Live on YouTube! Build Better Worlds Chapter Reading and Q&A with Kyra Wellstrom and Michael Kilman

Good morning everyone,
Today, Kyra Wellstrom and I go live to read a sample chapter from our worldbuilding book and answer worldbuilding questions on YouTube at 11am MST. You can find the stream at https://youtu.be/QS3Yse-rv3g

The discussion will be recorded so if you miss it don’t fret! You will be able to find it at the same link. But if you can come live, we’d love to field your questions about worldbuilding and anthropology.

See you soon!

Anthropology, Mindfulness, and Navigating Turbulent Times (HPSfAA Spring Conference 2021)

Last weekend the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology had it’s annual spring conference. We had lots of wonderful presentations. All of the talks will be available shortly on YouTube (all are currently uploading) at this link.

My presentation is more of an open conversation about the relationship between studying and working in the field of Anthropology intermixed with mindfulness. You can find my presentation, titled Anthropology, Mindfulness, and Navigating Turbulent Times, here.

Virtual Anthropology Conference this Weekend!

Most of you reading this probably don’t know that I am the sitting president of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology. This coming weekend we are hosting a virtual conference. I have included images of the program below. For my own part I will be giving a talk at 2:45 called Anthropology, Mindfulness and Navigating Turbulent Times.

You can register online to participate on zoom at https://www.hpsfaa.org/Events

Or watch on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD-d87Bvjzo

If the livestream cuts out you can find a new link at https://www.youtube.com/…/UCP8RdXawW0bU4wH1jL9…/featured

What is the Value of Art?

Here is a bit of spoken word poetry I just wrote called, What is the value of Art.

“Center of All”

What is the value of art?

It is our birthright, our education,

it’s the smashing of all our limitations,

it’s the last breath as death collects us

In an ever winding energy nexus

It’s the movement of words and thoughts and dreams

Of a plurality of reality, and a sequence of scenes  

It’s what’s delicious and nutritious for the mind and soul

So luscious and rich with wonders to behold

It’s our essence and presence as a universe to witness

A study of truth and the quickest path to fitness

Of our species survival all threatened by meaninglessness

In the hearts of greed where we find only deafness

Or daftness and a lack of meaningful madness

This Art is our madness, our collective sadness,

All balled up and beat up long past the gladness

It’s the laughter of life and the meaning of love

It’s the universe in our hands and as below so above.

So you ask, what is the value of art?

It’s all this and more

For our humanity

is lost

if we lose

it’s core.

Build Better Worlds: An Introduction to Anthropology for Game Designers, Fiction Writers, and Filmmakers, Is Now Live on Amazon!

I am so incredibly happy to announce that as of this morning, our new book, Build Better Worlds: An Introduction to Anthropology for Game Designers, Fiction Writers and Filmmakers is now available for purchase on Amazon. Next week the first paperback copies will also come available.

This book is a product of a solid year of work with my amazing co-author Kyra Wellstrom. While my specialty is cultural anthropology, hers is biological anthropology giving the book a well rounded approach from both directions of the field. In many ways this book is an introduction to anthropology that you might take in a college course, but with a twist, it contains tips and ideas for building fictional world and lots of references to other pieces of fiction. We created this book to be a tool kit for creatives so that they can seriously consider real world cultural systems as they construct the world of their imagination.

In many ways this book was inspired by my several posts on Worldbuilding. This book is a much more expansive treatise on elements of real world and cultures. I hope those of you out there looking for a deep dive into cultures to improve your own work find this volume useful. Best of luck on all your projects!

Buy Build Better Worlds Here!!!

Further Myths of the Mammoth Man (Custom Made Story)

This past Christmas in a gift exchange I wrote my brother a joke story. Recently he recommended I post it. Why? Because he suggested that maybe some people out there might want a custom made story of their own. I specialize in outrageous humor. It doesn’t have to rhyme of course but this one did. It can be a wide variety of genres.

Rates are as follows:
$100 for 250 words
$150 for 500 words
$250 for 1000 words
$500 for 2000 words.

If you are interested you reach me by email me at LoridiansLaboratory@gmail.com

So if you are interested in hiring me to write a custom made story for your friends or loved ones, consider the sample below.

Additional samples of some of my short work include Man in the Mirror and Simulacra

Further Myths of the Mammoth Man

Many years ago I told a tale so tall

That those who heard it felt a little small

It was a tale of a man of a mammoth proportions

So tall was this tale that some accused me of distortions

The Mammoth Man tale’s tale might be tall but it is true

So I decided to return to his native land and resume the story for you

When I returned to Colorado from afar

I found that the Mammoth had done quite well for himself and even had a nice car

No more lemon vehicles that break down on sight

And the mighty mammoth man became a mascot of sorts in sports on many nights

His mighty arms would guide a great screen in stadiums like magic

And from what I understand his paycheck isn’t what you call tragic

In his domestic sphere, had had done pretty well

He had caught the eye of a kindhearted southern bell

They live in a large house in Aurora where they and their daughter Cimi happily dwell

And the southern bell doesn’t even seem to mind how much his feet smell

Or perhaps when they do she makes him sleep in a hotel

All seemed well but, Did he live happily ever after you say?

