Category Archives: Wise Words

Wise Words: Our Lives, Kings, and Presidents change, Wisdom does not.
A gem of wisdom from the common pool of humanity.

Feel free to share or post any of these blogs. Just tweak the content, except for fair use chunks, and link back to my site. Thanks!

June Jubilee

Dive 1.0 ~ The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy continued …

This is a joint venture. The seventy-seven authors and their inspiring adventures we explore are beacons of extraordinary story. Most of them are lights by contrast, guiding us to enchanting lands of danger in the ocean of fantasy. With them, we learn how to identify true gems and sell them not. How to know enemies, friends, and endless possibilities with our inner eye: to touch and to taste the truths of life in realms near and far.

Never underestimate the power of anything we invite inside our mind and heart, in our world or elsewhere. False or true, foolish or wise, corrupt or clean, it transforms our inner world and our ideas and colors all that we become. We must take heed, for our journey, though fantastic, is full of danger.

From birth we carry a journal of knowledge, waiting for us to fill its pages. But knowledge can cut both ways. It can protect or destroy. For our book of knowledge to be a blade of truth that rightly divides, we must temper it with understanding gained from experience, experience written in our hearts with the living, willing ink of our blood. The experience, the wisdom, our blood and book—all begins in our Creator.

Before we embark upon the perilous realm, read what the wise who have gone before us scribed in our book in bold, glimmering hue of opalescent green, pink, and blue.

The Hidden Gems:

A Treasure to sail for:

We will open many books of fantasy to find the elusive gems. The journey is dangerous, hunting by land and sea, but such jewels leave us with a greater grasp of truth, hopeful of life, with deep empathy and a sense of wonder over treasures heaped on endless shores.

A Diamond to steer by:

The best fantasies are about change by conflict, where powerful truth transforms the familiar. As we walk among jewels of clean fantasy we find ourselves beckoned “higher up and further in” as C.S. Lewis so aptly says, to another world. A liberating world of transcendent beauty, mysterious wonder, and adventure beyond compare.

A Zircon to know:

The secret of purely great—not utterly boring fantasy—is contrast. How evil is portrayed and for what purpose creates soul-destroying or soul-inspiring adventure.

An Emerald to watch for:

Our definition of “clean fantasy” is that evil is not glorified, is not subtly admired by the story as a whole, is not wallowed in for shock value. Good and evil, beauty and ugliness are drawn into battle in great fantasy, and there they show their differences in a way that make us want to stand up and cheer or knuckle down and fight with all we are.

A Topaz to see by:

Morally base fantasies that glorify deception, ugliness, and futility leave us wanting to cry. The beauty of truth, the conflict of good versus evil, and the sword of justice weave through the best imaginative fiction, calling us to leave desolation behind. Though these bright threads may wind through strongholds of deepest evil, it is never a journey of deception, muddling through injustice to exalt despairing fate. Rather, they call us to fight it in the light of a sure hope. Great fantasy on a spiritual level helps remove the cloud of hopelessness from one lens we see life through—our imagination. Goodness shines the clearer as it beats back darkness.

A Thought of Gold:

Fantasy is a weaving of power that transforms a tapestry into a tale, a mirror into a portal, a string of runes on a page into a living, breathing world. Where do we gather great fantasies so we don’t waste time on fool’s gold and fatally flawed stories? How do we sort adventurous, inspiring fantasy from the insipid, the bad, and the destructive? We dive into the waves of the sea and explore the mountains of fantasy, but read a page or few of our prospective wealth before we bring it home or on deck.

Silver to seek:

Every clean fantasy holds vast secrets for brave hearts. Listen to those who sail the waves, to experienced salts who search the epic depths and chart the islands. They will be the first to tell there are undiscovered ocean vaults beneath the surface. Entire islands of mystery and danger await every adventurer seeking riches, who yearns for jewels of strong and precious story. When the dive is done and the fight is fought, what precious things will we bring to light?

A Pearl to hold:  

The alluring glamour of the forbidden, which promises life-giving water but offers a goblet of hemlock, will not draw seekers to their deaths on this Fantastic Journey. The fantasies we depict do not paint scenes of immorality, where the sweetness of stolen water conceals death. There are battles, perils, and conflicts of every description, but true intimacy stops at the chamber door, where we leave it with a nod, a knowing smile, and respect for a precious thing.

A Ruby to remember:

Epic fantasy adventure benefits us on three levels: the spiritual arena, the wide world of ideas, and the sphere we breathe in. The realm of fantasy touches all three. It conveys life deeper than sand and sea, breathes into being lands nearer than we know, shows us the adventure of love in all its facets, and transfers truth from thought and experience to our heart’s grasp.

The ocean of fantasy adventure broadens our horizons and enthralls our hearts with crystal joys and enchanting beauties on a voyage across a perilous realm. Each subchapter dives for jewels of its own. Will we discover that which is the wealth of souls?

Note: This Blog 2 Book title is coming 2020 – Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Imaginative Fiction and Clean Fantasy Adventure

Share

150 – 175 Best Fantasy Books or Your 2017 Guide to Epic Fantasy: Post 1

Fantasy and the 7 Senses

You know the five senses that we all use.

And we explore fantasy adventure with all of them: Sight, scent, taste, hearing, touch. (Inside our minds, of course.) And of course intuition, the 6th sense, is never far from reach in a great fantasy story.

But I think there is one more sense.

Fantasy brings together the six senses into a whole and creates a 7th. The seventh sense is one you can discover often if you dive deep into fantasy realms and keep your eyes open.

The greatest fantasies create at moments a unique experience, a kind of sense not to be found anywhere else in the universe we can see. Except in bits and pieces; a kind of joy-filled truth caught in goodness or day dreams or dreams of the night, where odd things that strangely fit are often found.

