Monday, December 31, 2007

A poem for my father....

This situation has been a tragic one, but should not be forgotten. I can either let it depress and inhibit me, or uplift and inspire me.

This is a poem I wrote for my father, and I wish I had the chance to write this before his funeral so I could have shared it with the people there:

Every day a new beginning,
Every day a precious end.
Suffer not from loss at ending;
Endings start the clock again!

Time continues, new life grows,
sprouting from old life's decay.
On to where, nobody knows;
yet unknown, it brought this day!

Let this day be one of learning,
each day worthy to defend!
For every day's a new beginning,
every day a precious end.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Paul James Ogden, 1951-2007

My father just went to his Home in the sky this morning at 3:38am. He was a great man. I will miss him dearly.
Biology has taught me a bitter lesson. This whole situation makes me feel even more like a spirit "trapped" inside this temporary physical existence.
I can still hear him and feel his presence and sense his mind. He dwells within me now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

wisdom throughout the ages.....

Still reading Don Quixote; for many years i've been told it's about this guy who goes crazy and runs into the world finding exciting quests for himself and his compadre, Sancho Panza the aloof, stupid sidekick.

but i've found it's actually about a man who realizes that goodness, kindness, chivalry, charity and sacrifice are the keys to an enlightened state of being. He then discovers that once he had the realization he became obligated to it.... or in other words, a person is wasting his life when he can't live up to at least what his mind is capable of comprehending.... or in other words, exercising Will Power is like proving to yourself that your brain is working properly.

Don Quixote is becoming more and more enlightened with each passing adventure. He applies to his future experiences the knowledge he gains from screwing up in previous ones. One of his most common problems is to seek recognition and fame for his wonderful deeds….

I'm still only about 120 pages in, out of almost 1000. I just read a section where Quixote is once again praising himself for a job well done, and questions Panza about his lack of enthusiasm, to which Panza replies:

“I’m a peaceful man, sir, meek and mild, and I can overlook any insult, because I’ve got a wife to support and children to bring up.”

This stuck with me, because it’s true that nothing can harm you emotionally when you live for such a noble purpose.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

just finished casting, getting ready for orlando!

Tony Blackwell put this wax tree together for me, and I think he did an amazing job! The picture doesn't quite capture the glory that is this piece... he crammed about 50 charms on there!

So we're getting ready for the Bead Mercantile Orlando show... and we'll be staying with Cynthia's folks down there. Then on Tuesday our friend Jeremiah from will be attending a show where his work will be on display in Miami, so we're going there to support that and say hi and all.

If you come to the show in Orlando, mention my blog and I'll give you an additional discount! You've got to come get some of the little charms in this pic!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Getting ready for BABE! bead show in San Fransisco...

So Tony is out in the garage making wax trees and Lisa is in the office helping me get ready for the big show in California this weekend. We'll be casting nine flasks tomorrow, the maximum amount I can fit in my kiln. Bob would be proud!

I look forward to hanging around Oakland. Last spring Bob and I walked around the Jack London square and hit the cool Barnes and Noble there on the water. But this year I'll be heading up to Antioch on Sunday night and staying on Bob's boat for the first time. Maybe I can talk him into building a fire with me at the little local campsite...

T.J. just decided to do all the Innovative Bead Expo shows next year. So check out their site! They have around 20 shows in the New England area and we'll be at every one of them!

I got a chance to write a lot on my story this past weekend in Pittsburgh and hope to have a chance this weekend after Bob passes out for the night. The thirty-page outline is only a paragraph or two from completion and then I can start on the layout (chapter-by-chapter plan and deciding what illustrations will accompany each chapter). And then on to the writing itself! haha...

Sunday, November 04, 2007


WOW! What an awesome show in Pittsburgh this weekend! Just got done packing up and having dinner...
Thanks, Lisa from Cleveland! (She bought three of Cynthia's hand-sculpted-one-of-a-kind resin portraits) and really made my day! You rock!

so now I'm ready to drive back tomorrow and start casting frantically for San Fransisco (BABE! Show in Oakland). I'll be seeing Bob Burkett this weekend, he will be driving down for the show and I offered him a stay at my hotel. He's been having some pretty serious health problems here recently and I've been very worried about him. It will be nice to see him and find out how things have improved since I've last talked to him.

