Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/20/19: Coffee Houses

The inhabitants of Seattle drink more coffee than in any other American city, and we also boast more independent coffee houses than other American city. The trend began when Starbucks opened its first store in Pike Place Market in 1971, and really began to take off in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  As a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/13/19: Wicked Women of the Bible

I still can’t get enough of Salome and her yen for peacock feathers. There were other powerful women in the Good Book, some judged as “wicked” by past moralizers: Jezebel, Delilah, Herodias. Others acted just as strongly, but because they weren’t pagans, were forgiven, like Deborah and Judith. Judith in particular has inspired as many …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/6/19: Old Dudes from the Bible

No matter how you feel about God, you have to admit the Bible contains a lot of interesting proper names. Some are used today, like David and Joshua; others belong to previous centuries, like Uriah and Nimrod. Some, like Chushanrishathaim, may never be popular at all. But they fairly easy to imitate, which is what …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/30/19: Pokemon

Pokemon (short for Poketto Monsuta, Japanese for Pocket Monsters) began life as a video game originally designated for the Nintendo Gameboy. Its creator, Satoshi Tajiri, was inspired by his childhood hobby of collecting insects. Throughout Pokemon’s tenure as a video game, trading card, manga, anime, and now, cell phone app, the theme of creature collection, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/23/19: Ice Cream Flavors

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Fifty years ago, when you walked into a grocery store, you did not see the many flavors of ice cream available these days. No, fifty years ago, there was only chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, or all three of them packaged together, in a cardboard box …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/16/19: Exotic Vegetables

What is the difference between a fruit and vegetable, anyway? Traditionally, fruits taste sweet, and vegetables savory, that is, not sweet.  But this doesn’t account for the tomato (sweet) being in the vegetable section of the supermarket, or the melon family being divided in two, with some members (cantalope, watermelon) being fruits, and others vegetables, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/9/19: Fantasy Fruits

To come up with some exotic fruit for a fantasy kingdom it is not necessary to look beyond this world. The strange-looking fruit above, known as a Buddha’s Hand, is a cultivar (a genetic variant encouraged by fruit growers) of the citron tree, and in the same general family as oranges and limes. It looks …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/2/19: Savage Queens

Lost kingdoms and hidden cities are a staple of pulp adventure fiction — and SFF! — as are their rulers, which, most of the time, are gorgeous, powerful, scantily clad women. Often they serve as foils for the male adventurers and, occasionally, romantic interests. The magazine cover above illustrates Phorenice, the ruler of Atlantis. With …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/26/18: Santa’s Bad Elves

  There are the cheery, upbeat elves who help Santa in his workshop, then there are those other kind. The ones no one talks about. Both came from the same roots, yet one creature was sanitized, the other morphed into Krampus and the servants of Krampus. Here are some names for them. Santa’s Bad Elves …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/19/18: Santa’s Elves

Hard as it is to believe, Santa Claus did not always have elves for sidekicks. That tradition came from 19th century Scandinavia and drew on the deeper pagan roots of Northern Europe. Elves, pooka, fairies, and the like were all part of a greater folklore of diminuitive, humanlike creatures that lived alongside humans, often in …

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