Fluffy ate Something and now he’s MEAN!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Creepy.”

Demonic Fluffy Bunny
Demonic Fluffy Bunny from the Underworld

Last night, when I was all alone and it was very, very dark. I mean dark, dark. Not one but two darks, see? My nightlight popped, then it was dark, dark dark! And I screamed real loud for Mommy, but she didn’t come. Hurt my feelings real bad, but I was to scared to cry. I’d cry later when I remembered.

I grabbed onto Fluffy the bunny, cuz he was the only thing I could see, cuz he was white as snow. Dad says that all the time. It’s dumb. It doesn’t snow here. Anyhoo, Fluffy was scared too. I hugged him to make him feel better, like what Mommy does to me, but Fluffy was making weird noises. He was squealing, squeaking and horking, like he didn’t wanna choke down some food. Then, it all stopped. No noise, no nothing’, only dark, dark dark.

Fluffy was lying there looking at me, but now his little red eyes were giant, black eyes, like black, black. He looked like Dareena Morgan at school, who hates me cuz I am smarter than her, nicer than her and have more friends than her. Fluffy stared at me like just Dareena does.

Why does my bunny hate me?

What did Fluffy eat?

Fluffy opened his cute widdle mouth, and he had new teeth? Instead of the flat teeth bunnies have, his new teeth were like a shark’s, but they were very, very small, so they could fit, you know. I know about Shark teeth – Daddy let me watch Shark Week with him when Mommy was out shopping.

Chomp!

“Fluffy you bit my hand, hard, you bad, bad bunny!” And it hurt real bad. So bad, I think I’m gonna…

“MMmmmmooooooommmmmmeeeeeeeeeee!”

Fluffy has a new home. Daddy gave him to a man that’s a cafric free-ist. Daddy said the man knew all about bunnies, but I’m sad.

No bunny, no nightlight, dark, dark, dark… Creepy!

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History of the English Language

 Minna Sundberg
Minna Sundberg

This beautiful graphic shows that English extends far from any Anglo Saxon and Romance language roots into Indo-European, Finnish and Germanic languages. There are over 400 languages in total that have been melded together to make the modern English that we speak today.

What an incredible accomplishment by Finnish-Swedish comic artist Minna Sundberg. The size of each of the branches directly relates to the size of the population as of the year 0. Please take the time to explore this amazing work which packs a huge quantity of information into a well composed and meaningful, not to mention beautiful presentation. Once you start noticing the details, I bet that there is a language or two you may not have heard of.  I am not up on my ancient languages to the same extent as Minna, so  there a few that went right over my head. More research to do …

Many foreign words entered into common parlance as either Cant ( the secret argot of Gypsies, rogues and travellers ), as well as Slang – especially words surrounding different occupations and technologies. Minna mentions Skalds, who are native singers and story tellers who kept oral history alive. In other cultures, the Skalds were related to travelling bards or minstrels, though Skalds were more scholarly and tended to be attached to a society. All would have access to different populations, languages and oral histories, which they passed among themselves. In this way they could have easily influenced diverse populations with new slang in songs and stories. Passing through  new villages and dropping off words at each one. Many of the etymology sources I have read say early in the history of the English language, Slang was influenced by the arts: including drama, storytelling and song.

Now our vocabularies are a much stronger polyglot of words as our country is a strong polyglot of people. It makes sense in a country that welcomes everyone, that all types of words would find a home.

As a constant feature on this site, I am tracking down the etymology of many words that entered the language in unusual ways. Sometimes they continue to have the same definitions, as in bamboozle, which meant the exact same thing in Gypsy Cant as it does today, but obfuscate didn’t mean hidden. In 1859, it was considered gutter Slang. If you were obfuscated you were drunk. How it got from the first definition to the second is something I’m looking into.

You can find my Crazy Word History Here

Have fun, Cheers, M.

 

 

 

 

Taking back the streets of Beirut

This a very relevant and hopeful piece about a tagger in Beirut who is doing a whole lot more than spraying paint on walls – he is giving back a cultural focus to his community by replacing political posters with portraits of real local people combined with three different types of Arabic calligraphy to create a beautiful melange of what it means to be human in Beirut.

This is what good art is supposed to do! He even has a pass from the local government, who will leave his existing pieces alone, and allow him to create more without fear of reprisal. Read the story below, for something exciting and hopeful.

