0010_reflections

Yes, yes, I know that the way to actually have my Photo Friday/Kitsnaps post regularly is to prepare them weeks in advance and get them set to auto-post. It’s the weeks in advance part where I’m falling down, especially because I’d *like* to post the pictures false-framed the way I’ve done the last ten or […]

cropped-mizkitstamp0.png

Thanks to the efforts of the magnificent Thirzah Brown, I have a beautiful new website! Equally excitingly, I have, through the good graces of a reader, acquired a comments moderator, which means the comments have been turned back on for the site! COME ONE! COME ALL! SPEAK TO ME! :)

This has all been in the works for quite a long time now, and I’m really delighted to see it go live. My needs for a website have changed over the years, with me gradually wanting a greater focus on the CE Murphy side of things on the main page of the site, without losing the more personal aspect that mizkit.com, specifically, means to me as an individual. There is, as there was previously, a CE Murphy-specific landing page, but the broad delivery of the main page is more business-oriented too. Basically: plenty of book information for the blog to snuggle up in. :)

A brief tour of the new page:
To your upper left, behind the “CE Murphy” (and frankly, I’m still debating whether that’s going to remain CE Murphy or return to The Essential Kit, with a tag line of “The Official CE Murphy Website” or something to that effect), we have the Miz Kit Productions logo that will be gracing the spine of my self-published books (thank you, Eleri Hamilton!). I’ve wanted to bring my Sassy Lady, as I call her, element back onto my webpage for a long long time, and I’m ridicuously chuffed that Thirzah found such a lovely way to bring her in organically.

Beyond her we have (clickable!) book covers that will be primarily featuring The Backlist, because sweeping down to the right hand nav bar we have a gorgeous new Featured area, where (mostly) the newest books will be featured. I *love* the emphasis there, I’m just really, really happy with it. I think Thirzah did a beautiful job (and you can click the title bar for more Features!). It makes me feel like it’s delivering the book content in a big important way while also not totally dominating the page, which is just perfect.

Swooping back toward the left we obviously have the (COMMENTS ENABLED, WOOT!) blog, which we’re changing the landing-page structure of after I had a look at the site on a mobile device and had to scroll for fifteen years to find the secondary nav bar. There will be extended excerpts (around 250 words, rather than the oft-seen 100ish) on the main blog page, then a read-more link, so that the page continues to deliver content but doesn’t overwhelm. I’m also going to limit the number of posts on the main page to five, which will reduce the wordcount to about 1250 words instead of thousands, making it a much more friendly experience for mobile users. This makes me feel good about the site. :)

Then to bring it around full circle we’ve got my twitter feed (only one post from there at a time, is that enough? do i need 2 or 3? it may, i know, turn out i don’t need it at all, but right now it’s the Done Thing, so i’m Doing It :)) and then above it the much-neglected, all-important mailing list link. Honestly, with Facebook’s crappy reach and Twitter’s ephemeralism, the website and the mailing list are the best way to know what I’m doing professionally and I live in the eternal hope that I can make a community out of it all. Yay!

rr_artofelfquest

Several months ago I discovered a Kickstarter for three deluxe Wendy Pini books, two on Elfquest and one on her other work.

Reader, I agonized. I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, require more Elfquest stuff. The completionist in me shrieks otherwise, but the truth is I got rid of most of my Elfquest originals before we moved, and I never did get several of the later Father Tree Press graphic novels (which I regret, actually, but I really still don’t like the coloring in them), but anyway, ‘completionism’ wasn’t a valid answer, especially at $100 a pop for the books, plus international shipping which added a shocking amount to the overall price tag.

Yeah, so obviously I bought them. The two Elfquest books, anyway, because I could just barely justify those but not LINE OF BEAUTY, the book about her other projects.

I got THE ART OF ELFQUEST last week and it’s *stupendously* beautiful.

There’s not, truth be told, a great deal of new material in it, not for somebody who’s been collecting Elfquest-related material for (good lord) thirty years, but it is so. so. pretty.
There *were* a handful of things I hadn’t encountered before, art or commentary about the art (one drawing that I’d seen before said it was done just after Wendy Pini finished her BEAUTY AND THE BEAST graphic novels, and points out that both Cutter and Skywise look like Ron Perlman in the drawing…and they do! Bahaha! And another that I’d probably seen before mentioned it was a preview/teaser thing for the current storyline, THE FINAL QUEST…but it was done in 1998!), so even for an old-timer (albeit one who’s fallen off the wagon this century) there’s a bit of new material, but mostly, let’s not kid ourselves, it’s about the utterly beautiful presentation.

I actually sat around hugging it, in between looking through it. It’s so pretty I regretted not biting the bullet and getting LINE OF BEAUTY, too, and I’m going to have to rectify that failure because SO PRETTY. SO. PRETTY!

If Flesk Publications wants to do a complete deluxe hardcover graphic novel print run of Elfquest after the Final Quest is done, I will be right there standing in line and shouting SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

apple_butters

I made scones this morning and opened the maple apple butter to try it on them.

oh my GOD that stuff is good

Holy crap. Completely different delivery of flavour than the caramel, which is all tart apple and then slow roll of caramel. This is rich sweet maple with a low apple base, much, MUCH more maple-y than I expected from the taste I had when it was still warm. Oh my *god*.