Anyone who hasn't read Don Quixote, I suggest it to you. I am still near the beginning because it is almost a thousand pages long, if not more. But even so far, I have taken a message from it that is profound beyond description. The best I can do is this: Once an individual has discovered his potential, he is obligated to it. The realization itself binds you to the deed.

But maybe I'm just reading into it more than I should....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

back from mn, leaving today for nyc

great show this past weekend in minneapolis! lots of people came out and we did really well. the new faeries (silver body, shibuichi wings on cynthia's blog and holly black's site) sold really well! i got rid of 3 or 4 of them!
now we're busting ourselves in the garage on this fusion beads (in seattle) custom job. they're celebrating their fifteenth anniversary on nov. 1, so we're casting a silver coin with their logo for them. tony's out there right now making all the waxes while I slowly tree them and prepare them for casting.
i've been reading a lot of Eliphas Levi recently.... right now i'm engrossed in "Mysteries of Magic", which is more or less just a digest of several of his writings. From his list of 22 axioms, here are a couple I enjoy:

Axiom 1: Nothing can resist the will of man when he knows what is true and wills what is good.

Axiom 3: To will what is good with violence is to will evil, for violence produces disorder and disorder produces evil.

Axiom 12: To affirm and will what ought to be is to create; to affirm and will what should not be is to destroy.

Axiom 20: An iron chain is less difficult to burst than a chain of flowers.

Axiom 21: Succeed in not fearing the lion, and the lion will be afraid of you. Say to suffering- "I will that thou shalt become a pleasure," when it will prove to be such, and more even than a pleasure, for it will be a blessing.

food for thought........

Thursday, October 18, 2007

heading to minneapolis, mn for show...

so i'm getting ready now for the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar this weekend...
going alone, so I'll just read and draw all weekend. I'm so inspired by FaerieCon! I'm hoping to have some prints of my own work next year.
and my book and the blog story and everything... i'm probably trying to do too many things at once, but it never hurt me before.
oh well... here is a link to the show this weekend:

the new dark crystal flute I made for the show...

this one i made with ApoxieSculpt. It is obviously much more like the one in the movie than the bamboo version I made last december. (earlier post on this blog).

It sounds good, too. I played it while I walked down the stage during the costume contest. I had to figure out some tunes that sounded good on it, because it isn't in key at all.

but I'm planning on making another one very soon that is in key and is mass-producable. we've been discussing a new website around here where we can sell all our cool, magical non-jewelry wares and possibly do a show in the future...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

with Brian Froud, Theo and Holly Black!

Meeting Brian was the highlight of my weekend! He is so nice and signed five of my books with little drawings and everything! He loved my costume and we got to talk art and design for awhile at the show and at the ball at night. My costume award was one of his posters signed in pencil!

What a great time. I met a lot of really cool people and can't wait to go back next year! I must include another photo of me with Theo and Holly Black (she wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles). I really hit it off with Theo and hope to spend more time with them in the future. He's so cool. When I got back he sent me links to several websites he works on (including Holly's) where he put up images of our beads! (here is a link to her site:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Me at Faeriecon as Jen!

and I won the contest for men, too! thanks to wiesel's awesome sewing ability and the nifty ears.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Part Seven - The Cave

Turstin watched as the goblins descended, two by two, into the cavernous opening beneath the tree. When all but four of the goblins had disappeared into the secret cave, the goblin leader motioned for Turstin and his master to follow them into the abyss. Turstin was hesitant with his movements, but the wizard walked forward determined, unafraid, eager to join the wretched party.

“I don’t want to go,” Turstin spoke quickly.

“Quiet,” his master said, and held his hand in front of Turstin’s face for silence. Turstin tried to speak, to voice his concern for their apparent demise, but the words became stuck in his throat.

The wizard sat on the ground in front of the tree and rolled onto his belly, grasping the gnarled rope. As he slowly disappeared into the trees’ base, he kept a solid stare on Turstin, who imagined his master being eaten alive by the sylvan beast. The thought put Turstin in mind of his own hunger and he shook with desperation.

“Get in there, you,” the goblin leader grunted and poked Turstin with his rusty old spear. Turstin buckled, convinced the jab had drawn blood, and held his side as he fell to his knees. The goblin leader and one of his kin hobbled toward Turstin and picked him up from under his arms. Without concern for his wound they dragged him toward the tree and shoved him mercilessly into the cavernous hole.

