‘I Am Entitled…’ (2015)

I remember one of my high school classmates complaining about my debating tactics: “Duigon ridiculized it!” But really there’s very little any satirist can do to make today’s politics more ridiculous than they are by nature. For instance:

I am Entitled…

If I am entitled to be called a woman when I’m not, then surely I’m also entitled to be called “Wilt Chamberlain” if that’s my particular delusion. Really, what’s the difference? How am I ridiculizing something that’s already ridiculous?

As a foundation of civilization, the preposterous looks pretty weak to me.

Writing Tips: ‘See and Hear’ Your Characters

The Glass Bridge (Bell Mountain, #7) by Lee Duigon

Does a writer “see” what he’s writing about? Do you “hear” your characters when they speak?

I think you have to. Sometimes the only way I can make a character come alive for me is to find an actor to play him in an imaginary movie that would make me rich if it were real. I could not get one of my Bell Mountain villains, Lord Chutt, until I imagined him being played by British actor John Nettles (Midsomer Murders). I don’t know why, but it seems I have to do this with all my villains: Claude Raines as Lord Reesh, Vincent Price as Goryk Gillow. Once I have them cast with actors, then I can see and hear them in my mind.

Sometimes you don’t find the right actor until after you’ve tried several. This reminds me of something Charles Laughton once said: he couldn’t play a part convincingly until he “found the man” somewhere in real life. Who knew novel-writing and play-acting had this in common?

After a little while, the character is established and can go on to speak and act as if he were a real person with his own agenda. My characters do that all the time. They enter the story to do a minor job within the plot and next thing I know, they’re regulars with a lot of jobs to do. It’s part of the fun you have in writing fiction.

If you really need a character to help carry the plot forward, try finding a movie actor to play him as you imagine his scenes in your story. Keep trying until you find just the right actor. And then the character and the plot will do the rest.

 

My Newswithviews Column, March 17 (‘My “Bell Mountain” Books’)

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) - Kindle edition by Duigon, Lee. Religion  & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

I just finished The Witch Box a few days ago, and my editor has told me the double climax I created really works. That’s a relief.

I thought it might be nice to take a break from unrelievedly bad nooze and try to drum up some interest in my books. Hence this column.

My ‘Bell Mountain’ Books

Don’t be too quick to brush off fantasy. Do you think the big shots of this world deal in anything but fantasy?

The difference is, mine won’t kill you.

Amazon’s New Tolkien Epic (Is This Trip Necessary?)

I’m one of many people who love J.R.R. Tolkien’s milestone fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. I love it so much, I didn’t watch the movies. And I don’t think I’m going to watch this “billion-dollar saga” produced for streaming on Amazon Prime, a la Game of Thrones.

Why not? Well, of course they’re going to tweak this classic to make it more–I dunno: can we say “woke”? More in line with the conventions and shabby “values” of a cultural era which Tolkien himself surely would have despised. And so, for instance, Galadriel–presented in the original as wise, thoughtful, and powerful–is now decked out with a sword and armor… and I don’t want to be there when she resorts to jumpin’, spinnin’ kicks to wipe up the floor with the bad guys.

So this new TV series will be called The Rings of Power, taking the story back several thousand years (based on The Silmarillion, published posthumously and not actually written by Tolkien–whose son, Christopher, cobbled it together from his father’s vast store of notes; and also the “Appendices” attached to Lord of the Rings), with new characters added, that no one ever asked for.

They just have to screw around with it, don’t they? Maybe they can squeeze some transgender into it. I wouldn’t put it past them.

Warning to authors who don’t want their work vandalized–don’t die! Your copyright runs out and then they try to make more money off your name. And they really don’t care if they turn your vision into balderdash.

 

 

‘Not Only Dumb, But Evil’ (2015)

I was reading a lot of contemporary Young Adults fiction, because I wanted to know what my Bell Mountain books were competing against. Lately I’ve spared myself this. So much of it can only be described as dreck.

Not Only Dumb, but Evil

A very great deal of unwholesome evil trash gets pumped into children’s heads by our public schools and teachers’ unions, “entertainment” industry, and various organizations devoted to spreading assorted perversions. We are killing our culture, and it’s going to kill us back.

Don’t believe me? Guess you haven’t been paying much attention to the nooze.

 

‘My Books Are Being Trolled’ (2017)

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) - Kindle edition by Duigon, Lee. Religion  & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Thanks to our esteemed colleague, “Weavingword,” this story had a happy ending.

My Books Are Being Trolled

People are always trying to manipulate amazon.com’s Customer Reviews, one way or another. In my case, some nasty little Far Left insect didn’t like my politics, so he tried to convince readers that my books were one-star pieces of twaddle. Those one-star “reviews” really hurt–although they didn’t hurt for long.

I take great care to keep any and all “real-world politics” out of my books–let not a trace of it be found.

I did once read a “fantasy” in which the Elf turns to the Dwarf and says, “We must learn to celebrate one another’s diverse lifestyles.”

Run screaming to the sidewalk.

‘Pinocchio Murdered Jiminy Cricket: the Cover-Up’ (2016)

Image result for images of jiminy cricket

Squashed, but not forgotten!

Very slick, Mr. Disney! All you had to do was change the story–and just like that, Pinocchio gets away with murder.

Pinocchio Murdered Jiminy Cricket: the Cover-up

The brutal hammer murder carried out by the wooden puppet, Pinocchio, has all but been forgotten. Jiminy Cricket lives on as a cartoon character… if you want to call that living.

Some Kind Words for My Books

The Last Banquet (Bell Mountain, #4) by Lee Duigon

Some two years ago, the Puritan Board published this review of my Bell Mountain series.

https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/lee-duigons-bell-mountain-series.102216/

Even I forget, sometimes, that one of the reasons this blog was created in the first place was to tell people about my books and hopefully scare up readers for them.

I don’t know how many people read The Puritan Board, but I am grateful for this very gracious review.

‘Are My Books Biased?’ (2013)

See the source image

It was going to be my big break. My books were going to be reviewed by a big-name critic I had actually heard of.

Until he decided they were so crawling with subliminal Calvinism, he shouldn’t even mention them.

Are My Books Biased?

These are fantasy novels. They depict an imaginary world. I detest fantasies that remind me I’m only looking at words on paper. For me to load Bell Mountain with sly Calvinist insinuations would be to break my own rules.

Who we are is always going to have a bearing on what we write. Otherwise we wouldn’t be writing in the first place. If I wanted a Greek Orthodox slant to my story, I’d have to work and study hard to acquire it. Much of who we are is what we’re used to.

I don’t think my books are biased against one particular branch of Christianity or another. I try not to be. This blog serves readers of many different denominations–or no denomination. I rather hoped my books would do the same.

‘Escape!’ (2012)

Image result for images of map of the shire

The hobbit’s home turf

Why do we watch fantasy movies, or read fantasy novels? I mean, who wants to see the good guys win and the villains lose, problems get solved, dragons slain, bad guys run out of town, etc.?

Escape!

Wouldn’t you rather watch nooze? Or at least some Gritty Realistic Drama in which everybody dies?

Yes, we read fantasy for escape. We can’t really tunnel out of this POW camp of the 21st century, but at least we can imagine doing so. True, the imagination is a big box with a lot of bad items in it: all the trouble starts there. But every now and then we can imagine something better, by God’s grace.

And if nothing else, a well-done fantasy is a sanity break!

(I admit that there are few things as bad as a bad fantasy.)

Where can I buy a ticket for the Narnia Local?