A Good Boy

One of my best friends passed away last Friday. He was fifteen and a half and I had known him his whole life. Tyrant (early on we had considered the name Scurvy) was an apricot-colored toy poodle who I had gifted to Kari-Lise for Christmas in 2005. (Being a whiny baby, he refused to sleep and ruined the surprise, but it was quickly forgiven.) He was a good boy.

Baby me with a baby Tyrant, Christmas 2005

He had been known by many names over the course of his life, Bub, Boo, Boo-bear, Shakes, Sweet Boy, the Mad King, My Heart, Monster, Little Man, and so many more. But always Tyrant, a name that he never lived up to. He loved unconditionally. He was kind, gentle, and intelligent. He rarely barked. His only dislike was crows and the outdoors, thinking of the latter only as “the bathroom” and wanting to spend very little time out there and away from the soft cushions of his perfect world.

Those who knew him, knew him as one of the chillest dogs ever to exist. He loved people and was always excited when meeting new laps. A perfect day for him was one spent at anyone’s side—he wasn’t picky. As long as a few simple needs were met, he was content. Being near humans was the height of Tyrant-satisfaction.

He was, throughout his life, a companion in creativity. Tyrant never missed a day to snooze supportively as Kari-Lise painted in her studio. He also spent years cuddled between the back of my office chair and my butt, again snoozing, as I wrote a great many stories, a few of which became novels. A Muse, one’s heart, and always a friend. I’m grateful for the years he gave us. If there was a silver lining to the COVID pandemic it was that we got to spend so much time with him in his final year. Moments and cuddles we will always cherish.

It’s been hard to say goodbye. The last few days have felt surreal. I keep expecting him to waddle around a corner looking for treats, cuddles, pets, or to come into my office and demand chair time or just crash out on the floor. The absence is heartbreaking.

Tyrant, thank you for enriching my life. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for showing me the deepest kind of love for over fifteen years. I know the last year had been difficult for you, but I selfishly wish it could had been fifteen more. You were the goodest of boys. I’m going to miss you. While it hurts so much now, in the paraphrased words of Wilson Rawls, “You’re worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.”

Defender of the house

Korean Artist Beautifully Illustrates What Real Love Looks Like

Friday Link Pack 05/08/2015

Happy Friday! It’s time to share a few links I’ve found over the last few days. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Let’s get to it…

Writing:

According To The Dictionary, “Literally” Now Also Means “Figuratively”
Language evolves, whether we like it or not. [Thanks to Dave for sharing this.]

So You Want To Use Song Lyrics In Your Novel?
While song titles can’t be copyrighted, lyrics can. Anne R. Allen gives you five clear steps for acquiring the rights to use lyrics within your writing.

Lola Landekic on designing the cover for Where Did You Sleep Last Night
My editor, Lola Landekic, is also a very talented illustrator. In this interview, she gives some insight into her process for the cover design of Lynn Crosbie’s Cobain–inspired novel Where Did You Sleep Last Night. Lola goes into detail on the illustration itself to the custom lettering work to the color choice. It’s a beautiful cover and awesome to get the insight behind the work. Good stuff.

Spellbind Your Readers With Realistic Magic
So you’re writing your fantasy novel. How do you make your made-up magic system feel more real? In her article for Writers Helping Writers author Tal Valante shares some advice to make your magic feel alive.

200 More
I recently (as of Wednesday) hit the four-hundredth post on my blog. In this post I reminiscence a little and reflect over the last two-hundred.

Art:

Korean Artist Beautifully Illustrates What Real Love Looks Like
I love these sweet little illustrations by Puuung. Small touching moments rendered beautifully. Each tells its own story. [Thanks to Stalara for sharing.]

I See Music Because I Have Synesthesia, So I Decided To Paint What I Hear
Painter Melissa McCracken is a synesthete. When she hears music it comes to her in a variety of colors. Instead of trying to describe what she sees she has decided to paint it instead. The results are fascinating.

Random:

Mastering The Art Of The Haterbrag
I debated posting this under Writing or here. Ended up here. Basically, Jennifer Weiner is the coolest. (Make sure you watch the video if you have time.)

A Blueprint For Your Digital Afterlife
We all know that we’re going to die someday. But what happens to our digital life after we’re gone? As the internet gets older and more and more of our life ends up online these are things we all need to start considering.

Bloodborne And H.P. Lovecraft (Spoilers!) [VIDEO]
I’m not much of a gamer anymore. But I have been following a lot of the plot for From Software’s Bloodborne. The heavy Lovecraftian elements are a huge draw (and the stunning art direction.) In this video Super Bunnyhop explores the connections between Bloodborne and Lovecraftian fiction.

Random Wikipedia Article of the Week:

Old Man Of The Lake
“The Old Man of the Lake is a 30-foot (9 m) tall tree stump, most likely a hemlock, that has been bobbing vertically in Oregon’s Crater Lake since at least 1896.

At the waterline, the stump is about 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter and stands approximately 4 feet (120 cm) above the water. Its surface has been bleached white by the elements. The exposed end of the floating tree is splintered and worn but wide and buoyant enough to support a person’s weight.”

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Poe-et’s Nightmare
“Lucullus Languish, student of the skies,
And connoisseur of rarebits and mince pies,
A bard by choice, a grocer’s clerk by trade,
(Grown pessimist thro’ honours long delay’d),
A secret yearning bore, that he might shine
In breathing numbers, and in song divine.”

Gif of the Week:

the dogs must be crazy