Where Did I Put My Tiara

The life unglamorous . . .

My Photo
Location: Utah, United States

see biography at http://www.marjoriejones.com

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia

All I can say is, they'd BETTER make all seven movies!
I took my youngest daughter to see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe tonight.  I started crying during the opening credits and I cried until we left the theater.  I've been waiting for this film since I was twelve years old.  Honestly.
I first discovered Narnia when I was twelve and had a regular gig babysitting for two adorable little boys.  Halfway through the summer, their mother gave me a collector box of all seven books -- you probably the know the one I'm talking about; white box, white books with amazing artwork on the cover.  She gave them to me with the words, "I think you'll like these.  They're great books, but a little too Christian for us."  They were a Jewish family.
It took me several read throughs before I was old enough to understand what she meant, and I have forever thanked her for introducing me to the children and to Aslan.
Once I married and started my family, I continued to read the books, eventually moving on to reading them aloud to my kids.  My children grew up with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy -- not to mention Caspian, Rillian, and the gang.  We went through many copies.  Those first books were read to death, but I still have my tattered copy of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Currently, we own a combined volume where the stories appear in C.S. Lewis' recommended reading order, starting with The Magician's Nephew and ending with The Last Battle.   But we still read them in the original order.  It's a habit I can't seem to break.
I've seen 'movies', and television adaptations, of the books before, but they have all been sadly lacking in the majesty that is Narnia.  This movie FINALLY did it justice.  I love that King Peter resembles the once and future King William!  And Lucy couldn't have been more perfectly cast.  Edmund was just rotten enough and Susan was amazing!  Even the old professor was just as I'd imagined him all these years.  But the kicker, the most wonderful suprise in all of the Seven Isles was Aslan... don't know about you, but I could listen to Liam Neeson all night long!
So tonight, I learned two very important things.  One, I already knew (but needed a reminder) and the other was news to me. 
1.  I need to read the stories aloud with my youngest again.  It's been too long and she was sadly lacking in her knowledge of Narnia this evening.  *shaking head*
and 2.  It's not as if Aslan is a TAME LION.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

You thought I forgot I had a blog, right?

Nah.  I didn't forget.  But like most of you, I'm sure, I've been busy up to my eyebrows with the holidays.  This blog is so 'new' that I sometimes forget even a paragraph is better than nothing.  And I suppose I'm stuck on 'profound' and I'm just not a profound kinda gal most of the time.  I read other people's blogs and I find them incredibly profound. 
Surprisingly, I'm posting this not only when I'm not feeling profound, but while I'm icky.  I have a cold/flu-y thing.  I stayed in bed most of the day, except for a rather necessary trip to the credit union and the grocery story.  Of course, this is the first day I've had to write on my current works-in-progress, so naturally, I didn't write a single word.  In my defense, I did open the document in my word processor.  But that's as far as I got.  I can't remember now what, exactly, distracted me.  I think it might have been a call from my nephew letting me know he made it back to his place in the city safely.  He'd come down for Christmas weekend and while it was a balmy 50 degrees on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, it started snowing like crazy about two hours before he was able to head home.  I left a message on his cell phone that he was more than welcome to stay the night with us rather than drive the treacherous canyon that is our only route to civilization, but he elected to brave the infamous Highway 6. 
I'm not the only one who's sick, by the way.  My poor Black Lab, Dozer, has gout.  I'm not exactly certain it's called Gout in animals, but that's the best way I can describe it.  A couple of months ago, her front paws swelled up something awful after a weekend of bird hunting with my husband, youngest daughter and our dear friend Mike who visits annually from California.  Her poor feet were so swollen, they'd more than doubled in size.  She snapped and cried when I tried to examine them.  At first, it was only one paw and we were certain she'd picked up a thorn or something.  We were worried about blood poisoning, so even though it was a Sunday, we called our vet (the incredible Dr. Boyd Thayn) at home and he agreed to meet us at his animal hospital.  A few anti-inflammatories and antibiotics later and Dozer was good as new.  Poor thing.
I'll be calling Doc tomorrow for a new prescription.
Our other dogs are fine.  Especially Lady of Lyonesse.  "Lea" is almost five months old now and has officially 'outgrown' Dozer.  She outweighs Dozer by probably 10 or 15 lbs now and they are exactly the same height.  Lea's forelegs are so thick, we can no longer wrap our fingers around them.  She's going to be HUGE.  Most Mastiff's are huge, of course, but the females are usually smaller than the males.  We're thinking there's a possibility that she will be larger than Pete when all is said and done.  Of course, she is the daughter of the great Dopper Madala, and he's quite a large dog himself.
Pete is still growing too.  When he arrived, I did a little measurement comparison on his head.  Dopper Madala's head was so large that when I placed the heel of my palm just over one of his big, floppy ears, my fingertips couldn't reach his other ear.  When I tried this on Pete the day he flew in from Oklahoma, I could touch both of his ears.  Not so any longer.  There is a good inch or so to spare.
So what about you?  Are you a big dog person or a little dog person?  Cat people are great too, but I'll save my cats for another entry.  In the meantime, I'd love to hear about your dogs! 

