Taking a break from writing the story I’m working on to announce that I have a logo! Like, a real one! Holy shit! This means I can get cards and mugs and shit made up, and have my invoices and sites with my actual logo instead of a blank space!

Isn’t it gorgeous???

I’ve been working on trying to do a logo for months on my own, but guess what! Just because one is an artist doesn’t mean that one is good at all kinds of art, and graphic design and associated work is just not something I’m good at. So, I decided to do the smart thing and throw money at a professional for it. Because I’m me, I prefer to work with local and/or indie businesses, and after poking around for a while, it turned out that I happen to know someone who fit the bill. Thus, a couple of weeks ago, I messaged RaigeMage Designs about hiring him. Got the final designs today (there’s the round one shown above and a square version, as well), and I really love it. He’s awesome to work with (seriously, he didn’t throttle me for being wildly unhelpful in articulating myself at times, and was able to interpret what I was looking for despite me forgetting where I put my own brain at times, which I think should qualify him for sainthood or something), checks in regularly, and has good rates (possibly lower than he should be asking, but I’m of the opinion that all indie artists undercharge ourselves). Definitely recommend him.

Forward Momentum

Apparently taking a few days to mope around and be melodramatic helped shake some stuff loose in my head. I’ll write something a bit longer in a bit, but for now, well, I figured out what the Smol Monsters are (not knowing was upsetting me and making it hard to draw or paint them). I figured out that I need to draw more trees. I figured out that I need to draw more trees, and Smol Monsters, and BIGGER. Like, a lot bigger.

Yeah, it’s a good start. I also need to practice drawing larger, since I’m used to working much smaller, and I need to get new paper (that’s just a sketchpad, not Serious Paper). Looks like I’ll be heading to the craft store today, too, once I dig the truck out.

Oh, and I officially started working with a graphic designer yesterday to get a logo made so I can do things like get actual cards printed and things. Yes, I’m an artist, but logo work is what I refer to as “outside my scope of practice” (yes, I did used to work in a health care field, how can you tell?), so I’m being smart and paying someone else who has that skill set for it. I am SUPER EXCITING to see what he comes up with!

Right now, though, off to run errands.


“Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 50?”

“Picture your ideal life…what does it look like?”

“What’s your goal for your….everything?”

“What do you mean you didn’t have your entire life planned out in crystalline detail and scheduled to the minute by the time you graduated kindergarten?”

Excuse me, I have to go lie down on the floor and have an existential meltdown; I don’t know if I’m having a second cup of coffee this morning and this failure of basic organizational planning skills may cause calamitous financial and structural ruin. It might also be known to cause cancer in the State of California, and I don’t know if that’s just California specifically or if I need to be concerned about this in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and I’m not caffeinated enough to deal with that level of responsibility this early in the morning.

“Art Is Always Political! Art Is About Passion And Deep Feelings And Grand World-Changing Insights! Anything Less Isn’t Art. (also, don’t expect to get paid for bringing meaning to the world, freeloader, get a real job)”

Can’t art just be for the sake of being? Why does it have to be load-bearing and responsible for the course of the world and all of history? Look, I’m a small, anxious mammal who can barely manage to be the god of my own immediate biosphere. I just want to share the random shiny things my magpie heart thought were neat, not be responsible for saving the world. Or destroying it, either, for that matter, because I guess that’s something else that artists are supposed to do?

“What do you DO?!?”

I…I don’t know? I lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling a lot? I look out the window and watch the wind walk through the trees like a great, unseen being passing by the small, soft animals of the woods, uncaring of schedules or the shifting quicksand of societal expectations, and wish I had wings to fly alongside it, even for just a moment. Sometimes I make pictures with a paste made from water and crushed up rock powder, or string bits of glass or shiny stones together. Sometimes I scratch small tales onto a bit of bark that I found while following a moth down a moonlit road because they made me smile. Sometimes I keep them, and sometimes I leave them lying around for others to find, and hope they make them smile, too. Sometimes someone finds them and takes my offerings and goes on their way. Sometimes they pause and leave a piece of shiny metal or brightly dyed fabric that I can trade to someone else for food. Sometimes they tell others where the offerings are, and they come and see, and maybe also leave a bit of metal or cloth for me to trade for food.

