Explore the Dublin Destinations That Inspired “Dracula”

When Bram Stoker penned “Dracula,” arguably the Irish author’s most recognizable piece of writing, little did he know how much the blood-hungry protagonist would become embedded in pop culture years later. Today Dracula is easily one of the most recognizable characters in literary history, not to mention a staple at Halloween costume parties around the world.

Courtesy of Smithsonian

Celebrate Chuck Berry’s Birthday With His Collaboration With John Lennon In 1972

When having a discussion about the foundations of rock ‘n’ roll, the name Chuck Berry is inevitably going to be one of the first uttered in the conversation. The St. Louis, Missouri-born Charles Edward Anderson Berry came into this world on October 18th, 1926. He would go on to be one of the most influential figures in music over the course of the last half of the 20th century.

Courtesy of Live for Live Music.

Here’s How The Vampire Became Literature’s Sexiest Monster

Of all the misguided things that men have written on the internet (and there have been many), my absolute favorite genre has got to be “men who are baffled that women like vampires.” Most of these articles had their heyday during the reign of Twilight and True Blood. They theorize that women like vampires because vampires are bad boys, and women therefore want to change them (no). Or that women secretly love it when men attack them (also no). Or that women like vampires because vampires are old, and all women universally prefer condescending older men (seriously?).

Courtest of Bustle.

Bram Stoker Claimed That Parts of Dracula Were Real. Here’s What We Know About the Story Behind the Novel

In the summer of 1890, a 45-year-old Bram Stoker entered the Subscription Library in Whitby, England, and requested a specific title — The Accounts of Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia by William Wilkinson. This wasn’t a title found readily on the shelves or typically made available to the general public. The library didn’t even make it known they possessed the rare book. Access was only granted to those who asked for it. Patrons handled the title only under the watchful eye of the librarian, and it was returned to its resting place the moment business concluded. Upon receipt of the book, Stoker didn’t read it cover to cover or browse the text — he opened the pages to a specific section, made notes in his journal, and returned the tome to the librarian.

Courtesy of Time.

Inside the Fortress Known as ‘Dracula’s Castle’

Dracula slept here. Or maybe not.

Bran Castle perches dramatically on a hill in Transylvania, its burnt-orange-tiled turrets and steeples rising above a crown of trees in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. Depending on what account you read, Vlad Tepes—aka Vlad the Impaler—may have spent a night or two in this 14th-century fortress as a prisoner, or he may have attacked it once.

Courtesy of National Geographic.

Bullet Journaling as a Fantasy Writer

Have you ever heard of bullet journaling? Its basic concept is simple: instead of using a day planner with formally assigned pre-printed pages, a bullet journal starts out completely blank. You assign pages in the front to be an index, and then write down important information and to-do lists as you go. Any time you want to dedicate space to a special subject (say ‘Plot Notes’) you can do so while just jotting down the page numbers of that topic back in the index. Its primary power lies in its versatility. It’s not just a day planner: it’s a to-list combined with a day planner plus a journal with a healthy dollop of idea book mixed together with…well…honestly anything you might want to write or draw.

I’ve tried bullet journaling in the past and failed miserably. Maybe I’ll give it a try again.

Courtesy of Tor.com.

Has Cloud Atlas Author David Mitchell Given Us The Greatest Writing Tip Of Our Time?

John Hornor Jacobs, author of Southern Gods, Incorruptibles, and Infernal Machines recently met up with fantasy author Sanford Allen, who related a meeting with David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and the World Fantasy Award-winning The Bone Clocks. Apparently, Mitchell spent a bit of time buying Allen drinks and asking for stories of Allen’s time as a touring musician.

Courtesy of Tor.com.

Aretha Franklin’s 1972 Live Album ‘Amazing Grace’ Captured The Queen at the Height of Her Powers

Aretha Franklin’s incredible life was defined by an amazing collection of iconic performances. There was no stage in the world too small, and no moment in history too large that the Queen of Soul wasn’t prepared to meet head on with all the titanic force and touching elegance that was afforded to her by years of toil and a voice like no other.

Courtesy of Billboard.