Phase 2: Vote! (Silmarillion Awards)

“The time has come,” the blogger said, “to talk of many things;

Of fantasy and characters; of Silmarils and Rings!”

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

***

Happy Independence Day to those living where I do!

Happy Monday to others!

And to everyone: Happy First Day of Phase 2 of the Silmarillion Awards: Voting!

Because this is a day for fireworks and is also a Lord-of-the-Rings-ish post . . . I can’t resist how perfect Gandalf’s fireworks are for this occasion. So here:

ANYWAY.

Here’s the info on the voting!

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The top five nominees for the the 2016 Strangest Character Silmarillion Award (from which a single winner will be chosen by voting) are:

1. Puddleglum from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

I shouldn’t wonder if everyone already knows this most famous of Marshwiggles… so the bright side of it is, perhaps he needs no introduction… You may find him making eel stew or predicting rain or the worst possible things to happen, but a more stalwart (and odd) friend is difficult to find. Strangeness is evident in every pessimistic inch of him… even though often he’s in fact “making the best of it” by acting pessimistic when really he’s lifting his comrade’s spirits in a most unusual way.

2. Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Wizard Howl Pendragon rather defies description, such is his strangeness and complexity. A young but powerful wizard, he would have you believe the worst of him, when in reality, beneath his many outward appearances, he’s actually hiding a noble character… albeit perhaps very deep beneath… Noted for his spruce appearance, about which he’s very vain, he has glassy green eyes and (usually) blond hair and often a blue-and-silver suit with flying sleeves. He lives in a moving castle, which is bizarre in itself, and is dramatic and self-centered and cowardly, not to mention having head-colds like a drama queen and tending to spend at least two hours in the bathroom in the mornings (vain, I told you). But despite his oddities and sometimes apparent heartlessness, he’s all in all a softhearted, kind, overall good person.

In the words of another character in the series, which I cannot argue with: “He’s the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. … He’s sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly, and you can’t pin him down to anything.” (from Castle in the Air)

3. Pete the Sockman from The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

While I’ve yet to read this series, and so have not met this character myself, I have it on good authority that Pete the Sockman is a mysterious, rather acrobatic person who is tall and awkward and wears patchwork clothing, giving him a scarecrow-like appearance, and wears socks on his hands (hence his name). I’ve heard him described as a sort of tragic town fool, living alone, who nonetheless comes to the aid of the main characters in surprising ways that let you know there is more to him than just a clueless outcast.

4. Calcifer, also from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Calcifer has a crackly, fiery personality… likely because he is, in fact, a fire. A magical fire-demon, he has a unique partnership with the wizard Howl and is in fact the one who powers the moving castle of the book’s title. He lives in the fireplace and “eats” logs, and historically only lets Howl cook on him (until, of course, the strong-willed Sophie shows up…). He’s cranky, opinionated, and occasionally devious, but underneath he has a heart of gold, is actually extremely loyal to Howl and his friends, and Howl trusts him with his life. As an eccentric fire who is persnickety and prone to complaining, he’s definitely strange.

5. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Again, I have not personally “met” this character since I have yet to read this series. However, Luna Lovegood is, I hear, a quite odd, dreamy character, with long pale hair and a tendency toward dottiness and looking permanently surprised, as well as a strange fashion sense (like wearing dirigible plum earrings, a necklace of Butterbeer caps, her wand behind her ear, etc.).

The five characters in each award category with the most nominations are now listed in this handy voting form where you can vote for a character in each category:

GO HERE TO VOTE! ๐Ÿ™‚

You have until Thursday, July 14, to vote!

(Winners will be announced on the various blogs July 16 through July 28. The winner of the Strangest Character Silmaril Award, chosen from among the top five by fan-voting, will be posted here on my blog on July 26.)

Also, because I thought it would be fun, and since there will of course only be one “winner” and yet I feel like all the nominees deserve mentioning . . .

Here’s a list of all the other nominations, after the top five, for “Strangest Character” in fantasy literature!

