Here is this week’s list of blog posts, Q&As, short stories, and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web.
I know this post is longer than normal, but I couldn’t bear pushing anything to the end of the month. My readers need all of these excellent links this weekend!
Polly Answers Your Questions via Brucegerencser. Bruce finally convinced his wife, Polly, to answer some reader questions. I hope this will become a regular column on his blog. It’s so interesting to hear things from her point of view. A lot of marriages wouldn’t have survived all of the transitions these two have weathered.
Do You Need to Eat That? I really dislike it when one person criticizes what someone else is (or isn’t) eating. This article provides a long list of ways to handle obnoxious behaviour like this without telling the reader that there’s only one right answer here. In the past I’ve ignored these comments, but I’m seriously thinking about switching up my responses in the near future.
Interview with Alara Branwen. Alara is the author of a series of short stories about romantic interludes between dinosaurs and prehistoric women. In this interview she describes how she stumbled upon this highly unusual niche and why she finds it so interesting. No, this isn’t satire or a trick of some sort. She honestly does write dinosaur romances. What I find really interesting is how comfortable Alara is with the campy-ness of her stories. I can think of a lot of other creative folks whose work would be much better if they publicly acknowledged that sometimes they create stuff that’s kind of silly.
He Was Arrested 20 Times for This…but I Think It’s Totally Worth It! via KenKaminesky. I have no reason to believe in ghosts, but I’ve been intrigued by abandoned buildings for a long time. There’s something sad and slightly bittersweet about walking through or past a building that was once filled with people. It’s even worse with houses because I imagine all of the triumphs and tragedies of daily life brushing against those walls over the years. And now all they hear is silence.
She Deserved My Undeterred Love. One of the most powerful things I’ve read in 2013. Possibly NSFW.
From Pernicious Hope:
The work of psychotherapy is often to chase down Pernicious Hope in all its daemonic and slippery aspects. To capture it, examine it, to challenge and question its true mission, to find out which god this Hope actually obeys.
To exorcise it.
From Naked Joe:
One hundred years ago, Joe Knowles stripped down to his jockstrap, said goodbye to civilization, and marched off into the woods to prove his survival skills. He was the reality star of his day. For eight weeks, rapt readers followed his adventures in the Boston Post, for whom he was filing stories on birch bark. When he finally staggered out of the wild, looking like a holdover from the Stone Age, he returned home to a hero’s welcome. That’s when things got interesting.
Did you know that sugar was once used as a medicine? Sweet Tooth delves into the history and sociology of candy. With the holiday season quickly approaching most of us are going to be surrounded by sugar for the next six weeks or so. As much fun as it is to eat it, I found even more pleasure in learning how generations past made, ate, and thought about sweets.
History isn’t only about war, religion, and disease. You can learn a lot about a culture based on their attitudes on mundane, everyday experiences like buying sugared medicine for sick loved one or picking out treats for your kids.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the author’s memories of the candy she ate as a child because it was a little repetitive. It would have been more interesting to hear stories from people who came from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Some families have a constant supply of candy around, others never allow their children to eat it. And even what is considered good candy varies quite a bit based on the culture and class you grew up in.
What have you been reading?