Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ink and Fairydust - August 2010

Mr. Darcy's Diary

Sorely disappointed in "Eliza's Daughter," bored with "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" and warned by my mother never to read "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife" (at least I think that was the one), it's fair to say I was more than a little skeptical of "Mr. Darcy's Diary."

However I found myself pleasantly surprised. Though the original is still better, the Diary is actually quite a decent and entertaining work. Once you can get over the notion of Mr. Darcy keeping a diary and chronicling such thing as buying presents for his sister (yes, really? But it's chick lit, and details of business transactions or how many birds he bagged at Bingley's aren't going to keep the ladies reading), it's engaging and well-written. I was actually surprised at how well Grange managed to imitate the writing style of Austen.

It's a light read, but I think a fun one, and actually quite appropriate. I'd have no qualms handing this to a pre-teen to read - so long as they'd read the original first!

Though I think it might have worked better as a first person narrative rather than a journal-entry style, it is an interesting look at one person's imagining of the most famous romantic hero in English Literature.

Now I suppose I will have to go to the library website and put "Mr. Knightley's Diary" on hold...

Friday, July 30, 2010

I've been Interviewed!

The Katies did an interview with me for their Fairy Tale Novels Week. There's some interesting facts that you might enjoy learning about myself and the SOTB film. Check it out here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thoughts on entering the final stretch of filming.

We enter the final home stretch of filming "The Shadow of the Bear" today.

I'm actually feeling a little bit excited, which surprises me. It's been insanely stressful lately and yesterday was pretty much pure hell, so I really had no idea what I'd be feeling like today. But I sat down and my parents prayed over me and that brought in so much peace... I know that many of you are praying as well and I thank you so much.

This film has been just about the hardest thing I've done in my life. I think the only things that have stressed me out more were my literature finals/papers in college (those were the scariest days of my life - I was definitely not meant to be a lit major!). And so I face a lot of days going "what have I gotten myself into?"

Some of you have asked how you can help the film reach completion. Well, there is a movement among the fans over at the Fairy Tale Novel forum to do some fundraising. If you'd like to pitch in, head over to the forum and the "save the movie" thread and offer your support. We need all hands on deck to get this finished!

I also ask that you consider taking on SOTB as your special prayer battle for the next month (through August 26th). Prayer is the greatest weapons we Christians have, and I am so grateful that it has been weilded so often in SOTB's cause. But we need it now more than ever.

In particular I ask you to remember us tonight between the hours of 4:00 and 10:00pm, Central Time, when we will be filming.

Thank you again for all of your love, support and encouragement both in following this project, and following my personal thoughts on this blog. I am so appreciative of you all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Want to be in a film?

We are going to need extras for SOTB on -

July 28th (THIS WEEK!) in Dayton, MN. We need extras that look between the ages of 16 and 19, dressed in prom clothing.

August 20th and 21st at Northwestern College. Extras should look between 14 and 19.

If you could help us out, please send an e-mail to theshadowofthebear [at] ymail [dot] com.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inklings

This review is written in honor of my younger sister, who just finished reading this series and could not stop gushing about it. I've enjoyed and reread the books for years, so it was delightful to find that my sister loves them as much as I do.

The year is 1964, and Kate is an American student doing a year of study at Oxford University. To her delight, she finds herself invited into a group of young people who meet weekly in an attempt to replicate the meetings of the famous "Inklings." C.S. Lewis died the year before, so the original group is no longer meeting, however Lewis's former student, the handsome don David MacKenzie, is well suited for raising up a new generation of literature lovers and creators. David becomes one of Kate's lit tutors, and it isn't long before the two of them develop feelings for each other. However, love is never simple, and Kate finds herself being courted by the dashing Lord Stuart Deveroux... meanwhile, David's glamorous fiance Charlotte appears on the scene...

Inklings. Oxford. Romance. And appearances by Tolkien and later (in the prequel "Evasions") Lewis himself. What could be better?

What lifts this series above the ordinary "Christian Romance" is that Jeschke deals with more issues than just romance. In the pages of her books you'll find her dealing with such topics as modesty, chastity, unexpected pregnancy (and abortion), alcoholism, mixed race relationships, the importance of parental approval, and above all, the importance of the Christian Faith.

Although tastefully handled (my sister laughed about the fact that the series rarely uses the word "sex" and instead goes with the older "made love...") these topics are mature ones and this series is probably best handled by the 16+ crowd. It is however a really good entry for those ready to jump into the world of adult fiction. It introduces topics often found in Adult books, but from a Christian worldview and in an informative way that shows these issues in light of their consequences, not their glamor.

Friday, July 23, 2010

"The Shadow the Bear" - a hilarious review

My dear friend Rose (and fellow editor over at I&F) just did what I think is a hilarious review of the novel, "The Shadow of the Bear" by Regina Doman. She uses Blanche and Rose to help her out on the review and so even if you've read the book, I think you'll enjoy it!

Pixar Heroines... or lack of.

Bob: Wait here and stay hidden. I'm going in.
Helen: While what? I watch helplessly from the sidelines? I don't think so.
Bob: I'm asking you to wait with the kids.
Helen: And I'm telling you, not a chance. You're my husband, I'm with you - for better or worse.


Helen Parr (aka Elastigirl) rocks. Majorly. Without a doubt she's the strongest Pixar heroine... although, she, like Dory, Jessie, and Eve remains, not the protagonist of the story, but a sidekick. In fact, Elastigirl is the only Pixar female that one could even begin to consider as the 'main character' of her film, although it's clear by the laws of filmmaking that Mr. Incredible is the actual main character.

There has not been one single Pixar film in which the main character/protagonist/person the story revolves around, is a girl.

Now I'm not what you'd call a feminist in this day and age, but it still seems a bit strange to me that after ten films, not one of them would sport a female in the lead.

It's not that Pixar ignores women, they obviously have some pretty awesome chicks alongside their heroes. But why not, just once, cast a girl in the leading role? To make a story truly universal and loved by all audiences, does it [i]have[/i] to be about a guy? Or do the Pixar executives just not feel comfortable doing an in depth portrayal of a woman?

What do you think?

A Trickster Bard



The first character I ever played in a RPG. She was delightful. :) Anyhow, this picture was drawn by my friend Alicia, and colored by myself on GIMP.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Honey Face Mask

Day two of trying a new facial... thing. Some of the girls on the FTN forum were talking about their successes with honey face masks, so I thought I'd take a try at it. I'm following the instructions on this website, and I must say, I look very interesting with a yellow face... ;). But face masks always look funny. Anyhow, no word on whether it works yet, but I'm going to give it a few more tries before I declare it a yes or a no. Anyone have any face masks that work well for them?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What is your favorite Pixar film?

I was extremely surprised by the outpouring of deep, thoughtful comments I received on my last post, regarding the sadness of "UP." I'm thinking I may have to delve into controversy more often!

Anyhow, I thought it was appropriate to base my next poll on Pixar. What is your favorite Pixar film? Vote in poll on the sidebar, then leave me a comment in this post letting me know why!

My favorite is "The Incredibles." Second place would be a 4-way tie between Wall-E, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, and UP.

And I've got another Pixar controversial subject to touch upon in my next post. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is "UP" too sad?

I finally saw Pixar's "UP" last night. Brilliant of course, like all Pixar movies. And beautiful.

However, it was REALLY sad. I mean, I'd heard it was sad, but I didn't expect to still have a feeling of melancholy when the movie was over...

Was that just me? Or were there others who ended the film less than jubilant? And if so, is that an appropriate tone for a kid's movie?

Pixar is brilliant because their films can be enjoyed by any age demographic. I will never forget the sense of awe I experienced when watching "Wall-E" and realizing that my 3-year-old charge was just as riveted to the screen as I was. Now that takes talent.

However the fact remains that the movies, technically, are kid's films. And people don't expect kids films to be sad. Perhaps a moment of tragedy in the beginning, such as when Simba looses his father, or Nemo his mother, but the sorrow of such moments are usually quickly forgotten and while they may affect the tone of the movie, rarely leave me with a lasting melancholy.

The emotion I felt at the end of "UP" was getting a little too close to the emotion I felt at the end of Titanic.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration (I was bawling at the end of Titanic), but my point is that there are few films other than those that deal with history or Shakespeare that carry that kind of emotion. And I just have to wonder if it's appropriate for a kid's film?

Or am I blowing this whole thing out of proportion?

I guess I just didn't expect to end a Pixar movie feeling depressed. Even though it was a wonderful movie and I loved it. I expect to feel happy and uplifted after Pixar. Not... sad.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Remember Me

Hold on a moment, are you saying that Robert Pattinson can't act? Well, I have a bit of a bombshell for you.

He can.

Remember Me is the story of two young people, Tyler (Pattinson) and Ally (LOST's Emilie de Ravin), who are dealing with the effects of losing close family members. Tyler's brother committed suicide on his 22nd birthday - a birthday of his own towards which Tyler is close approaching. Ally and her mother were victims of a mugging that ended tragically when the thieves murdered Ally's mother. Working through their own struggles and the sorrow that affects their parents every day, Tyler and Ally draw closer together, learning, loving, and moving on.

