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Holiday 2016 Gift Guides for the Discerning Geek

To all those still shopping in the frenzied depths of holiday retail: hail and well-met! I salute you. I’m also working on some updated gift guides for you – at least for those of you of the discerning geek variety. I’m going to give you the low-down on the best books, toys, games, and more to score for your hardest-to-shop-for this year – and, while you wait, have a gander at these:

Those should help out until the new guides are up! Go forth and shop wisely and responsibly!

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Weekly Round-Up

Now it can be told! My reverse selkie story, “Watercolors” will be published in the upcoming Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Anthology, edited by Matthew McFarland. I can’t wait for you all to check it out; I’ll let you know as soon as I know the release date.

Things that I wrote: 

A Pinning Guide to Cat Safe Thanksgiving Centerpieces” over at Front Page Meews.
Our Favorite Fall Eyeshadow Trends” over at ISA Professional’s blog.
Winter Hair is Coming” over at ISA Professional’s blog, as well.

Things that I read:

Dr. Seuss was not even in the general vicinity of fucking around,” being an Imgur set of Seuss’s political cartoons.
#justfairythings: Fairy behavior is truly appalling,” being a set of fairy trufax.
The Photographer Representing her Non-Binary Friends as They’d Like to be Seen,” what it says on the tin.

Things that I made:

Catherynne M. Valente released a brand new Fairyland story this week, processing her response to the American 2016 election. “The Beasts Who Fought for Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still” is free for everyone, and will be always. I formatted the ebooks for her, so you can download the story as PDF, EPUB, or MOBI as well.

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A couple of weeks ago, I doodled up a quick Snorlax for the Thanksgiving-era fridge. After all, my #ThanksgivingGoals were to be fat and sleepy, which is pretty much Snorlax to a T. (I succeeded at this!)

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This week’s Whiteboard Weirdness heralds the coming of cookie season in my household! I drew one of Pusheen‘s adorable cartoons for the occasion.

Things that I’m excited about:

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Click the pics if you fancy purchasing any of the above! I get a modest kickback from Amazon if you do.

 

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The Continuing Adventures of RPGCat

#RPGCat is a great nuisance as well as a great joy: and, well, that’s cats all over. We love the furry little jerks entirely, and wouldn’t have it any other way. So it is with RPG Cat: even as my fellow roleplayers remove their character sheets from under Tiger Jack’s fluffy butt, they keep petting him at the same time.

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Did you know that RPG Cat is a notorious rules lawyer? Oh, yes, he’ll cite you the rules and argue their finer points any old time.

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We let RPG Cat take a spin behind the GM screen one session, and the power rather went to his head. No one survived that day! Our characters were but prey between his mighty paws.

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RPG Cat doesn’t just make his JUMP check, he SPROINGS in a most amusing and amazing manner.

Yes, it rather seems like everything’s coming up Tiger Jack in the realm of RPG Cat. Everyone pays attention to him, he’s the most epic roleplayer, and — wait, what’s this?

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To be continued…

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It’s Election Night in America, and I know many of us would like to unplug from that right now. So here’s my contribution to your distraction: an interstitial art experience of photographs and words and hidden bits that have nothing to do with USA in 2016.

Click the image below to begin your Postcards from a Traveling Oracle experience:

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For some background on this interstitial project: 

On March 14th, 2009, Elise Matthesen posted a picture of her evocatively-titled pendant “Nine Things About Oracles.”

The next day, Jo Walton came along with a poem and ripped things wide open. A list by Alter S. Reiss slotted into place next, followed quickly by a snatch of verse by Novel deVice.

The rest, as they say, is explosive history: look at that link and you’ll see Nine Nines (plus more!) of word-art and image-art inspired by “Nine Things About Oracles.”

The collection is amazing. Breathtaking. Memery at its finest – a dizzying explosion of creativity and celebration.

You know I, especially with my interstitial heart, could not resist the lovely pendant’s evocative title or frenzy of community-promoted art. And so.

You’re welcome, America.

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Weekly Round-Up

I’d like to preface this week’s round-up post with this: GET OUT THE VOTE, PEOPLE! Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!

Things that I wrote:

Cat Can’t Breathe? Feline Asthma: What You Need to Know, at Front Page Meews.
Fall Into Lush, Colorful Lips: Best Fall Lip Colors and Care, at ISA Professional’s blog.

Things that I read:

The Rain Will Make a Door I: Introducing British Fairy Traditions” by Dr. Alexander  Cummins.
Meet Eight New Afrofuturism Artists Creating a Future of Color” by Shaenon K. Garrity at i09.
The Racist and Sexist History of Keeping Birth Control Side Effects Secret” by Bethy Squires at Broadly.

Thing that I made:

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This week’s Whiteboard Weirdness features Black Phillip preparing for Thanksgiving with lots of butter. So much butter in the creepy cornucopia of evil. Black Phillip based on Stuart Marcelo‘s wonderful character design that you can find on Behance.

Things that I am excited about:

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Click the pics if you fancy purchasing any of the above! I get a modest kickback from Amazon if you do.

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Weird Tales from Spam

Sometimes we find writing prompts in the weirdest places, like this piece of fastfic inspired by a subject line from an email in my spam folder. The subject line? “Dark Knight disapproved by Vaticans due to satanic links.” Enjoy:

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Accessing: Newscasts Outside of Time
Channel: Medieval Times
Available Titles: Newly Discovered Body Transformation Formula
Dark Knight Disapproved by Vaticans Due to Satanic Links
Remove Your Debt the Christian Way

Accessing: Dark Knight Disapproved by Vaticans Due to Satanic Links

Video missing. Audio and transcription only.

