Friday, March 02, 2018

The Great Nor'Easter

It was already raining and windy when I got up this morning. I tried to brighten the day with more trips to Europe with Rick Steves. This time, we headed east to the Czech Republic to visit some of their smaller towns and cities. Along with the medieval architecture and a castle that had been the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, I loved the visit to the cafe in the finale where real-life modern gypsies played a lively tune.

Headed out to the laundromat shortly after. The rain wasn't really coming down that hard. It was the raging wind that was the real problem. I was doing story notes and half-listening to Jimmy Buffet perform "Margaritaville" on The View when I looked up at the windows and noticed that the rain was turning into snow...and the snow was coming down full-blast. Looked like it was a real nor'easter now. Good thing I didn't have a huge load anyway. I was in and out in less than an hour.

It was past 1 PM when I finally rolled in and hung the clothes that got wet going home up to dry. My original plans for the afternoon were hitting the Haddon Township Library and going grocery shopping. There was no way I could do either in a nor'easter. I'd squeeze the grocery shopping in tomorrow and would just renew my DVDs and skip the Haddon Township Library this week.

Ran an episode of Wonder Woman instead while eating lunch. "Spaced Out" in the third season brings Diana to a sci-fi convention, where she's supposed to be investigating the theft of a shipment of stolen laser crystals. The sly cat burglar who grabbed them hid them in an exhibit at a convention in a local hotel. Diana has to sort through the cosplayers, nerds, and fantasy fans to find the thief and the crystals, before the gangsters he was going to sell them to get him first.

Did a quick episode of the original 80's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon while baking Double Chocolate Chewies (cookies made with chocolate cake mix). The Turtles are saying "Take Me To Your Leader" when Leonardo, who has doubts about his role with the boys, quits and runs off into New York City. He couldn't have picked a worse time to leave the group. Shredder and Krang have created a laser that draws light from the sun. They're going to turn New York into the world's biggest Popsicle...if the Turtles can't figure out where they are and how they're doing it without Leo's aid.

Spent the next few hours finishing up Luke and the Ginger Cat. Luke is happy to be back at the mill and reunited with his friends Han and Lando. Both men have brought home fine horses and even more spirited ladies from their travels. Ben is glad to see them all again, but he insists that the ragged Luke sleep in the stables for a few days until they can find him better clothes and get the cat smell scrubbed off him.

Three days later, a carriage trimmed in gold and silver pulls up at the mill. The red-headed lady who steps out of it says she's Princess Mara of Imperial Castle. Luke had delivered her from the curse placed on her by her wicked guardian, the Emperor Palpatine, and she wishes to take him home and make him her king. In truth, none of the apprentices want the mill anymore. Han wants to raise and race horses with spirited Countess Leia Organa, while Lando and Lady Amilyn Holdo would rather take up permanent residence at Cantino Bight's casinos. Ben eventually sells the mill and moves into the older Imperial Castle; the cottage Luke built has become an even more elaborate palace for him and Mara.

This was my first time experimenting with an Extended Universe character in a lead role. It came out pretty decent, considering Luke, sweet though he is, has never been my favorite character.

This is the last of the short fairy tales that were backlogged from last year. I was originally going to finish that 30's novel next, but I've been enjoying writing these fairy tales so much, I decided to stick to fantasy instead. I've had the "Han/Leia Medieval Fantasy" story idea kicking around for almost as long.

Leia is the daughter of a murdered former knight whom had been trained as a warrior. She seeks the evil Chancellor Palpatine, who killed her parents and kidnapped her brother Luke. Luke was being trained as a mage by her parents' friend Obi-Wan, but his home was destroyed and the boy vanished. A Wookie wolf leads her to a tower, where a handsome man in tattered finery is being held prisoner. All he knows is that he's not from these parts, and that he's amazing with a bow and arrow. He's not even sure if his name is Han. Meanwhile, a unicorn with a golden mane and sad blue eyes has also joined the group. Aided by a mischievous green elf, a no-nonsense witch, and two groups of freedom fighters, Leia and her friends travel to Coruscant to find the dying Queen Jania's missing son Prince Hannel and keep Palpatine off the throne.

This is intended to be a darker sword-and-sorcery tale, more like Dragonslayer or Willow. For now, here's Luke and the Ginger Cat to whet your appetite:

Luke and the Ginger Cat - Archive of Our Own
Luke and the Ginger Cat - My Writing Blog
Luke and the Ginger Cat -

Had leftovers for dinner at 6:30, then played Lego Star Wars. Went back to The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones to complete "Discovery at Kamino" and "Jedi Battle" and pick up more pieces on "Gunship Calvary" and "Pod Race at Mos Espa." (I still can't find the red bricks on the latter two.) Got the red brick and more pieces on "Bounty Hunter Pursuit."

Finished out the night with the US theatrical version of Legend as inspiration for my next story. Princess Lilly (Mia Sara) would rather dwell among commoners like forester Jack (Tom Cruise) than learn to be a lady. He takes her to see the unicorns who keep light in their world. She innocently tries to touch them, making them a target for goblins who want their horn. They kill the male unicorn...just as Lilly has thrown her ring into a pond, telling Jack that whomever retrieves it will be her husband. Jack dives in to get it, but has a harder time getting out, as their entire world has frozen over. Horrified at what they've done, Lilly goes to Darkness himself (Tim Curry) to free the unicorns. He tries to bring her to his side instead. Meanwhile, Jack bands together with several elves to dodge vain hags and love-sick fairies, find the unicorns, and restore the light to their land.

This is one of two cheesy 80's sword-and-sorcery fantasy films that are long-time favorites of mine, Willow being the other. The dialogue is stilted and Tom Cruise is totally out of place, but that's kind of part of its charm. The makeup, costumes, and production design, on the other hand, are still incredible to this very day. This movie also features one of Tim Curry's finest performances; he was born to be Darkness.

And...while the Director's Cut with Jerry Goldsmith's score has its virtues, I kind of prefer the original US cut, which is a tighter, less meandering film. I also think the dreamy Tangerine Dream score suits the film better than Goldsmith's more typical orchestral one. I'm also a big fan of the lovely song "Loved By the Sun."

If you're a fan of dark fairy tales or Curry, either version is worth a look.

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