Spamology et al

DEARLY BELOVED, SAVE HUMANITY!” says the subject line on one the messages in my spam box.

I am tempted to send an autoreply.

“You have reached the Messiah Hotline. We value your call. Due to the heavier than usual call volume, you may have to wait a little longer than usual for a response. Your expected wait time is approximately 2000 years. Please stay on the line and someone will be with you momentarily.”

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Sea of Voices, or, A Question of Character

“How many people are in this room?” I asked the audience at a recent Cascade Writers Conference. They began turning around to count heads.

“No,” I interrupted, “not how many warm bodies. How many people?”

I paused as they puzzled over this, then went on.

“Let me introduce you to the ones that are currently up here at the front of the room with me.”

And then I spoke, in character, as character, as four of the characters from my own stories.

There was Coyote, for example, from my Worldweavers books:

CybermageShe called me Corey, in the books. She had to call me something. But you might know me better as Coyote…

I am a spirit; I am a god; I am an avatar. I am chaos. I am a rock in a stream; I do not block the water flow but I act as a dam and I make the water find a way around me if it wants to move forward in its bed. I am a lesson to be learned….

We all carry it within us, all the writers, we all swim in this sea of voices which whisper nto our ears as we work, as we eat, as we sleep, as we dream. We contain multitudes, That person sitting in the back of the bus having a passionate conversation with thin air? He’s probably a writer arguing with a recalcitrant character who will not do what is needful because they know better (the worst thing is that they usually DO…)

I talk about this in detail at Storytellers Unplugged.

Read the Article

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Okay, then. Okay.

I was procrastinating like crazy, trawling the Net, when I found something on the blog, Writing Advice: by Chuck Palahniuk.

“For this month’s homework, pick through your writing and circle every ‘thought’ verb. Then, find some way to eliminate it. Kill it by Un-packing it.” (If you want to read his whole column, you can find it here.)

UNPACK, he says. And then he gives challenge sentences. Here’s my answers to the challenge (his sentence first, my (long -winded) responses following straight after):

“Marty imagined fish, jumping in the moonlight…”

“Ripples spread out in circles silver-edged by moonlight, spilling on the surface of the dark water, as though something had been thrown into the river, or something had jumped out – for terror, for joy, perhaps for both. It might have been Marty’s own heart, beating too fast against his ribs as he struggled to catch his breath.”

“Nancy recalled the way the wine tasted…”

“It all came flooding back as soon as the wine spilled into her mouth, and she could all but taste the wintry sunshine outside the half-empty cafe where she had last sipped of this particular vintage, watching the door close slowly just as Joe had walked out, leaving her alone with the half-consumed bottle of wine and the dregs in his own glass, unfinished, still stitting there on the table across from her, mocking her dreams.”

“Larry knew he was a dead man…”

“There was a metallic taste in Larry’s mouth as he crouched behind the packing cases. He could be certain of at least three of them, out there in the warehouse, too far spread out for him to do anything about; for all he knew there were a dozen more. But it didn’t matter, either way. They were between him and the exit, and there were only two bullets left in the gun. ‘Well,’ he muttered under his breath, out loud just so that he could hear his own voice one more time,  closing his eyes briefly and holding the cold metal of the gun’s barrel flat against his forehead in a gesture that was almost a salute, ‘I guess the only thing left is to make it count. I won’t go without taking at least two of those bastards with me.”

Of course, “unpacking” means MORE WORDS. But eh. I can live with that.

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A hilarious video for all lovers of language
LanguageMatthew Rogers used the words of Stephen Fry in creating this kinetic typography animation. It’s wonderful. Watch it.

Watch the video

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35 of the Internet’s Most Influential Writers

Some are young authors, others are firmly established, Jason Diamond writes at Flavorwire. Some of them are publishing industry veterans or new media superstars who want to use their clout to talk up writers they love, while others command small armies via their Tumblrs. Some start hashtag trends, while others have scored book deals with their clever tweets.

Whatever it is they do on the Internet, these 35 people do it better than anybody else in the book world, and that’s why they help steer literary conversations and tastes.
Melissa BroderMelissa Broder: We’ve already explored this poet’s uncanny ability to tweet magic, but it bears repeating. If you haven’t followed her yet, what are you waiting for?

