Dangerous Women

After the exhilaration brought on by the massive Women’s March, I found it both amusing and infuriating to browse through these

Postcards warning men about the dangers of women’s rights

They were put together by Tara McGinley who wrote: “Here’s a collection of totally ridiculous vintage postcards and posters dated from around 1900 to 1914 warning men of the dangers associated with the suffragette movement and of allowing women to think for themselves.”

postcards posterExcept for the clothes, I am not entirely sure that things have changed all that much.

See more postcards at Dangerous Minds website HERE

HORIZONS MURALFeature image: detail from “Horizons” a mural by Robert McCall.

I always remain astonished at the disdain in which the literature of the future has always been held by the here and now.

It’s just so easy to wave a hand and close the door on the science fiction ghetto. 

Sometimes I think that the ‘real’ writers are so afraid of how they’ll be shown up by us genre folks that they’d rather just not compete at all and fondly imagine that keeping the gates locked will keep the cooties away. But I have news for them. it’s in HERE that the future lives. The fences and the locks and the keys…keepg THEM out, not US in. We’re already out there among the stars. Have the literati considered the possibility that it is around THEM, rather than us, that the locked gates and the iron bars really are…?

While I am better known for my fantasy than my science fiction (I sometimes combine the two), I believe that if anything, the sheer vision required to create ANY future from scratch should be a feature of literature, not the bug.

Here are two links to relevant articles well worth you time.

Why science fiction authors can’t win HERE

Building a Better Definition of Science Fiction HERE

Andrew Hilleman offers

10 Great Westerns You’ve Never Read

My husband, who cut his teeth on westerns, has read a couple of these and urged this link on me. He is still haunted by ‘The Ox-Bow Incident‘, an exploration of mob rule that still echoes harshly for us even today.

Read all of Hilleman’s picks at the PW website HERE

Surprise! Children’s Books Figured Out Life Long Ago

Children's Book wisdom poster
There’s a reason certain children’s books stay with you long after you’ve left elementary school, Crafty House tells us. “Deceptively simple, such evergreen stories absolutely brim with meaning and insight, serving to remind the reader of the most basic but vital lessons in life.”

See all the quotes at Crafty House HERE

Quote of the Day

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

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Your favorite quote?

At bookwitty.com, Véesah Afifi offers:

Alice in Wonderland cover photoChildren…in their innocence can’t fathom the weight of some of the most important quotes they hear in bedtime stories,” Afifi writes. “However, we’re adults now, and it’s time we appreciated some of the most profound quotations in the literature of our youth.”

e.g. “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
– Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

What’s your favorite quote from a beloved children’s book?

See the other quotes at Bookwitty HERE

A 5-star review of ‘Wolf’, the second book in The Were Chronicles, by L. Bruce Diamond is the kind authors pick for their blurbs. He says, for example, that ‘Wolfis simultaneously frustrating, engrossing, infuriating, and satisfying.”  If a book can stir up that kind of reaction in a discerning reader, the author’s labors in producing it were well worth it.

He was a bit less pleased with ‘Shifter,’ the last book in my series. He gave it four stars,  noting that it was “A somewhat satisfying and slightly frustrating end-piece to an otherwise entertaining shape-changing triptych.”

You can read his and other reviews of ‘Wolf‘ at Amazon HERE

At  My Modern Met, Sarah Ann Loreth interviews Seattle-based photographer Kindra Nikole about her:

Portraits of Medieval Knights Reimagined as Fearless Women

CursedWightKindraNikole photoPhoto by Kindra Nikole

For her latest series entitled Árísan, Kindra drew inspiration from a visit to Glastonbury, the legendary resting place of Arthur, King of the Britons (aka King Arthur)”, Loreth writes. “The photographer now captures the essence of the ancient castle ruins and imbues its historical setting with new meaning. Although women did not originally take part in battle, Kindra’s images recreate history, imagining round table knights as strong, fearless women adorned in period armor.”

See all her stunning photos at mymodernmet.com HERE

Quote of the Day

All Men Dream - T.E Lawrence poster

Always dream with your eyes open.

