Friday, November 27, 2009

The Looking Glass Wars

Symbols ran down the right side of the paper, but what he noticed first was the horribly drawn picture that filled the rest of the space. The eyes were too big and the lips too small, the head too round, and the ears too pointed, but it was Tsira. He choked as he read the bold symbols, crushing the page in his fist.

I've written the opening of my FanFic, and I had a dream the other night that I think may end up as an interesting story. My mind just has ideas that it wants to express, and I know that it's not going to be easy, but I can do it. Even if others don't like them, I will like them, and that's really all that matters.

I read The Looking Glass Wars this week. It's a book by Frank Beddor about Princess Alyss Heart of Wonderland--the pretense is that Lewis Carroll got poor Alyss's story all wrong. She jumped through the Pool of Tears to escape The Cat and her murderous aunt Redd, landing in England in the 1850's, where she met the Reverend Dodgson (Carroll), who thought she'd made it all up. Though it's written at maybe a sixth or seventh grade level, it's pretty violent. Redd, or the false Queen of Hearts, kills her sister Genevieve by cutting off her head. The Cat has nine lives, so when he dies, he simply gets up again. The fighters consist of Card Soldiers and Chessmen, with guns like the AD52 (automatic dealer), cannonball spiders, and every imaginable medieval weapon. There's flesh-eating roses and corpses everywhere. As the title states, it is very much a war--a war that takes place over thirteen years.

I found that the ideas and characters were interesting, transforming the far-out tale of Alice in Wonderland into something believable while still maintaining that fantastic aura. People often say that Carroll was on an opiate trip when he conjured the classic story, but it had some very poignant thoughts, as does The Looking Glass Wars. I loved the book and recommend it to anyone with a taste for fantasy--except those with a weak stomach.

-Tsira

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coraline

Octras was glad they weren't looking at him as his face flushed with embarrassment. He smiled halfheartedly. His mind reeled with things they might have said, wondering why they left him out of the joke. He envied their fast friendship, knowing all too well that he no longer afforded such dangerous things. Tsira was his employer, nothing more, and he meant nothing to her except as a nameless shield. The boiling laughter was sour, and he left the apartment.

My friend Jaron and I went to see the new Disney A Christmas Carol. He posted a review that echoed my thoughts perfectly, so I won't waste time writing my own. I will say, however, that it really couldn't decide what it wanted to be--it was not a kids' movie, as it advertises. If my nieces and nephews went to see it, they'd cry and have nightmares for months.

I intended to do NaNoWriMo this year, but it didn't happen. I wrote 1000 words the first day. My new job takes up so much energy that when I'm home I just want to relax and play video games... but I keep reminding myself how good writing makes me feel, and when I do it, I am relaxing. It's just hard to get started. Past that kick in the rear, writing is love. I sometimes think that maybe I have misled myself by wanting to make a book, but when I actually sit down to write, I'm so... happy.

I read Coraline again last night. It's such an interesting piece of fiction. I love Neil Gaiman's style, how he brings out the perfect tone and voice, making the writing have so much purpose. It's like he hand-selected every single word. Even though Coraline is a children's story, I think it is very clever and witty. I laughed out loud several times last night reading the book. In Coraline's boredom, she writes a little story that says a girl danced until her feet "TURND INTO SOSSAJES". I couldn't help myself; I just had to laugh. I find it interesting that the movie is so different and yet so similar. I know that some things in the film were done for visual effect, but there were other added elements to the story. There's no Whybe in the book, and no doll. Yet they work. It's like another version of the tale, just like any fairytale that changes over time. I do think that in the book Coraline is more clever than she is in the show. Oh well.

-Tsira