amelia_petkova: (Default)
The artist/author of webcomic Something Positive does a guest strip at Unshelved devoted to The Book of Three. HELL YES!!!

bad Disney

Oct. 31st, 2010 05:02 pm
amelia_petkova: (Sleeping Beauty icon)
Yesterday I made the mistake of watching about five minutes of Disney's adaptation of The Black Cauldron from the 1980s. I'd heard that it sucked of course, but...


Fflewddur Fflam's an elderly moron, Gurgi looks like a Shih Tzu, and Eilonwy is blonde and has no personality whatsoever. The Fair Folk are flying, glowing fairies that are around the size of fireflies.

Disney, you bastards!
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Ok, I did it. I joined [ profile] help_haiti and posted a fan fiction offering. Offering reposted here for your convenience:

User Name: [ profile] amelia_petkova
Email address: amelia[dot]petkova[at]gmail[dot]com
You can see things I've created at: [ profile] amelia_petkova Click on the tag "fan fiction" on the right-hand side.
I am offering: A fan fic of at least 1,000 words in any of the following fandoms:

Fandoms (if appropriate):
--The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
--The Keeper Chronicles by Tanya Huff
--The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
--The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
--The Tower at Stony Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
--Possession by A.S. Byatt
--The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
--Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle
--Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand
--The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists
--The Storyteller (Jim Henson series)

Additional Info (optional): Most of my writing tends to be genfic or humor, though I do enjoy writing in other genres (ex. AU or crossover). I don’t write lemons or noncom. As far as character relationships, I usually stick to what’s established in the canon, though I'm willing to be flexible.

Starting Bid: $5

ETA: You can find the bidding guidelines on the community's entries. I believe the auction ends on January 20.
amelia_petkova: (lenore)
I’m working a lot on revising today, both original work and fan fiction. So clearly, the best thing to do is take part in a fan fic meme! (Not like I don’t already have 20-plus other ideas for stories to write.) I got it from such_heights.

fifteen word stories

1. Write down the names of 10 characters.
2. Write a fic of fifteen words or fewer for every prompt, using the characters determined by the numbers. Do NOT read the prompts before you do step 1.

Seriously, try this meme. It's a hell of a lot of fun.

Author's Notes/Source Information
--"The Rake's Song" is from the album "The Hazards of Love." Listen to it on YouTube. The lyrics sum things up pretty well. Nightmare fuel, ahoy!
--Charlie is female (short for Charlotte)
--Austin is a one-eyed cat
--Minor spoilers for The Long, Hot Summoning by Tanya Huff.
--More Author's Notes at the end

These pairings are all insane )
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Now that we're into the Yuletide reveal, I can show what I wrote. Reposted here.

Title: The Truth of Kings

Fandom: The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

Disclaimer: All the characters and events within The Chronicles of Prydain belong to Lloyd Alexander.

Summary: Friends meet one last time before the Sons of Don leave Prydain.

Author's Notes: Although at the end of The High King it is implied that everyone departs soon after Taran is declared the High King, for the purposes of this story I have taken the liberty of inserting a longer space of time between the ending events of the book.

Riding to their futures )
amelia_petkova: (apple tree)
Guidelines: Post 10 things you like beginning with a certain letter. I wasn't sure how you ended up getting assigned a letter, so I rummaged about in the Scrabble bag and ended up with A. (For such a "common letter," it was more difficult than I'd expected. I'm sure to remember another interest the moment I post this.)

My favorite apples to eat are those smallish, light red ones because they crunch nicely. As well as the taste, I'm interested in all the symbolism. You have the Garden of Eden, Paganism and Avalon, the name really being related to apples. Also, they have seeds and grow into such lovely trees, and everybody knows that I'm just about addicted to gardening. We had a family daytrip to Chimney Bluffs/Sodus Bay this summer and drove past enormous apple orchards on the way. We're almost technically in autumn here, so it's truly apple season now. (Don't forget about cider!)

Andersen, Hans Christian
I adore reading Andersen's stories and now wish to travel to Denmark, after reading a biography. My favorite story of his is "The Snow Queen." He was a bit more insecure than I'd like (if we knew each other I'm sure I'd often tell him to stop being so emo) but Lord, that man could write!

Al-Andalus. When I was in Spain our class took a three-day trip there. It wasn't long enough! We had about a day each in Seville and Granada; and only a few hours in Cordoba. Simply put, it was enchanting. As far as cities go I liked Seville more than Grananda but I couldn't get enough of the Alhambra, even though it was filled with hundreds of other tourists. Granada does have dozens of cave-like tea shops, which is where I had decent tea for the first time since getting to Spain. Cordoba was small but I think we should have been there longer. Me? Obsessed with medieval Spain? Not at all!

I had a minor in Anthropology in college and if they offered it as a major, I probably would have done that (even though it would be less practical than my English major). It's all about stories of people around the world, really. My crowning glory is that I was able to get away with spending an entire semester researching and writing about mermaid stories.

I've been graduated from university for about four months and I miss it already. Apart from the social aspect, we had such fun discussions in some of my English classes. It kept me improving Spanish as well. I worry about my mind getting rusty. (Not to mention missing my school's library!)

Like I said earlier, we're almost there! I'm in love with every season as it arrives. In Autumn we have changing leaves, Samhain, apple cider, farmers markets with pumpkins, Indian corn, ghost stories, acorns, and the Robber Girl from "The Snow Queen." I shall have to live somewhere that has every season, for I would miss the changes so much.

I love amber jewelry. It has such a glow and sometimes things are frozen in it. I bought an amber ring in Istanbul (the shopkeeper literally pulled out a plastic bucket of silver-and-amber rings, and we dug through it until finding one that fit). There's a shop in Valencia specializing in Baltic amber, even though the Mediterranean and the Baltic are nowhere near each other.

Arabian Nights
There are so many translations, it's hard to decide on which to read. The story-within-a-story format is fantastic. When you think about it, the story's beginning is rather over-the-top: a man's wife cheats on him, so he decides to marry a new woman each night and kill her the following morning because no woman can be trusted. If you get a chance, watch the 2000 TV miniseries.

No, I'm not talking about the musical band. How can anybody not enjoy The Neverending Story? Poor Arteyu really does have an impossible journey throughout the first half of the book but he manages. And he's green! A pity they didn't go through with that in the movie.

I don't like Achren, per se, but I'm interested in her. She's one tough villian, acting superior to everything and everyone to the very end. If you ask, I'm fairy certain that Mr. Alexander based Achren on Arianrhod, and that she and Gwydion Have A Past.


Sep. 26th, 2007 06:33 pm
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Still not as good as it could be, but this is as close as I can get to the feeling I want. For the record: This is not the story I posted teasers from and said I would have done by the end of the month.

Title: Harvest
Fandom: The Prydain Chronicles

And I keep wanting to call him Mr. Alexander throughout the whole thing )


May. 22nd, 2007 12:29 pm
amelia_petkova: (Sleeping Beauty icon)
Lloyd Alexander died May 17. I'm not sure what I'm more upset about--that he's actually dead, or that it was almost a week before I found out. I'll be over there in the corner, either crying or re-reading The Prydain Chronicles.

I was going to write him a letter this summer. I wrote him for the first time when I was little and he responded. Such a nice man.
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Naturally, I thought of this moments after clicking the "post entry" button about the musicals.

One of my greatest fears is that I will never be the kind of writer that I want to be. More than making a living by writing, I worry more about making the readers feel. There are writers like Peter S. Beagle (e.x. The Last Unicorn ) and Susan Cooper (e.x. Silver on the Tree ) and The Neverending Story and Lloyd Alexander (e.x. The Prydain Chronicles ) whose stories have me crying before the end because they are that wonderful. Poets too, like Anna Akhmatova. I'm happy and frustrated at the same time when reading these books--happy because I love them so much, and angry because I still don't believe that I will be able to write that spectacularly.

I'm so caught up in this at the moment that I'm not able to think clearly and write all that I want to on this topic. But it had to be said now.

(I shall have to find the audiobook of The Last Unicorn .)
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Just now I was poking about in mythology some more. There's a Celtic myth called "The Tragic Story of the Children of Lir" (there are several versions of the title). It's rather long, but the main part is that Lir's (a king) four children (two sets of twins) are turned into swans by their stepmother, Aife. She curses them to remain in this form for 900 years. The ending is rather sad. (Let me know if you don't mind spoilers and I'll add that part.) Eilonwy's introduction interested me. This is a scene in The Book of Three , when she and Taran are talking:

"'Is--is Achren your mother?' Taran gasped and drew back fearfully.

"'Certainly not!" cried the girl. 'I am Eilonwy, daughter of Angharad, daughter of Regat, daughter of--oh, it's such a bother going through all that. My ancestors,' she said proudly, 'are the Sea People. I am of the blood of Llyr Half-Speech, the Sea King. Achren is my aunt, though sometimes I don't think she's really my aunt at all.'

"'Then what are you doing here?'

"'I said I live here,' Eilonwy answered. 'It must take a lot of explaining before you understand anything. My parents died and my kinsmen sent me here so Achren could teach me to be an enchantress. It's a family tradition, don't you see? The boys are war leaders, and the girls are enchantresses.'" (70)

I have no proof at all that Lir and Llyr are at all the same person but it's still an interesting idea. Also, the third book in the series is titled The Castle of Llyr . Makes me wonder if Eilonwy has cousins somewhere who are currently swans.

There is no such thing as loving stories too much.

Oh dear

Sep. 27th, 2006 02:14 pm
amelia_petkova: (Default)
Am suddenly very tempted to write a Parody Theatre for either The Prydain Chronicles or The Dark is Rising Sequence. Either assist in the madness or run far away, it's your choice.

amelia_petkova: (Default)
Found another interesting  bit of information. It's an excerpt from An Encyclopedia of Fairies by Katharine Briggs. (An excellent person in the field of folklore; too bad that she is dead. She had published several other books, if you're interested.)

"In the north-east of Scotland the spirits of babies who have died without baptism are called 'Tarans.'"

I very much doubt that this has to do with Lloyd Alexander's Taran but it is interesting, seeing as how he is an orphan and dying without being baptized could be considered a form of abandonment.

amelia_petkova: (Default)
For those of you who need background information: The Prydain Chronicles are a series of children's fantasy books by Lloyd Alexander. For my part, I love them. My fourth-grade teacher read the first three to us and managed to get the entire class completely hooked. Everyone should read them at least once (as well as The Dark is Rising Sequence, but that's another story). The stories are loosely based on Welsh mythology and it's entertaining to match up characters and events with their original counterparts.

This summer I listened to several audio books, The Book of Three (the first novel in the series) being one of them. I wasn't especially fond of it but listening did a good job of making me think about the book. Especially about things that don't come to mind when you're in elementary school! Some general decisions:
--Mrs. W did a much better job of reading the books, very much so when it came to the character voices.
--At this point in the series, Taran is very much in the "Girls Have Cooties!" stage. He is also a drama king at times. (very amusing)
--Gurgi is passive-aggressive.
--Gwydion and Achren Have A Past Together.

Longer speculations:
When the group is in Medwin's valley, Medwin tells Taran that Gurgi is neither fully animal nor fully man. Could Gurgi be based on the "archetype" of the wild man in the wood? I think it's possible, especially after comparing his physical description with that of the title character in Sweeney Astray. He fits the mold very well. Read about the wild man and Green Man stories, and you'll see what I mean. 

Although the name "Medwin" is very close to "Merlin," I do not think that they are at all the same person. Dalben is a closer match. I do think that Medwin is a Noah figure. Almost all mythologies have a story similar to the Biblical Flood; Celtic mythology has several, such as the drowned city of Ys. (That particular legend is unrelated to this book.) There is the skeleton of a ship in Medwin's valley and Taran himself brings up the story of Dalben once saying that water covered all of Prydain. Medwin doesn't say it's true, but he doesn't deny it. 

More about Gwydion and Achren. I have a strong suspicion that Achren is based upon Arianrhod. (For starters there names are a bit similar, although that can often be unreliable.) Unfortunately, I don't have my copy of The Book of Three with me (left it at home and the college library doesn't have a copy, dammit) with me but when Gwydion and Taran are brought to Spiral Castle, Gwydion and Achren's interaction and dialogue makes me certain that they had a romantic relationship at some point. In the stories, Arianrhod is Gwydion's sister. He's not a very pleasant person, very different from the honorable  warrior-prince he's represented as in the series. To put the story as simply as possible: Gwydion somehow makes Arianrhod give birth to a child when she's proving that she's a virgin so that she can get a high position at the castle. She is understandably very ticked-off about this. Depending on which version you read, there are hints of incest between them, which is common in all mythologies. My theory is that in The Prydain Chronicles, they had a romance, one or both of them broke it off on bad terms. Achren then becomes Arawn's consort. Later on she is also cast aside by him, surely contributing to her evilness. If you read the books and stories, you'll see exactly what I mean.

Wikipedia is all right for looking things up, but I strongly recommend the Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology by James MacKillop. It's one of the better resources out there (and one of my favorites). Have also found hints in it to King Eidellig and the dwarf that keeps trying to turn invisible, but I can't remember the details at the moment.


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