How Odd Yet Everyday Things Can Lead to Distinctly Unique World Building

I’m also a webcomics writer and illustrator, with a focus on science fiction, character and creature design, and world building techniques. Occasionally, I’ll be posting insights into the creative process as I prepare for the 2016 debut of my webcomic, Embers of Sozon. This post has also been cross-posted on LinkedIn and on Medium.

What’s the most out-of-place thing you’ve seen lately? For me, it was the surprise of seeing a fully-decorated, discarded, brown Christmas tree laying on the sidewalk curb.

In September.

Ignoring the clear fire hazard — and the oddity that someone in my neighborhood displayed a dead Christmas tree in their apartment for 10 months — the experience of seeing the dead tree was akin to being offered a pumpkin spice latte in April. It threw my whole sense of time into momentary turmoil.

However, the image of the tree, branches, and shiny foil stuck with me when an opportunity arose to finish a concept for one of the characters in my webcomic, Plesq.

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Roasted Chile Verde Chili

I’m always making, experimenting with, and devouring new and different kinds of chili. It’s a yummy, satisfying dish that’s easy to make in large quantities, and it’s almost as delicious thawed from months in the freezer as it is after a day in the crockpot.  It’s also a versatile meal, and is great on rice, baked in a pie crust, or eaten “sloppy joe” style between hamburger buns.

I’m eating less beef and bison these days, and I’ve been using various meats and meat substitutes in my cooking in the past year.  I’ve recently put the finishing touches on this chile verde recipe — which, of course, uses pork, tomatillos, and poblano peppers — and I’m happy to share it with you today.  This particular chili has a savory and rich character, and is not fiery or overly spicy.  It’s likely to be a hit even with folks with a delicate palate.

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Skyrim – Dragons Attack Whiterun!

I, along with many players of Skyrim, have been frustrated by the difficulty of dragons in the game. Dragons have long been held in myth and story as paragons of majesty, strength, and ferocity. So why are the great drakes in Skyrim such pushovers?

For PC gamers, there is hope to return the essential component of fear back to dragon encounters.  With the right mods, dragons can attack you with more health, more spells, and more moves! They can even ambush you in capital cities, eating citizens and destroying guards by the dozen!  If you’re really unlucky, they’ll bring friends…

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