Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Inheritance “Tragedy”

Tonight I finished reading Paolini’s fourth installment in his Inheritance Cycle, appropriately entitled Inheritance.

My review of this novel will consist of an analysis of the basis plot, how it met my prior expectations, and a Christian & family perspective of any questionable content. The same will be true for my The House of Silk review.

Writing, Baking, Developing, and Photographing: Occupés, occupés!

I’ve decided to make the Nutella Cheesecake tomorrow night and let it sit for a day in order that the

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Far off in the distance you may spot Pont du Hoc, a key location for the Germans in World War II. As the Allied Forces charged up the beaches, the Axis Powers had a sufficient advantage with their turrents which had deadly accuracy, even from such a distance.

flavors may properly blend together before serving. I’ll likely be feeding around 25-30 people, so I’m sure to get plenty of feedback!

In the world world of writing, I recently submitted a manuscript for publishing (finally with all the formatting kinks worked out) and chose to make it available for free. The story, or duet play rather, came about when I was asked to creatively portray Biblical events through some sort of artistic medium, and for me, the natural choice was writing. I prayed to God for inspiration, to lead my efforts lest I stray from His Word, and I found 400 Years of Silence come forth as a result. After writing it, I was told (by a colleague of mine) that I should write a full book-length version of the tale , which I am certainly considering. If you have an iOS device, you can download the free play on the iBookstore. In the future I hope to post the play on this blog, once I figure out how to get the formatting as I like it.

Something I haven’t mentioned much on this blog is the documentary which I have been developing with footage I shot while in Normandy, France. Once completed, I’ll provide it to a Geography class at a nearby school and perhaps post it on this blog.

In addition to these life updates, there’s also the reviews I mentioned coming up. The House of Silk review and Mission Impossible review should be posted quite soon.

 

Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake: Coming Soon…

Tomorrow night I’ll be baking a cheesecake (and taking photographs promptly after it sets) then experimenting with Nutella chocolate as a frosting. So if you like cheesecake and chocolate, you’ll definitely want to see the photographs I’ll be posting Friday!

The only issue is how to apply the Nutella chocolate. I’m considering placing “globs” of the chocolate onto individual pieces and gently spreading it over with a knife… we shall see! Perhaps I’d be better off just mixing & baking it with the cheesecake batter…

If you like baking and have an idea as to how to go about this, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Le Chantier Naval de Harbor Normandie

Albeit this photograph may not hold the same beauty, it was captured at the same harbor as its kin, Le Beau Porte de Normandie. Moreover, I could not have asked for a more beautiful sky unless the sun had been setting.

Make Some Novel Progress

Taken near another Paris Metro station, from where we often emerged from the city's depths.

To the side is an unrelated photograph [I produced] for your enjoyment, as I prattle on about my affairs.

Writing a novel is a tedious endeavor to be sure – especially if one is also an avid reader who quite instinctively compares various masterpieces against one’s own seemingly inferior work, inspiring a perfectionist attitude about oneself. That would be one of my many authorial dispositions – as well as a love for literary adventure and a loathe for anything bland and boring in my writings. Therefore, when I approach those moments in my novel where characterization must take precedence over the rising or falling action, I find myself visage à visage with Writer’s Block. Yet it only takes a dab of inspiration to put me back on track – such a curious matter is writing. A joyous pastime when it is flowing forth and sprouting out in great heaps like the Niagara, and an aggravating stumbling block when it becomes as barren and dry as the Sahara.

On a side note – snow has begun to fall from the skies in great heaps upon the city, and I may just have a chance at some Winter photograph early this year after all!

Until then (or rather, till’ tomorrow),

Good night!

Grâce à Mes Yeux: A Photographic Compilation

The Adventure Writer’s Blog presents its first… collage!

Feel free to express your opinion in the comments.

This picture was ridiculously large (in its original posting) and had the potential of long loading times. However, if you would like to view the full version (which I would recommend if you have high speed internet) click here and take advantage of the size by zooming in on all the various details.

Vibrant Collage [Resized]

In all my time blogging over the course of two years I never thought to make a collage, and never one this large. The original was 7200 x 4050 – half a gigabyte with high resolution, although this version has been dramatically resized for lower connections.

