Hi there!
I feel like I disappeared from Medium and from this publication for such a long time. I know it isn’t that long, and besides, I’ve been exceptionally busy on the Tolkien front, lately. It seems a shame that it looks like I’m neglecting him here.

I’m quite busy with a new project with an Italian bibliotherapist who’s interested in creating courses of bibliotherapy centred on Tolkien and his work, and I’m helping him. It’s a project I’m very excited about, and although it is in Italian, I hope to be able to translate at least some of the material here.
It is mostly introductory stuff, but still…

At the moment, I’m working on a video about The Music of the Ainur. If you know how to explain it to a totally new reader in under 8 minutes, please, send help.

Tolkien Monthly — November 2020

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Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

A new fan film, music and reflection inspired by Tolkien

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A new fan film, music and reflection inspired by Tolkien

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Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

I have to admit it, October was an intensely Tolkien month for me. I enjoyed it immensely.
I’ve been involved in a bibliotherapy project about Tolkien, which is something I’m psych about. And with a friend, I’ve been watching hours of talks about Tolkien from both Oxonmoot and Middlemoot. I’m shocked at how many good speeches I’ve listened to.
I shouldn’t be surprised at how much life and insight there is in Tolkien’s work — but I continuously am.

Grace Under Pressure: The Rise of Númenor

by Jeff LaSala

Nice and easy to read the account of the Second Age, with many integrations to the Akallabeth from different writings by Tolkien.
Jeff LaSala writes in a very approachable way. It’s a pleasure to read his account of such complex events recounted in a very reader-friendly way. He makes it easy for any reader, even the ones who are new to Middle-earth, to step into this world without diminishing the grandeur of the Second Age. …


We’re in for one of the darkest Winter in our remembered history. But we don’t need to face it alone.

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Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Happy Halloween!

So, we come now to a time of darkness, but here the seeds are planted for a new beginning. Never like this year, this is a thought of hope.

The number of Covid-19 cases is running here in Italy. This morning on the news they were talking about lockdown — which had been sort of a dirty word up to last week.
I never deluded myself that a second wave was not coming, but now that it’s here, it is scarier than I thought.

On Thursday, I was off late from work, and I had to take the bus. I normally walk to the train station, because it is still day when I’m off, but on Thursday, it was dark, and I didn’t trust to walk, since the way to the station isn’t safe in the dark for a lone woman. …


NaNoWriMo doesn’t require us to force writing on ourselves, it does require us to figure out a plan.

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo for 13 years, and every year, the same two arguments against NaNoWriMo spring up:

  1. I can’t force myself to write
  2. Quantity is against quality

Writers who never consider taking part in NaNoWriMo often give me the same reason why they wouldn’t: I can’t force myself to write.

This is a common misconception with NaNoWriMo: if we want to achieve the 50k word in one month, we’ll have to force ourselves to write even on days we don’t feel like it because those days happen.

And I agree. Days we don’t feel like writing happen, sometimes frequently. But I wonder: if we want to make writing more than a hobby, will we still rely on the elusive inspiration to go on? …


Quantity may be the way to quality. We need to write — and write a lot — to become good writers.

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Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash

I’ve been taking part in NaNoWriMo for 13 years, and every year, the same two arguments against NaNoWriMo spring up:

  1. I can’t force myself to write
  2. Quantity is against quality

It is a common thought in the writing community that if we write a lot, that writing won’t be of very high quality.

Now, I find this a very general statement. I am indeed a slow writer, and I’m not able to write a lot in general, less so if I go after quality. But this is just me. …


Let’s talk about the worthy of The Hobbit and how the Rohirrim are a vision of hope.

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Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

So, I finally took action and created my Middle-earth Literary Gazette Facebook page. Please join if you feel so inclined. I’ll be sharing lots more material there than I usually do here on the Tolkien Monthly… also some more fun stuff, together with the more ‘serious’.

I will eventually create an Instagram page too. But that’s a project for the future.

What makes The Hobbit special?

by Olga Polomoshnova

“Easy-to-read, light, at times whimsical and playful, full of jests, The Hobbit differs from the elevated, archaic style of both of these epics. Even thus said, ‘light’ in case of Tolkien does not mean ‘simple’. “

With these words, Olga pinned down one of the most overlooked aspects of The Hobbit, a book that many readers consider childish and not really as worthy as Tolkien other stories, especially in the legendarium. …


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Photo by Tom Rogerson on Unsplash

In these 16 years, I’ve met lots of writers who have taken part in the challenge, as well as others who would never think about it.

Some writers do their own one-month challenge because the NaNoWriMo method works really good for them. Other writers abandon the actual challenge because they discover that this way of writing doesn’t agree with them at all.

All positions are sharable. It all depends on the writer and what they are looking for in the challenge. I think that taking part in NaNoWriMo can teach us a lot about us as writers and our writing process, and so it is worth trying it at least once in our writing life.

KEEP READING


NaNoWriMo may not be everyone’s jam, but trying if only once in our career may teach us a lot about ourselves as writers and our writing process.

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Photo by Tom Rogerson on Unsplash

Next November, I’ll take part in NaNoWriMo for the 13th time (I can hardly believe it!).

In these 13 years, I’ve met lots of writers who have taken part in the challenge, as well as others who would never think about it.

Some writers do their own one-month challenge because the NaNoWriMo method works really good for them. Other writers abandon the actual challenge because they discover that this way of writing doesn’t agree with them at all.

All positions are sharable. It all depends on the writer and what they are looking for in the challenge. I think that taking part in NaNoWriMo can teach us a lot about us as writers and our writing process, and so it is worth trying it at least once in our writing life. …


Even if the story ends positively, there’s a lot of melancholy in the conclusion of The Lord of the Rings. And this is what makes it such a a rewarding book.

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In the summer of 2017, I started buddy reading Tolkien’s main work one chapter a day with a group of other readers. It had been a long time since last I read Tolkien and, in a sense, was like discovering him for the first time.

I’m republishing here my impressions of that time, which I originally posted on my personal blog.

I sure didn’t know what I was getting into. Today, I’m still buddy reading Tolkien with an awesome little group of fans and still loving every moment.

Mixed with it is my impression of the films, which I also rewatched then for the first time in ten years.


My first Oxonmoot was online, and it was one of the best experiences in my life.

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I had never been to Oxonmoot before.

Despite being probably the most prominent event dedicated to Tolkien in the world, Oxonmoot happens close to Bilbo’s birthday in the last part of September. This is a busy time at my work, and I normally have zero chances to get any days off. Therefore, Oxonmoot has always been out of my list of things to do.

But last August, I discovered it was going to be held online due to the pandemic emergency. …

About

JazzFeathers

Author of historical fantasy novels set in the 1920s | Dieselpunk | 1920s social history blogger | Hopeless Tolkien nerd https://theoldshelter.com/

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