The Ronya Malibarus, called "Poison Thistle," can be found in the Mak-custl, a barren place called by the Ul-hada "eat poison." The plant is not a very large one, reaching heights of only ten inches at its peak; however, its stem is surrounded by tough tendrils tipped with thorns that grow in a mostly alternating, though sometimes haphazard fashion.
Ronya Malibarus is pollinated by one singular insect: the Spear Tail. This insect resembles the brown, thorny nature of the Poison Thistle, making it easy for the insect to hide from its prey, largely spiders or smaller flying animals like the Aerus Falri, called Tim-Tim by the Ul-hada ((Urluk for "fly fly.")
Ronya Malibarus is a member of the thistle family and belongs in the higher order Avabar.
In November of 2018, I discovered I had a hidden talent. I could be really, really, really stressed out. Okay, so that's not a talent...but the stress did lead me to a new project: one that I hadn't considered before. It started like this:
I was having trouble with a coworker. This person was mean...almost all the time. Saying mean things to me. Making me feel like a loser. I know I am a loser, but I didn't want to feel like one, So, randomly, I decided to try my hand at drawing a "dark" plant. In fact, I started drawing it in the middle of an important meeting.
Turns out, it was really fun. And, I realized that, although I can't keep a plant alive to save my soul...I'm pretty darn good at drawing them. Thus began my creation of the Mak dur s'lu-clu folku vulga.... or The Dark Flora and Fauna of the Fon S'ul.
In order to understand how to begin the book, I had to know where the plants I was creating were going to live. I also had to know what each one would be called. So, I had to do some background work before I could even begin the drawing in earnest. I had to revisit the Urluk language, the language of the Ul-hada in the Arqiyyon series, and I had to take a look at their grammar and usage. I had to redraw the map of the Fon S'ul in greater detail, and,, instead of using the Caladani at first, I framed the book and its writing in Urluk. This quickly branched out to Caladani again, as Ur-luck is highly unimaginative. I couldn't name every plant "pain stick" like the Ronya Malibarus, or "hide in dirt." So, there is a basis in the book for Urluk, but Caladani is just plain more fun! Once I had the book put in perspective, I was ready to draw.
In the pseudo-rural town of Middleburg, Florida, just outside the line of Orange Park-- forever encroaching the town's peace with its noise and crowds and subdivisions-- I found Elsewhere. This little cedar house, almost, but not quite, like a log cabin, stole my heart and my imagination immediately. Though I looked at other places before I committed, I knew in my heart the second I walked onto the property that I was the person who was supposed to care for this place. And so I have.
When my last relationship ended, I found myself with an extra room in my house. "What" I thought, "do I do with it?" At first, I made a little workroom. I went to a thrift store and bought a card table for three dollars. I moved a few things in, put a special collection of books-- most on medieval costuming-- and I started making things. After a while, I realized that I wanted to build more of an art installation. Eventually, an idea began to form in my mind. While it was, at first, dependent on finding an antique card catalog used when the Dewey Decimal System was still en vogue, I gradually realized I could work without it. Since last year, I have been gathering things and changing the look of the room. I started calling it "the museum," which is its informal name.
Now, instead of "the workroom" or "the museum," I have officially changed its name to "Musea Obscura." I still call it the museum, and so do my closest friends. But, it feels more alive now than ever. It's not finished...
I'll still make changes until it's just right. But, I have been working here, and some of my most exciting projects have been undertaken since creating this space.