Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve.

In our family, it's the bigger holiday. Christmas Day is a nice day and we do continue to celebrate then as well, but Christmas Eve is the big one. :-D

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Done with Part Eight.

I know, you're probably saying. "Wait a minute... Didn't you just finish part nine?"

Yeah. I did.

But I had to put Part Eight on hold. Now I have finished that as well.

I'm fast approaching my word count goal, which I expect will be vastly reduced during revision.

Even so, I'm hoping to divide it as a trilogy when it's finished. In the meantime, working on it making it the best I can. As far as publishing goes, it will not likely be the first book I attempt to have published. That may not come in fact for another two or three completed books. (Which will likely be quite a bit shorter then this trilogy will be.)

-Shane

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Done with Part Nine.

I've finished the ninth part in my manuscript. Which brings the total number of words before I can actually begin to start cutting things out of it to have a trilogy is less then sixty thousand. I've got some finishing up to do in part eight before I can start the final part, part ten.

When I finish, it'll probably be a trilogy with each book being roughly 125,000 to 150,000 words each. I'm writing to 500,000 as I expect to trim back during editing and revision.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dreadfully busy.

I've been exceptionally busy this November, I haven't gotten the Christmas tree up yet. I usually put that up in October.

And now I must get back to my writing... :-D

-Shane

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sometime Today...

Vote.

(If you're an American)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Political Pride

I usually don't like reading or writing political blog posts, but I wish to write about politics for once.

This post is to bring up an issue that is of importance but ignored.

Politics. There are parties and individuals, all of them with many merits and failures. But looking around at the opinions flying of the shelves in the last few months I think that maybe there is just a bit of pride involved. At what point does a person become so concerned about a political view that they cease to be concerned for another person? It seems to me that we truly do not appreciate the value of human beings. We hold ridiculous ideas ahead of them? We're not even talking about truth here, I'm talking about issues of relative non-importance to the human soul, economy, social-security, and more issues then I can count. Why do I call the economy a non-important issue? Simple, it really shouldn't matter us whether we be rich or poor. People are people regardless of how much or how little they have.

There are of course several very important issues that are indeed important and "soul-impacting" in their outcome. For good or bad they do affect human life and dignity far more then the non-important issues like economy, and other things of that nature.

In the end it all comes down to pride. Pride of the candidates, pride of parties, and pride of the people. Pride is what makes us say "I'm better then they are." which is exactly what people of every type are saying everywhere. Liberals are better then conservatives, republican's are better then democrats, and vice versa. Biden is better then Palin, McCain is better then Obama... You get the picture. Even the third candidates are not exempt from the political pride. Indeed one of the things that always turns me off about the third parties is that they tend to be very arrogant and filled with pride. If possible, more so then the major parties and their candidates do. Though I've seen it in past elections in the Constitution Party, I've not researched them enough to know if their current candidate is a man of pride or humility. When we see the candidates start to attack each other, once again pride and ego are too often at the center of it.

This is what makes Aragorn such a wonderful king. His lack of pride. Here he is the greatest of men in middle earth and his rule is characterised by his humility. It was what made Moses such a great leader for the wandering Israelites. In King David we see some examples of humility and of pride. There are examples all throughout history of great leaders who walked in humility. It seems to me that the greater ones, the ones who we look back and honor are the men who were humble. Not always, but more often then not. The most admirable leaders in history and literature are those who are humble.

I know I verge on moralism by what I'm about to say, that is not my intention.
I for one am tired of a country divided by political parties. Let's take sides and puff ourselves up. Even the followers are like that, not just the candidates. If these candidates, if these political activist, these supporters, these republicans, democrats, liberals, and conservatives really wished to solve anything they would begin by tearing down the political walls and pursuing righteousness. Namely, learning to walk in humility. Name an issue, it's solution is almost always getting yourself out of the picture. In my mind a good president is several things: First he is a man of principle, he walks uprightly in righteousness and truth. He is a man of high moral standing. I'm sorry, but contrary to some ideas, personal morality does matter in a leader. I suppose we ought to elect Hitler if it doesn't matter. He is charming and promises hope for the future after all. (No I'm not taking shots at our current candidates.) His problem? Personal morality was absent. A man filled with hate. I do not like the lack of integrity in our candidates. To be honest, I notice it stronger in John McCain then in Obama. Though both are lacking.

I'll start with John McCain. A true flip-flopper. He is hardly pro-life. (Appearing to me to be what I call "Will Be Pro-Life for Votes!") The marriage side of his life should be as appalling to us as the actions of former President Clinton were a decade ago. And it seems he has a tendency to lie a lot. I heard he has a nasty temper as well. I don't hear a lot about his moral faults however. Perhaps I'm wrong.

Obama, while a decent family man in support of the role and responsibility of the father in raising a family, suffers from one ailment of lying, two or more counts of questionable ties, a tendency of secrecy, and his biggest fault by far is his disrespect for human life. There really are no excuses for not telling the truth, and for disregarding the importance of human life. All human life. He does however have one good thing about him. He tells you what he thinks frankly. Whether it is true or not, is up for debate. And perhaps I'm wrong here too.

As for the third party candidates, I haven't been following their personal lives closely enough to know if they are morally courageous people. Folks who will take the cost of doing what is right. Though I must admit, that the Constitution party's candidates usually have a little more morals then the rest of them. I have a number of other reasons I do not particularly care for that party however. They talk about being very constitutional in their ideas, but seem to get in a jam when someone they disagree with shows up.

Second: A president must be humble and self-sacrificing. He must truly see the citizens as being better then himself. He must be the kind of leader who will personally stands in harms way in order to protect his people. He must not view himself as above the other people in the country. Unfortunately I can only think of a few example and most of them are fictional characters. I'm sure there are more but: Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, king Luik from Christopher Hopper's books, Wayne Thomas Batson's King character, and of course Moses.

Third: A president's duty must be to be honest, and to be frankly honest. If the country is in grave danger from within or without it is his duty to give us the truth.

Fourth: A president must be fair but just. It is this factor that makes it hard, because a president's role is one of representing everyone. Everyone. He has to represent those with whom he doesn't agree with. To do that without compromise, I do not know if it can be done. In the end there must be a line of tolerance, still... The best president limits government power rather then overextends it, wavering on the side of liberty over law. Though with every good exception there seems to be a bad one.

In the end, it is important that we get out and vote, but with whoever wins we must not throw celebrations that the other lost. Oh we can be excited for our choice, but I do not relish seeing celebrations of defeat.

A few thoughts, and if they make sense, congratulations, because it doesn't make sense to me. :-D

-Shane

Friday, October 31, 2008

NaNoWriMo

It's time for NaNoWriMo...

It's crazy. But hopefully I'll have something by the end of the month.

-Shane

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CCSF Blog Tour Day Three: Beyond The Reflections Edge - Of Names and Doppelgängers.



So here we are on the third and final day of the Beyond the Reflection's Edge edition of the CSFF Blog Tour.

And part two of my thoughts (which again, may contain spoilers, proceed with caution):

My thoughts on names:

Kelly: While my interview with Mr. Davis on day one of the tour seems to indicate that Kelly's name was chosen for other reasons, I find it strangely ironic that the name means “brave”, given that Kelly really is the most courageous character in the book as far as I see it, the name fits her perfectly. It can also mean “warrior woman”, which also fits quite well.

