‘Loving a Fictional Character’ (2016)

Thursday Movie Blogging: Theoden King May Be My Favorite Character in Peter  Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings"

Here he is in the movie.

I don’t know if I’ve ever achieved this as a story-teller: moved readers to love a character whom I made up. But J.R.R. Tolkien achieved it.

Loving a Fictional Character

Old King Theoden! Some of the things he says and does move me practically to tears. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to covering nooze dominated by characters who would definitely be on the Mordor team if they were in The Lord of the Rings. Where else would you put Chuck Schumer?

We need more models of goodness. Maybe if we had more, it’d start spilling over into our public business.

Worth a try, at least.

‘Child Suspended from School for ‘Threat’ to Use Magic Ring’ (2015)

Magic ring - Wikipedia

I re-run this post every now and then because it drives home two major points:

1. Public education is beyond repair. Get out while you can.

2. Living in a Red State like Texas means nothing at all; the same wacko “educatorxs” control public schooling in all 50 states.

Child Suspended from School for ‘Threat’ to Use Magic Ring

How is it even possible to “threaten” anybody with a magic ring? Do “teachers” not understand that there is no such thing? This, by the way, was the Kermit Elementary School–named for Kermit the Frog?–in Texas. You don’t have to be in Massachusetts or California for your kids to be “educated” by idiots.

Why are your children still in public school? What kind of magic have they used on you?

A Writer’s Resource: Other Writers

Tolkien and Lewis: A friendship | Angelus News

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis

I was in a jam last year, trying to write The Ocean of Time. I knew it would require a double climax, but I didn’t know how to pull it off.

For no conscious reason, I began to reread Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Not that I was trying to follow him, or imitate him–but suddenly my own book got very much easier to write! I managed the double climax, and by the time I was done, I thought I’d written my best Bell Mountain book ever.

Now I’m writing Ozias, Prince in Peril–and it looks like the guide that has emerged is C.S. Lewis’ trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength). This conviction has been strongly reinforced by a study of the trilogy, Deeper Heaven by Christiana Hale. So while I’m writing my own book, I think I need to be reading these four books.

Not to copy them in any way–that’s not how it works. A writer who tries to do that will damage his art. Actually, I’m not quite sure how this works. Somehow Lewis’ stories are giving me a clearer vision of my own. Writing novels is kind of weird, that way. I sort of wanted to revisit Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Martian novels, but the pull of Lewis’ trilogy is too strong to resist. Something’s telling me just to go with it. I was temped to call it “my instinct,” but that gives me too much credit. I do ask God to guide me in my work; and I think my prayers are answered.

 

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.

 

 

‘Idiot: “Lord of the Rings” Is Racist’ (2018)

See the source image

Orcs from the movies–they need a Safe Space

The fact that there are no such thing as Orcs doesn’t faze this alleged science fiction writer: he’s hot to trot for Orcs’ civil rights!

Idiot: ‘Lord of the Rings’ is ‘Racist’

Well, we do know this, don’t we–leftids are only happy when they can find something to complain about and spoil normal people’s fun.

We read fantasy to get away from stuff like this. The surest, deadliest way to kill a fantasy is to inject it with the follies that beset us in the real world. So much for escape!

Liberals are people who want to tunnel into prison camps.

‘A Message from Sauron’ (2015)

See the source image

Now that they’ve learned how to steal elections, and will never again be voted out of office, Democrats no longer have to try to pass themselves off as human. But that mask has been slipping for years.

A Message from Sauron

It’s so nice for them. The Dominion voting machines spit out however many votes they need, and they stay in power forever. Plenty of time to Fundamentally Transform America into a real-world Mordor.

‘Tolkien Was Deeper Than I Thought’ (2013)

See the source image

Shortly after publication of The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien had a very strange experience.

Tolkien Was Deeper Than I Thought

He could only describe it by saying it was like actually meeting one of the characters he thought he’d made up–Gandalf the Grey, the wizard. If you haven’t read the book, trust me: this is not the sort of person anyone encounters in real life.

Once you’re able to see the Christianity in Tolkien’s work, you can’t unsee it.

Everyone who works in Christian fantasy owes him a debt.

‘Hobbits, Orcs Colonize New Jersey’ (2014)

See the source image

Actually, the Orcs aren’t so much interested in colonizing as they are in tailgating and honking at you to drive faster–especially when you’re stopped at a red light. When they’re not doing that, they’re operating leaf blowers.

Hobbits, Orcs Colonize New Jersey

But what I really wanted to do with this post, back in 2014, was to call attention to what was then my newest Bell Mountain book, the seventh in the series, The Glass Bridge. I still marvel at the way artist Kirk DouPonce brought Gurun to life.

I find it very hard to remember she’s not a real person. And sometimes I don’t bother trying.

 

‘My Enhanced Bio’ (2015)

See the source image

You name it, I’ve been there

I’ve been saving this post for a time when something just has to be done to pump up this blog’s readership; and that time is now.

My Enhanced Bio

You may think that this is all of my biography. You’d be wrong! I can invent more as needed. If certain presidential candidates can do it, then why not me?

I’d just like to think I do it better.

How I Fell in Love with Fantasy

Image result for images of ballantine books fellowship of the ring

Someone around here was enthused enough to prefer my books to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Well, what can I say?

I first read The Lord of the Rings in high school, and it overwhelmed me. My imagination was already on fire, thanks to Edgar Rice Burroughs–first his Pellucidar novels, and then his tales of adventure on Mars. But Tolkien–!

I was astonished that such a book could ever have been written. Burroughs’ books are short; Tolkien’s was a monumental trilogy. You wind up spending a lot of time in it. The marvelous thing about The Lord of the Rings was that it positively came alive for me: it made me believe in the story that it told. Perhaps it was the mass of detail: Tolkien’s imaginary world is vast. To this day, after many re-readings, I’m sure I could find my way around the Shire, and I’m sure I’d like it there. And I’d know which places to avoid–Mordor, Mirkwood, and the Mines of Moria.

I’ve never seen any illustrations of LOTR which satisfied me. That’s because Tolkien’s art made his people and places real to me, as if I’d actually been there, seen them; and any illustration is, of course, someone else’s imagination, and can never show me anything exactly how I’d already imagined it myself.

It gave me a burning desire to write fantasy. I can’t even guess how many pages I turned out in notebooks, and on my old manual typewriter, trying to imitate Tolkien, trying to match him. But I can say it took several decades for me to realize that the world didn’t need another Tolkien: any fantasies I wrote would have to be my fantasies, and no one else’s. And that took another couple of decades to accomplish.

It’s important to remember that when LOTR came out, there was nothing else remotely like it. Since then, the fantasy genre has been suffocated with Tolkien wannabes, shamelessly ripping off his once-upon-a-time unique creation. I still love Tolkien’s Elves and Dwarves and warriors, etc., but find everybody else’s cheap imitations intolerable. I suspect that if my first reading had been now instead of then, it wouldn’t have had the impact that it did.

Burroughs and Tolkien inspired me, and I doubt my own books would ever have been written if I hadn’t read theirs first. I still stand up and salute The Chessmen of Mars, and in my imagination, search for the road to the forest of Lothlorien.