October 27 2016

Omni Journals: Comparison between various journals

When I first started adding more visual elements like drawings, watercolor, pictures, and more to my journal pages I figured out quickly that the paper in my journal made a difference. I joined the Fauxbonichi journal group after watching videos by MissVickyB and Anna Brimbles. They showed a journal called the Miquel Ruis. I got one. Loved the cute red journal and the smooth pages until I tried to watercolor on the paper. Before long, many in the group complained that once their journal was halfway finished the binding started breaking and the journal started falling apart. I know, from personal experience, that when you add elements like stickers, watercolor, die-cuts, real life ephemera or purchased ephemera the journal does become chunky quite quickly.

I prefer an A5 sized journal. The average size of an A5 is 8×5 inches. I didn’t use the Miquel Ruis for very long. I purchased an actual Hobonichi, and a Seven Seas Standard, both of which are made with 52 gsm Tomoe River paper. The Hobonichi has almost-white Tomoe River paper and  a sort of pale gray grid, and the Seven Seas Standard has plain Tomoe River paper. I love Tomoe River paper. Absolutely love it. It crinkles slight, has the slight ripple to it, when you add watercolor. And the feel of the paper is delicious. I loved working with the paper from both journals, but soon I realized that because I write a lot, and my handwriting is rather large, that being limited to one page per day in the Hobonichi wasn’t good for me. I could use as many pages as I wanted for each day in the Seven Seas Standard, but I was limited with the Hobonichi.

Crossfield
Crossfield

I heard about the Seven Seas Crossfield, which is  480 pages of 52gsm Tomoe River paper with 5mm “dot” grid–the little dots aren’t dots they’re these really small little pale blue crosses that make up the “dot grid.” I loved it. Really loved it. I started using the Crossfield right around the same time I heard about the bullet journal. I started trying to add elements of the bullet journal to my “fauxbonichi” style journal. I was almost finished with my Crossfield when I looked on Nanamipaper’s website to order another and found that they weren’t available. All sold out. A month or so later a friend informed me that the Crossfield would be available in a few days, I ordered two. Many people who love the Seven Seas journals commented that when the journals become available they sell quickly–usually within 24 hours they’re sold again, especially the Crossfield. I was so glad I ordered two.

One book July was coming around and I was trying really hard to find my way in regard to my journal. I wanted a journal that could house bits of everything. Elements like planning, art, photos, everyday ephemera, facts, quotes, research, collections, and more. An Omni Journal. I used my Crossfield and loved it. I wanted a journal I could house in my Jonelifish A5 trifold with an insert or two behind it for other more specific things. I wanted to be able to chronicle anything and everything from watercolor, common place style journal pages, to-do lists, collections, photos, and diary style journaling instead of keeping things separate. I was still journaling “fauxbonichi style” but I also started adding in other things, thus the term Omni Journal.

Because I add so much to my Omni Journal they fill up quickly. I noticed the Crossfield, which has 480 pages, lasts me about 6 months. I briefly tried using a Bullet Journal separately from my Omni Journal. I tried doing that in the Leuchtturm 1917 and in the Crossfield, but keeping it separate didn’t work for me. I went to Nanamipaper to buy another Crossfield but they were sold out. So I went searching for A5 journals with Tomoe River paper and came across the Taroko Design shop and their Enigma and Mystique. At the time the Taroko shop was sold out of the Enigma, and without too much research, but based on a few reviews I read, I ordered the Mystique.

Mystique. The picture is from the actual Taroko Design Etsy Shop
Mystique. The picture is from the actual Taroko Design Etsy Shop

