Tag Archives: adventure

Scop Talk: On Reading Fantasy

The bit below, from Gladys Hunt’s Honey for a Child’s Heart, is just good. I have to share.

It brought back so many wonderful memories of adventures in my early reading days. She encapsulates much of what I’ve felt about reading fantasy and what it does for me in my heart, soul, and mind. Because of that, what she says extends to you and every human in our world.

She writes a frank, uplifting and inspiring conversation about the importance of books, fantasy, and reading for children and parents. You’ve got to read her book if you have any interest at all in the world of hopeful books. She includes a good list of books at the end. They brought back to me the adventure and wonder. Dive in!

“Lewis Mumford once said, ‘The words are for children, and the meanings are for men.’ But I don’t believe it. Children suspect more is present than the actual story, and because there is little space between the real and the unreal world in a child’s mind, they reach across with amazing ease and begin to ferret it out. They may read the story again years later and find that their experiences in life help them see more. Adults will read the same book and begin to better understand why they loved it as children. But at any age, the story is an experience of quality and substance.

“The most subtle and profound ideas are often found in books written for children. A kind of ‘suspended reality’ exists in which what is true becomes more obvious. Good fantasy helps us see ‘reality in unreality, credibility in incredibility.’ A child accepts and loves fantasy because of his own rich imagination and sense of wonder. For children, magical things are not nearly as complicated at they are for adults. They have room in their minds for all sorts of happenings. And those who write fantasy are not so much those who understand the heart of a child as those who have a child’s heart themselves. Out of the depth of their personal experience they combine a child’s heart with profound insights into life’s meaning. Some fantasies laugh; some are full of nonsense; other are breathless with adventure and brave deeds. …

“Not everyone takes to fantasies or fairy tales, although I believe most children do. These stories are certainly at their best when read aloud–especially fairy stories–because the lovely cadence of words and the economy of language make them a special experience. It is adults who worry over the make-believe, the magic, the strange creatures, the evil events, the wars, and sometimes the gore. Children have far less trouble. They readily know the difference between fantasy and reality. ‘No child confuses dragons or unicorns with cattle in a meadow,’ one writer said. It is the child who doesn’t know about dragons and unicorns who is to be pitied! …

“Children don’t squeeze life into boxes. They have room for a large variety of emotions and happenings and are quite aware of the possibilities in people. They know life is difficult; they are happy to believe it also turns out right in the end. I like Beauty and the Beast to this day because in that tale an act of love transforms what is ugly into something beautiful. I believe it still happens.”

Blogger’s Note: Gladys does not say all fantasies and depictions of ” the make-believe, the magic, the strange creatures, the evil events, the wars, and sometimes the gore” are good; her context deals with these subjects handled well in story. Read Honey for a Child’s Heart. You won’t regret it! Published by Zondervan, 1978.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

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Scop Talk: Book Cover.

Here’s something I’ve been working on this last week or so. I’ve been playing around with various comp photos and photos found on Pinterest to compile a tentative book cover mock-up for Falcon Heart. Don’t worry, I’ll be seeking the pic rights even though my sister is just going to use the mock-up for a rough model for her artwork. Then I’m hoping to get the artwork colored so it looks like a traditional fantasy book. But what I really wanted to ask you is what you think: 1) It’s been suggested that I try the falcon flying in, wings outspread, through the the center of the arch, and 2) That I have my sister shorten the sword handle because it distracts the viewer from the model’s face. What’s your opinion? Click twice on the pic to see a larger version. Thanks for your help!

Tentative Book Cover

Tentative Book Cover

 

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A Glimpse of an Adventurous Life: Success, Joyce Meyer, and never give up!

Shall mount up as eagles ...

Shall mount up as eagles …

My definition of success is to have God say to me at the end of my life, “Well done, good and faithful servant …”

What this step looks like to me right now is: supporting myself in a worthwhile career with long-term possibilities of passive income–my own pension, so to speak. I don’t want to burden anyone when I am old, and I want to be able to help others with funds.

Included in that career goal is to learn to live at His speed, relying on Him. Not getting ahead of Him and frying my energy and health, and not getting behind Him and quitting or giving up, but walking with Him; living more consciously with Him.

When I say “worthwhile career”, I also mean helping people during my journey with my books and editing and other skills. Including my time, my heart, my understanding, etc.

I just lost my non-fiction client today, rather abruptly. And I feel misunderstood and misrepresented by him. This took a large dose of patience and understanding.

He was my main source of income at the moment, and I just felt I was getting started on my goal of saving money for ISBN numbers for my books, etc. So I’ve been praying a lot, and He’s given me grace to remember this is His plan, and His grace is sufficient.

So I am moving on. A question I answered today from iBloom in Business is: what are you incompetent, competent, excellent, and brilliant at?

I’m incompetent at InDesign (for the moment), competent at editing, an excellent reader, and brilliant? I’m not sure I dare call myself brilliant at anything–isn’t it quite a subjective thing? I will say I’m brilliant at making mistakes, but I’m learning to use them as stepping stones to success. Mistakes are not permanent failure. They’re temporary learning curves on the road to the right way to do something.

The idea of not giving up in Joyce Meyer’s Never Give Up is helping me immensely with my self-employment challenges.

She says, “Mount up with wings as eagles. … We can approach a situation in which we have grown weary with fresh energy and passion … and [are] less likely to want to give up when success eludes us. One reason eagles symbolize strength is that they know how to make their strength work for them. They don’t expend their energy needlessly. … [She and her husband] eat healthily; we exercise; we drink plenty of water; and we get enough sleep. We strive to keep excess stress out of our lives and we have learned to wait on the Lord. Jesus said that the weary, the worn out, and the exhausted should come to Him (see Matthew 11:28) and He would cause them to rest.” Page 119.

I won’t give up. I plan to take five work leads with me this next week or so while I’m visiting relatives, fill out applications, etc. I will fly as He bids me.

I hope you are encouraged not to give up, and to pursue your dreams and good things with renewed strength. It will be worth it in the end. Sometimes a change of plan is needed. As long as it is not done out of defeat or quitting or fear, it is another curve on the road to success. Never give up!

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A Bit of Soul Baring: Or Glimpses of Adventure

Publishing Update:

For my readers or soon to be readers: Falcon Heart is scheduled back from my editor (professional editors do have their own editors) within the month. After corrections,  Falcon Heart is in queue for formatting in InDesign for e-book and print, and to have a cover of art work designed, with interior art added. The art work and cover are in progress.

Falcon Heart is in the works, and I plan to release this title by December 2014 or earlier.

Meanwhile, the sequel Falcon Flight is going chapter by chapter through my crit group, then it will go through another revision, then off to beta readers, then my editor, and back for a final revision.

If you like historical fantasy and want to join my beta reader team, contact me at azaleadabill@gmail.com.

Keep alert for upcoming sneak peeks of Falcon Heart.

Now an Author’s thought for the day:

There is a purity to the writer’s work. With concentration, it can drive away all kinds of ill winds and disturbing thoughts.

Others have written better than you. Still others will surpass you in the future. Would you want things to be otherwise? Better to accept that we all get our turn at excellence.

This acceptance makes your turn draw closer.

It is deadly to compare ourselves to other writers. Those writers have not lived our lives. They cannot tell our stories.

The telling of your own story is an act of complete absorption. It leaves no room for nibbling, negative thoughts. It drives away everything but what is true and right for this story.

Today, I’ll let my work provide relief from envy and self-doubt. It is ready to sweep me away to a place where comparisons do not matter.

–A good quote from Susan Shaughnessy’s Walking on Alligators, pg 53

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