Category Archives: Adventures with Gloria

Pumpkin Carving 4

Pumpkin Time! This year’s Gloria/Kelly pumpkin is all finished. It took us a while to come up with the subject matter this time, but we settled on a couple of weedy seadragons. Those still count for our usual dragon theme, right?

This time we tried doing the whole thing in outlines. It works if the pumpkin is thick enough to let loose cut-out parts sit in place. There were no serious injuries, and I think we got it all done in record time. Unfortunately, Gloria quickly diagnosed this pumpkin with some kind of fungal infection. Its condition deteriorated quickly. There was nothing we could do. It has already been given a proper send-off. We celebrated its short life in the only way we knew how: chocolate and Mario Kart.

Pumpkin Carving 3

It’s that time again! Like always, my friend Gloria came for a visit and brought with her a lovely jack-o-lantern-to-be. This year we went with a scene from my work in progress, Dragon Scales, featuring two girls offering a gift to an intimidating sea dragon. It was a little tough to sketch out, and the ripples in the water were difficult to cut, but there were no major mishaps. Success!

Since we carved our pumpkin a little early, it may not last all the way to Halloween. Luckily I know some tricks for keeping a jack-o-lantern looking great for as long as possible. One method to keep it from drying out and shrinking is to coat the carved edges with petroleum jelly. It’ll get a little gooey, but it’ll still look nice when it’s lit up. Pumpkins will also last a lot longer if you keep them cool in the refrigerator until it’s time to set them out on the porch and show them off. Unfortunately, I don’t have much space in my fridge this year thanks to the heaps of extra spaghetti my husband decided to cook last night.

Pumpkin Carving 2

Wow, October’s almost over already. This year’s jack-o’-lantern–procured and scooped out by Gloria, drawn upon by me, and carved by both of us plus my husband–is complete. Two dragons either locked in a mid-air battle or going for a friendly flight together (whichever you prefer). It’s a little less complicated than last year’s. Turns out it’s a challenge to crowd three people around a pumpkin and all carve at the same time, but aside from a slight miscommunication which resulted in Dragon#2’s wing being amputated, it was a success. Dragon#2 recovered.

Anywho, I hope everyone who takes part in Halloween has fun this year.
When the time comes, may all you trick-or-treaters get good hauls.
All of you on the other side of the doors, I hope it’s a slow night and you get to eat most of that candy you bought.

Speaking of trick-or-treating, I can’t help but wonder when this holiday went so astray. We had several visits to our door last year, and I really felt like there was some enthusiasm missing from most of those encounters. I mean, aren’t you supposed to take on the countenance of some spooky, creepy creature to frighten me, and then threaten to haunt my house and play tricks on me lest I pacify you with some delicious treats? Aren’t you at least supposed to call out, “Trick or treat!” when I open the door? Last year I had some kids just reach up and snatch my candy without a word. I had some kid take a handful of chocolate and then ask for a bottled water while I was at it.
Don’t get me wrong; if Spiderman shows up at my door one night and wants some of my supply of Reese’s, I’m not likely to turn him away. And if I see that your costume took a lot of effort or creativity, I’ll likely bestow some of my beloved candy upon you in appreciation for the art. But really, you could at least ask me nicely if you’re not willing to threaten me for it. This year if I find some half-hearted zombie cheerleaders on my porch holding out their bags in silent expectation, I’m just going to keep my bowl of treats to myself and ask what I can do for them. Granted zombies might have trouble speaking up, but they could at least groan at me. Especially high school zombies. Can’t you buy your own candy? I can make exceptions for a few little princesses or witches or incredible hulks who are too shy to speak to a complete stranger and are being ushered along by mom with the flashlight waiting in my driveway, but come on. I was a very shy unicorn myself and I still dutifully shouted, “Trick or treat!” with the rest of them when the doors opened. I want to play along, but I need some effort here.


My first officer Gloria and I took a trip to Florida last week. Our mission was to visit Hogwarts, build a mighty sand castle, observe at least one non-captive dolphin, and refrain from getting lost. 4/4 objectives completed. We got ourselves sunburned, tried some butterbeer (meh), kayaked in some brackish water, and watched some medieval knights fight to the death. Also I got to wield a real bat’leth and man the weapons console on the Enterprise. Fun times.

Several years ago the two of us went along with our high school band on a trip to Orlando. We marched in whatever big parade it is that goes through Disney World’s magic kingdom. The only thing I remember about that performance is that the street got so narrow we couldn’t all fit, and a bass drummer (whom I happened to greatly dislike) plowed straight into a trash can and fell over. That and having to wear our “summer uniforms” which were essentially T-shirts with these awful blue shorts which fit no one properly.

The highlight of that trip was palling around with Gloria. We rode every roller coaster possible in both the Disney and Universal parks, and we always sat at the front and wanted to ride again and again. After our latest excursion, we have determined that the cut-off age for roller coaster riding must be around 25. We disembarked each coaster with, “Ugh, oh, man. Let’s not do that again.” That’s probably the last time we’ll try theme parks. Next year’s adventure will have to be something equally as geeky but much less exhausting. Perhaps DragonCon.

Pumpkin Carving

My friend and I have a pumpkin carving tradition now for Halloween. We started off last year with our first one which had a simple castle, tree, and a couple clouds. This year we did two together, and we definitely topped ourselves. The first was a smaller one with dragons burning a village (she made sure to write beneath the village that it was an “Evil Town” so it was okay to burn it). Our second was a giant Abmiram scene! I thought you’d like to see. 😀

My friend requested a scene with Dakova and Tari in battle vs. an evil spirit in front of an esrodri flying across the moon, so I drew it out.

We carved it together. The flames under the evil spirit were probably the hardest to cut out.

And we lit it up to see how we did! We had to go back and carve away more pumpkin behind Tari for all her little bow lines to show up. It was one thick squash.