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Archive for May, 2008

Sweet Art

I promised I would do a post on the artist Darrell K Sweet,  who did the artwork and cover for The Elfstones of Shannara and theWishsong of Shannara.

First let me say, that if the books weren’t so long I would use a magnifying glass and muddle thru them but I really don’t feel like doing that so…. let me show you one of the attractions of the books in case you don’t have the eye problems I have and can actually read small print comfortably. (even if it is with glasses!)

Darrell K Sweet… a darn good artist.   Below are the book covers for: The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara….and a few of the drawings on the inside of each book…

 

I love books that allow for artwork in them..  I know it’s an added expense, but it adds so much to books. 

I have a good imagination… but a little help goes a long long way!

I have always liked Darrell K Sweet…  so much so that back in 1996 I obtained a book of his art work..

I wanted to show you some of the work in this book but it explicitly says “no form of reproduction including electronic”.. so in order to honor this I will give you his website where you can see all the pictures in this book.. “here”

I hope you take the time to check him out.. he’s really good! (duh )  He’s painted many book covers and some you may recognize at this site.  (I took note that he did a number of covers for Piers Anthony)  The art book above seems to no longer be available for purchase except in a “used” form, some of those can be found on Amazon.

As for the Shannara books they are available in mass paperback (links are above) or you can get the entire trilogy (Sword of Shannara) in a hardback form for the same price as the three paperbacks in Amazon.

 (eventually I guess I will buy this hardback so that I can read the rest of the trilogy!)

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This is just a little update about the dvd’s of Beauty and the Beast.. and if I seem obsessed, so be it.   

I’ve watched the whole first season and today watched the 5th episode of Season two..  George R R Martin’s name is all over this television series!  I hope (and assume) he made out very well!  If he didn’t write the episode he was a consultant or a producer! Sheesh!

One thing I had forgotten.. or maybe not, but just pushed to the back of my memory cells, is that nearly every scene that is “below” where Vincent and Father live , is filled with piles and piles of books! LOL.. gotta love it!  After a while it really does begin to look like home!  HAHA!  I can no longer watch this series without smiling at every pile of books I see in the episodes! 

My mind goes nuts!  “Oh Carl would love this!.. So would Chris, and Cath, and Steph and..and.. on and on !” 

I was wondering if I should try to take a photo when watching the next episode when I remembered my small binder I have on Roy.. Sure enough! I found a picture I had taken off the television when the series was originally on the air!! And low and behold check out the background! 

BOOKS! Piles and Piles of books!!

When I finished watching the episode and then began to write this I thought again.. oh what the heck.. go ahead.. torture yourself some more Pat!.. so I did some more searching in the web….

 I found this blog/ site that has a samples of Roy Dotrice reading from George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.  (actually from 3 of the books!) 

They were actually much longer  than I expected!   So I enjoyed hearing Roy reading… and for you Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, I would say click the link and have a listen!

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Karen over at Outpost Mâvarin does a little thing called “Monday Photoshoot“, which she took over from John Scalzi when he left AOL… I don’t generally do the photoshoot.. not for any particular reason I think I just don’t care to do “certain things on certain days” but for whatever reason when I saw she was doing : I know that many of you read a lot of books, but what about magazines? Show us some magazines that are in your house right now. They can be recent purchases, subscriptions, or old stuff that you’ve kept for some reason, or all of the above! (If you don’t have any magazines, a newspaper will do.) I knew I had a few stuck between some of my Binders that house my collection on DeForest Kelley and too convenient not to toss them on the bed and take a photo… 

Golden Boot Awards- August 1999

Starlog– April 1997

Star Trek the Magazine- October 1999

Star Trek Communicator- 1999

Below is a snap of the article honoring De for a Golden Boot Award. 

I remember De had a plaque hanging in the hall of his house,it had a pair of golden spurs on it.. given to him from his cowboy movies. (I think that was a Golden Spur Award, but I can’t remember now)  That would be surprising to some who don’t know of De’s Cowboy years before Star Trek came along.

I opened some of my binders with my collection on DeForest and I knew I had old magazines in them, so I just snapped the first few I came to . .. and didn’t think to write down the dates of them ..ah well..

(Undiscovered Country came out in 1991.. so duh, guess that’s the year of this one)

The 200th edition of Starlog Carolyn Kelley had given me.. you can still see the little sticky note on it from her telling me what page De is mentioned ..(too cute!)

(I don’t have the date on this but note that Lucas and Spielberg don’t have gray hair yet!)

(The Final Frontier came out in 1989 so that would be the year for this magazine)

There were many times and so many magazines out whenever Star Trek did something that I didn’tsave all the magazines in tact,  some I just cut out the article and put that in the binder.  But I do have a number old complete magazines in the collection!