All was black to Turstin’s eyes as he slid into the opening, and after a few seconds he felt a number of hands grab him and pull him forward. When the hands let go, Turstin fell several feet into a pile on the soft, mushy dirt. He pushed himself up into a sitting position and tried to look around, but the impact with the ground had skewed his vision, blinding him temporarily. “Get up, you little weakling,” a gruff voice demanded. Turstin glanced up, expecting to see one of the goblins grimacing down at him: but his heart fell in his stomach when he saw the contorted face of the Great Andolian Wizard looking at him with disgust and disappointment.

“Can you try to compose yourself?” the wizard prodded.

Turstin stood wearily and took in a deep breath, desperate to dispel his master’s poor impression.

“I’m okay,” he said. “I’m sorry. I had the wind knocked out of me.”

“Fine,” the wizard said. “Just stay behind me and try not to let your emotions get the best of you.”

Turstin stepped forward, tensing his muscles and forcing himself to breath with steady inhalations. A crash behind him grabbed his attention, and he was able to dodge out of the way just before the Greust leader and his companion came tumbling down behind him.

“Out of my way,” the leader yelled, and kicked Turstin in the shins before pushing his way through. “Just two more left and we can move on toward the dungeons.”

“Dungeons?” Turstin winced. “They’re not taking us to dungeons, are they, master?”

The Andolian wizard laughed, and tried to cross his bound hands across his chest. The action reminded him of his situation and he allowed his arms to fall to their original positions.

“Did you think our confinements would be elaborate?” the wizard chuckled. “No, we won’t be treated as kings, my little friend. Be prepared for a struggle.”

The goblin leader pushed his way past the Greust standing before them and waved his arm for the group to follow. As Turstin passed, the goblin leader caught his eye and smiled at him. “We have a special place for you, my prince. Would you like something dark and dusty, or would you prefer something damp and moldy?”

Turstin tried to ignore the goblins’ jeers, but the idea of confinement terrified him. He looked to the ground as his captors edged him forward, and before he glanced up again the sound of clanking bars and locks filled his ears. The room in which he was trapped wasn’t big enough to lie down in.

“Master?” Turstin called. “Master, can you hear me?” Turstin listened closely for an answer, but none ever came.

“He’s gone,” a goblin replied. “You’re on your own now.”

Monday, August 20, 2007

Part Six - The Tree

Turstin remained close to the wizard, bound by a single, thick rope stretching from his belly to the wizards’ back. He stared at the ground, watching his master’s heels as they popped out from beneath the elaborate Andolian robe. Once the wizard had stopped prodding the Greust leader with questionable statements about their current goblin politics, the rest of the ambushing party had calmed down and the only sound Turstin could hear in the forest other than an occasional hoot owl were his own footsteps; everyone else, it seemed, had perfected the fine art of Inaudible Maneuverability.

As he staggered along clumsily, Turstin was terrified by the thought of what may happen in the hours to come, twisting his hands in their binds as he imagined being subjected to unspeakable tortures for the sheer pleasure of his captors. His irritation grew as the goblin behind him continued to prod him hard in the back with its massive mauling club, but Turstin tried his best to ignore it. Besides, nothing really dampened the excitement he felt deep inside at being the assistant to the Great Wizard of the Andolian Draugh! Had he known this, he thought, he would have conversed much differently with the wizard when they sat at the campfire. The members of the Draugh are quite famous, he had heard many times before, always the topic of conversation among eager school boys and in the work yards. The Draugh were renowned for their immense power and involvement in almost all of the major events of recent history. The wizard, above all, maintained an unshakable reputation for his strength and knowledge among the people of the local villages. His shoes and clothes are beautiful, Turstin thought, and it was at this moment when the desire to truly follow this master of magic and wisdom began to grow and glow and swell inside Turstins’ heart.

The wizard suddenly halted, and Turstin nearly ran into him. Looking around, Turstin noticed all the goblins had stopped; the Greust were standing in a half-circle, facing a towering, old oak tree with large, entangled branches hanging down to touch it’s dead leaves that covered the ground. The goblin leader produced a long portion of rope from his side bag and threw the majority of it toward the tree while grasping one end. The rope flew easily over a thick, sturdy branch and the goblin quickly brought the two ends together to tie them. Turstin nearly fainted, envisioning the noose that would suffocate the life out of him, and shuffled with eager steps to position himself behind the wizard. Will he allow this?, Turstin thought, and prayed to whatever god would listen for his master to use some of that famous Andolian thaumaturgy to save them now.

