Solo Journaling: Tiny Home Terrarium

Tiny Home Terrarium (Solo Journaling Game by Philippa Mort)

My name is Dapple Coltsfoot. I am a TinyFolk. 

So I am trying to set up a new jar house. I finally decided to move because there were too many people moving into my neighborhood, and trampling my special moss rock, the one that gets too dry sometimes, and the moss turns dull and dead, until it rains again and the moss returns like the flowers in spring. They didn’t care about my moss rock. I just don’t like spaces crowded with loud people, even if they aren’t loud out loud. Sometimes you can be quiet and still be a loud person.

The one thing I brought with me is a lovely feather I found that is too pretty to part with. It has a black tip! I wonder what wonderful bird it came from? 

My special skill is that I have a green thumb – not literally, but I’m good with gardening. And my poor moss rock (but it was too heavy to bring). So I know I will be able to make a lovely new green place to live. I also know what to eat and what to avoid. Even the tricky mushrooms! 

The Rockery is a location to find a nice rock for my home.

So I got up, even though my new terrarium jar is mostly empty, it’s still home, and I would have to leave it to go to the Rockery. Anyway I made sure I looked presentable, and headed over. It took a good quarter hour to get there. When I arrived at the rockery, which I hoped would be empty, it wasn’t empty at all. There was a sad little green frog there, by a moist pool in the middle of the rocks, where the sun doesn’t get to. He was feeling very lonely. Fortunately I showed up! He was lonely but optimistic, which worked out, because I came along to become a new friend. I don’t know what he would have done without me! (I didn’t mind him because frogs are very quiet people.) So I was just starting to get to know him when we both had to hide immediately – a cat was coming! She was a big, white shorthair with a tail waving like a flag shouting danger. We scattered two different ways because the frog could hide in a smaller rock hole than I could. The cat didn’t seem to care about me, and sniffed RIGHT where the frog was hiding. So I picked up a piece of gravel and threw it as hard as I could in the other direction to try to distract the cat. It didn’t work very well. I wasn’t sure what else to do. So I shouted. That worked a little too well, and I had to find a better place to hide, fast. But someone called the cat inside just then, so I was in the clear and forgotten. Dandelions! Who ever heard of a cat that comes when you call it?!

I went back to see how the frog was doing, whose name was actually Scum, which doesn’t sound like a nice name to me, but is apparently a nice name to a frog. He was happy to know that I was in the area, especially since I kept the cat away from him, and invited me back to chat again.

I got to take a very shiny orange rock back to my home. It looks like something you could eat (but it isn’t). In fact Scum gave me a small blue button to put in my home too. He said that buttons with two holes are luckier than buttons with four holes. I am not sure how he knows this but I knew it would be rude to ask.

I settled back in my new home thinking it could do with a few more rocks, but I was tired, so I made a cup of mint tea and tried to get comfortable for the night. I started trying to think about whether there is a plant that Scum would like, since he gave me the rock and the button. Maybe some water plant for that rock pool. I’ve never tried to grow a water plant before. But that is something I will have plenty of time to think about.

Not-so-Wishful Thinking

You know, yes you, YOU know that sometimes you wish for a fantasy life. To live in a beautiful, magical, wonderful, did I mention magical, pseudo-medieval-world, and attend a comfy mage school somewhere, and then go save the world – from behind a brave warrior with more hit points.
But you know what? You’re wrong.
You’re incredibly wrong, and I know. I have four words for you: leaves, rocks, straw, rags and soap. Four of which we have too much of, and one of which was have exactly the wrong sort of. I say ‘we’ because I speak from the perspective of someone living the dream you wish you were living, and by ink and quill, it’s not what you think it is.
Leaves: Leaves have far too many uses around here. Especially in the form of personal hygiene. You need a band-aide? You get a leaf. You need insect repellent? You get a leaf. You need air freshener? You get a leaf, or, for variety, a burning leaf. You need toilet paper? You get a leaf. You won’t like the leaf, either. It’s not a quilted northern leaf, let me tell you.
Rocks: Rocks are everywhere. Especially if you are on a campaign to save the world. Rocks mysteriously appear under you, whenever you attempt to plough a field, sit down and/or sleep. It’s rather amazing. Magi have studied it for years and are baffled at the spontaneous creation of matter which only seems to happen with rocks, enemy soldiers, and/or occasionally poison ivy.
Straw: Straw is not comfortable. Straw smells, itches, moulds, rots, sticks up pointy-bits in all the worst places you can imagine, and is generally the bedding material of choice, because it is better than rocks, see above.
Rags: Once a month, you, if you happen to be of the female persuasion, get a very personal and intimate relationship with rags. Let us not discuss this any further.
Soap: Anything rendered from lard and ashes is just plain nasty when rubbed on the body and in the hair.

You sit there thinking you wish you were me, but really, you wish you were me only about 1% of the time – the “potentially beating up the foule goblins at a safe distance by using magic” portion of the time. And that 1% of the time is certainly fun, but the 99% of the time spent wandering around without internet connectivity, smelling of muck and horse and sweat and really bad soap, with no coffee and rarely tea, and even the small beer is beyond consumption because no one ever thought of the idea of a water filter… Well, you can romanticize it and say I don’t know any better but, dear reader, I do know better, for I am staring through the mists of time rolling my eyes at you. I know I have been shafted by having a medieval romantic life that is foot-sore and travel-weary and does not include nearly enough cosseted-up-in-the-corner-of-a-warm-and-not-very-smelly-cozy-homely-secluded-and-did-I-mention-warm-again-hut-reading-a-spellbook time.

So think twice about what you yearn for, and next time you invent a wonderful fantasy world, be sure to dream up some really brilliant soap.


I promised JB that I would add a post tonight, “with art or something,” because this page lacks content. Actually this was predicated by the fact that my web hosting plan is ending so I need to renew. This seems to cost a lot, when I think of how much this site has done for me over the last two years. Then I realize that for about 20 of those months I left the site blank and I realize that I’m just a doofus.

So, for your entertainment, I have captured and sketched the elusive Garjubble, a chubby little fantasy fish of the warm shallow seas.

The Elusive (and cute) Garjubble
The Elusive (and cute) Garjubble


In more disturbing news, I was about to buy some copper sheet (to attempt to make something Steampunk-esque) and discovered that it is being stolen from local craft stores, so I had to ask at the back for them to bring the stash of copper out from the storage area.

That definitely seems like something from a novel.

Steampunkery will be in the works even without the copper (I am too cheap at this time, due to buying my web hosting, see above. And I bought a cabinet, while we’re at it.); I will just resort to making it “copper colored” instead of “copper covered”.  Oh, also I just discovered the exciting and informative contents of Instructables. I named myself Nickleplate there, to further confuse the fact that I use too many online names.  

Also I have decided that Doctor Gestalt is just too masculine to use from here on out, so that blog is not likely to be resuscitated with that name.