Well, it wouldn’t be much of a story if that’s all I had to share today

You see the Mammoth shared a story that’s unbelievable but true

It involved a ham sandwich, some aliens, and a giant emu

What came next was fantastic and strange

It began late one night on a highway interchange

Driving in his mammoth car listening to rock and roll 

He slowed down on the road to pay a toll

Suddenly above the sky filled with a bright light

And the Mammoth man sighed knowing it would be a long night

When the aliens descended they brought a large machine

Because they needed something more powerful than the normal abduction beam

They couldn’t lift the mammoth man because his shoes alone were size nineteen

As the mammoth man ascended side by side with the alien crew

He realized that this wasn’t the strangest thing he was forced to do

After all there was that time in Tahiti with swarm of cuckoos

And of course the time with the priest who practiced voodoo

He wondered for a moment how he always got in this situations

But then the aliens asked him if he would be willing to represent all earth nations

At a galactic council where humans were on trial

To try an determine if earthlings could transcend their greed and guile

Of course Mammoth man knew they were probably wondering if invasion was worth while.

So as he entered the ship he just nodded and smiled

He just hoped they wouldn’t destroy his sweater made from argyle

It wasn’t a council chamber they brought him into

Instead it was a large enclosure that looked like a zoo

Many creatures were in cages including an emo and a kangaroo

The mammoth man asked, just what do you plan to do

The aliens looked at their feet and admitted their real plan

They told of their obsession with YouTube and how they had discovered the tale of the mammoth man

In fact, the aliens revealed that they were really big fans

And wanted him to stay for the rest of his lifespan

But the mammoth man thought of his southern bell at home

And about how small the ship was and how little room there was to roam

He politely declined but the aliens sprayed him with a strange foam

It hardened and solidified and trapped him in a dome

But the aliens underestimated mammoth man’s strength

And that they would be able to hold him for any length

He smashed out of his prison in minutes and broke free

But he could find no obvious way off the ship to flee

He looked around for a helpful ally from the zoo

And his eyes settled on the cage with giant Emu

He smashed open it’s cage hopped on it’s back and together they broke through to

The door to the bridge of the ship and threatened a coup

The aliens resisted and fought a hard battle

But as it turns out he had  something that would really give them a rattle

In his pocket was a ham sandwich and when it fell out

It caused all the aliens to fall to their knees and beg to end the bout

For it seemed the aliens were allergic to ham

Apparently in the wider galaxy everyone preferred fresh lamb

He threatened the creatures that he would slam and cram the ham

Into their mouths like a battering ram

The aliens with faces sad acknowledge their defeat

And the mammoth man threatened them to never again lie or cheat

Or he would return with a treat they were allergic to eat

So the aliens landed their ship in a field of buckwheat

The Mammoth demanded they set all the creatures loose

That included the emu, the kangaroos, and even moose

The aliens took off not long after the truce

And promised that their abductions would be severely reduced

As the mammoth man drove home he shook his weary head

And he thought about how most of the animals had already fled

But not the emu for it chose to stay instead

He thought about how he would explain to the southern bell his new pet Ed

Perhaps she wouldn’t look on it with quite so much dread,

If he offered her a ride on the back of his new giant emu thoroughbred

The tale of the mammoth man is done for today

Perhaps we will check back in on him in few years and see if there is more to say

Maybe once the mammoth man is old and gray

We will hear a final tale as strange as the one today.  

A Wistful Winter

A long cold walk on a nature trail on a snowy day sometimes leads to self reflection and sometimes creative fire. Here’s something I wrote on a long walk this afternoon.

A Wistful Winter

The cold strips us bare as it works its way through our layers with terse touches

Its winding work penetrates below where our heartbeats, and spreads its cold kiss

But there is stillness here in the cold and long nights.

All the dead leaves are waiting, resting, in soft snowy stillness.

Peaking above the white dusting, leaves show their faded colors,

But only for a moment, before they retire to rest.

As should you.

And perhaps when we retire we will remember the silence by the hearth as we rub our hands diligently in gratitude toward a flickering flame

And the fire will teach us light and warmth in a period of long darkness

It is how we measure things that matters.

Our self-measurement is much like the falling snow,

Frail and wispy.

But in great number it can pack weight and depth,

Hanging heavy on our heart.

In stillness, we can watch it cascade from the sky and let it be.

How will you measure now that you took your first peak above the layer of cold and dark?

And as we walk on white paths lined with skeletal memories like some undiscovered country,

Will you feel a snowflake give its life as it casts itself onto the warmth of your face and flesh?

And when you return to home and safety,

Will you stoke the fires of your emotions as you stoke a log with your intention and iron?

Can you cast sparks like stars into the long dark?

Mind those sparks,

For those little pinpricks of light are a map to your soul.

If you trace the path, you will find the warm fertilizer of being

There is no better moment than now to look and see