Tyler misses his brother daily, and regularly goes to a coffee shop they used to frequent in order to write letters to his brother. It's really journaling, and seems to be helping Tyler move through his grief in a somewhat positive way, although he doesn't truly move on until he finds Ally.

Ally has a fairly normal life, except for the fact that she lives with her father who clearly has not been able to forgive himself for his wife's death. Although he was not present at the scene, he works as a police officer and feels an enormous responsibility for keeping New York safe. He loves his daughter deeply, but the guilt complex ends up causing a rift between them - a rift incited by Ally's relationship with Tyler.

Meanwhile Tyler's dad (Pierce Brosnen) has also been affected by the loss of his loved one. He seems unable to connect emotionally with his 11-year-old daughter Caroline. Tyler repeatedly begs, berates and encourages his father to repair the relationship before it is too late.

And Caroline is an important piece in the film as well. In a world where siblings are rarely taught to find best friends in each other, Tyler and Caroline love each other deeply. Despite the ten-year-age difference, they protect, support and inspire each other in a way rarely seen on screen these days.

Remember Me is a beautiful and moving film, with excellent acting and a deep and engaging storyline. In my opinion, it's only falterings are a little too much crudeness from Tyler's roommate Aiden, a scene of premartial sex (that is nevertheless, fairly brief and not gratuitous), and an underutilization of Pierce Brosnen's acting skills. Though it did not bother me and I felt it worked within the context of the film, families will want to be aware that the film contains swearing, drinking and smoking.

I felt this was a film well worth seeing. Trust me, even if you hate Edward Cullen, you will still be able to appreciate Pattinson's acting in this film. And Losties of course already know the brilliance of Emilie de Ravin, but I think even they will be surprised by the abilities she shows in Remember Me.

Because the friend I watched it with was deeply affected by this point (and cried for about ten minutes afterwards), I also feel drawn to mention a fact about the ending. This is a SPOILER, however, so don't read further if you wish to be surprised.

SPOILER-----
The film deals with the events of September 11th, including the death of a beloved character in the World Trade Towers. I feel it was respectfully and tastefully done, despite the controversy on this point.
-----SPOILER OFF

Don't Forget!

There's still a month and a half left on the contest - plenty of time for you to prove that you are Regina's Biggest Fan and win tons of cool prizes, including a copy of The Shadow of the Bear: The Movie!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The wonders of sunsets and lightning storms

We saw the most amazing sunset tonight.

I was over at a friends house, hanging with two particular filmmakers who have been off busy on a little project called Lambent Fuse (it's due to go to Sundance!). We were talking over random things (like Doctor Who) when suddenly the 9 year old resident of the house came dashing downstairs announcing that there was an amazing sunset outside and we had to go see it.

We took one glance out the window, saw a hint of the glory, and the guys tore upstairs. I followed at a some what more leisurely pace. When we got outside, one of my friends was already halfway up the driveway, running as fast as I've ever seen him go - camera in hand. A second late my other friend flew out the door, also carrying his camera. I just about died laughing. Away they went, to capture the majesty before it disappeared forever.

I followed, laughing merrily, and (for some reason I can't quite explain) quoting the jabberwocky. (Don't ask where that came from. I already told you I couldn't explain it.)

When I got to the top of the driveway, I could at last fully see the sunset... and it was phenomenal. Words cannot describe how amazing it was. It was pink and purple and gold and bright and shining through rain... I have never seen a sunset like that. Ever. It truly was a bit of heaven on earth.

And if that was not enough, the sky treated me to a majestic show of a lightning storm on the drive home. A wondrous night indeed! I wish you all could have seen it...

Friday, July 9, 2010

A photoshop vid

I thought this was fascinating... want to know the work that goes into graphic design? Check out the process of this digital painting. 9 hours of work are compressed into this amazing 5 minute video.

Blog Renovations...

Is that the sound of a hammer I hear?

Well, perhaps not literally, but I am working on doing some renovations for this blog. First up is reorganizing the sidebar, which is far too cluttered. I'm going to give each category its own page, which will have a link on the main blog. This should streamline everything a bit better and make the main page less busy. I'll also need to do a new header and perhaps background at some point... but probably not for awhile.

Anyhow, check out the first of the pages... Books, Authors and Plays

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shhhh... I like Eclipse.

It's no secret that I enjoy Twilight (for reasons, please see my reviews in the book review section on the sidebar). I was very disappointed in the first movie... and quite delighted with the second.

The third?

