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Friday Link Pack - Christmas

Friday Link Pack – Christmas

It’s Friday, and it’s Christmas! Merry Christmas! Hopefully, you’re done opening presents and full of delicious Christmas Dinner and ready to curl up with the Friday Link Pack, my weekly post covering topics such as writing, art, current events, and random weirdness. Some of these links I mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! This will be the last official Friday Link Pack for some time [Details here]. Next week we’ll finish up with a big year-end review. Let’s get to it.


WRITING:

Creating Fictional Holidays
One way to increase the believability of your fictional world is to pepper it with invented but engaging holidays. In this article Robert A. Sloan offers some advice on creating holidays unique to your world.

Worldbuilding: Creating Holidays
Sensing a theme here? Since today is Christmas, I thought it’d be fun to explore different aspects of holidays as it pertains to writing. In this article, author Elizabeth Briggs breaks down our holidays into five unique categories. (She also links the next link that I’ll embed below.)

Life Day!
The crew of Writing Excuses and author Dave Farland discusses holidays in this video taken at Superstars Writing Seminar 2011 in Salt Lake City. Click the link to watch it on YouTube or use the player below.

What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay for Pages Read in November, 2015?
Author Chris McMullen crunches the numbers from last month on the per-page payouts for Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.

Boost Your Writing: 3 Things To Do Now To Start 2016 Off Right
The new year is right around the corner, and Angela Ackerman of Bookshelf Muse and Writers Helping Writers has some helpful housekeeping ideas to kickstart the upcoming New Year.


ART:

Krampus, The Yule Lord
In his new book, author and artist Brom has illustrated some of the characters surrounding the legend of Krampus. From Mrs. Clause to Krampus himself. Wonderfully creepy and as always amazingly imaginative. Today’s Featured Image is a detailed version of Brom’s Santa, make sure you check out the full version in the link. You can buy, Krampus, The Yule Lord at Amazon.

Constructual by Juana Gomez
Faded photographs of humans printed on fabric are embroidered with the internal anatomy, neural pathways, muscle structure, even the circulatory system. A unique and lovely look into the human body and the systems housed inside.

Paintings of Haphazardly Wrapped Gifts by Yrjö Edelmann
I stared at these images for a long time and just found myself shaking my head. Edelmann’s skill is undeniable, and it’s amazing to think these are simple oil paintings on canvas.


RANDOM:

2015: The Best Year in History for the Average Human Being
If you listen to the 24-hour news cycle, you’d think we’re spiraling down into a maelstrom of doom and gloom. However, that isn’t the case at all. Things are looking pretty awesome for humanity, despite what Fox News will tell you. (Spoiler: next years looking even better.)

Cthulhumas Wreath Creature
Next year, if you want to terrify your friends and neighbors, consider crafting this wonderful (and festive) Cthulhu-esque wreath.

Should We Keep A Low Profile In Space?
We have been so eager to discover intelligent life outside our planet, the New York Times questions whether or not that is a good idea. Some doors might best be left closed.

Cthulelf!
Artist Kate Leth created this adorable little Cthulhu for you to cut out and hang around your house. An easy (and terrifying) way to decorate your home or workspace for the holidays.

Time Travel Map
This map from 1914 has been making the rounds lately. The isochronic map shows the time it would take to travel from Europe to the far-flung edges of the world.


WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Caganer
“A Caganer is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia and Northern Catalonia (in southern France). It is most popular and widespread in these areas, but can also be found in other areas of Spain (Murcia), Portugal and southern Italy (Naples).

The name “El Caganer” literally means “the crapper” or “the shitter”. Traditionally, the figurine is depicted as a peasant, wearing the traditional Catalan red cap (the “barretina”) and with his trousers down, showing a bare backside, and defecating.”


H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

Christmas
Did you know Lovecraft wrote a super sappy Christmas poem? (Well, honestly, he wrote a bunch.) Last year I featured the poem Christmas on I Make Stories, and if you’re feeling jolly you should check it out.


GIF OF THE WEEK:

End on a high note

Friday Link Pack 07/02/2015

It’s an extra-large holiday weekend here in the States. Why not celebrate it with an extra-large Friday Link Pack! Some of these links I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Let’s get to it…

WRITING:

Amazon Sues To Block Fake Reviews On Its Site
This article is a few months old, but it somehow flew below my radar. It’s nice to see Amazon taking some steps towards removing this practice. Never, ever, ever, EVER, pay for reviews. They are as unfair to your readers as they are to you.

