Writing Prompt: Climbing

From Poets & Writers: Climbing is an exercise that’s both exhilarating and exhausting. This week think of the highest you’ve ever climbed. It could have been a ladder to your childhood tree house or Mount Kilimanjaro. Were you climbing for fun, or out of necessity? How did it feel once you reached the top? If you feel you’ve never climbed to any significant height, would you ever want to?
I never considered myself to be afraid of heights. When it comes to roller coasters, there is no such thing as too tall. I’ve been to the top of the Empire State Building, and once in Florida, my family stayed in the twentieth floor of a hotel. I spent most of my time on the balcony.
But it’s one thing to be securely in a seat on a ride or restricted by railings. The Alpine Tower at the University of Missouri did not provide any of that security. All I got was a rope.
Yeah. I climbed that.
Yeah. I climbed that.

Of course it was a very secure rope, but ropes break! At least that is what I foolishly told myself as I made my attempts to climb.

I would always get to the same spot, the spot when I knew that if I fell and that rope did break, I could break my neck. My friend was yelling encouragement from the ground, but I clung to my log like a squirrel for a few minutes. I could feel my legs trembling with effort and with fear.

And then as with most things in life, it took a leap of faith. I had to push off of a rock and trust that I could catch the next log or trust that if I missed, the rope would catch me. The first time I failed miserably. The second time I scraped my knee and had to start over. The third time I made it.

After that, climbing wasn’t nearly as hard. It was as if I had to get past that point of no return to realize that I could keep going.


Of course once I got to the very top of the tower, I realized that the only way off was to jump and pray that the rope caught me. It did.

After two leaps of faith in within the span of an hour, I was ready to be back on solid ground.


From the Page to the Screen

Two days ago, Warner Bros. posted the second trailer to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. As a Tolkien fanatic and a Peter Jackson fan, I have been hooked on every single one of the movies, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring. 

But this new trailer for The Hobbit irritates me:

I’ve always wrestled with book-to-movie adaptations because I’m what I would call a book loyalist. I basically want the movie to be exactly like the book, no extras, no new characters, no new dialogue.

Of course, I am aware that this is impossible. Movies/TV are a completely different genre requiring different storytelling methods. Sometimes that means the plot needs to deviate away from the original manuscript. Movies like The Hunger Games series or TV shows like Game of Thrones and Outlander have for the most part stayed true to the books, and most changes to the original plot were either necessary or an improvement.

I’ll say that I expected big changes because the book is not that long and frankly not nearly as exciting as The Lord of the Rings series. The first movie followed the book pretty closely, which is why it’s my favorite…it’s also why a lot of people said it was really boring. The second movie started to bug me with an added dwarf-elf romance and the reappearance of Legolas for reasons that are beyond my comprehension.

This movie just seems like the second coming of The Return of the King. Yes, there was a battle. Yes, it was pretty big. Yes, Sauron is back. However, I feel like this movie has lost the essence of the book. It’s no longer about a quirky little hobbit who gets dragged along on a big adventure. Frankly, I’m not sure what it’s about anymore.

From a writer’s perspective, I would love to see a novel I’ve written turn into a TV show or a movie someday. However, I just don’t see how I could accept major changes to the plot that I had slaved over. I think that’s why I have a harder time accepting major plot changes in other books that I love. I wonder what Tolkien would think of these movies. I’m not sure he would be pleased.

National Novel Writing Month

First off, I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted. Sorry about that! Moving is very time-consuming. I’ll try to get back to posting at least once a week.

Anyway, it’s National Novel Writing Month. I’ve never participated in it before, but I think I’m going to get it a shot this year. Basically the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. With a full-time job and some freelancing on the side, it’s probably going to be a stretch for me to do this.

For me, the point isn’t to finish a novel in a month. The point is to write. Getting in the habit of writing is incredibly valuable.

I would encourage anyone who is considering taking part in National Novel Writing Month to give it a try. If you can’t finish the novel in a month, don’t worry! As cheesy as it sounds, when it comes to writing something, it’s about the journey not the destination.