Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pornotopia: My Date with Anne Coulter

The following is just one of a bunch of pieces I’ve been working on for a project tentatively titled Pornotopia: The Ins and Outs and Ins and Outs of Sex and Erotica. Enjoy!

My Date with Anne Coulter

Despite apparent semiotic similarities, the female is, in fact, from a genus not at all related to its common mating partner, which in no way prevents it from various futile reproductive attempts.

This pseudo-positive assortative mating – the preference of one gender to seek out mates with similar or superior characteristics – has been likened to the behavior of a unique subspecies of baylisascaris that frequently attempts to reproduce with more developed species in an attempt to mimic their successful behaviors. Unlike these fecal parasites, the female is far more aggressive in its mating behaviors.

So aggressive, in fact, that few species can survive the attempt. For many years hypotheses regarding these common coitus fatalities were few and far between, more than likely because of the high incidents of injury and death among researchers who put themselves at high risk to study the sexual activities of this unusually destructive female. Fortunately recent experimental developments have paved the way for researchers to safely observe for the first time the actual behavior of the species from initial excitement phase to the inevitable conclusion of its unique sexual response cycle.

Again paralleling positive assortative mating, the female is apparently attracted to males exhibiting dominant behavior such as ritualistic combat, excessive fat storage, and territorial aggression. However, the female is again exceptional in that she normally prefers sexual partners who only manifest dominant behavior traits. In a well-documented experiment conducted in 2002, when faced with a choice between an extremely healthy male specimen of a similar species with only a miniscule colorization differentiation versus a male with obvious physiological deficits who was only apparently suitable for reproduction, the female consistently preferred to attempt to mate with the similarly colored male. It is interesting to note, however, that this behavior is only common if the female is out in the open. When isolated, the female will reverse this behavior and become extremely sexually aggressive toward the colored male.

Once the female has become attracted to a potential mate, it begins the courtship by displaying a series of provocative displays apparently evolved to stun the male to the point where sexual activity is optimal – for the female, because, as noted, the mating activity of the female in no way could be considered beneficial to the male. One of the early displays involves the unfolding of the lower limbs, extending them from the female’s protective sheath of fibers. These fibers, it should be noted, have been acquired from the desiccated remains of other, previous, matings. Extended outward, the limbs thus act mysteriously. Although they clearly lack any form of healthy musculature or show any signs that the female could act in any way as a successful brood mother, most males are lured at least as long as necessary for the female to continue to the next phase of her sexual courtship. Various research suggests that there are other, as yet unknown, factors at work at this stage in the female’s mating behavior. Semiochemicals have been discussed, as has the concept that the female’s coloring and behavior somehow mirrors the male’s, even though the actions of this false female in no way reflect true actions of a sexually mature female of any species, let alone the male's genotype. One radical theory, as yet untested, even hypothesizes that the female relies on a form of "bribe," consisting of preferred nutrients or items that might make its lair more comfortable.

Now close enough to a potential suitor, the female extends a set of hooked upper limbs evolved to lock around the mate’s thorax, effectively trapping it. Although this maneuver is largely successful in trapping the male, it should be noted that some males have been sighted who, at the onset of this initially aggressive female mating behavior, have resorted to severing their own limbs to escape. These limbless males can often be seen at the periphery of the female’s territory, too entranced by the female’s chemical lure to escape but having become too cautious to proceed closer and risk her predation.

For those unfortunate enough not to escape, the female begins the next stage of her pseudo-mating behavior: the opening of the anterior mandibles, whereby a piercing stylet extends down and outward well below even the laryngeal prominence. Evolved with barbs to resist removal, the stylet is capable of easily puncturing the epicuticle and even cracking through the most hardened of procuticle. Depending on the chosen mate, the stylet will enter the head near or even directly through the vulnerable ocelli or directly into the core of the thorax.

Once this penetration has been achieved, the female injects neurotoxins that act as a sexual catalyst for her aggressive mating behavior by markedly increasing the males susceptibility to pain. Similar in toxicity to scorpion venom, the wild thrashing of the impaled male further stimulates the female causing a dramatic increase in the thrusting of the style. So violent is this activity that occasionally the barb has been observed penetrating completely through a potential mate’s head, though this in no way decreases the female’s aggression.

