Friday, July 9, 2010

Faulkner? Not Today.

"Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error..." ~ William Faulkner

Today I clicked over to a new follower's blog and discovered Roxy at A Woman's Write. She was reading Faulkner in the sun to the sound of her children playing on the Slip and Slide. It sounded so delightful that I decided to run over to my local library for a lending card and a peek at whatever Faulkners they might have on the shelf.

I got there just before closing time, gave them my license and an Allstate bill for ID, then went to browse with only seven minutes left. I despise hurrying. Especially in bookstores and libraries. It took five of those seven minutes to locate Faulkner and rule him out. Sorry. Just not in the mood for heavy prose. Another one minute to scan the shelves and rule out Fannie Flagg and Thomas Fleming and a blur of others. Near panic, I scooted over to the new fiction. Nada. Time's up. "Terry Brooks!" flashed in my head. Back to 'Old' Fiction.

About that time, a not-so-nice lady came over to the stack and said, "We're closed you know."

Crap. "Two minutes," I begged. She huffed and turned her back.

Of course he'd be on the bottom shelf. So I'm all squatted down, eyes darting over the titles, looking for "First King of Shannara". I was about to give up when I spotted the almost-brand-new paperback. Grabbing it, I hurried to the front desk where a much-nicer lady checked me out. I left triumphant, with the prequel to Terry Brooks' Shannara series, one I've been wanting to read since last year.

It now sits proudly on my ottoman where I can see it out of the corner of my eye. And the first sentence?
"The old man just appeared, seemingly out of nowhere."
AHA! Notice anything? Yep. There's an 'ly' adverb, right smack in the middle of the first line of a series that sold millions of copies and boasts the first fantasy novel ever to hit the NY Times bestseller list. Which confirms what I already know: sometimes an adverb is the only word that fits. So go ahead. Use it.

I've decided since my Muse seems to be herding me in a different direction, I'll take a little time off, make sure she's serious. So, I'm taking my mind to the playground. One of Terry Brooks' making. Ironically(!), in googling to see how many copies he sold, I found this tidbit in Wikipedia:
One day, in his early college life, he was given a copy of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, which inspired him to write in one genre. While Tolkien inspired the genre, Brooks stated at the Charlotte Literary Festival that he credits the inspiration of his style of writing to William Faulkner's works. With this inspiration, he then made his debut in 1977 with his first novel The Sword of Shannara. This novel became the first fantasy book ever to appear on the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for five months. (emphasis added)
Hmm, if I'm getting Faulkner style through Terry Brooks, I think I got the better end of the deal. Not to take anything away from Faulkner, but I'm in need of a playground, not a battle field. I'm trying to steer clear of those today.

Well, just slap ME around!! Terry's written another Landover novel, where the heck have I been?? That's the one I SHOULD be reading. Hmm. The paperback release date of "The Princess of Landover" is July 27, 2010. Next!


Jemi Fraser said...

I hadn't realized Brooks had written this prequel - I'll have to pick it up too :)

Roxy is terrific - glad you found her blog!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Jemi, I read Brooks' Kingdom series last year, but this is my first Shannara. I thought I needed to read this one first, not realizing until today that it was written much later than the trilogy.

Roxy said...

Awesome, Olivia. I love Terry Brooks. I've read the entire Shannara series. It's funny that Brooks liked Faulkner, huh? Glad you made it to the library, and I hope you get that Landover novel at the end of the month. Great post!

Arlee Bird said...

I really like Faulkner, but it can be heavy ready to get into until you've gotten in sync with the rhythm of his writing, then for me it flows. It's kind of the same with Cormac McCarthy. You're close to Flannery O'Conner country. Have you read any of her stuff? Faulkneresque in theme at times, but stylistically so easy to read. O'Conner is one of my favorites--it's a shame she died so young and has so few works to read.

Tossing It Out

Ted Cross said...

I read this one and it isn't bad, but Sword of Shannara and Elfstones are the two that are the best, in my opinion.

I don't know why publishers don't seem to get it. Any well-written Tolkienesque story will be a big hit. The Iron Tower trilogy was the same, as well as the Silver Call duology. I think they dislike the word 'derivative's so much that they just don't care to make money if it means buying these types of stories!

The Words Crafter said...

I read the Shannara novels when I was in school, about a hundred years ago. I had no idea that the first one had made history! Huh. I wish I still had them now. I either sold them or donated them to a library. I haven't read Brooks in years. Now, I want to read the one you have. Gimme!

Jules said...

Okay, I'm still stuck on the fact it took an ID and a bill to allow for book check-out.

But thanks for the reading info.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Roxy, I belatedly found Terry Brooks last year when his first Magic Kingdom paperback tagged me in Barnes and Noble. I read the entire series in short order and loved them. This is my first delve in to Shannara.

Lee, no, I haven't read O'Connor, but I'll definitely check her out now, thanks for the recommendation.
(And, btw, HOW do you set up your link at the bottom of your post? I have two blogs, but I want to steer people to this one.)

Ted, You must not have left for Budapest, yet, welcome! Thank you for bringing this up. I was feeling like such a whineywoo. The print is teeniny in First King and so far it is not at all the rollicking romp that Kingdom was. After your comment, I'm wondering if it's like Tolkien's "The Silmarillion" which I could never quite get in to, even though I've read the Hobbit and trilogy numerous times. Would I be too big of a wimp if I bow out and read Sword and Elfstone first as my initiation to Shannara?

Words Crafter, I'll swap you. :) Have you read his Kingdom Series? I LOVE Ben Holiday and Willow.

Jules, I'm sorry. I recently moved to Dahlonega and yesterday was my first trip to the local library. The ID was to get my library lending card. I won't have to show it anymore. Well, not unless I lose my card, lol.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Okay, I found an article on how to post a link in the comments section, here goes my test! :)

That Rebel with a Blog

fingers crossed!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

k, THAT didn't work, trying again!

that rebel with a blog

Arlee Bird said...

Hooray for you! I was going to find the article that I used to learn how to put the links in, but you beat me to it. I use this tool all the time now to put links in my messages so I can refer to specific blog posts or other blogs. Did it show you how to do italics and bold face in your comments as well? It's a very similar process. I use all of these a lot since I found out about them.

Tossing It Out

Elliot Grace said...

I grew up on Terry Brooks:) Loved "Elf Stones" Just thinking about that series brings back so many youthful memories. Not just of the story, but of everything else going on during that particular time in my life.
That was a fun read...thanks so much for rekindling some fond memories:)

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Lee, I saw those, too, but will probably go back for that lesson. I bookmarked the article and followed the blog. Thank you! I just used it on Christine's blog and it worked, yay! I had to scrunch my face up to remember, it's quite lengthy. Is there a shortcut it didn't tell me about?

Elliot, thank you so much, stop by anytime. I can't believe I only discovered Terry Brooks last year! Glad to bring up good times for you.

Arlee Bird said...

It gets easier the more you use the html thing. What I eventually did for my own link was copied it before I sent my comment through and then pasted it to a word document so I would just start copying and pasting it to future documents. I did it that way because I couldn't get it to work by just entering the html code to the word document directly.

Tossing It Out

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