“Are we going to die?” Turstin asked, staring wide-eyed at the wizard.

“I don’t know, actually. I can’t see very much out here, and they certainly are sneaking around a great deal,” the wizard answered nonchalantly, and through a small prestidigitation with his left hand he illuminated the area with golden light.

The Greust leader spun toward the wizard, jingling with charms and keepsakes that hung from his beard and belt. He was furious, swinging his spear around to jab the wizard in the chest. “Put it out, or I’ll have you on a spit,” the goblin grunted, and grimaced from the wizard to Turstin.

“What are we doing here, little one? Is this to be our end?” The wizard looked at Turstin briefly and grinned.

“What? Here?” the goblin chuckled and raised his arm to point toward the tree. “No, you great lummox, I can’t be having my way with you... your destiny is for Kreuch to decide.”

The goblin leader turned away from the prisoners and scuttled toward the tree. Taking the rope in his hand he turned to the wizard and said, “Oh well, I guess you can keep your pretty little lights, doesn’t matter much now anyway.” He got down on his knees at the base of the tree and shoved his fist with one end of the rope into the ground. A sudden jerk yanked the rope out of the leaders’ hand and he fell backward, letting out a small yelp as he rolled onto his behind. The other goblins laughed and the leader chortled, “Ah, gets me every time,” before regaining his stance and turning in a full circle to address the entire company: “Two at a time, now, and don’t forget to tug when you’re through.”

A cracking and tearing sound the likes of which Turstin had never heard in his worst nightmares issued from the base of the great oak. He watched in horror as the trunk split and shifted and lifted from the dirt, exposing a large opening to what appeared to be an infinite blackness, lonelier and more terrifying than the furthest reaches of space.

“Dreth, Yurgun, you first,” the leader grunted as he pointed to the two goblins who had obtained the wizards’ shoulder bag. “Litlur, Grot, you’re next.”

The wizard crossed his arms over his chest and took in a deep breath. He smiled, pursing his lips as he said, “So this is the entrance to Kreuch’s kingdom, huh? I’ll have to remember this.”

“Doubt it,” the goblin answered quickly. “You’d be lucky to live through the night. How else do you think we’ve kept it secret this long?”

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Part Five - The Token

Turstin hurried as he dressed under the close watch of the goblins, worried one may lose patience and let go an arrow. The wizard was obviously the grand prize, he thought, and the goblins were known for their lack of compassion; they could easily justify leaving a useless apprentice behind if it meant accomplishing their mission with less obstacles and more efficiency.

The wizard was annoyed, watching the Greust quickly gather all of his and Turstin’s belongings into a grimy burlap bag. One of the goblins reached toward the wizard and grabbed the bulk of his shoulder bag, pulling it away as though trying to tear it free. As soon as the wizard grabbed the strap and pulled it away from the little monster, two of the creatures’ horrid companions joined in on the struggle and nearly yanked the wizard off balance. In an instant, a long handled blade cut through an opening below the wizards’ elbow and separated the bag from his hold, sending him backward over a goblin that had been hunched down on all fours, waiting behind its victim’s wobbly legs. Turstin gasped, lunged toward his master and helped him to sit up. The wizard was livid, staring with burning embers at the goblin gloating over the shoulder pack.

“Take me to your king Hiulir. He will not tolerate this sort of treatment toward a member of the Andolian Draugh. I only spare you now because I respect his hierarchy in goblin matters,” the wizard stated quite frankly while he stood, slowly regaining his balance and composure in the midst of his captors.

“A member of the Andolian Draugh? Ha, ha, ha…. What luck,” said the goblin leader. Turstin looked to the wizard and received a silent warning: the look on the master’s face told him to keep quiet for fear of the goblin’s discovering their true purpose. The goblin leader pointed toward the Greust with the wizards’ shoulder bag and instructed them to search it. One of the goblins reached inside and pulled out the only object in the bag, a large metal disk. He discarded the empty bag on the ground and handed the disk to his commander.

“A Draugh token? I should have expected this,” the leader chuckled. He walked to the other side of the fire and picked up the empty shoulder bag. “This token hides the contents of the bag… there could be anything in here. Better hold on to it…. Khreuch has ways of finding things protected by these spells…”

The wizard stumbled forward and spoke loudly; Turstin could sense the desperation in his voice. “Krueuch? Why would you have anything to do with that old bastard of a Greust?”

