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Okay, at long last, I am sharing the video of my presentation at the New York Tolkien Conference here. The full title (which will not fit in the space allotted for titles) is "The Loremasters of Fëanor: Historical Bias in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Transformative Works." It discusses both the evidence for historical bias in Tolkien's works (especially The Silmarillion) and how the fan community uses that bias to create fanworks.

You won't be able to see the data and other visual aids on the screen behind me. That data (as well as a detailed synopsis of the paper) is available on my blog The Heretic Loremaster.

Also, a friendly reminder that The Heretic Loremaster does have a feed set up on both LJ and DW at [syndicated profile] heretic_lore_feed. Following this feed will bring new HL posts directly to your flist. Because my journal has come to be just that--a journal--it is usually the last place that I bring fannish stuff; however, I know a lot of people who friended me here did so because of our shared fandom involvement, so if you miss seeing that stuff here, the HL feed might help a bit. (Just a bit because it is infrequently updated thanks to my grad school schedule!) Also, please remember that I have no ownership or control over this feed, which means that I don't receive comments left on feed posts. Please comment directly on the posts themselves; no membership is required to do so.

The paper will eventually be available to read but I need to clean up citations first. If you don't mind my sloppy sourcing and want a copy early, just let me know.
Well, when it rains it pours, in a good way this time. Some of you might remember a few weeks ago when I had mad deadlines for things and was biting my fingers till they bled (how I react when stressed out!). Both being due simultaneously meant that they were both published within the past two days.

My article "Fictional Scholarship: How the Peter Jackson Films and Fandom Archives Make Tolkien Fan Fiction Writers into Competent Critics" is out in Mythprint 52:1. It is a shortened version of my Mythmoot paper (which will eventually be available for free online in the proceedings) but does introduce some new data and expands on some of the points I couldn't really delve into in my Mythmoot paper because of time. Unfortunately, I don't have a link for this one, but Mythopoeic Society members will get it as part of Mythprint. There were no strings attached on this article, so I can reprint it wherever and whenever I want, and I will post it on the Heretic Loremaster in a couple of weeks. I just want to give Mythprint the courtesy of having it first for a while.

And my article In a Stone House by the Sea: The Founding and Governing of the Silmarillion Writers’ Guild is available in Signum University's Eagle. (Here is the entire March edition of the Eagle.) The timing on this was perfect because, believe it or not (and I am still having trouble believing it), the SWG's tenth begetting day* is tomorrow.

*Just like an Elf, the SWG has a begetting day and a birthday because I set it up on March 15 and then chickened out about doing anything with it until later in the year, having been utterly unqualified to start anything of that scope, even as I imagined it then. Uli pushed me in the summer to try to actually, um, get people to join, so I count the end of July as its birthday.

Finally, I wrote an essay, We Are Fëanor? Thoughts on Reading Moral Ambiguity into the Characterizations of the Fëanorians, which I posted to the Heretic Loremaster and also Tumblr. (Also a reminder that [syndicated profile] heretic_lore_feed will display HL posts on your friends page. I don't use the HL very much these days but it [and the entire Midhavens site] will be getting a facelift and some renewed attention once my MA is done and then I hope to have regular updates from me and People Not Me.)
Yesterday was official Planting Day in the House of Felagund, so I spent about six hours outside in the garden, doing various chores to prepare and plant the non-hardy plants. My mind wanders where the stars are strange during such times, and I wrote a poem ... or rather, fragments of a poem. Then I was settling down later to read and thwap! said poem smacked me in the side of the head and demanded to be written. So I did.

The summary on the SWG and AO3: Fëanor's death and its aftermath, as told by the Fëanorian bards and as it truly happened. A free-verse poem.

Speaking of, it is also posted on the SWG and AO3.

Notes on its inspiration are at the end. I'd love to hear what people think of it.

The Death of Fëanáro )
This series of vignettes was written to satisfy the Five Things challenge proposed by [personal profile] heartofoshun for the SWG's fifth birthday celebration. I wanted to do this challenge since Oshun first suggested it months ago but had trouble dredging up an idea. Just as I was beginning to angst about coming up with nothing, then this idea floored me, and I wrote parts of this piece mentally in the morning and committed it to paper pixels that afternoon.

"Five Bells" considers the death of Míriel Þerindë from five different perspectives. Given the subject matter, I've rated it for Teens over at the SWG, since it deals with death and dark themes. (The latter should be a default warning for my writing by now; I should warn when a story doesn't contain dark themes.)

As always, comments are welcome here, over on the SWG, or on Many Paths to Tread.

