Today gets a whole lot of writing love, as I prep myself for holidays. Holidays are the time to do something I want, so I often find it odd when people say “but don’t you want to get away”. That’s totally not what I want. I want to do things that I want to do, and driving or taking a bus are the least two favourite things I want to do (and let’s not even talk flying).
So, during my two weeks off (which commences this Thursday) I shall be (in no particular order):
- Hanging out in the park
- playing video games
- watching movies
- going to the beach (though, that involves driving)
- and food smattered in amongst all of that.
So, in a nutshell, I’m hoping to do some writing. Pick up and continue more of Rocket Fox and get the rewrite of Black Mask and Pale Rider started.
For now, though, here’s a couple of inspirational writing quotes.
“…the writer’s obsession – the desire to know and communicate, or, rather, to know everything so as to communicate with the greatest degree of precision.” ~Ivan Klima
- Early morning Black Mas & Pale Rider soundtrack (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- 1. Why You Write (writegigi.wordpress.com)
- Six Rules for Rewriting | Michael Nielsen (sequenturverbe.wordpress.com)
- What No One Ever Tells You about Writing (thewritersadvice.com)
I’m gonna go way more in-depth with this later, but just some words I wanted to get off my chest.
I never could understand this feeling by many in print media, film, and other entertainment mediums why it was always felt that a product was no good without a white, male (most often straight) hero type character to be somewhere in the franchise. Whether being the main focus or being the one who helps out the woman/person of colour/lgbtq person. And with women and lgbtq, the white male hero was there to dispense advice because hey, he’s white and male and only white males know what’s good for people (unless they happen to be gay, but sometimes that includes even if they are gay).
Those types of stories are dangerous. Because they can foster an identity in different genders and races that this is the truth.
Racism and sexism is prevalent in our society; we are not yet in a post racial society, we are not yet in a society of equality. There are still things that foster this air of inequality, such as the entertainment medium. Our social media today allows us to report on the latest book or the newest movie at break neck speed. It can also display our bigotry at such incredible speeds as well. One such thing is the response to a character in the Hunger Games being black, and most of the tweets said there’d be more sympathy if the character was white. Now that was around the movie. As I myself have read, the description of Rue (the character in question), pretty much solidified that she was black (or, darker skinned). The tweeting of the lack of sympathy showed the absolute apathy and bigotry toward African Americans (or African Canadians).
We need people of colour, women of colour, women, LGBTQ authors and we need characters of the same design. Because once those authors and those characters become more prevalent in our entertainment media, then we’ll be taking a step forward. There has to be more Gail Simone’s and Dwayne McDuffie’s of the world to help bring about new and interesting ideas. With this new world of social media, marketing should be a lot easier. We should be able to inundate different sites with information about new, positive story ideas.
Instead, we’re merely being given the same, tired old stories as though the well has dried up. When a new idea does come along, it’s the most damaging and racist thing ever seen. Two examples of this are 50 Shades of Grey and the Save The Pearls series. One series paints an entire culture in such a bad, stereotypical way, while the other attempts to use reverse racism, siting that white people will be the oppressed and down trodden of the future. Amazingly, the latter won’t happen because we humans have the tendency to evolve with climate changes. As I’ve read, the plot of the book is that due to environmental damage due to over mining, over drilling and pollution, whites can’t survive as well in the new world thanks to huge holes in the ozone layer. Or something to that affect. But seriously, the book without reading it is really racist as it tries to make whites look like an oppressed minority. Which is pure fantasy.
However, enough of that.
People of colour, women of colour, women and lgbtq creators have a lot of really good ideas. We should look closely at those ideas and take them into account, instead of just brushing them aside or complaining that “the quota was already filled” (which is another statement of bullshit). Maybe if we took a look at more of their ideas, we’d have a whole lot more original entertainment to keep us going, instead of rebooting or re-imagining the same crap, over and over again.
It’s been that kind of day where I need large amounts of classic rock to get through. Here’s just a sampling.
All of your favourite TV shows and movies…
…never really existed.
The reasons why?
Movie Bob at the Escapist Magazine had a really good discussion on it (seriously, check the link), but every single television show and movie that has had some major fanbase existed in the head of…
Who is Tommy Westphall? Outside of clicking the link to find out, Tommy was a minor character on the hit TV series St. Elsewhere. In the final episode of the series, it was revealed that the entirety of St. Elsewhere, from the buildings to the doctors to the patients, existed in the head of this young autistic boy. That in and of itself isn’t that big, but think of this. Back in the 80′s, it was hugely popular to have characters from one TV series appear in another TV series. Hell, I remember people wanting to see Simon and Simon appear in an episode of Magnum P.I. As it happened, characters from St. Elsewhere appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street. It spirals from there.
