Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We had some fun...

That last entry was fun, wasn't it? How about every now and then I put up a few of my Ozian YouTube findings?

Now for something about the blog... I've already proved that I could post almost everyday, BUT... some of my 32 blog entries during the past month are kind of bland and dealt a little too much with personal life and not really much about Oz. I obviously put "quantity over quality" and tried to come up with a topic every day. I did that, and a lot of them seem like I wrote just it to have a blog entry that day. Sadly enough, in some cases, that is true.

Now, I would like to keep my blog updated very often, but I don't think I'll try another stunt like this again. What with this also being the production blog for The Wonders of Oz and other topics, I should be able to come up with some good entries.

Auf Wiederschen, good night!

Monday, July 30, 2007

GREAT Oz Videos!

Well, I have some advice... Don't get stuck on YouTube! You'll start finding funny things to make you LOL!

Like this "alternate ending" for Wicked (the musical) that was actually performed onstage!

Or this Family Guy tribute to The Wiz (the movie)...

And Eric Gjovaag said I could put the Tin Man ad in here, so here we go!

Hopefully you LOLed somewhere in there!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Some news

Okay, I have found a program that will help me take care of updating my Oz site more easily.

Also, Eric Gjovaag is showing a preview for the SciFi Channel's Tin Man in his blog. It looks really good! I'd embed it here, but it was uploaded by Mrs. Gjovaag, so I'm just linking to the entry, out of respect for them.

Now I wish I could see the series when it airs... (No cable for me!)

I talked to Aaron Pacentine earlier today. Episode 2 of The Wonders of Oz will be recorded soon, and he is also finishing TWO new episodes of Returning to Oz for his site. (Yeah, I'll be reviewing them!)

Anyone want to guess what Oz book I've been reading during my breaks at work?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Baum books on the way....

Today, I finally made my order with Hungry Tiger Press for their new editions of The Flying Girl & Her Chum and John Dough & The Cherub. However, I had to go for the more economical Media Mail instead of Priority Mail. With the recent increase in shipping costs, it was about $6.50 vs. a little over $13.

I'll be sure to let you know what I think of the books when I get them. I am sure they are of a high quality, though.

It's official... Dorothy & Ozma Productions will be moving

Tonight, I found my new server. It is called 8tt.org.

Why do I think it would serve my purposes? Please forgive what sounds like shoddy advertising, but you get...

  • Use your own domain name
  • 10 GB Disk Space
  • 10 GB Bandwidth
  • FTP Access
  • NO ADS!

I've already registered. The new URL will be http://dorothyozmapro.8tt.org, but I will not be changing any links or reccomending that people change their links until I get a new version of the site set up.

Can't wait to get to work. Now... I should go ahead and get the pictures needed for The Wonders of Oz episode 2 ready... and episode 3...

OH! And speaking of The Wonders of Oz, I have decided to merge the episode about new Oz books after the Famous Forty into the episode about Oz fans.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Want To Move My Oz Site

Recently, I've grown very dissatisfied with Tripod's service. (I even tried upgrading my account, but their site crashed on me.) As a result, I am looking to move (and renovate) my Oz website.

Here are some changes I want to make...

The online books available in PDF format as well as having them as regular webpages.

Expand the library to include more than just the Oz books. I also want to include the Royal Historians' other public domain works and let folks submit fan fiction.

Expanding the Woggle-Bug Review with a page for each item reviewed.

Give the site an even more user-friendly layout.

Give the site a more update-friendly style. (I HAVE been planning on adding a page with my Oz YouTube videos, but I'd have to go into each and every page and add a new link. I'd like to set it up where I just have to add a link once, and that's that.)

NOT SO MAJOR... I want to have the Oz Games collection available as an installation download, so it can be run without saving it your computer first. I do not like having the installation file in a zip, but Tripod requires it if it will be downloaded.

So... with that being said, anyone got any suggestions on a good server?

(Yes, I also posted this on the International Wizard of Oz Club's Message Board. Just REALLY want to do this!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Get out of my brain, Skot!

On the Daily Ozmapolitan, I found this link: boxoffice.thepodcastnetwork.com/2007/07/24/click-your-heels-together-producers/

Apparently, Skot C. has hacked into the e-mail correspondence of Sam Antony Milazzo and I OR came up with this himself.

In this open letter, he challenges movie producers to pick up on the Oz books. That's what I've been saying for the last two years or so. And, it seems, some folks have listened, although, a large-scale feature film has yet to be realized.

Alpine Pictures is producing Dorothy of Oz, an adaptation of Roger S. Baum's first (and seemingly best) Oz book.

There is also a computer-animated adaptation of The Tin Woodman of Oz in the works. It will be to test out some new software, and will be put together by computer animators all throughout the world, Wiki-style. Last I heard, it is planned for a 2008 release.