Five Bells )
Pandemonium is to credit (or maybe to blame? ;) for initiating my interest in the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, as well as first suggesting that the mythologies of Tolkien and Lovecraft could be combined quite intriguingly. When I finished a collection of Lovecraft stories over my winter holidays, I was immediately inspired to try blending the two into a story. My life being what it is right now, it was my hope that I could finish it for Pandemonium's birthday, which is today. I barely made my goal and finished the story last night.

One does not need to be familiar with Lovecraft to understand this story. I was inspired by his style and some of the common elements that he uses in his fiction, but the mythological basis is wholly Tolkien. "Hastaina" is set in the future, after the Ring War, when one of the loremasters of Valinor journeys to the ruins of Angband in search of secret knowledge that he believes Melkor stole when he razed Formenos at the end of the era of the Trees, knowledge that he hopes can aid his people in restoring Arda to its unmarred state. What he discovers there is enough to invert his beliefs and drive him to the brink of madness.

"Hastaina" is rated Teens on SWG for mature themes and some violence (as would be expected in a story that is largely set in Angband). As always, comments--both positive and constructive--are more than welcome.

Hastaina )
Yes, I am really and truly posting a Silmfic story! That I wasn't "required" to write for an SWG challenge! Fancy that! :)

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I am offering this story as a mathom to my fandom friends. I used to write stories for my friends all of the time, and I really enjoyed this, but returning to school (as well as other obligations, fannish and otherwise) has meant that I no longer have time for as much writing as I would like. I miss it. One day, hopefully, I will return to it.

The summary I have given on my website and on SWG: Valinor has been left in darkness, and Finarfin is the new king of the Noldor. One night, he awakens with a strange vision: Someone has died in Middle-earth--but who?

I've rated this story Teens on SWG because of (obvious) character death and mature themes, whatever that is. I don't think there's much reason to tread with care unless you're bothered by canon characters biting the canonical dust.

The story is dark and weird and not very birthdayish at all, but I'm sure this goes without saying. As always, feedback (positive and negative) is welcome but certainly not expected. This story can also be read on my website and the SWG.

The Message )

These small stories are for [ profile] rinnor, who said, "I'd like to see a story about forgiveness among the Noldor in Aman. Since they're an immortal people, and tribal, I imagine that social pressure would push both parties to resolve their differences, but that's my interpretation ... Whereas mortals can take a grudge to the grave, how does an immortal come to terms with a grievance against another, when s/he is likely to see the other party, well, forever."

This was a wonderfully thought-provoking challenge, one that I thought I could tackle two ways: in a novella (or longer) or as a series of shorter pieces. Needless to say, for now, I had to choose the latter. :)

Therefore, what follows are three fixed-length ficlets, each about a different kind of forgiveness among the Noldor. (Though only two take place in Aman ... I hope you can forgive me!) This series is a nice safe General rating on SWG, and I have no particular warnings to offer for any of these.

Young Fëanáro is confronted by his father about his biggest flaw: his inability to find forgiveness for his new half-brother. A quibble (500 words).

Unforgiving )

Maitimo learns from his baby brother about loss, pride, and forgiveness. A quadrabble (400 words).

Broken )

Nolofinwë on why even the most grievous deeds must be forgiven. 700 words.

The Spiderweb )

This story was written for Elleth, who asked for "Feanor and Nerdanel meet again during the end of the world ... [and] seeing something more action-packed would be nice."

It is probably indicative of the sort of writer that I am that I was more worried about the second part than the first!

The request is pretty indicative of the summary: After ages of estrangement during which Nerdanel has finally found peace, she is summoned to Tirion to meet the request of one she never thought she'd see again.

There is some very mild sexuality and violence in this story, but nothing that shouldn't make it suitable for most audiences.

Rekindling )
"For What I Wait" was written for [ profile] live4love. It certainly doesn't brim with cheer ... but she asked for it! That is, an "AU in which Fëanor outlives all of his children."

In this particular tale, Fëanor takes care of Maglor during his last days alive. While there is nothing graphic in terms of sex or violence in this piece, it does contain discussion of suicide, so readers bothered by suicide might want to avoid this one. Generally, though, the story should be suitable for most readers.

For What I Wait )

Almost caught up! Still more drabble-type things, written on a somewhat daily basis.

Finwë, upon returning to his people from Valinor, ponders the difficulty of putting into words what he has seen. I've gone for a slightly surreal feel here in hopes of maybe conveying what it was like for the early Elves, dwelling in a world where so many things are new to them and there is much still to understand. This is a tribble, 300 words.

