Inspired by an upcoming visit to the Montreal Otakuthon Dollfest, I finally got my ass in gear and finished Delmar. She is the top half of a Leekeworld Little Mermaid. Her fat little butt + tail I commissioned from @pandorkful who made it out of wool. She also put an armature in it so that Delmar can either sit reasonably well or lie down. Either way, the tail provides a drastic improvement over the resin one that she came with. I only need to make one improvement. Because her tail is lightweight felt, she does not sit well against propped against something. I need to weight her tail to keep her upright better.
All of them, as of 06/27/2017.
Tags denoting which universe dolls belong to are as follows:
- [No tag: Not assigned to any universe.]
- Bug[s] me: my universe.
- LHF: Love Has Fangs.
- M3: Me and My Muses.
- SciAdv: Julian the Scientific Adventuress.
- Shalkaverse: Scream of the Shalka.
Chapter 17 ends with a kiss.
Yessssss, two of my most poseable 1:6 scale figures can actually frickin’ touch each other. I sure wish that the Triad Alpha had as much range of motion as the Pop Toys/HT/whatever body. My characters apparently need to look down a lot.
Polly and I went out this morning along the Burlington [Vermont] bike path. At long last, she sat on the edge of her home waters!
Alison and the Master talk interior design. Scintilla, the Master’s TARDIS, butts in. Set is from the Mattel She-Ra doll box. Continue reading Shalka dorks presenting interior decoration
Doll lovers from Montreal came to the BEACH PARTY themed meetup! The gang from house Rainbow Barf [Jujube, Jeff, Dorothy, and Honorine] represented my small populations. Pics on official blog.
The Master argues with Alison. As usual, he loses. You think he’d know better by now. 😛
Isabel and Barrett visit her favorite place. No, not the morgue.
- Spring Fire by Vin Packer [book review]. Published in Out in the Mountains, October 2004.
- Page Turners [various short book reviews, credited as Elizabeth A. Allen and EAA]. Published in Curve Magazine, April 2007.
- “Mary’s Diary in Context.” Published in Mary’s Diary: Courting, Schooling, and Skating in Mid-Victorian Plattsburgh, New York, 2010. Entire book available online at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Feinburg Library Special Collections.
Most recently I got a fabulous set of kitchen cabinets and appliances, along with two Disney Elite Star Wars 10″ figures, Jyn and Rey, as well as a 7″ Disney Star Wars Elite K2SO [not shown]. I really like the 10″ figures. Though a bit smaller than 1:6 scale, they have amazing articulation [including double-jointed limbs and ball-of-foot joints], decently tailored clothing, detailed molded plastic accessories, rooted hair that accurately replicates the styles in the movie, and headsculpts with recognizable likenesses to the actors. I weathered both Jyn and Rey’s faces and redid their eyebrows to add more character. Then I shot this pointless photostory to show off some of my @natalunasans gifts. Zombie was also from her.
Isabel and Barrett chat about convergent interests. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 17.3: Our Toys Can Be Friends
Seeing how much of a wilted posture I could put the Master in. Continue reading “I am tired; I am weary / I could sleep for a thousand years / A thousand dream that would awaken me / Different colors made of tears…”
He laughed, and, before they came to the door of the house, drew her aside and kissed her. “There’s more enchantment in these two lips of yours and in these two dear grey eyes than in all the books of Azzimari…”
“Ah, no,” she said. “There’s no enchantment in me, except what you’ve planted. Perhaps that’s it: you captured me that night and you’ve kept me in a cage ever since because you wanted someone to practise spells on. Is that it?”
“Do you mind if it is?”
“No,” she confessed, smiling up at him and speaking with a most innocent simplicity. “I like being your captive.”
They laughed silently at each other as he held her a little way off to look into her eyes.
“Who is Azzi–? The name you said just now?” she asked.
“Azzimari. That was the name of the Berber Kaid who bought my ancestor, Captain Trethewy, from the Sallee Rovers. He was a practitioner of the art of magic, which seeks to know the other side of nature. It seems their doctors had studied these matters, there in the Southern Atlas Mountains, before the Koran came among them. The captain translated some of Azzimari’s books and brought them back with him.”
