Gandalf says, “This Cannot Be Filmed!”

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J.R.R. Tolkien once said his works could not be made into a film.  Of course the technology at the time was not sufficient for the grandeur of his imagination.  The movie trilogy is said by some to have stripped the deeper meanings of his stories to appeal to the 15-25 year old masses.  Even in the upcoming second Hobbit movie, there is a female elf added to the plot, to appeal to the female masses. Here is something else people didn’t know about Tolkien from a letter he wrote:

Tolkien included neither any explicit religion nor cult in his work. Rather the themes, moral philosophy, and cosmology of the Lord of the Rings reflect his Catholic worldview. In one of his letters Tolkien states, “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”

This brings me to my epic high fantasy mythology.  My story could never be made into a film for the following reasons:

  1. It is too epic.  Consider part of the source for my final battle, the Bible.  That’s right, you are now automatically turned off, right?  We live in a era were any reference to religion is an automatic turn off.  Yet, the Bible has at its end the most epic battles ever written.  I incorporated this imagery into the siege of Masara, where one hundred and fifty thousand men, women and children of seven races unite to combat the gathering of all evil, some four hundred million.  Their task; to hold ground for forty days and nights, to make a stand for all that is worthy of life.  I will not tell you how it ends, other than it is a crescendo of emotions and visual imagination over load, as the mythical creator and his forces of good make their appearance. Such a film would be expensive.
  2. It involves deep hatred.  In order for us to recognize evil, we must recognize the most vile and hateful acts of humanity.  This includes torture, and the death of women and children. My stories are not graphic, just implied. We live in an era where sheltering ourselves from evil is to act as though it has or never will exist. Yet when evil does rear its head we question everyone, but ourselves, for allowing evil to enter our world.
  3. Beloved characters die.  To write a deeply emotional story, one must sacrifice even the most beloved characters.  Allowing ourselves to experience deep loss is shunned upon in modern society.  I recall reading how people had to have counseling after watching Avatar.  If Avatar so deeply affected your emotions of what is good and evil, then my story might also affect you.  Many viewers stopped watching the Game of Thrones because of the red wedding scene.  It was too horrific and many felt what was the point if the characters of good do not live and justice isn’t served.
  4. It is spiritual.  Whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or other; the story confronts our most often asked questions.  Who are we, what is our purpose, and does God (a creator or supreme being) truly exist?  Why are we allowed to suffer pain?  Is faith strong enough to survive life and are we altruistic enough to give our life to save others?  What is the purpose of an afterlife? Those who have been raised studying the Abrahamic religions will find areas of the story to connect with.  But for a Christian, they will discover it is not a christian story.  Christ or a Christ figure is no where to be found.  It involves the concept of complete and total free will, so that the mortal characters have no excuses for rising to the occasion, but my Christian friends do love the story and it does not offend them.
  5. There’s no sex.  Sorry, there are plenty of other stories you can read for that. There are references to the effects of sexual misconduct on society as a whole, but there is not a single reference to the one’s society constantly battles over in our present time.
  6. There’s no cursing. Again, I’m sorry. I wrote these stories to confront deeper issues than the use of boorish words thrown around so easily these days.  I kept them clean so that they can be told to children.

I constructed this mythology with numerous references to beloved stories who have influenced my thoughts.  You will find similarities to stories you already know.  The story encases spirituality and our most primal needs for love, acceptance, family and life.  It is story that attempts to point out the frailty of life on this planet and what we will lose if we do not stand together.

If you love the tales of Tolkien, ask yourself how deeply affected were you when you watched the Ride of the Rohirrim in the Return of the King?  Here’s a reminder of the scene:

I promise you this much.  I constructed this mythology to have the same emotional impact – times three!  But, I am not done with the battle or your emotions, as the ending will surprise you.

Take a chance if you are curious and stay committed to the very end.  Judge me then.  Don’t prejudge a book by its cover or the content of book one’s first nine chapters.  If it is not one of the better stories (conceptually) structured in the last several decades, then don’t take a chance on any of the upcoming chronicles series.

If you are one that is looking for new material for a major motion picture, read the story and tell me if it would not be an awesome one to film and cast.  I’ve now presented six reasons, six challenges, to why you won’t do it.  You can remain safe with comic book reboots and politically correct story lines, or you can take a chance, like those who did with Tolkien’s stories and deliver something a little deeper, yet thoroughly enjoyable for all members of the family, young and old, and for all the races of humanity. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer.