Words to Tell )

Morgoth attempts to persuade Maedhros into encouraging his brothers' surrender. Please be forewarned that this piece contains torture and violence, nothing graphic, but possibly bothersome to some readers.

This piece is a drabunculus. As far as I know, I invented the drabunculus form; at the very least, I invented the name drabunculus. Drabunculus is like homunculus: It is a single drabble with drabbles inside of it. In this particular piece, each number of the count (One, Two, Three) marks the start of a new drabble, a new introspection from Nelyo. The "container" of these three drabbles is also a drabble, bringing the word count for the piece to exactly 400 words.

It's not a particularly easy form to write, and I always swear that each drabunculus will be my last. But the form seemed well suited for this particular piece, so I brought it out again.

This is going to be the last, though. ;)

Persuasion in Three Drops )

This is one of those double-purpose series again. It is first--like all of the ficlets and series here so far--inspired in part by the word of the day. It is also a birthday gift for Anglachel in response to her request on HASA for a story about a building.

I've chosen Fëanor's house in Formenos. I will make a quick note on canon interpretation before offering the story. In the Felakverse that I use for my stories, Formenos did exist before Fëanor used it as a fortress for hiding his treasures. It began as a mining town that developed a reputation for serving as a safe haven for craftsmen with extraordinary talent and eccentric tendencies. Hence Fëanor's attraction to it. He spent summers here for many years before his exile from Tirion; hence his decision to live and store his treasures there during his banishment.

The note that Formenos was built after Fëanor's exile was made my Christopher Tolkien, and I don't consider it canon as I have never found writings from J.R.R. Tolkien backing it up. The word Formenos does mean "northern fortress," and that is the only--and rather flimsy, in my opinion--evidence behind CT's addition to the index that I have found.

So here are three drabbles and three double-drabbles about Fëanor's house in Formenos. Happy birthday, Anglachel!

ETA: This ficlet became immensely popular after I first posted it on my daily drabble on SWG and on the birthday-card forum on HASA. It's one of my favorites too, though, so I'm not complaining!

The House of Unexpected Light )

A silly little ficlet in 700 words. Celegorm gets stuck in a window, and Caranthir helps him out. Featuring hedgehogs, neglected laundry duty, and a bit of bathroom humor … literally. You've been warned.

How Carnistir Fixed the Towel Rack )

Just after Fëanor's birth, before Míriel's condition is revealed, Finwë is tormented by unease. A perfect hundred-word drabble.

Nonsense )

Still more daily drabbles/ficlets/whateverthehelltheyare ...

It is said that Amandil set sail in a small ship at night, and steered first eastward, and then went about and passed into the west. And he took with him three servants, dear to his heart, and never again were they heard of by word or sign in this world, nor is there any tale or guess of their fate.

The fate of Amandil …

This Place )

Fëanor and Finwë argue about the Valar. I've intended something of a chaotic feel to this piece; Finwë is only reluctantly coming to the realization that something is afoot. This will culminate, of course, with Fëanor's exile from Tirion and the Valar taking Finwë's right to make the decision concerning the fate of his son and subject.

Blindness )

Maedhros on the plasticity of memory following Angband. Please note: This double drabble contains violence, not quite enough to warrant an adult rating but enough that I ask readers to tread with care.

None Need Know )

Fëanor replies to Finwë from Monday's double drabble Blindness about his growing mistrust of the Valar.

Perspective )

Maedhros on the day that Celegorm and Curufin arrive in Himring after being banished from Nargothrond. A double drabble.

The Calm Before )

The attempt to back up all of my daily drabbles on my LJ continues. I know that these are not new for most of my flist; for those who might read them for the first time, I hope you enjoy!

My daily-drabble project is on SWG here. It's updated daily ... more or less. ;)

On the way to Alqualondë, Fëanor thinks on the Silmarils. It has always been my private theory that part of Fëanor's obsessive pursuit came with the association of the theft of the Silmarils with Finwë's murder, almost as though to resolve the first would also resolve the second. This drabble explores this idea.

Longing for Light )

Today is Friday the 13th, and today's word deals with a phobia more irrational than most (and phobias are inherently irrational). So today's tribble--exactly 300 words--deals with what appears at first glance to be borne of paranoia and irrationality, a misgiving that leads to the creation of the Silmarils. This idea is expressed in The Silmarillion:

In that time were made those things that afterwards were most renowned of all the works of the Elves. For Fëanor, being come to his full might, was filled with a new thought, or it may be that some shadow of foreknowledge came to him of the doom that drew near; and he pondered how the light of the Trees, the glory of the Blessed Realm, might be preserved imperishable.
Irrational )

Fëanor, it seems, has taken over the daily drabble. Today's tribble again features him, but when the Word of the Day means "fruitful and productive," then who else but Fëanor comes to mind?

