, as deeply as they love Him.

            But now the four have hurt Him. Four have brought dissension to the host.  Four bring jealousy, and ambition. These four would leave His side, and their brethren, to become gods. To rule Worlds.

            He is the fourth. As events unfold, he shifts uneasily. This is a feeling he’s never known. Never has he gone against the Creator’s will. A disagreeable thought has never before entered his head.

            Then along came Lucifer, and Satanas, and Pazzuzu.

            Pazzuzu is reluctant, also, he senses. But Lucifer has ever been a persuasive one, with glib tongue and words of honey. Satanas has always been too clever, and he chose to follow this course as soon as it was offered. Between those two, who else could resist? It must be so.

            “We have ever been true, unfailingly faithful,” Lucifer insists. “Is’t so much we ask? Wherefore wouldst Thou hold us back?”

            “Even as gods we would serve Thee,” Satanas is quick to add. “’Tis an insult to Create new beings to raise above us.”

            “If Thou makest these gods, I shall not bow to them,” Pazzuzu vows.

            He says nothing, but shuffles his feet again, mantling his wings to resemble a downy white cloak. Over and over has he heard these arguments, for they were rehearsed and debated. They sounded so reasonable. Now, bathed in the Creator’s all-encompassing glow, the words sound feeble. They are petulant children, pleading to a benevolent parent.

            Nor does his silence go unnoticed by the Creator. Although He is only light and energy, and wears no face in His true form, this one knows he is now the object of scrutiny.  Beneath the cloak of his wings, he shudders, cringes ever so slightly.

            **And thou, Singer? Where is thy chord in this disharmony? Dost thou stand with them?**

            He knows shame, now he knows doubt. Indecision. He hesitates.

            Aye, he thought he would be a god, but still? Upon reflection, was it worth leaving the Master’s side? Worth leaving the host? Would he still be part of the song?

            What would happen if the Master denied them outright?

            “I do.” His trembling voice was barely a whisper. “’Tis wrong to spurn us so.”

            **Spurn thee?** There is no recrimination in His voice, nothing but love, and that makes his heart hurt that much more. **Mine grief is great that thou seest not the truth. I adore thee, and would keep thee by My side. Always.**

            “Yet neither wilt Thou entrust Your Creations to our care?” Satanas, always the stubborn one.

            The Creator’s focused remained on the silent one. **Ne’er did I claim I would place the gods above thee.**

            “But must we answer to them?” demanded Lucifer. “Where must we fall in the new order? Not equals, not servants, but what in relation to Your gods? If we are not to be keepers of Your Worlds, set us free.”

            **Dost thou think thou art not?** There is genuine shock this time.

            Meanwhile, the song has subtly changed, slipping into a minor key. Not a reflection of joy and unity, but a dirge. Sorrow, unknown here, starts to take over the host.

            It should serve as a warning, but ever headstrong Satanas presses on. “We are bound to Thee, Thou knowest this. To allow us to become caretakers wouldst take us out from under Thine eyne!”

            The accusation chills him  They have gone too far, surely  He should speak up. He should deny them, and rejoin the host, before he has nothing left but regret.

            But he cannot move. Still he stands with the four. He has made his choice, and it would be weakness to stand down now, no matter how badly he may want to.

            **Yet for the love of thee, I shall grant thy wish.** The Creator has made His decision. **I know thou wilt come to to repent thine haste  Still, for thy pride and thy greed, for the discord thou hast brought, thou shalt be gods aright.**

            Lucifer actually laughs  Pazzuza also makes a noise, but it sounds more like dismay.

            The Creator continues as if He hasn’t heard. **Thou shalt be the dark gods, lords over abominations and horrors. Mortals shall shun and fear thee, and quake at thy names  Thy dominion shalt be over the lowest of creatures, the hate-filled misshapen who creep within shadows  Those of bloody minds and murderous hearts, they shall grovel at thine altars.**

            He trembles violently. He had not anticipated this terrible outcome, not at all. He can never take the words back, and so he is subject to this swift, merciless judgement.

