Monthly Archives: April 2014

Free E-Book — CS Lewis: A Life Inspired

Attention, all readers! Amazon has a special on a newly-published book, CS Lewis: A Life Inspired, by Christopher Gordon and Wyatt North! From now until Friday April 18th 2014, the book’s kindle edition will be FREE for download.

You can purchase CS Lewis: A Life Inspired on Amazon.

Disclaimer: As this is a newly-published book, we at The Lion’s Call have not had a chance to read or review it for contents and quality. Please read with caution and we recommend younger readers to have a parent or responsible older person read the book before or with them.

David Magee, screenwriter for The Silver Chair, on writing a screenplay

By Oresen

It was announced a while back that David Magee would be working on the script of the new Silver Chair film. In January  2013, he was interviewed by Tavis Smiley about one of his other projects, the highly acclaimed film adaptation of Life of Pi. Below are three interesting facts about Magee that shed light on his work as a screenwriter and give us a glimpse into what we can expect from him in The Silver Chair. The information and quotes below are taken from the inverview with Tavis Smiley.

1) He has written multiple movie adaptations of books before, including 2004’s Finding Neverland and 2012’s Life of Pi, both of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Screen Play. His adaptation process starts with finding

one kernel of what this book means to you, what you want to focus on. Because a book can be 300, 500 pages, and it can explore a lot of things. But first of all you have to find that one notion, that one idea that excites you when you get up each morning to work on it.

He then grows the various themes needed in the film from that starting point.

2) He only accepts job offers from studios for movies he is passionate about and feels he can write a strong script for.

There has to be something that when I first read the material, or when I first heard it, I said, ‘Oh yes, I want that, I want to explore that idea,’ or ‘I want to show that to my kids,’ or ‘I’ve felt just like that’, or ‘That really moved me.’

Early in his career he once was pressured through flattery to accept a project he didn’t really feel, and from the disappointing result of that film he has now learned “to be polite, and say no.”

3) He knew he wanted to be a storyteller since he was a little kid. Whether it was watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, movies about high school romance, spiritual stories, or stories in particular historical or geographical settings; that world, the world of stories, enamored him.

Those things can really widen your view of the world… [Through the films I watched growing up] I learned about cultures, about people and places far away from me. I’ve always wanted to be a part of this.

See more of his eloquent interview here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/screenwriter-david-magee/

The Wingfeather Saga: Book Two!

by Tenethia South

Please be forewarned that this article will include several spoilers for On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, as well as toothy cows. Proceed at your own risk.

“This is a dangerous place, this forest, and many a man has been gobbled up by some critter because he weren’t paying close enough attention.” North! Or Be Eaten!, a fantasy book by Andrew Peterson, is the story of the Wingfeather family and their attempt to escape from the Fangs of Dang. The three Wingfeather siblings, Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli recently learned that they are royalty from the lost kingdom of Anniera, the island across the sea. Strangely enough, the king of Anniera is never the eldest child, but rather the secondborn.  The first child is called a Throne Warden, and is responsible for the High King’s safety. As Janner soon learns, there’s a lot to do to keep his brother safe, with the Fangs of Dang after them. The Wingfeathers hope to escape to the Ice Prairies, where the reptilian Fangs will be too sluggish to catch them. But there are dangers to face on the way, such as rockroaches, daggerfish, toothy cows, and even frightening bomnubbles (Run for your lives!) It doesn’t help that Kalmar doesn’t want to be looked after.

North! Or Be Eaten! has a variety of wonderful characters for us to enjoy. We are introduced to “The Florid Sword”, a mysterious well-doer who runs around at night attacking Fangs and assisting citizens;  Mobrik, an evil Ridgerunner working for the Overseer who runs the Fork Factory (woe!); and The Stranders. The Stranders are an unruly crowd of men, women, and children who pride themselves on how disgusting, outlandish and sneaky they are, and Strander characters such as Maraly, Nurgabog, and Claxton add color to the book. Along with our new characters we become better acquainted with ex-pirate Podo, the children’s grandfather, as we hear several stories from his past, and are reintroduced to a couple of minor characters from On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s well-written, evokes laughter, and is a great read for any fantasy lover.

You can purchase North! Or Be Eaten! on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble or at the Rabbit Room

How to Have a Narnia-Themed Party

So, you have a special event coming up and are a fan of Narnia? What better thing to do than to have a Narnia inspired party? Here is a bit of inspiration to help you make your next gathering much more Narnian.

 

Décor

As the theme of the party is ‘Narnia’, one of the best ways to let it show would be to decorate accordingly. The way you choose to decorate will be decided by which of the ‘Chronicles’ you want as the setting and the amount of time and effort you are willing to use.

 

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe would probably be one of the easiest books to bring to life since it is the most well known. Anything from wardrobes to lampposts could be easily recognized.

 

Plywood board, cardboard, and some trim could do for a wardrobe if you don’t have one. Adding coats across the doorway could make it all the more reminiscent.

 

wardrobe coats

 

What if the wardrobe led into an ice room made of white and blue plastic tablecloths, white curling ribbon, white paper, and a Christmas tree?

 

iceroom

 

Aslan’s pavilion need only be PVC pipes and red and gold plastic tablecloths, with a couch underneath.

 

aslan'spavilion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When decorating, anything goes; just let your imagination run wild!

 

Food and Beverages

Traditional party food? Scrap that. You should try to go with something more Narnian. Now it doesn’t have to be difficult to make, in fact, most of the foods found in the novels are relatively simple:

 

  • Any type of fruit juice, tea, or milk would do well for drinks.
  • For appetizers or snacks, you could easily go with cheese and fruits, a nice cup of tea with a teacake, or maybe ‘Turkish Delight’ (sugar-powdered brownies), which are easy to find and something that almost everyone would enjoy.
  • The main course could go along the lines of any meat-and-potato dish, or you could make eel stew with or without the eels (just use what you would normally use for a stew but call it ‘eel stew’), whichever you prefer.
  • Whatever type of cake you like would be fine for dessert. You could always have a custom cake made by going directly to a bakery and showing them what you would like them to do. Or you could have a pre-made cake with something special printed on it: a line or illustration from the books, a graphic you made, or maybe even something you drew or painted.

 Games and Activities

What you decide to do to entertain your guests will depend on who you invite, but here are some ideas:

 

  • Freeze tag – one person is chosen as ‘it’ and tries to turn all the rest to stone, but the others have the capability to ‘un-freeze’ each other.
  • Pin the tail on Reepicheep – draw or print out a picture of our most beloved mouse as well as several tails. See who can pin it the closest while blindfolded.
  • Quotes – write or type up as many quotes as you want and cut them out individually. Fold them up before putting them into a hat, bowl, or anything that could work. As the host you should go first by choosing a slip of paper and reading it aloud. The guests should then guess who said that particular quote and whoever is correct will go up next. Continue until all of the quotes are gone.
  • Charades – write or type up names of as many characters or creatures as you like and cut them out to put into anything that could hold them. Each person will go up and try to act out whatever they got on their slip of paper. Hilarity and a good time are guaranteed.
  • Dragon Hoard – put candy coins inside of any clear container (remember to count them!) and have your guests guess how many are inside. The winner wins the ‘hoard’ but just make sure to tell them that they will not turn into a dragon.

Other Ideas

  • Instead of using regular invitations, why don’t you write them out yourself using a calligraphy pen making it more personal as well as tied in better with the theme?
  • Dress up! Make this a costume party and ask your guests to come as their favourite character or to just dress up Narnian style.

Have you hosted a Narnia themed party or do you have any ideas that could add to this? Please give us your thoughts below!

Places that Inspired CS Lewis

by Tenethia South

Imagination can stem from the simplest things in life, such as your home, a church, or even a photo at which you glanced. Our minds remember images, and they play through our minds and inspire us to write, or sing, or do any number of things. Just like you and I, CS Lewis’s writing was influenced by places he had seen, such as his first home, Little Lea; Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland; Narni, Italy; Legananny Dolmen; and the woods by his final home, the Kilns.

Some places in Lewis’s life simply inspired him to let his imagination run wild. One of Lewis’s first homes, Little Lea, (which they called “The New House”) was a great atmosphere for imagination as it had great empty rooms and long hallways to explore. This was likely where Lewis got the idea to have Lucy find the wardrobe and Narnia while exploring a large country house in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe . Also, there were attics to be explored, which quite possibly inspired the attic that Polly and Digory explored in The Magician’s Nephew. (1)

Also, the gorgeous landscapes in Northern Ireland probably helped Lewis build the landscape of Narnia in his mind long before he ever thought of Narnia. Places that may have inspired him are the remains of a Bishop’s estate near to the cliff’s edge seen at Castlerock in County Londonderry and the ruins of Dunluce Castle in County Atrim. It’s possible that these ruins influenced the image of Cair Paravel, and that Dunluce Castle in particular inspired the ruins of the Cair in Prince Caspian. In fact, one of the drawings of Cair Paravel that Pauline Baynes did looks rather similar to what Dunluce might have looked like when it was intact. A picture of this drawing overlaid on the ruins of Dunluce can be seen on the documentary accompanying the extended cut of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe entitled CS Lewis: Dreamer of Narnia. (2, 3)

© Copyright Kenneth Allen Dunluce Castle http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/52124

Dunluce Castle. © Copyright Kenneth Allen. Source: Geograph

Even places Lewis never saw personally inspired him. While looking at a map, a place called Narni, in Italy, caught Lewis’s eye. Inspired, Lewis used the old Latin form of its name, Narnia, and thus was the world born. (4) An interesting tid-bit about Narni is that it was home to a little-known saint, Blessed Lucy of Narni, who lived there in the 1400s. Although Lewis did not know she existed when he wrote of Lucy Pevensie’s discovery of Narnia, Walter Hooper, the literary adviser of Lewis’s estate, has a cat named after her in honour of the connection between the imaginary world and the ancient city.

Another place that may have been inspiration for Lewis was Legananny Dolmen, an old tomb in Northern Ireland. In an ancient Celtic language, Bretan, dolmen is translated as “stone table.” It is not much of an assumption to say that this 10-foot high stone is the inspiration for one of the most memorable places in The Chronicles of Narnia, the Stone Table. (2)

From Wikapedia Commons

Legananny Dolmen. Source: Wikimedia Commons

What is now the CS Lewis Nature Reserve, was once the place where Lewis trod during the years in which he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia. Containing a marsh-like lake, an air raid shelter, and many varieties of birds and aquatic creatures, it is no wonder that these woods were thought to inspire the Chronicles. They much resemble what a child’s dream of Narnia might be. The CS Lewis Nature Reserve is now open for public visitation in Oxford, England, just south of the Kilns, which was Lewis’s home until his death in 1963. (4, 5)

Photo Credit -- Ajnos -- CS Lewis Nature Reserve

Photo Credit -- Ajnos

CS Lewis Lake and Nature Reserve. Source: Ajnos

By choosing to put his inspiration from Little Lea, Dunluce Castle, Narni, Legananny Dolmen, and the current CS Lewis Nature Reserve into writing, CS Lewis delivered Narnia to us. What could you do with the inspiration you have been given?

References:
1. C. S. Lewis (1990). Surprised by Joy. Fount Paperbacks. p. 9-11.
2. Discover Northern Ireland
3. CS Lewis: Dreamer of Narnia  (documentary film)
4. Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper (2002). C. S. Lewis: A Biography. Second Edition. Fount Publishers. p. 306.
5. BBOWT – CS Lewis Nature Reserve
6. Headington – The Kilns