Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Bard

Wow. I just found out about The Tales of Beetle the Bard by JK Rowling. Everyone knows of it from Harry Potter 7. A few months ago, JK Rowling had auctioned the only three original copies for millions of dollars witch she gave to a charity. Now, The Tales of Beetle the Bard are coming into stores this December. I can't wait to read it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Types of Magic

In fantasy books, there are a lot of different types of magic. Some have names, and some are just called magic. In the Harry Potter world, there are a lot of types of magic. There's potion-making, transfiguration, charms, curses, hexes, divination, apparition, and magical creatures/plants. (If I'm missing any, feel free to tell me.) Some other kinds of magic (with names) that I know of are necromancy, scrying, sorcery, summoning, and, of course, alchemy. Then, there are other types of magic without names, just called magic. There are those dealing with elements, the "will and the word", magical items, concentration/imagination, and science. (If I'm missing any, please tell me. I'm sure I am.)

I want to find out how each of them are different, what they do, and how they work. I need as much help as I can get so if you find any information on one, please email me at briantillinger @ I'll post on a type of magic whenever I get new information on one, so please help out. (Wikipedia is actually a usable source when it comes to this kind of stuff, because none of this is really fact.)

A few that I'm most interested in learning about are necromancy, which I think is the reanimation of corpses, alchemy, and summoning. However, I want any info on any one of them.

Also, I'll post a list of the types of magic on the sidebar.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Farworld: Water Keep 2008 Blog Tour Review and Q&A

Part of the Farworld 2008 Blog Tour was to write a review and Q&A. Here is my review.

After reading Farworld: Water Keep by J Scott Savage once, I loved it so much that had to I read it again. I had been waiting for a long time to read Farworld, ever since I first found Mr. Savages blog and was hearing about it. Now that I've read it, I am hungry for four more books titled Farworld… Even though Book One hasn't officially been released.

The characters in Water Keep were really amazing, and it was awesome to learn more about the characters origins throughout the book. Marcus, a boy found crippled on the edge of a desert as a baby, had advantages as well as disadvantages. As he learned about his powers, he was able to cope with his crippled arm and leg. Things only get better for him when he goes to Farworld and finds that he can use his arm and leg more easily. Kyja, a girl without magic in a world of magic, found by the wizard Master Therapass as a baby, thinks that she is a freak and an outcast. However, she learns that her disadvantage is her advantage. While she can't throw balls of green energy at her enemies, the ones they throw bounce harmlessly off. She also learns that she has one, very important power… One that makes her special. Throughout the book these two friends discover that they are two parts of the same whole. Together, they are powerful.

The characters on a quest to save Farworld can't exist if there aren't those trying to destroy it though. The Thrathkin S'Bae, evil wizards who can turn into huge serpents are being led by Bonesplinter to kill Marcus and Kyja. Bonesplinter's evil drive for power starts with their deaths, the deaths that will bring his master's trust and power to him. To make him even more dangerous, he is determined not to fail a second time. Just as dangerous is his master's second servant, the Summoner: A creature with the power to control the living and the dead. With so many enemies, Marcus and Kyja are sure to have some road bumps on their journey.

Marcus and Kyja must find search far and wide to find the elementals, creatures that are the masters of their element. First, they search for the Water Elementals. When they do find Water Keep, they find that convincing the elementals to help them might be harder than finding them in the first place. Each elemental has a different personality, but none of them think the same way as humans do. This idea was something that I really liked about the story.

Another idea that I liked in the story was the idea of the geographic relationship between Farworld and Earth. The concept of the geography in Water Keep was something that really made the story move along. If you are standing in Farworld, jump to Earth, take one step, and jump back, you will be about one step away from where you stood before.

The characters, the plot, and the ideas of magic and worlds really made this a great story. I am itching for Land Keep before Water Keep is even out.

Now here is my Q&A.

For my Q&A, I chose to go to Disney World with Scott. We are on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad during the fireworks show.