Un Nouveau Page et Commentaires – alternatively “New Stuff!”

Today I made a few simple changes to the Adventure Writer’s Blog…

  • Password protected “Subscribers” page was stripped of its password, content was slightly revised, title of page changed  to “Literary Feedback,” and the page was made public so that all readers could participate in polls and subscribers wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of entering a password upon visits.

Moreover, drafts for reviews have been started and may be published simultaneously, depending on completion time. These reviews include:

  • The House of Silk, by Anthony Horowitz [Book Review]
  • Inheritance, by Christopher Paolini [Book Review]
  • Mission Impossible: The Ghost Protocol, Film Review

Tonight I’ve also begun work on a collage of sorts, including various “textures,” etc. from photos I’ve taken while travelling and graphics I’ve designed.

War at Our Doorstep

War at Our Doorstep

The annotated version of War At Our Doorstep delves into the story, uncovering important details and casting light upon the story’s various ambiguities. The story provided in this post is the original, unannotated version.

The frailty of life is a lesson learned by experience – the likes of our daily existences. Every day, when the fading crimson and golden-hued light gives way to the blackness of night, the menacing drone of bombers and the shrieking alarm which announces their coming brings fear into the heart of the community, and although all do their best to find safety in their homes, their shelters often become their prison unto death.

It all started three weeks ago, when the first HWK-325 emerged from the night’s sky followed by a score more of its kind. The residents of our humble town knew little of the ways of war and were unprepared for the onslaught to come. Many lives were taken that first day, mainly of those who did not heed the alarm. Since then, many of us have not dared to set foot out into the now foreboding pastures of our country which holds such terrors in the night. Our storehouses we have filled with what sustenance we may until the bombers pass (which is our one last hope). Those who have lived to see the bombers firsthand, such as myself, have reported many great wonders, such as the arrival of the AGL-435’s, great white bombers of extraordinary size which fought against the HWK-325 in a war of unknown causes. Perhaps they warred for control of our land, for every day they would annihilate a few of our land’s kind residents in their destructive conflict.

One night, following the death of my only son, I decided it had to end. I didn’t know how, but I would

This is an image I’ve used previously for various video projects related to War at Our Doorstep.

end this once and for all and bring peace to our land. I gathered my family together into our living room and held, perhaps (for I felt a great foreboding), our one last meeting. My wife was the first to speak.

“Honey, you can’t go!” she said with fear and anxiety upon her face. “Nobody has ever left their homes at this time of night and come back alive. Think of your family! Your –” she indicated with a movement of her hand our precious babies, all now teens but for our child of three. “Our children! You can’t leave them without a father. There’s no chance of success; you can’t reason with a bomber! How do you expect to fight them?”

Doubts filled my mind for a moment, but I cleared them away with a shake of the head. “Something must be done,” I said resolutely. “If I die, at least I will be an example for the community – to stand up for our families and fight. We have no hope cowering in our homes, we alone have the power to conquer this plague to our land. I’m certainly no David, but I will stand before many Goliaths. You can’t deter me from this; we must take a chance. Have I ever not returned? I will come back… and I pray with tidings of peace.”

Here is the enhanced version of a photograph I took some time ago of this bird of prey which ascended upon our porch. One of my revisions entailed increasing the level of detail in this graphic in order to accentuate the pattern upon the wings, sharp eyes, talons, etc.

I embraced my children and wife one last time, and journeyed out into the darkness. However, I saw at once my mission was a futile one, as a dozen bombers descended from above, their sights no doubt set upon my now quivering form – it was now too late to turn back. With one fell swoop, one swift action, my soul was carried unto heaven. What would become of my family and our town? Was there any hope to be had?

“Mommy, mommy!” a little girl’s voice sounded in the distance. “A hawk just caught a bunny!”

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Le Beau Port de Normandie (et amis): Memory Lane

One of my favorite photographs was one I took at a Normandy port. I first posted it on this blog on Oct. 22nd, 2010 shortly after arriving back on American shores. Since very few people were viewing my blog at that time, and moreover would be a pain to search through my never-ending archives I have decided to “bring it back into the light,” as well as a few others.

