[image description: A very tall white-haired fellow in a grey suit with black shoes sits on a throne of books, with an open tome resting on the leg he’s crossed over his knee. He is bearded but – like Abraham Lincoln –  has no mustache. 

He is haloed in a light violet light and looks up from his book in an expectant manner. Text reads, “262 LONG HAL – SMALL GOD OF FINISHED PROJECTS”]


Beginnings are easy. Everything begins.

Endings, though—those are hard. Seeing something small and fragile from conception to execution can be the next best thing to impossible. The world changes while you work, you see. That idea that seemed so brilliant a hundred thousand years ago is played-out and dull now, or you get bored, or Netflix releases a show that has just enough superficial similarities that you know you’ll never be able to convince anyone you didn’t rip off your whole beautiful nightmare from someone else’s dream.

Middles, though—middles are the worst of all. People get lost in middles, never to be seen again. people wander into the swamps and snarls of the undefined center and sink into the muck. The road between inspiration and completion is littered with the bones of those who never escaped the middle.

He comes after you’ve made your beginning, and no one sees him arrive; you just look up at some point and he’s there, walking beside you, eyes on the horizon. As long as you press forward, he presses forward with you, and if you sink into the swamp, he won’t save you, but he will grieve. He grieves for all the ones who fall along the way.

And if you make it to the ending with him, if you get there, he will take the dream you have walked into the world in his long-fingered hands, and he will smile at you, and he will tell you your creation is safe with him. If you’ve been a good companion, traveled well, enjoyed the road, he may tell you where Anna is waiting. Because she’s always waiting, and he has always loved her, fickle, brilliant creature that she is. They are two sides of the same coin, morning and night, and they are never once together, and they have never been apart.

ANNA SPIRATION – the small god of NEW IDEAS

[image description: A beautiful haloed dark-skinned woman with long flowing black hair, several golden bracelets, a star on her forehead and two stars for earrings. Behind her, a bright yellow gold circle radiates out into a deep purple then violet sky. In hand, a huge sunflower with an eye at its center. Other flowers (also with eyes) float around her amid several concentric rings of 6-pointed stars. Text reads, “ #261, ANNA SPIRATION, the small god of NEW IDEAS”]

• • • • •

She comes when least expected.  In the shower.  At a cocktail party.  On the crosstown bus.  While waiting for airport security.  And then she goes when she feels like it.  As soon as you get a pen.  When the house is quiet and your coffee is hot and there’s nothing else demanding your time.  She is fickle and she is fleeting and she is never, never here for a long time, just a good time.  She knows how quickly her hour is over and done with.

For indeed, she arrives, and she makes herself comfortable, and then she is replaced, by Mr. Wippy and the comfortable middle.  She understands why it has to be like that.  The hot light of inspiration is too much for the body to bear for very long; only when it dims and eases can it be made real, rather than something too perfect and precious to behold.

Anna comes only briefly, but if you treat her kindly, she will come to you over and over again, never staying long, not always welcome, but always gowned in glory and ready to lift you up into the brilliance of a future sketched entirely in ideal, not actuality.  Every book is perfect when Anna brings it to you, every harmony lilting, every painting breathtaking.  And they’ll stay that way, as long as she cups them in her hands, which is why she puts them into yours.

Anna yearns, more than anything, for imperfection, for presence, for the dirt and distortion of actual existence.  She’ll keep bringing you her dreams until she gets it.


[image description: A wildly opalescent oval with a sweet vaguely-feline face, eyes closed and a purple/violet gem on its forehead. Text reads, “ #260, LAMELLA, SMALL GOD OF OPALESCENCE”]

• • • • •

Whether refraction or reflection, opalescence is beautiful: no one can deny that.  It transforms something simple into something infinitely complex, layered and deep in ways that can defy description.  It’s not the only effect of its kind—aventurescence is spoken less frequently, and labradorescence less frequently even than that—but it’s the one everyone knows, the one pursued in children’s playsets and in countless shades of nail polish.

There are many complex, scientific explanations for the phenomenon of opalescence, but for most, it seems like magic, and where magic and physics are invoked together, gods are born.

Lamella isn’t inherently a good god or a bad god.  They don’t care about morality.  We’re not sure they even understand what it is.  They’re a god of appearances, of the surface of things and the deep structures that support that surface.  They just want things to be beautiful.

Blood can be beautiful, before it dries.  So can a butterfly’s wings in the sun.  Lamella loves them both equally, and they will not save you.

Remember that when something shimmers.  When it shines.