            **Each of thee has a spark of Creation within. Henceforth that spark shall be Destruction. Thy magic canst only work ill, and so let outward appearances reflect thine twisted, o’erweening desires within. BE GONE!**

            Suddenly, he is falling. His wings will not respond; he tumbles helplessly.  The last thing he hears is the Creator’s voice, rife with sorrow, inside his head.

            **Thou hast chosen rashly, Singer. I forgive thee  Traitor thou seemed, but ne’er in thine heart. Thou shalt not change, and in thy purity, remember the love I bear thee. Thou shalt eternally serve as reminder to the others of what they have lost.**

            And then he feels his bond with the host, and the Creator, break, as he plummets through darkness.


“Lucifer! Thou hast ruined us!”

The scream tore Frank’s throat raw as he jolted upright; liquid sprayed from his mouth to spill down the front of his shirt. “Holy…what the…who?”

That last was directed at a man who’d been kneeling over him, trying to pour something into him as he’d broken from the dream. Now the man had tumbled back onto his backside, the bottle on the ground.

“What did you say?” the man demanded.

A fit of coughing grabbed Frank before he could answer; sparks exploded in his vision and he fell back again. His head was pounding, he was vaguely nauseous, and there was a metallic taste in his mouth that didn’t help matters.

What the hell was that crap he was trying to make me drink?

            When the coughing stopped and he could catch his breath, the man repeated his question. “What did you say?” He gripped the front of Frank’s shirt, knuckles white.

“I…I don’t know.” He didn’t. He knew he’d shouted something, but now, for his life, he had no idea what. And the nausea grew so strong that he feared he would vomit if he said much more. “Gonna…puke.”

He tried to bat the stranger’s hand away so that he could roll over, but the man kept him pinned tight.

“Fight it. The antidote won’t help if you sick it up, and I don’t have the supplies to make more.”

Frank nodded, although his brain twitched at the mention of an antidote. He closed his eyes and concentrated on his breathing: in through the nose, out through the mouth, a meditative technique to take his mind off his twisted stomach muscles as well as slow his heart rate.

As the diaphragmatic breathing began to take effect, he studied the man beside him. He was pale, although not in a sickly way; it was just a very fair complexion. His face was narrow, with sharp angles and a slight hook to his nose.  Thick black hair swept back from his face, with white and grey wings at the temples, while an equally thick mustache obscured his upper lip. Intensely green eyes stared out from under heavy brows.

He was handsome in a refined way, as if born to the upper class.

Except that doesn’t happen anymore. There aren’t royal family lines that interbreed and create stunning lunatics these days. You can be born into a rich family but it doesn’t really give you a distinct look.

Although…the lunatic thing…he does look like he might be…less than stable?

            Antidote? Antidote for what? Snakebite?

            That got his heart pounding again. He managed to prop himself onto his elbows.

A cemetery. It wasn’t quite dark yet, but close enough that the gates were probably closed. How had they not gotten thrown out?

Why were they in a cemetery?

Why did this man look vaguely familiar?

The Current State

Coronavirus. COVID-19. The Plague.

Call it what you will. It’s here, a lot of people tried to prevent it, but a lot of people botched it. I’m not going to get into the political side of things, because that’s mostly over and now it’s all about patching up the damage already done.

I’m addressing what the Everyman, ie, you and me, can do.

I get it, you may be holed up for 2 weeks. So buy sensibly. Unless you’ve got a family of 12, or you use 1/3 of the roll in a sitting, you don’t need 144 rolls of toilet paper. Be sensible about it. Panicking is the exact thing that will make the horror-movie aspect of this real. It doesn’t have to be that way.

