amreading

First Hardy Boys mystery tells of a not-so-distant past

The Tower Treasure

Released 1927

REVIEW. The first Hardy Boys mystery The Tower Treasure was in the words of your grandfather or great grandfather, who read the book when it came out all those years ago (almost one hundred years!), an “exciting page turner”. Continue reading “First Hardy Boys mystery tells of a not-so-distant past”

stories

“A serious misunderstanding of Tolkien’s intentions” says Bishop in response to critic’s malinging of The Return of the King

2004. I interviewed David Moxon (pictured above), the then Bishop of the Waikato (in New Zealand), about The Lord of the Rings movies that were released in the theatre. It seems quite timely to publish that interview in light of the latest ‘incarnation’ of the Lord of the Rings in the media. Here is David Moxon’s “review” of The Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson This is an unofficial review but an interview I had with him in 2004. Continue reading ““A serious misunderstanding of Tolkien’s intentions” says Bishop in response to critic’s malinging of The Return of the King”

notes--writing

Abandoning one project isn’t abandoning the ship

There is a difference between abandoning something and abandoning ship. Abandoning ship means whatever you were occupying is abandoned for ever. Abandoning something means you let go of part of the whole. I may have let go of a long cherished but burdensome project without abandoning ship. I will still write of course, but I won’t be writing a certain project that I really am unmotivated to write anymore. I guess one should be motivated to write a project, but when it becomes a burden, one loathes the thought of writing it. So, I think I should stick to those writing projects, in terms of fiction, that I really have a strong motivational investment in.

poetry

Cool view

A powerful force arrested him

And pushed him down the alley

Where he heard a clown

Speaking jests

I must have been so fooled by the sight

Like a vision made me see a whole other world, behind the wall

It blew my senses

Then, I was lost in my thoughts

Intrigue surrounded me

And I slowly felt my myself submitting to the sounds

Of my heart beating

To the rhythm of another unusual sight

Then, I saw this man standing there, this awkward looking guy

I kept going back to hear his ditty

It was kind of magnetizing me

I could not resist

He was so uncool

Then he showed me how cool he was, just for a moment

I was curious and wanted more.

I am his editor

notes--writing

Compelling choices for characters

In storytelling class, the lecturer may discuss the concept of compelling choice. For these lecturers, compelling choice is the pivot on which the plot turns in the classical story structure. The main character faces dilemmas at various points and has a choice between two or, even better, more choices of action, but the character chooses one way because the choice compels more than the other possibilities.

Real life is faced with such challenges as well at all sorts of levels. I wish that in real life we would always make the best choices, but in stories a character is a character with its own personality, beliefs and ways of doing things. It’s just that some choices compel the protagonist more than others. This is good material for the writer. The character can make authentic choices because one choice was more compelling that the other possibilities. In real life this can be as difficult as choosing the most unselfish course of action.

notes--writing

The stimulus of ideas

One idea can produce two ideas, but they both take a different slant, that’s the difference. For example, take this premise, as comedy for a Hollywood blockbuster that would get one star from the critics, depending on how well it was done, the potential to be a bomb.

A man spent ten years of his life around a lot of people and got so sick of them that he decided to isolate himself from people because he enjoyed the other half of his personality better and settles down with him, but his friend tries to get him back into socializing with people and to see the good side of humanity. In the end, he comes around to see the good side. That’s a silly comedy. But I can change the ending and the whole tone of the idea to sound like an arty drama. In the end the person stays away from people for the rest of his life and there is no seeing the good side. That’s a German drama. I would write neither.

notes--writing

Becoming the author – is one ready?

There’s always in the back of the mind of a writer of shorter material the time when he’ll be an author and gets the book contract. But does one really want to do that? The book signings, the author meet and greets, the interviews…the general busyness over your book? And does the writer really like reading books anyhow, the longer stuff that is? Can a writer be satisfied with the niche he already has and make the most of it, as much as possible? And not put all his eggs in the one writing basket?

notes--writing

Ideas notebook for all those invasive thoughts

There’s an easy way to file away ideas and thoughts. It’s not by filing ideas and thoughts for different genres into different notebooks, but simply keeping a notebook for everything that comes to mind. I’d been doing that way, but realized the put everything in one place approach is better. I’ve been keeping my Bible reading notes in one exercise book. This was for the purpose of jotting the ideas I get from reading the Bible which could become devotions, meditations and reflections. When other ideas came to mind, say a story idea that jumped into my head, I had to find a different notebook, or piece of paper, to jot the idea down. But it would be quicker just writing the idea in my devotional notebook because that was handy. I don’t like mixing various ideas around in a notebook intended for one thing, though. It makes much better sense to include everything in one notebook, doesn’t it? So, all one has to do is headline each notebook entry for what kind of idea it is: be it devotional, story, article, poem, etc.

And if one is the run, one may keep a recorder, or something like it, for easy recording when ideas come to mind. Keep the ideas in one place on the recorder and indicate what each idea is, whether story, article, poem, etc. Much better. All in one place and headlined for easy reference. All one needs now is a good notebook and/or a digital recorder. Digital recorders hold more information so spending on one is probably cheaper in the long run than buying notebook after notebook. May be just invest in a simple digital recorder for note-taking, if one likes, if that’s easier when on the run. Or write it down, if that’s preferable.

 

notes--writing

Delivering the story full stop

Little things I pick up along the way…as I was reading a book, I stumbled onto a nugget of wisdom. The book appraised films for this or that reason and a reason a critic gave was personally illuminating. The critic said a certain director wasn’t prepared to go the places a subject or premise would naturally go. It clicked. If I am to write stories, write stories I am prepared to deliver on. Go to the places the subject demands. If I can’t go there, don’t write it.