I did not leave you guys in a particularly fun place last update, so here’s a couple of pieces of happier nothing, from the folder in my writing documents I call “Idea & Misc” – because I have thousands of words and sentences and half-scenes I’d like to get around to using sometime in the future, which does not do me any particular good in the present. The first two pieces are about a couple of kids you’ve met before: Johanna and Tom. I have a vague idea of visiting them again someday, but since TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY, here they are instead:

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Johanna said flatly.

“I doubt that,” Tom answered. “You have Miss Cattin for art.”

That was disrespectful. A good point, but still disrespectful. She told him so, leaving off the “good point” part.


“Why do girls always have to define everything?” he asked. He jumped suddenly into girl-voice: “Oh no, she’s my GOOD friend, not my BEST friend, and that girl over there we’re frenemies but only until tomorrow when we go back to being ACQUAINTANCES.”

Johanna frowned a little, unsure if it was because of his tone or because she had to think about it. “We just like to know where we stand,” she finally said.

He gave her a look. “Right. That never hurts anyone’s FEELINGS.”

She huffed, annoyed by the thought that he might have a point even if she didn’t like the disdainful way he said feelings. “Well what do guys do?”

Tom folded his arms, sized up an invisible dude, and then said in a flat monotone: “Hey cool let’s hang out.”

This next bit belongs to a scifi story about a captured mathematical genius who spends most of his time acting like an idiot. I like him, but I have so many other stories that are closer to existence than his. It’ll be years before I flesh him out (if I ever do).

“I haff decided,” he announced to Victoria. “I am going to marry you.”

“That’s nice,” she said. “Could you hand me that packet of burn-all?”

Whistler found what she wanted, and continued as she took the ointment from his hand. “Debbie is much too fat. Lorna too skinny. You are just right size for man who likes comfort at night but not suffocation.”

“I am SO glad your English is improving,” Victoria said in a voice that did not mean the words it was saying.

Couple of extra pieces of art for all the good children out there in the audience today. On the right is my new bio picture for the “About” page, which I plan to use as the back-of-the book author photo for my picture books. Below is the sad remains of my recently abandoned plan to create small chapter illustrations for “Small Town Super Nobody.” I’ll be posting Jer there, perusing his “options,” on the title page for the novella. However, I do still have a cover illustration in the works, but more on that later.

That’s a wrap, folks. I plan to regurgitate something more substantial on Thursday.

Kabe-Don, Semi-Don, and the Cicada Block

“The Art of the Catapult” is a How-To project book written by William Gurstelle. My favorite bits are the history he generously includes with his projects, detailing ancient (and totally disgusting – heads were common projectiles before gunpowder) military tactics and war machines.

It also gave me a brilliant way to dress up an old story in new clothing, by changing the title to match his. I spent way too long trying to mash the idea of catapults into a story about misfits, but I’m pleased with the result. Probably because I love these two socially awkward idiots. Go here to enjoy:

The Art of the Catapult

In related news, I spent half an hour researching Cicada blocks while looking up references for people physically trapping other people in corners. It’s actually a parody of a romantic move (popularized in romance manga) called a kabe-don, in which the hero traps the heroine by using some part of his body, usually with one or both arms, and occasionally the leg. In the cicada block you use your entire body.

This is a relatively unfortunate discovery, mostly because this is not supposed to be a romantic move in this story. He’s just a jerk. Good times are not exactly had by all.

(Also, I just realized that Tom looks like he’s wearing eyeliner. It was an overenthusiastic application of the marker tool in one of my art programs. I’d fix it, but that would take actual work.)