Wednesday, January 9, 2013

World-building Wednesday Part 2 - Religion Overview

Welcome back to World-building Wednesdays, this week religion is the topic of focus.  My world-building process is very organic, the order I build things is rarely the same from one culture to the next.  I feel this gives a more realistic feel to the culture as opposed to using a standardized checklist.  In this case I went from generalities to religion while in another build I might jump to government first.

I see Ciall resembling Lady Justice, minus the sword and blindford
In Enessian religion they essentially worship Reason, but that feels a little too esoteric to have developed naturally.  Perhaps instead they worship an anthropomorphic personification of Reason.  A quick Google search for a Scottish Gaelic translator gives me two possible translations of reason*: the masculine “adhbhar” and the feminine “ciall.”  Since I for one cannot pronounce the first one, I am going to go with the second one and use the same gender.  This leads us to a mother goddess, named Ciall.  Okay, what is Ciall’s story?  What role does she play in this religion?  Personally, I do not see her as a “creator of worlds” but as an impartial observer.  Perhaps the Enessi
believe she came to their world in order to study it, and created the Enessi to aid her in that endeavor.  (Wow that kind of has an Ancient Aliens vibe does it not?  Just to be clear Ciall is not an alien… Or is she?  I see a plot point!)

How exactly do the Enessi worship though?  I feel like they would do so through learning and teaching.  I see their temples as being libraries and universities; their priests, teachers.  Of course all of creation is a very broad subject so people would have to specialize.  Each “specialty” could be a different sect that follows one of Ciall’s children.  What sect a person chooses to belong to would have a strong relation to their occupation.  Government officials would probably study history, whereas farmers would study flora and fauna.

Next week I think I will explore the different sects in a bit more depth.

*Keep in mind that I do not actually know Scottish Gaelic so any translations I use may or may not be correct and I will not know if they are or not.  Since I am only using them as naming tools, I do not have a problem if they are "incorrect."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

So this is a few days late but Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves.  I'm on winter break for the next three weeks or so so I actually have time to spend here on the blog.  Earlier in the week I already started one post series where I world-build a culture.  Next week I plan to start another one where I do chapter-by-chapter commentary on The Hobbit, kind of like I have with Once Upon a Time in the past.  I don't want to make to many promises on that however; I want to write the entire series before I start posting them.  Speaking of Once Upon a Time though, that comes back this Sunday which I am very excited about.  (So does Downton Abbey but that is not as important for this blog.)

Thror's map anyone?
Anyways, back to the New Year.  Do any of you have new year's resolutions?  If so I would love to hear them.  I am usually a big proponent of them but this year I have three.  First is to finish my first novel, which is fairly self-explanatory.  The second is to read at least 85 books and review them over at Goodreads, you can check on how I am doing at my profile.  The last is an idea I got from this Kristina Horner video on Youtube (The part I'm talking about starts at about 2:55).  Basically I am keeping a "Why Today is Awesome" Journal, each night writing down a few reasons why my day was, well, awesome.  It is not quite a "real" journal because I'm not putting down any negative things, it forces me to look on the bright side, which really would not hurt if I did more often.  The best part is the thing I am using to record everything in is this sweet limited edition Hobbit Moleskine journal I got for Christmas.

Oh and don't forget to be awesome, and have a great year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

World-building Wednesdays Part 1 - General Overview

Welcome to a new series of posts where I world-build a culture.  This is part of the MythicArchipelago Project over at Mythic Scribes.  I plan on this being a glimpse into my process.

When I start world-building a culture I start with the broad generalities, often this includes the stereotypes other cultures have concerning the culture I am building.  I also grab an idea to act as the, for lack of a better term, condensation nucleus of the culture at large.  (A condensation nucleus is the tiny particle of whatever around which rain drops form.)  The nucleus for this culture came from one of my history classes where we covered the French Revolution; when Maximilien Robespierre seized power he endeavored to convert France from Christianity to a religion that was described to me as essentially worshiping Reason.  I found the idea for the religion interesting so naturally I appropriated it.  So we have a culture of people that worship reason, but what else does that say about the culture?

One show I enjoy watching is Bones, one of the main characters, Dr. Temperance Brennan, is a supremely rational person.  She uses reason rather than emotion in her decisions, earning her the reputation of being a “cold fish.”  There is one of my stereotypes, the people of this culture are known as being cold fish.  Now I do not want to turn these people into Vulcans, so they do not totally suppress their emotions.  Perhaps showing and acting on emotion in public is taboo to these people.  That could suggest showing emotion to someone is a sign of intimacy (but not necessarily romantic intimacy).