“And you’ve learnt magic from them?”
He nodded solemnly. “From them and from experience.”
She bent her head and stroked his arms. “And you are Azzimari to me, and I’m a slave like the Captain. Dear Captain! I’m glad he brought Azzimari’s magic home for you. I wonder if he loved his master as I love mine?”
“Perhaps. But he fled from him at last. And you too will want to be free.”
She pressed close to him, winding his arms about her. “No, no. I am free, like this. You must be a stern master, and if I try to break the spell, you must double it and treble it, chain me down in the deepest dungeon in your castle, imprison me in the hollow of an oak in your enchanted wood. You must not let me go!”
“Ah, no,” he said with wondering tenderness. “Dungeons I have and hollow oaks, but not for you. One ancient ceremony of bondage is enough. If you want to be my slave, I’ll perform it: the same that Azzimari performed upon the Captain. Shall I?”
“Yes, yes,” she said in a scarcely audible voice, pressing her head against his coat.
He laughed. “Not now. It must be in the propitious conjunction of the planets. Time and place must adhere. I will do it when you come to see the puppets.”
This is the point in one of my favorite novellas where everything kind of goes off the rails in the best way possible.
Up until then, it’s been a cozy little story of Clare, a bored, stifled, and restless 19-year-old, on the edge of graduating from Paston Hall, a dull little residential school somewhere in England in the 1950s. Studying with the mom and son of the local gentry, she crams on the subjects she needs to learn so that she can sit for a scholarship at Oxford.
And yeah, she’s got a crush on Niall, who’s in his late twenties, and yeah, he says with an absolute deadpan that his ancestor learned magic and the secrets of making immortal bonzai, and yeah, he makes uncannily realistic likenesses of young women, some of whom have died.
But maybe the two of them are just bored out of their skulls and doing some sort of elaborate role play because it’s much more exciting than anything else going on in Paston.
But then Niall goes away for a few days, and, when he comes back, this happens. Clare says to herself that she’s in love with him, and, for the first time, they speak explicitly about their role play, the expectations, and where they want it to go. Magic, ownership, submission, imprisonment, punishment, and love, all previously subtextual or implied, become apparent and textual.
And so does the danger. The tone changes here, and they speak with serious depth. On her end, Clare abases herself before Niall with as much abjection as possible, trying to give herself entirely to him. On his end, Niall finally tells her the ominous consequences of the powers about which he has been making merry. Eventually she will tire of Niall-possession and Niall-mastery and search for self-possession and self-mastery.
Of course, at this point, I’m screaming, “Run away, Clare! Run the fuck away! He wants to turn you into a doll! Definitely in a figurative sense and possibly in a literal sense as well! Furthermore, this guy is the veritable quintessence of the Creepy Dom, and he’s telling you in his own words that you’re gonna regret it. Pay attention to all the fairy tales about deals with the Devil and bargains with the fairies and promises made to sneaky magicians, and don’t do it!”
And of course Clare’s not listening to me because story characters never do. They really should, but then there’d be no plot.
But what happens? Does Clare go through with this bullshit? [Spoiler alert: Yes.] Does she become Niall’s doll? [Yes.]
Does she save her own damn self in the most satisfyingly dramatic possible that one can break off such soul-sucking dysfunction without an impassioned monologue of self-righteous fury to the Creepy Dom in question? [Yes.]
Do you like stories of psychological depth and subtle horror that balance perfectly between realistic and supernatural explanations?
Do you just love it when the young, previously innocent, now more experienced heroine discovers inner strength, wises up, and kicks the older, psychologically manipulative, antagonistic dude’s ass?
Then read The Doll Maker by Sarban. By taking the naive Clare’s quest for self-determination absolutely seriously, the author imparts to the age-old trope a sensitivity and depth of character development rarely seen in such tales. That, plus the treatment of dolls, the kinky overtones, the possibility of either a realistic or a supernatural interpretation, and the clear, fluid prose, keeps me coming back to this sadly unknown gem.