Mictar and Patar: Interesting names for interesting characters. I can't help but think of Mictar and Pactar as being doppelgänger characters. One of them gives insight to the other and vice-versa. The other is the shadow-character of the one. Patar seems as good as Mictar is evil, They have a great deal in apparent common. Reading about Patar gives us a small look into Mictar, where as Mictar gives us insight into Patar. In regards to their names. I am reminded of malevolence with Mictar, and peace with Patar. I think it's the use of the “M” and the “P” as their starting letter, still it fits their respective personalities. I do not know why Mr. Davis chose their names but that's my thoughts on them.

Nathan: Again, my interview with Mr. Davis on day one indicates that Nathan was named after Nathan the prophet who spoke to King David, however, he is a person who lives up to his name's meaning: Giver. He does have a sacrificial tendency, and I couldn't help notice this nature whenever he threw himself between danger and Kelly or whoever else he was with at the time. Again, it's still a fitting name.

Mictar and Patar are not the only shadow characters, many of the characters have another set of themselves that show up at some point or other in the book. Often times I see another aspect to the character that the other version of the character wouldn't have revealed to me.

Speaking of names, I love the use of proper names for places such as “Wal-Mart” it's unbelievable how such a small little touch as that gives it a much more believable feel. I was surprised at how much more believable that little touch made the book.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series, with any luck, I'm hoping to receive Eternity's Edge, which is the second book in the trilogy, sometime within the next few days.

You can learn more about Bryan Davis and Beyond the Reflection's Edge at the following websites, or you can purchase the book from Amazon.com or from Bryan Davis's website. Check it out!

Beyond the Reflection's Edge on Amazon.com

Bryan Davis's Website

Bryan Davis’s Blog

Monday, October 20, 2008

CCSF Blog Tour Day Two: Beyond The Reflections Edge - A Few Thoughts



Today I'm writing about my personal thoughts concerning Beyond the Reflection's Edge.

This isn't so much a review as a blog post about my personal feelings and thoughts about the book and story. It may sound like a review, but that's not its primary purpose. Be aware that this post may contain some spoilers. As such, here are the links... I usually place them at the end of the post but in order to give the opportunity to avoid spoilers I am placing them here:

You can learn more about Bryan Davis and Beyond the Reflection's Edge at the following websites, or you can purchase the book from Amazon.com or from Bryan Davis's website. Check it out!

Beyond the Reflection's Edge on Amazon.com

Bryan Davis's Website

Bryan Davis’s Blog


----

As for my thoughts, let's start with the characters:

I really like the main characters, Nathan and Kelly. They are both vastly different and yet there is something similar about them. I like that. They work together in a way that is pleasant. They have depth and personality that is unique to themselves. It's beautiful to watch them work together. Nathan is wonderfully considerate. (For a guy at any rate.) Kelly is a fascinating character in many ways, emotional, but not overly so, strong, but not ridiculously so, and she really is a good friend to Nathan even when he fails to think something through all the way or something of that nature. She's not overly dependent on him, something I appreciate.

And let's face it, villains are hard. Mictar is an exception. You do not know what he is going to do next. There is the true element of surprise. A lot of times villains can be rather predictable. Not Mictar. (At least I think that Mictar is the villain.) As far a villainous characters go, Mictar is an exceptional one. His henchmen are equally unpredictable. (Or are they really henchmen?)

Then there is Tony. His treatment of Kelly can be maddening and yet there is a funny aspect to him. He seems shallow on the surface, but I think there might be more there then meets the eye. Liver and Anchovies pizza and all.

Clara is another interesting character. Playing the mentor role in many ways, besides being Nathan's teacher, she guides Nathan and Kelly throughout the book. It'll be interesting to see what happens with her character as the series progresses.

And movie-quoting, fun-loving, super-intelligent, the rather spunky Daryl. She's hard to forget! Makes me want to start quoting movies all the time when I read those lines!

Besides the fascinating characters I love all the cross-dimensional aspects of it. In an earlier review I wrote I found it a bit bothersome, but perhaps I kind of missed the boat so to speak... I don't know whether I think of this work as a science-fiction piece or a fantasy one, it has elements of both genres. I kind of like seeing that mix of different kinds of storytelling. I don't suppose there really is a way to travel between various spaces and times or space-times or whatever via music, and light, etc. Thus it reminds me of fantasy, on the other hand, we don't know everything there is to know about science and maybe music does play a bigger role then we currently imagine, thus it reminds me of science-fiction. Whatever it is, it is brilliant. The whole cross-dimensional aspects of the book actually to tell you the truth, thrill me to the core. I love it! It's not like most of the other books I've read.

I do think I'm enjoying the book more upon the second reading. It makes more sense to me now. The plot is a rather complex one, which might be why.

And though this isn't supposed to be a review, I do highly recommend Beyond the Reflection's Edge by Bryan Davis.

I love it!

-Shane

Sunday, October 19, 2008

CCSF Blog Tour Day One: Beyond The Reflections Edge - An Interview with Bryan Davis.



Many thanks to Bryan Davis for letting me conduct an e-mail interview with him over the weekend.

-Shane

The Interview:

----

Shane Deal: What inspired you to write Beyond the Reflection's Edge?


Bryan Davis: My second-born son gave me the idea. He envisioned a mirror that reflected a trunk, but in the mirror the trunk was open while in reality it was closed. We brainstormed the idea until we came up with the roots of the story.


Shane Deal: What was the inspiration for the main characters?


Bryan Davis: I wanted two diverse characters, one male and one female. I like representing both genders with strong characters in order to grab the interest of all readers, and I wanted to develop a pair who came from very different upbringings. Nathan comes from a very strict home. He is spiritually aware, though, in a way, somewhat naïve with regard to those with looser standards. Kelly is a girl who represents the “other side of the tracks” family, at least in Nathan’s eyes. Nathan becomes aware of Kelly’s past indiscretions and has to learn to deal with them, because they are thrown together as a team and have to work in harmony.


Shane Deal: Kind of a related question. Their names?


Bryan Davis: I chose Nathan because he was King David’s prophet, a rather bold fellow who didn’t mind telling like it is. My Nathan has some of that gumption, but he doesn’t always know how to use it. So his mouth becomes acquainted with his foot at times, if you know what I mean. I chose Kelly, because I wanted a gender-neutral name. Kelly’s father, an avid athlete, always wanted a boy, so the name is a constant reminder to Kelly that she wasn’t exactly what her daddy had in mind. That pain causes her to pursue athletics and shapes her character, for better and for worse.


Shane Deal: What are your hopes for this book, in what ways do you wish for it to impact your readers or yourself?


Bryan Davis: I hope my readers will remember to look deeper than what they see on the surface, to allow people to change, to show compassion toward those who are different without compromising their values. As readers progress in the series, I hope they will be impacted by the power of real forgiveness and the joy of true reconciliation.

For myself, I portrayed the hero, Nathan, as a strictly raised homeschooler, someone with a spiritual background much like my own children’s. As I watched him navigate a culture with which he is unfamiliar, it helped me examine what I teach my children. Are they ready to face the strange world out there? Can they cope with people who are so different and do so with resolve to stay pure while displaying compassion? How will they use what they have been taught when their teachers are absent?