The Mystique is an A5 sewn binding made of 80gsm Taroko Orchid grid paper. It’s gorgeous, thick, and smooth but not glossy or slick. It takes fountain pen fabulously, and though there is some ghosting there is rarely bleed through. It’s absolutely wonderful paper, but I soon realized that the Mystique was not Tomoe River paper. I became concerned that I was messing up the journal by adding watercolor to it. So I stopped using it as my Omni Journal and got out the second Crossfield and started using at as my Omni Journal. Well…. My journal is almost full and it’s almost the end of the year so I went back to Nanamipaper to order a Crossfield and wouldn’t you know, not in stock. So I went back to the Taroko Design shop on Etsy to see if they had the Enigma in, which actually has 68gsm Tomoe River paper. Yep. In stock. So I ordered one. It came in 8-9 days, which is great considering it was being shipped from overseas  to South Carolina, USA. It was packaged well, and I was in awe when I opened it. WOW! The paper in the Enigma is so freaking awesome. It’s thicker than the Tomoe River paper in the Hobonichi, the Crossfield, or the Standard. It’s not as thick as the Mystique, but  the Mystique is 80gsm Orchid paper that’s to be expected.  The Hobonichi, Crossfield, Standard, Enigma, and Mystique are all great for fountain pen use. And I’ve had no issues using watercolor with any of those, BUT the Tomoe River paper does take the watercolor better.

Enigma: Picture is from the actual Taroko Design Shop on Etsy.
Enigma: Picture is from the actual Taroko Design Shop on Etsy.

I’ve started setting up my Enigma for next year, as that’s the journal I’ll be using for my Omni Journal, and the Mystique that is only half used will become my Morning pages journal. I’m good with that, since there is no way I’ll let half of that wonderful 80gsm Orchid paper go to waste. 😀

If you’re interested, the Seven Seas journals can be found at http://nanamipaper.com, and the Taroko Design Shop can be found on Etsy–he also has a FB page, as well as a few listings of his items on Amazon. 😀

I’m going to insert the video I  made showing the journals here at the end so you can see what the journals look like. Hope this review helps.

October 25 2016

My Favorite Writer Resource Books

Books. I love books. All kinds of books. As a writer, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to what are known as writer resource books. LIke I said, I love books, but the ones listed below are some of my favorites in regard to writing.

Books like Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers,” which explains the Hero’s Journey in great detail. Or “Nail Your Novel: Why writers abandon books and how you can draft, fix and finish with confidence,” by Roz Morris, or “The Wonderbook: The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction,” by Jeff Vandermeer, which has great pictures/illustrations  that are inspiring all by themselves,  but it’s a great resource as well.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” and “Secret Windows,” are great writing resource books, and since King is such a prolific author that when I read that he got rejection slips in the mail it motivates me to keep writing. 😀

Since I’m using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey for outlining my novel here are a few books that I’ve found helpful: “Tarot for Writers” by Corrine Kenner, and “The Storyteller’s Tarot” by Linda Perfect.

Now if you’re looking for an interesting and fun writing resource, one that is filled with good information and will make you laugh and keep you interested, check out Chuck Wendig’s “The Kick-Ass Writer.” If you’re into suspense or mystery then check out Carolyn Wheat’s “How to Write Killer Fiction.” If you’re interested, “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen S. Wiesner is a pretty good read as well.

And for those of you who aren’t into outlining, especially if you’re a pantser, you might want to check out Chris Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” or “Ready. Set. Novel!

And once NaNoWriMo is over, you’ve finished writing that first draft, and you’re ready to edit your novel, you can check out “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” by Renni Browne and Dave King.

I have quite a few other books, but these are some of my favorites, the books that I prefer to read and that have helped me. 😀

Hope this helps.

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel: eCourse Info: http://tarotbyarwen.com/17242-2/

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

My Writer’s Bible: http://jonelifish.com *Note, if you use the code: “Burgess10” you’ll get 10% off your purchase (coupon is good for all merchandise except for Custom-Made Traveler’s Notebooks).

