Monday, August 31, 2009

Writing Project 2009-2010

The writing bug has bitten me. I started writing a story this summer but in the midst of filming, trying to move, and working almost full-time, it sadly fell by the wayside. Luckily, I got to keep my old job w/ one condition: I had to audit a class. I thought to myself, "I need to do something productive," and then thought about what I wanted to do. I have always loved books, and I've written various things throughout the years, so I thought I would continue the story I had abandoned. So...

I am reading 10 children's books [partial list to follow], writing a research paper to see what they all have in common, and then writing my own story. Next semester, I will be editing and revising in the hopes of looking for an agent next summer. I know this is usually a long, drawn-out process so I'm trying to prepare myself ahead of time. :P

Here is a list of books that I chose for research [it was a hard task...there are so many wonderful books! I tried to concentrate on ones that are at least somewhat similar to what I want to write]:

1. The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
2. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
3. The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt
4. Bloomability by Sharon Creech
5. Frindle by Andrew Clements
6. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
7. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
8. No Flying in the House by Valerie Tripp
9. The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsly

As you can see, I've forgotten what the last one was...I have it written down somewhere. :P

So that's my project for this semester. I will incorporate the process through this blog, as well as continuing with my recommendations and Author Notes. :) Hope you had a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Exploring Strange New Worlds - Mythology Tales

So recently I have been thinking [and reading, of course] about mythology tales. I don't really have a definition for what I call "Mythology Tales" but I can point to some examples:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix

These all set up another world, paying so much attention to detail that you could teach a history or geography class from what you know after reading these.

I recently read The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. I had tried reading Taran Wanderer when I was little but since it was the 3rd in the series of 5, it didn't make a whole lot of sense. These books are simply amazing. They had echoes of the language of Tolkien but are quite different. Alexander took Welsh mythology and set it in a fantasy world, creating his own mythology for it. Simply wonderful. If you've never read these books before, PLEASE go check them out. After finishing them, I found myself missing the characters so much that I'm going to go check the books out from the library again!!

I was very interested in reading The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper but the ending of the 5th book turned me off to ever reading her again. She had created such a rich world of myths and then right at the end took it all away. Simply DREADFUL. Similar to The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit. I know E. Nesbit and Susan Cooper are famous children's authors, but if you are going to pull a cheat like that then I'm not reading your books!

I've read the Chronicles of Narnia about once a year since I was five years old, and they are still such beautiful, magical books that sometimes I just pick one up and escape for an hour or two.

I have to admit that I can't get past Tolkien's writing style. I have a lot of characteristics of ADD and I guess reading about a tree for 20 pages just makes me bored. I think his stories are wonderful, but I can't really read them...I have to watch the extended version of the movies. :)

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix are some of my favorite books in the world. They are absolutely fabulous - original, scary, and mystical. These are another must read.

What are your favorite mythology tales?