#SilmAwards2017 Award Presentations Begin This Week!

Just a very small, quick announcement-y post today . . .

The votes are counted, the results are in, and now it’s time for the winners of the best fantasy book characters in the Second Annual Silmarillion Awards to be presented!

(Never gets old. XD)

Here’s the schedule and the links of where to go to “attend” the 2017 Award Presentations for each Silmaril! So they will all be coming soon, and I can’t wait! 😀

Award Presentation Schedule / Participating Blogs

I only know the winner of the award I’m hosting on my blog, so I’m just as much on the edge of my seat to find out the other winners as you all are! Thanks to everyone who voted, and I hope you’ll all enjoy celebrating the winners, whoever they may be! 😀

Be sure to come back here next Monday, July 24, when a brave heroine of Middle-earth will be presenting the Most Epic Heroine Silmaril to the most-voted fantasy heroine, here on The Road of a Writer . . .

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a post of my own to write for July 29th about my love for Tolkien’s works and other beloved fantasy literature, not to mention that I also have characters to manage for said Award Presentation Ceremony which must be prepared for all you readers next week, and the clock is definitely ticking . . .

So I will bid you Namárië for now, and I hope you enjoy the Silmarillion Award presentation posts throughout the next couple weeks!

Which award are you most excited about finding out the winner? Have you enjoyed the #SilmAwards2017 so far? Thanks for reading! 🙂

Lord of the Rings Celebration!

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Mae Govannen once again, my Middle-earth-ish friends!

Today, July 29th, marks the 62nd anniversary of The Lord of the Rings (specifically The Fellowship of the Ring) being published for the first time in 1954!

So I am here today, following the wrap-up of the first ever Silmarillion Awards, to celebrate all things Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, and Middle-earth, as I wish “Happy Birthday!!” to my favorite book of all time. ❤

I don’t have any actual cake, but virtual cake in the form of Bilbo’s 111th birthday cake will do nicely in its place.

I celebrated today by pulling out all my Tolkien books and photographing them, and I’m typing this while listening to the gorgeous soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings films…

Turns out I have a lot more Tolkien books than I thought. I . . . may have a small obsession. *cough*

TolkienBooksJuly2016

What can I say — I go to a lot of library sales and I’ve been getting Tolkien-related things every year for birthdays and Christmases for the last ten years… So apparently that can add up. 😉

There are also the films, soundtracks, and audiobook versions floating around the house somewhere, also much beloved.

Me & Middle-earth

I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I first read The Hobbit, but I know I greatly enjoyed it at that young age . . . But I do remember, some time later, first reading The Lord of the Rings. I was 10, and we were listening to the audiobook versions. That was the first time I remember really entering Middle-earth . . . and I think a little part of me (okay, at times a much larger part) has been living there ever since.

After that, I reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings from time to time, I devoured The Silmarillion a few times, and started collecting and reading all the other Tolkien books I could get my hands on (as I said, my birthday/Christmas wishlists were usually full of them, as were the paper bags I carted home from library book sales). I still have many Tolkien books (for instance the rest of the History of Middle-earth series that Christopher Tolkien put together) that I haven’t finished reading yet, but that only makes me happy to think of more in store to discover.

To call myself addicted to Middle-earth would be a large understatement . . . For a few years there when I had just gotten really into Lord of the Rings, I was a Tolkien hobbyist, and still am to some extent. I did lots of Elvish calligraphy in Tengwar (the Elvish alphabets Tolkien developed), memorized poetry from the books and wrote them out in journals, made large posters of the complicated genealogies of Elves and Men from the First to Third Ages . . . Yep, I was a little addicted, you could say.

