Describe the Days of the Week as People

Kellyn tagged me, so here goes. I’m going to describe the days of the week as of they were people.

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Monday: Monday is a businessman on an airplane trip. Well-dressed, refined, and let’s face it, a wee bit cranky. His stomach rolls both from the airplane and the under-cooked sushi he ate for lunch. Unless he can somehow take a nap, someone is going to face his wrath.

Tuesday: Tuesday is a frazzled homeschool mom. She was supposed to bring her four kids to the local co-op, but now her newborn needs his diaper changed and the other three kids, all under the age of five, are running in circles around her. She is going to need more than a few a prayers and a couple of iburprofen to survive.

Wednesday: Wednesday is the contented, yet still unsure college student who just completed his first semester of college. So far so good, he’s still keeping up his GPA, but his next chemistry class is going to be a big doozy. Then again, his thoughts are centered on the pretty brunette who smiled at him during lunch.

Thursday: Thursday is the girl who’s head is always in the clouds. Instead of doing her schoolwork, she doodles pictures of dragons and castles in her notebook. Characters that nobody ever sees dance in her head. People think that she’s juvenile and whimsical, but this girl has a precious gift—imagination.

Friday: Friday is the father that comes home from work, bone-tired, but when his children greet him at the door, he smiles. He keeps a day of frustration pent-up even when supper is a little late, or the kids toys are still littered across the living room floor.

Saturday: Saturday is the couch potato who lays in his easy chair, remote in one hand, chips in the other. He belches and scratches his oily, blond hair with his remote hand. Credits from the last season of the hottest reality television show roll across the screen, but instead of getting up, the middle-aged man, with more than a muffin-top decides to watch an earlier season off of Netflix.

Sunday: Sunday is the twenty-something man in a tuxedo and tie, back erect, ready to use his white-gloved hand to usher guests into his apartment building. He hopes that someday he’ll be able to quit his day job and pursue his true passion, writing.

Thanks for reading. This was an enjoyable brainstorming exercise, I tag Alyssa, Rose, and if you want to join the fun, consider yourself tagged!

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It All Began With a Picture

This is a very short post, as this was an extremely short essay. But if you’re a fan of the Narnia books, this post may be interesting to you.

At the beginning of the essay, Lewis talks about how difficult it is for an author to tell you how he wrote a book. “It is because a man writing a story is too excited about the story itself to sit back and notice how he is doing it.”

I’m not sure if this is the case with me, but there is an amazing evolution that happens within conception of the idea and even the completion of the first draft.

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For Lewis, the first idea for a story came in the form of a picture. In the case of the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, it was “a picture of a faun carrying umbrellas and parcels in a snowy wood.” This picture had been with him for twenty-four years before he tried to create the book.

While Lewis was trying to figure out the story, “Aslan bounded into it.” The only explanation that Lewis gave for coming up with him was that he, “Had been having a good many dreams about lions at that time.”

(All excerpts taken from On Stories And Other Essays On Literature; Harcourt Brace & Company; copyright 1982, 1966 by C. S. Lewis PTE Ltd)

I hope you enjoyed this small little tidbit. Have a great day and keep on writing for His glory!

Three Techniques for Writing for Children

Welcome to the second installment of C. S. Lewis’ essays and today is Three Techniques for Writing for Children.

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Three Ways of Writing for Children

  1. Writing what children like to read, but not what the author likes.
  2. A story told to a particular child with the living voice.
  3. “Writing a children’s story because a children’s story is the best art form for something you have to say…”

The third option is how Lewis wrote his Narnia series.

In addition, the stories we write need to be enjoyable to not just children, but adults as well. Think about Narnia, his original audience was children, yet I’m not sure if you could classify them as “childish” books. They are simply stories of adventure in a another realm, something readers of any age can enjoy.

When Lewis wrote his essay, fantasy books were being relegated to children by critics, something that he certainly didn’t agree with.

Arguments Against Fantasy Because of the Fear They Could Bring to the Child

  1. The possibility of phobias

Lewis agreed that we should not give children phobias, or an uncontrollable fear of objects. But if critics meant #2, Lewis disagreed.

2. The knowledge that we live in an evil world.

If readers read books which never have good and evil, heroes and villains, aren’t we giving them an unrealistic view of what our world is like?

“Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

I heartily agree with Lewis when he says, “Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let the villains be soundly killed at the end of the book.”

Should Books Have Morals?

Lewis says that instead of asking what do modern children need?” We should ask, “What moral do I need?”

In addition we should let the moral grow from the story and not tacked on just to make it a Christian book.

If we just tack one on it, “Is likely to be platitude, or even a falsehood, skimmed from the surface of your consciousness. It is impertinent to offer children that. For we have been told on high authority that in the moral sphere they are probably at least as wise as we.”

“The only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author’s mind.”

I’m not sure if I completely agree with Lewis, because I want my books to contain truths that can impact lives. But, in addition, a moral tacked on just for the sake of having one, without it being an integral part of the story, isn’t good either.

The Child as a Reader

“The child as a reader is neither to be patronized nor idolised: we must talk to him as man to man. But the worst attitude of all would be the professional attitude which regards children in the lump as a sort of raw material which we have to handle. We must of course try to do them no harm: we may, under the Omnipotence, sometimes dare to hope that we may do them good. But only such good as involves treating them with respect.”

We have a responsibility to our readers, not to write down to them. Instead, we should just give them a story that speaks to our souls.