Loved it. It was definitely the strongest installment yet, and had plenty of cool action, more Cullen screen time, and way more Jasper than I had dared hope for. You may not be sold on Twilight, but if your friends want to see Eclipse, this is the one to see. There's decent plot, and Rob Pattinson actually is allowed to act in this one, which makes Edward much more pleasant to watch. And Kristen Stewart, though I may not love her, is becoming better as well - not to mention prettier by the day (it seems).

The action is done very well, and the whole Seattle portions of the film are worked in very nicely. This was a really good adaptation from book to film, and seemed to do everything right and very few things wrong. I can't wait to for it to come out on DVD so I can see it with close captions... and actually, this one I wouldn't mind seeing again on the big screen... perhaps when it hits the cheap theaters?

(For the record, we went to a matinée showing, so only had to fork over $5 for tickets.)

Do you reread books?

I do. I find it a comforting thing. See, I count my books as my friends, and so picking one up and reading familiar dialog is like driving over and visiting a friend I haven't seen for awhile, but love dearly. No book, if it's really good, is going to satisfy me if I only read it once. Someday, perhaps in a year, perhaps five, I'll be reading it again.

And guess what? C.S. Lewis agrees! Take a look at this quote from his work "An Experiment in Criticism" -

In the first place, the majority never read anything twice. The sure mark of an unliterary man is that he considers 'I've read it already' to be a conclusive argument against reading a work. We have all known women who remembered a novel so dimly that they had to stand for half an hour in the library skimming through it before they were certain they had once read it. But the moment they became certain, they rejected it immediately. It was for them dead, like a burnt-out match, an old railway ticket, or yesterday's paper; they had already used it. Those who read great works, on the other hand, will read the same work ten, twenty or thirty times during the course of their lives.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The investment of TIME

Word to the wise. Don't start managing a magazine unless your heart and soul are fully in it. Because otherwise the amount of time it takes to put out a decent product will destroy you. Well, unless you're getting paid. Then it's just a job and the time invested is worth it.

I love doing I&F, but boy, I can't wait until we can make it into a paying venture. The time I put into it is insane sometimes.

Of course, I have a habit for being insane about time investments. I've estimated that by the time I'm done with SOTB, I will have put at least 600 hours into that. Talk about insanity.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Tale of the 4th

Did you enjoy the 4th of July? I did. Apart from missing church (which is a bad habit I need to correct... this week), it was a fairly decent day.

Worked on a new acrylics painting. I love painting - it's so peaceful. There are very few things I do that really relax me.

Used ribbons and colored hair strands and random jewelry to go for the "fireworks" look. It's sort of an annual tradition for me to go a little crazy in what I wear on the 4th of July. I need to get some shiny tinsel or something for next year... mhmmm...

Went out to my grandparents' cabin with my family where we had lots of conversation and good food - including some really amazingly awesome turkey that my uncle made.

Had family music time, including singing "America the Beautiful" and "Liberty Tree." The latter song is from the Disney movie "Johnny Tremain" and is one of my favorite patriotic songs. Look it up!

Burned sparklers with my sister. Believe it or not, I have reached adulthood without ever setting off any kind of firework. The sparklers are fun, but I did get one nasty burn. Trust me. Firework burns hurt more than other kinds of burns. Ow. But at least we got to watch something exploding. On the way home from the cabin we saw a few, but drove by too fast to see anything decent.

Then I introduced my sister to "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Apart from the pervert of a sheriff, it's a really entertaining film and she enjoyed it. I think we both agree that Morgan Freeman makes the film... although we like Marian as well.

So that was my 4th. Pretty typical americana...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ink and Fairydust - July 2010

If you haven't had a chance yet, I want to invite you to visit our new website, http://www.inkandfairydust.com. Even if you looked at it last month, it's worth checking again as we have added several new pages.

Also, if you're an I&F fan, we'd be honored if you would display one of our banners on your blog, website, facebook page, or forum profile. Banners in various sizes and shapes can be found here: http://inkandfairydust.com/main.cfm?r1=10.00&ID=191&level=1

Now would also be an excellent time to invite some new friends to check out the fun. As always, they can sign up for our mailing list by sending their e-mail address to inkandfairydust@yahoo.com under the subject "I&F Subscription."

Our Facebook Group has passed the 100 member mark, but we'd love to see that doubled by the end of the summer! If you're on Facebook, why don't you join the group and ask your friends to join as well? You'll be able to discuss the magazine, ask questions, and get some behind the scenes updates! Find it here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=110108122364248


Articles of Note

Do you Reread Books?

"Dear Miss Jane" - a Letter to Jane Austen

A Bit About Roleplaying

Shepherdess in the Making

Why I went on the March for Life

For Festive Spirit

Loving to Read

Intro to Ink and Fairydust

How to Host a Renaissance Faire