To the Professor

It’s J.R.R.Tolkien’s birthday, everyone!! He would be 125, which is still not as old as Bilbo was. The One Ring website always says to raise a glass and say “to the Professor” to commemorate this occasion, but I don’t know if that’s traditionally what Tolkienites do, or if that’s just something the website thought of.

It’s also my half-birthday, which is super cool, because that means my birthday is his half-birthday.

Tolkien

Tolkien was a great man, and I’ll respect him forever, and learn all I can about him so I can tell his story, but I’m glad I’ll never have the chance to meet him. I think I would be quite terrified of him.

But since he is dead, here’s what I’ll say if he’s listening: You were the greatest writer the world has ever known, and no one will ever convince me that your talent didn’t come from actually having been to Middle-earth. Your story has inspired millions, and touched the lives of millions more. No one has lived without seeing your influence somewhere, and I myself am influenced by you daily. You helped me through some of the toughest situations in my younger life, were the basis for movies that gave me a reason to keep going, and are currently supporting our household because my mother is teaching an LOTR class as a side project.

This quote has been hanging up on my wall for years, and continues to inspire me to write:

“The chief biographical fact to me is the completion of The Lord of the Rings, which still astonishes me. A notorious beginner of enterprises and non-finisher, partly through lack of time, partly through lack of single-minded concentration, I still wonder how and why I managed to peg away year after year, often under real difficulties, and bring it to a close. I suppose, because from the beginning it began to catch up in its narrative folds visions of things which I have most loved or hated.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

So from the bottom of my heart, and speaking for the millions who won’t think to do this, I can only say thank you, Tolkien. And Happy Birthday.

The Lord of The Rings from A-Z

And now, whenever someone wants to play this game with you, you can have this as a reference. I would keep J, K, and U-Z in mind. They were real hard, even for me.

A is for Aragorn. Strider, Elessar, Estel, husband of Arwen, King of Gondor…but mostly a skilled warrior and an invaluable friend. Also one of the Fellowship.

is for Boromir. I love him, no matter what anyone else says. He had a noble heart, and his worry for and loyalty to Gondor, his country, is what led him to be temporarily corrupted by the Ring. But he repented, and was deeply loved by his brother Faramir.

is for Celeborn. A wise ruler of Lothlorien, and the husband of Galadriel. He had silver hair, and she had gold, which were the same colors as the Trees of Valinor. I always thought that was interesting.

is for Denethor. Why him? Because he’s my least favorite character, that’s why. Everyone expects Sauron, Saruman, Gollum, and the other villains to do awful things, but Denethor had no right to say the things he did to his surviving son Faramir.

is for Eowyn. Who was not a feminist, I would like to point out. She was a Shield Maiden of Rohan, and had a strong spirit. I’m glad she ended up with Faramir, and I loved how protective her brother Eomer was of her. Continue reading “The Lord of The Rings from A-Z”

Twenty-Seven Sentences

Day 27 of the  June 1-30 Challenge.

Write about any subject. You can write about a Marine, a bulldog, or an Englishman if you’d like. You can write about anything! But you must write exactly twenty-seven sentences. No more. No less.

I feel like I’m repeating myself when I praise LOTR over and over and over again. But that’s just because it really is the greatest piece of literature ever constructed.

But that sort of thing usually wouldn’t matter to me. I was an avid reader when I was younger, but I never rated a book based on it’s literary genius, but instead on whether it kept me interested enough to read to the end. So why has LOTR kept me coming back to read it again and again, and how am I still never able to put it down?

I have no idea. The answer I give people is that I must be from that world, or else it wouldn’t call to me so strongly. Or maybe it’s because it’s just written really well, and the writer in me responds to that.

I think maybe its because there’s something so realistic about it. You know, besides the fact that its a different world with Elves and Hobbits and such. The writing never feels forced, and the conversations don’t seem fake, either. You can feel the struggles each character has, and everyone has a different way of speaking that defines their personalities, which I believe is the only way I was able to keep track of so many names the first time I read it.

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Another thing I know I love about this story is it feels so clean without feeling childish. It doesn’t have the immorality of seduction, or homosexual relationships, or drugs messing up people’s lives, or even swear words; things which always make me feel so dirty just hearing about. I would love to write a book that is this innocent without adults scorning it.

And because everything about that world and that story feels either noble and heroic, or beautiful and uplifting. I’ve said before that I would love to live in Middle-earth, and not because it has no trials and tribulations, but because its evils are what make its beauty that much prettier. I feel like in this world the evil is so overpowering that even beauty is marred. That and I know this world isn’t even our final destination, and Heaven will be much more beautiful.

The lines between good and evil are pretty clear in this story, as well. There’s not really any fudging around with grey areas, nor are there people who wallow around in evil and yet are redeemed because they did some good things. It was such a big deal when Boromir was corrupted by the Ring, for a brief time, and Aragorn was so moved by his confession, repentance, and atonement that he couldn’t even tell anyone for a long time. Nowadays there is so much evil in the world that everyone, even the terrorists who go around shooting people, are under the firm impression that they are good people doing the right thing. I hate that; I hate how everyone has their own interpretation of right and wrong, and I long for a world like Middle-earth. To heck with world peace. If we could just have a world where everyone knows the difference between good and evil, the real difference, it wouldn’t matter how much evil there was.

