I like bones. I love fossils. The outline of something. The bare bones. It somehow means the essence to me – what really counts – what’s left when everything else is gone.

Someone asked me what gave me more satisfaction, writing a first draft of finishing the last edits. The answer is the first draft – definitely. I love the rough bones of a story sticking out, waiting to be trimmed and polished. There is something raw and energetic about a first draft, clumsy – like a teenager, awkward, full of pimples and bad habits (repeated words, dangling participles, misplaced modifiers…)! But also full of so much promise!

And speaking of beautiful bones – some skulls and bones make me want to get my pencils out and draw them. Zygoma just posted a mystery skull and I fell in love with its swooping shape and delicate lines.



It was mysterious – I couldn’t think of what it was until I noticed the mandible and the lack of teeth on the front (I’m so scientific, lol). But then my guess became more evident. (This is still a guess – it hasn’t been confirmed)  However, I think the skull belongs to a rather strange animal:  the genus name “orycteropus” means burrowing foot and comes from the Greek word ορυκτερόπους (orykterópous) meaning “digging footed”. The species name “afer” refers to Africa.
The Hausa are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, & Hausa magicians make a charm from the heart, skin, forehead, and nails of this animal, which they then proceed to pound together with the root of a certain tree.  Wrapped in a piece of skin and worn on the chest, the charm is said to give the owner the ability to pass through walls or roofs at night.

Isn’t that mysterious?

I’ll post the name of the animal when Zygoma confirms it. Until then, feel free to guess!