I’m looking at map art for The Great Way

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I can’t share the actual images, because they’re just sketches and that’s not fair, but they are genuinely awesome and amazing. My wife and son have to help me choose between a beautiful traditional map and one done to look like a mosaic, which is very different and very cool.

The map is being created by Priscilla Spencer, who has done maps for Jim Butcher, Myke Cole, and Saladin Ahmed, among others.

I can’t wait for a finished version to share.

Vacation (with pics)

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Last week, we hopped a train down to San Jose to visit my wife’s uncle and visit him and his home city, Santa Cruz. It wasn’t long enough, and sleeping in coach on a train may be better than sleeping on a plane, but still: sleeping in a chair. (The train ride from Seattle to SJC was 24 hours, 20 minutes.)

So, it was not long enough. Few vacations ever are. However, my uncle has a beautiful little house with a pretty little garden (filled with drought-resistant plants, because California) and the beach was only literally a ten-minute walk away.

Pics behind the cut: Continue reading

Randomness for Mother’s Day

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1) Map of boys names from around the world. I didn’t see one for girls.

2) Huge 3D printer built ten one-story buildings in one day out of construction waste and cement. The video is cool.

3) Sony wages a brutal 35 year war with record producer over their refusal to pay royalties.

4) New Zealand artists create 3D Sand pictures.

5) Movie Scripts Ranked by Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. Hey, the higher the reading level of the script, the more critically-lauded you’d expect it to be, right?

6) What are the most overrated and underrated movies?

7) How to tell if you’re reading a gothic, an infographic.

Walk The Fire 2 Title Page

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One of the perqs of the Walk The Fire 2 Kickstarter is a signed “title page” from each of the authors. It’s just a sheet of paper with the name of the story, my name, and my signature (in a font other than Comic Sans).

Anyway, my design sense is sort of crap, so I turned it over to the closest designer I know: my 12-year-old son. This is what he came up with:

The gray circle prints up lighter than it shows here, but that’s to its advantage.

The kid did a fine job, I think.

Randomness for 2/21

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1) Classic movies painted as Ottoman miniatures.

2) The six male characters women never get to see in movies. so many story ideas here.

3) Credit card company’s new terms and conditions allow them to show up at your home or workplace, or disguise their identity when they call.

4) Facial expressions of Olympic figure skaters. G forces take quite a toll.

5) Using two colors, this map shows where 50% of the GDP of the USA comes from.

6) A comic about economics and trade agreements. TW: mixed in with a lot of good information is some shitty treatment of Tea Partiers.

7) Ten Travel Tips for Japanese People Visiting the USA.

Randomness for 2/11

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1) An alternate history of “Flappy Bird” a successful game that was pulled from sale because of the gamers abused its creator.

2) Marvel opens its image archive and api to the public. I’m pretty sure this is cool, and if I were ten years younger I might understand why.

3) Calvin and Muad’Dib. Calvin & Hobbes cartoons with quotes from Dune to replace the dialog.

4) Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 Rules for Reading. Sensible guy.

5) Male artist creates art show with woman’s art, doesn’t feel he needs to name her.

6) An Infinity of Alternate Batmen.

7) Deleted.

Randomness for 2/6

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1) Supervillain lair in Joshua Tree for sale. So incredibly gorgeous.

2) Here’s that bad advice you were looking for.

3) Frito-Lay crowdsources potato chip flavors, with the expected results.

4) Scientist who took on pesticide finds his reputation under assault from the corporation who makes it.

5) “Motherfuckers live in places that don’t exist, and it comes with a map. My God.” Ice-T records the audiobook for a Dungeons and Dragons novel.

6) The case for a big budget Hawkman movie. Video.

7) How to sneeze in ten languages.

Randomness for 1/30

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1) Artist paints murals, photographs them, then turns them into animated gifs.

2) Amazing fake signs in London Underground.

3) STAR TREK: INTO WHITENESS So, so funny. Screencaps for the win.

4) A great round of “Your novel is so” jokes.

5) Auteur Theory tries to take hold in the theater, leading to broken contracts and angry writers.

6) Star Wars as old-fashioned pulp covers.

7) Everyone Suffers From Imposter Syndrome Except You.

Best Gingerbread Houses Ever, An Annual Post

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Yesterday, I took my wife out for our Giftmas trip through downtown Seattle. Our son is almost 12 and old enough to stay home, so we did without him rather than drag him along while he complained. Sadly, without the kid our time turned more toward shopping for him than anything else.

We started with a really nice lunch at the Michou Deli in the Market, followed by a tiny egg nog cheescake on a stick from The Confectionary. We hit Kitchen Basics for stocking stuffers, the walked up to the Sheraton to see the Gingerbread houses.

Everything there is edible. And it rocked back and forth!

The cow jumped over the moon, via a motor.

You can see them all (including close-ups of some sections, video of the moving parts, and a candy version of our downtown library) at the set. A few are a bit blurry; my one-shot camera seems to be on its last legs viewfinder.

Then we dropped by Pacific Place to listen to a church group of male singers muddle through some Christmas songs and enjoy the indoor snowfall. There was much fun to be had, but my wife is still recovering from an injury so we cut things short.

It was a nice time, but I wish we could have brought the kid (and he would have been cool about it).