Thursday, 14 July 2011

That thing called racism

Now that I am oh so much older I thought I'd put my hand to writing that which I was assigned to write back in my callow youth, when I was but eighteen. That being an essay on racism, though why one would want such a thing I have yet to understand. To this simple request I fear my reply was simply "what's that?" Now that I have advanced in years and am much more experienced I at last can tell you what it is. It's that thing, that thing where people act weird and do strange and odious things for mysterious reasons. Often they say that these strange things that are done and said are because of the color of skin and the difference thereof, but since I often cannot tell what or if there is such a color difference I cannot help but wonder at the accuracy of this statement. Maybe it is just a dominance thing, who am I to know. But, nevertheless, that is what this thing called racism is, and I know all about it, and I have written this essay to attest to such. In any case, I think that culture is much more dominant in a person than the color of their skin, and even that can be superficial, sort of like skin color.


Monday, 4 July 2011

Letter to Eric Flint (draft)

Dear Eric Flint,
illustrious writer, etc.(need archaic headings?)

I would like to thank you for your many enjoyable stories. You are definitely in my top ten as far as writers go and I always look forward to seeing what you put out. I would also like to thank you for the plethora of old stories that you have edited so that they are back in print (Christopher Anvil's Interstellar Patrol stories are amongst my favorites). Your energy, drive and the shear amount of material that you are putting out amaze and delight me.

But, are you ever going to get back to your Joe's World series? Don't you know that you could suddenly pop off and then where would we be? We are talking about the duty to your creation here. I understand that there is not as much of a following, that the high humor in Joe's World is truly only savored by a few. I understand the cries of the masses, the myriad of intriguing projects, the wonderful authors that are just clamoring to work with you. But do you not realize that Joe's World is a priceless gem that can only be told by you! No one else has the twisted imagination, the dripping satire, the ability to drown on and on and on and on and on and on till just before the point that one screams and throws the book across the room. In no other fantasy series have I ever had to look up words every few minutes. No other fantasy cries forth with such interesting, intriguing, demented, unforgetable characters. These books are after all one of the very few series that I have actually purchased multiple copies and then inflicted upon others (And yes inflicted is the right word). I have even read chapters of the books over the phone.

So please, could you consider moving the Joe's World series closer to the top of your to do list (the top would be real nice). Once you do so I can stop the considering of mayhem, murder and mass destruction. No more thoughts of mass Nerf gun strikes, and above all no more pleading letters!

Thank You ...

Notes for draft 2:
  • No forum
  • Sayings of the Wise Man - does no one else collect?
  • Comparing characters to reality - Sfondrati-Piccolomini and Laebmauntsforcynneweëld
  • Have thought of designing a series of cross-stitch's for Benvenuti's confessions under torture.

Inviting in the horde

The need of others to invite heretics, infidels and other interlopers into their home to act like some treasured dignitary brings to me much confusion and horror.

Why invite the enemy in and push our children forth to entertain them. Why bare our throat and chest and smile while doing so. Why present our back for the sticking, with a choice of weapons at hand. Did not our ancestors know that the name for stranger and enemy are the same? Did not our ancestors build their dwellings with thick walls and small apertures? Did they not know the use of walls and moats, of spikes and shards of glass. Did they not know to keep that which is precious out of reach and sight of those that would pillage and destroy it.

And yet we open our doors and invite them into our holy of holies, and count it rude to throw them out. Alas, we have laid bare all that is ours and invited those not our friends and confidants to pick through and plunder not only us, but that which we hold in trust to protect.

Friday, 1 July 2011

A bear for my mom

My First Teddy BearOver the last few days I have been working on my moms birthday present. I of course bought the normal, a book, this one on artistic outdoor camping, and a puzzle book of cross sums, also known as kakuro. But you know how it is, where is the personal touch? So I decided to give her one of my miniature teddy bears. The one in the picture to the right is the first one I ever made (now living in England), isn't he pretty! In my days of craftiness I have finished 6 bears (and 2 more in various stages of finish), each one an individual, and one with wings (now that was a lot of stitching). I'd put up a picture of the one I sent my mom in all his finery, but often in the frenzy of finishing a project and getting it wrapped I totally forget! Sigh.

Now the truth is the bear I gave my mom has always in my mind been meant for her (the tan one with the vest on in the picture below), but I wanted him to have clothes, in specific a smoking jacket. Also one leg ended up a tad shorter than the other in the making process so I always thought that he should have a walking stick. So here I am, my mom's birthday quickly approaching, no wood for a stick (I didn't want to use pine) and no real idea if I can even make decent miniature clothing. But Teddy Bearssomehow it all came about. One walk in the cemetery and I had a pretty little twig to carve. And a trip to the fabric store and one dollar out of pocket got me a beautiful pale brocade. Surprisingly the carving and polishing of the walking stick went quite quick (well it was only 2 1/2"). And his little smoking jacket (I used some black synthetic suede I got from a friend a while back for the trim) came together over an afternoon and the next morning. I was able to sew a lot of the jacket on the machine, and went to hand sewing to attach the sleeves and the trim. I actually finished in plenty of time. (I really wish I'd remembered to take a picture.)

I hope you like my teddy bears. I think they're cute and they're fun to make.