Magpie Monday

Here are some shiny things that caught my eye recently:

♦ The new issue of Goblin Fruit is live. Have a look at some fantastic fantastical poetry.

♦ A truly fascinating article by Pamela Druckerman on why French parents are superior, found via a link from my friend Patrick on Facebook. If I were ever going to be a parent, I would want to parent like the French (and I’m a hardcore Anglophone!).

♦ Two illustrations I loved this week (click to embiggen):

1. I’m not a gaga fan of Silver Surfer, but this illustration by Francesco Francavilla is amazing.

2. Brandon Schaefer’s poster for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is likewise amazing.


♦ My friend Matt Switliski posted a good food-for-thought essay about why fiction is valuable. I actually run up against this kind of conflict in teaching all the time—many students dread reading fiction but love the nonfiction, which was so opposite of what I’ve experienced in the past. Is this lauding of nonfiction a response to social crises, or is it a distrust of the imagination? I’m beginning to suspect the latter is more pervasive than I would ever want to believe. Thoughts?

♦ Check out The Composites, a new tumblr that’s actually a bit disturbing. Here’s the description of what the tumblr contains:

Images created using law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters. All interesting suggestions considered. Include descriptive passages if you can. Read more on the project at The Atlantic. Created by Brian Joseph Davis.

I get the shivers looking at these characters. Take a glance below at the composite of The Misfit from Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”:


Disney apparently has a new Snow White film, Order of the Seven, in development starring Hanna‘s Saoirse Ronan and heavy with the kung-fu action. Who knows what will come of it, but Ronan’s participation alone has my interest.

♦ BookRiot has some fun flowcharts for Valentine’s Day—check them out!

♦ The King of Elfland’s Second Cousin offers a great post on The Aesthetics, Structure, and Themes of Noir Speculative Fiction. I’ll be curious to hear what Mr. Cook thinks about it. Also, I wish I’d written about horror noir years ago, when I thought I made up the term, but some people have already beaten me to it. Maybe there’s still a blog post to be had, since I applied the term to several graphic novels that I was reading at the time. Hmmm.

♦ Via my friend Fara, 30 things to stop doing to yourself. I actually commit several of these. Okay, more than several.

io9 reports that metaphors actually trigger the sensory parts of our brains. Weird science!

A wonderful piece of animation to accompany a segment of Kate Bush’s song “Lake Tahoe”:

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I offer the short film “The Kiss” by BriTANick, which apparently rhymes with “Titanic.” Just note that the film takes a dark turn—which I thought was funny, but then I have a twisted sense of humor.

♦ A Month of Letters challenge update: in spite of a very busy week, I have managed to drop something in the post every day this week, including a postcard, a birthday card, a booklet, and a poem draft. If you’d like me to send you something in the post this month (you don’t have to reciprocate), let me know here or on Facebook!

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