It Cannot Be Reversed

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.”

Cesar Chavez

For those of you who live in the United States, may you have a happy Labor Day! For those who live elsewhere, have a happy Monday!

Introducing “Quiet Corners” an “Old Haunts” Deviation

For the last year, I’ve introduced my readers to my “Old Haunts.” Looping vignettes and visions from the City of Lovat. Sometimes they’re relaxing. Sometimes they’re creepy. Often they ooze atmosphere, and yeah, I consider them all in canon, part of the Bell Forging Cycle, and tied into the ARG. (Those who have read the books will find loads of fun little details.)

Those longer and larger videos take time to make (I did a whole live stream on what goes into their construction), and while I enjoy that process, I want to explore less rigid forms that don’t take so damn long to build and embrace some of the new video platforms that have emerged. Enter “Quiet Corners”—clips made for TikTok and Instagram’s Reels.

These will often be shorter and less rigid, and while they tie into the world of the Territories at large, they might not always “work” the way I intend for “Old Haunts.” Think of “Quiet Corners” as experiments. Ways to explore whatever is in my head, glimpses of Lovat and the Territories, where strange things happen unbeknownst to heroes and the machinations of Founders. They’re fun, weird, occasionally creepy, and a nice place to stretch me creatively. I’ve already got a bunch up, and you can check them out via the links below. Enjoy.


Watch via:

TikTok

Watch via:

Instagram Reels

Quick Note: While “Quiet Corners” can be viewed on your laptop or PC, a smartphone is recommended as these videos are made specifically for the vertical 9:16 phone resolution.


There is a lot more to come in the future. Who knows what you’ll see. Be sure to follow me on either platform so you can stay attuned to Lovat’s “Quiet Corners.” I’ll see you among the tangles of the scrape and the span, roaders.

A Return to the Indie Pub

Back in May I was lucky enough to be the first guest for J. Rushing’s indie-publishing focused podcast, The Indie Pub. Well here we are a few months later and in the waning days of summer and I’m excited to say I’ve returned to the pub for its tenth episode! Listen to it below.

This time around Jim and I discuss maps—how they’re used in fantasy books, how to go about creating them, and the toolsets I provide to empower creators to make their own authentic looking maps. We had a great discussion and I was happy to share another aspect of the writing process I’m passionate about. I think you’ll dig it.Tell your pals, drop Jim a review, and subscribe to the Indie Pub from any of the links below.



Enjoy the episode everyone!

Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Remain Calm

📍 Gardner Warren
🌃 Level Five
🕦 Late Night

“The monorail to West Lovat was closed, the Lovat Transit Authority had the platforms blocked.

—Waldo Bell, Gleam Upon the Waves


Visit Previous Haunts:

Lucky Star

📍 Denny Lake Warren
🏙 Level Four
🕙 Midmorning

Rhapsody

📍 King Station Warren
🌆 Level Four
🕖 Early Evening

Serenade on Two

📍 Martello Warren
🌃 Level Two
🕚 Late Night


Local Service

📍 Martello Warren
🏙 Level Four
🕐 Mid-Day

Licensed Dir. Agents

📍 Unknown Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕚 Late Night

Happy Auseil

📍 Hickman-Franklin Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕝 Early Morning


Title Card for "Social Climber" a Lovatine Vignette of a man riding a public lift

Social Climber

📍 Frink Park Warren
🏙 Between Level Four & Five
🕜 Early Afternoon

Title Card for "Order Up" a Lovatine Vignette of a neon sign flashing behind the espresso machine in a coffee shop

Order Up

📍 Shantak Coffee
🚢 Deck Three
🕘 Mid-Morning

All of Me

📍 Wilcox Warren
🌇 Level Four
🕢 Morning


Red-Light Nite

📍 West Lovat Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕦 Late Night

Services Suspended

📍 West Lovat Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕦 Late Night


Study Related Ephemera:


Explore Distant Margins:


Credits:

“Martha Overture” by Friedrich von Flotow
“Hong Kong Noir 1” by John Bartmann
Other audio from Freesounds, special thanks to: alienxxx, craigsmith, johnsonbrandedediting, juandamb, fillmat, lenguaverde, nahlin83, reznik-krkovicka, woldmaxter
Broll provided by Videezy


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Wunderkammer

So, for a while now, along with being painters Kari-Lise and Redd have been running Moth & Myth, becoming purveyors of hyper-realistic paper moths and butterflies for artists to use on… well, whatever.

They’re incredible works of art, and it’s been amazing to see what people do with them over the last few years. All that said, I’m even more excited to share their latest foray—the Wunderkammer relics. They’re incredible paper recreations of delicate skeletons of snakes, frogs, and seahorses and you can buy ’em today. I love how how three-dimensional these look. It’s hard to believe they are paper. You can check out pictures of the specimens below.

These paper relics are available over at Moth & Myth’s webpage. Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter to stay on top of their releases. They also have a newsletter, I recommend signing up.

I’ve been watching the development of these sets for months, and I’m excited they’re finally seeing the light of day. This has been a labor of love, and the quality and attention to detail really shows through in the final product.

Raunch Review: Star Wars Rebels

Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.


The Author: Simon Kinberg, Dave Filoni, & Carrie Beck

Work in Question: Star Wars Rebels

The Profanity: “Karabast”


As a universe, Star Wars doesn’t have a lot of fantasy cursing. A few bits of subdued real-world swearing can be found interspersed in dialogue (mostly coming from Obi-Wan or Han Solo), but beyond that, language in Star Wars is relatively mild. Even the insults are goofier than serious, leaning on silly words and phrases like “scruffy-looking nerf herder,” “fuzzball,” “goldenrod,” and “laser brain,” among others.

To find fictional expletives, you need to move away from the core films and into the expanded universe of shows, movies, series, and books. Today’s word comes from there. The Lasat exclamation “karabast” is initially found in the animated series Star Wars Rebels but has spread to other properties. This phrase is typically used as an expletive by the Lasat crewman, Garazeb Orrelios, affectionately known as Zeb. The meaning of it is unknown, which is unfortunate. Language is a fantastic way to explore culture, and keeping the meaning a secret does more of a disservice to the civilization which invented it.

The meaning of the phrase doesn’t matter all that much. But adding definition extends a language. There’s plenty of expletives that don’t translate well. (I talked about this when reviewing Star Trek’s “petaQ.”) Understanding those can expand a culture’s identity in fiction just as it does in the real world. For example, Mandarin Chinese has a few egg-centric profanities that, while I’m sure have an impact in Chinese, do not work as well translated. One of my favorites is 滚蛋 (gǔn dàn), whose literal translation is close to “rolling egg,” but its meaning when in use is more impolite. There’s a cultural context that has turned it into something offensive. This is where “karabast” falls flat. Without the weight of meaning, what we end up with is nonsense. A word used to punctuate and nothing more. It sits in an interim spot and fills a void usually reserved for something more offensive. Even Han and Obi-Wan’s mild go-to expletives have both historical and cultural weight and meaning. That makes “karabast”—a unique sounding word—nothing more than a fancy censor slip.

Final Score: 2.0


🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews


Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made-up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.