Most of the time, though, I worry that I’m not really an artist because I don’t write Deep Social Commentary and my art isn’t about Big Important Feelings and I forget that I poured a second cup of coffee and now it’s sitting on the counter, cooled to that annoying temperature where it tastes like ashes and now I have to decide if I’m going to make another cup before I go stare at a blank piece of paper and hope that today is one of the days where I can ignore the voices that whisper and gibber in my ear that I’m Not Real Enough and should change my name and run away to be a cashier at a rest stop gas station in the middle of the night with the other ghosts and liminal creatures…

An Ambiguous Mood In Images

While in NH recently, I stopped by my old ocean stomping grounds and took some photos. There’s a story in this series somewhere, though I haven’t quite found it yet. The sound of the waves and the reeds creaking in the sea breeze overlays them, and they, too, are part of the story…

Road Lore: Rattlesack Road

Colored woodcut print of Rattlesack Road

Rattlesack Road cuts through a marsh in northeastern Massachusetts, not far from the coast. Folks who live near it will tell you to stay out of the marsh and to avoid the road that cuts across it between sunset and sunrise. Most won’t say much more than that it’s a bad road, and leave it at that, but if pressed, there are some who will tell you it’s because of old Rattlesack Jack, who the road is named for.

Some say Jack’s a ghost, the spirit of some farmer who died badly out in the marsh. Some say his is a stolen story, reskinned over an older Indigenous tale, or historical recollection twisted out of recognition (not uncommon in New England, sadly). Others say he’s an urban legend told to scare off tourists, since the road serves as a shortcut to a local beach and year-round residents aren’t keen on having every possible road blocked up with traffic. Others still say that he’s something someone brought with them from the Old Country that made itself at home. Personally, I’m inclined toward the last, myself, given how similar the stories are to old Irish or Scottish tales of boggarts and bogles.

Conflicting origins aside, the tales are always the same, and have been for as long as anyone can remember. Local historians have found references to him in journals that date back as far as the old Colonies. Tales of traveling through the marsh after dark and having a horse throw a shoe, or a car breaking down, and hearing sounds like bones being rattled and laughter, or seeing a short, heavy-built man with long, spindly arms and legs watching them from the trees while they changed a flat tire, grinning and shaking a leather bag whose contents made a disturbing rattling sound at them until they hurried away. Even in the days of cellphones and cell towers everywhere, signal’s notoriously hard to come by in the marsh, making it all but impossible to reliably call for assistance if one finds oneself broken down, despite strong connection at either end of the road.

There are also darker tales and a centuries-long record of abandoned horses, wagons, and cars whose owners are rarely found again that’s higher than it should be for a road as out of the way as Rattlesack Road.

The thing with boggarts is that they aren’t always dangerous, generally speaking. Capricious and something to be careful of, sure, but not that much of a threat. However, giving them names? They don’t like that, and that’s when they turn malicious and become dangerous, and that sounds an awful lot like Rattlesack Jack.

(If you liked what you just read, please toss a few coins at your mostly friendly resident word-witch to help keep her little monsters fed!)

This Was Not The Post I’d Planned.

I’d originally planned to write a post about the new year and plans (or rather, vague guidelines, really), and all that, but instead I’m sitting in the waiting room of yet another emergency vet’s office, waiting to find out why Oisín vomited blood earlier this afternoon.

Burn incense to Bast or whatever works for you that my babies will stop getting sick. Not only do I really, really want my babies to be okay, I’m running out of money to pay for it all.

