I Wish It Would Snow

Frosty Footpath - winter snow by blmiers2 from FlickrThere’s a lot going on but the headline for this post is all I can concentrate on at the moment. This morning when I went out for coffee the clouds in the sky at the end of the street were that amazing shade of pink that only happens when it’s cold out. That’s nice and all but it’s almost Christmas and I want some freaking snow.

I also have to find a recipe for pecan pie that I can make in my parents’ kitchen, which is a landscape where the counters are always sparkling but things like salt can inextricably be missing and the non-stick pans are flaking off. It’s not exactly a kitchen for cooks.

I was going to discuss a set of ads I ran on Reddit today, but the ads started later than I expected, something I will no doubt discuss when I finally get my thoughts together to discuss advertising on Reddit.

For now I’m caught a little flat-footed with nothing to write about except the fact that I’m crazy excited to get some holiday cheer all up in this business.

Which is why it would be nice if *cough*IT WOULD SNOW*cough*.

But for now I’ll settle for anticipating seeing nieces and nephews and exchanging grab bag gifts and trying to make a pecan pie.

Your Holiday Guide to New York

I have tons of thoughts on marketing and writing and creating paintings with fans and stuff…but I had to get to dinner downtown last night and my cab ride took sixteen days because of traffic. And that doesn’t even make any sense.

Apparently it is time once again for my holiday guide to New York

Take heed, all you visitors to my fair city.


Seriously.  Please. It’s a tree.  Yes it’s actually quite pretty and yes it’s very large but you don’t understand what you’re doing when you go visit the stupid thing. The foot traffic around Rockefeller Center creates a chain reaction that snarls traffic up in all directions. I don’t want a bus ride across the park to take two hours just because you want to see some lights.

Look.  Here is the location of the tree:


Now here is my estimation of the area that becomes affected by congestion due to tree traffic:


Please don’t go near the tree. I’m sick of telling my cab drivers to take the long way through Nicaragua to avoid traffic when I’m trying to get across town.


Chinatown isn’t known for it’s fast moving foot traffic under the best of circumstances but during this time of year it becomes another thing entirely. Somehow all of humanity stopping and pointing at the little shops that sell weird toys and disgusting fruits manages to bend time or something so that I seriously think the foot traffic actually starts to move backwards. And if you’re in a car just forget about it.

You think I’m kidding?

Here is a shot of Chinatown in June:

Chinatown Dialogue

Just try to imagine it when it’s crowded with holiday traffic. Occasionally I like to go there and get dumplings with family this time of year. Off limits.


There is a bar in Murray Hill called Rolf’s. This is what Rolf’s looks like (this was taken with my phone so sorry for the quality):


You’re waiting for a punchline, aren’t you?

There isn’t one. Rolf’s is its own punchline. Around the holidays the owners go completely out of their minds and put up more decorations than, to be honest, the actual tree probably has. Rolf’s is known far and wide as the bar where Christmas goes to projectile vomit then die.

You may go to Rolf’s. The heat from the lights and the general creepiness of the dolls they hang up make it hard to last more than two beers there during the holidays.

Oh. Here are some of the dolls:


One year some of the dolls had mustaches.

Maybe lasting two beers would be stretching it.

Feel free to crowd into this place as, even if I do go there, I won’t be staying long.

Otherwise the rest of the bars are off limits.


Honestly. It’s closed or something. And they built a wall around the tree this year. Here look:


It’s bedlam.

Stay away.

If you want to you can gaze at this picture of the tree. That should satisfy:


It really is pretty, isn’t it? And when you catch a glimpse of it as you turn the corner and look down that long alley of evergreens and statues and then walk in close to where the skating rink is and smell the chestnut vendors…

God damn it.

Okay. You can come to see the tree.

Just, you know, try and keep it down while you’re here.

Madeline: The Most Powerful Being in the Universe

Last year for my fan art contest, Saher Imran submitted the following picture which made my heart explode with joy (technically this is from two years ago, the fan art contest was not held last year for various reasons).

Epp in the Cathedral by Saher Imran

Being utterly enamored with Saher’s work, when I contacted her to tell her that she had won the contest I also asked if she would be interested in doing any more paintings based on my book.

It turns out that she is a huge fan of my work as well and was very interested in working together on some more art. We chatted through some ideas and eventually I commissioned her to do an as-yet-undetermined-number of character portraits from the Matthew and Epp stories.

Who to work on first wasn’t even up for debate. She was dead-set on starting with Madeline. That was just fine with me.

A few days ago the final Madeline painting came in.

I have one major regret about this project. I regret that I don’t have a massive audience to share Saher’s amazing work with. It deserves more exposure than I can offer on my own. So please, if you know any other fans, possible fans, or anyone at all who loves stories told through paintings, pass the link along.

I just love this and I want as many eyes on it as possible.

And, of course, there will be more to come.

But for now I give you Madeline, the most powerful creature in the entire universe:

Madeline Artwork by Saher Imran