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5 Gifts for Readers

Gift BooksPhoto: TheTimes.co.uk

1. Well, books, of course. Isn’t that the very definition of heaven for a bibliophile, opening up stacks of new books on Christmas morning?

Well, until they think of their teetering To Read stack – but still, new books, Christmas morning…

This also, now, includes electronic varieties. If they read on a tablet or on their phone, print out a card to stuff in their stockings and just say, “Check your ebooks…”

Books Coffee And A CookieBooks, coffee and a cookie, by mefotografie

2. Something to drink while reading. A special tea, or a tin of Ghirardelli’s drinking chocolate, or some good coffee.

Or maybe something to drink out OF. There are lots of booksy mugs and teacups out there. And what’s better than curling up with a hot beverage and a good book on the morning after Christmas day?
Alma Alexander BookmarksA reader will make do. There have been entire exhibitions made of stuff found inside books which had been used as a bookmark — grocery receipts, love letters, candy wrappers, straws, checks, feathers, silk ribbons…and once, memorably, a photo of a Kindle.

Wood Bookmarks…www.creativebloq.com…

Yes, readers will make do yes. But why not offer them something better. A real bookmark.

Indulge your whimsy. There are LOADS of fun ones out there — both from authors and works of art from creative designers.

Give them the opportunity to concentrate on what they’re reading and not on what they’ll use to mark their place when they have to stop



4. Kids special

Take them book shopping. Make it a day. Visit shops that sell new books, but also drop into used books emporia and if you find a copy of a book that enthralled you when you were their age, tell them about it, pass the gift on. Young readers haven’t had the time to accumulate their experiences, to completely hone their specific likes – they’re still seeking.
Going Digitalmamiverse.com…
And use technolgy, as Mamiverse suggests, by giving kids a tablet stuffed with books.

Give children the gift of your time, and your reading wisdom, accrued over the years. Tell them about reading, and its joys. Make them approach those bookshelves with shining eyes and an eager spirit.

Don’t just give them the gift of a book on a single day of the year – give them the joy of ALL books, light the small fire of the love of reading, and you will have created a gift that will keep on giving long after you yourself are no longer present to add to the stories they will start to gather, and cherish, and treasure all their lives.

5. Is your book lover deprived of a good place to read and/or keep their books?

Build them a library. Well, OK, if that’s not practical there are other things you can do to help. Is there a bookshelf that you can offer – even just a tiny little one? If they appreciate whimsy, you could offer them this one.

Zany bookcaseGo home, bookcase. You’re drunk. This Dali-esque piece is made by Scott Blackwell, who would like you to know it comes with a free melting clock. (neatorama.com…)


If there is furniture in heaven, it will be these. Someplace to put away the books which breed on book lovers’ coffee tables and the floor beside their bed. Someplace they can wander past and run their fingers lovingly over favorite books’ spines.


Next time, I’ll suggest:
Five Things to Give Your Favorite Writer For Christmas


Create your own user feedback survey


Levalet JackhammerFrench Artist ‘Levalet’ Injects Humor into the Streets of Paris

Quote of the Day
Alma Quote 2~~~~~
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Free libraries crisis

Free LibrariesCracking down on the monstrous evil of tiny Free Lending Libraries

It’s good to know, Charlie Jane Anders reports at io9, that people are focusing on what’s really important. Some local governments have looked past the problems of homelessness and crumbling city services to tackle the real crisis: people are putting up tiny “take a book, leave a book” libraries.

Los Angeles, Shreveport, LA and Leawood, KS have all tried to levy fines and other sanctions against people who put up these tiny birdhouse-like lending libraries.

Read the whole story HERE

“US Company will be Cursed if Ancient Fairy Fort is Destroyed”
Stone RingfortStone ringfort, “Ring of Kerry” in Ireland. (Francis Bijl/CC BY 2.0) Representational image.

Bad luck is sure to befall a US company if it builds a new factory over a fairy fort in Ireland, warns a traditional Irish lore keeper.

West Pharmaceutical Services is building a new factory on a site situated over an ancient ringfort (rath, or fairyfort) which dates back thousands of years.

