Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/22/20: Malls

In the recent hit Netflix Stranger Things the high school students hang out at Starcourt Mall to alleviate the boredom of their small-town lives. Though treated as an exotic element in the show, hanging out at the mall was, once, very common in the 1970s and 1980s. There was an element of snobbishness in it …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/15/20: Martial Arts Movies

Martial arts movies (kung fu in Hong Kong, wu xia pian in Mandarin) burst onto the international scene in the 1960s and early 1970s with the rise of charismatic actor Bruce Lee (he’s at the center of the pic above wielding nunchucks.) If you were not alive at the time, it’s hard to understand the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/8/20: Nail Polish Colors

Cutex introduced the first commercial nail polish in 1916.  Amazingly, the formula was derived from nitrocellulose, a chemical used in automotive paint, another new innovation of the time. Before this, people made do with henna, or concoctions of wax, egg whites, and gelatine. No longer! A new kind of beauty salon was born, and a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/1/20: Video Games

The names of modern video games share a certain something. They are vague enough to serve any kind of content, yet intriguing enough to pique one’s attention. They are abstract, yet speak of journeys and quests, battles, danger. They are mostly male and refer to male myths and archetypes. I present a list of randomly …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/25/19: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (Spells II)

I know it is Christmas and therefore this list should be something related to that. OTOH, who can resist a bunch of weird spells culled from my daily Twitter feed through 2019?   Magic Spells II Honoyin’s Screaming Toad: Makes an ordinary toad emit a loud scream when some event occurs (trespassers enter, a fire …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/18/19: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (Spells I)

The fun of creating randomly generated magic spells derives from trying to figure out what they do from two or three words. Sometimes it’s self-evident: Robe of the Gymnast. Other times, I need to think a little: Aelart’s Fairy Feet. This was inspired by a scene in the Angelina Jolie fantasy movie Maleficent, where one …

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Reading Lolita in Tehran
[Reading Challenge 2019]

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi Random House, 2004 [Challenge # 48: A book mentioned or discussed inside another book.] Reading Lolita in Tehran is a book I remember seeing heavily promoted in past years, but I never thought to read it myself. It’s not often that I read a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/11/19: Christmas Scents

This time of year holiday scents abound. There’s the usual Pine and Balsam, Gingerbread, and Sugar Cookie. But to really move sweet-smelling merchandise, novelty is required. Yankee Candles has one scent I like in particular called After Sledding. The name is memorable and brings up memories of playing in the snow, while the smell is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/4/19: Birth Signs

One of the perks of worldbuilding is creating a zodiac, or set of birth signs, for your particular setting. The Western Zodiac* is the most familiar model and is named for the path the sun, moon, and planets take through the constellations on their journey through the sky. The constellation the sun is in when …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/27/19: Let’s Talk About
xxxxAphrodite

In Greek mythology Aphrodite was the goddess of love, but she had a surprisingly macabre beginning. Legend says she was born of the sea-spume cast up on shore after the Greek god Cronus cut off his father Uranus’s genitals and tossed them into the waves. Also strangely for a goddess of love, her own lovers …

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