August 2017

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The Mereth Aderthad is indeed happening! The general chaos of my life lately made it so that the website was severely delayed: mostly built but needing just enough essentials to make it impossible to finish in the time I had for it. But ... it's done! Finally!

http://mereth-aderthad.com/

Absolutely anyone can register for a membership. There's also an email newsletter to sign up for to get updates. There's also an LJ comm: [livejournal.com profile] mereth_aderthad. More social media will follow, but these are the ways to get updates for now.

If you're attending, there's an additional RSVP form I'm asking people to fill out. One, because it will help us to know how many people will actually be here! :) Also because there are sections of the site for doing things like planning carpools that don't need to be open to all and sundry, and sending in an RSVP gets you access to those.

In case you're not sure what the heck I'm talking about: Mereth Aderthad is a gathering of Tolkien fans in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. It's going to be part fan convention, part holiday. We'll have a kickoff event that first Saturday (more information on this is forthcoming). The week after will be more informal and we're really open to doing whatever our attendees want to do. (Hike mountains? Sit around a bonfire and drink VT beer? Hang out on the beach and watch the lake?) All Tolkien fans are welcome. My only stipulation is that they should be open-minded about fanworks.
The support for discussing and planning the Mereth Aderthad on an LJ comm was overwhelming, so I've created the Mereth Aderthad community here. Anyone who has expressed interest in it so far has been sent an invitation, but you absolutely do not need an invitation to join.

Please note that I accidentally sent out a batch of invitations without checking the box for unmoderated status. I've set the community default to unmoderated, so I'm not sure which will prevail, but I've marked down who is affected by this, and as I see them joining, will make sure their status is correct.

If you're like, "What the heck is she talking about??" see this post here.
If you want to know what the heck I'm talking about? Or would be interested in meeting up with other Tolkien fanfic people next summer in the picturesque mountains of Vermont? See this post on Dreamwidth or this post on LiveJournal and please comment there or message/email me if you're interested in further information about this.

I say there but it is worth saying again that this is a Tolkien fandom event, not a I-have-to-be-good-personal-friends-with-Dawn event. More details are on the posts above.

What I'd like to accomplish on this post is to decide how best for all of us to discuss this. So far, I have had about two dozen people express interest in possibly participating in a real-life Mereth Aderthad, and I'm sure there's more that missed the original post. My thought is that we need an online space where we can discuss plans and share news. I think this space needs to be members-only, since we will sometimes be talking about travel plans and locations and the like, and not everyone is comfortable with that in a public forum.

I would propose setting up an LJ community that defaults to members-only (although it is possible to make public posts for general announcements). Everyone who has responded so far is on LJ. It is possible to set email notifications even for those who do not regularly check their flist.

This is just one idea. If you have other suggestions, this is the place to make them. If we have multiple suggestions, I will run a poll on my journal and go with what the majority prefers.
A few weeks ago, a few guilty parties who-shall-not-be-named were joking around about using my large "backyard" for a Mereth Aderthad. I thought it sounded awesome, so I mentioned it to Bobby, and he thought the idea was as awesome as I did.

So I wanted to see who may be interested in this possibility.

Here are some details:

  • I'm thinking next summer for a date, probably July or early August.


  • I live in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, between the town of Orleans and the village of Coventry, about 15 minutes from the Canadian border. The NEK is the most rural and remote part of Vermont (which is itself one of the most rural and remote states in the eastern U.S.) However, we are relatively accessible by train; the train station is only an hour away! (If that sounds crazy to you, consider that there are parts of the NEK where the train would be two-and-a-half hours away!) I would be happy to pick up anyone who took the train from the Waterbury station (which is the closest you can get to us for the least money) or any stations to the north of Waterbury (if coming from Canada). We'd also do our best to coordinate transportation for anyone who wanted to attend but was coming in by air.

    (If you'd be intrepid enough to drive, our house is actually really easy to find. You'd have to drive some dirt roads, but it's only ten minutes off the interstate. I got my family here, so I can get anyone here.)


  • As for lodging, Bobby and I can offer (on a first-come-first-served basis) a guest room, an air mattress in my study, and a couch in the common area. (Note that I am not opening this for claims now!) We also have a large backyard that is perfect for camping. We have a tent and could probably borrow others from friends if needed.

    The Northeast Kingdom is also a three-season tourist destination (autumn leaves, winter skiing, and summer lakes ... no one comes in the spring, which is cold and mud season!) There is abundant lodging in a our area. If we have a large enough group, Bobby has already volunteered to look into group rates at a hotel or B&B, or we could rent a vacation cabin. In short, if you're someone who likes a few more amenities than we can provide in a single-wide trailer on a working homestead, there are Options!


  • Bobby and I would cook one feast for the whole group made entirely from local ingredients. That would be our gift to the endeavor. :) If I know Bobby, too, he won't be able to resist pushing blueberry pancakes made with Vermont blueberries on everyone ...


  • Our area offers a lot to do, much of it free or nearly so. It is outdoorsy ... but Vermont also has a vibrant arts and music scene and some wonderful restaurants (although you might end up eating at a picnic table at some of them! The NEK is not a ritzy area.) This is not an expensive area to visit unless you want it to be.


  • This is a Tolkien fandom event. All would be welcome. I'm not going to turn away anyone who wants to attend, so please don't be shy.


If we decide to do this, it is very open and flexible at this point. I am willing to provide our little patch of the Northeast Kingdom, and Bobby and I will do our best to ensure that everyone can get here and have a place to stay and be able to afford to stay and participate. At this point, I mostly want to know if this is something people are seriously interested in. What will probably happen is that those of us who are interested will start talking about it somewhere that we all mutually decide upon and making firmer plans. I have ideas, of course--this is what I do, people! have ideas! :D--but I don't want to put the cart before the horse here.

If you'd seriously contemplate attending this, please leave a comment here, send me a PM, or email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com so that I can include you in future discussion and decision-making.

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