Blog Archives


Dungeons, Dragons, & IP Lawyers (Yes, an OGL Post)

Given many of the folks I know, there was little chance that I wasn’t going to get bombarded by statements, screeds, and opinions about the possible changes to the Open Game License (OGL) the owner of Dungeons and Dragons currently offers and many people (including some of said folks) use.

Now, there should be news as soon as tomorrow, heck, something went up as I was writing this post, but if RPGs are your jam, why not start down the rabbit hole now?


Bradbury on Starting Writing, Keeping Writing, and Love

I grew up reading Ray Bradbury stories and loved it when 13 of his short stories were adapted for radio (because, you know, I’m into that sort of thing). So, naturally, I’ve checked out some interviews and lectures where he talks about writing and his thoughts on it.

This hour-long lecture comes from when Bradbury was around 80, so it should come as no surprise if your curmudgeon detector goes off. However, other videos can give you more of a taste of that.

Here, I especially like how he tackles:

How to get started writing

His advocacy of attempting short stories before getting deep into novels mirrors other a lot of what I’ve read and heard in the filmmaking realm, where doing shorts is often vital in learning various aspects of craft. It also matches what many people say in that the quantity and mindful practice is invaluable to getting better.

How to get your brain percolating about writing

I mean, as the lecture goes on, he does keep on adding to one’s evening homework, but Bradbury isn’t the only one who advocates reading poetry (I’ve had acting teachers and dialect coaches push for the same).

And it seems like a good way to keep your brain active in any case (writer or not).

Why you’re writing in the first place

As with any creative pursuit, it should all roll back to love, which he mentions generally near the beginning and closes with very personally at the end.


Public Domain Day, 2023 Addendum

I have a new source to look for regarding Public Domain Day every January… that is assuming Steve Shives returns for more merriment next year. I’ve already enjoyed his Star Trek commentaries and now I learn how much of a classic film buff he is — and he doesn’t mind singing. Truly, he contains multitudes.

His phrasing is occasionally delightfully NSFW at moments, so be warned for when you watch.


But What About Sea Shanties?

It’s Monday. It’s January. And it’s been about a year since we learned TikTokkers will sing sea shanties. But let’s focus on the important question:

Did pirates sing sea shanties?

Disclosure: I’m pre-disposed to trust sources called “Rogue History” for reasons.


2022 Additions to the National Film Registry

Given my most recent Favorite Films list, I figured it’d be nice to highlight the National Film Registry, a project by the Library of Congress. Each year, they add titles to the registry, serving as an annual reminder of the work they do and highlighting some films that might have fallen off people’s radar.

You can read about this years inductees at the link above, from NPR and Variety, or via this fun video below:


TCM Remembers, 2022

TCM does a great montage every year of the film folks we’ve lost. It never fails to make me want to rewatch a film or three. This year, we lost a couple actors particularly dear to my cinemania, David Warner and Angela Lansbury.

They’ve gotten better about making sure their videos are on YouTube, so you can check out past editions, including the recent 2021, 2020, and 2019 — the last of which I find particularly artful.


Margaret Atwood on Writing

This one’s from 4 years ago, but pretty evergreen: persistent writer Margaret Atwood talks with a new generation of writers about her process and some key writing tips… and don’t forget to sit up straight.


Ghosts Aren’t Real, but They Are Legal

I’d seen this as a suggested video last month and, while it’s arguably more of a Halloween kind of thing, “Christmas Carol” guarantees that ghosts are still seasonal.

It might be time to re-watch Rashomon as well…


A Day that will Live in Honest Trailers

There are many ways to remember the “Day that Will Live in Infamy.

Watching the 2001 film, Pearl Harbor, is arguably not one of them. Honest Trailers has my back on this.

I mean, it does inexplicably find a way to cram Spitfires in there, but come on!


Tolkien Support

In trying to figure out what all those rings of power in Middle Earth actually do, I came across some videos by the self-described “Tolkien Professor,” Corey Olsen, where he fields a number of questions.

This was evidently well received enough that they did another one, which I kinda like more:

There’s also an explanation about all the different peoples and creatures of Middle Earth.

So there you have it. A lot more Tolkien information which is sure to help you in any number of office jobs you seven or nine readers are surely engaged in.

Also, the Eagles aren’t coming. Sorry about that. Narrative reasons.