Before I get too much farther into this I want to name this people.  Part of that is going to be deciding what kind of naming scheme I want to use, in this case I decided I wanted a Scottish flare.  The people are called the Enessi, from the island nation of Enessia.  The root I used for those is the “ness” from Loch Ness.

Next week I plan on delving a little more into the religion.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Bookcase

Hey everyone, how has your week been?  As I mentioned in Wednesday's post Hurricane Sandy started mine off a little rough but we have recovered so no harm no foul.  Anyways like most bibliophiles I have a lot of books, like over a hundred, maybe two, and I tended to run out of space for them all.  Well over the weekend I moved a new bookcase into my room and I went from going from piles of books on my floor to having room to spare on shelves.  The best part is that all of my Wheel of Time books fit on one shelf.

Kind of blurry I know, that is what I get when I use an Ipod camera

So far in NaNoWriMo I've had a good day and a bad day. On Thursday I got over 1,800 words while yesterday I wrote under 500.  I'm actually need to cut this short so I can squeeze in another writing session to reach today's goal.

Oh, and as always Don't Forget To Be Awesome.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

National Novel Writing Month 2012 - The Night Before

So I haven't had much time to think about NaNo over the last couple of days thanks to one of the worst storms in living memory.  Luckily though, where I live made it through relatively unscathed, only one tree came down near us, and that was a couple hundred feet away.  We did lose power, which has screwed with my planned schedule for this blog but it came back this morning so I'm all set.

Most of my preparation this year is looking over what I wrote last year.  I ended up only writing about 13,000 words, which in itself is the most I have ever written, but this year I plan to pick up where I left of and finish the novel I ever thought of.  Technically this means I am "cheating" as the rules require the project to be entirely new but I since I am not counting last year's words and once I finish with the main plot I plan on re-writing last year's scenes.  The other main  part of my preparation was compiling a writing playlist.  I don't know about you but music is a big part of my inspiration.  For the most part it is instrumental stuff, a couple movie soundtracks (Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are two big ones), some songs are from CD's bundled with my Music History textbook (my favorite being an arrangement of J.S. Bach's Little Fugue for an orchestra, which is just epic).

Anyways, here is the low down on my NaNo Project:
"In the realm of Kateena everyone has a magical Talent, it is what set them apart from those they left behind. Each of the seven tribes draws their power from a different source but an eighth power exists that should not be interfered with. Seven hundred years ago a faction drew upon it and in doing so released a great plague prompting the leaders of the tribes to seal them away and in doing so create Kateena. When the focus for that seal is broken it is up to a small group led by a pragmatic young squire so recreate the spell before the seal decays and the sealed ones are released."
That synopsis needs work but I think that can wait until the novel is actually written.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Triumphant Return?

So as you can probably notice, I haven't updated this blog for a large number of months.  In fact I decided to take a break from the internet (besides of course Facebook and YouTube videos) to focus on my health and my schooling.  Today I got back some very good midterm grades and I have a substantial head start on my end of semester projects, so I decided to reward myself with a return to the internet.  Whether it is triumphant or not is up to you dear readers.

So I have a some plans for this blog in the days and months ahead which I will talk a later date but for now I'll limit it to two and expand from there.  First I plan to restart my Once Upon a Time commentaries.  I really enjoyed doing them and it gives me a chance to give my theories to the world.  The other project is more of a short-term proposition, but since NaNoWriMo is coming up in less than a week, I plan on blogging about the experience periodically.  By the way if you want connect with me on the NaNoWriMo website my profile can be found here.  Feel free to add me as a writing buddy!

Well that is it for now, so take care and don't forget to be awesome.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I, unlike the vast majority of people, am not bothered by spoilers. Oftentimes I'll spoil myself about a book series. For example, I knew the ultimate, final ending of the Mistborn trilogy before I read the first book. Maybe it comes from my ability to reread books, after the first time I'm spoiled for the ending. It's the journey that counts I guess, not the destination.

So it is kind of unusual that I didn't already know what was going to happen going into the book and I'm glad I didn't. It was kind of fun thinking about the event that splits the book into Before and After, which is a really cool way of structuring the story. I was kept guessing until she told the guys to distract the Eagle for her, once that happened I knew she was dead.

I identified heavily with the main character because, besides his ineptitude at pre-calc and the alcohol/smoking, we are very similar. Alaska was an intriguing character to say the least, and it could be argued it was just as much her story as it is Pudge's.

I just have to say I wish I had a class with Dr. Hyde.

In regards to the Author: I watch John's videos on youtube and I really like the whole culture that has sprung up about John and his brother Hank. It is strange though, reading his books after watching him. He is a goofy, nerdy guy, which is a good thing,but he writes such deep, thought-provoking books.

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