One of my biggest fan’s is a 16 year old female. Her review can be found here on Goodreads.  Now 16 year old readers are not literary giants, they do not spot many grammatical errors, they just read to enjoy a story, but she gave me the ultimate compliment of my life:

“I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, but I have to say that this was 100 times better than the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion combined!”

Now you be the judge.  Is it a story worthy of the big screen?

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Context & Construct

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I visited with my sister this weekend and we spoke about my trilogy.  She has a masters degree in creative writing.  She has tried to read my trilogy but states all the other authors and editors do not write the way I write.  That you must hook people quickly into your story.  I understand completely her viewpoint, this is what the majority opinion is.  But I have to ask a simple question.  How creative is this? If we all march to beat of the same drums, aren’t we just robots catering to the machine?  Do you ever feel like you are reading the same story over and over again, with just a few new character names and locales?  Don’t you know what sex is by now?  How many ways can you spin eroticism and vampires?  I’m not knocking these authors or readers, but don’t you want a change of pace?

I am a CPA.  I am analytical, linear and logical.  I have done computer programming which must be controlled by logic with “”If this, then this, else this” type construct.  I literally despise stories without context and logical construction.  I have heard people say,

“I want a quick and fun read.  I do not wish to think.”

If this is true then my stories will not appeal to you.  If you like books like the The Shack or the Life of Pi, then you are seeking a book with a deeper meaning of life and spirituality.  Yes, it has to be entertaining, but don’t you want the ground work established first?  Here is how I constructed my trilogy based on my love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s wonderful and mesmerizing world of Arda and Middle Earth.

Book 1 – Rise of the Fallen, Chapters 1-9 are the history of the universe and Allivar.  Think of the Silmarillion in a compressed form.  A mythology must have an origin narrative. There must be a narrative on the source of evil and the history to create the myths of immortals and heroic mortals. These chapters establish the construction of all that follows and provides subtle clues to the surprising ending of the story.  If you rush through this, you will definitely miss the point of the story.  Sorry, I didn’t spend ten years just to have battle scenes, sex and a pointless battle over a throne.  My story is much deeper than this.

Chapters 10-16 begins the story of the hero in the dawning of the seventh age of Allivar.   Like the Fellowship of the Ring there is the bonding of characters of various races on a journey the Chosen One was selected for, which is to determine if mortals are worthy of life.  If you wish, just jump to Chapter 10 and begin there.  Then maybe one day you will want to go back and have context of the origin of my mythology.

Now this book cannot be more exciting than book two, nor can book two be more exciting than book three.  There must be a crescendo of action and emotions.

Book 2 Bound to Forbidden Lands ratchets the excitement after all the ground work was established in book one.  The Two Towers gave readers the thought that all would be lost, but that the faith in men would rise to counter the acts of evil.   We were left begging for the conclusion with the Return of the King.

Book two introduces romance and the continued rise of evil, an epic coliseum battle, fighting with dark demons and a journey through lands, guarded by dragons and watchers, the hero has been told to avoid.  But he has no other option.  The ending of the story must compel you to read the third story, so it has a cliff hanger unlike any you will ever read. He lives!

Book 3 – Last Stand of the Living is the culmination of the entire mythology with the greatest mythological battle ever to be written, where the fate of the universe will be decided, and where mortal and immortal alike come to battle. Here you will finally understand all that was written in the first nine chapters of book one.  I recall the Return of The King’s influence on the ratcheting of the battle scenes and emotions with the arrival of the Rohirrim and the eventual defeat of Sauron.  Readers who have taken the challenge to read my trilogy are utterly exhausted emotionally in this third story.  For the creator of the universe makes his stand with the seven mortal races.

I can guarantee you this much; you will laugh, you will cry, and you will cheer.  You may even contemplate life as we know it, for it is allegorical to our times.

But I am not done with you yet.  Forthcoming are the Chronicles of Allivar, sixteen stories, equally as intriguing as the trilogy. It introduces a parallel journey of the Armies of Light and the heroes of the six ages.  Here the compressed history is expanded, laying a blueprint for the construct of an equally exciting series.

You see, I have constructed a mythology using a linear approach from origin to the end of time, with proper context so that you don’t end the series wondering what happened to certain characters who dropped out.

You have a choice. Follow the cookie-cutter formulaic stories and construct that the masters and literary gods tell us that must exist, or take a chance on something new, independent, original, and frankly – creative.

