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In Which a Zebra Unicorn Is Creepier Than Anticipated!

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This year's Halloween costume involved less preparation than usual. I'll be honest, I'm still recovering from the year I dressed up as a library. My goal this year was something creative yet simple to assemble.
I glitter-striped a unicorn horn and made myself some ears...

Then attached them to a Cruella deVil style black-and-white wig.

I figured a zebra unicorn wears something sparkly and striped, right?

Nothing odd about this dress... *cough*

And this is when things got intense. The plan all along was to study the way stripes sit on a zebra's face, then paint that pattern on my own face to create something magical. But it turned out SO CREEPY!

 Creepy's okay with me, though.

Click on any picture to embiggen/get a more focused view.
Till next year! :o)

Come to BostonFIG Fest This Weekend!

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The Boston Festival of Independent Games, BostonFIG Fest, is on Saturday, at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston.

Local people, if you're interested in the best new indie games, whether tabletop or digital, you should come! And when you do, stop by Kevin's booth to visit Kevin and his indie game, Starcom: Nexus. I'll be there too, being Helpful. Come say hi! :o)


The Arctic Circle: Arctic Critters

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We also saw a lot of animals that were impossible to photograph, in particular, an Arctic fox. The animal sightings were frequent and always special. Most of the time, I tried to take a few pictures, but then I reminded myself to put my camera down and enjoy. Consequently, this is only a hint of what we saw, but I hope it gives a nice sense of things.

If you're coming late to my report from my

Guess Where I Just Was

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Eugene Lee Yang's music video, "I'm Gay"

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Have you seen "I'm Gay," Eugene Lee Yang's music video/dance performance, dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community? It is stunning.

Trigger warning: it contains representations of violence toward the LGBTQIA+ community.

For Those Who Loved Susan Bloom

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Dear Susan,

You were one of the caretakers of my life. The moment you saw me, you recognized me as one of yours and brought me under your wing. What a big wing it was—you brought so many people under there. I found some of my best friends under your wing, where you were sheltering them, as you sheltered me. We were all lovers of that “impractical” thing, children's literature. Until I came to Simmons and met you, I didn't know there was a place where people like us could go.

I think—I hope—I told you, before you died, that I have the best job in the world for me. It's not possible to be happier about one's daily work than I am about mine. Do you know who held the lantern and lit my way to this work? I would not be here without you. You changed my life, enormously. Do you have any idea how many women and men are thinking about you right now and saying to themselves, “She changed my life?”

You were so unique. You were a person who could never, ever be mistaken for anyone…

Like Totally Whatever

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Here are two vids. Watch them in order: Taylor Mali, then Melissa Lozada-Oliva. ♥




Teeny Books for Christmas

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This December, I discovered the Etsy shop Ever After Miniatures, which offers DIY printable miniature books. You buy the templates, print them out, then cut, fold, and paste the sweetest little openable books, which have readable pages inside.


This sort of project is made for me.

Most evenings, I would work on a few. I made them as gifts, mostly.

We have a small secret drawer at the end of our dining room table. I kept my project in there when I wasn't working on it.

At a certain point, Kevin pointed out that they would make good tree ornaments. So I started adding strings and ribbons to a few of the covers. :o)

I got a little obsessed with this idea.



Here's one of my favorite pages of Pride and Prejudice.

After they were dry, up they went!

Lovely.
I have loads more Arctic pictures to share, and will do so as time permits. Hope you're all having a nice January! As I type this, it's sleeting in the Boston area, and our temperatures are expected to be close to 0°F tonig…

Novel-Writing in the Arctic

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My title is disingenuous, because I didn't do any novel-writing in the Arctic. However, I thought and plotted and observed and learned with intensity, such that in the two months since my return, I've written an entire third of the new novel that was my primary Arctic project. This writing pace is unheard of for me. It's partly because I've had some clearheadedness lately, unrelated to the Arctic. But it's also largely because I got so much hands-on experience on the ship!

Since most of my work in the Arctic was happening in my head and my heart, it's not going to be possible to show the entire process in pictures. But I can share some of the experiences that helped me make progress.

My novel takes place partly on a tall ship, where my main character is learning a lot about the work the sailors are doing.

Therefore, it helped me to learn to haul lines, and to watch others do so. (On a ship, ropes are called lines. It takes 60-ish lines to operate the rigging on…