It’s easy to think that advertising is an unimportant job, a leech job. That nothing Nike or Cheerios or Target has to say matters at all, excepting that they are trying to sell you something. That if they do good, it is purely a matter of self-interest and thus should be discounted.

As an artist, I also am trying to sell you something. Right now I am trying to sell you on reading a story I have written, in the hopes that you will read it, and like it, and perhaps buy my other work, and on and on until perhaps I have enough money to pay for a meal or a mortgage, so I can sustain myself and do more and better work.

This does not mean that I am not also trying to convey to you a truth, or at least a feeling. I am an artist, and I am trying to move you by carefully exposing hidden and vulnerable parts of my self for your benefit. This is a performance, and so I dance for your pennies:

By the time I was ten years old, I knew what rifles firing in the distance sounded like.

I know this is a commercial transaction. You know. This does not transform a truth into falsehood.


Modern virtual reality has been hailed as the future of Hollywood entertainment, our science fiction fantasies come to life. But there’s an ongoing problem: most VR experiences just aren’t that interesting. Hampered by evolving hardware and a medium with no set rules or audience expectations, most virtual reality experiences come off as either glorified tech demos, or simulacra of other, more established types of content. They’re usually riffing on stories that would be better told as short films or traditional games.

It’s partially a matter of storytelling conventions. Cinema has had more than a century to develop its own language of shots, cuts, and transitions, while storytelling in VR is still in its infancy. Creators are still figuring out what the medium can even do, let alone how to best take advantage. But virtual reality is only one small sliver in the much larger continuum of immersive entertainment. Real-world entertainment experiences have been evolving in their own right, developing their own unique approaches to storytelling. In the process, they aren’t just engaging audiences — they’re showing the way forward for virtual reality.



The Best Picture of 2016. Thank god. #moonlight #oscars2017

Truly deserving.


The Expanse is set in the future, where humanity has colonized parts of our solar system, with communities on Earth, Luna (the moon), Mars, and on stations in the Asteroid Belt and Outer Planets. The characters who would speak the conlang on the show would be from this last area, members of the working class group known as “Belters,” who came from an extremely culturally diverse pool. Belters would speak “Belter” language, which would be unintelligible to outsiders. This language would be a Creole, made from a mosaic of source languages that included English as its “superstrate” language, but also “substrate” languages such as German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, Hebrew, Zulu, and Japanese, among others. As you may know, when languages of this nature evolve naturally, the first generation speaks what is called a Pidgin, while subsequent generations further develop and deepen the language into a Creole. This is what Belter was to be. Inventor Nick Farmer, an autodidact hyperpolyglot who works in the financial services field and speaks 14 languages, created a series of rules for the language, a grammar and phonology, that allowed him to draw words from any of the substrate languages and transform them into Belter words. In some ways, the phonology worked as a kind of filter, which would pull the phones of a source word apart, and then rebuild it with those that were part of the limited range of phones permitted within the new creole.




Tempt failure.

March right up to it. Always write as if you’re about to fall on your face. Add fire. Bring the char. Toss in a weird ingredient. I wrote several meh books before I finally hit with Blackbirds — and when I hit with Blackbirds, it was because I had lost the capacity to care about fucking up. I felt I had already tried everything safe, everything expected. I’d already walked all the paths and followed every map and I still wasn’t writing anything of substance, so I chugged some whiskey, bit a belt, and went hard into that story because I felt like I had nothing to lose. I no longer cared if I failed. That allowed me to no longer be hesitant, to dismiss the fear of failure because I certainly wasn’t succeeding — hard-charging into that unseen fog was liberating, and it produced not only a successful book, but one whose series continues today.

Write Unafraid, Without Fear Of Failure « terribleminds: chuck wendig

This is where I am right now. The thing I’m currently working on is way out past the ground where I feel comfortable and safe. And it’s fucking exhilarating.


None of us are normal. Black, white, brown, Jew, Gentile, Muslim, atheist, Satanist, gay, straight, bi, transgendered, whatever…the more you honestly assess all the varied allegiances, motivations and impulses that cause human beings to get up in the morning and face the world and each other, the more you know that none of us is close to normal.

Conjure even the known secrets of yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors and realize how ridiculous the very idea of normal is. Hell, if you find anyone with political and social opinions that soothe, someone without racial or religious idiosyncrasy, without sexuality that veers froma strict heterogeneous application of the lights-off missionary position, someone with 2.1 kids and two-car garage and unrusted lawn furniture on the manicured patio of theisr split-level rancher, I will argue that nothing is more fucking abnormal than that. We are — all of us — at least two standard deviations from the mean. And if you think you are not, you are either lying to yourself or worse, it may be time to reflect on the grievous possibility of an unlived life.

Other writers and filmmakers and social voices have argued this very thing in their work. But pound for pound, I think you will be hard pressed to find a greater and more influential enemy of normal — and the lie that normal forces upon human lives — than John Waters.