Tag Archives: Fantasy

Random Writing Challenge

I drew this picture the other day, and thought it was good enough to share:

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And then I had an idea:

What if I posted it, and then had all you writer’s out there write a story about it?

So I thought I would open it up to all writer’s who follow me to write a short story about it.  The only limit is that it has to be short enough to comment.  You can write a one- or two-paragraph story (probably with a simple plot line, and not a lot of detail); or you can write a paragraph or so that would fit into a longer story, in which you could be more wordy (and most likely need less time to think 🙂 ).  Anyone interested?

Since I don’t know how to scan drawings, I just took a picture of this one with my camera.  The beauty of that is that you can easily get close-ups, so I decided to share some of the details with you all:

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I didn’t really like how the princess’s nose turned out, but I knew you guys deserve to see her face, since she’s the main thing in the picture! 🙂

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On the other hand, I loved how her dress turned out.  (Lavender is my favorite color!)

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The dragon is modeled after a Halloween decoration at Menard’s.  I wish I was kidding–we don’t even celebrate Halloween!  I just couldn’t decide if I should make it green or red, when that black and orange blow-up dragon came to mind; which led to this.

Oh! and I made the knight’s crest purple to match the princess’s dress, but if you don’t want them to be connected, be free!

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And there isn’t much of a story behind the tree–that’s up to you guys.  It was inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.

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Well, anyone feeling inspired?  No pressure, of course; and if it takes you several days to think of anything, all I can say is: it would have taken me longer–trust me!

I’ll probably post some or all of the stories I get in another post, if I get a lot of them!

Have fun!

May Book Reviews: Judge

So. . . I just kinda’ launched into May without thinking about it, and then realized I never officially made ‘book reviews’ a permanent thing.  I thought that after the third month I’d ask if you guys wanted to make it permanent.  But I’m out of patience, so what do you say to doing them every month until further notice?

You can read a review of Prophet by R.J. Larson here.  I came across it a while ago while digging through Leah’s ‘fantasy’ tag.  Looking back at it now, I feel like there’s a lot that could be said about that book, but reviews can only be so long and it was enough to get me interested.  Leah mentioned later that the Kindle version was free (I also read Waltz Into the Waves because of Kindle’s free, Leah-recommended version), and Spencer got it (because I’m pretty much helpless around computer, Kindles, and all electronics).  And I loved it!

My reader Savannah recently let me borrow her copy of Prophet‘s sequel, Judge.

“Not that I’m questioning matters, but isn’t this Ela of Parne’s role?  She’s the prophet and messenger. . . or have you turned prophet as well?”  “I hope not.” (19)

I felt like the romance was more of a drag than in Prophet, and there was one part that I felt was un-creatively close to a Bible-story; and it does cover some pretty adult-level topics, so I would definitely recommend children seeking parental guidance.  I also did not feel like the author resolved some of these tough situations very well–just pulled the main characters out and moved on.

But over-all I really enjoyed it, and found it spiritually encouraging.  I think it helped me grasp more of God’s character, and it also challenged me to make Him the center of my life.

As well as for the other Parnians who were rushing up to the wall walk, against her warnings, brandishing their swords and bows and arrows.  Infinite?  Why won’t they listen?! (187)

March Book Reviews: “The Princess and the Goblin”

I am going to try to post a book review every Thursday in March.  I’m not ready to get a real schedule going, but I thought I’d try it for a month.  It shouldn’t be too hard, as I love to read and I love to write, and book reviews are a combination of the two!  Once again, I’ll probably fudge a little if I miss a day… or I might skip, ’cause you guys won’t be on cliff-hangers! 🙂

I read this review of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald and thought it sounded interesting.  I told my mom about it and stated I would like to read it.  She had never read it, but she had heard of it, and said I could check it out from the library.

This book has good morals, but is also humorous and I really liked the beginning.  Somewhere in the middle of it I got pretty “weirded-out” and decided it was not my style.  By the end, though, I had decided I liked it again #inconsistency

To make a long story short: I liked it, but the fact that there was a pretty-much allegorical God-figure without it really being an allegory–And that that figure was a woman–and that she was biological related to Irene, but not to everyone in the story, was hard to get used to.

ANYWAY–This is a story about a princess who was sent to the country to be raised.  She lives in a house in the mountains, and is looked after by her nurse.

“Why, where can you have been, princess?” asked the nurse, taking her in her arms.  “It’s very unkind of you to hide away so long.  I began to be afraid–”  Here she checked herself.  “What were you afraid of, nursie?” asked the princess.  “Never mind,” she answered.  “Perhaps I will tell you another day.  Now tell me where you have been?” (24)

The people bringing her up are forbidden to tell the princess about the existence of the goblins that live in the caverns beneath the mountains.  These goblins only come out at night, when they love to make mischief.  So the people, naturally, stay inside after dark–except a few: some of the miners, who do not fear the goblins because they know what the goblins cannot stand–singing.

At all events, those who were most afraid of them were those who could neither make verses themselves, nor remember the verses that other people made for them; while those who were never afraid were those who could make verses for themselves; for although there were certain old rhymes which were very effectual, yet it was well known that a new rhyme. if of the right sort, was even more distasteful to them, and therefore more effectual in putting them to flight. (48)

Curdie Peterson happens to be one of those who can make up verses on the spot, and truly is never afraid, even when a strange turn of events places him in the kingdom of the goblins themselves (where his songs are less heeded) thanks to another goblin-weakness he discovers.

Princess Irene, in my first quote, happened to be up in the attic where she had gone exploring and gotten lost.  She meets someone who happens to be up there, but I am not going into all that right now… but I will tell you it is the beginning of the princess’s many, many trips to the attic.

Irene and Curdie meet quite by mistake, and that chance meeting is the beginning of several adventures they have together–not always on the best of terms: The princess’s nurse does not approve of Curdie; nor does Curdie approve of Irene’s stories of a thread that she follows that will always lead her to safety, which he himself cannot see or feel.

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I enjoyed this book, though all the ‘magic’ was handled very mysteriously, without the reader ever being given a clear explanation, which bothered me.  It was more of a quiet, innocent story than what I have been reading lately, and both main characters were younger than me.  But there were still some goblin parts that were downright nasty.

They had enough of affection left for each other, to preserve them from being absolutely cruel for cruelty’s sake… (12)

I believe this statement to be contradicted strongly by all goblin-appearances in the rest of the book!

Neither Irene or Curdie had siblings, but I loved their relationships with their parents: Irene did not live with her parents, but her father would come and visit her (I do not think her mother was still alive) and she would go running out and get on his horse with him before he even got off–it was so sweet!!!  Curdie did live with his parents, and their love for each other was amazing!  They were always working for each other and helping each other; and Curdie was very respectful, which is rather hard to find these days.

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In the review I linked to above, Miss Ruth said:

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien read George MacDonald’s books, and the Chronicles of Narnia and the Hobbit were both influenced by his writings. Thus, however indirectly, many of the fantasy books you read today are influenced by “the Princess and the Goblin”.

So I, of course, began looking for similarities.  I did not think they had a lot in common, but I found three things that reminded me of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work:

1) The goblins in Mr. MacDonald’s book have no toes (weird, weird, I know–bear with me) which might have something to do with the toeless troll in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

2) Shelob and the giant spiders in Mirkwood might have been inspired by this reference to extraordinary, if not large, spiders:

It is spider-webs–of a particular kind.  My pigeons bring it to me from over the great sea.  There is only one forest where the spiders live who make this particular kind–the finest and strongest of any. (78)

3) These quotes do not need much explanation!

“Then you’re leaving the story unfinished, Mr. Author!”  “Not more unfinished than it ought to be, I hope.  If you ever knew a story finished, all I can say is, I  never did.  Somehow, stories won’t finish. (203)

The Princess and the Goblin

‘Why, to think of it, we’re in the same tale still!  It’s going on.  Don’t the great tales never end?’  ‘No, they never end as tales.’ (697)

The Two Towers

There is still the whole those-were-good-but-these-were-bad problem, but that has little to do with inspiration.

The only that reminded me of C.S. Lewis’s books was the unexplained-magic (^see above^).

Over-all I liked this book, and it was fun to read–which I did in one day! 🙂

“But I must confess that I have sometimes been afraid about my children–sometimes about you, Irene.”  “Oh, I’m so sorry… To-night, I suppose you mean.”  “Yes, a little to-night; but a good deal when you had all but made up your mind that I was a dream. (105)

 

Do you think my book reports are too l-o-n-g???

Happy Thursday!

P.S. If you feel a little out-Middle-Earth-ed by my last two book reviews, so does everybody else whose ever talked to me.  Don’t read my blog if that bothers you.

Daughter of the King

“But, Mr. Author, why do you always write about princesses?”  “Because every little girl is a princess.”  “You will make them vain if you tell them that.”  “Not if they understand what I mean.”  “Then what do you mean?”  “What do you mean by a princess?”  “The daughter of a king.”  “Very well, then every little girl is a princess, and there would be no need to say anything about it, except that she is always in danger of forgetting her rank, and behaving as she had grown out of the mud.  I have seen little princesses behave like the children of thieves and lying beggars, and that is why they need to be told they are princesses.” (9)

The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald

And yes, I’m hoping to do a book review of this, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Sorry.

Happy Wednesday!!! 🙂

Prudence

“Then you would have us retreat to Minas Tirith, or Dol Amroth, or to Dunharrow, and there sit like children on sand-castles when the tide is flowing?” said Imrahil.  “That would be no new counsel… But no!  I said this would be prudent.  I do not counsel prudence (860).

-“The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien

“To fly would only be to obey the dictates of vulgar prudence.  But we did not come here to be prudent (116).

-“Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne

(emphasis mine both times)

 

Note: “The Lord of the Rings” contains three of my favorite books ever written, but I would not necessarily recommend “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.  It was just alright, and there were a couple reference to evolution.  I honestly enjoyed the movie more, which is rare for me!

See you tomorrow!!!!! 🙂

Forever Right

“…Once I heard His voice, I could not endure the thought of living without it.”  The king leaned forward.  “Now you truly interest us.  How do you know it is the Infinite [allegorical God-figure] who speaks?”  Did Tek An believe she was deluded?  Most likely.  “I know the Infinite’s voice because He tells me everything I don’t want to know, sends me where I don’t want to go, and asks me to fulfill tasks I consider impossible.  Above all, He is forever right” (101).

-“Prophet” by R. J. Larson

With You

“…It’s so much more friendly with two.”

-Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne, page 132

People weren’t made to be by themselves.  They need each other.  Sometimes Life gives you lemons, and we weren’t made to carry so much fruit alone.

Kristoff tried to get out of helping Anna–but she never would have made it without him.

Elsa tried to shut Anna out–but if Anna hadn’t pursued, Elsa would have been killed.

Inigo couldn’t have gotten through the Zoo of Death without Fezzik, and Fezzik couldn’t have made it without Inigo.

And neither of them would have made it into the castle without Westley–but Westley would not have gotten into the castle without them.

The dwarves didn’t want to bring Bilbo at first–but they never would have succeeded without him.

Thorin didn’t want to give Bard gold to help the people of Esgaroth–but Thorin would not have gotten the treasure back without Bard anyway.

Frodo tried to leave Sam–but he never would have made it without him.

Sam almost convinced Frodo not to trust Strider–but they never would have gotten there without him.

First Frodo, then Elrond almost succeeded in sending Merry and Pippin home–but if they hadn’t come Denethor would have killed Faramir and the Witchking would have killed Eowyn.

“Thorin and Co.” would never have gotten inside the Lonely Mountain without Elrond, and the hobbits wouldn’t even have gotten to Bree without Tom Bombadil.

Naomi tried to leave Ruth–but I don’t know how she would have managed without her, and I don’t think Ruth would have gotten so far without Boaz.

Joseph tried to leave Mary–and I don’t think she would have made it alone.

God created Eve the same day he created Adam.  People need people.  We can’t do this alone.  We just can’t.

I need you guys!

Blessings and Stories: “Going on an Adventure!”

Exciting title, huh?  🙂 Things have been crazy around here with China coming up in two days!  (I can’t believe it!)  But there is still a serious lack of packing going on over here.  We are last minute packers for sure!  This post is an entry I made in my notebook this May.  (By the way- all posts that start with “Blessings and Stories” are going to be from that notebook.)

Recently, in our series about the book “Live Ten” by Terry A. Smith, our pastor talked about adventure (I’m not sure if that was his name for it or not).

In “Live Ten”, Mr. Smith said he once knew a pastor who lad a very quiet life, and once actually told Mr. Smith that he had asked God for this peaceful lifestyle: simply saying he wanted to live a quiet life and not suffer too much–and God had given him just that.  Think of what he could have missed!

Pastor Matthew (our pastor) used a story from “The Hobbit”: Bilbo Baggins is sitting outside.  Earlier in the book, you get this description of Bilbo’s family:

“The Bagginses have lived in the neighborhood of the Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him.” (11)

Bilbo was sitting outside, when Gandalf comes by and they strike up a conversation.  Gandalf at last explains that he is looking for someone to take on an adventure and is having trouble finding anybody.  Bilbo’s answer is simple:

“I should think so–in these parts!  We are plain quiet folk and have no need for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things!  Make you late for dinner!  I can’t think what anybody sees in in them.” (14)

After some more conversing, Gandalf right out announces that he is bringing Bilbo.  Bilbo makes it quite clear that he’s not interested and “scuttles” (15) inside.

“Gandalf in the meantime was standing outside the door, and laughing long but quietly.  After a while he stepped up, and with the spike on his staff scratched a queer sign on [Bilbo’s]… beautiful green front-door.  Then he strode away, just away, just about the time when Bilbo was… beginning to think he had escaped adventures very well.” (15)

But anyone who is familiar with the story will already know he had not at all.  And, as Pastor Matthew put it, “We’re glad he went, because it makes a good story.” (Paraphrased)  I mean, think about it: that would be a pretty boring story!

But it’s not easy!  (Though adventures generally aren’t!)  But not one place in the book did I ever find Bilbo say after he got home, “I wish I hadn’t gone.”

The Christian life is hard, but it’s worth it–SO worth it!

Katie Davis, a missionary to Uganda, said in her book “Kisses from Katie”: “I view nothing as a sacrifice in light of eternity with Christ.”

I too, find myself hoping that I can go on living peacefully in the suburbs of Nebraska, and have nothing horrific or tragic happen to me.

BUT–when I really  think about it, I don’t want to be the one in heaven standing next to martyrs and saying:

“I lived a nice quiet life, in a nice quiet neighborhood, and sometimes told my neighbors ‘Jesus loves you’ and only left my country once for a vacation.”

Jesus, I want to give you my ALL!  Take me on an ADVENTURE!!!

“But what was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.   I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”  -Philippians 3:7,8