Hello, gang! Well, earlier we had mentioned we'd chat a little about some of what was real versus pure fantasy in JAKE AND THE GIANT. I'm guessing you already know which category Professor's Higgins's Rosetta Stone Babble-Gum falls under. *gg* But guess what?
Many of the inventions and inventors Jake and company encounter at the Invention Convention were actually real. Thomas Edison's first phonograph. The earliest prototype of moving pictures. Dr. Schliemann's discovery of the the city of Troy (really!) and the golden Mask of Agamemnon. All real.
Newly discovered dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies. Also real was Sir Francis Galton, the cold-eyed man who invented the dog whistle and later became known as the father of eugenics. Don't even get me started on that one.
One of the other real things we discussed in a previous post was the discovery of the Tune ship, an ancient Viking vessel, on the shores of the Oslo Fjord in 1867. This discovery was the real-history model for our Professor Langsund and Miss Astrid's Viking ship - including the little ship museum they house it in right on the college campus.
But here's a brain teaser for you. Bet you thought we made up Archie's Super Sub-Compact Camera, right? It sounds made up, but it was actually real! Check this out.
Photography had really come of age by the Victorian period. Scientists had worked out a lot of the physical and chemical shortfalls of earlier models. Cameras, not unlike early computers, used to be the size of rooms. So, for Archie, the boy genius and inventor extraordinaire, it wasn't a big stretch for us to give him a camera. But were the Victorian cameras so sophisticated and small or were we taking some steampunk liberties with our creativity?
Well, you might be surprised to know, that mid to late Victorians had perfected the camera to such a degree that hand held versions were readily available. Archie could have easily fit a collapsable camera like this into his toolbag or satchel. It was just a few inches across. Pretty neat, huh?
I know we found it surprising because you usually picture Victorian photographers with huge clunky cameras on tripods that can't easily be moved and make you sit there for five minutes without smiling before it goes off - you know, where the photographer went and ducked under a cloth and then there'd be a big blinding puff of the flash going off. But that sort of camera was from previous decades. Innovation was moving fast.
Cameras became widely used by detectives who would conceal them in a pocket watch, a walking stick, behind a shirt button, or even in a hat. Cameras for the first time in history, became important tools in crime solving. Enter Sherlock Holmes...
Of course, as often is the case, people will always figure out a BAD way to use new technology. Since almost anyone with the means could purchase a camera, it was the first time in history that creepsters could run around snapping photographs of famous people or ordinary people for that matter whenever or wherever they wanted. It's just like the photographs in those rag magazines at the grocery checkout where people are caught in embarresing situations. Like this guy who was caught with his head off. They used to call these loons, "Kodakers lying in wait." Now we call them paparazzi. Some things never change, Eh?
Have a great weekend, everyone! And thanks again for reading our books!
Our readers rock, and here's why! Feast your eyes on this baby!!! It's a screenshot of what happened to our books on Tuesday. Is that Jake and Company knocking aside War Horse and Hugo Cabret and an awesome Newbury winner? Why, it is! How can this be?? And there's Jake and the Giant bringing up the rear at #5. These bestseller lists change on a daily basis, so it may be different if you were to look right now, but this was a huge milestone for us, so THANK YOU, Readers!!!
I hope all those new readers who are checking out the Gryphon Chronicles for the
first time are enjoying our tall tales.
I am also ecstatic to report that The Lost Heir audiobook has gone on sale at Audible.com & Amazon
We're going to do a focus on the audiobook and introduce you to our amazingly talented narrator, Jamie Du Pont MacKenzie, probably next week, once we confirm the audiobook's availablility on iTunes and Amazon.
If you're a parent and you don't have time to read this book to your kid, let Jamie do it! He does the voices and everything. And how! You should hear his Malwort. *grins*
Click the cover to go to Lost Heir audiobook on Audible.com
Order the AudioBook
The other big exciting news from our Launch Week was our first official "author visit" to a middle school. HOW FUN!!! Wish we could show u pix but gotta protect the kids' privacy. :) Of course E spends every day in middle school (and he reports that the natives are restless now that spring has sprung, haha, oh to be a teacher when all the kids have spring fever!) but I myself (G) am a newb with speaking in front of kids.
