Amazon in Middle Earth?

Alright, if you don’t know that Amazon bought the rights to Middle Earth and plan on doing a pre-pre series to both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; have you been living on Mars?

Amazon/Middle Earth

For those of you who are not informed, that is a link to an article covering Amazon purchasing the rights and some speculations.  I’ve got mixed emotions about the whole thing.  When it comes to the two sets of trilogies, I do get a kick out of them.  That’s only because my sister sits next to me and we decide that Boromir, Merry and Pippin need a motor boat to get to the Falls of Rauros, and the balrog is now Billy Bob Balrog.  That aside, I enjoy them, but I am aware of when they have deviated from the book.  Tom Bombadil, for instance.  The character is a jolly, but powerful individual that Peter Jackson left out!  They left him out!  Him and his beautiful and equally resourceful wife, Goldberry.  Gone!  Cut from the universe!  I’ll start ranting if I continue, so I will move on.

Anyway, Amazon said they planned on doing a prequel series to even The Hobbit, which probably means they will attempt to do The Simarillion.  The Simarillion is even longer than The Lord of the Rings, which makes it perfect series material.  Of course, that also depends on how Amazon decides to represent it.  Will they follow verbatim what Tolkien put down?  Or will they follow in Peter Jackson’s footsteps and take creative license?  The epic story tells the tale of Beren and Luthien, the two characters upon which Tolkien built his universe.  Many fascinating characters live within The Simarillion besides Beren and Luthien.  There is Huan, the Hound of the Valar and companion of both Beren and Luthien.  There is Tevildo, the feline cohort of Morgoth (the Valar have hounds and Morgoth has cats), and arch-enemy of Huan.  Carcharoth, one of the wolves in the service of Morgoth, and the creature responsible for biting off the hand of Beren that was holding one of the Simarillions.  Loosely based off the Nordic myth when Fenrir bit off the hand of the god, Tyr.

The story as a whole is a long romantic tragedy, that just manages to have a happy ending .  Beren, a mortal man, falls in love with Luthien, and elven princess.  Her father doesn’t want him to marry her, so he says in order for him to grant his permission, Beren must retrieve one of the Simarillions from the crown of Morgoth.  Basically a suicide mission.  But being a determined woman, Luthien escapes her father and joins Beren and Huan on their quest to steal one of the powerful stones.  The Simarillion has enough plot for Amazon to make a series out of it.  Now, let’s just see if they make a good one.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Write Till I Drop

It takes many people most of their lives to figure out what they want to do.  Not just as a career, but as a past time, a passion.  For some people, it’s playing video games, or Magic the Gathering… or anything else that catches their fancy.  But, it’s just a hobby.  Yes, there is a difference between a hobby and a passion.  Example, anime conventions are a hobby to me; writing is a passion.  I only started going to conventions when I was eighteen-years-old.  I’ve been writing since I was twelve.

I started writing because I had a story to tell, voices inside that pleaded to be let out.  I needed to refine my skills and learn from my mistakes.  It a college instructor and years of practice and toil for me to get here.  And even then, I know I’m not done expanding my skills.  I write and write every day if I can.  The only time I don’t write is when I’m working all day, go on trips, or don’t bring my laptop to a sleepover.  That’s about it.  Otherwise, my fingers are flying across the keyboard and creating words that all link together and form sentences.  Neat, huh?!

I have experimented in my books, taking elements and tactics from other works that I liked.  For my first trilogy, I had a heroine.  However, I decided that unlike Katniss Everdeen, and Tris Prior, I would not have a female lead character who cringed at the idea of taking lives.  I didn’t want that for my character.  She still needs help and can’t do everything alone, but she doesn’t crack under pressure.  She doesn’t flinch when faced with turmoil, and rules with an iron, but fair fist.  She has her moments of doubt, but they did not overshadow who she is.  That was something that bugged me about the aforementioned characters.  I felt like they eventually developed, but that was still not quite enough.  Personally, I still felt like they were lacking something.

