THE ANVIL

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Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Novella review: “A Still Point” by Skywalker Storyteller

Posted by Eric the Gray on June 28, 2015

reviewed by Eric J Baker

A prefect rainy-day read on a quiet afternoon

 

Skywalker Storyteller

Skywalker Storyteller

A Still Point: a Journey into Consciousness tells the story of Jewel, a lonely, restless woman of middle age who, thanks to certain events I won’t spoil, comes to the realization that her life has not turned out how she expected. In so many ways, she is the definition of ordinary. Except in one remarkable way: She can leave her body at will to go places and see things no other person could hope to experience, all while her corporeal form continues to go through the motions of life in the “real” world.

 

It all sounds rather literary in description, but the story moves forward at a healthy clip, and author Skywalker Storyteller successfully makes an ambitious concept feel grounded and authentic. The prose is graceful without being flowery, and, most importantly, the central character is complex, interesting (despite what she thinks of herself), and sympathetic. The whole thing could have turned into melodrama in the hands of a less-skilled writer, but as presented, this tale manages to be moving and worthwhile. 

 

I found myself pondering the message and the character afterward, which doesn’t happen often enough when I read fiction. Perhaps you will experience the same. 

A Still Point: a Journey into Consciousness is available for download here at a very friendly  price point. Or Google it!

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2011: The Year in Pictures

Posted by oldancestor on June 3, 2011

Gamera the Flying Turtle monster makes triumphant return to Washington DC

These exclusive images, taken by our award-winning team of photojournalists, represent the finest in Pulitzer-prize-nominated… er, images. Because we go by the Mercurian year, which is only 88 days, we are able to bring you the year’s best pictures many months before anyone else can. Suck it, Time/Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Splitsville! Bielzilla is no more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jedi weapons are no match for Darth Megalon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Splitsville! MechaHugh in no more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Another barrier comes crashing down: The first Smog Monster weatherman

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Megan's touch makes Godzilla overheat. We'd have just peed our pants.

Posted in Arts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

The 5 most popular blogs on WordPress

Posted by oldancestor on March 22, 2011

By Lacy Thundercake

Today's caption is free of typos AND stoicism.

Who among us doesn’t dream of becoming a blogging star? To have so many millions of adoring readers everyday that your stats page crashes? To be able to quit your job writing arts and entertainment tripe for a stupid internet news journal with a soulless monster for a boss?

[Just get on with it, will you? – ed.]

WordPress is the ideal choice for many blog-stars-in-the-making. As one of the most popular blog hosting sites, and certainly the oldest (it was invented in 1440 and originally known as PrintingPress), WordPress gives you access to millions of other people who also want to be famous bloggers. Maybe yours will be so good that everyone else quits blogging because their spirits are crushed beyond recognition. You can always hope.

So what does it take to make your dream come true? Check out the five most visited WordPress blogs below for some tips.

1. Turning Food into Poop

 Doctor William Rubin

Dr. Rubin, who lost his medical license for implanting leopard gizzards into humans to aid the digestion of red meat, has made lemons into… er, lemonade.  His blog on digestive processes informs readers of what to expect a few hours after they eat something, and he gets about 70,000 clicks per day.

“I receive all kinds of comments from terrified people who think alien creatures are escaping from their bodies,” he says. “How can you be 37 years-old and not know?”

His advice for bloggers trying to make it big?

“Overeat.”

Oh, doc! Did you have to?

2. Zeus is Love

whatwouldherculesdo

“You can’t just say you’re a Pagan. You have to live as one.”

So says the blogger who spreads the word of Zeus to 90,000 people a day throughout the blogosphere. Most posts on Zeus is Love, America’s most popular religious blog, are discussions about scripture passages from the Pagan holy book, More Gods than You Can Shake a Stick at.

“One of my favorite quotes comes from the Book of Perseus, Act 2, verse 28,” says whatwouldherculesdo. “It’s when Zeus is trying to seduce Perseus’ mother, and he says, ‘Yeah, baby!’ That’s 2800 years before Austin Powers said it. Explain that, doubters!”

Other oft-quoted passages from the Pagan holy book include “Lock up your wives and daughters. Zeus is coming and he’s got that look in his eye!” and, from the Book of Heracles, “You want me to shovel what? I’m half god, you asshat.”

3. Tastes like Chicken: Cannibal Cuisine

David Word

Some readers may be surprised that a blog featuring recipes for human flesh is so popular, until one realizes that 40,000 of 50,000 daily clicks come from uncharted regions of the Amazon jungle. Still, that’s quite a few clicks from the so-called civilized world as well.