These questions have led me to use Nathan’s adventure to query both my children and myself as I slowly open up their horizons to the world outside our home.


Shane Deal: Why did you choose music and light to open the dimensional portals?


Bryan Davis: Music allowed me to show symbols of harmony, both in the makeup of the universe and among people. Dissonance, or the lack of harmonious flow, was the constant enemy in the story, causing multi-dimensional cosmic meltdowns. Whenever Nathan and Kelly learned to work together, they were successful in bringing harmony to the created order. Although this aspect isn’t obvious in the story, I hope the parallels are clear to the astute reader.

Light has long been the symbol of truth and knowledge. Since light opens our eyes to truth in many situations, it made sense for light to be the final factor in opening portals to other worlds. When combined with the idea of musical harmony, I was trying to symbolize the balance between harmony and truth. Without truth, agreement among people is sometimes based on falsehood and will eventually crumble. Without harmony, truth can be harsh and lack compassion. I wanted both components present to symbolize how the two must be in balance.




----

Thanks again Bryan! You can learn more about Bryan Davis and Beyond the Reflection's Edge at the following websites, or you can purchase the book from Amazon.com or from Bryan Davis's website. Check it out!

Beyond the Reflection's Edge on Amazon.com

Bryan Davis's Website

Bryan Davis’s Blog

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CSFF: The Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour.

Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour .
The authors: Wayne Thomas Batson , Bryan Davis , Sharon Hinck , Christopher Hopper , L.B. Graham , Donita Paul , Eric Reinhold , and Jonathan Rogers .

This week is the remarkable and wonderfully entertaining to watch via live broadcast, Fantasy Fiction Tour 2008. You might just see something interesting such as Christopher Hopper totally rocking out or doing a dance in the background while L. B. Graham is speaking. (I'm not going to let him forget that little episode.) :-D Or you can chat with the other folks that are watching. Beware of coffee, marshmallow trolls, and flying orange juice.

I'm very excited about the whole thing, despite only able to attend it virtually, via the webcam. The author's websites are above. Well worth checking out.

I look forward to what tomorrow's webcast might bring us... Another sword fight perhaps? Or maybe another totally hilarious and unexpected random moment like the one described above.

Lot's of exciting things. Sometimes, the authors will even answer your questions via the live web-cam/chat.

If you happen to be in the area, of the tour (West Coast.) you might want to try seeing these folks... Besides doing funny things, they are all very talented and wonderful authors.

-Shane

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Watching Live.

Eight Fantasy authors are touring the west coast this week... I've been watching them live at:

The Fantasy Fiction Tour website.

-Shane

That is also what the little video player on my sidebar is for.

Friday, September 26, 2008




I was tagged like a month ago by Christopher Hopper with this game, mission, quest, thing...

Here’s how it works.

I’m going to list five MUST Read novels and five Keep Your Eyes on These novels, then tag five bloggers who I’m asking to post my list on their site. They may then add one book to each list but must also subtract one book. Finally they should tag five other bloggers, link here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction and comment to this post so visitors here know to check out how they may have changed the list.

- - -

MUST Reads :
The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson (Tommy Nelson)
Demon: a Memoir by Tosca Lee (NavPress)
The Lion Vrie by Christopher Hopper (Tsaba House)
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress)
Beyond the Reflection’s Edge by Bryan Davis (Zondervan)

Keep Your Eyes On These :
Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook)
Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook)
The Last of the Nephilim (AMG Publishers)
The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead (Westbow Press)

FIVE BOOKS TO LOOK FOR SOON:
Shade by John Olson (B&H)
Field of Blood by Eric Wilson (Thomas Nelson)
Isle of Fire by Wayne Thomas Batson (Tommy Nelson)
Stepping into Sunlight by Sharon Hinck (Bethany)
Eternity’s Edge by Bryan Davis (Zondervan)

The bloggers I’m asking to post the list (and make one book-for-book change to each list if they wish):

Grant

Chris (B)

Unfortunately I cannot think of three other bloggers at the moment... SO the last three are open to the takers. :-D

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm having a wonderful time

I'm having a wonderful time at the pastor's conference. I'd post a picture but my memory card quit working.

We are going to the

We are going to the pastor's conference today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mostly a test.



Well, it looks like I can post photographs from my new cell phone! That's pretty cool.

-Shane

Monday, September 15, 2008

Isle of Fire




So at long last I finally received my copy of Wayne Thomas Batson's book Isle of Fire

I enjoyed it quite a bit, I appreciated that the brutality of the violence was toned down a little from Isle of Swords.

I hesitate to say much more then that it was really good, as there isn't much to say about it without spoiling something, the book is one surprise move after another. One of my favorites involving a game of sorts. My favorite character survived so I'm happy. (No I won't say who my favorite character is.)

And yes, there is a line that leaves room for a sequel if Mr. Batson ever gets the inclination to do so.

You can buy it off of Amazon and probably a variety of bookstores and such!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Lantern in the Woods.



I'll admit that I got the inspiration for this project straight from C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia.

My guitar teacher gave me his old lamp post when we stopped by his house one day as he was digging it up to put in a new one. He was like "Do you have a use for that?" I knew exactly what to do with it... It became a summer project of ours running wiring up into the woods since we had to dig a trench to do it, but the results were nothing short of absolutely magical!

-Shane

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Angels We Have Heard On High!

My sister and I had a bit of a laugh late last night conjecturing what types of music the angels might have played when God created the universe. (I can't remember where it is but it seems like I remember the Bible saying that there was music during the event.)

Heavy metal or hard rock on day 1. The earth and other rocks were formed on this day. But what popped into our heads, but a rather different looking group of angels then your usual illustration. Including a drummer angel who used his halo* for an additional percussion instrument. "ding ding"

*halos might not actually exist, at least not playable ones at any rate.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The arts are interesting.

It's amazing how much of it relies on personal taste. For example, the "Into the West" song on the Return of the King soundtrack, my friend thought it was awesome. I personally cannot stand the singer's voice. On the flip side, I love Gollum's Song from The Two Towers, he doesn't.

You'll never please everyone as an artist. But that's ok.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Because it makes me laugh.



"They're Taking The Hobbits to Isengard!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Great site:

I'd even venture to say that if you wish to improve your writing, take the time to read all of the tips, it's well worth the effort:

Fiction Writing Tip of the Week

Monday, August 4, 2008

Political Pictures I Find Amusing...

(This is a politically neutral post, not meant to be an endorsement of anyone in particular, I just think they're funny. The comments are my own made-up "quotes")


"Oh we're best friends now."


"Well if Dad can hang out with Bill I can hang out with Bono."


"There is a suspicious looking character over here."


"Alright, so the Secret Service position isn't available. I guess I can try to be president! Next best thing you know."


"Maybe I could be a comedian if I lose! Do you think this is funny?"


"Or if I lose, why not fulfill my lifelong dream of being a hero, but not just an ordinary hero, no, a SUPERHERO, evil doers beware, you are no match for the awesome powers of OBAMA-BOY and his super-suction ears."

"They want a recount on the Global Warming findings. It's just one of those inconvenient things I have to put up with while the Earth gets warmer and warmer and warmer..."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Painting...

