When I was fairly young I spent a lot of time on the Oregon Coast with my grandmother. I can remember deciding I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was maybe six or seven, but by the time I was eight I had grown out of that and wanted to be a botanist, which is what I stuck with for the next ten years. Funny how kids are, eh?
But I digress. I wanted to say that I imprinted on the ocean fairly early. I read all of Jacques Cousteau’s books, Thor Heyerdahl’s sagas, and any field guide I could get my hands on. When we moved inland, I missed it. I still do. You don’t get a whole lot more inland than Ohio. I’ll visit the Atlantic Ocean next month, but it’s not the same. Something about the vastness of the ocean captured me, and stays with me always.
And this might be why I found myself painting a woman staring at the ocean earlier this week. I didn’t intend it to be a self-portrait (although the First Reader insists it is) but the red hair was to add color. Sketched on my tablet with stylus and fingertips using Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro, this was simply created for pleasure while waiting for a meal. And perhaps a certain wistfulness for a childhood memory.
Beyond the art, I wanted to bring to your attention a story collection that’s on sale today. At a dollar today, slowly increasing over the next few days, this is a great value. It’s got stories from Dave Freer’s Rats, Bats, and Vats universe, which was my introductory book to the author. I loved that book, not just for the quirky dry humor that hits my funny bone jsut right, and the clear-eyed take of human nature, but for the aliens. Yes… the nasty Khorozhet. Because I recognized the Earth species they are based on immediately. I’ve never eaten them, but I’d handled them gently many times, and it amused me how very well they adapted to being alien villains. I think readers of this blog will find that if they haven’t already discovered Freer, this collection is a great introduction. Oh, and do me a favor? Leave a review, however brief, when you’re done reading. It’s only got two, and I think it deserves more recognition (yes, I know, I need to put one up myself!).