“Watch it," the goblin mumbled. "Kreuch doesn’t take to insults very kindly, and I’m sworn to an oath. I mean, I understand that he can be hard sometimes,… but he’s in charge, see? Not much choice in the matter.”

“Take me to Hiulir. He holds command over the regions,” the wizard insisted.

“Dead,” said the goblin matter-of-factly. “Overthrown. Kreuch is in charge now.”

The wizard smiled and held his arms forward, wrists upward, made available to bind if the goblins so wished. “I will go with you to see Kreuch," the wizard offered. Turstin was surprised, terrified, wondering what could have possessed the Great Wizard of the Draugh to submit to the goblins so readily. “I look forward to it, actually. I’m not so sure he fully understands the importance of such matters, and it would be good for us all if I were to educate him on a thing or two.”

Several members of the Greust mumbled incoherently and moved forward with pointed spears. The leader grinned and motioned for the wizard and his apprentice to be bound.

Within moments Turstin and his master were tied up around the torso, slowly shuffling forward as the goblins pushed them away from the dying campfire. The wizard continued to smile as though pleased with himself. He cleared his throat and announced, “I’m sure Eliades will be less than pleased with Kreuch when she hears about this, but you’ve given her no choice.”

Silence fell over the group. Every goblin stopped and spun where he stood, grimacing at the wizard, salivating as though eager to dismember him on the spot. “What do you know of Eliades?” the goblin leader grunted. “You’re just digging yourself in deeper and deeper, you old damn fool. The Greatest of Fires belongs to us, and no one but the Greust controls it.”

“We’ll see about that,” the wizard chortled. The goblin leader glared angrily at the wizard, but was ignored. “You know what time it is, my little friend. The Rekindling is upon us.”

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Part Four - The Fire

Turstin sat cross-legged with his back against a rock, covering himself with the wizard’s traveling cloak, shivering and glancing nervously from left to right and back again. The wizard perched atop a small boulder several feet above ground, looking through the large, blazing fire at Turstin’s face, studying him indiscriminately.

A snap somewhere in the surrounding darkness stole Turstin’s attention. He stared wide-eyed into the bushes for just a short moment before forcing himself to look away, trying desperately to compose himself on behalf of the wizard’s insufferable scrutiny.

Suddenly, a terrible urge pulled on Turstin’s mind, one that was contrary to his very demeanor while in the presence of his master ever since the day they first met. Turstin had never once looked directly into the wizard’s eyes, more out of respect than fear; but now fear took control of him as he struggled against what felt like a gigantic invisible hand cupping the top of his head, turning it slowly toward the ominous figure on the rock. He clenched and pushed against it, tried to squeeze his eyelids shut and grabbed hard onto his knees as he fought and tried to resist. Only a few seconds later, the wizard had a firm hold on Turstin’s entire visual scope, but let go soon after they made eye contact. Turstin did not break this connection, though he could have; the urge to resist had been miraculously transformed into an urge to never look away.

The wizard was beaming, smiling at Turstin as would a proud father. Turstin immediately felt comforted, relaxed and strangely invincible while in his master’s vicinity. The wizard leaned forward and Turstin heard a soft noise emanate toward him; the sound became words that floated on the air, but the wizard’s old gray face never moved.

“Be afraid of nothing. We are perfectly safe in these woods.” The crackle of the fire burnt the sound away as a large teetering log atop the roaring heap cracked in two and rolled into the surrounding rocks.

“I understand,” muttered Turstin, embarrassed, but then turned quickly to his right when another snap in the darkness seized his notice. He wanted to giggle at the absurdity of his nerves, but withheld as he shook his head exhaustedly and looked back toward the wizard.

“Why did you submit to me for this journey?” the wizard asked him suddenly, returning to normal speech. Turstin was taken aback, flustered and sickened by all the constant changes in mood, but found comfort in the fact that his master was at least still smiling. He sputtered before answering timidly:

“Well, um… I didn’t exactly know what this whole thing was about, and I just heard in town that you were looking for assistance, and I know I can carry stuff and help you with most of your basic traveling needs, so I submitted… more to the pressure of my mother than anything.”

“You heard nothing of the details?”

