Friday, December 23, 2005

Of Birdhouses, Wardrobes and Wuchak

Sister took her kids and I off to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Electric Safari last night. Really cool, walking through the zoo keeping the animals up late (or seeing the ones that sleep all day actually moving) while there are thousands of strings of Christmas lights strung around all over the place.

Was especially fun watching my lil’ niece (somewhere between 3 and 5yrs old) running around oohing and aahing. However, in typical fashion I couldn’t let the night go by without making a fool of myself. And so when my niece ran up to a bird house and ever so eagerly opened the door and peeked in side, I let out a little “Raarrwrrr!”

Poor, girl. I think I have given her a permanent fear of birdhouses.

Anyway, on to the thing about that movie that had a very big closet thing in it.

It’s been a few years since I last read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the specifics, but from what I could tell the movie is indeed a fairly faithful adaptation, incredibly well done if you compare other book > movie translations.

Over all I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and thought that the additional scenes helped flesh the narration out so it flowed well as a movie.

Things I enjoyed:

  • The kids were very well cast and nicely acted (as if you haven't read that in every review out there)

  • Loved the battle :)

  • Minotaurs rocked!

  • Beavers rocked!

  • Rocks rocked!

Things that Irked:

  • Alsan felt diminished to me, not quite as majestic and powerful as he could have been. Kept waiting for a roar that would totally shake the theater.

  • Peter’s reluctance to lead.

  • No reference to the deeper magic.

  • At least a year until Prince Caspian shows up.

One thing that watching this movie did help reassert for me is just how much a person’s world view can shape their understanding and watching/reading of a movie or book.

The same way Christians can find Christian themes in things like The Matrix or Star Wars, is the same way non-Christians totally miss those themes in works like The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. Our central beliefs, and the things we are most familiar with are the correlations that will jump out at us from the pages/screen and touch our core.

For instance, to someone not that familiar with Christianity, Aslan’s line of “It is finished.” May hold no more weight than any other line in the story. But to a Christian who is intimate with the story of Christ’s passion, it resonates and communicates much more than just those three words mean.

It’s something I’ve tried to keep in mind in my own writing. Always looking at each scene and character not only from where a reader might be coming from with a worldview, but also making sure that the characters stay true to their own worldviews.

Something to think about, and to maybe expound more on later.

Anyway time for today’s “Learn to Speak Saurian”:

I’m sure lots of you will be having guests drop by your house this Christmas. You’re going to need a way to greet them! And so here is how you say:

“Welcome, friends, to my home!”

Remember sound this out in English phonetics:

“Shnakvorum, reekoeyoech, cheechae votae dinevee.”

Also, with all those wondrous gifts you’re going to need to say “Thankyou!”

Which is simply: “Wuchak”.

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Continuing the Bloggification Process

So what exactly am I going to talk about on this thing, something to actually draw interest and get people excited, and provide some kind of service. :)

Well amid the random mumbling, I decided I need to actually have something of value. So I wondered what I might be able to do.

So, beginning in the new year, I'm going to walk through my world creation process. Something that I started fifteen years ago, and over time have refined in order to have a way to populate at least some of those thousand worlds with unique and interesting peoples.

Probably nothing incredibly insightful or dramatic, but it might help other writers, especially those who don't write sci-fi & fantasy, get an inside look at one way that us crazier writers go about bulding our worlds and stories.

I'll still pop in random bits such as "Learn to speak Saurian!"

In fact let's start with the very important holiday phrase:

"I love your food!"

This phrase in Saurian is:

"Dine saree koytie dulvee!"

Just sound that out phonetically with a hint of a roll on the r.

Your mother won't know what to say. :)

Oh and I finally saw Narnia yesterday. But I'll talk about that tomorrow. ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So, what is up with this funky named den thing?

Ok, so it’s a blog thing. Guess that means I need to actually write stuff. So since this is the first official post, (ignore that bit of oddity below this one) guess I’ll just introduce who I am to the echo out there (and Shannon).

My name’s Stuart. And I’m possibly human. Actually most of the evidence seems weighted toward that conclusion, but there are a few naysayers out there.

Maybe because I write science fiction, have three alien alphabets, one partial language, and a list of 1,000 named planets and 50+ races (technically there should be 1000, but I’m a procrastinator).

I just finished my first novel that takes advantage of the above oddities (well, one “race”, world and language, and a tad bit of the alphabet). Tells the tale of a young warrior who discovers an ancient artificial intelligence that leads him on a quest that has him deciding between the fate of his empire and the fate of his world. Nothing too heavy.

If you’re still reading this, I bet you’re wondering what the heck a Jerkrenak is, and why does it have a den. Well, maybe I’ll tell you one day if you stick around long enough. But for now, I will only give this itsy bitsy clue.

Anyway, I envision this blog as just a way to ramble on a bit about whatever comes up, be it my writing, as I begin work on the epic sequel to my first novel in which the young warrior meets a voracious creature that loves to spit. Or on books I’m reading, movies I’ve watched, or general thoughts about Life, Christianity and Everything.

Don’t know exactly how often these random musings will pop up, but if a week goes by without anything showing up on here, feel free to scream at the monitor. If you yell loud enough I just might hear you.

Saree Larkime

Some Kind of Freakshow

So, this is a blog huh? Guess it's about time I caught up with the current trend and started something going here...

will post a formal introduction later on, just wanted to see if I could get this new fangled contraption working.

maybe someday I'll even look into those mystical devices known as "cell phones."
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