Water Shaper by Laura Williams McCaffrey.

Blue surf

Margot is the least consequential princess of a landlocked kingdom suspicious of those like her mother and her—powers of water. She longs to live with purpose and to be within sight of the sea.  When holy man and king Orrin, offers Margot a chance to run toward everything she dreams of, she believes herself in love with him.  Love, it turns out, does not grant Margot safe harbor.  Though she finds him irksome, she accepts help from the storyteller Bird.  Margot escapes to what she hopes will be her true safe place.  Will she find peace among those who revere water?

The Hobbit, take 2.

King Thranduil, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I predicted needing a handkerchief watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but a sense of disappointment was unexpected.   I thoroughly enjoyed most every scene as depicted by director Peter Jackson with the movie series The Lord of The Rings, and believe the hardworking Weta Workshop still has no equal, but this second installment of The Hobbit’s story is lacking something vital—Tolkien’s heartfelt storytelling.

Firstly, the opportunity to delight with Beorn’s amazing hives, bees and the clever animals doing his bidding is only nodded at, when it might have amazed given Weta was at hand.  Then missed is the fun of Gandalf enticing reluctant Beorn into helping them.  Once Bilbo and company are lost in Mirkwood, also misplaced is the twist of Bombur becoming a dreadful burden, as well as the tempting twinkling lights.  Here the sight of an elven forest feast would be a visual treat, but the movie cuts this too, though I did enjoy the Elven realm as depicted.  Did anyone else miss Bilbo Baggin’s feeling himself a different creature after he slays the spider with Sting—fiercer, bolder?  To prove this he uses insults to lure away spiders who captured the dwarves and must let them see he can disappear using his ring.  However, when the Wood-elves catch them, we are treated to a daunting King Thranduil, wonderfully depicted by Lee Pace—no scene with King Thranduil is a throwaway! Yet it’s not Thorin who prods them to risk the barrels, but Bilbo by saying, ‘Come along to your nice cells, and I will lock you all in again, and you can sit there comfortably and think of a better plan—but I don’t suppose I shall ever get hold of the keys again, even if I feel inclined…’

Here the movie story becomes more Pirates of the Caribbean (though I admire Orlando Bloom’s Legolas) than The Hobbit, and action sequences with newly created She-elf Tauriel get tedious. Using the appendixes of The Lord of the Rings also padded the tale, but fleshing out the actual story would allow its humor, the relationships between characters and Tolkien’s storytelling to carry the movie instead of video game flash.   A big misstep is Gandalf’s mad dash into Dol Guldur.  Tolkien says of Gandalf that he, “dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways…” but in this retelling Gandalf madly rushes about the fearsome fastness crying aloud a challenge before caught—not even as subtle as Bilbo on his first burgle attempt!  All this said I have expectations for the last The Hobbit movie.  I hope it remembers the importance of Bilbo’s transformation from a hidebound hobbit that preferred his tea hot and his breakfasts abundant to a stout fellow with love and loyalty firmly ahead of such comforts, and portrays all the warmth and derring-do the humble hobbit himself got up to without his pocket-handkerchief.

Making mischief.

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The Fairies by William Allingham Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We dare ‘t go a-hunting For fear of little men. Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather! Down along the rocky shore Some make their home – They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow […]

2012 in review

Wish-Upon-A-Star-fairy fan pop (3)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

I will use the full WordPress report to help create blogs of interest for my readers this coming 2013.

It’s Christmastime

C005_Christmas Fairy

“But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!’”–from Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Good Cheer to all!

To set the mood, enjoy this lovely image from Ruth Sanderson’s Golden Wood Studio.

 

The Hobbit update!

 

Can’t wait to be there, December 14th, to see Peter Jackson’s interpretation of my all time favorite story by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit.

 

I dreamed of seeing a movie made of this story since I first finished reading it to my brothers and sisters.HAUJ_Bus_Dwarves_DOM  Peter Jackson exceeded my hopes with his production of  J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings movies.  I believe he will do the same with his latest efforts for The Hobbit.

Artist Q & A

Steampunk Art Unlocked by Bridgid Ashwood

For the featured artist Brigid Ashwood 

-What art; created by you at an earlier point in your life, made you realize this was what you wanted to do?

I’m sorry I can’t answer this. I don’t recall having a moment like this.

-What influences your art; books, other artists, art works, nature?

Music and myth are the biggest influence on my work.

-Did you have mentors or other significant supporters that helped you with your art?

Yes I had a lovely mentor as a child a man named George Bockius who was instrumental in molding me as an artist. Additionally my family has always been very supportive, as well as my husband.

-Your childhood—if you had video games, computers, smartphones and iPod’s then, would that technology have helped or hindered the development of your imagination?

I don’t think it would have had any negative impact on my imagination. My own daughter is growing up with all of these technologies and I think she’s incredibly imaginative and creative. I think that access to technology at a younger age would have only helped me find the path of my career sooner and potentially helped set my imagination free sooner.