Gobolinks and Blottentots

You may recognize these inkblots from my last post. The image on the left looked to me like two teddy bears playing with a ball from the moment I made it. The image on the right, however, originally looked like an angelic figure or winged creature (turned 180°), but when I looked at it again, I saw a canyon carved by water flow. Because the original inkblots were made with glitter-glue, the blue watercolor flowed like water and did not soak into the paper, so it even acted like mountain lakes flowing into a river in a canyon. It was very fun to make.

More Fun With Klecksography

Gobolinks and Blottentots

At the turn of the 19th to 20th century,  people expanded on Justin Kerner’s ideas of Klecksography, the art of using inkblots in illustration and created works of their own. Ruth McEnery Stuart turned the creations of inkblots and verse into a game called Gobolinks and John Prosper called the inkblot creatures he created and described in verse, Blottentots. Both of these books of inkblots and verse are now available online through Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg ebooks:

gobolinks coverGobolinks or Shadow Pictures For Young and Old by Ruth The Blottentots coverMcEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine 1896

Blottentots and How To Make Them by John Prosper Carmel 1907

Inkblots As Story Inspiration

I had a lot of fun creating a bunch of inkblots the other day. One of the great things about inkblots is they are a super-cheap, if not free (you can make them with things you already have in your house) art form and you can make them very quickly.

I did a little experimenting and found porous paper, like regular typing or printing paper works better than thicker paper. So any scrap paper you have lying about is the perfect canvas, and any drippable liquid will do. I used a cheap, hard-disc watercolor set with a lot of water. If you don’t have watercolors, you could use acrylics, or left over house paint. If you don’t have any paint, use mustard and ketchup. Use coffee or tea. Try mud. Why not? Make sure to protect your work area. I rolled out a bunch of butcher paper.

As I made more and more inkblots, my scrap paper got smaller and smaller. I found joy in the black and white blots that were about 2″ X 2″.  Many of them looked as if they could combine to become more detailed creatures, so I got out a metal board and some magnets and had some fun.

metal board and magnets play area

Looking at all these unique beauties made me ponder the stories they could tell. For those of you who have read Jumpstart Your Novel by Mark Teppo, what about using inkblots to inspire or illustrate your nine boxes?

Nine Box Plot

Or how about using your inkblots to access your subconscious ideas about your hero’s journey? Perhaps in a similar way to, or along with Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot.  The hero's journey in inkblots

You could also use inkblots to inspire setting and character:

spring garden

A spring garden

mantiss gnome


A garden gnome spinning on a spike

Character development: Use your inkblots with your characters like Rorschach tests to explore their psyches.

Group dynamic/ character interaction: Have your characters play a game of Gobolinks.

Since I am having so much fun with inkblots, I hope to find ways that they will help me enjoy my editing and revision process as well. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Further Reading

Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity by Margaret Peot

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls

The Inkblot Pack: Includes the 10 Classic Inkblots for you to interpret & a beautifully designed journal with thought provoking quotes

And Just For Fun

Rorschach mask

As a photographer and a costumer, I imagine many possibilities for The Original Moving Rorschach Inkblot Mask, so I bought one. I should have it in about 10 days and will definitely write a review.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

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October Pairings (#OctPairs): Movies & Drinking Games

happy-halloween1

My Halloween card from last year. Please print it out and put it on the fridge as some Halloween love from me! But watch out! The pumpkin bites!

Since we paired books and candy last week, I thought we’d pair movies again. And what’s better than watching scary movies with friends and playing drinking games? (Doing a wooden jigsaw puzzle at the same time? Maybe.)
drinking gamesA while back, a friend of mine gave me the book Drinking Games by Terry Burrows. I thought I’d look at the games and pair them with Halloween movies.
The games in the book are organized into four sections: Words, Actions, Cards and Dice & Coins. Since I’m not into props while watching movies, let’s see if we can’t find pairs for Words and Action games.

I’ve linked the names of the movies to where you can stream them on amazon. It costs around $2.99. So if you get really excited and want to start right now, just click on the link of the movie you want and start playing.

