Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Eve Scary Short Films

There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Traditionally Christmas Eve was a time for people to snuggle around fires, the smell of chestnuts roasting, of sweet cookies and other treats baking, while they told ghost stories about the long winters nights. Tales of Perchten the Belly Slitter, and Vampires in the form of owls, and many many different ghosts.

So start the fire, dim the lights, and discover some of the creepiest stories, sure to bring your family closer together this year, because you'll all be to scared to leave the fireside.

Of course given that it's the modern day, you might want to huddle around your gadget and watch some creepy videos as well, So in this post I'm including some creepy short videos, however, I still recommend a fire if you can pull it off, because research shows that the flickering of a dim fire actually does alter the way you think, which can make things much creepier.

Also it might be fun to read these Two Sentience Horror Stories 

You can also check out my post on some of the darkest fairy tales, which you can play on to make your own creepy stories.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The concept artists behind "Star Wars - The Force Awakens"

Star Wars always has stunning art and "The Force Awakens is certain to as well. Interestingly it seems Disney has many of the artists from "Guardians of the Galaxy" working on this film, though there are a few others, such as Jake Lunt who is coming on as a Creature Designer.

Iain McCaig

Did art for Star Wars I - III, as well as "The Avengers" and "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Dan Walker

Has a really massive portfolio of work which includes "Guardians of the Galaxy," Doctor Who, "Captain America," "John Carter," "Thor" The Dark World."

David Hobbins

From "Guardians of the Galaxy" to "Mars Needs Moms" David Hobbins is a brilliant designer of mechanical objects.

According to Hobbins is also the original designer for some interesting Star Wars spaceships based on dinosaur bones. So he's able to pull his art from some very unique and interesting sources.

Andree Wallin

Jake Lunt 

Matt Attallsopp

Keith Christensen

Fantasy Writing Prompts - Shepherds in Fairy Land

You might not realize it but shepherds, cowherds, etc. are some of the most important characters in the original fantasy stories (myths and fairy tales). From the cyclops shepherds of Greece to the shepherd girls who worked for the fairies of France, shepherds existed at the border between the magical and human world. As such they were often liminal, magical people who knew a number of spells to help keep away evil spirits and bring luck. Some were just clever people who knew a few tricks, while others were out right witches who had alliances with the lords of the forest.

1-Someone is hired to be the shepherd/cowherd for the fairies. In some fairy tales this happened because a girl was poor and the fairies were trying to help out, other times it happened because the fairies genuinely needed help watching and cleaning up after their sheep (they hated doing these sorts of jobs). As a general rule the fairies over paid for this service, often making their herds people extremely wealthy.

Of course guarding the sheep of fairies could also mean that the shepherd has to keep these animals safe from greedy kings who want to steal the magical herd, ogres, other fairies, and more.

2-The problem of keeping sheep safe from enemies and monsters in a magical world is a common one which shepherds in a fantasy world would have to deal with. During a time when so many people died of starvation those who protected people's food were the true heroes.

Tell the story of a shepherd who is called in to keep a herd safe from witches which steal the milk, werewolves, giants, dragons, etc.

(Note: In Russia a shepherd/cowherd would get paid by the whole village to watch their animals, and would take turns staying with each villager for a certain amount of time so they would get to know everyone)

3-Watch the children
In many places children were responsible for watching the sheep and cows. So instead of a cowherd or shepherd a hero could watch the children who watch the animals. Keeping them safe from boogiemen and hags.

4-Shepherds and cowherds would often bring the animals on journeys into dangerous wilderness areas. Either to deliver them to a buyer or to allow them to graze on large, fresh pastures. Tell the story of some herdsmen bringing the animals through a wilderness in a fantasy world.

5-Because they knew so many wilderness paths, cowherds would sometimes become ninjas in Japanese lore, using their job as an excuse to spy and their knowledge to aid their allies.

6-Because they had to fend off bandits and wild animals herdsmen occupy a mythical place as warriors in many cultures. Cowboys, David slaying Goliath, etc.

Tell the story of a peasant rebellion lead by shepherds.

Read all my Fantasy Writing Prompts here...