Essentially, the universe inside Tommy’s head includes, but is not limited to:
- All Star Treks
- The Buffy-verse
- Law & Order
- Doctor Who
- Red Dwarf
So all the shows you like and watch with a great passion…
Thank Tommy Westphall for that.
About a week and a half ago, I got the bright idea to take photos with my new camera. Naturally, it was a sweltering 33 Degrees Celsius, with the humidex setting it around 47. This was obviously a good idea! (sarcasm). At any rate, here’s the photos I took along the river bank.
Looking north up the river. It’s a tad smokey thanks to the forest fires in Northern Alberta and Northern Saskatchewan.
Gulls on the water!
Okay, the Deep Purple reference would have been better for the last picture looking toward the old traffic bridge.
Gulls are a common sight around Saskatchewan, many of whom feast on massive amounts of grasshoppers. Here, they just seem to be kickin’ back and enjoying life on a sandbar on the river.
Looking south, toward the old traffic bridge. Much easier to see the smoke and haze that way.
The news media lately has been plastering pictures of the Aurora, Colorado shooter on their web pages, their morning news shows, at noon day news, right up until the evening and late night editions. It’s been front line headlines.
But I’m not going to display his face, nor mention his name, because in the end that somehow has been glorifying this little slime ball for what he did, which was kill 12 people. He opened fire in a packed theatre, caused terror and panic. He’s no better than the terrorists that the fear mongers tell us to be worried about.
I’ve read that one of the dead in that shooting was a survivor of an earlier shooting in Toronto that saw two people killed. That should be the headline. The loved ones who have been named, revealed to the world. Not the killer’s face, but the people he killed.
The story should focus on something different than trying to answer the question of why this crime was committed. One such question, which seems to remain unanswered and even unasked, is why on earth was an unemployed young man able to purchase over $20,000 in weapons, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, body armour, and goodness knows what else in order to carry out this grand plan of his. How is an unemployed person able to do that? If I had $20,000 to waste, I sure wouldn’t waste it on weapons. There is some other debate rising, however, that states the killer did in fact have a job, that he was intelligent (but not really, let’s face it, he killed people, that’s not intelligent), that he was a lab assistant. Still, that’s a lot of money even for someone in that field.
This entire fiasco has raised an alarmingly huge number of comparisons, most of which point to the fact that we are not, in fact, living in a post racial society. That we still see the colour of someone’s skin as a threat. There have been several stories of black men and women gunned down by police, but here is this one white man, armed to the teeth and blasting a way in a movie theatre, and he’s taken down without firing a shot, and he’s alive to face trial.
Plastering this terrorist’s mug all over the news isn’t shaming him. This is his moment of fame. He didn’t want to do this and slip away quietly. It was boom or bust for him, go out in a blaze of glory and he’ll be talked about for weeks if not months. Plus, it will bring back all the other horrors that happened in the past.
Like École Polytechnique.
Like Virginia Tech.
Like Dawson College.
Plastering his photo onto the nightly news doesn’t shame him at all. Like telling a rape joke in the presence of a rapist, it reaffirms to others like this murderer that you too will get your face on the evening news. All you have to do is find a way to buy some weapons and ammo, go somewhere public, and start firing.
We have to report the news, I understand this. But we have to start doing it in a way where it won’t actually encourage more of this type of behaviour.
- Mass Murders and White Men (candidobservation.wordpress.com)
- 14 shot dead at Batman premiere (dailytelegraph.com.au)
- Echoes of Columbine: 14 Killed, Dozens Wounded at Colorado Movie Theater (theatlantic.com)
- Aurora, Colorado – thoughts from a teacher (teacherviewtoday.com)
- Did Batman Comic Book Inspire Aurora Theater Shooting? (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- Mass Shootings at Aurora, Colorado Theatre, Children Dead, 50 Wounded by One Suspect (independentsentinel.com)
- Colorado shooting: Picture emerges of chaotic scene, suspect James Holmes (csmonitor.com)
- Eff A Coldhearted Thug: 14 Dead And 50 Injured After Gunman Opens Fire In Aurora, Colorado On “Dark Knight Rises” Theatregoers (bossip.com)
- Virginia Tech shooting victim reacts to shooting in Colorado (wsls.com)
Dog days of summer
Not really, but it’s kind of this lazy, laid back feeling of “meh” where one just doesn’t feel like doing anything right now. Usually dog days refers to the listless lazy days of summer, and we are right in on that. At work, we’re about two and a half weeks away from a shut down of our office for two weeks, which is alright. This allows everyone to plan their holidays accordingly. Me, I plan on parking it in a lawn chair somewhere. Either on the beach at Elbow, or in the park her in Outlook, or maybe along the riverfront in Saskatoon. Heck, I may even just park it on my balcony.
Be careful using short forms and abbreviations
One should always be careful to ensure that the proper short forms are used when writing them out. Even the slip up of a url country code (as an example, .ca being for Canada) can send you some place you weren’t expecting. Granted, some of those can end up being quite amusing. Such as one of the short forms, or abbreviations for cubit meter. It looks very different when read as cu. m.
I don’t wanna get down on what happened last night in Aurora, Colorado. And I don’t want to dwell on it. Suffice it to say that 12 people are dead after some idiot decided it would be a good idea to pull a gun in the middle of a crowded theatre whilst watching the Dark Knight Rises and open fire. Thanks to his (or her, I really don’t honestly know) incredible lunacy, 12 people are dead. I don’t even give two twits what race, religion, gender, political leaning he is, because he (or she) killed 12 people. I’m not even gonna make mention of the bastard’s name, because he’s not important. He killed 12 people, and as far as I’m concerned, those 12 were far more important than some twat with a gun.
This morning at work we got into a bit of a discussion about how the news media treats stories like this, and I was going to write something about it. But thanks to wilwheaton‘s tumblr, I don’t have to because Charlie Brooker did such a better job of it. Watch more below.
Let’s hope that this isn’t given 24/7 news feeds for the next month, because I really don’t need to be kept reminded of during the summer.
The four students were right. They walked through the floral arch that lead to the memorial grounds of the village, and there among the headstones and plaques on a set of benches in the middle of the park were Aria and Bobby. They seemed to be in a deep conversation and it was visible that Bobby was holding a small floral token, often left pinned to the plaques as a remembrance of one or several individuals who sacrificed their lives while in service of the Royal Air Corps.
Although the four walked quietly through the paths of the memorial garden, Aria and Bobby still heard them, glancing up as they approached. They stopped together as some small unit, Senia removing her uniform cap as she spoke quietly. “I hope we weren’t interrupting you both.”
Aria smiled and looked to Bobby. He shook his head and tried to smile. The others could tell he was thinking of something rather painful, which was often the case when one came to these gardens. “It’s… it’s okay,” Bobby said as he coughed and cleared his throat. “I was just telling Aria about my dad. Jacob Quickfoot. He flew with the 82nd, a small squadron dispatched to Lupinia during the land war.” Bobby left out the word ‘great’, often giving his thoughts that the word should mean something more than just massive. That it should mean something wondrous. And that war on Lupinia was anything but wondrous.
“I had read about your father,” Hardy said as she took a seat on one of the benches, Clarfax sitting next to her. Senia and Claudia also sat down on the benches. “He flew with Nattie, Carla and Dunny and had to crash land in the desert.”
Bobby nodded as he held the small token carefully. He looked to Aria who seemed to give him and encouraging smile as she placed her hand on his shoulder. “He got stung by a viper scorpion when his craft crashed. The others got to him, thinking that the viper scorpion was alone. Dad said they’d heard about them, but they hadn’t ever experienced a sting from one. They did get to Dorgatha Ravine and there was a doctor there who helped him.” He looked down to the flower token once again and sighed deeply. “But they only had so much and the poison went through him pretty fast. He managed to come home, but he got sick a lot.”
The others sat silently, letting Bobby describe everything. How his father and three other fighter pilots joined to defend a Jayna tribe stronghold during the last year of the war. Though he could barely walk, he did his part to assist with what he could; learned about the differences between Hyna and Jayna citizens and grew a new respect for Pantherans, as one had become his doctor during that time.
“Dad always told me,” Bobby concluded as he managed to find a bit more strength as he told the tale of his father. “He never regretted becoming a fighter pilot, but he knew it wasn’t a life for everyone. He and mom both encouraged me to take up sciences, and to look to the stars.” He sniffled and wiped his nose with a handkerchief he pulled from his pocket. “Sorry. Talking about dad gets to me sometimes. I miss him.”
“I don’t doubt you do,” Senia said with a nod. “Sometimes it helps to talk about loved ones long gone. It keeps them alive, in here,” she said, pointing to her temple, referencing that Bobby would always remember his father. She then touched her hand over her heart. “And in here as well.”
“Thanks,” Bobby replied as he offered a small smile. “And thanks for listening everyone. Now,” he said as he took a deep breath and rose to his feet. “I think I want to spend some time around people.”
“Well, you’re in luck,” Claudia said with a grin. “We’re people, and you could spend it with us. If you’d all like, we can go back to the campus, maybe go to the cafeteria and enjoy a few chocolate milkshakes.” Claudia’s suggestion sparked a great deal of interest in all present. It was quickly agreed upon that it was a very good idea indeed, so all six of them – Senia, Hardy, Clarfax, Claudia, Aria and Bobby – all gingerly stood up and walked leisurely back to the main campus for more jovial discussions.
Getting a little poetical today, even if there is no rhyme nor reason to it (heh, see what I did there… yeah, yeah, I know, I’m terrible, even for pointing that out). Start things off with a well known one by Robert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost, 1920
Continuing on with something more akin to a proverb. Originally, I didn’t know who this quote was attributed to. Now I can finally put a name to the words.
“It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Finally, something that could be seen as dreadful and ominous, only because of the individual who wrote it. As well, it’s very, very interesting how this is reflected in our current state of the world.
“The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position within, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” ~H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
I saw something and had to stop and read it. It was a quote from Marvel Studios’ co-president Louis D’Esposito.
“[Black Panther] has a lot of the same characteristics of a Captain America: great character, good values, but it’s a little more difficult, maybe, creating [a world like Wakanda]. It’s always easier basing it here. For instance, ‘Iron Man 3’ is rooted right here in Los Angeles and New York. When you bring in other worlds, you’re always faced with those difficulties.”
The blogger I read this from went on to say some interesting stuff. Originally from blackfolksmakingcomics:
thinks creating a fictional African kingdom like Wakanda is more difficult than, say, a fictionalized version of Afghanistan, the alien realm of Asgard, or the alien worlds that’s going to be in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film?
How exactly is creating a fictional kingdom on Earth harder than creating a fictional kingdom of deity-like beings or of alien creatures?
I’m not sure I’m buying that. I mean, it’s not that difficult.
“I want to recreate something created in comics in live-action.” Boom! It’s done. People do it all the time. It’s not rocket science. It’s movies. You can create anything your imagination allows you to. It’s not hard at all.
You can create beings who transform into giant monsters smashing up buildings. You can create robotic suits capable of traveling from Los Angeles to Afghanistan in mere minutes. You can destroy an entire metropolitan city with alien creatures with relative ease. You can create alien realms and dimensions. You can create a floating carrier base with more machines than humanly possible. But to create an African kingdom with real world physics? That’s impossible to you guys?
It’s not that hard. I mean, filmmakers have made fictionalized African worlds since the beginning of film. We have the talent and the technology to make it look and feel real. That’s not a problem, so I don’t know why Marvel Studio’s co-head would think that’s a problem.
The problem that they refuse to acknowledge is this:
Marvel Studios fears that a Black Panther movie will be classified as “a Black film.”
That’s … that’s it.
Considering Marvel likes to do origin stories to introduce a character, the fact that his entire origin story takes place in the African kingdom of Wakanda may be a hard sell in Marvel’s eyes. And to do that, you’re going to need a majority Black cast. There’s a belief in Hollywood that you can’t put more than three Black actors in a film in leading roles because the general perception is that it’d be seen as a Black film,
Todd McFarlane stated that the producers of Spawn turned Terry Fitzgerald (Wanda Blake’s new husband) into a White man and developed a White woman named Jessica Priest to be the killer of Al Simmons instead of Chapel (a Black man) largely because the studio didn’t want too many Black leads in the film. The first Blade move has Wesley Snipes, N’Bushe Wright, and Sanaa Lathan, while the other films only had Snipes in the titular role. Steel (ugh) had Shaquille O’Neal in the title role, Richard Roundtree as his uncle Joe and Irma P. Hall as his grandmother.
