Cricket declares her contempt for Tolkienesque nomenclature and then discovers her visitor’s name is “Max Reaper.” He’s lucky she didn’t punch him again right then and there. But she has other plans in mind.

Welcome to 2017! I actually opened my front door to look out at the new year’s dawn, noted the lack of flying cars, and went back to bed in a huff. Younger people may not care, but I was raised with expectations, dammit.


And more below!



Black Walls


Cricket has a few witchy trappings around her place, but like most Wiccans of my acquaintance, she doesn’t overdo it. Kind of like any religion, really. Most Catholics don’t have their house decorated like the Sistine Chapel, either. People who go all out with the accoutrements of their faith are kind of suspicious, really. One wonders just who it is they are trying to convince.

Not that I, as a writer, should be any damn judge. If you want to see a truly pathetic display of insecurity masquerading as bravado, just visit a writer’s office sometime. Framed reviews; bookshelves full of reference volumes that haven’t been touched since Google was invented; a shelf of awards (no matter how obscure); some crap that says “I’m a writer!” like a quill pen with a plaster skull or a cut-glass whisky decanter or a vintage manual typewriter. Sometimes all of the above. And if the writer wrote for animation, a bunch of toys from shows that were worked on.

It should be noted that one never gets the toys for free. Toy companies don’t give away anything. Writers of the show have to go out and buy the things like anyone else, but visitors don’t know that.

The problem is (as time goes on) the writer’s office stops being a triumphant peacock-like display of triumph and gradually devolves into a dismal shrine to former glory. The writer, like a caddisfly larvae (thank you, Google!) creates an insular, ornately-decorated shell wherein they may retreat from a harsh reality in which even their agent won’t answer e-mails. In fact, as with the religious trappings mentioned above, the more ornate the office, the more one wonders just who it is the writer is trying to convince.

I myself have fortunately been spared this, but only because I keep moving my office from one room to another, and thus don’t have time to craft a permanent display. A bronze bust of Twain (sculpted by my wife) is about all there is, along with three monitors and a litter of papers that could belong to any profession, including pyrotechnician. As it happens.

Max-The-Artist has even less, primarily because he generally does his commercial work on-site and thus has most of his professional gear stowed in a backpack. It’s actually a pretty good way to keep oneself from becoming a prisoner within one’s own self-created shrine.

As for Cricket, her domicile may be disarming in appearance but she obviously has her ways of dominating a potentially threatening visitor. Time to Invoke some Power.

Stay tuned.

–Bob out

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