For the novel I’m currently writing, I have male lead characters.  One based off a person who actually lived, and the other I created.  I want them both to have certain weaknesses and strengths as well.  They will face challenges that will make them question their paradigms and morality.  Good characters do that, but they don’t have unnecessary baggage that just makes them sound like whiny youngsters.  Oh, wait… they are.  I try to avoid making more characters like that.  I know not everyone can be strong, but the world is full of weak people.  Why should we put them in our books?   Why should we force them upon ourselves in our fantasy world as well as the real one?

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Fault in the Faculty

Today, we have to give five minute demonstrative speeches for our class.  I used to be a member of Toast Masters International, so I’m fine with giving a speech.  However, we’ve got one of the school’s big shots trying to sit in on our speeches today.  She smiles at us whenever she comes across us, but she’ll tell our teacher to dock us points for attendance (we left like ten minutes early, big whoop), and not to give us 100% on our speeches, because it’s impossible for somebody to do that good a job apparently.  I declare!

I’ll have you know, madam, that I am a very good speaker (if I like what I’m yapping about).  Our teacher told us that she said not to give us 100%, we were all affronted, and started planning like little minions.  One girl actually thought we were supposed to have our speeches yesterday, so she had all her supplies.  She gave it already, but the rest of us are going to have to give ours today.  This executive doesn’t know when we’re giving these speeches; just that we’re supposed to do them today.  We’re all evil; we want to sneak them in before she arrives at the school.  That way, when she does stick her head into our classroom, our teacher can tell her we’re already done.

Sorry, lady.  But when you try to tell a teacher to take points off for things, and not to give 100% scores, even though they are rightfully earned, is pathetic.  Thanks, but no thanks!  And I fully intend to wow people today with my speaking.  Like I said, I’m a chatter box if it’s something I enjoy.

And on that note, it’s been real!

“Come & Tell Their Story Again”

I’ve mentioned in the past that I am working on a new novel.  The last novel I wrote was completed my last year of high school, but obviously, editing needed to be done.  I’ve worked on only minor projects since then.  The first three novels I wrote took up a lot of my time; that’s not chump change, that’s precious seconds, minutes, hours of my time devoted to something.  I knew that the next novel I did had to mean something, not just to me this time, but to other people.

A few months ago, my brother played me a song (I may have mentioned it) called “The Last Stand” by the Swiss rock band, Sabaton.  It is a song about the 189 Papal Swiss Guards defending the retreat of Pope Clement VII in the 1527 Sack of Rome.  42 soldiers survived only because they went with the pope.  The other 147 were all killed, but not before butchering close to a thousand enemy troops.  Their brave leader was wounded, and begged to see his wife before he died.  His men got him to the house where she was staying, but mercenaries followed them.  His wife tried to protect him, but she was injured while his enemies hacked him to pieces before her eyes.  I was moved when I looked up the whole history behind the event; what little we know.  Documents were destroyed by the German and Spanish soldiers, and many relics taken.  It was an utterly devastating event, that took the lives of thousands of Roman Catholic citizens.

Since I decided to do this, I have tried to find what little books I can about those Swiss Guard specifically.  Not much.  I had a doozy of a time trying to discover all their names.  Luckily, I knew a cardinal, and sent him a letter, asking for help.  He gave me viable leads, and I will use them to get the names of all the guards, as I would like to list them at the end of the book.  I think it would be some justice to them to recognize what they did.  They were brave men, who stood their ground against an overwhelming force.  We remember Thermopylae because of what 300 men did.  We recall the 194 rescued men of the Lost Battalion and their desperate attempts to get home.  Why can’t we remember 189 men who fought and died on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica?  I want to bring that back and tell a little known story about true honor and courage.   Bravery is not men fighting a fight they know they can win.  Bravery is fighting a fight you are certain to lose, but you do it anyway.  Why?  Because if you are fighting for a cause you believe in, then it’s the right thing to do.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Wistful Wednesdays

Now, my start as a writer began by accident, actually.  I was ten-years-old and I constantly pestered my older (and endowed with a driver’s license) brother, to take me to the library so I could pick up books to read, as I had a voracious appetite for new adventures.  I bugged the poor guy to death.  Finally!  He said, “If this is going on MY library card, you will read the books I pick.”  I was concerned at first when I got this ultimatum, but he told me not to be worried.  “I’ve got a good series all picked out,” he informed me as we searched the shelves in the library.