The SciFi Channel is producing Tin Man, featuring Zooey Deschanel and Alan Cummings as DG (Dorothy equivalent) and Glitch (Scarecrow equivalent), respectively.

Although nothing has been heard for awhile (unless someone has heard something), Oz Kids creator Willard Carroll is producing a Bollywood Oz movie. That means for India. Only thing I've seen is a weird picture of an emerald Taj Mahal.

On an off-note, the movie The Haunting completely ruined the idea of anything resembling the Taj Mahal in Oz for me. Remember, it isn't a gift, it's a tomb.

And there are fan films, too. Sean Pollock is working on a Sims Patchwork Girl of Oz. I wonder if he's seen Thundertoad Animation's version... Someone else is synching a Sims movie to the Colonial Radio Theatre's audio adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. There is a fan movie in the works on YouTube called The Princess of Oz, which seems to largely feature the Patchwork Girl and the Scarecrow. Although it's a documentary and not a story, I guess The Wonders of Oz is also a fan production, along with Gabriel Rodriguez's upcoming Return to Oz documentary, The Joy That Got Away.

Is the time right for an Oz feature film? I'd say it's overdue, and so do some of the wonderful Oz fans out there who have contacted me through the blog. Sam and I want to see a good adaptation done right. We want a faithful adaptation of the story that is not dull, and will not follow Eragon's special effects-driven style. There is an excellent story to work with here. It doesn't need to be bogged down with a lot of extra curliques and new details, although some touches wouldn't hurt. (Like my idea of showing how Dorothy's parents died, thus setting the mood for how we find the small Kansas farm and it's keepers at the beginning of the book.)

But some of Skot's comments here... Sam and I have been over most of these. It's like he dug into our brains. Who knows... maybe he's read my blog...

More Wonders!

I am still awaiting Aaron's narration of The Wonders of Oz episode 2. (Please remember, he is a busy chap, just like most of us.) In the meantime, I'm going to get more pictures ready and... I've already written episode 3, which, according to plan, will be about the non-Baum "Famous Forty" Oz books. It will end on a rather sad note, but will be picked up in a future episode.

Here is the episode list as it stands now...
EPISODE 0: Introduction
EPISODE 1: L. Frank Baum & The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
EPISODE 2: L. Frank Baum: 1900-1919

L. Frank Baum's life after the publication of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
EPISODE 3: The Oz Books Live On
The other Royal Historians, from Thompson to the McGraws.
EPISODE 4: The Fans of Oz
A treatise on the Oz fans, the International Wizard of Oz Club, and Oz websites.
EPISODE 5: International Oz
About the impact of Oz in other countries, but will mostly cover the "Magic Land" series in Russia.
EPISODE 6: Oz on Stage
From the 1902 musical to stage adaptations of the MGM movie.
EPISODE 7: Oz in Film: 1908-1933
Covers film adaptations from the Fairylogue & Radio Plays to the Ted Eshbaugh cartoon.
EPISODE 8: Leo in Oz
The MGM movie.
EPISODE 9: Oz In Pop Culture
The MGM's movie's influence on pop culture.
EPISODE 10: Easing On Down The Road
Oz in public domain, Oz movies of the '60s and '70s, and The Wiz.
EPISODE 11: Disney Goes To Oz
Disney's Oz projects, "The Rainbow Road to Oz," the read-along records, and "Return to Oz."
EPISODE 12: The Oz Books Live Again
About the new wave of Oz books written by Oz fans.
EPISODE 13: Wicked
About the book, it's sequels, and the musical.

There may be special episodes after this run or even during it. We'll see. One idea is an episode about L. Frank Baum's pseudonymous books. (Feel free to throw out any new ideas.) The list is very likely to change. (EXAMPLE: Since it's last revision, I have moved the episode about the MGM movie's impact to be made after the one about the movie.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Returning to Oz #25

Well, there's a new episode up for "Returning to Oz," BUT... this time, it's a video. And it's on YouTube, so NO DOWNLOADING REQUIRED. (I mean, you can download YouTube videos and convert them to practically any format you like, but that's beyond the scope of this blog...)

In the first part, after we are introduced to Aaron Pacentine, Sean Pollock, and Gabriel Rodriguez, Sean and Gabe talk a little bit about some of their Oz projects, including Mr. Rodriguez's upcoming Return to Oz documentary, which will be called The Joy That Got Away. During the rest of part 1, Sean talks about his experience with the Wicked musical. Interest piqued? Here's part 1.