I also vividly remember the first time I saw the Lord of the Rings movies, specifically The Fellowship of the Ring. I was visiting relatives, not so long after having read the books for the first time, which I was already in love with. I vaguely knew there were films but hadn’t seen them yet. I remember the excitement of gathering late at night with cousins and staying up to watch The Fellowship of the Ring. I came in after the movie had already started, so I incidentally missed out on the prologue and the quiet green Shire parts, coming in right when Gandalf has just ridden off to find answers and the camera pans past Sauron’s tower of Barad-dur in the dark with scary epic music — naturally nervous ten-year-old me would come in at a terrifying part. 😉 The movie fascinated me, and I remember the next day I got to go back and watch the beginning, which I had missed, all by myself, with the Shire and the prologue and everything, and it was delicious.

I have a few quibbles with the movies which I will not forgive them for (Faramir; Frodo sending Sam away; the general de-noble-ifying of many characters like Aragorn… a few things like that) but on the whole I still love them. Especially the music, which captures the feel of Middle-earth marvelously, I think.

But nothing can ever touch the original books as Tolkien penned them. ❤ The Lord of the Rings is one of those things at the core of my being. It has been an enormous part of my life so far (and will certainly continue to be!), and I can’t imagine life without it. I’m so grateful to J. R. R. Tolkien for giving us that glimpse into Middle-earth which I will always treasure.

Happy 62nd birthday to The Lord of the Rings!

*cue chorus of hobbit “happy birthday’s!” from Bilbo’s party*

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(Editions with the covers drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, and maps from “The Maps Tolkien’s of Middle-earth” drawn by John Howe)

#SilmAwards2016 wrapup

silmarillionawards2016And here, with this birthday post for my favorite book, I’d also like to look back at the last several weeks of the first ever Silmarillion Awards, because I don’t know about you, but I definitely had a blast with them!

Many thanks to DJ Edwardson and Jenelle Schmidt for creating and organizing this fun event, and to all the other hosts for your splendid posts, and everyone who participated through nominating, voting, or commenting — you are all awesome! I had such a good time celebrating fantasy, beloved characters, and Tolkien’s works. 🙂

silmaril-strangest-award-mediumIf you haven’t seen all the award ceremony posts — where ten of Tolkien’s characters present the awards to the top-voted contestants of this year’s awards — do hurry and check them out because they’re all so much fun! 🙂

Awards and their presenters:

Best Fantasy Weapon (presented by Arwen) | Most Epic Hero (pres. by Aragorn) | Most Nefarious Villain (pres. by Saruman, Gollum, & Sauron) | Best Redemption Story (pres. by Boromir) | Best Fantasy Mount (pres. by Eomer) | Riddling and Poetry (pres. by Bilbo) | Wisest Councellor (pres. by Gandalf) | Strangest Character (pres. by Tom Bombadil) | Most Faithful Friend (pres. by Sam Gamgee) | Most Heart Wrenching Death Scene (pres. by Thorin)

LOTR party posts

And don’t forget — you can post your own celebratory post for The Lord of the Rings’ birthday today (or through the weekend) and share the link in the link-up at the end of this post of Jenelle’s so we can all see it! (And if you post on social media, use the hashtag #SilmAwards2016 for this LOTR birthday celebration wrapup!)

Be sure to check out the other LOTR celebration posts listed there because they’re all fantastic! (No pun intended. ;))

Happy Lord of the Rings Day to you all!

P.S. (Because Gandalf made them notorious with his multiple post-scripts.) Aaand now I’m tempted to leave my Tolkien books stacked in the corner of my room like that because they look nice there. Who needs a nightstand anyway — pfft. ;))

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began . . .

Presenting the Winner of the Strangest Character Silmaril Award!

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Mae govannen!

Today I’m pleased to have, filling in for me, one of the most eccentric but amiable persons in all of Middle-earth, well known for his yellow-boot-wearing tendencies and his joy in all things, prone to singing and talking in rhyme and often referring to himself in the third person.

A Note: Those unhappy individuals in the audience who have only seen the film adaptions of The Lord of the Rings without having ventured through the delightful pages of Tolkien’s actual books, will not have met this character as yet . . . Perhaps this merry meeting will show such people what they are missing!

