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I think this is the first year I am able to participate fully in Back to Middle-earth Month since B2MeM has existed. Normally the events require quite a bit of work from the mods during the event; this one was structured quite by chance--though no less brilliantly--so that the work was heavily front-loaded, which means that I'm able to actually participate. (Usually I manage one story, maybe two. This year, I'm doing the nonfiction path with fingers tightly crossed that, when I reach the Wild square, I will roll the option to choose something from one of the more creative paths and can write a story as well.)

My first piece was "On Writing Aman, or the Balance between the Mythic and the Real." It's on B2MeM, SWG, and the Tumblr place.

My current project, for the prompt "Analyze a Chapter or Passage," is a comparison of the death scenes of Fëanor and Fingolfin. I had done a short analysis of these two scenes for the unpublished (though being presented at the Vermont Tolkien Conference next month) paper on historical bias, and I decided to expand this out into its own essay. I'm hoping it will be finished and posted before the end of break.

Also, "Assignation," aka "the skanky fanfic," is now up on SWG and AO3, in case you missed that literary gem. It's Aredhel/Celegorm/Curufin, though I like to hope it's more than just PWP. It's been up on the SWG, but if you want to read the skanky fanfic on AO3, now you can.

Last fannish thing. Hedonist by Heart has done another beautiful piece of fan art for Another Man's Cage called "Before the Hush." If you like it, please go show her some love over on DeviantArt or Tumblr.

 photo before-the-hush_hedonist-by-heart_zpsqesz9yvg.jpg

The AMC passage that inspired it ... )

Hedonist by Heart has done artwork for AMC before but I think this one is my favorite. I feel like the genuine love and affection I hoped to show between the characters comes out in her art. And I simply love how she has drawn Nerdanel and the intensity of her Fëanor. (And Celegorm! Who doesn't want to snuggle that little muskrat and forget all about that whole kidnapping-Lúthien-betraying-Felagund thing??) Anyway, I love the piece and wanted to share it (and her work).

It occurs to me that this is the first and possibly only journal entry I will write over my fabulously long Winter Break. (I still feel like I'm getting away with something. We don't go back to school till Wednesday.) It's been a busy one: first preparing for B2MeM, then I edited a doctoral dissertation (for pay!), and of course there's always papers to grade and units to plan, and I went in to work for a day to give my classroom a much-needed reorganization and straightening up, and the SWG lately has more chores to do than a farm. It sounds work-filled and awful, but I've loved every moment of it. (And there were doses of fun: We went to St. J's--which feels forever ago--we went to the Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe, I had a snowboard lesson, we saw La La Land, we've had a lot of really good meals out.) I've come to terms with the fact that, if I were a dog, I'd be a Border Collie: You know, the kind of breed that gets described as being "happiest when working." I've been working, and happy, but subsequently not around much.


Mar. 1st, 2015 08:20 pm
dawn_felagund: Lamppost in the winter snow. (winter lamppost)
It is presently icing/sleeting outside and has been for now going on 12 hours. Schools are already delayed two hours tomorrow morning with "morning reevaluation," which means that they're at least considering closing altogether. I can always use a snow day; I always have stuff to do. I finished the short article based on my Mythmoot presentation and turned it in yesterday; today was the SWG newsletter; tomorrow could be revising and turning in my article on the SWG for the Signum University Eagle. That would put me in a really good place. So ... *crosses fingers*

It's March One, so ... B2MeM! I think probably everyone here who is Tolkienish has heard about it, but if you have not, check it out. It's a great event this year, which I can say without feeling like I'm tooting my own horn since I am not running it this year and had almost nothing to do with planning it: a marketplace format, where participants "sell" and "buy" prompts using imaginary coin. There are many, many excellent prompts. As a mod, I get an email for every comment left on mod posts, and I was reading all of the prompts as they came in but stopped because I was wanting to buy everything that came in.

I went to register for my last class before the thesis (Romantic and Industrial Revolutions) on Friday, and it doesn't start till April, so I have another month off from for-credit coursework. This means that I should be able to get a big jump on my reading. It will probably mean that I dick around with B2MeM, thesis research, and other fannish things instead. I should at least download the syllabus so that I can at least pretend I'm going to do something with it.

Because there's nothing better to do on an "ice day" than play with green, living things, I showed some love to my houseplants today, and Bobby and I started the year's tomato and pepper seeds. My succulents are all throwing off baby plants since I've been doing better with fertilizing them properly; I need to re-pot these and then find new homes for them. Otherwise I'll be like the Duggars of succulents; I already have several baby aloe plants that I was supposed to give away years ago. I just get attached and don't want to give them away.