They should all be proud of themselves for being memorably and phenomenally odd. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Nidawi the Everblooming from Shadowhand โ€“ Anne Elisabeth Stengl
  • Winter from The Lunar Chronicles โ€“ Marissa Meyer
  • Angela from The Inheritance Cycle โ€“ Christopher Paolini
  • The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland โ€“ Lewis Carroll
  • Salazar from Paper Crowns โ€“ Mirriam Neal
  • Gurgi from The Prydain Chronicles โ€“ Lloyd Alexander
  • Wizard Fenworth from The Dragonkeeper Chronicles โ€“ Donita K. Paul
  • Peter Pan from Peter Pan โ€“ J. M. Barrie
  • Lady Peg from The Valley of the Dragons Trilogy – Donita K. Paul
  • Wit from anything Cosmere โ€“ Brandon Sanderson
  • Mother Mungry from The Warden and the Wolf King – Andrew Peterson
  • Elder Cadwick from The Warden and the Wolf King – Andrew Peterson
  • Fred the talking sword from The Dark Sea Annals – Wayne Thomas Batson
  • Lightsong from Warbreaker โ€“ Brandon Sanderson
  • Kiernan Kane from The Minstrel’s Song series โ€“ Jenelle Schmidt
  • Shadwick (Shimrad?) from The Warden and the Wolf King – Andrew Peterson
  • Mulch Diggums from The Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer
  • Abbadon from The Dragons in Our Midst/Oracles of Fire/Children of the Bard series – Bryan Davis
  • Fezzik from The Princess Bride โ€“ William Goldman
  • Lucinda from Ella Enchanted โ€“ Gail Carson Levine
  • Zifnab from The Death Gate Cycle – Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  • Bridger from The Realmwalkers Series โ€“ Donita K. Paul
  • Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass โ€“ Lewis Carroll
  • The Owl from After Dark in the Playing Fields (short story) – M.R. James
  • Axe Cop from Axe Cop (webcomic?) – Malachai Nicolle & Ethan Nicolle
  • The Sha-Una from The Budge-Nuzzard – A.S. Peterson?
  • Arachne from Ashtown Burials โ€“ N.D. Wilson
  • Brierly Steward from Waking Beauty – Sarah E. Morin
  • Dame Primus from The Keys to the Kingdom series – Garth Nix
  • Steven/Nevets from The Deltora Quest series – Emily Rodda
  • Ferrin from The Beyonders Trilogy – Brandon Mull
  • Doctor Scamandros from The Keys to the Kingdom series – Garth Nix
  • Tomas from Lady Moon – Rachel Starr Thomson
  • Snufkin from The Moomin series โ€“ Tove Jansson)
  • the cat lady from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

And I don’t know about anyone else, but all those characters/things from all those fantasy books being discussed in all the comments of these posts make me want to go read (and/or reread!) all the fantasy books now! I think my TBR pile may have grown… Am I the only one? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway! Vote away! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also check out the posts from the other 9 bloggers hosting these awards! We’re all linking to the same form and you only need to vote once, but many of us are also talking about the characters in the top five, so do drop by and give the other posts a read! ^_^

  • DJ Edwardson Hosting the Best Friend Silmaril
  • Jenelle Schmidt Hosting the Most Heart Wrenching Death Scene Silmaril
  • Deborah Oโ€™Carroll Hosting the Strangest Character Silmaril
  • JL Mbewe Hosting the Best Redemption Story Silmaril
  • Tracey Hosting the Riddling and Poetry Silmaril
  • Jack Lewis Baillot Hosting the Best Fantasy Mount Silmaril
  • Madeline J. Rose Hosting the Most Epic Hero Silmaril
  • Zachary Totah Hosting the Wisest Counsellor Silmaril
  • E. Rawls Hosting the Best Fantasy Weapon Silmaril
  • Abbey Hosting the Most Nefarious Villain Silmaril.

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July Fourth, Chess Club Style

Well then. It’s July 4th, which means, of course, Independence Day!