Yippee for Mister W.i.p.py!  ~ small god of Works in Progress

[image description: A white sign with thin red and blue lines around its edges and held to a rusting wall with small silver nails. It shows an iconic soft-serve Ice-Cream cone character in a running position, giving a thumbs-up. His pupils are shiny dark hearts, but what is most unusual is that he himself is a work in progress, appearing in notional pencil to the left, and becoming a fully realized… ice cream cone at right. Text reads, “Yippee for Mister W.i.p.py!  ~ small god of Works in Progress, #259”]

• • • • •

Golly gee, friend-o, it looks like you’re struggling with structure and motivation!  With foreshadowing and intent!  Need to get that gun on the mantle in act one so you can fire it off in act three, or else you’re going to be short a corpse!  Gosh, is this all too much to keep track of?  Do you need an outline?  Do you need a rubber ducky?  Do you need a nap?

You’re walking with Mister Wippy now.

Mister Wippy is a transitional god, between Anna Spiration, Small God of New Ideas, and Long Hal, Small God of Finished Projects.  He knows he won’t be with you for long, but that while he is, he’ll be all-consuming, swallowing your waking hours, dominating your days.  He can live with that.  He’s not a god of Once Upon a Times, but the god of what comes after, the long inhale between story’s start and “happily ever after.”

He isn’t a cruel god.  He’s not a kind one, either; Mister Wippy is neutral, devoted only to the stories he’s here to see told, and when they’re finished, so is he, melting like the memory of summer sweetness, off to his next worshipper, the next hand he needs to hold.  Mister Wippy is grateful that you spend the time with him, that you support the network of literary gods to whom he is bound.

He loves this project, for there are so many gods to be documented that we will always be among his congregation, however many others we may also be a part of.

We try not to let that worry us.  Some gods wonder and some gods wander and Mister Wippy…

Mister Wippy watches us sleep.

Ooh Long Long – the small god of the Perfect Cup of Tea

[image description: An ornate teacup with painted details around a lovely face floats above its saucer, which in turn floats above a dawn (or is it twilight?) landscape. Stars twinkle in the sky and the light of the golden hour illuminates the background. Rays of light emanate from the cup and light the banderole that spirals up from it. Text reads, “258, Ooh Long Long, the small god of the Perfect Cup of Tea”]

• • • • •

No one truly knows where she began.  China, absolutely.  That part is not contested.  But was she called into life by a healer adding dried leaves to hot water as a medicinal tonic?  Did a brisk wind blow fallen flowers into someone’s water, where they steeped unnoticed for hours?  Was it an accident or an intentional creation?  Whatever her origins, she was a discovery which has shaped human history, uplifted cultures and enabled atrocities.  She’s sorry about that last part.  She always knew she was delicious.  She never expected to be so delicious that people would cross a world to steal her from the places where she rightfully belonged, would use her as the backbone of empire whether she agreed or no.

But she is eternal and immortal, as enduring as the human need for peace and comfort, as familiar as a loved one’s hand, as calming as a childhood lullaby.  She stirs hearts and soothes stomachs, and she is a source of endless arguments, for everyone defines her differently.  Is she plain, water and vegetation and perfect?  Is she made with cream and sugar, or with spices, or using a special pot?  Is she steaming hot or room temperature or pleasantly chilled?

Some people use her as a base for other drinks, hot cocoa made with a base of tea, or as notes in perfume, and she loves those people too.  She is here to enhance lives, to be perfect, to be loved, and she’ll take that love in whatever form it comes.

But she’d really like it if people didn’t try that empire thing again.  That was awful.  Just drink your tea and enjoy the moment, and let the world be.

She’ll be there to hold your hand.

The Trident of Aurelia: Inheritance – PREORDER NOW

It’s here at last!

The trade paperback of The Trident of Aurelia can be preordered online or at your local comic book store

A long-abandoned trident calls out to a drowning woman. As Orianna takes it in her hand, she transforms into a mermaid, and her life changes forever. Hers is a story of ancient sorceries, a cadre of mermaid allies, alien monsters and a massive Leviathan, a story Peter Beagle (The Last Unicorn) calls “enchanting and ominous!”

Previews Code: APR231244

Link: https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/APR231244

Mister T • Small God of Biomechanics

[image description: A painterly golden oil portrait . A man with dark close-cropped hair, prominent ears, he sports almost impossibly-thick tri-focal glasses which cast fascinating refractions across his a fine-boned tight-lipped face. He wears a bespoke toile suit, white collar and bow-tie. Text reads, “257, Mister T • Small God of Biomechanics”]

• • • • • 

All things, living or not, must follow certain physical rules to be considered a part of this physical universe, to be able to interact with the world around them in a meaningful and consistent way. To ignore those rules is to ignore physicality, and to ignore physicality is to be reduced—or elevated—to the level of the theoretical, or the divine.

