The Night Circus

The Night CircusI’ve been on something on a book hiatus for the past couple of years.  Writing my own novel and trying to finish it probably had a lot to do with that.  However, my lack of reading started to worry me; at first, I felt guilty, then I started to miss it.  Last year, I picked up A Wrinkle In Time for the first time (in preparation for seeing the film), followed quickly by Neverwhere (my first Gaiman novel) since there was a staged production coming up near me.  I rounded out this set of books with Robin Sloan’s Sourdough, and each of these books were fantastic, in their own, unique way.  All three deserve their own book reviews (coming soon, I hope) and all three were delicious reading experiences.  They suited me perfectly and, with their powers combined, they sucked me back into the world of reading.  I found myself seeking a new book that would ring similar tones to Neverwhere, thus I landed on The Night Circus.  It’s been on my TBR list for years.  I can remember seeing it on a shelf in a local indie bookstore in Vermont back in the summer of 2012, thinking,  I really should get a move on with this.

Immediately after starting this book, I said to myself, “I can see what all the hype was about.”  There had been a reputation surrounding this book since publication, or so it seemed.  It had given me pause (much in the way Harry Potter had done), and considering the inside cover sells the idea that this book rides on a romance, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Even when I carried this book out of the library, a girl passed me, doubled back, and told me how wonderful it was.  From the first few pages, I could feel the strength of the story, and the control Morgenstern has with her words,  with her craft.  Even more delightfully, that sense of wonder and immersion continued through to the end of the book.  I kept worrying that it would fall apart, that the book would run out of steam and turn out to be a dud, but it follows through.

Also, the audiobook is brilliant, spectacularly narrated by Jim Dale.

Verdict: I enjoyed reading this story tremendously and I can’t wait to see what Erin Morgenstern comes up with next.

Taking Shape

It’s been a hundred years since I’ve given a legitimate update.  But here’s the thing: I’ve been fully engulfed in Genre Wars: Resistance Rising.

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I want to start off by saying that it is my delight and privilege to be a part of this project.  From the start it’s been this intangible, but fascinating concept that we’ve been attempting to really grasp and bring into reality.  The process has been amazing for me, personally; the collaboration with Justin and everyone else has been tremendous fun.  The amazing part now is seeing it really start to pick up some traction.  I can see heads turning as the project gains speed and a whole new level of excitement begins as what we’ve been holding onto for so long, we are now really able to start sharing with others.

The last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of activity for us.  We put a small featurette together (Genre Wars: Resistance Rising FIRST LOOK), we’ve officially cast over half the characters, the sets are beginning to take shape and the scripts, as Justin has mentioned previously, have nearly reached completion.

But the real highlight was last Saturday.  Picture this:

A calm, quiet morning.
The sun drapes across the green, empty field in soft, golden sheets.
There’s a crunch of tires over gravel as the first car pulls into the driveway.
A Pirate emerges along with a 1920’s Mobster and a Mech warrior.

Here we go.

Even long after the Genre Wars concept had been introduced and developed, the possibilities seemed endless; how many different culture-clashes we could create and the fun we could have with the mismatches.  All great in theory of course, but on June 1st, we really got the chance to see how it would look in reality when we gathered a significant group of willing participants, all in full costume and lined them up next to each other.

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As we had hoped and predicted, what we got was magical and transformative.  There is no feeling greater than the moment when something you’ve been brainstorming about, developing in your head and obsessing over suddenly takes real shape.  No matter how many projects I do, that transition from elusive concept to reality never gets old.  And I don’t think it ever will.

Our group consisted of Steampunks, Fantasarians, Mechs, Nenjin (or Kabathan-style ninjas), Mobsters, Pirates, modern-day Mercenaries and Vampians.

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It was an all-day affair, but, as the saying goes, time certainly flew by as we were having our fun. Everyone who came out to participate was enthusiastic and committed to being there.  The resulting photos and footage are excellent.  Our two photographers, KC White and Jenna Miller (of Jenna M. Miller Photography) really stepped up to the plate and produced some amazing work.  The photos really shine, and especially because of the make-up artistry of Jessica Mungeon and Felicia Douglas.

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This photo/video shoot helped put into perspective what it is we’re trying to do.  Several times during the day, people said to me, “I didn’t realize this was going to be such a big deal,” and, “when is the next shoot going to be?” and, “can I read the scripts?”  This was all rewarding for me, personally, because it meant that what we’ve been working towards is becoming clear to others and the excitement, the interest that Justin and I have had in this story and these characters and this world is starting to rub off onto others.  They can see what we see now.  And it’s awesome.

So what’s next?

There will be more shoots, both conceptual ones like this, and of the full cast once the roles have all been officially filled.  There will be more interviews; second looks, third looks and a teaser trailer.  And a poster.  And a full-scale map of Kabathan.  And, eventually, t-shirts!

What are we doing?  We’re bringing something tangible into the world and we’re at the point now where we can finally start really sharing it with others.

It just doesn’t get better than that.

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Legren – Genre Wars: Resistance Rising

Legren - Genre Wars: Resistance Rising

Legren, one of the principal characters from the upcoming web series,
Genre Wars: Resistance Rising.

“It starts with one. Will you join us?”
Genre Wars: Resistance Rising
Genre Wars on Facebook!
And check out the First Look at Genre Wars: Resistance Rising!

See the costume on Polyvore.com (Legren – Genre Wars by unusualsidekick)
Along with the rest of the ensembles in the Genre Wars Collection.