Magpie Monday

Photo by Yoo Chung | CC-BY-SA-2.5

Ah, the last few days of July, soon to give way to what will possibly be some true dog days of Summer.

In light of that, let’s stay indoors and enjoy the treasures brought to us by the interwebs all week long. I’ll have a post every day this week, but, alas, I’ll not have a Magpie Monday post on August 5th. Yes, a week of posts is my spoonful of sugar.


Once Upon a Blog… first turned me on to “Ask Baba Yaga,” an advice column by Taisia Kitaiskaia at The Hairpin. Baba Yaga’s advice might not be for everyone, but I adore this column. And the comments! You need to read the comments, too. Here are a couple examples (click the image to go to the original page):

At BuzzFeed, learn the 19 signs you’re too old for this crap. I am down with this list, except I don’t mind dubstep and I love cupcakes. But the subtitle was what told me this list was for me: “Instead of doing things, how about we don’t do things?” It’s like he’s peering into my very soul….

This GIF set of Charlize Theron‘s lesson on how to walk like a queen is fantastic.

kylaiajmaa made traditional gender rolls, and I laughed. Via.

Who was I talking with the other day about Daria (Laura, was it you)? As if Aubrey Plaza was spying on me, Daria’s High School Reunion showed up on the internet! Via.

This video‘s been making the rounds (although I saw it first on Facebook courtesy of Allen Butt), but I have to share it too because it cracks me up, even given the obvious exaggeration. The guy speaking German looks like he’s having so much fun.

As it turns out, this video was only the first of a series. Here’s part two and the link to part three.


Some previews of upcoming works (I already have both on pre-order!): The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth and Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 by Art Baltazar and Franco (also of Aw Yeah Comics!).

In other news, Chuck Palahniuk will pen a graphic novel sequel to Fight Club (probably not until 2015, though). Color me intrigued (Cameron and other Palahniuk fans may find this of especial interest).

I really liked the DC Women graphic about who feminism includes, a really great image based on this quote from Flavia Dzodan: “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” (And there’s a Marvel Women version, too.) Via.

Super-Team Family had another great week of mash-up covers, including this one teaming up The Watcher with the Watchmen. Classic!

I’ve included this next mash-up cover for Fara, especially because I think she’ll appreciate Ross’s accompanying comment:

With a Batman/Superman film announced, it seems like DC is finally on the road to a Justice League movie—but will it include founding member Aquaman?  He seems like a harder character to introduce within a JLA movie, but would DC/Warner brothers really take a chance on a solo film that is bound to be very expensive to make, given the largely underwater locales?  I think the only way it could work is if they got a major star for the lead role and a top director behind the camera.  The Favreau/Downey Jr. combo took everyone by surprise with a previously B-list character and we need the same kind of collaboration with Aquaman.  It’s a tall order, but I think it could be done well, and look unlike any superhero that audiences have seen before.

I like Marc-Antoine Poulin‘s casting idea for Green Lantern John Stewart (via):

Marc-Antoine Poulin

Mike Jacobsen‘s print Superhero Tan Lines made me laugh out loud! Via.

Mike Jacobsen

Love this take of an older Wonder Woman by Madéleine ♥ Flores:

Madéleine Flores

And I also loved this Gail Simone quote about Wonder Woman, found at the DC Women Kicking Ass tumblr: “When you need to stop an asteroid, you get Superman. When you need to solve a mystery, you call Batman. But when you need to end a war, you get Wonder Woman” (from Simone’s introduction to The Circle).


For those of you who enjoyed the male celebrities “reading” children’s book link last week, here’s Liam Neeson “reading” Runaway Bunny. Enjoy!

The most succulent of short stories for you this week. Sup away!

Edward & Amelia vs The Vampire King, Chapter 17: Tipping Point by Russell Hinson.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam shares five favorite faerie stories (her comments plus links to the stories online). Caroline, check this out! My particular favorite on Bonnie’s list of favorites is The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link.

From A Terror by Jeffrey Ford (illustration below by John Jude Palencar) and Dead Pig Collector (excerpt) by Warren Ellis.

John Jude Palencar

From flax-golden tales: The Best Revenge by Erin Morgenstern.