Thankfully, these guys couldn't have been nicer to us, and WOW was I ever inspired by all the talent and creativity of so many young writers in the group! E and I talked about how we go about writing our books and gave some tips for building conflict (uh, in stories, not in life, haha) and tightening up the dreaded Sagging Middles of stories where so many writers, both new and experienced, find their manuscripts starting to flounder.
On that note, I want to share a resource - an awesome writing book - with you that'll be a huge help to writers of all ages. I've read dozens and dozens of writing how-to books, I own more than I can count, and this is possibly the best one I've ever read:
It's called MILLION DOLLAR OUTLINES by David Farland.
This guy taught creative writing in college to Brandon Mull (Fablehaven) and Stephanie Meyer (Twilight). He is also a beloved sci-fi/fantasy writer in his own right under the name David Wolverton.
Buy this book now to help Ben & learn incredible techniques to help your writing!
| |Now here is the terrible part.
Mr. Farland/Wolverton's 16 year old son,
Ben, has been in a terrible accident and all of us authors who have so much respect for his dad are trying to rally support for the family.
Buying this book will directly help them.
Unfortunately, like many artists, they don't have any insurance and they expect medical bills in the millions. So, please pass on the word about
this and if you're going to be only one book on writing, please start here. (Prayers for Ben are welcome, too.) Here's the link: http://www.helpwolverton.com/p/books-for-book-bomb.html
If you don't want to buy a writing book, there's also some of his fiction on sale.
So, thanks for your interest in helping them out. I really can't say enough
good about Million Dollar Outlines, too! It is a great place for any aspiring
(or experienced!) author to start.
Enjoy your weekend ~
Jake & The Giant is now on sale!
Dear Readers, You've waited...you've wondered...and finally,
at long last...TA DAAAAA! The ~ big ~ as in GIANT ~ day is here!
Weighing in at 362 pages, "the big boy" is now available in both ebook and trade paperback formats and ready for you to dive in!
We are both keeping our fingers crossed that you'll enjoy reading it as much as we loved writing it.
Here are links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (BTW, for iPad users, I hear you can now use Amazon Kindle books on your iPad if that's your e-reader of choice.) Anyway...thanks and we sincerely hope you enjoy the book! It's a labor of love. :)
Click for Kindle Ebook
Click for Nook Ebook
Click for Amazon Paperback
Click for BN Paperback
We look forward to blogging more in upcoming weeks about various topics from the book, like where and how we blended fantasy and storytelling with Victorian inventions and "real" Norse mythology. If you have questions or suggestions for topics you'd like us to cover, send them in! We always welcome audience participation. :)
Coming on April 1 - no fooling!
Happy Friday, Everyone! Well, the countdown to our GIANT release day has officially begun.
But it dawned on me that you have not yet seen the wonderful BACK cover of the book with the fjords, the mountains, and the mysterious Viking ship! And of course the fairy Gladwin fluttering by. So there you go!
Well, if you've read the back cover blurb for our book (as seen on our homepage since it's too small to make out here) and/or the sample chapters (posted here) you will have noticed that JAKE & THE GIANT is set in Norway, one of the great Viking homelands, along with Denmark and Sweden.
Norse mythology runs through our book, as well as the science surrounding the Victorian excavations of ancient Viking ships. Also, when it came time to decide how to depict the society of our giants, we decided to give their medieval village a Viking flair. They are Norse giants, after all!
Well, imagine my surprise when I heard that a new series about the Vikings had just started on the History Channel. Serendity strikes us once again... The Vikings series was written by Michael Hirst, the same fellow who wrote The Tudors miniseries as well as Elizabeth.
Since a picture is a worth 1000 words and video a good deal more than that, and since my rant about Jack the Giant Slayer movie last week was much too long anyway, I will leave you with the History Channel experts - cast and crew - behind the new Vikings series. Note - it's a fictional storyline but it certainly looks well researched, accurately bringing these fascinating people to life.