The next phase of this pseudo-sexual mating begins with the flooding of the male’s head or thorax with a mixture of enzymes that immediately begin to break down all present macromolecules. Normally preceding digestion, this activity does not continue with the removal of the broken-down tissues. Instead the region liquefied acts as a nutritious "nest" for the next stage.

In an action so far too fast to be completely viewed or documented, the stylet is removed and the hole previously punched through the body of the male is roughly widened by the introduction of an ovipositor. Reaching precisely to the previously mentioned digested region, the female then proceeds to go through a gesture of egg-laying, including the positing of a large sterile egg into the body cavity of the still-thrashing male.

This activity is important to note as it adds a new complexity to this puzzling behavior. For not only is the female attracted to, and very often attempts to mate with, members of other species, resulting in the death of the chosen mate, but the attempt is fruitless as the female has yet to be observed procreating in any way. Being a clearly unsuccessful evolutionary development, having no observable biological function aside from preying on males of other species, how the female still manages to carry on its genes is a matter of much curiosity.

The mystery of the female's behavior concludes with the last act of its unusual pseudo-sexual mating ritual. While the order mantodea has long been accused of the same behavior, recent studies have indicated that it is not natural in the wild. In the case of this singular specimen, however, the action has been observed – where it is safe to do so – and thoroughly documented far too often. Whether it is a way of further stimulating its own sexual responses or just as a way of procuring additional nutrients, the eating of the male’s head after sex continues to perplex researchers and remains a fertile area for further study.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sometimes A Great Thing Has To End

If you've been living under a rock you may not know that I have a serious 'thing' for Sage Vivant, fantastic writer and until recently the driving force behind Custom Erotica Source. I say 'recently' because after a very long and very noble run she's decided to close CES and move onto better things.

While like a lot of her clients and friends I am very sorry to see CES go I am still madly applauding her for deciding to move into bigger and better - and best of all more fun - things in the future!

Here's Sage's Announcement:
If you subscribe to my mailing list, you already know this, but for those of you who don't, I decided this week that it's time for Custom Erotica Source to close its doors. The last date to place orders will be December 10 (I will be delivering stories through the holidays and into January, I suspect). The CES Web site will go dark after that.

This was not an easy decision to make, as you might imagine. I started CES in January 1998, which means that this January, it would have been 10 years old. And honestly, it was a fun run. I met terrific writers and worked with some delightful clients. My original goal was to start a company that would not only allow my work to land directly in the hands of people who wanted it, but also to give people permission to indulge their fantasies in a safe but exciting way.

I can honestly say I accomplished both and I wouldn't trade these 10 years for anything. But like all good things, CES must come to an end. One of my clients (Photoshop by ARB) -- for whom I've been supplying stories since about 1999, I think -- created the image you see here in honor of the occasion. And it's precisely the kind of generous, funny, warm-hearted gesture that I so often experienced from clients throughout the years. I'm getting verklempt just thinking about it!

What will I be doing? I'll still be writing -- no doubt about that. But I'll be moving into new genres and doing different kinds of projects. Change is good, especially when one can control it! I'll be posting more here in the next few weeks, so stay tuned....

An Insult to Pornographers Everywhere

From Metafilter:
Norman Mailer has posthumously won this year's Literary Review Bad Sex Award for his novel on the early life of Hitler, The Castle in the Forest. He was up against some stiff competition but Norman managed to rise to the occasion (sorry). Safe for work, but you might feel a bit dirty in the morning.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The View From Here: The Care And Feeding Of A World

(the following is part of an ongoing 'column' I did for Suspect Thoughts, and, no, it's not supposed to make sense: only be weird fun)

Damn, I forgot to feed my world. Sigh. I just have to face it, I guess: I'm just not good with those kinds of little responsibilities. I mean, I can handle the big stuff, but things like watering plants, remembering to take the trash out on Thursday nights, or buy moisturizer just split right out of the ol' brain-pan.

What was worse, when I glanced over at the bowl I realized that I hadn't remembered to sprinkle in some flakes for quite awhile. The poor little things had grown these horrible little social-economic structures, diplomatic and interpersonal fangs and all. It was kind of cool, in a scary kind of way, to watch them stab at each other. One of them developed industry and started smoking up the habitat, while others twisted themselves all corkscrew and backwards with surreal belief systems. Those wouldn't be around long. Still others started to spore their philosophies, releasing streamers of missionaries to infect the rest of the bowl.