Ted’s all like: you need to start a fudge and apple butter cottage industry and sell it for millions in five years’ time.

***

The other day, at the hot chocolate cafe in Dublin:
Them: Where’ve you been?
Me: We moved to Drogheda.
Them: Oh! We should open a shop there!
Me: Don’t. I’ve lost 10lbs since moving.
Them: Oh dear.

***

I got my ART OF ELFQUEST from the Kickstarter a couple of days ago and will wax rhapsodic about that on a recent reads post, but one of the perks was an ElfQuest coloring book.

*incoherent noises of squee*

Seriously, I can’t believe it never occurred to me to photocopy pages from the original B&W comics and color them (ESPECIALLY since my sister (age 9 or so) once colored in one of my originals! this got brought up for some reason in the last year or two and Deirdre for the first time looked actually pained and said, with genuine remorse, “Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” whereas at age 9 she really couldn’t understand why I was SO FURIOUS that she’d done that *laughs*), but now that the idea’s been put in my head…

…now that the idea’s been put in my head I’m regretting, pretty much for the first time, getting rid of all the non-original-quest B&W originals I owned when we moved to Ireland. Anyway, I assiduously scanned the entire coloring book before starting on it, because then I can color pages AGAIN in NOT BOOK ACCURATE COLOR SCHEMES (maybe) (theoretically) (possibly) (why does the idea make me twitch?) and then I couldn’t decide what picture I wanted most to color so I just started at the beginning. I may end up coloring the whole thing in order, in fact, which would be unheard of. So would coloring an entire coloring book, for that matter, but I see it happening. :)

Anyway, I had a perfectly splendid time coloring the first picture. Leetah sure has a lot of hair, though. I mean, I knew that, but it’s particularly noticeable when you have to color it all twice to get the right color. And I also already want a different coloring book with more of the minor characters, as this one is heavy on The Big Three.

Ted, immediately after I got the book: do you have enough colored pencils for an ElfQuest coloring book?
Me, thinking about it: probably
Me, opening pencil box & book: definitely not

At the least I need more pencils because I have an insufficient variety of browns for the Sun Folk, nevermind various shades of pale for the Wolfriders and Gliders (the Go-Backs, sadly, are almost entirely absent from this book, although really there aren’t very damn many Gliders either).

Still: *INCOHERENT SQUEE*!

***

So Deirdre and I were walking along, and Deirdre was singing something that I half knew the words to, and I sort of came in a bit on a word, then said, apparently with great solemnity and consideration, “I know a lot of vowel sounds in songs.”

Deirdre laughed for literally five minutes. She had to stop walking twice to laugh. It rang true, she said, she’d just never heard it expressed that way. “Usually,” she said, “we call that ‘not knowing the words,’ but I guess your way is a more positive spin on it.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m a very positive person.” :)

Relatedly, having just before that sung our way through Jesus Christ Superstar (hooray for lyrics websites, altho we sure knew a lot of them in the core of our souls) and having listened to her scat, I would totally pay money to watch her do a one-man show of JCS.

***

I can’t think of a fifth thing for five things make a post. Close enough.

baloo01

Meet Baloo, the newest member of our family:

baloo01

Baloo is a year-old rescue dog who came to live with us a couple of weeks ago. He is, according to the rescue people, part collie (likely: he shows a tendency to herd, anyway), perhaps part lab or retriever, or, in the opinion of the woman running the place, part flat-haired terrier.

He’s *definitely* very large. He’s definitely very furry. He’s also very patient, which is good, because Young Indiana cannot. stop. flinging. himself. at. the. dog. Or barking. Or running around on all fours. Or many, many other things that cause ‘having a pet helps people to relax!’ to be totally, totally untrue.

baloo02

He chewed through the €100 soft-sided crate we got him to sleep in in less than half an hour. I’m still pretty annoyed about that, and keep reminding myself how very, very patient he is with a five year old bouncing on him.

baloo03

He flopped down with a pig’s ear and ate it all up, upon arriving home. Good dog. Of course, half an hour later he also opportunistically helped himself to half of Young Indiana’s PB&J. Some obedience training is in our future.

baloo04

He wasted no time trying to move in on the couch, a hope that I am discouraging as strongly as possible. He’s mostly got the idea that he’s not allowed on the beds, although he’s in denial about the fact he doesn’t get to sleep in a bedroom.

He had a bath almost immediately upon arriving home, but unfortunately he has since discovered a break in the fence that allows him to get to the brook, and consequently the house smells strongly of River Dog. We’ll be attending to that problem this weekend. :p In the meantime, holy crap the fur.

baloofur01

The photograph doesn’t really do the amount of fur on the floor there justice, but that’s 10 days’ worth. I had, when I thought to take the picture, taken a damp washcloth to the left half of the carpet, before even bothering to vacuum. Frankly, every floor in the house needs the same treatment, though I ran a vacuum around the downstairs until the vacuum said “nope, that’s enough fur, filter clogged,” and simply stopped working. Tomorrow I (and other people :p) will get to do more, and the electric broom is now out and will be applied daily, because OMFG.