One of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems is There Is No Frigate Like a Book
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
And recently I’ve taken some real cheap vacations with George R. Martin, Morgan Llywelyn, Leon Uris, and Tolkien. (Wouldn’t you love to achieve such writing fame that people just refer to you by your last name, like Tolkien, and everyone knows who you are?)
George R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice, including Game of Thrones, has been out for awhile. Yet, somehow I managed to overlook them. Then I stumbled upon a couple of episodes from the HBO series, Game of Thrones, and got hooked. I’ve downloaded all the books to my Kindle, and have been gobbling them up.
While reading Martin’s series, I re-discovered my love of period fiction and fantasy, in particular novels by Morgan Llywelyn such as Bard, the Odyssey of the Irish, and Lion of Ireland. Those led me back to a couple of tattered books by Leon Uris and my battered copies of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Reading these books, I’ve been taking notes of how the authors handle world-building and character development. But mostly, and more importanly, I’ve just been swept away.