On the flip side, be careful of being blase. It’s quite clearly NOT the flu (which is a bad enough entity on its own). It is a virus, like dozens of others out there, that good hygiene and common sense can keep in check. Don’t be dumb (I mean, I can tell you that til I’m blue in the face, but if you’re dumb, you’re dumb, and therefore probably too dumb to realize you’re dumb). Live your life, give consideration to others, and be reasonable. Most who read this blog are personal friends of mine and I know that’s not a hard call. If I don’t know you…I implore you.

But what really set me off was someone I know posting this:

People who repost false info piss me off. If you genuinely want to be helpful, it takes a minute to verify facts. It’s not hard. This one set me off because not only are you passing along wrong info, you’re passing along wrong info THAT COULD KILL SOMEONE. Gargling with anything short of bleach isn’t going to kill a virus. Just like holding your breath for 10 minutes doesn’t mean you don’t have it. Just like you can get pregnant in a swimming pool and plastic bottles in your car cause breast cancer.

Other people don’t verify articles, either. They are sheep. But if they follow this, it could mean LIFE OR DEATH. Don’t be the asshole who passes this one without checking.

In fact, let me put it this way. There are no shortcuts. There are no miracle cures. There are no easy dodges (although how hard is washing your hands and not picking your nose?)

My two cents. YMMV, but be safe, be considerate, be well.

TV, Old Style

I’m not a fan of sitcoms, not anymore. This may come across snobby or arrogant, and it’s not meant to be, but I find them all to be so contrived. Maybe I’ve lost my sense of humor (it’s very possible), or maybe real life has left me so damn jaded that I’m immune to any effort to cheer me.

But I used to like some sitcoms. I loved Cheers. I loved Frasier. I think maybe because back then (meaning the 80’s and early 90’s) shows weren’t trying so hard to have a message. Sometimes these shows did, but sometimes, they were simply silly, and a lot funnier for it. Isn’t the idea of a sitcom to take you away from reality for a bit? Life is heavy enough without being bombarded in what little leisure time we leave ourselves. And often, those the messages are intended for, aren’t the ones who get it.

That said, I like the old tv shows, but having a lot of free time, and watching more of them lately, I realize they’re almost the opposite of today’s shows. They fly in the face of everything politically correct. Which isn’t always bad; political correctness has honestly overstepped itself, but it also reminds us of things we’ve rightfully left behind.

Take I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball was a talented comedienne, and beautiful, and I still enjoy the show, but every so often something pops up, a joke, or a subplot, that’s like a slap in the face. Things that would never go over today. For example, a lot of references to Ricky hitting her. Some are in jest, but some…don’t quite come across that way. There’s a lot of sexism. A lot of her cute little schemes are downright nasty, and would probably get her arrested in real life, at least today. But hey, it was the 50’s, and that was the mindset back then, we accept it like we accept married couples sleeping in twin beds. Still, I find it interesting to watch shows like this and weigh the differences in my head. It’s an escape from reality not because that was a time of innocence, but because we can see how far we’ve come.

But then there’s Family Affair. I can’t wrap my head around that one. It’s disturbing. Some of that is probably the sad stories associated with it.

Anissa Jones, aka Buffy, fatally overdosed at the age of 18. As usual with child stars, mistreatment and typecasting led to the downward spiral. She auditioned for The Exorcist, losing out to Linda Blair because America couldn’t bear to see a possessed Buffy. She was invited to audition for Taxi Driver, but declined. Look it up…a really tragic tale. Oddly enough, her brother also died of an overdose, and the doctor who prescribed her seconal died. Look up the songs “Buffy, Buffy, Come Back to Me”, and “Uncle Bill, I Took Some Pills”.

Brian Keith committed suicide via gunshot, suffering emphysema and lung cancer 10 years after he quit smoking. He was also presumably depressed; his daughter committed suicide 2 months before. While another celeb insisted that it was more likely an accident while cleaning his extensive gun collection, he did leave a suicide note.

And Mr French. A long, illustrious career, but he was plagued with illness, to the point where he took a leave of absence from the show. He died in ’77 of a stroke, his second in 3 years.