From Daily Science Fiction: Theories of Pain by Rose Lemberg; Diamond Doubles by Eric Brown; The Negotiation by D. Thomas Minton; Join Our Team of Time Travel Professionals by Sarah Pinsker; and For Your Protection by Steven Mathes.

From Awesome People Reading:


The Abbey Library of St. Gall in Switzerland is spectacular! Via No, I do NOT have too many books!

Also courtesy of No, I do NOT have too many books! is this photo of the marvelous Canadian Library of Parliament in Ottawa:

Canadian Library of Parliament in Ottawa

For my friend Mark, la Bibliothèque de Napoleon at Chateau de Fontainebleau. The image comes from Book Mania! with this information from the photographer, bernardk78 (by clicking the photo or the photographer’s name, you can go to his flickr to see larger size images):

The library was built in 1808 in the old games room apartments of Louis XVI, a large part of the decor dating from 1786 is still in place (wood and top-of-door painter Sauvage). The library reserved for the exclusive use of Napoleon was one of the places where he loved to retire to work. With the stairs, the room communicates directly with the workroom of the Emperor on the first floor.

La Bibliothèque de Napoleon | Photo by bernardk78

Over at mental_floss, Jill Harness presents 62 of the world’s most beautiful libraries (she’s spent the last couple years pulling this list together, acknowledging that it’s incomplete). I couldn’t pick just one picture to entice you, as I myself was gaga over almost all of them, so I cheated and am sharing the composite from the top of the post:


Very much agree with Anakana Schofield’s essay on the problems with publicizing a novel nowadays (even though I’m posting this link in my writing tips section!) and the decline of reader culture in favor of writer culture. Also, I think her novel Malarky sounds interesting. Thanks to Caitlín R. Kiernan for posting the link to this article on Facebook!

Elizabeth Spann Craig on chapter length and word count.

Rachelle Gardner has 7 keys to planning your career path.

Dang! Isabella and Isabelle, a pair of elementary school girls, get a publishing deal for their Little Book of Rules. Plus, check out that cutie-patootie cover at left.

Writer interviews/profiles: Catherynne M. Valente, Chuck Wendig, and Edna St. Vincent Millay (whom I adore—thank you, Suzanne Strempek Shea, for posting the link to this piece on FB).

Speaking of Wendig, check out his Writers: You Might Be Doing It Wrong If…. post.

Feeling down about rejection lately? Cheer up! Donal Ryan, recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, had his novel rejected 47 times before finding a publisher. Check the story here and here.

Also, George R. R. Martin suffers the pains of writing just like the rest of us!

LitReactor with information about 15 unconventional story methods and the best practices when dealing with file types.

My friend Cynthia Kraack with wise words about calibrating success in the arts (in response to Lisa Romeo’s post about that same issue). And another friend, Linda Sienkiewicz gives us a tour of her writer’s space (I always love seeing how other writers set up their writing spaces—I’m both curious and nosy).


My thoughtful friend Laura knew I would like this picture of a gorgeous reading room, and she was, of course, correct. Totally swoonworthy!

The sanest of words from Rachel’s mother (Rachel’s tumblr is What Rachel Reads), via:

“Building a library is the sanest form of hoarding.”

Quote from my mother, after I expressed concerns that I was purchasing too many books and would shortly be buried under them and die.

Gorgeous photo by Celia Basto! Via.

Oh, we wants it, we needs it. Must have the preciousss:

My Life in Bed (2010) by Joseph Huppard (via)

Yikes! This shelf at Share Your Shelf is wonderful wall art, but it does indeed make me the teensiest bit nervous….

Michelle Dean is against dust jackets in a serious way. Don’t get me wrong—as you well know, I love book cover illustration so. much. But in the last half-decade, I’ve finally admitted to myself what has been true for a long, long time: I’ve become disenchanted with actual dust jackets. A large reason for that disenchantment is that, no matter where I’ve lived, dust jackets will curl on me, dehumidifiers be damned! Drives me nuts! But I love hardcovers tremendously, and the new (albeit more expensive) option of image-wrap or jacketless hardcovers makes me happy.

Speaking of covers, I am love-love-loving this Tom Canty cover for Evangeline Walton’s She Walks in Darkness. Beautiful! You’ll want to click the image to see it in its full glory.

And I’m also loving these Brontë covers (at the link you’ll also find Jane Eyre). Why oh why do these covers have to be fake? Via.


