Friday, July 10, 2015

Inkling Explorations Link-up // July 2015

Inkling Explorations is an exciting link-up for any and all story lovers who love discovering treasures in everything they read—whether it's in an old favorite or something crisply and deliciously new on the shelf.

It's completely optional (you can enter some months and not in others) and it's open to entries from literature and film—and with selections from fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, action, poetry, even sometimes non-fiction! The range is pretty much limitless. (Note: Entries will be moderated, however, and must be clean, edifying, and suitable for all ages.)


1. Post the Inklings button on your sidebar.
2. Do a post on your own blog relating to the month's selection/subject (a literary excerpt as short or as long as you like AND/OR—if specified that month—a screencap from a film with an explanation of how the scene builds/develops the story). Link back here somewhere in your post.
3. Come back here and paste your link in the comments box and I'll add it to the post. Then enjoy visiting and reading everyone else's contributions!

That's all there is to it!

July Topic: A well crafted animated film climax

July specific notes: Film entries only this month. Also, an addendum! As you can see above, I've added one other quick thing to Step #3. After pasting your link in the box below, leave a quick comment as well so everyone who's already posted is able to keep easily and quickly updated on new additions. :)

And my July selection is… 

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Incidentally, I’ve been planning this selection all month, but it also perfectly coincided with the wrap-up for the Ring Around the Rose link-up, so I’m hoping to tag along a little with that here as well. (If you’d like to see more on the link-up, visit Jenelle’s or Hayden’s blogs here and here where they also link to the other authors.) 

And now, Beauty and the Beast! 

First seeing this as an adult, I was actually thrilled almost to tears by the depth of the ending. The central theme—self-sacrifice/the true nature of love—goes on to resurface in both Tangled and Frozen and other more recently released favorites of mine, and is given a fresh and deeper turn in each. It’s self-sacrifice and the true nature of love closely tied as it is to transformation and resurrection. 

There’s something going on here—particularly potent and heady. 

For tied to that death and resurrection, the people we care about are taken to the breaking point. A protagonist is taken to his limit. It’s a reminder of what makes great story. A reminder (for me, as a writer) to go all the way—the umpteenth mile to the very edge—to go beyond the edge. 

Because it’s beyond the edge for the characters—but it’s not beyond the promise. It’s when everything is darkest (i.e. “how in the world or out of it can a promise be fulfilled if the one who received it is lying dead?”), it’s when the ground has just been cut from under us—that the mystery of fulfillment comes. 

As Tolkien put it, “The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is one true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially “escapist,” nor “fugitive.” In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief. 

“It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art…” On Fairy-Stories 

(In fact, as Tolkien himself goes on to say, in essence, insofar as fairy tales clearly mirror the truest and most magnificent Story of all, they are themselves one of the highest forms of art.) 

And there, good friends, are a few of the reasons why I love the ending of Beauty and the Beast and consider the Disney version to be masterfully well told! 

~     ~     ~ 

As always, entries are open through the end of the month and I’m looking forward to seeing your selections! 

Up next month: A scene happening on/around a train or train station in book or film


  1. Oooooh, this is an interesting one. Gonna have to think about it a while, cuz I don't want to go with the obvious "Frozen" answer.

    1. Hamlette,
      Oh, goodie -- looking forward to what you come up with! And just so you know, Frozen's perfectly all right, too. ;)

    2. I feel like it's so obvious. I hate obvious. I'm thinking Robin Hood right now :-D Esp since I think I have all the screencaps I need for it already!

    3. Hamlette,
      Robin Hood would be great! ;)

  2. Fun! Mine's up:) And may I just say--I LOVED this prompt idea:D

    1. Olivia,
      Great! And I'm so very glad you enjoyed it! I'm having such fun reading your posts. ;)

  3. Yay! I finally finished my post and linked to it!
    And I LOVED that you chose to use Beauty and the Beast as your subject for this month. I actually just finished re-watching it today so its wonderfulness is fresh in my mind. ;)

    1. Natalie,
      Thank you so much! The wonderfulness is indeed breathtaking.... it's amazing. :) And watching it, I LOVE seeing how the themes resurface, grown even stronger, in my other favoritest of dear favorites Tangled! ;D Speaking of which, I'm off to your post!! :D


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