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Week one Discussion Question Answers for the Gunslinger

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. ūüėÄ

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” That first line! ¬†Who is the man in black? Why is he in the desert? Why is the gunslinger following the man in black? Who is the gunslinger? Talk about a first line that hooks the reader… my favorite first line ever, well, except for maybe ¬†these two:

  • A screaming comes across the sky. ‚ÄĒThomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)
  • You better not never tell nobody but God.‚ÄĒAlice Walker, The Color Purple

The first line of the Gunslinger grabbed me the first time I read it back in the late 80’s, and then the second time I read it in the early to mid 2000’s, and again now. I want to know what happens next. Who they are. Why they’re in the desert. And why the gunslinger (who we don’t know is Roland until about 100 pages in) is following the man in black.

I love the Gunslinger, on a whole, and the actual character of the gunslinger–Roland of Gilead. ¬†In the beginning of the novel Roland is weary, isolated, suspicious, serious, and has a keen eye for detail. Roland is a bit of an anti-hero.

Roland’s quest: Roland is the last gunslinger, like a knight but Roland’s grail is the Dark Tower. In order to save his world, as well other worlds, he believes that he needs to reach the Dark Tower and climb to the very top of it in order to talk to the god or demon that resides there. Mid-World, Roland’s world, is unraveling and the beams are breaking, the fabric of reality is changing because of this, and Roland has to find a way to save all worlds. Roland doesn’t know where the Dark Tower is, he just knows he has to complete his task.

King’s writing style compared to his other works is quite a bit different. The Dark Tower series is more fantasy, western, and a bit of sci-fi, with a little horror. Much of King’s other works are more horror/thriller, though some of his books I find more along the line of thriller. King is a natural storyteller, and that comes out no matter which book of his you’re reading. It’s one of my favorite things about King’s writing–I always get sucked in to the world of the book.

Walter O’Dim. The man in black is the antagonist, the “bad guy.” I won’t say much else at this point because of spoilers… except the black clothes are symbolic of the good versus evil element of the story… is the gunslinger, symbolic of good… protect and serve, and the man in black is bad, wearing all black, we don’t know who he is, or what he really looks like…he’s the man in black, hiding behind his robes.

 

My favorite part so far are the descriptions, and details like “Hey Jude” playing, and as hard as Roland tried to hide it, to bury it, he’s a romantic at heart. My least favorite part so far is that I am having a hard time not spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t read it.

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The Decorated Page Project

decorated pageLast year, sometime, I stumbled across a review of the book called “The Decorated Page,” by Gwen Diehn. At the time I was looking for other books like Danny Gregory’s books or Dan Price’s book “How to Make a Journal,” and Gwen’s book looked a little older but the reviewer said great things about the book. So off to Amazon I went searching for the book. I found it ¬†and purchased it.

When the book initially came in I skimmed through it, but I’d just gotten Gina Rossi Armfield’s “The No Excuses Art Journaling,” book and was reading it so I put “The Decorated Page” on the book shelf with my other art/journaling books. I got busy, didn’t use either of the two books, though I did use Armfield’s “No Excuses Watercoloring” book to help me learn some techniques and improve my watercoloring ability.

After I got the new bookcase from my parents for my birthday in July I had to rearrange books… “The Decorated Page” book spoke to me…

Burgess, when are you going to get around to doing this… You know that you want to leaf through my pages and read me… Use the information and create your own decorated pages… Come on…What are you waiting for???”

I leafed through the pages and got an idea for using¬†a technique¬†Gwen¬†talked about in the book to create¬†the cover for my Omni Journal.. I mentioned the “Decorated Page”¬†on one of my YT videos… I wanted to delve further into the book. Make the book a project. And then the Destination Me group happened and I had even more of a reason to make the book a project…

After making the book a project I began reading it again. I started over and read it. Then panic set it. How to make the book an actual project for more than just me was daunting to say the least… I didn’t (and don’t) have all the supplies and I can’t afford to buy all the supplies I don’t have right now. I’ve never created a workshop like this… I need to go to a workshop like this…how do I set up an outline for the project when 1. Not everyone has the book, 2. sharing pictures from the book here or there when you put where they came from is okay, but I can’t infringe on copyright laws… and how to set it up without revealing too much of what is in the book…so people actually read the important parts of the book… (HEY! aren’t you a writer? A reader? You can do this…)

Then Jo Ann, from the group offered to help. And her suggestions were simple. I’d overanalyzed things. I’d made a mountain out of a molehill because I was in a panic because I didn’t want to screw it up…

One of Jo Ann’s suggestions was to read pp 27-29 and make a list of our favorite products, and be ready to discuss it at the end of the week…

I thought about it after going back to those pages and reading, and then realized…I could share the first supply list with the group and then we could make a list of our favorite supplies/products over the weekend, and then at the beginning of the week share our favorites and be ready to discuss supplies/products throughout the week… Jo Ann and I decided to do this to give everyone whose book hadn’t come in quite yet a chance to get their books in… We start officially on Monday, though we are taking this weekend to think about our¬†favorite supplies/products and make a list, and then on Monday/Tuesday to share them ¬†so we can talk about supplies and products. ¬†*That’s this coming week, as in September 5/6.*

For week 2 Jo Ann and I are working on something else, as well as a few other things so that we have a tentative outline for the first few weeks of the project.

(more instructions to follow in continuing blog posts)

 

ON ¬†a side note… One of my favorite parts from the book so far is this part:

” In this kind of journal (she’s referring to what is called a “visual journal,” or a “marriage of form and content, of text or writing and visual expression”), the way a page looks is determined by the thoughts and reflections expressed on the page. A certain idea or image will seem to need a certain kind of layout or design, and particular materials will allow you to express yourself more profoundly. Each element, visual and verbal, informs the other, and turn informs your own understanding of the events, ideas, and reflections you record.”

 

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