Nanowriting and other musing

Culturally I am very interested in how the arts are playing out for millennials. 

I mean we’re mostly broke, so maybe creativity will abound? (this is my hope)

Let’s review

Couch Surfers

Open Source Computer Programs

Etsy

Carshares

and now I’ve re-discovered nanowriMo: National Novel Writing Month(which I’ve heard of briefly last year): in which you set yourself a goal to write a novel through writing about 50,000 words by the end of November

What I love is, you are really doing it for you….the website is (to me) like a self-determined excercise program where you count calories…no wait I mean words 🙂 on your own time and set goals for yourself.

I probably won’t keep up with the word count…but (partially inspired by avidly reading Robin McKinley’s KES) I’ve decided to give it a try…..I will definitely be farther along than I have been so far, I’m four short chapters in already 🙂

GO CREATIVITY! 

YAY BOOKS!

 

SQUEEE ROBIN McKinley is doing Spiritual Direction!!!

“So I’ve been at this Christianity lark for ten months now.  The first eight months or so were all about the run up to Lent and Easter—Christmas is fine, Christmas is all jolly, except for the long shadow of events to come—Easter, I was worried about Easter.  But I got through that and . . . gleep.  It’s like looking up from picking your way down a very narrow stony path with a chasm on one side and dragons on the other and realising that it’s not just dragons and bottomless ravines but you’re lost in a universe-sized jungle AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU’RE GOING.  Where does the narrow stony path go?  Is that where you want to go?  Is there a beautiful sunset and a cup of tea at the end of it or a larger dragon?” Robin McKinley’s Faith Journey!!! LOVE FANTASY AND FAITH” from http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2013/07/24/microsoft-outlook-and-spiritual-direction/

Non-angsty vampires…GO

If you want to talk eschatology a good post-apocalyptic book is the way to go. A great post-apocalyptic book about vampires is even better. In this book the vampires don’t angst (they are in fact rather nonemotional as compared to humans). And the adult–that’s right she is not a teenager–finds her life interrupted by vampires, and having to deal with the consequences. Like all Robin McKinley, this is a reread but the reasons why I love this book are (in no particular order)

1. The main character is an adult

2. Its not about happily ever after or tragedy, its about dealing with the problems in your life–the good, the bad and the ugly

3. The vampire casts a mirror on the human life and choices ultimately make up how “good” you are (remember this book was pre-Twilight so the whole vampires can be good thing was only started here)

4. There is absolutely no longing to become a vampire.

5. It deals very closely with how one human being confronts the end of her/the world!

6. The main character is a baker who loves sunlight (how non-angsty can you get!!)

Read it if you like Twilight, read it if you hate Twilight.

Next “No Man is an Island” I love reading good new books!

…what I read..in high school

Have you ever listened to, read or watched something so much that you have internalized it, and its become a part of your very being?

That is another way to describe what “Reading out” a book is

in highschool I discovered fantasy as a genre

The first “fantasy” book I read was Robin McKinley “A Hero and the Crown” very quickly it and all the McKinley books I could find Beauty, Deerskin and the Blue Sword) became my go to books.

As well as the Tamora Pierce quartets (High School involved reading Alanna and then awaiting as Daine slowly came out) Tamora Pierce Heroines Mouse Mat

And there was Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest series which I discovered in the school library in 6th grade. This series maybe, perhaps, if I had to say, my favorite books ever (although I hate t  o pic  k because I love so many)

I never did read fantasy to escape. I always read it theologically. I read it to affirm the goodness of humanity and the human irrepressible & irrational endurance. I read it to see the abundance and presence of hope no matter how hard things get. I read it because I wanted to see people suffer challenges & loss and to know that it is all worth it, to see good triumph over evil. To me the happy-ever-after is guaranteed, but the work that is done to get there is what is truly important.

Beauty and the Beast

I may or may not own a billion different versions of Beauty and the Beast. (Plus some figures, snowglobes and plastic McDonald’s toys)

Why? Because its my favorite fairy tale. Why? Because its the first/best fairytale and it is so TOTALLY theological!!!! (did I put too many exclamation points there?)Image

Things to know about Beauty and the Beast which I have disseminated from years of study (no seriously I have been convertly studying fairy tales for 8 years. First as an “English” major at Oberlin, then as a theological student at Princeton)

1. It is the FIRST fairy tale we know of

2. It evolved from what is the last myth we know of: Cupid and Psyche (in “The Golden Ass”) written a couple of hundred of years after myths were in styleImage

3. Before Christianity, the “happily ever after concept” did not seem to exist in stories….In fact the theological differences between Cupid & Psyche and Beauty and the Beast are amazing but I will write my thesis on all that later (hopefully). Today we’ll stick to B&B

Next thoughts

If you haven’t read Beauty and the Beast, I invite you to do so on literally the best Fairy Tale Resource today (I mean literally, I’ve done the research) at Sur La Lune http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/index.html

1. The prince/beast is a fallen man somehow either through his own or his parents brokenness. Usually his outer ugliness mirrors his inner ugliness (The Fall from Grace Anyone)

2. His Salvation/Transformation into his former/real/best self is through Love

3. Beauty Loves Beast even in his ugliness

4. Beast regains his life/and is transformed through the pure love of Beauty

(PS how cool is it that the Christ figure is a girl in this one)

1. Humanity falls and is ugly

2. Humanity’s hope lies in God’s grace through God’s Love

3. God loves us, period.

4. We are born again/from above and transformed

And we all will live happily ever after!

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.–1 Col 19-20

All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.–Ps. 86:9

(PS concerns and questions about the every knee shall bow language will be addressed in another post, so don’t worry)

Now that I’ve blown your mind (or at least reminded you to hear “Be Our Guest” again) I invite you to read any/all of the following, and if you know another Beauty and the Beast that you like let me know in case I haven’t read it.

(This may, perhaps, possibly in the Disney version make Gaston into the devil…hehehehehehehe)

Good Versions of Beauty and the Beast

1st John 4:7-18 (I’ve copied it below)

C.S. Lewis Voyage of the Dawn Treader Eustace’s Story

Beauty by Robin McKinley & Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (yes she wrote 2 good ones)

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli

Cupid and Psyche in the Golden Ass (Hi, Chloe! I love you!)

La Belle et La Bete directed by Cocteau (black and white one of the 1st films, look at the effects, I mean this was before computers)

Beauty and the Beast the 80s TV show

10th Kingdom (in a lighter vein)

Donkeyskin/Tattercoat/Alleirauh are very similar (though different)

Deerskin by Robin McKinley (I know, but I couldn’t help myself)

Fables Comic Series (note: main characters)

and of course the Disney movie/play

1st John 4:7-18; Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.