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Tag Archives: Stephen King

Week 1 Discussion Questions for the Gunslinger

  1. What is your initial impression of the first line?
  2. What do you think about the gunslinger so far?
  3. What is the nature of Roland’s quest?
  4. What do you think about King’s writing style in the Gunslinger? How is this book different than his others? How is it similar to his other works?
  5. What do you think about the man in black?
  6. What’s your favorite part so far? Least favorite so far?
The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. 😀

While you’re reading during this first week keep in mind that when King started writing the Gunslinger, and there is more than one version–I have the original not the revised version,  someone borrowed that one and never returned it–the atrocity!!!–there were five years between the time that first book was published and the second book, The Drawing of the Three.

The Dark Tower series incorporates themes from various genres, including science fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, and Western. King has often described the Dark Towers series as his multiverse, many believe that it because it links together many of his other books, and quite a few short stories.
The series was mainly inspired by the poemChilde Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning, as well as  by The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian Legend, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. King identified Clint Eastwood’s “Man with no Name” character as a major inspiration for Roland, which made sense to me when I found out–the whole time I was reading it in the late 80’s I pictured Clint Eastwood in my head as Roland. 😀
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Dark Tower Series Read Along Schedule

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. 😀

The Dark Tower is just a little over 200 pages, so if we split it up during the weeks of September, we’ll have just a little over 4 weeks to read the first book. Don’t worry if you read ahead or it takes you a bit longer to finish the book. 😀

September 1-4:Chapter 1 pp 1-69/70

September 5-11:Chapter 2 pp 70/71-122/123

September 12-19: Chapter 3 pp 123-153; and Chapter 4 pp 154-206

September 20-30: Chapter 5…

September 27-September 30: Final Discussion.

I’m going to post the Discussion Questions soon.

If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

 

 

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Creativity and Upcoming Creative Projects

Creativity TapCreativity, the act of “turning new and imaginative ideas into reality,” the “ability to perceive the world in new ways to find hidden patterns, to make connections,” “the use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” There are more definitions, but those are basics.

To me creativity is about passion, imagination, curiosity, and expression.

We’re talking about creativity all month our women’s group called Destination Me: Adventures at the Round Table. And I’m also staring 3 projects for the month of September this week.

Like I said before I’m going to re-read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’m currently reading The Eyes of the Dragon, but on September 1st I’ll start reading the Gunslinger.

I’m also going to work on a projected called the Decorated Page, it’s based on the book with the same name by GwenSeptember Projects planning Diehn. And I’m re-starting Finding Water by Julia Cameron. Not to mention I’m still participating in the #hotandsticky summer novel writing challenge. WHEW! I’m going to be such a busy creative person this upcoming month. Oh, and did I mention I’m trying to finish organizing and cleaning my writing/craft room? No, well I am.

I am really excited about the projects. If you’re following along, participating, or would like to participate please leave me a comment and let me know. Especially if you’re going to be blogging and/or vlogging about it. 😀 For me details about the projects I’ve included the video I made for YT (and the group). I hope I’ll see your comments and likes. 😀 I’m so excited about these projects.

 

 

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The Stephen King Dark Tower Series Challenge Project

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. 😀

I decided a week ago, or so, to re-read the Dark Tower series because the movie is coming out and I always like to read the books first–well, with the exception of a few, like The Game of Thrones, and a few others. Today I started looking for discussion questions for the books and found this blog post. They started their “Epic Dark Tower Read-along” on September 1, 2012. Great minds think alike, or synchronicity. 😀 I think it’s both.

In preparation for the upcoming event I started making my own insert for the project. I wanted an insert to go in my Jonelfish Traveler’s Notebook, with my other project inserts, so I can keep up with things. Organization. Planning. Thinking ahead… that whole thing. So I created my own DIY insert, complete my own rendition of Michael Whelan’s picture of the Dark Tower… I realize mine is NO where near as beautiful as his, but I love his work for the Dark Tower series so much I was inspired.