On to part 2!
Sean talks a little bit about international Wicked. Gabriel is also able to talk about his inspiration for his upcoming documentary. (You can bet I'll blog on that!) Sean also shows off a bit of his Oz collection, including a first edition of "The Sea Fairies," a copy of "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" (which he says is believed to be a first edition, but it is obviously not, as it is in paperback), and some other items, including a sample of Queen Ann in Oz co-author Karyl Carlson's Oz Dolls. Get the full eyeful below!

And we then come to part 3. Sean shows off a few books in his collection. (He mistakenly calls the Return to Oz novelization "very rare.") Aaron closes the show with letting Sean and Gabriel and then himself talk about why they love Oz, especially Return to Oz.
And I guess you're expecting to see part 3 here, so here you go...

All in all, this is a very solid way to try out a new format for the series. The video would probably bore anyone with a short attention span, as it is, most of the time, three people talking to each other or to the camera/the audience. Sean doing his "show and tell," however, offers a bit of a break for anyone who thinks "talking heads" are dull. But to anyone interested in Oz, this will be a delight.

Guidelines for submitting to "The Wonders of Oz"

(Splitting last blog entry.)

As I've pointed people to my blog with my video, I guess I'd better explain the "help out" thing...

You can lend a hand in producing The Wonders of Oz. What'll it cost you? Nothing! I made the episode with no budget! (Well, other than the utility bill, the phone bill, and I guess rent, too.) If you are interested in being a "substitute" host in case Aaron Pacentine is too busy to record the narration, you can e-mail me a recorded sample of your voice. (I prefer mp3 files.) If I decide to have you narrate an episode, your real name and your photograph will be included. (These are a MUST. Being the host is not for anyone who wishes to be anonymous.)

If you have something you'd like to say, you can record it in either audio or video. The video cannot go over one minute of length, unless I specially request it. I am limited by YouTube's 10-minute length, and, in addition, we need to cater to those with short attention spans. I will also need your real name here, unless you remain anonymous, which will go only for audio. You can also send little interesting facts that you think should be included in certain episodes. (I'll get a revised list of planned episodes up soon.)

The biggest thing I need help with are the pictures! Seriously, I HATE scanning! I'll do it, however. If you have rare pictures that will be of use in the episodes, please send them. If you have pictures scanned into your computer, please send them. Even if I already have a copy I'm using, I'll credit you. (You CAN remain anonymous here!)

One thing I do want to ask. Please do not send me links on where or who I can get information from. I'm not mentioning any names, because it's been more than one person. But most of the time when this happens, I was already aware of what you're trying to say. Someone, in fact, even suggested that I consult Aaron Pacentine! (They obviously did not keep track on my blog of how I have had communication with him, and how I appeared on his radio show, and how I review HIS show, and before that e-mail, he had already expressed interest in being the host.) I've been researching Oz for awhile now, folks! If I didn't know these certain things, I wouldn't be doing this show. Pure and simple. I'm not trying to be rude, but there we go.

Now for my e-mail. View it in my Blogger profile. Basically, if you can't click on my pic and find the e-mail address, something is seriously wrong with you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

(Post 102) Wonders...

According to YouTube, the first episode of The Wonders of Oz has been watched 43 times, as of this writing. So far, everyone who has given me feedback loves it. Someone even asked for the Denslow font I used, and I realized it is no longer online. (So I sent it to him. I plan to get it back online, though.) OzThyme on the Oz Club message board said it was good and she looks forward to the rest of the episodes. Someone on MySpace asked who sang the song at the end. Sam Antony Milazzo says it is Oz-some!

And that's all the feedback I have so far. Oh well, I should hear from Aaron Pacentine this weekend... He's been in New York City, and has sadly missed the world premiere.

As for savings to buy those HTP books, I managed to save $20 from my last paycheck. Today's payday, but I also have to take off $100 for this month's rent (No, that's not my rent, or even all of my half. I'll pay the rest of my half of out my next check.) and I want, no, NEED to buy groceries tomorrow. (The gas station across the street has a small variety of pricey food, most of which is plain junk! I'm not paying $5 for Oreos!)

I also re-read Eric Gjovaag and Karyl Carlson's Queen Ann in Oz. As with the best Oz books, it was better when read the second time. (I'm now re-reading The Emerald Wand of Oz.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Released a day early!

Yes! I finished the first episode of "The Wonders of Oz!" Now you can finally figure out who the new host is!

This episode relates the life of L. Frank Baum from his birth in 1856 to Christmas, 1900. The next episode will continue his story. (NOTE: This does not completely detail his life. A short bibliography is included at the end to encourage further independent research for those TRULY interested.)

Aaron Pacentine of videosforfamily.com narrates.

