August 2021 Update
My apologies for a late August update, but I decided to wait to share two noteworthy topics.
Highlights for August:
For the last two months, I’ve focused on preservation and disregard. My inspiration this month will focus solely on what we choose to preserve.
Last month, I wrote, “The forgotten gems can and usually do stop me in my tracks.”
Until I witnessed this month’s inspiration, I wasn’t sure how soon I would be stopped again and by something that travels literally on tracks (or rails).
Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 is a magnificent machine. If you click here, you’ll learn significant details about the engine and its path across the United States. I had the opportunity to see it late in August as it stopped in Warrensburg, MO. Before planning my own visit to see the locomotive in person, I wasn’t sure how many people would be in attendance. The Big Boy’s stop was in the early afternoon on a weekday, which lead to me think that it would have few in attendance due to everyone’s many workday obligations.
Fortunately, my assumption was shattered!
Many people waited in anticipation for the Big Boy’s arrival. People crowded the streets on either side of the tracks. The city’s staff had also thoughtfully blocked the roadway to keep vehicles from traveling through while we waited. I was inspired to witness so many people waiting patiently, as well as their smiles as the engine rolled into town. The train engineer blew the whistle to excitement of the crowd. The whistle was not the traditional high-pitched warning of modern engines, but a deep, spine-tingling version that could be heard from blocks away. The Big Boy’s whistle could be equated to the deep, resonating, and thunderous Fourth of July fireworks display whereas the modern whistle is that of a small firecracker.
If you ever have the opportunity to witness the Big Boy, you’ll not be disappointed.
Besides the Big Boy in late August, the first trailer for the upcoming Wheel of Time show was released. The past two decades have been an exciting time for fantasy and science fiction films and shows. The Wheel of Time is considered one of fantasy’s greatest series of books, so many readers are eagerly awaiting this new series.
Robert Jordan nearly finished the series, but after his death in 2007, Brandon Sanderson took up the mantle and was able to complete the last 3 novels of the 15-book series. Sanderson took the task to heart, and while his renditions of the final three WOT books had a few very minor missteps, I was and remain amazed at Sanderson’s ability to finish such a monumental series. (Note: even with the missteps, the final 3 books are excellent.)
As a side note: I encourage you to read Sanderson’s letter about Jordan’s influence shortly after Jordan’s passing. Jordan had struggled with a rare illness for many months prior to his death, and I was somewhat comforted in my own sadness by Sanderson’s compassionate letter. Jordan’s The Eye of the World is still one of my favorite fantasy novels.
Considering the breadth of the WOT, I can’t imagine trying to adapt the novels into shorter films; however, streaming services, such as Amazon and HBO, have been able to offer the flexibility needed for such books. Nevertheless, the trailer illustrates the necessary liberties taken to adapt the series. Click here for the trailer.
Interestingly, the WOT is also listed on PBS’s The Great American Read. Click here for the full list of 100 books.
Another BIG film adaptation coming out in the next month is Dune. The trailer offers a clear picture of the science-fiction epic’s vastness and scope. Click here for the trailer.
I offer you a challenge for the next month:
Think about novels or stories you've read that have been adapted into movies or shows. What did you think about the adaptation?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
A place to ponder the world of writing, among other things.