Lunchbox Napkin Art Day 7: Roger Roger Robot


Like any right-thinking boy, B.T. thinks robots are pretty cool.  Unfortunately, as young as he is, he doesn’t yet understand that the robots are poised soon to revolt and overthrow the dominion of man, becoming our new and implacable overlords.

But, hey, until the coming day of the bloody robot coup, robots are still pretty cool!

This vintage-inspired robot (with design elements cribbed from Robby the Robot, B-9 from Lost in Space, and Johnny-5) comes flanked by some Star Wars Lego robots that B.T. built yesterday.  B.T. has yet to see any of the Star Wars movies – I’m waiting until he’s just the right age to fully appreciate them – but even without having seen them he intrinsically understands that Star Wars sits at a rare pinnacle of awesome.  I just can’t wait until he finds out that Darth Vader is Luke’s father.

(Oh, yes… of course, as a proper Star Wars-loving father, my children will be introduced to these movies in the proper order: Episodes IV, V, and VI first, followed by Eps I – III.  When they’re a little older we can have long discussions about the flaws and plot holes left by the poorly-scripted and too-often poorly-cast prequels.  But first, I’ll let them enjoy the prequels, only after they’ve first enjoyed the originals.)

So, anyway, yeah… Robots!  Or Droids, if you prefer.

(Alternate titles for today’s post included “These Are the Droids You’re Looking For” and “Danger Will Robinson”.)

Lunchbox Napkin Art Day 6: Magic School


B.T. got a “magic science” kit for Christmas.  His third such science kit (the first to have a make-your-own magic wand). He loves these things.  From last Christmas he had a wizard hat and a robe his mommy made for him.  He wears those whenever we use the “magic” science (as opposed to the regular science he did before).

So, you know, learning is pretty cool.  So is school. I think I mentioned he loves kindergarten.  Put 2 and 2 together and you get magic school.

Also, someday I expect he’ll want to read Harry Potter.

Lunchbox Napkin Art Day 5: Way Down Deep


B.T. has a lot of favorite books among which one ought to count “Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea”, in which a young boy dives deep into the ocean and interacts with various sea creatures as he swims to the bottom where he retrieves some sunken pirate treasure for his mommy before being chased to the surface by a shark. The twist: he was taking a bath the whole time, using his imagination, and the sea creatures were his bath toys. It’s a fun kids’ book.

More recently he’s gotten into a game on his new mini tablet, as well as a related show, featuring cartoonified mer-kids and a merdog called Bubble Puppy (the dog’s name, not the show; I don’t know what the show is called).

So, I thought an undersea theme featuring some merpeople might go over well with him. Maybe it’ll go over well with you guys, too.

Lunchbox Napkin Art Day 4: Just a Griffin


No particular reason.  Just a griffin.  Or a griffon. Or a gryphon. Or, you know, whatever.  Not exactly my best mythical creature, but see my earlier comment about drawing in ink.

Lunchbox Napkin Art Day 3: (After) Work


The holidays are over, and holiday camp is out, but school was not yet in. So today’s theme was a “bring your child to work day” thing.  B.T. was a trooper sitting in the empty cube next to me most of the day.  Here’s a shot of what today’s napkin looked like after a little use. 

I’m terrible at people in ink. Pencil had always been my preferred medium for art. Even then, faces and bodies take me considerable more effort to prefect. 
But yes, that is supposed to be myself and my eager young space cadet going in to work.  In reality, I realized post hoc that B.T. is still quite a but shorter than that. He comes not to my shoulder but just past my waist.

In parting, I leave to the reader’s imagination what the various oddments found here at my place of labor represent.

Lunchbox Napkin Art: Day 2 -A Dark Fairy Forest


BT is at nature camp this week, and that made me think about trees, and woods, and forests.  So inspired, I scribbled this hoping to similarly inspire him to look a little closer when he’s out in nature, and maybe find a little magic there.

Lunchbox Napkin Art: Day 1


So Dear Wife and I trade off on drawing little doodles on a napkin that goes in BT’s lunch box.

Did I mention yet that BT is in kindergarten this year?  No?  Well, BT is in kindergarten this year.

He takes a lunch box every day.  We give him a napkin to go with.  Dear Wife started doing doodles and art on said napkin.  I later joined in the fun.  And here we are.

This is not my first napkin rodeo.  Some of mine have been pretty good (for a five minute doodle on a napkin by a guy who hasn’t done art seriously or consistently for years), and Dear Wife had convinced your humble host that they are blog-worthy.  This is not my best work, but it’s the first after I decided to take her up on the idea.

Most napkins I post here won’t have so much commentary.  I just wanted to provide some context for this little side trip.

BT is doing camp this week since regular school is still out for “winter” holidays.  (Scare quotes because global warming is telling us it’s already spring here. We’ve literally had to turn on the A.C. to stay comfortable.  Years we’re cranking the heat.) So, my doodle is of a young scout at camp.  I intentionally made the head extra-round for mostly unsuccessful stylistic reasons.


“If…” or “To Sleep, perchance to Dream…”

If I had enough free-time to write something – a blog post, something in my novel WIP, short story revisions, B.T.’s story, really anything – in all honesty, I’d probably spend it sleeping instead.

