Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

TWIC: don't get cocky - it's okay, you can, madness

A romance author tried to trademark the word 'cocky' in book titles. She failed.
Another tried to copyright Dragon Slayer.
The application lists a series of self-described "pulp harem fantasies" by Michael-Scott Earle, published by MSE Media LLC, as evidence of the mark's use in connection with a "Downloadable series of fiction books," Class 009.
Amazon lists 652 books whose titles include the phrase "Dragon Slayer" -- and that's to say nothing of the long-out-of-print Runescape titles.
Of course, none of the dozens (hundreds?) of authors who have used "Dragon Slayer" in a title have sought a trademark, because the term is generic and not trademarkable.
Welcome to Chuck Wendig's TED Talk

Gord Sellar discusses a Free RPG Day event in Korea. When I dabbled in D&D, I mostly followed the rules and didn't add detail to them. My friends, well-meaning but unaware of what we 'were allowed to change' did the same. This bit of creativity is the heart of RPG games and we weren't aware of how to use it. I guess I am hoping that our lack of awareness was the problem and not our lack of creativity:
Given that the characters obviously had some shared history [this was the back story for this specific adventure], I asked them to fill that out a little, after they introduced their characters by name—just something that each character liked about another character in the group, or something that had come to annoy them about another character. An interesting little web of connections emerged, with a couple of characters envious of certain others, a couple respectful-but-insecure toward others, and one resentful of another having “left him for dead that one time.” What was good about this was that it gave them something to build upon later, as the game continued, and they did return to those little tidbits a number of times—the character who’d left someone else for dead in the past was left for dead himself this time around, and there was a running gag about one character’s failed romance with a girl from the village.
A question and part of my answer on Quora:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Chattering, below and above, then and now

When as glacier drags a stone across bedrock, that stone can dig in and slip, dig in and slip. This leaves distinctive marks on the bedrock. A cropped picture from that link:

If we could hear these stone slipping, and time were compressed, I presume, the stones would chatter. At Georgian Bay National Park, I saw such chatter marks.

And then two days later, I saw the same marks in an unlikely place:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Penetang animals: meadowhawk

I think this is a white-faced meadowhawk, Sympetrum obtrusum
I found this one, my first dragonfly sighting in Canada in five years, at the Tiny (this is a township, not a description of size) Marsh. Its wings were bent strangely.

Some of these dragonflies also have a male/female colour morph with the males being red. In Korea, the claim is they turn red at mating season but I don't know if that is true.
Cherry-faced meadowhawk

Friday, June 15, 2018

TWIC:flash fiction and submissions, make them read, mississippi

Flash Fiction Challenge. Entries due by July 12. Some of the rules:
The Flash Fiction Challenge is a competition that challenges writers around the world to create short stories (1,000 words max.) based on genre, location, and object assignments in 48 hours. Each writer will participate in at least 2 writing challenges and as many as 4 depending on how well they place in each challenge. When the competition begins, writers are placed in groups where they will be judged against other writers within their same group. Each group receives its own unique genre, location, and object assignments (see past examples here). After 2 challenges, the top 5 writers that score the highest advance to the next challenge.
I've been starting a lot of books and not finishing them. Kathy Perow looks at what makes readers finish their books.
Blurb: I get BookBub’s daily email notice in several categories: Biographies and Memoirs, Cozy Mysteries, History, Mysteries, Non-Fiction and Thrillers. I always go through their recommendations carefully. If a book cover and category appeal to me I’ll read the description, but as soon as I see the words “zany,” “hilarious romp,” or “suspicious ex-boyfriend,” in the blurb, I move on.
Covers do count. I prefer they have some relationship to the content of the book and not be second rate mock-ups of 1950’s illustrations. If the blurb passes muster I go on in and check Amazon.
I love the “Look Inside.” Nothing, but nothing, is more important than the ability to read a few pages before committing to a book, Kindle Unlimited or paid.
Not really creativity in the normal sense that I post about but I love this 2 inch wide, 11 foot long map of the Mississippi River. In rereading American Gods, I learned about Cairo on the Mississippi; here it is:

Via Kottke.
A book map describing the facets of a person's personality (Youtube video).

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Penetang animals: Butorides virescens

I typed this entry a week ago and scheduled it for this week. In the intervening time, I was able to see the bird more clearly. I had thought it was a little blue heron. I now think it is a green heron. Still not a common bird around here but more common than the little blue.
This little heron has shaggy feathers that make it look, well, cuddly. My pictures were taken with my phone so I was unable to get better images. I have seen bitterns, green herons and night herons and this isn't one of those. And yet, the guides suggest that the little blue heron is very rare here. I have definitely not seen the immature form.

New photos

Green Heron.

Little Blue Heron links:

Maryland biodiversity project


All About Birds

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Penetang animals: Castorinae castor

A lot of aquatic animals pass by my mother's house. This beaver passes by each evening and often in the morning.

This morning (I wrote this on May 22 but put it in the queue so it is appearing around June 7), it carried this snack along with it.

 I can see it, although you may not, deeper in the water, still dragging the branch.