Friday, 28 December 2012

Mindset Cafe: 2012-12-28

Mammoth effigy burned for solstice, 'trepidation' is a four letter word, Skyrim is gruesome, Lisa McCourt Hollar's 'Xmas Shorts', some of the interesting Christmas links, rhino solutions and problems and instant New Year resolutions.

Stories for stories

In a story, very, very obliquely reminiscent of 'The Wicker Man', but probably closer related to Monte Python, some folks burned an effigy of a wooly mammoth for the winter solstice.   I'm sure there are elephants out there having nightmares. Skulls that look a bit alien have been found in Mexico. And, if you are looking for something for the next world war, the USA is getting a stealth air arm ready for China.

Reading and writing

Stories have a way of telling you how they want to be told. I started writing my fairypunk derivative this week, and found that it was extremely light on action. My protagonist has to make a choice which I sometimes have to make and then carry out the relatively simple but very unpleasant task to which the choice leads. Aside from the fact that it is drama, and tragedy to boot, I have to figure out how to construct a story based on interior dialogue and nuances. I haven't read enough on this for me to convince myself that I can do it. 'Trepidation' is a four letter word (or four syllables if you want to be that way).

I am not sure how I got hold of 'The Universe of Horror Volume 1: The Soft Whisper of the Dead' by Charles L. Grant.  It recommends itself for the wrong reason. A number of people have advised against adverbs, or at least to use them sparingly. Now I know why.

Christmas came and went. Skyrim was one of the very welcome gifts that came my way. I thoroughly enjoyed the narratives of Morrowind and Oblivion,  and Skyrim is no different. I'll have to find a way to balance things out between hacking things into digital sushi in the awesome game world, and reading and writing. It seems to have come to a temporary impasse with a Draugr wight that bars my lowly level 6 character passage through the game by persistently killing me. Note the use of the phrase 'hacking things'. It's not a game to give to kids. The violence is graphic.

Another extremely welcome gift took the form of Lisa McCourt Hollar's 'Xmas Shorts'.  Heaven has its shadow in Hell, the coin has an upside and a downside, and Lisa focuses on the dark side of Christmas. It's very cool (visceral), and a quick, easy read.

The Christmas wrap (pardon the intentional pun)

As a news aggregator, Christmas normally has a lot of good content, but this year, the amount of content was on the skinny side. One or two items did recommend themselves to my tastes though. Still on the dark side, Christmas has its coterie of scary creatures. A look at the different permutations of Christmas meals caught my attention.  And... I was able to time travel a little bit to a Christmas from 100 years ago.

Mother Nature and other terrifying things

A South African farmer and conservationist has been given permission to buy US surveillance drones to monitor rhinos on his reserve. Hopefully this will make a difference. In other disturbing rhino news, a rhino has been poached in Namibia. Mother Nature has a way of defeating the efforts of the men in white lab coats, and so it comes as no surprise that weeds are developing resistance to Monsanto's week killer.

And finally... happy New Year

If you are short of inspirations for New Years resolutions, get a bundle of them from this instant resolution generator.

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