Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Penny for your thoughts?

 Even though I'm sad to see Summer come to close in a few weeks, I am looking forward to Fall
 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
~Colossians 3:16~ 

 Thanks to Anna at The Daily Life of a Homeschool Teen for tagging me, and I'm finally getting to it!  Instead of tagging someone else though... I guess I'll just let anyone do this if they want to. (:

What are you working on now?
Well, I came up with two really cool titles ("Her Empty Book" and "Ellawynd's Locket), and then one of the titles sparked an idea for a short story so... and the other title I may have to reserve for the second book in the series I'm working on.  The title, "Her Empty Book" made me think of a girl who wandered the world with an empty book that was somehow special, so that's turning into a short story...  No one ever notices her, till a boy bumps into her.  That's pretty much all I had to go on.  But back to my Nano project that's failing miserably... I'm only at about 10,000 words so I'm probably not going to finish 50 by Saturday.
Anyway, the title for it that I'm using now is Ellawynd's Locket.  It's similar to Red Riding Hood, Fitcher's Bird (but nowhere near as gory), and a Charles Dickens book.  And maybe a little like Inkheart, but no promises, cuz it's not finished yet.

 How does it differ from other works in its genre?  
It's quite different because it's part historical fiction part fairy tale part fantasy.  And I'm trying to keep it accurate to the times instead of making it more "modern".

 Why do you write what you do?  I shall tell a story.  Since we have this old Mac computer that no longer has internet on it, we were wanting to get rid of it, but I wouldn't let us get rid of it till I had collected my old writings off of it.  You see, this was one of the old computers I used to write on before I got my laptop.  So as I was going through each file I had made and copied and pasted it onto one document, I found a document I typed up saying how much I wanted to be a great writer and was eleven and a half and how I wanted to be a missionary to Germany and Ireland and to go to Europe.  I had forgotten how long ago I began writing passionately (even if not very good), and it surprised me a bit.  Of course, I had been making up stories before then (stapling paper together and drawing pictures that told my story) since I was five or six.  But yes.  The reason why I want to write is because it's been in me so long and I want to change the world for the better.  I want to make the world think, and weep, and laugh, and I want to show children the narrow, hopeful path through the mountains of growing up, one possibility in many.  And perhaps, help people find a glimpse of God's love and majesty.  There is something magical in creating your own world and watching as it comes to life under your fingers, or by the tip of a quill pen or pencil. It's not so much that I want to be famous as I want my stories to be read and hopefully enjoyed.  And so I want to write to be worthy of that.

 How does your writing process work?  Well, when I get book ideas I write them in my journal.  When I have interesting dreams I don't want to forget, I write them in my journal.  When something stands out in a movie or book, I write it down and ask myself why it stands out.  One book I highly recommend (though I haven't finished reading it yet) is Through a Screen Darkly.  And even though it's a nonfiction book about movies by a Christian geared more toward people in their twenties and up, I recommend it to both writers and readers.  It's actually very interesting (about critical thinking and looking for messages in films and art), and it's written by my favorite author/movie reviewer, Jeffrey Overstreet, who wrote the Auralia Thread series (four books).
Besides that, I haven't been writing in my stories on a daily basis, though I wish I was, and I want to (but then there's school and Thanksgiving and Turkey Bowling tonight and cooking apple caramel pies and going to movies and concerts and the Children's Nutcracker and more more more school and plus that... distractions.).

 Any departing words of wisdom for other authors?  
"A good book isn't written, it's rewritten."-Phyllis A. Whitney
And... if you want to write, just do it.  Stop what you're doing and do it. And try to organize your thoughts/ideas (on paper or computer).  That makes it a lot easier.  But yeah.  Keep reading and keep writing.

Don't be stressed.  Enjoy what you do.  Anything you do can be done as if you were doing it for God.  Think of writing as play, not work. (:  That's what Mr. Overstreet says anyway.

And think of what you're thankful for!  Not just one thing, but five new things each day.  And write them down too.  That is what will keep you happy.  Remember.  God is real.  Therefore, he loves you because he made you, and because he is love.  We love others because he first loved us, and he still does because he can't change (which explains why he is infinite and lives forever).  Happy Thanksgiving! (:
How are you going to celebrate it?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Peter Pan Post 5: The Disney Version

 They should have gotten married
"Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us."
~Colossians 1:9 MSG~

Hi! :)

Okay I know I should be writing in my Nano novel (I'm actually way behind I'm only at 8,000 words) but I'll write this instead. 

Okay.  Peter Pan.  The old Disney version.  I grew up watching it and enjoying it.  We have it on video cassette still, a fifty year anniversary version I think (yes, that cartoon is much older than we remember).  The same lass who was Cinderella in the Disney version is also Wendy in the Disney version of Peter Pan (and she's also Alice in Wonderland too).  And they all wear the same color: blue.  I wonder if there's something to that...