I've always believed that Fëanor was a difficult, demanding father but nonetheless adoring of his children. In fact, I spent an entire novel developing this idea. Today's piece looks at the same in the more reasonable length of 300 hundred words.

But a Stone )

Today's word is a funny one, so I've made an attempt at a humor piece. Celegorm cleans his room, in 200 words.

Housecleaning )

Today's tribble (300 words) is dual-purposed. For one, it is inspired by the Word of the Day, bibelot. For another, it is dedicated with fondest wishes to Cheryl, who asked for a birthday drabble called "Wet Elves." Well, it's only one wet Elf and I've chosen a different title, but I hope that it suffices. Happy birthday, my dear!

Eärwen watches her soon-to-be husband construct a special gift for her on the beach of Alqualondë.

Love in Pearls (a.k.a. Wet Elves) )
Since I've forgotten to post "The Tapestries" for two weeks now, then I am posting the last three chapters all at once. They're not long, but for a story of only twenty-six pages, posting this thing seems to be dragging on forever. And clearly, posting two multi-chapter stories at the same time is a bit beyond me.

I do thank all of you who have read--and especially commented--on this odd little story. I apologize for being so spotty in sharing it.

Chapter Nine )

Chapter Ten )

Chapter Eleven )


Jan. 20th, 2007 12:00 am
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
He strikes again.

Yesterday, I cheerfully set out from work, having spent about three hours completely annotating the foreword to HoMe1 with my personal thoughts, notes, and summaries. I got home, plugged in my USB key, and....


In a half-hour?

The HoMe notes are gone. The three chapters of the AMC prequel that I wrote at the lake and hadn't yet backed up...gone. My supercool Access writing database...gone too. (Also not backed up because I was still tinkering with it. Access is good for tinkering.)

Now deep down in my logical heart of hearts (that is astounded at the number of cliches that I used in that phrase and wonders if my brain corrupted along with the USB drive), I know that Fëanor really doesn't have anything to do with it. He's not real! He's a character in a book! That he once deleted a chapter from his PoV that I was working on; that the chapter turned out to be mostly lies that I had to completely rewrite; that part of AMC got eaten when my last USB drive failed; that now the new novel about him gets chewed up (though two chapters from Nerdanel's PoV were just fine)...I know that this is a coincidence. Yesterday, I was angsting that whenever I write a story about Fëanor, I suffer some sort of odd data loss. Then I realized that since I started writing fanfic, I've spent no more than a few months not writing about Fëanor, so simple probability would make this so. Still, I wonder if this particular incident was belated revenge for slashing him in By the Light of Roses because I really liked the chapters I'd written from his PoV for the AMC prequel.

Still, being a dumb optimist, I spent last evening grumbling and then thought about the good things that come from having a USB drive corrupt. For one, the whole thing didn't corrupt. Granted, most of the stuff that I needed corrupted, but that's not the point.

  • For one, there were some organizational problems with the prequel. As I was explaining to Bobby, I am good at revising "micro" issues in my stories--things at the word, sentence, even paragraph level--but "macro" problems at the level of the chapter or story as a whole...not so good. I see what needs to be done but simply lack the ability to do it. That's why poor "Cold Hands" has been "in revision" for the better part of a year now, because I have to reorganize the first half-page or so. Anyway, now I can fix the organizational problems. When I rewrite the chapters.

  • In reading and taking notes on the HoMe1 foreword for a third and second time, respectively, I'll know it that much better! Which should make for a more helpful summary, hopefully.

  • "Akliya," which I had copyedited last week and revised a bit, was not corrupted. Quickly, I saved it to the network at work before it changed its mind. But I really was not looking forward to revising/copyediting that story again, so I was glad that that was saved.

  • Fëanor's past antics have taught me the value of backing up and backing up some more. So beside those items I mentioned--finished during the last week--I didn't lose anything else.

So next week, I'll set out to write again the chapters of my prequel. I'm already halfway done the HoMe notes. Again.

By the way, my USB key was called "Fingolfin." I've already decided that the new USB key will be called "Arafinwë." Silly me, guess I didn't notice the Dark Lord that had snuck into my purse and hacked "Fingolfin" down with a big hammer called Grond....
Last week, Feanor burned the ships and stranded his kin in Valinor. This week, he goes just a little crazier and gets a little more paranoid.