I hope the video whets your appetite for the Viking-influenced story threads in Jake & the Giant and helps you imagine those scenes in our story! Though this promo video for the History Channel series is short, I like the way it brings out some of the misconceptions about the Vikings and succinctly fleshes out more of the realities of what their lives were like, especially in regard to the democratic ways of their culture, and their respect for women. (Well, except for the stolen Irish brides, maybe.) *grin*
For more info about the History Channel series, go here.
ALSO - Did you know that visitors to Oslo, the capital of Norway, can go and see the ancient Viking ships that have been found and carefully excavated over the years? The place to see them is at the Viking Ship Museum. This is today's version of the earlier one you'll get to visit in our book with Miss Langesund - and many thanks to the staff at the Viking Ship Museum, and to Professor Jan Bill of the Museum of Cultural History and the University of Oslo, who was kind enough to help us with some research questions.
Enjoy! And have a lovely weekend. :)
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First... An Irish Blessing
"May them that love us, love us,
And them that don't, may God turn their hearts.
But if He won't turn their hearts,
Then may He turn their ankles...
So we shall know them by their limping."
Top O' the Mornin' Everybody! Hope this Friday finds you in fine fettle. (PS there's a very funny video down at the bottom that Jake's cousin Archie wants you to watch, following the movie commentary.)
Well, well...onto my report back on the long-awaited (at least by us) Jack the Giant Slayer movie.
:::sigh::: What to say. Hollywood, Hollywood. :::head desk thunk:::
I had so wanted/hoped/expected to report back in with a glowing rave review of the new (March release) movie, Jack the Giant Slayer. Unfortunately, like the weather in the Northeast this time of year, this one was a mixed wintry bag for me.
The actors were great, the special effects were pretty amazing, and the movie in general, I thought, was fun. But the writers, in my humble opinion, should be smacked upside the head with a copy of Robert McKee's STORY or any other how-to writing book that you have on hand, because they have apparently never heard of things like Inner Conflict and Emotional Stakes.
I hate to say that, because I am not big on criticizing people, especially other writers. After all, I don't like it when people criticize me. So I'll try to be as constructive as possible and make it into what they call a Teaching Moment for any of you who are interested in writing, and explain where exactly I think these guys missed opportunites that could've easily taken this movie from "pretty good" to "awesome."
First, here's the official trailer for Jack the Giant Slayer. Visually and in its overall tone, a fun family movie...
I should say first off that any movie in the same general genre as The Hobbit coming out around the same time is already at a disadvantage.
That may be the most brilliant I've ever seen - I'm still digesting it - but plan to see it again before I blog about it. Suffice to say, I should probably be sympathetic to JACK simply because The Hobbit is still out and no average movie is going to be able to stand up to one that's destined to be a cultural icon for decades to come.
Still, the screenwriters for JACK didn't even seem to have their heads in the game. (According to their bios on IMBD, they are not even fantasy writers. The head writer is a crime movie specialist, writer of The Usual Suspects; another of the 3 guys was most famous for some raunchy druggie comedy, and the only one who's written for kids penned one of the forgettable Shrek add-ons, not the main movies, which we loved. I don't think these writers know the family fantasy audience...At. All. Wid all due respeck!) I also read that they changed writers in the middle of the process, so that tells you there were problems going on with the script.
I would hazard a guess that part of the problem was starting with a fairytale. Everybody loves fairytales - so do I - but the main characters in fairytales are "Everyboy" or "Everygirl." They don't have unique personalities for the most part. This is why they're so universal; anybody can imagine him/herself in the key roles of a fairytale. That's kind of the whole point. Works fine in a little story that's just a few pages long.
But to carry a long work like a novel or a movie, the audience will grow bored, bored, bored, unless the Everyboy lead character is fleshed out into a real person. This is the writer's main job before it's ever handed over to the actor to continue the process even more richly. Since the movie used some of the best actors out there, I certainly don't blame them. I think these actors did the best that could be done with the flat, simplistic, lame-o script they were given.
Special effects, amazing sets, and funky costumes simply can't make up for solid storytelling, and two of the most important ingredients in good storytelling are CHARACTERIZATION and CONFLICT.
Characterization is the process by which a writer builds up layers within characters to make the people in the story interesting and compellling. If the story-people don't seem real, let alone likable, then the audience isn't really going to care what happens to them.
The first layer is the foundation, and that's the main character's GOAL. What he/she wants or needs that drives them to dive into the action of the story. A character needs a really good reason or "motivation" as it's called, to get involved in the adventure, because they're putting their life in danger. Only an idiot risks his life for no good reason.
Also, as audiences, we like a motivation that's ADMIRABLE. It doesn't have to be, good movies have been made about characters who get involved for selfish reasons (think Han Solo in Star Wars I). But it feels good to watch a movie or read a book about a character who's doing something scary for noble reasons. We can really root for a main character like that. (Think of Frodo. He offers to take the ring to Mordor because all the other guys at Lord Elrond's meeting in Rivendell are ready to tear each other apart over the ring and are just not getting it. He does. Admirable.)
Only one secondary character in this movie seemed to have a strong goal and motivation. That was Ewan MacGregor's character, playing the manly-man Captain of the Guard or something. Goal: "Save the Princess." Why? Motivation: "Because it's my job, I'm her bodyguard. I'm the local hero warrior, it's who I am." (We see him protecting her earlier in the movie.) Jack just kind of tags along, but I'm not sure why. He barely knows the princess so it can't be love, and if it's only for adventure, then he's stupid, because the giants are horrible and he has no fighting experience.
But even with the Captain of the Guard, the writers screwed that up, too. Because the first time we see Ewan (I don't know what his name was in the movie) protecting the Princess, he comes across as a rotten villain, demanding something from the common people that made it - for me - very sure he was supposed to be a bad guy. And very hard to give him a second chance later.
When we first meet him, he's a knight dressed all in black (uh-oh, bad guy signal!) but then he makes all the common people stop what they're doing and KNEEL DOWN before the princess.
Okaaayyyyy...I know I'm not supposed to hate the princess in this story. She looks embarrassed at him putting all the ordinary people in their place by this revolting gesture of submission, which he orders for no apparent reason other than a show of power.
So that was pretty obnoxious, but whatever. Imagine my surprise later when this same black-clad knight turned out to be the bravest, most charismatic dude in the movie. It was confusing. I don't think that was the writer's intent - to be super mysterious and complex. This wasn't really a movie about "who can you trust." It was just awkward and ill-planned, and rather tone-deaf to show a bunch of commoners (like us, the audience) being forced by armed men to kneel in front of a royal. (And no, he didn't make them do it because he was in love with her. He wasn't. I have no idea why he did it except to enjoy his own higher status. Ew.)
Also speaking of tone deaf, the writers couldn't resist getting a few good bashes in on the Catholic Church, right from the opening. Cuz that's what parents want in a children's movie. Right before Easter.
Monks are blamed for the original evil that created the beanstalk. Those benighted monks just wanted to get closer to God, so they used dark magic to create these magic beans. Hello, MacFly?? Anyone home, Hollywood? Same old, same old. Brainstorm, people.
But I digress.
If Goal and Motivation are the first layer of Characterization, then the second layer is INNER CONFLICT. The complex and interesting character wants, like we all do, two opposite things. This creates constant tension. Just ask Frodo! He wants to carry the ring to Mordor to be destroyed, and he wants to give in to the constant temptation to enjoy the ring and let it become his Precious. But there I go comparing it to LOTR again, not fair.
The most glaring absence of inner conflict that I noticed in JACK was in the giants. Instead of being interesting and complex, they are just mindless, one-dimensional, dirty, hateful, caveman-like cannibals.
The giant king (who for some reason has two heads) was voiced by Bill Nighy (adore him!!! will see anything he's in - such a fabulous actor). But even he could only do so much with this thinly written a character.
While I was watching it, I compared it in my mind to Nighy's probably most famous character - Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Carribbean (y'know, the Squiggly Face guy). Now there's a complex villain. He also voiced the big scary snake villain in Rango, and again, that character (despite being a reptile) was more interesting and more complex than the giant king from Jack. So the giant king suffered all the more from having the same voice as these two other kick-butt Nighy villains.
It's frustrating when these studios spend millions of dollars and you look forward to a movie for months and then go see it and it doesn't live up to the hype because of the writing, of all things. Unlike paying for awesome special effects instead of low-budget ones, writing well doesn't cost any more than writing badly. You just have to think harder and love the genre you're writing in and know the audience.
What bothers me is that the head writer is obviously a smart guy who's won awards. That makes me suspicious that maybe the writing team deliberately dumbed down the script because they were writing for kids. Maybe that's not the case. I hope not, it's kind of infuriating to wonder if it could be.
Kids deserve the BEST storytelling that entertainers can provide, not crude, simplistic tales. So that is way more of a rant than you'd normally ever hear from mild-mannered me. *g* I can't help it. I am passionate about writing and top-quality entertainment for kids.
Anyway... on that note...I just found this on Youtube. It's hilarious and ever-so relevant, considering E and I just uploaded the Giant chapters, including "The Invention Convention" chapter. Check this out!
Thomas Edison versus Nikola Tesla...
Archie's Favorite Song (PG 13)
(Regarding the above, I did find in my research that Tesla was apparently a very shy guy and never got married or had a girlfriend.)
Have a good weekend & Happy St. Patrick's Day!
While we are putting the finishing touches on JAKE AND THE GIANT to prepare for our APRIL 1 release, here's a very intriguing video that explores the possibility that giants might have been real. Hmmm......Real discoveries or real good photoshop work? That's the "big" question... Check it out. You be the judge!
* * UPDATE!! * * The cover, back cover blurb, and sample chapters of Jake and The Giant have just been uploaded to our website. You can go straight to the Sample Chapters here! Woot!
Spread the word! ;)
Have a Gigantically fun weekend!
Yes, Cupid did exist in the Victorian era.
One of the paradoxes of Victorian society was how sentimental the Victorians could be (See Figure 1!) in their art, books, and music, and yet at the same time, how restrained they were in their personal relationships.
This was the age of the "stiff upper lip." To "express yourself" or share your feelings with the world the way people do in our time would have been considered shockingly vulgar.
Victorian people pride themselves on being dutiful and responsible, and you were viewed as lacking in those areas if you were overly emotional. So no matter how you actually felt, the correct way to behave was generally to hide it and just appear to be calm, cool, and even-steven.
So while they covered every surface with cupids and tassels, flowers and curlicues, these folk prided themselves on maintaining a detached emotional state all of the time, no matter what the circumstances. Here's a perfect example of the stoic Victorian. A poor British officer serving in Africa during Victorian times awakens to find he is inexplicably missing a leg. No worries...
Some think this restrained demeanor was a product or the new repressive public schools. Even when facing difficult times, tragedies, or even great moments of joy, the Victorians always tried to appear dignified. This even carried over into the arena of LOVE.
I know, kids. Ewwww! Yuck! Love! Gross!
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I would devote a little time to two ways that the emotionally stilted Victorian couples actually could manage to express their feelings without having to come out and say it--by using the Victorian language of flowers and fans.
The Victorians used different flowers to convey certain messages for them. A very sophisticated flower language developed over the course of the early Victorian period.
For example, if a Victorian dandy was smitten with a lovely young lady, he could send her an acacia flower to let her know that she has a secret admirer. She would spend many sleepless nights trying to figure out who sent such lovely flowers to her. If she is clever enough to figure it out, she could send him either back an ambrosia flower which carries the message that she is interested in him as well, or she could send a striped carnation which all Victorians knew meant take a hike crusty dude :(
All this communicated without ever having to confront the other person face to face. And we thought we had it easy sending texts and emails!
Renoir's mixed bouquet of roses
Roses, of course, have been a symbol of love for centuries, but the Victorians assigned meaning to each of the colors.
Blue Roses - means you have fallen hopelessly in love at first sight.
Red Roses - means you have found your one true love. There will never be another.
Red and White mixed - means we will always be together.
Yellow Roses - means that I have once loved you, but now it is slowly withering away.
Black Roses - means you are in love NO MORE!
I suspect there were lots of times when someone got mixed up on the specific meaning and made a fool of themselves. Ha Ha!
Hmm, what does that mean?
The Victorian FAN language was another way a lady could communicate her feelings to a gentleman without ever having to say the words--and risk being overheard by her parent or chaperone, who would surely not approve of her sending such messages.
