Posts Tagged ‘art’

Sale! “Death Comes but Twice” to Talebones

What a fantastic way to start off 2007. Patrick Swenson just emailed me to say that he’d like to buy “Death Comes but Twice” for issue #35 of Talebones. I’m delighted. Talebones is one of my favorite magazines and I’ve been hankering to get in there.

Happy New Year everyone!

Reading Aloud: Singing while sick

I have a mild cold that I picked up from the germ factories that come aboard the boat to meet the Cinnamon Bear. It’s not bad, just a scratchy throat and fatigue–although I suppose the fatigue comes from other sources. Anyway, we carol as people are boarding. I enjoy this even though I’m scantily dressed in a fairy costume. What’s interesting about the way my voice functions when ill is that I lose my mid-range.

My speaking voice drops, but usually my head voice stays more or less clear. I can’t blend the two ranges at all. Now, this is a problem if I’m trying to belt Christmas Carols, (which uses the chest voice and blending) so I dealt with it by jumping up to my upper end and avoiding the midrange. So here’s me, speaking a couple of steps lower than normal, and then singing high soprano because that’s the only sound I’ve got reliable available. It’s useful to know how one’s voice behaves when sick.

Next time you have a cold, I want you to hum through your range. Start at the low end and hum up to the high end, then back down. Now, with me, my voice drops out on the way up the scale, and then comes back again. On the way down, I have more notes. It usually happens this way for me. I’ve been able to use this to compete, perform or audition by either picking pieces that fit the “sick” range or by adapting the work that I doing.

For a reading, I pitch my narrator higher than usual, to get above my dead zone. I save my suddenly deep low end for the male characters. It’s the only time I can really do a convincing male voice. I’ve always wished I were an alto because of that. It seems like it would be sooooo much more useful for voice work.

What does your voice do when you’re sick?

A brief mention

Richard Horton does a summary of the different magazines, and my name actually shows up in his summary of Strange Horizons. I’m all the way at the end under “strong work.” It doesn’t give the title of the story, but since the only one that I’ve sold to Strange Horizons is “Portrait of Ari,” it’s pretty easy to figure out which one he was thinking about. I’m very pleased.

John Picacio and Shimmer

I’m very, very pleased to announce that Shimmer’s spring cover will be graced by the art of World-Fantasy award-winning artist, John Picacio. For the spring issue, we’ll be taking a look at the role that art plays in fiction. For this issue, the cover art comes first and the story follows. We’ve teamed with Liberty Hall Writers to host a contest where we provide the cover image as a trigger to the writers.

We have other surprises for the spring issue as well, but I’ll wait to mention them. The contest starts on the December 22nd. To play, you must be a member of Liberty Hall by the time the contest begins.

Feeling better now

I had planned on going to see Christmas from Home 1941 last night, as it was my only chance, but about 6:00 realized that I wouldn’t make it unless I took a nap. I did wake up from the nap in time to go. I was just dizzy with fatigue and decided that it was smarter to go to bed for real. I slept from 7:30 last night until 6:30 this morning.

Now I’m unpacking and getting ready for our Christmas party tomorrow.

Bing Bang meets Top 40

Lazytown’s closing number has hit the charts in the U.K. big time. It’s only been a week, and according to the BBC, Bing Bang is at #4.

A new jaw

The jaw is creating two problems; it’s contributing to the ventilation issue, because it’s solid fiberglass, so is providing a shelf that the actor’s breath bounces against, shooting it up against the eyes. It’s also not fitting one of the actors well. This bear needs to be able to fit multiple people which provides challenges, since masks are usually built to fit one person. Particularly with a mouth that’s activated by the performer’s jaw, the mask needs to fit extremely snugly. The fiberglass, while providing clean movement if well-fitted, is too big for one of the actors.