Excerpt from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" read by J. Hall. (Librivox version.)
L. Frank Baum quote performed by AT&T Labs Text-to-Speech demo.
Songs "The Wonders of Oz" and "Oz Just Can't Continue" (sung by Susan Conway) from the 1964 animated "Return to Oz."
Movie Clips from "The Dreamer of Oz"
Pictures scanned by me and Marc Berezin. Some were obtained online. (Oz Central, The Oz Project, the Library of Congress)

About the new host: for some reason, I just couldn't record the narration without completely messing up. I e-mailed Aaron Pacentine, asking if he knew of anyone who would be interested in recording the narration. He was excited that this opportunity was open and offered to do it himself. (Just in case he can't do some episodes, I am open to switching out hosts, even if for just one episode, please e-mail if you are interested.)

I hope you enjoy the episode, and hope to hear some feedback soon.

Thank you, Nancy Tystad Koupal!

As I am working toward the completion of the first episode of The Wonders of Oz (I hope to have it on YouTube on Friday!), the latest winner of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award now has me even more convinced that she deserved it.

I am speaking of Nancy Tystad Koupal, who has produced two books about L. Frank Baum's life in Aberdeen: the complete collection of the Our Landlady stories from Baum's newspaper, and Baum's Road to Oz, a collection of essays and articles about L. Frank Baum's time in Aberdeen as well as some of his own work.

Aside from these being very instrumental in research, they are also loaded with pictures that will help the episode pick up after the sparse supply I had for Baum's earlier years. (I even added a note about how few pictures there were from Baum's childhood.) It even has the only baby picture of one of Baum's sons I could find: Harry Neal Baum, their third son.

Thanks, Nancy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

POSITIVE Wonders of Oz Update!

Today, VERY substantial work was done on The Wonders of Oz episode 1. You see, when I edited the audio file, I split it into six files. Today, I finished synching audio and video to the first file. Tomorrow, I should be able to do much more. (Will have to leave for work soon, but I'm off tomorrow.)

I have a question: should the clips from The Dreamer of Oz be shown in their original color, or sepia (brown and white) tone to match the photos? Post a comment, send an e-mail (click my pic to see my profile, where my e-mail is displayed), or drop a MySpace message. If I get NO feedback, sepia tone it is!

I am hoping to have it done by the end of the week! The long wait is almost over! (Sorry it has taken so long.)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ripping Problem Solved!

Hey! I finally got those two clips from The Dreamer of Oz ripped for The Wonders of Oz episode 1! I just waited for the computer to cool off, booted, and then did the ripping right away, and just let it rip! Yay! One problem taken care of! Now back to scanning in more pictures!

Oh, and I just added Hungry Tiger Press to my list of links. (Why didn't I do that before?)

Faulty AC Helps DELAY First Wonder...

The first episode of The Wonders of Oz will use at least two clips from The Dreamer Of Oz. (Yes, I took shameless advantage of a bootleg DVD version.) However, the inclusion involves DVD ripping. Unfortunately, my air conditioning is out, and if my computer overheats, it immediately shuts off. (DVD ripping can cause some extra heating.) So... I am going to have to have a little chat with my landlady about it tomorrow.

If anyone from Hungry Tiger Press is reading this (David Maxine once mentioned he read an entry in my blog), I am saving up for those books! I hope to be able to order by the end of the month. From this check, I will have $20-40 reserved. Not a bad start for a $60 order + S&H.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Bridge to... Oz?

Today, I put in The Bridge To Terebithia. Sam Antony Milazzo informed me it featured Zooey Deschanel, who will be in the SciFi Channel's upcoming miniseries Tin Man, their modern re-imagining of Oz, as DG: Dorothy Gale.

I wasn't sure who she played at first, so I paused the movie and looked up "Terebithia" on IMDb. To my surprise, I discovered there had also been a 1985 TV movie of the story. (I knew it was based on a book...)

I checked the cast list for the new movie. Zooey Deschanel played Mrs. Edmunds, the music teacher.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the entry for the TV movie, and lo and behold, Annette O'Toole had played Mrs. Edmonds (they had the name with an "o" instead of a "u" here, but I figure it is the same character).

The OZ connection? I already mentioned Tin Man, but Annette O'Toole played Maud Gage Baum in the 1990 TV movie, The Dreamer of Oz.

Weird huh? Two movies based on the same story had actresses who would be in future Oz movies or TV shows in the same role!

Okay, okay. Not too big, but I figured you may be interested.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Who said Friday the 13th was unlucky?

"I'm Ojo the Unlucky," replied the boy. "I might have known I would fail in anything I tried to do."

"Why are you Ojo the Unlucky?" asked the tin man.

"Because I was born on a Friday."

"Friday is not unlucky," declared the Emperor. "It's just one of seven days. Do you suppose all the world becomes unlucky one-seventh of the time?"

"It was the thirteenth day of the month," said Ojo.

"Thirteen! Ah, that is indeed a lucky number," replied the Tin Woodman. "All my good luck seems to happen on the thirteenth. I suppose most people never notice the good luck that comes to them with the number 13, and yet if the least bit of bad luck falls on that day, they blame it to the number, and not to the proper cause."

"Thirteen's my lucky number, too," remarked the Scarecrow.

"And mine," said Scraps. "I've just thirteen patches on my head."

The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum

For a Friday the 13th, I had a particularly good day. I was able to get all the sound editing for the first episode of The Wonders of Oz finished, and let me say, if you were to compare it to the original audio files I had to work with, it sounds remarkable. The new host, just like all of us, is human, and, like me, sometimes slipped on a word or two. I'm not holding this against him. When I recorded my voice for the introduction, I had the same problem. Thanks to some wonderful audio editing software called Audacity, I was able to fix my own recording, and that of the new host's.

This takes listening to the file, finding exactly where we slip, and then deleting the bit for a repeat or editing in a new piece. (In one occasion, I used one part of another word to correct a slight mispronunciation.) As the new host lives a few states away (now you at least know it is a male and a U.S. citizen), it was neccessary to request him to re-record a few parts that are sent to me through e-mail. So, what you will hear in the finished episode is combined of two sound files, and, I hope, you will not be able to tell where I switched from one to the other.

Work didn't go too bad, either. No one died, no merchandise was ruined, everyone got along, and I got my tasks done before we left.

After work, I did discover that my dad and my youngest brother and sister were staying the night, but by that time, it was Saturday the 14th... that doesn't count as bad luck caused by Friday the 13th. (Not to mention I love my family... especially these people.)

I also talked to the new host today, via telephone. He is very excited about this episode, the next one, and the future ones. So am I. Are you?

Friday, July 13, 2007

More On The Wonders of Oz Production!

At last I can get started on the FINAL edit of episode 1 of The Wonders of Oz!

Now for some news!

  • The new host is... I'm still not telling. Wait for the episode to come out to see!
  • I will have an end credits list, with a song.
  • These episodes are NOT to give you a completely detailed look at the topics they are covering. They are designed to provide basic knowledge for those who care to watch them. If anyone wants to know more, I will have a screen at the end that says "For more information on (enter topic here), read (or maybe "refer") to (list of books or resources)." Do your homework, folks!

And can I ask something else? If you're going to comment on my blog, please do not leave it anonymous. Please leave your name, or a screen name, or whatever. I just want to know who's trying to tell me something. If you have a good reason to preserve your anonymnity, then I am okay with it. But it's not going to mean much to me if someone who won't drop his or her name or screen name of some sort will tell me if an entry "stunk." Why would I want to know? Maybe to privately contact (e-mail, MySpace, whatever) them to know what they didn't like and why.

(If that sounded like I was mad, I am not. I can just get inquistive, and then annoyed.)

And for anyone who would like to contact me off of the blog, you can get my e-mail for the Oz community on my Blogger profile. Just click on my pic. I enjoy hearing from all of you!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yes! The Slippers!

Earlier today, I checked the IWOC Forums and discovered that Aaron Pacentine has started another Oz-related audio show, this one called The History of The Ruby Slippers. In the first episode, Aaron talks to a friend about how the Ruby Slippers made the transition from Baum's Silver Shoes to the red hue they carried on the big screen in 1939.

Aaron's friend does seem to be pretty knowledgeable about this topic, so it seems Aaron has made an excellent choice for a co-host.

In my past blog entries, I have stated I'm not a big fan of how MGM portrayed Baum's characters, but I'll keep an eye on this new series. MGM's movie is still a classic, and also a very good film, and it's still watchable... even though I haven't watched it recently...

Anyways, here is the link to where you can download this: http://www.videosforfamily.com/rubyslippersradio.htm

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This is Yours Truly

For anyone who has wanted to see what I look like in video WITH sound, here you go...

Why do the colors suddenly fade? It's because the camera had not completely focused on me. Unless you film in natural light, the videos filmed look very monochromatic. Like how Kansas should look in a new film version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?

My Return to Oz Music Video

As I left for work earlier today, I remembered that I never featured my "Return to Oz" music video in my blog!

First off, let's see the video. You don't want the behind-the-scenes information BEFORE you see it...

Now, for the story behind the video!

I had the idea for the video a few months before I put it together. My sister, however, who is a big Evanescence fan, was not enthused.

However, I was beginning my correspondence with the afore mentioned (in the blog) Sam Antony Milazzo, who lives in Australia. (The Land of Aus/Oz) He suggested I do a "Return to Oz" video, though he had the idea that I use the Scissor Sisters song. However, there was already another music video that I thought did the job very well. (Link.) I brought up the Evanescence song, and he thought it might be a good choice.

