August 2017

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This thing, which is technically a response to the SWG's "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" challenge (using the Smashing Pumpkins' song "Thirty-Three" that was in fact an Important Song to the nascent love story of Dawn and Bobby Felagund), got out of control because it was also inspired in myriad ways by the Mereth Aderthad, most obviously [personal profile] grundyscribbling's idea of the Feanorian Family Vacation and [personal profile] hrymfaxe's request for fail!sex. It ended up *gulp* 15,000 words, which probably means that just my hardcore readers will bother with it, but at least it was fun (if long!) to write. Here is the Official SummaryTM from the SWG archive:

Against Maedhros's wishes, Fingon is off to a summer retreat in the mountains, a retreat designed by the Valar for newly reembodied Elves. Amid games of kickball and group therapy, Fingon makes a friend, discovers the Noldor haven't actually invented everything, and begins to grasp the complexities of his post-reembodiment relationship with Maedhros. Maedhros/Fingon, set in my Republic of Tirion verse.

I am just posting it to the SWG for now: Swans. I will likely cross-post it later this weekend; preparing a 15K-word story for posting is tedious and I'm ready to be done with it for tonight!

I also finally created a series for these Fifth-Age stories I've been writing lately--Republic of Tirion--so they're all in one place and in order.
I have been promising Bobby that I would learn to snowboard for a couple of years now. Of course, until last year, I was working on my MA as well as teaching full-time (and commuting two hours a day and trying to have a social life and taking care of multiple fandom projects ...) So it just wasn't in the cards.

But this year, I had no further excuses reasons not to learn. I have enough time, and since Bobby works at Jay Peak and I am his lawfully wedded wife, then I even get my season pass for free, so it's not like I'm even taking a financial risk in investing in a pass for a sport that I might hate or that might kill me or both.

Well, I had my first lesson today and 1) I did not die. 2) I did not hurt myself. 3) I actually had fun!

Bobby taught me himself, going through some basics on flat ground, then climbing about 20 feet up a tiny slight incline with me and running beside me holding my hands while I slid down. On my last run, I slid down entirely by myself, with no hand-holding needed (although he still jogged alongside me). I did not even fall (which I was a little worried about because I did not want to go back to work tomorrow injured in any way).

I have all of my equipment except for my own board, which I rented for this first outing, because Bobby gets super pro discounts on stuff now. Here I am with my first stick:

 photo 20170101_150134_zps7xpkolm0.jpg

We are at Burke Mountain, by the way, which is Jay Peak's sister mountain in the southern NEK. My next lesson will be at Jay Peak, in Bobby's familiar realm.

I've also written a story for this year's MPTT Yule Fic Exchange. I know that was a 180 there. The story is called "The Ship of Light" and was written for Talullah Red, who asked for, "Elwing and Eärendil's first Yule in Sirion. I'd like something light and dark, please. Given the circumstances they would be traumatized, but the people around them would be making efforts for them and the other children. If you're one of the Nimloth-survives type, it's fine by me."

Here is the Official Story SummaryTM:

Elwing is a troubled child, acting out to avoid facing the trauma of her past. During the survivors' first Yule at Sirion, mariners from Balar bring gifts to the refugees, and inspired by their benevolence, Elwing and Eärendil remake an old tradition into a new symbol of hope.

The story can be read on the SWG, MPTT, AO3, or LiveJournal.
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.
Y'all. I wrote a piece of fiction! Do you know how happy this makes me because it suggests I might have a creative life again?!

The story is for Silver Trails, for the Around the Fire challenge the SWG has been running this quarter. ST asked for, "I would like a conversation between Caranthir and Maedhros, in Valinor, once they both leave the Halls of Mandos. Please don't write them at odds with each other." Which kinda had my name written all over it.

The summary of the story:

After wandering accidentally near to Mandos, Caranthir encounters a procession delivering his newly reembodied brother back to the world: Maedhros. Caranthir breaks into his tent, and the two discuss healing, mutability, and the things that will never change.

It's kind of a creepy weird story because I'm kind of a creepy weird person I like to write that kind of thing. There are allusions to Maedhros's canonical suicide, so tread with care if this is something likely to bother you.

If you think this might be your cup of tea, then you can read "Bone-White" on the SWG, AO3, or MPTT.
Tomorrow it is back to work and school, so I will be back on hiatus, writing my thesis, until May. But, over winter break, I had the opportunity to write not one but TWO new Tolkienfic stories, both for the LotRGenfic/MPTT Yule Exchange. So before I sink back beneath the waves of despair work and grad school, I want to link them here, for anyone who might be interested.

As always, comments public and private are very much appreciated.

Víressë (for Keiliss). As Sauron's reach lengthens, Winter lingers overlong in Gondor. In the midst of cold, despair, and the slow march to war, Boromir kindles a forbidden love affair with an unknown errand-rider that creates intrigue and betrayal. Contains slash (Boromir/Hirgon) and a scene involving the corporal punishment of a child. Neither is graphic. LiveJournal | MPTT | AO3

Song of the Stone (for Zdenka). Newly arrived at Khazad-dûm in the Second Age, the Elven loremaster Pengolodh presents a portion of his new book to Narvi only to discover that his understanding of the “great profit” that existed between the Dwarves of Belegost and the people of Caranthir in the First Age is not quite what he assumed. LiveJournal | MPTT | SWG | AO3

See y'all in May!
This is somewhat old news, as the story was posted on the B2MeM community a week ago, but I wanted to get it cross-posted before SSPing it, and that happened in dribbles between doing mod stuff for B2MeM.

