Friday, May 16, 2008

Trying again

I've hit a writing slump over the past few months. For a while it was just because I was burned out from a fiasco with school, then it was because I was stressing about starting a new job. Lately the reason has less to do with external as with internal stresses. I have been terrified to put fingers to keyboard. I am nervous that nothing good will ever come from my brain, much less my heart, ever again.

But I can't rest in not writing either. I read a book recently about C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein(see my "Inklings" blog on Modern Myth Makers). Here's a quote that struck me as a kick in the pants to get me writing again. It's from C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters which is a series of letters from a senior demon advising his trainee on ways to tempt humans and fight the "Enemy," or God:

"The Enemy allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavour. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because he has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His "free" lovers and servants -- "sons" is the word He uses.... Desiring their freedom, He refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which he sets before them.... And therein lies our opportunity. But also therein lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfullly, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt."

So I'm going to try again, regardless of the twisting in the pit of my stomach. It won't be comfortable, but then not writing is not comfortable either.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Narnian Trees

I've been working on a costume for the new Prince Caspian movie for about four months now. I'm going for an approximation of Susan Pevensie in her battle armour.

I taught myself to knit so I could make a "chain maille" facimile. I taught myself how to sew boning and linings and interfacings and zippers and stuff (note to self - sometimes the patterns that look simple are not) so I could make the red dress and a (p)leather cuirass (molded body armour). I will not, however, be learning archery, mostly because I can't actually take weaponry into the theatre.

I am obsessed. I admit it. I think I love the costume making even more than I will like the movie. Don't get me wrong, I love the Chronicles of Narnia, but that's the point -- the movie can never be as good as the book.

I made a costume (less sewing and more draping fabric) for the premiere of the last movie - The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I was a dryad... or was it naiad? I always get them confused. Wiki interruption: "Dryads are tree nymphs in Greek mythology," "the Naiads ... were a type of nymph who presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, and brooks." So definitely dryad.

I grant you, I looked a bit upside down for a tree, but I got around that by saying I was the spirit of a weeping willow.

Yes, my friends, I dressed myself as a tree. Not like a grade schooler with a giant cardboard cut-out that flops forward and backward in the wind from the airconditioning vent -- no I bought yards of loose green fabric, and layered it over my brown pants and shirt like a toga. I covered it with silk leaves (I felt like a Weta Workshop person while I stitched my leaves on one at a time). And I even bobby-pinned leaves to my hair. It was great fun.
This year, I am going for a more human (and possibly repurposable) costume by dressing as Susan, but you never know, there are merpeople in Dawn Treader.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Switchfoot in Narnia

Here is a link to the new Switchfoot song "This Is Home," inspired by Prince Caspian. It will play over the final credit of the new movie coming out on May 16th.