Friday, July 31, 2015

The Lewis and Tolkien Library

Jason ran a hand along the shelf, touching each book binding fondly. He liked this world, this... Del Terra. And though Lord Ivan and Lady Larissa were not especially welcoming, Isha had shown him the beauty of her world, the one which to him literally been one page-turn away.
But now it was time to go home. Jason had seen to the end of Isha's story, or at least her family's story. The kingdom out of harm's way, the elves pacified, the insurrectionists imprisoned, and the villagers working together the best they could to mend their broken and tattered city.
"I thought you'd be here."
Jason turned, unsurprised to see Isha in the doorway. For a moment he thought she looked sick, but then realized she did not give off the golden hue he'd become so accustomed to. Isha, gentle, glittering Isha, could bend light to her will and quite unconsciously her body was usually surrounded by a halo that glowed against her cocoa-colored skin.
She swayed in, seeming to float across the floor. "Are you leaving?" she whispered.
Jason nodded.
"Back to your world?"
"I'm not allowed to stay. It could disrupt the... continuum," he offered, though that last part didn't sound right. He really couldn't stay in this world, not even to continue the story. Jason sighed. His hand itched to grasp hers, but at the last moment drew it up to his chest, as if wanting to rip the words from his chest and lay them bare before her. "If I don't go back," he said, "I'll never be able to know what's supposed to happen. I can't come back until I know that, or just my presence could alter everything."
"Will you return?" Isha asked suddenly. "After you... oh, how did you say it? When you know what happens? Will you come back then?"
Before he could stop himself, he said, "I can try."
Isha's lips spread into a breathtaking smile. She looked like she wanted to embrace him, but such were not the customs in Del Terra. To Jason this world was medieval in many forms, with bits of Greek mythology thrown in to keep it interesting. Whoever had written it into existence obviously had a thing for griffins, dragons, that three-headed dog that guarded the Underworld, and really... big... castles.
"I hope you can find me in the next..." Isha hesitated.
"Story," Jason finished for her. For someone living in a medieval world with its medieval thought-process, she took the news of being a fictional character surprisingly well.
"Well then... how do you go back?"
"Somewhere in this room is a door for me. Your book, er, uh, this place's book, it should be open on the other side. That's how I get out. The book will literally open a door for me, and I'll just... disappear."
The voice came from everywhere, like wisps of smoke billowing from the shelves.
It's time.
"It's time," he said aloud. He took a step but Isha grabbed his arm. He tried to smile, to reassure her if he could. "Don't worry. I'll be back soon. I promise." Quickly he swooped in and kissed her forehead, then turned to where a doorless entryway had materialized upon the stone walls. Jason followed it's path, somehow lit although he wondered if Isha had anything to do with that.
His hands grazed either wall and he marveled at the texture. They were rough this time, unsanded like the materials that made up the castle. Much like when he'd first arrived, this tunnel changed with every new book. He'd walked through doors of wood and steel and water and dust, but this one... this stone... yes, he was sure he would return to this hall again.
The end of the tunnel appeared just as if it had been there the whole time. He could see the room on the other side. His grandparent's library, where all his books had eventually lead him again.
But then something happened. The doorway began to melt away, becoming smaller, though it wasn't warped like with wax. It was severe, like a burnt page. And then he smelled it. Something was burning. Jason hurried toward the other room, and then he saw it. The book, the one he was in, just outside the doorway. It was on fire. And as the pages were burning away, so was the doorway. So was the story.
The story was being destroyed.

(PS: The picture is called 7b by 25kartinok on DeviantArt )

Journal Entry #7

I'll bet you thought I wasn't going to post this week. Hah! Negatory. I said I would post two to three times a week, and it is still within the week.
I appreciate Sandy and Mark for commenting on my posts. Thank you guys! I love reading people's comments.
This post is actually a reminder to myself to post something else later today. I saw a picture on Pinterest yesterday that I absolutely loved, so I think I'm gonna post it and then write a little paragraph about what I think is happening in the story. This post holds me to it. Also, I'm reading a book called Medieval Mars: The Anthology, a sci-fi/fantasy e-book which I will post a review about as soon as I finish. It was co-written by Mark Venturini and Travis Perry, both of whom I collaborated with on Colony Zero. Since then, though, Mark has been publishing the sequel to his mid-grade novel Whispers from Forbidden Earth, called Blood Tithe. I've read the first few chapters and of course it's phenomenal. I would expect nothing less. Travis, as I understand it, put together the idea for Medieval Mars and then asked a bunch of other authors to contribute. They were each given the basic idea of the planet and culture and then wrote their own stories taking place on different parts of the planet. Cool, huh? Once I finish the book, I think I'm gonna ask some of the authors for interviews. If they say yes, I will probably post one of those weekly.
So that's what's happening today. Lunch, work, home, Pinterest Picture Story, Medieval Mars, bed.

