Sunday Sharing #4: Naming fictional characters, final girls, why every house is haunted and more

Arthur Morgan approaches the robot bartender – screenshot from “The MODDED Wacky West

My last list of 10 things I felt worth sharing over the past week for October.

I’ve quite enjoyed the format and it has been good practice for if I ever start sending out my newsletter out on a weekly basis in the style of Austin Kleon (who moved his newsletter to Substack last week). But I also might try experimenting with a different format.

But that’s a decision for next week. For this week, here are 10 more things I enjoyed reading/viewing that I wanted to share…

  1. Alison Stine on how you should name your fictional characters.
  1. Launched this month: Alternative Leftist Entertainment. You can also follow them on Twitter for regular updates. I can’t yet claim to be familiar with everyone’s work. But I have followed the Going Medieval blog, run by Dr. Eleanor Janega, for a little while now. The blog “exists to explain the medieval influences on the everyday world,” and you can check out the A-Z Index of all the different subjects Janega has covered. Her most recent post focuses on looking in the past for a better future, which is definitely worth reading. I’d also highly recommend reading her post on courtly love, sexual coercion, and killing your idols.
  1. Stephen Graham Jones on the evolution of the slasher film and its central figure—the final girl.
  1. I recently subscribed to Poetry Foundation’s newsletter. Thanks to inviting them into my inbox, I have discovered Anuradha Bhowmik’s series of poems, “Receipts from AOL Instant Messenger.” I particularly enjoyed no. 14. I also recommend reading Destiny O. Birdsong’s prose piece “Interrobang and Myth.” Their collection of Halloween poems also makes for good reading this spooky season.
  1. Steph Paton answers every bad faith gotcha-style questions and phrases transphobes often say to trans people and allies in under 1,000 words.
  1. On Twitter, I came across Margaret Owen’s author note for Little Thieves, which offers a creative approach to showing the reader some basic compassion.
  1. Sandra Newman explains why every house is haunted. This quote really stood out to me:

[It] sometimes seems as if contemporary people are determined to eradicate ghosts. We see the past as a source of trauma, not significance. We talk about getting rid of our baggage. We’re advised to throw away anything, whatever its significance, if it does not “spark joy.” We are also increasingly encouraged to treat our homes as financial assets, an attitude fatal to the proper development of a haunted house.

  1. Parul Sehgal for The New Yorker:Is Amazon Changing the Novel?
  1. Katie Goh on why we’re obsessed with disaster fiction. I purchased Goh’s book The End from 404 Ink a little while ago and I am very pumped to read it.
  1. I’ve spent a lot of time playing Red Dead Redemption 2 these past couple of months. When talking to my work colleague about it, he pointed me towards the YouTube channel BedBananas, who has made two “Wacky West” videos. I think both have a lot of comedic value even if you haven’t played the game but enjoy gaming. However, if you have played then you’re bound to get as much enjoyment out of them as I did. The second video with mods, embedded below, is especially fitting for the Halloween season.