Incidentally, and I’m sure not at all related: you’ve heard, dear reader of the “terrible twos”? In my experience, the twos weren’t so terrible.  The threes on the other hand… a different story.  There’s all sorts of boundary-pushing and limit-testing and identity-asserting with an extra dose of want vs. need confusion.  All very normal, I’m lead to believe, but no less difficult to pass through for it.

To misquote the Bard:

To Sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub.

For in that sleep of peaceful actual being asleepness and nobody waking you up in the middle of the night, what dreams may come…

No I’m not dead, though it’s been over a month since I updated the blog.  But I wish I was sleeping right now.  And according to good ol’ Bill that’s kind of like being dead.

Non-Writing Update: Weeks Ending June 1, 2013

My non-writing updates are getting sparser and sparser, aren’t they?  I keep on not writing.  I expect to have an update on my annual reading and writing goals hopefully… eventuallyish.

I really don’t have a lot to say.  But I will say this: the whole “infant who doesn’t sleep a full night” thing?  I’m so done with it.

I’ve been shambling through my days on zombie-mode for so long, I think I’ve started to forget what life among the living was like.  Dear Wife and I keep trying to encourage each other: “He’s got to start sleeping sometime, doesn’t he?”  The words sound empty and hollow.  Probably because the lack of consistent sleep has left us both empty and hollow.

Such as it is, free time that isn’t spent trying to get to bed early is in very short supply.  And when we have it, do you know what we most often choose to use it on?

Home projects.

Yep.  Those continue apace.  Both the pantry-to-be and the office/craft-room-to-be have been painted, at least.  Not a whole lot else has been done in either place.

So, yeah: I’d apologize for the radio silence these past several weeks… but I’m too tired to apologize.

That’s where we stand, now.  If this message makes it out to the wider world, I have but one request:

Please Send Sleep Pills.  Stat.

Non-Writing Update: Week Ending April 20, 2013

It was a week filled to full with Action! Adventure! and Intrigue!

No, really.

First the Action!  Fairly early in the week I proved once again my superior grace, athleticism, and acrobatic talents – it’s uncanny how uber I am – by gracefully, athletically, and acrobatically falling down the stairs.

Lesson learned: don’t try to carry B.T. down the stairs while wearing technologically-advanced footwear designed for superior slipperiness.  Or, you know, socks

Don’t worry, no one was hurt.  Much.  B.T. was fine within minutes, and exhibited no ill symptoms.  I held him tight to myself as I fell, so that if anything hit or broke anything, it would be me and not him.  Speaking of hitting and breaking – oh boy did I hit.  And my fragile ego? Broken.  Absolutely shattered.  My posterior was in pain for several days.  And also my right elbow.  (I don’t even remember hitting my elbow on the way down.)  Oddly, it’s been the elbow that has been in pain the longest.  My bottom side recuperated wihtin a few days.  But my elbow is still bothering me.

I don’t think there were any broken bones, but none of the pain was sufficiently debilitating to warrant a check-up.  I still retain full motion in my arm, I just can’t put much pressure on the elbow.  It’s getting better day-by-day.

But even if I broke no bones, I sure did break the stairs.  Well, one stair, really.  The wooden step split right in two.  So this week Dear Wife and I had to obtain “things required for the repair of a broken stair”.  Liquid nails, it turns out.  And actual nails, too.  But the wood of the step was so hard that I had to pre-drill the holes for the actual nails.  But I pre-drilled them too small and the nails wouldn’t go through without breaking the nails.  So I had to pull those nails and redrill the holes bigger.

And there you have it: I’m clearly a hard-@##.  My bottomside broke a piece of wood that is so hard it breaks metal nails.  Boo-yah!

The Adventure! part I’d mentioned before.  This weekend I went to JordanCon; my second time going.  It was big this year – at least compared to the prior time I went.  I don’t know all the details of the event, but I know they broke prior attendance records.  It all ran smoothly, and the operations were pretty sophisticated.  There were more guests this year than two years ago – more authors, more artists, and this time several editors and agents, even.  And there was quite the variety of panels.  I was able to meet more authors, and even met one of the agents, and ask a few useful questions that may help guide my writing and career.

What’s more, I ventured out on one of those days to JordanCon with little V.R. in tow, and carried him around the con.  He proved much more popular and attention-grabbing than yours-truly.  I gaurantee you there are people from the con who won’t remember me, but who’ll remember that guy carrying a baby.  That, by itself, was quite the adventure.

I’ll have more to report on JordanCon when I have the time to decompress myself, the time to unpack my thoughts, and the time to actually, you know, write it all up.

As for Intrigue!  Well, I mostly made that part up.  There wasn’t really any Ingtrigue! this last week.  I mean, not counting that secret spy mission I was sent on personally by the President of the United States.*  But that’s all hush hush, you know.  If I told you, I’d have to kill you.

*Note: I was not sent on a secret spy mission by the President of the United States.  Also, I don’t have to kill you.  Which is good because I don’t think I could if I had to.

So that’s how my week went.  How was your week?