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Subject:Tolkien Music: Galadriel's Song of Eldamar
Time:09:37 am
Current Mood:calmcalm
I stumbled across this on YouTube recently and wanted to share it with my Tolkien friends. Ever since seeing Brave, I've always thought this melody was perfectly gorgeous, and I've been hoping for someone to make an extended cover of the song--but I didn't expect this! I'm stunned at how well the tune works with the words (even if the author had to cheat just a tiny bit and add a couple of extra syllables to some of the lines).

I've often wondered what Tolkien would have thought of the tendency to use Celtic music to set his poems. I know he thought of his work as English-drawing-on-Norse rather than Celtic, but then he also based Sindarin on Welsh...and to my ears, it's hard to deny how well they work together.

(Speaking of Welsh, it occurs to me that Galadriel's song would also fit "Bugeilio'r gwenith gwyn" without tinkering with the words...)
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Subject:OMG, it's Debbie!
Time:02:37 pm
Current Mood:gigglygiggly
Those of you who have known me for a while may remember the epic Mary Sue parody trilogy that I co-wrote with a college friend under the joint pen name of Gypsie Rose: "Debbie Does the Fellowship," "Debbie Does the Two Towers," and "Debbie Does the King (Among Others)." My friend "Gypsie" and I invented Debbie in a very giggly conversation sometime in the wee hours of the morning when she was visiting me. Debbie was meant to be the ultimate Mary Sue. She was a Victoria's Secret model, kicked orc butt effortlessly with karate/judo/swords/bows/pepper spray (and looked good while doing it too), knew the LOTR books and movies inside out, and always had just the right item for the situation at hand in her purse. She saved Boromir's life, solved Gollum's mental problems, carried the Ring for Frodo ... and managed to score with all the guys along the way. Including Gandalf and Treebeard. It is perhaps needless to say that the stories were a ton of fun to write.

Over the course of the saga, we established several things about Debbie's appearance. So when I saw this ad at the Victoria's Secret at the the Mall of America about a week ago, my mouth dropped open and I simply had to hang back and take a picture with my cell phone.


Let's review:

Chestnut hair: check.
Emerald-green eyes: check.
Heart-shaped face: check.
Curvaceous figure: check.
Victoria's Secret model: check, obviously!

I even sent this picture to Gypsie and asked whether she agreed that this was Debbie. Her answer: "Pretty much spot on, yeah."

So now Debbie has an official portrait!
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Subject:Drabble: The Best Sauce
Time:01:08 pm
Current Mood:contentcontent
The Best Sauce

The great cooks of the city, Faramir supposed, would have treated this haunch of venison much differently. He allowed himself a moment to imagine how they might have served it: encrusted with ground hazelnuts, perhaps, or steeped in wine, accompanied by a small sheaf of asparagus, and almost certainly covered in a complex sauce. But he could not imagine it would taste any better than it did now, roasted simply over a fire and shared with true companions.

Truly, he thought as he sliced off another chunk of meat, whoever said that hunger makes the best sauce was very wise.


Written for a mini-challenge with lilan14 about Faramir enjoying a hearty meal. Lilan's response was A Good Appetite.
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Subject:Amazing News: Brothers of Gondor Zine #2 Available for Download!
Time:08:51 pm
It's been a long time in the making, but it's finally ready. The members of the Brothers of Gondor message board have produced a second collection of fanfiction focusing on Boromir and Faramir. It's freely available for download in PDF format, and we're even offering it in two different sizes (US letter and A4 paper size)! Go here to find a copy:


Here's what the zine contains:

Cover Art: Brothers of Gondor by Khorazîr

Legacies of the Past by sealover_astara
A visitor from Denethor's past presents a mystery for his sons to solve.

Injuries by illwynd
Climbing the walls and rooftops of Minas Tirith brings adventure and danger to the sons of the Steward.

Answering the Call by cressidarambles
Faramir discovers an apparent deserter hiding in Henneth Annûn. But the man's motives are not what he expected...

A Fair Exchange by roh_wyn
On his great journey northward, Boromir finds an unexpected gift hidden in his bags.

Of Music, Dancing, And Old Friends by lilan14
A chance meeting with a childhood friend prompts Faramir to remember a golden day from the past.


And if you've missed any of our previous zines, you can find them all for download at our new archive site, here:

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Subject:Drabble (Title?)
Time:01:37 pm
Once the peace agreements were signed, Aragorn sent a fine mithril helmet studded with jewels to Harad’s ruler. Now most of the city watched from the walls as the answering gift arrived: a splendid young mûmak draped in banners of scarlet and gold.

Faramir lifted Elboron onto his shoulders so the boy could see better. He could not help smiling, remembering when such beasts came in war, not as symbols of friendship.

“What do they eat, Father?” Elboron asked.

