Friday, September 26, 2008


I'm experimenting with layouts here. What do you think of this one? I'm pretty happy with the header...not sure about the rest of it.


Monday, September 22, 2008

More thoughts on written Romance

In the past two weeks I've written two posts on differant aspects of written romance. One was how I see Christ in the Twilight romance between Bella and Edward. The other was how I had discovered that romance was what I wanted to write.

But I've realized a third thing.

Romance is important, not because it makes us happy to read about it (it doesn't always, a lot of times it can make us disatisfied), but because it is a reflection of the eternal romance.

So what does that mean for me, as a writer and a Christain?

It means that I specifically want to write each of my romances to point back to Christ. That means that I won't write fluffy or cute, I'll write real. (Which might include cute moments, of course). No human (or even written) relationship can possibly show the true beauty of our love story with Christ, but it can give us one of the best pictures we can have on this earth.

Of course, it's also important to note that Christ is more than our lover. His is father, brother, king, high priest, mediator...everything. But I think at differant points in our life we can connect better with differant aspects of his character to us. And the pure romance part of it is something I want to point to in my writing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Follow up to *Groan*

It's worth saying that maybe writing really does give you healthy blood. Because I actually had a splendid day on Friday, despite having only gotten five hours of sleep.

Caffeine helped of course, but even the two energy drinks I had early in the day can't account for how hyper and happy I was that evening. I was with my writer's group and we just had a really good time. I love that group of people so much...even making dinner is a blast with them!

(And normally I don't like cooking)

Of course, God has also been speaking to me a lot, and for the first time in a long time I think I'm actually listening. So that could have something to do with my change of mood.

How could I have missed this?

My dear friend Lady Rose gave me this award a few posts back on her blog. I don't know how I missed it's acknowledged now! Thank you, Rose!

The Problem is that she's already tagged half the bloggers that I would have mentioned, so at this point I'm not going to pass it on, except to say that I do really appreciate it whenever anyone comments on my blog. It makes me feel that my writing has not been in vain, and that there are really ears out there listening. I do try to comment on others' blogs when I can to return the favor.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Twilight *READ* poster

Wow. Now this is my kind of poster. Wouldnt mind having that in my room...


Did I ever tell you that the only reason I write is to keep my blood from shrivelling?


Otherwise I would have gotten a good deal more than 5 hours of sleep last night.

So today I'm going to be a walking zombie or something, but at least I'll have healthy blood.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More thoughts on Twilight, (Eclipse and Breaking Dawn)

I just finished re-reading the Twilight series. I didn't anticipate that I would be doing it so soon, but they just have a magnetic draw to them that I can't resist.

Anyhow. Thoughts.

Romance has been a lot on my mind lately- for various reasons. More so, I think, then when I first read the series. So re-reading the books (particularily New Moon and Eclipse) was a bit more of an emotional experience this time.

I'm still not an Edward Cullen fan-girl. But I got closer this time. I found myself being unhappy with how perfect the romance is, because I know so many girls are going to be dissatisfied by it.

And then, it hit me.

Edward Cullen is far from perfect. But the way he unconditionally loves and protects Bella is very much a mirror of the love that Christ has for us. Even the way he sings her to sleep...the very night I hit upon this realization I found myself stumbling across a Psalm about God watching over us while we slumber and singing over us.

Bella's love for Jacob actually builds up this viewpoint. Jacob is her human love. Edward is her very soul. Jacob can never fill the hole that Bella feels when Edward leaves her (as a human love can never replace the need we have for Christ- of course, it is us who fall away from Christ, rather than Christ leaving us), but he can give her much needed emotional support. And we do need human support to keep us grounded. It can never replace Christ, but Christ gave us human love because he knew that it was not good for us to be alone physically (though he is always with us spiritually, just as Edward's warning voice never left Bella).

Taking that one step further...why does Jacob love Bella? If we carry this through to Breaking Dawn (spoiler alert) we know that Jacob's love for Bella is only fulfilled when she is united to Edward. It is their daughter, the product of their union, that is Jacob's true love. Just as, sometimes, we fall in love with people because we see Christ shinning out of them. And really, all good qualities are reflections of our Creator and God, in whose image we are made, rather than anything we manufacture ourselves.