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day
hemingway quote~~~~~
Alma Alexander
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Bedroom Quirks

The Bedroom Quirks of 10 Great Authors
Bedroom quirksYou know that Shakespeare, James Joyce and Lord Byron were geniuses when it came to their ways with words, but as anyone who knows a writer can tell you, scribes frequently come with some serious quirks, Stacy Conradt writes at Mental Floss. I’m reading Secret Lives of Great Authors by Robert Schnakenberg, and the secrets definitely come out. So, without further ado, I give you 10 intimate quirks of some of the finest writers ever.
 
Read the Article

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Teenage rebels in fiction – quiz

To celebrate the 66th birthday of SE Hinton, The Guardian wants to test your knowledge of the great tales of teen trouble-makers and asks: You got a problem with that?

I love the second choice in Question #4.

Take the Quiz

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The 10 best bookstores … make that 11

The rumors of the death of indie bookstores have been greatly exaggerated, Leif Pettersen says in USA TODAY, then hedges:

Well, moderately exaggerated. The harsh fact is that these institutions are facing unprecedented competition from a website named for a river, and many struggle just to stay open. Still, a determined few are thriving.

He misses one of the great ones, Village Books in Bellingham WA, but lists most of the usual suspects. I’ve covered the best bookstores before but I like this one for all the great photos.
Skylight-BooksSkylight Books, Los Angeles – One of the most respected independent bookstores in the country. The hipster-ometer is buried in the red here (in a good way), from the eclectic customers, to the well-read staff, to Franny the store cat, to the arts annex two doors down.

Read the Article

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Women’s Rights News says:
Women Didn’t Just Join Geek Culture, They Invented It
GeeksRead the Article

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Mary Poppins Stumps for Minimum Wage Increase

Mary Poppins

A hilarious video. You will never hear “supercallifagilisticexpialliBULLSHIT”  the same way again.

 

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Read the Article

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Retirement Community’s Awesome Calendar Of Famous Movies

The Contilia Retirement Group in Germany released a calendar that featured  scenes from their favorite movies, Ashley Burns writes at Filmdrunk.

The folks at the Senior Living Communities in the US thought it was a spectacular idea and decided to give it a whirl. The result is an 18-month calendar that takes on classic movies from A Christmas Story to Cleopatra, as well some other great moments in pop culture history that your own great grand-grandparents might call the bee’s knees.
ghostbustersVia Senior Living Communities

Read the Article

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28 Beautiful Quotes About Libraries

The libraries of the world are under threat. At Buzzfeed, Daniel Dalton offers some reasons to care.
EinsteinRead the Article

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Are you a book hoarder? There’s a word for that

How many books is too many books, Hector Tobar asks in the LA Times? What makes you a book hoarder? In Japanese, tsundoku is a noun that describes a person who buys books and doesn’t read them, and then lets them pile up on the floor, on shelves, and assorted pieces of furniture.

Just looking around our house – the books left to breed and multiply on the coffee table, the books stacked sideways on nearby shelves, the double-stacked books on at least three bookshelves in two different rooms – and then there’s the library…
Our libraryWe not only MEET the rather low-ball criterion they offer up in the article, we are POSTER CHILDREN for the Compulsive Book Hoarder Group. Still, there are worse things to be addicted to than books.

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day

Someone asked Pablo Casals when he was 90 why he still practiced every day.  “Because I think I am making some progress,” he answered.

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Alma Alexander
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Dare you steal this book?

It was traditional, particularly before the invention of the printing press and books were all hand written manuscripts, to letter a curse into the book to prevent theft, Book Porn tells us. For example:

    Steal not this book, my worthy friend
    For fear the gallows will be your end;
    Up the ladder, and down the rope,
    There you’ll hang until you choke;
    Then I’ll come along and say –
    “Where’s that book you stole away?”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have worked very well, as the books also had to be chained into place. Even chains had limited effect. Witness the many ancient libraries where there are still chains in place… but no books.

When printed books came along, bookplates were sometimes used to make the same point.
Book protectionRead the Article

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Writer At Work

If you’ve ever had questions for a writer but were afraid to ask, here’s your chance.

Well, if you live anywhere near Bellingham, Washington anyway.

I’m spending a few hours tomorrow, July 25, at Bellewood Acres as writer in residence. I’ll be the one tapping away on my laptop in the apple orchard’s store, working on my newest book.

