Dinosaur Tail

Scientists found one preserved in amber.  And as expected, it has feathers.

Things like this from the impossibly distant past always give me a strange feeling. This is a piece of what was once a living, thinking, feeling being. It lived and thought and felt differently than us to be sure, in ways we can’t rightly imagine, but it existed, it was real and alive, and a part of it still exists, and is in our hands. This is part of a creature from before humans existed.

It’s boggling to think about, and that feeling is probably why some people choose to believe in the fantasy that the earth is five years old, or whatever. Because the truth is so grand and awe inspiring and humbling that they’d rather stick with their own fantasy that existence is only composed of what they can fit in their head.

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Thoughts on… Finding Inspiration [by Jonas David]

Check out this post I wrote for Lucent Dreaming on how to get inspired

Lucent Dreaming

Inspiration can come in any form, it all depends on what you want to write.

Personally, I use nature for my inspiration. I read about strange insects or undersea creatures, or I look at pictures of odd landscapes or beautiful plant life. I try to relate these things to how humans might behave with each other. Or I imagine how a human might react in one of these environments or with one of these creatures. It doesn’t mean I’ll write about whatever insect or tree inspires me, often it just sparks an idea or a feeling I want to capture.

 

But I’m inspired by these things because I personally find enjoyment and excitement in learning about animals and nature. That might not match with what you want to write. If you’re writing a romance story, for example, you might be more inspired by reading stories of love from other…

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Thoughts on… Dealing with Rejection [by Jonas David]

A post I wrote for Lucent Dreaming on dealing with rejections (I’m a pro at that by now!)

Lucent Dreaming

Every active writer will be rejected many times in their life. Keeping these few things in mind can help make this painful process pass easier.

 

1. Your story being rejected doesn’t mean it’s a bad story.

It means that the editor of the magazine you submitted it to didn’t like it or they liked it but didn’t think it was the right fit for their magazine. Don’t lose hope. The first thing you should do when you see that rejection email is reread the story. It may have been a few weeks since you submitted it. Now you have fresh eyes, you’ll notice ways to improve it, so improve it then send the story elsewhere! There are hundreds of magazines to choose from, all searching for stories to publish. I don’t think I’ve ever sold a story that was accepted at the first place I submitted. If you don’t…

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Lucent Dreaming has Officially Launched its Debut Issue!

Some pictures from the launch! Check it out!

Lucent Dreaming

Last Saturday (April 28th), Lucent Dreaming officially launched its debut issue from Rabble Studio. 52 wonderful supporters and friends helped mark the beginning of our Lucent Dream. It was our first opportunity to sell our magazines, notebooks and merch, but also to talk about how Lucent Dreaming started and what it means to the team. After signing our guestbook, asking guests to tell us about their dreams, we had talks from our editors, Jannat Ahmed, Jess Beynon and Joachim Buur, as well as poetry readings from our published poets Taylor Edmonds and Poppy Jennings.

You can read more about our event from our fantastic guests Alys Jones from Creative Cardiff, and Taylor Edmonds.

For those of you who couldn’t attend our event but want to get your hands on our magazines and notebooks, visit our buying page!

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What I want to read…

I’ve been reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent with a book club I just started with some friends. It’s much more enjoyable to read a book when you have people to discuss it with, but how can anyone ever get their friends to read the same books… if you’re even fortunate enough to have friends who read at all!

So we each submitted some choices, and voted on those choices (can’t vote for your own submissions!) and ended up with a book that everyone at least kind of wanted to read. Success! It wasn’t my top choice, but I was interested!

The novel is based on the true story of an Icelandic woman sentenced to death for murder in 1829, and her last days living on a farm with a family, who are tasked with watching over her while she waits her execution.

This sounded appealing to me, because I always am curious about the mind states of people in extreme situations. What would it be like, knowing you are doomed to die, awaiting the inevitable end day by day… Because it is like a magnified version of all our lives, all will end, all will end definitely, but we pretend they won’t. I find myself curious of what it would be like when you can’t pretend anymore.

I’m about 40% done with it now, and while it is an intriguing read, it’s not what I’d hoped it would be. The story seems to focus more on the family’s perception of her, and her interactions with a priest, and doesn’t delve much into her internal feelings on death. Not so far anyway. It seems to be more about perceptions, and how we decide a person is one way, just because of what others say of them, or judge their entire life and being all based on a single action, a single mistake.

An interesting read so far!

 

The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov

Another terrific read by Nabokov, I have yet to be disappointed by his novels. This one follows a chess player, but you don’t have to know a single thing about how to play chess in order to enjoy it. It’s more about the mental states, and how imagining all the possible outcomes in a game can send your brain down an unending maze of possibilities.

Aside from Nabokov’s usual wonderful prose and lovable characters, I found the slow, creeping insanity that Luzhin endures to be very believable and a bit unsettling. And even though I saw the end coming, that didn’t lessen the impact and effectiveness of it.

Another great read, and anyone who hasn’t read Nabokov please pick up one of his books, you won’t regret it!

how ‘the customer is always right’ culture is ruining our society

Happy May Day! Workers’ rights are important, and are ignored quite a bit in this capitalistic country (one of the few countries that doesn’t have May Day as a day off for workers… quite ironic.)

Here, it seems, even workers treat other workers like crap. And I don’t think it’s necessarily because they are bad people, but because they’ve been trained to be assholes by this ‘customer is always right’ idea.

Imagine going out to eat, and always being given your food free if you complain and yell about it enough. Imagine getting pulled to the front of the line if you scream and make a fuss. Imagine being apologized to profusely and groveled before if you howl and threaten convincingly enough—this is the state of customer service in America. He who screams and yells the loudest is given the quickest, best service.

It’s not hard to imagine this spreading to other, non-consumer areas of society. After being trained for their entire lives that yelling gets you your way, why shouldn’t someone take this strategy home, and yell at their wife or kids? Or at someone online in an argument? Or any other area of life?

We’ve trained people to be assholes by rewarding them for shitty behavior, at the cost of our workers’ sanity. It has to stop!

No one should be given a free meal for yelling and treating the server like shit, they should be thrown out and banned from the restaurant. They should not get to talk to the supervisor before everyone else in line because they started screaming, they should be thrown out and not allowed back in. People need to learn to behave civilly if they want to be helped and served by another human being.

But until we stop worshiping the dollar above all else, no company will change their ‘customer is always right’ policy–which translated, is really ‘the dollar is always right.’

Even more right than the rights of your workers to be treated like a human being.