For Sherlock fans: Benedict Cumberbatch explains how Sherlock survived the fall.

I enjoyed Emily Asher-Perrin’s essay Thor and Loki are Probably Naked Most of the Time: On Godly Manifestations of Power (yep, it’s about clothes).

Here’s a sneak peek a scene from Marvel One Shot: Agent Carter, starring Hayley Atwell, which will be on the Iron Man 3 DVD/Blu-Ray. “I live in Brooklyn, actually.” I can’t wait!

Loving these posters for X-Men: Days of Future Past—they blend the young and  Magnetos (Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellan) and Xaviers (James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart) so seamlessly I feel a little disoriented after looking at them! Click to embiggen these bad boys. Via.

How Orphan Black films seven characters with one actress. I’m ordering the first season DVD this week!

Did you know that Gates McFadden (aka Dr. Beverly Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation) choreographed Labyrinth, among others? I had no idea!

Flavorwire has a brief survey of sexually autonomous women in film (how is it possible that the only film on that list I’ve seen is Emmanuelle?).

Trailers for the people:

I’m a sucker for films that mash-up ballet dancers with street dancers. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think StreetDance is going to set this sub-genre on fire, but what can I do? Plus, Charlotte Rampling!

Hugo Weaving and Rose Byrne star in The Turning, “a collection of short films based on stories by Australian writer Tim Winton,” and the trailer looks really good.

Somehow I missed the first trailer for this new version of Romeo and  Juliet, directed by Carlo Carlei, when it came out a few months ago, but here’s the second trailer. “I murdered my tomorrow”—yeah, baby!

I’m totally digging the trailer for Burka Avenger. Read the article at The Beat for more information about this intriguing new series produced in Pakistan.


I am really cramming an assortment into this section by interpreting “design” broadly—a real magpie’s nest, this is.

Have a bunch of art you want to hang? Study a variety of gallery walls with Two Delighted. (If I don’t stop framing stuff, I’m gonna need a serious gallery wall of my own.)

If you need to know how to make a USB dead drop, here’s how. I find this idea fascinating and stylish (I told you I was interpreting “design” broadly). Who needs to file-share under such unusual circumstances? I want to know more! Via.

I recently discovered unclutterer, and I’m a fan (though no one would think I’d even heard of unclutterer based on the current state of my house). Here are a few good posts:

Does a museum want your inherited clutter? (spoiler: no)

Make uncluttering easier by using basic rules.

10 suggestions for where to begin uncluttering.

10 things you can do when you don’t feel motivated to get stuff done.

Say what you will about Martha Stewart, but she runs a tight ship. I loved this look into the Martha Stewart Living prop library.

Martha Stewart Living prop library | Photo by Kevin Sharkey

Geez, I thought I could be OCD about my stuff (look in my desk drawers and you’ll see why), but this guy has the most OCD-lightful office you’ll ever see.

I have to admit, I like all these themed weddings I’m reading about. Such nifty ideas! Like this steampunk wedding (be sure to check out the octopus cake) and these re-created posters of classic movies and TV shows (Cameron and Hannah, take note). Apparently, some of the altered posters even fooled Google image search!

Reception poster for Joshua Watson and Rachel Van Der Merwe | Photography by Jordan Nakamura

Zoe, library apprentice at SFCB, created a Cabinet of Curiosities to house small artist’s books (some only an inch big!). The books sound pretty cool themselves, but what a handsome home they have in this Bed Bath & Beyond medicine cabinet:


I got a kick out of mental_floss‘ list of 21 band names based on TV shows. I have a tendency to name bands in my fiction after literature, like Momentary Stay.

I’m gonna rock the ’80s this week, just you watch me.

First a trio from Stevie Nicks, starting with Stand Back:

Ohmigosh! Such pure ’80s! And here’s Nicks’ somewhat mellower If Anyone Falls:

And a fan video of the mellowest of mellow (and one of my favorite Nicks songs, for what will be obvious reasons, I’m sure):

Finally, please remember to wear your sunglasses at night—thank you, Canada, for Corey Hart!

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One Response to Magpie Monday

  1. Russell says:

    As usual, there is too much to like and not enough time to enjoy it all, but I have to say that the mental images of the Baba Yaga sitting in her house on chicken legs, pecking away at an old typewriter, are almost as much fun as her advice.


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