Life Lessons Learned From Fantasy Tag

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Tag time! And Fantasy time! At the same time — which makes it doubly exciting!

February is Fantasy Month (hosted by Jenelle Schmidt — go check out the linkup and short story challenge for more fantasy fun) and since Jenelle tagged me for this neat Fantasy tag, I thought I’d jump in and do it! πŸ™‚ Thanks, Jenelle!

Rules

1. Link back to Jenelle’s blog
2. Use the image above
3. Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course
4. Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going

Lessons I’ve learned from reading fantasy? It might be easier to ask what lessons I’ve NOT learned from fantasy… which may be why at first I was having a difficult time with this! (Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. But still.)

Here are just a few of the books and series that have helped show or further illustrate important things for me and are helping to shape me into a hopefully better person.

List (Because Lists)

1. Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles, and George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin, started it all and introduced me to the wonderful world of Fantasy — at least some of my earlier memories of it — thereby widening my horizons and showing me heroism first off.

2. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit taught me (and continues to teach me) that it’s okay to be both adventurous and a homebody, introverted and extroverted, bookish and active, Tookish and Baggins-ish — there’s a place for each of these things, I don’t have to be just one or the other; that if I switch back and forth between them, that’s all right; and the place to be is probably somewhere in the middle… which I can therefore strive toward.

3. The Lord of the Rings taught me so many things that I don’t even know where to start–including nobility, selflessness, and pressing on when things seem darkest. Such a rich well from which so many things can be drawn out.

4. C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia books showed me so much through Aslan, and continues to do so.

5. Patrick Carman’s Land of Elyon series (affectionately called “The Alexa Books”) helped show some things through allegory like about the Creator/heaven/happy endings and so on (also due to Narnia as well).

6. The Bright Empires series by Stephen R. Lawhead is teaching me a lot about life at the moment, particularly Wilhelmina Klug, “Mina”, showing me the kind of woman I would like to be (role-models exist in fiction for a reason, people). Also that nothing is a coincidence. About friendship, love, and loyalty, hospitality and kindness, and loving our enemies. The difference one person can make. That there is a bigger Plan in the universe which can make one feel so much less small and alone. And so many other things.

7. Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series illustrates so well things about people and the choices we make, shying from wrong and choosing the right one — I’ve just been noticing the things in this series on my second read and it’s amazing.

8. Speaking of Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle showed me a way to deal with things when I’m a coward about something (i.e. procrastinating) — that I can “Howl myself into it” as I call it… trick myself into doing things I need to that daunt me. In Howl’s words: “Not likely! I’m a coward. Only way I can do something this frightening is to tell myself I’m not doing it!”

Something as seemingly small as that can change a person for the better, and there are a million little things one can, and does, and will continue to, learn from Fantasy.

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When life seems insurmountable, it’s only natural to compare it to the problems faced in beloved tales of Fantasy — if I’m daunted by an event, I say I’m feeling Baggins-ish and want to stay home, and only need to try to be more Tookish to survive. If something sounds impossible, I can’t even count the times I’ve said, “Well, if Frodo can get the Ring to Mount Doom, I can do this…”

Fantasy in general shows me life in a new light, a new angle, so that it’s fresh and can be seen clearer than through the usual dusty glass of normalcy.

Fantasy taught me that happy endings are possible, that light is stronger than darkness, that love is the greatest thing we can give. It teaches me all the time through truths which are easier to see in other worlds than in our own, and through characters who face it all and yet still stand noble and true. It’s something to look at and think, “I want to be that way.”

Fantasy is such an entwined part of my life that I don’t always think of it as such — it’s as natural as breathing and makes just as much sense. It’s a part of me and I know I would not be who I am today without it.

I Tag…

Christine @ Musings of an Elf | Sarah @ Dreams and Dragons | Claire @ The Overactive Imagination | Tracey @ Adventure Awaits | You, fellow lover of Fantasy who is reading this, if you want to!

(Obviously no pressure to do it; just if you want! ^_^)

What about you, Roadlings mine? Do you love Fantasy (please say yes)? Has it shown you things? And are you going to pop over to Jenelle’s post with a linky and join the Fantasy fun this month? Tell me all in the comments! Thanks for reading, and remember that . . .

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Lord of the Rings Giveaway + LOTR Tag

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Oh, is it not Friday? Surprise! You get this giveaway post a day early because it’s a SPECIAL DAY. But I’m also doing an extra tag today as well.

Today being Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthday (happy birthday!), it’s a Lord of the Rings themed giveaway, naturally!

But first I’m also doing a bonus tag (LOTR themed of course) because I saw it on Pinterest (originally from Tumblr I believe) and thought it would be fun, so I couldn’t resist doing it today. πŸ™‚

LOTR Tag

It seems to be more movie- than book-oriented, but hey, I’ll give it a shot all the same. πŸ˜‰ Answers are some inconsistent mix of movie/book answers.