Words

      1. Initial Thoughts: To play this game, one player asks a question. In our emily roseversion, let’s say the question has to be about the movie or Halloween, and each player has to give a two word answer. The two words have to start with their initials. Example: If the question was What will they find in the woods? My answer could be Many Bones where Frank Clark might answer Feral Cats and Earl Thomas might answer Eagle Talons (my first thought was Eager Tyrannosaurs, but I wasn’t planning on pairing with Jurassic Park). If a player can’t answer within five seconds, they have to drink and come up with the next question. This game will most likely go well with any scary movie. Since it’s about the players’ names, I think I’ll pair it with The Exorcism of Emily Rose. You might come up with a new rule like if you can’t think of an answer with your own initials you can use E. R.
      2. rhyme or reason: This looks like another fun one that can be adapted tonightmare on elm our Halloween fun. The first player says a word, for our purposes, let’s say it has to be a word that has to do with the movie. The next person clockwise in the circle must either come up with a word that rhymes or one that describes what it does. Example: I say “axe” then Doug Baldwin says “chops” so then Russell Wilson can say either “cops” or “feeds”.  If a player can’t come up with a word that works, it’s time to drink and come up with the next word. I think I would pair this game with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) because of that creepy nursery rhyme.

PiranhaActions

  1. fish face: Each player selects the name of a fish and lets the other players know their type of fish. No two players can be the same fish. The first player says, “I’m a (says their fish name); you’re a (someone else’s fish name). That player repeats the phrase saying their fish name and then choosing another fish in the group. Players have to talk without showing their teeth. If anyone gives the glimpse of a tooth, they have to drink.

For obvious reasons, I would pair this game with Piranha [Roger Corman’s Cult Classics].  Though if you want to expand the rules to include sharks, you could pair it with Jaws or Sharknado.

2. drinking with the simpsons: Most of the drinking games I found online were like this one. In the book version, you watch an episode of The Simpsons. The rules are simple: you take a drink any time a list of things are said or done. There are games like this for lots of scary movies. You can find one for Halloween at Film Drunkies tumblr and cheezburger.com promises The Ultimate HalloweenHalloween the movie drinking game. And here’s a post that says it’s The Official Drinking Game For Every Horror/Slasher Film. You could try it with every Scream movie or the entire Friday the 13th series.
Another online game with “drink when” rules is for Hocus Pocus. POPHANGOVER.com professes to having The Ultimate Hocus Pocus drinking game.hocus pocus
Drinkwhen.ca has this style of drinking game for a lot of great Halloween movies from classics like The Shining and The Silence of the Lambs to newer greats like Get Out and What We Do in the Shadows. As you can see there is a game for every Halloween movie.
But what if you are trying to get fit and don’t want to drink beverages all night? I even found a game for you. Over at POPSUGAR Fitness they came up with a horror movie game where they linked things that happen in horror movies to exercises. I think I might try this for my workouts the next couple weeks.

I hope you enjoy trying some of these fun October Pairings this Halloween season. If/When you’re on Twitter, please head over to #OctPairs and share some of your favorite October Pairings.

 

*I apologize that this did not get out last night as planned, but my power went out and stayed out for over 16 hours.

October Pairings (#OctPairs): Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles and Spooky Movies.

Little shop of horrors.jpg

I was writing my morning pages at the end of September (hard to believe that wasn’t even a week ago) and started thinking about things that go together with Halloween movies and books. I remembered an October when I manufactured artifact puzzles. I would put on scary movies while I separated the puzzle pieces and boxed them up.

I no longer work with the day to day of the business, but I still love the puzzles and recently designed the pieces for The Scream by Edvard Munch. So for my first October Pairing, I want to talk about which movies I think go well with my artifact puzzle designs. If you are a puzzle lover, like me, or are having a gathering for The Holiday,  you should have enough time to order a puzzle for Halloween.

starry nightArtifact Puzzles – Van Gogh Starry Night

Everyone knows this image. It’s a poster in a dorm room. So I tried to give it a twist. I swirled and whirled all of the signs of the zodiac into this puzzle then added the symbols, too.

If puzzling with the kids, I would pair this with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and once the kids have fallen asleep I would put on Zodiac and Suspect Zero.

garden of deathArtifact Puzzles – Garden of Death

I love this image. This puzzle was one of my early designs. It includes a multi-piece monster plant and a Jack-o-Lantern. It’s a perfect pairing with Little Shop Of Horrors.