Iain Akerman

Yazan1Photograph: Yazan Halwani’s ‘Fairuz’ in Gemmayze

“There is an alternative voice rising,” says Yazan Halwani, the young Lebanese street artist. “I’m not going to say that what I do is going to free Lebanon or change the sectarian political system, or fix any regional problem, it’s far from that. But it tells people that you don’t have to accept what’s already there.”

Halwani has just finished university for the day when we catch up, his English carrying more than the hint of a French accent. On occasion he talks 19 to the dozen, such is his passion for graffiti, calligraphy and the reclamation of Beirut’s streets from the clutches of the city’s myriad political parties. For an alternative voice, he is both endearing and charismatic.

Following a brief misunderstanding in February this year, the possibility that much of his work – and that of other graffiti artists – would be removed…

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Bondage – What’s a Girl to do?

A beautiful start to a new day in the arctic, but how could you tell, if the sun was up all the time.She yawned and stretched, it was so cold, her teeth were chattering like wood peckers – loud and hard, her knees knocking as her legs trembled. It didn’t matter that she was wearing the latest nanobits that were guaranteed to keep her effortlessly comfortable from the hottest desert to the frostiest glaciers, she was still bloody cold.

And what was all this sunshine all about? Who ever heard of a day lasting twenty four hours. She caught a shadow out of the corner of her eye. Turning her head to the left, she only saw miles upon miles of ice and snow. “It must have been the shadow of a bird”, she thought, as she turned back to the group of mercenaries that she had hired to take her across the ice to kill her former husband, Ike.

“Faith, I don’t like this cold. We have been searching for your husband for two weeks, and…no sign of him. Do you know where he is Faith? I am done wasting my time leading you around. You’ve run out of money and you’ve run out of anything else that I’m interested in”, he said. He looked at her like an auctioneer looks at a new item, to see if it has any value at all.

“Well all right then,” he said, as he grabbed a rope from his pack and bound not just her hands and her feet, but virtually everything.

“This is the way the Cerocevi tie their women. I will leave you at a crossroads for someone to find.” The next thing Faith knew, a pain exploded in her head, and then lights, out.

To Be Continued……

Book Review: A Calculated Life by Ann

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This Story is Brilliant!

Reading Charnock’s novel, “A Calculated Life” gives me that quintessential reader – story relationship where I can, from the start, SEE the story in my mind’s eye, as if it were an actual movie. The characters, the action, the dialogue and the setting are all so well written and accessible that the imagery just springs to life throughout the entire novel. In every real sense, you don’t read this book, you dive in and immerse yourself for a while, and then climb back out. All the best books are this way.Even the interplay of the numbers, as statistics play a strategic role in the story, can be viewed as different forces pushing and pulling against each other, whether they are energy statistics, or stickbugs, citrus, olfactory, sexual experience.

This is at once one of the most human stories, and one of the best A.I. stories I have ever read. I won’t go into a full plot summary, because so many others have provided them, but I will say the author does a superb job addressing questions of :
What does it mean to be human?
What incredible benefits do humans take for granted? What do humans do that makes no sense?
How would humans deal with android perfection?
Can humans and androids love each other?
What happens when humans are jealous of androids ?What happens when androids become more human?
What rights, if any, do androids have to continuity of their personality? (Keep their experiences and memories especially if they lead to sentience ).

The term android is used generally here to indicate the use of hardware, software and biology together to form an individual.

Highly Recommended for intelligent readers interested in a sophisticated story with glorious characters, relevant themes, active use of statistical results to drive the story forward, arcane yet fascinating details, interesting backstories and generally a thumping good read!

Let Me Count The Ways

A magically hilarious poem by a prolific poet named Elan Mudrow. With a first name of Elan, it is clear that her happiness and passion for life shines through all of the lines of this poem. The graphics are hysterically appropriate too. Please enjoy ” Let Me Count The Ways “. If you adore her work as much as I do, you can find Elan’s site at http://www.tricksterchase.com

How I Feel About People Who Discourage Writing

I echo the author when he says “When people tell me I can’t, I say Fuck off, watch me!” I hate defeatism of any type, but when it comes to writing and reading books, it makes me livid. Just because you’ve failed at something doesn’t give you the right to discourage others who may succeed brilliantly. The article below states things with passion and intelligence. What a wonderful piece.

