August 2017

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Ohmyword. I am so far behind in this ramble thing. This has been the weekend of challenges ... meaning fandom challenges! (Also it's spring, which means more outside chores than usual.) The SWG's Woman's Sceptre challenge was due at the end of last week, the new Hero's Journey challenge went up today, and MPTT's "Back Garden of a Dream" challenge was revealed today. So I have a lot of balls in the air at the moment, and I kinda forgot about the rambling m-thing I'm doing this month.

Anyway. Thankfully no one likes hearing me talk enough to have requested a topic for each day, else I'd be screwed! As it is, I'm two days behind, both from [personal profile] dreamflower, so I'll tackle one today and one tomorrow. [personal profile] dreamflower asked:

Do you think Finrod Felagund ever got to meet Bilbo and Frodo?

In short, yes, assuming that he was reembodied by the time they arrived in Tol Eressëa. (I think he would have been. After all, if the Glorfindels are the same, then Glorfindel was reembodied by the end of the Third Age, and for all his awesomeness, I don't think Glorfindel eclipses Finrod.)

I really don't see how Finrod could have resisted. Throughout The Silmarillion, we see him interacting joyfully with people from other cultures. He worked with the Dwarves to build Nargothrond, managing not to get into any battles over jewelry/murdered in the process. They even gave him a name, Felak-gundu, which was Sindarinized into Felagund. (I bet they gave Thingol a name too, but it was probably of the four-letter variety.) The Dwarves are notoriously stingy with sharing their language ("Of the Sindar"), so I've often taken their giving him a Dwarvish name as a mark of honor and respect.

Likewise, he was the first to welcome the Edain to Beleriand. None of this is particularly surprising: His family is quite cosmopolitan, and Finrod had Telerin, Noldorin, and Vanyarin blood. Even within those groups, he moves with ease, befriending Maedhros and Maglor even as he is Turgon's BFF, a guest of Thingol, and the eventual companion of Beren. Only Finrod could manage those treacherous relationships with ease. He seems more comfortable than many of his kinsmen in crossing the ethnic lines that the people of Arda draw around themselves and seems to enjoy doing so.

I don't see how he could resist the Hobbits, given that tendency. I imagine that when word came to him of the arrival of a new people, a people he'd never met, who drew back from the brink of destruction the world he'd once loved and suffered exile to inhabit, then he would have been on the first ship to Tol Eressëa to meet them. And pompous-ass-Finrod of the Athrabeth aside, I prefer to imagine that meeting as him listening hungrily to Bilbo's stories (though I imagine Bilbo would have picked his brain a bit for old lore) and showing the same tender care and grace to Frodo as his sister Galadriel did when the Fellowship passed through Lothlórien.
I don't know what it is lately with my reembodied Elves kick. Maybe it is because Halloween is getting close. Maybe it is the encroaching dark of autumn. Maybe I am just weird.

I have written *gasp!* ANOTHER STORY. What is this madness?? This is two stories in as many weeks that I wrote for no better reason than having time and wanting to spend it on writing. Creative writing. Fiction writing.

The story was written for the Silmarillion Writers' Guild Around the Fire challenge, for Kenaz, who offered one of those ridiculously tempting prompts that I find irresistible:

3rd/4th age Valinor-- Culture clashes and unanswered questions! For example... How do the Vanyar feel about the influx of relative "newcomers" to Valinor at the end of the 3rd Age? What happens when all of the Elves who can claim right to the title "High King" are re-embodied? Are any of the sons of Fëanor ever released from the Halls of Mandos, and if so, what is the reaction from the Teleri? What happens when members of a family who left Valinor for Middle-earth reunite with family members who didn't leave? Lots of territory to explore here! :)

I remember honing in on this prompt back at the beginning of the challenge, when I was hoping but still uncertain that I'd be able to write anything for the challenge. As the weeks swirled by, I returned to the prompts and kept coming back to this one. It sounded cool, but I had no particular ideas for it. About a week and a half ago, I went back to the prompts, wanting to write, and again came back to this one. This time, I thought about the experience of returning to Ocean City year after year, discovering each time that something cheesy and beloved that had been there since I was a kid had been replaced by something shiny and new. It's a very real sadness, even recognizing how stupid it is to mourn, for instance, an aqua-colored motel I never stayed at or a restaurant where the food was no longer very good but where my sister had once fallen off a chair.

Of that feeling came THIS. The story grew to almost 10,000 words before all was said and done. Here is the summary:

It's the Third Age. Tirion has developed suburban sprawl, and psychotherapists are in high demand. An unkinged Finarfin experiments with political radicalism and has turned the palace into a memorial of the kinslaying. Amarië composes beat poetry. And Finrod has been reembodied into a world and among people he barely recognizes. Dark humor, for Kenaz for the Silmarillion Writers' Guild Around the Fire challenge.

It can be read on the SWG, MPTT, and AO3.
I participated in Sultry in September this year, and it was my very first ficswap. That seems kind of crazy, as I have been playing in this fandom for eight years, but I usually can't commit absolutely to getting anything done that isn't related to teaching, grad school, or the SWG, and of course, absolute commitment is a requirement for a ficswap. With the summer more or less free this year, I decided to do SinS and am glad that I did.

First of all, I want to pimp like crazy Zeen's Be more cruel, Love, and so be kind, the story that was written for me. I requested Finrod/Caranthir in a story that included an explanation of the hatred between their houses. Zeen's story is everything I could have wanted and then some. It is poignant and dramatic and erotic, and it is very funny in places, so much that I lol'ed quite a bit while Bobby was fixing supper tonight. It was one of those stories where you look at the word count, think, "Oh, I'm going to be a while reading this," and then it's over way too soon. I could have read a novel's worth of her characters and her vision of Valinor. Go read it!

I've also posted my own, for Urloth, The Sovereign and the Priest. You nerds of English usage might have noted the italics ... yes, it ended up 40,000+ words, safely in the territory of a novella. Go ahead and throw rotten things at me. I know I am long-winded and an overachiever. ;)

Anyway, here is the summary:

Long ago in Valinor, Finrod and Celegorm faced opposing expectations, one a symbol of Eldarin potential and the other abandoned to a life of leisure, and neither fully certain of his place among the Noldor. Now, after the Dagor Bragollach, their fates collide when Celegorm and Curufin, fleeing the destruction of their realm, take harbor in Nargothrond. As both work to mend the myriad hurts between their houses, each discovers a secret about the other and, most surprising of all, the desire that grows between them. But as each of their oaths begin to call, their growing love might not survive the inevitability of their fates.

This is very much an adult story (Finrod/Celegorm) and also contains elements of dubious consent, so if either of those are likely to bother you, you'll probably want to skip this one.

The Sovereign and the Priest is on the SWG and AO3.
I allowed myself a rare opportunity yesterday to write, despite having other pressing things to do. This story is the result of it, based on two of the theme challenges for B2MeM: archetypes and loss of innocence. Something like this story has actually been in the works in my mind since 2005, when I wrote Return to Me about Finarfin attending the reembodiment of his son Finrod. I wanted them to write two more parts, one from Amarië's point of view and one from Eärwen's. Despite good intentions, those stories never manifested. Well, this is kind of the Amarië chapter, although it's very different from what I initially envisioned over seven years ago.

The summary on B2MeM and the SWG reads: In her youth, Amarië of the Vanyar was an idealistic and gifted poet, a rising star among the Vanyar. Many thousands of years later, having weathered unimaginable loss, Amarië is called to Lórien to witness the awakening of her once-beloved and newly reembodied Finrod. I have rated the story Adult at both places for reason of mature themes and some violence and sexuality. Comments are, as always, very welcome. Thank you to those who have left me such thought-provoking comments already on B2MeM and the SWG.

The Fallen )

This story is also posted on the Silmarillion Writers' Guild and Back to Middle-earth Month.
'Tis the season for joy! Light! Celebration!

Therefore, I must write and post dark and depressing poetry.

This one has been tickling my brain since early December when I first started writing lines of it during my classroom observations. I've worked on it bit by bit since then and decided to finish it today as a New Year's treat for myself.

The summary I gave on SWG and MPTT: Left behind by Finrod, Amárië considers the paradox of her situation: her wish for his return and the only means by which her wish would be granted. A sonnet.

Comments are, as always, welcome. My best wishes to all for a joyous New Year! :)

How I Wish )
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 )
Tarion asked for a meeting between the sons of Finarfin and Caranthir, preferably with a bit of angst. As I came into this story after writing a lot of the heavier stuff, this story turned into something of a funny affair, but it talks about teenaged first love quite a bit, so angst is guaranteed, although hopefully of the funny variety.

([ profile] alassante, you asked how Caranthir can possibly star in a comedy: Here ya go! :^D)

Here, a young Caranthir discovers the foolishness that pretty girls inspire in teenaged boys and falls in love with someone most inaccessible. This story is rated general, although I can't guarantee that Caranthir's ramblings don't border on sickeningly saccharine and inane at times and that he doesn't make the occasional boob comment. He is a teenaged boy after all.

When the Stars Smile )
[ profile] fanged_geranium asked for a short story that includes a conversation between grown-up Finrod and Finarfin. Actually, I ended up being seized by a rather large plotbunny on this one, and so this is the first bit of what will likely become a novella someday. But I think that the first part does well enough on its own as a short story.

In this tale, Finarfin is called to the Halls of Mandos for his son's re-embodiment, where he ponders the loss of his children and the sacrifices he would have made to change their eventual fates. Please be aware that this story contains scary imagery, violence, and some sexuality.

Return to Me )
I wrote this piece for fun, about a year ago, while feeling frisky and more than a little satirical. It is still a work in progress--although, honestly, I haven't worked on it in months--but I hope to resume it sometime soon. If you can't bear to not know the ending...well, read The Silmarillion because it is basically a retelling of the whole Nargothrond fiasco, only in overwrought, syrupy prose with a touch of stupidity.

As always, I appreciate any and all comments on my work. Or just read and enjoy!

Author's Prologue )
Chapter 1: Finrod Has Visitors )
Chapter 2: Celegorm and Curufin Lounge in Nargothrond )
Chapter 3: Nargothrond Reigns )
Chapter 4: Finrod Finds Celebrimbor )
Chapter 5: Finrod Meets with Orodreth )
Chapter 6: Celegorm and Curufin Take a Walk )
Chapter 7: Celebrimbor Speaks at Council )

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