So I can only describe Tolkien as being inspired when he created his masterpiece, and that is why I will never stop praising it.

Catch-22

Day 22 of the June 1-30 Challenge.

Write about a time you were in a catch 22.

Okay, I’m still really struggling with the concept of a catch 22. I keep looking it up and staring at the definition, but for some reason what it is isn’t penetrating my thick skull. Is it…like…a paradox? Like a problem that keeps going in a loop? I’m going to go with that…so here we go.

I’m in a catch 22 all the time, because I have depression. Most people with unstable mental facilities would go and talk to someone. But my depression and anxiety prevent me from ever voluntarily opening my mouth. That could be solved by talking to someone, but, well, I can’t talk to people without getting help to talk to people.

But that’s okay; I don’t need therapy, and I don’t need medication, because LOTR is all the pep talk I need. I mean, yeah, I see all the terrible things that are happening in the real world around me, and I watch enough movies and TV shows to know that my life could be a lot worse than it is. But it’s always the journey of Frodo and Sam that makes me feel like my despair is petty, and so thinking of them snaps me out of the impression that my life is a black hole. That and listening to the songs from the movies.

And, unless I’m having a really bad day, using my imagination gets me out of a funk, too. I go and dangle my alter-ego over a pit of lava or something, and torture her, and then ultimately rescue her right before the plunge of course, but that always makes my life seem better by comparison, too.

Yeah, I’m living in a fantasy world. But until I can’t distinguish between reality and imagination, that won’t be a problem. I’m an actress, anyway, it’s like I have a built-in Peter Pan.

Mostly the point of this post though was to again promote the good attributes of The Lord of the Rings.

 

Nineteenth Letter? No!

Day 19 of the June 1-30 Challenge.

Do not utilize the nineteenth letter of the alphabet when writing your article to be made public on your blog today. The topic of the article may be anything you like. It can be any length. But it cannot contain the nineteenth letter!

No nineteenth letter? But what an important letter! Y’all will have to figure it out, for I cannot tell you the taboo letter. Read on before you do that though, to determine whether you can tell or not.

I feel a very bizarrely written tale coming on.

If a genie appeared and told me I could have anything, I believe “I want to live in Middle-earth” would come to mind- er, mouth. I think it would be wonderful there, among the different people and plant life. I have wanted to live there for many a year, and the longing failed to deteriorate over time. Continue reading “Nineteenth Letter? No!”

Lucky 13

Day 13 of the June 1-30 Challenge.

Tell us about a time you were lucky.

These are certainly getting harder as time goes on.

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Lucky? No. I have never been lucky. I can’t think of any time where those words entered my mind, so I’m going to have to reach with this challenge.

I was lucky that the LOTR movies came out before I was old enough to care.

Patience has never been one of my virtues, in any kind of sense. I talk fast, I eat fast, I drive fast, I just do everything fast. And I get more irritated than is healthy when people don’t feel my urgency to get through something as fast as possible. Continue reading “Lucky 13”

Photo Challenge #2

Day 11 of the June 1-30 Challenge.

Post a picture representing the number 11. It can be eleven items, eleven people (think soccer team), or something showing the number 11.

So this is up late. Tears. It’s because pictures throw me. I had a set of 11 pictures with which to tell a story, but that will have to wait until some other time. I’ve only got an hour before this challenge expires.

So here it is: 11 small items I have representing Tolkien’s creation.

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You can’t really see it that well, because I’m really bad at pictures. Did I mention that?

1.On the far left, at the top, is my set of promotional “trading” cards for An Unexpected Journey, from when Denny’s was advertising that movie. I felt really low for trying to collect them all, but if you don’t look at the word “Denny’s,” they’re beautiful cards! And I have all twelve. Continue reading “Photo Challenge #2”

The Whole Nine Yards

Day 9 of the June 1-30 Challenge.

When have you gone the whole nine yards? Write about it.

Or write a story of someone in a dangerous or difficult situation and how they go the whole nine yards.

I’m choosing the second option, because we all need to take a moment and appreciate the real hero of LOTR.

Samwise

Samwise Gamgee.

This is not an original thought of mine; I’ve heard it in more places than one, and I agree wholeheartedly with it. Frodo may have been the main character; the adopted nephew of THE Hobbit, and the famous Ringbearer, but without Sam Frodo would have failed so many times.

I’m really taking liberties with this challenge today, because I’m not making up a story, but simply talking about one that already exists. To make up for that I’ll list nine times Frodo would probably have failed without Sam. Writing is always up for interpretation anyway. Continue reading “The Whole Nine Yards”

Seven Days Off

Day 7 of the June 1-30 Challenge.

Where would you like to visit on your next vacation? What would you do with seven days off? What is your idea of a perfect week-long vacation?

Well, I understand that Middle-earth is kind of…not an option, so the next best thing would be New Zealand. I haven’t quite decided what part of New Zealand yet, because there are Middle-earth locations everywhere, and I don’t know which is the best.

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I mean, LOOK at that!! Who wouldn’t want to visit that, even if they weren’t a Middle-earth fan? Continue reading “Seven Days Off”