Saturday, November 28, 2009

Emerald City of Oz, Chapter 2 Discussion

I hope you have downloaded a copy of The Emerald City of Oz, and are reading along with me. These are really quite short chapters, and quick and easy to read.

In this Chapter, we see that L. Frank Baum understands where we are at today, economically. Uncle Henry had to build another house at some point previous to our story, because a cyclone took away his other one. Because he is a poor man, he had to mortgage his farm. Now he is over-due on his mortgage payment; and, the banker is going to take it all away, unless he can pay.

Both Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are concerned for Dorothy's well being. Em and Henry plan on moving and looking for honest work somewhere. They fear they won't be able to support Dorothy as they have in the past. It isn't clear to any of them what Dorothy will be able to do to make money. They talk about Dorothy going away to live in fairyland. Uncle Henry is the most skeptical. Dorothy promises them that she will return before they have to give up the farm.

Dorothy goes into the attic at at the prescribed time, and she makes the secret sign given to her by Princess Ozma of Oz. Dorothy vanishes from the attic in Kansas and is transported instantly to fairyland. When Aunt Em and Uncle Henry go to check on the little princess, she is gone!

Dorothy has a plan to save the farm. What do you think it will be? What will happen when the angry Nome King finds out that Dorothy is back in fairyland?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Emerald City of Oz, Chapter 1 Discussion

I just finished reading the first chapter in the Emerald City of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. I found several free copies to download and read via a google search. Feedbooks has a nicely formatted pdf version for anyone interested. At some point, we'd like to have the entire series on the website.

Baum wrote an "Author's Note" in the beginning of The Emerald City of Oz. In it he makes an admission that should be of special interest to any of our Writing Contest hopefuls, this year. I have extracted this for your benefit here:

" Perhaps I should admit on the title page that this book is "By L. Frank Baum and his correspondents," for I have used many suggestions conveyed to me in letters from children. Once on a time I really imagined myself "an author of fairy tales," but now I am merely an editor or private secretary for a host of youngsters whose ideas I am requested to weave into the thread of my stories.
These ideas are often clever. They are also logical and interesting. So I have used them whenever I could find an opportunity, and it is but just that I acknowledge my indebtedness to my little friends..."

After reading his note, I was eager to get into the story. I was amazed at how little time it took for Baum to implant a wisdom teaching. On the very first page, there was a most beautiful notion that could have been spoken by the Buddha himself.

In chapter one, we meet the Nome King, and his Chief Counselor, among others. The Nome King is very unhappy because Dorothy and Ozma of Oz have previously taken his magic belt. The Nome King explains that this is inhibiting his ability to perform magic. He summons his Chief Counselor for advice, and this is what his Chief Counselor says on the bottom of the first page:

"Why, if you are angry because you want to do magical things and can't, and if you don't want to get angry at all, my advice is not to want to do magical things."
While some of you may dismiss this, as the Nome King did, as foolish, this is actually a legitimate thought process proscribed within the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha. The particular truth goes something like this, "Dissatisfaction with life arises from desiring to have what cannot be had or desiring to avoid what cannot be avoided."

By the end of the first chapter, we see that King Roquat the Red is not a very likeable Nome. He is needy and doesn't take the advise of those he has entrusted to advise him. It is said that no one loves him; and, that isn't too hard to imagine. On the last page of the chapter he resolves...
"to destroy the Land of Oz and its magnificent Emerald City, to enslave Princess Ozma and little Dorothy and all the Oz people, and recover his Magic Belt."

It seems this will be a tale of vengeance thwarted; or, at least I hope so, for Oz sake!

I hope you join me in reading or re-reading this book! Please post a comment and let me know what your thought are!


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Oz-Stravaganza! gets a Google Apps Account!

I set up a Standard Google Apps Account for Team-Oz late last night. This will help the organization communicate more via the Internet.

For any member of the Oz-Stravaganza Committee who gets a login account, they will be able to use group e-mail, a shared calendar, shared documents, internal group sites, and more.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blog URL updated!

This blog can now be reached via either of the two following addresses:



CyberCede Corporation

New Website Under Construction

The Oz-Stravaganza! website is in the process of moving to a new server location, as well as being re-written from the ground up.

Edge-On Graphics, a division of CyberCede Corporation, is re-designing the site as a donation to the village of Chittenango and the Greater Sullivan Area Chamber of Commerce.

The site will still be found at the well-known address.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 Theme

The theme for 2010 is "The Emerald City of Oz", by L. Frank Baum. The book was published in 1910, which will make it one hundred years old this year. "The Emerald City of Oz" was the sixth book in the thirteen book series by Baum. In this book, the Emerald City is said to have 9654 buildings and 57,318 citizens, at the time of the telling of Baum's tale.

This holiday season, the Oz-Stravaganza! Committee is asking businesses that will be hanging holiday lights to hang strings of green lights to help approximate a feeling of Emerald City in the village of Chittenango, where L. Frank Baum was born. Hopefully, in June, when the Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 event happens, businesses will re-light their green lights to help promote the Emerald City theme for the actual event.

This year's theme-logo was designed with the assistance of the entire Oz-Stravaganza! Committee with special thanks going to Mark Sample and Bridget Walling. Bridget, a professional graphic artist at Edge-On Graphics, created the theme-logo in Adobe Illustrator software. She will also be the lead designer for the new website.

Edge-On Graphics is the Cyberspace Development Division of CyberCede Corporation.

CyberCede Corporation