Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reading list

I love to read. I have always made time for reading that wasn't related to my course work, so even when i was in school i was reading Hobs, Tolkien, Lewis, Ende, Homer, Shakespeare. I found that it helped my brain process the important material, plus it made for great material to add to papers. (my final philosophy paper was about how the Chronicles of Narnia can combat Atheism and support the christian religious experiences.) So I read a lot. I also have a job where I spend most of my day listening to pod casts and audio books. thus my reading has increased tremendously. several of my friends have posted on facebook that they are going to read x number of books. I don't really make goals based on numbers, but rather on books that I know I want to read. so here is a break down of my reading list this year:

Current Reads:
Silmarilion (almost done with it but it will count towards this year's book count) the starter, The Canterbury tales, From Homer to Harry Potter, Interesting Times, The Neverending Story,  

Future reads:

The hobbit,
The untold tales (at least for the story that will be coming into play for the movie the hobbit)
The Lord of the rings (which i will count as three books)
all Seven Chronicles of Narnia
All of George MacDonald's Books Starting with the Goblin and the Princes.
at least three Shakespearean plays that I have not yet read
One Dickens' novel that I haven't read yet,
Northanger Abbey By Jane Austen
I plan to listen to these books one right after another in this order: Les Miserables, The tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel,
The Screwtape letters
The Golden fool

the beauty of the infinite
writing for the soul
the Abolition of man
The Republic
The politic
The Narnian Code
Exploring the Hobbit

With Greg
Clash of Kings
Moving Pictures
Men at arms.

I am sure that not all of these will get read, I am sure there will new books added, but  right now this is the list of books I want to read this year.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Iliad: Messianic Message Part Two Briseis

So Like I said last week there was one other women I wanted to look at when it came to where or not the Iliad has a messianic message. Her name is Briseis. she was just a normal women till one day the Greeks came killed her family and husband. she was then given to Achilles. Now in the Iliad it is mentioned that she might love Achilles, but at the same she was a prisoner of war, a prize I hardly think it would have mattered one bit if she loved him or not. Their relationship is compared to that of Helen and Menelaus which is why the Greeks are camped on the shores sieging Troy. Oh and let me add Achilles killed Briseis' family, I think lust, possession, and survival had more to do with both these relationships then what we would hold up as true love.

Any way so there was another girl who was taken during this particular pillaging her name is Chryseis she was given to Agamemnon as his prize after the battle. but she has someone who cares about her and pleads with the God Apollo to strike the Greeks for taking his daughter. -if anything this could be where the messianic story could be...kind of.  Well Apollo decides to listen to his priest, the Greeks get hit by a plague and so Chryseis is sent back to her father.

Now this is where things get interesting. See Agamemnon doesn't think it is right that Achilles have a prize form the battle when he doesn't have a girl to keep his bed warm. So what does he do? Well he is in charge so he takes Achilles' prize. and Achilles whines like a baby to his mommy and refuses to fight in the battle till Agamemnon gives him back his prize. Sounds a bit more like a mixture of wounded pride and boy getting his toy truck stolen by the bully on the play ground then a great and mighty warrior who has come to Troy to killed honorably in battle.

This is the event which sets up the rest of the book. If Achilles wasn't so worried about his own wounded pride then the book would have ended much differently. here is the thing Achilles doesn't start fighting again when he is given the girl back, he is, he starts fighting again because his beloved friend was killed. His friend was killed because Achilles did the dishonorable thing and stayed out of battle. he acted the part of a coward and no longer deserved the prize he had been give. Briseis is the catalyst for Achilles' dishonorable actions, he does the right thing only after Patrolclus gets killed in battle. But that will be the topic for next weeks post.

This weeks post is shorter but hopefully it gets the point across. Briseis is stolen from her family, then as a prize she is passed from one man to another, then back to the first. She is little more then a symbol of the power of the man she is given to. Achilles is not her Messiah, she is not his messiah figure. Instead this relationship reflects poorly on Achilles by wounding his pride and leading him to act with dishonor rather then with honor. If anything this once again points out that the world is a terrible place where the weak are ruled and used by the strong and there is no one who will help the cause of the weak. It is better to be part of the strong.

Real quick note about Chryseis, she is stolen from her family too, but her father is still alive. he begs for her to be given back. but according to the laws of war in the ancient time there is no reason that the Greeks should give up any of their prizes. Luckily this man has someone to go to for help, a god. this could be your messianic message but it is such a minor part of the story that it can hardly be concidered a theme of the book. Better the theme that is here that gets repeated through out the book is be careful what gods are on your side and also do your best to not piss off any of them.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Simple women's Daybook 3

FOR TODAY January 28, 2012

Outside my window...The sun is Shining, at least that is something good about this not winter but not yet spring time. but still I am tired of this strange season. 

I am thinking...my to do list for the day. Like most mornings, particularly on Saturdays, I spend time thinking about what needs to get done, what is happening and what I want to do. I also spent much of my walk thinking and praying for one of my online friends. She is a sweet heart who i think could just use a little extra pray cover. you can read her story here. If you are the praying kind keep her, her husband and her unborn child in your prayers. 

I am thankful...For time spent with friends. we had the Alexanders over for dinner on Thursday and had Daniel and the Sutter's over last night for game night, I still can't believe we had 7 critical hits last night!

In the kitchen... lots of fun stuff happened this week, a new cookie recipe -butterscotch chip had to make a few adjustments but they turned out tasty. Greg did something with chicken in the crock pot. plus some great beef curry. 

I am wearing... Pajamas,yeah, that is how Saturdays work. Even if I did take the time to get dressed to go for a walk. 

I am creating... Finished editing act two of the Alchemist Daughter. and I cast on the first of my Christmas presents. I'm thinking about putting together a box of different knit items for my sisters to pick from. 

I am going... I think I will be going anywhere today, it's going to be a day of staying and getting the house put together. game night left the house a bit of a mess, and the priest is coming by today to bless the house. 

I am wondering...  

I am reading... First off I finished the Inheritance last week. yipee! so my current list is 1. The Neverending story, 2.Simarillion (one chapters left!!!! just have the war of the ring to read and then it is done) 3. The Canterbury Tales, 4. Eric which i am reading with Greg, 5. From Homer to Harry Potter 6. The All Pro. 

I am hoping... to get all next weeks posts written today or at least the Never ending story posts. I hate that i haven't gotten them done, though i might have to crawl back into bed, my body is starting to be mean to me again.

I am looking forward to...Spring coming. 

Around the house... battle mat and minis

I am pondering... what would the world be like if suddenly it became flat. 

A favorite quote for today... "but i though we were getting paid to kill someone what needed killin'"

One of my favorite things... warm baths. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: pretty blah week. I think the St. Adian's girls night might be coming up this week. 

A peek into my day... Much the same as last week.

You can find more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday 3

(Grrrrrrr thwarted again about my Neverending Story post...)

any way this week I am thankful for:
1.Strangers who help. on Monday I got a flat tire, luckily I made it to a gas station before it went flat, an older gentlemen and his wife came over to help me, which is good because while I am sure I could figure out how to put on the spare I've never done it before.
2, Ballet and Modern Class. Am I crazy for taking these two classes back to back? Yes, but it works and I love the classes.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful
Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On the needles

Awe so there is so much to talk about here. Just got to say, I have had yarn purchases, Needle purchases, gifts, new projects on the needles and even a few finished projects.

Lets start with projects that I have finished: (pictures with captions)

Baby hats  the blue one is for Chalise's new boy
and the rainbow is for Heather's new baby

Dish cloths for Amanda, I finished the
ones for Jordan, and Need to get done
two more for Laura. 
This is my selfish knit
I used a pattern from my stitch dictionary
when the pattern I had picked out
didn't work out so well.
 That means that I am almost caught up with the things I needed to get done. Gifts for the cousins who got married, and two new little babies on the way. So that makes me happy and I can move on to working on other projects. (as if having stuff on the needles ever stopped me from casting on more projects.)

As for new Yarn there is a lot of it. (pictures with captions)
My magpie bye, I love the color
but I have no idea what I will do with it
It's Wool of the Andes Bulky Hand Died Yarn
and the color is called Sweet Shoppe
Any Suggestions?
This is going to end up as the
Morning Velvet Cardigan
it is all Wool of the Andes Tonal
The Really dark one is called Nevermore
The red is called Wine Tasting
The light blue is Blue Violet
and the grey is called Thunderhead
I bought this a while ago but didn't
post anything about it
it will someday be a hoody
it is Swish worsted weight
Bark and Cornmeal
and some other purchases:

My first set of harmony needles from Knitpicks
and a Shawl pin for my very short scarf
and a gift. My mother-in-law gave me this set of interchangeable circle needles that she had bought but didn't like.

Oh my stash has grown...but  there is good news and it is called Stash bust army!!!!

 well not really but this yarn has been in my stash for a long time:

I love this yarn black
and I am going to turn it into this:
Knitty's SkyIsle Cardigan

I don't have a secondary color yet but it will be a while before I get there. I know this yarn was meant to be used for a blanket but i con't get into a black blanket. i hope the person who gave me this yarn wont mind that i have changed the destination of this yarn.

as for my que, well it has grown, Not only am I once again going to try and knit Christmas gifts for everyone in my family. as well as dish cloths for any weddings in the family and baby hats for every baby this year. but I also planning on knitting my husband some socks, and right now i have the yarn for these two projects:
The Morning Velvet from this season's Knitty. I will be using that lovely yarn I got from knit picks thanks to a gift certificate from my mother in law.

