Happy Hobbit Day

Happy Hobbit Day

It’s officially 80 years since The Hobbit was published!

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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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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”