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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: lord of the rings, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 23 of 23
1. Elves and Orcs and Things

The pencil drawing for this one is here, because sometimes it looks better in simple line.

And just because I couldn't make up my mind,
here is the elf in various autumn orc hunting colors.


Earlier this year I played a game mod for Lord of the Rings which had a real good feel to it.  Reminded me a lot of the books.  You could even be an orc although I ran into trouble.  Playing as "Spuds" I was not inclined to do orcish things.  Savage orcs turned on me, and the race of men wouldn't accept me.  Stay in the middle and I'd be killed!  So Spuds did the only next best thing.  Join a group of roaming heroes to fight against the darkness that was coming upon Middle Earth!  (Okay I embellished a bit on the end but hey!  It did lead to some crazy drawings, of which these are a few.)




I had some more serious Lord of the Rings drawings, but I think they got buried somewhere.


In other news... I'm jumping between paintings, illustration covers, and finishing my studio.  More coming soon.

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3. How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones

By David J. Peterson


My name is David Peterson, and I’m a conlanger. “What’s a conlanger,” you may ask? Thanks to the recent addition of the word “conlang” to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), I can now say, “Look it up!” But to save you the trouble, a conlanger is a constructed language (or conlang) maker — i.e. one who creates languages.

Language creation has been around since at least the 12th century, when the German abbess Hildegard von Bingen created her Lingua Ignota — Latin for “hidden language” — an invented vocabulary she used for writing hymns. In the centuries that followed, philosophers like Leibniz and John Wilkins would create languages that were intended to serve as grand classification systems, and idealists like L. L. Zamenhof would create languages intended to simplify international communication. All these systems focused on the basic utility of language — its ability to encode and convey meaning. That would change in the 20th century.

Tolkien: the father of modern conlanging

Before crafting the tales of Middle-Earth, J. R. R. Tolkien was a conlanger. Unlike the many known to history who came before him, though, Tolkien created languages for the pure joy of it. Professionally, he became a philologist, but he continued to work on his own languages, eventually creating his famous Lord of the Rings series as an extension of the linguistic legendarium he’d been crafting for many years. Though his written works would become more famous than his linguistic creations, his conlangs, in particular Sindarin and Quenya, would go on to inspire new generations of conlangers throughout the rest of the 20th century.

Due to the general obscurity of the practice, many conlangers remained unknown to each other until the early 1990s, when home internet use started to become more and more common. The first dedicated meeting place for conlangers, virtual or otherwise, was the Conlang Listserv (an online mailing list). Some list members came out of interest in Tolkien’s languages, as well as other large projects, like Esperanto or Lojban, but the majority came to discuss their own work, and to meet and learn from others who also created languages.

Since the founding of the original Conlang Listserv, many other meeting places have sprung up online, and through a couple of decades of regular conlanger interaction, the practice of conlanging has evolved.

Game of Thrones dragon

Conlang typology

Conlangs have been separated into different types since at least the 19th century. First came the philosophical languages, as discussed, then the auxiliary languages like Esperanto (also known as auxlangs), but with Tolkien emerged a new type of language: the artistic language, or artlang. At its most basic, an artlang is a conlang created for artistic purposes, but that broad definition includes many wildly divergent languages (compare Denis Moskowitz’s Rikchik to Sylvia Sotomayor’s Kēlen). Finer-grained distinctions became necessary as the community grew, and so emerged the naturalistic conlang.

This is where the languages of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Syfy’s Defiance come in. The languages I’ve created for the shows I work on come out of the naturalist tradition. The goal with a naturalistic conlang is to create a language that’s as realistic as possible. The realism of a language is grounded in the reality (fictional or otherwise) of its speakers. If the speakers are more or less human (or humanoid) and are intended to be portrayed in a realistic fashion, then their language should be as similar as possible to a natural language (i.e. a language that exists here on Earth, like Spanish, Tagalog, or Cham).

The natural languages we speak are large, but also redundant and imperfect in a uniquely human way. Conlangers have gotten pretty good at emulating them over the years, usually employing one of two different approaches. The first, which I call the façade method, is to create a language that looks like a modern natural language by replicating the various features of a modern natural language. Thus, if English has irregular plurals, such as mouse~mice, then the conlang will have irregular plurals, too, by targeting certain nouns and making their plurals irregular in some way.

The historical method: making sense of irregular plurals in Valyrian

Game of Thrones DaenerysA contrasting approach is the method that Tolkien pioneered called the historical method. With the historical method, an ancestor language called a proto-language is created, and the desired language is evolved from it, via simulated linguistic evolution. The process takes a lot longer, but in some ways it’s simpler, since irregularities will naturally emerge, rather than having to be created by hand. For example, in Game of Thrones, the High Valyrian language Daenerys speaks differs from the Low Valyrian the residents of Slaver’s Bay speak. In fact, the latter evolved from the former. As the language evolved, it produced some natural irregularities. Consider the following nouns and their plurals from the Valyrian spoken in Slaver’s Bay:

hubre “goat” hubres “goats”
dare “queen” dari “queens”
aeske “master” aeske “masters”

Given that the singular forms all end in ‘e’, one has to say at least two of the plurals presented are irregular. But why the arbitrary differences in the plural forms? It turns out it’s because the three nouns with identical singular terminations used to have very different forms in the older language, High Valyrian, as shown below:

hobres “goat” hobresse “goats”
dāria “queen” dārī “queens”
āeksio “master” āeksia “masters”

Each of these alternations is quite regular in High Valyrian. In the simulated history, a series of sound changes which simplified the ends of words produced identical terminations for each of the three words in the singular, leaving later speakers having to memorize which have irregular plurals and which regular.

Conceptualizing time

Simulated evolution applies to both grammar and the lexicon, as well. For example, natural languages often derive terminology for abstract concepts metaphorically from terminology for concrete concepts. Time, for instance, is an abstract concept that is frequently discussed using spatial terminology. How it’s done differs from language to language. In English, events that occur later in time occur after the present (where “after” derives from “aft,” a word meaning “behind”), and events that occur earlier in time occur before the present. Thus, time is conceptualized as a being standing in the present, facing the past, with the future behind them.