  1. lotrcollage1Favorite Film — The Return of the King. So much epic and amazingness, not to mention the incredible music. ❀
  2. Favorite Battle — Um. Not sure. Tie between Helm’s Deep and the Pelennor Fields I guess?
  3. Favorite Character — Faramir. He’s the best. ❀ (We will NOT talk about how his character was ruined in The Two Towers movie… though I still love him in the movies, just… it’s atrocious how they changed him.)
  4. Scene That Makes You Cry — Boromir’s death. *sniffle*
  5. Scene That Makes You Laugh — “Shall I describe it to you? Or would you like me to find you a box?”
  6. Ugliest Orc — All of them.
  7. Favorite Antagonist — WHAT EVEN DOES THIS MEAN? Gollum, maybe?
  8. Gondor or Rohan — Rohan I guess. I love their culture and horses and green fields and Fangorn forest.
  9. Favorite Hobbit — Merry! He’s just so fun and awesome and the best. (Or Bilbo if we’re talking about the Hobbit movies, because Martin Freeman as Bilbo is perfection.)
  10. lotrcollage2OTP (translation: One True Pairing, a.k.a. favorite romantic couple) — Faramir and Eowyn. They’re my precious. ❀
  11. BROTP (translation: favorite best-friend brotherly friendship) — In the book: Aragorn and Eomer maybe? In the movie, Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli as a threesome.
  12. Favorite Location — Rivendell, maybe? I’d love to vacation there… or Lothlorien… or anywhere.
  13. Favorite Weapon — You can’t go wrong with Legolas’s bow & arrows.
  14. Favorite Outfit — Eowyn’s white dress, or maybe her green one, or Arwen’s red/black dress… and an Elven cloak too, please!
  15. Favorite Armor — Faramir’s white tree of Gondor leather armor.
  16. Favorite Female Character — Eowyn. She’s fabulous.
  17. Elves or Dwarves? — Elves. They’re splendid. ^_^
  18. Coolest Visual Effect — I’m rather fond of Legolas jumping up onto his horse when they’re riding against the wargs in The Two Towers. πŸ˜‰
  19. Weirdest Screencap — I… don’t even know.
  20. Saddest Character Death — Thorin in the movie. D:
  21. Most Inspiring Moment — Both times the Rohirrim show up over a ridge at sunrise to save the day against the forces of evil; also Sam’s “I can’t carry it for you — but I can carry you!” And so many others. ❀
  22. Character You Pity Most — Gollum.
  23. Least Favorite Character — Denethor. He is… not a nice person. <.< Ugh.
  24. Scariest Moment — Everything with the Black Riders in the first movie.
  25. lotrcollage3Favorite Quote — “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
  26. Favorite Larger-Than-Life Foe — Does this mean scariest? In which case the Witch-King of Angmar a.k.a. leader of the Black Riders.
  27. Isengard or Mordor? — Hmm… Isengard, because it’s not as scary and the tower of Orthanc looks nicer. Pretty spikes and no fiery red eyeball at the top. *nods*
  28. Ents or Eagles — BOTH. (We will also not talk about how they ruined the Ents in the movies or how the Eagles didn’t talk. >.> AHEM.)
  29. Your LOTR Collection — You can see the stack of my books here, anyway…
  30. How You Got Into LOTR — I talked about it in this post for the 62nd birthday of LOTR a couple months ago… But it started with reading The Hobbit when I was hobbit-sized myself, and then listening to the Lord of the Rings audiobooks. The rest is history. *nods*

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LOTR Giveaway

Aaand, here it is, folks!

The third and final giveaway to celebrate my third blogoversary! πŸ™‚

3 different winners, as usual.

*drumroll*

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Books pictured out of box, with box shown.

One winner will receive this beautiful boxed-set of The Lord of the Rings (in case you’re a sad mortal who doesn’t own the books — please only enter this part of the giveaway if you don’t own a copy of them yourself and/or haven’t read them, or if you plan to give a copy to someone you know or something, to share the love! ^_^).

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A second winner will win this art print of one of my favorite quotes from The Fellowship of the Ring (“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — yes, that’s the book wording, not the movie one. *cough*), handlettered in blue calligraphy and gold pen by yours-truly.

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And for the third winner… I was given some Smaug/dragon temporary tattoos once, which I have not used but figured someone out there might like, so I’m offering them as the third prize of this giveaway. πŸ™‚

Details

3 winners. Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US residents only. Giveaway will run from today (Thursday, Sept. 22) until Thursday, September 29. Winners (3) will be chosen and contacted by email and also announced here on my blog, on September 30, 2016.

Well what are you waiting for? Enter below! ^_^

EDIT: The winners have been announced! Thanks for participating!

(If the embedded form below doesn’t work for you, you can find it here.)

Any answers to any of those LOTR questions? Answer in the comments or on your blog!

Happy birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, on this lovely 22nd of September, the start of Fall! And happy first day of Autumn to you, my roadlings! *throws colored leaves and Gandalf fireworks and cupcakes around*

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*

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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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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)

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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 . . .

“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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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!

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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! πŸ™‚

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! ^_^

Ink Spill

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I was realizing the other day that I don’t just write random blog posts where I TALK. I always have a specific topic I’m talking about, or a review, or an ishness wrap-up post… I don’t just sit down and type with no idea where I’m going.

So this is just that. I’m going to type, and the topic may wander all over the place and it may be messy, but at least it will be different, and at least it will be whatever’s on my heart.

Firstly, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Because I am largely Irish. So there’s that. It may also be the only happy thing in this post, so cling to it.

I’m tired and I’m in a writing slump because I’m still suffering a hangover from NaNo and the Rooglewood contest. I’ve discovered I don’t do well with contests. They burn me out. I still intend to do NaNo in November, but other than that I need to write for me again.

Not to mention that I’m still trying not to spend long hours at my computer because of my hurt back. (I know, people will say that’s a hollow excuse. That I could use a pen. Well I do use a pen sometimes thank you very much, it just gets messy and I need to type it up soon after, otherwise it gets too tangled.)

22You may have seen some posts today around the blogosphere, by lovely people who are writers, about what real writers are. I feel oddly inspired and yelled at all at once. But mostly, overshadowing the inspiration is a large bout of depression. Or… I don’t know if it’s inspired. Maybe it’s defiance, which is not exactly inspiration; makes me want to write, not because I feel “oh, I’m inspired!” but to prove the doubts wrong because it sounds as if they’re saying YOU ARE NOT A WRITER BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND WORDS SINCE THE YEAR STARTED. AND BECAUSE YOU GET DISTRACTED BY DIFFERENT STORIES. YOU WILL NEVER BE A WRITER.

But the thing is, I don’t have to have all these posts telling me these things. Because I think them all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. I think I’m not a writer, I worry, I feel guilty . . . it’s not pretty.

whimsyBecause I HAVEN’T written in awhile. Maybe that means I’m not a writer. Maybe it means I’m really burnt out because I’ve been trying to mold my writing around others’ expectations, which has never worked for me. I have to write what I have to write, and I’ve been trying to avoid that, with disastrous consequences. According to these posts, I don’t believe I’ll ever be a published author, and for those who are reading this and going “but this is a blog about writing, why are you blogging about writing if you’re not going to be an author?” I can only say that I’m tired of saying I’m a writer. Who knows anymore what that means. Everyone says they’re a writer. And they’re all probably right. Because they write. And I, apparently, DON’T.

Maybe I haven’t finished anything in awhile (short stories and novellas evidently don’t count) and maybe I’m distracted by “plot bunnies” and apparently that’s a sin, to have a lot of stories knocking at the door of my brain. And maybe I’ve been focusing too long on trying to put life before writing, because I feel guilty when I ignore my friends or my blog or my work and write instead.

I don’t give myself permission to write, and it’s burning me up because I haven’t written in so long and it’s making me an irritable, depressed person (or… more than usual) because these words inside me need to go somewhere and they haven’t been. These stories want out, all of them, and I’m failing them because I don’t have the discipline to sit down and do it, because my to-do list calls me away. I feel miserable when I don’t write, and I feel miserable when I DO write because I feel guilty for writing instead of doing what everyone else says I should do.

Because if there’s no published book at the end, then why should I be allowed to write? The world will look at me and go “Why are you writing if you aren’t trying to be published?” Well I don’t KNOW if I want to be published, or not; I’m still very confused on that end. All I know is I have stories that want me to tell them — that need me to tell them — and I’ve been abandoning them for human precepts about writing and not writing and I’ve been so burnt out and I just don’t know anymore.

88I’ve never considered myself a “writer” in the sense that many people seem to. I’ve always felt a little bit of an outsider, figuring they’re probably doing it right and that I must somehow not be a normal writer because I’m not like everyone else, somehow. I just write the stories that are in my head.

I don’t study books on “the craft” and I don’t write a certain amount every day — or even every day at all. I write in spurts, like a chapter in a day and then nothing for a week. I’ve tried to do it “by the book” — to write a little bit every day. It only burned me out and made me irritated at my story. I’ve tried to read craft books and posts on writing, on HOW YOU SHOULD WRITE OR ELSE YOU ARE NOT A WRITER, but they always leave a bad taste in my mouth because I feel like I’m being forced to do it someone else’s way, and the stories burning in my head won’t let me do that. They want to be told, and they don’t want to be told HOW to be told.