“Part of my success comes from having just really good recipes for human meat,” Word explains. “And the other part is because I’m sleeping with the owner.”

Indeed, David’s last name is one half of WordPress. His wife, Sarah Press, is the majority shareholder.

“I’m on Freshly Pressed once a week,” he says. “And you’re not.”

4. Piranha Total Care

Bristol Palin

Pet care blogs have been popular since technology has allowed the inner narcissist in all of us a chance to shine online. Piranha Total Care, which began as one of the most obscure, is now the number one pet-themed blog on the internet.

However, many cultural experts attribute the rise in popularity of meat-eating fish web sites to the complete of absence or dogs and cats in the country since President Palin ordered them rounded up and shipped to Australia.

Who can forget the President’s State of the Union address last year, when she said, “I know your pets are looking at me! My eyes might be closed, but I can FEEL THEM LOOKING AT ME.”

We here at The Anvil fully support President Palin’s efforts to ban furry pets from our shores, and we also support her government takeover of the media and the summary executions that followed. All hail President Palin. All hail President Palin.

5. Alternate Writing

JaNeT pLaNeT

There is no shortage of writing blogs on the internet dispensing tips and advice on improving prose, empowering poetry, and peeing other P-writing words. Perhaps there are too many such blogs, one blending into another and becoming so redundant that the weary wordsmith wonders, “When will one winner wipe away WordPress’ wordy wasteland?”

[Please stop – ed.]

We have that winner, folks. It’s JaNeT pLaNeT from Alternate Writing. JaNeT does not profess to know anything about writing, which she says is the key to her success.

“Look, I wouldn’t know a haiku from a hole in your face,” she says. “That’s what makes me so accessible. That and my alternate writing style. Did I mention you were ugly?”

Her alternate writing style involves nothing more than alternating upper and lower case letters. A recent blog post was called, “yOu’Ll NeVeR gEt PuBlIsHeD, bEcAuSe, WeLl, YoU sUcK.”

“It took me a while to learn how to type like this, but I don’t care,” she explains, “because people are stupid jerks and I hope they all die.”

In addition to being a successful blogger, JaNeT is a certified insult therapist and part-time dominatrix.

Her advice to struggling bloggers is, “Quit. No one wants to read your worthless drivel.”

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Legal disclaimer: The Anvil apologizes for not providing links to any of these popular blogs, but astrophysicists at Princeton University tell us that posting links into alternate realities can cause a tear in the time-space continuum that results in the instantaneous return of every lost sock since the advent of the clothes dryer.

Posted in Arts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

Sunday Arts Review: A must-read new book (if you speak English, at least).

Posted by oldancestor on April 18, 2010

TRAGIC LOVE STORY TOLD IN STARK, GRIPPING FASHION

 

Book review by Lennie

 

Title: Cliffs Notes Romeo and Juliet (Cliffs Notes, $5.99)

Author: Shakespeare’s

Don’t let the unwieldy title fool you. This tragic story is told using simple yet elegant words, an approach often missing from other recent works of fiction. If only other writers could dispense with their overwrought styles and follow the lead of Shakespeare’s, the promising new author behind this instant classic, I might read more books.

One gets a sense of the wonders found within before even opening it. From the moment the jacket design catches the eye, with its vivid yellow broken by diagonals of muscular black, the reader is compelled to explore further.

The story concerns a romantic, sweet-talking young man (who, in a coincidental twist, is named Romeo) lusting after an underage girl named Juliet, a name you may recall from watching Elizabeth Mitchell’s character on Lost, the ABC hit TV show. SPOILER ALERT: Romeo and Juliet’s respective families hate each other, so they must have sex in secret. Though, considering Juliet is underage, one can’t really blame her family for not liking him. Because this book is a period piece, statutory rape is less gross.       

Note: I’m assuming Romeo is about 28, since he’s clearly embarrassed to be hooking up with a 14-year-old.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of Cliffs Notes Romeo and Juliet is the clear explanation of story themes. That’s right! Shakespeare’s comes right out and tells the reader what to think. All I can say to this is: It’s about time. I’m tired of guessing.

Like Madonna and Cher, Shakespeare’s chooses to be mononamatic (to go by only one name), a bold move for a new writer. But, given the monumental talent on display here, I’m pretty sure we’ll be mentioning this name alongside other literary giants like Ebenezer Scrooge and Sherlock Holmes for years to come.

She’s that good.

Lennie is a known idiot as well as the author of several cardboard-page baby books, including The Complete Alphabet, 1 through 9 and Nobody Loves You. His columns appear in The Anvil and, later, on his mother’s refrigerator.

Posted in Arts | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »