Friday, March 30, 2012

Calling all wantta be writers

So my causin Manda has been doing this thing lately where she sets a goal for 90 days. I have decided to do a 90 day challenge as well for my writing and I would like to ask all my wrist friends to join me. Let's face it most new year resolutions have been left at the weigh side. We got a lot done during nanowrimo but now the the momentum may have whained. So here is my though think about what goal you want to achieve over the next 90 days. It can be a word count daily goal or a total goal. It could be editin that novel that you really need to polish or outlining a fun new idea or massive anoints of world building or any combination or anything that I haven't thought of yet.

Now I was going to think up rules and stuff, but I am just plan lazy. So if you want to join me on the 90 day challenge running from April 2 to June 30 Leave a comment on this post saying what you are going to challenge yourself to do and then post something about it on your own space be that facebook, blogger, twitter, what ever, preferably before April 2 but hey it's not like I gave you a lot of time to think about it so if you join late no worries. I will be (hopefully) updating here once a week on this. If you want grab the pic and put it on your blog. Let us have fun and get some work done at the same time. Are you game?

Oh right I should probably put out my goal it has three parts:
1. Finish writing first draft of Ashes and Snow (at least 60,000 words)
2. Finish outlining the Rescue
3. Start working on the Second Draft of Alchemist's Daughter

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From the Art Desk March Edition 2012

Okay I am supper excited. I drew today for the first time this year.  See I've been having this problem with how the office is set up. but today at work while listening to The History of Rome Podcast I started to think about the history of one of my novels, The Alchemist's Daughter. (secret a lot of the history of this world is based off of things that I have learned on this podcast seriously give it a listen Mike Duncan is informative and entertaining.) then I thought well I should really make a map first. I mean so much of history and culture are reflections of the environment the people live in. And the cultures of the 6 human races are defined by their location: the mountain people, the islanders, the low lander, the desert dwellers...okay so four out of the six. anyway sense it was towards the end of the day I knew there was a good chance I could hold on to the inspiration till I go home and could sit at my desk. and it did My board now looks like this:
So here is the thing. I like to clear my board and have only one project going at a time on it. I find it gives me a cleansed mind and I can focus more. Plus the paper I was using for these studies-because as of now that is all any of these are- is very cheep and unforgiving. when I say unforgiving I mean that it doesn't erase well. you can erase a line maybe two times before you start having paper come up with the lead on your eraser. that is why I would get to a place and then move on to another sheet. now lets have some fun and talk about each of these studies. 

 This is the first one. and you can really see that I massively used the concepts behind the Americas, Europe and Africa. Eh you gotta start somewhere. but this let me think about what the land needed to look like for the people migration that I already know happened in this world's history. Just so you know the books that i will be writing about in this world all take place in the western continent-at least as of right now-Duelvia
 Here things start taking on a bit of a better shape. My focus while drawing this one was to get Dunelvia fleshed out a bit. sense this is where the stories take place It was good to get that more figured out. Plus I got to play with some shapes that I liked seeing in the first one. For example the Angry Cat Gulf is here to stay. I also played with the shape of the southern continent in hopes to get it to look less like Africa. the other big change is the northern peninsula stretching over the islands. See that is where the norther mountains are which are called both the mountain finger and the edge of the world.
 This one was about playing with the positioning of the land masses. You can see where Carth is, it is was at one point the capital of the known world, this was before Dunelvia was discovered. So I had to think about the invasions that happened to bring about the destruction of the Carthian Empire. all in all this drawing was mostly a stepping stone to get where I would get in the next sketch.
Now there are a lot of things I love about this one. First the size is appropriate. Dunelvia (which is spelled differently in the drawings and really I am too lazy to look up in my manuscript what the spelling actually is so  yeah) is smaller, though when i start to write the history of the fey peoples I may wish I had given it more character. The Lowlands look less like Europe and the southern continent has lost its African look. the area I really was focused on in this one was the Islands. I wanted them to look like they were a unit and I also got to add something fun. you see the little circle? That is underwater during the high tides. I'm still not completely happy with how the mountain peninsula looks but it was getting late and I think what got done tonight was something to be proud of.