*cue fireworks*

(Sorry, non-Americans who don’t get fireworks and ice cream… but I hope you have a lovely day all the same! ;))

Maybe think about celebrating Independence Day not just with fireworks and barbeque, but perhaps even reading the actual texts of the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights…! Novel thoughts, I know…

I also wish I was watching Beyond the Mask again… That movie was SO good! *flail*

Today I can’t help but post a snippet from The Owl of Kedran’s Wood, the first book in my Kedran’s Wood series, because the Chess Club celebrated the 4th of July in the story. …And I just realized it’s the only holiday I’ve ever written about. Weird.

Here we go!

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The week passed with surprising quietness as far as anything having to do with Tare and the Wildlings went, but was anything but quiet besides that. The Fourth of July arrived with a literal bang as the Chess Club celebrated Independence Day along with their families and the rest of the town.

A very overrated parade wound its brightly colored and blaring but cheerful way through town. It was really much too hot to sit around and watch it, but everyone did anyway, even though the line of vehicles, people, and occasional horses seemed to last all day.

Most of the Chess Club members had dared each other to enter the parade itself, but despite that, no one had ended up doing it.

Ice cream flowed rather more freely than the local river did, and the tantalizing aroma and sizzle of grilling hamburgers filled many back yards, parties flourishing everywhere.
The Chess Club also took the opportunity of an impromptu party of their own at Ivy’s house to finish off the famed disaster cake of the Epic Cake-Bakers, and consumed more of what Ivy claimed was the best lemonade to be found for miles.

The snap and bang of firecrackers filled the air sporadically all day long, and toward evening everyone gathered to watch the firework display from the grandstands of the local football field. The deafening noise, general hum of happiness and excitement from the crowd, and the smell of leftover smoke filled the air, while the brilliant and beautiful fireworks themselves lit the sky in dazzling flashes of colored light.

โ€œThey’re not nearly as good as Gandalf’s fireworks,โ€ Baz complained. But he had to admit they were okay nonetheless, and that it was still fun.

โ€œI’m trying to imagine Tare having fun,โ€ Lavender remarked over the noise. She giggled. โ€œIt’s not working.โ€

โ€œI should think not,โ€ Baz said with a laugh.

Adrian put in dryly, โ€œI bet he doesn’t understand people who have a good time listening to explosions.โ€

โ€œPoor Tare,โ€ Ivy said, also laughing. โ€œHe’s probably sitting at home reading or something, and subconsciously grabbing his guns whenever there’s a bang, thinking he’s under attack.โ€

After the public firework display, groups split off and headed variously home to wrap up the night with fireworks of their own, or in some cases watching neighbors or friends setting them off, and ate still more ice cream, getting very sticky in the dark because they couldn’t see the mess they were causing.

And when all was over, everyone finally went to bed far later than was good for them, and didn’t care a bit.

***

Happy Independence Day!

And here, have some gorgeous soundtrack music because I’m thinking of it. (Don’t let Mel Gibson running at the screen with a flag scare you. It’s just music with a picture in the background. XD)

Best Blogging Buddies Award

Tag Catch-Up Post #6

Right before last NaNo arrived with all its madness, I was tagged by the awesome Sarah of Light and Shadows for the Best Blogging Buddies Award! Thank you so much, Sarah!! ^_^ (Everyone. Go read her blog. Now. It is delightful and fantasy-esque and one of my favorites of ever! <3)

Due to the nature of the time I received the B-B-B Award, I didn’t get to doing it then… but that’s what this week of posting is for, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ (One left for tomorrow!)

And I’m afraid I’m going to be very lazy and pay no attention to the rules and only answer the questions… Because I am out of it and my brain literally cannot come up with fifteen questions right now, and I have a dilemma because what with all these tags all week I’m running out of people to tag! (And I have so many fabulous blogging buddies and don’t want to leave anyone out!! o.o)

However, I’m going to answer the questions because they are awesome ones (Thanks, Sarah!) and if anyone wants to steal this award or questions or whatever, steal away!

Also due to said out-of-it-ness, my brain is too tired to go look for pictures for this post so… you’ll have to use your imagination. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I know, I know, it’s cruel of me, especially on a Saturday, to put you to all that work…! Ahem.)

