Hobbiton, a Diversion

While New Zealand’s South Island typically gets all the praise and glory, there is a lot to explore up in the north as well. We spent beautiful time discovering the city of Auckland, sampling wine on Waiheke Island, and hiking through the rain forest of Waitakere Range. Although, one place we were particularly anxious to […]

via Tour of Hobbiton – Travel With Nano B.

In a diversion from my usual posts (and admittedly because I have been experiencing a strong case of Wanderlust lately) – I came across this blog by an excellent blogger. It’s photos of the wonderful film set of Hobbiton in New Zealand. As you all know, I’m a lover of all things Tolkien. So, these photos are just absolutely amazing.

Beyond the beautiful photos (and do check out photos of the Waitomo Caves as well!), there’s also good information for me to keep in mind for my planning a trip to New Zealand. Because I want to go there and to see Hobbiton sets, and just kind of…well, see the magic in real life. That’s one of my dreams and one of my travel goals–hopefully in the next 2 years.

So, just enjoy some really gorgeous photos of one of my top 3 travel destination wishes as a diversion and distraction until I can get my next post up and running.


Tolkien Reads from The Hobbit

This is amazing. I do love getting to hear Tolkien read his own work, it’s somehow far better than just reading it (which is wonderful in itself). I do love hearing an author read their own work though, somehow it just makes the world itself come more alive and brightens all the details. And his Gollum here is just excellent. If you’ve got about 10 minutes, check out the blog & take a listen!

Aethereal Engineer

Back in April I shared audio of J.R.R. Tolkien reading from The Lord of the Rings. This rare treat was thanks to the Professor’s enjoyment of recording personal readings of his work on some of the first home-use tape recorders after being introduced to them by a friend in 1952.

These short stretches of audio are wonderful, capturing the particulars of the speech and dialects he created for his stories. You really get to hear the sound and roll of language that was so important to Tolkien both professionally and personally as a professor of language and literature. And coming from an age when author readings were rarely recorded, they are double treasures without question.

With that in mind, I am very pleased to share another audio clip of J.R.R reading his work. This time, the subject is a passage from Riddles in the Dark, the fifth chapter…

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Nerdery Weekend

I went, 2 weekends ago, to the MoPOP (formerly EMP) in Seattle & enjoyed a weekend full of nerdy goodness and all sorts of geekery. I’ll admit that I generally do this kind of thing when I’m stressed & need some relaxation and a good time. See, immersing myself in my own nerdy/geeky interests makes me happy, and helps me feel better.

It was a lot of fun, obviously. But it was also kind of nice to bring myself back into those nerd-doms and geek points that have made me happy for so long. There was a lot of Star Trek, Star Wars, LOTR and other fun things for me to see, which is always great fun. Just so I can share the fun of my weekend, here’s a few of my favorite photos.

Continue reading “Nerdery Weekend”

Smaug and Dragons

Smaug and Dragons

Dragons are fearsome, terrifying creatures. They’re the stuff of legend and of nightmare. Just like how you always hear about knights going off to fight them & save poor, captured maidens from the evil dragon (keep on with the western understanding, here). They’re serpentine or reptilian; lizard-like really. With giant wings and they breathe fire. Sometimes sulfurous, other times just belching hot and melting anyone who gets into their paths. They’re hell-spawn and should terrify any good person who hears about them.

And yet…really, I can’t picture them that way. Continue reading “Smaug and Dragons”

In Lacking Inspiration, I Read…

Tolkien. Seriously – the man wrote mountains of works across his lifetime. And I’ve read nearly all of it, starting with The Hobbit when I was 6 or 7 years old, up until more recently picking up background information such as the “Letters” or other side works. Suffice to say, the huge breadth to all that he wrote is downright inspiring; truly impressive.

So whenever I’m low on inspiration, or just feeling like I have nothing to write…I pick up some Tolkien. Doesn’t matter which of his works it is, just any one. And then I’ll read a section, a chapter, or even the whole work; depends on time given at any given point. I’ve always been utterly impressed at his devotion to his work, how deeply he worked, and how many edits and corrections he made to try and keep the internal mythology, world, cultures and rules all working, even as he continuously updated everything he was working on. It’s a good little bit of inspiration for me. Continue reading “In Lacking Inspiration, I Read…”

I See Fire

This is a song I loved from when it came out with the movie, which is how I first heard it. I’m not normally a fan of Ed Sheeran, but this is glorious.

But it’s just a kind of song that speak to me, on several levels. It’s got all sorts of imagery (obviously, sorry) — but the fire…and the picture it brings to mind. It’s something that really resonates with me; I feel very comfortable with this type of music. It’s kind of sad, melancholy, and it just strikes at the feelings. But it’s also somehow, to me at least, kind of somewhat strong–choosing one’s own path in a way; even if it is a dark one.

And because I love lyrics: here.*

Familial Pressures

Sometimes it is difficult to be the weird one in the family. Not only in terms of my religious beliefs…but in all other ways.

I’ve been a geek/nerd ever since I was tiny. I’ve been a fan of Harry Potter since 1997, when my school librarian lent me the copy of the British version one of her family had sent to her, following that avidly even through today (thank you J.K. Rowling for creating Pottermore). I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since about 5-6, when my uncle played Episode IV for me and my sister at his house, where Han Solo was one of my very first crushes. Then there was The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and all things Tolkien – which I first read the prequel Hobbit at about 7 years old, and started LOTR. I was fascinated by the Elves and the languages he created. And the final of my major “geek-doms” to be picked up – Star Trek. I remember seeing “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”, “Requiem for Methuselah” and “The Trouble with  Tribbles” as the first episodes I saw…I was about 8 or so. I was home sick from school, and because I was sick my sleep schedule was screwed up, so I remember seeing these episodes on about 11pm or so, and being in awe of how groundbreaking they had to have been for being from the ’60s (which I thought was ancient history at the time). Continue reading “Familial Pressures”