I have written a Silmfic story. It was written for the Back to Middle-earth Month 2014: Seasons of Middle-earth compilation for the music prompt "Autumnal" by Arcana (lyrics here).

Back when we mod-types were coming up with prompts, Huin suggested this song. I listened to it and loved it. I was rather surprised when, after prompt claims had trickled down to nearly nothing, it was still available. So I grabbed it up. Listening to it with writing a story in mind, images came to mind of a stately woman walking in a procession, of the ceremony being disrupted by rain, of a memory of her collapsing in a tower when she realizes her lover has gone: Indis.

I've never written Indis in any serious way, so this was quite a challenge for me. I'm happy with how the story turned out. The official summary:

Finwë has left his people and chosen exile alongside his son Fëanor. Indis, left behind as his regent, must determine the best course of action for his forsaken people, but her choice to pass the regency to her son Fingolfin seems fraught with peril amidst the divided Noldor.

It is posted on the SWG, B2MeM, and AO3.
I have spent the weekend trying to keep my head above the water in terms of lesson planning and grad school after our trip, so I have not yet posted here about my new story or the lovely story that Elleth wrote for me! D^: This year, I decided to participate in MPTT's Yule Fic Exchange. In the past, because I'm usually taking two classes, I could never manage.

Elleth wrote the story that I received. I love Elleth's work, so I knew I would enjoy this as well, and I was not wrong! I am going to be lazy and copy over the rec I wrote on Tumblr:

Elleth wrote this story for me as part of Many Paths to Tread’s Yule Fic Exchange. It’s a beautiful story, and I hope more people will read it and leave her lots of love in the form of comments and kudos! :)

My request was for a story about friendship between at least two women of the House of Finwë. The story begins after the Darkening of Valinor (one of my favorite time periods to write/think about) with Nerdanel (one of my favorite characters! :) seeking a form of redemption for her family’s deeds by working on the defenses of the Calcirya. In the midst of her labors, she receives a letter from a most unexpected person …

Elleth’s stories are, imho, consistently some of the most gracefully written in the Silmarllion fandom. This one is no exception and deftly includes magical elements that make Elleth’s descriptions feel otherworldly—Tolkien might say “elvish.” Elleth also nails the voice of Nerdanel’s correspondent perfectly (I want to keep it a surprise who it is!). This is a character I’ve not written in any significant sense, in part because she intimidates the hell out of me. But her voice in this story is like Elleth crawled into my head and made my vision of her real.

This is a lovely and thought-provoking story, and I hope you’ll take a look! It is on SWG, AO3, MPTT, and LiveJournal.

My story was written for Wheelrider to fulfill the request for "A story that passes the Bechdel test! Meaning it features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Any characters, any time period, any Tolkien source are fine." Here is the summary of "Daytracer":

After the Darkening of Valinor, the Aulendur struggle to find a way to bear aloft the final fruit and flower of the Two Trees. Nerdanel finds a unexpected ally in Arien, who helps her discover the secret knowledge that will return the world to light.

"Daytracer" is on SWG, AO3, MPTT, and LiveJournal.
As a prize for winning the Season of Writing Dangerously, Himring requested a remix of her poignant and lovely Maglor Plays For His People After Doriath. I decided to accept this particular challenge, and the result is my short story "Sharp Things in the Way," which touches on the same events and time periods but from Daeron's rather than Maglor's perspective.

Here is the summary:

The consummate poet of the Sindar, Daeron recognizes his potential to shape his people's perceptions of the newly arrived Noldor but struggles to find the courage to assert himself. Inspired by meeting Maglor at the Mereth Aderthad, Daeron nonetheless finds himself besieged by perceived failure, until his final attempt to depict a peaceful history between their peoples might be too late. A remix of Himring's "Maglor Plays For His People After Doriath" and written as a Season of Writing Dangerously prize for Himring.

"Sharp Things in the Way" on the SWG
"Sharp Things in the Way" on AO3
I am a day late for the International Day of Femslash, which was yesterday, but this story turned out much longer than I expected when I started writing it. If this story were to fall in a pop culture genre, it would be the summer beach romance. Here is a [hopefully better] summary from the SWG:

One oppressive summer in Tirion, Anairë is sent by her father to Alqualondë. A diligent scholar and obedient daughter, Anairë has never made time for love, but finds her womanhood awakened by the most unlikely of romantic partners: Eärwen, daughter of the Telerin king. As the summer draws to a close, both women must accept that their obligations to their families and people do not allow much space for their love.

This is an adult-rated story on the SWG for reason of sexual content. The story is also up on the SWG and AO3.