Later, I decided to give it a shot. I actually got fired from my old job, and, that night, figured out which shots I wanted to use, and began ripping them from the DVD. (Also that night, I re-watched Disney's Peter Pan and picked up and filled out 11 job applications.) Later, I began arranging them in clips. By 1 AM, I had the clips set to the song. However, I decided to save putting it together into a movie file until the next day.

That morning, I re-watched the video, and tightened up some of the editing. I saved the file (while I was waiting, I went to turn my completed applications), and later uploaded it.

So, why did I wait until July to post it on my blog when I'd made it and uploaded it in March?

I don't know...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Burst quietly into song...

Tonight, I made a pit-stop at Wal-Mart after work to buy some tea bags. While waiting in line, a mother and two daughters left. One of the daughters rode in the cart, as she was very small. I overheard the other one call her a "munchkin."

Immediately I began to sing quietly:
Calling all Munchkins,
Let's do lunchkins!
All for one!
And one for all!
Calling all Munchkins, Munchkins, Munchkins, Munchkins!
Take our call!

Yeah... I sang "Calling All Munchkins" from The Muppet's Wizard of Oz. Not one of my favorite movies, Oz or otherwise, but this is the only song that prominently features the word "Munchkins" except for "We're Munchkins Naturally" in the 1964 Return to Oz, which is not quite as catchy...

Oh... and I have the narration for episode 1 of "The Wonders of Oz!"

Monday, July 09, 2007

(Yawn...) I'm back...

Well, we're back from house-sitting. And online, I'm back from e-mail, MySpace, and the IWOC Forums, and ready to blog again!

This weekend, I re-read Edward Einhorn's Paradox in Oz for the third time. (For anyone who didn't catch it, this means I've read it four times.) This time, I think, I think, I finally figured out how the story worked out. I'd explain, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I definitely reccomend it.

It sounds like Eric Gjovaag had a great time at the Winkie Convention this weekend. Read about it on his blog, which I'm linking to (at last) from the link bar over to the right.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

See you Sunday night!

Hey, I'm house-sitting for my oldest brother and his wife, so I probably won't be online until Sunday night. By that time, I'm sure I'll have something thought up to blog about.

In the meantime, here is a clip from the stop frame animated version of Volshebnik Izumrudnovo Goroda...

(One of the best scenes...)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bet You Can't Eat Just One...

I don't often blog about the MGM version of The Wizard of Oz, but here's something with a rather weak Oz connection: Bert Lahr, 1939's Cowardly Lion, as the "Potato Chip Man" for Lays, who could never eat just one...

I had actually looked this up before, but found nothing. Then, someone on Eric Gjovaag's blog posted a comment with a link to a page that embedded this video.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

No OZ in video rental store...

Hey, last night I wrote a very long MySpace (on my personal profile, not the Dorothy & Ozma profile) blog about where I think has happened to America. In one part, I was talking about sensuality in the media, and related the following story...

I was surprised to walk into a video rental store called "Family Video" to see so many movies that have strong sexual themes toward the front, but recent (and clean) family fare like The Chronicles of Narnia and Charlotte's Web were pushed so far to the back. And they didn't even seem to carry The Wizard of Oz. (For anyone who knows of my great fondness for L. Frank Baum, I am referring to the classic Judy Garland movie from 1939, though I couldn't find other versions of Baum's creation, either.) The thing is, people are buying and renting sexually explicit films over good, decent films. (You want to know how many eyebrows were raised at Yours Truly buying the latest DVD edition of The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh?) Shouldn't these films and TV shows be more restricted than they have been recently and the cleaner fare be encouraged?

EDIT: Visited "Family Video" again on 7/6/2007. Found the new 2-disc version of the MGM movie, Disney's Return to Oz, and The Muppet's Wizard of Oz. But still, for a place called "Family Video," non-family films mainly ran the gamut.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, John Dough!

Across the Deadly Desert from the Land of Oz lies a large island divided into two countries: Hiland and Loland. These two countries are ruled by John Dough, a life-sized, lifelike gingerbread man. He is ruled by Chick the Cherub, the Head Booleywag.

John Dough was baked on July 4th, the year (presumably) being 1906.

Hiland and Loland have been at peace since the beginning of King Dough's beneficent reign.

(Get Hungry Tiger Press' reprint of John Dough & the Cherub.)

Oh, and have a great Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Beginning Of An Oz Book

Some time ago, on the Oz Club message board, I mentioned that I had been working on stories about Oz's early history. I did write a very poor first draft, but later expanded it with a framing sequence, which also serves as the book's first chapter.

(Paragraphs that are in parenthesis would be footnotes if this was printed.)

If I write more, it will depend on my imagination, time, and the reception, so please let me know what you think. Here goes...

The Sawhorse carried the Red Wagon along the smooth road.

"There was no road when I first came this way," remarked Dorothy to Ozma as the two rode to Glinda's palace.

"There wasn't one when I first came this way, either," replied the dainty ruler of Oz. "But your first adventure caused it to happen."

"I've never heard how," replied the homely but sweet princess.

"Well, it wasn't very easy," said Ozma. "First we had to move the Forest of the Fighting Trees, and the Dainty China Country, then we had to move the Hammerheads into a valley where they can't hurt anyone unless they come in. Your first visit caused lots of changes. In fact, I probably never would have become the ruler of the Emerald City had it not been for you."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, let's look at it this way: if you hadn't come, Jinjur never would have had started her army. Then if I ran away from Mombi when I was Tip, I would have found the Wizard still ruling the Emerald City. The Scarecrow would still be in his old cornfield, the Tin Woodman rusting away, the Cowardly Lion still hiding in the Munchkin Forest, and the Wicked Witches of the East and West still alive. If I'd been lucky, I might have found my way to Glinda and sought protection from her. And then who knows what may have happened then?"

(What really DID happen, by the way, is related in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.)

"Well, maybe things would have worked out all right in the end," suggested Dorothy.

"Perhaps for us," replied Ozma. "But what about you? Your Uncle Henry would have lost his farm regardless of your coming to Oz or not. Then where would that have left you?"

(Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a plan in "The Emerald City of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.)

"I see your point, but still, I might have found another way to Oz."


"So why are we going to Glinda's? We visit weekly on Thursday when we're not busy with an adventure or something."

Ozma smiled and looked at the Sawhorse.

"Trot!" she shouted.

With a grunt and a snort, the Sawhorse ran as fast as he could.

In a few minutes, the Red Wagon arrived at Glinda's palace, where the two princesses were admitted at once.

Dorothy and Ozma found Glinda in the garden of the palace. Upon her lap was a book with a blue cover and gilt-edged pages.

"Is it done?" asked Ozma.

"Yes, it's done at last," replied Glinda.

"What is it?" asked Dorothy, beginning to feel as if the two were trying to keep some wonderful secret from her.

Glinda smiled at her.

"Oz has a very interesting history," she began.

"I know," returned the girl, "I've lived through most of it."

"Not most, it turns out," replied the Sorceress, holding up the book. "Oz has been around for centuries and you've only seen the latest one."

"But what is it?" asked Dorothy, wishing that her two friends would answer the question.

"Very little of the early history of Oz is known," continued Glinda.

"The earliest we know of it," said Ozma, "is that there was a cruel king who drank from a magical fountain that caused him to completely lose his memory. Afterwards, his subjects began to tell him how wicked he used to be. Fearing he would go back to his old ways, he made his subjects drink from the fountain as well."

"I've heard the story before," replied Dorothy, beginning to guess what Ozma and Glinda were getting to. "But why is it the earliest bit of history that is known?"

"That's it," said Glinda. "Before that time, Oz's history was passed down in stories told to children all throughout their lives. No one bothered to write it down. When the formerly cruel King, Goodvin, made all of his subjects drink from the fountain, all of Oz's history was lost with it."

"But wouldn't it be in the Book of Records?" asked Dorothy.

"No, for the book did not exist when Goodvin made the people drink from the fountain," answered Glinda. "However, there are other sources for this knowledge. I was very fortunate to find them at last. So, with the help of Professor Woggle-Bug, I have put together a book about the earliest histories of Oz."

Dorothy was very glad her question had been answered at last.

"Well," she said, "why don't we look and see how Oz began?"

Ozma smiled at her.

"Why do you think we came here?"

Monday, July 02, 2007

Do NOT send e-mail to my Hotmail...

Hey, I've been having problems with Hotmail's mail service. Any e-mail with attachments that are not pictures do not get to me. This is making me very upset! Particularly because I'm going to have to wait another week to get the narration for The Wonders of Oz episode 1... Yeah... they blocked THAT e-mail...

SO, if you have a submission for The Wonders of Oz, please send it to my Yahoo e-mail address at scarecrowandtinman2002@yahoo.com. Not only will I get it, but Yahoo now has unlimited e-mail storage, meaning that I can keep your submissions online without worrying about my space being depleted.

If you already have it bookmarked, you can drop me a line (but just a message) at dorothyandozma@hotmail.com, I'm still going to check it, as Sam sends his e-mail to that one.