The Let it Flow Vest from Creative Knits. Right now i am planing on using some more yarn from my stash. again yarn that was supposed to become a blanket but i just couldn't get the feel of it as a blanket. I'll talk about it more when it get's cast on. 

And yes these are both selfish knits.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Iliad-Messiah Message? part 1 Helen of Troy

Today I would like to talk about Homer's The Iliad. Last year I listened to The Iliad followed by the Odyssey, Followed by the Aeneid. Now The Iliad I remember better because I have read it at least twice, and what I want to talk about is whether or not it follows something my cousin Turner said as a reply on his wife's blog post about Literature. This is what he said:

 Throughout history, the best loved and followed stories have always either been allegorical for 1 of 2 stories; Jesus Christ the Messiah or The Holy Grail.

We discussed this for a little (and I mean a little bit) before he basically said  'Meh I'm right, you are just silly.' that is not a direct quote but that was I got out of what he said. I think because one of his examples was Disney that he believes that the Messiah story was that there was someone who was being held against their will and a savior had to go and save that person. he also said that his belief was that the Holy grail was really Royal blood, but that argument is for another day after I have actually read the grail and Authorial Narratives.

Now I want to continue the argument in saying that the Iliad does not propagate the Messiah story, or rather that it tells an anti messiah story. (I don't know if Turner reads my blog, I think his wife does so this could be a very one sided but hey. Oh and Turner if you do stop by I would love to hear your thoughts.)

So what I am going to do is use the story of Hosea as a general guide for a messiah story. just to summarize, Hosea is a prophet who is told by God to go and marry a prostitute, and he is told that she will be unfaithful to him. and she does, at one point Hosea has to go to the slave market and buy her back. This story is meant to be an allegory, Hosea is playing the part of God and his wife -Gomer, what an unfortunet name-is playing the par of God's people.

Now when looking at the Iliad, at first glance I would say there is nothing in this book that has those themes. the book is focused on a war between the Greeks and the Trojans. Particularly about one very famous hero Achilles, his fight against the Mighty Hector, and how he earned honor, glory, renowned, and immortality.  And those things are very important because that is what the book is about. Oh and I will talk about that next week. but this week I am going to talk about two minor stories that are either back story to the text or motivation for why things happen in the book the way they do.

First we are going to talk about Helen of Troy. because I think this is the first place someone could go if they wanted to say that the Iliad has Messianic themes. Helen is the wife of Menelaus, She is whisked away by Pairs of troy, and Menelaus takes an army to Troy to get her back, to destroy Troy for daring to steal his wife.  This would seem to fit the story. a good man who has taken a beautiful wife who is tempted to run away with someone else and her husband comes after her. That is the story of Hosea right?

But lets take a closer look. Do you know how Helen became Menelaus's wife? well that depends on what story you want to believe. According to my good buddy the Myth Man She was abducted at the age of twelve by Theseus and his pal Peirithous. At age twelve! they then did a little coin toss to find out which one of them was going to be the lucky guy to marry her, when she comes of age of course. But Thesesus and Peirithous went missing with enough time for her brothers to rescue her. Now safe in her father's house the suitors come a calling. they are all enamored over her legendary beauty and are willing to fight and kill over her. Luckily for everyone involved, Odysseus comes up with a great plan, all the suitors will take the Oath of Tyndareus, which says that they will defend to the death whoever becomes Helen's husband. And with that the auction is opened. Menelaus wins, he pays the check to her father and takes her home. 

There is a great moment in the movie Helen of Troy that I think sums up Menelaus's feelings for his new bride. At a great feast he orders her to walk across a table where all his guests are lounging bare breast naked. his guests are the suitors who loss, and I believe in the movie this is where Paris sees Helen for the first time-but I don't quite remember. Now up to this point I would be willing to agree that possibly the Iliad could have this messianic theme of the Rescuer coming after his love but here is where it all breaks down. In the prophets we often here about God refer to Israel as his lover, whom he clothed and protected, who is precious to him. Menelaus shows us the opposition here. She is his possession, he won and all his piers lost, now he must show them what they are all missing out on. He strips and parades her around saying "look what I got, isn't she pretty? and she is all mine, my beautiful trophy, look don't touch guys." 

I chose this because Orlando is
probably the most hansom
Paris there has ever been
But then Paris comes along. Now Maybe we could say that Paris is the Messiah figure he loves Helen and is willing to risk the destruction of his city and country for her. Or is he just one more man who must possess her no matter what the cost? Let me ask you how did Paris come to have Helen? Oh yeah, Aphrodite gave her to him. 

You know the story right? how Paris has to judge who is the most beautiful of the three goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera. How does a mortal choose? by hearing what he gets out of it, and Aphrodite told him he could have the most beautiful women in the whole world if he said that she was the most beautiful of them all. What do you think he did? Yep you guessed it. So Aphrodite made it so Helen agreed to run away with Paris. Truly I don't know why you wouldn't take the first opportunity to run away from a husband like Menelaus.

But is Paris her messiah, is he the one she loves? A moment from the Iliad would say otherwise, after Paris has run like a whiny baby back to his room she tells him he is a coward- quite a low blow considering the book is about honor and glory through battle.  but he tells her to shut up and lie down on the bed with him. Another lover who values her only for her looks, a prize, a trophy. 

Helen's fate is a confused. one it seems that many authors have continued this idea that she is continually abducted by strangers, Before she is killed by a slighted wife. another say that she is put into captivity with the other women taken from troy. Virgil's the Aeneid claims that she assisted the Greeks in their taking of the city, while homer claims that she tortures the men hiding inside the horse by mimicking their wives voices. 

So does Helen provide the the themes needed for a messiah story as my cousin would claim is in every book? there are two ways you can look at it. lets say that Menelaus is the Rescuer. his wife was after all spirited away from him. And he goes to war to get her back...or does he? More likely he is going to war to avenge his wounded pride. Helen is just the symbol of that pride. Is Pairs the Rescuer? I mean the Movie Troy portrayed them as to lovers who happened to be caught in the middle of a terrible set of circumstances.    In that case he is a lousy rescuer, troy falls and he dies in battle leaving her to go back to the hell she he rescued her from. 

This is why I say this is an Anti-messiah story. The messiahs who are available are selfish men who abuse the one they abducted. Helen was only safe when she was a child. From then on she is at the mercy of the men who lay claim to her and the gods. She has no knight in shining armor to rescue her only to accept her fate. if anything this story reminds women that they need to be self reliant because no one will be there when they are in need. 

The thing is, all this is back story to the Iliad, it is not what the Iliad is about, but I'll talk about that eventually. next I must look at a second women who is tied up in this mess.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Simple Women's Daybook 2

FOR TODAY January 21, 2012

Outside my window...Dreary wintry day with no snow and green grass it looks like the part of spring that i most hate, or the part of fall that I most hate, that in between season time when it is not spring, not fall, not winter and not summer. (though the time between fall summer and spring is not as recognizable as the time between fall winter and spring.)

I am thinking... about all the things I have to do today. you kn ow like balance the check book clean house, write draw, knit...so many things.

I am thankful... Ballet class (even though it kicks my butt), Blogging friends, French toast, Comics, and friends and family. 

In the kitchen... French toast, eggs, a new recipe for Butterscotch Cookies, and the *sniff* last of the holiday creamers for coffee. it wont be till thanksgiving that the good coffees show back up. *tear*

I am wearing... Pajamas, what? just because it is almost 1:00 doesn't mean that I should be up bright eyed and Bushy tailed. Saturdays are for sleeping in! don't judge me!

I am creating... Lots and lots of stuff, I'll talk about the knitting stuff latter this week, and I am working on those three stories that i talked about back two weeks ago. I think i might be getting somewhere with the Alchemist's Daughters. Not sure yet though.

I am going... No where today, hopefully for a walk latter this afternoon. I like walks. 

I am wondering... whether or not to watch Saturday morning cartoons, I have Netflix and a lot of the cartoons i watched in college are on there, maybe i am just feeling nostalgic, or I have been listening to too many comic pod casts. 

I am reading...1. The Neverending story, 2. The Inheratance (I need to finish this today because It has to go back to the library) 3. Simarillion (two chapters left!!!! just have the fall of Numanor and the war of the rings! So excited!) 4. The Canterbury Tales, 5. Eric - Greg and I have taken a brake from Interesting Times to read Eric,- 6. From Homer to Harry Potter (this one is one the back burner) 7. The All Pro. 

I am hoping... to get all next weeks posts written today... yeah I know I'm crazy but I can dream right?

I am looking forward to... Sharon's 31 party, I have never been to one before

I am learning... Not to breath and drink coffee at the same time, it has very embarrassing conciseness. *cough, hack, cough*

Around the house... Stuff, christmas is down and in boxes which need to go out to the shed. 

I am pondering... what I can do to may my book better, and what advise to give my friend to make her book better. 

A favorite quote for today... "Some times you feel like a nut."

One of my favorite things... Christmas flavored creamers. *sniff sniff*

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well I have the 31 party tomorrow, ballet on Wednesday, and game on Friday. not to packed of a week. 

A peek into my day... it is not exciting in anyway, cleaning, writing, organizing, balancing. nope nothing exciting at all. 

You can find more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday 2

It has been a long week and I am sorry I didn't get the next part of the Never ending story up. I've had some problems with the regulation of my time. my lunch breaks this week have been filled with stuff. and I keep getting distracted. And on that note I am going to take to day and express my thanks for several friends on the inter-webs that I would not still be in contact with or would never have met without the internet.

1. Liz Stewart (Bowel of Stew(art)) Liz is one of my friends from College, and I am afraid if it wasn't for her blog and the fact that i also blog I wouldn't be in contact with her. we were good friends in college and we still remain good friends. I love her blog where she brightens up my day and has always been an encouragement during NanoWrimo. She has given me several ideas which have come onto my blog. whether she is sharing a discussion she had with Favorite Athiest or talking about her struggles to keep her house clean and eat right or just talking about her cats Inu and Kima. (I believe that Inu is Japeness for Dog) she is always a treat to read. 

2. Stephanie (Ward) Perry (Mother am I) One of my best friends form college. she has only reasently revived her blog, and I missed her! now she blogs about her knitting, and spinning and her kids. one of who i have never met and Hana I haven't seen sense she was little little. Steph and I have a history, we went through a lot in College, so I am very glad that thanks to the inter-webs we are still in touch. 

3. Matthew Rose (The Matthew Never Knew) I'm going to take this moment and say a huge welcome back Matt!!!!!!! I have missed this guy. he is funny and smart. at his blog he blogs about stuff he likes in pop culture -including a huge series about the Gilmore Girls- about theology and different passages he is preaching on. I am so glad he is back!

4. Darci Cole (Page Traveler Tales) this is a Cousin-in-law that I have really wanted to get to know better. Sadly distance and other things have made it very difficult for us to hang out. but thanks to her blog I get to be a part of her life and hear about her son and husband. sometimes she can get a little cheesy, but I love hearing about her life and helping her with her writing. She helps me become a better writer. 

5. Ames (My Infernal Journel, and Chapterhouse Lane) I met this chick through Darci. I don't know if she likes that I lurk around her blogs, but that is how it goes. her personal journal is a fun place to stop by and hear about how her life is going. what I really enjoy is Chapterhouse where she 'publishes' her books. Sometimes they are good stories and sometimes not as much but I admire her for putting her stuff out there and letting people read through it. I've always been very self conscious of my own work which is why very few people have seen it. I hope to make that change but right now I have to give her props. even if some times i get a little harsh in my critic of her stuff, I really do admire her for taking the critics. 

well those are the bloggers I am thankful for. Love you all!

Let the peace of Christ Rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be Thankful
Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From the Art Desk 1

I haven't done much in the way of drawing sense November. I did get working on a couple of things but I didn't have time to take pictures and things aren't done yet either.

I used to draw a lot. I went through periods where i would get an idea for a drawing and draw it. sometimes putting it aside if it didn't meet my expectations. these days I haven't been drawing as much. I have't been motivated enough. I mean I have a huge project for the church sitting on my table that is getting no where. which i think might be part of the problem.

It is too big a project, I can't just sit down and draw, it is elaborate and then there is the small problem that I think I lost the  Icon I was supposed to paint it on. really this area of my talents has been disappointing me a lot.

it has been very discouraging. the last time I worked at my art desk I thought everything was going great but then by the end of it i had erased all that I had done. Dejected I turned off the light and came out to watch what ever football game happened to be on. and I haven't been back in the art room sense.

It think there are two problems I am dealing with, no maybe three:

1. every project I am currently working on is a figure drawing of some kind. I'm out of practice on these and probably need to mix up my work some. Perhaps a wildlife drawing, or a landscape, or even a good old fashioned still life. Maybe I should try to set up a very simple still life for an excessive, I mean that is some of the first things you do in art classes right? I like having multiple projects going on my needles and I never have only one story I am working on, maybe some variety will help me to get back in the grove of things.

2. I really miss the community I used to do art in. my art class was a loud and noisy place, where if you were stumped you could make the rounds and talk to everyone and look at how everyone else's project is going. and by the end there was either encouragement or challenge to help you press on through the difficult parts. then there was also any number of people who came up to look at how your project was going and offer advice about a difficult place.

3. well this is embarrassing. I was going to sight a video that my cousin Draci posted on her blog but i can't find it. basically the gist of this problem is that I have good taste, I know what I want my work to look like but I am not at that level of ability. the video she posted talks about this and I thought it put the issue in a much better way then I can. any way i am at a point where I can keep working on it or you know just give up.

So I have possibly identified the problem, now what am I going to do about it? Well I am going to take a break form the figures for a while. not completely mind you I wont get any better at them if i just switch gears. I am going to try to give myself some smaller projects, projects that can be finished and i can look at and say look I finished it I am not that bad of an artist. It's really all I can do right now. Not a great plan I know but at least it is something. To be More specific I am going to try to draw about two to three hours a week.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Neverending Story 2 Fantasitca in Danger

In this chapter we get our first look at Fantastica, we meet four characters and with in only a few moments of exposition we know the plot of the story.

Fantastica as a world is vast, it is called unbounded and the people from every part of Fantastica are as different from each other as possible. we can see this very clearly in the first four characters we meet.

There is the bouncing ball of light that is Blubb the lost will-o-the-wisp, who is from Moldymoor near lake Froamingbroth. (by the way he is the first character to not make it to the movie.) also the giant Pyornkrackzark, the rock chewer (not biter) who is from the Cheesie-Wheezies -mountains that look like Swiss cheese do to the Rock Chewers eating them- which are inconceivably far from the howling forest where this little party is assembled. the fuzzy Caterpillar like Vooshvazool is a night-hob who's species is fairly widespread so they are found in any number of places in Fantasitca. And last but not least there is Gluckuk the Tiny who is from an entirely different part of the boundless Fantastican Empire, even farther then the rock chewer. these four characters show us that fantastica is made up of many wonderful, strange things. But just how overwhelming the diversity of fantastica is comes from the stables of the Ivory tower. Here is the description:

"In this stable there were many other mounts; two elephants, one pink and one blue, a gigantic griffon with the forequarters of an eagle and the hindquarters of a lion, a winged horse, whose name was once known even outside of Fantastica but is now forgotten, several flying dogs, a few other bats, and several dragonflies and butterflies for especially small riders. In other stables there were still other mounts, which didn't fly but ran, crawled, hopped, or swam."

Fantasitca is indeed a place with many divers creatures.

Now before we get to the Ivory Tower itself I'd like to take a moment to talk about Bastian. we never leave Bastian behind. it is one of the particular features of this book. we get Bastian's thoughts and actions and even some of his interruptions though out the first half of the story. just as the small party divides each believing the others in he party will slow them down in their hurry to get to the Ivory tower the school bell rings. here we see how Bastian views his world, Humdrum, dull where the writer is almost always trying to convince him of something. He doesn't like reading his school books because he get enough of the humdrum events in the very humdrum lives of humdrum people from living in reality. Bastian believes that the only thing he is good at is imagining things, he can see and hear the characters and their environmental. he counts himself lucky that he is up in the attic reading the perfect book for him while his classmates are studying nature by counting pistils and stamens. this is of course one of the reasons this book is my favorite, I too have the feeling that I get enough of real life in well real life. But back to the story.

For Bastian the world is dull. and his teachers teach dull subjects. it is interesting that it is a science class which focuses on the material world. this is going to be important as the story goes on. Because soon we will find out just how important an imagination is. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I hate to use the movie concept of this,
cause it is just not right. 
on to the Ivory Tower, which is not really a tower, it is a big as a city and looks more like a Mountain peak twisted like a Snail Shell. it is made completely of the purest white Ivory, every wall is decorated by carvings that are so delicate that they revel the finest lace. This is the center of Fantastica, the home of the childlike empress. It is her home but not her fortress. no one in all the unbounded world of Fantastica would ever think of attacking her.

But First, the Nothing. What is the Nothing? It is nothing. The movie that was made quite a long time ago now portrayed the nothing as a storm, clouds rolling in an aggressive and dangerous way. But it would seem that the nothing simply is nothing. where once there was something there is now nothing. as if you were suddenly blind but only in that one place where the nothing is. Blubb tells us that it would start with just a small chunk, no bigger then an egg, but it would grow. and if someone put something into the Nothing, like a hand or a foot, it would be gone. there would be no pain, but that part would be missing. he also adds:
"Some would even fall in on purpose if they got too close to the Nothing. It has an irresistible attraction-the bigger the place, the stronger the pull"
No one is safe, no one can explain it and most horrifying is that it would seem that people are willing to become part of it. but there is something more frightening that this little group of characters find out when they get to the Ivory Tower. Their hope is wrapped up in the Childlike Empress.

Only she can help them, and Gluckuk gives us the terrible news, the Childlike Empress is very very ill. Nobody knows what is wrong and all the doctors have been called to find a cure for what ever is causing her illness. but even at this point there is the though that what ever her illness is, it is connected to the strange calamity threatening to destroy Fantastica. But that is another story to be told at another time. this is the closing statement that is said when the characters leave the story to have their own adventures. I hope that doesn't break your heart too much, we will not see Blubb, Gluckuk, Vooshvazool, or Pyornkrachzark ever again.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.
I'm sorry this came so late, it looks like I might not be as good at keeping this going as I was hoping but it is a new week and you might just get two more updates on this book before the end of the week. Again I ask if you my readers think that this post is too long?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday 1

Today I am thankful that:
1. ballet has gotten started back up. I missed it and this year i am taking a second conditioning class. this means I will be in dance class from 5:00-7:30 any of my crazy fit persons have any suggestions for how to keep my body from rebelling for that 2 1/2 hour intensive exercise?

2. My Husband, Yes I am always thankful for my husband, the thing is that just about every week he reminds me why I married him or makes me wonder why he married me. I don't know how he puts up with my crazy, he is a God send. and Guess what... it'll be 1 year on Sunday! Crazy huh?

Now, Our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Neverending Story 1: Beginnings

To start off: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Copywrite 1979 in Germany-Die Unendliche Geschichte.

In the introduction we meet three characterless Bastian Balfizar Bux who is this story is about, Mr. Carl Conrad Coreander the grumpy old shop keeper, and the Neverending Story.

It will become clear as we continue through the story how the book is a character but what we want to focus on Bastian. we meet Bastian as he bursts into Mr. Coreanders shop because he was running from some bullies. it is very clear that Bastian is the kind of boy who would be the target of school yard bullies. He is fat, weakling, a scaredy cat, and ridiculed by his teachers. So this 9 to 12year old has no where to hide form those who ridicule him . his mother is dead and his father is detached form the world by his own grief.

Bastian's only refuge is books. books are his passion, he makes his own stories, with is own words and names. the world finds little value in him and he can't help but agree that he is a coward, and quite possibly a simpleton.  it only makes sense that Bastian would find refuge form his tormentors in Mr. Coreander's shop.

See Mr. Coreander's Shop is an oasis surrounded by a grey noisy world. Here there is silence and books, mountains of books. books are the entry points to other worlds,  So the book shop is a a magical borderland place. the smoke from Mr. Coreander's pipe wafts around the books like smoke signals. here Mr. Coriander is unaffected by the changes of the world outside. his primary concern is the books he is the keeper of. You can see this in his view of children, they are loud and most of all they destroy books with their jammy hands.

But there is magic  in the book shop, as there always is in those places between what we will call the real realm and the realm of imagination. this magic is a magic that can only be felt by those who share Bastian's passion for books and stories. Bastian burst into the book store, and he is drawn to a very special book. To magic calls him and he knows that the book belongs to him.

...Bastian knew he couldn't leave without the book. it was clear to him that he had only come to the shop because of this book. it had called him in some mysterious way, because it wanted to be his, because it had some how always belonged to him...

This is the first time the book is given attributes, but make no mistake this is a magic book and it is calling  for Bastian. it is like a Grimoire or and Artifact form some other place or time, completely other worldly. and just like any mystical artifact it seeks after the one who can use it.

But back to Bastian. He takes the book and runs out of the shop and into the real world. this is Bastian's wilderness. it is antagonistic towards him. now outside the safety of the book shop all his arguments seem to melt away, he is a thief, he can't go home what if the police come after him. with only his feet guiding him bastion finds himself at the school. he is very late so there is no one around and this gives him the idea for where he can sit and have his adventure with the book, the forgotten attic.

Now that is my name for it, it is just simply called the attic but is the place in the school where all things broken and out of date have been put to forget about. it is above the rest of the school and it has became a mystical boarder land place just like the book shop.

Bastian has begun his journey, he even already knows the book is connected to him even though he doesn't understand what that connection is. we will leave Bastian here today with this quote fro the text:

"I wonder,' he said to himself, "What's in a book while it's closed. Oh, I know it's full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as i open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventures and deeds and battles. and sometimes there are storms at sea, or it take you to strange cities and countries.  all those things are somehow shut up in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. but it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be."
Quick questions, how do you the reader feel about the length? I couldn't decide if it was too long on not for a single post, if you think it is too long let me know and I will change in the future so that it is two posts on a day instead of just one. Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Out of the Note Book

I know I said I was going to talk about my what is coming from my art desk but right now I think I need to work on my writing and so this post is a mixture of an update on my writing and of me thinking though how to get to my goals for the year. My goal is that next January I will be looking for an agent. I have three pieces that I have been working on that I think I can finish if I work hard enough on them. Writing goals for this year. I want to get my three pieces done this year. Here is my to do list:

Book one: Alchemist Daughter
Write first draft,
Send off to Alpha readers
write second Draft
Send off to beta readers
Writer third Draft
Last send to readers
Final draft

Book two: Ashes and Snow-
Finish act 2 write
outline Act 3
write act 3
write first draft
send to Alpha readers
write second draft
send to Beta readers
write third Draft
last group of writers
final draft

Book three: Rescue-
Finish act 1
outline act 2
write act 2
outline act 3
write act 3
write first draft
send to alpha readers
write second draft
send to beta readers
write third draft
last send out
final draft.

Quick note the pictures are Images that I found to kind of give an feel for the story. If I was a better and quicker artist I would draw my own cover art any way.