Then they really started going at it, and it was quite the show: one turned completely feral, lashed out at a nearby one, lighting up the tank with fires and making this fog of little burned bodies. Soon, a few others started getting in on the fun. Man, you could read from the glow of all the burning artificial structures. Over in a far corner, another was drying to breed itself into superiority, but after a really short time it sort of imploded and as I watched, hypnotized as it boiled with cannibalism.

Remembering what the guy at the pet shop said, I dug around under the sink and got out some Solar Flare Bleach ("Nothing Cleans Better than a Blast of Radiation!") but standing there, looking at all those little critters, I just couldn't do it. Okay, they were really starting to stink up the place, what with all their ridiculous petrochemicals and fluorocarbons and I knew the longer I waited the harder it would be to clean up the tank, but there was just something about their pathetic struggle to survive. You know, I never really thought of myself as someone who gets off on watching horrible things happen to good critters, but there was just something kind of hypnotic about the way they toothed and clawed at each other.

By noon several had found out how to split the atom -- and, oh boy -- then they really lit up the place. First one, then another, and after awhile it looked like all of them were vaporizing this, that, and lots of other things -- but mostly themselves. The flashes almost made my eyes hurt and the steady blue glow followed right after was really very pretty, if you could deal with the charcoal smell, that is.

Oh, wow, I thought, as one of the major sprawling infections began to transform a far corner of the tank into a fireworks show: pulsing reds, fluttering yellows, storm clouds of fallout, forks of bright white lightning. After that I kept my all my eyes on that tank, waiting for the next show.

I didn't have long to wait, as it seemed they all wanted in on the act. For the next few hours they popped and crackled, flared and flashed themselves into extinction. Still, it had been a great show, the way they lobbed those weapons of mass destruction at each other, the lovely way they stripped their tank of anything burnable or eatable. Despite how I might feel about myself, I have to admit that it was really quite wonderful to watch.

After they'd all finished their dying, I scrubbed out the tank -- not easy but I did it anyway -- tripped down to the pet store to get a new plastic baggie full of healthy, hearty critters, and just enough flakes to keep them that way for a day or two. But no more than that.

Like I said, I just can't seem to handle those silly little details. So I have come to accept the fact that my plants are always going to dry up and die, the trash will just keep getting bigger and bigger, or that I'll always be running out of moisturizer. But isn't it weird how sometimes a personal fault can lead to finding something new? If I'd remembered to feed that tank I never would have known how entertaining those critters could be -- as they died, that is.

And that's how I discovered my new hobby.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Me on DoorQ

I'm jazzed to announce that I'm going to be contributing some fun queer SF/H/F material to the newly launched DoorQ site. SF/H/F, by the way, is science fiction, horror and fantasy for all you non-nerds.

Come check it out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Even Better Than The Real Thing

Fantastic illustration by Owaikeo from his deviantart page

If you didn't have enough cybersex from my last piece up on Cecilia Tan's Circlet Press site head over there right now for another speculation on the future of makin' whoopie: Even Better Than The Real Thing. Enjoy!

Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker: The End of Erotica

(the following is part of an ongoing series of columns I did for The Erotica Readers & Writers Association on the ins and outs and ins and outs and ins and outs of writing good smut)

In an interview on ERA, William Dean asked me "From your experience, what are we, as erotica readers and writers, apt to see as trends in the coming year?" After answering him I got to thinking about the future of erotica and where it could go - or, since it is my column after all, where I want to see it go.

My answer? I want erotica to vanish, to disappear as a literary genre, to utterly and completely GO AWAY.

Biting the hand that's fed me? Sour grapes? Making noise for the sake of noise? None of the above: hear me out.

Erotica exists because a need wasn't being met. Readers looked around at movies, books, television, and every other media and noticed that something was missing. Rob and Laura Petrie had twin beds, Ricky Ricardo and Lucy pulled off a trick not seen since Mary got knocked up by a ghost: a virgin (as far as we know) birth. If a book managed to actually talk about what happened behind closed doors and under the sheets, it was immediately banned, burned, or branded INDECENT.

So, erotica: a peek behind those doors and under those covers. Sex was out in the open and, more importantly, it was profitable. Sex sold, and very well - and with anything that sells well, the people doing the selling began to make more and more and more of it.

