Little known fact: I love otters.
I’m not as fond of dolphins and whales, as many Sword of the Stars fans seem to assume. The Liir are definitely not a “Mary Sue” race for me; I think anyone who knows my work recognizes that I gave them quite the dark side. And while I certainly don’t wish to see cetaceans imprisoned or tortured, shot with pistols or eaten by Japanese people, since I think they are closer to humans in sensitivity and intelligence than most people believe…I also don’t have my heart filled with joy just by looking at a dolphin swimming or goofing around.
Otters, on the other hand, have just that effect. They fill me with delight. To the degree that any time I am feeling genuinely down or overwhelmed by the awfulness of the world, I can remind myself that the universe is an essentially worthwhile place by contemplating otters.
This is why I created an imaginary “happy place” called the Arinn Dembo Memorial Otter Sanctuary and Grumpypants Recovery Centre. I picture it as a large seaside reserve populated by sea and river otters who live in safe comfortable habitats and who spend their days playing, grooming, and delighting the patients of the Recovery Centre with their life-affirming antics.
When I am having a difficult time–suffering physical and emotional pain, trying to manage distress, etc.–I sometimes retreat to the Recovery Centre. I’ll generally tell people why, on Facebook and such.
And for 24 hours or so, you’re not allowed to post anything to my timeline but otters. Like this guy.