Remember M.A.N.T.I.S? Great television movie about a paraplegic doctor and brilliant scientist named Miles Hawkins (the last name, had the series continued, wasn’t a coincidence and he would have been in a crossover with a Milestone character who also shares that family name) who created an exoskeleton (the costume design was created by Hardware co-creator Denys Cowan) that not only restored his ability to walk, but gave him enhanced abilities.
Carl Lumbly, who later played Martian Manhunter in various DC animated productions, played Dr. Hawkins. Gina Torres, who’s known by many as Zoe Washburne from the Firefly/Serenity series and the voice of Vixen on Justice League Unlimited and Wonder Woman in the DC Universe Online MMORPG, played Dr. Amy Ellis. Bobby Hosea played reporter Yuri Barnes while Wendy Raquel Robinson (you may know her as Principal Regina “Piggy” Grier from The Steve Harvey Show sitcom and Tasha Mack on The Game) and Christopher M. Brown played a pair of African students who interred for Dr. Hawkins.
When the film became a series, only Lumbly remained. Everybody else was gone, replaced by different actors, all White. Much of the African elements removed from the series. And it was canceled with the lead character getting squashed by an invisible dinosaur. Critics noticed the changes made from the well-received pilot and the rather lackluster series, mostly savaging the lack of diversity the series had.
That said, it’s kind of telling that nearly 20 years after M.A.N.T.I.S. premiered, Hollywood still fears creating a serious action-adventure property with a predominately minority cast and the perceptions of it being a “Black film.” There’s no such thing as a “Black film.” There are comedies, dramas, thrillers, and adventure stories with a mostly minority cast, but they’re just comedies, dramas, thrillers, and adventure stories.
The whole thing about Marvel not wanting to make a Black Panther film because they can’t recreate the kingdom of Wakanda seems farfetched and weird to be believed. Guess that’s just Hollywood being strange and woefully ignorant again.
And I had to add in my own two cents, because I think it is an injustice when a good story doesn’t get made, just because it happens to be about black people. It’s sad that when something like this comes up the biggest concern is “will white people like it”. We aren’t in a post racial society that embraces equality when we try to consider how “white people” will view something if it has black lead roles or characters.
Anyway, here’s my take posted originally from timholtorf.tumblr.com:
Really? There’s a fear that a black lead cast would be seen as a “black film”? As though “black film” in it’s represented scare quotes would be seen the same as “Muslim”. That its something scary and different and people wouldn’t know how to treat it. Which is complete bullshit. Sure it’s a black film, but it’s still a film. It just has black people in it. People who eat, breathe, live, die, fuck and all other sorts of things (well, perhaps not fuck, unless it’s a porn).
I really don’t think it should be something feared, because that’s how it looks to me how Hollywood is approaching it. How long did Red Tails take to get made? Several years, and I thought it was awesome when I saw it. Does it have black people in it? Sure, but it’s also got fighter craft and air battles and explosions and other cool things. And it talks about history, a very real history that happened that should never be forgotten.
As for creating a fictional African nation, I agree with the above. How freakin’ hard would that be? There are several nations in the African Continent that you can choose from for research and history. And please, oh please, don’t decide to make the government of Wakanda corrupt and needing to be saved. Because that plays into a Western centric stereotype, that everyone outside of North America and Europe (outside of the old Soviet bits) is corrupt and evil. Saying it’s easier to make a film about a character in the States is basically saying you’re too lazy to create something new and different. Also, it’s really fucking bigoted.
(Or, Domming 101 as Guided by D/s Wonder Woman, E.L. James)
- Your slave is stupid and cannot think for themselves. Be sure to control every menial aspect of their lives from what they eat for a snack to what kind of socks they wear. Doing this will really show your slave who’s boss!
- Slaves really get randy when you bite their toes— it’s their best kept secret. Exploit this fact. Really, just go to town. Bite those fuckers clean off if you want.
- Don’t be afraid to break your own rules. Remember, your slave is stupid and won’t know the difference! It’s also a good way to keep them on their toes. If they can’t trust your word, they’ll never know what’s coming next.
- On that same line of thought, make sure your words and your actions always contradict one another. Then, you’ve got an excuse to punish your slave when they don’t utilize their psychic powers to guess what you really meant.
- Don’t be afraid to touch them down there.
- It’s important when outlining your asinine and overly involved contract that you’re sure to include a no-no list instead of discussing your limits like adults. Include fisting on your no-no list. Also recognize that anybody who is partial to any of he actions you listed is an insane and disgusting degenerate.