Eddie Lenihan, famed Irish author, storyteller and broadcaster, says that destruction or removal of the fairy fort would spell dire consequences and bad luck for all those involved in construction or clearing the ancient dwelling, according to the Irish Examiner.

Read the whole story HERE

Stories are addictive
The Story

Photo by Thibaud Saintin

“Sometimes friends will be over, everybody talking, and one of the little kids will get antsy so I’ll pick up a book and start reading,” Ann Finkbeiner writes in Last Word on Nothing. “…pretty soon nobody is talking any more, everybody’s listening to Winnie the Pooh and Piglet track the Heffalump. I’ll bet you can sit in any small coffee shop, open a book, start reading aloud “Once upon a time,” and by the third paragraph, the whole coffee shop will be dead silent.

“Stories.  I’ve always thought of them as addictive entertainment for which – for some reason – we happen to be hardwired.”

Read the whole essay HERE

Native AmericansMatika Wilbur, Darkfeather, Bibiana and Eckos Ancheta (Tulalip), 2014. Inkjet print 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Indigenous Americans Without the Stereotypes

Three years ago photographer Matika Wilbur, a member of the Tulalip and Swinomish tribes, set out on a vast road trip across America to photograph members of all 562 of America’s federally-recognized tribes, Natasha Donovan wrote in an article in Yes Magazine.

Her collection so far includes images from more than 200 tribes she has visited in the course of traveling 80,000 miles around the western United States.

Read the whole story HERE

The classical jokes hiding in your favorite children’s books

From Harry Potter to Winnie the Pooh, many well loved children’s books look back to the classical world in unexpected ways, Frances Myatt writes at The Guardian.

For example:
DracoTom Felton as Draco in Harry Potter:

JK Rowling actually studied classics and French, so it’s unsurprising the Harry Potter books are packed full of classical references. Most of the exotic sounding spells are really just simple commands translated into Latin – for example “crucio” means “I torture”, “evanesco” translates as “I vanish” and “accio” means “I summon”. Rowling also drew on the ancient world when naming many of her characters.Take Draco – not only does his name mean “serpent” or “dragon”, but in ancient Athens there was a famously vicious lawmaker called Draco who put people to death for stealing fruit or just being lazy.

Read the whole story HERE

Quirky characters on the streets of Ann Arbor  
Light ReadingDavid Zinn stalks the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, creating temporary illustrations with chalk and charcoal, Christopher Jobson tells us at Colossal.

Zinn improvises each piece on the spot and makes use of found objects, street fixtures, and stair steps to create trompe d’oeil illusions. You can see others in his 2013 book Lost & Unfounded: Street Art by David Zinn.

See more examples HERE

Quote of the Day
By All Meana Paint~~~~~
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In 100 years…

Writing for the future

Margaret Atwood has just been named as the first contributor to an astonishing new public artwork, The Future Library project, Alison Flood reports at The Guardian.

The project began quietly with the planting of a forest of 1,000 trees just outside Oslo. Every year until 2114 one writer will be invited to contribute a new text to the collection, and in 2114 the trees will be cut down to provide the paper for the texts to be printed – and, finally, read.
Margaret AtwoodMargaret Atwood with artist Katie Paterson near where the Future Library trees will be planted. Photograph: Bjørvika Utviklingay

Read the article

QUIZ: What children’s book character are you?
The Last SamuraiThey taught us to love adventure, the New York Public Library says. They taught us to yearn for the stars, how to be strong, and what it means to have compassion.

We might be all grown up, but the characters from our favorite children’s books will stay with us forever.

Me? I’m the girl from Charlotte’s Web:  “You’re Charlotte! Practical and compassionate, you are sure to build friendships wherever you go. While you have many talents and you’re known for being clever, your primary joy is helping the people close to you.”

Which one are you most like?

