♦ Marking Time.
I am obsessed with calendars. Not too obsessed, mind you, but I have four wall calendars and two desk calendars at home and another wall calendar in the office. Without these calendars, I’d never know what day of the week it was let alone the date. Below are some of the calendars I’m referring to in 2013.
mental floss had a list of 10 odd and awesome 2013 calendars I wish I’d known about sooner. My favorite from that list has to be 12 Months of Dead Ken by Sniperphotog. Barbie may be a murderer, but she knows it’s important to keep that famous smile. Click through to see more of Sniperphotog’s work (some of which is NSFW). I wonder if a book is on its way?
Also, check out this very cool DIY calendar journal.
♦ Turn the Page.
I know your ocular organs are hungry for words, and I have more than enough words this week to satiate that hunger:
The Dead Letter Office by Matthew Marinett at Daily Science Fiction
Intestate by Charlie Jane Anders at Tor.com (if you click on Anders’ name, you’ll see a delightful flowchart beginning with the question, “Do you believe this person exists?”). Anders also wrote an essay for io9 about the story titled I wrote a science fiction story, and parts of it came true by the time it got published.
The Cries of the Dead and Dying by Sarah Goslee at Daily Science Fiction
The Subatomic Fiber-Optic Deconstruction/Construction Transportation Chamber by Dylan Otto Krider at Daily Science Fiction
Edward & Amelia vs. The Vampire King, Chapter Nine: Opening Moves by Russell Hinson
The Hades Hotline by Alex Petri at Daily Science Fiction
Please Look After This Angel by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Flax-golden tales: The Beginning of the World Again by Erin Morgenstern
Life in Space by Leslie Jane Anderson at Daily Science Fiction
Death Before Dishonor by Shannon Leight at Daily Science Fiction
Flax-golden tales: Wisdom for the New Year by Erin Morgenstern
The Race by Sadie Mattox at Daily Science Fiction
Flax-golden tales: Tools to Build the Stars by Erin Morgenstern
Etiquette & Espionage (excerpt) by Gail Carriger at io9.com
Salvage by K.S. Dearsley at Daily Science Fiction
When She Is Empty by Damien Walters Grintalis at Daily Science Fiction
Weird Fiction Review lists fourteen notable women writers of the Weird, including some of authors I really admire, like Shirley Jackson, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Tanith Lee, and Joyce Carol Oates.
“This Was Like Dating a Priest”: Famous Authors’ Breakup Letters; some are hilarious, others heartbreaking. Thanks to Andy for the link!
Tor.com has a peek at Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex’s Chu’s Day, which comes out tomorrow. I have to say, the book looks adorable and I can’t wait to read it and look at Rex’s art, which I think is pretty fantastic. The book description is simple: “Chu is a little panda with a big sneeze. When Chu sneezes, bad things happen. Will Chu sneeze today?” Gaiman says about the book, and is quoted again on Tor.com, “Chu’s Day is the first book I’ve ever written for really little kids. Ones who cannot read. Ones who can only just walk. Those ones. I hope that they like it, or at least, that they love Adam Rex’s amazing illustrations.”
In other Gaiman book news, the cover for his next adult novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, was finally made public last week (I first saw it a couple weeks ago). This cover really speaks to me—I love the colors and the composition. Also, check out some of the phenomenal art Dave McKean’s providing for the limited edition.
♦ Viewers’ Paradise.
McSweeney’s has answers to rhetorical questions posed by movie titles (via).
I’m not a big Tom Cruise fan (in fact, I’m not a fan at all), but the trailer for Oblivion is so good I would watch this film:
On the other hand, I don’t know what to make of the new red band trailer for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Clearly, they’re not going for serious, but will it be too campy and ridiculous? Or just the right amount?
♦ She Blinded Me … with Science!
Business, meet Science: Human gene patenting: Yes, companies can own your DNA.