“Well, not before we left. I mean, you said something earlier about some great fire and the idleness of fortunate people and something else…," Turstin mumbled, feeling uneasy at the inconsistency of the wizard’s glowing, kindly attitude versus the subject matter of his prying questions.

The wizard detected Turstin’s uneasiness and said smoothly, “You seem to have no knowledge or even… interest in magic at all. It was my intention to train someone in my craft... but unfortunately you were the only person who submitted for……” and the words stopped.

“Oh, I’m definitely interested!” Turstin said with bold enthusiasm. “I don’t know anything about it at all, but I’m all ears if you... well, if you would have me.” Turstin hoped for an equally excited response from the wizard, but the old man said nothing. Turstin sat back and sighed.

The wizard continued to stare straight ahead, unmoving. After several awkward seconds, Turstin moved slightly to his left, noticing that his master’s gaze did not follow; the wizard’s eyes squinted as the smile left his face. Turstin leaned to brace himself on his elbow and turned completely around to see what his master was looking at; a small gasp escaped him as he realized he was staring straight down the shaft of a crooked, jagged arrow and up into the eyes of the ugliest creature he had ever seen or could have imagined.

The nasty, festering ball of flesh grunted and chortled, “Well, I see... come on, Greust, stand up...” and the woods seemed to Turstin to be suddenly infested with a whole army of hideous creatures like the one standing before him, all bearing worn, partially broken weapons. Turstin wrapped the wizard’s cloak around his shoulders more tightly and shuffled away from the troll-ish monster, staring at the wizard accusingly. The wizard glanced at Turstin and blinked, slowly opening his mouth.

“So what?” he said. “I can be wrong about some things too, you know.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Part Three - The Bridge

The towering monstrosity stumbled backward, away from the wizard. He knew he was bound to whatever task the wizard may demand of him, however dangerous or tedious. Anger bubbled along the sedimentary muscles that formed his hideous face, casting dust where wrinkles crushed together. In a swift motion, his right arm swung upward along his waist, pounding its fist thunderously into the left palm, breaking finger pieces into shards that fell in low thuds to the ground. Turstin lifted his left arm to shield his face and leaned the staff in front of the wizard as a way of protecting the old man. The wizard calmly batted the staff from obstructing his view and looked pitifully at Turstin.

The creature lunged and pitched forward, thrusting his arms toward the river. In a moment, several other rocks lying about began to grumble, crack apart, shift and lift into malformed structures resembling enormous men. Dazed and drunk with sleep, they tumbled about as they stretched their legs and struggled to maintain balance. One stood quickly to straighten his back and reach toward the stars, but leaned back too far. Toppling into one of his confused comrades, his spine broke in the middle and his torso fell in an avalanche; the two figures crumbled together in groans and rolled about until the pebbled pieces lay lifeless in the sand.

By now, the Magician had lost his patience: he made an obscure sign with his left hand and directed it toward the original creature. Without a sound, the leader and his five remaining kin began to move toward the water. They waded in formation, one after the other, until a fine line of stepping stones began to form along the tops of their jagged heads. Turstin looked to the wizard for instruction and received an invitation to lead. “No, no... after you, please,” he said with a shudder.

The wizard whisked to the shore and jumped solidly from one rock to the next. He looked over his shoulder at Turstin and beckoned with a short wave. Turstin quickly tightened his pack straps and belt and held his staff aloft as he followed, hopping to the first rock successfully. He jumped for the second rock but slipped on its slimy surface, cracking his shin on the monster’s shoulder and creating an uneven splash as he fell sideways into the water. The unfortunate creature turned away from Turstin and brushed the boy’s kicking feet from his back, sending Turstin helplessly on his own.

The magician chuckled from the opposite shore and said, “Well, there’s no use now, my fine gentlemen. I thank you for your assistance. You are freed.” The stone monsters immediately disbanded, some wading off to the shore, some simply sinking into the murky water and out of sight. “Come on now, Turstin. Let’s get you out of those wet clothes and next to a warm fire.” The wizard smiled, put his hands together and walked into the woods.

Turstin was annoyed with his master’s lack of assistance, but felt more comfortable in the water than atop the cracking heads of the rock men. Holding his staff above his head, he trudged cautiously to the shore and was wringing out his clothes when the magician returned with wood and kindling.