My mom gave me a great Halloween noises CD that came with a DVD of the 1960’s version of Little Shop of Horrors (1960) and I was happily surprised by a young Jack Nicholson (as pictured in the lead image).

 

creature ladder

Artifact Puzzles – Justin Hillgrove Creature Ladder

This image makes me smile. It’s fun. It’s whimsical. And monsters. I designed some of my pieces to represent these monsters, then their neighbors became their own monsters, and so on . . . The puzzle is a monsterfest!

This is a shorter puzzle, so the first time, during family fun-time, I would pair it with the monster squad

then after the kidlets have gone to bed, how about going full Cryptid with laughably horrible films like: Loch Ness Terror and Abominable

Or a Bigfoot comedy like Strange Wilderness

Artifact Puzzles – Waterhouse Lady of Shalott

Waterhouse_Lady_of_Shalott_edge_1024x1024

The Lady of Shalott is a ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Like his other early poems – “Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere”, and “Galahad” – the poem recasts Arthurian subject matter loosely based on medieval sources.

I find this image haunting. So while working this puzzle, after the kids have gone to bed, I recommend:
An American Haunting and my mate’s personal favorite The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Edvard_Munch_-_The_Scream_-_Google_Art_Project_1024x1024
And of course, The Scream – you can sign up to get an email when it’s in stock!

It’s not available yet, but I worked hard on it because I love it!

At first the movie pairing is obvious:
Scream
Scream 2
Scream 3
Scream 4

But then you’ll notice the symbolism and want to watch TrollHunter.

#OctPairs

There you have it. My first offering of October Pairings. I hope you find the same joy in movies and puzzles as I do. When I started making these puzzles, I was surprised how they became the center of every family gathering. They bring people together, and they’re fun to do alone.

What fun things do you think pair up well? Let me know at #OctPairs on Twitter. Or here in the comments.

 

The Pessimistic Moustache Game: Avoiding cliche description

 

 The idea and tools

I recently read The Hollow by Agatha Christie and one simple but unique description jumped out at me.

“He came in accompanied by Inspector Grange, who was a large, heavy built man with a down-drooping, pessimistic moustache.”

I love the idea of pessimistic facial hair and it really got me thinking. What other isms could be paired with body parts to make unique descriptions? I started a list of isms to join pessimism: optimism, skepticism, nihilism, liberalism, etc. I also wrote a list of often described body parts: cheeks, eyes, lips and so on.Once I exhausted my own ideas, I did a little hunting on line and found some useful sites for more ideas. For isms check out The Phrontistery. I printed out their amazing list of philosophical isms and their definitions. For a list of cliché body part descriptions head over to obsidian bookshelf.

The game

So how do you play The Pessimistic Moustache Game? To start, one player has a list of body parts or other physical descriptions (e.g. gait, scar, laugh, etc.) and the other player(s) has the list of isms. The person with the body part list chooses a body part and says it out loud. Then the other player(s) has to match it with an ism to use as a descriptor. The person who chooses the best ism for the body part gets to choose the next ism and the other player(s) matches it with a corresponding body part.

You can add another dimension to the game by printing out pictures of people to inspire the descriptions though that might limit the responses.

My experiences

To date, this game amuses me to no end. I find the exercise challenging and every match makes me laugh. Has it improved my writing? Have I found the perfect new way to create unique descriptions? Maybe not, but I’ve only played with one other person so far and the possibilities are endless. It sure does make me laugh.

Further development

A couple days ago, I was reading In the Beauty of the Lillies by John Updike and found another very interesting phrase.

“. . . its heavy sweet smell rose around him possessively . . .”

I hadn’t thought of a smell being possessive before. And if a smell can be possessive, why not someone’s fingernails, or lips? The list of isms could definitely be expanded to include other conceptual adjectives that one would not usually attribute to body parts.

Then there is also descriptions of sensations (like smell) and perceptions. The Pessimistic Moustache Game could include matching senses to isms. What is the smell of materialism? What is the texture of postmodern feminism?

I hope you enjoy playing Pessimistic Moustache and it gets the neurons churning while you laugh and laugh. Please send me your favorite matches in the comments, so all my readers can play along.

Happy Reading and Writing!