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I'm now officially one video behind, since they just posted one of Julia Child today, but if you missed the Bob Ross remix when it was first posted, here it is:

Not quite as good as the Mister Rogers one, but still fun. I admit the artist in me has always cringed at The Joy of Painting as far as artistic style/quality goes (I keep wanting to yell things like "Complementary colors! Gray it down! Atmospheric perspective!"), but as a creative personality, he had some things right, anyway.
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For those of you who haven't seen it several times already today, I give you the awesomeness that is Mr. Rogers, artfully combined with some Autotune and a catchy beat...

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Things have been busy lately, and updating the blog tends to get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, but here are a few quick notes:

I've added another Anthro Dreams podcast to my website's audio page. "Sweet Nothings" is a bit of slice-of-life furry flash fiction originally written in response to the writing prompt "the ice cream shop." (While you're there, you can also check out the holiday-themed fantasy piece "An Older World," which I completely forgot to announce here when it first came out.)

Publication of By Sword and Star is moving along steadily; we're waiting for print proofs now, and the first chapters of the novel will also appear in the Anthro Dreams podcast as a teaser. Unless there are any unforeseeable snags, it looks like it'll be available next month. (I'm planning on taking pre-orders for signed copies starting soon; watch this space.)

The Odyssey online class I took this past month has wrapped up. It felt like it went by pretty fast, so it's kind of hard to evaluate how much I learned from it when I'm still absorbing some of the info. (I was, of course, reminded that I still hate critique, much as I recognize it as a necessary evil... but somehow I expect that's always going to be the case.) *shrug* At any rate, I can get focused now on coming up with a workable writing routine again and getting some momentum back that I lost over the last few months.

Finally, have a fun video. Bert knows what it's like to live with a writer... XD

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So, as may already be obvious, I'm doing away with the Friday Finds, at least for now, and will just try to stop in here and make general updates a bit more often. I'll still share links and videos and whatever as I run across them, but I haven't had as much time as I'd like lately to browse for things, so the weekly schedule was fast becoming just another obligation.

With that said, here's something fun I just watched. I've never worked in food service, but I have worked retail jobs, and I love seeing stuff like this. What I really love about it is that it isn't some kind of snarky prank that plays on making fun of the employee -- after all, these people are just trying to do their jobs, and a lot of the time the job just sucks. But this isn't about making fun of anyone; from what I can tell, it's just plain making fun, something that's often in short supply these days.

And so I give you the best Sonic order ever:

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Again, a lot of the people who are likely to read this journal have probably already seen this, but I know there are some who haven't. (Besides, things like this are worth watching even when they're not the big viral thing of the moment.)

Interpretations of this animation vary, but this has been quoted as a comment from the artist:

"As for the story: the butterfly dragon, a symbol of imagination, enables the little deer creature to express his creativity by teaching him´╗┐ how to paint. The mask, representing the deer's imagination, is blessed by the dragon and transforms him into a creature similar to the butterfly dragon. Essentially it's about unlocking the 'god' inside us all. :)"

The artist's website can be found here.
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Maybe I need to drop the "Friday" part of the "Friday Finds"... XD Anyway, have a fun light show:

In other news, the folks at Anthro Dreams are still putting the finishing touches on my novel By Sword and Star for a planned January release--more on that as things get set. I'm also polishing up my goals for 2012 (one of the unwritten ones is to update here a little more often and with a bit more depth and personal notes), and I've put in an application for one of Odyssey's online writing courses, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get into that.

All for now...
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It's been a very long week, and therefore I'm watching Muppet Show and Sesame Street clips on YouTube. XD

Always loved this song...

(Count yourselves lucky -- this week's Friday Find could have been Bert and Ernie with "Dance Myself to Sleep."


Oh, what the heck.)

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Video quality is atrocious, but you can still get the gist of this classic little cartoon that I first saw on Sesame Street:

Kind of the precursor to Simon's Cat, one might say. :)
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A fun little animated short showing what can happen when people are -- or aren't -- willing to work together. I don't know if the animator had any part of US politics in mind when this was made, but that's one of the interpretations that came to mind when I watched it. :)


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Edited to add: Here's the offical GMU video of Stephen King's presentation:


* * *

The Huffington Post has posted a video clip from last Friday's award presentation, where he reads from the work-in-progress sequel to The Shining:


(Whoever made the video obviously didn't have seats as good as ours.) :P
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Today's Friday Find is a viral video set to the final speech in The Great Dictator.

(I will try to be pleased at how many good comments this received in the journal where I first saw the link, and not depressed that so many people seemed to have no idea who Charlie Chaplin was, let alone having seen this particular movie. *sigh* Only 34, and I already start to feel old. I suppose I should get used to this.)

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Sometimes I think they know when I'm having a bad day and time the films to be released then. :)


Apr. 1st, 2011 10:30 am
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When I was in elementary school in the late '80s, for one year I was part of a program for gifted kids (which I wasn't that crazy about, honestly, but that's another story). One day they showed us a short film, a kind of dystopian science fiction about a man tending a greenhouse as the last refuge of nature. At the time, I found it pretty disturbing, and ever since I've wanted to find it again, but I couldn't remember the title, and searching wasn't getting me anywhere with the few details I could remember. Thankfully, the [livejournal.com profile] whatwasthatone community on LJ was able to locate it almost immediately -- a film called "Ark," made in 1970.

What's interesting is that when I sat down to watch it today, I actually found myself a little scared. At first, I thought it was just that sort of thing where you're afraid of being embarrassed by what frightened you (or what you loved) as a child. But as it started, I was aware of my nine-or-ten-year-old self remembering those people in masks tapping on the glass of the greenhouse, harder and harder -- and thinking "We're watching it again? What if there's something worse in there that we just don't remember because we blocked it out or something?"

It's interesting, the things you remember and the things you forget. I had completely forgotten about the narration, which is funny because it's almost nonstop -- but at that first bit where the people are tapping on the phone booth, I felt my stomach clench just a little. I remembered that, and I remembered its effect on me back then, and for one tiny moment I was sitting in this little classroom again with a film projector going, the youngest kid in the small group, anxious and overimaginative and taking it all in.

What's also interesting is that I have a short story in progress with the working title of "Covenant" that, in some ways, actually echoes this. I have to wonder if I was unconsciously bringing in elements of this film that had faded into deeper memory. *shrug* Or maybe it's just a coincidence, since the Noah theme isn't exactly rare in environmentally-themed science fiction.

With all of that said, if you care to experience what freaked me out back then and still makes an impression now (though I find it more sad/thought-provoking now than disturbing), I give you "Ark":

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Sometimes the best writing advice shows up in unexpected places. In this case: Don't write something just because you think everybody will like it, or you'll wind up with a big mess that even you don't understand.

"Arthur Writes a Story"


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Renee Carter Hall

September 2012

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