Friday, February 27, 2015

Jesters Keep The Balance Of The Force

Jesters keep the balance of the force. Before I explain though, I wanted to talk a bit about this pic, 'cuz I think it's badass. I don't know who the artist is, but this is what I envision it to look like when Terces enters Malegaunt's tower (in book 4, still in progress). That's right. He goes in like a BOSS - but does he come out?

So in a monarchy, or any other hierarchical system, really, there are people at the top and people at the bottom. The jester sits comfortably somewhere in-between, in touch with the common man, but familiar enough with the ways of those at the top to point out their flaws.

In modern society, those at the top are the people with the power - Senators, Assemblymen, the President, Presidential appointees, and heads of our secretive paramilitary organizations. The jesters are people like Jon Stewart and John Oliver. Now typically jesters don't have much power, and their words are, as George R.R. Martin would say, "wind". But we've seen with the Net Neutrality issue, how powerful these public figures can actually be, when they rally the people to political causes. This keeps the balance of things, showing the powerful that they cannot just do whatever they want, because there will be backlash, whether it is rotten tomatoes thrown by the people, or a joke at the king's expense around the dinner table.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Canary In The Coal Mine

I think it's a mark of excellent writing when you think about a story when you're not reading it, and long after you've turned the last page.

I was thinking about the story of the canary in the coal mine, and how in The Hunger Games, this is Katniss's father. He's the canary, the victim of a strange and tragic life. He sings, and teaches Katniss to sing, but after he dies in the mine accident, she doesn't sing anymore.

In a way, we are all canaries in the coal mine of life. Some of us sing. Others, like me, seldom have the heart for it. For as J.M. Coetzee writes, "What bird has the heart to sing in a thicket of thorns?"

80s Reboot

So first, I want to start out by explaining why I blog. Maybe it's that the coffee hasn't kicked in yet, to run power to my personal filters and censors. But here's why I do it - because it is incredibly liberating. In a world that is oppressing us on all sides, do you know what I get to write about? That's right - Whatever.The.Hell.I.Want.

So let's get to it. Why the neon? Well, I was born in the 80s, and up until the early 90s, we still had lingering effects of this, including neon and good music, before things gave way to grunge and goth and whatever else. Well, fashion trends apparently come and go in cycles. I was not aware of this right away, but a couple years ago, my sis down in SoCal told me that the 80s were making a comeback.

"Are you serious?" I said, chuckling at the idea of neon leg warmers being the height of fashion. But now the neon is everywhere. The neon is taking over!!!! No, but seriously, I remember creating an elementary school project with neon poster paint. Don't you? Of course, you don't. You're just a young'n.

Anyway, the coffee is beginning to kick in now. So buy some Lisa Frank stuff if you can find it, throw on those neon leg warmers and headbands, and listen to Elton John's song "In Neon" which never gets any radio play, and enjoy this 80s reboot. 'Cuz like the 80s, it'll be gone all too soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Old Letter, New Post

I wrote this open letter to a historical figure, long ago. Here, I post it for your enjoyment.

3/16/14

Dear Peter Ramus,

Or rather, let’s call you by your real, non- “Latinized” name, Pierre de la RameĆ©, Pre-Age of Enlightenment thinker who denounced the ideas of Socrates, Aristotle, and Quintilian. History recalls you as Peter Ramus in a direct attempt at deception. The mask of “Peter Ramus” keeps us from seeing you as the silly, blabbering Frenchman that you really were, mocking your betters because you could never live up to them.

There is someone in our popular cinema who reminds me of you – the character Vezzini from The Princess Bride:

You attack Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria as though it were a scientific manual rather than a philosophical treatise and then congratulate yourself on an easy victory against an opponent no longer alive to defend himself or his work. Let’s not let history deceive us.

Yours truly,

Leslie D. Soule

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Last Dragon 30th Anniversary!

Can you believe that it's been 30 years since The Last Dragon came out? This is the movie that inspired me to be a martial artist.

I'd heard about the 30th Anniversary celebration Race For The Glow, in which the city that pre-sells the most tickets gets the celebration. So I bought my ticket for L.A. but it seems pretty quiet on social media these days, so it's hard to say whether this thing will happen or not.

So...let's bring Taimak, star of The Last Dragon, to L.A.!!!! http://www.iamtaimak.com/gettheglow/

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fallenwood Business Cards

I came up with a design for some new Fallenwood business cards:

I rather like how they've turned out!

Kicking Off Spring Cleaning A Bit Early...

So today I've decided that I'm going to dedicate the day to getting my author website all cleaned up, as much as humanly possible. This is something I've neglected for a good long while. But now, with internet all hooked up again, it should prove to be a much easier task. I've got my coffee all brewed up and ready to go.

Of course, that's no guarantee of progress, particularly with so many distractions. We shall see!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Fallenwood Re-Release Blog Tour!!!

I am proud to announce that there will be a Blog Tour coming up, for the Re-Release of Fallenwood! I'd love to have as many people participate as possible, whether you're reading the blogs, commenting about the book, or just asking general questions regarding writing or getting published. I love answering questions, so fire away!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sad Beauty

So one of the ideas that my uncle introduced me to, long ago, in regards to art, is the idea of a sad, fleeting beauty. We can see this reflected in images of flowers, in the light-filled garden dance scenes of Renoir, and in many other examples of art. It is the idea that life is fleeting. It's also what makes certain works of art so incredibly alluring.

One of my favorite actors is Benedict Cumberbatch. You usually see images of him smiling, looking up at the camera. But I found an image on Pinterest of him that expresses this sad beauty I speak of.

Notice how he's looking down as though he's melancholy, or reminiscing. He's also quite handsome still in this photo, even though there's a vague sadness to him, so he fits this "sad beauty" idea here. I feel like it makes the image so much more alluring than the other photographs I've seen of him. It makes you wonder what's made him so sad, or what he's remembering or feeling. It's like you want to add more to the image than what you see, to create the "text" to go with the "work", to borrow the terms of Roland Barthes, from his classic article "From Work to Text".