My final point is this.  Many people take life way too seriously.  They seek affirmation from others of their worthiness in this lifetime.  They wish to dominate life by determining who is allowed to participate in the private clubs of industry and intellectual institutions.  They control who will be successful and who will not, through regulation, etc.  The publishing industry loves to bully, yes I wrote bully, to tell you another person’s attempt at writing is garbage because they weren’t involved in the editing, distribution and profit-sharing aspects of your creativity.  They belittle every person or story that reaches success independently.  I do not like erotica, but I applaud E.L. James for dispensing, once and for all, that only the publishing Gods know what stories will interest you.

Self-publishing has provided an opportunity for those of us who love to tell stories, even with grammatical errors, to remain independent and reap the potential success of our own risk. This was once referred to as entrepreneurship, not vanity publishing.  Vanity should be described as the envy of others who have not found a way to piggy-back on your imagination.

In the end, it is you the reader who independently defines what stories are good or not.  I am going to keep writing because one day I can tell them to my grandchildren.  Like Tolkien, these are the stories I want to read, but are not being produced by the publishing Gods.  I hope one day you will find my stories appealing enough to tell to your children and others.

To my sister, I have to say this, do not waste another second of your life looking for the accolades and affirmation of others.  Their aim is profit-motivated and honestly, quite vain.  The only one responsible for your happiness is you.  Life is risk and by not taking any risk, for the fear of the opinion of others, including your own family, is not living.  Stephen King said it best in his story, The Shawshank Redemption:

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Sacrifice

Unseen

A few days ago I blogged about the role of faith in an epic high fantasy story.  Now, if I mentioned faith and sacrifice in the same sentence would you automatically think, “Oh no, here comes a Jesus Christ reference!”

Think for a moment of a soldier.  A soldier is one who goes to battle to protect those he loves from what appears to be of evil intent.  He has faith in his commanders judgment and is willing to lay down his life for what he believes is the highest of chivalric and noble character – to give one’s life for something greater than himself.  Now, this certainly is no reference to Jesus Christ, who died to save mankind of its sins.

Now go one step further.  If a person received a command by the highest authority, his creator, and was supplied with gifts to set off on a journey to free seven enslaved races, knowing full well there will be tests and possible sacrifice, would you still insist the story was about Jesus Christ?

Here’s the setup.  The Unseen, the mythical creator of my universe, pondered the creation of life, both immortal and mortal.  What would happen and which would be more noble?  His first thought is that the immortals would be, so he creates ten to steward over ten heavenly worlds, until he sees very quickly that from free will there are those that will not submit to his authority.  He then creates mortal beings and for the immortals to be their stewards.  He then proclaims that one day from the line of the first prophet, in the seventh line, a seventh son, Arimar, the messenger, will be born and that all evil will attempt to destroy him and his followers.  The rebellious steward, Haggarfuse, unwilling to submit, designs to destroy everything and one-by-one nine worlds fall to complete death and darkness.  It is on the final world, Allivar, which means The One Family, converges with their created beasts and demons.  Arimar at birth is rushed and veiled until he reaches the age of wisdom and is then called to set off on his task.  Having free will he almost commits suicide for the stress is too high with the expectations placed on him from prophecy, which is no more than a test.

Now that you have an idea of the brief history, Arimar sets off on his journey, which is just as perilous as any you have ever read.  There is a journey to the north to confront a possessed king and then there is a journey home through a land where evil’s creations are Bound to Forbidden Lands, with every step being a test of faith.

Then the final battle of good and evil arrives in Last Stand of the Living.  Here all the captains, the seventh son of he seventh generation of each race, rises from the fallen ages, to stand united. There in the battle, that is being lost, Arimar sees all that he loves: his captains and Elissia, whom he hopes to marry one day, sacrifice all they are, but appear to die to in a vain attempt.  When he could easily lose his faith, Arimar is given a choice, to leave with the Unseen and not experience death, or to stay and die with all that remains of his mortal family.  He then bargains with the Unseen that if he gives his own life, would the remaining peoples of the races be saved.  The Unseen asks if he would truly do such a thing.  Arimar offers it freely.

This is where I will tell you no more, because the battle takes a turn you will not see coming, yet was hinted over and over again in the first nine chapters of Rise of the Fallen. All I can say here, is that the battle is the largest I have ever read, which includes those found in the Lord of the Rings.  How is that for a teaser?