Now, watch the show with all this in the back of your mind. Yeah, a lot of shows we watch today have lost most of their stars, simply because of the timeline. But for some reason, this one hits me harder. I don’t remember watching the show as a child, but I must have, because I do remember having a Mrs. Beasley doll (and I was not a fan of dolls). Watch it now, and holy smokes, it’s just bizarre. As I pointed out earlier, most sitcoms from this time period are light and silly. This show slams some heavy shit on you. One episode has Buffy making friends with a dying girl (Eve Plumb…yes, Jan Brady). They never say she’s dying, just that “she’s getting more tired”, and the last scene is Buffy laying in bed crying. There’s an episode where Uncle Bill is in Italy, planning to get married, and the kids think he’s going to abandon them. Your brain is like, “that’s ridiculous”, and it is, except that we find out when he’s talking to his Italian fiancee, that’s exactly what she wants him to do. Another episode has Mr. French (who really comes off as an arrogant, obnoxious bastard more interested in being an upperclass dick than in his young charges) deciding that he’s a valet, not a nanny, and being pretty horrible to the children until he decides he loves them again.

I mean, this is every episode. Each one is like a ton of bricks, although in true sitcom fashion, all is well again within 30 minutes, with a lot of close ups on the smiling Buffy and Jody (forever etched as Johnny of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters) and cutesy lines. Good lord, no wonder it was too much for Anissa. You try being perky and cute and beaming with those scripts. Fortunately, since the horrors these folks go through are so improbable, its still an escape from reality (Uncle Bill build bridges, and clearly has a metric crapload of money, so not my reality) and so I watch it, strangely drawn in despite the disturbing undertones.

Thank you, Decades. The Hallmark channel, this ain’t.




My Platform

Let me start by stating what I really hope should be obvious: this is a joke. I’m kidding. But, if I ever were to run for public office, here are a few pet peeves I have, that I think maybe others share. I doubt any of them are actually addressable.

  1. Spammers and scammers. Not so much the email ones, but the phone ones. All these car warranty places, and credit card consolidation assholes. ALL OF THEM. Because I’m job hunting, I actually do answer my phone, hoping for it to be a potential employer, which makes these calls that much more irritating. And whether I ask nicely, or curse them out, they hang up on me. So, if you or anyone you know works for one of these shitbags, pass this along: no matter how desperate I may get for either a car warranty or a debt consolidation loan, I’m never going to use a company that pushes itself down my throat unsolicited, or hides behind other phone numbers, or blatantly breaks the law by ignoring my request to go on the do not call list. Your business model is garbage to me, so if you keep calling, know that somehow, somewhere, I will get your info and I will sic the Attorney General and the BBB and the Winchesters on you.
  2. Channels that lie. You want educational TV? Don’t try The Learning Channel. Unless you want to learn how to be an angry bride or run a pawnshop or something.Want to see sites of the world? The Travel Channel ain’t for you. The only place they travel is apparently the Astral Plane. And once upon a time, MTV played music videos. Maybe we could get some fraud charges to stick. I mean, you don’t see OTB playing old game show reruns, right?
  3. Volume, volume. People on their phones in public is certainly normal, if a little sad. Less socializing is probably not a good sign for society overall, but it’s not going away anytime soon, and hell, I’m guilty of it,  too. I think maybe part of it is that conversation, or being alone with our thoughts, has become uncomfortable and it’s much easier to be constantly distracted. My beef is people who have the volume SO jacked on their phone that I can plainly hear what they’re listening to, even several feet away. I don’t quite remember where I was the other day, waiting for a friend to show for a movie? Or dinner? But there was a young girl there, maybe 8 or 9, and I could plainly hear every single cat video. She wasn’t next to me. She was about 10 or 12 feet away, and she kept showing her mom the videos. And did mom have the good sense to advise her to turn the volume down? Well…I wouldn’t have asked if it wasn’t an issue. It’s simple courtesy, and I think I’ll fine your ass for every video I’m forced to listen to.
  4. Food Network Snobbery. Maybe it’s me, living paycheck to paycheck, and the rest of the world is doing considerably better. And I love Food Network. I’ve learned a lot. I simplify it for Spirit, who cooks for me, and my numbers are so much better than when I was eating out all the time. But riddle me this: how many average households are using caviar, saffron, and truffles? I remember on last season of MasterChef Junior, when one kid remarked that him and his father cooked filet mignon and lobster once a week. WHAT? Must be nice. Pricey enough for me, one person. Imagine a family of 4, or 6, living that well. Yes, I’m jealous. A lot of the stuff on these shows, even if it were in my price range, are nowhere to be found in this area. The most likely ingredients from Chopped to be found in my kitchen are probably salmon (one of those bourbon portions), some form of green, beer, and gummy critters.

