Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When I turned into a tree

Cats. They are a special species unto themselves. You have your sweet cuddly ones, your independent don’t-touch-me cats and a variety in between. But in a category all their own, you have the I-will-murder-you-in-your-sleep cats. I have such a cat. I believe that Lizzie (named from one of my favorite Austen books) is a reincarnated serial killer. My sister will attest to that. I thought that no cat could scare me and make me want to lock all my doors and windows as she can. However, I met another possible candidate the other day.

If you haven’t already met one of these types of cats, it may be difficult for you to understand what I’m talking about. But believe me, this is no laughing matter. I met this cat in a Vet clinic. It was the office cat that freely roamed the front area and greeted clients. It was small, white and had a tail with a kink in it. A very nice innocent looking was white after all.

So I, being the pet-friendly, fur-loving person I am, knelt down to say hello while I waited for the receptionist/vet tech. The cat spoke softly to me - her, (I’m guessing), usual ‘hello. Nice to meet you’ - and began to pace back and forth around my feet. Soon after, when she realized I was going to give her my full attention (or as full as I’m capable of) she put her front paws on my lap to get a better look.

The cat said to me, “Ooh, I love your pants. Is that denim? And this? Wool, am I right? I just looove wool. What is the thread count on these things?” At which point she began to test the thickness of my jeans with her ever-sharp nails.

Startled by the sudden pain in my thigh, I quickly shoved the cat off and stood up. However, I figured that it would be some time before I got help, and since I have one of the shortest attention spans known to man, I knelt down again to pet the cat. That is when it got dangerous.

At that moment, the receptionist/vet tech was ready to help me. But as I prepared to stand up, the cat scrambled as fast as possible and as close to my body as possible up into my lap, up my torso and onto my shoulder. It happened so quickly that I had no idea where the cat had gone until I was standing. Then I discovered the large white hairy mass digging into my neck. I felt claws, a cold nose and lots of hair clinging deeper into my wool coat. I swear that cat tried to strangle me with its nose. Then I felt teeth. The cat had wrapped itself around my neck and was attempting to become one with me by rubbing its face against me.

I panicked and lightly patted the cat, hoping to placate it. Meanwhile, the person at the desk stared at me, waiting for me to explain why I was there. It was only with years of experience and skill dealing with wild hawks and my own serial killer cat, I was able to deftly remove the cat off my shoulder.

I avoided her the rest of my visit. The key was to stay standing and avoid eye contact.

It makes me even more wary of my own serial killer cat. Lizzie has intense cravings for affection that usually end with my arms being mangled by teeth and claws. Luckily last night she was distracted by my dog who wanted to play, “I’ve got your ear.” This is not Lizzie’s favorite game but it saves me from having to buy bucket loads of band-aids.

Don't let the picture below fool you. This is not a cute lovable cuddly cat. This is in fact Lizzy holding on to her precious Soul Box.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Although all the hub-bub about Elfquest has been out for a while, I’m finally taking the chance to write about it now. It seems like it's still picking up steam this second week after the trailer was released.

Elfquest, written by Richard and Wendy Pini, was a major part of my life. When I was little I didn't read very much. However, Elfquest could make me drop everything, even though when my brother first brought it home, I couldn’t even read yet! I luuuuuved the series.

It’s a comic (graphic novel) with gorgeous art and a pretty exciting story line. It encouraged me to draw by copying images of elves from what I saw in the comics and stimulated my mind as I imagined that the forest a mile away from my home was the same forest where elves romped around with their wolf friends. Growing up, I would bombard my friends, trying to get them to read the series.  In fact, I’m still trying to get them to read it (by the way friends…you should read it!)  Most likely, reading these comics influenced my imagination and my writing.

Just a quick synopsis: Elfquest is about a tribe of elves who are chased from their home by humans. Tricked by trolls they end up in a desert and run into another group of elves. After discovering they are not the only ones in the world of two moons, they set out to find and unite other tribes of elves meanwhile discovering their ancestry.

Very recently a group of fans, primarily Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes, created a live action trailer for the series. It's pretty fun and I think well done. I'll say that I was disappointed that none of the male characters made an appearance but I understand it would be quite difficult to find men that look like the characters in this series. The art by the creator, Wendy Pini, is amazing and the elves are all beautiful. So, when watching it, if you are concerned about the all-female cast don’t be. There are tons of male lead characters and trolls in the comic series. Yes, trolls! Yet the female actors do an excellent job of showing how pretty the characters can be.
Check it out, see what you think:
Then if it piques your interest, definitely check out the actual series. The physical copies can be difficult to get, but electronic copies are freely available on I'd say stick to The Original Quest before you venture out to sequels and bits by other artists and writers. Plus, as I mentioned, Wendy's art is just amazing!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Better as the Other

Have you ever read or watched something and thought that it just wasn't quite right? At first you couldn't put your finger on what was off about it - it wasn't that whatever you were reading or watching was bad, it just wasn't...right. Then it dawns on you. The book or movie wasn't in the right format for that story.

I'm experiencing that right now. I'm reading Brandon Sanderson's first Mistborn novel. It's not bad but it's taking me a very long time to get through it. The writing is...alright. The story is...okay but I'm having trouble bonding with the main characters. In fact, the character I find the most interesting is the Lord Ruler who is the story's antagonist. Oddly enough, I haven't actually 'seen' him (note: I still have 100 pages left to go so he might show up) except in excerpts from his logbook written centuries before the current story takes place.

Anyways, it dawned on me this weekend what would make this story so much better. I think it would make an excellent anime series.

(I've been watching a few anime series the last couple weeks; Corpse Princess and Fullmetal Alchemist. That is probably where I got the idea.)

The reasons why I think Mistborn would make a great anime series follow:
1. I honestly think the story line would be more interesting as an anime series.
2. The main characters all have a mysterious background that is important to the current story.
3. There are tons of interesting magical events going on that would look a lot cooler in anime.
4. The characters' thoughts and reactions to each other would be great in an anime characteristic exaggeration.
5. Lastly, one of the main characters is a sixteen-year-old girl who goes from a back alley rapscallion to a noblewoman spy with pretty dresses.

There are a few more reasons why I think it would be better as an anime series but I can't quite explain them but I'll let you decide for yourself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Loaded

I'm declaring that it's Spring. There are Flicker's pecking holes in my work building (which is apparently made of Styrofoam) preparing to build nests. On my drive to Casper I saw lambs and calves. I even heard my first Meadowlark singing. Before I know it there will be Robins bouncing around looking for worms and bugs and such. It's pretty amazing. I thought we would get more snow this winter but there's still a chance we'll have one...or maybe five more snow storms before it's summer. But there will be more and more sunlight and chances for walks in the park, bike rides or even hiking. One exciting thing to look forward to this summer is the much-anticipated release of George R.R. Martin's book, A Dance with Dragons that is scheduled to come out on July 12th. I am soooo excited. I'm also excited to see the new TV series, Game of Thrones. Sometimes I wish I hadn't read the book so that I could see everything so new and shiny and not know what will happen at the end. But yay for good books!!

And also, yay for 50% off on books. Today I am visiting Boulder where Borders is selling their books for 50%. I'm sad that soon there will be no more Borders stores but I was so excited to get some good deals. I found Alexander Dumas' The Last Cavalier, Octavia E. Butler's Seed to Harvest, Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince and John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling the Undead. I'm very delighted about my finds.

In other crafty news, this evening I spent about two to three hours taking apart Nerf guns as well as sanding and painting them to make them look like Steampunk guns. I have a ways to go to paint them but I can't wait to see the end product.