We are painting our, I guess it would be more of a dining room... It used to be our porch.

I'll keep the colors a secret and post a picture when it's done.

-Shane

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Video.

Here is the video of VBS that I said I'd try to post:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's VBS week.

The yearly week at our church that our Vacation Bible School takes place on is nearly always a very busy time. This year I'm helping out with the sound mixing and video editing. I might post that here if I can, depending on whether we put it up on the church website or not. Tomorrow is the last day, which is when we play the video for all to see. I'll be putting it on DVD as well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Auralia's Colors.


About six months ago I read Jeffrey Overstreet's Auralia's Colors. When I finished it, I thought it a decent book, but nothing particularly special. Problem is I can't stop thinking about it now, five months after finishing that last page and placing it back on my bookshelf. The subtle charm of the colors, the vividness of the characters, the strange and new places.

Now as I read it again for this review, I realize how much I enjoy this gem of literature. Imaginative, charming, and magical are words I could use to attempt to describe it, however, they fall short of the overall sense of beauty that the book paints. Reflecting on it, I can't help but think that it is like a jewel, the plot is not as straightforward as some other books that I have read, but that's where part of it's beauty comes from. Like a jewel it has many sides to the same story, but it also has a central focus that all these other sides revolve around. Missing a side, you lose the beauty of the whole. This isn't a mere novel, it is a work of art.

The writing itself could be considered poetry, most of the words seem to be exactly where they ought to be in relation to the whole of the work. I find myself taking almost as much delight in the words themselves as I do the story, and yet they are written so that they are not a hindrance to the story but an aid. A difficult balance to achieve indeed, yet Mr. Overstreet has done so.

It is a rare book indeed that will captivate my imagination more upon the second reading then the first, Auralia's Colors is one of them, much to my delight.

When I am reading it I find my mind immersed in a world, different and recognizable. Not so foreign that it is completely alien, but different enough to find it quite interesting. Though I keep picturing it as a world of somewhat dull colors with vivid ones placed throughout. Several times I wish I could explore the places that are mentioned or described in the book in greater detail.

Several of the characters seem to practically jump out of the page and take form... They are so vivid and not only that, they are vastly interesting. Enthralling would be a better word. The two characters I found most intriguing was Prince Cal-raven and Auralia. Both mysterious in their own ways, both seeming almost to weave a spell of sorts in my mind. There is not the usual flatness to the characters, instead they come across as something alive, each with a history of their own and secrets both of light and of darkness. Even minor background characters tend to hold to a certain degree the quality of living beings rather then just being some sort of disposable resource to move the story along.

It tells a story, first and foremost I would say that Jeffrey Overstreet is a storyteller, when I read Auralia's Colors I do not feel that I am being assaulted with some idea of something I'm supposed to be getting. I can just, for lack of better words, bask in the glory of the story itself. Though not all events in the book could be described as enjoyable or something I would personally care to experience, the tale is woven so that I can learn what I receive from the scene before my inner eye. That being so, I do not feel myself threatened by some ideology... Being free to make my own conclusions of an storyweaver's work is a refreshing change from what I'm used to. One of the things I'm drawing from it is a deeper appreciation of art and of the world around me. I would say that a good story is told when the author is forgotten, this story certainly falls in that category.

There are a few minor things I didn't like... I didn't exactly enjoy reading about one characters actions in one chapter, and another character did tend to mildly rather get on my nerves. Mostly my own personal distaste. My dislikes of the book are so far and few between that I'll leave this part of my review short, which is something in and of itself that I find delightful.

In conclusion, Auralia's Colors is a work of literature that is most worthy of being called literature. Reminding me more of the works of earlier writers such as Dickens then that of more contemporary authors: in the quality of writing and the story woven by Jeffrey Overstreet in his debut novel Auralia's Colors. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to reading the second book in the Auralia Thread: Cyndere's Midnight which is due for release in September. This is definitely a book I'd highly recommend.


Auralia's Colors website.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Art.

What is it?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wooohoo! (Was that an Elf?)

I've finished the minimum word count on part seven of my book.  (Or Book 7 if you want.  It's kind of like the six "books" that make up The Lord of the Rings")

50000 of 50000 words completed.

I'm excited.  Finishing a project you've been working the last eight months on is always exciting.

-Shane

(This is also the reason I've not posted anything in 20 days.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Maryland Trip



Heather (My sister), Myself, and my Dad (not pictured) came drove down to Columbia Maryland for a book signing with Sir Wayne Thomas Batson and Sir Bryan Davis.  I suppose I ought to have known it was only the beginning of a wonderful adventure when we left our driveway early yesterday morning.  We encountered Valiant Knights, Pictured with my sister and I in the middle, roaring fires, malt beer, ripe meat off the bone!  (Well, actually it was a comfortable bed, excellent dinner at "Longhorn Steakhouse" (T-Bone steak!) and quite a bit of Iced Tea to boot.)  Not to mention a few dragons and such.  (Or where those cars?)   Sir Wayne and Sir Bryan are really nice people.  I really enjoyed meeting them, it was great.  They patiently signed my (now complete) collection of their published books.  Thanks guys if you happen to read this! 
I really, really, liked it.  I usually don't like going to secular book stores, but even so, this was great!  Got to hear a bit of reading.  That was great.  Bryan and Wayne both did a really good job reading their books.  Wayne is a wonderful storyteller.  I don't know if I've ever heard someone read with such passion!  Even though I've read that part before it was like encountering it again the first time. After the book signing we were unsure of what fine tables existed in the area, and so we went on a quest!  To find some food.  We headed towards Washington D.C. but halfway there, after wandering aimlessly in pursuit of dinner, we decided to go back to our starting point practically and eat in Columbia, at the same mall we just left half-an-hour earlier.  From there we headed to the Holiday Inn to spend the night.  It was a nice peaceful, quiet night sleep.  We didn't have anyone attempting to murder us in our beds or anything dramatic like that.  Not too much of a problem, but it's fortunate as I didn't have my sword with me.  I think my sister and I stayed up past midnight talking about all the exciting happenings upon our Adventure.  Come morning, it was time to begin our journey home again, but we couldn't pass through Scranton Pennsylvania without giving The Banshee a try.  People wonder if there is really such a thing as love at first sight.  Well, when it comes to Irish Pubs... Yeah.  Most definitely.  The Banshee is one of those places where you can just sit and relax and watch the world go by.  It's unfortunate it's 150 miles away or I'd quite likely be a regular visitor there.  I doubt I'll ever be able to pass through Scranton without visiting The Banshee.  After the Banshee we finally headed in the direction of home.  What an adventure it's been.  I've got more adventures awaiting me in dreamland however, I'm quite tired.  All in all, it was fun.  Crazy drivers and all.  There is a very nice picture of Sir Wayne and Sir Christopher Hopper upon the wall of The Banshee.  I had to look at that and most of the other pictures.  I love it there.  You can see a picture of the picture below as well as a picture of my sister and I in front of the Banshee bookshelf. 

The Banshee is a great place for writing.  I wrote a short, pretty random, poem about it while waiting for our Banshee bill.

