In Irathient, a language I created for Syfy’s Defiance, time is conceptualized vertically, rather than horizontally. The word for “after”, in temporal terms, is shei, which derives from a word meaning “above”; “before”, on the other hand, is ur, which also means “below” or “underneath”. The general metaphor that the future is up and the past is down bears out throughout the rest of the language, where if one wanted to say “Go back to what you were saying before”, the literal Irathient translation would be “Go down to what you were saying underneath”.

Ultimately, what one hears on screen sounds and feels like a natural language, regardless of whether or not one knows the work that went on behind the scenes. Since the prop used on screen is a language, though, rather than a costume or a piece of the set, the words can be recorded and analyzed at any time. Consequently, a conlang needs to be real in a way that a throne or a 700 foot wall of ice does not.

It’s still extraordinary to me that in less than 25 years, we came from a time when many conlangers were not aware that there were other conlangers to a time where our work is able to add to the authenticity of some of the best productions the big and small screen have to offer. The addition of the word “conlang” to the OED is a fitting capper to an unbelievable quarter century.

David J. Peterson is a language creator who works on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance, and Syfy’s Dominion. You can find him on Twitter at @Dedalvs or on Tumblr.

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Images: Game of Thrones Season 3 – Dragon Shadow Wallpaper and Game of Thrones Season 3 - Daenerys Wallpaper. ©2014 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The post How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones as of 7/26/2014 9:20:00 AM
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4. Fantasy Who Would Win?

Fantasy Books Festival

Who would win in a fight between your favorite fantasy characters?

I know what MY favorite thing about fantasy books is: fantasy books often have the most exciting, epic, earth-shattering battles. In worlds where anything is possible, magical creatures, logic-defying supernatural abilities, and even nature itself can turn any old argument into a knock-down, drag-out fight to save the universe. It’s so exciting!

Fight scenes in fantasy books always leave me wondering what I would do if I had the abilities or strengths that the characters have. Would I try to save the world, too? Or would I go on silly adventures instead? Probably a little bit of both!

Today’s Fantasy Books Festival post is all about special abilities. Everyone loves a good collision of fantasy universes

, so do a little imagining yourself: who would win in a fight between these fictional characters?
  • Maleficent (from the Kingdom Keepers series) or Gandalf (from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series)
  • Annabeth Chase (from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians
 series) or Hermione Granger (from the Harry Potter series)?
  • Dragonet Clay (from the Wings of Fire
  •  series) or Eustace (from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) . . . as a dragon?

    Who are your winners? Why? What are your suggestions for fantasy face-offs? Share in the Comments below! 

    Till next time,

    image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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    5. March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

    doom iron man basketball March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!Once again, it’s that time of year again!  Sports geeks speculate who will make the Big Dance, who got snubbed, and who will be the Cinderella Team this year.  Billions of dollars are wagered on the outcomes, as casual fans contemplate the 68 teams and fill out numerous brackets.

    It’s not uncommon among comics fans to wonder, “Who would win in a fight, Forbush Man or ‘Mazing Man?”  (Neither.  Ma Hunkel would break it up and have them both over to the JSA mansion of cookies and milk.)  So it’s not inconceivable that fans would take that simple idea, and turn it into a tournament.  Who do you seed in each bracket?  How do you arrange the divisions?  Do you mix and match franchises and tribes?

    Well, we here at Stately Beat Manor offer the following brackets as a community service, especially to fans of Gonzaga, New Mexico, and Kentucky.  (Your lack of faith was disturbing.  >choke<)

    Comics

    Let’s start with the big comic bracket: Mix March Madness over at ComicMix.com!  Those crazy kids are at it again, this year adding a new wrinkle!  You can BUY votes!  All money goes to The Hero Initiative, so put your money where your mouth is! 300 webcomics have been reduced to eight, and it’s getting competitive!  (This is the perfect opportunity to check out some new webcomics!)

    The latest bracket (as of March 24, when I started this article):

    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Ava’a Demon
    Game 1 Details
    Questionable Content
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Winner of 1
    Game 5 Details
    Winner of 2
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Winner of 5
    Game 7 Details
    Winner of 6
    xkcd
    Game 2 Details
    Sandra and Woo
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Girls With Slingshots
    Game 3 Details
    Bittersweet Candy Bowl
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Winner of 3
    Game 6 Details
    Winner of 4
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    A Redtail’s Dream
    Game 4 Details
    RomanticallY Apocalyptic
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor! spacer1269 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

    The final is open for voting!  Click to view, and to vote!

    Comics Should Be Good, an awesome blog over at Comic Book Resources, has suspended their annual superhero tournament in favor of notable story runs by creators!  Is Simone’s Secret Six better than Claremon’ts New Mutants?   Byrne’s Fantastic Four or Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme?  The Elite Eight (is that a superhero team?) can be voted on here!  (X-Men vs. X-Men!)

    Comics Should Be Good 2013 Bracket32 761x1024 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

    Cosmic Comix and Toys, a store in Cantonsville, Maryland, is hosting a female-centric tournament, and the final is a humdinger!  (One which I don’t think we’ve ever seen in comics, but which would be amazing if done right!)

    CosmicMadness2013 1024x777 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

    Food

    cereal bracket 1024x776 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!The Victory Formation does a different tournament each year.  This year, the fourth, is based all on Cereal!  The Elite Eight are in competition!

    The #1 seeds?
    Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap’n Crunch!
    My fave, Lucky Charms, is a number two seed.
    Discontinued Foods Bracket2 1024x475 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    In a related tournament, there’s one for discontinued foods.  Which would you like to see return to store shelves?  (Me, chocolate Jell-O.)

    Multimedia

    star wars bracket March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!Princess Leia or Padme Amidala?  Tarkin or Count Dooku?  Boba Fett or Jango Fett?
    Those are the match-ups over at the “This is madness” Star Wars character tournament over at Star Wars.com!  The first round so far has been marked by blow outs!
    fan favorite 910x1024 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Ooh!  I like the triads!  Population Go matches Western characters on the left, Asian characters on the left!
     
