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400 Years of Silence

For the first time I’m releasing part of the 400 Years of Silence 600-word story, all rights reserved.

On one cold September night, a man sat pouring over the Holy Scriptures of God. The
room was dark, but for the light of a few feeble candles, arranged around the man’s place of
reading, casting a yellow tinge against the dark stone walls. As he finished reading the final verse
of Job, his brother Mannaseh entered the study.

“Naaman, my brother!” Mannaseh exclaimed. “What are you doing reading that old
thing? It’s been four hundred years since that god of yours proclaimed anything to His people –
resign this insanity of yours!”

“Insane I may be,” began Naaman, motioning to the scriptures before him. “But these
prophecies Isaiah speaks of…”

“Forget the prophecies!” Mannaseh interjected, with an ever reddening visage. “Those
were simply lies devised by the old Kings of Israel.”

“Yet why would the kings seek their own destruction?” Naaman reasoned, his tone
measured and calm, yet with a hint of desperation. “It is by God alone that…”

“I relent brother, I relent…” cried Manasseh, storming out of the room. “I leave you to
this self-ordained madness!”

Naaman sat half-bewildered, still gazing at the last verse before him. Job didn’t have
faith either… then God revealed himself in a most glorious way. “My brother may not believe,”
Naaman said to himself. “But I feel the spirit of the Lord is strongly manifested on this night.
God will not be quiet forever, He will come after his lost sheep.

Copyright © 2011 – Adventure Writer’s Blog

All rights reserved.

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Now onto Inheritance… and Shakespeare!

Now that I have finished reading The House of Silk, I will be moving onto more fantastical, dreamlike pastures, those of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. In addition to this, I will also be concluding an analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for scholastic purposes, as well as self-publishing a few short stories for a NaNoWriMo-based contest, all the while juggling various other activities. This month promises to be a busy one!

The Burning Bush

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With Autumn comes a flourish of colors.

Inheritance Has Arrived

This month feels like it should be “book month” for me, having all these fantastic novels showing up at my doorstep. Speaking of doorstep… Inheritance has finally arrived and it is a staggering 860 pages long! The House of Silk review will be out shortly, though I can’t say the same for Inheritance…

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The hazy background emphasizes how far I have to read.

Steady Progress on The House of Silk

I am making steady progress in my reading of the House of Silk, and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed! Horowitz has effectively utilized a vast majority of Doyle’s signature tools (characters, resources of language, plot/case outline, etc.) and thus produced a very nostalgic and thoroughly suspenseful novel. As I read, I am making notes of various plot points to include on Wikipedia and my review of the story here, below is what I have contrived thus far (my Wikipedia version is slightly altered):

The House of Silk begins with a brief, personal recounting of events by Watson, much like the Study in Scarlet by the original author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The reader is informed of the particulars regarding the first meeting of Watson and Holmes, including the circumstances of the Afghan War which were inexplicably tied therein. In this we have the prologue, and once the first chapter begins, we are hot on the case. At the start of the first chapter, it is discovered that due to certain unknown circumstances other than the departure of Watson’s wife, Mary (Morston, in The Sign of Four), Watson has returned to board with Holmes, the latter being quite pleased with the reunion, after having little correspondance due to the family life of Watson. Holmes’ proceeds to unravel these unknown circumstances forthwith, deducing that Watson’s wife has left, accompanied with their child [Richard Forrester] (who is sick with influenza) to seek care from Mrs. Cecil Forrester (another prominent figure in the Sign of Four, and the boy’s governess). Shortly thereafter, with an example of Holmes’ ‘deductive powers’ made, the client of the The Flat Cap case is introduced. He is a man by the name of Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer who has come upon unfortunate circumstances. A year after his return to America, he finds himself being stalked by a man in a flat cap, characteristic of an infamous Irish gang. He proceeds to tell Holmes of the events which first led to his acquaintance with the man – he had come to America after a train robbery and destruction therein had destroyed paintings which were to be sent on request of a wealthy client. The gang responsible were based in Botson, led by two Irish twins, Rourke (muscular and assertive) and Keelan (pale, frail, and possible mastermind) O’Donaghue wearing distinct flat caps (thus the name of the gang), and had destroyed the paintings by way of setting charges to one of the train cars containing numerous English pound notes. Mr. Carstairs, with the full financial backing of his wealthy client, proceed to hire a private detective by the name of Bill McParland. The detective soon locates the hideout of the gang and their discovery results in a fierce firefight in which all but one of the gang perishes. As the sole survivor, Keelan O’Donaghue allegedly enacts his revenge by tracking down Carstairs more than a year after the instant, watches his every movement, and supposedly robs of his household a pearl necklace and a few pound notes.

