Posts Tagged ‘art’

All-Star Stories: Twenty Epics cover art

Twenty EpicsYay! All-Star Stories just released the cover art for the Twenty Epics anthology. This is the first time that one of my stories has appeared in a book, so I’m fairly excited. I’ve been trying to figure out which character on the cover is related to my story, “Bound Man”

Are You a Yankee or a Rebel?

This is more than a little silly, but fun.

Are You a Yankee or a Rebel?

My natural score comes up as “70% Dixie. Just under the Mason-Dixon Line,” which explains why my Tennessee relatives call me the “Northern Belle.” My brother comes up as 86% Dixie and he’s lived out of the country longer than I have.

Air Trixie and Falling Bessie

The first shot on the call sheet today was Air Trixie. This was the first time that a full-body greenscreen puppet got used this season. Sarah worked Trixie’s head and torso. Emily worked the arms and I was on feet. For the shot, Trixie had to leap up and do a karate pose to the camera. It was fun, but difficult because I had to aim the foot in a extremely specific direction and had trouble nailing it. It’s hard to explain why it was challenging, because I’m sure it looked simple from outside. Certainly, I felt bad that I had trouble doing it. but in the end we had several takes that Jonathon (the director) liked.

After that I moved on to being Bessie’s live hands, which I always love. She was telling the story of the Three Little Pigs and the director kept asking for more dramatic, so I got to go over-the-top with some of her gestures. It was fun.

The next shot. Ugh. I was still Bessie’s live hands, but this time I wasn’t attached to a puppet. It was a close-up of Bessie’s hands as she falls from the sky and catches a tree branch. It’s the kind of thing I do a lot for the characters, but Bessie’s hair is so big, that it would be in view no matter how close you were to the action. First we put her wig on my head. That seemed like a good solution, but they checked the stunt puppet and realized that in fact, for the proportions to be correct, a tiny bit of her face was going to be in the frame. So they put the Bessie mask on me. See, there are times when they use kids in costumes so they have masks of all of the characters. Bessie’s mask hadn’t been worn yet. It had only one hole cut for air, and it lined up with my chin, which meant that I only had the air I brought into the mask with me. I also couldn’t see anything, except for what was directly in front of me. Gasp. This meant I had to act, instead of relying on a monitor to tell me what I was doing. Still, I think the shot turned out well.

The rest of the day was spent with various small live hand activities and fetching carts.


Things on set have been very busy and while Dean was here I didn’t want to update my journal in the evenings. We are between company right now, although I just heard that our friend Wayne will be coming to visit us soon and that Rob’s folks will follow after that. I’m looking forward to seeing all of them. At this rate we’ll have out-of-town guests about every two to three weeks but, after Rob’s parents’ vist, we don’t have anyone else scheduled. C’mon people, it’s time to start booking those plane tickets.

Dr. Who anthology

I just found out that I’ve been accepted into the new Dr. Who anthology coming out in hardcover in June 2007.

When I was growing up, the local public TV station carried Dr. Who and I started watching at exactly the right age. I loved the show. The opportunity to write a story with the Doctor is so incredibly exciting that I actually can not find the words to explain it. ’nuff said, eh?

Bruised by Toast

In this episode various household appliances have gone beserk, including the Mayor’s toaster. The toast is not, of course, real toast. It’s some plastic thing that looks like toast. In order to create the illusion that the toaster is flinging toast around the entire house, people stand outside camera range and throw these hard square pieces of plastic.

One of them went awry–no, it was not rye toast–and landed in my face. It smarts.

Shimmer Spring Cover

Shimmer cover Spring 06Thought you might be interested in seeing the cover for the spring issue of Shimmer. It features the art of the amazing David Ho.

Of course I’m pleased with the interior illustrations as well. Artwork by Paul Guinan, Stephen Stanley, Frank Harper, Joy Marchand and a dark new cartoon by Joseph Remy.

The table of contents is lovely too.
The Dealer’s Hands by Paul Abbamondi
A Warrior’s Death by Aliette de Bodard
Rubber Boots, Mr. President by Bruce K. Derksen
Paper Man by Darby Harn
Dog Thinks Ahead by Clifford Royal Johns
Litany by John Mantooth
The Little Matchgirl by Angela Slatter,
Drevka’s Rain by Marina T. Stern
and a review of Larry Niven’s Draco Tavern by John Joseph Adams

Late start

We weren’t called until noon today and then didn’t wind up doing any performance until probably three in the afternoon. Today’s sentence is: Let’s shoot him now now.

Pretty much everything was run of the mill today. I did live hands for two of the characters–this was actually the first time ever that I’ve live-handed for one of them. Funny how that happens. Actually, I guess today had a number of minor firsts. There’s a floating thing in this episode and I worked it during the finale song. This is the first time I’ve worked a puppet solo in the finale. Now, I say “worked a puppet” but really, this was a disc on a stick and my job was to roll through at specific point in the music. Very complicated…ha. But it was still nice to be doing something where I wasn’t attached to someone else.

Cover art for Apex

Apex Digest issue 6The cover art for Apex Digest’s Issue six has just been unveiled. This is the issue which I will be in. Neat.

The artist who’s illustrating my story also sent me a rough draft because he thought I’d be interested. It turns out he’s a fan of the show. Small world or what?

Things I can say at work, that you can’t.

My brother said that one of the reasons he likes talking to me is because stories about my job include sentences that no one else can say. (Clearly he hasn’t been hanging out with enough puppeteers.) So he suggested that I start a top-ten list of things I can say at my job that you can’t.

10. Make that rod go really deep. Yeah. That’s good.
9. If you want Elvis, we have to take the Mayor’s head off first.
8. Remember that time when we were ele­phant’­s?
7. The Emerald City fell on me.
6. I’m going to need talcum powder to get out of Ziggy’s hands.
5. I’m sticking to the leather.
4. We need to spend more time with the Harpy.
3. Head! I see head!
2. I spent all morning riding his rod.
1. C’mon! The rats are getting heavy.


We headed out today to Skaftafell, the glacier that I took Mom and Dad to when they came to visit last time. When we left town, it was overcast and rainy, and I was worried that a lot of the scenery would be obscured by clouds.

A turf house cut into the side of a massive rockThat turned out to be a needless concern. As we drove, we got out from under the clouds shrouding Reykjavík, and the sky became clear blue. The landscape changes dramatically several times throughout out the drive. We’ve stopped here to take a picture of this turf house. The barn that is attached to it is actually cut into the rock. We’ve got no idea how they got the galvanized tin in there like that. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the rock that the house is in is seperate from the mountains behind it. At our back is the ocean. For kilometers, we drove with mountains on our left and the ocean on our right.

Black sandsThen we got to the black sands land. The landscape became flat with mountains way, way off in the distance. At this point we could see the tip of the mountain that holds the glacier we are heading to, but the bottom of it is obscured by the curve of the earth. It will take us another two hours to get there. The silence here is impressive. We generated the only sounds and could hear each other at a normal speaking level even when separated by thirty yards.

Next we passed through green-throw pillow land, where the moss is so thick on the rocks that it looks as if someone came out and threw shag pillows all over the landscape. I didn’t take any pictures here because there wasn’t a good place to pull off the road. Though in truth, there was so little traffic and the road is so straight, that I could have stopped in the middle of the road quite safely.

glacier3.jpgWhen we got to the glacier it had changed substantially since I visited with my parents. We could hear and see it melting; markers along the path showed how much it has retreated over the years.

I took a picture just like this, but then had Rob take one with me standing in the frame because it’s impossible to get a real sense of scale without someone standing next to the thing.
Me standing by the glacier

Rob and Eve heading past the glacierHere we are heading back to the car. Looking past the glacier you can see the flat, moonscape that we passed through to get here. It’s a very strange sensation, to have towering mountains behind and moonscape in front. At first it feels like these two things are unrelated, but as we left we realized that all of this flat moonscape had been covered by glacier at some point.

And then, as we drove home we got lucky. I was focusing on the road when Eve said, “Are those the northern lights?” I looked up and, behold. They were. So we pulled over and the entire sky began swirling and pulsing with color. It was the most impressive display I’ve seen, touching the horizon all around us and fluttering with color. The display continued for our drive home, but in much tamer renditions. Eve and Rob have been utterly spoiled now.


So I was sitting on the studio floor today, waiting for a shot and it moved. My first thought was that someone was trundling something heavy past me, then I remembered that I was sitting on a concrete slab. Next I noticed the lights jiggling. I wondered if it might be an earthquake, but by this point the floor movement had stopped and since the wind was really strong, howling around the builiding I figured that was probably why the lights were quivering. Plus no one else seemed to notice it.

Until I came out of the studio. Then everyone was all “Did you feel the earthquake? 4.6.” So if you are curious, this map
shows the locations of earthquakes in Reykjanes Peninsula for the last 48 hours. The image is refreshed every 2 minutes but at the moment, you can see the lovely green star that our earthquake earned.

Oh, and the fact that I attributed the lights’ movement to wind is not as far-fetched as it sounds. The wind is strong enough to shake cars today and it’s sleeting horizontally.

Hot enough to cook veal

We were curious about the temperature of the hot water in our apartment. See, in Reykjavík, the water comes out of the ground hot. So, after receiving numerous warnings from our landlords about scalding hot water, we stuck a meat thermometer under the water coming out of the tap. The water is at least 170 degrees Faherenheit, which is hot enough to cook veal, turkey, pork or beef. Kind of frightening, eh?

Carts and pools

Today I was mostly moving carts around. A little bit of seconding with rods, but nothing terribly exciting.

After work, most of us went to the pool and soaked in hot pots or swam. When we drove up to it, great billowing clouds of steam rolled out of the swimming area. The walk from the warm building to the water is always, um, bracing. Especially tonight since it was -1 C. The sidewalk is heated, but just enough to keep your feet from sticking to it, and then you get to the water. Warm, glorious water. There is something quite marvelous about getting out of a hot pool and feeling ice on the handrail.

I’m in the first shot tomorrow, assisting Thor with Ziggy so I’m going to turn in.

Our house

Outside of houseThis is the house that we live in. The windows on the ground floor are ours; that’s our kitchen in the corner, next to it is the bedroom and then the living room is that section that bumps out. The other half of the ground floor belongs to someone else. I think each floor has four apartments, except the ground floor. The back half of our building has the storage and laundry rooms in it. You know that Rob loves the easy laundry access.

Today was gloriously bright, with clear blue skies. It seemed like a shame to be in the studio and waste the daylight. Of course, soon enough we’ll have twenty hours of daylight.