    2013 middleearthmadness bracket round2 1024x681 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Once again, TheOneRing.net presents their tournament, this year concentrating on geography.  Top seeds: Galadriel, Smaug, The One Ring, and Balin.  The Elite Eight are here!
    io9 TV bracket 1024x576 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Wow….  IO9′s March TV Madness brackets are crazy!  Some would make for interesting crossovers, like ALF meeting Kirk!  Top seeds: Star Trek (TOS), X-Files, Doctor Who, The Twilight Zone!  The final has been announced!  And decided!  Not as close as some might expect!
    (And in the separate, Whedon Invitational Tournament…
    Buffy beat Dollhouse 81-19, while Firefly beat Angel 86-14.  Buffy got smacked down 64-36 in the final.)
    ToB 2013 Brackets March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    The Dallas Morning News continues their annual Tournament of Books.  No, I haven’t read any of them (and haven’t heard of most), but we welcome all geeks here, and they win the prize for best design!
     franchises bracket semi finals March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!Movie franchises!  Toy Story!  Star Wars! (I suspect that the judges ignored the prequels…)
    This could easily be expanded into four brackets, separating the franchises by number of films made.  Add in some art films, animation, pre-war films, and it could get interesting!
    (There was also a Horror tournament last October.)

    tv couples bracket20130318 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

    Awwww… TV couples!  Inside Pulse lets readers play match-maker with their massive tournament!  I’m hoping for Bobby and J.R. Ewing to win!  Third round voting can be done here.

     

    Toys and Games

    game board 2013 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!Tired of basketball?  BoardGameGeek has a tournament for games!  Top seed: Twilight Struggle.   The four finalists can be voted on here.  Lots of upsets!

    lego minifig March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

    From Bricks To Bothans members took minifig heroes and villains from LEGO, created mechas for each to use, then started a Battle Royale!  The winners have been announced, but I recommend you peruse the postings!  (I just wish one could click on each character… there are some cool builds!)

     

    Miscellaneous

    Geek bracket March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    16 technology geniuses match wits with 16 math and science brainiacs for the title of “Greatest Geek“!  Bill Gates (!) and Albert Einstein are the top seeds.
     wcia bracket header 2013 day4 503x1024 March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!
    Once again, the Consumerist holds their Worst Company in America tournament, featuring the return of last year’s winner, EA!  They had a strong showing this year, especially after bumbling the much-anticipated launch of SimCity!  Will they make it to the final?  Facebook has many “dis-likes”, but at least their social networking system works!
    Unlike EA, it’s quite easy to access Consumerist’s website, so vote early!
     
    Store Wars 2013 Big Bracket March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!Which retailer do you patronize?  Dappered.com lists Banana Republic and J. Crew are the top seeds.  (Amazon, 7th?  No Wal-Mart?  Macy’s #4?)
    .

    And finally, which style do you prefer?

    enter the tournament of brackets.jpg March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

     

    1 Comments on March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!, last added: 4/1/2013
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    6. Which Door Would You Choose?


    You find yourself in front of seven identical doors. A voice from above tells you, "These seven doors lead to seven different places: Narnia, Neverland, Wonderland, Hogwarts, Camelot, Middle Earth, and Westeros." Which door do you go through? Why that door? What happens?
     

    I would go through the door to Wonderland without hesitation. I have always loved Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and count it as one of my top ten books of all time. The character of Alice and I have a lot in common, beginning with our curiosity and continuing with our adoration of cats, a thirst for knowledge, and sheer determination. I would love to wander through Wonderland and interact with different characters from the books, especially the White Rabbit, the Gryphon, and the Cheshire Cat. I'd rescue the hedgehogs from the croquet games and delight in the chess game. Plus, I really love the hallway of doors in Wonderland. 

    Read more at my blog, Bildungsroman. 

    Which door would YOU choose?


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    7. Family Histories on the Side

    The raw satellite imagery shown in these image...

    The raw satellite imagery shown in these images was obtain from NASA and/or the US Geological Survey. Post-processing and production by www.terraprints.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Taking a day away from usual activities helps to restore a semblance of order to one’s life. Perspective is gained. Appreciation is elevated. New knowledge filters through the mind to lodge in memories.

    Yesterday was a day of exploration into places unknown and challenging facts known. For me, it was also a time to take away snippets of useful information; the kind used in a twisted kind of way for story elements and character development. Those are the kind of relaxed and fun days that begin with one purpose and turn out as gold mines. Also, the experience felt much like going home to my dad’s family for the day.

    We met up with friends, Sister’s distant cousins, in a small-town restaurant about an hour south of our locale. We had a nice lunch before heading south again to their home in an even smaller town. Our entire purpose for going on this jaunt was so that Sister could shoot the eclipse in an area where she could get good water-reflection shots.

    During our scouting adventure, I was taken to places I’d never seen before; places that had escaped my notice when I’d lived in the area twenty years ago. As well, the cousins constantly pointed out places that related to their family histories.

    “So and so built that ranch. Who is the latest owner, honey?” Cousin #2 asked as she pointed to the left to a grouping of buildings amid lush pastures. “The original barn’s gone now, of course.”

    Gravel roads, dust flying from under the wheels of passing ranch trucks and cars, we made our way from reservoir to reservoir; each with points of interest. On the first we found swans that had been introduced to the waterways. The second, though smaller, was far more serene, more relaxing. Native ducks, muskrats, gulls, all played in the placid water. Further into the hills, we found rock chucks guarding their homes and new calves cavorting among adults.

    At last we wound through forested hills up to MacDonald Lake, nestled in the Mission Range; a smaller lake than it used to be, only because it isn’t allowed to fill up the way it used to years ago. The deep teal, crystalline waters, surrounded by pine-covered slopes, beckoned to us. Trails radiated from its sides for the explorer who would challenge grizzlies in the area for prime fishing spots.

    From the south-end approach I could only envision one scenario. I saw a scene straight out of 0 Comments on Family Histories on the Side as of 1/1/1900

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    8. Family Histories on the Side

    The raw satellite imagery shown in these image...

    The raw satellite imagery shown in these images was obtain from NASA and/or the US Geological Survey. Post-processing and production by www.terraprints.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Taking a day away from usual activities helps to restore a semblance of order to one’s life. Perspective is gained. Appreciation is elevated. New knowledge filters through the mind to lodge in memories.

    Yesterday was a day of exploration into places unknown and challenging facts known. For me, it was also a time to take away snippets of useful information; the kind used in a twisted kind of way for story elements and character development. Those are the kind of relaxed and fun days that begin with one purpose and turn out as gold mines. Also, the experience felt much like going home to my dad’s family for the day.