As a reminder of “the old days” when I actively had my collection on DeForest going, my girlfriend Annie recently sent me a bunch of articles and covers about Harrison  from the latest movie!…  it made me smile… alot.  I beautiful reminder of days gone by…

Which leads me right into……………. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull…. which… I just came home from seeing at the movies!!! Yiiiiiihaaaaaaaaw!

I suppose you expect me to give a review of the movie….  nope.  Not gunna do it.  Not going to spoil anything for anyone…  I will say one thing only (and I do admit I am VERY prejudice!)… Harrison Ford cannot disappoint!

Thank you Harrison for being Indy one more time!

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Dragon’s Egg

No promises… but here I go again!..   
 
 Quest the First…

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Book : 1 Dragon’s Egg by Sarah L Thomson

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow; 1 edition (October 2, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0061288489

Product Description
It is a rare talent, and only she can care for the Inn’s herd. She feeds them, gathers their eggs, and tends to their injuries. But Mella dreams about the dragons of legend, even though hardly anyone believes they still exist. Dragons are small farm animals, not huge fire-breathing monsters. Everyone knows that.

Until one day changes everything.

A Knight of the Order of Defenders arrives at the Inn. Signs of the mythical dragons have led him there, he says. Then a simple errand takes Mella through the forest, where she stumbles across a dragon’s egg—and faces the true, terrifying dragon guarding it. On the spot, Mella vows to get the egg safely to the fabled Hatching Grounds. She must leave her home for the first time, and she finds an unlikely companion in the Defender’s squire, Roger.

For Mella and Roger, this one day is the beginning of an adventure. Where will it take them?

Ok, so this is a rather smallish YA book, double spaced for easy reading..  and I have to tell you, be it my love of dragons or what I don’t know, but this little story grabbed me and made me read it within 2 days ! 

Yep it was one of those, this is a: to cute to stay away from, book!

When Mella found the dragon’s egg (and at first she didn’t know what it was) and then discovered a rather large fierce dragon that had been sent to bring it back to the hatching grounds, she had no idea what she was in for!

Written as a very good adventure.. not too much, not too little.. but just about right for the age of the kids and what they might or might not be able to handle, this story was a good one.  Very enjoyable.  I would like to see a sequel to this story  and these characters, although there is no indication that there will be one.

This would be an excellent choice of a book to read to younger kids.

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Harrison Ford is making the rounds on television for the opening of the new Indy movie..

It always amazes me that more than a year after they actually make the movie, and  have long since moved on and possibly even made other movies, that they are now expected to remember things about something they did so long ago, and act like it was “just the other day”.

I realize most actors have excellent memories.. I mean lets face it they are continually memorizing lines and actions for the movie.  But after you’ve read more scripts that are offers for other movies that they must get, and possibly have made yet another movie, (memorizing all the things they need to for that movie) then they are expected to forget that newest one and remember the old one.   The funny part is that sometimes an interviewer is actually surprised that they might not remember everything… hello?  And what were YOU doing a year ago?? Heh.

On GMA this morning Harrison used the whip…  He talked a little about being out of practice and how the “whip master” taught him to use it..  I think what I love most about Harrison, is that he never seems to be egotistical!   Well, that and the fact that he’s still gorgeous, *grin.

 

Next he appeared on Regis and Kelly, where they talked about the fact that  one day Harrison flew himself to where filming was by Helicopter. ( ahhh, ok Harrison I’ll go quietly!  Fly me to the moon baby!! Woohooo!)

With just a little bit of luck…  ok.. more than a little bit of luck.. I MIGHT be able to go see the movie today (Friday).  If that doesn’t pan out it will be a week from Saturday before I can go…but you can bet that I don’t want to miss this movie!!

I Love the reluctant hero.. I love Indy.. and I love Harrison for doing them so well…and I believe my “actor crush” is deserved because I truly believe Harrison is one of the good guys.

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 Quest the First…

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Book 5: The Book of the Dragon by Ciruelo

Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Union Square Press (June 30, 2005)
ISBN-10: 1402728115

Product Description Amazon:
The mystique of dragons–soaring above castle spires, setting the world aflame–bursts into glowing life in breathtaking images by a major artist. An unforgettably original volume, The Book of the Dragon offers a glimpse of a culture we can only imagine.

They lurk in the most hidden corners of the world: the powerful and beautiful creatures known as dragons. We know them as the terrifying beasts of fairy tales, but their own story has remained a mystery–until now. Ciruelo, an illustrator of astounding skill, delves into their secret universe, revealing a rich and fascinating culture filled with poetry, magic, enchantment, and knowledge. Each of these wondrous creatures has its own unique personality and history, and it’s captured dramatically on these spectacular pages. But the revelations go beyond the images, as we gain insight into their psychological characteristics; encounter many different types (Earth Dragons, Water Dragons, Fire Dragons, and the legendary Golden Dragon); learn about their long-held customs; and explore the many legends in which they have figured so prominently–including the heroic tales of Perseus, Hercules, and Tristan.