Colored Index Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTqLRM

Dry Erase Calendar Board: http://amzn.to/2cPr17o

Shakespeare Tarot Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTrnXj

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

**** This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Thank you!

Category: Books, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Reading, Writing, Writing Resources | Comments Off on My Favorite Writer Resource Books
October 24 2016

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I have plans

And those plans include:

  • Finishing my outline for NaNoWriMo
  • Cleaning the rest of the Writing/Art space
  • Finishing my storyboard
  • Making a video of my updated Writer’s Bible
  • Writing a corresponding blog post about my updated Writer’s Bible
  • Making a video about my Jonelifishes and what I use them for
  • Writing a corresponding blog post about my Jonelifishes
  • Writing a blog post about How to Win NaNoWriMo
  • Making a video about my tarot cards
  • And more…

So here’s my coffee chat video:

Category: #amwriting, Around Here, Books, Bookshelves, Coffee Chat, Creativity, Journal, Life, Living a Creative Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing | Comments Off on If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that I have plans
October 21 2016

My NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal

This past April I worked really hard on creating an improved NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal in a Master Leuchtturm 1917. I wanted the bullet journal to be easy to use, to be easy to read… I wanted it to be functional and pretty. 1 out of 4 ain’t bad.

Since then, I’ve changed things up in regards to my NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet journal–several times in fact. Here is my updated version of my NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet journal:

I’m still working on it, and since we basically have 10 days left before NaNo starts I still have some time. Sunday I’ll be showing a flip thru of my Omni Journal, and Wednesday, which is Writer Wednesday on my YT channel, I’ll be showing  my updated Writer’s Bible. I really need to go back through my Writer Omnibus and organize things better as well (to be frank, I probably won’t get to that before NaNo starts).

It always gets crazy busy when I have a good idea and I want to start working on it. For example, I’ve been thinking about making tabs and putting them in my NaNo/Writer Bullet Journal, as well as in my Project TN. I’ve also been thinking about cleaning out my desk completely (that means a big trash bag and a few file folders will be needed). But do I have time for any of that? Yes and No. I could make time. Instead of writing this blog post I could be cleaning out the drawers in my desk. Or I could be making tabs. Or I could be folding the white clothes or doing the dishes. I could also be working on the last parts of my outline for NaNoWriMo. I will be working on my desk drawers on Monday while my coffee chat video saves and then while it’s uploading. And on Tuesday, I think I’ll work on the tabs. Tonight I’ll fold the white clothes while I’m watching TV.

During NaNoWriMo I’ll be using my NaNo/Writer Bullet Journal to keep up with everything, but I’ll warn you now: My writing/craft/art room will end up creative chaos, our clothes will get washed but I can’t guarantee they will get put up after I fold them (though I will try), and we’ll most likely be using paper plates and eating easy to cook/make/throw together meals. One of the great things about my husband is that he’s pretty laid back. As long as we aren’t starving, as long as the bathroom and the kitchen are clean (and he’s not a stickler for rinsed off dishes being in the sink until  one of us (usually me) can get to them since we don’t have a dishwasher), he’s okay with things. He’ll help me fold clothes, do dishes, etc., especially if he hasn’t worked a long day.

Category: Bullet Journal, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Outlining, Planning, TN, Travelers Notebook, Uncategorized, Writer Bullet Journal, Writing Life | Comments Off on My NaNoWriMo/Writer Bullet Journal
October 21 2016

Self-Care: Taking a Break Does a Mind/Body Good

With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, not to mention the prepping for NaNo, along with my other projects: The Dark Tower Reading Project, the Decorated Page, and Destination Me…When I first started this blog post the title was Self-Care for NaNoWriMo, but once I started writing the first sentence of the post I realized it was about more than that. Self-Care is about more than getting enough sleep, eating healthy, getting exercise, and taking time for yourself. It’s also about knowing when to take a break, taking a break when your mind or body needs you to. It’s also about making sure you take time to nourish your creativity, to refill your well. (Thank you Julia Cameron.)

Taking a break for your mind might mean taking a break from the writing to go for a walk and clear your head. And hey, the fact that walking also does your body good–well, double points. 😀 And if your body is screaming at you that you’re thirsty, well then get up out of the chair and go get some water. 😀 That five minute walk from the chair to the kitchen  and back is good for both your mind and body. People talk about the cues that your body send you, and oftentimes in the past I have ignored those cues. Instead of taking a break to eat lunch I just kept writing–hell, I might not have even realized that hours had gone by until my stomach growled, or I got a headache from not eating… The truth is, once I get in that zone I forget about everything else. That’s part of the reason why I keep a large cup with a lid and straw full of water or juice on my desk, why it seems like I drink so much coffee–most of the time the coffee gets cold before I am able to finish it. But the first two cups of coffee, or my ADHD medication as I tend to think of it, those go down quick, and they’re so delicious and necessary, but so are the ounces of water that my body needs.

