Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Great Book!

A week or two ago, an author e-mailed me having found this blog and seen that I liked to read fiction. Mr. Andrew Clarke suggested I read his book Outcasts of Skagaray. I messaged my mother to please order this book off of I got it in the mail a few days ago.

I have to say, it's a splendid read. I loved it!

The people on the island of Skagar value strength and prowess in battle above all else. They believe that all things weak and small should be eradicated. It's a gruesome picture that Mr. Clarke paints, but in the middle of it all, young Tarran knows that what he's been taught all his life is very, very wrong. Through certain events, Tarran is forced to make the choice of becoming a respected Skagar warrior, or an Outcast in order to do the right thing. He chooses to leave his family and people to fend for himself.
On the Island of Skagar, there seems to be a bleak hopelessness for the weak, handicapped, or sickly. But through that and the great evil of the Kirkil that hangs over the Island, there comes a glimmer of purity and hope from a boy willing to do what's right, a band of so-called 'weak' Outcasts, and a messenger from the True God.

Andrew Clarke incorporated God into an exciting, gripping story without ever once mentioning God or Jesus. His main character, Tarran, was so very appealing because he was, indeed, an Outcast- so many of us young people can relate to that.
I loved the scenes he set with the evil on the Island completely overtaking those people and twisting their views into something totally opposite from what we think today. He did such a good job of portraying the demonic-ness of the Kirkil. And then he gave the most perfect portrayal of totally drowning him in the will of the One True God.
This book had everything: romance, danger, doubt, faith, suspense, and excitement. And it was all in perfect balance, so that no one thing drowned out the powerful message of the words.
This is definitely a book I recommend to all my friends, or to anyone who just wants a good read with a strong meaning in the words.

SciFi World - Main Conflict Poem

Death of the Amaranth

A world of purple,
Pink, and red.
All was well
And good, they said.
Children laughed
And sang and played.
All was peace
And love those days.
But deadly lies
For centuries lie.
Death comes slowly
To the Sky.
The Amaranth sings
Beneath in ignorant wait.
By the time it knows,
It's far to late.
As darkness spreads,
And flowers die,
The Amaranth learns
To scream and cry.

Blog Post 1: SciFi as a Genre

Science fiction.

Love it! Why? Who knows? Maybe it relates to something inside me that longs for more than what we can see here in the real world. Maybe it appeals to a side of me that wants to fantastic; wants to see the amazing.

In science fiction, things are different. Circumstances are dire, characters are bold and brave. In sci-fi, anything at all can happen. The setting can be anything from a foggy forest filled with robotic soldiers to a spaceship floating through the stars in the next galaxy over.

Science fiction, and really fiction in general, offers an alternative to mundane reality,an escape from the monotony of the ordinary. It's more interesting and more challenging to the mind than other books, movies, and TV shows.

Science fiction is a good genre to use when giving a warning. Such as the common cautions 'Science can be dangerous' and 'Be careful what you wish for'. An example of both warnings is the book The Invisable Man by H.G. Wells. This book was a good read- a perfect example of classic sci-fiwritten by a true master.

Sci-fi is a wide, enjoyable genre that supplies food for the scientific side of a reader's mind as well as their imagination. I personally love this genre and suggest it be explored by all who like to read. Some suggestions are The Invisable Man by H.G. Wells, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Blog Post 2: SciFi World Character Paragraph

Meet my main character. This is a paragraph written for the first part of our class's Sci-Fi project. It was meant to introduce the main character of our world.

Here it is!

Dune is one of the people of Amaranth. He is a normal child born into a good family. His mother ViLee is a weaver, who takes the fibers of the Amaranth and creates cloth from them. His father is TyLee, a dyer, who colors the cloth made by his wife in the colors derived from the Amaranth's flowers. His sister, five years his younger, is his closest friend. Her name is Vi, and apart from her age, she could be his twin. However, Dune is special in one way. He has a personal, vibrant connection with the conscience of the Amaranth. Ever since he was a child, he had been able to feel the Amaranth more clearly than others. Also, since he was small, the Amaranth has expressed a certain interest, even a love, for Dune. The Great Plant created a cradle of vines for the infant Dune. As Dune grew, it shielded him from harm, played with him, and sang for him specially. The only other thing that sets Dune apart is that he has an unusual appearance. His hair and skin are the same pale white of the Amaranth's deepest roots. His eyes are the vibrant pink-red of the Amaranth's flowers. Dune is a normal child of Amaranth, but there something special about him...

There's a lot more to Dune than what I wrote into that paragraph. The rest of this assignment was to create an image of the character using a website called Hero Machine 2.5, but that caused me some problems. The pre-designed bases for the characters were to general, putting limitations on how far I could take Dune's appearance. The website generated image shows my character Dune as a youthful, well-muscled man, when in my story he is a young boy in his teens, rather thin and childish.

Dune has a small, thin body, and his delicate bone structure lends to an almost asexual appearance. His skin his pale, like snow. The features of his face seem to melt into a mask of white, giving semblance to a faceless mask. The only color of his face is the startlingly bright pink of his eyes and the pale, white-washed red of his lips. His hair falls around his face in permanently disheveled, perfectly straight silver-white strands. The cut and fall of his hair highlights sharply angled cheek- and jaw-bones. He is very slight of build, but months of running, playing, and working have given him strong muscles- even if they aren't bulging.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Thoughts: Quote

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
Oscar Wilde

How true. How horribly, sadly, shatteringly true. How many times have there been remarkable people, full of potential and curiosity, that simple go through life doing what they must to live the typified American Dream of a nice little suburban house, 2.5 kids, a quiet and house trained dog, and a steady job?

How many people just.... exist?

It can be argued, quite rightly, that what I call 'simply existing' might for some be living a joy and wonder-filled life. But it can also be said that each person must live his (or her) own life.

What I've often wondered is this: Will I be brave enough, strong enough, clever enough, and free enough to really live the way I want to?

Will I be brave enough to travel around the world and see the real wonders? Will I be strong enough to do it on my own, if I have to? Will I be clever enough to ensure my own survival and the survival of my loved ones through hard times? Will I be free enough to go where my heart desires?

For years, it's been my dream to leave after high school on a round-the-world trip. I've wanted to go for Brandi and bring her along for (I think) three of those years. I don't want to fly across the ocean and stay in a swank hotel, I want to walk across Europe and see the countryside on my own, finding my own money, food, and shelter. I want to find the greenest, grassiest hills in Ireland and sit on them for a time. I want to see the ruins of Ancient Greece, and the Pyramids in Egypt, and the Great Wall of China. I want to visit a traditional Japanese shrine and see Buckingham Palace. I want stand in the Eiffel Tower and ride a gondola down the waterways of Venice. I want to do it all and more with Brandi right beside me, and I want to be able to make sure she's safe on the trip.

To do all that, and then come back home to hug my friends and family is what it means to me to live. And I really, really want to live.