Adventure Writer's Blog: House of Silk Summary (Prologue, Ch. 1 - 2.5)
Fun Fact:  In Chapter one there is some mention of Dupin, a character 
developed by the late Edgar Allen Poe,  and his ability to make astounding
deductions based on visible emotions reflected through the physical medium. 
Holmes demonstrates this by uncovering Watson's anxiety and the source 
thereof.

A Premise Devised and a Novel To Be Written

At long last, I have a suitable premise for my novel and thus the means to develop it fully. Now comes the process of placing pen to paper and inciting a story to life, abiding by the NaNoWriMo principle of free expression – not allowing my self-concerned literary prejudices (those of numerous, thorough self-critiques) to obstruct the flow of words. We shall see if it all turns out good and well at the end of the month! Till’ then, best of luck to all!

Puss in Boots: Movie Review

Puss in Boots

Image via Wikipedia

It began a long time ago… you may want to sit down for this.

-Puss (Antonio Banderas)

Puss in Boots is back, and this time around there’s no sign of donkey, Shrek, or the usual storyline. Puss In Boots brings a fresh, rollicking, action-packed adventure to the table – abundant in sword fights, dance fights, and angry goose mothers.

The story kicks off with a Casanova-like Puss, escaping from an unknown villain at the dark of night. After a narrow escape, he ventures to a saloon for a glass of leche. Here he receives news of the infamous golden eggs, and the fantastic goose who lays them, residing in a castle far into the heavens. The only way to get there is to obtain the magical beans and plant them in a specific spot to create beanstalk. Simple, right? Until Puss learns of the bean’s current “owners,” the notorious Jack & Jill who seek the goose of legend for the great wealth it may provide. A race to obtain the beans ensues and Puss finds himself intercepted by the elusive Kitty Softpaws, who extends an offer of partnership, one that puss would readily accept…

I’ll steal you blind before you even know it. 

-Softpaws (Salma Hayek)

…if it wasn’t for his orphan “brother.”

I smell something familiar… *great whiff* … something dangerous… *contemplates* … something breakfasty… HUMPTY ALEXANDRE DUMPTY! How dare you show your face to me?

-Puss

Puss first met Humpty in an orphanage as a mere kitten, and they forged an immediate friendship and a club dedicated to tracking down the magical beans. They had many an adventure together – stealing beans from local vendors, and planting them whenever they had the chance, hoping one day to find the ones they were looking for. One day, however, a raging bull escapes from its pen and charges through the town, heading straight for an elderly woman. Puss swoops in, saves her, and consequently becomes the town hero – receiving his well known boots and cap as a reward. From this point on, Puss vowed never to steal again, an oath which Humpty observed with annoyance – for although Puss had taken the path of straight and narrow, Humpty would not, and continued to strive for his goal by whatever means necessary, even by breaking into the head soldier’s household and stealing gold so that he may escape from town. Puss arrives on the scene as Humpty hobbles out of the grounds, unaware of his theft. Humpty prompts him to drive him away, and Puss obeys. Soon, however, he realizes the depth of their situation. Soldiers chase them until they reach the town bridge, and all the while Puss furiously chides Humpty on deceiving him. The next moment, their cart overturns and the gold falls into the river. Humpty, unable to stand up, rolls around and asks Puss for help. Puss, however, regards him as a traitor and runs off, leaving him to the guards.

Present day, Humpty asks Puss to join him (and Softpaws this time around) in capturing the beans. After much hesitation and backstory, Puss agrees, wanting to use the golden eggs to pay back the villagers and head Soldier… will Puss, Humpty, and Softpaws succeed in their endeavor or will Jack and Jill get to the castle first? All the while there is treachery afoot…

Christian & Family Perspective [See CS & PI for more information]

Puss in Boots is a fantastic movie, easily comparable to the rest of the related-Shrek series. It’s highly enjoyable for all ages – the audience I sat with consisted of elderly individuals, young people (children & college aged), as well as middle-aged adults.