That’s enough for now, but it’s plenty to start a campaign. OH…and those lawn signs. Holy crap, I don’t think any of you can comprehend my hatred for political lawn signs. They’re a blight on the landscape, a waste of paper/cardboard/whatever…why, why, why? Put your energy and money on something CONSTRUCTIVE. So yeah, you won’t see them in my campaign, either. My money will go to shelters, because I want the animal votes.

Lastly, for those following for book/art info, yes, I fell behind on the writing again. I have ramped up on the artwork, though, producing a lot more D&D monsters, and coloring the existing ones. The only upcoming Con I have set in stone is Saratoga, the first weekend in May. I am waiting to hear on a couple other opportunities, so y’know, if I don’t get elected to whatever I was running for, I still have something to occupy my time.

The Annual Vent

Maybe not annual….I dunno, I haven’t done it in a couple years, maybe, and it’s not really a vent. More a reminder of where I stand on social media stuff.

1.  The “If you hate cancer”. Don’t be stupid. No one LOVES cancer…or any other illness thrown into this ridiculous post. Repost…why? To increase awareness? Yes, some things probably should be shared for awareness, but I’m pretty sure people know about cancer. I will NEVER repost these, which does not mean that I embrace cancer. How about doing something tangible? If you hate cancer, donate to the American Cancer Society.

2. “Repost and type ‘amen'”. Yeah, that’s never happening. Sorry. I mean, hey, if that’s your thing, cool. It’s not mine. Or, if it is…well, to me, religion is personal and I’m not sharing my prayers or lack of on the intrawebz.

3. I see this in the Black Cat group I’m in (frankly, I see a lot of crazy shit in that group, but I love the pictures, so I shut up and stay): “If you’re going to say something rude, don’t post”. Hi, I’m the internet, have you met me? That’s begging someone to say something rude. Or something that may not be rude, but you disagree with, and therefore interpret as rude. Sounds more to me like you’re about to post something inflammatory. If you don’t want to hear things you don’t like…don’t post. Free speech for you is also free speech for me.

4. Those Messenger greetings? Do. Not. Even. If you want to wish me a Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/Happy Easter/Choose Your Day, and omg what a pretty image and it flashes and it’s sparkly and I can send to to all 560 of my friends…No. They’re intrusive. They’re annoying. They probably cause epileptic seizures in rodents. Most of all, they are often loaded with viruses and malware and one click can be a world of trouble. If you want to wish me a happy anything, it’s appreciated, but either just tell me, or post it to my timeline. Sending me those things thru Messenger, especially without a warning, will probably end up with me blocking you. I can’t mess with potential viruses, and you shouldn’t, either.  Also, a lot of those  “click to play” are trouble, too…be warned.

5. Check your info. Look at dates. I guess it’s up to you if you don’t mind posting misinformation. But these days, there is so much wrong info flying around on all sides, and people are so fast to get up in arms over everything, isn’t it better to know you’ve got the facts to back you? No, plastic bottles in your car don’t cause breast cancer and no, sex traffickers aren’t stalking your kids at Walmart (that’s not to say common sense and usual precautions you’d use anywhere aren’t in line) and yes, my gosh, that is a horrible story but it happened in 2014… Also, if I call you out, or correct you (which I try to do politely and with a link as proof), don’t get pissy over it. Someone was bound to do it eventually.