This 7th sense grasps gleaming facets of truth that we could not see before. It touches them, tastes them. Not first examined by our reason, but felt deep in the actions and reactions you experience while captured within fantasy characters. Inside the kind, the evil, the young and the old, the weak and strong men and women and creatures of fantasy. It happens without your noticing it, while you are enthralled by the hero or heroine you find in many hearts, sometimes growing from a single weak seed. It makes you revolt against evil, also often growing unseen, battling within.

We are so often blinded by our familiar world it usually takes a moving deed, a circumstance, or a state of being in an unfamiliar setting or against a stark backdrop for us to see truth clearly. Such clearness can be startling.

Such was the case for me. Not long ago, I was moaning that there were not very many good fantasy fiction books from the faith sector of our world. Not that I dislike general fantasy, far from it, I admire their authors’ skill very much. I only wish more of us imitated the high bar of storytelling without deserting high moral quality.

I was shown how wrong I was to moan. Patrick Carr’s Shock of Night, Anna Thayer’s Knight of Eldaran Trilogy, Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga, C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters (a novel delightfully re-read) all kept me up late into the night. Sure, there is definitely room for more faith-based fantasy where adventure is never sacrificed, but I’ve discovered treasures everywhere over the long years—from epic fantasy to dieselpunk and beyond. If your heart is hungry . . . 

I want to share my otherworldly discoveries on my lifelong venture into best fantasy novels with you.

Join the quest, and find your next adventure! There will be at least 70 posts in this series, and who knows what we may find?

If you don’t want to miss a single grand adventure, sign up in the side bar, where special treasures are reserved for those who seek them.

We’ll venture into worlds unseen where your heart will beat fast at necessary sacrifice, thrill with the triumph of downtrodden hearts against overwhelming odds, and draw lines of right and wrong in blood. You will laugh in side-splitting humor, cry with loss, fight against evil and rage against its seeming victory. But in the end you will come back to peace, hugging gems to your breast. And for those who can see, there is a light going before you.

Follow it.

Let no wall of ignorance, busyness, or other unworthy reason bar you from your next journey to unearth . . .  what, I cannot tell. Prepare to use your seven senses.

Crossover: find the Eternal, the Adventure.

 

Here’s a minute taste of one journey waiting for us on my best books shelf, seeking its place in future posts like The Romance – Exploring Treachery and Trust.

From Victoria Hanley’s The Seer and the Sword:

Torina looked at the boy, at his heavy curling hair and remote, wild eyes.

“If he is my slave,” she asked, “does that make him my own?”

“All your own.”

“I can do whatever I want with him?”

The king nodded.

The princess shivered. “What is your name, son of a king?” she asked.

“Landen.” The boy’s manner, still that of a prince, contrasted oddly with his dusty rags and bruises.

“Vesputo,” Torina said.

“Princess?”

“Cut his ropes, please.”

The commander looked to his king, who inclined his head. A blade was drawn. Vesputo severed the ropes carelessly, trailing fresh blood. Landen rubbed his wrists as Torina stepped closer to him.

“My father fought your father.” She said it very softly, speaking as if no king or soldiers looked on. For her, they must have been forgotten.

Landen looked at the ground. A pulse in his neck beat, like the heart of a newly hatched bird.

“Landen,” she whispered. “I never had a slave.”

The boy stood quietly.

“And I never will,” she continued, lifting her chin. “Papa,” her voice rose. “You gave him to me. I set him free.” . . .

Share

75-100 Best Fantasy Experiences Blog-to-Book Overview

Shelley Hitz of Author Audience Academy suggested in a FB session that I post this question about my blog-to-book plan for 2017-2018 and ask your opinion. I decided to include the whole layout, so you can get a general idea what I’m planning to share with you. And you can tell me if it’s something you’d love.

So thank you for your opinion, if you’d give it at the end!

I decided to come up with some serial blog posts/stories with lasting meaning for readers, not for writers. Not because I have anything against writers, (I’m one) only because most of you are YA, fantasy, and speculative fiction buffs. And so am I, and this is something I treasure. I’d love to make a book with you!

Continue reading

Share

A Bit of Soul Baring – Hunting Adventures

You never know what you’re going to find out in the woods, or see. Hunting is no exception. Here’s my story in pictures. I didn’t get the elk or bear meat I was after, but I got something greater. A glimpse of the vast beauty of our created world.

You never know what you're going to come across in the woods.

You never know what you’re going to come across in the woods.

An unusual arrangement of fungi . . .

An unusual arrangement of fungi . . .

Last night's snow . . .

Last night’s snow . . .

Or a bear crossing your track within ten minutes of you.

Or a bear crossing your track within ten minutes of you.

Continue reading

Share

2016 CJ Redwine’s The Shadow Queen

A riveting retelling. Snow White has grown a backbone and a half to save her kingdom. And she doesn’t do it alone.

When Lorelai’s parents are murdered, she wants to save her family and her kingdom. Ravenspire is in the throes of death, the earth of the kingdom itself drained by Queen Irina’s lust for power. When Queen Irina comes for Lorelai and her brother Leo, the princess discovers strengths greater than she knew through her struggle to tame shape-shifting dragons, defy an evil queen, and do the right thing. Continue reading

Share

Envy is a con man, a tugger at your sleeve, a knocker at your door. Let me in for just a moment, it says, for just one moment of your time. … The antidote to envy is one’s own work. Not the thinking about it. Not the assessing of it. But the doing of it. The answers you want can come only from the work itself. It drives the spooks away.

–Bonita Freedman, from Walking on Alligators, by Susan Shaughnessy.

And, I would add, envy kills your joy in your work, your work that none other can do.

IMG_0087

Share