    We met up with friends, Sister’s distant cousins, in a small-town restaurant about an hour south of our locale. We had a nice lunch before heading south again to their home in an even smaller town. Our entire purpose for going on this jaunt was so that Sister could shoot the eclipse in an area where she could get good water-reflection shots.

    During our scouting adventure, I was taken to places I’d never seen before; places that had escaped my notice when I’d lived in the area twenty years ago. As well, the cousins constantly pointed out places that related to their family histories.

    “So and so built that ranch. Who is the latest owner, honey?” Cousin #2 asked as she pointed to the left to a grouping of buildings amid lush pastures. “The original barn’s gone now, of course.”

    Gravel roads, dust flying from under the wheels of passing ranch trucks and cars, we made our way from reservoir to reservoir; each with points of interest. On the first we found swans that had been introduced to the waterways. The second, though smaller, was far more serene, more relaxing. Native ducks, muskrats, gulls, all played in the placid water. Further into the hills, we found rock chucks guarding their homes and new calves cavorting among adults.

    At last we wound through forested hills up to MacDonald Lake, nestled in the Mission Range; a smaller lake than it used to be, only because it isn’t allowed to fill up the way it used to years ago. The deep teal, crystalline waters, surrounded by pine-covered slopes, beckoned to us. Trails radiated from its sides for the explorer who would challenge grizzlies in the area for prime fishing spots.

    From the south-end approach I could only envision one scenario. I saw a scene straight out of 0 Comments on Family Histories on the Side as of 1/1/1900

    Add a Comment
    9. Brian Wood writing Lord of the Rings comic for LoTR: War in the North

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    brian wood heads to middle earth 20110706105709175 Brian Wood writing Lord of the Rings comic for LoTR: War in the North
    The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a new action-RPG set in Middle Earth that takes place during the War of the Rings but concerned with the action in non southern front places. LIke Eriador and Rhovanion.

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

    That’s right! Carn Dûm, baby!

    Distributed along with the game will be a 2 part comic book! Produced by DC it will be written by Brian Wood! This is totally exciting, but to get it you must pre-order the game at Toys R ‘Us for part 1, or buy it through Amazon, with part 2.

    According to WB, gamers will gain access to parts 1 and 2 of the comic by pre-ordering War in the North at Toys R’ Us, while Amazon is offering part 2 only. There’s currently no word where the comic will be made available, though DC’s ComiXology app is a logical choice. There’s also no word on a specific release date, pricing for the comic for those without pre-orders, or whether the series consists of more than these two chapters.


    For this part, Wood explained his part of it on his blog:

    THAT SAID it was a fun job. I wish I could have written more than the 16 pages of script I did, but like I said, its not up to me. I love LOTR and nothing would make me happier than to write a regular comic for general release. But as far as I know, and I’m only going off the info in the above links, this is a digital-only incentive promo comic available to people who pre-order the video game from Amazon or Toys R Us.


    We would give anything to see Brian Wood write a comic book called DAIN OF THE IRON HILLS.

    Or ELLADAN & ELROHIR: ARNOR RANGERS.

    Colleen Doran would draw either of those in a heart beat,

    What would be your favored LoTR spin-off comic?

    5 Comments on Brian Wood writing Lord of the Rings comic for LoTR: War in the North, last added: 7/8/2011
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    10. The Fellowship of the Rings Extended Edition in Theaters Tonight!

    See The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition in theaters for one night only TONIGHT, June 14! The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers will show on June 21, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on June 28.

    From the press release:

    The events will begin with a new and personal introduction for each film from The Lord of the Rings™ director Peter Jackson captured from the set of his current film, and The Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, and will be immediately followed by the Extended Edition feature presentations which altogether include nearly three hours of additional feature footage carefully selected by Peter Jackson.


    For more information and to purchase tickets:
    http://ping.fm/6Ulqh

    0 Comments on The Fellowship of the Rings Extended Edition in Theaters Tonight! as of 1/1/1900
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    11. All around fantasy and a little about reality

    Fantasy Book Reviews

    Picture Books

    1) Where The Wild Things Are -This picture book by Maurice Sendak and  a very popular book. I highly recommend it if you did not read it yet. The book is a classic and has been for years.  It was published originally in 1963 and won the 1964 Caldecott Medal for most distinguished picture book of the year. When a boy named Max misbehaves his mother sends him to his room where his fantastic journey begins. After his journey he comes home to discover that barely any time had passed even though his trip seemed to take place a very long time. This book is a wonderful read not only for children but adults as well. It explores the possibilities of other worlds and so much more.

    2) The Egg- This picture book by M.P Robertson is less known, but also a great read. It was published in 2001 by Dial books. It is about a boy named George, who one day discovers a huge egg under one of his barn chickens. When the egg is warmed and hatches a dragon is born. It is then when George's adventure begins. His adventure takes him for a special training and eventually to another world where dragons live. The book has amazing illustrations and a great fantasy story line that any child or adult will enjoy. It is a great read for everyone. Make sure to look for this book and to share it with your children in the classroom or by a sizzling fire.

    3) Sweep Dreams- This picture book came out in 2005. It is by Nancy Willard and Illustrated by Mary Grandpre.  It was published by Little Brown and company. It is about a man who fell in love with a magical broom. The mystery started when the lady at the register had no idea where this broom was from. Since it had no cost on it she gave it to the man as a gift. The man never used the broom to sweep and this made her sick. As soon as started using her to sweep the floors and etc.. the broom became very happy and danced outside in the street.  A bad man saw it and kidnapped her. As the book goes on many magical adventures take place. I believe children will get right into the story. The book has all kinds of wonderful pictures that almost everyone will enjoy. Please pick up a copy.

    Middle Readers

    1) The Phantom Tollbooth- I read this wonderful book back in elementary school. It was written Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer who I had the pleasure to meet and talk to a few months ago. It came out from Random House in 1961. I love this classical book that teaches many things to children. It is about a boy named Milo who is bored of everything in his life. One day a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room. Milo drives through it in his toy car because he has nothing better to do. This leads him to a different world. It is here that Milo's whole view of life changes. he takes on several amazing quests and meets fantastic creatures including a ticking watch dog named Tock.  I loved this classic fantasy book as a young lad and I truly believe your son or daughter will as well.