While I'm gone, you should check out these other authors, also contributors to the Medieval Mars project:
  • Adam David Collings
  • Jill Domschot
  • Kat Heckenbach
  • Cindy Koepp
  • Donna Gielow McFarland
  • Allison Rohan
  • Kristen Stieffel


Friday, July 24, 2015

Journal Entry #6

Lucy Windham
Elaine Wilcox
Charlie St. Claire
Otis Leech
Tabitha Mallory
Evgenia Aleksandrova
Sholto Hale
George Thornton
Kyle Bunnerman
Angelica Sacx
Frances Talimachi
Jonathan Fellbecker
Trista Hammond
Spencer Eleck
Erik Philipson
Timothy South
Jenna Holiday
Cecelia D'Arnet
Connor D'Arnet
Your character is given these two lists of names. Why?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Journal Entry #5

(How I wish I looked while writing)

(How I actually look while writing)
I'm reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the second or third time. I'm less than a hundred pages into it and I already look forward to coming home, curling up on my bed and just delving right in. Actually, I take it to work with me so it gives me something to do while I wait for my bus. There's also something comforting about taking a book with you wherever you go. It's almost like a safeguard, but I think I just like knowing it's there, stowed away in my backpack. The weight of it is comforting.
One thing I notice a lot when I read blog posts about how to be a better writer or how o make characters better or something along those lines, one example that constantly comes up is J.K. Rowling. Whether it's her tenacity, her will power, or, more often than not, her characters themselves, there is always something to glean from her. But what I've become tired of hearing is to try and make my characters as rounded, dynamic, deep, and genuine as the ones in Harry Potter. As if it's that easy. The place I'm at right now in my writing -not in a story, but in my writing- is that no one can duplicate characters like Severus Snape, the Marauders, Harry... Faramir, Samwise, Sauron... Screwtape, Edmond, Eustace. These characters have become as real to us as characters can be. We feel we know them intimately. But I would ask that no one expect such incredible skill on my part, because I can't just twitch my nose and add more layers to characters. Do you want to know the reason I procrastinate? Why it takes me so long to write even a single paragraph? Because me knowing my characters as intimately as knowing Harry or Sam is probably more important to me than the actual story. In developing these... people, there grows an affectionate bond. I love them and I care how they react to something, how they process things, how they respond, on more than a physical level or with words, but how their mind wraps around the information and puzzles over it. 
I get the feeling I overthink the whole "writing thing" quite a bit. I read a quote the other day that said something like, "If I waited for perfection, I would never write." Still, you can feel if a character does something, well, out of character. A ding goes off in your mind and that action or sentence stays in your mind until it's explained later on.
Sorry, I'm not sure where this post went. My goal was to explain that I am no J.K. Rowling, that she is one of those beautiful people who have blessed readers with her wonderful talent and imagination. But that doesn't mean I won't try to show my characters as more than just princesses, pirates, Hunters, and Seers.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Journal Entry #4

You know what I was just thinking about? How no matter what you see an actor in, you will always associate them with that one character, usually the first you ever saw them portray. No matter what happens in their life, they will always be that one character.
For me, although I can't look at him now without seeing Professor Lupin, David Thewlis will forever be King Einon from DragonHeart.
Charlie Sheen, bad rep and all, will always be Aramis from The Three Musketeers.
Leonardo DiCaprio will always be King Louis XIV/Philippe from The Man in the Iron Mask.
Kiefer Sutherland will probably be a toss-up for me. Although he's iconic in my house for being Jack Bauer, he will probably also hold a spot as Athos from The Three Musketeers.
What about you? When you see certain actors and actresses, are there specific roles you always picture them in?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jounral Entry #3

(Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks)

