linaewen: (Bag End by John Howe)
I wrote the following just now, for a "Stop What You're Doing and Write Something Now" challenge for the  [community profile] getyourwordsout community I'm a part of at DW.  I found myself writing about a triple movie marathon viewing I just completed.

Thoughts after a triple movie marathon )



linaewen: (Lords of Gondor by captinskywalker)
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Day Six

In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul.

Tolkien's work changed my life! I can say it no better than C.S. Lewis when he wrote about the Lord of the Rings trilogy: " ...here are beauties which pierce like swords, or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart."

I first read The Hobbit and LotR in 8th grade -- over 40 years ago -- and my heart was broken, though in the best way imaginable. I fell in love that day, and have been an avid fan of all things Tolkien ever since. I have done my best to read everything by him and about him I could get my hands on. The tale of Middle-earth in all its ages is a tale I can read over and over again -- and I do so at least once a year. It never ceases to amaze me how I can always find something new in the story. I never get tired of it! One thing I enjoy is the tale's rich detail; it is more like reading a history of the world than a story. That history is about beings like me who struggle with moral choices and learn to live with their decisions. They have real-life temptations and failings, yet they work through them with honor, faith and joy. It is a tale of friendship and loyalty, of treachery and despair, of sacrifice and redemption. It was the characters in LotR who first inspired me to start writing and reading fanfiction after having my love for Middle-earth augmented even further by the films that have been produced over the course of the last 13 years or so. There's something about having 30 years worth of personal imagining suddenly visualized on the big screen -- one just has to write about it!

There have been other books, films, shows and fandoms that have gripped me, and still do, but nothing can compare to the intensity or the duration of my love for Tolkien's masterpiece!
linaewen: (Lords of Gondor by captinskywalker)
One of the LotR writing communities I belong to is having a discussion based on a meme called "30 Days of Headcanon", in which each day you explain a little something about your own views of the "universe" you write.  I couldn't resist sharing a little something for Day 2, which concerned "something about a character you are hopelessly in love with."  That would be Boromir, of course.  ;-)

When I first started reading LotR as a young person in 8th grade, I was immediately drawn to the Men of the tale. I was very fond of the hobbits (Sam in particular) but it was the stories involving the Men that really piqued my interest. I started out as an Aragorn fan, but somehow, after a second reading of the trilogy, Boromir worked his way into my affections, and once he got my attention, that was that.

I still have old copies of the trilogy where I have underlined in green pen all the times Boromir was especially cool or honorable or strong. It was always special to me to see how many times he is mentioned or remembered with honor and respect by other characters even after his death! I've underlined every word of it. ;-) My favorite Boromir "adventure" in LotR is the time they spend on Caradhras, where I believe Boroimir's true character shines out as he is instrumental in saving everyone from the snow storm.

Boromir's fall from grace as he is tempted by the Ring endears him to me much more than it angers me, because he is shown as being very much a real person who has faults and weaknesses, and who has the strength of character to acknowledge those weaknesses in the end, even though it is after his fall. Sometimes it takes a hard fall to help people see clearly where they need to change, and I think Boromir was like that. After almost 35 years of loving Boromir, when the idea came to pursue how that acknowledgement of his own weakness and fault might have played out if he had survived at Amon Hen, I couldn't resist, and began exploring through writing Boromir's journey towards home and redemption. That was ten years ago, and I'm still working on it!

I'm only slightly less in love with Boromir's family.  Faramir and Denethor are such a part of Boromir in my headcanon that my love for him extends to them as well -- and even further, to all Men of Gondor!  Having so many awesome Men to write about makes for a pretty fun time, I must say.  ;-)

But Boromir is still my favorite, and there are still many stories about him to be written that I haven't discovered yet in my "universe."  Guess I'll go work on writing some of those now!
linaewen: (Bag End by John Howe)
I first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was in junior high school -- I think I must have been twelve or so. It wasn't long before I was collecting books on Tolkien as a writer as well as anything else Tolkien-related I could get my hands on. I discovered in those days that my state of residence had the honor of being the holders of a vast collection of Tolkien's original manuscripts, at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

JRR Tolkien Collection

What an amazing thing to see that would be, I always thought, and it became a dream of mine to one day go there and do just that. But Marquette was just far enough away to make it awkward, and then I was off to college and grad school and getting married and living overseas, etc. -- and it just never happened.

Well, it happened, finally -- and as recently as this past week!

Thanks to a fellow Ringer who had been to Marquette several times before, I was made aware of a lecture that was taking place in October, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the obtaining of the collection. I had told her in the past that if there was ever the possibity of a moot that involved Marquette, I wanted to be involved. It worked out wonderfully that a couple of us -- including my Ringer friend and [profile] agape4rivendell -- were able to get together on the day of the lecture.


The lecture itself was just a much a dream come true as the chance to view the collection. I felt like a real Tolkien scholar, lol!

The following is reconstructed from my notes of what the lecturer shared that really impressed me, plus some things he made reference to which I looked up afterwards and inserted appropriately. I wanted to have a written record of what I had heard and experienced, to serve as a report to those who weren't there -- and of course, as a memory of my dream come true!


It was indeed quite a perfect day, and I shall never forget it!

And I think I'm going to save up my pennies to by Mr. Rateliff's book.  I can't wait to find out what other new things there are to be learned from poring over those original manuscripts!

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