    2) The Book of Time Trilogy- I got a chance to read this Trilogy on my trip to FL. You can look back at my older posts to read more about it. It includes three books: The Book of Time, The Gate of Days and The Circle of Gold. They are by Gullaume Prevost and were translated by William Rodarm. The books  originally published by Gallimard Jeunnesse in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The English- language translations were published by Arthur A. Levine books in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Cheryl Klein was the wonderful editor who worked on this wonderful Fantasy Trilogy.  The books are about Faulkner family. They could be any ordinary family on the outside, but they have many secrets. Sam Faulkner a 13 year old boy discovers a sec

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    12. This Week in Books 3/18/11

    The Books! This Week!

    First up, one of my blog readers is an editor in Egypt, and as there aren't many/any agents in Egypt (but there could be), she's hoping to work as a virtual intern at a literary agency to learn more about the trade. I know we're all rooting for Egypt after the revolution, any agents out there who could help her out

    There was a very interesting discussion over at All Indie Publishing triggered by the always-interesting Zoe Winters. The topic: Do 99 Cent E-books Attract the Wrong Kind of Reader? Now, at first blush, your answer might be, as John Ochwat put it on Twitter, "If readers are wrong, I don't want to be right." But Zoe's thoughts are worth a read in full. Does the price affect a reader's loyalty and the perception of value? (via OtherLisa)

    Is all publicity really good publicity? Well, according to a study spotted by The Millions: It all depends. For established writers, bad publicity can hurt sales. For new writers: Bad publicity actually helps.

    Very smart editor Cheryl Klein has self-published a guide to writing called SECOND SIGHT, definitely check that out!

    The New York Observer took an anthropological look at the "Assisterati," the collective of extremely smart assistants who are reading many of your queries and performing essential tasks behind the scenes at agencies. And yes, the "Assisterati" Twitter account was started just a week later.

    What do you get when you take an author's first novel, which is the first sale by her agent and the first acquisition by her editor? Well, in this case you get THE TIGER'S WIFE by Tea Obreht, currently the toast of the literary scene.

    In writing and publishing advice news, guest blogging at Pimp My Novel, Brad Philips offers nine ways to give a better reading, Finslippy gives advice on attending conferences, and agent Rachelle Gardner had three great publishing mythbusting posts here, here and here.

    And in so wrong it's right news... real life re-creations of romance novel covers. (via Stephen Shankland)

    This week in the Forums, March Madness is so on, can social media self-promotion be a bad thing, an authors for Japan benefit auction, the Great Gatsby mansion is going to be

    74 Comments on This Week in Books 3/18/11, last added: 3/21/2011
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    13. Thousands of Protesters Fight to Keep The Hobbit in New Zealand

    New Zealand activists are fighting to keep filming for the upcoming The Hobbit adaptation in that country, the same place where Peter Jackson filmed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. According to these passionate protesters, “New Zealand is Middle Earth.”

    The Guardian reports that Warner Bros. executives will decide this week if the shoot will be in New Zealand.  Prime Minister John Keys will personally oversee the negotiations, hoping that producers will make a decision in his country’s favor.

    The article adds: “A dispute over pay and conditions led producers to hint that they might move filming to another country. Carrying banners proclaiming ‘New Zealand is Middle Earth’ and ‘We Love Hobbits,’ a reported 2-3,000 people gathered in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, and other cities such as Auckland and Christchurch in advance of a visit by executives from the studio Warner Bros.”

    continued…

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    14. Professionalism (It's not what you think it is)

    By: Hannah Moskowitz

    This post has nothing to do with writing and absolutely everything to do with being a writer.

    The stereotype of a writer--the middle-aged man pounding feverishly at a typewriter, cigarette in his mouth, sending hard-copy manuscripts to his agent and protesting the change of every word--has yet to catch up with the reality of what being a writer entails today.

    We are not locked in our attics alone. We are not even the romantic writers of the '20s, drinking coffee and discussing literature. We are a legion of overworked, underwashed normals, pounding away at our laptops and shooing the kids to the next room.

    And more importantly, we are not alone.

    If you are reading this blog, you have obviously already met at least one other writer (hello there.) Chances are, I'm not the only one. Agent, editor, and writer blogs, facebook, forums like Verla Kay and Absolute Write, and God, above all Twitter, mean that, at the very least, most writers are at least a friend of a friend of yours. The term 'networking' is so appropriate here, because, in actuality, we--writers, publishing professionals, book bloggers--are a net. A web of interconnected people.

    We know the same people. The truth is, this world feels very big sometimes, and God knows everyone is talking about writing a novel, but when it comes down to it--the people who are really out there, querying, editing, submitting, representing, accepting, rejecting, publishing, copyediting, waiting...well, the truth is, there aren't that many of us after all.

    Which is why the act of being a professional writer has come to mean much more than it used to. Fifty years ago, all most writers had to do was avoid getting arrested and not respond to bad reviews.

    You have a much bigger job to undertake. And it's stressful, and it's scary, but it can also be one of the most rewarding parts of this job. Somedays, my writing is absolutely shitty, and the house is a mess, and I'm crying because I can't find my socks, but I have 557 blog followers and I said something funny on Twitter today, so at least this day isn't totally for the birds.

    You may think that I am the worst possible person ever to talk about how to be a professional. I'm loud and I'm obnoxious and I had to edit about ten cuss words out of this post so I didn't offend Nathan's sensibilities.

    Yep. That's me.
    But I'm hoping all that will make me easier to listen to, because when people think 'professional,' they a lot of the time think boring, sanitized, safe. And that's not who you have to
    be. I'm living proof over here. And I knew from the start that I was taking a big risk, but I hoped that people would find me interesting and remember me.

    It's worked pretty well so far. And that, kittens, is the real reason you want to get out there and put on your professional face. So that people will remember you.

    Now that I'm done babbling, here are some guidelines. How to be a successful professional writer, by yours truly. And these are not big, life-changing rules. These are just tricks. Tricky little tricks.

    --GET ON TWITTER. I don't care what your objections are. I objected too. But it is hands-down the best way to connect with people you would never have the balls to approach any other way. You can follow someone, which causes them no pain or trouble whatsoever, and you can talk to them in a completely neutral, undemanding way.

    --READ ABOUT BOOKS. What do Hunger Games, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code, and a hell of a lot of other books have in common? Answer: I haven't read them.

    I'm not proud. But I know I don't have nearly enough time to read as much as I should, so I make a point of reading *about* books I wish I had time to read. Know enough about popular books to be able to fake your way through a conversation. I can discuss Twilight with the best of 'em.

    --

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    15. Death to Humans! (The Apocalypse Remix)

    Read his previous post, 10 Ways World of Warcraft Will Help You Survive the End of Humanity!

    By Robert M. Geraci


    Scientific American recently rocked the Internet with its editors’ piece “Death to Humans! Visions of the Apocalypse in Movies and Literature” but, in doing so, have missed half of the fun. In an article where the sublime (The Matrix) meets the atrocious (The Postman), the chief problem that SciAm’s editors suffer is that, to be honest, they do not know what an apocalypse is.

    Threats to the world are not apocalyptic. In one of the apocalyptic texts par excellence, the Book of Revelation, the world isn’t just going to end…it’s going to transform in radical fashion (admittedly thanks to the seven seals that FBI and ATF members thought were marine mammals when David Koresh quoted them, the many-headed beast, and the whore of Babylon who will be drunk on the blood of the martyrs). Despite all the trials and tribulations, the end of the world is a good thing: it will end with the establishment of a wondrous new one.

    So, how about some more apocalyptic films and books?

    R.U.R. (1927; play) – Robots plan on killing us all. But after they’ve finished their noble work, they will explore an earth purged of, umm, us.

    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; film and novel) – In Kubrick’s and Clarke’s classic, David Bowman gets sucked into a galactic hotel and comes back a “Star Child” who can toss aside nuclear weapons as though they are paper airplanes. A new world shall dawn in the warm glow of the cosmic baby’s power.

    Dark City (1998, film) – After John Murdoch psychokinetically conquers the aliens who have enslaved humankind, he remains stuck in a spaceship but uses its powers to provide himself with a West coast paradise where he will spend the future with a lovely woman whose memories have been tailored to match his own.

    The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955 and 2001-2003; novels and films) – When two hobbits (one deranged and well past his prime, the other just twisted and tired after a noble quest) struggle at the flaming precipice of Mount Doom, they inaugurate a new world. In the end, lava purges the forces of evil and the friendly hobbits have a fighting chance to spend eternity blowing smoke rings and cheering for fireworks.

    Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2004; novel) – Cory Doctorow paints us a future where we can spend an infinity in Disney Land, rejuvenating our bodies and, when necessary, restoring our minds to cloned bodies in the case of, well, an accident.  And the line at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride won’t matter because you have an infinite amount of time to wait.

    Accelerando (2006; novel) – After the machines take over the solar system, predicts Charles Stross, we can always ask a divine

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    16. I am a writer in my dreams.

    I dreamed last night that I was accompanying a woman around, who needed my help, who was, indeed, in the grip of a severe emotional crisis. This wasn’t surprising, since she was composed of slices of chicken breast that needed to be reassembled. I spent a little time pondering this after I woke up, but it didn’t solve any of my current plot problems.

    You might well say that it wouldn’t, but it’s odd how often solutions do come out of dreams. In many cases (like the chicken-slice woman) I’d find the solution by reflecting on the symbolism. In her case it could signify some sense of inner fragmentation, perhaps, but this doesn’t ring any bells with me. Leave her aside, however, and I can often jump from a dream about a tidal wave full of horrible fish to realising that my character’s repressed feelings about something or other must now leap out and grab her (or him) round the throat. Sometimes there’s no apparent connection at all, but thinking about the dream gives my imagination a nudge nonetheless, the dream has geared me up, maybe?

    On at least one occasion, a major plot component was given me by a dream. This was years ago, when I was working on a novel for adults The Mountain of Immoderate Desires, and I took a nap in the afternoon because I wasn’t feeling very well. I woke up with a start, with my heart thumping, and a sense of terror, while a voice spoke to me: ‘You have come a long way to end outside a Chinese city wall.’ When I’d recovered from my fright, I thought: That’s it, Lily, the character in my novel has been abandoned outside the walls of a Chinese city, and she almost dies there. Of course I wasn’t taking exact dictation from the dream, but it was pretty apposite, and I was very pleased with the nudge from my subconscious.

    I have other, less helpful dreams, in which I am writing a novel which, I know, is the same as one already written, and have this moment of horror when it gets through to me. Or else I’m just writing a different novel from the one I’m actually working on, and I know it’s rubbish. Then there are the strange published novels that pop up in my dreams, books I’ve written that I don’t recognise – and usually they’re not up to much, either. I have no hesitation in ascribing these dreams to the insecurity of the writer’s life, and I wonder if other writers have them?

    Some dreams come, recognisably, out of a particular writer’s plot-bag. I dreamed the night before last that I was Death’s granddaughter (though not at all like Miss Susan) and subsequent to the End of the World – which was, however, only temporary, for reasons perhaps known to Terry Pratchett – I had to tidy up all the mess people had left behind them. I remember making beds – literally, I had to staple ticking onto divan covers and assemble mattresses (such is the quaint verbal literalness of the dreamer’s mind) clearing up kitchens, weeding gardens – for as long as the world stayed ended, the beds stayed tidy – and then the Last Trumpeter appeared again and played, presumably, the Reveille. And everyone got up and the world un-ended. The interesting thing about this dream was its close attention to plot and thematic consistency, whereas most dreams jump from one plot to another like a grasshopper making its way across the field. I also woke at the trumpet, and heard my alarm going off.

    And not so long ago, I dreamed I was watching the hobbits arrive at the Bridge in Rivendell. They came there, not on ponies, but in an old VW dormobile, the kind that was painted all over with flowers and CND symbols. They had to leave it in the car park (National Trust, of course) and run up the marked trail to the river, and when the Black Riders arrived in pursuit they came in a stretch limo and got out, all dressed in dark suits and dark glasses like Mafiosi. This surely indicates a distinct cultural connection between The Lord of the Rings and The Godfather.

    Quite a while ago, there was a quote on an ABBA blog fr

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    17. Memorable Characters - by Katherine Langrish


    I was asked by a fantasy and science fiction survey what I thought were the weaknesses of the two genres. This is a bit like being asked in a job interview to identify your own personal weaknesses – one doesn’t want to admit to anything. But in the end I replied ‘Poor characterisation and an over-reliance on magical and scientific hardware.’ I don’t think this was unfair. As a teenager I gobbled up Isaac Asimov’s ‘Robot’ and ‘Foundation’ books, and Arthur C. Clarke’s many and various space odysseys, but what I loved was the vast sweep of the black canvas they both painted on – prickling with stars and smudged with dusty, embryonic galaxies. Against that background, the human characters in their books were unmemorable. I’m trying right now, and I can’t think of even one of their names.

    As for fantasy, the same thing applies. The world is often more important than the characters. I don’t think I would recognise Colin and Susan from Alan Garner’s brilliant early fantasies, if I saw them in the street. Even in ‘Lord of the Rings’, characters are more often conveniently defined by their species (elf, dwarf, hobbit etc) than by personality. Could you pick Legolas from an identity parade of other elves, or Gimli from a line-up of other dwarfs?

    You have several wonderfully memorable science-fiction/fantasy characters on the tip of your tongue at this very moment, I can tell, and you are burning to let me know. I can think of a notable exception myself: Mervyn Peake’s cast of eccentrics in the Gormenghast books. I’ll look forward to your comments... But moving swiftly on, I began to think about memorable characters in children’s fiction – which as a genre, like science fiction and fantasy, tends to be strong on narrative. Does children’s fiction in general, I wondered, have characters that walk off the page?

    So here, in no particular order, is a partial list. Mr Toad. The Mole and the Water Rat. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger. William. Alice. The Red Queen. Oswald Bastable and Noel Bastable. Arrietty, Homily and Pod. Mrs Oldknowe. Dido Twite. Patrick Pennington. Mary Poppins. Mowgli. Long John Silver. Peter Pan. Ramona. Huck Finn. Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy. Puddleglum. Pa, Ma, Laura and Mary. Stalky. Moomintroll, the Snork Maiden and the Hemulen...

    All of these characters, I would argue, are so strongly drawn that once you have met them you will never forget them. I will bet that for each of the above names (so long as you’ve read the books) you knew instantaneously who I meant, and had a picture of them in your head and the ‘flavour’ of them in your mind, just as if they were real people. These characters have a life beyond the page: not only is it possible to imagine them doing other things besides what their authors have described, it’s almost impossible not to believe that in some sense they possess a sort of independent reality.

    There are many good books in which characterisation is not very important. Fairytales have always relied on standard ‘types’: the foolish younger son whose good heart triumphs, the princess in rags, the cruel queen, the harsh stepmother, the weak father, the lucky lad whose courage carries him through. This is because fairytales are templates for experience, and they are short: we identify with the hero, and move on with the narrative. Fairytales are not about other people: they are about us.

    But the crown of fiction is the creation of new, independent characters. Though Mr Toad may share some characteristics with the boastful, lucky lad of Grimm’s fairytale ‘The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs’, he is nevertheless gloriously and individually himself. Huck Finn is more than a poor peasant boy or a woodcutter’s son. Children’s fiction is a fertile ground in which such characters can flourish.

    Visit Katherine's website at www.katherinelangrish.co.uk

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    18. You Might Be a Writer If...

    Some weeks, I can think of at least three things I could write about in this Friday post. Other weeks, I'm praying to the gods of inspiration for, well...inspiration. Of course, I could do the high functioning thing and write down the extra two ideas in the creative weeks, but somehow, it never happens.

    The save came this week at the eleventh hour, literally (11 p.m.), as my husband and I were walking out of the movies.

    You might be a writer if...you've been told you've got an overly active imagination.

    That's what my husband told me. He wasn't the first, just the latest. Poor guy.

    We went to see the latest Star Trek movie last night. I admit it. I'm a trekkie. A huge trekkie. It's not my fault. I blame it on bad Sunday TV programming during my formative years as an adolescent. Sunday morning was such a let down after Saturday cartoons. Plus there was all that time to kill before church, the comics read and reread, my brother soundly aggravated and totured. What was a kid to do? Enter, deus ex machina extraordinaire, Star Trek reruns.

    The original, of course. It was the 1970s. I watched them all, many times over. The only problem was, my brother and I hardly ever got to see an episode through to its end because we had to leave for church. We used to push it to the very last minute, begging our parents to let us finish.

    Maybe it was all that unfulfilled longing that made me such a trekkie. Either way, come movie time last night, I was giggly with excitement. I hadn't read any of the previews, watched few to none of the trailers. I wanted to let the latest script writers do their thing.

    It was great for me. I was thrilled, scared, excited, moved. If only my husband had remembered how moved I can get. More than once, the alien coming out of nowhere had me screeching or jumping or...well, I yanked my hand away from his so hard, I kind of hurt him. Poor guy. He spent the rest of the movie with his arms crossed, scooched away from me, trying to avoid all bodily contact for fear I might accidentally injure him again.

    "You have an overly active imagination," he said as we were walking over. "Big time."

    It's too true. I can't deny it because the evidence is overwhelming.

    I tried levitating rocks with my mind after seeing Star Wars.

    I slept with my neck covered for years after seeing a Sammy Terry midnight marathon of the early Dracula movies.

    When my mom had to pull a splinter out of my hand when I was five or six, I got kind of emotional. "Everything is getting dark. I can't see anything. It hurts too much!" (Yes, I actually remember saying that.) My mother: "Open your eyes."

    Oh yeah.

    The only reason I think I was able to read Lord of the Rings as a child was because I imagined all of its black and sinister creatures more a sort of tarnished grey. And that still had me scared to death. After I saw Peter Jackson version of them, I didn't sleep for weeks.

    I have an overly active imagination. I didn't know what to do with the thing, until I became a writer. Now all of those insane ideas can weave themselves into something that makes sense. Whole books come to me in the blink of an eye, and people ask me, "How did you think that up?"

    Overly active imagination.

    My characters don't just inhabit my brain, they dance around my office. Go shopping with me. Advise me on how to talk to my children.

    Overly active imagination.

    Bedtime stories for my kids come so easily, maybe too easily. We constantly miss bedtime.

    It's a talent now, not an oddity. I love it. I just have to remember to buy my husband some protective gear for our next movie outing!

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    19. From the Terrible Man-Lizard

    So I am a big fan of Adam Rex. You might have noticed. And Adam Rex has a new book coming out soon that I have not yet read. Could be great. Could be awful. I've no idea. He has, however, created a list of 10 Reasons to Read It. If you can't see it clearly enough here, you can go to Mr. Rex's website and view it under the Smekday link or just click on the actual image below.