There's not much left to post of this story. Thanks to all who are reading and especially to those of you who have left me such kind and helpful comments! I'm still catching up on replies, but I haven't forgotten you. :)

Chapter Eight )
Last week, I completely forgot to post Chapter Seven in all the holiday hustle. Well, it's not exactly a happy holiday story, so perhaps, it is just as well.

In Chapter Six, Feanaro had begun pondering treachery against the people left behind in Valinor. In this chapter, his intentions come to fruition.

Thanks to those of you who are reading! If I don't make it online again, then happy New Year wishes to all!

Chapter Seven )

More Drabbles

Dec. 24th, 2006 03:04 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
I'm a bit behind on my drabble project, having spent the week writing a thoroughly addictive short story for Bobby. As I watch the football game (go Ravens!), I've been jotting down a few drabble-series. I still have several more that I'd like to write, so I'll try to post them next week.

A while back, when I posted the last chapter of my novella “By the Light of Roses,” [ profile] vana_tuivana asked me, “Won't you write a novel (or a short story at least) about Telvo and Nandolin and what happens to them?” One day, Vana, I will! But in the meanwhile, I hope that a quibble about how they met might make you happy.

“The Seedling” is a slash story. It is not graphic in any way, but anyone who has read “By the Light of Roses” knows that Telvo and Nandolin are definitely slashy. Please keep that in mind when choosing whether to read it.

The Seedling )

[ profile] tarion_anarore's professed weakness is for Caranthir, preferably angsty Caranthir—as though there can really be any other! In this series of four drabbles, I consider the symbolic journey of Caranthir to the moment where he decides to take the Oath.

What Becomes )
For [ profile] ann_arien is “The Mirror.” A funny thing happened with Alina’s request. Being one of my dearest friends, Alina gets stories for gifts whether she likes it or not. Because she was busy in a new job with no time to send me a request, I made a note next to her name in the file: “Alina: Fëanor; naughty.” A few weeks later, I got a comment from her, lamenting that she’d missed the original call for requests. Would I write something for her about Fëanor? And could it possibly be something naughty?

So for a dear friend whom I know too well, here is a naughty series about Fëanor: two drabbles and two double-drabbles. Be forewarned: It is naughty. In other words, “The Mirror” is for adult readers only. It is dark and contains both sexuality and violence as Fëanor examines the idea of both self-love and -loathing following his estrangement from Nerdanel.

The Mirror )
Well, I'm home, so here are all of my drabble series that I owe to date. *whew* Well, except two: a naughty one for Alina that I will post separately out of regard for my underage flisters and an original series for Juno that will be posted under a friend-lock. But the rest are all here!

First is "The Wanderer," a ficlet about Finrod. [ profile] pulsarkat is fond of Finrod, and I’d once promised her a story about him during a somewhat ordinary moment in his life. The story doesn’t exist yet, but I used this idea to inspire this 600-word ficlet about where Finrod might have found his wanderlust and his friendship with his two eldest cousins.

The Wanderer )

[ profile] isil_elensar is a hopeless romantic and also a hopeless Amrod fangurl, and so I give to her a hopelessly romantic series of three drabbles about a rather hopeless Amrod. (And no, it is not called “Hopeless.”)

Gladly )

For [ profile] phyncke is a series of three double-drabbles about Fingolfin and how one finds his way through grief, exile, and darkness. The idea came to me while listening to the Blind Guardian song “The Eldar” and considering the line about how many of the Elves witnessed the first sunrise. The symbolic implications of this event at such a dark time in their history was impossible to resist, and I was bitten!

Blinded )

[ profile] frenchpony once wrote a story about Fëanor that began with him stretching to reach something he thought to be unattainable. “Fire Ascending” is one of my favorite Silmfics, and through it, I discovered not only a fantastic author but a friend who unfailingly challenges and helps me as a writer.

“How to Paint a Star” is a quibble (five hundred words) reflecting the idea of a young Fëanor reaching for something that is unattainable—for the moment—and my recent fascination with the Mindon Eldaliéva.

How to Paint a Star )
In last week's chapter, the Noldor sailed across the sea to Middle-earth after dispatching of those pesky Teleri. In this week's chapter, Feanaro first begins to ponder the idea of burning the ships...and his growing paranoia and madness becomes clearer as well.

Thanks to all who are reading! As usual, comments and concrit is welcome.

Chapter Six )

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