Back Online (sort of)

Well, the last week has been fun. Or no, not really. The massive winter storm that went across the continent on Friday knocked out our power for a few hours, but when it came back on, the internet did not. In theory, a tech will finally be coming out tomorrow to fix it, but we’ll see how that actually goes.

Of course this also happened just after I spent the better part of a week up at the Albatross House and am getting regular text notifications about showings, and generally having data burned like flash paper. Went over my limit a few days ago, which is awesome (she said, tone dripping with sarcasm).

Been needing to upgrade my data plan and phone for the last year, anyway, so now I have a new phone (Samsung S22 Ultra, because rebates and 100x zoom are an excellent pairing), and 5g with almost unlimited data, so I can get some things done now. Slowly, because typing on a phone, but better than nothing.

In celebration, here’s a photo of Púca being ridiculous the yesterday.

This Solstice Morning

The berries on the holly and the last of the summer’s wild cherries are glittering like candied fruit in the pale, thin sunlight this morning. It’s so cold that the frost is still covering everything, like the world has been dusted with powdered sugar, even though sunrise was hours ago. It is a beautiful Solstice morning, and while the afternoon will bring yet another vet appointment (Púca’s eye isn’t healing as well as it should be, even after a second round of treatment), in and around it, there will be soup and fresh bread for dinner, candles lit against the darkness, and stories enjoyed against the longest night.

Bodach is informing me that there will also be endless hours of throwing his favorite bone to chase, starting right now, so I guess I should go obey my furry overlord.

On Curses and Inherited Dead Albatrosses

I swear, I’m cursed. Or my dad was. Or that piece of shit house is. Either way, I think I need to find a good curse-breaker or exorcist or something. This has gone past the point of bullshit and into wondering whether or not there’s some sort of curse on my family line.

After spending several days and several more thousand dollars on junk removal services, at long last, the Albatross House went up for sale this morning. It was on the market for 5 whole hours before something else went catastrophically wrong. The very first potential buyer’s agent showed up to find part of the first floor ceiling had collapsed and water everywhere. They turned the breaker off and called my agent, who hauled ass over. I won’t have an idea what the fuck happened until tomorrow, when she can get someone over there to take a look at it. Thankfully the place is being sold as a teardown, because it’s been falling in on itself for years (seriously, the walls are cracked and none of the upstairs walls have attached to the ceiling in well over a decade), but come on. The last thing I needed to deal with tonight was a collapsing house in another state that couldn’t be arsed to just wait until it was someone else’s problem to deal with. Trying to explain to the electric company that no, really, please send someone over asap to shut the entire service off at the damned meter, while cooking dinner (because I was in the middle of cooking dinner when the agent called to tell me about the disaster), and get them to understand that yes, the house is up for sale, and no, after this no one is being allowed in because THE CEILING COLLAPSED AND THE PLACE IS UNSAFE, so we’re sure as hell not going to be turning the electricity on again, please just send someone to kill the power was not how I intended to spend my evening.

So yeah, the writing I’d started working on before this started, that I was planning to work on while making dinner, because I’d gone out and gotten a photo of the road I wanted to go with the story of Rattlesack Jack, finally? Didn’t get done, and now I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back to it, because that fucking house just will not stop doing everything in its power to prevent me from getting rid of it. It’s officially reached “malevolent entity” status.

I just want my life back, and to be free of that place. I’m so tired of constantly having my life eaten by my dad’s failure to take care of his shit.

Where Am I?

Apparently Twitter is going tits up at last, and since I can’t put a Where Am I Online post there anymore, it’s gonna have to go here, I guess. So, here’s the current list:

Mastodon: @Riversdaughter@mastodon.social

Tumblr: Primary (mostly not words, just whatever weird shit I feel like reblogging): theriversdaughter

Here related stuff with words and shit: trickstersroad (forthcoming)

Instagram: theriversdaughter

Ko-fi: trickstersroadstudio

There might end up being more, but that’s what I’ve got for now.

Fucking petulant rich children and their tantrums.