Saturday, March 22, 2008

Marius in Black

The Last Spring Break
This is my last spring break as an undergraduate. While the thought of life after my BA is exciting, I'm not terrified of "real life" (whatever that is). I don't sense an uncertain future looming ahead or anything so ominous as that. Surprisingly, I am not worried about this major change in my life. I've worked hard and I'm almost done.

Spring Break is a welcome week of relaxation, but more than anything, I'm ready move and find a place where I can live for more than nine months. Sure, I'll miss this university, I'll miss Bear and Ezra and all of my other friends. But a three bedroom apartment waits with a teaching assistantship and a wonderful graduate program.

Marius in Black
My idea for a webcomic/novella called Marius in Black began as a dream. I remember a young man in a pea coat standing in a wide snowy field under wheeling stars. The whole scene was caught in black and white except the flame-red of his scarf and the cold brilliant blue of his eyes. When I told Bear about the dream at breakfast, he volunteered the first words Marius would say. Here's what followed...
It's a cold night here in hell, Jezebel, Marius thought. He leaned his head back, taking in the brilliantly blazing stars, blue and wheeling overhead. The winter chill gnawed through his pea coat, but Marius relished the cold. Under his steel-toed boots, the snow grunted and soaked the heavy cuff of his jeans.
I've sketched out a few details of the story, and hope it will be my new Friday Snippets project. I know I've been out alot since late last semester, but I think this idea, in all its simplicity, would be a way for me to relax as I edit my thesis. When I woke up this morning, I started working on designs for his outfit and drafted out a few scenes before starting on anything else school-related.

So say we all.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Under the Stars and the Moon

Good News for the Future
Today, I thought I'd let you all in on why I've been absent from the blog for so long..again. It's good new, don't worry. I've been accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the University of Southern Maine in Portland. I've debated between the two and VCU is the probable choice. I'll be able to teach creative writing my first year, live in an apartment off campus and have enough financially so I don't have to worry for at least three years.

The State of the Novel
I also haven't been around the blog much lately because I've been working on my novel for my thesis. I'm nearing the end with just a few chapters left to write. Each storyline lends itself to a dramatic conclusion and each comes together seamlessly with the others, giving me very little to worry or stress over.
The lady on the left is named Amarie, sister to the hero and one of my favorite characters to write. Her outfit was a little difficult. She has the ability to hide and reveal her wings at will, but I needed her to be able to fight and look feminine at the same time.

The character on the right is named Oni, the Oracle in the West and one of the most wicked and yet loving characters in the novel. While most readers so far have mixed feelings about her, Oni is one of the more complex characters and I really enjoy how she can roll the story just by stepping into a scene.

I've developed a fairly strong cast of female characters and while I want them to be beautiful and alluring, I also want them to be developed, as interesting and complex as my male characters. I've hinged several story lines to these two ladies and their choices turn the story near the end.

Philosophical Thoughts on Atoms
Recently, I finished Sophie's World, a beautiful book about the history of philosophy. One of the philosophers, Democritus, believed atoms make up the soul and would fly apart when a person dies. Its such a beautiful idea that I find myself actually hoping that this is how it really is. Phillip Pullman, in his powerful and poignant statement on religion and children's literature, His Dark Materials, describes the idea in language far more eloquent than I can manage.
We'll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass and a million leaves; we'll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we'll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.
-- The Amber Spyglass, Chapter 23
That's all for today. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and the news about grad schools. I'll hopefully be updating more during Spring Break as I finish my novel.

So say we all.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Too Pretty to Survive the Snow

When I woke up this morning, I looked out the window and saw something every student wants to see - a thick fall of snow coming down in flurries and torrents and veils. Immediately, I realized all the things I would actually be able to get accomplished since I didn't have to go to class and lab. My roommate and I watched the news reports that I-40 and most of the state was under ice. Yet...when I called the university, our classes were not canceled as we'd hoped.

So, after trudging through sludge and ice I arrived at Thompson Hall for writing and speech, only to discover that my professors, either iced in or staying home with their kids decided to cancel their classes on their own. The day was not a loss though: I brought my camera with me.

I'll have more of a post in the next few days, concerning a few concepts I've been working into my writing and a few thoughts on a series I just finished. Until then, enjoy the frosty photos.

So say we all.