“It’s late August, 1359, and a demon infestation rages across Europe! The Vaticans, in a rare show of agreement, summoned a Dark Knight from the depths of Hell to combat the spreading demonic powers. Sitting twelve feet atop his destrier that crushes the innocent beneath iron hooves, I’ve never seen a savior look quite so imposing! Let’s talk to him now. … Sir! Sir, how are things going?”

The narrator moves toward the source of a disturbance, created or curbed by the Dark Knight himself. Screams, groans, and repetitive thudding sounds predominate. There is a blood-curdling whinny cut short as the reporter speaks.

“We had a quality scourge here: loads of flayed demons and forced exorcisms, it’s been really quite grand. I’m just disappointed that Popes Innocent, Griseus, and Sinistra have seen fit to forgo my payment.”

The Dark Knight sounds Irish, oddly enough, circa 20th century. He speaks with a laid back ease. The Popes he references are those of the Vatican Primus, the Vatican Vatican, and the Black Vatican respectively.

“And what was your payment, Sir– er, Dark Knight?”

“The standard complement of fifty virgins, Tom, with a retainer fee of three hundred newborns. You won’t get my quality for such a good price this side of Gomorrah.”

Cries of “Unclean!” break out in the distance, with hoofbeats to end worlds echoing more closely. What one can only presume to be the Dark Knight’s bellow, a fierce and harrowing sound, rips through the shouts. One can almost hear the blood rain down.

“We understand even the Black Vatican denies employing him in a bid to ‘fit in’ according to one Blood Acolyte. Let’s ask the Dark Knight what he thinks.”

The moans of destroyed flesh grow nearer, with our reporter shouting over the din. He reiterates the Blood Acolyte’s comment.

“I think that was a bit disingenuous of them, Tom. Just because you wash your hands of blood today, doesn’t make them clean. …of blood. … Er, tomorrow.”

“Quite right, Sir! Can you tell the folks out there what we can expect until the Vaticans settle up?”

A voice staggers closer, screaming relentlessly: “My God! Why have you forsak–?” We hear a ragged gasp, then a rather final-sounding thump.

“Where were we? Ah, yes. Scourging will continue on the general populace until fees are met.”

“Thank you! At this time, the Vaticans have offered no reply. You heard it here on Newscasts Outside of Time: Medieval Times first! This is Tom Lane, signi–”

Tom’s voice cuts off, followed by a soft thud. There is a breathless moment, then the sound of hooves and deadly metal: screams begin once more and the sound equipment hits the dirt, shorting out, dumb and dead.

 



(Click the hat to tip the author.)

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Weekly Round-Up

What a week this has been, with much work and rather too much chronic pain! But here’s what I’ve got for you.

Thing that I wrote: 

Become Your Heroine this Halloween, over at ISA Professional’s blog.

Things that I read: 

11 of the Most Savage Burns in Literature” by Jessica Misener, being full of brilliant insults.
If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Write Women” by Meg Elison, being grimly hilarious.
‘Into the Wood’ series, 56: Death in Folk & Fairy Tales” by Terri Windling, being particulary apt this time of year.

Things that I made: 

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This week’s Whiteboard Weirdness vants you to have a bloody good time! Quick and dirty sketch based on Victoria Kalinina’s adorable vampire girl vector art. (Her vectors are available on Dreamstime and Shutterstock.)

I also released a new line of merch! Check out Coffee of Cthulhu:

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Click the image above (or this link) to check out the design and find it on coffee mugs, travel mugs, fridge magnets, and more!

Things that I’m excited about: 

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Click the pics if you fancy purchasing any of the above! I get a modest kickback from Amazon if you do.

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It’s that time of month, folks: when the shadows are lengthening, the year slowly dying, and madness creeping into your coffee cups. Especially if you live anywhere in the Northeastern United States, like, say, Innsmouth? Sorry, but that’s Deep Ones’ territory, and them’s the breaks.

Look, you’ve got Lovecraft to blame, not me. Actually, H.P. Lovecraft is to blame for a lot of things, like being a racist and problematic individual. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the Lovecraftian mythos; that just means we acknowledge his shit, and then make his world of mind-warping horror and indescribable monsters a much more inclusive and progressive realm of disturbance. Like Ruthanna Emrys has done with her forthcoming Winter Tide (such a good book, so snatch it up as soon as you can). Or we create whip-smart commentary on Lovecraft’s issues like Victor LaValle did in his smashingly reviewed novella The Ballad of Black Tom. (And then there’s Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. There is some great work being done here, y’all.)

In honor of this spooky season, and all those authors and fans who’ve made the Lovecraftian mythos into something truly awesome, I present October’s design: COFFEE OF CTHULHU!

coffee-of-cthulhu-preview

Lovecraftian horrors like Cthulhu need a little help getting up in the mornings too, so reach for the best when you’re R’lyeh fhtagn tired.

I created this design using vector art from Freepik, along with the fonts Kenyan Coffee by Raymond Larabie and Swift by Cheapskate Fonts (Dustin Norlander). Key inspiration provided by my husband, Andy.

So, where can you find this parodic and off-kilter Lovecraftian design?

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In my Zazzle shop! Oh, yes. You will find the Coffee of Cthulhu design on:

Coffee mugs, of various sizes and colors!
Stainless steel travel mugs, thermal tumbler, water bottles, and a thermos.
A really big fridge magnet!
A hip flask or two, so you can face non-euclidean horrors with a little liquid courage!

That’s it for now, though we do have a special variant mug in the works. If you’d like anything else, I take requests – so hit the comments.

And remember: the best part of waking up is madness in your cup!

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