About the Author

Glen Dresser is a novelist whose first book, Correction Road, was released in 2007 and shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary book prize. He has also worked as a technical writer, information designer and web developer. He is currently focusing his efforts on his second novel and his first-born son, while assisting with UPPERCASE Magazine

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"Animal Shelters" for UPPERCASE Magazine

Musings on animals with shells - UPPERCASE Magazine Issue #6

I wrote this piece for UPPERCASE Magazine #6, about the appeal of animals that carry their own accommodation with them: snails, turtles, nautili, hermit crabs, and in particular, the amazing veined octopus, which fashions a portable fortress for itself out of two halves of a coconut shell. 

She looks like she belongs in a Monty Python skit rather than National Geographic, and footage of this creature is a popular selection on Youtube. She seems a little less majestic than those cephalopods who possess the confidence to swim unhindered through the blue, attacking steampunk-era submarines and washing up on shores to seduce fishermen's wives and be immortalized in early Japanese woodcuts. 

There might be times when we wish that we were more like the armadillo: that we had a thick hide and could roll ourselves into a near perfect sphere that would leave antagonists pawing in confusion. There are times when those logarithmic  spiral shells of the snail or nautilus look appealling: to coast along -- fast or slow -- with all the comforts and security of home, and look stylish doing so. And could we fashion our shells like a little reading room or a tiki lounge, then relax, dim the lights and watch luminescent jellyfish drift past.


This piece was gorgeously illustrated by Jing Wei, who's woodcut print is a little bit like what I would look like if I was a veined octopus. 


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