Author’s Blog: July 2022

Recently I discovered my brother had never watched Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, he knew next to nothing about Tolkien’s mythos. With Amazon’s Rings of Power coming out this September, my good friend Ness Kingsley and I decided here was a wrong that needed righting.

So popcorn bags were opened, the lights dimmed and we devoted 3 nights to showing my brother the films. It was good fun to share them with him and I was reminded of a few things and, seeing as this is my blog, I’ve decided to share them here.

Firstly, I’m not so young these days. Mercifully I only own the cinematic version of the films. Although the extended edition is better, staying up any later than we did would have broken me – it was a pretty close run thing with the last film anyway. Age is catching up with me at last, it seems.

As we get older, don’t we have a tendency to lose our sense of wonder? Trees and stars, good food, close friends, and warm sunshine, we’re no longer impressed by the so-called simple things of life. Too busy chasing after supposed grown-up things, we no longer pause in wonder at the creation around us and become bored with everyday blessings.

That’s where the best stories can help. They often emphasise the very things we’ve become bored with. Packaging them up in the wrappings of dragons, adventure, and myth. When the telling is done, we awaken from the dream with fresher eyes and hearts more ready to say “thank you.”

Tolkien came up with an interesting word, “Eucatastrophe“. It refers to the climactic moment in a story when all hope has been lost and the hero’s strength has failed. Yet suddenly fortunes are reversed, light springs out of the abyss, and victory is gained, leaving the characters – and us – with a sense of elation at this sudden saving from a seemingly certain catastrophe.

I find that these moments of eucatastrophe speak to something deep inside. Appealing to our hearts to not settle for the cold, half-dead world about us and the dark demons of selfishness within. “There must something out there that’s better than this!”, it says. We’re inspired not to settle for second best, but to fight, work and seek a brighter world, one far more real than that which we now see.

Stories aren’t supposed to preach, nor are they supposed to manipulate us into change without thinking it through. At least, I find people who try to use them in such a way end up killing any joy in the storytelling.

Surely, though, stories that inspire us not to give up searching for a better world cannot be a waste of time.

…The past month has not seen much work happen on my own story, The Treasure of Everlight. Managed to sprain both arms in June and if writing was hard, drawing and painting were even harder. I also had the privilege of preaching at my local church, Castlefields Church. The preparation was exhausting and took up most of my spare time. Overwhelmingly worth it in the end though.

Hoping to finally get some writing mileage in during the next few months along with some much-needed artwork and graphics for the website. With three episodes currently in various draft stages, surely one of them will be ready soon?

We will see.

Meanwhile, can you guess what this piece of music is for? Thanks to Isaac Scotton for creating it!


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