Bellewood Acres, located near Bellingham, a few miles from Canada, is home to one of Northwest Washington’s largest apple orchards. You can pick your own apples and your own pumpkins from their pumpkin patch.

Since writing is usually a solitary occupation, this will be a welcome break for me. Customers can stop by and ask about my books, the writing life, or what I am working on, which currently is a new Young Adult title.

I haven’t been to Bellewood Acres in a while, and I sure miss their incomparable Apple Pie.

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The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places On Earth

These real life ruins offer an eerie glimpse into a world without humans,” Lara Starr writes at The Open Mind. “Their dark walls inspire a sense of wonder like I’ve never felt before.”

This one just makes me itch to write a story about it.
Missouri RRimgur.com
Railroad in the Fall – Lebanon, Missouri

I mean, where do these rails go? What kind of a train rides them? It feels elegiac, like you’re riding through the heart of golden Fall, already half memory, and heading straight into the gloaming of a winter just around the corner somewhere (where it could already be starting to snow lightly in the twilight). A far gentler, lovelier, softer winter than George R R Martin ever thought about… but I guess… winter is ALWAYS coming…
SS AmericaWreck of the SS America – Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
This former United States ocean liner was wrecked in 1994 after 54 years of service.

Read the Article

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The Perspective-Shifting Habit of Extremely Creative People

We spend a lot of time racking our brains in morning meetings and staring at blank computer screens waiting for an aha moment, Alena Hall writes at The Huffington Post  , but science shows we might be better off removing ourselves entirely from our typical work environment to gain a fresh perspective.
Maya AngelouMaya Angelou, the late poet and civil rights activist, was full of inspiring words, most of which came to her in hotel rooms she rented for the sole purpose of writing. Even as a homeowner, she chose to inhabit these solitary spaces when it was time to get to work.
CHARLES-DICKENSCharles Dickens: The great English novelist found inspiration for some of his most beloved story characters as he strolled the streets of London. The city served as one of his most influential muses throughout his career.

Read the Article

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From The New Yorker Archives

Now that The New Yorker has made some of its archives available online for free until the end of this summer, Isaac Fitzgerald of BuzzFeed has selected 14 of the best fiction pieces that you might want to read.
George SaundersAndrew H. Walker / Getty Images Entertainment

Escape From Spiderhead”: George Saunders, author of Tenth of December and Pastoralia, takes a foray into mind-bending science fiction with a story full of exotic drugs and unethical experiments, as told by a human lab rat who is faced with impossible moral dilemmas.

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day

“You don’t need to correct all of your flaws. It’s OK to be human.” ~ Matthew Perpetua

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Alma Alexander
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Kids turning 50

Kids’s books that is

These books were all published in 1964, an amazing year for children’s books, says Scarlet Neath in Bustle.

The ’60s in general are seen as the start of the modern shift in children’s literature from being completely sanitized to more brutally honest. As Maurice Sendak said, “I’m not going to bullshit [kids].
Chitty

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG – Ian Fleming is best known for his 11 James Bond novels, but he also wrote one children’s book while recovering from a heart attack (and he unfortunately did not live to see it published).

The Disney movie version, which is arguably the creepiest kid’s movie of all time, was very loosely based on the book—pretty much all they have in common is the flying car.

 

Read the article

 

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25 of Children’s Most Beloved Female Characters, Ranked in Coolness

If you grew up as a literature-loving young lady, there’s no doubt that you also had a bookshelf full of novels with characters you felt were as near and dear as any flesh and blood friend out there in the so-called “real world,” Kate Erbland writes in Bustle.

Did you ever pretend that Ramona Quimby was your own precocious little sister? Or ponder which member of the Baby-sitters Club would be your best pal in real life? Perhaps you dreamed about somehow folding yourself in between the Pevensie sisters, giving The Chronicles of Narnia a fifth kid to honor? Or imagined that you lived up in that nasty old attic alongside Sara Crewe?
PippiPippi Longstocking: Wild, fun, wild, really fun, crazy, imaginative, nutty old Pippi is the heroine of her own life — and her blasé attitude towards authority and big love for animals mark her as cool even today, despite the fact that she was invented in the early part of the twentieth century.

Read the Article

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The 100 Best American Novels, 1770 to 1985 (a Draft)
100 bestAbout a year ago I put an end to my indiscriminate reading habits,” David Handlin says at The American Scholar, “so I resolved to read, at least for the time being, only American novels….(and) would compile a list of the 100 Best.”

