What curious susurrations, odd overlays, and eddies of thought have led me to undertake this curious project?
1. I grew up believing that work was work and that the more work one did, the better. Anything else was laziness – not to be tolerated or encouraged. That’s probably why many of my best friends are also workmates. My work has too-often been rather less fun than it should have been, but painting is fun, if I let it be. So, what kind of project could I do that would let me exercise my painting muscles, but not be some pile of useless sketches at the end of the days and weeks?
2. Facebook is a menace. Not only does it hide some unknowable 90% of one’s putative “friends”, but it tempts one to read and write while not drawing. Or painting. Or working in any other way. I was just listening to Carl Hiaasen convey my very thoughts on the matter. But since I like Facebook and my remaining friends, how can I make the experience more interesting and less draining?
3. Each day, Rich Potter has been asking his Facebook pals for suggestions as to what famous person he should paint. And I’ve been impressed with both the work he’s doing, and the responses he’s getting. So tempting to just steal his idea…
4. Eddie Izzard talks about “crap gods” in his show Dress to Kill: “And then the Romans came along with their gods that they had borrowed from the Greeks. They invaded Greece, conquered them and stole all their gods… and renamed them with Roman names, ’cause the Roman gods before that were kind of crap, you know – Geoff, the god of biscuits, and Simon, the god of hairdos….”
5. The real ‘Small Gods’ is a book by Sir Terry Pratchett. Pratchett’s Gods are beings who yearn to be believed in, that they might become powerful and influential. Belief is everything to them, and without it, they may stay small forever. Some gods find nice niches and fill the Belief Economy for many years undisturbed. Others want it all. Or rather, like Om, they want it all back. Pratchett also has fun at the expense of Fedecks, the Ephebian god of messengers and other homages obvious and unobvious from Petulia to Ishkibble.
The Obvious Conclusion !?!
My first Small Gods card: Ishka Babel, the Small God of Comic Novelty Songs.
So, the plan is to spend 1 hour (or less) making a new Small God each day.
I’ll be taking ideas from the Comments provided by the lovely people who read this blog, and see me on Facebook and/or Twitter.
What object, area, category, or activity needs a Small God? Which already has one (or more than one)? And don’t expect the Gods to necessarily bear the forms of the humans who might worship them them – after all Sobek and Offler had Crocodile heads!
And some Gods needn’t even be flesh and blood!
I hope to create a curious and entertaining Rogue’s Gallery of Small Gods – all while trying to enjoy the act of painting and experimenting as broadly as I can.
I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!
Oh I so want to suggest some but am worried they won’t be quite right, which seems a bit silly………I think Neil Gaiman should be a Small God of something….not sure what, precisely (could be many things) and it would tie in beautifully with Sir Terry (due to one of my very fav books Good Omens)
I’d say maybe a small god of sitting around and doing nothing. Or of kicking back and reading.
Please kind sir, consider a small god of non-persnickety librarians. (belief is everything!)
Can you help me understand the key differences twixt persnickety (on assumes this is the default state of belief?) and the non-persnickety varietals?
The persnickety ones are uptight, rule-bound and their favorite words are “no” and “not allowed.” The non-persnickety ones see rules (like an organizational system for example) as tools to facilitate discovery and creative engagement. They say things like “let’s find out!” and are likely to quietly drop a book at the corner of your table just in case you might be interested, and that turns out to be just the thing you needed but didn’t know it yet. The non-persnickety ones are the opposite of the archetypal shushing buzzkill (without necessarily invoking the repressed sexpot just waiting to bust out of her cardigan). Not that we, as a profession, obsess about this or anything…google image “librarian stereotype” and you’ll see what I mean.
Or, you know, how about the god of “just letting it go”? :)
May I request a Small God Of Perfectly-Timed Witty Comebacks?
Such a RARE little God Laura. But well worth worship!
I have a thought….
someone needs to come up with an invocation for this god! please name it soon and i’ll try my hand it!
Now THAT’s a god I’d follow! How many times have I thought of the perfect comeback…five minutes too late? Yes, please do this one! Maybe the invocation could be “because it’s dull, you twit”?
The God of Wishful Thinking
The early 70’s god of 25 cent rubber creatures in supermarket novelty dispensers. Who the hell made those, oft times very inspired bestiaries, curled up fetus-like within those palm sized plastic capsules?
It would be the one divinity I would worship, and zealously so.
I well know the Small Divinity of whom (or perhaps which) you speak Paul.
I think there is a small god of caffeine/ coffee. who daily needs be praised, or else the coffee wont work and your whole day is ruined! I imagine her to be a small persnickety fairy like imp who follows you throughout the day making things go right or wrong depending on the morning ritual experience.
the god of caffeine must have whole crowds of worshipers
How funny — we JUST did a workshop movie featuring the Lesser Demons, including the Demon of Missing Laundry, the Demon of premature hair Loss, the Demon of Forgetting What You Were About To Say, and so forth.
It must be the time for Small Gods.
Perhaps someone has already mentioned the God of Gravy.
I vote for the god of missing socks. They have to go somewhere from the time they enter the dryer to the time they come out. My suspicion is they they are taken as unintneded offerings. Either that or scientists will one day discover that the rings of Saturn is really made up of lost socks – that was my mother’s theory.
Wonderfull idea. I vote for the murphy’s law god, don’t irish him out to much though…
Or the goddess of breathless wonder.
How about Īk, small god of Having Just Enough of Something to Get the Job Done.
You have just enough milk for your cereal? Praise Īk! Made it to the gas/petrol station before being stranded? Blessed of Īk. Manage to have one respectable, clean top in your wardrobe for your meeting? The benevolence of Īk is moderately generous!
i’d make space on my alter for that!
what about a god of lost books? it’s so painful to be half way though a book and then realize you left it on the bus. and the joy of finding a book under the bed or in the back of the closet- a book you thought you’d never see again, is something worthy of song and praise. he (or she) could also punish those who borrow books and never return them! (THE EVIL FIENDS!!!)
I’m actually all about this.
It just came to me. The small god of garage sales/flea markets. The one that helps us find the diamonds in the rough and keeps us from becoming hoarders. Such a god is truly needed in today’s world.
We could make Camus the Small God of taking 400 pages to tell you what a 5 year old could tell you in 5 sentences.
Or we could make Gabriel Garcia Marquez the Small God of Magical Realism. Just a couple ideas.
I agree wholeheartedly with the Small God of Lost Socks.
I would like to see the Small God of L’esprit D’escalier and something like Dramaritus Maximus, Small God of LARPing. :)
Pratchett had a creature he called The Eater of Socks.
I regularly pray to the God of Parking Spaces, not to mention the God of a Found $20 In Your Jeans. More recently, I have acquired a taste for devotion to the God of Reconciled Accounting.
The last is far beyond me, but I think I understand the others well enough. :)
Doing my books… when the Quickbooks software and the bank statement agree to the penny, it’s a little party. Every month.
Luciferin: God of Lightning-Bugs, Lord of the Fireflies
Any chance you’ll actually do Jeff the God of Biscuits? My girlfriend would think you’re the greatest artist ever.
Kewl! Just saw this — you honor me. Glad I could play some role in your forward motion.
I met you in Baltimore at the Discworld Con and really enjoyed your art.
I thought you’d like to see this, from my grandfather’s collection of photos that he either took or produced. He worked in Hollywood from 1909 to ca. 1932, then again during WWII. This is from that later group: