I have recently gotten hooked on NCIS (thanks a lot MOUSE). I like the formality of the interactions, the military backdrop of the show, that sort of thing. I really like all of the Characters on the show too. Abey the perky Goth/Geek is really cool. The Head honcho is Gibbs. He is a very sharp, very complex, guy who leads his team really well. But ultimately this part of my blog is not about him, or even this show. It's about the portrayal of various branches of the service on TV and in the movies overall. For the most part Hollywood does not disparrage the men and women in uniform. The portrayals of the service members span the gambit, just like we all do in real life. The part i do want to comment on is in regards the general portrayal of the Army. Usually we (being retired Army) are grey characters, rarely the main one. We are rather bland, not really excelling in anyone area. We are not made to look bad, just not elite. I completely respect the Marines. They do an outstanding job of promoting an espre de corps that surpasses all of the other branches, and then they back it up in the field (where it counts). But i thirst to see a personality or two to come from the oldest branch in the United States Military. I think this is why i liked The Unit so much. One thing i do like, is that generally when a member of the Army is portrayed they are not pushing to seek the limellight, and with the general perception of being an 'average' branch of the military, their uniform is not pushing them into the limelight either. I kind of like that... i'd just like to see an ex-Army Special Forces guy as the lead character, who has a complex past and excellent skills to bring to bear - instead of usually seeing a ex-Marine in that role. I know it is branch bias, and maybe it's only my perception of thing. 8)
How much 'research' is too much? Especially when it comes to a story you are writing that you are pretty confident will never be published, at least professionally. I am enjoying reading about it though. I recently purchased a book that is seventeen years old, just because it seems to be the most comprehensive on the subject i am seeing. The good news is that it was only $11 including shipping. It's titled The Complete Book of Elves. I had no idea that it was so hard to find such material! First, it is extremely rare to find a novel written from an Elf's point of view and they are the main Charecter. Second, there is a lot of material on Wiki, which is very helpful and i have made copies for my notes book, but i am thirsty for more. I once found Shadownrun: Steel Rain, and enjoyed it very much. I am on the look out for more though. Two books i am ordering together in June are Shadow King and Path of the Warrior. Both are written by Gav Thorpe, but the latter will not be released until late June. But for me, the most important thing is that both of them have Elves as the main character. The former is in a "Fantasy" (Warhammer) setting, while the latter is written in a Sci-Fi Fantasy setting (Warhammer 40k). Mr. Thorpe has been a part of the on-going process and creation of Games Workshop's genre of games and fiction, so i think these will go really well. These combined with me re-reading The Book of Five Rings, has really been inspiring me for the last Chaaracter's introduction. If anyone is interested, i post my short stories on another blogsite: Samurai's Yarns.
If you have ever created an account over at Amazon.com, you probably get periodic e-mails from them trying to recommend a book or two that they feel (well, some sort of automated system as opposed a flesh and blood human being... that is unless they have started employing cyborgs in corporate America... hmmm) is related to your interests - as outlined by your previous purchases. My most recent book recommendation from Amazon.com was an as yet to be releasaed book by R.C. Sproul titled Holy, Holy, Holy: Proclaiming the Perfections of God. I often find myself ravenous for such books, but this one will most likely wait until my birthday as i already have 3 books sitting on my nightstand. Since i am trying to get myslef to actually finish the books i start... i feel it best for me to wait until i finish at least two of the three before even requesting it. What i really wanted to comment on the title of the book. I feel that the object of my Faith, Jesus Christ, is paramount. And for me, books like this help me meditate on the character of God. For me, if God is not perfect, if He is not perfectly just, if He is not perfectly Holy... Christianity is not the faith for me. For over two decades now i have explored such things, and i am freshly renewed in faith and awe of God each time. To be honest, if one does not view God as infalable... why would they ever consider worshipping such a being? No one is perfect, and that definetly includes me, so no one's view of God is perfect ~ not this side of heaven ayway.