All in all, this was a pretty dull weekend, but productive. I'd love to extend it to a third day!
I am rather blue and blah at the moment; it is pouring rain outside (at least it's not snow?*) and the wind is howling something fierce. I'm wrapping up my contribution to the B2MeM review award grand prize banners, trying to think of how to represent mithril seasonally, and feeling like wasting some time but not on something completely fruitless. Anyway. There is a rather interesting discussion going on over of Oshun's LiveJournal (it's f-locked, so I won't link) concerning B2MeM, which morphed into the inevitable discussion of format preference that sometimes feels to me like it is one of the great insurmountable dichotomies of our age. Sharks or Jets? Bears or Packers? Grunge or rap? (Yes, I spent my formative adolescent years in the '90s.) New York-style or Chicago-style? Daily prompts or omg-anything-but-daily-prompts-for-the-love-of-god-please?

* Never mind.

What I find interesting about this annual discussion is what it reveals about us as writers. Creative Navel-gazing Ahoy )


Mar. 19th, 2014 10:02 pm
dawn_felagund: (peace)
I forgot to mention a whole bunch of stuff in my last post!

  • I have started at a gym. O.O This is something I swore I would never do. (Just like I swore I would never study English in university, would never become a teacher, would never write fantasy/fanfic ...) But I spent more than a year in constant pain, dealing with inflammation issues and joint pain that are finally under control. I have always taken pride in being strong, and I want my former strength back, that I lost during the year when even turning over in bed hurt. And. And ... I actually like it. I like feeling like a human being again who is capable of doing more than shuffling from the computer, limping into the basement, and limping back upstairs to bed.

  • We've solved the henhouse mystery, but it's gross. Just to recap, last year, we noticed we were missing eggs and discovered that the hens (or so we thought) were getting out of the coop and hiding them under the lawnmower. We didn't even give consideration that something might be getting into to coop ... well, we did, but we assumed that this critter would eat the eggs in the coop rather than going to the trouble of spiriting them out of the coop and into the shed. Wrong.

    We know we've had a critter in the shed that connects to the chicken coop. Bobby saw it a few times (but never well enough to identify it), and Alex was intensely interested in the lawnmower. Well, Bobby took me out to the shed one day, shook the lawnmower to scare out the critter so I could see it, and what ran out but a fat. fucking. Norway. rat.

    So yes. We have a damned rat in our chicken coop that is stealing the eggs. I can't imagine a worse outcome to our mystery. We set a live animal trap but Norway rats apparently avoid them. (Just as well. We had an extended conversation about what to do if we actually caught it that, at one point, involved me wailing, "I think we've gone totally country if we're talking about shooting vermin in our backyard with a .22!!") So Bobby set a rat trap and several trays of D-Con in the shed yesterday. Someone had a nice meal on the D-Con last night. Hopefully that is the end of the problem.

  • From my mod seat, B2MeM is almost over. The winter week is underway. I was stressing over the winter week, truth be told, because it was much more popular than the other seasons, so I had quite a number of stories to schedule, and of course, they're getting longer as the event progresses and people have more time to work. I didn't want anyone to feel shortchanged by having to share the spotlight with lots of other stories. So it was quite a balancing act, but it seems to be going well, and no one has complained (yet). Almost all of the spring stories are in, which means that scheduling could be done, in theory, by tomorrow. Yay? It almost seems to have gone too well. I'm waiting for a big wrench to get tossed into the cogs. (I know, I know ... I'm usually an optimist.)

  • I feel like there was one other thing I wanted to say but damned if I remember what it was.
I'd imagine most everyone has probably seen me post about this already, but since the prompts are being claimed even faster than I anticipated, then I want to be sure that anyone who wants to participate in this year's Back to Middle-earth Month gets a chance to sign up before that perfect prompt is claimed by someone else! :)

This year's format for B2MeM is a compilation, meaning that participants will sign up for a prompt ahead of time, have at least a month-and-a-half to craft a piece of writing or art, and the results will be revealed slowly over the course of the month of March. (There will be a review challenge to go along with it, so we hope that our writers and artists will get lots of love for the hard work their pour into their projects. :) The theme this year is Seasons of Middle-earth, but don't think that all of the prompts are strongly oriented in the seasons; we interpreted the idea of "seasons" both literally and figuratively, so while there are prompts related to weather and holidays, there are also more open-ended prompts that one could write without mentioning literal seasons at all. I am sitting on my hands write now because I always pick prompts that fill in where needed, and there are some really awesome ones that I'm hoping might just happen to be needed by the time I get to select mine! :D

The event guidelines are here and the prompt claim page is here.
I'm choosing Fridays as my day for Back to Middle-earth Month, although I will not be observed "B2MEM" in the usual fashion. I'm really not that into the LotR fandom; I love LotR--don't get me wrong--both the books and the movies, but LotR has never inspired me the way The Silmarillion did. So a lot of my stuff will be First Age. Hey, it's still Middle-earth more or less, right? Maybe I'll even forbid myself from doing Valinor-related stuff, although that's usually my gig.

This week, though, my contribution is LotR-related. I am going to ramble about how someone who turned up her nose at the name "Tolkien" and spat (on more than one occasion), "I hate that book!" ever got into this fandom....

The year was 2001... )

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