“You can hang your clothes to dry on this,” the wizard said as he handed Turstin three sticks. “Stand two of them in the sand and lay the third across them.” Turstin quickly did as he was told, trying to watch with great interest as the wizard built a pyramid with the sticks.

“It is love that brings fire,” the master announced. “It is the union of wood with wood.” And in the same way as Turstin himself would have done, the wizard piled old, dry leaves around a flat log and spun a stick in one of it’s divots until smoke began to thicken the air.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Magic Lamp (a new squirrelbirds song)

Rub this magic lamp three times; a genie will appear.
His skin is red, his hair is black, his eyes are crystal clear.
He will look into your heart to find what you desire;
a brand new car or peace on earth or wealth when you retire.

Make sure you word your wishes well.
Listen here, my boy….
Make sure you word your wishes well.

Those were the words the old man said to me today;
after handing me the lamp, he laughed and danced away.
I held it to my face and gazed into its mirror shine.
A greedy voice inside my head said, “Finally it’s mine.”

I thought about the things that I could use.
I said, “Forget that dumb old man”
and thought about the things that I could use.

I studied it suspiciously and rubbed it on my cloak;
it shook and jerked and issued forth a blinding cloud of smoke.
The genie floated on the air and bowed his head to me,
then offered up his wizardry to grant me wishes three.

What an amazing opportunity!
I told myself don’t screw up
such an awesome opportunity.

I wished to see an end to all the pain and poverty,
I wished to see an end to all the woe and agony,
I wished to see the world become a better place to be.
The genie smiled and spread his arms and granted them to me!

Approaching me benignly, he embraced me…
then reached his hand inside my heart
and stole my life away.

As I lie here dying, I now realize my mistake:
every wish I asked him for was phrased for my own sake.
He took away my life to make me blind to everything,
to all the pain and all the woe and all the misery.

The Squirrelbirds at their first gig!!!

Steve and I played the open-mic at the Dripolator here in Asheville last night and they offered us a gig the first friday night of September!

So if you're around, come see us!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Part Two - The Light

Turstin, the apprentice, pushed his way through the dense brush, continually snagged by the sharp, bristly branches of the surrounding pines. An attempt to free his pack strap from a jutting thorn bush spun him around; the struggle left him at a loss of both breath and direction. Turstin’s heart quickened as he realized he could no longer hear the footsteps or occasional scolding of his master.

“Lord, I have lost sight of you! Where are you?” Turstin braced himself on a rotten, old fallen tree trunk. The softness of its decaying splinters put Turstin in mind of thick, matted hair. He withdrew his hand quickly and held it out for balance, perching precariously on a large, uneven rock.

“ASTAVES SYLVANIE EDULAMIN!” his master called. The great booming voice of the magnificent seer overwhelmed the forest ambiance, sending several of its nocturnal creatures into an uproar. Squirrels skirmished up into the branches, raccoons hurried beneath low bushes and a frenzied flock of birds burst into the air in a moment of alarm.

A soft glow appeared, permeating the blackness of the dense growth, illuminating the surrounding area as if it were bathed in midday light. The apprentice shielded his eyes until they adjusted to the growing radiance. All was white to his eyes, yet they remained open and unburned. The master’s silhouette slowly darkened into view, standing directly ahead of Turstin. He floated on the light as would an angel delivering blessed tidings.

“Come to me,” the master urged. “Pay no mind to your steps.” Turstin walked with confidence toward his master without ever taking his eyes off his goal. The light dimmed as he neared the wizard, and the surrounding darkness had completely enveloped them by the time they reconnected. Turstin forced his breathing to slow into a soothing pace as a soft breeze caught his hair, cooling both his face and temperament. He turned toward the wind to take in the fresh air and found himself facing a large, wide river.

“We need to cross,” said the wizard. He stood for a long time with his eyes closed, entangling his hands into various formations. Turstin shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he waited for instruction.

After some time, the wizard opened his eyes and walked toward a large, nearby stone. Kicking it with all his strength, he screamed into the night air: “EMOVA SEDIMENTIS EDA CONETRIS!”

A great rumbling issued from the rock and shook the earth deep beneath the sand. Turstin wobbled and braced himself on his mentor, grasping the wizards’ thin, bony arm. The stone broke and separated into large masses that moved individually and yet remained somehow connected, forming a grainy monstrosity that stood and bent beneath the sky like a hulking, human form. Turstin covered his ears to protect them from the intensity of the creatures wail.

