In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

I picked up a copy of Mr. Eco’s book last weekend. I had a copy about ten years ago and I couldn’t get into it. This time the story has caught my attention. I offer cudos to Mr. Eco on his writing, however the endless lines of Latin have driven me nuts. This is the first time I have ever considered writing in the margins. It seems there are more folks that write books in their books than I realized. Marginalium, according to Merrium Webster, is marginal notes. It orginated from Medeval latin. There are lots of expamples in the old iluminated manuscripts of marginalia that show glimps into a scribes’s working life.

One of the IJ facebook group told me there is a book he wrote after Rose that gives the translations of the latin phrases. Why didn’t it come with my copy? Seems like that should have been a no brainer. Great book well recieved except for stumbling over the latin. So companion book. Brillant. Which means I don’t have to write in my book. I just have to find a copy of the companion book. 

Cheers I am going back to my reading. james

Wild Wind

The wind is wild tonight. Trees are whipping and moaning. The power lines spark when they slap together. All in all a nasty night for man and beast. And yet there is something that calls to me from the wild heart of the storm. A call echoed about within my soul. Dear tempest do you know how you temp me? Calling me to embrace the fiece wild wind. No, I thought not. I don’t understand it either. 

Cheers on a windy night. Be smart and stay safe. james

Welcome April

Last couple of months I haven’t posted as much as I wanted. However I couldn’t seem to find the words. I read a few books and posted the reviews and that was fun. My stories on the other hand, I had trouble putting pen to paper. I have thought about them quite a bit, yet it never translated to words on the page. 

I know I am far from the first and far from the last to experience this. It is comforting knowing I’m right there in the middle with everybody else and fustrated that I can’t seem to move past it. I just finished reading a Conan story and it has rekindled my passion for the Cimmerian. Mr. Howard’s hero is still valid and worthy of consideration in our modern world. 

In my NaNoWriMo project, Manuscripts, Ephinanies, Illuminated, Conan plays a part first as a comissioned project and they when my heronine needs to believe in herself. The Cimmerian visits her dreams to build her confidence. Ambitious but worthwhile project, if I could just get the story out of my head and on the paper. 

Here’s to a new month and inspired writing. Cheers, james

Book Review: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

I picked up a copy of this book for two reasons; I have never seen this version before and I have been curious about Pride and Predjuice and Zombies. However I don’t do zombies in any way shape or form. Not my cuppa. I dig sea monster movies and adventure novels. Loved Peter Benchely’s Creature, the book was awesome, don’t bother with the horrible movie mess. 😬 Kronos by Jeremy Robinson, who also wrote Anatarkas Rising. And Steven Alten’s Megalodon books. Very enjoyable reads. So I felt I would be a suitable reader.

Since I wanted to try Ms. Jane Austen again I thought this might be a better way in vs the orginal book. I must say the world is in a right mess when the book opens and it takes some time to get used to the new normal. All sea life has gone man eater mad and wants nothing more than the death, destruction and dismemberment of the human race. Odd premise, but I was willing to go with it. Ms. Austen’s words and voice are meshed nicely with the coauthor Ben H. Winters. 

I did feel I was missing some rather important details by not having read the orginal story first. There were some interplays between characters that seemed to have been lost under the constraints of the sea monster theme. Or maybe it was me. One interesting thing is the loss of one seemingly important character, Maragret the youngest sibling. What happened or did she vanish in the orgnial story too? 
All in all it seems to be a diverting and fun way to spend a few nights reading. I think a fun twist would be update the story leaving the sea monsters in place. See how well cell phones and the victorian sensibilities would mesh. 

Cheers, james

Thank you!

Dear Readers, friends and fellow bloggers,

Thank you. I have reached 157 followers. I am touchee that you are willing to keep up with my posts and inspire me with your own.

Best regards to each and every one, james

Libraries: Treasure troves unguarded

We are all familar with the story. Knight goes to fight the dragon, rescue the fair maiden and get rich off the dragon’s treasure. A less familar tale is dragon eats knight, fair maiden rescues herself and everybody except Sir Hor Douvre, lives happily ever after. And the treasure is a wonderous treasure of books, not shiny gold pieces. Sound familar no, didn’t think so. 

However this treasure does exist in most places the world over. Spectacular libraries filled with life changing tomes new and old. A wealth of knowledge and wisdom, filled to the brim with unique artifacts of our history. People, young and old, can find something that sparks their interest and inspires them to action. Musems are also treasure troves, but that’s another post. The United States Library of Congress holds millions of items; maps, books, movies, audio recordings, newspapers and personal letters of historical people. Right now you can pull up letters that Thomas Jefferson wrote online via your computer, tablet, smart phone or in person. Maps from the 1500s, can you imagine the cartographers making those maps. These items are connections to our past and insight to our future. We need these connections to ensure we do not forget the lessons our forefathers have taught and to see the possibilities alive in our time. The trumphs we can accomplish and the obsticles and challeges we can and will meet head on. 

Civilations have come and gone, empires have been forges and destroyed on the strength of their people and their leaders. Rome fell because the people stopped learning, caring and innovativing. Instead they became distracted with pursuits of leasure and pleasure. The empires of France and Britian fell becauae of courpt kings and leaders. We the people of the world need to learn from the treasure troves we have been gifted so our societies may grow and prosper.

Cheers, james

In the Days of Magic

When I was a child my mom read stories to us at bedtime. A fairly common practice, although I have no clue if electronics have stolen those precious moments. I can hope that bedtime stories are still sacred times when child and parent come together over the pages a book. Another discussion for another post. Anyway my favorite stories came from a book of fairy tales that is now ragged and showing its age. I believe my imagination and love of magic came from this book. There were many hours I spent listening to my mom read and then spent more time reading the familar stories on my own. My favorite was a story called the Patchwork Quilt. 

In the story which took place in a land of snow and cold an old grandmother spent nights telling her grandson stories while she sewed the quilt for his bed. An there was an evil wizard who stole the quilt for the magic the old grandma had sewn into every stitch. Needless to say good trumps evil and the quilt finds its way home. 

These stories had the classics, Red Riding Hood, The Frog Princess and others. And other less familar tales like the Patchwork Quilt. All of these stories had bright pictures, magic and a moral, important elements for holding a squirming child’s attention. I believe this book and these stories have more teach me, not just about letting my imagination and magic, but about writing and story construction. The words are simple easy for a child learning to read. Those same words are vivid and bring these stories to life. So many nights my dreams were filled with the weavings of this book. 

I hope to inspire you to reach back into your childhood and recall a book or story that fueled your wonder and awe of the written word. Take a new look at the fairytales people have been telling and see what they can teach you about our writing craft. Cheers, james