- If your slave is a virgin, chastise them at length. How dare they!
- Dominant feelings are monstrous things, best shoved down until you can allow them to flourish in an unhealthy sham of a relationship.
- If your slave is emotionally damaged or opposed to something you wish to do, either ignore them completely or coerce them into compliance. I can’t stress enough that your slave is stupid. They don’t know what they want.
- Pat yourself on the back if you’ve managed to follow the above guidelines. You’re a real Master now, Mr. Grey!
This is obviously a riff on the (terrible) book, 50 Shades of Grey. I had to comment on it.
Books, in this case fiction, are still something that can be used not only as a way to entertain, but to educate. When the author puts forth his own fantasy of what a BDSM – D/s relationship is, then he’s just playing out his own fantasy, not what the actual culture is about. In some case, D/s relationships don’t even involve sex, and that’s a glaring misconception regarding the entire culture to think that it is 100% about sex.
50 Shades of Grey got the BDSM – D/s aspects wrong on so many levels. Where was the adult discussion of limits that the woman wanted? Where was the determined safe words? BDSM – D/s isn’t about control and dominating another person, because that’s just rape. BDSM – D/s is more than control. It’s actions within the comforts of both participants. The Dom has to make sure that the sub is completely comfortable with what is happening. Over time, each person will understand what the other likes and does not like, and if the Dom does something that the sub does not like, the sub gives the safe word and the Dom stops. That is what a good D/s relationship is about.
As for the book itself (which is a festering pile of shit), this doesn’t help how D/s are viewed in mainstream society. Instead, it continues to reflect a misconception, and a very dangerous one at that. That submissive individuals can be treated like dirt without care or concern. It’s another case of a work of fiction being incredibly dangerous in continuing to spread stereotypes and misconceptions about another culture.
- Fifty Shades of Grey is bad for bondage (guardian.co.uk)
- Fifty Shades of Grey critics slam bondage stereotypes (cbc.ca)
Heatwave! (by HawkMannequin)
It’s so freakin’ hot!
Currently, as I upload this video (which was last night), it’s 32 Celsius (about 85 F), with a humidex around 43 (that’s around 107 F).
Now excuse me, while I go lay in a pool of my own sweat.
A series of quotes I read over the last week based on writing and publishing that I found extremely interesting.
“Last year, Gigaom published a flattering story in which they used me as an example of why book publishers are no longer as important as they used to be. Authors can build their own brands now, and reach out to their own audiences. But in fact, my career is an example of precisely the opposite: My publisher invested tons of time and money into me for a very long time: They paid for tours that hemorrhaged money. They paid for advertising. They fought to get me distributed in mass market channels even though my books were “literary.” And most importantly, they provided editorial support and guidance that made the books themselves far better than they would be if I published them by myself. Not only that, but without Penguin there is no vlogbrothers, because Hank and I needed the initial activation energy of the first 500-1000 nerdfighters to make Brotherhood 2.0 work. Almost all of those nerdfighters were fans of my books who came to the project through Penguin’s marketing efforts. So there is no Looking for Alaska or The Fault in Our Stars without the people who work at Penguin, and the narrative that Amazon wants you to believe—that publishers make books more expensive than they need to be and keep authors from making money—is a lie. A world where everyone self publishes will mean fewer authors making a living and fewer books that reach their full potential as art. Period.” ~John Green from John Green’s tumblr
“In fiction, I exercise my nosiness. I am as curious as my cats, and indeed that has led to trouble often enough and used up several of my nine lives. I am an avid listener. I am fascinated by other people’s lives, the choices they make and how that works out through time, what they have done and left undone, what they tell me and what they keep secret and silent, what they lie about and what they confess, what they are proud of and what shames them, what they hope for and what they fear. The source of my fiction is the desire to understand people and their choices through time.” ~Marge Piercy
“Many times when I read a book, I want to savor each word, each phrase, each page, loving the prose so much, I don’t want it to end. Other times the story pulls me in, and I can hardly read fast enough, the details flying by, some of them lost because all that matters is making sure the character is all right when it’s over.” ~The Day Before, Lisa Schroeder
It came from a quote, really, and how folklore has helped paint fiction for today’s group of authors, illustrators and scriptors. We all know about elves, fairies, pixies, trolls, dwarves and the like, some in different ways than other people might. This was a fascinating quote I found to describe it all.