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Hey! Come derry dol! merry dol! My darlings!
Tom’s here to sing today, like the feathered starlings,
To give an award away, that is what they’re tasking
(The SilmAward leaders all) — but who am I, you’re asking?

I’m Tom Bombadil! Quite a merry fellow!
Bright blue my jacket is and my boots are yellow!
Down by the Forest Old, with Goldberry a-living.
The Strangest Character Award is what I will be giving.

Who’s stranger than old Tom? That there is no knowing,
So off to find the voted one, that is where we’re going.
Come now! Hop along! Follow Bombadillo!
Down along the river clear, far from Old Man Willow!

Who’s on the river bank, fishing for his dinner?
Puddleglum of Narnia! Here we have our winner!

puddleglum1

(Puddleglum illustrations by Pauline Baynes, from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis)

Long legs, pointy hat, hands and feet all froggy,
Thin face and reedy hair, from Eastern Marshes foggy.
Marsh-wiggle, winner-Strange, from near the River Shribble,
Fishing now beside the bank of the old Withywindle!

“Ho there, Puddleglum! Good fortune to have found you!
Tom has some news to give, that in fact he’s bound to!”

“Ahoy! Bombadil. What is it? Was there a fire? Dragons, of course. A flood, maybe? Has my wigwam been knocked down in a storm while I’ve been away? Or perhaps there’s a prohibition against fishing for eels in this river? Bound to be true by now, I shouldn’t wonder. Don’t break it to me gently, I’d rather have it all at once. Put a bold face on it and all that.”

“Not a thing to fret about, but reason for elation
You’ve won a fine award from a celebration!”

“A mistake, I shouldn’t wonder. It must be meant for some other fellow. While we’re on the subject, what might be the nature of this award? Mind you, I don’t believe I’ve won it . . .”

puddleglum2

“The Silmarillion Awards, for people who’re deserving;
The Strangest Character Award they have for you, reserving!”

“Strangest. Ah. Now isn’t that a fine distinction. Arranged by the other Marsh-wiggles, no doubt. ʻHe’s a strange one, is that Puddleglum,ʼ they would say. ʻAltogether too flighty and full of bounce and high spirits.ʼ Strangest. Of course.”

“Come now, Wiggle-man, be not melancholy!
Being given this award is reason to be jolly!”

“I dare say. And I’m not a man; but you’ve forgotten that, I’ll be bound. All that merry dol-ing has gone to your head, I shouldn’t wonder. Too much merriment. Just think what the other Marsh-wiggles would say.”

Tom is a-laughing now, laughing like a bellows.
“Old friend Puddleglum, you’re the best of fellows!
But Goldberry is coming now, her silver voice a-singing,
Helping Tom with the award, Silmaril a-bringing!”

silmaril-strangest-award-medium

Goldberry (smiling): “Here is a pretty thing for in your wigwam keeping;
Take it please, good Puddleglum, or else there may be weeping,
For it was clearly stated by the fans that it is for you.
You deserve it Puddleglum; take it, we implore you!”

“There’ll certainly be weeping in any case, once they discover it wasn’t meant for me at all. But a chap can’t turn down something like that when it’s given so handsomely from such a fine lady as yourself and from an old friend, even if it is meant for some other poor chap. My thanks.”

(bowing)

puddleglum“. . . Mind you, I suppose there’ll be a discovery of the mistake, and then there’ll be dangerous journeys for myself or the other fellow, wandering about in snow and rain and thunder, trying to make sure it gets into the hands of the rightful owner. But, to look on the bright side, perhaps such a shiny thing will pay for the funeral of myself and the other chap in case our journeys don’t end favorably (and why would they?). It will be a lot of bother. End in messy deaths for all, I shouldn’t wonder. A sad business. But a Marsh-wiggle never shrinks from hardship. So I’ll accept the award, just this once. I’ll just have to make the best of it . . .”

