Still in sort of creative shut down mode following the Con. I mean, I can paint, but it’s a mechanical process–this is the nuts and bolts, not the mad jag of inspiration. Painting digitally for me is not unlike driving a car now, a sort of hard-wired skill that I only need to be marginally present for. My brain shows up for the turns and the color changes and any tricky bits, but my hand, eye, and hindbrain are fully capable of doing the gruntwork while my forebrain lounges about the skull with the good-natured feebleness of a patient recovering from illness. The Muse is convalescing.

It twitches now and again–there’s a rather intriguing gearworld sketch I tossed off a few hours ago–but I am definitely not up to spending the evening painting for another few days, so I picked up a coupla books. And I’m in a mood for science writing.

I’ve nearly finished reading “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” which was fascinating and extremely funny. I love the fact that bodysnatchers were called “Resurrection Men.” Facts like that are like little pearls. (And in ancient Egypt, eyeballs, which tend to more or less dwindle away after death, were replaced with pearl onions to plump out the eye sockets.)

“James!” I said. “Donate my body to science!” (Having learned what exactly will happen to said body, I am not at all deterred, despite the occasionally trivial seeming uses, like practicing cosmetic surgery, that the human body can be put to.)

“Okay,” said James.

“Do you want to be donated to science, or cremated?” I persisted.

James got about a syllable and a half into “Surprise me” and stopped. There was a brief pause. “Cremation’s probably good,” he said. I have no idea what goes on behind his eyes at moments like this, but possibly he was having horrible visions of being made into fertilizer for Purina Wombat Grass or being used to train a legion of attack capybaras to crave flesh. I figured it was probably polite not to ask. James trusts me, but being a wise man, he trusts me to be myself, and this is inherently somewhat unpredictable and prone to strange behavior. “Surprise me” was probably too much of a blank check.

Anyway, good book, recommend it highly. The author is Mary Roach.

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