Dark Tower Watercolor DIY cover of my TN insert

Dark Tower Watercolor DIY cover of my TN insert

I am really excited about the project, but after doing a bit more research I’ve found that many consider “The Eyes of the Dragon” to be the prelude to the Dark Tower series, and the short story “Little Sisters of Eluria (which is in Everything’s Eventual) to be book 0.5. That means that I’m going to be re-reading both of those over the next week so that I can have them finished by the 1st of September, which is when I start re-reading “The Gunslinger.”

None of this hurts my feelings. I love the world of the Dark Tower… King’s Omni-Verse. I get to delve back into the world of the Dark Tower series. Submersed in the actual books from the Dark Tower series, as well as books that are connected to the series. Books like: Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Doctor Sleep, Cell, Bag of Bones, Black House, The Talisman, Cell, Cujo, Desperation, Dreamcatcher, From a Buick 8, Hearts in Atlantis, Insomnia, It, The Stand, Lisey’s Story, The Mist, Needful Things, Pet Semetary, The Regulators, Rose Madder, The Stand, and many of his short stories.

So off I go into Stephen King Land, into the world(s) of the Dark Tower. I’ll be writing posts at least once a week. Some of the posts will include discussion questions and answers, others will include my thoughts…

 

“Long days and pleasant nights…”

 

 

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I’d like to tell you a story

We all have a story to tell. Some of us will tell that story with music, some with art, some with poetry, some with a garden, others with photography, and some with the written word. 

Snoopy's book

My story began when I was a little girl. I was fascinated by books. My parents bought me books. I was in love with Snoopy’s book. I wanted a typewriter. I wanted to write stories. I could read well before I started kindergarten and I think it’s because I loved stories.  I’ve passed that down to my children and my grandson who is only two years old will hand you a book and tell you “read.” We’re a bunch of bookworms around here. 

What really upped the ante when it came to my love affair with books was when my father died when I was seven years old. Lost in grief, I turned to books. I could pretend I was a character in the book. Pretend that I was anyone except the little girl who had lost her father. Getting lost in the characters of books wasn’t enough though. I began writing about a little girl who saved her father. Then I wrote a story about a father who turned into a guardian angel. I don’t remember every story I wrote back then, that was forty years ago, but the one I remember the most was about a kingdom of magical people who were hidden from the rest of the world. A little girl loses her father and while she’s picking flowers in a garden she finds a hidden doorway. The doorway leads to the kingdom of magical people and she finds her father there. He is a prince there and he tells her that she mustn’t tell anyone, that it’s their secret. If people knew about the magical kingdom everyone who ever lost someone would come there in droves and the kingdom would no longer be hidden, and the magic would die. 

In elementary school I was in one library or the other all the time. I was the kid who always turned their books in late because I got so wrapped up in the seven to ten books I was reading I forgot when they were due back. My mother fussed about the late fees, but I think she was happy that I’d finally stopped locking myself in my room with a book and was out and about in the real world again. By the fifth grade I was reading adult books like Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, which my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Whittet introduced to us. I was hooked. Mr. King wrote stories like a real story teller and I fell right into the world of the book, like Alice in the rabbit hole. I remember sneaking my mom’s copy of Carrie out of her bookcase and going to my room so I could read it under my covers with a flashlight. Hooked, I tell you, hooked. 

When I was in high school I took journalism and was on the newspaper staff. I loved it. I went to the football games, wrestling matches, soccer games, and other school functions and borrowed my (step) Dad’s expensive Yashica camera and took pictures and took notes and then wrote stories for the school newspaper. I went to the University of South Carolina and toured their campus, including their journalism building. I dreamed of a journalism scholarship. And i got one, but it was only a partial one and things were rough back then (in the mid 80s) and we couldn’t afford the difference so I went to work full time at a bank. I told myself I didn’t need college. I’d graduated from high school, which was more than either of my three parents (my mom, my father, and my (step) dad) had done. I was ahead of the game. Besides, I told myself, I can always go to college later. (The longer you wait the harder it gets…)

I went to college in my early 30s. I didn’t finish. I had to drop out for various reasons: as a single parent I needed to work more hours, or I needed the benefits so they could get braces, or I was having a hard time juggling everything, etc…Back to work full time I went, deferring my dream. I also deferred my dream of writing, not just college. 