A fan placed close to a lady's heart means that she is interested. (Of course, the guy has to be looking at her to get the message!) A fan held above the left ear means she is not interested. If she starts fanning herself very slowly, she is indicating that she is already taken. An open fan held in the left hand would send him the signal that she would like to get to know him better, while an open fan held in the right hand means you are too forward, back off.
Seems a little confusing to me :/
I for one am glad I never had to learn the complicated language of flowers or the subtle language of the fan. I just walked straight up to "G" and asked her to dance with me 25 years ago. She has been foolish enough to hide her eyes behind an open fan ever since.
[Hints on Fan Language here! http://delval.rscds.us/fan.html]
| |Have a great Valentine's Day everyone! If you don't have a sweetheart, at least
we can all enjoy the chocolate on this day, anyway. :P
"E" sending YOU a whole bunch of Arborvitae and Campanula
(figure it out yourself, ha ha...)
Flower Language hints here!: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_flowers
Polish Coat of Arms
Recently, by special permission of Jake's Great Great Aunt Ramona, the Dowager Baroness Bradford, we (E & G) were granted access to the Enchanted Library at Beacon House, the headquarters for the Order of the Yew Tree, in the interests of continuing our research into all things magical for our books.
Well, in the course of our afternoon's study (and after a nice tea service provided by the housekeeper, Mrs. Appleton, who told us to mind the tiger and NOT bump into the harp - and I'm afraid G. screeched at the sight of an insect, at which, fearless E. nearly squashed our friend the Ink Bug to protect her) we came across a most fascinating tome, a very ancient Book of Beasts and Creatures. We will share much more about the entries in this volume as time goes on. But of course our main interest must be in Gryphons. So here is what we learned.
The Gryphon is proud and majestic beast with a noble bearing and a good dose of pure attitude. The head of the gryphon is the all seeing, ever vigilant, king of the skies--the eagle. The body is that of the king of the land, the all powerful lion. A serious combination of forces to be sure...
The earliest depiction of the gryphon goes back over 5000 years to Ancient Greece and Persia. The fresco above was found in the excavation of the royal palace of King Minos of Knossos on the island of Crete - (you know, the Minotaur's legendary hangout).
Over the subsequent years the image of the gryphon has been found all over the world in many varying cultures with only slight changes to its forms. The dividing line between eagle and lion is sometimes moved. For example, sometimes the gryphon is shown with eagle's talons on its front feet, other times with front paws like the lion. It's iconic image is as strong today as ever.
Zoological Museum of Copenhagen
Gryphon feathers and claws throughout Medieval times were thought to have magical healing powers. One feather, it was believed, could heal the blind. We used this ancient belief for one of the story threads through THE LOST HEIR with the character of Fionnula, the ugly warty sea-hag. She used the feathers to make herself beautiful. She was, however, still evil and ugly on the inside. No magical feather could cure that! (Know anyone like that??)
Gold vein in Alaska. Ooooh! Ahhhh!
Gryphons are said to be the guardians of secret treasures. They are believed to have an uncanny ability to find gold in the earth, like they did for Jake's ancestors. Once the vein has been located, they use their very powerful beaks to chip the precious metal right out of solid rock. Thus they have an endless supply of wealth and power to draw from.
Wealth and power are two corrupting and difficult forces to handle if one isn't careful. We will be exploring these themes all through the series. In Book 3 for example, Jake goes for a visit to his family's ancient gold mine. Jake's Gryphon, Red, knows he's going to have to keep a close eye on his young master, the former pickpocket, so that he won't succumb to the lure of all that gold he's inherited and become a greedy miser. (Note: Book 3 won't be available till late 2013. So we hope you'll stay tuned!)
Now then, it's important to know that if you want to take a ride on a gryphon, you now can. It's an amusement ride at Bush Gardens in Williamsburg Virginia. They spell it griffon though. I think "G" would be screaming like the little girls sitting up front. That's provided I could even get her to go on the ride. (G: What, me? Can anyone say panic attack??)
Have a great ride everyone! And we hope you all enjoy your weekend. Until next time!