Once when I was re-watching the cartoon, at the beginning when the narrator was talking about how Wendy was an expert on Peter Pan, I was starting to wonder...  How did she learn so much about him?  It was as if he was a fantasy she had created, a story she was writing that came true.  Authors have to be experts on their characters, after all.  And when she finally does meet him, she talks to him like an author might talk excitedly to their character if they met them.  Probably not how it was meant to come out as, but I thought it was a cool thought.

Like I said before in one of the other posts, Peter Pan in the Disney version doesn't know what a mother is.
"What's a mother?" he asks.  Wendy replies, "Oh Peter, a mother is someone who cares for you, tells you stories..."
"Stories!  You can be our mother, Wendy!"
And thus, Peter forces her to become an adult figure without even knowing it!  That's something my sister pointed out to me and I stared at her like she was a genius.

Another fun fact about the cartoon is that the same man who did the voice for Captain Hook also did the voice for Mr. Darling.  Is that... a bad thing?  A friend of mine didn't like the Disney version much because it was like Captain Hood represented Mr. Darling, the only father figure in the story.  The friend was writing a paper on how feminism has been ruining the traditional, Biblical ideals of family at the time.  This made me sad, but then wait, remember at the end of the cartoon, when they've just gotten back and Mr. Darling sees the shadow of the ship in the clouds, and he says he has the suspicion that he saw that ship before a long time ago when he was very young?
I do wonder what that meant.
But then again, at the beginning of the cartoon, the narrator says, "It has happened before, and it will happen again."  The coming of Peter Pan.  So I suppose Mr. Darling went to Neverland, in the cartoon version when he was a boy (none of this is in the book but I can appreciate what it tries to explain, that the coming of Peter Pan is like the phase that all people go through when they are children, that childishness, that wonder).  That fact sort of redeems him in my mind.  It reminds us that all adults were once children.

Now, on to Wendy.  No one is very nice to her in Neverland.  The mermaids try to drown her, Peter himself says a few mean things ("Girls talk too much!" it's meant to be funny but it's kinda sad) and he isn't quite as mannerly as he is in the book, the Indians aren't very nice to her either, and that's when she gets mad and wants to go home.

Opposed to this is the actual book where Wendy realizes that she herself and John and Micheal are beginning to forget their parents, and that's when they decide they should go home before they in turn are forgotten (and this version is in the 2003 movie so that's cool).

But overall the Disney version has a quite different feel/worldview to it than the book did.  It leaves you with a happy feeling, and it makes some people mad that Wendy didn't stay with Peter in Neverland.  Some said she wasn't being sensible, but I will talk about that also in my last post.  It will only be one more post on Peter Pan... unless I feel like it's too long.  Then it will be seven... heehee my favorite number.

Anyway, the cartoon sequel to Peter Pan that was also done by Disney but a long time later turned out to have an even different view of Peter Pan than the first one!  I was young when it came out, maybe five, but I absolutely LOVED it.  I found out later that a lot of what I loved was really the MUSIC... I put it above  (lol I grew up when all the sequels were coming out and I ended up liking them better than the first ones lol oh well and my sister liked the first ones better but she's four years older so...)  Now I'm slightly embarrassed to say I liked it better than the original cartoon.  He was kinda annoying to my sister and I only noticed it when I got older.  But there are some things about it that always made me nostalgic, besides the music.  The two pics above are from it.
By the way, I found out that the same person who did the soundtrack for the sequel is also doing the music for the Tinker Bell movies, or at least he did one of them. 

I thought I would share one post of a series of posts about Peter Pan that I thought are amazingly thought out.  This one is about Neverland the island.  And they're clean, and very interesting besides.  If you're interested.

There is just too much to talk about so I won't talk about everything and exhaust the topic.  Hopefully you're not getting bored...
I'll probably just talk about one more thing, in my next post on the subject (and yes I will be doing an interview thingy about my Nano novel so comment and tell me if you want to be tagged).

Good bye. (:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Peter Pan Part 4: Peter Pan and Mothers (and Jack Frost)

 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."~James 1:17~

I know I should be writing in my Nano novel... but...  I felt like writing this post instead.
Peter Pan was first a play.  Then J M Barrie put it into a book with more details put in, and the book was called "Peter and Wendy" instead of Peter Pan.  There is a picture of what the book looked like below. (:  And if you want a better look, you can always google it.  I googled "picture of first edition of Peter and Wendy."

What I love about the book is that there is so much in it that is only casually mentioned as if it was common knowledge about Neverland, when we really don't know that much.
I feel like chasing after the writer and saying, "Tell me more!  Please!  I want to understand this!"
Oh well.  He's dead.  Maybe I'll see him in heaven.  Hopefully...  And NO I didn't mean to sound funny.