Two years ago when my husband (then fiance) and I were writing our vows, he said. “I ought to put a part in there about how I promise to move you and your books for the rest of my life…” and he did. Part of the reason he mentioned it is because he helped me and my daughter move two bookcases into my apartment on our first date. And he moved those same bookcases twice more, including all the books that go in those bookcases… Now we’re in our home and those bookcases, along with the other two I have, have been moved around our home several times and he never complains, just jokes about keeping his vows. 

Now as I sit in front of my computer screen typing this post I am reminded of why it is so important not to give up on your dreams. I’m writing a novel. Yes, I said that. I. Am. Writing. A. Novel. I am pursuing my dream. You’re never too old to pursue your dream(s). That little girl who turned to books out of grief and despair still resides inside me, pushing me forward to write that book. To pursue our dream. I carry her with me. 

There will be people in your life who will try to knock you down, make you question your dreams, make you feel unworthy, and there are those who will support and inspire you. Push you to do more, to do better, to be more. I know, I’ve had both kind of people in my life at one time or the other. I am blessed that my husband is the kind of person who pushes me to do more, be more, and he makes me a better person and still strive to be even better, to push even harder. To be inspired to write, motivated to write, and writing, especially good writing, is hard work, is such a wonderful thing. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you should give up on your dream, don’t let anyone push you to give up on a dream. 

It’s time for me to end this story, the little girl inside me is waving a book at me telling me it’s time to go back to writing my novel…

Carpe Diem

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Family, Inspiration, Life, Writing

 

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Routines

snoopy-good-writing-is-hard-work.jpeg

Part of my routine each day is to check out my WP reader, FB, email, and the news. Yesterday (or maybe it was the day before) I found a post entitled 10 NaNoWriMo tips & tricks. In the post she gives a shout out to Rainy Moods and I’m now a fan and am hooked. Even my husband, who doesn’t write but is a musician, loves it. We fell asleep to the sound of rain last night and it wasn’t raining here.  I’m picky about listening to music when I write–most music distracts me so I often listen to classical, movie soundtracks (the songs that don’t having vocals), that kind of thing. Now I feel like I’ve found the perfect music for the mood I’ll need for this novel. Yesterday evening I was telling my daughter about the character I’ve chosen for my NaNo novel. Her name is Jynx and she’s a 25 year old graduate student. My daughter asked me what color her hair was, and I told her black or red, and she has gray eyes. My daughter said, “You should give her violet hair. Dark purple.” And you know what, she’s right. I thought about for a minute and nodded to my daughter. So now I’m on the hunt for a picture that comes close to what I feel like the character looks like. (Thank goodness for google, creative commons, and pinterest.)

One of the first things I do in the morning is make coffee. I normally drink coffee out of the Goofy cup my brother gave me. (This morning I’m having coffee with spiced pumpkin creamer–Oh, it’s so good!) I take a shower while the coffee is brewing–on a good morning my husband and I take our shower together, and come next week he’ll be back on the road so I won’t see him but on the weekends–FROWN! I open Word Press, Facebook, and my email account. I check all  of those. Then I either write a blog post or wait until later on in the day (some days I go straight to my novel).

Funny thing about routines is that once you get used to them it feels weird when you do something different. Lately I’ve been working on the outline for my NaNo novel instead of working on the current WIP and I’ve been reading Larry Brooks‘ book “Story Engineering.” For Camp NaNo in April, I read several books beforehand. My favorite Stephen King’sOn Writing,” Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” and “Ready, Set, Novel!” as well as quite a few others like “Creative Writing,” “Finding your Muse,” “Rock Your Plot” by Cathy Yardley, “Write Good or Die,” and “You’ve Got a Book in You.” Finding out what works for you when writing is important. I am more of a pantser than a plotter. Lately I’ve become a plotster because I’m determined to have less writer’s block, more writing time. I got stuck at the midpoint of my novel–not a good thing when you have a deadline.

So now, I’m working on getting my routine in order for NaNoWriMo. It’s getting closer and closer and I’d like to have my outline and character outlines finished before it starts.

 

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Writing: What, Where, How, When, and Why

I spent most of my life “wishing” I could write a book. When my husband said, “Do it.” I thought, “Why not?” I decided I’d participate in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I won. YAY ME!!! Then I tried July’s but lost because family stuff intruded (my grandson’s first birthday, my birthday, and I got so into my book that the dead line came and went and I didn’t even notice even though I had made my goal, so I won but didn’t win, if you know what I mean?).

3 simple rules in life

Over the past six months I’ve read articles, books, ebooks, blogs…about writing, advice on writing, and I even bought Scrivener, which is the next best thing since coffee was invented. Though I really wish they’d put all the stuff in the Windows version that they have in the Mac version (I’d really love to have the icons). I’m actually outlining my novel for November’s NaNoWriMo and excited about it. I’m using a template that I found thanks to the Belinda Crawford’s post about how to open a Scrivener template (all of them aren’t accessible for some reason, no matter which way I tried) and Carolina Norrington’s Outline template.  Needless to say, I’m a BIG FAN of SCRIVENER!!!!

Snoopy There he is writing again

One of the first suggestions in most of the articles and books I’ve read was that you need a comfortable place to write. Your own little writing niche/corner/room (if you’re lucky)… for some of us it’s in a corner somewhere sitting at our desk, or on our bed with our laptop, or in our very own writing room (Come December 30th I’ll have our spare bedroom back because my son will be off to bootcamp for the Army and I’ll be moving my desk, computer, bookcases, etc out of various rooms in the house and into my own writing space. I’m going to paint the walls first, and buy myself a much needed new bookcase (you can never have enough bookcases).

Writing is magic stephen king

Stephen King stated in his book On Writing, that he writes every day. Writer’s write. It’s that simple.

snoopy-good-writing-is-hard-work.jpeg

Another thing writer’s should do, especially new writers, aspiring writers…We should market ourselves, brand ourselves, which means twitter, FB, blogs, etc. So I got a blog, a FB page, and now a twitter account (only I am not sure of what hash tags really are, such a newbie at this it makes me literally laugh-out-loud.) I’m guessing I’ll need to link my blog to twitter soon (somehow or other). I’ll google that soon enough.

stephen king quote

Now, WHAT do I use to write with? A desktop computer. A PC. An HP to be exact. Or I use a good old fashioned notebook, usually one of those black and white composition notebooks, although I do have a fancy journal, and a black gel pen. Once I’m to the editing stage I have a red pen for corrections, a blue pen for notations, and various colored highlighters. And SCRIVENER.

Scrivener

WHERE do I write? At my desk that sits in the corner of my bedroom, for now. LIke I said, after December 30th I’ll have my own study/writing room. YAY!  Or I write outside with my pen and notebook, or on the couch while my husband watches football, or whenever I’m somewhere other than home.

i-dont-remember-deciding-to-become-a-writer.jpg

HOW do I write? One word at a time. (Insert smile here.) I use Scrivener. I also am more of a pantser than an outliner, but I’m working really hard on trying to change that. Right now I’m what I like to think of as a plotster…A hybrid of sorts.

I'm out of bed and I made it to the keyboard

WHEN do I write? Usually during the day or late at night, which means when I’m alone, or when my husband is asleep.

snoopy inspiration

WHY do I write? Silly question, but it’s one of those things that people ask. I love writing, my soul beckons me to write, the voices telling me to write will not quiet…the summons to write stirs within my being and has to be answered. BECAUSE I HAVE TO, BECAUSE I NEED TO, BECAUSE I WANT TO.

I write because there is a voice

Now I’m off to write some more of my outline for November’s NaNoWriMo, and  then try to finish chapter 1 of the book I’m currently working on, I put the other book aside for now because I was stuck. The main character decided she had different plans and wanted to be in a completely different novel with a completely different name.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Outlining, Scrivener, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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