1. Whatโ€™s your favorite pizza topping combination?

Cheese and hamburger. I have kind of boring taste…

2. If you could go back and change one thing in history, what would you change?

Meh. Everything? XD Probably something in Celtic history or perhaps the outcome of the Civil War.

3. Whatโ€™s the last book that made you cry/scream/however you express book-related emotional anguish?

That’s kind of hard because there have been a few books lately I’ve been super annoyed at, but I wouldn’t say they were actual emotional anguish! o.o Maybe Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams, which I LOVED; there was also a certain character who I got so attached to but not and… gaahh, it was very emotional-anguish-y! Of the best kind, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So yeah, probably that (unless unpublished books count, in which case… *points accusingly at Mirriam Neal* Creating book-related emotional anguish is basically her job description…).

4. Is there a popular (but more or less appropriate) song that you avoid like the plague? If so, what is it?

I can’t think of one in particular because I don’t listen to a lot of music that I don’t pick… In general though, if it’s rap or jazz, I’ll avoid it plague-ishly…

5. Do you want to learn another language? If so, which language(s)?

I would love to learn Gaelic/Irish/Welsh/Elvish… but I lack the fortitude and patience to do so. ๐Ÿ˜› It would be awesome, though!

6. If you were given the opportunity to change places with a book character so you could try to do a better job than they did, would you? If so, which character?

No. I would definitely not have the nerve… There are plenty that I feel were idiots and that I know better then them, but… I just wouldn’t dare. ๐Ÿ˜›

7. Also, if you said yes in question 6, do you think youโ€™d succeed? (Be honest!) How would your presence change the story?

I didn’t say yes, but even if I did, I don’t think I’d succeed. My presence in any story would probably only change it in a negative (i.e., this character is too terrified to do ANYTHING and is sitting in a closet reading!) way. XD

8. If you lived in a fantasy/sci-fi world, what job would you want?

Librarian, please! I’d live among the dusty shelves full of tomes and I’d help people find the ones they wanted and all of the awesome planning scenes would happen with me lurking (safely) in the background and in between I’d just read and read.

9. Cookies, kudos, awesomeness points, or something else?

Cookies! Always cookies. Or… Maybe cake. Because cake is good. *nod nod* *hands out cake to everyone*

10. Are you ready for fall?

Since I was tagged with this before NaNo, I’m guessing that’s why this question was here, but honestly YES. We haven’t actually had too much hot weather yet, but the summer is not my favorite time of year, temperature-wise. So even though summer’s kind of only barely here, YES I’m ready for fall! (Except that with fall comes NaNo and I’m SO not ready for that… O_O)

11. If you were going to dress up as a character from a book/movie/TV show/etc. (like for a costume party or convention), who would you dress up as?

Probably Eowyn. I’d wear a gorgeous but simple dress with flowing sleeves, and carry a sword around. It would be awesome.

12. Do you like romance in stories? Why or why not?

Yes, I do! Not as the main focus, usually, but I do like an occasional sweet romance. I think it adds a lot to the story and can be fun to watch the characters being clueless in love, heehee. …Okay, so I’m kind of a hopeless romantic at times. If I like the girl and love the guy involved, I just enjoy reading about them.

13. What are you really excited for right now?

Independence Day! I’m looking forward to spending the Fourth eating watermelon and ice cream sandwiches and watching fireworks.

14. What book/movie/TV villain would you most want to show up on your doorstep? (Or, to phrase it another way, which would you be least opposed to showing up on your doorstep?)

It depends if I had adequate protection. XD But as long as I knew they wouldn’t hurt me or anyone near me or burn my house down… Maybe Guy of Gisborne or Bucky or… someone like that.

15. If you were going to give yourself a personal title thing (e.g. the Taleweaver, the Pathfinder, etc.), what would it be?

Um… the… Penner of… Tales? I really have no idea. I’m not really good at naming myself. XD

16. What are you going to do now?

Go finish my tea and read, hopefully… There’s some books I’m supposed to review, and you can’t review something you haven’t finished, am I right?? So I will press onward with heroic valor, read the books, and prevail at the last! *fanfare of trumpets*

Happy Saturday, y’all!