Mister T is here to make sure no one makes that transition without intention. He has no issue with theory. All gods are, in a sense, beings of pure theory, of the place where physics can do no more good work and biology drops away. Mister T respects the theoretical, but where he thrives is in the biomechanical, in the understanding that biology is a science, after all, and the laws of physics can be applied to the lives of all things. There is kinetic energy in the musculature of a limb, and surface tension in a cell.

Mister T doesn’t control biomechanics. That is a role for a greater god than he. The ways and workings of the physical are outside his grasp. What he does is guide their study, and help people to comprehend themselves and the living world around them, the delicate interplay of gravity and gravidity, friction and flexion. He is an interdisciplinary god who guides a whole discipline, careful and precise, but joyous all the same, because while knowledge may not change anything, knowledge is power, and he wants his faithful to be powerful.

He wants them to believe, as he does, in a better world born from better understanding of all things. And in him, of course. He may be a creature of theory, but belief is the fuel that sustains him, and like all living things, he wants to endure.

There are so many mysteries as yet unsolved.

Lady Mondegreen – small god of mis-heard lyrics

[image description: Medieval portrait of a black-haired woman in green robes with gold embroidery and a red wax seal at her breast stands with her hands clasped. Behind her, a blotter-green field calligraphed with ancient gold words too faint and jumbled to be understood, save for the number 256. Text reads, “Lady Mondegreen small god of mis-heard lyrics”]

• • • • •

Oh, she’s a tricky one, that Lady Mondegreen.

She’ll tell you she’s a tuxedo.  She’ll tell you there’s a bathroom on the right.  She’ll burn the trees off every lawn, and she knows the rumor in the night.  She changes the meaning—she’s not the god of eggcorns, after all—but she doesn’t do it maliciously, and she was born within her own domain.

For once there was a man, the bonny Earl of Moray, and another believed that he conspired against the king.  To prove himself, that other conspired against the earl, until one day he killed him, ran him through and laid him on the green.  And as a king is the land, he bled into the soil, until it welcomed him home, until it loved him like a lady.

Until a girl named Sylvia Wright heard that they had slain the Earl of Moray, and the Lady Mondegreen.  She carried the lady in her heart her whole life, refusing to hear talk of other lyrics, of less romantic ends, and she spoke of her often, she spread her gospel until all misheard lyrics whose meanings changed became the domain of the Lady Mondegreen.  Her rule stretches further than the earl’s does, in this modern world; she is brighter, and better remembered.

She may not always be understood, but she is always bright, and beautiful, and beloved.  She’s very old, but her current form is very new, spoke for less than a hundred years.

Long may she rain, and wrong may she reign.


[image description: A bas relief portrait on copper of a black woman with piercing dark eyes between thick lashes. Her expression is intense, if not actually confrontational. Her the silhouette of her hair is an almost perfect circle until it reaches her neck, whereupon it falls into the Vee shape of her collar like the bottom of a heart. The curved copper lines to either side of her face descend such that they seem to join her squared-off collar. Text reads, “255, ZONA, SMALL GOD OF ART DECO.”]

• • • • •

She is angles and she is elegance; she is truly international, and now, more than a hundred years after her birth, she is timeless.  It takes a miracle for an architectural style to become timeless, but she’s managed it, and now she’s not going anywhere.  Streamline Moderne?  What’s that?  Did that style of architecture inspire a god?  No?  Then get out with your belief that she’s anything other than effortlessly modern and without peer.

She doesn’t need peers.  She only needs a stage, a moment in the limelight, the sweeping arch of her design and the elegance of her angles.  Her sister embraced the lushness of the natural world in all its twists and tangles; she loves the mathematical, the long, graceful line and the perfection of the curve.  She needs nothing more.

Art deco will never die.  Zona will see to it.

Elisabeth deVigne – the small god of Art Nouveau

[image description: The metal bas relief in a gilt frame. The face of a regal dark-skinned woman. Her deep green patinaed hair holds the suggestion of flowers and her translucent tiara might be the wings of insects. Text reads, “Elisabeth deVigne the small god of Art Nouveau, 254.”]

• • • • •

She moves in natural, naturally, and in architecture, cultivated and constructed, a design of such towering beauty that none who look upon her can find the will to look easily away.  She is a timeless god, for all that the thing she represents had its time, its shining moment at the center of the stage.  But when that moment passed, the art it had inspired remained, in lush curves and glorious asymmetry.

She is a god of open spaces and irregular lines, a sense of motion caught in spiraling shapes, beautiful and perfect.  Her most faithful live beautiful lives.  She can’t offer them much more than that, but beauty she provides in plenty, and it feeds them, body and soul, as little else could have done.

She knows she’s lucky.  Most gods of artistic movements fade much more quickly than she has, and while her time might end tomorrow, she will fade knowing she was grand for much longer than anyone expected.

She was perfection, in her day.

She still is, now.