These photographs were originally posted when I had abundant space on my blog and posted images in full resolution, therefore you may note they have the potential of greater loading times.

Normandy Harbor

While at this beautiful Normandy harbor, we stopped for a bite to eat at a local seafood restaurant. While there, I had a (featured a few days ago on this blog) fantastic plate of fresh lobster that was likely caught that morning.

Soleil Rouge

A striking blend of various purples, pinks, whites, and violets! This flower stood out quite distinctly (on behalf of its vibrancy) among its kin in Monet's Garden.

Stars in a Black Sky

"What are these? I really have no idea." I had a knack for captions in '10, I did (tone dripping in sarcasm). In my travels, I paid a visit to the second-largest capitol building in the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_State_Capitol), that of Lincoln, Nebraska. There was a tremendous view from atop it, which if you'll scroll down to the next picture, you'll be able to enjoy.

A Look From Above

One may find an astounding view from atop the United States' second-largest capitol building. Although I'm sure the view from atop the Tour de Eiffel is a tad more beau.

A Storm Is Brewing

On one side, there's a beautiful sunset. However, on the flip side... there's something much more menacing brewing.

Grasshopper

The caption I originally had for this picture was... well, amusing at best. I found this grasshopper on a warm summer day when it was time to provide the plants with a "watery reprieve."

Spinach-Fruit Juice

Oh the terror! Oh the horror! Wait... it's actually quite delicious! A mix of frozen bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and spinach - all you taste is the fruit!

On the original post, I even posted a recipe:

Regardless of the captions (albeit I changed the captions) this drink actually isn’t half bad. Tastes more like a strawberry-banana smoothie, than an intimidating vegetable concoction.

Curious?

Ingredients:
  1. 3 Frozen Strawberries
  2. 2 Frozen Bananas
  3. 3 Handfuls of Fresh Spinach
  4. 1 Handful of  Blueberries
  5. 1 Cup of Water
  6. Combine ingredients in blender, mix well.
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PF Chang's egg drop soup is utterly magnificent - with its green peppers, chunks of delicious egg... this photograph is from the time where I'd photograph just about anything.

Le Notre Dame de Paris

Our Lady of Paris - the one, but not the only, Notre Dame!

 

 

 

 

Wikipedia Blackout Announced: Public Protest of SOPA

WordPress takes a stand with other online giants

The Wikimedia Corporation recently added a new banner to their website, and no, this time they’re not asking for a donation. By general consensus, the Wikipedia community has decided to initiate a blackout in approximately 3.5 hours, in order to protest SOPA legislation proposed by the United States government. The official comprehensive explanation is offered, as well as a simple homepage notice.

It is understood that although this legislation may have its benefits, it also comes with a price of providing the government with the power to remove websites after a court’s approval and restricting online freedom by placing strictures against suspected pirate websites and requiring domain owners including search engine giants such as Google, to remove any possible links related to the alleged pirate/s – a note upon which the Wikipedia community has taken a stand, claiming that the legislation is a form of censorship, and as other popular websites have stated, the likes of which China and Iran implement. Supporters of the bill dismiss these claims, yet Congress has taken note of these criticisms and the bill would appear to be losing ground. [1] [2] [3]

The time is ticking… now what am I going to do when I have some last minute research for the next 24 hours (the duration of the blackout)? I’m sure I’ll survive, but the impact of Wikipedia’s message, combined with the efforts of Yahoo!, Tumblr, Google, etc. is sure to be substantial. [4]

Even our beloved WordPress has joined the strike, all it takes is a visit to WordPress.com and visit one of those “censored” blogs.

I, for one, am a staunch supporter of action which may hinder the efforts of pirates and rightly secure an owner’s content under their copyright. However, the ramifications SOPA presents brings up many questions: do we want the government to have more power? Will the legislation really do good? Will it really effect the economy, or this simply being blown out of proportion? Will it hinder innovation and quench online entrepreneurship? 

Many of the Internet’s chief innovators are on strike, where do you stand?