    Why is it okay for me to promote something I've never read? Because he's a HMOCL and the ad is funny. That's the key, people. Make something funny and I'll give you all the free publicity you could ever desire.

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    20. The Battle of Pelennor Fields - in candy

    Thanks to Shaken & Stirred, I discovered this amazing sculpture of The Battle of Pelennor Fields from The Return of the King, made entirely out of candy! My favorite part is Grond, the battering ram, made from red licorice ropes. Pure awesomeness!

    Click here to see it

    Edited to add:

    There's a Kid safe edition for those who don't like the bad language

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    21. Washy sketchbook



    Here are some ink doodles from my last sketchbook(Nov 08 to Dec 08) I've been studiously keeping sketchbooks since I was 14. I think there is no better tool in exploring your own artistic potential. Now of course I have boxes and boxes of them.
    I am once again looking at being represented by an agent. I was talking with the super-talented and inspirational Colleen Doran earlier and she suggested my problem with agencies earlier may have been to do with the type of agents I was looking at. That perhaps a literary agent might be a better choice than an art agency. She has done a tonne of research on the subject and published the results here on her blog. At the moment I'm talking to 5 different publishers and it's just too much. things keep petering out. So, I'll give it another try.
    And finally, do you like Lord Of The Rings? Well, blogger Kate Nepveu is weekly publishing a post about her reading of the book on the Tor.com site. I'll be reading along and leaving comments. Also, I may republish my thoughts here.

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    22. Lord Of The Rings Sundays Part One

    Over at Tor.com wonderfully insightful writer Kate Nepveu is rereading Lord Of The rings and sharing her thoughts on the book as she goes along. she's inspired others to read along as well. Two other artists who are doing similar posts and sharing their incredible work are Eric Braddock and Justin Gerard.
    I'll be posting along for the whole book on every second Sunday. It would be a lot of fun if anyone out there wanted to read along as well.
    This is pulled right from my comments on Tor.com.
    Here are my thoughts on the introduction
    I read LOTR in a swamp in northern Newfoundland on a scouting trip when I was 12 and it was the best thing in the world. Funny how different my conception was then Mr. Jackson's. I envisioned the world both far more expressionistic(eg. Gandalf's brows reaching farther than his hat brim)and far bleaker. I've always been interested as to whether my visual understanding of the book's landscapes is based on the rugged,bleak place I live

    and here are my thoughts on chapter One, A Long Expected Party
    I'm loving hearing the responses young people have had to this book. It's a book that has a really broad audience.

    I first read the book as a teenager and haven't read them in a few years so my thoughts are largely in response to the films take on it.

    There elements in the book that expressive to the point of being cartoony(to me) like Gandalf's eyebrow's and blue hat. It makes me recall the vividness that is evoked by Tolkien whereas Peter Jackson's take seems much more realistic and starker. The opening tone in both is wildly different. Where Tolkien subtly hints at the gathering shadows Jackson states them boldly.

    Knowing what's coming brings a real tinge of sadness to the party and Frodo's life before the quest.

    I forgot how much I love the dialogue in the book. Again it seems expressive to me. Maybe it's the up down rhythms you are talking about.

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    23. Q. What does the Oxford Dictionary of English have in common with Harry Potter, A-Z Maps, and anything written by Terry Pratchett?

    By Juliet Evans, OUP UK Publicity Manager, Dictionaries and Reference

    A. They’re all in the list of ‘Top Ten Most Stolen Books in the UK’!

    Weighing in at a rather hefty 6.6lb and measuring 11 by 8.5 inches, the Oxford Dictionary of English is no lightweight. Even so, it has appeared in a list of top 10 books which are ‘the most stolen’ from independent UK booksellers, published in The Times on 6 February 2009.

    We guess it’s a dubious honour for Oxford Dictionaries to be on the ‘most wanted’ list of book thieves, but we’re in good company, as you can see from the list below.

    The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) joins an eclectic mix of strictly practical reference books, fantasy and crime fiction, and children’s literature. All - except ODE - are paperback and/or portable.

    “Notably, ODE is the only dictionary to appear in the Top Ten,” says Catherine Soanes, editor of ODE, “You’d have thought that our smaller dictionaries, such as the Pocket Oxford or the Compact Oxford, would have been more pocketable (or hideable in a bag or coat) but book-pilferers obviously think that, with its 350,000 words, phrases, and meanings, ODE is the one worth risking prosecution for. Thank goodness that thousands of readers prefer to follow the legal route and buy their copies - and at £35, they don’t need deep pockets to do so.”

    It seems that the ’literature lifters’ come in all shapes and sizes - from old ladies, to students, and from mums with prams (the ultimate getaway vehicle?) to people working within the publishing industry itself. So it seems you just can’t trust anyone these days. And you know you have to be very suspicious of people with long coats too - no book is ever to big to steal…

    Of course, the loss of so many books has a very detrimental effect on booksellers, particularly on the small family-run independent stores. The Times reports that there have been cases of books being ‘stolen to order’, or placed online, and there have even been stories about books being passed around in pubs. It’s interesting to note that crime writer Martina Cole’s books appear at number 7 on the ‘most stolen’ list.

    We talked a bit more to Patrick Neale of Jaffé and Neale Bookshop in the Cotswolds area of England, who says, “In my Waterstone’s days dictionaries were very popular with the thieving community. I never found the pub where all these ‘knocked off’ Oxford Dictionaries were being ‘fenced’. I wonder if the thieves checked that all their terminology was in there. I really don’t know where all those dictionaries went. But I suppose they were used for pub quizzes…”

    Patrick says that he now has to keep a particular eye on local walking maps walking out of the door of his bookshop. But could it be that, in the form of traditional English Morris dancers (shown in the picture above), he has found the ultimate deterrent to would-be thieves, we ask?

    Ten most stolen books from UK shops

    1. London A-Z maps
    2. Ordnance Survey maps
    3. Terry Pratchett novels
    4. Harry Potter books
    5. Lonely Planet travel guides
    6. The Lord of the Rings
    7. Martina Cole novels
    8. Jacqueline Wilson novels
    9. Oxford Dictionary of English
    10. The Highway Code

    2 Comments on Q. What does the Oxford Dictionary of English have in common with Harry Potter, A-Z Maps, and anything written by Terry Pratchett?, last added: 2/15/2009
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