That, in itself, isn't a bad thing. After all, if sex didn't sell we wouldn't have MTV, Fox, beer ads, Britney Spears, Ron Jeremy, the entire literary erotica genre, or even the Erotica Readers and Writers Association and my column. But all this and more is popular, and remains popular, because it doesn't exist anywhere else.

Pick up a book, switch on the tube, plop down half your paycheck for a movie ticket and sure there might be hints, suggestions, or allusions but that'll be it. The world remains a place where giving head gets an X, cutting off a head only gets an R.

Meanwhile, out here in the wild woollies of smut writing, we continue to write books and stories that address what no one else seems to be talking about: sex. The problem is that for the longest time, we were part of an opposite but equal problem, which was talking about nothing but sex.

Luckily this has been changing. It used to be that just simply writing s-e-x was enough, but as the public started to get more, they also began asking for more. Editors, publishers and more importantly readers have responded by demanding erotica with depth, meaning, wit, style, and sophistication - and writers have been doing exactly that, pushing the boundaries of what sex writing can be.

The result? Erotica writers have created a genre worthy of respect and serious, non-genre attention. This is a great time to be working in this field, because for the first time writing about sex is not a guarantee of condemnation or exile to a professional Elba. Erotica writers are breaking out and otherwise mainstream publishers are being to pay serious attention not only to the marketability of sex but because of what's developed in the genre, they can sell it without blushing.

This is a good thing for another, more important reason. Crystal ball time: As erotica becomes more and more refined and mature, more elegant and accepted, it may very well begin to be accepted as a valid and respected form of literature. But what I really hope will happen is what's happened with many other genres: assimilation. It used to be that anything to do with time travel, aliens, or space travel was exiled to science fiction. Then came a renaissance in that genre, and a subsequent use of the old elements in new ways - Kurt Vonnegut comes immediately to mind. The same thing has happened with mysteries, horror, romance, comic books (excuse me, 'graphic novels'), television, and so forth.

As the sexually explicit techniques and methods developed in erotica permeate other genres, the need for erotica as its own separate, unique place in bookstores will fade, then vanish. Erotica will become what it always should have been: a part of life, legitimate and respected - not something to be ashamed of, hidden away, or even just separate.

How will that serve us, the erotica-writing world? Wonderfully, I think. Erotica is fun, I definitely believe that, but it's only one genre. As we become better and better writers, trying new things, new techniques, dipping our toes in new pools, other venues will open up, other - better - playgrounds to frolic in.

Sure it might be scary, once erotica merges with the rest of the world and fades away as a genre in its own right. But think of how much better that world will be, a place where sex is something to be talked about, celebrated, and understood without fear or shame.

Our genre may disappear, could utterly and completely go away - but we will have accomplished something remarkable: We changed the world.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The View From Here: Vanessa Verdugo

(the following is part of an ongoing 'column' I did for Suspect Thoughts, and, no, it's not supposed to make sense: only be weird fun)

Vanessa Verdugo looked striking in the fading daylight, approaching night – but then that year’s definition of beauty was, after all, Vanessa Verdugo: Her hats and veils were in every shop on Gold Road, her dresses were worn to every fete and soirĂ©e, the color of her lips, the shade of her blush, washed across thousands of ruffled bedspreads, delicate curtains, plush carpets, swollen pillows, overstuffed chairs, sprawling lounges, and politely sensual settees. Standing on that closely sheered lawn she didn’t appear to have boulevard stockings, avenue heels, promenade gloves, an estate skirt, a mansion blouse, sitting room jewelry or a galleria hat – but a single step beyond Robur Oberon’s estate, to the brass flowers and iron vines that entwined the balustrades of PSV’s streets and lanes and her beauty and style would flow mix and flow, wine in water, with her fashionableness to cover the city.

Sipping a flute of shimmering crystal – the unspoken cost of which would have kept a lesser republic financially solvent for a decade, and thus, for the not mentioning, made it’s prescience so much more powerful – she simply looked striking, not at all the beautiful threat of a woman who had entranced the entire city, and also unspoken, unannounced, and thus immensely more powerful than any priceless champagne flute.

“Great pleasure,” Robur Oberon said, lifting a tankard of frothy brew towards their guest. “Great, great pleasure, to have your company, sir."

