An Enthusiasm of Links: Sinister Minimalism and Editorial Daggers

Back in the giddy (read "anxious") days of grad school, when I was a more constant bloggess, I decided that if there could be such a thing as a collective noun for curated links to varied eccentricities, it would be this: an enthusiasm of links. These are altogether more frantic times for me, so Sycorax Pine is no longer quite the model of clockwork efficiency it once was.  I thought I'd prime the pump (and begin as I mean to go on with this new site) with an enthusiasm of links. Some of them have been knocking around my archives for a bit, but all of them - I guarantee it - are brilliant.

‘These notes are not born of modesty or low self-esteem. They are born of the simple truth that a first draft is crap; a first draft is terrible, horrible, no good, very bad; and the writer, moving forward while leaving a stream of detritus in her wake, CAN GET VERY DISCOURAGED. But she keeps moving, because, as Robert Frost said, “The best way out is always through.”‘
— Kristin Cashore

  • On the sad passage of the Kabuki generations, and the continuity of the legacy: "Mr. Kanzaburo is survived by his wife, Yoshie, the daughter of a Kabuki actor, and two sons, Kankuro and Shichinosuke, who are themselves Kabuki actors."

  • We were disappointed in SantaCon this year, perhaps because we were expecting a veritable ocean of naughty Clauses to stumble with drunken jollity through the centre of Waikiki.  Instead we got a steady holiday-themed trickle.  Humbug! -
  • Edinburgh's guerrilla book sculptor may offend some book purists, but I believe in the pleasure of the book as a tactile object (not simply as an intact spiritual icon), and that means that I believe in its malleability as an artistic medium.
  • The best royal baby news of last week: "Norway's Crown Princess Mette-Marit secretly traveled to India in order to care for infant twins born to the surrogate mother of a gay palace employee unable to get a travel visa, the palace said on Monday." While there, she was mistaken for a nanny by hospital workers.

  • Controversy surrounds a 50,000 pound, publically-funded Library of Wales program to republish "lost" Welsh classics: "We look after castles and museums look after artefacts. Books are dead artefacts unless they're read."'

There is a dress code, it is Santa. You must dress up. A Santa hat is not enough. Buy a Santa suit. Borrow a Santa suit. Make a Santa suit. Steal a Santa suit. If you’re not into Santa go with Sexy Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf, one of the Ho-Ho-Hoes, a Christmas Tree, Donny the Dancing Dreidel. Whatever floats your candy cane. Just don’t wear your street clothes and a hat.

The first rule of Santa Con is that we do not talk about Santa Con. Memorize the following responses to common questions.

Q: Who’s in charge? — Santa
Q: Who are you with? — Santa
Q: What’s this about? — Ask Santa, he’s over there.
— SantaCon Rules
  • Every single moment of this story is pure delight: "A World War II code found strapped to the leg of a dead pigeon stuck in a chimney for the past 70 years may never be broken, a British intelligence agency said Friday. The bird was found by a man in Surrey, southern England, while he was cleaning out a disused fireplace at his home this month." 1) I really wish that the British would come up with another word for devotees of messenger birds than "pigeon fancier." 2) There was a volunteer National Pigeon Service during the war. 3) There is "an animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross awarded to humans for bravery in battle," and it is called the "Dickin medal." Seriously: !!!!.

  • D frequently tells me that the internet is not, and will never be, my friend. This story about Munchausen by Internet (and what happens when people feign personal catastrophe in online support communities) did serious work to bring me 'round to his way of thinking.

  • Scott Lynch responds to reader criticism that his novel is a bundle of "politically-correct clichés": "God, yes! If there’s one thing fantasy is just crawling with these days it’s widowed black middle-aged pirate moms."

I'll call it a day there, although I've barely scratched the surface of the backlog.  Off all these poor remaindered links go to a post for next week!