Friday, August 24, 2012

a secret rendezvous

One of my happiest discoveries about people in the EMC community is that, for the most part, they're just like people anywhere else. When you talk to a fetishist one on one, you're far more likely to chat about things like your favorite books and movies than about anything MC-related.

Okay, well, MC does tend to slip in there once in awhile. But after you get past the initial "I love your work" stage, the conversation turns to other things you have in common. For instance, Callidus and I seem to have nearly identical taste in movies. We've raved about The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus, and we've literally spent hours brainstorming a good third installment of the Alien franchise (The taking-off point, quite naturally, is that Newt and Hicks live). So if Sigourney Weaver ever wants her dignity back, she's welcome to contact us.

Callidus and I have talked about plenty of other things over the years, and eventually we hit that tipping point where a casual online friend becomes someone you'd like to meet in person. So not too long ago, I mentioned that if he was ever in my neck of the woods, he should drop by for a visit. We already knew we lived close enough to make that happen; and after I extended my invitation, we figured out pretty quickly how to make it happen.

I can ditto almost every line in his own blog entry about the upcoming get-together. Not only is he someone I like and respect, but he's also someone I'd trust with my real identity. Part of me always wants to reveal myself to the world, but there are only a handful of people in the EMC community I'd actually invite for a visit. Callidus is one of those few. You might imagine our meet-up as being like Batman and Batwoman taking off their masks and settling down for a chat about criminology and the perils of fighting in skintight rubber.

I'm really looking forward to meeting him, and I'm sure we'll both blog about it afterwards. So watch this space. And that one. ;-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

titillating tubing

I've had Sorayama on my mind lately. No point asking why - just enjoy!

Most of these images can be found at

Saturday, August 11, 2012

P.S. re: Hoarder

I swear I found this just now by total coincidence.

A Peek Beneath the Duct Tape: Hoarder

First things first. The painting at right is by noted Lord of the Rings artist John Howe. When I went looking for a dragon illustration for this post, I immediately thought of Howe because he does all the best dragons. So I did a bit of googling and came up with the perfect image to tie in with Hoarder. I promise I'd never seen this picture before writing this post, but once I saw it, I knew I didn't need to look any further.

As for "Hoarder" itself, I've mentioned before that it began as a personal fantasy about MC by dragon. I'd been running it in my head since I was a teen, but it didn't have much of a plot until recently. The original fantasy sprang from the 1981 movie Dragonslayer. In the film, a kingdom is terrorized by a dragon and sacrifices maidens to it to keep it pacified, they draw the victims' names by lot, and the princess's name is always withheld - though in the movie, Princess Elspeth doesn't suspect that. When she finds out, she rigs the lot so that her name is chosen...but that's all I'll say in case anyone out there wants to watch the movie. I have no idea how well it stands the test of time, though, so be warned. After all, it is an '80's flick.

I built my private fantasy on that movie and added in the idea of layered enchantments, each one binding the victim a little tighter and entrancing her a little deeper until she had no freedom left at all. But then, because my fantasy began with an unjust sacrifice, I imagined the dragon turning its victim against her hometown. She'd be taking revenge for what they did to her, even if she was in no position to realize it by then.

And that's all there was to my fantasy at first. Not much of a story for the EMCSA, eh? But I loved the basic idea and always planned to write it up, if I could just think of the right plot. And as it turned out, I'd had that plot in my head all along.

When I was a child, I owned a book of fairy tales that included a bastardized version of the Childe Rowland fable. Whoever adapted it for a children's book decided, for some inexplicable reason, that the King of Elfland should turn his kidnapped maidens into jewels. Even as a kid I didn't understand the point of that. If it's maidens you want, why turn them into gemstones? If it's gemstones you want, why make them out of maidens? It just seemed like the waste of a good captive to me.

A few months ago I was thinking about that old bastardized Childe Rowland story when suddenly it hit me: the jewel thing was illogical if an Elf or wizard did it, but if a dragon were the mage, it made perfect sense. And right there was the solution to my dragon-story dilemma!

Excited now, I looked up the Childe Rowland story online and was surprised to find how badly it had been mangled for me. In the official version, "Childe" Rowland was chopping off heads left and right - not excluding the kind people who helped him along the way; and there were no jewels at all aside from the lamp, which made its way into my story. There was, however, a lovely suggestion of MC in the spell placed on Burd Ellen. (Do notice her name, by the way. ;-)) And if you choose to follow the Childe Rowland link above, you'll find several other names and things I appropriated for "Hoarder." The more I delved into the original fable, the more I found that I could make use of).

As I said several times while hinting about my upcoming story (here and here, for instance) "Hoarder" really did write itself. My favorite "aha" moment was realizing that the seams of gold in Ehlen's lapis lazuli could easily be the remnants of her poison, but stuff like that kept happening all through the writing process. I didn't even know how the dragon would use the Sword when I started out, but when the idea came to me, I knew it was perfect.

I'm extremely happy with the way "Hoarder" turned out. I hope you are, too.

P.S.: Rule 34 came to my aid again, in researching what a dragon's sexual organs might look like.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Heads up!

I've just sent the conclusion of "Hoarder" off to Simon, so you can expect to see it in the next update. And now I have to get moving on the accompanying Peek Beneath the Duct Tape!

Unexpected treasure

I just stumbled across this video by a band I'd never heard of, but you might have: Nero. If you don't care for the music, turn off your speakers and just watch the story unfold. It's very nearly MC nirvana.

It also reminds me of a book I enjoyed as a teen: This Perfect Day, by Ira Levin. I'll give you a little synopsis, mostly spoiler-free in case you want to check it out for yourself. It's definitely worth a read. The story takes place in a future where selective breeding and drugs have turned everyone into near-clones who even share the same small set of names. They seem to be living quite happily in a utopian environment, but you don't see at first how much the drugs influence their outlook.

Then the protagonist, nicknamed Chip, finds a way around the obligatory monthly injection and starts to see life in a new way. He meets up with a small band of fellow rebels and falls in love with one of them, but resistance is tricky when one shot of whatever-it-is turns you back into a happy drone who'd betray your friends in a heartbeat.

I feel almost sure the makers of this video have read that book.