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Where the Guide Dog Led Me

Sometimes people still ask me if Twitter is useful for anything.  I have to say it’s managed to keep me informed of many things, whether it’s finding out about a Henry Rollins gig at the last minute or pointing me to blog entries and news items that I would have otherwise known nothing about.

One day, @neilhimself retweeted an announcement by @neverwear for a contest requesting artistic depictions of Cabal the Dog.

“Hey,” I thought, “I happen to have an artistic depiction of Cabal the Dog handy.  I think I’ll send it in!”

And so I did and thought absolutely nothing of it beyond that.  And another fine day came along when Mr. Gaiman retweeted the announcement of the winners.

“Hm,” I thought, “I wonder who won that?  Surely it wasn’t me.”  So I tapped the link and read on my little iPhone screen and nearly dropped my phone in shock to see my scribbly little depiction was among the eight winners to be printed in a limited edition postcard set.  Then I read further and found out that I was also the winner of a print signed by Neil Gaiman.

Once I’d gotten to a proper computer, I posted a hello and expressed my amazement.  Then I had to figure out how to get a 300 dpi file out of the hasty snapshots of the work I’d taken before framing it and giving it away.  (Thankfully, I have a dad who knows his way around PhotoShop, and he was able to clean it up for me and make it presentable.)

The print arrived in my mailbox not long after and I knew if I waited until I had enough money to get it properly framed the thing would be sitting for months in a mailing tube, so I went and got it improperly framed instead.

The print itself measured 18″ by 12″ which, I quickly discovered, is not exactly a standard frame size.  I paced up and down the aisles of my local craft store and finally settled on a simple 14″ by 18″ frame.  All the way home, I pondered strategies for filling in the two inch gap, mentally going through my inventory of hoarded art supplies from my previous life as a picture framer and wondering what I’d still managed to hold onto over the past several moves.  I go through cycles of packrattery and purgation that are probably not helped by the fact that every once in a while something I still have stowed somewhere manages to come in handy.

Like, for example, a length of cash register tape that I’d scribbled the hell out of over the course of I’m not even sure how many days.  I’d found it recently while sorting through some boxes and I’d planned to photograph it and post it on this blog as a fascinating example of proto-word-art.  Instead I folded it to fit inside the frame and fill in the gap just under the signature.

Signed by Neil Gaiman

Actually Scribbled On By Neil Gaiman Himself

What do my words say?  I’m not entirely sure.  They weren’t intended as artwork, just a scrap paper head dump in lieu of a catbook.  But they filled the space nicely and they’ll work for now until I have enough money to pay a professional framer.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

I’ll be sure to let people know as soon as the postcard set is available.  Or, at the very least, I’ll retweet about it.

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