Friday, September 19, 2008

Steampunk, Star Wars Costumes, and NaNoWriMo

Good mmmmorning, YA SciFi Geniuses!
If today is your last day of school this week, I must convey my congratulations for surviving. We homeschool and Fridays are our field trip and project day. I think we're going fishing. That counts as Science, you know. In case you're wondering, a LOT of Alaska families homeschool and always have. Many simply do not live anywhere near a regular school. In fact, there's a school in King Salmon, Alaska where some of the students actually have to *fly* back and forth to school!


Well, this week I was thunderstruck by Steampunk. No kidding. I can't believe I had no idea what it was and how cool it is! I love Science Fiction and I love History. Steampunk is a magical combination. So, if anyone knows what the best Steampunk novels are, please recommend! Does WILD, WILD WEST qualify? I love the movie. Will Smith is one of my favorite actors because he so stinkin' funny.


There are six weeks until Halloween. Have you started creating your Science Fictiony costume yet?

I'm a sewing, crafting kind of person, so I just have to make our costumes. This year it's Star Wars. I want my husband to go as Quigon Jin from Phantom Menace because he's a big, tall guy and matches his personality, but he isn't keen on the cloak and has dillusions of Han Solo. Eldest daughter (a.k.a. 'KimberJr.') is going as Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing fighter flightsuit. Younger daughter is more into girl stuff and wants to go as Princess Leia from New Hope. Only Begotten Son is going as an Ewok and I'm going to be Princess Leia from Return of the Jedi.

Here's a link to a site which specializes in recreating Star Wars costumes- Don't let their level of genius intimidate you. They do this kind of thing all the time. I think some of them are aspiring designers.

Speaking of Star Wars, sometimes I wonder if there's a generation gap or
if the screenwriting was just vastly different.

Most people around my age can't stand the Prequels. I liked Phantom Menace, even though the villians were flat and boring. The double-sided lightsaber was cool. I also liked Attack of the Clones up until Padme failed to recoil in horror after Anakin murdered all the Tuskin Raiders. Up until that point, Padme had been portrayed as highly intelligent and ethical. Pardon me, but highly intelligent and ethical young women do NOT knowingly marry confessed child-murderers. Ruined the whole rest of the prequels for me. Oh, if I put the confession scene out of my mind, I can enjoy them all right. It's quite simple - I simply pretend Anakin never told Padme. Duh. Wish George Lucus had thought of that, but I realize he doesn't create movies just to suit me.

Any aspiring authors out there? It's only a month and a half until National Novel Writing month, November. Pop over and check out what it is-

I'm thinking of taking part. With a few friends and an ergonomic keyboard, I think I could handle it.


Please keep the recommendations for this blog coming! I can't build it without help. I still especially need help in the following areas: websites for aspiring illustrators, games, Manga/anime. Thanks! I'm going to see if I can snag an author interview for next week.


Have a good weekend, Buds.


Just_Me said...

Hate the prequeals! They're just.... to full of teenage angst and immaturity. I love Han Solo though!

And I'm so glad you've finally discovered steampunk! The 'punk genres are a blast to play. There's all sorts of creative avenues opened by blending biology, science, and magic. A lot of things become possible that you can't get away with in ordinary fantasy or straight, hard core, science fiction.

But, now I need to figure out Halloween costumes. I think the girls want to be mermaids. DH would like being a Jedi (he has a few lightsabers). In years past I've gone as Leia in the New Hope, but my hair isn't long enough for the buns since I cut it. Maybe Marian Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Kimber An said...

"...full of teenage angst and immaturity..." Well, Anakin is 19 years old in that movie. Whatever else they got wrong, I think the Prequels showed an aweful truth for a lot of real teens - his loved ones totally missed the warning signs. Obi Wan and Padme should have noticed and intervened before it was too late. He did reach out to them for help, but they failed to comprehend and provide the help he needed. That part, I think, was well done.

Robyn said...

I think the part that got me was in III- when Padme just cried and then died of a broken heart. Leia would have kicked Ani's Saber of Love into his throat and raised her children by herself.

Kimber An said...

Well, yanno, I just finished watching all the 'making of' documentaries. I watched the ATTACK OF THE CLONES documentary just this morning. For each deleted scene, one of the directors or producers introduced it and explained why it was cut from the movie. I am now convinced that the Prequels would have been on par with the Original if the editing had been better.

For example, romance was a big part of ATTACK, but they edited the movie like an action film. In order for a romance to have full impact, there must be careful character development. Most of Padme's character development scenes were cut. Anakin's character needed her development scenes as much as she did, because the two characters were intertwined throughout the movie. The whole movie was out of balance in basic storytelling.

It always makes me sad when a great story isn't told in the best, most effective way. Oh, ATTACK OF THE CLONES was good, but it could have been great.

Anyway, I consider this a good lesson as a writer. Never skimp on editing, no matter how much it hurts. Get the structure right. Balance things out. Everything has to make sense and work together, and make sense working together.

Kimber An said...

P.S. I've made up my mind to read the novelization of STAR WARS ATTACK OF THE CLONES. I have a feeling it will be highly educational to me as a writer to see the differences between the extended version of the movie, the final cut, and the novel.