Friday, February 27, 2009

Dialogue doesn't have to sound like Shakespeare.

I recently read a good blog about writing dialogue. It uses one of my favorite movies as an example.
Read it.

Me and My BFF

Autumn says: I love walks!
Me: I love walks!
Autumn: I love you! You're great!
Me: Ditto, dawg.

We get along pretty well.

Quickie Update on the Exhausted Book Worm

Heeeeyyy everyone.....

As you can see by my less enthusiastic greeting than usual, I am very tired, but I am also feeling pretty proud of myself, because I have, as of about ten minutes ago, finished ten books this month, which means I have two days to fulfill my original goal of twelve, to make up for reading only eight and not ten last month.

Oh yeah, and here's something I discovered:

If you watch little or no TV in the evenings, and focus all of your energy on reading, you can easily finish a book that might normally take you a week to read, if you let yourself dawdle on it. For instance: I started The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien on Tuesday, and I actually finished it yesterday. Just by concentrated reading. Cool, right? I usually watch TV in the evenings.....but maybe I should start reading more. I would certainly get more done! Still, I look forward to the moment when I reach THE END in Book Twelve and I can kick back and re-watch The Island. Been wanting to watch it again. SO ANYWAY....congratulate me on managing ten books, and wish me good luck or good fortune or something on conquering the next two in two days. Good night Cyber Space!
BTW, I wasn't sure if I was going to keep doing Books of the Month and all that, which is why I never got around to putting one up this month. Or Movie either....but don't worry, I'll do two extra ones next month instead. Also, I'm hoping to get Sock Monkeys up and running again soon. Me and Mike have been neglecting it, but maybe we'll start updating it more often next month. Alright everyone! Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Recent Music........

Since Christmas, I've been listening to a lot of music, and added new stuff to my iPod, borrowed stuff from people, etc. Here's a quickie list:

1. Why Should the Fire Die? by Nickel Creek
I've had this for awhile, but only recently put it on my iPod. Nickel Creek is great. Among my favorites on the CD are 'Can't Complain,' 'Helena,' and 'Doubting Thomas.'

2. Newsies Soundtrack
I may have posted something about this one on Sock Monkeys...I think I remember writing a review. The soundtrack is excellent and even has some lyrics that the movie doesn't have, although I'm not sure it has all the instrumentals. I was presently surprised by the instrumental 'Rooftop,' which I've enjoyed as much as the songs sung by the actors.

3. Waking Up by Bethany Dillon
This CD is really excellent. The songs have beautiful melodies and even more beautiful lyrics. I enjoy listening to it and the songs really praise Jesus.

4. Psalms by Shane and Shane
This CD is also excellent. I haven't listened to it quite as much as Waking Up (got them around the same time) but I've enjoyed it a lot. It has a nice sound.

5. Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin
I am now an official Led Zeppelin fan. Several of the songs on this CD were inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien or make reference to his work, which is one of the reasons I got interested in them in the first place. The only song I don't ever care about listening to is 'Stairway to Heaven.' Maybe that's just because I haven't taken the time to really listen to it......but I enjoy all of the other songs.

6. Go by Newsboys
My brother Jason likes the Newsboys, and I borrowed a few CDs from him, listened to those, and then bought this one, which I'm enjoying a lot. They have a fun sound. I like singers from Australia. :D

7. Amarantine by Enya
Enya has such a mystical, relaxing sound.....but it also sounds really kinetic at the same time. She has a neat quality to her music that reminds me of Middle-Earth....partly because she was involved in the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack.

8. Hook by John Williams
Although not Williams' best soundtrack, I really like Hook. It has a pleasant, homey sound to it, but adventurous at the same time....just like Neverland. Which is appropriate, right?

Bob Dylan:

9. New Morning
I've always liked this one a lot. It has some really cool songs in it, and a comfortable folksy sound that I really like! Day of the Locusts is probably my favorite on the album. It has such random, fun lyrics....

10. Hard Rain
This is a live album with some of his best songs on it live, including my favorite version of Shelter From the Storm, one of the songs that got me interested in Dylan.

11. Knocked Out Loaded, Brownsville Girl
Andy let me listen to this song, which he said was one of the few good ones from Dylan's album Knocked Out Loaded. I bought it on Amazon.

12. Empire Burlesque, Dark Eyes
I had heard this one before, but Andy let me listen to it again recently, (Empire Burlesque is apparently another album with very few good songs) and I decided to buy it as well.

Wow, that's a lot of music! I still have another Bob Dylan CD besides Hard Rain that I borrowed from Andy that I haven't listened to much yet and a Switchfoot album that I ordered recently but hasn't arrived yet.
That just about wraps it up...and I need to go anyway so I can work on reading Treasure Island. :D

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yahoo: It's the french term for "Over 100 pages!"