Wing’s dark eyes slowly lifted from his glass, where he seemed fascinated by the hesitant streamers of minuscule bubbles in the vintage to stare intently in the direction of Robur Oberon. “I was asked.”

“Well, of course, sir. Absolutely, sir. Could I not have? How could I have turned my back on the plight of a stranger to these shores? I could not have rested if I did not do my duty as a Steward of this City, a Lord of this House and have not at least offered you a hand of friendship?”

“We’re always willing to make new friends,” Vanessa Verdugo said, lifting her own glass slightly in a soft toast.

Wing looked to her, angry puzzlement across his brow. “You and he make people?”

Robur Oberon laughed, holding himself in a tight knot of aborted muscles, the reflex to thump the stranger across the back. “The lovely Vanessa make many things, but we’ve yet to perfect that skill.”

“Fortunate,” Wing said, relief evident. Taking a sip of the vintage, his face lightning-quick changed to shock and disgust. With a smoothly practiced gesture he blew the liquid into his tightened fist, then loudly clapped both hands together.

Vanessa Verdugo noticed, turned slightly away – then raised an immaculately sculpted eyebrow when no champagne flew. She looked inquisitively at Robur Oberon to see if he’d noticed.

He hadn’t: “In fact, we were just discussing how important it is to develop new … relationships shall we say, when one is in unfamiliar lands. Helps the shock, you see, of the strange, the shock of the new, to have a personal landscape of familiarity. This world you’ve found yourself in must be disturbing in its peculiarities, but knowing that certain people - such as the lovely Miss Verdugo and myself – are as stable within it as the earth beneath your feet might give you a comfortable feeling of stability. Not that I would be so bold or arrogant as to imply that we –“ he indicated with a raise of his tankard Vanessa Verdugo “ - are the only ones qualified for such comfort. To be honest, however, Miss Verdugo and I do reach rather extensively through the Territories, so we, or by proxy our influence, would always be near.”

Wing held his flattened palm up to the setting run, examining the tight skin with wide-eyed concentration.

“I do not know how such things are done in … where is it again, friend, that you hail from? I know you’ve spoken of it, but – well - sometimes it does take a few repetitions to get things to stick in an aging mind,” Oberon said, tapping his huge cranium, accompanied by a deep laugh.

Without looking away from his dry hand, Wing said, “Russia. From there I Navigate.” Sadness on his face with the saying of the noun and the verb: a longed for home, and a talent that had betrayed, stranded him.

“Oh, yes, that’s it. ‘Russia’ such an exotic sounding land. Some day when the no-doubt pain of your departure isn’t quite so fresh you will have to tell us of that land: the foods they partake, the strength and duration of the seasons, the music your people enjoy, the mechanisms they may perhaps create. Ah, yes, another reason to join another friend to one’s life: the gaining of knowledge of other places, other lives, other devices and processes. An alliance, if you will: the partnership of two into a stronger one. Would that appeal to you? You with the need for friend in this new world, Miss Verdugo and I with the need to sate our curiosity about your far-flung land? Does that sound appealing to you in any way?”

Wing lowered his hand, blinked once, twice at Oberon – impending tears making his dark eyes shine. His mouth opened, preparation for speech, revealing brass teeth polished to a glowing shine.

But before their guest could expel a sound into the growing darkness of the night, a trio appeared at the far side of the house, rounding the columns. Their soft blue glow, their rolling, liquid gait, their simple shapes – everyone in PSV knew Robur Oberon’s Cell Men, his congealed servants and handymen: low aptitude, chemically dependent, smelling of kerosene and fusil oil, never far from their Master.

They exploded. One, two three – all gone in a wash of shockwave, a balls of fire rolling up into the dark sky. A column, a purple rose bush, a section of hedge crackled and smoked.

Robur Oberon stood and stared, too shock to speak or move. His tankard, held in a suddenly weakened wrist, poured onto the immaculate lawn, foaming at his feet. Vanessa Verdugo slowly lowered her hands, instinctively thrown in front of her legendary face.

“Not good. Making people bad - opposite of good,” Wing said, his dark eyes lit by twirling lights of gold and silver. Turning to that year’s beauty, and the most powerful man in the Territories, he repeated himself, in case they hadn’t heard: “Not good. Making people bad - opposite of good” then, without looking back, he walked through the still lingering flames and away into the soft darkness of that summer night.