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Recently I sat down with the cast from The Gryphon Chronicles to see what sort of plans and goals the gang had for the new year. Of course, I didn't tell them it was going to be 2013 here in our world. I didn't want to freak them out. To them, it's the middle of the 1870's, in early June. But when one reigns over a fictional world, one can do as one likes. So I insisted on hearing their answers. This is what they said.
((( NOTE: If you haven't finished reading THE LOST HEIR yet, you might want to skip this post, as it may contain a few hints of SPOILERS!!! )))
Allrighty then, still with me? Here we go.
JAKE: I don't see why I have to do this.
1. Learn better vocabulary and manners if only to humor Great Great Aunt Ramona
2. Continue training with Derek Stone in how to fight because I think I'm going to need it
3. Learn more about the Order of the Yew Tree and my parents' work for them as Lightriders
4. Someday find out what Fionnula Coralbroom was hinting at about my parents maybe still being alive...
5. Keep Archie from killing himself while he's working on his flying machine (the Mighty Pigeon).
DANI: Of course I have goals! Here, I have them written down in my logbook. Let me find the page... got it!
1. Read all the books on one wall of Lady Bradford's library at beautiful Bradford Park.
2. Save half of my money from my new position as lady's companion to Miss Isabelle and send the other half home to Da.
3. Not be such a know-it-all. (I know it's true.)
GUARDIAN DEREK STONE: Well...guess I'd say...
1. Stick with the kid and train him as much as possible before I'm called off on my next assignment.
2. Do whatever it takes to keep the Dark Druids from finding out about Jake.
3. Not mess things up with Miss Helena, the children's governess, because I think this excellent young woman might rather like me.
A scene from Waldrick's ballroom at Everton House.
| || |
1. Perfect my Pigeon just in time to impress my
fellow scientists at the Invention Convention in Norway coming up in June! (Can't believe I'm finally going to meet THE Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell! And of course see my old pal, Nik Tesla.)
2. This one's a secret: Get a little tougher in life, like Jake. Don't tell Dani or she'll make fun of me.
ISABELLE: I'm pretty contented, actually. I don't think I have any particular goals... oh, wait.
1. Help Dani and Jake get used to their
new lives among the upper class. Protect them from getting their feelings hurt when people in our world look down on them.
2. Nurse the new baby unicorn back to health. He was just born six weeks ago and has a case of the sniffles, the poor little thing.
| || |
1. I will appreciate my new wings all the more for having lost the old ones.
2. Now that I can fly again, I promise myself that I will go places and see things that I always wanted to see instead of putting it off.
MALWORT: Not give Master the keys to escape from his dungeon cell. Malwort loves having Master all to himself! Besides, there's dragons in the woods outside the dungeon. Scarrry! Much safer happy in here together, forever.
WALDRICK: Kill the stupid spider... I am disowning you, Malwort. LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!
FIONNULA CORALBROOM: Go away! How dare you speak to me? (Followed by a horrendous, eardrum-piercing shriek and the start of a chant, which can't be good, so we quickly egressed.)
LADY BRADFORD (AKA GREAT GREAT AUNT RAMONA): Keep the children safe and let them have as normal a life as possible, under the circumstances...
So that's what they all said! And they told us to wish you a very Happy New Year, and so we shall!
May 2013 bring you much good fortune, health, happiness, and success in all your endeavors.
Hi everyone! G. here. Well, "The Holly & the Ivy" is my favorite carol because it reminds me of taking wintry walks through the snowy woods at the beautiful parks around here. It's an old English tune and I found a video of the Westminster Abbey Choir singing it so beautifully that I just had to share even though it's not Foley Fridays blog time yet. So have a taste of a traditional English Christmas with one of the greatest choirs in London. ...Of course, even the most dedicated young singers need to go to bed sometime. Note the choirboy at 47 seconds falling asleep in the pew! Must've been a Midnight service on Christmas Eve, past his bedtime?? lol.
And it wouldn't be Christmas without Fraulein Maria / Mary Poppins / Queen Clarice...
One more for ya! This is vintage Julia Andrew but you'll enjoy it! (That's John Denver as Mozart, shortly after the movie Amadeus came out, I'm guessing.) I love the a cappella chamber "orchestra"! Very cute. :)
Extra credit - Guess E's favorite carol: