SIGHTS

Just What I’ve Always Wanted

I celebrated a birthday a month ago today. For most of it, I was only dimly aware that it was my birthday. Felt much like any other day. Guess I’ve just gotten to that age. Either that or I was just high. It was one or the other. Probably both.

To commemorate this apparent eureka moment on the ultimate subjectivity of time (but more so to take advantage of some of those non-essential services now in case another lockdown happens later), I treated myself to a slightly expensive ornament to beautify my physical being. One I’m sure I’ll never accidentally misplace. Because it’s a tattoo.


This is the initial stencil impression they do before they break out the needles.
I did the Instagrammy bathroom selfie thing during the mid-session whiz break.
The time-honoured six-syllable mantra of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig), in the Tibetan script. In case you were wondering.

The tattoo artist did a masterful job, as you can see. I almost felt bad for not tipping her an extra hundred on the way out. Midway through the session, she asked me if I was feeling any pain. I told her I’ve been through worse.

It was also through this (highly worthwhile) experience that I learned of specially formulated ointments available on the market for recently tattooed areas of the skin. A lot of them come in visually stunning bottles. Like this…

Keeps your tats iron. Like a lion. In Zion.

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Out of Left Field

SILVER BROWN was originally envisioned as a trilogy. I later scrapped that idea, reforging it as a single volume in three acts. Similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four. With a few differences. The acts in my particular yarn aren’t formally numbered. Brief artistic interludes separate them instead. Ones that feature diagrams I created myself depicting islands featured in the world of the story, or the insignia of witchly organizations. Like this one…

sisterhood oggbrew

Last week’s draft had a Chapter Nineteen. Then one fine morning I decided to remove it from the manuscript. Entirely. After letting it sit for an extended cooling period, it dawned on me upon re-reading it that too many details about the mysterious shapeshifting entity known as Isimud were being needlessly spilled. I conceived this entity as a Catwoman-like character, in the sense that the question of whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy is open to interpretation. Chapter Nineteen killed too much of the mystery I was going for. It also had that out-of-left-field Whiskey Tango Foxtrot quality to it, like the “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” chapter from The Wind in the Willows. But I regret neither writing it nor tossing it. The process of writing it served as the creative appetizer to make me hungry enough to write the chapters that came after it, so everything has its place.


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Be here now. Speaking of shit coming out of left field, this is how that castle is coming along. The one I talked about last time.