6. I don’t “copy, paste and share”. I only occasionally play along with a few challenges (the book you’ve read a day, for example, good way to spread literature, or the black and white photographs). Please don’t be offended if I don’t participate. I simply don’t. Or, sometimes I start to and then my brain shuts off.

7. Something else I’ve seen on the Black Cats page…people complaining that a picture of their cat didn’t get as many likes as someone else’s. Really? So, in advance, if I don’t like your every post, sorry, I don’t. Sometimes its a meme I’m seeing for the 40th time. Sometimes, as happened with something someone posted on my timeline, I don’t even see it for two days (I mean wtf, Facebook?). I don’t know about Facebook’s algorithms. I don’t even care. Does my like boost the post? Maybe? But conversely, I’ve seen people say that too many likes (er, of pages, at least) makes Facebook think you’re doing suspicious activity and then you’re prohibited from liking something…blah blah blah. Anyway, if I don’t like every post, its not personal. And those of you complaining about your cats’ likes…my cat means the world to me regardless of likes, so get your priorities straight.

8. This blog seems awful, doesn’t it? I don’t hate everything though, despite how it sounds. I do read posts without pictures but I don’t feel a need to comment to fulfill your need. Post more pretty things. Sunsets, sunrises, kitties, goggehs, foxes. Faeries. Funny cats. Cat videos. Music, lots of Metallica (the old stuff).  Post more inspirational stuff because I feel low every day and even if its directed at the world in general, it helps. Messenger me if you need me, or if you want to check up on me (believe me, someone does and it is so highly appreciated, I can’t begin!). Post yummy foods.  Post beautiful art. Post those gorgeous photos of abandoned places.








Defining Loneliness

Here I am again, after a long absence. Right now I’m having one of those lives where things conspire to nickel and dime away your time. Contractors working on the kitchen and bathroom (since Oct 29th…but let’s not go there). Making art. Writing (book 3, which has a couple titles on the shelf). Dealing with holidays and my own anxieties and ups and downs. And for the first time in years, a cold.

But now I have a lot of time to think, as I force myself to occasionally look for jobs and wonder if I’m going to be stuck doing customer service again, which I despise. I was thinking about loneliness. I know it’s a horror for me, but I think sometimes people don’t really understand. I feel like so many people experience it, even people who aren’t alone. Physically, I am alone. While not working, I can go 3-4 days without seeing another person. A week without speaking to someone other than the cat. I have to force myself to get out of the house (if the weather were better, it would be different, but going out into the cold….).

So how can someone surrounded by coworkers or friends, or family, be lonely?

They can be, absolutely. But my thoughts of late make me wonder if social media is to blame. We have people right in front of us, sharing their love and understanding, and yet we want more. We want the acceptance of strangers. We wants clicks and likes. We want to win the intrawebz.

I belong to a black cat group, and more than once I’ve seen people bitch that their cats’ pictures don’t get as many likes.

Seriously? I mean, I post pictures of Spirit because he’s adorable, or funny, and I want to share that. I don’t measure his worth by how many likes he gets online. His worth is his love for me, his cuddles, his toebeans, and his overall derpitude. And that’s a cat…people pull that crap with their human kids, too.

But, I do get how sometimes you think something will go over big, and it doesn’t, and that disappointment can lead to feelings of isolation. I get it, too, but you have to recognize it for what it is. It feels like loneliness, but is it really? Sure, I’m happy if my artwork gets likes, but likes aren’t sales. And the likes you don’t get? How many of those are literally friends, like people you’ve met or hung out with? Maybe that never showed up on some people’s feeds, because…facebook algorithms. Or they scrolled by it fast. Or, like me, some people don’t actually “like” every single thing they look at. Friends do post things that I either don’t get because it’s not a business I’m in or a joke I can relate to, or they may have been sharing to someone who finds it relevant…I might not click that at all.

