Band Box, Risca

I spent a good hour and a half in the Band Box store in Risca, Newport, Wales this morning. A good selection of good guitars and accessories that is growing. Had a great conversation with the owner Pete about guitars and stuff. I’ll visit the store as regularly as I am able.

Picture of Bandbox musical instruments store, Risca, Wales.
Picture of Bandbox musical instruments store, Risca, Wales.

Back to work

I’ve enjoyed the summer break and having the time to post fairly regularly on WordPress (and Twitter) but now it’s back to work. I have to plan the coming term’s work for my school class and get all of the resources ready.

Thanks to everybody who visited this summer, special thanks to everybody who took the time to comment and extra special thanks to those people who took the time to be part of a conversation.



Last Earthsea post

I’ve nearly finished reading book five of six from the “Earthsea saga” (the last one I have to read) and I have to say that it is the one I have enjoyed the most – and it’s fairly obvious how much I’ve loved the rest!

It’s a set of short stories and an extended article about the ‘history’ of Earthsea.

“The Finder”, “Darkrose and Diamond” and “The Bones of the Earth” are wonderfully told narratives. The strangest of the three and perhaps the most beautiful in its resolution is the third. It’s also the history of the mage Ogion, that we first meet in the initial book in the series – “The Wizard of Earthsea”.

I’ve almost completed reading “On the High Marsh” and am looking forward to “Dragonfly” that serves as an introduction to “The Other Wind”.

It’s been a fantastic reading adventure that has left a lasting impression on me, given me food for thought and lots of idea for musical composition and visual artwork.

So, good value for money and time well spent!

The Word for World is Forest” will be my next purchase. It is apparently “Avatar” written before the “Avatar” film.

I must admit that I won’t miss WordPress auto-correcting the spelling of “Earthsea” to “Earths” every time I type it. :)

End of Earthsea

I had to read the whole of “The Other Wind” in one day. It is such a beautiful book and ties up all of the threads of the “Earthsea saga” very nicely indeed. And, you know that hackneyed thing that most authors do, where the antagonist who has been killed off twitches in the epilogue – that type of thing? She doesn’t do it!

I think, what I love most about these books and Ursula Le Guin’s writing is the stories’ climaxes. Most authors and Hollywood blockbuster films would set off the proverbial pyrotechnics. There would be ultra violent explosions, CG overdose, detailed descriptions or depictions of mutilation and death. But not UKLG. Oh no. Long plot build ups and then at the peak… the most gentle parts of the story. And often, the noble self sacrifice of a character to save everybody and everything else.

Personally, I don’t need to read books that are gritty and realistic and negative or nihilistic. There’s too much of that about already, in the media and the arts and the news. I don’t mean to sound pompous or high-brow (that I am certainly not) but I want to read tales of noble deeds and this series of books does it for me.

I hope they do it for others too.

I found this quote from UKLG on her website after I initially posted this post. It concerns assumptions that writers and publishers make about the fantasy genre:

“Assumption 3: Fantasy by definition concerns a Battle Between Good and Evil. This is the one where the cover copywriters shine. There are lots of fantasies about the Battle Between Good and Evil, the BBGE, sure. In them, you can tell the good guys from the evil guys by their white hats, or their white teeth, but not by what they do. They all behave exactly alike, with mindless and incessant violence, until the Problem of Evil is solved in a final orgy of savagery and a win for the good team.”

Here’s the page for reference;

The Other Wind

On the day that I declined to continue reading “American Gods”, Ursula Le Guin’s sixth book of Earthsea, “The Other Wind” arrived from Ebay at an absolute bargain price – and hardback edition too. Starting reading it as soon as I could.

I’m grabbed by the end of the first paragraph.

Big smiles – back on home turf.