The Banshee
Here we be
At the fine pub Banshee
Whose Irish fare
Takes good care
Of the hungry travelers we be.
Here we are.
We've come so far.
Many sights to see.
But last of all
We visited The Banshee
And now we turn home yonder.
With much left to ponder
About all we had to see.










































And now I really am off to bed.  Goodnight!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Heading Down to Maryland.

We're heading down to Maryland in about an hour or so to see Wayne Thomas Batson and Bryan Davis!

Should be fun. Hopefully we'll have some pictures to share. I've only ever been out of state once and that was when we took a plane down to Florida on holiday. But I was like six at the time and can't remember everything we did there.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Independent Film Projects.

Yesterday I stumbled across the website of a homeschooling family who is making their own movie.

The Pendragon Project

Pendragon - Sword of His Father

I watched the trailer. It looks like it might be interesting. I like the concept of a family made movie.

It reminds me a bit of another independent movie project I've been following for a few years: Ancanar who never updates their site and is alas, currently under construction. There was a trailer for it which is where I learned of the music of one of my favorite musicians: David Arkenstone, who kindly remade one of his songs just for their trailer.

Ah, here is the trailer: Ancanar Development Trailer

Though "Ancanar" has been in the making for almost a decade I get the impression that "Pendragon: Sword of His Father" will be finished long before Ancanar will be.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If you want a laugh.

Search for Burt and Ernie videos on YouTube. They're hysterical.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Never Fails to Excite Me.

Whenever I order a printed copy of my draft from lulu.com (I only have to pay the cost of production of one copy.) it excites me. Somehow having your words in printed form between the covers of a book, even if it's just for correction purposes and having a "hard copy" just thrills me.

This evening I ordered the last two "sections" that I wrote and should be receiving them in the next few days.

Self-publishing is a difficult way to publish, true. But with lulu.com at least, I get to keep all the rights to the book... An absolute must for me. Which will probably totally ruin most chances with a major publisher for me, but that's fine I guess, at least for now. I may reconsider it in the future as I learn more about the publishing process, but I need to know a lot more particulars. I've pretty much decided years ago that if I was going to get a book published, it would only be done under the circumstance that I keep the rights, all the rights, to the book. With a conviction such as that I can only answer "maybe" when people ask me if I'm going to try to get it published. Quite honestly, I don't know if it'll happen outside of self-publishing.

Then again it might, or perhaps my convictions will change, we'll see.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Book Trailer



I made a trailer for the draft version of section three of my book. A section I titled "Into The Light" while I try to think of a name that fits it better. It was just a fun project, trying to see what I could do with iMovie, everything about it is subject to change. Enjoy it anyways.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Books I've read since December.

The Return of the King - J. R. R. Tolkien
Eragon - Christopher Paolini
The Door Within - Wayne Thomas Batson
The Rise of the Wyrm Lord - Wayne Thomas Batson
The Final Storm - Wayne Thomas Batson
Isle of Swords - Wayne Thomas Batson
The Restorer - Sharon Hinck
Raising Dragons - Bryan Davis
Rise of the Dibor - Christopher Hopper
The Lion Vrie - Christopher Hopper
Auralia's Colors - Jeffrey Overstreet
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Two Towers - J. R. R. Tolkien
Beyond the Reflections Edge - Bryan Davis
Inkheart - Cornelia Funke
The God-Hungry Imagination: The Art of Storytelling for Postmodern Youth Ministry - Sarah Arthur (Thought it might provide some insights for my writing. It was interesting, but I never could figure out what the main point was.)

Currently working on reading The Return of the King again. I plan to read "Persuasion" by Jane Austin next.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Christopher Hopper!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sweet!

I'm halfway done with the current section of my novel.

25,025 words of 50,000

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Delightful.

I just discovered an iTunes radio station that plays nothing but soundtracks... It's great writing music.

It's found in the classical section and is called "StreamingSoundtracks.com"

Sweet!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beyond the Reflection's Edge. A Review.

In a word? Enthralling. The book captures your attention and has you turning the pages from the very beginning. Not only does it have me in a state of not being able to put it down, I believe it has the makings of a true classic, and that is a true gem in our world today. The book starts right off the bat with gripping emotion, powerful characters, and enthralling writing. A thrilling tale is told concerning the hero Nathan and his friend Kelly. Not since The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson have I found a book so enchanting as Bryan Davis's incredible first book in the Echos from the Edge series. It has the elements of a great story. A chilling villain, a believable hero, a mysterious maiden with secrets in her past, both wonderful and horrifying people, and a charmingly done ending. Throughout it all runs a beautiful, one could even say loving, melody. The book leads you through a high-paced, nonstop, action-adventure story from the first page to the last, a page that much to my disappointment was not followed by another. I literally spent every free moment reading it from the moment I picked it up.

However, I do have a few negative things to say about this book: I found certain references to rather mature subject matters to be at times unnecessary and distracting though I can understand their relevance to the story. Another negative aspect was purely my own fault but distracting nonetheless, my scientific side was revolting at one of the concepts, which being a major spoiler I cannot talk about what that concept was. As far as I know the “thing” doesn't work at all like that. (I'm very sorry I can't go into more detail about what it is.) My third and final criticism is that I felt that the impact of tragedy didn't hit hard enough as it really would in most such cases. However, in closing of my criticisms I will say that all three of them are criticisms of my interpretation of the story rather then criticism of the author.

That said, I highly recommend Beyond the Reflection's Edge as a book and as a work of literature, I cannot finish this review without complementing Mr. Davis on the excellence of his writing. It is precise, logical, and beautiful. Blending truth and beauty into a symphony of words and wonder.

-
The Echoes from the Edge website

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just a quick note.

I just wanted to say that I shut down my old blog, The address was: http://www.irishautumn.com/blog/ Now that address will bring a visitor here instead using a redirect. So if you came from there, don't panic. Nothing's wrong... My old blog hasn't been hacked or anything.

-Shane

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Why I Write: Part II.

Why do I write? In my first post about why I write I told of my desire to impact the world around me, this time I'm becoming introspective and am going to talk about what I personally get out of my writing. (In no particular order.)

1. Writing as therapy. I have found writing to be an incredible outlet for expressing my feelings and thoughts about situations that life brings. For example, there has been one particular and quite stressful situation that I've been going through for the past year or so that I have found my writing to be the single most helpful thing in helping me deal with it.

2. Writing as worship. Writing, for a Christian writer, can be a very spiritual experience. You literally start to write in such a way that it glorifies God above all else, I'm not quite exactly sure what I'm trying to say here, I can't quite describe it. But it tends to happen that you find yourself just totally thinking about our great King as you write and considering his nature. I'm constantly considering Biblical truths in ways that just come alive to me, and I learn things much better then I do from sermons.

3. Writing just because it's fun. I write because it's quite frankly, fun! You get to meet all these fantastic characters. Characters which tend to have a tendency to become friends of a sort, obviously not like real people, but they really do tend to take on a personality of their own after awhile. It's great! I find myself wanting to know what happens to them next. I don't always know where they're going to end up. That's just one of the aspects that makes it fun, there's also research and going places and other things that make it very enjoyable.

4. Writing as a form of self-education. Many times in my writing I'll explore concepts and ideas. I learn from my stories and occasionally something profound will present itself. I am consistently challenged by my own words. I think it's quite true that for Christian writers, there are times when The Lord starts to direct your writing. It's quite wonderful to see. Then there is the actual education aspect of the research. I've learned more about a number of subjects while researching some fact for my stories then i do reading something like the encyclopedia, and I find the information tends to stick in my head longer as well.

5. Writing as a way of life. One reason I enjoy writing is that it helps define who I am. I am one of those people who tend to view their artistic work as an extension of themselves. I sometimes joke with myself that my story is really just my mind written down on paper.

-Shane

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!



I'm 23 today.


I still feel like I did when I was 22 quite frankly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This and that.

I've been sick with the flu or a bad cold since Saturday night. I don't know if it was a good idea, but I did attend the sunrise service at church, Sunday morning. Got home about eleven (AM) and promptly went to sleep. In fact I think I slept over thirty hours. That was my Easter and now since I skipped Monday, I'm terribly disoriented.

Yesterday we received a catalog for Christian Book Distributors. The fiction catalog to be exact. Though I think the Romance Novel catalog would have been a more accurate description. (Sorry to any Romance writers out there, not my thing.) Finally nearing the end of the catalog I found the section I was looking for. Fantasy. Yeah! It was half a page, but I was pleased to see Sharon Hinck's and Bryan Davis's books on there. (Unfortunately Sir. Bryan's books didn't have a picture.)

My Birthday is on Thursday. I hope I'm feeling a bit better by then.

I'm still getting used to these new mac keyboards. They are nice, and your fingers can flow over them much better then the old ones, which is good for me because sometimes I need every little bit of typing speed I can get to keep up with my thoughts. I'm just not used to such shallow keys after nearly 20 years of using the ones that are taller.

Well that's it for this post. I suppose I should try to write something a bit more meaningful sometime... I keep getting ideas about what I want to write, but then I sit down to write them and my mind goes on holiday. Most annoying.

And last but most certainly not least, I'd like to thank Frodo for (with a bit of help) banishing Sauron from Middle Earth on this fine day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

GIVE YOU STUFF!

What a busy weekend it has been. Starting Thursday really...

On Thursday Evening my sister and I attended our weekly Bible Study. It's a totally awesome interactive Bible Study group for people my age, that would be late-teen to about thirty perhaps. It's mostly attended by students from the nearby Chiropractic College and a few folks, like myself, from our church. I love it!

On Friday morning my dad, sister, and myself head over to the nearest Apple Store in Syracuse, NY. The reason? Two MacBooks!
Yes, that's very exciting to me. My sister and I are the proud new owners of some really nice computers. These things are compact but they are pretty speedy. I like them. We've got the 2.4 Ghz model.

On Friday evening there was a benefit dinner and talent show at the local Christian school/our church. This is where the GIVE YOU STUFF! comes in. Our host for the night were two of the high school students Jon and Chris. They were dressed up in a costume of sorts. I believe it was your stereotypical hillbilly type of thing. First session they get up on stage and say "You tricked us! We heard somethin' bout giving money if we did this thing. We come up here and we find you wasn't givin' it to us! But as it's for a good cause we'll do it anyways." Perhaps I ought to describe their costume a bit more... Well it mostly consisted of plaid shirts, overalls that were rather dirty and tattered looking and one of them had a cap hanging down over his eyes. One of theme even didn't bother wearing shoes. Second announcement. A raffle for a free green new toyota. Yes. A Free TOYATA! For a dollar you had 1 chance. For two dollars you had FIVE chances. They did great. In between every act they'd try to get more folks to enter in the drawing, accompanied by the phrase GIVE YOU STUFF! Which of course the audience was expected to repeat. (Some little kid would always do it after everyone else though and that was kind of funny.) At the very end of the show when most of the students and a few of the teachers did their acts, which overall were pretty good, our two host come up for the last time and pull the winning ticket. After the winner acknowledged the matching number Jon pulls out of his pocket a New Green Toy Yoda. Needless to say, the audience laughed. Yoda sure has come a long way... I guess Star Wars was banned in some churches back in the day because of Yoda. Now the little green guy is being given away in a church.

Saturday Morning through Afternoon. One of our friends was having her seventh birthday party. Quite a few folks were there, but I think it was mostly the family, and three family friends. (Us and two other families I mean.) It was fun, though it's been ages since I've been to a seventh birthday party. I'll be celebrating my own twenty-third birthday next week. A person who we call "Aunt" (she's not really our aunt.) thinks that this one pin of mine looks too much like something her old Aunt Elizabeth would have worn and has been teasing me about having it. (I actually made the pin myself to go with a fake cloak of mine, the reason it is fake is because it is nothing but a recycled blanket. Hence one reason why my mom won't let me go out in it. Pity, I don't know where to get cloaks so I'm making due with what I have. It looks very hobbitish.) Our "Aunt" is a pretty awesome person though. We like her.

Sunday Morning. I intended to go to church. Problem was I overslept and woke up too late. I have a problem of being able to turn off my alarm clocks in my sleep. I might as well not set the thing for all the good it does me.

Sunday Evening. I went to a Kutless concert with our Thursday Bible study group. That was fun. Before the concert I'd only heard maybe one Kutless song. The first person to open for them was a guy by the name of Chris Taylor whose debut album is coming out next month or so. He has a really good voice... It was very pleasant to listen to. The second opening "act" was by a band called Esterlyn. I'm not certain but I think the lead singer is the son of a pastor that I really liked at a pastors conference I attended two years ago. Finally Kutless takes the stage. It was pretty cool. Before this the only people I've ever really seen in concert have been rap and hip-hop artist. (UK's M.O.D and a Philadelphia group called Redeemed Thought.) It was a pretty quiet ride home... Perhaps everyone was too tired. We did stop for a bite to eat at McDonald's on our way back. You know I think they raised their prices or something... A quarter pounder with cheese meal cost like $8.00. I was kind of surprised by that... There are restaurants where for a little more you can get a very delicious steak. We were at a tolled highway "Thruway" rest stop, perhaps that's why it was so expensive. When we met up with dad in Seneca Falls we headed over to the local food store. I just realized we bought the wrong kind of cheese for the pizza. Oh well.

And now I am working on this blog entry.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Passion. (Five thoughts)

Human beings are designed to be passionate, designed this way to be passionate towards our creator.

What a gift. Not only did God create us able to love, he designed us in such a way that we can experience it passionately.

We all have passions, I would say I'm passionate about music, tea, Lord of the Rings, writing, Apple computers, my friends etc.

And those things are all good things. But I need to remember to keep Christ as my passion, or master passion if you will, that is, the passion that impacts and rules over every other passion of mine, be it writing, music, tea, my friends, and even Apple computers.

What astonishes me is the passion that God displays towards us.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A problem of mine.

I love listening to people talking and as a result I tend to write page after page long conversations. Need to work on that.

(P.S. I'm working on a longer post, but I'm not near finished with it yet.) :-D

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I love it.

Got over a thousand words in tonight on my writing. :D

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Dry Erase Boards.

I purchased myself a dry erase board yesterday. I find it's a great way to sketch out quick ideas for my story or for drawing things like menu items at a café. Unfortunately it's not permanent so anything you want to keep has to be copied over to something. But still it does help me to "Think Temporary" and serves as a bit of a "Buffer Space" for ideas. It's nice in developing an idea for your story because you can erase things and put in something else extremely easily.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The White Lion Chronicles.

Christopher Hopper is going to be doing an audio-reading and podcast of his (Excellent I might add) White Lion Chronicles. Well worth reading if you haven't already.

Also, he's looking for guest introduction narrators for the podcast. You can read about that here:
http://www.christopherhopper.com/?p=361

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I have a feeling.

I'll be doing a fair amount of writing to this fellow's music:

Jamie Christopherson

Excellent work. Has a lot of free downloads of his work on his website too. Over 100 songs... :D

I had the Soundtrack for Battle for Middle Earth II, but a lot of his other stuff is perfect writing music. It has that soundtrack feel, but not an overly soundtrack feel. It's more like an epic piece of some sort.

Great stuff.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

We’re taking over the world... ...I just thought you should know...

Taking a break from my writing post to mention this.

While doing my administrator duties on the ApricotPie message boards I kept finding two topic titles (In a row) that when read together as one sentence produce rather humorous results:

Little Women... ...Boy Scout of a country

Should We unstick any of the Sticky topics?... ...Results: Governor Term Limitations

Explain your Screenname... ...Only in America

What’s your FAVORITE SUBJECT?... ...*History*

Hey Guys! :D... ...I’m back

Some deep stuff... ...Between the Eyeballs of a Gnat

Are there any members who are Canadian?... ...Announcement of Intent of Running

Happy Birthday Mary!!!... ...Did I read that sign right?

This was probably already discussed... ...Football

This is knda random but... ...Do you wear jewelrey?

I had an idea... ...Story lackage

Considering Homeschooling... ...How many times a day...

Guys wearing make up... ...I’m so sorry.

What are your top three fav LOTR characters?... ...the leader of canada

So who do I ask...... ...what do you use for im?

We’re taking over the world... ...I just thought you should know...

i’m a lousy piano player... ...What do you look like??

there is no justice... ...AIM

Hey!... ...my screen shot

Is your town down?... ...SHAAANE! (or somebody, but probably SHAAANE!)

Help!... ...Becoming a veggie again

Ever seen real true spring water???... ...Oooppps...

They kicked Hitlers butt... ...I’ve done it!!!!

What are you afraid of?... ...Matthew...

what would we do without... ...Superstitions

All right... ...Why did the chicken cross the road?

I need someone to take over the mafia game for me!... ...Owwwww!!!!!

This is not a debate!... ...This is the post...

Newbies and Semi-Newbies Board... ...Ha ha ha!!!!... ...Just thought i’d drop in and say hi!

We ain’t got any young people... ...Happy Birthday JRR Tolkien!

For all who are interested..... ...Panasonics anyone?

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Brilliance of Tolkien.

This is a poem in The Hobbit from the chapter "The Gathering of the Clouds" by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Under the Mountain dark and tall
The King has come unto his hall!
His foe is dead, the Worm of Dread,
And ever so his foes shall fall.

The sword is sharp, the spear is long.
The arrow swift, the Gate is strong;
The heart is bold that looks on gold;
The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

On silver necklaces they strung
The light of stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, from twisted wire
The melody of harps they wrung.

The mountain throne once more is freed!
O! wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! across the waste!
The king of friend and kin has need.

Now call we over mountains cold,
'Come back unto the caverns old'!
Here at the Gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.

The king is come unto his hall
Under the Mountain dark and tall.
The Worm of Dread is slain and dead,
And ever so our foes shall fall!



And now why I think it's brilliant:

Under the Mountain dark and tall
The King has come unto his hall!
His foe is dead, the Worm of Dread,
And ever so his foes shall fall.


Tall, hall, fall. The first two lines and the fourth line on each stanza. On the third line it's dead and dread. Also, the first, second, and forth line's rhyming words all have the letter "A" in them as their vowel.

The sword is sharp, the spear is long.
The arrow swift, the Gate is strong;
The heart is bold that looks on gold;
The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.


Same thing only "O" is the vowel.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.


Again, but this time with "E"

On silver necklaces they strung
The light of stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, from twisted wire
The melody of harps they wrung.


"U", and here the third line doesn't use a "U" in it's rhyming words. Instead using "I", this is the central stanza of the poem so that makes sense to me as that's the only vowel we haven't seen rhymed yet.

The mountain throne once more is freed!
O! wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! across the waste!
The king of friend and kin has need.


"E" again.

Now call we over mountains cold,
'Come back unto the caverns old'!
Here at the Gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.


"O" again.


The king is come unto his hall
Under the Mountain dark and tall.
The Worm of Dread is slain and dead,
And ever so our foes shall fall!


"A" again.

So we have A,O,E,U,E,O,A as our rhyming vowels, And we have "I" in our central stanza on our third line.

Pretty cool. Even in his structuring Tolkien shows his brilliant command of language. I love it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My desktop in it's usual state of mind.



Well this is my desk where I do most of my writing. It's an old PPC Mac Mini, like one of the very first Mini Models but it gets the job done nicely enough. Also seen on my desk is my external harddrive. (The black brick-like object sticking up, it's actually a dark blue.) An adapter to hook the computer up to the television. Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, Various gadgets and USB Hubs. 17" CRT Monitor, current wallpaper is something that I think I downloaded off of Wayne Thomas Batson's blog... I tend to be a compulsive image downloader, I can't tell you how often I wonder how THAT one got there or why.... It's a Fantasy Four Fiction Tour promotion wallpaper thingy. I also have an external sound card which I can connect professional microphones to. On top of that, but I don't think it's in the picture is an extremely cool device that lets me broadcast my computer's audio anywhere I want. A mug from one of the folks at church. Also not seen is what is above my monitor. Which is a cheap stereo system I bought years ago, another mug with my favorite quote on it: "Be the change you wish to see in the world..." which is by Gandhi apparently. But it's excellent advise for a Christian storyteller. I have two other quote mugs as well on my desk. Also on top of the stereo thing is a daily calendar I never remember to flip. And a webcam sits atop my monitor. Then there are things like blank DVDs and various software and audio CDs. And of course the speakers, mouse, and keyboard.

I also have my external DVD writer and a router I'm currently using as a switch.

And also my hand lotion.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ah the wonders of cuts.

I just cut 9,000 words from my novel. Ah well. I'm back to where I started as far as that particular section's word count goes. I still have a ton of editing to do with that book. I'm already finding things where I have to rewrite the rewrite.

I'm glad I enjoy writing.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Excerpt.

A small excerpt from the story I'm working on. Likely to be changed. (When I write I like to try to think temporary for the most part, assuming that whatever it was I just written can be made better, or perhaps I will find some information that needs to be changed as I unfold the story. For me, it's only when it's published and on the shelf that it is finally a concrete story.) This may not even be part of my finished book, or it may be a separate "History Book" volume. It's mostly back-story with little to do other then setting the stage for the actual story I'm writing. My goal is a mythology that chronicles the world as it is in my imagination from beginning to end. If I ever publish the story, it will probably not be my first attempt at getting something published. It is strictly a hobby, perhaps obsession, of mine that could take years to finish. I'm writing it for my own enjoyment rather then writing a book to sell or even publish, and as such it something that delights me regardless of what it does for other people. If it ends up someday being a marvellous epic when I get done with all the rewrites and edits, then great! If not, that's fine too... So long as I enjoy it. I would like for it to be something that a lot of people can enjoy, but my first objective with it is to simply tell the story I have to tell!