I'm not saying that Edward himself is a Christ-figure. He's not. But what I'm proposing is that Edward and Bella's relationship is healthiest when viewed through the lens of the eternal romance of Christ and the Church. Which is indeed the relationship that all human romances are supposed to reflect.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I realized something tonight.

I don't want to write action adventure stories. At least...that's not what I want the focus of my novels to be, although it must appear in some form.

I want to write romance. Not fluffy romance, but deep true romance that shows what love truly is. And I think I can write it.


The hitch is, I don't want to write ordinary romance. It has to take place in some shade of the universe that is not normal. I've come to discover that while the characters themselves must be most important, the world that they dwell in must also be uniquely mine, a place which I can explore and invent in. Not one that takes over the story, but enriches it.

I don't know if I've discovered that place yet. But I think I understand what I'm waiting for.

See, fanfiction is useful.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Haunted by words...

Do any of you ever find yourselves haunted by words? Sentances forming themselves in your brain that you cannot get rid of, even if it's 3:00 in the morning and you must get to bed?

I get that from time to time. My mind just starts spinning and words connect together, rearranging themselves as necessary. I'm practically dizzy with all of them, to tired to sit down and make sense out of them.

I wonder why it comes at some times and not at others. Is it because it was a day, like yesterday, when I spent a lot of time working with differant writing projects? (As you probably noticed, I posted on this blog quite a few times). Is it because I had a pile-up in my brain after all the time I've spent drawing?

I get it with pictures too. And with costume design. The ideas come and overwhelm me and I can't focus on anything else. And it's most annoying in a place where I can't do anything about it. Clothing ideas in the middle of a Church Service. A picture composition while playing with the kids I nanny. A string of words at 3:00 in the morning when I'm so tired that I can't think straight.

And it's not something that the rest of the world understands or accepts very well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I just finished reading Nemesis, by Agatha Christie. It didn't have enough happening in it for it to really be one of my favorite Christy novels (too much retelling of the same things over and over), but it was defientely more original.

What I found most interesting was it's insight into human character. The Miss Marple mysteries tend to have more of this than the others- such as "The Mirror Crack'd". And I appreciate that. It gives the book...more purpose than merely reading an entertaining novel. It's a look into the human nature.

In this particular installment, Miss Marple is brought onto a case by...a dead man. Before his death he left her a letter, asking her to investigate a crime...simply a crime. He gives her no other clue than the word "Nemesis" although as time goes by further directions appear. By following his directions (blindly, I must say) Miss Marple is able to uncover the truth and redeem an innocent life.

What struck me as I was reading what that Miss Marple's way of solving this case was much like the way we must go through our lives. The future lies rather hazy in front of us, and we really have no idea what the next day will bring. Those of us who are followers of Christ watch and wait for his direction...even though we rarely recieve explanation for why we are supposed to take that particular path. Like Miss Marple we often seem to run into dead ends and wonder if we're on the right path after all.

But I've been finding lately in my own life that the paths are often not so random as they may seem...and that the answer to the mystery really does become a little bit clearer every day.

So anyhow, I felt this was one of the Christie novels with a bit more depth to it that simply "Whodunit."

A Welcome...

I would like to welcome my friend Janny (also known as Ella or Froggy on the FT Forum) to the Blogosphere! Her blog, which is going to have a bit of a Jane Austen focus, has been delightfully Christained "A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings".

So, Janny, welcome! Your blog looks so lovely and I am anxiously awaiting future posts from you!

Experimenting with quotes...

In Moonset, I am indulging in something that I've wanted to do for a long time but have never had the patience or courage to try. I am starting each chapter with a quote from Shakespeare- and naming the chapter from that quote. It's actually amazingly fun, and as a Lit major, gives me enormous satisfaction.

So for Equinox (which is my solitary endevor at a sequal) I have decided to do something similar. There's a differance, however. With Moonset, Shakespeare worked well because he covers so many of our themes...creation, beginnings, right and wrong, passions, danger, adventure...pretty much anything I need I can find in Shakespeare.

Equinox is more focused in scope, however. Whereas Moonset deals with all sorts of loves (brother/sister, romantic, friendship), Equinox is much more of a romance. So in honor of this, I have picked four classic female writers who are known for dealing with the subject of romance. I thought I'd share with you some of the gems I found...