The moral is simple, are we the living more worthy of stewardship than the immortals?  Will the pain of loss and death teach us more of racial harmony and the stewardship of worlds?  Are we able to withstand every test and stand for our faith?  Will we, the living, stand against evil in all its forms and do what is right?  Are we worthy enough? We will not see the fleeting nature of life, and the futility of war and hatred?  We will understand the gift of life with all its pains?

This is the gist of the trilogy, then there are the upcoming Chronicles of Allivar, which is a parallel journey of history and events of the nine fallen worlds, the first six ages of Allivar and the final story in the seventh age – the age of light.  When you complete the trilogy you will understand the nature and path of the chronicles.  The first in this series is titled – The Fall of Helloria.

Seven is a significant number for it represents perfect completion.  This is a hint for you as a reader.  All you need to do is take a leap of faith and enter my world of Allivar.  You will think, you will cry, but I promise you this too… you will cheer.

This is a mythology covering creation, life and the end of the ages.  Those who love The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings should easily understand the context and construct of my stories.

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The Fall of Helloria Prologue – Spoiler Alert

AllivarChroniclesRiseofEvilI am not a fan of prologues.  As an author I want a story to unfold and the reader to grow into the story.  However I understand their purpose to assist readers in a purchasing decision.  Below is the first draft of the prologue for the upcoming release of the 4th book of my 19 story mythology.  It is my hope to have this book released no later than July of this year.  We are in editing phase and then onto eBook conversion.  The title of this fourth story is the Fall of Helloria, the first chronicle of Allivar.  Many readers of my trilogy stated they wished the story never ended.  So I purposely crafted in the trilogy the possibility of a line of stories that brought to perspective a different viewpoint which can only be understood by grasping the complexity of the trilogy.

****SPOILER ALERT*****

In the trilogy I gave a compressed history of the falling of nine heavenly worlds and of six ages of history before the main character was introduced.  This chronicle and the next fifteen will go into the telling of the nine tragedies and the six ages of defiance on Allivar.  These stories are of the heroes and heroines of those world and ages, the origin of monsters, and the plots and rebellion of the forces of evil.  Those that read the trilogy know the armies of the seven races appeared on the last day of battle and that the Unseen also unleashed the armies of light.  These stories are about their perspective up to the moment when they arrive in the final  battle of good and evil.  In the trilogy I left hints and clues about them.  Now you will know the full story.

Let the journey begin, again.

Melin awoke in complete darkness, frightened and in severe pain. She could taste the thick steely blood on her lip and the smell of death in the air. At first she had to clear her mind and think back how the best day of her life had become this nightmare. One moment she was the talk of Peartown – she wore a lovely new tunic and was turning the heads of eligible young men. One man of a prominent family was even eager to introduce his son. She had come of age and was more alive than ever. All she dreamed about seemed within touch. Now, she sat silent and still for fear of what would happen next. Above her was a monster and he had taken children in his delusional state and in that darkness they called for rescue. Her mothering instincts came to life and she vowed she would not let evil harm them again. She went from fear to defiance.

Above in the daylight was the young man Gahar, once shunned by his father for the unjust cause of his mother’s death at his birth and then shunned again unjustly by the one he had loved all his life, Sondria. After a long struggle in his mind between good and evil, he succumbed to the darkness, for Haggarfuse, the immortal steward of Helloria, promised him all his desires – immortality and power. He was now the monster Melin feared, fallen and separated forever from the light of life and love. For his perceived torture, he now set upon the path of destruction against all for the source of his pain – all living mortals. Here in this world his path of vengeance began.

***

     I am Arimar, the Chosen One of Allivar and you know of my story, but there are stories of worlds and ancient times that must now be told and never be forgotten. Our future is not yet certain and all depends on what we learn from our history. Come now and take your seat for the telling of the first tragedy of the heavens is about to begin. This is the chronicle of Helloria, the first fallen world, where by evil’s influence the lives of a young man and woman shall cross and the first battle of the heavens shall rise.

     Do not fool yourselves, this story does not have a happy ending, yet where there is tragedy, there is also hope. One shall exit darkness to enter the light and be protected forever. The other will be separated from the light and enter an eternal darkness. Here on Helloria the first mortal judgment has taken place and the battle of good and evil both in the living and ethereal realms begins, with consequences that will span millennium and the heavens. Here on Allivar is where the fate of all the forces of good and evil collided for a final confrontation. Now you shall know the entire story of the rise of evil and its rebellion against the heavens… and the gathering and defiance of the good armies of light.

Well, what do you think?  Are you eager to return to Allivar?