"Darkness. Every word, every thought, every feeling, was darkness. Silent, empty, darkness. Then the first whispers of melody broke through like a pinpoint of light. A song, a note? Another whisper, then another. With every whispering a little light. Out of the darkness a note turned into a melody, a melody into a song, a song into a symphony. With every note a little more light. Soon light crept over the darkness until every place was filled with it's glory. And then there were voices. One voice could be heard, all the other voices were merely echoes of his own. As The Creator sang, a ball formed within his hand, it was dark and had little swirls of light inside of it, as if it was lit by a little fire within. The echoes ceased as the singers cast their gaze upon The Creator's hands holding the little ball as if it were precious and fragile. The Creator began a new song, softly he was singing, nearly whispering over the ball as if imparting life into it or attempting to hear the soft heartbeat of a living creature while he sang to it. Then he began to sing so that they could hear the words he said. Every word had never been spoken before and took forth meaning and wonder in the eyes of the echoes as they watched and listened to each new word. The melody began softly and grew with growing intensity as he sang his song of creation. The lights danced within the orb and clouds of colour swirled around them. Then they dimmed into blackness leaving no light to be seen within the ball. Then as if in their minds they saw a planet being formed, blue in colour and pleasant to look at. A smaller silver orb was placed near it. No source of light could be seen yet it seemed to them that it was illuminated. And all was silent. The Creator began another song, a darker song, a sad song, and as he sang, though the echoes knew not what the words were, Lucifer, The Morning Star, the most beautiful and lordly of the echoes stepped forth before The Creator. He gazed upon the dark orb still in The Creator's hands and sang a song of his own making. In harmony with The Creator's song yet something more then an echo did it contain. The Creator's song transcended his song regardless of how much he tried to make his song a sweeter song. Fury awoke within him as he stared at the black orb, desire to master the orb grew within him and he spoke forth with a new song, a song completely of his own making, no longer harmonizing with that of The Creator's song. A great shape like that of a dragon, made of flame rose up as Lucifer sang his song. And still the Creator's song continued on, untouched by his pride, unmoved by his flame. As Lucifer left from in front of The Creator's throne, a third of the Echoes followed after him, becoming known as the Noise. Down onto the blue planet they descended. Down from their glory, down from their splendor, Lucifer looked with hatred upon the world that The Creator had made, rising up against it he cast his rod upon it's surface and covered the surface with flame. It turned from blue to orange and the water became as clouds of poisonous steam. He cast his rod down upon the surface once again and the brown lands crackled and broke apart like a broken eggshell. The planet was made desolate and formless. And over the horror a small melody, the melody of The Creator could still be heard, grating in the ears of Lucifer and the Noise the planet that had been made formless became whole again. The rod of Lucifer broke asunder as it descended deep into the abyss. And suddenly light like that which had never broken forth before shone forth, it's brightness and glory surrounding Lucifer with it's torturing brilliance. No corner of the worlds was left in darkness, for darkness had been pushed aside by the tremendous force of the light. And behold the light grew dim as darkness once again settled over the land. Lucifer's hatred burned within him as he saw the waters be likewise divided, he saw a layer of water surround the planet above and below the atmosphere of the planet. The Creator's song then formed land, a great land, most of the surface remained covered with water, and one continent stood upon the surface of the Earth. The sea and the land. Then the song of The Creator reached a beauty unheard as green things crept across the dry, brown, surface of the land. Tendrils of living color stretched across the land and under the sea. A great forest stretched from the top of the land to the bottom of it and from east to west, yet there were significant places of valleys and mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, and wild and untamed plains. The forest consisted of every kind of tree the fields contained every kind of flower and herb. A great light spread across the surface of the Earth as a great star was placed nearby. A silvery orb floated just outside the Earth's atmosphere. But then the most wonderful things of all began to take place. The first creature to walk the earth was the unicorn. It's gleaming horn shining in the light of the newly created sun. Another unicorn joined it, with a smaller horn and slightly smaller build. They watched the Sun with unblinking eyes before taking flight across the land with marvelous speed. Then it was that birds took flight into the sky, chief among these was the phoenix, a marvelous bird with vivid bright colors, different for every phoenix and beautiful to behold. Powerful, able to transport itself anywhere instantly, deceptively stronger then it looked, able to withstand fire, even The Dragon's fire. A ball of flame, a pillar of light, a pile of dust, and a boulder of extremely hard stone stood in field. The creator looked at the flame and the light, the dust and stone and behold there came forth out of the light and dust beings, clothed in robes of white, the dust and light disappeared as there stood before The Creator two marvelous beings. The being that he made out of light he called Galandor. Firstborn of the Elves, enemy of Lucifer from the moment of his creation. He had piercing grey eyes and long golden hair. Next to Galandor, also clothed in a white robe stood the firstborn of Men. Glorious, more like the Elf next to him then men of later days, he had eyes of blue that glistened in the sunlight, his hair was dark brown and lordly, like a great king or mighty hunter. Little difference there was between the Elf and the man next to him. Theoeadam. Then out of the flame there came the firstborn Dragon. Mighty and glorious to behold, strong and beyond words to describe. His vast wings able to carry him into the skies at tremendous speed. He was the dragon of dragons, the sire of Nila and Uaithne in later days. Last of all, out of the stone came, clothed not in robes of white but glistening, silver robes that were almost more like a suit of warrior then the lordly looking robes of the Elf and the Man, there came last Hourgah. The firstborn of the Dwarves. He was about four foot five in hight, had a great mane of brown hair and a beard that fell to his belt. A crafter of stone he was to be, a seeker of jewels and things of the earth. Man was to take to gardening and the caring of the earth. To the Elf was given everything to rule, save his fellow beings. The keeper of knowledge, the keeper of secrets. Teacher of all was Lord Galandor's role. It was not long after that four more beings were created, like and unlike they were to be. Of their names, only one do I know. Katheryn it was, and still is to this day."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Revising and the lack of plots.

As I write I find there is more and more of what I've already written that needs to be revised, deleted, added to, and sometimes just left alone. Most of the first section (I'm writing in 50,000 word segments) needs to be completely re-written, but I'm ok with that. The result has been one of a much better story where I've edited it.

But revising that first section has also revealed a major problem with my story. It's lacking a plot. The characters seem to wander around aimlessly waiting for their next cup of tea. I have lots of little sub-plots but there really is no overlaying quest or mission. I need to figure that out and soon. As well as revising it is going, without that quest, it will be boring and a reader will feel as if they are just wandering around, lost in an endless forest of words looking for a way out. As a writer I don't really want the reader looking for a way out, I want them to be enchanted by what's in the forest and wishing to see what lies around the next tree, er... page.

The lack of a plot is my current dilemma, and therefore my focus. I first began to suspect I had a problem with the plot when a friend asked me what the story was about and I couldn't tell them because I found no plot to summarize.

And with that I must get busy, developing a plot and then revising from there.

Edit:
It's particularly embarrassing because the first thing I taught in a writing class I taught once was outlining the plot, and my boy student created a captivating, albeit a bit violent, story with it. At least he had a plot! Which is more then I have.