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Ursula Vernon
Attended Macalester College
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Ursula Vernon

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So a few weeks ago I got an unsolicited text for "Celebrity Gossip." I ignored it, assuming it was spam and under standard spammer rules, you don't let them know there's a warm body on the other end of the line.

Last night I get a text informing me that they have charged me $9.99 for their text messages. Kevin checked the bill, and sure enough, they've been billing me for a month. Never opted in, never replied, nothin'.

AT&T was awesome when I called, it was fast and painless and the rep was pissed on my behalf, they cancelled everything, blocked the texts, and set it up so nobody can do that to my phone now.

So that's awesome, but I'm still sure that's illegal behavior, and I kinda want to find the people involved and kick them in the head. If you get these texts, gang, call your phone company.
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OLD ARTIST DRAWS PAINTS EATS, REPEAT
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Ursula Vernon

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I can always tell when I'm trying to unpack after a con. I find myself wandering around unpacking something then getting distracted then going into the other room to get the thing that I needed for the one thing, but then starting that other thing that was in the other room, but wait, why is that one thing only half done?

Also, my tube of Titan Buff does not belong in the cashbox.
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It can be kind of an adventure, though. When you finally realise, months later, that you haven't unpacked everything and start hauling items out, sometimes you can find things you forgot you even owned! It's like an impromptu miniature birthday present!
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 ...and then she made the grim realization that she had sent 90% of the jumbo prints off to an art show in Texas some months previously, and now had exactly three prints for the con in one week.

If you need me, I'll be chained to the printer.
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"chained to the printer" - that needs to be a euphemism for something!
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Ursula Vernon

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In which I talk about that bit where you send them a draft and they send you back a lot of red ink and good ideas and you cry a lot and wonder why you didn't become a medical test subject and the book gets a lot better as a result.
Enough people made vaguely interested noises in the editing process that I thought I’d talk about it a bit. It’s definitely the tedious, grim, discouraging bit of the process, but it occurs to me that...
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These days I don't feel so precious about whacking out whole swathes of writing. I want the story to be good, not protect my ego. My ego will take care of itself when it realises I have written a good story.

I find young people (myself included when I was younger) bleed over the slightest change, then aren't bold enough in their editing. I tell people, if you're worried about cutting out that bit, put it in a file where it can be used in another story. You aren't really killing your babies, just finding the right nursery for them.
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Ursula Vernon

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KEVIN: You doing okay?
ME: Mm.
KEVIN: What's wrong?
ME: I have to illustrate Bread Wizard.
KEVIN: And....?
ME: I sorta thought by this time I'd be better at drawing humans.

I haven't even gotten edits back on the script yet, let alone said three words to the art director, and I'm already wishing I'd made all the characters gerbils.
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+James Kelley Since the book involves all the other wizards being dead, I dunno if he WANTS a cameo. He'd be a corpse.
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My mulch brings all the birds to the yard!

Also, mourning doves are very stupid and this will probably get eaten before I finish typing this. Seriously, it's like two feet from the bird feeder, on the ground.
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Somewhat smarter than a pigeon. Walked out of the house one day to find a splattered egg on the walk. No tree overhead, but there's a porch overhang. Our eyes travelled up the roofline to where the chimney was and there we saw a haphazard nest with one end hanging over the edge.

Pigeons: Not good at nesting, admirable at skeeball.
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Have her in circles
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Ursula Vernon

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Cooler and breezy today. Probably the last nice day until October, as it will hit 100 on Friday. Took advantage of it to sling a half-dozen wheelbarrows of mulch about. Suspect that from here on it, it's all watering, harvest, and hoping not to melt.
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Here in Seattle it's 57 - boyfriend and his coworkers have started referring to it as "Junuary".
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Back from the con, and have to get edits done NOW before my editor goes into labor. This is not a deadline I have ever had to work around before. I am torn between hoping that she doesn't go soon, and thinking that she'd probably like to Get It Over With Already.
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I wouldn't mind dead lines nearly as much if they did not use the word "dead".
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Mulched the big patch on the sideyard that had been lawn once and had fallen into wrack and ruin, by which I mean pigweed and ryegrass. It took a lot of burlap and about an hour and a half of wheelbarrow-and-pitchfork work, and I have saddened many spittlebugs, but it is now comprehensively smothered, which means I can actually get at the raspberries again. Also I found a hose. 

Sometime--probably next spring--I will decide that it is far too large an area to merely be mulched, and build an island bed in the middle of it. For now, however, it is no longer pumping weed seeds and deer ticks into the garden, and I can get through without donning hip boots, and that's a Good Thing. (Although I do regret traumatizing the spittlebugs.)
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Clearly, you need a donkey.  They will take care of the coyotes.  And likely keep the border collie in line, too.  Then you can have guineas!

I do understand though the strong prey tendency--I had a border collie/Australian shepherd/Queensland heeler.  Chasing things was his life.
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Ladies and gentlemen--HAMSTER PRINCESS is a go! Dial has picked up three books in the series!

They won't start coming out until 2015, so any small girls you may have interested in the adventures of the ferocious Princess Nibblemark and her riding-quail Mumfrey may possibly have aged out, but we'll hope not!

(OH GOD, SO RELIEVED...)
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EEEE! note in my Diary for 2015
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Ursula Vernon

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Canine Composition goes to e-bay!
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Hey, guess who finished the script for Book 9 of Dragonbreath and gets to work on her own stuff for almost ten whole minutes?
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Hurry up and finish book nine!!!!
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Have her in circles
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Work
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Writer & Illustrator
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Gender
Female
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Tagline
Author of "Dragonbreath," "Nurk," and the comic "Digger." Gardener. Artist. Creator of small oddities.
Education
  • Macalester College
    Anthropology, 1994 - 1998