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Why I created the Kalbrandt Institute

When I turned my writing hobby into my profession, I faced a precarious situation for a writer. Because from thereon out, I needed to create projects I would want to stick with until the bitter end.

A prickly problem indeed. Over the decades, I have always had too many story ideas. Furious scribbling to keep up with the plot bunny farm spewing subjects, themes, characters and settings earned me a hard drive full of unfinished stories, but little else. Deciding to write for publication didn’t change that.

I’m also terrible at choosing one thing when I see a way to have my cake and eat it… Cue maniacal laughter!

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From The Archives: F/41923/SM

Other noises surfaced between the static, sometimes soft, sometimes louder. He tried to concentrate on possible words, but his mind refused. Twice he rewound the tape to listen again, but to no avail. All he heard were inarticulate sighs and whispers. Sometimes his filters hadn’t removed his own groans and snores, but these whispers were different. More frantic, going on and on.

Second cassette; same noise. Same whispers.


Martin sat bolt upright. Did he just—?

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Hybrid Animals: when gods create jigsaw puzzles

Chimera of Arezzo - hybrid animals

Hybrid animals are commonplace in mythology. Not the natural hybrids, like mules and ligers, but a seemingly random collection of animal and human body parts mashed together into a single being that may or may not be intelligent.

The best known of them were handed down from the ancient Greek and Mesopotamian cultures: satyrs, sphinx, lamassu, mermaids, angels, manticore and centaur apparently find their origins there. The list is immense, even without taking into account deities with the head of an animal as known to at least the Egyptian, Hindu and Aztec pantheons.

Very interesting, surely, but…

…where in blazes did humanity come up with this imagery?