I suppose in that way J. M. Barrie was like a child.  In the book, it says this:
"Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them.  For instance, they may remember to mention, a week after the event happened, that when they were in the wood they had met their dead father and had a game with him."  Even though it's funny, it's true.  While we are young, everything seems to be happening at once, and sometimes we forget to speak up because something takes the place of the thought we had.
J. M. Barrie writes simply and doesn't go into a lot of detail.  I mean, he says many things that weren't in the movies based off of the book, but he doesn't go into detail in these except sometimes.  Like here:
"It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning... It is quite like tidying up drawers.  You would see her... lingering... wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up... pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight.  When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on." (I tried to edit out as much as I could, as it's a long passage near the beginning of the book.)
When I first read this, it seemed like a very sweet thought, like the stories of the Tooth Fairy.  And nowhere in the movies does it mention this habit of all mothers, this legend J. M. Barrie created, of mothers who tidy up their children's minds.
I admire the movie Hook, which serves as a sequel to the story, because they throw in such a lot of references to the book!
I enjoy the movie adaptation from 2003 (I posted the soundtrack of it in last post) because of its nostalgia feel and because... well... I'll have to get to that in my last post, which will be about both Cinderella and Peter Pan.  For now...

"When you play at it (Neverland) by day with the chairs and tablecloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real.  That is why there are night-lights."  I have a feeling the night-lights are like guards.  I'd love to find out if the night-lights mean anything.  They are mentioned maybe three or four different times in the book.  -- If you think of something, comment below! --  They are "the eyes a mother leaves behind to watch over her children."  A little creepy and yet sweet, in different ways.  Another legend made to make a child feel safe when the night-light is lit.
Here, when the mother and her children are all asleep in the room, something happens.
"Look at the four of them, Wendy and Michael over there, John here, and Mrs. Darling by the fire.  There should have been a fourth night-light."
When I got to this part, I was very much intrigued.  What was to happen?

I don't like that people sometimes compare Peter Pan to a kidnapper, a stalker, a creeper, whatever.  He's the spirit of innocence, not a murderer!  Of course he is cocky, but he is a gentleman, and "he would never keep a lady in Neverland against her will."
Now he may have been terribly clever without knowing it, for he's like that, and sometimes of course he is selfish.  For instance, after telling him the end of Cinderella and he wants to go, Wendy says this,  
"'Don't go, Peter,' she entreated, 'I know such lots of stories.'  Those were her precise words, so there can be no denying that it was she who first tempted him.  He came back, and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her, but did not.  'Oh, the stories I could tell to the boys!' she cried, and then Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward the window."
I don't blame Wendy for giving Peter the idea to take her with him.  But she even goes on after he already has got the idea in his head!  I don't think she quite knew what was happening.  Sometimes when we're young, we really don't care.

And so Peter asks her to come with him and gives several reasons why.  I always got excited at this part, not so afraid, because I know Peter Pan isn't bad, but excited that he wanted a female friend who would tell him stories.  I could tell him stories myself if only he came.  But then, I've met him many times in my dreams, too many to count now, ever since I was eleven or twelve.  And perhaps those dreams really happened and my mind was made fuzzy so I couldn't remember well. (:  Maybe I'll write him a story. 

When I first saw the trailer and then movie for Rise of the Guardians, I felt like Jack Frost was just like Peter Pan but an older teenage version.  I suppose that explains why my hoody that's blue like Jack Frost's is my favorite, and why I'm wearing it now without meaning to.  By the way, The Rise of the Guardians is based on a book series, and I have read the first two books and they carry a sort of Neverland-ish nostalgia that's very sweet and I recommend them.  All this time I thought Nightlight in the books was the original Jack Frost and that the movie people had changed the story a lot, BUT I WAS WRONG and I'm so happy because we haven't met Jack Frost yet in the book series Guardians of Childhood and that excites me a lot.  Did you know the author of the series actually got to do some of the art for the movie based off the series?  I thought that was cool.  He does the illustrations in the books himself.  Anyway... back to Peter Pan.

Unlike the Disney version, in the book, Peter Pan does know what a mother is.  He goes on to tell Wendy that she could tuck them in at night and that they had never been tucked in before, and that she could sew their clothes.  Wendy is very excited and wants to do these things.  These things are very motherly like.  This is another bit of evidence that Peter really does want a mother though he himself doesn't think so.

Peter Pan came to listen to Mrs. Darling's stories, not Wendy's stories, as Disney would have you believe.  He listened to the story of Cinderella but didn't get to hear it all.  he was very anxious to know what happened to the lady who couldn't be found by the prince.  This is all evidence that Peter did want a mother, or to grow up, though he was sure he didn't.  All this is in the book.

Sometimes Mr. Barrie points stuff out to us that otherwise we wouldn't have noticed.  And I should stop for now.  :)  Good night.  Perhaps Peter Pan will visit our dreams.  See ya later!