In honor of Tolkien Week, I bring to you some random thoughts on/relating to/mildly inspired by one of my favorite authors and men!
1. My nephew is a hobbit. He's about three feet high (granted, he's also three years old), his birthday is September 22 (just like Bilbo and Frodo), and he's quite comfortable walking barefoot in the woods. The clincher, though, is that he has a hobbit's stomach. Second breakfasts, elevensies, luncheon, tea... he's a fan of them all, down to the midnight snack.
2. My first email address, acquired with no little excitement at age 13, was email@example.com (except with a real server and all). After about two hours of trying every name of my favorite characters and being told they were taken, my mom suggested I channel that obvious obsession into my own, obvious address. The problem was, the movies hadn't been made yet. So none of my friends could actually SPELL Tolkien. Probably some uneducated kid who put the "e" before the "i" got all my mail.
3. Tolkien had a daughter-in-law named Faith. Cool coincidence, huh?
4. Despite proclaiming my fan-status in my email address, I didn't finish reading the LOTR until after the first movie came out. This is because my sweet brother convinced me that Pippin died and I decided I just couldn't go on reading, let alone living, after that.
We likes tasty fishes, my precious, we do.
We munch on their boneses, we gnaw and we chew.
We beats on their headses 'till they all be deadses.
Gollum! Fish skins taste just like glue.
With wooing skills of that calibre, of course I had to marry him. How many guys out there write you poetry anymore?
6. On Fairy Stories is one of the most important books on writing that I've ever read. (You can--and must--find it in the collection Tree and Leaf.)
7. I know how to write Futhork--the dwarvish (actually Viking) runes you see in The Hobbit and elsewhere. Many a love letter was penned in that rather unromantic script.
8. I also know a bit of Elvish, and once wrote a poem in it. Alas, I typed it out only to have my computer crash the next day. But it was way too much work to recreate. You'll just have to take my word for it that it was amazing.
9. I'm sure you know that Tolkien was a devout Catholic and influential in his dear friend C. S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity. But he was also a defender of Judaism. A random favorite bit of his writing is a letter he wrote to his German publishers when they asked if he was Aryan. He told them off with all the polite wrath of an English gentleman and etymologist, in a few succinct paragraphs including the line: "But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people." You can read more about the letter here.
10. According to some writing-procrastination tools, the Tolkien character I am most like is Thorin Oakenshield. According to others, I am Gandalf. One pinned me as Galadriel. I must have an old, old soul.