So. To start with, I created a copy of the jaw in reticulated foam. I use a brand called drifast which is designed to wick moisture away in outdoor furniture. Hopefully, this will help with the venting issues. To get really specific and uber-jargony on you, I used 1-inch DriFast with 35 ppi (pores per inch). Copy of jaw in foam
Next, I stitched elastic to the exterior of it, in the same place I had elastic on the original fiberglass jaw. I also added a piece across the interior, which serves to two functions. It helps the jaw retain its shape and it also acts to cup the actor’s chin. Added elastic to jaw
I lined the jaw with black fabric, and covered the exterior with fur. One of the things that I love about reticulated foam is that you can stitch to it very easily and it’s tear-resistant. Lined interior with black
Once it was all covered, I installed it in the original location. To my surprise, this has better movement than the original fiberglass. Usually you think of going rigid for mechanism, but, I’m guessing, because of this is a really snug fit it responds more quickly to the jaw’s movement. Think of it like wearing a ski mask. Covered exterior with fur

Sadly, the thing still fogs, but it’s slower and not as hot so that’s movement in the right direction. I’ve been reading about defoggers for scuba divers. Most websites recommend spit. Somehow, I can’t see myself recommending spitting into a mask that’s supposed to be worn around sick children. There are actual products, so I’ll see if I can find any here.

Before anyone recommends it–there is no place to put a fan in the bear’s head and even if there were, it would not solve the humidity issue. I think we have oxygen flowing in the mask now, but the humidity is the next hurdle to deal with.

If the defogger doesn’t work, then I’ll try putting a vapor barrier between the eyes and the nose, but this will likely make it uncomfortable, so I’m trying to avoid that.

(For the puppet geeks reading this, I buy my foam here. They ship.)


We’ve discovered that the bear has ventilation issues. I was worried about the heat buildup in the mask before I left, but it turns out that is only part of the problem. We have more of an issue with fogging in the eyes. If you’ll recall, the eyes are made of sunglasses and the mask, despite my cutting away for the fiberglass, is still a very closed environment. There’s nowhere for the humidity that the breath carries to go because the fur is too thick to vent.

I’ve started by opening the fur over the holes in the front of the mask. Hole in head
Next, I filled the hole in with a fine net. Net over hole
Using small plugs of Hringur bear’s fur, I carefully place them on the net. My goal is to create the illusion that the bear is still fully furred, while allowing more air to pass into the mask. Using plugs to mask hole

Here it is in the finished state. Filled the hole with hair plugs

Next I’ll replace the lower jaw with a foam one, which should allow for more ventilation.


I spotted this on Patrick Swenson’s blog.

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don’t get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
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I had to go back and see which ones I missed. #3, which didn’t surprise me and #14, which did.

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know “no” from “know.” Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
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Acephalous: Measuring The Speed of Meme: An Experiment in which You Will Participate, Or Else…

Acephalous: Measuring The Speed of Meme: An Experiment in which You Will Participate, Or Else…

You too can participate in science from the comfort of your own home. Click on the link above to read the details of the experiment, or take the shortcut and just follow the instructions below.

  1. Write a post, in which you explain the experiment and link to the original post ( (All blogs count, be they TypePad, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, &c.)
  2. Ask your readers to do the same. Beg them. Relate sob stories about poor graduate students in desperate circumstances. Imply I’m one of them. (Do whatever you have to. If that fails, try whatever it takes.)
  3. Ping Technorati.

BAFTA winner!

I just saw the news that Lazytown won the BAFTA in the International Children’s category. Woot!


FAIRLY ODD PARENTS – Butch Hartman, Gary Conrad (Frederator Studios for Nickelodeon/Nickelodeon UK)

HARRY AND HIS BUCKET FULL OF DINOSAURS – Kristine Klohk/Helen Cohen/Graham Ralph (Collingwood O’Hare Entertainment/Silver Fox Films Ltd/CCI Entertainment/Five)

LAZY TOWN РMagn̼s Scheving, Raymond P Le Gu̩, Jonathan Judge (Lazy Town Productions for Nick Jr UK/Nick Jr UK)

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS – Paul Tibbitt, Steve Hillenberg (United Plankton Pictures Inc for Nickelodeon/Nickelodeon UK)

Which tarot card are you?

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration.
Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that’s actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can’t understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Considering my post yesterday, this seems fairly on the mark.