Chapter Quotes

“My beauty you had early withstood…Now be sincere. Did you admire me for my impertinence?”
“For the liveliness of your mind, I did.”
~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?
Jane Austen

The enthusiasm of a woman's love is even beyond the biographer's.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”

“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;-- it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”
Jane Austen quote

“Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then.”
Jane Austen quote (Pride and Prejudice)

“All the privilege I claim for my own sex . . . is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone.”
Jane Austen quote

One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.
Persuasion (1817)

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.
Mansfield Park (1814)

Wickedness is always wickedness, but folly is not always folly.—It depends upon the character of those who handle it. (Emma)

Charlotte Bronte quotes

“Reader, I married him.”
~Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

It seemed as if my tongue pronounced words without my will consenting to their utterance: something spoke out of me over which I had no control.
Jane Eyre(Ch. 4)

If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends. (Jane Eyre)

And then my mind made its first earnest effort to comprehend what had been infused into it concerning heaven and hell: and for the first it recoiled baffled; and for the first time glancing behind, on each side, and before it, it saw all round an unfathomed gulf: it felt the one point where it stood — the present; all the rest was formless cloud and vacant depth: and it shuddered at the thought of tottering, and plunging amid that chaos. (Jane Eyre)

I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously arrived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me. (Jane Eyre)

My bride is here... because my equal is here, and my likeness. (Jane Eyre)

Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt? May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips; for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love. (Jane Eyre)

I can but die... and I believe in God. Let me try and wait His will in silence. (Jane Eyre)

The following are Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)

I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

…he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same
Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.

Should there be danger of such an event — should he be the cause of adding a single more trouble to her existence — Why, I think, I shall be justified in going to extremes!

Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!

And lastly, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (whom my character is actually *named after*)

Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,Ere the sorrow comes with years?They are leaning their young heads against their mothers—And that cannot stop their tears.
The Cry of the Children, st. 1 (1844)

"Yes," I answered you last night;
"No," this morning, Sir, I say.
Colours seen by candlelight,
Will not look the same by day.
The Lady's Yes, st. 1 (1844)

Unless you can muse in a crowd all day
On the absent face that fixed you;
Unless you can love, as the angels may,
With the breadth of heaven betwixt you;
Unless you can dream that his faith is fast,
Through behoving and unbehoving;
Unless you can die when the dream is past -
Oh, never call it loving!
A Woman's Shortcomings, st. 5 (1850)

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvèd point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented?

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. (Sonnets from the Portuguese)

God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
And thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
A gauntlet with a gift in't. (Aurora Leigh)

Grief may be joy misunderstood;
Only the Good discerns the good.
I trust Thee while my days go on. (De Profundis)

Who knows what will end up in the final book? But I'm having fun compiling them...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moonset- Climax

I've started experimenting with digital coloring...I find it quite satisfying, actually, now that I have a technique figured out. Here is my second project- which doesn't have a title yet but is once again from Moonset. Somewhere around the climax, of course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Sketches

From the fanfic, which I will admit is called "Moonset." The first one I title..
"Don't be foolish"
The second "Brother and Sister"
The third "Friends"

Introduction to Filmmaking

Working on SOTB, (which already is much more than just screenwriting) has reminded me how much I actually do know about film- but once again, just how much I have to learn. I've had a lot more hands on experiance than most newcomers- having been making hour+ long films for over four years now. However, simply picking up a good filmmaking book can be invaluable. So can getting advice from others.

So over the next few months...or year, really, since SOTB will certainly not be done until NEXT Christmas, if even then...expect to see posts from me on a variety of filmmaking subjects. I've decided to post them here instead of at the SOTB blog, because I want to keep the blog for strictly SOTB news. My personal blog will deal with more of my personal journey of filmmaking.

For this first post, I'm going to pull up some notes for a talk I gave the last semester at college. It was a class I had taken before, and the final project involves a short film. My advisor (who taught the class) had been extremely encouraging of my film efforts, and knowing that I had a good deal of practical experiance, asked me to come speak to the class and give them a brief talk on making films. Just hitting the high points...

Now strangly enough, those notes are contained in the back of the notebook that I am now using to write the first half of the SOTB screenplay, coinicidence, no? So, anyhow...with some additions now...