After following him around for a while, he finally came to a shelf that was covered in yellow bound books and he exclaimed, “Ah ha!”  We marched over and he pulled out a book and held it up to me.  It was a Nancy Drew mystery book.  I had never heard of them before and was genuinely curious when he handed it to me.  “You will be reading these from now on.  When you finish this and two more, I will pick out another three for you to read.”  I accepted the challenge and he gave me two more books from the Nancy Drew collection.  So, that was my goal: read the three books my brother gave me and inform him when I was done so he could pick the next three for me.

This lasted for several months, and then I was old enough to get my own library card.  Once I had that baby, I picked my own Nancy Drew books and took off!  And it was from the writing of Carolyn Keene, that my very first character was born.

Aubrey Cass is a professional smart-ass, with no tolerance for stupidity, and a sharp mind for solving mysteries.  Even though my set of short mystery stories on her were published after my novels, these stories were the first ones I wrote.  A long time ago… on Planet Mars.  I was just thinking how I went over these from when I originally wrote them when I was twelve, and me (now) was like, “Were you high on cocaine?!  What the ‘bleep’ is this?!”  Don’t worry!  They’re all fixed now, and I’m so proud of my very first character.

And on that note, it’s been real!

PTSD – Post Traumatic Sunday Disorder

I think everyone can say that Saturday and Sunday are the fastest days of the week.  Hands down.  Why?  Because are normally the days when most people actually have the choice to do absolutely nothing at all!  I write mostly.  On Saturday, I did cave and go get a pedicure, which was SO relaxing, and a frappe from Panera.  It was wonderful!  I went to work that night, but it wasn’t busy at all, so I got to go home after an hour of being there.  I came home and spent the evening with my younger sister doing absolutely nothing.  It was nice.

Sunday (for me) always has an air of depression about it.  Because I know I have to go back to work the next morning, so I have squeeze everything I want to do (or not, as the case may be) into this one day.  However, Sunday morning soon gives way to Sunday afternoon.  And on Sunday afternoons, I get dragged away from my writing to assist with dinner.  Now, I like to eat and I like food.  Probably wouldn’t be able to tell if you saw me though, because to most people, I look like a recovering anorexic.  But, I’ve made salads for my family so many times that I honestly can’t stand the thought of making another salad.  I’ve sliced through my nails and had to endure the smell of onions, all to give my dad his salad.  I’ve started digging my heels in when it comes to salads to the point where my mom has actually stopped asking me if I can make them.  Yay!  My evil plan worked!

So… after I’ve basically done everything but the meat, it’s time to eat.  Once eating is done, guess who’s got the kitchen?  Trick question.  After the kitchen is done, it’s time for bed and the evening is done and gone.  That is why I have diagnosed myself with PTSD: Post Traumatic Sunday Disorder.  I also have Post Traumatic Salad Disorder, and another kind, but that will be a story for another day.  So, last night was pretty much the same thing that I explained above.  Except… I DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE THE SALAD!!!  😀

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Mail Must Go Through!

So, yesterday I get home from work after going out for a few refreshing drinks and a chat with the receptionist that I am training, and I found a letter for me from a possible source of information for my current historical project.  I had written to him a couple of weeks ago, and actually thought that he would not respond (being a busy man and all).  The letter was from him personally, and even though he did not grant me (directly) the information I sought, he did give me two leads to follow.

Since I decided to take on this novel, I have already met many brick walls that have been thrown up in my path.  Not deliberately, but inadvertently.  For the sake of truth and historical accuracy, I still find myself seeking the same answers.  I’m starting to hope against hope that I get the answers I am looking for.  It is doubtless that they will (all) show up in my novel, but I would like to put something at the end with all their names.  Just the names of 147 men, who died defending their faith and the city they were charged with protecting.  Sounds easy, right?

NOT!

And on that note, it’s been real!