The sound faded long after the stone man had finished his cries. He glared at the wizard and his apprentice before shaking, flexing and stomping thunderously toward them. “Why have you woken me?” he demanded.

The wizard leaned forward and patted his new friend’s shoulder tenderly. “You will help us,” he replied with a smile.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Part One - The Departure

On a cold, misty night outside of a tiny village, a small group of simple townsfolk stood gazing hopefully into the dark looming forest lining the main road. They watched with held breath as the local wizard and his apprentice slid down the overgrown slopes into the foreboding brush. All hearts and eyes were with them, supporting them, carrying them with their dreams of freedom and security.

The wizard stopped, turned and glared over his shoulder at the apprentice who stumbled behind him. "Back straight, one foot at a time. Learn to feel with your feet before completing each step. You will soon be able to achieve this in one fluid motion, and it will seem to any onlooker as instantaneous. TheVillage Mage should always maintain stable composure."

The apprentice listened to his master with an attentive ear, concentrating on each word. He closed his eyes and breathed in through his nose, inhaling the apple scent of crushed chamomile as his teacher skipped gently ahead of him across the blanket of flowers that covered the forest floor. He spread his fingers at his sides and tried to push the tinge of anxiety out of his throat, down through his body and into the ground.

The apprentice attempted to walk with confidence, but was tripped up by the nervousness in his feet. Losing his balance, he wobbled and grabbed for a nearby branch, calling to his master, "Where are we going, my Lord? What do we seek?"

The Great Wizard stopped again, his demeanor rich in patience and love. He blessed the night sky and prayed for Wisdom. "The One is disturbed," he explained. "A terrible force is consuming the minds of humankind. Consciousness has suffered a great loss in the battle against the Self. The Fire of Eliades must be rekindled to burn away the idleness of the fortunate." The apprentice closed his eyes, squeezing the words through a sieve in his mind, filtering the confusion from his thoughts. He opened his eyes wide and peered into the impenetrable darkness, hoping for a light to lead him. Finding none, he swallowed his fear and took a blind step forward into the great woodland abyss.

Friday, May 04, 2007

a song steve and i are working on, sort of goofy...

breathe in deep and hold your breath
don't think about the inevitability of death
close your eyes and clear your mind
don't let your selfish thoughts come sneaking up from behind

open up the channel in your spine
embrace the spirit up on high
and focus on the space between your eyes

once you've got pranayama down,
that's prana and asana sharing the same sound
some say it keeps you on your toes...
to take a glass of water and drink it through your nose.

sit in your meditative pose
make sure those beady eyes are closed
and suck that water up your nose

vivekananda says it hydrates your brain
cleans your pores and makes you more impervious to pain
keep drinking water through your nose every day
your hair will maintain luster and never turn to gray

if you succeed when you first try
without a whimper or a cry
then you're a better man than I

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Illustration Friday Submission, Pencil on Paper.

Friday, March 09, 2007

reflective perspective

Let me his heart's eye to suffer emotion
Let me his mind's eye to ponder devotion
Bless me away from subjective perspective
Blind me within so my view is objective

Friday, January 19, 2007

tucson quickly approaching...

working like crazy right now in preparation for the big shows.
made a lot of waxes yesterday and cynthia has cleaned them up already!
i'm going to tree the rest of them up today and hopefully be casting shibuichi tonight.

i'm looking forward to the trip, because we decided to drive this time. i like long road trips, gives me a lot of time to think about a story i've been working on for several months now. every time i drive, i add more to the story and write it all down when i get to a computer.

tj cleaned up the garage last night while i was sleeping. i couldn't believe how amazing it was! There is nothing like working in a super clean environment. It's very easy to concentrate on the task at hand.

back to work now... planning on making another 1500-1700 pewter beads within the next week. i've got tj and tim helping, so it just may be possible....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

steven tyler from aerosmith wearing green girl beads!

I was thrilled when a customer emailed this pic and the link to his blog, where he mentions the beads in the first paragraph:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

a spell for self love

Here is a thought to consider when feelings are hurt. It helps me find the source of the majority of my problems, not surprisingly:

Sometimes my heart is broken when honest words are spoken.
Sometimes my feelings shatter when words lack flirt or flatter.
Sometimes I am the source
of a negative discourse
when drowning in a sea of self-remorse.