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Friday Link Pack 12/11/2015

Friday Link Pack 12/11/15

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for 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! If you missed the post, please be aware, the Friday Link Pack is being sunsetted at the end of this year.

All right, business done, let’s get to it.


WRITING:

The Importance Of Jumping The Shark As Early As Possible
Charlie Jane Anders, the author of the forthcoming All the Birds in the Sky, discusses how jumping the shark as early as possible will help establish the weirdness in your worlds without having to alienate your audience from stranger things to come.

Dealing With The Protagonist Who Won’t Talk to You And The Character Who Refuses To Be Cut
We have all been there, we’re ready to write, but we’re struggling with a particular character. Something about them gnaws at us, making them tough to write. What do you do? In this post, Lauren Sapala offers advice about dealing with problem characters head on and how you can overcome those blocks.

‘Based On A True Story’: The Fine Line Between Fact And Fiction
What happens when the lines between fiction and nonfiction begin to blur? Geoff Dyer and others explore this idea in this fantastic piece for the Guardian.

Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves
While the accessibility of streaming media is incredibly handy, is there a case for having shelf after shelf of books for children to peruse? Teddy Wayne makes the case in this article for the New York Times.


ART:

Get Ready To Appreciate The Fantasy Art of Frank Frazetta on a Whole New Level! [NSFW]
In the sixties and seventies, it was Frazetta who defined the look of Conan the Barbarian and much of the swords and sorcery era. Recently a cache of early Frazetta’s sketches, drawings, and watercolor paintings went up for auction, and we can appreciate his skill on a whole new level. [Thanks to Steve for sharing this with me.]

An Octopus Typewriter by Courtney Brown
For her piece for this years California Sculpture SLAM, Oakland artist Courtney Brown brought out Self Organization a 1938 Underwood typewriter that has seemingly come alive. Make sure to check out the creation process on Brown’s site as well.

Perfect Faces And Bodies Evanescing Into Rough Pastel Brushstrokes
Painter Meredith Marsone’s juxtaposition of the delicate and beautiful with the chaotic and raw create pieces that are both intimate and yet melancholy. Beautiful work.


RANDOM:

The 2015 Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide
Just like last year, I put together a handy little gift guide for the Lovecraft fan in your life. I cover everything from books to music to apparel and games. Lots of neat stuff.

Yule Log 2.015
The tradition of the Yule Log is a strange one, but sitting around a comfy fire and telling stories is something I can get behind. Yule Log 2.015 is a collection of short films created by various artists that hope to bring the Yule Log tradition into the digital age. It’s fun stuff. What’s your favorite?

Where’s Me a Dog? Here’s You a Dog: the South’s Most Unusual Regionalism
Language is a fluid thing it shifts and changes Across countries, within states, even among cities. Atlas Obscura delves into the strange world of grammatical variations throughout America centered around one strange turn of phrase.

Ghost Streets Of Los Angeles
BLDBLOG takes a look at streets of Los Angeles that have long since disappeared but who’s scars have remained. A cool look on the evolution of a modern city.


WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Aokigahara
“Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest or Sea of Trees, is a 35-square-kilometre (14 sq mi) forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest contains a number of rocky, icy caverns, a few of which are popular tourist destinations. Aokigahara forest is dense, shutting out all but the natural sounds of the forest itself.

The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology, and it is a notoriously common suicide site (in which 57 took place in 2010). For this reason, a sign at the head of the main trail urges suicidal visitors to think of their families and contact a suicide prevention association.”


H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

The Man of Stone
A trip to visit strange lifelike statuary deep in the Catskill Mountains goes awry in this story collaboration with Hazel Heald.


GIF OF THE WEEK:World's Best Eagle.

Friday Link Pack 09/18/2015

Friday Link Pack 09/18/2015

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it’s back! It’s time for the Friday Link Pack. Some of these links I’ve mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Do you 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…

RED LITTEN WORLD:

[Note: As we draw closer and closer to the October 6th release date I will have new Red Litten World news every week, fitting we give it its own category.]