“Guess we’ll have to make new friends,” Vanessa Verdugo said, slowly turning her legendary smile at the wide-eyes of Robur Oberon.

(with thanks to s.a.)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker: Commitment

(the following is part of an ongoing series of columns I did for The Erotica Readers & Writers Association on the ins and outs and ins and outs and ins and outs of writing good smut)

I don't believe in talent. Sure, I think some people have a touch more hardwiring in their brains that lends them to be artists, musicians, scientists, and even lowly writers but I think that having this turn of mind never guarantees being able to utilize this towards a satisfying pursuit. When someone uses that word, 'talent,' I think of something that makes a person have a kind of special dispensation, a phenomenal leg-up on everyone else. I use an analogy to explain this supposed hypocrisy: just because you're a good driver doesn't mean you'll be a great driver - and not all great drivers started out being good drivers.

Maybe it's because I think of myself as a Liberal and believe that everyone is created equal, or they at least have equal access to making themselves a better person. I don't like the idea of someone, by virtue of luck (good or bad) having an edge over anyone else. I also think the idea of talent is what a lot of people use to give up on something. They put pen to paper and when it doesn't work out perfectly the first time, they toss it to the floor, saying, "What's the point? I just don't have it."

There is one thing, though, that's true of great drivers as well as great writers: commitment. To do anything well you have to practice, you have to get up and do it even though you'd rather do anything else in the world. It's easy to hang your hopes on tales of first story sales, first book sales, and think that such events are common, expected. But the fact is they are alarmingly rare. For every one phenomenal success, there are thousands of other writers who sit in front of their machines every day and work, work, work. Sure, those flashy first timers often deserve their praise and fat checks, but they often vanish as fast they appear. Without determination and a willingness to be there for the long haul, they suffer from expecting the next project, and the next project, and the next project, to be as easy as the first. Someone who's battered and beaten their way up, however, knows that for every five stories, only one will be any good – it's part of the game.

Here's another analogy. If you go out and just circle the track, drive the same car at the same speed, over and over again you may be a better driver but you'll never be Tazio Nuvalari. Writing the same story over and over, never stretching, never trying new things, will have the same affect. Same with writing page after page after page but not taking the time (sometimes very painful times) to sit down with your work and really, honestly read what you've been writing. Determination and commitment is one thing, useless thumb twiddling is quite another.

You have to look really had at what you're doing, to look at it and face the fact that sometimes what you're going to write is going to be crap. Some stories deserve to be thrown in the trash, but what separates the casual dreamer from the person really in pursuit of their destiny, is when you can look at what you've written and say: this is crap, but I know how to make it better.

Personal confession time. Does ten years sound like a long time? Sure, it might be an eternity if you're in a prison cell sometimes, but maybe only the blink of an eye if you're a parent watching a child grow up. For me, ten years is what it took for me to become a published author. I started writing very seriously just out of high school. Ten years later I sold my first story. Though I honestly feel that selling something is not the signpost of quality for writing, this was a defining moment in my life. Ten years of trying finally yielded results.

Nine years after that I have a pretty respectable resume of projects. Sometimes I think I took too long to get where I am, but other times I think maybe it would have taken much longer – or never happened at all – if I'd never sat down and done the work; word after word, page after page, story after story. Those words, pages, or stories pushed me along part of the way, but I believe publishing success came because I tried to be better, tried to improve what I was doing, and was willing to look at what I was doing.

Saccharine sentiment notwithstanding, I really do believe dreams can come true. It can happen, but it too often requires a huge amount of difficult, time-consuming, heart breaking work.

Is it worth it? Ten years is an awfully long time, true. But when I think of the stories I've written, the fun I've had, the things I've learned about myself and the world, I would do it all again in a second.

The choice is yours. But it's better to really, truly try, then pass on regretting you never even made a first step.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Meine Kleine Fabrik: This Is Why We Are Here

Reposted from my brother and I's blog, MKF:
Meine Kleine Fabrik is about the things we've found, the stuff we cherish, the wonders that might otherwise be forgotten that we want to share with the world.

One of the greatest treasures we've always adored since it first appeared a long time ago is the following, having just recently emerged on YouTube:

Created by Tony White (interview here), Hokusai: An Animated Sketchbook is one of those things that seems to constantly sit in the back of our minds, a beautiful haunting of art, passion, humility, and creation.