“I do not know!” Faramir answered with a laugh. “We shall have to learn together."
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Subject:A Lovely Tribute to Tolkien
Time:09:24 am
Current Mood:impressedimpressed
Over the past several months, I've been working my way through a friend's collection of Knights of the Dinner Table gaming magazine. It includes a column by Paul Westermeyer devoted to reviewing fantasy and science fiction novels. For the 150th issue special, that column listed Westermeyer's picks for the top twenty most important fantasy writers. In the number one spot is J.R.R. Tolkien, and I just had to quote what he had to say:

The Professor is the obvious choice for the top position. No one has come close to exceeding Tolkien's skills as a world builder; Middle Earth remains the finest example of the art. It is rich in detail yet broadly conceived with a documented, cohesive history which spans eons. Yet transcending the detail is the literary quality of his tales. The style and tone is often at odds with modern tastes, but I say the fault lies in modern tastes. Frodo, Beren, Turin--Tolkien's characters are indelible archetypes yet heart-breakingly individual. Tolkien's work feeds the mind and soul, and then repays repeated, careful readings; that is a rare gift. Thank goodness for the Oxford Don and his love of elves and hobbits. (KODT, issue 150, page 135.)
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Subject:Double Drabble: The Wild Geese
Time:01:38 pm
Written as part of a drabble challenge with lilan14, subject: "Birds." (Her entry is here.)

The Wild Geese

Faramir had run merrily about the garden all morning, and now it was time for his nap. Finduilas sat by his bed, waiting for him to fall asleep. It would not be long, she thought. His eyelids were drooping already.

A flock of wild geese called out as they flew past, the V-shape outlined against a grey, cloudy sky. Faramir watched them through the window. “Where are they going?”

“They are flying to Belfalas for the winter,” Finduilas explained softly.

“To Belfalas? What will they do there?”

“Well, first they will smell the sea afar off, and they will tell each other excitedly that they are nearly there. Then they will see the towers of the castle at Dol Amroth, with the banner of the ship and swan flying from the tallest one. They will circle round it, calling out greetings to your grandmother and grandfather and Uncle Imrahil. Then they will see the water sparkling in the sunshine, and they will fly down to the harbor, telling the sailors they have returned. And there they will stay until springtime comes again…”

She stopped. Faramir was asleep.

Finduilas stood. She glanced wistfully out the window before slipping from the room.
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Subject:Tolkien-Related Podcasts!
Time:04:53 pm
Current Mood:excitedexcited
My latest enthusiasm is listening to podcasts, especially while I'm at work. Recently, I stumbled across a link to some Tolkien-themed podcasts which are available free on iTunes, or as downloads from the lecturer's website. They're all done by a professor who teaches a course on Tolkien at Washington College in Maryland. It looks like there's enough there to keep me busy for weeks! He's going through the books a few chapters at a time, starting with The Hobbit. He's also recorded some of his course sections, some lectures he's given, and some topical podcasts.

His iTunes page is here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tolkien-professor/id320513707

If you don't use iTunes, you can also download the podcasts directly from his website, which is here: http://www.tolkienprofessor.com/index.html


Another fun set of podcasts--sadly, only five were ever made--is the Crystal Clear Tolkien series by Silime. Each of these short podcasts examines some confusing or controversial Tolkien-related topic. Most of them have transcriptions, too, so you can read them if you prefer that to listening. They're all available at http://silime.libsyn.com/.
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Subject:Hobbit Music!
Time:05:42 pm
Current Mood:relaxedrelaxed
Since getting into a conversation with sealover_astara the other day about Bakshi's animated LOTR, I've been feeling an odd nostalgia for the Rankin-Bass animated movies from the 1970s. I never managed to read any of the books in that era, even though I started both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring multiple times. I did, however, see all the animated movies on television at one time, and some friends had the soundtrack album to The Hobbit. I've always really liked their version of "Roads Go Ever Ever On"--in fact, I have to admit it's the default melody that I think of when I think of that song. A little digging on YouTube turned it up, so I present it now for those who haven't heard it before...or as nostalgia for those who have.

Listening to it again after all this time, my main thought is, "Wow! That sounds really seventies!" (But I still think the melody is pretty.)

While I was searching for that version of the song, I also came across this alternate, very hobbit-y setting performed by a group called Starlit Jewel:

I love the internet!
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Subject:Drabble: "Clean"
Time:11:44 pm
Yet another Celebrating Middle-Earth Month has slipped away (or will have, in twenty minutes) without much activity from me. Sadly, March has tended lately to be one of the busiest months of the year at my job, so I watch the month go by while wishing I had the time to do something creative. So that this one may not be completely dry, I am making public a drabble that I wrote a couple of years ago for lilan14. It was a forfeit for losing a bet; I agreed to write a drabble on a topic of her choosing. She asked for "Faramir, nude."

(I actually started writing up a longer version of this, explaining how Faramir happened to be in this place at this time, but then I decided to let this part stand on its own as a perhaps slightly surreal moment.)


The sun is high when Faramir comes to a tree-ringed pool of clear water, fed by a stream. He hesitates only a moment before stripping and wading in.

It is deeper than he expected, reaching his chest. Cool water tingles slightly on his new bruises and abrasions. He lets the current wash away the grime, sweat, and blood of the day’s battle. Then, with easy strokes, he swims to the far side and back. His long, lean body glides smoothly through alternating patches of shadow and light. Then his feet touch the bottom and he rises from the water, clean.
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[icon] Rubber Duckie of Numenor
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