Read A Free Sample Chapter Of Red Litten World Today
You can read an excerpt from my next novel for free over on its official site. I hope you enjoy it, help spread the word and please tell your friends!

Red Litten World Is Available For Preorder
Preorders are open! You can order the eBook of Red Litten World and have it delivered to your reader the morning of October 6th. Simple and efficient. (There ares a few platforms that don’t allow for preordering, for those Red Litten World will still arrive October 6th, but you’ll have to purchase it the old fashioned way.)

WRITING:

The Most Banned And Challenged Books Of 2014
File under books you should read. Some of these are surprising, some aren’t. Some have been there a while. (It’s no secret I am a huge fan of #6, as a matter of fact, I just got the recent trade of Saga in the mail a few days ago! Yay!)

H. P. Lovecraft & H. R. Giger: How Their Dreams Became Our Nightmares
A great guest post by John A. DeLaughter over on Lovecraft eZine focusing on Lovecraft and Giger and how the visions of these two quiet and nondescript men entered the collective consciousness and pop culture.

5 Lessons Learned From Writing 10 Fiction Books
Mystery author Joanna Penn can easily be called an industry veteran, and with the release of her latest book, Deviance, she has offered to share advice she’s learned after writing ten novels. It’s good stuff, and worth a read. Also, if you’re a mystery fan grab one of her books.

China Miéville’s 6 Favorite Books
My favorite weird fiction author shares his top six books. As you’d expect they’re not mainstream darlings, a really unique selection. (Miéville has a new collection of short stories out as well, I just started Three Moments of an Explosion and I’m really enjoying it.)

Crunch Time: The Realities Of Indie Publishing
What does it take to launch a book as an indie publisher? Quite a bit actually and doing it right takes a lot of effort. In this post, I go into details on my book launching process and even include my list for the launch of Red Litten World.

ART:

A Lovelorn Theft
My amazing wife and partner, Kari-Lise, latest series is now on view at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco and it’s amazing. (There’s only a handful of pieces left so if something catches your eye make sure you contact Kim at Modern Eden.) We went down to SF last weekend for the opening. It was great meeting everyone, big thank-you to those who came out and said “hello!”

New Cubist Tattoos By Peter Aurisch
I love it when tattoos break the conventional idea of what a tattoo should be, instead of another pretend sailor icon the owner chooses something fresh and unique that stands out. This work from Peter Aurisch fits that latter group.

RANDOM:

What The Hell Are These?? (WARNING: Not For The Faint Of Heart)
You’ll never guess what these weird looking appendages belong to. I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but yeah… creepy and disturbing. Nature is wacky. [Thanks to my editor, Lola Landekic for sharing this with me. I think.]

Don’t Ignore The Background [Video]
One of my absolute favorite YouTube shows, Nerdwriter, explores the visual stories told in the background of one of my absolute favorite movies, Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men. There are a lot of great lessons about subtle storytelling and worldbuilding here, stuff I use myself when I write my books. This video is very much worth your eight minutes.

Iconic Book Covers Come To Life In Beautiful, Subtle GIFs
Classic book covers animated. The result is as the title suggests often beautiful. Would be cool to see this sort of thing become “a thing” it’s a fun way to draw attention to books. That said, if you’re an author and you want to do something similar for your own book, consider contacting Albinson Design, their work is fantastic. (They do book trailers as well.)

WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Shadow Person
“A shadow person (also known as a shadow figure, shadow being or black mass) is the perception of a patch of shadow as a living, humanoid figure, particularly as interpreted by believers in the paranormal or supernatural as the presence of a spirit or other entity. Many methamphetamine addicts report hallucinations of “shadow people”, as a result of sleep deprivation.”

[FUN & RANDOM FACT: The umbra species from my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle, is partially inspired by shadow people.]

H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

The Very Old Folk
Found in a 1927 letter addressed to Donald Wandrei, this story is: the roman legion meets The Hills Have Eyes with a dash of Dallas.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

a clown