Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Gold Writer

by Annette Cole Mastron

Every four years my family and I look forward to the Summer Olympics. We favor the Summer Games because at least some of the sports we have tried, and we recognize the difficulties first hand. The opening ceremonies are always spectacular productions.

London's extravaganza was phenomenal and especially a treat to this writer. Amazing book characters and scenes came to life in snippets that make this writer want to revisit favorite and familiar pages. Hats off to film director Danny Boyle, who is most definitely a reader all authors dream will transform their work into film. Friday night's production, with the whole world watching, showcased some of England's authors' written work, transferring words into a live performance.

The opening ceremonies featured multiple sets and a cast of over 15,000
The mounded pasture scene, complete with farm animals, reminded me of the shire from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Boyle's vision for the scene was from A. A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh or Kenneth Grahame's Wind in The Willows. This scene, however, invoked the hobbits world for me.

The farm scene disappears while Shakespeare's The Tempest is quoted: “Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises.” Charles Dickens' scenes come alive through the evolution from a farm society into an industrial one indicated by five huge smokestacks.

A precocious pig-tailed child is seen closeup reading by flashlight under the sheets while nightmares swirl around her bed. J. K. Rowling read not from one of her books but from, J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan: “Of all the delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real. That is why there are night-lights.” A forty-foot Voldemort from Rowling's Harry Potter book series becomes the head nightmare, along with Captain Hook, Dodie Smith's Cruella de Vil character from 101 Dalmatians and Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland villain, the Queen of Hearts.

Guess which writer saves the children from the nightmares? Why of course, P. L. Travers' Mary Poppins. Thirty or more float with opened umbrellas into the stadium to save all children from the evil nightmares and bring light to their world.

By far the best of the best was Ian Fleming's, James Bond 007 character played by actor, Daniel Craig. Seen all spiffy in a tuxedo entering Buckingham Palace, stepping over the Queen's royal corgi pups and entering her palatial office standing at attention while she is in a pinkish dress seated at an ornate desk finishing the business of England. He clears his throat. She rises and simple states, "Good evening, Mr. Bond". They exit the palace and appear to be together inside a white helicopter with a British flag painted on the side. They fly past the landmarks of London. The helicopter door opens and the eighty-six year old monarch and 007 are seen leaping parachute laden from the helicopter into the inky night above Olympic stadium just like a scene from an Ian Fleming book. Moments later the Queen appears accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, and they make their official entrance to the Games. The Queen has a "wicked" sense of humor and must be a reader of spy novels. It was a bloody brilliant entrance.

So are you going for Olympic Gold? Will you write something that will become a classic for generations to enjoy? You'll never know unless you begin to write.

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