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Oh dear. At least she understands fiction enough to realize when something is well written... but of all things to have a problem with! :huh:

What bothers me so much about her comment is the language she uses when she talks about "enduring the task of finding 'meaning' in some pretty weird stuff". It seems to me that reading stuff that's "weird" is not something that she particularly finds worthwhile. Which I think is sad. I just finished my BA as an Honours English Major, and one of the books we had to read was Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley, which plainly and rather openly mocks the Christian faith. But it ended up being my favourite book in the course because it challenged me in what I believe and why. It was opportunity for dialogue, and while it wasn't always particularly enjoyable, I came out feeling very very positive about the experience.

Of course, though I have yet to read Auralia's Colors (Christmas is coming up!), I think it's safe to say that the book does not openly abuse Christianity. :D

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Read Auralia's Colors this week. Finished it last night on a flight back from Los Angeles. And it really was funny, but I could swear that the very familiar colors of the landing strip lights at SeaTac were just a little bit brighter than I remembered them being...

A very compelling read. It didn't move me, particularly (very few books do), but I don't recall often reading a book whose second half I tore through quite as quickly as this one.

On the one hand, the opening passages of the book suggested an epic scope that never quite developed; but the increasingly personal focus, and the present-tense narrative sections toward the book's conclusions, drew me in more as the story progressed.

Very fine work, Jeffrey. Very rarely did I find myself thinking: "Jeffrey wrote this. I can tell."

My favorite line: "I made them from long and bristly hair I pulled from a beastman's mane while he was sleeping." Suggests so much about Auralia, her world, and where the narrative threads of the beastmen will lead in future tales. Brilliant.

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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On the one hand, the opening passages of the book suggested an epic scope that never quite developed...

Well, those passages are addressing what occurs in books 2, 3, and 4 as well, so maybe in time they'll make more sense. House Abascar is just one of four houses, all of which will be shaken by the end of the series.

I'm glad you like that line. Yes, it has *everything* to do with Book 2.

And if colors seem a little brighter, that immensely satisfying to me. Thanks, Greg. Heck, just the fact that you *finished* it is satisfying!

I hope you enjoy...

cynderestypeplate2.jpg

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Jeffrey, I've had Auralia's Colors for a couple of months, but hadn't had a chance to get to it until this week. I'm up in Seattle again for a couple of days, and when my plane took off from Nashville yesterday morning, I started reading the first chapter. Due to a weather delay that involved rerouting to College Station, TX to refuel, sitting on the runway there for a while, and another delayed flight out of Houston, I arrived in Seattle five hours late. Which meant that, as the plane started its descent into Seattle, I finished the last page of the book. I loved it! And now I can't wait to read the sequels.

I loved the ideas scattered throughout about the power of art, like these:

"What does it mean then? That thing you've made." The impostor crumpled his patch, which suddenly seemed so flimsy and plain. "What is it for?"

Auralia squinted into the colors and shrugged. "Can't say what it means. It's not a riddle. It's not somethin' you solve. It's more like a window. Look through it for a while."

If a crowd looks upon the sea, they all see a different mass of water, for it casts color and light in all directions. In the same way, everyone saw Auralia's colors, but each saw a differnt flourish. Auralia's work played all the notes an orchestra can know. And more even than that. Such vision could only have come from someone who had been Elsewhere, seen Something Other, and focused all her energy into preserving the experience in a frame.

For all present in the courtyard, what was real and possible had been transformed. The eyes of their eyes were, for a moment, open to a world larger and more beautiful than they could have imagined, to the luminous presence of every man and woman, boy and girl.

Clouds moved again across the sun, and the glow of Auralia's colors softened, like a flame drawn down into a pulsing coal.

"Took Krawg's yellow scarf, they did. That's why he can't breathe." Warney spooned the herb soup into a half shell of a tree-melon.

"Oh, bother," said Aralia. "It was only a scarf. He can breathe just fine without it."

Krawg opened his mouth to disagree but was seized with a fit of coughing.

Warney put the bowl on an overturned apple crate beside the bed and then opened his hand to scatter shelled nuts and grapes alongside it. "He insists, Auralia. He insists your makings are more than color and heat. They fix what's broken."

And I thought this was a great passage:

"You'll never know passion," Radegan said softly, "if you follow the king's orders. You can't deny your heart anymore."

She playfully pounded on his shoulder with her fist. "But my heart's a mess, and yours is reckless. If we're true to ourselves, we're in trouble. That's what promises are for, like the promise Corvah made me." She looked into the shadow of the trees. "They give you something to bind yourself to, so you don't get carried off on a whim."

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Thanks, Stephen. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

It's weird to see pieces of it here. Immediately I find myself rewriting and editing. Alas... too late.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Which meant that, as the plane started its descent into Seattle, I finished the last page of the book.

Wow. That's weird. What time did you land? My Delta flight landed at 10 PM.

What are the odds of two different people on this board finishing the novel under the same circumstances on the same day at the same airport destination?

BTW, Jeffrey, you really SHOULD publish those "deleted scenes" online if you haven't already. I bet a lot of people, including me, would be VERY interested in reading them.

Edited by Greg Wright

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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BTW, Jeffrey, you really SHOULD publish those "deleted scenes" online if you haven't already. I bet a lot of people, including me, would be VERY interested in reading them.

And while you're at it, can you record some audio commentary to play while we read 'em? :P Honestly, though, how cool would that be?

The new logo for the sequel is HUGE, Jeffrey. I'm already getting antsy!

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I'm glad you like that line. Yes, it has *everything* to do with Book 2.

Aren't you glad I'm an attentive reader? :D

Seriously, there's more redemptive vision in that single line than in the entirely of Into Great Silence -- and that topped CT's film list! So there ya go.

In fact, if you need a quote for any reason, here ya go: "Overstreet can pack more redemptive vision into a single sentence than can be found in entire award-winning films."

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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:lol:

Now, as I've said before, I can't really make solid claims about a film or an album or a book until I've heard it at least twice.

So what I really want to know is what you think after a second read (that is, if you think it merits anything of the sort).

But no pressure. I've got a three-day/three-night marathon of editing to do, so I'm not in any hurry.

Oh, for what it's worth, somebody sent me a link to a college student's paper about the book last night. The student asserted that the book was average because it contained "no symbols or metaphors or similies." I guess I'd better start using them.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Oh, for what it's worth, somebody sent me a link to a college students paper about the book last night. The student asserted that the book was average because it contained "no symbols or metaphors or similies." I guess I'd better start using them.

I looked around online and found an interview with that college student. Here's a sneak peek:

Q: I found it interesting that you found no similies in Auralia's Colors. What kind of similies were you looking for?

A: You know, like a colon and a close-parenthesis. Or maybe a "winkie," with a semi-colon instead of a colon.

Q:There weren't any of those in the book?

A: I know, weird, isn't it?

Edited by CrimsonLine
In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Which meant that, as the plane started its descent into Seattle, I finished the last page of the book.

Wow. That's weird. What time did you land? My Delta flight landed at 10 PM.

What are the odds of two different people on this board finishing the novel under the same circumstances on the same day at the same airport destination?

Next time we should coordinate better. My flight landed at 4:40. I came, partly, to help out with this benefit concert for an organization my uncle founded, Voices in Wartime.

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I looked around online and found an interview with that college student. Here's a sneak peek:

Go ahead and post the link. I can't find it.

Sorry, mando. I totally made it up. I thought I had indicated that in a clear but funny way, but I guess it was too subtle...

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Jeffrey, my wife and I are reading Auralia right now and loving it. I'll hold off further comments until we're finished but I couldn't resist posting this observation/question.

I just recently got around to watching The New World and afterwards I, knowing that it was one of your favorites, read your review of it. I remembered one particular phrase from your review because you drew attention to one of my favorite images in the film: "a line of birds unfurling from the forest like a whip..."

Then today, as I was reading Auralia aloud, I thought I was having deja vu when I read this: "A winding line of birds unfurled from the trees at the base of the promontory, and she watched their serpentine progression."

So I was just curious if the scene in the book was a conscious echo of that imagery from The New World or if it just spilled onto the page.

It was kind of fun to think I knew where/how a particular image came into the author's mind!

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You've caught me in the act of celebrating Malick, and not for the only time in those pages, I'm sure.

I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I gave my daughter Auralia's Colors for Christmas. After she finished it I read it and now my wife is reading it. We all enjoyed it.

I particularly liked the metaphor of Auralia taking the found objects of various colors and weaving them into wonderful gifts for the outcasts and ultimately making the weaving she takes to the king. It is a great image of creativity and the role it plays in getting people to see, really see, what they have looked at for so long but never been aware of. Auralia's ability to do this points to the existence of the Keeper, so creativity, while not being specifically utilitarian, actually fulfills a larger purpose.

One line really jumped off the page at me. After the old women storyteller dies (sorry I'm terrible at names and I don't have the book with me) as the remnant is traveling to the caves, a little girl remarks, "Stories must be heavy." What a great line! Anyone who deals with narratives whether writing, painting or songwriting immediately says "Amen". Do folks not involved in carrying stories know the weight involved? How sometimes it does feel like a great burden; the fate of your culture resting in the faithfulness and creativity of the telling.

We are all looking forward to the next installment. Keep up the good work!

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Ahhh, dear old Wenjee. That line appeared during a last-minute revision, and it felt like it dropped out of the sky. It's one of my favorites too. Thanks, Jim!

My editor just left a tantalyzing message saying that she has "good news" for me. Wonder what it is.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Good news: Auralia's Colors will be getting some special attention at Barnes and Noble soon!

More good news: Auralia's Colors goes in for its second printing very soon.

AND SO... if you happened to spot any typos or errors in the book, PLEASE LET ME KNOW A.S.A.P.!!! (Send me an email.) This is our chance to fix it!

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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  • 1 month later...

MORE good news.

I just got a phone call with news of an unexpected development.

One word: audiobooks.

Yes, that's plural.

And yes, it looks like I get to read them.

I'm stunned. Never expected this.

Maybe I can get Johnny Greenwood to do the soundtrack.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Rats! Now that I've bought the book (and actually plan on reading it sometime soon) I find out if I'd waited I could do it the easy way.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Just wondering, Jeff, have you ever done pre-recorded stuff like this before? Live, on-air interviews are one thing, but the few times I had to pre-record my own radio essays, it was a little weird having the guys behind the controls try to "direct" me, telling me how to pronounce my own words.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Darrel, I have no idea when this recording will actually take place. So don't wait! :)

Peter, I haven't done *this* kind of recording before, no. Sara Zarr loved the experience, but she said it was gruelling.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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