Scott- Brian, I’ve got to say, you have excellent taste in interview spots. I mean, Splash Mountain is pretty cool too, but you can’t see the fireworks, and getting wet at night can be a bad plan. So what do you say, shall we take the front car or the back?

Brian- How long did it take you to write the first draft of Farworld: Water Keep?

Scott- You know, typically a book takes me six months or so to write, but this book came so fast it was scary sometimes. I finished the first draft in under three months. I had a great time writing it. Well the rides starting. Are we going to see if we can both keep our hands in the air, the whole time?

Brian- Will the game of trill stones play a bigger role in the later books?

Scott- Let’s just say that we haven’t seen the last of trill stones. Oh wow, that last turn was intense. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten three churros right before we got on.
Brian- How do the trees talk? Do they have mouths or do voices just seem to come from nowhere? Do their words just pop into your head?

Scott- Oh, the trees. Tough to hear over the ride. I thought you wanted to know how fleas talked. I thought that was kind of an odd question. Listening to trees talk is a little like listening to a drum beat, but slightly more musical. At least that’s what the trees in the Westland Woods sound like. Other trees have different voices. The don’t have mouths though. At least not that you can see. But they do seem to have faces if you look closely.
Brian- Can magic affect other people from Earth or is Kyja different there too?

Scott- That is a great question. I suspect that we will find out down the road. Look! There are the rattlesnakes. Glad they’re not real. I have a thing about snakes.
Brian- When will we next learn more about the leader of the Dark Circle?

Scott- Very early in the next book. Look up there’s the castle all lit up.

Brian- On the mark on Marcus's shoulder and Kyja's amulet, what is the second creature?

Scott- Sorry couldn’t hear you over the booming of the fireworks!
Brian- Is the mark on Marcus's shoulder a birthmark, or a brand?

Scott- It’s not a birthmark. It looks like a burn or brand.

Brian- Will we ever see Kathleen and Jerrick again?

Scott- It wouldn’t surprise me in the least!

Brian- Did the trill stones turn into real gems or was the pawn shop man right about them being fake? Scott- Uh, oh. There are the mountain goats. That means we’re in for a big dr-r-r-r-o-o-o-o-o-p! Wow! They were real gems. The weenie in the pawn shop was trying to steal the gem.

Brian- I thought so. I was just checking. Last question, why can only some people understand the Dawn Chimes? Scott- Whoo. What a ride! You look far too unruffled. Must be an age thing. I think that understanding the Dawn Chimes is a talent—like learning a language. But I think that anyone can improve at it if they practice. Maybe even Kyja can learn.

Brian- Thanks for answering the questions and thanks for the ARC Scott!

Scott- Thank you for taking part in the tour. And especially thanks for inviting me to Disney World. The rest of my family will be so jealous.

Brian- Thanks for coming. It was really fun.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Get Smart

Today, my little brother and I got to go and see Get Smart. Sadly, we missed the best part: The Previews. Just kidding. We both loved it. I would gladly go and see it again.

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carrel) is the best analyst CONTROL has. He is good friends with the chief and the top agent (Dwaine Johnson) and always find good information in the most unlikely ways, like from a voice clip in Russian of two suspects of being KAOS members talking about muffins. His biggest dream is to become a field agent, but after his perfect agent-test score and he is refused the job because he is the best at his current one, he is heartbroken. However, when he gets to work and finds that KAOS has broken in and found files on all current agents, a new agent is needed and Max is the only man for the job. When he is paired with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) for a very important mission, she soon finds that he is very smart and very clumsy. He has his moments, and they have to be good if he's going to make up for what happened in his last moment.

Get Smart was a really great and funny move and was completley worth $6. If you get a chance to go and see a movie and this is playing, it is a must see.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Epic: Part 2

I don't have much more to tell you about Epic, the book I read right before I went to camp. It was a really great book and the last thing I will tell you about the story is that to save New Earth and stop the Committee, Erik and his friends must find a way to destroy the laws and end Epic.

Monday, July 14, 2008

NBC Studio Tours

On our first day of the New York trip, we went to NBC Studios, near Rockefeller Center, and took the tour. First they showed us a cool video about the history of NBC. Next they took us into three studios. First, a news place for some nightly news. Second, The Conan O'Brien show studio. Last, they took us to Saturday Night Live, where we got to see where they did all of the performances. They also told us that the seats in the studio were actually old Yankee stadium seats. The next place we got to go was the makeup studio, where they showed us how the actors got into costume in less than 60 seconds. Lastly, they took us into a room where my best friend and I got to be a newscaster (Jeremy) and a weatherman (me). Every said it was really funny because I couldn't figure it out because the green screen made every backward.

NBC was a really cool stop and I had a great time. If you go, be sure to add this to your schedule.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum was a really cool part of the New York trip. Everything there was life sized and very realistic. (As you can plainly see!) Everything was so realistic that my friend Joey put on glasses and sat on a stool very still and people actually started taking pictures of him, thinking he was wax.

The entire place was cool. Except for the Chamber of Horrors. My best friend, Jeremy, who loves horror films, refused to go in and see his two favorite horror characters, Jason and Freddy. I thought that he was being silly, not wanting to go into a room with some pieces of wax. My counselor, my friend Jordan, and I all went in at the same time. The entire time, my friend and I were clutching at my counselors arm. In the room/hallway, claws ripped through the wall as you came by, live actors dressed as horror people stood still, and then all of a sudden started moving and swung real looking machetes at you, and realistic blood stained the walls. When I got through, Jeremy told me that he'd been through it before and was freaked out. Now I know why.

They had a lot of other really cool exhibits, and I'm glad we went there. If anyone you know goes, warn them about the Chamber of Horrors.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Lion King

As I said yesterday, one of the best parts of our trip was going to see The Lion King on Broadway. It had amazing sets and costumes. They did the songs perfectly, and they even included a new song and a song that was only in the special edition DVD. The story was nearly identical to the movie and had a lot of the same dialogue.

The thing that impressed me the most was definitely the sets. They had a very good way of showing the tall grass. They gave actors dirt colored costumes and hats with long, plastic (or rubber?) strands of grass on top. They moved around to make it seem like the lions were walking through it. The best set was the elephant graveyard. They made two separate parts that could spin around and made it look like one part connected by a bridge at the top. In the middle of the hyena scene, both of the parts disconnect and begin to spin away from each other.

The costumes were good too, but the best were the hyena costumes. The costumes for the lions were ok, and Timon and Pumba's costumes weren't original at all. Rafiki was probably the best character in the show, though. He/she (actor was a girl) was really funny in the show.

They also had a lot of good singing in the show. The song they took from the special edition DVD was called, "The Morning Report" and was sung by the character of Zazu, near the begining. It was ok. The song they created for the show, "He Lives in You," was probably my favorite. It took place right after Rafiki helped Simba see Mufasa in the water, getting him to go fight scar.

The whole play was amazing, and I would highly recomend it to anyone with the chance to see a Broadway show!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lots to Write About

I did a lot of awesome stuff at camp that I really need to write about. Normally after camp, I wouldn't have much to say, but this year, we got to spend a week in New York City, so there are a lot of different things to write about.

The highlights of our trip were The Lion King (the broadway show), Madame Tussaud (the wax museum), a Mets game vs. the Seattle Mariners, and NBC Studios.

While I was in NYC, my group went to the Apple store on 5th Ave. There I had time to use one of the computers to moderate a comment and read a post from J Scott Savage. While there I also learned how to do a Rubix cube.

As you can see, I have a lot to talk about over the next few days... weeks... you know what I mean, so expect more than one post a day. Don't forget to enter my contest. Please.

Not Quite Home

I just got back from camp, but I'm staying in Savannah, Georgia for a week until it's time to go home! Now I'll be able to keep posting, so keep checking back!