Monday, December 13, 2004


So out of the darkness and into the light / Sparks fly everywhere in sight / From my double barrel, 12 gauge / Can't lock me in your cage

You see us comin' / And you all together run for cover / We're takin’ over this town

Perhaps not the deepest, philosophizing lyrics, but set to the grindings of Dimebag’s guitar and Phil Anselmo’s gut wrenching voice, Cowboys from Hell (both the song and the album) by Pantera, is like a shot of adrenaline injected into the heart. On their own, the lyrics from the song do evoke some pretty cool kick ass imagery. Inspiration for stories maybe. Writers, find inspiration for their words with every iota of their senses, from the sounds and music they hear to everything they see and experience. Good writers can take all these sensual experiences and spit out words that encapsulate these things. Great writers do these things and can move people with their words.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of the darkness in peoples lives, oddly now at Christmastime. I often in more upbeat moods this time of year, but sometimes the darkness, in a good way, surrounds you and infects your daily thoughts. So to borrow the line from the song, “out of the darkness and into the light” life goes on. I take the dailies and write in my head, and sometimes I’ll let things gestate for quite sometime before putting them to paper – this works sometimes. Others, I write very much in a reactionary manner, put the thoughts and emotions to computer screen before the thoughts have fully matured in my head. That works too, sometimes.

Blatantly stolen from pal estranghero, more Christmas Krampus goodies.

I plan posting some best of the year stuff soon, but I have to sit and think for sometime about the books, specifically. In the past, I kept a spreadsheet of all the books I read, as I read them, and gave them each a little rating between 1 and 10. For whatever reason, at the end of last year, I stopped keeping track in this spreadsheet. Ahhh…the combination of anal-retentiveness and procrastination, something sure to drive one’s wardrobe to the exclusivity of those white jackets with the sleeves strapped into each other in the back.

Reading through Karen Traviss’ excellent 2nd novel, Crossing the Line. Traviss writes very thought-provoking SF, focusing on the interaction human and aliens with very different worldviews. This book reminds me of Octavia Butler’s wonderful Xenogenesis/Lillith’s Brood saga and both books do have the sociological science fiction feel of Ursula K. Le Guin’s SF.

Speaking of Ursula K. Le Guin, tonight, the Sci Fi Channel begins the two-part mini-series The Legend of Earthsea, based upon the watermark novels A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan by legendary writer, Ursula K. LeGuin. This has the looks of a good adaptation/offering from the Sci Fi Channel. However, some of their stuff is hit or miss – I thought the two Dune miniseries were very good, Taken from 2 years ago was very good, even if the ending was a bit of a let down. And I am a huge FarScape fan. The channel has shown some dreck too – the mediocre Riverworld and their deluge of cheesy Satruday night movies. However, Ursula K. Le Guin has made some not-so-supportive comments of the adaptation (Scroll down to the 13 November entry). [I originally saw this link from Matthey Cheney's Mumpsimus blog]

When any book that has been so revered and honored is translated to film, there will always be some quibbles from fans. It is a bit dismaying to see such quibbles from the author of the books, though. I read the books and thought they deserved every accolade they received. Either way, I plan on trying to watch tonight with an open mind.

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