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”

poetry

TV

Surprise, surprise

It is a new story this time.

I watched with wide eyes,

It had never happened before,

That way.

It would not happen again,

That way.

I would not see it, again.

There was a lot about this,

So much I got emotional,

A different emotion watching the TV,

In real life, the emotion different.

While not there, I saw it on TV,

Th emotion different than real life

It happened beyond my four quarters,

I watched with wide eyes,

Surprise, surprise.

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

Imaginatively using irony

Sometimes, slight sense of irony in a sentence can add color to what would be a pedestrian line of writing and irony can brighten an otherwise flawed expression. It’s simply about the “art of writing” when one sketches art in a piece that seems flawed.

Art of writing may be fused throughout the whole, ordinary, unexceptional flawed piece, to give it an air of mystery and aloofness. It may be flawed prose in one sense, but how the piece is structured or designed gives an illusion of art through each line.

notes--writing

Moments that matter

It’s great to read an old article of mine. What somebody said in it are quite simply words of wisdom and even encourage me today. I think that anyone who enjoys reading, will find that the stories and articles that they look back on, can still resonate, years later. It’s like those pleasant surprises one finds in the attic and the basement; a long lost card or report that surprises one and causes a most pleasant feeling to come over you.

notes--writing

When something goes wrong

It’s so easy for the details to slip through the cracks if one isn’t paying full, conscious attention. Years back, I did an article about pastor’s views on an issue of the day (and still is). One pastor complained that he didn’t get the photo of himself back. Each pastor who was interviewed had a photo by their opinion, and one said he hadn’t got his photo back. The photos were provided by the interviewee and sent to the publisher who should have sent them back. Alas, one slipped through the cracks, apparently, even though I huffed and puffed about sending it back. Apparently, the publisher no longer had it. Lost. These are the painful, unfortunate incidents that when on the receiving end are difficult to swallow. It’s like losing a book someone borrowed from you. Then, it’s gone. The pastor, however, was understanding, although it would have been much better for everyone that this one didn’t fall through the cracks. Sending the photo back is evidence one is paying thoughtful attention to the needs of their interviewees, which is very important.

notes--writing

Interviewees are interesting, always

Some articles can be eye opening. The insights from people I’ve interviewed can be astoundingly insightful, helpful and eye opening. Like the ones I was looking at today, an article where I interviewed a person who works in materially poorer countries. Little snippets like: ‘The poor find it difficult to accept the gospel when those who share it live affluent lifestyles.’ A challenge. And the list of attributes someone must have to work and live with the poor makes me think I haven’t got it together in my own field of endeavor, although it makes me want to do better, but perhaps perfect to a fault. Articles can stir us up, even the writer of them.

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.┬áBut 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.

notes--writing

Approaching publishers with the picture book idea

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing a children’s short story, originally intended for a picture book. The inspiration was in my garden. I may approach publishers, but on speculation that they may or may not publish it. Of course there are the usual doubts that it won’t work for children, it’s too Watership-downish, although Watership Down was a goldmine in the end.