Wow, looks like I'm getting a good start to beating June's record...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Baum Bugle : : Winter 2006

Well, I got the latest Baum Bugle yesterday, and per tradition, here's my look at it...
The colorful cover is a picture from L. Frank Baum's John Dough and the Cherub. This specific picture depicts John, Chick, and Para Bruin and their escape from the Isle of the Mifkets. The original version of the book had the picture colored with black dots and shades of red and yellow. Here, however, it has been produced wonderously as a full-color picture. (Unfortunately, Hungry Tiger Press' new edition will not use color except for the cover, so we will not be seeing a complete collection of beautifully colored illustrations from John Dough soon.)

(Picture from original edition. Taken from scan at http://www.archive.org/details/johndoughthecher00baumrich)

(The picture recolored on the latest Baum Bugle.)

Oz and Ends covers many recent topics, many of which you may already know. Oz Park's new Dorothy statue, the Madame Alexander Happy Meal toys (they mistakenly believed Eric Gjovaag's April Fool's joke!), Chik-fil-A's give away abridgement of Ozma of Oz, Wicked opening in Australia next year, MANY new books, The Sword of Oz e-book, which I looked at last night, two new DVDs, and other news.

J. L. Bell looks at John Dough & The Cherub and does his usual excellent and well-researched job of it. There are also reviews of John Dough from 1906, and Ruth Berman relates how the map of surrounding countries (and oceans and islands) around Oz have changed. Atticus Gannaway relates the possible origins of Ruth Plumly Thompson's Pigasus.

Jane Albright reviews the Your Host, Walt Disney DVD collection, and the books Toto of Oz, the new Discontented Gopher picture book, Roger S. Baum's The Oz Odyssey, Time in Oz, and reprints of two books by the first two Royal Historians of Oz and a translation of Ozma of Oz are reviewed as well.

Tricia Trozzi takes us to the Munchkin Convention, Marcus Mebes lets us know what went down at the first Tex-Oz convention, and Blair Frodelius gives us a peek at the Wonderful Weekend of Oz.

Then we come to something very sad: memoriams for Pete Cerevnak and Mark Haas, two Oz fans who passed away earlier this year.

We also get a few treats: a list of quiz questions (answers in the back, no peeking!), John R. Neill's original pencil sketch for his picture of John Dough, Chick the Cherub and Para Bruin arriving at Ozma's party in The Road to Oz. Also, the 2006 winner of the L. Frank Baum memorial award is revealed. Congratulations, David Moyer!

On the back cover, we see Lau Shu Fan's cover artwork for Opium Book's 1966 reprint of John Dough & the Cherub. It looks a little too cartoonish for my taste, and is no competitor for Neill. BUT, it is nice to see.

If you don't have this, join the Club. Or, if you are a member, hope this has whetted your appetite for it!

People Being Rude In Public

Let me regale you with a story about reading a book in a library...

One day, I was at the library. I would normally go to use the Internet, mainly because most books I wanted to read I would buy so I could read them at my own pace without having to worry about an overdue fine or renewing. (So, after I got home internet access, I haven't really been to the library...)

I would usually take the bus. This specific day, I missed it, so I went back inside the library so I could read the book I bought in peace. The book happened to be Sky Island by L. Frank Baum. (My copy!)

I sat down at one of the little reading tables they have (with a lamp in the middle, so your book is completely illuminated). By and by, an elderly looking chap walked up. He looked at me, so I looked back at him.

"Excuse me," he said, "is that a Christian book?"

Now, as I have mentioned before, I am a Christian as well as an Oz fan, not a perfect one, but struggling to get things right.

"No," I replied. Why would I need (or even want) to lie to this guy?

"Well, I heard that there's a Christian college near here, and figured this would be the library for it."

I ignored him and he left.

Yes, there is a Christian college near that library. In fact, there are five! CBC, BBC, SBU, SVU, and Evangel, where my mom went and later told us about the spiders and gigantic insects. In fact, Springfield has many colleges. In addition to these Christian colleges, there is also Drury and MSU, formerly SMS (where Kendra Kassebaum, one of Wicked's Galinda/Glindas, attended), and two night school colleges whose names often change.

BUT... Evangel, BBC, SBU, SVU, Drury and MSU all have their own libraries...

Why did this guy feel a need to ask me if I was reading a Christian book? Did he think it was his right to know? Christians are not banned from reading non-Christian books, by any means.

Although, there are some Christians who feel it is their duty to overdo their responsibilities. There was this one radio preacher who was so against anything non-Christian, he told people not to drink tea because of fortune teller's use of tea leaves, and medicinal herbal teas sometimes used in non-Christian religions. I also remember he proudly told a girl in a hospital that she need to read the Bible after tearing up a magazine she was perusing. That guy is now dead, but he was promised his program would be re-aired until Jesus returned. (They're in for a wait...)

Anyways... it was very rude of this guy to ask me that.


This is hardly Ozzy.