Entomology: Silvery chrysalis of the Orange-spotted Tiger Clearwing butterfly; How we’ve used bees to poison people—and get high; also, check out these papier-mâché bee models from the 19th century at Sutured Infection:
Neurology: Phantom Eye Syndrome: When people without eyes can still see; Why do we blink more than we need to?; Why the Venus Effect has been tricking you for centuries; The absolute best optical illusions of 2012.
Physics: Is it better to walk or run in the rain? Via.
Psychology: Which professions have the most psychopaths? The fewest?; Why does winter make you so SAD? (I have the opposite SAD—it’s summer that makes me sad)
♦ Someone’s in the Kitchen … with Dinah.
How to cut a pizza for small groups, for parties, and just for you. These cartoons are pretty cute—go check it out! Via.
Did you know that corn flakes were invented as part of an anti-masturbation aid? Which is just silly, of course, though John Kellogg’s story was made into a film with Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Broderick, The Road to Wellville (based on the novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle).
In case you need to know how to make your own marshmallows. And, really, who doesn’t?
♦ The Ninth Art.
Tim Callahan’s The Great Alan Moore Reread continues with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Part Four: Century.
German artist Aslan Malik transformed some U.S. currency into Justice League portraits. I think Ben Franklin (below) is my favorite, but do click through the link above to check out the others (via).
Oh, this is fun: the intro to the 1992 X-Men cartoon done in stop-motion (directed by Kyle Roberts):
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe REDUXE Edition had some great recreations recently, and I couldn’t pick one favorite (click to embiggen). The first is Magma by Patricio Oliver
♦ The Book Nook.
Check out the coolest pop-up book ever, an “heirloom” book by Alison Ann Woodward that “unfolds piece by piece to reveal the anatomy of a white horned creature.” The book is pretty amazing, especially when you get to the core of the anatomy. You can see more of Woodward’s art by following the link above.
The New York Times posted the favorite book cover designs of 2012 from folks in the graphic design field. I’m very partial to the cover for Chris Ware’s Building Stories, but I decided to pick Seth’s cover to Lemony Snicket’s new novel, “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” because Chip Kidd, whose design work I adore, said this about his favorite book cover design of 2012:
Lemony Snicket and Seth, what a perfect but unexpected combination: sort of the literary equivalent of salt and caramel. And not just on the cover, throughout the entire beautifully executed book.
I love this DIY book headboard, though I can’t imagine doing it myself. All those cracked spines!
If I had stairs in my house, they would look like the photo below. Is this a good thing, or a sign of a problem?
What a lovely library! Via.
♦ The Writing Desk.
An angle of attack on writer’s block by Warren Ellis.
Are you writing off all you can as a freelance writer? (Thanks to Sheila Boneham for posting the link on Facebook)
Chris Higgins on words and phrases he’s misused.
Elizabeth Spann Craig offered some help with character development. Also, Cory Doctorow on where characters come from. Also, use Meyers-Briggs to keep your characters in character.
Chuck Wendig made 25 writer resolutions for 2013 (and beyond). And check out LitReactor’s 10 grammar and usage-related New Year’s resolutions and 13 resolutions to make you a better, more productive writer in 2013.
Teresa Frohock is conducting a gender experiment on her blog: several writers have contributed writing samples using pseudonyms; readers vote on whether they believe each sample was written by a man or by a woman. It’s very interesting! Via.
My friend Zack Jernigan asked me to answer 7 questions for his blog. The questions were fun to answer! He asked these same questions to several writers I know, like Taylor Preston, Ian Withrow, Adam Mills, and Paul Kirsch. Zack himself gave his answers to the meme The Next Big Thing after giving shout outs to some other writers I know, like Angela Still, Will Ludwigsen, Adam Gallardo, and Malissa Kent. Go read all of those links right now!
♦ New Year, New Year.
Check out the photorealistic street art of MTO (via):
♦ In the Bleak Midwinter.
I love Slinkachu’s miniature work, and his new piece Stroll (staged and shot in Gorky Park, Moscow) just tickled me, grisly as it is. Click through to see a couple of more shots, including one that puts the miniature in perspective.