Handlin cautions that he writes “as an enthusiast, not as a scholar” and offers a thoughtful essay on how he chose his list. Definitely worth reading.

Read the Article

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GROAN

25 Literary Pun Names For Your Cat, selected by Nathan W. Pyle at BuzzFeed and inspired by Catticus, mascot of The Next Page bookstore in Philadelphia
CatticusRead the Article

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The Creativity Pill

Creativity pillNeurologist Rivka Inzelberg recently noticed that her patients with Parkinson’s disease seemed to be authoring more novels than older people tend to author, James Hamblin reports in The Atlantic.

Looking closer, poems and paintings also seemed to be pouring out of afflicted patients, in a relative sense—specifically those treated with a synthetic dopamine-precursor pill, levodopa (L-DOPA).

Read the Article

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SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians

Tor has selected some the most notable librarians in SF/Fantasy. For example:
cal-doctorwhoCAL Doctor Who Silence in the Library librarians

The story of Charlotte Abigail Lux (CAL) is tragic enough to break both your hearts. When she was dying, her father preserved her consciousness within a program that simulated a dream world, giving her access to all the knowledge in the library. CAL used this knowledge to help save the Doctor, Donna, and others from the fearsome Vashta Nerada.

ook-paulkidbyArt by Paul Kidby
The Librarian—The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
Transformed into an orangutan by a wayward beam of magic, the Librarian is a member of the small, elite group who have the knowledge and ability to travel through L-space. His true identity is unknown and he speaks only through a series of “ooks” and “eeks,” but he’s still a pretty low-key guy when he’s not protecting the world’s knowledge. Just don’t call him a monkey. Trust us on that one.

Read the Article

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A Tale of Two Internets

Mikki Kendall is black and a woman and her Internet may be wildly different from yours. Every morning she looks at Twitter, and sees tweet after tweet of personal invective and vitriol. There are death threats and rape threats and threats against her family from people who disagree with things she’s written online.

As part of an experiment, she changed her avatar to that of a white male. The difference was black and white.
Black and whiteShe talked about it at On the Media.

Read a transcript of the article

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An Apartment Tower Designed To Help Residents Make Friends

A 24-story residential development in Belgium is designed to get people talking.
Friend friendly towerIt’s hard to foster community in a tower. High-rise towers often lack common spaces that give people a reason to bump into each other or hang out informally. There’s only so much interaction that can happen as people move straight from the lobby to an elevator, then into their apartment.

Social interaction is the main goal of a new high-rise design in Antwerp, Belgium.

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day
Sky crack quote~~~~~
Alma Alexander
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51 must-see cities

With our ever-expanding bucket lists, The Huffington Post says, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the essentials. So they’ve picked the greatest destinations on Earth, the 50 cities you must see during your lifetime. I added one of my own to the list.

I’ve got most of the European destinations covered although I missed out on anything in the Iberian peninsula as I’ve never been to either Spain or Portugal. But there are a slew of Asian cities I’ve never been NEAR and I’d love to see. Lhasa, for instance. That must be a JOURNEY, in more ways than one.

The city that I added to their list is Cape Town, South Africa.

Cape TownCape Town was my home for 13 years, the longest Ive actually ever lived anywhere for a contiguous stretch of time. Its climate is wonderful. That is, if you discount the occasional wind which blows hard enough to lift one out of one’s shoes as it did me, literally, once, or blow over a double decker bus – that happened, too.

Cape Town backs onto wine country, with estates that produce some of the best wines I have ever tasted (Nederburg Baronne. Immortal. Much missed.) It has some of the best and most interesting beaches ever – the one with the cold current running right off shore, which rendered the water ICY, the one which was home to a colony of penguins with whom you sometimes ended up sharing the ocean. I went to University there. It was the home of a special place known as Spanish Gardens which you can read all about in the novel I wrote (Midnight at Spanish Gardens.)

Amazing, unique, awesomely beautiful place. Should have been on this list. So I am putting it there.