I have a busy schedule, and I do have a lot going on and I get a lot done (some days), but I don’t manage my time very well. That’s something I need to continue to work on, especially with NaNoWriMo coming. Managing my time includes making sure I take some time for myself. Time for walks, to get out of the house, to pamper myself a little so I can give myself a pedicure, or try that new face mask that’s been in my bathroom drawer for months, or just veg-out on SyFy movies while in my pajamas for a few hours on Sunday morning. Staying busy, especially with creative projects like writing, reading, art, etc helps lessen the depression and anxiety.

So what to do about self-care for NaNoWriMo? Like many other writers during the month of November, my aim will be to write at least 1667 words per day. From reading about other authors, some famous like Sai Stephen King, many aim to write at least 2000 words per day, while others aim to write a chapter a day, which for some genres is about the same thing.  If I aim for 2K a day then I’ll have 60,000 words by the end of November. And if I participate in words sprints at least once a week, say a few of the 20 minute word sprints I could add to that day’s word count, maybe even write enough during the word sprints to add another 1000 words for that day’s total. That would be an extra 4000 words for the month. Now we’re talking 64K for the end of November. But I have a bad day or a day when I really need a break and I only write 1000 words instead of the 2K. I’m still ahead and I’m not stressing over it. I’ll get the words written, and the best way to make sure I can do that is by taking proper care of myself.

Eat healthier snacks and meals. Drink more water. Take walks every day. Do my stretches and meditation in the mornings. Write on!!! 😀

 

October 19 2016

Outlining Using Tarot and Hero’s Journey for NaNoWriMo Prep

Last year for NaNoWriMo, and this year, I’ve used Arwen Lynch’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel, which is an ecourse (I’ll leave the links to everything below). With Arwen’s ecourse you use tarot cards and the hero’s journey to plot out your novel. I know, I know… You’re probably thinking WHAT? Tarot cards? The Hero’s Journey? But it’s creative, intuitive, imaginative, fun, and it works.

Using the Tarot cards helps open my mind to possibilities, as well as sparks the fire of my imagination. I look at a card and instead of just seeing what is on the card I also see an image in my head of the character, or the setting, or an event. I see the possibilities of various different scenarios from the image on the card. As I work through the scenarios in my head of what I see when I look at the card I find myself imagining my character as the Hermit, or the Fool, sitting in front of a field full of wild flowers or a beach or an old castle… I see the antagonist with a knife in his/her hand, or kidnapping the protagonist. I see those possibilities and as I narrow down things in my head and then on paper, I know what is going to happen next in my novel.

Using my Writer’s/NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal, I’ve been creating the basis of my outline for NaNo, then taking those basics and going a step further in my Writer’s Notebook for that novel. It’s a process. It’s a process I wasn’t sure I’d ever actually be able to follow through with–I’m a pantser at heart, y’all. But with this method, I can outline the main points, the hero’s journey, and then write by the seat of my pants the rest–like the scenes, which I don’t outline. It gives me structure while still allowing me to be free, to use my imagination, to not feel boxed in by an outline.

Here is my YT playlist for last year’s NaNo Prep

And here is my YT playlist (so far) for this year’s NaNo Prep.

And here are the supplies I’m using thus far:

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing: https://youtu.be/V90tAWykxVY

Arwen’s Course Info: http://tarotbyarwen.com/17242-2/

Tarot for Writer’s by Corrine Kenner : http://amzn.to/2cnPEJx

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner: http://amzn.to/2cC5xI2

Rider Waite Tarot Deck: http://amzn.to/2dfPRvb

Radiant Rider Waite Tarot Deck in Tin: http://amzn.to/2d16J9M

My Writer’s Bible: http://jonelifish.com (If you use the code Burgess10 you will get 10% off anything in her shop except the custom order TN’s).

