The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate and the Demon, Asmodeus

In my last post, Henry Miller Once Said, I mentioned – admittedly bragged about – my working on two writing projects at once. I have some of SBL 8 written and am pausing to consider character development of Princess Rouge and Princess Avec du Lait which will probably be a great influence on the finished storyline. The same kind of character consideration is holding up the start of my Book of Tobit Set in 1871 Southern California story (probably need a snappier title than that). Continue reading

Disney, Religion, and my Stories – part 2

Other writers have already expressed good insights into Walt Disney’s religiosity. Mark I. Pinsky’s The Gospel According to Disney does a thorough job of examining the subject.  After having read the book and some other sources I can say: Walt definitely believed in God, believed in Christianity, and believed in an American mainstream moral system. He just didn’t believe it necessary for him to go to church on Sundays. He especially didn’t want religion or any theology in his art or entertainment. And even though his Main Street lacked the realistic touch of a Christian church, his Disneyland, his cartoons, and his movies promoted good morals and values. Continue reading

Disney, Religion, and my Stories – part 1

The novelette Tragic Kingdom of Authorial Ghosts – now part of Heaven Bound in Anaheim – marked the beginning of the mix of my Catholic Christian beliefs, my love of a handful of 19th century Children’s classics, and my love of Disneyland. Religion came first. I’d begun two stories with Christian themes, but in the summer of 2017 the idea of a Disneyland story attracted me greatly.

There are quite a few Disneyland stories out there, the most popular in sales being the Kingdom Keepers series (Amazon sales rank of the first book is in the top twenty of three different categories), published by Disney Hyperion. There is also the Tales of the Haunted Mansion series (Amazon sales rank of the first book is in the top two hundred of two categories), published by Disney Press. A newer series is Tales of Adventureland, published by Disney Hyperion, released in the summer of 2017 with sales rankings only in the mid thousands, but it’s new. Continue reading

Nitpicking: Fantasy vs Sci-Fi

Nitpicking the Star Trek transporter

original art by Ed Roxburgh

Little guys dream big. Illustration by Ed Roxburgh

The Star Trek’s transporter depends on doing something so astronomically improbable, you might as well say it is impossible. It only came about because Roddenberry wanted to cut production costs; namely the cost of building a docking bay set for small transport craft, like the ones in the Star Wars movies. That wasn’t known by the fourteen year old me and I probably wouldn’t have cared if I had known the real reason for Scotty beaming people here and there. Nowadays… it bugs me, man.

Actually, I still enjoy watching the Star Trek series’ and movies. In spite of knowing the transporter is much closer to fantasy than to futuristic reality, my enjoyment would diminish if I heard Spock say, “To the Tinkerbell room. Continue reading

Tomorrowland Au Naturel, the play, and my other plays

When I started writing Part Three of Heaven Bound in Anaheim, I relied so much on dialogue to tell the story that it only seemed natural to turn it into a play after finishing the story. After accomplishing the hassle of formatting it into a play script, I entered it in a play contest. From a list of about fifty contests, there was only one that seemed to fit the bill and so, now I wait for the winner to be picked sometime in the fall of this year.

However, shortly after emailing the script to the contest, I realized Continue reading

Mary Tomita and Her Son Toyoji

Available at Amazon. Click on the book’s title at the end of the post.

When I first met Toyoji he was known by his first name, Peter (his brother’s name was Paul). We were friends from the sixth grade until the summer of ’68 when I moved from Oakland to San Diego. But by then, his commitment to music had begun to take up much of his time (his talent had been noticed and he played in what I think was called the San Francisco Bay Area Youth Orchestra).

In junior high we went to the same parties and in ninth grade we joined the Sea Scouts. It was great. Along with learning all the nautical type stuff and playing with heavy machinery, Continue reading

The White Knight and the Dodo

Attn. Facebook: I took this photo so it’s okay for me to use wherever I like.

I’m in the process of writing another story situated in Storybook Land. Again, Marley is divinely drawn into a fairytale. And again, she learns a moral lesson.

When first constructed the Matterhorn and its bobsleds were regarded as being in Tomorrowland. In 1968 or 1969 the border between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland was redrawn, and the Matterhorn became part of the realm of Fantasyland. Continue reading

T.H.A.D. For Tomorrowland Au Naturel

T.H.A.D. stands for talking heads avoidance device. Thank Elizabeth George for her invention, or at least for putting the four words in that order. It is a fix of the problem of talking heads which afflicts plays, films, and fiction of all lengths. If an author wants to avoid just telling the whole story in prose, then she or he must have the plot prodded along by the words of the story’s characters. Sometimes the characters fall into the role of being mouthpieces for the author, and they wind up sounding like narrators. Sometimes the characters are gifted with the most natural sounding dialogue that also advances the story. But are they doing anything but just talking? That’s a problem. Continue reading

Tomorrowland is difficult

In a previous post JM wrote a paragraph touching upon the difficulties Walt Disney and the imagineers had with reinventing Tomorrowland. In Tomorrowland Au Naturel he alludes to Disney’s problem: How to set a predicted future in brick and mortar. His main characters don’t solve the Disney difficulties – they have their own issues to contend with. They resolve the TL question into one of deciding which of two futures is desired. One future involves lots of hi-tech hardware, gadgets, and artificial environments; and the other future favors a more natural final destination. Continue reading

Part Three of Tragic Kingdom of Authorial Ghosts

Today I put online the final chapter in the first book of my planned novel, Heaven Bound in Anaheim. This chapter, “A Descent to Neverland with Three Authorial Ghosts” involves Lute with J. M. Barrie, Kenneth Grahame, and Lewis Carroll in a re-imagined version of Mr. Barrie’s (not Disney’s) Neverland.

For background info on Mr. Barrie, I depended on many online articles with many different judgments on the man. There was also a rather good biography which I’ve mislaid and whose author I can’t remember.

Now that I’m finishing the final book of the novel, I think I might have to return to this first book and change some of the details making all of the story’s premises consistent with the other books. When that is done, the novel will hopefully fall in line with Catholic theology and with Walt Disney hagiography.

Ken and Jamie (Kenneth Grahame and J. M. Barrie) return in Book Four to serve as frame story narrators in what is basically a fairy tale. The first I’d heard of a “frame story” was from an English instructor who stated “The Book of Job” used a frame story format. The narrators in the frame were God and Satan. And thus, was God’s faithful servant, Job, framed.