“The aspect of folklore which has the greatest relevance for our understanding of beliefs surrounding the British witch’s familiar, however, is that of fairy belief. The close connections between the witch’s familiar and the fairy have consistently been pointed out by scholars over the past century. In 1921 , in a paper for the journal Folklore, J. A. MacCulloch discussed the close links between the Scottish Devil and the fairy men of folklore, and in 1959 Katharine Briggs touched on these links in her comprehensive study of early modern fairy belief ‘The Anatomy of Puck’. In the early 1970s, Jeffrey Russell noted that ‘The small demons that became the witches’ familiars of the later Middle Ages were originally dwarves, trolls, fairies, elves, kobo Ids, or the fertility spirits called Green men, any of whom could be either frightening or funny’ and Keith Thomas claimed that the cunning man’s fairy helper belongs ‘to the same genre as the witch’s familiar or the conjurer’s demons.” ~Emma Wilby ‘Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits-Shamanistic Visionary Traditions in Early Modern British Witchcraft and Magic’
It is one of many things that are written discussing the actual folklore that helped develop many of our current superstitions (and, in quite a few cases, our beliefs). One very good example is that of the fairy ring, which was believed to be a sort of gateway between our world and the world of fae. A simple circle of mushrooms or flowers in the grass. And yet, something like that can help current authors to dream up something plausible that’s related to that myth, and yet something so incredibly different.
I guess the main point I’m making is that we’ve got all this inspiration around us to write something incredible (even the recent discover of Higgs Boson) that we shouldn’t squander it at all.
Write, imagine, dream, create.
From Ian Morrison of Friends of the CBC:
I have just received the following note from my friend, Margaret Atwood.
Margaret and her team have developed a new way for artists and creators everywhere – including Canadian fiction and non-fiction writers, musicians, graphic novelists and others — to reach out to new audiences here and around the globe with webcast events, personal connections, and individual signing possibilities. It’s called www.fanado.com.
This project offers an important new way for the world-class art of Canadian creators to find and reach new audiences. I have supported this important project. I invite you to consider supporting it too by visiting www.indiegogo.com/fanado.
For a project like this to work, there must be a groundswell, and a wide base of support – just as for public broadcasting, of which Margaret is a steadfast supporter.
Writing projects, fiction and non-fiction, writers, musicians, graphic novelists and more! This might also be a great opportunity for women creators in Canada to showcase their work as well.
- Margaret Atwood joins story-sharing website Wattpad (guardian.co.uk)
- Margaret Atwood starts raising funds for Fanado (teleread.com)
- Margaret Atwood joins Toronto-based writing site Wattpad (business.financialpost.com)
- Margaret Attwood joins the Wattpad community (teleread.com)
Change.org: Sign the Petition to help Preserve & Officiate the Greenwood Historic District aka “Black Wall Street
The final draft of the Greenwood Historic District nomination is now available for download on the Tulsa Preservation Commission’s website.
Please join us for an informational meeting on July 31st, 6-7pm. at the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Avenue. For more information on the nominnations process please go to the web link listed above.
These nominations are long passed due…thank you so very much for supporting this.
I usually have one tune that runs through my head when I’m about ready to come home on a Thursday. It’s been a tiring couple of days, what with a very late Wednesday (last night at 9:00 p.m.) and a very early Thursday (this morning at 6:30 a.m.) so when one o’clock rolls around, it’s good to get home.
The song going through my head on the way home:
I was a young tyke when that song first played oh so long ago. As luck should have it, along with a great amount of coincidence, a friend sent me a link to another youtube video, which happened to be a cover tune of that very tune by the Knack.
I’m not usually big on cover tunes, but this one’s pretty good, especially when it’s a Scandinavian metal band doing the work (Hammerfall).
The Hip have a new album. Entitled And Now For Plan A, the first single is At Transformation. Familiar stylings of the Hip’s sound that’s finished off with the poetic lyrics of Gord Downey. Here’s a listen.
Week one of the Canadian Football League starts up around the Canada Day long weekend. While we had thunder storms a lightning here today, it didn’t put a damper on festivities nor did it stop the opening of the CFL season, which began Friday night. The winners in week one were B.C., Edmonton, Calgary and the team I’ve been rooting for since I was a kid, Saskatchewan Roughriders.
This is the 100th Grey Cup, and as always it seems to hold a greater connection for Canadians than even hockey.