Colored Index Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTqLRM

Dry Erase Calendar Board: http://amzn.to/2cPr17o

Shakespeare Tarot Cards: http://amzn.to/2cTrnXj

Lord of the Rings Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ct75Xk

The Hobbit Tarot: http://amzn.to/2ditJTQ

The Witches Tarot: http://amzn.to/2d16VWA

Midori A5 Grid Notebook: http://amzn.to/2e8ag87

Clairfontaine A5 Red Notebook (Lined): http://amzn.to/2eTw9cl 

**** This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!

Note: All items have been purchased by me with my own money. Any items sent for review will be clearly noted here or in the video. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Category: Creativity, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo Prep, Outlining, Planning, Writer Bullet Journal, Writing, Writing Life | Comments Off on Outlining Using Tarot and Hero’s Journey for NaNoWriMo Prep
October 16 2016

The Drawing of the Three Discussion

the-drawing-of-the-threeSome readers of the Gunslinger have complained that the book is dark, gloomy, and a bit of a slow read. While I do believe that book is a bit dark, and a bit gloomy, and the first chapter is a bit of a slow read, the rest of the book is quite the opposite. Many have also said that The Drawing of the Three is actually the starting point and that the Gunslinger is more or less backstory, and that readers could start with The Drawing of the Three and read the Gunslinger later. I suppose they could, but you miss out on so much of the story if you do that.

In the Gunslinger, we learn that Roland has left behind all of those who started the quest with him, who joined him along the way, or who helped him. Most of them are dead. We learn and sense that Roland is, in fact, more than capable of leaving those he cares about, even killing those he cares about, or leaving them to die. Roland is also more than capable of completing his quest alone, and in some ways seems to prefer it, even seems to reject companionship. But in the Drawing of the Three, Roland is forced to find the “Three.” The book runs parallel with Walter’s Tarot Reading. King even names a major section “Shuffle.”

The Drawing of the Three takes place primarily on the Western Sea or in New York… Jake’s “There are other worlds than these.” Eddie’s New York is set in the 80’s. Before we get to the Prisoner’s Door and Eddie Dean, we find ourselves cringing when Roland is severely injured by the Lobstrosities and loses his gun fingers on his dominate hand (his right one). And worse, his bullets get wet. The Lobstrosities don’t stop with his fingers, they take a chunk out of his calf,  he loses a toe and his boot to them. In the Gunslinger we see Roland as more of an Anti-Hero, but at this point in the book things change. Roland, the last gunslinger, has been injured to the point that we’re not sure if he’ll be able to continue as a gunslinger…”What had once been a thing so easy it didn’t even bear thinking about had suddenly become a trick akin to juggling.” Deep down we know that Roland, whose aim is true, will be able to shoot just as well with his left hand, but we know he’s changed and that his injuries have altered the chances of his success in reaching the Dark Tower. I cried in frustration and pain when he was injured. I remember being pissed and saddened in a completely different way than when I was pissed that Roland let Jake die.

Yes, Roland’s training helps him keep from losing control, and enables him to function even when others, including some gunslingers, might have been pushed over the edge, but he’s not perfect. He almost lost it after Jake fell to his death. And now, he’s so enraged that he actually takes a rock and smashes the lobstrosity with it, and then takes his remaining boot and crushes its head, over and over again. “IT was dead, but he meant to have his way with it all the same; he had never, in all his long strange time, been so fundamentally hurt, and it had all been so unexpected.” Ka? Some kind of weird atonement for letting Jake die?

Roland heads North. The MIB, who tricked Roland into thinking he is dead, watches Roland as he struggles on the beach, then heads in the opposite direction. Roland’s journey towards the Three, his new ka-tet. The first door is the Prisoner, which is Eddie Dean. The “grinning face of a baboon” is upon that door, which implies “a monkey on one’s back.” That monkey is not only heroin, but his brother Henry. The door allows Roland to see through the eyes of the person that he is supposed to draw. Once he crosses the threshold of the door he actually enters that person’s body and mind, leaving his body behind where it lays near the Western Sea.

Roland can assert himself and take control while inhabiting the body of the drawee, as well as communicate with the drawee. Roland soon learns that Eddie isn’t weak, but he does have weaknesses–heroin and Henry. Eddie is in big trouble, and Roland needs Eddie’s help, time is running out for the both of them. Roland convinces Eddie to go into the bathroom and to walk through the “magical” doorway into Roland’s world. They quickly rid Eddie of the drugs that are taped to him, while the plane’s crew are banging on the bathroom door. Roland gets Eddie back through the door mere seconds before they burst through the bathroom door. Eddie thinks quickly. Roland, however, is frustrated with Eddie and his clumsiness.

Between Eddie and Roland, they handle the Customs interrogation. Roland’s strength gives Eddie the courage and strength to withstand the questions and the withdrawal he feels from the drugs. Roland doesn’t trust Eddie. He knows that Eddie has an inner strength, that he’s a survivor, but you can hear the mistrust when Roland tells himself, through Cort’s voice, “You did yourself ill to feel well of those to whom ill must eventually be done.” And Eddie fears and likes Roland, and thinks that in time he might even grow to love Roland like a brother.

Though Roland takes Eddie and Detta/Odetta through the doors without their explicit consent, he tells himself that he’ll release them once he’s reached the Tower, and that they might even be able to go back to their own worlds and times… he’s honest enough with himself to know that that is not likely though. “Neither, however, could the thought of the treachery he contemplated turn him aside from his course,” and we see how Roland’s quest is all Roland can think about, all he allows himself to be concerned with. Ka? We wonder about that, especially after the MIB’s voice creeps in to remind Roland that he’s already sacrificed Jake for the Tower, and now Roland is ready to sacrifice his new ka-tet to a life in an alien world and time, where they might die and never return home…Roland is a prisoner of his quest for the Dark Tower.

Once they finish with Balazar, which was one hell of an action scene, Roland’s life is in Eddie’s hands. Roland fights with his infection and Eddie fights the withdrawal from the drugs. Eddie hates Roland for kidnapping him and leaving him stranded in a world where he has no access to his drugs. Yet Eddie continues to take care of Roland, including killing lobstrosities so they can eat. Eddie even builds what Roland calls a travios and drags Roland north. Eddie’s resourcefulness would have met with Cort’s approval, Roland thinks, but Roland ridicules it in his mind. Eddie thinks about killing himself, but the fact that Roland needs him keeps him from doing so. Eddie tells Roland of his life, tells him about Henry. Eddie hopes to get a response from Roland, perhaps and agreement about Henry, but Roland says, “What’s past is past, and what’s ahead is ahead. The second is ka, and takes care of itself.” Eddie grows to hate Ka.

The second door is called the Lady of the Shadows. Eddie thinks it’s a way back to his world and a way to get drugs. Roland places his life in Eddie’s hands, even turning over his guns to Eddie. He tells Eddie that his old life is over. After they reach the Tower Roland doesn’t care what Eddie does, but until then that part (meaning the drugs) of your life is over. Roland says, “You could be a gunslinger. I needn’t be the last after all. It’s in you, Eddie. I see it. I feel it.” High praise coming from Roland.

Eddie threatens to kill Roland once he passes through the doorway, especially since Eddie knows he can’t pass through the doorway without Roland, but Eddie can’t kill Roland.

Detta/Odetta is a prisoner within her own body/mind. She lost her legs from the knees down when she was pushed in front of a train. Later in the book we find out that it was in fact Jack Mort who pushed her. We learn of her history through a series of flashbacks. Roland was able to enter Eddie without being noticed, but Detta detects him right away. Roland sense her other personality, “not the way one would look at her reflection in a mirror, but as separate people; the window became a windowpane and for a moment Odetta had seen Detta and Detta had seen Odetta and had been equally horror-struck.”

Roland warns Eddie that she is dangerous, but Eddie is smitten with Odetta. He “hears with his ears, but not with his heart.” Roland hears Eddie’s story about Detta’s and Odetta’s brief awareness of each other and knows that he has to somehow make her two personalities face each other.

Jack Mort. The Death door. Jack Mort is a sociopath, and Roland picks up on this. Mort does not know that Roland is there, he’s too intent on what he’s doing–he’s about to push Jake Chambers in front of a car. Ka? Roland worries that he’ll be forced to watch Jake’s death, and fear that it is punishment for sacrificing Jake beneath the mountains. But Roland pushes forward, distracting Mort long enough that he misses his chance to push Jake, and Jake isn’t crushed beneath the wheels of the Cadillac Sedan. Roland wonders about things… if Jack Mort had been meant to kill Jake then he won’t be able to stop, but he knows he can’t be responsible for Jake’s death a second time, and pushes forward–this is a selfless act, and because of his contact with Eddie it makes him wonder about the implications of his decision. He also doesn’t think about the paradox that he’s created.

Jake entered the Way Station by sort of being reborn into Roland’s world after dying in his when he was killed because Jack Mort pushed him in front of the Cadillac. Saving Jake’s life means that Roland has changed things so that Jake never actually entered Roland’s at the Way Station. Roland contemplates much about what has just happened, but he sees that Detta has Eddie tied up and at the mercy of the lobstrosities. Roland knows it’s a trick to get him to come back. Roland knows that Jack Mort is not meant to be part of his ka-tet. Mort, who caused both of Odetta’s injuries (the one that made her personalities split, and the one that caused her to lose her legs). Mort represents Death. Death for the split personalities of Odetta and Detta.

One of my favorite parts of this book comes now: The gun shop scenes, the pharmacy scene, and the scene with the cop who shoots at Jack Mort but the cigarette lighter saves Morts life and yet helps end his life at the same time. Once Roland projects the message to the Lady of Shadows, calling her by both Odetta and Detta, she turns to look and Roland jumps Mort’s body onto the tracks. The train cuts him in half at the waist, but Roland has crossed back with boxes of bullets and antibiotics. As Mort is cut into two, Odetta and Detta split into two physicalities and struggle with each other as they witness through their own eyes and through Jack Mort’s–Odetta hugs Detta and tells her “I love you” and they become one again. She goes down to the beach with Roland’s guns and saves Eddie from the lobstrosities.

The newly combined personality of Odetta and Detta, takes on her middle name, which is Susannah, and then ends up taking on Eddie’s surname. She’s strong, has heart, but is able distance herself from her emotions. Roland believes that Susannah is the third person he was supposed to draw. But… and here it is y’all… what we’ve all been waiting for…

When Roland killed Jack Mort, he changed Jake’s situation. The real third person to be drawn into Roland’s ka-tet, and back into Mid-World, is Jake.

Though Eddie has tremendous respect for Roland, he knows that Roland would sacrifice all of them for the sake of the Tower. Eddie tells Roland, “if you kill what you love you’re damned.” Roland believes he might already be damned for sacrificing Jake but he sees the possibility of redeeming himself. He promises Eddie that he won’t consider sacrificing them, and wouldn’t have considered sacrificing Jake, but there is more than only one world to win, that his mission is bigger than just the Tower, that it’s to save everything, all worlds.

In the back of my mind, throughout both books, I keep wondering if the Tower is salvation for all worlds but damnation for Roland, or if it’s salvation for Roland but damnation for all worlds, or a bit of both for both…

*Note: much of my information has come from the books, the afterwords, Robin Furth’s Stephen King’s The Dark Tower A Concordance Vols I and II, and Bev Vincent’s The Road to the Dark Tower.

October 16 2016

The Drawing of the Three Discussion Questions Part II

As a Constant Reader of Sai King’s work, I’m often surprised, yet not surprised at the same time, that there is so much symbolism within the pages of his books. Instead of separating the remaining weeks I’m going to write all of the questions here in this post and then I’m going to write a discussion post about what I think about the whole of the book. From now on, I’m going to do the same for the rest of the books. A central Questions Post and then a Central Discussion Post. I’d love it if you’d answer the questions here, and then go on to comment on the discussion post.

What is Ka? How does it affect Roland’s life? Does Ka seem to equate pre-destination? Do you think that humans are trapped by Ka, or do we retain free will?

What do the three magic doors look like? Why do you think each are different? How do they work? Do you think Ka has anything to do with the differences between the doors, and their existence?

Roland hears voices in his head. Cuthburt’s, the MIB’s, his father’s…Do you think they play a part in Roland’s internal dialogue? Do you think they are a force for good or bad? How does Roland becoming a voice in the mind’s of others change your view of Roland?

Much of the Drawing of the Three takes place outside of Roland’s World, and instead in our world, or at least a version of our world. Many of Eddie’s problems, as well as most of Detta/Odetta’s problems, are rooted in the U.S.’s culture/history. What social, economic, and cultural problems of 1980’s America touch Eddie’s life? How did racial hatred, segregation, and then the Civil Rights Movement affect Detta/Odetta’s life?

Why is Eddie willing to put his life in danger for his brother Henry? Do you think Henry deserves this kind of loyalty?

Roland comes from a Warrior culture. What part does patriarchal lineage play in the gunslinger culture? Why would this kind of culture be foreign to Eddie?

What did you think about the showdown at Balazar’s place?

Why did Odetta’s father refuse to tell her about his past? What metaphor does King use to describe Dan Holmes’s protective silence? How does his treatment of his past contribute to Odetta’s fragmentation?

How does Roland help “cure” Odetta of the fragmentation? Is timing significant?

What do you think about Jack Mort and what happened to him?

What role does Jack play in the novel? Why is this so significant in terms of Roland’s development?

The verb to draw has many meanings and can be used in many contexts. Roland, Eddie, and Detta all draw guns. Roland draws his two companions into his world. However, the verb to draw can also be used to describe the action of drawing poison from a wound so that the wound can heal. What role does this kind of drawing play in the Drawing of the Three?

What role does Jake play in this novel? Why is this so significant in terms of ROland’s development?

 

*Note: Most of these questions came from Robin Furth’s Stephen King’s The Dark Tower A Concordance Volume II.

 

October 11 2016

If we were having coffee… Hurricane Matthew

From Weather.com
From Weather.com

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how Hurricane Matthew (2016) left a trail of destruction all the way from Haiti to North Carolina, causing billions of dollars worth of damage along the East Coast.

According to the news, Matthew started out as a tropical storm/wave on September 22 off the coast of Africa. Within a week it grew to a majorly destructive hurricane.

The hurricane slammed into Haiti at full force, and caused over a billion dollars in damages and claimed many lives. Matthew continued on its destructive path to the eastern tip of Cuba where it all but annihilated much of the coastal town of Baracoa.

Florida braced for the worst as the destructive Matthew headed their way on October 7; it was downgraded to a Category 2  later that evening, but still caused massive flooding, and widespread power failures in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. Matthew turned its attention  on the 8th of October towards Georgia and South Carolina (which is where I live), where it made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, leaving a wake of damage: flooding, power outages, and more. There are many who are still without power.

Though Matthew was downgraded it wasn’t done yet. It hit North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday, October 9, still packing quite a destructive punch.  Because of torrential rains, parts of eastern North Carolina, and parts of South Carolina, are facing even more flooding.

Then Matthew returned to the Atlantic Ocean, but it claimed approximately 19 lives in the United States alone, and the devastation and destruction can still be felt as many are still without power and many in the Carolinas face even more flooding.

Just as I survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989, I survived Hurricane Matthew, and for that I am thankful. Yes, we have damage. Yes, we were prepared ahead of time. Part of that preparedness was because we’d survived Hugo along with other tropical storms and hurricanes (along with quite a few other natural disasters like snow storms in parts of SC that rarely even get snow, as well as the flood we had last year ), and part of it was because of Gov. Haley.

Today, I raise my cup of coffee to all of those who were in the wake of Matthew’s destructive path, to Gov. Haley for evacuating the areas of SC that were supposed to be in the most danger, and to all of the workers: EMS, Police, Fire Dept, news people, volunteers…and many others.

October 3 2016

September’s Wrap Up and October’s Happenings