My first shelved novel had some issues (hence: shelved). It was complete, it had been through seven (eight, maybe?) drafts, sentences had been lovingly crafted and tweaked. My beta readers all agreed that “once you got into it,” it was a good read. I wrote about how to know you have the wrong protagonist in […]Read More How to Create a Bad Protagonist: My First Mistake
When I came up with an idea for a new book, I had the main character (we’ll call her… #1) from my shelved novel as the only protagonist I had ever considered for anything, ever. I was used to #1: familiar with her voice, her foibles, her overall character arc. I also love her, as […]Read More How to Know You’ve Picked the Wrong Main Character
In an interview at the end of the Stardust audiobook, the questioner asks Neil Gaiman, “Do people come up to you at, say, readings or public events and suggest to you that they’ve found mistakes or incongruities in your books?” Neil Gaiman: “Oh yeah, and 80% of the time, 90% of the time, they’re not […]Read More The Art of Being Wrong
This year, to top off my celebration of Tolkien Week, I’m participating in Hamlette’s Tolkien Blog Party! (Many thanks to her for organizing!) 1. What’s your favorite Middle-earth story/book? It may be cliché, but since Lord of the Rings is one of my top three books of all time, it’s that one. I count LOTR […]Read More Tolkien Blog Party 2018!
Happy Tolkien Week to one and all! One of the aspects of Tolkien’s work that fascinates me is its depiction of Evil. Not only can this mild-mannered, somewhat niggling professor write some truly terrifying scenes, but I also appreciate the thematic truths that inform his portrayal of Evil. I love a good subtle villain as […]Read More Tolkien’s Three Satans and Why They Matter
In a blog with a Tolkien reference in the subtitle, and with a list of at least ten Tolkien-related blog posts in my head, I find it shameful that I have yet to write specifically about Tolkien. My undergraduate thesis was on Tolkien, and I teach a class on him and Lewis every other year, […]Read More The Purposeful Parallelism of The Hobbit
Ahead there be spoilers… The previous Marvel ensemble movies (The Avengers, Age of Ultron) were actually my least favorites of the franchise (excluding Thor 2, which, upon friends’ warnings, we didn’t bother seeing). With so many characters in play, each needing their allotment of screen time, the plots were thin out of necessity. I couldn’t […]Read More Belated Thoughts: Infinity War (On Thanos)
You already know I love this movie. I’ve written two blog posts about it (here and here). Here’s another, which is about three practical, noticeable ways this film has benefited my life. If my repeated analysis of this film bores you, skip to number 3. It’s the grand finale. 1. ZENDAYA I don’t have much […]Read More 3 Life-Changing Greatest Showman Tidbits
“If You Want to Write Fantasy, Stop Reading It.” That was the title of a post I wrote a couple years ago for Faith & Fantasy Alliance. (You can read it here now.) Despite the clickbait title, I don’t believe fantasy authors should discontinue reading fantasy: for one, it’s important to keep up with developments […]Read More What Fantasy Authors Can Learn from Beowulf
If you haven’t read this book and you don’t want it spoiled, turn back now! Ahead there be spoilers, unabashed and free-flowing. The second part of Life of Pi is a 16-year-old boy (Piscine, nicknamed Pi) telling the story of how he survived 227 days at sea in a lifeboat, accompanied by an adult Bengal […]Read More So I Read Life of Pi.