PetraPhoto by Husar 77
Petra, Jordan –  the Rose Red City Half as Old as Time. Of all the world’s great ancient cities, Petra stands in a league of its own. Set in the midst of a epic, wind-swept desert, Petra’s monumental rock-cut buildings must be seen to be believed.
SiemReapPhoto by Angel B. Arevalo
Siem Reap, Cambodia – While most come to see the stunning ancient city of Angkor Wat, but Siem Reap’s laid-back bohemian-backpacker vibe and tasty food make it a worthy destination on its own.

Read the Article

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The Empty City: Extraordinary photos capture the true spirit of New York City at night

I’ve always said New York City doesn’t really exist – it’s a stage set, unreal, only imagined -and these almost surreal fairytale photographs taken by artist Franck Bohbot PROVE it. As in, where are all the PEOPLE? This is freaking NYC. There are millions of humans crawling around there. And I don’t care WHAT ungodly time of day these were taken at.

Bohbot’s photos, posted at Sploid by Omar Kardoudi, are “rooted in his fascination with cinematographic iconography, his thematics study the relationship between the individual and the urban landscape. He lives and works in New York.”
NYC 1NYC 2Read the Article

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One-star reviews
Hamlet******SPOILER*******
“Everyone dies!!!!”

Read the Article

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Nadine Gordimer offered Wise Words About Bettering A Troubled World

The great novelist Nadine Gordimer, whose stories told of the immorality of apartheid in her beloved South Africa, was not only a writer, Matt Silver writes at NPR upon her death at 90: She was an activist in the fight to end apartheid. In her writings and speeches, the Nobel Prize offered words of enlightenment for anyone sharing her commitment to bring a better life to those suffering from prejudice, poor health, poverty, and other ills.

