While visiting my daughter last weekend, (see previous post), we spent part of Saturday visiting the Museum of Flight, and the rest of the day carving pumpkins, something I hadn’t done in decades. The last time I did this as a kid, was in the mid to late 70s when my grandmother spent a couple of weeks with my brother and I in October while my mom and dad were away on a trip. We did the more traditional carving of a face – eyes, nose and a mouth with jagged teeth.
Skip ahead a decade and a half in the mid 90s after I’d spawned two children of my own, both of whom were vastly more artistic than I ever dreamed of being. My daughter especially has always been good at 3D art. Thus her dragon is center stage in the photo above. My Balrog isn’t too shabby but not nearly as frightening as I’d hoped. Nic’s Raven is his nod to Poe, nevermore!
In just a few hours I’ll be boarding a plane to the Pacific Northwest so I can visit my daughter and see her debut performance as Principessa in Suor Angelica for the Lyric Opera of the Northwest. This will be the second time this year I have seen this opera. Earlier this year, in May, Rachelle appeared at the Mistress of Novices for the St. Petersburg Opera.
‘And here also is your brooch, Pippin,’ said Aragorn. ‘I have kept it safe, for it is a very precious thing.’ ‘I know,’ said Pippin. ‘It was a wrench to let it go; but what else could I do?’ ‘Nothing else,’ answered Aragorn. ‘One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters. You did rightly.’
Tolkien, J.R.R, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter 9 “Flotsam and Jetsam”
I immediately realized I had completely forgotten the return of the brooch to Pippin by Aragorn when they were reunited at the gates of Isengard. If I do decide to write a final draft of my Pippin short story, I will have to adjust it a bit to match the above.
This autumn marks a milestone for Terry and I. We met three dozen years ago last month. I can remember where we met, but I can’t remember the exact date. But the story of our meeting is a Moss Family urban, legend which I only share with close friends and family. To commemorate the occasion, Terry and I decided to try something completely different: dinner on a train going nowhere (literally I have a photo to prove that!).
On Saturday, October 12th, I attended my second MiddleMoot, hosted on the campus of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa. After the Welcome Address delivered by Robert Steed in the auditorium of Tama Hall, the first session I attended was a fascinating look at the theme of female grief as foresight and subcreation by Jude Bleile (more details forthcoming in a separate post). The following session I selected from the program was entitled “The Journey of FanFiction” presented by Nicole Evans, a fellow member of the Tolkien Society of Kansas City, a librarian, writer and blogger.
Nicole spoke briefly about the history of fanfiction, even citing examples from her adolescence (over 12,000 on one site alone but who’s counting?) and explained the interactive nature of her session. We, the audience, would select five pieces of a story puzzle that we then would assemble creatively into a short fanfiction story. We could then enter our story into a pool to be read and voted on by attendees for a prize to be awarded at the end of the conference.
The five elements we would drew were Character, Object, Setting, Plot and First Lines. The photo below displays my drawing. We had approximately thirty minutes to compose our tales. We were to underline each item as we used it in our story so the readers/judges could confirm we had used all five.
Corey Olsen would write fanfiction using Odo as a character, the Arkenstone for an object, Mordor as a setting, sneaking into the Council of Elrond for a plot and start off with a first line of ‘I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.’
Porthos ran off to heaven a week ago on October 10, 2019. Of all the Rottweilers we’ve rescued, Porthos was the first to succumb to the common ailment of bone cancer. Everyday, I come home from work and I miss his whine of excitement. I miss his laps around the kitchen, dining room and great room. I miss evening walks with him. I miss cuddling with him before falling to sleep. I keep telling myself he’s in a better place and that he’s no longer in pain or suffering.
For the last nine years, my blog, Misty Midwest Mossiness, has languished as a ‘free’ site hosted at WordPress.com. That ‘free’ came with a slight headache, which eventually morphed into a migraine. My ability to host for ‘free’ meant being saddled with advertisements, the content of which I could not control.
I took a huge leap this week and dived into the Digital Ocean. I’ve created a couple of droplets, their term for virtual machines hosted in their cloud. I created this new home using one of their prefab Droplets in their Marketplace. I did have to buy a new domain name, mostly because I didn’t want to mess up and re-configure my existing domain name just yet. My new domain name – hennethannun.net – which reflects my ongoing love for all things Tolkien and sunsets. For more information about Henneth Annûn visit this brief article at the TolkienGateway.
I was able to export my blog (overnight) from WordPress.com and import it this morning in just a few minutes. I will leave the old blog in place for the rest of the year and monitor this new blog home to see if this is cost effective and won’t break my pocketbook.
I will be adjusting the look-and-feel of this new blog – rebranded as “Into the West” – over the next few days. Let me know what you think.
And since I start off October by celebrating or at least contemplating being another year older, I decided to start a Twitter post series based on the Hammond & Scull Reader’s Companion to The Lord of the Rings, in which the timeline is very accurately tracked as the story unfolds. So on the morning of September 30th, the last day of that month, I finished reading “The Uruk-hai” chapter in The Two Towers and picked up the Reader’s Companion to read their research and notes on the same chapter, but instead I wondered what was happening “on this day” in Middle-earth? So I returned back to the chapter “A Knife in the Dark” from The Fellowship of the Ring and found the corresponding entry for last Monday: Continue reading “This Week in Middle-earth”