I know that I can write 50,000 words in a month when I put my nose to the grind stone, and last November I did still have a life. So is it possible for me to write ~25,000 words a month? This of course would be about 300,000 words for the year. that is a lot of words. not as many as Scott Sigler is planing on writing this year (his goal is 1,000,000 words this year!), but he gets to be a full time writer. Now that works in one sense but I am wanting to do a lot of editing... and that is hard to judge by word count becomes sometimes during a successful editing session can leave you with less words then you started with. But I think I figured out during Nano that I could write about 1,000 words in an hour, so maybe I should just make it a goal of 25,000 words or 25 hours of editing or any mixture of the two which will add up to 25,000 words or 25 hours. Amy? Darcy? Liz? What do you think does that equivalent work? Oh and this doesn't count a project for Nanowrimo. I don't know am I crazy? eh let's see what happens come December. Okay thanks for hanging on though this long rambling post. I did the math and if I was to write or edit every day it would be 822 words a day or .822 hours a day. even though the year has already started I still think that would be less then 1,000 words or less then an hour of editing every day. crazy.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Canterbury Tales 6: the Wife of Bath's Tale

The next couple of weeks (at least) will be focused on the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I have listened to it in its entirety once and then when I was thinking about how to talk about them I decided to break it down into the individual tales and give a post of each one.  I am going to limit my self to one post per story because some of them are so full of interesting things that I could post for a month and still have more to explore. 

Bold was her face, and fair and red of hue.
She was a worthy woman all her live,
Husbands at the church door had she had five,
Withouten other company in youth;
But thereof needeth not to speak as nouth now
And thrice had she been at Jerusalem;
She hadde passed many a strange stream
At Rome she had been, and at Bologne,
In Galice at Saint James, and at Cologne;
She coude* much of wand'rng by the Way. knew
Gat-toothed was she, soothly for to say. Buck-toothed

So before I do my hundred word Summary of this one I want to talk about the Wife of Bath's prologue. this is the most confusing part of her story. her prologue is longer then her story. She establishes her self as an authority on marriage because she has been married five times, and she says quite frankly that she welcomes the sixth when ere he comes. now on the one hand I like this women she basically says you know what I like having sex, and I don't see why I shouldn't marry again. over and over I was surprised by how many references she made to antiquity. And I thought look here is a women who is well read... only to find out that she miss quotes the people and books she claims to be quoting which makes me sad.

apparently her prologue follows the style of a medieval genre of allegorical Confession. in this confession she admits and proudly defends that she is what the church at that time would call a wicked women. From the start she puts herself in conflict with the patriarchal society. Often, because of this,  people look to this story as one of the first Feminist Stories but the problem with that is that the wife of Bath also confirms a number of the anti-marriage stereotypes, thus actually supporting the male dominant society.

one other thing about her prologue is that The Wife of Bath constantly calls attention to the fact that she is a habitual liar. So how can we trust anything that she has said in her prologue? In the end how much of her experiences should we believe? or was it all a performance?


Once there was a knight who raped a maiden and the Queen. she sent him out to find out what women want. He searched and found an old hag who gave him the answer he needed for a price, when she saved his life he had to marry her, which he did. however on their wedding night he couldn't bring himself to do his duty. Because she was so old and ugly. she gave him the choice. either she would be old and loyal, or young and flirtatious. He gave her the choice and she became both young and devoted.

SO you ask what is it that women want? The sovereignty. All worldly women most desire to have the sovereignty in their marriage. It makes sense in light of Genesis where it says your desire will be for your husband but he will rule over you. Also it makes sense in the light of the battle of the sexes which is always being pointed out to us. I'm just going to put this one up for discussion, is that what women want? is that what you want?  I see my marriage as a partnership. we have different roles to play but my husband doesn't rule over me nor do I rule over him. but I am curious, readers what do you think?

the part of this story that I really liked was when the Fairy talks about how the age is a great protection for a man against becoming a cuckold- by the way an other awesome word, it is great word. she tells him 'oh you don't like me as an old women? are you not afraid to become a cuckold?' here we talk about the value of looks and the value of age. An old women has learned from experience, she now knows why she shouldn't be running around like a cat in heat. a young and beautiful women has many admirers, she is tempted and doesn't have the experiences to tell her why she shouldn't play around on her husband. it is like the fairy says 'look I can be what you want, I'll be pretty. You and your house will suffer because if you force me to become what you want I will act out, I will play in other men's beds. but if you are willing to accept me for who I am then I you will never have any worries.'

What is interesting is that he decided to learn from his lesson. he took a girl against her will and was in danger of death had it not been for this fairy, so he says,'well why don't you decide what is best.' giving her the sovereignty. knowing that he will not be a man to chase other women's skirts, that he is hers she then says, 'I will be to you both.' Because it is her choice. and then they lived happily ever after.

It is interesting to think about the association of age and youth. the miller's tale told us about the dangers of having a wife who is very young when compared to her husband, and there will be another tale that is similar.   I wonder if it is simply a difference of experiences, the young don't want to believe that some experiences are not good and instead they believe the old are trying to steal some thing good from them. it is something to ponder. -I don't know maybe I am just rambling. But anyway I will leave you with the last lines from this story:

"And may Christ Jesus send us husbands meek and young and fresh abed. And then the grace to outlive those we wed; I also pray that Jesus shorten lives of those who won't be governed by their wives. As for old niggards angered by expense, God send them soon a mighty pestilence!"