55The stories in my head are from the Tree of Story, which Tolkien talks about. They’re out there, and they want me to tell them. And no one else can, so I have to. And it’s not like I can just ignore them or make them what I want them to be, or what others say they should be. They’re THERE. Lots of people seem not to understand this.

I can’t be a writer in the way everyone says I should. I have to find my own way. Everyone will say that’s stubborn, but maybe I AM stubborn. They’ll say I’m not willing to put in the hard work to become an author, not willing to swallow my pride and learn what GOOD writing looks like and take criticism. Maybe those are true, I don’t know.

Apparently I’m not really a writer. I’m a storyteller. And I’m not going to apologize for it. I WANT to write. I do. And I will write. I’ve tried to stop, and I can’t — the stories come back and burn and I have to write them. But sometimes I do get burnt out, and the well is dry, and people will tell me that you have to write on even when you can’t, but sometimes you just CAN’T, okay?

All my life, writing’s the only thing that I feel is ME. I have stories to tell and they’re in my heart, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could turn that into something for my life. (That was what that sentimental post about “following your dream” was about. I don’t know if I believe it anymore.) But if I can’t do it by the world’s standards, then what about my life? If you take my writing away from me, or tell me I’m not a writer, or that my stories don’t matter, or that I’m not dedicated enough to write, then I have nothing. I am a storyholder, and without that story, that writing, I am nothing. “Get a life, then. Get a job. Get a hobby. SOMETHING. If a writer is all you are, but you’re not even that, then what good are you?” That’s a very good question. If I don’t become a published writer, then everyone will wonder what on earth I’m doing with my life to be WRITING without a goal in mind. What’s wrong with me? they will ask.

44But my writing is too important to me to do it how everyone else wants me to do it. And I can say that I don’t care what others will think, but it’s not true, because I really am rather timid at heart. I’m Bilbo in an Eagle’s eyrie, lost in a strange and frightening world, not knowing if I’ve just been rescued or if I’m about to be somebody’s breakfast; just wanting to be back home in my hobbit hole with my kettle singing. I just want my little world, without the concerns of wizards or dwarves or dragons or editors or publishers to disturb me. “I miss my books,” he says in the movie. And I do. I miss them. I want to go back to them. Without guilt, without any outside notions invading my mind of amounts of words or whether I’m a failure because I haven’t finished anything in awhile or because I don’t write every day or because I’m apparently not dedicated enough to the “craft” of writing to do what everyone says I should do. I want to go back to my books and love them again. To love them enough to tell them.

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there,” says Gandalf in the movie. Well I don’t care about the world, Gandalf. The world can bloody well stay “out there.” My books and maps are where I want to be. “Then world behind and home ahead, we’ll wander back to home and bed,” the hobbits sing in The Fellowship of the Ring. I’m leaving the world behind and going home. My stories want me. And I want them.

I’m aware this is a rant.

I’m aware it’s an excuse, possibly attempting, vainly, to convince myself that I still AM a writer.

I’m aware that I should positively not post this because I should never ever post things written when I’m upset and doubting myself and doubting everything and have a headache and can’t see through tears and generally am not thinking straight.

33I always pretend, online, that I’m okay. People online — or even people I see in real life outside my own house — think I’m a cheerful sort of person. They think I’m a bit of sunshine, that I’m happy and that I’m always okay. But I’m not always okay. I have doubts and worries and dark clouds just as much as the next person. I just always hate to be THAT PERSON who rants about my troubles online and makes everyone else feel bad. And my troubles are so minuscule compared to many others’, so I feel like it’s selfish to even mention any of them. Because who am I to be sad? How dare I be sad. So I try to be happy online. And it’s usually okay. But sometimes you just CAN’T.

I may not post for awhile. Or exist anywhere. I don’t know. I think I need to figure some stuff out.

I love you guys and I’m so sorry to dump this on you. I know it would be kinder not to.

But I’m just tired of pretending I’m a “writer” and that I’m trying to be what everyone wants me to be.

66I’m so done. I want to be me. I don’t know who that is anymore, but maybe I can find out, someday.

And, oddly enough, I feel rather better now. But it’s not odd, is it? What did I say about those words that need to get out. Writing is a door to the heart, a bridge to the soul. And when the heart and soul are darkened, sometimes the words will be too. But sometimes they will help chase the shadows away.

I may not be a writer by the world’s standards, but (in the elegant words of some British person, I’m sure, whom I can’t recall specifically just now), the world can go boil its head.

My writing is between me and God and my ever-demanding stories, and I don’t have to answer to anyone else for it.

11“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we my come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.”

–The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien