It’s Like the Academy Awards, Except Without that Academy Part

Well, there might be a few other differences too. But, nonetheless, I have been tagged with the Liebster Award, indicating that I have captured the hearts of dozens.  The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. The award comes at a neat time, since I just hit 125 blog followers, 1000 social media followers, and I am about to reach 50,000 blog hits this weekend. Good times. Thanks to The Twilight Warden for the nod!

Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me (Or Care to Know)

1. I did a Masters Degree at Regent College as research for a novel. I got the degree but never wrote the novel.

2. I would prefer not to shave, ever. But beards look best on stalkers, computer techs, and jazz bassists. So I just wear a gotee.

3. I have no favourite colour.

4. I spell things in Canadian (see #3) because I am Canadian. And, frankly, Canadian spelling is cooler, though ZZ Top would be awful as Zed-Zed Top.

5. Beards also look good on ZZ Top. I guess that’s not a personal thing, but I am jealous.

6. Otherwise, though, even though I teach grammar at university, I am a terrible speller born in the perfect age of spell check.

7. I have written 5 novels, and edited two of them to near completion, but have never once had the courage to query them.

8. I am working toward a PhD in how C.S. Lewis built his fictional worlds. If I ever finish, I will officially be a geek (which is better than the current unofficial status).

9. My 8 year old son has a great twitter account, @TheNicolasTweet. #ShamelessPlug

Questions I Need to Answer

1. If you could choose one fictional creature to be your pet/animal companion, which would you choose and why?

Phoenix, all the way. The phoenix is my symbol, my avatar, my image of rising out the ashes. And, random free magic with fashionably sensitive feathers!

2. Name a favorite moment of yours from any movie released in the 1980s and explain why.

Well, almost anything from The Princess Bride. But the beginning of Karate Kid II, where Miyagi takes out the psychotic sensei–that was pretty cool.

3. If you had to be chased by some hostile fictional creature or character, through a fictional landscape, which ones would you choose and why?

I’m not much of a runner, so any chase would lead to a bad end for me. The question translates then to, “what creature would you like to be eaten by?” For me, then, I’d choose a dragon. Quick, painless, with the faint chance of talking it into not eating me and maybe even a movie deal.

4. In-N-Out, Five Guys, or Chik-Fil-A?

Um, Canadian. These are restaurants, or very lame band names?

5. Name a song you really like from a musical genre you don’t generally like and explain why this one works for you.

I love Americana music (my apologies to the Canadiana fans), but do not, at all, like Country Music. And I don’t like Pop Music. So, with shame, I admit a love for some of Taylor Swift’s songs. She draws out my inner teenage girl. In particular, that “Romeo & Juliet” song, which I have publicly mocked. I still think Dire Straits is better though.

6. What is, in your opinion, the best portrayal(s) of the Elves/Fair Folk/Faeries in film? Multiple choices are permitted, but you must say why you think your choices are so good.

I think I’ll steal this question–it’s a good one. I’ll go with The Spiderwick Chronicles. I’m a big fan of Holly Black, and I thought the movie was beautiful. Toni DiTerlizzi did a fabulous job capturing the Spiderwick World in sketches and paintings, so the film-makers had some guidance. But to me the film–even more than the book–brought me back to the 80s faerie films like Labyrinth.

7. What was the last black-and-white film you saw, and what did you think of it?

I have never seen a black-and-white film! Um. Well, other than Christmas films. So Scrooge has to be the answer, and I love that one.

8. What did you think of the new trailer for The Desolation of Smaug?

Well I’m a fan of the Jackson films–with some reservations. My random thoughts:

  • what’s with the chick elf?
  • a lot more swords than in The Hobbit book
  • elf eyebrows, wow–I have a friend that can help with that
  • did the wood elves get their choreography from the Avatar blue people?
  • love the music
  • I’m going to like the film, I am sure
  • I don’t think that they should have showed the dragon, just the eye

Bloggers I Tag with the Liebster

I have decided to tag my C.S. Lewis and Inklings network. I follow some great fantasy blogs, some essential writing sites, some lovely writers and poets, and some visually stunning blogs, but I chose my Inklings blogroll.

PS, I hope everyone sees how I cheated there! And do let me know if you answer the questions!