Puddleglum takes the jewel, then goes back to fishing,
Likely still a hungry one, for his eel-stew wishing.
Goldberry is turning now, laughing bright as any spring;
Puddleglum can still be heard: “Doubt that I’ll catch anything.”

Tom’s laughing, homeward now, through the forest going
With pretty Goldberry, by the river flowing.
The singing is almost done, duty now is finished
Silmaril Awards go on, shining undiminished!

How went the voting? That is what I hear some thinking.
Here are the secrets all! Tom will give them, winking . . .
Marsh-wiggle and sockman, a wizard, girl, and fire —
Strange are the nominees! These votes they did acquire. *

Hoping it was merry though! derry-o! and merry-o!
Characters a-worthy from fantasy and Faerie-o!
Come now, hop along, quick as you are able
To see those voted best in fantasy and fable!

If ever you are wandering down by the Withywindle,
Come visit Bombadil, candle-light to kindle!
Farewell to readers and to Marsh-wiggle by water
From Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!

tombombadilillustrationpaulinebaynes

(Bombadil & Goldberry, illustration by Pauline Baynes in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien)

* Strangest Character (119 out of 123 people voted on this)

  • Puddleglum (The Silver Chair) 46 votes / 39%
  • Pete the Sockman (The Wingfeather Saga) 34 votes / 29%
  • Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle) 16 votes / 13%
  • Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter series) 13 votes / 11%
  • Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle) 10 votes / 8%

“So it Begins…” (Silmarillion Awards Presentations)

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This is it, guys!

Beginning today and running through July 28th, each day one more winner of the Silmarillion Awards 2016 will be announced on the blogs of the hosters of these awards!

It’s going to be exciting for everyone, even me, since I only know the winner of the award I’m hosting… So we all get to be surprised, and I’m waiting curiously just like the rest of you!

Each of the hosters will be having a character from The Lord of the Rings over on our blogs to present the award to the fan-voted winner of each category. It’s going to be so much fun and I can’t wait to see all the posts!

Below is the posting schedule, and I’ll be updating each link throughout the next week-and-a-half as the posts go live. 🙂

BONUS: Don’t forget that on July 29th, we’re having an online Tolkien party!

How can you join in? Simple — just do some sort of post about something Lord-of-the-Rings-ish, to celebrate our love for that great work of art on the 62nd birthday of its publication! 🙂

You can post on your blog, or Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/wherever! And you can use the hashtag #SilmAwards2016, and also drop by Jenelle’s site when the time comes, where she’s going to have a linkup so you can add your links!

***

I have a few book reviews coming out this week, hopefully, and I’ll have my post for the Strangest Character Silmaril award winner on Tuesday, July 26th, so watch out for those! 🙂

Meantime, I hope you’re as excited about the wrapping up of these just-for-fun fan-voted bookish fantasy awards as I am!

Have a lovely weekend, all! ^_^

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!

silmarillionawards2016

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! 🙂

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. 😉

  • Nidawi the Everblooming from Shadowhand – Anne Elisabeth Stengl
  • Winter from The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
  • Angela from The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini
  • The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  • Salazar from Paper Crowns – Mirriam Neal
  • Gurgi from The Prydain Chronicles – Lloyd Alexander
  • Wizard Fenworth from The Dragonkeeper Chronicles – Donita K. Paul
  • Peter Pan from Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
  • Lady Peg from The Valley of the Dragons Trilogy – Donita K. Paul
  • Wit from anything Cosmere – 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 – Brandon Sanderson
  • Kiernan Kane from The Minstrel’s Song series – 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 – William Goldman
  • Lucinda from Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
  • Zifnab from The Death Gate Cycle – Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
  • Bridger from The Realmwalkers Series – Donita K. Paul
  • Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – 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 – 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 – 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? 😉

Anyway! Vote away! 🙂

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 O’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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