First of all, I have to say that I love film. It is a satisfying because it allows you to have a finished product at the end- something that you can feel has been worthwhile, and something that you can show to others. Hopefully, of course, you're making a film for more than just a chance to say you did something cool! You should really be making a film because you want to tell a story, or a truth. (But not to preach a message. Preachy films almost never work.)

I also love filming because it's such a great way to form lasting friendships. Part of this, of course, is because filmmaking can also be a very stressful process. The friends who are willing to stick through a film with you and not hate you afterwards are truely the ones who will be with you for life.

On that note...if you're going to put together a first of all need a cast and crew that you can trust and that are really enthusiastic about the project. People that you have to beg and plead with to get them to do it- they're going to be more of a liability than an asset. Why? Because when you're not paying people, you don't want ANYONE on your set who can or will threaten to walk off if you don't do something their way. It's stressful, it's dangerous, and it's just not healthy to the production.

Start small, but don't be afraid to dream big. You are capable of more than you think you are. So often I hear people say "Oh I could never make a film like that!" Well, maybe you couldn't. Maybe that's not what God has planned for you. But have you ever thought about trying? Sure, your first product probably won't be as good as my third...and it certainly won't be a Hollywood Blockbuster...but you should have seen what I started out doing! (Someday I'll do a post chronicling all of my film projects...that should be amusing!)

But by starting small, I don't necessarily mean in length. Sometimes you do have a story that refuses to be told in anything under an hour. But you have to be practical. Dont' start out with a huge epic war movie...always be mindful of your resources. Sometimes things like filming at a local airport will work because of your contacts. Othertimes, building a medieval Scottish villiage won't fly because you just don't have the money or crew to do so.

Film is challenging. You have to be prepared to meet those challenges without giving up. It will be worth it. Be creative...keep asking...what could we use instead? Is there another way we could tell this scene? You'd be surprised what solutions you can come up with.

It helps, of course- no wait, it's essential- to learn as much as you can. There are many, many ways to do this. The first way is to watch as many films as you possibly all differant styles. (I can do a post on what films are good to watch, if you'd like). Pay attention to everything...story, characters, editing, camera angles, lighting, colors...they are ALL important! (A great book to understanding all of these things is "Understanding Movies" by Louis Giannetti) Then start watching behind the scenes documentries and featurettes. We learned almost everything for our first full-length film by watching the behind-the-scene features for Peter Jackson's Special Extended Editions of the LOTR trilogy.

And then there are books...tons of books...go to your library or amazon and just start looking. You'd be surprised how much you can learn from a book. Believe me. I'll be talking more about that later.

I also went on to give a few practical technical tips...but that almost deserves its own post here, so I'm going to wrap this one up.

If you have any questions that you'd like me to address in upcoming posts...please leave them in the comment box below!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Tool for Group Writing

As I think I've mentioned before, the fan fiction I've been working on for the last month has two other co-authors. When we first started writing, we realized that the most efficiant way to keep track of what we were all writing (since we usually wrote at the same time) was to create a blog.

The benefits of a blog- (vs. e-mailing or

1) It is online and therefore accessible from any computer, yet the privacy level can be controlled so that only the authors can read it.

2) All of the authors can be created moderators and have control over what happens on the site, but each still retaining their own accounts.

3) The story exists in one complete form, not several e-mails. Furthermore, an author can go back and edit their chapters without having to re-send it to the other participants.

4) The draft-in-progress for any given chapter can be read by the other authors. Therefore if one of the authors is writing, the other authors can stop in and get the latest version of what they've written, giving feedback, critique and correction as the chapter is being written.

5) When the story is finished the privacy levels can easily be adjusted to allow in certain readers.

6) The links function on the side of the blog makes it easy to list a table of contents, and catagorize other posts such as pictures or plot sketches.

All this goes to say that I'm a huge fan of using a blog for group writing. It's been a great tool for our project and I would definetely use it again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Which is why I haven't written much here. However, I have been updating the SOTB blog, which I think most of you are checking anyhow. Our actors were confirmed by the author yesterday, which was majorly exciting for me.

I've also been doing a lot of drawing, as I think is evidenced in my previous posts. Every now and then I get into a drawing mode and dash off quite a few sketches. Then I go two or three months without drawing anything. It's rather interesting. I'm hoping to use my grandmother's scanner tomorrow, so I should be able to get some decent scans to show you, as opposed to the slightly blurry versions I've been taking with my camera.