(All excerpts taken from On Stories And Other Essays On Literature; Harcourt Brace & Company; copyright 1982, 1966 by C. S. Lewis PTE Ltd)

Thank you for reading. I hope these few points have been enlightening. Essay #3 will be coming out next week. If you want to read the essay search for, On Stories And Other Essays On Literature. Our library has a program where they can order books from other libraries across the state. That’s how I got my hands on my copy, so there’s my helpful hint today. 😉

 

 

Storming: Book Review

Today I’m reviewing a novel I recently finished, Storming by K.M. Weiland

In the high-flying, heady world of 1920s aviation, brash pilot Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock’s life does a barrel roll when a young woman in an old-fashioned ball gown falls from the clouds smack in front of his biplane. As fearless as she is peculiar, Jael immediately proves she’s game for just about anything, including wing-walking in his struggling airshow. In return for her help, she demands a ride back home . . . to the sky.

 

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I enjoyed this book immensely. It was written for adults, but teens can enjoy it as well.

Characters:

Hitch Hickock, the main character, is a courageous pilot trying to make his mark as a barnstormer in Prohibition-era, America.

Jael, a mysterious, ferocious woman, who also has a soft spot in her heart.

Along with these two, there are feuding brothers, a flamboyant showman, a sheriff who’s willing to sometimes bend the law, a mute child, and many more!

Really great character and in addition, the voice of Storming was amazing!

5 stars

Plot:

Hitch returns to his home town in Nebraska, full of baggage, and it takes pretty much the whole book to sort everything out.

Sky pirates take Hitch’s home town hostage and our hero (Hitch) and heroine (Jael) must fight them in order to free the town.

Storming is an interesting story that combines historical fiction with diesel-punk elements. So if you’re expecting a straight 1920’s story, you’re in for a nice surprise.

Before the start of the final climactic showdown, a bomb is dropped! Not literally, just a plot/character twist which raises the stakes.

In addition, several parts of this book are hilarious. Especially some of the scenes with the two feuding brothers.

4.5 stars

Action:

Entertaining scenes both in the sky and on the ground make this novel fly by (pun very much intended).

4.5 stars

Romance:

By the end of the book, a romance springs up between two main characters. There’s a little kissing and a scene where they dance together, but that’s about it. I enjoyed this sub-plot and you probably will as well.

4.5 stars

In closing, I would highly recommend this book, it’s a great read and relatively inexpensive at only $2.99 for the ebook version at Amazon and $3.99 at K. M. Weiland’s site.

At the end of the book, K.M. Weiland includes the link to some exclusive content, something I certainly would like to emulate in some way. Absolutely outstanding writing. I hope I piqued your interest. 🙂 Have a great day, everyone!

 

On Stories

First, a small biography, C. S. Lewis was born in Ireland, in 1898. Throughout his life he wrote a variety of books and essays. The Chronicles of Narnia, which are the only books of his I’ve read. Science fiction as well as several books on Christianity. In addition to these, Lewis wrote some essays including this one, entitled On Stories.

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Why do Readers Read?

In this essay, Lewis talks about the enjoyment the common man receives out of what he calls “romances”, or basically, fictional stories.

Instead of excitement being the primary factor of enjoyment, Lewis believed there was something else, deeper. The awakening of imagination.

Lewis didn’t want film to replace written fiction, because books allow, “The untrained its only access to the imaginative world”.

We need to write, “Story that can mediate imaginative life to the masses ….”

Imagination is powerful. I would often take characters from books or movies and expand on their adventures myself. Who knows, maybe this helped my writerly creativity. 😉

Without imagination, our lives would be much more boring and we writers have the responsibility and honor of nurturing this in our readers.

 

What is the Purpose of the Plot?

For Lewis, theme could be, “A state or quality ….” He said that theme is like a bird that the net of plot tries to catch.

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“Different kind of dangers strike different chords in the imagination.” In The Return of the King, when Shelob appears, that fear is near to disgust. Contrast this with the fear of a mariner caught in a gale, whose fear might be, at least at first, akin to awe.

“A function of art is to present what the narrow and desperately practical perspectives of real life excludes.” So books allows us to see truths, or feelings, that normally are overshadowed by fear.

A recurring message in this and other essays can be summed up in this statement, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty—except, of course, books of information.”

Good books should be enjoyable for all ages.

(All excerpts taken from On Stories And Other Essays On Literature; Harcourt Brace & Company; copyright 1982, 1966 by C. S. Lewis PTE Ltd)

I hope that these points have been helpful to you. This is the first essay in a series of essays by C. S. Lewis, please subscribe if you want to read more. Or, if you have any questions or insights, please comment below.

 

Quote from Retreat

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I just wanted to share this brief quote I just ran, or I should say read across, from the book I’m currently editing, Retreat.

Within a couple of hours Fred was fast asleep, dreams of war in his head. Though, they were less dreams, and more nightmares.

Right now I’m taking a break from writing the rough draft of Stronger than the Sword and implementing the changes my editor (aka Mom) suggested, as well as what my writer instincts tell me to change.

I’m not for sure when this book’ll be coming out, as I want it to go through a much more rigorous editing process than my first book. Also, I may have to do some rewriting in order to set the stage for the next book in the series.

On another note, today I learned the winners of The Five Magic Spindles contest hosted by Rooglewood. My story did not make the cut, but eventually, once I can get to it, I’ll edit, and probably start a rewrite. I hope to someday publish it in some form, either on this blog or through Kindle.

Good luck writing!