The Sailing Forth )
This story was based on a plotbunny thrown on my plotbunny post by avanti_90, who requested "Fingon and Finarfin after Alqualondë." While walking on the beach after discovering what was done at Alqualondë, Finarfin finds his nephew Fingon, distraught and trying to wash the blood from his clothes. Always the peacekeepers in their family, both find their allegiances torn and have to make decisions in the days to come of where their loyalties will lie.

I rated this story Teens on the SWG for reason of mature themes and some violence. You can also read it on the SWG. As always, all comments are welcome and appreciated.

Oh yeah and ...

Season of Writing Dangerously 2013 Impetuous Participant

... now I get to join the club with the other Impetuous Participants for the Season of Writing Dangerously! :)

Threads )
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.
This story has actually been posted for a few weeks over on the SWG archive, but I was so busy with real life stuff and wrapping up the SWG birthday event that I never got a chance to crosspost it more widely. Since my journal has long been the place to find all of my fiction, though, then it belongs here. So here it is. :)

"Reembodied" was written for the SWG birthday event. It fit about three of the challenges (Cuivienen, Songfic That Wasn't, and What Would Socrates Say?), although it was written directly in response to the Songfic That Wasn't challenge. Here is the summary given on the SWG:

Tata was said to be the first of the Noldor to awaken at Cuivienen, yet the histories never speak of him again. Uncomfortable and indecisive as a leader, he nonetheless rejects the summons of the Valar to Valinor, recognizing a fundamental wrong in the ideas they preach. This is the story of his life.

This story is definitely heretical. The story of the Great Journey comes to us from the perspective of the Eldar, those who accepted the summons to Valinor. Through them, we hear all sorts of awful accusation and speculation about those who chose to remain behind: the Avari, Moriquendi, or Dark Elves. Yet these Elves doubtlessly had their own perspectives and good reasons for their choice, and they likely had their own accusations against and speculations about the motives of those who chose to abandon their birth land to follow a god into the lap of luxury. More notes on the ideas and "canon" underlying the story follow in the author's notes. On the SWG, I've rated the story Teens for some mild violence and sexual content, as well as thematic content that appeals to a more mature audience.

Reembodied )
"Toys in the Hall" was written for the 2010 Remix Challenge on the archive Many Paths to Tread. The story remixes Levade's story This Ereinion, which explores how Círdan must have felt upon learning that he was to foster Fingon's young son, Ereinion. My remix looks at this same situation from Ereinion's perspective, drawing on a detail from Levade's story in which Círdan realizes exactly what he's into when he discovers that his young charge has left the normally tidy hall strewn with toys. Here is the summary of my remix:

Young Ereinion once sent his father Fingon to bed for a week with a poorly placed toy and learned much about his father as a result. Now, with Fingon dead, his people at war, and his world upended, Ereinion tries a similar tactic to learn something about his new foster-father, Círdan.

The story is rated solidly General with no warnings aside from my usual penchant for taking a lighthearted story and making it dark and dreary.

Toys in the Hall )
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 )
[ profile] isil_elensar probably made the request this year that delights me the most simply because ... well, it's so Isil!

A romantic AU fanfic (duh! lol!) - featuring either Elladan or Elrohir (with a bit part for the twin you don't use as a main character) - one lucky lady from the early 19th century - in winter (Christmas time!) - a frozen lake and ice skates - maybe the appearance of a beloved pet or two - and, of course, a good deal of smut.

I will admit that I am not much of a writer of romance, but I try to coax out my romantic muse once a year for Isil. ;)

The summary for this story: As a young girl, Clara had an imaginary friend who departed suddenly once she began to reach womanhood. Now a young woman, she is visited unexpectedly by another of these "imaginaries," bearing surprising news about her friend and his own secret desires.

So yes, this has some pr0n in it. There is some pretty graphic heterosexual content, so if you're averse to these sorts of things, I suggest that you skip this one.

But for all you pervs out there who like sweet romance stories with happy endings, follow me this way!

The Imaginary Friend )

Marta asked for a story about the "spiritual themes of Tolkien's world. I don't mean like Christian symbolism, but rather what form spirituality and organized religion would take in the various cultures of Valinor/Middle-earth. So I would like to request an interaction between Celeborn and Galadriel on a spiritual theme."

This request was at once the opportunity to explore something new and to also discuss an area of Tolkien's mythology that is one of my favorites as a researcher. This is the first full-length story I've written about Celeborn and Galadriel, so the chance to develop characters for people who still feel rather awe-inspiring to me (on account of LotR) was a lot of fun, as well as a challenge. The opportunity to write a story about a spiritual theme was familiar and welcome: I have several unfinished research projects dealing with eschatology. "The Ghost in the Garden" considers one oft-ignored aspect of Elven afterlife as Tolkien saw it: the possibility of spirits lingering to "haunt" a particular place that they loved in life (HoMe 10, "Laws and Customs among the Eldar").

In this tale, Galadriel is frightened by something she discovers in Doriath. In an attempt to understand her experience, she is led to consider the irreconcilable differences between the Sindar and the Noldor.

This story is rated for Teens on SWG on account of containing adult themes (i.e., discussions of death, afterlife, and ghosts) and for some heterosexual content.

The Ghost in the Garden )

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 )

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