I’ve been thinking about compassion lately. It’s impossible not to, with everything that’s going on in our world. Terrorist attacks, increased racial tensions, insensitivity toward other minority groups, and the most vitriolic U.S. presidential election I can remember (notice the timing of this post, fellow Americans?)… From a social perspective, 2016 has been a bleak year, and I’m deeply worried about where we as a society are heading.
But let’s not discuss politics. Instead, let’s focus on a topic that I think many of us will agree on: the power of compassion in literature. By compassion, I mean moments when characters show kindness, mercy, and similar qualities. These actions can draw us closer to those characters, move us to tears, and make those stories all the more memorable. And during these turbulent times in our world, finding – and writing – stories that demonstrate compassion may be more important than ever.
On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives us an opportunity to talk about other subjects that aren’t normally discussed here at the blog.
AHHHHH! 19 more days until Game of Thrones is back! Is anyone else counting down, too? 😀
I’ve been a fan of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books for a while, so it’s been incredible watching his “shades of gray” characters and the gritty, chaotic world they live in come to life on TV. And while Game of Thrones has deviated from its source material at times, it has still been a faithful adaptation in spirit. But this season, we’ve reached the point where the show will pass the material that GRRM has written so far. In other words, everyone – including those of us who have read the books – is in for 10 Sunday nights worth of shocking twists.
So, what am I looking forward to most for Season 6 of GoT? It was tough to narrow it down to only a few things – because there’s a TON I’m excited about. So, if there’s a storyline you want to talk about that’s not discussed in this post, feel free to do so in your comments. Otherwise, let’s catch up with the first official trailer for Season 6 after the jump.
WARNING: This post contains spoilers from both the Game of Thrones TV show and George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books. Also, some of the videos and links provided below may not be suitable for young readers.
A Dance With Dragons (A Song Of Fire And Ice, Book #5)
George R.R. Martin
959 pages (hardcover)
If you’ve followed my music tastes over the past couple years, The Mariana Hollow may already be a familiar name to you. This alternative metal quintet from London, United Kingdom was hands down my favorite discovery during my tenure at Sonic Cathedral. Muscular rhythms, oceanic guitarscapes, evocative lyrics, and a gritty yet impassioned female voice – this unique amalgam has always made TMH a stand-out act.
Recently the band released two videos for “The Unburned”: one featuring the band, and the lyric video highlighted below. Maybe I’m biased, but how cool is the lyric video?! The archaic animations look like they came straight out of the medieval / Westeros era and make countless references to George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Fire And Ice saga. “The Unburned” itself was inspired by the character Danaerys Targaryen. Musically, this song is like one of Dany’s dragons prowling the desert before taking flight. It builds slowly, shouldering the gravity of its riffs and a thick sultriness, as Rebecca Spinks sings with a storyteller’s passion. It’s a truly unique song from TMH’s repertoire – and if you like this track, I highly recommend you check out other songs by this band!
“The Unburned” is taken from The Mariana Hollow’s 2013 EP Scars, Not Wounds. You can read my review of the EP at Sonic Cathedral here.
Don’t Make Your Female Character (Too) Strong – Make Her Believable
Chapters Completed: 18
Chapters In Progress: 4
Chapters Not Started: 12
“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with writing my current work-in-progress (WIP), which is a fantasy novel. Every 5,000 words, I let readers know what I’ve accomplished since the previous article and share advice, discoveries, techniques, etc. Besides the word count in each article title, a “chapter ticker” at the top also tracks my progress as I use the skip-around / “writercopter” method to write the novel. Today’s installment celebrates the book reaching 70,000 words in length.
Wow. Has it really been less than one month since the novel passed 65,000 words? It feels like it’s too soon to write this article for 70,000, especially with the non-writing commitments I’ve had the past few weeks. (Then again, when are summers not a busy time of year?) I even combed through the current draft chapter by chapter with the word counter after finishing Saturday’s session, just to make sure the math wasn’t off somewhere on my Excel tracking sheet. It wasn’t. So I sit here now, convinced I’m wearing bemusement on my face because that’s 1000% (yes, one-thousand percent) how I feel: baffled yet flutteringly happy.
Here’s what I’ve worked on since the previous Chronicle: Continue reading