So there you have it. I'm drawing again! Hopefully next month not only will I have more of this done but also be back to working on the Icon regularly!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Got Green Blog Hop part two

So I tried really hard but I just couldn't get this section down to the 333 words. By the way if you haven't been to part one, then please read that before you read this. and I may have been a very bad writer for introducing so many characters in this part.

Ira's office was tucked between two other businesses on main. He was a paranormal detective. Inside his assistant Clarissa Indigo was at her desk dressed in green. Clarissa always followed holiday traditions particularly after that nasty business on Christmas eve. “I'm so glad your here.” Valentine dumped out the contents of her bag on the desk.

“Well you know me not much of a life outside of demon hunting, What is this?” Clarissa picked up the stone.

“A blarney stone,” said Ira as he stepped into the room he glanced at the other objects, “been visited by a leprechaun lately”

“Yeah he said I have to....”

“Chase the serpent back to it's prison. “A strange women with an Irish accent came in. or at least she looked like a women.

A cup shattered. Darcy had come in from his apartment upstairs, “B.b..b..ban ..n..nnnshshshshsheeeeee.”

“Yes yes,” the women waved him off, “let us move on." She came up to the desk," look I have a deal with the leprechauns, none of us want the serpent back so they select the person I tell the person what to do and how to find the serpent.”

"Okay so what do she do?" asked Ira

The banshee smiled an evil smile. her pointed teeth lined up perfectly, “You chant and play the drum.”

Valentine came to a stop. She had been walking most the afternoon following the blarny stone. It was a weird guide, getting warmer in some directions and cooler in others. Ira was with her only a few steps behind. Supposedly only Valentine would be able to see the serpent but he insisted on coming as back up. 

“Oh hell.” He said. they were at the steps of St. Micheal's Monastery. “You've got to be kidding me.”

Valentine felt the blarney stone get hotter, so hot she dropped it. It melted the snow around it. There was a strange sound on a breeze. Ira readied his crossbow. Then Valentine saw it, the huge serpent, it was slithering around the monastery's foundation. It looked translucent like a specter. Valentine started to beat the drum and chanted, “I bind unto myself today the strong name of trinity by invocation of the same the three in one and one in three.” She beat the drum steadily. But the serpent didn't seem to notice her at first. She kept chanting and beating the drum, The serpent became corporeal, and it lashed out at her. Valentine shrieked “Christ have mercy!” in Polish, which was her first language, and beat the drum. Suddenly something yanked the serpent back and it was gone.

“Woohoo!” Yelled a little Irish voice. The leprechaun from before was standing there applauding her, “you go Lassy!”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Got Green Blog Hop Part one

I got permission to do this in two parts so I could write more then 333 words. For the skinny on this blog hop go to Mark's Blog. Couple of things 1.  I don't write accents well so instead of trying to phonetically write out how people talk I just say they have an accent. 2 this is your first entrance into my Slayer Tales, there is a whole huge thing that I hopefully will be publishing here starting the day after thanks giving. that is assuming I get it finished by then. enjoy

Valentine woke form a fitful dream, it was about some kind of snake and a drum. It was weird, she turned on the light and then something strange happened; a rainbow came through her window and left hind a short little man dressed in green. “greetings!” He said in a thick Irish accent.
“Um, hello.”
“I'm sorry to drop in on ya lass, but we need your help. I'm sure you know what tomorrow is.”
“St. Patrick's Day”
“Aye and every year on St. Patrick's day someone must chase the Serpent back to it's prison.”
“Don't tell me you don't know about how St. Patrick chased the Serpent out of Ireland.”
“I thought that was a myth.”
The little man shook his head, “I thought you'd know better then that. I mean surely you understand that I am a leprechaun right?" He climbed up on a chair in the room, "Look lass every year the Serpent tries to come back from the prison St. Patrick banished it to. This year it's going to try and come back here.”
“Okay, but why me? Why not Piper? She's the Slayer around here, this is kind of her thing.”
“You're a good catholic and you believe in the saints.”
“But there is lots of Catholics around here, some of them are even Irish...”
“But their not charmed!” His voice was raised in frustration, only a charmed can use the drum, and only a charmed can even see the serpent. “It has to be you!” The grandfather clock chimed midnight. “Oh goodness me I gotta go good luck.”

When Valentine woke the next morning she thought it had all been a dream till she found three things on the chair, a stone, a drum and a shamrock. She hurried to dress and throwing the items in her bag she hurried down the stairs. “Mama I'm going to Ira's office.” She called as she ran out the house.
“Be home for dinner!” Her mother called after her. Continue to part two

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: Pray of St Patrick

-I want to do something different for lent. It is an important time of the year, I am not Sure what all I will post here on Thursday, but hopefully it will be in line with the mod of the season.-

The Prayer of St. Patrick also called St. Patrick's Breastplate. This is one of my favorite prayers, I often pray it on my way into work while I go through my rosary. I find it centering, and comforting. I love the poetry of this prayer.

The Cross
I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father Spirit Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord

The invitatory
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.
Chris beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

The Cruciforms (this part is repeated between each of the weeks)
I Bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in three.

The Weeks
1. I bind this day to me for ever, by the power of Faith, Christ's Incarnation;
2. His baptism in Jordan river;
3. His death on cross for my salvation;
4. His bursting form the spiced tomb;
5. His riding up the heavenly way;
6. His coming in the day of doom;
7. I bind unto myself today

1. I bind unto my self today the power of the great love of cherubim
2. The sweet well done in judgement hour
3. The service of the seraphim
4. The confessors' faith The Apostle's word
5. The Patriarchs' Prayers, the Prophets' scrolls
6. All Good deeds done unto the lord
7. And the purity of virgin souls

1. I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven
2. The Glorious sun's life-giving ray
3. The whiteness of the moon at even
4. The flashing of the lighting free
5. The whirling wind's tempestuous socks
6. The Stable Earth the deep salt sea
7. All around the old eternal rocks

1. I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead
2. His eye to watch, his might to stay
3. His ear to hearken to my need.
4. The wisdom of my God to teach
5. His hand to guide, His shield to teach
6 The word of God to give me speech,
7. His heavenly Host to be my guard

1. Against the demon snares of sin
2. the vice that gives temptation force,
3. The natural lust that war within
4. The Hostile men that mar my Course
5. Or few or many, Far or nigh
6. In every Place and in all hours
7. Against their fierce hostility I bind to me these holy powers

1. Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
2. Against false words of heresy
3. Against the knowledge that defiles
4. Against the heart's idolatry, Against the wizard's evil craft
5. Against the death wound and the burning
6. The Choking wave the poisoned shaft
7. Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning

Next the Our Father (Lord's Prayer) followed by: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and will be world without end AMEN.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

String of Consciousness Part Four: Postmodernism

So here is the thing. The use of alchemy in literature is a pre modern one. Shakespeare uses it Chaucer uses it, in fact it is almost a medieval technique. And they were using it to combat nominalism. Which divided an object from it's nature, or that names and ideas do not have any correspondence in reality. Alchemy is as John Granger puts it when he quotes Burckhardt's summary of Alchemy as “to make of the body a spirit and of the spirit a body.” this seems a perfectly good reaction to the nominalism which seeks to dived what we could call Platonic forms from a physical reality. And I can see how nominalism grew into Postmodernism considering that Deconstructionism is one of the most important parts of the forming of postmodernism. (quick note I have read very little of Derrida). So here is my question, are these current popular authors criticizing Postmodernism, or advocating it? As I listened to the conversation between Prinzi and Granger I was unsure if they themselves were advocates of postmodernism or not.

Now if the anti-nominalists used the Alchemical form of story telling to criticizes the nominalists does Rowling, Meyer, and Collins use it to criticizes Postmodernism? Those of course are the authors that Prinzi and Granger were discussing who uses literary alchemy. I think that they are saying that these authors are using the world view of postmodernism -at least the idea that those who are an the fringes of society are the real heroes- to give critic the world view. Now at this point I must admit that I haven't read Twilight or the Hunger Games. I tried to read Twilight but was pretty much not interested then as I read the cliff notes because everyone was reading it I pretty much joined the twilight is bad literature camp. I may read the Hunger Games some time in the near-ish future.

Modernism said that science tells us everything we need to know. Postmodernism tells us that the only thing we can know is what is scientifically verifiable, and anything else should be held in suspect because we can not know anything else. Postmodernism goes farther to say that everything we think we know is a meta narrative and all meta narratives are wrong. To the point were Granger pointed out that the only value in postmodernism is Tolerance. The worst thing someone can be called is one of the many ists in the world. (racist, Sexist, classist) to the point that as long as a mass murderer isn't prejudice then he is alright.

And yet as Prinzi points out in the conversation humanity still wants something that is true, good, and beautiful. And that is at least what Harry Potter does. The protagonists are those that society has over looked, the werewolf, the escaped prisoner, the Mudbloods, the Squibs, the house elves, the Centaurs. There is something subversive in the books against what the meta narrative of the Death Eaters and the Ministry of Magic.

However in all this mess they lost me. I think their final point on this was that Rowling and Meyer (at the time of this conversation the last book of the Hunger Games wasn't out yet) use the world view of the post modern to show that there is truth, good, and beauty in the world that is joined with reality and not separated from it. Or at least that is why these authors use alchemy. Which makes sense, I'm just not sure the logic of how this conversation went from a to b. Plus I've wondered at the concept of Harry potter as a postmodern fairy tale.

Like I said I really consider myself a medievalist in a lot of ways mostly because I see that as nominalism, modernism, postmodernism moved form one to the other they continued to move away from the understanding that we are both body and spirit. It reminds me of several things C.S. Lewis talks about in his book the Screwtape Letters. He tells wormwood to remember that his patient is both body and spirit, but he must keep the material always in the mind of the patient. Not to let him think about how the material effects his spirit. And to always keep real life or what is best to call real life before the patient's eyes. Oh and of course to keep him form questioning what real life is. I can see that this is what alchemy tries to defend against. Seeing our selves as purely material or purely spiritual (which would be the other extreme but not the extreme which is currently prevailing in culture)

however to wrap this back around to Harry Potter, Twilight, the Hunger Games I am a bit at a loss. Harry Potter in the Deathly Hollows is most definitely affirming non material truths. That we are indeed more then just material. Hunger Games talks much about the formation of Katniss's soul and her questioning of what it means for her to have a soul. If the Twilight series does this as well I guess I would need some one to show me how it does.

I don't know if this section of my consciousness makes any sense. But then that might be the fact that it is revolving around postmodernism which at it's heart doesn't want to be understood.  I hope my rambling sounds like something coherent. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

String of Consciousness Part Three: Work in Progress

Moving right along. Now that one string of yarn has been successfully untangled it is time to move one to a different thread. And that is how all this has been effecting the way I see and understand my own writing. My farthest along work in progress is called The Alchemist's Daughter. And right away the connection should be easy to see. Here I am writing a story that has an alchemist as the protagonists and I hear about this understanding of literature through alchemical symbols.

Let me take a moment to explain where the concept of this book idea came from and how it has grown. It started with inspiration which came from three distinct places: The Full Metal Alchemist, season four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Firefly. These were the three main ingredients put into the soup that would become (and is becoming) the Alchemist's Daughter. What followed was a class called Morality after Modernity taught by Dr. Thobaben, the dean of the school of Theology and Formation as Asbury Theological Seminary. The final project of this class was to write a fictional short story then a social critic of the story. It was the perfect opportunity for this story to begin to take shape into what I will now and forever call the story's seed. The story was then shaped by the social change from Modernity to Post-modernity. Last November this seed became the starting point for my Nanowrimo Novel. The world was fleshed out the characters grew and somewhere I started to wonder if there was more to this story then I had originally thought.

It was about that time that I came in contact with Reggie Gate's pod caste one episode talked about the Narnian Code a book (or rather two books and a DVD) which grew out of one man's thesis from Oxford. And this was where I was introduced to what Medieval Cosmology was. The concept is that there are seven planets that revolve around the earth: Mars, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. Each of these effect people on earth for they are not death lifeless planets but the homes of spirits, or possibly spirits themselves. Supposedly C.S. Lewis wrote each of the Narnian books according to one of the planets. It is actually an interesting subject and the Narnian Code is another book on my list of Nonfiction books I would like to read before the end of the year.

Quite frankly I loved this concept and not only has it been added to the cosmology and system of magic in The Alchemist's Daughter, also it is the foundation for another of my works the Utopian Chronicles, and it will probably play a large role in a top secret project known only by the code name “My Epic”.

But how does this connect back to the topic of this enormous stream of consciousness? Well first as I listened to Prinzi and Granger talk about Alchemy I quickly saw how I could easily incorporate these themes into my story which is already about an Alchemist. And second was a turn that I didn't expect. They began to talk about the use of alchemy in terms of the predominate philosophical world views of our time. The critic of modernism by post modernism, and how postmodernism may raise many good questions but it fails to give good answers. They began to talk about how Rowlin, Meyer, and Collins use the Alchemy to show the postmodernist that there is something good and beautiful in the world. How they get into the post modern worldview and critic it by saying that there is a narrative that is true.

Now I will talk about this more in a minuet but here I want to continue to unravel how this idea relates to my own writing. See I don't consider myself a postmodernist. I think the worldview is flawed. That is not to say I am a modernist, I think that worldview is also flawed. And each of my works reflect my thinking on the material and the Spiritual. It seems to me that Modernism divorced the two and postmodernism attempts to eradicate the spiritual. Alchemy is the harmonizing of of the material and the spiritual. And it is that harmony to which I aim for in my writing, or at lest the need for Harmony.

In The Alchemist's Daughter Magic is a reality but it has been outlawed. No matter what kind of magic user they are they are seen as enemies of the state. Sciences has concord magic. The whole story came from one line from the Full Metal Alchemist: “I don't have to follow your superstitions I am a man of science!” Listening to the conversation between Prinzi and Granger has possibly solved a problem I have been having with the idea of making this book into a series, a goal. Not to mention a changing of the structure.

Their talk is also influencing another of my projects Ashes and Snowflakes. This project grew out of my hatred of what Stephanie Meyer did to vampires making them into, well as Cordelia put it “care bears with fangs.” Listening to John Granger however pointed out that these book has at it's core an attempt to over throw and prove the meta narrative false. That being that humans and vampires can not co exist, however Nessi and the other half vampire prove that they can. Don't worry I haven't changed my mind on these books but wit this in mind I realized something about my own vampire story.

The idea that Vampires can be good takes them out of the realm of the spiritual and goes more along the idea that vampirism is a diseases rather then a spiritual condition. Ashes and Snowflakes is my attempt to reassert that vampirism is a spiritual condition. I can see how using the concepts behind literary alchemy can be helpful in telling that story.

Lastly I want to say something very briefly about how this might even be effecting “My Epic” though not much because really I want to say as little about this project as possible. As I listened to John Granger talk about how alchemy was every where and people were seeing it all over the place I started to think 'wouldn't it be fun to completely screw with this structure? Like make it look like it might be there but not really?” and I started to think of how this might work in my top secret project.

Monday, March 12, 2012

String of Consciousness Part Two Literary Alchemy

Okay, Lets begin with what is Alchemy. I will start by saying that in my current work in progress I am using alchemy as one of the forms of magic. This is not because I have studied actual alchemy but because I was highly influenced by a Japaneses amine called The Full Metal Alchemist. Generally alchemy is thought of as a primitive form of chemistry, more superstition and Head-ology then science. Prinzy and Granger have argued against this but I don't think I have quiet understood it well enough to put into words the entirety of their argument. How ever the gist of their argument is that Alchemy is founded in a reviled theology, and is more then superstition, it is more then science but a metaphysical understanding of body and soul changing. Personally I hope they each stop by and add their thoughts to the conversation.

Now how does alchemy come into literature? Through symbols. Lots of symbols. I'm still trying to work though what and how this actually works and what it looks like. A big thank you to John who was so kind to send me a link or two to a good summary of what literary alchemy is and how it is found in Harry Potter. The best thing to do would probably be to read his books which I plan to do the only problem is that they will have to join the back log of nonfiction books already on my list.

Anyway back to what literary alchemy is. (I will be using information from both the Hogwarts Professor and the Hog's Head Pub for most my information here.) Like I said symbols are the basis for it. These symbols can be best expressed in the four alchemical colors: black, white, red, and gold. Each color is representative of a stage of the alchemical process. It is a movement from the darkness to light, a purification when the dross is burned away and nothing remains but the purity of the gold. Or to barrow from one of the greatest Philosophers to ever live, it is moving form believing the figures cast on the cave wall are only shadows cast by the true reality. A movement towards perfection. As someone who was raised in a Wesleyan tradition this is very interesting sense Wesley saw the christian life as a life moving towards entire sanctification or the ability to be 'perfect' as our Father in heaven is perfect.

Each stage has a name The first is called nigredo where the black lead or impure metal is introduced. Towards the end of the stage the lead is crushed and we move on to the second stage. The second stage is called the albedo stage. Here the subject is cleaned and made spotless. We then move on to the rubedo where that which has been purified is now tested. Once the time of testing is over the subject emerges from the other side in the final stage the cirtinitas or the yellowing. It is the dawning of the light when the combination of body and soul is finished, whole and complete.

Any one who has been studying this more then I have (which I must admit has only been for about a week) is free to disagree with my simple one paragraph summary, after all that is the only way I am going to learn and understand this concept better how ever I must say in attempting to distill this down to one simple paragraph I think I can walk away with an understanding of what alchemy is, and its inherent beauty.

Also in looking at this I can see the heart of the christian tradition and revelation spelled out in a simple yet beautiful melody. We are born into sin (blackness) that sin must be atoned for by the cross. We are baptized (whiteness) and made clean. Yet that is not the end of the story. We must continue to live in this world where the kingdom of man is at war with the kingdom of heaven. Through life we are tested and tried and finally we die. (reddness) The serpent bites the heal, killing the victim, but its head is crushed as God calls his children home. (yellowing or goldness) Read the last letter in the Screwtape Laters for a beautiful description of the death of a saint.

And now I need another refill of my coffee cup.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

String of Consciousness part one

(yep this is a several parts of my rambling have fun;)

Normally today I would blog about what I am up to. You know post a day book which would give you an update on my life, some of my thoughts, share in my adventures through this thing called life. But this morning I woke with many thoughts bouncing around in my head. Bouncing so loudly that I could tell they all needed a chance to be heard. A chance to be followed before they were once again lost into the knotted mess they were. To understand this you should image a yarn stash, much like mine was last week. A mixture of lovely colors and fibers all jumbled together in one heap. Skeins so twisted up that they had to be wound into balls (sadly not cakes, yarn cakes are so easy to work with). Half started projects had to be frogged so the yarn could once again be wound together and carefully organized so that the next time I go to my stash I can easily find what yarn I want and start a new project. That is how my brain feels today. And there are so many topics that are all interwoven together that this may take some time, and probably several posts.

The first thing you should know is that I read a lot. Not only am I generally the kind of person who burns through books but I have a tendency to read more then one book at a time. Right now I have 8 books on my currently reading list over at good reads. But not only do I read a lot I also love literature. It is possible that my love of story was the seed that became my desire to write my own stories. But this love of literature also brought me to a place where I thought about what I read, I wanted to know why I liked something, why I didn't like something, and how did the story teller do it. This was spurred on when I started collecting classic literature books. You see when you go to Barnes and Noble and get any of their printings of classic books you also get essays written by people who spend their lives studying this author, this book. I love these essays the let me peek behind the curtain and see what it is that Jane Austen is doing. I love reading the book to enjoy the masterpiece of the magician but then I also want to search out the strings to find a deeper meaning behind what they are doing.

This has led me to four (so far) amazing and intelligent men. They each host a website where they talk about literature, specificity fantasy. Dr. Corey Olsen is a professor at Washington College he runs the Tolkien Professor website and pod cast where he talks about taking a close look at the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Then there is Travis Prenzi who runs the Hogshead website and pod cast where he talks about taking Harry Potter seriously, and John Granger who is the Hogwarts Professor and runs a website by the same name. Lastly there is Reggie Gates who hosts the pod cast All about C.S. Lewis. If you love fantasy you should take a look at these guys. Between the three of them they talk about it all.

Particularly Travis Prinzi and John Granger are the spark for this mulch-layered, multicolored, knot of yarn. This week I got to a conversation Travis and John did on Hog's Head Pubcast about Literary Alchemy. (part I, II and III) Now I am a sucker for anything about the underlining structures of a piece of art. In my mind the foundations and structures that hold up the artistic masterpiece are what allows it to be a masterpiece. This may come from watching my Dad, Grandfather, and Uncle build the foundation and walls that would be come my home. I know what work went into making that house the beautiful home that it was and still is. So when Travis said that they were going to be talking about this thing that I had heard and seen mention of when it comes to Harry Potter I was hooked.

However I was not prepared for what thoughts it would spark by the time I finished my second listen though and a brief searching for what literary Alchemy is. How much it would make me rethink the structure of my own current work in progress; about how postmodern, modern, and premodern all reached critic and inform each other; about the struggle between materialism and spiritualism; and how all of these play out in several currently read, enjoyed, rejected, criticized, and acclaimed works: Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and The Inheritance Cycle.

How is that for an introduction? The question with every knot is to figure out where to start. Imagine for a moment the way Bilbo sits for a moment at his writing desk contemplating where to start. I would start with a summary of what the conversation was about, but that would lead me on at least as many tangents as these two gentlemen go on in the conversation. Let me take a moment to refill my coffee cup and clear my thoughts.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

On the Needles March 2012 Edition

So I am having a hard time getting back into posting. Last week it took forever for me to post something. most of it is that i am just plan lazy. so I am afraid I am not going to take the time to show you pictures of what I am working on or what I have finished. Sorry. Maybe in April's Edition I will Take pictures of everything form this month, and what ever is need to be added for next months. -gee that sound pathetic. Oh well, here we go-->

This months topics are Cast On, Eureka!, Continuations, Grr, and Shiny

Cast on (new Projects): This Month I started
1. The hooded Sweatshirt from the book Knits Men Want: the 10 rules every women should know before knitting for a man, plus the only 10 patterns she'll ever need By Bruce Weinstein I love this book, the sweater is easy enough mostly stocking Stitch so it can be classified as what I've heard knitters call Potato Chip Knitting. I have finished off two skeins. This project is my main project.

2. I've Cast on another Pair of Cinderella Socks, but I haven't worked on them much lately.

3. Then I also cast on the Mandelbrot Hat but that is something for a different topic.

Eureka! (Finished Projects)
So the main thing here is that I cast on and Finished the Mandelbrot Hat in the same day. well I still need to put on a puff ball at the end. the only problem is that I still have yarn from that skein left so I don't know what else i will do with it. But it is finished and that was fun. Like I said on facebook I forgot how nice it is to knit a hat, they are simple yet they knit up really fast.

Continuations (former projects that are still on going)
1. well the first is a scarf/shawl typ thing that i just started knitting one day. I am using Sock yarn with Size 13 needles with a simple lace pattern knit 2 rows then K2tog yo to last stitch, K last stitch. It is my nightly knitting that I do a few rows on before i go to sleep.

2. Remember way back when I started playing with the idea of Designing? well I had at one point given up on the idea of a hair net, then I cam across a head band design that I liked and then added the lace netting. I started with size 8 needles then when i got to the lace netting I switched to larger needles. It is looking good it might actually work this time.

3. There is the Cartigan that I started a while back, but I haven't been working on it much lately.

GRR! (Frustrations)
So I have this yarn in my stash, there is quite a bit -it was given to me to make an afghan with- and I hate it. it is a self striping yarn that is all neutrals. the color combination is boring and Dull. I have no idea what to do with it. It's just so ugly!

Shiny (things I want)
well there is this great color way at Knit Picks that is amazing, it is called Chroma. the color combinations are amazing and the names are just as great. the thing is that compared to most of the yarn I buy it is a little prices. but I hope to get some soon, my plan is to make a Shawl for my Christmas trip.

Well that is all I have for now. Till next time. "Remember the next time someone makes fun of you for knitting in public just laugh it off, because after the Zombie Apocalypse you will have a useful skill and they will just be food." Ms. K.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday Week One of Lent

-I want to do something special for lent here at the drumbeat. I am going to post prayers form the ancient church-

Here is an ancient song of the church which is found in the Liturgy of St. James. we are using it this year as our opening hymn.