Mad Max: Fury Road And The Art Of Worldbuilding
I loved Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s easily my favorite movie of 2015. In this article, I go into depth on how director George Miller created such a wonderfully thought out action flick, with deep well-developed characters, and a breakneck pace.

Gay Vampires And Bisexual Cowboys: Why Erotica Gas E-Readers To Thank
The Guardian looks into the growing popularity of the erotica genre and the correlation with the rise of e-readers and the privacy afforded by them. There’s also a bit that goes into the psyche of readers of erotism. Personally, it feels stifling as an author. I’d hate to try something different and have my audience revolt.

Online Is IRL
Chuck Wendig wrote this piece in response to the backlash erotica writer E.L. James received on Twitter during her #AskELJames hashtag campaign. It’s some good thoughts surrounding how we treat one another online and how as critics we should always focus on the work, and not the creator themselves. [Note: Wendig later withdrew this statement. I’m not really sure why? Because he’s a man, I guess? All I see is one author stepping forward in the defense of a fellow author. YMMV, the initial article is still great.]

The Modern History Of Swearing: Where All The Dirtiest Words Come From
If you have been reading my blog for some time you’ll note that I am a fan of etymology and the evolution of words. This article from Salon delves into the histories of some of today’s dirtier words.

ART:

The Anamorphic Graffiti Of Odeith
While anamorphic street art is always fun, Odeith takes it to the next level. I particularly like it when paint is used on the ground to help take that 3D effect to new places.

Yes, Androids Do Dream Of Electric Sheep
So, Google set up a feedback loop in its image recognition neural network. The result were these strange hallucinatory images of animals, buildings, people, and landscapes. Beautiful, maybe. Terrifying, absolutely.

The Corey Press
Lovecraftian woodblock prints created by Drew Meger in Salem, MA. Really love all of these (the Nyarlathotep piece, Sage of the Sands, is my favorite.) If you like what you see, make sure you check out his Etsy store. (I featured Entfuhrentanz, Die Herzogin, for the featured image this week.)

Kisung Koh, Recent Work
My own art tastes have veered away from animals over the last few years. However, there was something incredible about these recent pieces from Canadian artist Kisung Koh. They go beyond your typical paintings of animals and into something else entirely.

RANDOM:

Go Play Gran Text Auto
Yesterday, a friend of mine launched his new game for iOS. It’s part driving and part texting. It’s fantastic, hilarious, and free! I highly recommend checking it out. iOS only for now. Here’s the link to download.

The 6 Alien Species Currently Fighting for Control Over Earth
Well, this is certainly… er, interesting. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if the blog post is serious or not. [Thanks for Will from Dorkshelf and Art of the Title sharing this.]

Netflix Is About to Be Bigger Than ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox
It’s a banner day… er, decade, really… for new media, and Netflix is the vanguard. You know those execs who never thought Netflix was going to make it are kicking themselves right now. And to thin, Netflix used to be the company that shipped DVDs to people.

9 Creatures So Unfathomable They’re Named After Monsters
We’ve already looked at the six species of aliens fighting over our planet. Let’s look at what they’ll inherit! Atlas Obscura (my favorite blog) lays out this strange menagerie. Creatures named after the hydra, to flying dragons, to the goblin spider.

Dice-Shaming
We’ve all been there. We’re fighting a monster, trying to pick a lock, or rolling to see how successful one of our abilities are… and… epic fail. Well, the gamers over at blastr have put together this slideshow of 27 dice that didn’t behave and the consequences their poor rolls wrought on the outcome of the game.

WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Raven Paradox
“The raven paradox, also known as Hempel’s paradox or Hempel’s ravens, is a paradox arising from the question of what constitutes evidence for a statement. Observing objects that are neither black nor ravens may formally increase the likelihood that all ravens are black – even though, intuitively, these observations are unrelated.”

H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

He
A man begrudgingly moves to a new town, and while wandering the streets at night he meets a mysterious stranger who begins to show him visions. Some interesting connections to Lovecraft’s personal life and his racism in this story. I highly recommend checking out the Wikipedia page for He.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

Crows gunna crow.