Friday, December 02, 2005

On Prologues

I am a member of a large romance writer's group on Yahoo.  Recently, the topic of prologues came up and I have learned there are several strong opinions on the matter.  I had no idea.  I personally like them and write them most of the time. 
Apparently, however, there are several folks who don't even read them when they buy a new book.  This is curious to me.  As one participant mentioned, why would one spend hard-earned cash on a book and not read the whole thing?  I mean, if it's a wall-banger, then sure, don't read it and chalk one up for experience.  But if it's a good book, why not read the whole thing?
It got me to thinking about the rules of writing.   More specifically, the rules for writing romance. (The original subject came up because one of the participants 'heard' that prologues were 'against the rules'.) 
Who came up with these rules?  The readers?  The editors?  Agents?
I have my own theory about this.  I think the rules came from the mill.  The rumor mill. Writer A told Writer B their own ideas about anything from character development, to prologues, to Points of View per scene.  Writer B told Writers C, D, and E.  By the time Writer X hears about it, it's a die-hard rule.  Enter RWA contests and the internet and suddenly, the alphabet of writers affected by said 'rule' is multiplied exponentially. 
What ever happened to entertaining our audience?  I'm speaking about the 'rule' that every word must count and every scene must pull the reader futher to the end of the book.
I'm not saying that every scene doesn't need a purpose.  I'm saying the scenes, the collection of words we write for the benefit of our readers, should serve a variety of purposes.  
A scene, whether it be a prologue or not, can build characters, build tension and suspense, add to the developing love story, or set the stage for something.  It may even simply set the stage.  The important thing is that the scene engage the reader and draw them into the world we've created.   
But what is the MAIN purpose the scenes should serve? 
Simple.  They should entertain.  Period.  If we do that, haven't we done our jobs?
What do you think?  If you're a reader, I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether you read prologues and what you look for a in a great read.  If you're a writer, what is your opinion of 'the rules'?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another Year Down

I wish I could say that I haven't blogged in a while because I've been so immersed in NaNoWriMo that I simply didn't have time! 
Unfortunately, that's not the case.  I was working, though.  I had some edits and rewrites to complete for an anthology that is coming very soon from eXtasy Books.  After that, I fell out of my groove.
Which brings me to my thoughts on the past year.  Wow... what a ride.  Some of it good.  Some of it bad.  My son got married.  My son got divorced.  I finally made it to a Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention and met some great friends, some of whom I'd spoken to online for a while. 
I finished The Lighthorseman.  I started Dawn of Redemption.  I signed four or five book contracts with two publishing houses. 
My daughter fell ill, but is making great strides to recovery. 
I made the leap to homeschooling my daughters and I took a job outside of the home, working part time for a friend who owns a cell phone distributorship and showroom.  Its nice because she tells me to write when we're not busy <grin>.
My husband embarked on his life-long dream of owning and breeding rare breed dogs and we now have two fabulous additions to the family, Pistol Pete and Lady of Lyonesse, South African Boerboel Mastiffs.
It makes me think.  The world really is a scary and magnificent place and it really is up to us to make it better.  To create a home within the topsy-turvy confines of our own atmosphere.  I could have lost it over the course of the past twelve months.  I almost did once or twice between illnesses and divorces.  But in the end, I can't imagine trading a single moment.  My daughter has finally started to find herself and the divorce made my son a stronger man, I think.  The bad times make us appreciate the good times.  It's cliche.  But it's true.
What about you?  Have you found any great insights over the past year?  Feel free to share your insights.  I'd love to hear them!