Entry: Landmark
Official= Official Comment

From Sean Stubblefield
Website: http://exastra23.deviantart.com/gallery/
you've found yourself vacationing in the void of surreality.
I'm a little saddened that you'd gotten to a point where you feel un-alive, lost and nameless. someone of so vital a spirit as you... seems queer that this would happen. and tragic. how could you possibly forget that you are known? loved. fully alive. more than most. ready to smile. and love life.
but I do understand how recent events have displaced your world.
sometimes we need to lose ourselves, to find ourselves... to lose what we have to know that we have it. forget ourselves to remember who we are. yet I am also happy for you. such walkabouts are an "interesting"
place to be.

as for how you address questions posed, I'll accept whatever medium you are inclined to use.
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From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com
Ahh....I've spent many a night in Winterfell myself, and if one is to lose themselves somewhere, I can think of few better places.

Enjoy your time at home, Jess.
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From Curtis Sawyer
Website: http://ussexcalibur.blogspot.com
Is was probably quite depressing to have the movie grind to a halt, especially after all the hard work and effort that composed every second of every day for weeks. That would certainly leave a hole - a void - in anyone's life.

You were in a tough spot with the film - make it now and compromise the vision or delay. At times like this we have to ask, what would Picard do? And as Wesley Crusher noted, "He'd listen to everyone's opinion and then make his own decision." And you did.

And now we move on.

We pick ourselves up and we move on.

That which does not kill us merely makes us stronger.

Beware the fears.

We believe.
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From Katie
Website: http://www.katiedurham.com
You live and breathe. We haven't forgotten The Awesome. We haven't forgotten this particular quest, nor have we forgotten any other adventures you have shared. We only wait. Remember: in every great story, everything goes to hell in Act II.

I'd love to watch a video about the process. Sign me up for the download.
And Sean, I am so jealous. I want to visit the fabled Portal to Another Dimension! Also, a coffee just sounds really good right now. Mmm...
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Official Comment From Jessica
I am surprised that more people didn't chime in about A Song of Ice and Fire. Dave was the "reader" who brought the series to my attention. Has anyone else read them? I've just finished. HBO has acquired the rights to adapt them into a series. I don't see how they will have the budget to do them properly, though. ROME was hella expensive, and I'd expect Song to be even more expensive to execute given the fantasy elements (on top of the period-piece challenges, the locations... wardrobe... everything).

From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com
I had heard about the HBO series as well. I agree with you that it will be difficult to do it well without a huge budget. It will be interesting to see.

I'm presuming that since it sounds like you devoured the series, you enjoyed it? I don't consider myself overly well-read, but it's definitely the best series I've come across, in my opinion.

You may also want to check out The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword, which are short stories found in the Legends series. They take place years before ASOIAF begins.
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Official Comment From Jessica
Rushed thoughts:

I go back and forth. Sometimes Song is so serial from chapter to chapter that it drives me crazy and I find myself skipping ahead to read certain characters’ through lines. I can see why the suits immediately thought TV for the medium for the adaptation: I can feel where the commercial breaks go in each novel. It’s basically ROME meets Mists of Avalon. Not in a bad way, though: Song is original. A low fantasy take on the War of the Roses. The more I read, however, the more convinced I am that these could be done, and would be better done, as films. It would be challenging screenplay wise but the product would be superior.

Books 2 and 3 are definitely better than 1 and 4, and the detail is remarkable but at times becomes unnecessarily tedious. Especially in book 4. I’d appreciate some economy character-wise and a little more fantasy (most oft there is zip). Warning: You need patience to read this series. Nothing wrong with that, but you do. And more than usual with a detailed book, I'd say.

It’s good though. I don't love it unconditionally yet, but I'm into it. I dislike comparing, but will say that Song is certainly better than any recent fantasy out there. (Save Harry Potter. They are vastly different, though.)

In fact, the quotes on the jacket comparing Song to Tolkien bothered me. Mists of Avalon opened the door for this book. It has nothing to do with Lord of the Rings. They could not be more different, and despite Song being good and R-rated/more gritty-realistic, it still doesn’t have the literary quality or story mastery that Tolkien had in The Hobbit and LOTR (but really, who does?). Again, it’s so different: Useless to compare.

As an aside, I would like to say that, from the first time he was introduced, Jon Snow has been my favorite character. Anyone else I've liked the author has fubar-d or is taking forever to progress. (Arya, for instance.) I'm coming around to Jamie: He must be someone I recognize. (Redemption character.)

I have some gender issues with the story. Song is definitely written by a male (while Mists annoyed because it was way too feminine in a few parts). I’d love if Song were a little more gender balanced in terms of perspective. I’m a terrible complainer about that, though: I don’t think anyone is writing convincing female leads. Including Buffy/Joss, who has become some sort of shining example. wink Some writers are better than most, but still no one has quite gotten it right. Do you think it’s possible for a male to write a proper, meaningful and timely female lead and vice versa? I have my guy friends read through all the dialogue of my male characters and suggest changes, although there haven’t been any changes in terms of “not reading like a dude” or “no dude I know would ever think or say that” or “are you sure this is the type of male character you want to present.”

Then again, I have frequently been told that I write like a guy.


From Sean Stubblefield
Website: http://exastra23.deviantart.com/gallery/
Although I have heard good things about Song, (don't hate me)I'm not a big fan of fantasy. The release of Babylon 5: Lost Tales has me reading a B5 novel recently (Invoking Darkness).

It is possible for one gender to write another. If the writer does the research and studies the subject to find "the voice".
But I think it is a mistake to stereotype by aiming to write "like/for women" or "like/for men", instead of simply writing good characters. All women behave "this" way, and if they don't then they must be men? And if you have to remind your audience of the character's gender... then the character is not fully "there", possibly a cliche. Joss is a shining example because he understands this. Women can have "masculine" or "asexual" qualities and still be women.

"I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountbility." Is this really what it is to be woman? I think/hope not.
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From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
ASOIAF was a cold purchase for me. It wasn't recommended...the cover and title of A Game of Thrones just caught my fancy as I browsed the bookshelf and I haven't looked back since.

I too was bothered by the Tolkien comparissons. I find they are nothing alike.

In respect to the male biased writing, I have always found it was more of a reflection of the patriarchal society, as opposed to a deficiency by the author. There are many strong female characters (Catelyn, Cersei, Arya, Daenerys, Brienne, etc...), and I find that even the parts written in Dorne reflect a different culture with different roles and perspectives.

Jess...I think I mentioned the term "low-fantasy" to you before, and what you see in ASOIAF is sort of what I was referring too. I don't necessarily like my fantasy teeming with elves and wizards and dragons. I'd much rather read something by Martin or Stephen R. Donaldson or Stephen R. Lawhead than say Tolkien or Rowling. I'm sure that puts me in the minority. :P

Some of my own favourite characters have been Eddard Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Jaime Lannister, Littlefinger, the Imp and the Hound.

I also love how Martin's work is like the anti-fairy tale. When he drops that first major character death in the first book, I was like "Whoa....that sucks!" (pause) "...but is totally Awesome!"

And personally, even the slower parts of the books I tend to devour....because unlike a lot of other books I've read....I find you just never know what you're going to find on the next page......
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Official Comment From Jessica
In respect to the male biased writing, I have always found it was more of a reflection of the patriarchal society, as opposed to a deficiency by the author.

I agree that that is the most part, and that doesn't bother me at all because it’s true to the world and the times. It's something beyond that—what I meant. I need more time to clarify, find examples... Probably not going to happen. wink

Also, it's definitely low fantasy. Funny you mentioned that: I was amused to read quotes that called it "high fantasy at its best!" and things of that sort.

Some of you peeps might pick this up and read along with us. The rest of the books aren't finished yet, (the next comes somewhere next year,) so there's plenty of time to catch up!

Do you wish we might have gotten inside Robb's head? I do.

From Dave Grant
Website: http://www.divergingroad.blogspot.com/
It definitely would have been nice to explore a little more of Robb's character. Of all the non-perspective characters thus far, I'd say that he and Sandor were the ones I'd most like to have seen get their own treatement.
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