JACK BINDING

There will be bad language. Emotive subject.

When I’m trying to find interesting pieces to read, I’ll search through WordPress’s categories and tags. Often, I find some very inspiring, well-written and enjoyable posts. But yesterday, I read something that made me want to throw my dog through the computer screen. And I don’t even own a dog.

Writing is a beautiful thing and should be encouraged. You might hate E.L. James, but at least she thought ‘Hang on, I have an urge to write a Twilight-inspired trilogy about bondage and asshole fingering,’ and she did it. So when you see the sunburnt Brits, sitting around a pool at the all-inclusive in Tenerife, thumbing through their dog-eared copies of Fifty Shades, this is a good thing. Why? Because people are reading. And reading is good. Unless it’s the Daily Mail, of course.

It irks me when I stumble across articles discouraging…

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Seeing An Entirely Different Way

ForestDarkWe were walking through our forest one afternoon, and I came across something that looked just like a faerie circle. It was a circle of mushrooms they tell about in storybooks. There are stories of people crossing the circle and entering the world of Faerie itself, never to return. Of course, if the faeries do let you return, it will be decades, later, and you will be the same age as when you left. Back in historical times you would be accused of witchcraft, and burned at the stake. In this day and age, the government will just cart you away to a hidden lab somewhere to do endless tests to determine what makes you stay ageless .  No one would ever see you again. Same difference.

My husband laughed at me when I mentioned it.

He said, “Melinda, put on your glasses,” which is what I did.

It was not a faerie circle, it was simply some tree fungus on some fallen logs that looked like mushrooms. No trip to Faerie. I was saved from being a government lab rat. It is amazing what a little blurry vision will do combined with an active imagination. I still take walks without my glasses to see if I can find something unusual out in the forest. Every once in a while, I still find something.

On Teaching the Graphic Novel

This is the perfect description of both the graphic novel and of comics. For anyone who wants to get involved with this genre, take a peek at the list in this post, and look up some of the graphic novels and comics that he suggests. It is quite a long list.

The one thing that I did not know that I found amazing, is that the drawings are able to provide a visual illusion or pun that prose cannot, and therefore is a medium all unto itself. This is an incredibly valuable piece by a college professor at Amherst who taught Graphic Novels as a class.

Koreanish

About once a month, I get asked by a colleague or friend for the syllabus I used to teach my seminar on the Graphic Novel at Amherst. Included below is a list of the texts that I used to teach students. In that seminar I allowed optional creative exercises and finals, and that led to me teaching tutorials in the making of comics, which led to me advising two graphic novel theses to summa honors. I’m very proud of those students, who were both also awarded the English Department’s prize for best thesis. Amherst’s English department was very generous and supportive in the teaching I did there throughout, and I’m incredibly grateful for the hard work of all of my students.

I taught the class as an experiment, even an expedition of a kind, and so it was never the same every time. I began teaching it because more graphic novels…

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How Many Novels Can There Be?

This post is so very interesting. Don’t get put off by the math. Everyone asks about word count. How many words do you write a day. How long will you novel/novella/short story be? It is all about words. It is thought provoking to see it laid out in black and white the number of novels that could possibly be written – of course, some of those wouldn’t make much sense, but that is taken into account. Don’t worry about the math. You aren’t forced to actually solve those nasty equations. I know it gives people heart palpitations when they see powers, and whatnot.

It was also interesting to know that a prediction was made about computers writing books. Clearly the author has a solid background in technology, because the reasoning was based on solid facts. Next time you see a computer with an imagination, let me know, I will be the first to buy one.

So enjoy the post,

Sublime Curiosity

I like reading. I like writing. When you’ve been writing for a while, you start to get really obsessed with word counts. Anybody you talk to about publishing something you’ve written will want to know your word count. For short fiction, you sometimes get paid by the word. And the number of words in the thing you’ve written determines whether it counts as a short story, a novella, a novel, as War and Peace, or as an encyclopedia.

Every year, I participate in National Novel-Writing Month. Unless, you know, I don’t feel like it. But I’ve participated more years than not, and I’ve produced a surprising number of novels. Every single one of them terrible, but that’s not NaNoWriMo’s fault. The goal in NaNoWriMo is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days. And I got to thinking: how many novels that length are

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