Questions for the Newly Dubbed Liebster Recipients

1. What is, in your opinion, the best portrayal(s) of the Elves/Fair Folk/Faeries in film? Multiple choices are permitted, but you must say why you think your choices are so good.

2. What is your most exciting brush with celebrity?

3. What secret project have you completed but not pitched/sold/published?

4. Describe your most recent guilty pleasure in print–and enter thus into the hall of the culturally ashamed.

5. What is your favourite line from The Princess Bride?

6. What Fictional World would you best like to live in (i.e. Narnia, Cthula, Middle Earth, Harry Potter’s England, Le Guin’s Earthsea, Douglas Adams’ The Galaxy, etc.)?

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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9 Responses to It’s Like the Academy Awards, Except Without that Academy Part

  1. I love this! The fascinating doctoral candidate faded out for a second and the geek I would love to know shone through. Once your novels are in the condition you can put your stamp on, why not self publish?


    • The geekicity, I’m afraid, will never leave!
      I’ve thought of self-publishing. In my academic world, it isn’t very well regarded. But for reasons of personal growth, I do need to face a publisher or agent eventually…


  2. robstroud says:

    Brenton, my friend, you had my respect until I read that comment about ZZ Top.

    It will take a long while for you to redeem yourself!


  3. ReGi McClain says:

    I think your fascination with beards is cute. There’s an international beard competition up here. I have a friend whose son grows his beard out for three months every year to play along. He’s just playing though. The serious guys come up with some doozies: gigantic, shaped mustaches, braids, beads, you name it!


  4. David says:

    I have to ask — what were you researching at Regent College? Even if you never wrote (or will write) that novel, I wonder what it was that so inspired you to pursue it that strongly.

    A phoenix is always a right answer. I personally couldn’t disappoint my childhood self by turning down the chance to have a magic wolf companion (magic *flying* wolf, maybe?), but a phoenix is a close contender for me, too.

    Hehe, yeah, I only realized right after posting that #4 was a little unfair to non-Americans. They are all popular fast-food franchises that have won wildly fanatic fan bases (and reactionary opposition) for various reasons, including 1) they’re not McDonald’s/Burger King/Insert Massive Fast Food Chain, 2) they tend to stick to the basics of limited selection but pretty good food, 3) they all have reputations for much friendlier service than the bigger names mentioned above. And oddly enough, people get into heated arguments over which of these three is better — I’ve seen them in my own workplace. I enjoy all three, but sometimes find it fun to stir up the partisans…+p

    I was interested in “The Spiderwick Chronicles” when I saw the movie trailer, but I never got around to it. But comparing it favorably to ’80s fantasy movies is definitely a way to get my attention — I think that was something of a golden era for fantasy!

    The 1951 Scrooge film is easily the best “Christmas Carol” adaptation, and one of the best films ever made, in my opinion. I watch it ever year and it makes me weep manly tears every time. While it tears my heart to hear you admit to not having seen any other black-and-white films (any??? Not even “Casablanca”? Or “The Philadelphia Story”? Or “The Maltese Falcon”? Or “Captain Blood”? Or any Charlie Chaplin? Or the Marx Bros.? Oh it’s almost too much for me to bear!)…if you have to see only one, “Scrooge” is an excellent one.

    As to the trailer, there were parts I loved and parts that make me cringe. The good news is that it really did reinvigorate my interest in the next movie, which had deflated following “An Unexpected Journey” [tries to link to his review, remembers that he hasn’t finished it yet…]. I’m terribly excited for the Silvan Elves from what the trailer shows, especially for Lee Pace’s Thranduil…but I’m terrified of Legolas’ love interest and various other implications about Jackson’s utter disregard for Tolkien’s story. I was going to direct you to The Tolkien Professor’s in-depth analysis of the trailer, but his video link seems to be down. +(

    Thanks for participating!


  5. “A phoenix is always a right answer.” Awesome.
    I googled Chick-Fil-A–wow, I missed a lot.
    And Holly Black is a child of 80s fantasy, I think–literature-wise. The Spiderwick books are a great read–children’s fantasy in a faerie world.
    And, yeah–saw none of those. Or any of the classic colour films from the 60s (except Cool Hand Luke). I have a cultural gap. I’m seen lost of CHarlie Chaplin and Marx Bros clips.
    You might want to get on that review! I’ll find the Tolkien Prof’s review of the preview–was it the one, “Things we don’t need: Elf love interests?”


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