How many Nicholas Sparks books have been adapted into movies? And of that number, how many have at least one person who dies in it?
I rewatched the trailer for The Longest Ride yesterday, and apart from a serious flashback to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, the movie actually looks really good. But I couldn't help asking myself, "Who's gonna die in this one?"
If you don't see my point, let's take a moment to look at Nicholas Sparks's novels-turned-movies:
  • The Notebook -They both die in the end.
  • The Lucky One -The husband dies.
  • Safe Haven -The ex-husband dies.
  • The Last Song -The dad dies.
Suffice to say that while I still do want to see The Longest Ride, I'm hesitant because I know someone's going to be offed by the end of it.
But as I was thinking about all of this, I couldn't help comparing it to other books-turned movies, or either entertainment medium in general.
Let's have another look, shall we?

(The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling)

  • The Fault in Our Stars -Gus dies.
  • Jurassic Park (the novel) -John Hammond dies.
  • The Little Mermaid (the book) -She dies.
  • The Hunger Games -EVERYONE dies.
  • The Lunar Chronicles -Garrett, Grandmere, and Dr. Erland die.
  • Dracula -Dead-ish.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -Jadis dies.
  • Pretty Little Liars (the first book) -Toby dies.
  • Little Women -Beth dies.
  • The Jungle Book -the one wolf dies.
  • 80% of Grimm's Fairy Tales -People be dead. Very, very dead.
  • 90% of Disney films -Someone (usually one or both parents) dies.
I guess this is a long-standing a tradition in storytelling: someone has to die. From oral cautionary tales to Big Hero 6. Even I'm guilty of offing people in my stories. I wonder if it's supposed to be more of an art-imitating-life kind of thing. It may be that the character or characters represented a symbol or a specific person to the writer, like Hedwig from Harry Potter representing Harry's innocence. It could very well be that the death of each character tries to show how the protagonist deals with death, and how they try and recover from it.
What do you think? When you read about a death, or see it in a movie, how does it effect you/the character/the story/the environment?


Friday, July 10, 2015

Journal Entry #2

I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while, an idea for a Halloweeny ghost-type story. Although the only thing categorizing it as "Halloweeny" would be the ghosts, I don't think I would want to shoot for the horror genre. Ghosts would just be a significant presence in the story. What I'm thinking is that the ghost of a person will reflect what they were actually like on the inside, not what they physically looked like. For instance, an abusive husband or boyfriend would have these exaggerated sunken eyes and gnarled joints to reflect his true nature: someone evil, someone repulsive and scary and dangerous. In real life he would have looked nothing like that. Or, say, a man or woman in a hit-and-run whose ghost form reflects a sort of tattered appearance, but with soft hands and gentle features, because that person always went out of their way to help people, even at his or her own expense.
I don't know what the actual story could be. I don't think people are often hit with the entire story at once. It's more like stringing together bits of ideas that come like ribbons on the wind, until they create a whole chain of ideas that become a story.
What do you think of the concept? Ghosts that reflect a person's true nature. Would someone finally see them? Why? Have they always been there and are now fading away? What if the ghosts are for those who need to seek repentance, and the fact that there are less and less of them perhaps means either more people are finding salvation before they die or that salvation is becoming harder to attain.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Journal Entry #1

So last night I was lying in bed thinking about what I wanted to write. Normally that's not how it goes -I think about my stories all day, pine for the time to write, browse Pinterest or YouTube for a few hours, think about how much writing I should have gotten in, read my Bible, and then fall asleep.
But last night I had that wonderful spark of tenacity urging me to write something. But I needed help. A prompt. Thankfully I had kept my textbook from my Creative Writing course last year, and it's filled with some of the most beautiful writing prompts. As I scanned it, I noticed the first prompt was about keeping a journal. The objective was to write in it three to five times a week, whatever was in my head at the time. Lists, poems, list poems, excerpts, questions, lyrics, etc. The journal collects and culminates over the semester, ending in  a grade and a hearty "Great job!" I have no real set end date at this time, so we'll just role with it. Anyway, last night I was about to write my first new journal entry when I realized... isn't that what the blog is for?
All this to say, yeah, I going to start using my blog for my journal entries. Hopefully it will spur me to finish some of the other tags on this blog I've meant to finish, like the Darker Human Nature. I had a great one lined up and then just lost my momentum. Oh well. Guess I'll get to that tomorrow or Friday.
So here it is, my "first" journal entry until... I finish a book.
Wish me luck!
This could take a while.