Meadows or Dragons?

On Fantasy Mountain, or, My Dreams are Doozies.

This time it’s a voice-over, reading matter-of-factly from something that sounds an awful lot like an essay, or a script, with my dream-eye providing some amazing visual illustrations. The text part of the whole thing – and yes, I woke up remembering it almost verbatim – is as follows:

You begin to climb the foothills and very soon, not very far up Fantasy Mountain, the road diverges. The one that goes off to the right is on the pleasant side of the mountain.
alpine-meadow_It twists and turns through flower-strewn alpine meadows, the views that fall off to the side are fabulous and amazing, rich countryside riding off to the horizon as far as the eye can reach. The road passes through villages with pretty houses which have window-boxes planted with scarlet geraniums, and carved wooden edges to their roofs like in high Bavarian villages; there are inns with colourful signs swinging before them, and plump smiling women sweeping stone front steps with rustic brooms, and there’s a smell of good food and fine drink coming from the inviting and open front door. There are children with cute goats in tow.

There are large good natured blundering dogs which come along to drool on you in ecstasy when you pet them, and somnolent cats sunning themselves on window ledges. Somewhere there are photos of this cupcake village on a winter evening, covered with snow, lights twinkling in the silent darkness of the high country like some eternal Christmas. It’s all pretty, and pleasant, and the people are kind and good and polite, and everyone smiles until their faces ache.

The left-hand road, twists off into the grey and the dark.
Stark landscape© Jim Patterson Photography

The views are just as breathtaking – but they are precious and few and far between and not for everybody because they are merely glimpsed now and then through veils of mist or walls of fog. There’s usually snow on the ground even in high summer. There are inhospitable crags.

The dogs are more than half wolves, and they are not pettable – they are far more likely to stand their ground and snarl at you and stare at you out of yellow eyes while you sidle past them on the far side of the street. Everything is narrow and brooding and sharp and dark. There isn’t enough light for flowers. There isn’t even enough light to grow the necessary wheat which will make bread, and so what bread there is mean, hard and black, and doled out with a stingy hand.

The FEW children look pinched and hungry. The wind howls and screams and weeps endlessly while whipping around echoing mountaintops; there are other, more fell, noises in there somewhere, carried by the wind but not of it, which you can hear if you listen for them, and they turn the blood in your veins into ice.

And yes, there are dragons.


Guess which side of the mountain I usually end up on…?

Disney clones womenDisney womenImages by Disney/GIF via Cartoon Brew

Disney has a bizarre tendency to animate female characters with minor variations of the same doe-eyed, button nosed template, Isis Madrid writes at Good.

Tumblr User, Every Flavored Bean, made the troubling discovery, Madrid wrote, that for some reason Disney/Pixar refuses to animate women in any way that is realistic, unique, interesting, or *gasp* unpretty:

“Apparently every Disney woman is a clone/direct descendant of some primordial creature with huge round cheeks and a disturbingly small nose, because there is no other explanation (yes there is(it’s lazy sexism)) for the incredible lack of diversity among these female faces.”

Read the whole story HERE

Nine Tips for Finishing That Novel
by Hanya Yanagihara at PowellsBooks.Blog

“My second novel …will be published in March. Because my first book…came out in August of 2013, people have been asking me…why did the first book take 16 years to write, and the second only 18 months?

The answer is: I don’t know…but not knowing is not going to stop me from sharing the following nine rules for anyone working on their manuscript, wondering if, and when, and how, they too might be published.

1) You don’t need an MFA to write a novel.
2) Publishing is not a foot race….

Read the whole story HERE

If the Sun were replaced with other stars…Kepler 35Halcyon Maps shows us how the sunset could look like to a human observer if our Sun was replaced by some of the other stars in our galaxy such as Barnard’s Star, Gliese 581, Tau Ceti, Kepler-23, Alpha Centauri A, Procyon, Sirius, Pollux, Arcturus and Aldebaran.

I say don’t forget your sunglasses when you go visit any of Aldebaran’s worlds.

But Halcyon Maps cautions that it is just a concept, as liquid water and the Earth as we know it could not exist in the vicinity of the most stars in this graphic.

See the other stars HERE

Literary Posters for Book Lovers and Minimalists Alike

QUOTE Herman MelvilleIf there’s one thing bibliophiles can’t get enough of, Elizabeth Vogt tells us at Electric Literature, it’s literary posters.

And Obvious State’s minimalist offerings, she says, make the case for covering an entire wall with them. Drawing inspiration from such beloved authors as Hemingway, Salinger, and Dostoevsky, the posters feature simplistic yet metaphoric black and white designs that reflect the literary quote displayed across the page.



See the others HERE

10 Unusual Library Collections Around the World

Imagine walking into the home of a recently deceased resident after getting a mysterious phone call about a massive collection of maps, Alison Nastasi writes at Flavorwire.

That’s what happened to Glen Creason, the map librarian at Los Angeles Central Library. He walked out of the home with boxes of historical maps and coveted city guides that instantly doubled the library’s collection.

eyeballsDuke University’s History of Medicine Collections features anatomical manikins, surgical saws, and other spine-tingling instruments you hope to never see in your doctor’s office. Students and researchers are free to study the institution’s collection of prosthetic glass eyeballs.

Read the full story HERE


The most important political problem in the modern world is the position of women. I think all of the other oppressions, whether it be homophobia, whether it be racism, or what have you, are all modeled on the oppression of women.” ~ Samuel R. Delany

Story/video HERE

Quote of the Day
QUOTE Words you speak~~~~~

Alma Alexander      My books      Email me

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