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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” — Woodrow T. Wilson

Friends are on my mind today. Two of my good friends, Karen and Wendy, have birthdays this week. Just last week, I had the opportunity to spend several hours (including lunch) with Patti, a friend who I haven’t had a chance to visit with in-person for two years. I chatted with dear friend Kelly on the phone just the other day. And I’m looking forward to spending time with more friends this summer.

Besides family, I think friends and their friendship are the most important thing holding my world together–which is why friendship often plays such an important role in my stories and books.

BeyondSheercliffs_Balticon Like the unlikely group pulled together in JRR Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring, sometimes the friendships we forge because of a common goal turn out to be the most meaningful. At their core, Star Wars and Star Trek, are also about unlikely friendships. As is JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. For “Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend.” [Bill Watterson].

The concept of friendship growing from a common goal (and enemy) led me to cobble together several groups of seemingly dissimilar individuals in my epic fantasy novel, The Enchanted Dagger (Book 1 of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir). And the idea of friendship is also playing an important role in my current work-in-progress novel, Beyond the Sheercliffs (Book 1.5 of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir). 

The fight against evil; the quest for an item or person of great value; shared hunger, thirst, and danger; a common goal; and unexpected circumstances that link characters together are all wonderful devices in storytelling that can be the seeds of friendship. And best of all, readers understand friendship. It is something we all have in common.

A great majority of us desire strong friendships. We all have known the pain of a friendship that has ended. Many of us have watched a friend grown apart from us or change in a way that makes them a different person–and one which we no longer want to be friends with. Most of us remember the joyful feelings of realizing someone has moved from friendly acquaintance to friend. And we embrace the truth of Helen Keller’s sentiment: “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

And so, as I shape and polish the various friendships in Beyond the Sheercliffs, I urge you to reach out to your friends. Take the time to phone, message, or better yet, visit with your friends. Or maybe, make the effort to develop a friendly acquaintance into a friend. Because “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out” [Walter Winchell], and we could all use more of those sorts of people in our lives.

 

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I won’t support myself or become rich from writing. Most writers I know won’t make a living from writing or become rich. But sometimes I think the public believes writers make lots of money. Wrong!

Stephen King (It, Carrie, Cujo, Thinner, etc.) makes lots of money (but remember, some of that is from television and movies, not just books). JK Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, makes lots of money (some of that is from movies and merchandise). And a few other writers are doing very well financially with their books and television, films, and merchandise based on their books. They are the exceptions.

For every George R.R. Martin, of A Game of Thrones fame, there are thousands of writers who won’t make $100 per year from their writing. Especially if an author is self-published or published by a small independent press, he or she will likely make little more than the price of Happy Meal or two. Which is why most authors write because they love the written word, they love books, and/or they’re looking for a vehicle to tell the stories rattling around in their heads.

Here’s the link to an interesting blog post from Steve Laube (of The Steve Laube Agency) which explores: Most Writers Don’t Make A Lot of Money.

And if you’re motivated to support this author, here’s the link to my Amazon page. 🙂

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“It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore (character), Harry Potter by JK Rowling

And there is the truth of the matter, from none other than JKRowling.

Our true character is revealed not in our words, not in our abilities, and not in our paycheck. Our choices show others who we are. And the reward for our choices are consequences. Usually, good choices result in good consequences. And quite often, bad choices result in bad consequences.

My motto has always been: Always choose kindness. And in making that choice as often as possible, I hope I show others who I am.

The characters in my stories have different mottos and creeds, and the consequences of the choices they make in my fiction are what makes the narrative. My readers don’t want to read about perfect characters making perfect choices, they want to read about complicated characters making good and bad choices – then, dealing with the consequences.

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After skimming this article, I discovered I hadn’t read all of the books mentioned, so I’ve added a few novels to my “To Read” list. Most of the books on the list I’ve read. I agree with the article’s authors – The Lord of the Rings, War of the Worlds, Dune, A Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, Foundation, The Martian Chronicles, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, etc. have changed science fiction and fantasy, and added to the genre.

There are other authors who’ve changed my perception of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but the writings of JRR Tolkien, Jules Verne, HG Wells, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, George RR Martin, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. LeGuin, Douglas Adams, and the other authors listed in this aricle stand out.

By the way, the artwork featured in the post is nice, too.

What do you think of 21 Books That Changed Science Fiction and Fantasy Forever? Were your favorites named?

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13 Owl Flying extra This is the fifteenth blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

Owl art: One of my owl pen and ink sketches from Owl Light.

Owl fact: “Whitewash” is the polite name for the white, paint-like splashes of owl poop that cover the ground, lower branches, base of a tree, or anything else below an owl roost.

Owl folklore: In the Hindu communities of Bangladesh and the Indian state of Orissa, the goddess Lakshimi is associated with the white owl – which is felt to be as an omen of good luck and prosperity.

Owl quote: “I think I’m a tiny bit like Harry ‘cos I’d like to have an owl. Yeah, that’s the tiny bit, actually.” – Daniel Radcliffe

Owl link: Lots of great owl info at the World Owl Trust site.

And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.  Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

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Vonnie Today, you’re expecting a guest post – and here’s a link to one written by me at Bitten By Books.

First, thanks to Rachel Smith for inviting me to participate in the Urban Fantasy series of guest posts. I write about “The Cityscape of Fantasy.”

I’ve been following the series, and it’s been fun reading what different authors have had to say about this little corner of the fantasy world. But it’s a great (and sometimes spooky) corner for books, movies, and television shows.

The original Beauty and the Beast television series which starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, has that dark, city vibe. Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley fits the Urban Fantasy feel. And let’s not forget the Grimm television series. (At the moment, one of my favorite tv shows).

I know you can think of many other Urban Fantasy stories, flicks, and tv shows. I love the genre so much that I included stories that would slip into the corners of Urban Fantasy in both my story collections, Owl Light and The Greener Forest. And though my novel, The Enchanted Skean, is an epic fantasy, there are chapters set in the cities and towns that are filled with the twisting streets, moonlit atmosphere, and threatening evil of an Urban Fantasy.

Please visit Bitten by Books and comment on “The Cityscape of Fantasy.”

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On July 31, 1965, English author, JK Rowling, was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. By now, most of us have read at least one of her Harry Potter novels (or for those “I’d rather see the movie instead” folks – have seen one or more of the films based on her books). And many of us have heard about her journey from a barely-getting-by single parent to one of the most successful children’s writers of our time.

I won’t share the inspiring story of JK Rowling’s writing career here, but encourage the curious to visit her website: www.jkrowling.com and discover the details for themselves. What I will share is my gratitude to a writer whose fantasy series about a boy wizard, his friends, and their adventures encouraged many young people to pick up a book (or seven), and read.

Some books take readers on journeys whose destinations can only be reached in the imagination. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are those kinds of books. I thank her for the sharing her magical world and for inspiring me to write my fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean. And I wish her the Happiest of Birthdays!

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