Although this book gives you “information” about dragons, and then some short stories (myths) about dragons.. the biggest thing it gives you is the beautiful art of Ciruelo.  (If you like Dragons at all it’s worth the time to visit his website.)

Let me show you some of what is waiting inside for any owner of this book…

I just love these two drawings.  One was the inside cover in the front of the book.. the other the inside cover of the end of the book.

Tristan and the Fire Dragon..

A princess will be the reward for anyone slaying the dragon. (where have I heard that before? hehTristan sets off to kill the Fire Dragon by means of first extinguishing his fire with a bag of water hung over the entrance to the dragons den.  While on his quest another follows Tristan figuring if someone kills this dragon he may be able to take the credit for it and marry the Princess.

Tristan kills the dragon but not before a long and tiring fight.  When the fight was over he cut the tongue out of the dragon to bring back as proof, but then falls unconscious. The man who followed Tristan comes and cuts off the dragons head and returns to the king to collect his prize.  When Tristan returns he finds the King will give his daughter away because the head of the dragon was brought to him.  Tristan tells the king to ask the dragon who killed it, the king thinks him crazy.  Then Tristan tells the king to look in the mouth of the dragon, which he does and finds the tongue missing.  Tristan hands the king the dragons tongue… and wins the hand of the Princess.

Jilocosin…

Jilocosin is a story of a dragon who can turn into a human man and becomes a troubadour in a castle.  One day when on his way back to his cave, walking through the forest as a human, he comes across a woman being assaulted.  He turns into the dragon and slays the attacker, takes the woman and her bundle back to his cave to care for them.  The bundle turns out to be a baby, and the attacker was trying to kill the baby.  The woman stays with the dragon and falls in love with him (in his human form) but knows he is a dragon.  A few years later she dies in childbirth and the dragon raises both children who eventually become knights and even find and kill the man who assaulted their mother.

Favorites…

This two page story told how dragons kept humans to care for them.. and had their “favorites”.

The stories in the book were not the greatest (along with the fact that I don’t care for short stories) but then again, I did get this book for the artwork… and in that respect it surely did not disappoint!

…and this concludes yet another round of Quest the First for the Once Upon A Time Challenge!!

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 Quest the First…

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

 

Book 4:  The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After by Patricia C Wrede & Caroline Stevermer

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books (November 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0152055487

Amazon:
In this third magical mystery involving two letter-writing cousins, the women’s quiet lives of domesticity are interrupted when the Duke of Wellington asks Cecelia’s husband to look into the disappearance of a German magician in the north of England. Cecelia and James hurry to investigate, leaving Kate and her husband to care for their six children. The story is told in the form of the correspondence between the wives as well as the husbands, until the mystery is solved.  Suggest this Harry-Potter-meets-Jane-Austen series to romantic-fantasy readers, but strongly encourage them to read the earlier ones first.—Jennifer Stubben, Barrington Area Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
Set in an alternate England in which wizardry exists, this sequel to Sorcery and Cecelia(2003) and The Grand Tour (2004) takes place in 1828. After placing their children in the care of cousin Kate, Cecy and her husband investigate the disappearance of a railway surveyor-magician and the strange properties of ley lines–powerful, invisible channels of magical energy. The story unfolds through the characters’ letters, in which the formal locution of the period is leavened by the wit and chattiness of good friends sharing revelations and confidences.

This third installment takes place 10 years (and a number of children) after The Grand Tour.

The first book was in the form of letters between the two female cousins Cecy and Kate.  The second book took the form of writings into their journals.  This third book goes back to what started it all.. letters between Cecy and Kate.  This time though we also get to read some correspondence between the magician husbands, Thomas and James.

It starts off as a simple “will you watch the kids so I may accompany my husband for a few weeks”… into , yep you guessed it… another mystery for them to figure out. So, wile Cecy and her husband are off trying to figure things out, Kate and her husband are left at home watching all the children.  Although it might seem that Kate and Thomas got the short end of the deal, let me tell you that enough things happen to them during this time to keep letters from both sides interesting and compelling to read on and on.

It actually gets pretty funny because you go from one mystery to things that are happening with Kate as she watches both her own kids and Cecy’s children.  Toss in a few letters from the husbands and the sister from hell and you have a good read!

In my opinion it’s well written.  I certainly can imagine myself in England back in the 1800’s, and the fact that these two authors have managed to make being a wizard something of a normal state of being is really great.

I enjoyed this series mostly because I really think the way it’s written is a nice change of pace and very enjoyable.. but I also think it may not be for everyone.

 It’s a bit of a period piece, along with a mystery for each book, and then on top of it all you feel as if you are “listening in on their lives” as it all happens via the letters and journals.  Very original and very enjoyable.. I applaud Patricia C Wrede & Caroline Stevermer for this trilogy of writing.

Just as an fyi… book one (Sorcery & Cecelia) can be read as a stand alone book.

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