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day

Truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.” ~ Nadine Gordimer

~~~~~
Alma Alexander
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Q: Are readers the best lovers?

A: Yes. Scientifically, readers are the best people to fall ino love with.
Readers and loversPhoto Courtesy: We Heart It

Ever finished a book? Lauren Martin asks at Elite Daily. I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?

Like falling in love with a stranger you will never see again, you ache with the yearning and sadness of an ended affair, but at the same time, feel satisfied. Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul.

It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference.

Read the Article

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TV Shows Are Just Reimagined Classic Novels

Frankenstein pushing daisies? You won’t believe the similarities between these classic books and today’s most popular shows, says Alexis Nedd in BuzzFeed. For example:
Firefly20,000 LeaguesFirefly = 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea:  A morally shifty captain with a chip on his shoulder and a strong hatred of government leads his crew on a journey of danger, exploration, and criminal activity in the last great frontier.
Pushing DaisiesFrankenstein

Pushing Daisies = 

A man knows the secret to bringing the dead back to life but everyone focuses on that instead of the nuanced plot that deals with the nature of life, beauty, and human connection.

Read the Article

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ArchieArchie to Take a Bullet For Gay Friend in Final Comic

 

“‘The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,’ said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher. ‘He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.’

Read the Article

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QUIZ – Dragons in literature
Toothless the dragonToothless, dragon star of How To Train Your Dragon, based on the books by Cressida Cowell. Photo by c.20thC.Fox/Everett/REX

As How To Train Your Dragon 2 roars onto the cinema screens, Claire Kearns asks at The Guardian: Is your dragon knowledge ferocious or tame?

Read the Article

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The Perfectly Shaped Treat: Literary Cookie Cutters

Do you like cookies? Kelly Jensen asks at Book Riot. What about words and books? Well then do I have a (sweet) treat for you: literary cookie cutters. Let’s take a tour through the possibilities for some of the most bookish cookies your heart can imagine.
Open Book cookiesLet’s start with the basics, shall we? Here’s your standard book, pages open for your reading/eating pleasure.
Comic-book-cookiesThey’re almost too good looking to want to eat. Almost.

Read the Article

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The Importance of the Human-Animal Bond
Puppy-LoveThe human-animal bond is a metaphor for the roles animals play in our lives.
Photo by Fotolia/Andres Rodriguez

What is it that has caused us to become closer to other species of animals? Aubrey H. Fine asks at Utne. I believe one of the most critical aspects in this evolution is a growing respect and understanding that our companion animals are sentient beings with emotions and thoughts.

Historically, the human/canine relationship goes back almost 12,000 years and may may an evolutionary basis. Gregory Berns explains, “The dog’s brain represents something special about how humans and animals came together. It’s possible that dogs have even affected human evolution. People who took dogs into their homes and villages may have had certain advantages. As much as we made dogs, I think dogs probably made some part of us, too.”

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day
All I Want~~~~~
Alma Alexander
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Greatest sculpture?

Our cities are full of majestic monuments, stunning sculptures and artistic statues, each having a story to tell, Bored Panda says and offers us 25 of them.

Les VoyageursImage credits: Bruno Catalano
Les Voyageurs, Marseilles, France

Hippo SculpturesImage credits: Patche99z
Hippo Sculptures, Taipei, Taiwan

RomaniaImage credits: Dan Dima
Mihai Eminescu, Onesti, Romania

Read the Article

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How big is a book?

Vincze Miklós at io9 invites us to “just imagine burying your nose between the pages of these beauties, massive atlases, photobooks, and tributes to the written word.”
The Klencke Atlas(via Erik Kwakkel and AP Photo/Sang Tan)

The Klencke Atlas, presented by a group of Dutch sugar merchants, led by Johannes Klencke, to King Charles of England II in 1660.

Earth Platinum(via Millennium House)

Earth Platinum, a 6 by 4.5-ft, 128-page atlas by the Sydney-based Millennium House. 31 copies were produced and sold for $100,000 each in 2012.

Read the Article

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Who else do my readers read?

There is a fun site that produces a cloud showing relationships among authors. I plugged in my name and got this: What else do readers of Alma Alexander read? The closer two writers are, the more likely someone will like both of them. Click on any name to travel along.
Alma literary mapThat’s me in the center even if the image is not super. I’ve written historical fantasy as do Judith Tarr and Guy Gavriel Kay. Charles de Lint I can see being in the same camp although it’s a slightly different animal. I’ve been compared to Gail Tsukiyama before.

But why on earth are Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman grouped together out there at the periphery? OK, I can see an overlap with at least SOME of Gaiman, but Pratchett writes funny, and I rarely write humor. While I deeply admire the man and do enjoy his work I don’t know that I would expect an overlap of readers who might profess to enjoy us both?

Read the Article

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When truth and fiction collide

“This reminds me of “The Secrets of Jin Shei. You’ll know why!” my German translator, Christiane Bergfeld, said in sending me a link.

I do know why. And it’s amazing.

There is a limit to how much actual research you can do on ANYTHING – and at some point you just have to trust to what you have already learned, and then after that to luck. Such was the case when I posited a race of red-headed gypsies who lived in the mountains of Syai, of my mythical not-quite-China where the world of “The Secrets of Jin Shei” is set. But then… oh, SO many years later… it turns out I knew more than I knew.
jin-shei gyosyTHE UYGHURS: THE MYSTERY OF THE CHINESE CELTS
The boy in this photograph is officially Chinese, being from the Uyghur people, a mixed Caucasian-Asian Muslim ethnic group that primarily live in Xinjiang (aka East Turkestan) in the People’s Republic of China.

A meeting of civilizations: The mystery of China’s Celtic mummies. The discovery of European corpses thousands of miles away suggests a hitherto unknown connection between East and West in the Bronze Age. Clifford Coonan reports for The Independent.

Read the Article

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Iridescent Clouds over Thamserku
iridescent cloudsImage Credit & Copyright: Oleg Bartunov

NASA offers a daily photo of the universe – stars, galaxies, nebulae — and sometimes an image from earth like this stunning cloud formation. NASA explains how it came about.

Why would a cloud appear to be different colors? A relatively rare phenomenon known as iridescent clouds can show unusual colors vividly or a whole spectrum of colors simultaneously. These clouds are formed of small water droplets of nearly uniform size. When the Sun is in the right position and mostly hidden by thick clouds, these thinner clouds significantly diffract sunlight in a nearly coherent manner, with different colors being deflected by different amounts. Therefore, different colors will come to the observer from slightly different directions. The above iridescent cloud was photographed in 2009 from the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, behind the 6,600-meter peak named Thamserku.

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Read these, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says

“I’ve always loved YA novels. The ones I read growing up include “The Three Musketeers,” “Lord of the Flies,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Catcher in the Rye,” among many others. Those works inspired and shaped me as the man I would become, and they continue to remind me of the values of compassion and courage I still embrace.”

He picks five contemporary young adult novels that he thinks adults should read.

Read the Article

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Quote of the Day

Einstein and Fairy Tales~~~~~
Alma Alexander
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