Friday, August 12, 2011

Updated page!

The World of Mortar & Pestle link to the right now has new information (Thrannynn has revealed his sources so people won't think he's crazy (er)), and I've added a synopsis of what my novel is about. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crossover Pt. II

You’re sitting there in your recliner, remote in hand, and the game is blacked out. Frustrated, you could throw your can of beer at the dog, but it’s still half full. That’d be alcohol abuse. “Ma, is there anything on the tube tonight?” you ask to the delicate, house-coated flower slouched on the sofa.
“Nope,” she drawls back at you, scratching at a roller in her hair.
A wistful look crosses your face. “You know what I could be in the mood for?”
“A movie. An Action, Comedy, Martial Arts, Paranormal, Fantasy Romance movie. And maybe has trucks in it. And beer. Oh, and gorgeous women, too.”
You get a dirty look from your sofa sweet-potato. Then a snort. “Ain’t no movie like that, Klem. Not in all of God’s green goodness.”
But she’d be wrong. There is such a movie, Klem. An underrated gem from the mind of John Carpenter, called…

This movie clearly had to be the next choice for recognition, because it actually contains pistons and potions! I love this film, cheesy lines and all. And the opening scene sets the stage marvelously.
A Chinese tour bus driver, Egg Shen, gets hauled in for questioning regarding some bizarre events in Chinatown. With an skeptical look on his face, the lawyer asks, “Do you really expect me to believe in Sorcery?”, to which Egg replies, “of course…”

This is the audience’s cue to hold on for one of the most twisted rides of their lives, at breakneck eighteen-wheeler speed. There are more genres crammed into this movie than you can shake a pair of chopsticks at. When truck driver Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell) rolls into Chinatown in his rig, he is unprepared for the series of events that will entangle him in a web of gang wars, kidnappings, ancient specters, demon curses, underground slave rings and alchemy.

While most of this is commonplace to the denizens of Chinatown, its great fun watching a bumbling truck driver try to make sense of it all, and not lose his brash bravado in the process. Jack Burton meets the forces of darkness, natural and supernatural alike, with heroic lines like: “It’s all in the reflexes!” and “I was born ready!” Cheesy – yes, but all delivered tongue-in-cheek and with a knowing wink. This movie is too fun not to watch.
To give you an idea of what you’re in for, one of my favorite scenes in the movie has the heroes looking, dumbfounded, at a mystical creature of legend through which the evil Lo Pan is talking. Jack quickly wearies of the menacing monologing, and proceeds to plug the monster in the head with a bullet. To everyone’s surprise, it actually has the result of driving the beast away, screaming in pain. Jack’s reply to their amazed looks? “Hey, you never know until you try!” 

Good words, not only to take with you into this film, but to live life with as well. Go shake the pillars of heaven!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Crossover Conundrum

I love mixing genres. Why merely read a mystery, when you can read a paranormal/fantasy/mystery? Why watch an action movie, when you can revel in a comedy/horror/action movie? Not only do I get more bang for my buck, but the blending of genres often produces a synergy that creates more than the sum of its parts. A more complete world. After all, don’t we find humor and disgust, benevolence and violence, banality and mystery all around us, all the time? So I find myself searching it out in media as well, and I present the start of a new blog thread, where I will highlight some of those gems that are sometimes overlooked, oft scorned, but such fun to those willing to look in a different direction.
Because I am mixing genres – obviously Fantasy and Steampunk – in my novel, I first turn my eyes to other entries in that same arena. So today’s entry is…

There is Steampunk and Fantasy all through this film (technically, it’s more dieselpunk than steampunk, but that’s a discussion for another time), based on the gorgeous comics by Mike Mignola. A perfect example appears in the first ten minutes of the film. Pictured here is the electric-and-vacuumtubed glove that is donned by Rasputin to open a portal to the prison-dimension of the Ogdru Jahad.

And then there's Kroenen, clockwork assassin who is forever tinkering with himself. The final battle of the movie takes place in a vast underground complex riddled with gear and pendulum traps.
But in contrast, we have Hellboy himself, a creature of fantasy, who is equally at home with charms and talismans as he is with a steroidal sidearm.

The second movie, HELLBOY II THE GOLDEN ARMY, has even more of the mix, as Big Red squares off against an ancient race from the time of fantasy who commands a mechanical army. My verdict: underrated fun! More to come...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It’s a Bi-Polar World After All…

My apologies to those of you who have subjected yourselves (or been forced to be subjected by an insistent child) to the Small World ride at Disneyworld – because you probably have a certain tune now pierced into your head like a talon (and it never leaves! For days!) Force yourself to think of something else. Here, I’ll help: Why is Jarick and Janthine’s world so messed up? I thought who better to explain it than an actual denizen of that world – the master Alchemist Thrannynn! You can read his notes under the "World of Mortar & Pestle" link to the right and gain a rare, behind-the-scenes look at what awaits within the novel. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

God may have done it in six days - mine's taking a little longer...

Done what in six days? What am I blathering about? World-building, of course. It may have started on earth, but when you write Fantasy, strange things happen along the way. Sometimes I feel like I'm in control of creation, but other times the world takes on a life of its own and we just have to try and hang on for dear life...Such is the case with my current project - Mortar & Pestle and the Nightmare Plague, a middle grade novel in which a brother and sister, Jarick and Janthine Grimes, must confront deadly forces on a bi-polar world. Split-personality earth? Well, their world has a north and south pole, so I guess bi-polar is accurate...but no! I have given it a split personality (poor thing), and no fun for the people living on it! To find out what's going on there, I will have a link put up soon for you to check out, and I will post more about the book's publishing as new updates come in. Thanks!