Herding Cats: A Sarah’s Scribbles collection by Sarah Andersen

The first half of Herding Cats, A Sarah’s Scribbles collection is filled with Sarah’s comics and they’re so good I’m already threatening to send it to a friend.

The second half I didn’t expect at all: it’s a well-written explanation of what it’s like to be an artist on the internet in 2019 and how crazy-ass and required the internet is. (Said explanation has comics illustrating the main points, which is awesome.)

I’m definitely not a millennial, but I’ve seen everything that Sarah talks about on the web and it’s all true. If you want to give good advice to someone young who wants to be an artist (or writer or maker of any sort) and also wants to occasionally put those things somewhere that other people can see them, you can’t do much better than this primer on what to expect.

Day 663: and arrows

Day 663:

Miserable and rainy outside and the caverns are all filled with zombies.

(Well, possibly not. I didn’t feel like checking.)

Anyway, it was a good day to stay home and fletch arrows. Stars knows I have enough feathers in this place to fletch enough arrows for all of Earth’s fleet, if they used arrows anymore, which they don’t.

The wood here is rarely knotty and takes well to a knife, though it’s hard to get true roundness without the grain splitting. I’ve thought about trying to make a lathe but I don’t think it’s a matter of speed, I think it’s a matter of how the trees grow with almost square trunks here.

(Makes sawing a table a sight easier, I can tell you that much.)

So I have enough arrows to hold me for a bit and I even got up enough nerve to use them to kill a zombie hanging out uncomfortably close to my front door.

Not a bad day, if you excuse the horde.

Day 662: protection

Day 662:

I’ve grown quite fond of the bow I’m currently using. It fires straight and true and generally hits whatever I’m aiming at. Yes, it’s true that it’s the person not the tool, but at the same time even the best shooter can’t shoot with a bent bow.

On the other hand, it’s taken quite its fair share of damage between zombies and explosions and just general tromping around underground, and I suspect it’s going to break quite dramatically on me soon.

I’m working on creating a new bow, but I’m going to miss this one.

The Twisted Ones, by T. Kingfisher

I read while I’m on the exercise bike because hey, a reason to be on the exercise bike. The last few days I’ve been reading The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher (pen name for Ursula Vernon).

Tonight I biked for 80 minutes and realized my legs would fall off before I’d finish the book. As I’d reached a point where not-finishing was not an option, I kept reading after removing myself from the bike.

I think my heart raced just as much after I got off the book as when I was on it.

Everything in T. Kingfisher’s books tends to be very logical… I find myself thinking “oh well of course”, and also “oh holy shit how did I not see that coming, of course that’s made of that other thing because why else would you have one of those?” and I’m telling you, if you like your horror to be made of bits and pieces of Chekov’s Gun running around with murder on its mind, this book is for you.

A few things I’d heard about the book that are true:
* Deer are not as safe an animal as you thought
* The dog is established to live through the whole book from the very beginning so there’s no wondering
* It is apparently possible to write a jump scare.

The dialog is fantastic. The characterizations are amazing. The world building is enough to make you grit your teeth and bike for 80 minutes without realizing you’d been on the bike 80 minutes. Thank heavens I didn’t have a dog asking to go out or there’d be a puddle on the floor.

I’m not sure when or if I’ll sleep again, and I’ve never been so glad to be living in the exurbs instead of the rural neighborhood of my parents.

Anyway, read. Then keep locked in the closet the rest of the time. That might work.

Day 661: holidays

Day 661:

It occurs to me that I’ve been here long enough at this point that I’ve missed years of major holidays. Planetary Independence Day has come and gone at least twice. New Year’s, obviously, at least two. And forget all the Earth-time-based holidays, since without a conversion calendar I have no idea what day it is on the home planet these days.

It’s always spring here, always just early June where it’d be nice to have a jacket in the middle of the night but not so hot during the day that I want to strip naked. (Which is really good considering the monsters.

And I think without the seasons change or the ship-based reminders, it’s just really hard to keep track of the date.

(Plus I’m still not sure this isn’t all a hallucination.)

It doesn’t feel like solstice, but this planet might not have a solstice.

It’s just really odd.