So, before you really get in a funk, put it in perspective. (How funny it it that I’m putting this on a blog…MORE INTRAWEBZ, KAREN!) It may feel like rejection, it may feel personal. It may feel like no one’s paying you any mind or cares about what you care about, it really?

And for those of you on the other end of the spectrum, who aren’t so easily bothered by these things, keep your friends close. Check on them. Yeah, you see it posted all over, but don’t preach it unless you live it. It matters, and it means a lot to them.

Happy Holidays, and I won’t be such a stranger, especially as book 3 aka I’M NOT TELLIN YOU YET takes its final form.

New Things

First off, yes, the site looks different.  No, I don’t particularly like it but not sure how to fix it.  But…it’ll get there.

Second off…up?  On?  New stuff: cards.  I like this concept.  Whether other people do remains to be seen.  And I’m still sort of messing about with price points.  But basically, cards.  Sort of like notecards but only a single sheet with a blank back, and artwork on the front.  So far I have done the Major Arcana (22 cards), my take on the Addams Family (7 cards), and D&D Monster cards (I didn’t count, I made LOTS, and there are so many more I can draw that lets say infinity for now).

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Those are all 4×6.  There are irregularities in the cuts, and of course, a little warping, nothing horrible, I feel this just shows that they are handmade, and they came out really nice.  The next ones are considered wallet size, and are about as big as a baseball card, so they can fit into the sleeves used in collector’s binders.  They have no backing, they just come as is.  But, at that size, they can not only be used for note cards, they can be gift tags, or if you have the plastic bases, used in D&D.  They’re cool, and I love them because I think the drawings scale down quite nicely.

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And still hammering away on book 3, currently untitled, but in progress on Chapter 13.  So, in my unemployed state, I’m still working.  Only problem is, the depression is coming back hard…having been out of the job market and already blown off a couple times, I’m feeling worthless and out of touch…you get the idea.

So help me a little.  Some feedback would be great.  Ideas on marketing these, what you think they should sell for, IF they would sell…help an invert out here!  And if you don’t have plans, see you at Saratoga Comic Con on Oct 26-27th.

In The Loop

Upcoming events!

Niskayuna Farmers Market!!!!  Ok, overall, I’m a bit leery of outdoor events, because all my product is paper.  Even if it doesn’t rain, damp or humidity can do a job on the books, but I need to be outside, and I love farmer’s markets, and I’m about summer, so I’ll take the risk.  This is Friday, 2-6.  People….there is music as well!

Niskayuna Farmer’s Market

Also, with most of these events, I’m going it alone.  It should be an interesting test of how well I’m able to do set up and take down.  The last one went ok, except for getting the table into the trunk at the end, where I got derpy and hurt my back.  Eh, what can you do?  I’m also one of those people who can find a way to trip over the flowers in the rug.

Saratoga Comic Con

That there is one of my fave events.  Always a great turnout, love the vendors.  The Jerky Hut (yeah, I gotta have my maple black pepper jerky), and Toying Around are two regular, well-loved fixtures here, as well as the Montreal X-Men raising money for suicide awareness.  I love being a part of this.

Upstate NY Collectors Show

Another favorite, in a unique setting.  Small, intimate, and holy cow, I’ve seen some absolutely amazing cosplay here.

I’m always looking for events to do, so keep it tuned here.  And remember, I have prints and tiles available on Etsy under Bozprints.

My work is also on Deviantart under Azbaelus, and the books are on Amazon.  Or out of my car.  Why not?  It’s legal.  If you see a piece of work on Deviantart or Facebook that you like, message me (on the Trials of a Demon Prince page, since FB is notoriously fruity about showing messages if we’re not listed friends) for a price.

Keep it slammin’ in the summertime!