Regarding age and religious confliction, the film is suitably rated PG and is mostly quite humorous, even “dark” foreboding scenes are somewhat predictable and not at all extreme in violence, imagery, or language. There are some concepts which parents may need to discuss with their children, but otherwise its a great, family-friendly movie for ages 7+ (Common Sense says 6+).

Excerpted from Adventure Writer's Blog:Preliminary Review

The character of Puss transitions from a thief, to an unrighteously accused outlaw, seeking to making up for crimes he did not commit. He does also, however, constantly retain a rogue-romantic-avenger aspect – flirting with female cats (most especially Softpaws, with whom he wishes to have many more adventures), and shaving off opponent’s hither and thither.

In conclusion, I greatly enjoyed Puss in Boots and would certainly recommend it for the family setting. It has, in my opinion, far surpassed the Shrek series.

Puss in Boots: Notes and Quotes

Just like last time with Captain America, here’s our Puss in Boots: Notes & Quotes!

The full review is now available here!

Chatbotté1885

Image via Wikipedia

Preliminary Review (Full-Review Monday)

Puss in Boots is a fantastic movie, easily comparable to the rest of the related-Shrek series. It’s highly enjoyable for all ages – the audience I sat with consisted of elderly individuals, young people (children & college aged), as well as middle-aged adults.

Regarding age and religious confliction, the film is suitably rated PG and is mostly quite humorous, even “dark” foreboding scenes are somewhat predictable and not at all extreme in violence, imagery, or language. There are some concepts which parents may need to discuss with their children, but otherwise its a great, family-friendly movie for ages 7+ (Common Sense says 6+).

Highlighted Movie Quotes

It began a long time ago… you may want to sit down for this. -Puss (Antonio Banderas), regarding life story.

I’ll steal you blind before you even know it. -Softpaws

You’re better than that. – Orphan Caretaker & Puss (3x) – marks many turning points in the film.

I smell something familiar… *great whiff* … something dangerous… *contemplates* … something breakfasty… HUMPTY ALEXANDRE DUMPTY! How dare you show your face to me? -Puss [see teaser]

Holy frijoles! -Puss

Christopher Paolini Recounts Writing Inheritance

Today Alagaesia News, author Christopher Paolini’s official website news distributor, sent out an e-mail detailing Christopher Paolini’s experience in writing Inheritance, the last installment in the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and now Inheritance) As a writer myself, I found his account quite intriguing. Here’s a short excerpt!

The actual writing of Inheritance was every bit as scary, exciting, and soul wrenching as I expected. Despite the fact that I’ve already published three books (four if you count Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia), I’ve never actually ended a story before. Not properly. Doing so was a unique experience. When I wrote the last scene, I felt this wave of heat rush through me, and I found myself shaking as if with a fever. I didn’t cry. I didn’t wail. The moment was beyond that. Thirteen years of work and emotion brought to a head. And saying goodbye to the world and the characters wasn’t easy. I still find myself thinking about Eragon and Saphira and the other characters and wondering, What if… Funnily enough, it seemed as if nature itself was bound up in the completion of the book. I was in New York City for the last week of editing, and during that time, the city experienced both an earthquake and a hurricane.

-Christopher Paolini via Alagaesia Newsletter

It promises to be an interesting novel to be sure – I’ll be posting a review shortly after reading the novel.

I’ve achieved 10000 words in my novel…

Suddenly 50,000 seems like an unbelievable number – over one hundred pages of solid text written over the course of one month –  no exceptions. Why did I sign up for this again?

The NaNoWriMo challenge would have seemed impossible to me if I hadn’t read its purpose, to force “yourself to write so intensely… [so as to give yourself] permission to make mistakes. To build without tearing down.” If it were a requirement of 1667 well-thought out, perfected entries per day, then perhaps with my current schedule it would be. However, I can certainly write 1667 imperfect, still rough and needing polished entries each day, and I pray that I will so that I may grow as a writer.

Today I wrote about 800 words on my current novel – that took me about 45 minutes of brainstorming, revising, and research to do that much, however I believe NaNoWriMo will be much easier. It’s a clean slate, with all sorts of possibilities for a story, I already have an idea coming to me…