Take the Quiz

Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary

Reflections on the value of recording our inner lives from Woolf, Thoreau, Sontag, Emerson, Nin, Plath, selected by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings.
Oscar WildeOscar Wilde, a man of strong opinions and even stronger passions, exercised his characteristic wit in The Importance of Being Earnest

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Read the article

50 Essential Cult Novels

Just what is a cult novel? Emily Temple asks at Flavorwire. Well, she says, like so many literary terms, the edges blur whenever you try to look right at them, but in the end, you sort of know one when you read one. You can decide whether they are “essential.”

For example:
Masters of AtlantisMasters of Atlantis, Charles Portis — Now here’s a triple-whammy: a cult novel by a decidedly cult author that is also about a cult. Doesn’t get any better than that. Portis saw a little uptick in popularity after the adaptation of True Grit hit the big screens, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not enough. This is probably the most hilarious book that you’ve never read, and it’s not even his best one.
Kindred, Octavia ButlerKindred, Octavia Butler — Why is Octavia Butler still such a cult author? I couldn’t tell you. At least the cult seems to be slowly growing — that’s what happens when everyone who picks up one of her books falls totally in love with her.

48 to go


Sweden is running out of garbage

The country recycles or reuses an incredible 99 percent of its waste, the Intelligent Optimist reports.. It has become so good at managing waste, they now have to import garbage from the UK, Italy, Norway and Ireland to feed the country’s waste-to-energy plants.

Dreadnoughtus may be the biggest dinosaur ever
DreadnoughtusRead the article

The healing power of dogs
Healer dogsFrom their presence at healing temples in the ancient world to their work as service animals, dogs can cure what ails humans. – Photo by Fotolia/Tifonimages

Dogs can not only be used to find drugs or find missing people, they can detect cancer. with up to 98 percent accuracy.

Read the article

Book wisdom:If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it.” ~ The Road, Cormac McCarthy

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Men’s Lib in Austen

The comic Manfeels Park takes comments from men on the internet and puts them into scenes from Jane Austen’s stories, Jenna Guillaume of BuzzFeed reports. The comic is the brainchild of Mo and Erin, who were inspired after discussing the “man-feels” on an internet comment thread and realising it was the perfect pun for Mansfield Park.
Men's lib in Jane AustenRead the Article

Hilarious archive of librarians’ harsh children’s book reviews

One hundred years before post-millennial parents were deeming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs inappropriate for young vegans, Jenni Avins writes at Quartz, the children’s librarians of the New York Public Library kept a card catalog of hand-typed kids’ book reviews.

“There’s about a billion card catalogs in the library,” says librarian Lynn Lobash. “But these are special in that they were used as a tool for collection development, for the staff to evaluate the children’s collection.”
Kid's book reviewRead the Article

27 Reasons Literary Nerds Will Love Tumblr

Book lovers and Tumblr were basically made for each other, Heben Nigatu tells us at BuzzFeed, and offers examples from

Tumblr punsto an examination of “the underlying anxieties of your favorite genres.”
TumblrRead all the reasons

Speaking of puns…

Isaac Fitzgerald of BuzzFeed offers puntastic book titles “that will make you laugh out loud.”

Here's Looking at EuclidSee them all

Chillingly Evil Corporations in Literature

In Flavorwire, Jason Diamond looks at novels that no longer seem so farfetched. There is Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, of course, any corporation in any William Gibson book, CHOAM from Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Or take Rachel Cantor’s debut novel, A Highly Unlikely Scenario, for example:
Rachel CantorCan you imagine a world where Burger King really is the king, where Papa John is Big Brother, or where Colonel Sanders was worshiped as a deity? It might seem farfetched, but in a real world where some corporations earn more than some entire countries, and employ armies of workers, the idea might be more plausible than you think.

In A Highly Unlikely Scenario, the book’s protagonist works for Neetsa Pizza, a new bizarre corporation with memorably insane businesses ideas.

Read the Article

This Cat is the Stationmaster in Her Own Train Station
Trainmaster catMeet Tama, the highly praised “Stationmaster” at a train station in Japan. She has her own office, greets all of the passengers, and is paid in cat food. Never before has there been a stationmaster so adored by those who ride through her platform. And check out her Tama-themed train.

Read the article

Quote of the Day

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~ Scott Adams

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