June 26 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Harry Potter series first entry into publication, and while “Pottermania” would not take hold of the world until the eventual release of the third book, those who picked up the story on a whim where already being enchanted by the tale of the Mr. Potter and his early trials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Ironically wondering if such a thing was like a philosophers stone, because despite what localizes think, there are those of us in the US who know what that is, and even recognize the name Flamel.) at the start of Christmas break in 1997, I then read it five more times before the three week long break was complete, every time I completed the story I simply reopened the book and started from page one…
The first time I heard about Rat Queens was through Critical Role, a Thursday night Twitch program where a group of (incredibly accomplished and delightfully dorky) voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. I used to be more of a comic book fan in my junior high and high school years, but that fell to the wayside as the writers I loved stopped producing as many works in that medium. But in the last twelve years there has been such an advance in the industry that I’m excited to return and see where the journey takes me.
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, the initial run of prints emerged in September 2013 after being picked up by Image Comics. You can feel the heavy influence of D&D throughout ever fight scene, and there are many. The artist for this run was Roc Upchurch, a man who was later replaced after charges of domestic violence arose. On that sour note, let the review begin!
Star Wars- I was introduced to it at such a young age that it feels like it has always been part of my life. The Original Trilogy held a time honored place in the pantheon of Most Important Movies, especially Return of the Jedi. The first notes of John William’s score would wail and shake as the worn VHS played through the quiet beginning, a hooded Luke approaching the Hutt den to free Han. I can remember the thrill as both Lando and Leia revealed themselves, the triumph of Boba Fett dropping into the sarlaac and the Princess killing Jabba. The end was just as spectacular, the battle of Endor played out in the redwood forests my family would visit almost every summer. Speeder bikes screaming through the undergrowth, Ewoks fighting back against the interlopers who sought to occupy their forest. And Luke, his loneliness a weight as heavy as his father’s body, watching Anakin burn.
I won’t talk about the prequels (everyone else already has), and I can’t claim to have read any Star Wars novels before this or any other works by Chuck Wendig. So there are probably many things I’m missing out on with my initial reading of Aftermath, but I enjoyed it regardless, and really appreciated what Mr. Wendig attempted to do here.
If you’re one of the ones who grew up loving Narnia, then there is always a small part of you looking for the light in Lantern Waste, peeking into coat-filled wardrobes, and studying paintings of old ships. And there’s always that odd feeling of being slightly displaced, for you touched another world, let it sink it’s claws into you- and now you’re never truly home.
Loneliness makes tracks through our souls like feet on virgin snow, hollowed and soft and shadowed…
All right everyone, I’ll admit it, I’m behind on books. Of course everyone is- but it’s starting to make me feel guilty. So far I’ve finished six books this year, but there are so many great series out there I haven’t touched because I have an irrational fear of not loving them as much as things I have loved in the past. Look, I never claimed to be logical- OK?
I am especially referring to the fantasy genre- the one I write in and want to be published in. It’s a challenge though, because in times of revolution and change and in grappling with becoming more self aware I have been leaning towards fiction and nonfiction that I feel will widen my world view. But this world is exhausting and depressing, and sometimes I want a break- preferably on the back of a dragon. So, while everyone has already made their lists of things they are most looking forward to being released this year, I am making a list of things to catch up on. Fantasy things, maybe a few sci-fi things as well, but magic is usually what I’m looking for, in life and in writing.
Just a little essay I whipped up while trying to resist the urge to light everything on fire. I am almost thirty and I think I’m failing at adulthood. Also I am afraid- of everything. I get more time to write and suddenly the “publish” button becomes a creature of nightmares. Here is an analogy about writing, looked at through the lens of baking- two things I usually love but on occasion make me want to die. Or at least get melodramatic. Or get tequila even though I don’t drink, but sometimes I feel like iiiiit. More on that later.
Writing your first novel is sort of like baking a cake from scratch.
And you’ve never even set foot in the kitchen. You’ve seen it from a distance, possible touched things within, but the inner workings are as complicated as your friends home- brewed D&D/Dune crossover campaign that’s lasted five years.
So, you start with the idea- you know you want cake, but you aren’t even one hundred percent sure what sort of cake you want. This leads to research, books read, blogs scrutinized, Chuck Windig cornered, kidnapped, questioned, then Neuralized by Agent J and released, and three weeks of making a Pinterest board; slowly, you narrow it down. You eliminate the sort of cakes you don’t like, which, if you’re like me, is not many, and you are left a with a bunch you do. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that funfetti box mix and frosting combo though- that stuffs legit. Continue reading →