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Author of speculative fiction and poetry. I love storytelling, horror, pop culture, gaming, and more. (She/her.) Newsletter:
A frightened-looking man plays horror games in the dark.
A frightened-looking man plays horror games in the dark.
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash.

One of my great pleasures in life is sitting back and watching a good horror movie. My tastes are wide ranging, from horror comedies to supernatural scares, gritty psychological horror, and body horror. I’ll watch it all.

But horror video games have always seemed too intense for me. Watching a horror movie is a passive experience, allowing me to observe the character’s progress through the haunted house and judge their decision to go down into the dark basement.

Video games on the other hand remove that passivity from the equation. As the player, I find myself suddenly immersed in the…

The Internet

Thumbnail for the Unus Anus announcement video, featuring Ethan Nestor (left) and Mark Fischbach (right) standing in front of a black and white spiral.
Thumbnail for the Unus Anus announcement video, featuring Ethan Nestor (left) and Mark Fischbach (right) standing in front of a black and white spiral.
Thumbnail for the Unus Anus announcement video, featuring Ethan Nestor (left) and Mark Fischbach (right). (Source: Fandom Wiki.)

For its part, Unus Annus is situated within this crossroads of art and technology, embodying fine art traditions through a digital medium well suited to the cyberpunk world in which we live.

What would you do if you knew you only had a year to live? This philosophical question lies at the heart of Unus Annus (latin for “one year”), a creative experiment developed by gamers Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) and Ethan Nestor (Crankgameplays). The YouTube channel served as their own answer to the question. …

Photo: Thierry Meier.

I recently rediscovered the joys of swimming in the ocean. In Northern California, this means plunging into the Pacific, which is bitingly cold. The water when it first hits your feet is almost unbearable, and it takes patience to go deeper—skin tingling as the salty waves reach your belly and then your chest and your shoulders.

On my most recent trip to the seashore, I waded into the dark blue waters until I was neck deep. …

Photo by Ian Kim on Unsplash.

When I set myself the challenge to write 15 articles in 30 days, I purposefully set the bar at what I considered to be a reasonable height. I aimed my sights and jumped in, but didn’t quite make it over the bar. In fact, I didn’t even come close. But that’s okay.

How It Went

My goal over the last 30 days was to write a total of 15 articles—of which I completed seven (well, nine, if I count the two I produced for 30 Day Challenge). Each of these articles ranged from around 540 to 2,600 words in length. …

Sky Cathedral by Louise Nevelson — found wood sculpture at the San José Museum of Art. (Photo by the author.)

The last time I visited a museum prior to the pandemic was at the San José Museum of Art, where a friend had put together an event featuring mixture of poetry and music. During a break between the sets of performances, I wandered the exhibits, checking out what the museum had on display.

When I wander through a museum, I observe it from my own subjective point of view, not much caring whether the work is considered important or interesting from a cultural or historical perspective. …

Hosted by published authors working in a variety of genres and with decades of experience in the industry, the Writing Excuses podcast offers quick 15–20 minute long episodes packed with insightful writing, craft, and business advice. This year, the podcast has shifted its format to focus on eight-episode intensive courses that drill down into a particular subject — in this case, game writing.

Along with regular hosts Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Taylor, the eight episodes on game writing were led by two guest hosts, Cassandra Khaw and James L. Sutter, both of whom have extensive experience writing…

Photo by Daniel Rubio on Unsplash.

Podcasting was not a challenge I ever expected to take on. When I approached the New Books Network with a request to be interviewed on their New Books in Poetry podcast about my recently published collection of poetry, the founder and editor-in-chief, Marshall Poe, confessed that the company did not have a host for the poetry podcast at the time. He then asked if I would be interested in adopting the role.

After some further conversations with Marshall, a fellow poet and writer Athena Dixon and I decided to jump onboard and accept cohosting duties for the New Books in…

Photo by petr sidorov on Unsplash.

“Within these pages, we will honor and embrace the archetype of the witch as a symbol of power in the face of oppression, blame, and shame. We will explore the witch as a natural being. As a dreamer. A creator. A lover of darkness and light. Of righteous anger and deep empathy and everything in between.”

— Lisa Marie Basile, The Magical Writing Grimoire

I’ve long been fascinated by the concept of witchcraft — the idea that ritual, spells, and willpower can effectively shape the world around you. No doubt movies like The Craft and Practical Magic had a significant…

Whether book, movie, or show, I have always been captivated by the idealized world of Arthurian myth. My love grew even further after being introduced to the classic medieval renditions of the tales, which widened my understanding of these tales of Camelot, chivalry, grand adventures, and courtly love.

The Arthurian myths were stories told and retold by a number of authors throughout the middle ages (such as Chrétien de Troyes, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Marie de France). Among these numerous variations, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written by an unknown fourteenth-century poet, is easily one of my favorite tales. …

Though I wouldn’t call myself particularly adventurous, I am a nature lover. I can often find joy hiking through the mountains or wandering down trails, immersed in the trees — particularly when I can share the experience with a group of friends.

That said, I also have a healthy respect for the wild world. Nature can be a beast. You never know when a light rain can turn into a hazardous storm, when a twisted ankle can turn a leisurely hike into an ordeal. You never know what might be hiding among the trees just out of your sightline.

Andrea Blythe

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