Hey everybody!

IWU: (Instant Writing Update)

I have written over 60,000 words on the current draft of my book which adds up to over one hundred pages, and I'm still going strong with inspiration and excitement for it! This is soooooo's usually about this time that I lose interest and want to change it. But, I still feel perfectly content to keep going with this particular draft and I still have every intention of finishing it. IN FACT I only have fourteen chapters lined up to write for the first part of the book (after I finish the one I'm working on.) I'm sure that some surprise ones will show up. More than a few unplanned ones have snuck in. Victory!


Hey Everybody!

Guess what? Tonight, there is going to be a weird double - tailed comet passing through the sky.

You can read about the details.....and if you have some binoculars, you might want to use them, but some people have been able to see it without binoculars. I don't think we've got any (that seems kind of said and dysfunctional now that I could actually use some) but I'll have a go at seeing it anyway. If you don't have binoculars and you don't manage to spot it, look on the bright side. You'll get to see lots of beautiful, awesome stars!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Recent Reads


Today I've finished my fifth book, out of twelve. I'm trying to make up for the two books I didn't read last month, so we'll see if I manage to read all of them!

1. Watership Down by Richard Adams
This was very good. It's about a group of rabbits that leave their warren because one of them says that something bad is coming, and everything that happens as they struggle to survive and make a new warren on Watership Down. It reminds me of Warriors; the social life of these animals that live together, and the subtle horrors that are suggested. I'm looking forward to reading more of Adams' books.

2. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

This is only the second time that I've read this. It isn't any where near as good as TLWW. In fact, this might be my least favorite of all the Chronicles. I did enjoy reading it, but after seeing the movie, I think I'm just a bit biased. I don't have a problem with most of the changes made in the movie. A lot of points in it are stronger, I think. The plot is certainly better than the book. I actually like the whole Peter vs. Caspian thing. I think that it is much more realistic that Peter wouldn't want to hand Narnia over to Caspian and that there would be some competition. And that whole thread taught some good lessons. Both Caspian and Peter from the movie learned a lot that Caspian and Peter didn't in the book.
Both the movie and the book lack the magic from the first book/movie. Narnia is no longer under enchantment; in fact, nearly all magic has been driven from it. King Miraz doesn't rule with magic, like the White Witch did. Obviously, this is something Lewis intended. I thought that Aslan was probably the most magical thing in the movie, and better portrayed, more magestic and regal and reverant. The book portrays him much more so than the movie, though.
Over all, it was fun to read, and interesting to see the differences from the book to the movie.

3. Inside Prince Caspian by Devin Brown

I read this chapter by chapter with Prince Caspian, and it was very good. I don't have much to say about it though, except that I still think that books like this are about what the author thinks that what Lewis wrote means. I don't think that Lewis intended for his books to be taken so seriously and to be analyzed like they are. He wrote them for enjoyment. I think that people tend to read meaning into sentences and paragraphs and tiny incidents. However, I also think that writers plan out lots of little details in their mind and sub-conscious. I know I do, and I could see how Lewis would too. Things that we're aware of, but don't give hours of thought to. Authors like Devin Brown might be taking apart the book and finding little things that Lewis intended to be there, if only in a subtle way. On the other hand, how could anybody know for sure that this is what Lewis meant?
I enjoyed reading it a lot, but I don't take everything in it seriously.

4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.
This was a mild, pleasurable read. Rat was my favorite character.

5. Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
I borrowed this from Mikaela and started it several months ago, got six chapters in, and then got distracted. I had been wanting to read it for awhile, and I'm glad I finally went through it.
It was pretty easy to read and interesting. I like the name 'Axel.' I nabbed it for one of my characters. :D
The whole book was from Axel's point of view, first person. I enjoyed it a lot. Sorry, I have nothing interesting to say about it. I want to read more Jules Verne books, later this year....

And in a while I'm going to start book no. 5: the fifth Harry Potter book! Hopefully I'll be able to finish that in a couple of days. I think it will be a nice, pleasant read after all this old stuff. :D

Hope I can make it through the other eight books!

P.S. In a few days, the second book of the 13th Reality series is coming out: The Hunt for Dark Infinity. I'm excited about reading it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How is this possible?

Okay, is it just me, or did January go by super fast?

How is this possible? It's already February.

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to read my quota of ten books. I did, however, read eight. I never managed to finish Watership Down by 11:59 pm, and if the truth is to be known, I still haven't finished it. But, I'm still ambitious. Maybe I can read twelve books this month to make up for the two I didn't manage last month. :D

I know I'm going to have a hard time pulling that off. I may have to spend Saturday afternoon in a chair with a book, huh?

Anyway, there's not a lot going on right now. I think its scary that January is going by so fast.
I'll post a list of books and stuff soon...and maybe some music too. :D