The Rotting Horse on the Deadly Ground

As my fifty-first birthday approaches I’ve been waxing nostalgic and so, at the suggestion of my sister, have laboured long and hard putting together a retrospective metal playlist to serve as a soundtrack for the coming celebrations. I wanted it to sort of tell the story of how I became a headbanger thirty-six years agoContinue reading “The Rotting Horse on the Deadly Ground”

I Love Horses!

Today is “National I Love Horses Day” so I’m taking a break from working on my Camp NaNoWriMo project to express my own love of horses, which began in my early childhood—despite having never ridden one. Does a pony count? I recall a pony ride from when I was around four years old, and that’sContinue reading “I Love Horses!”

A Few of My Favourite Things, Part I

One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to tell perfect strangers all about the things I love. Imagine trying to do that during a long flight, or sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. The difference is that I don’t have a captive audience. This blog is moreContinue reading “A Few of My Favourite Things, Part I”

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Secret Vice” and My Secret Love: Thoughts on Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins’ Critical Edition of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Language — A Pilgrim in Narnia

A Secret Vice by J.R.R. Tolkien My rating: 5 of 5 stars It was the fall of 2001. I was rereading The Lord of the Rings in anticipation of the film, which I was sure would be screened even in our rural, mountainside Japanese town. One afternoon, I was killing time at our church, a […]Continue reading “J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Secret Vice” and My Secret Love: Thoughts on Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins’ Critical Edition of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Language — A Pilgrim in Narnia”

The Origin of the Elrond’s Last Homely House in Rivendell — Wordfoolery

Hello, Friend of the blog, Rick Ellrod, posed a Tolkien-related word question recently. “We use homely typically to refer to someone who’s a little worse than plain-looking, without being actually ugly.  But then there’s Tolkien’s rather mysterious phrase about how Elrond’s place in Rivendell is “the Last Homely House East of the Sea.”  Clearly he […]Continue reading “The Origin of the Elrond’s Last Homely House in Rivendell — Wordfoolery”

Worldbuilding for Fantasy Writers and Gamemasters, Part Eight

BARBARIANS With the rise of civilisation there came a new characterisation of those who had already existed since long before. As people began to gather together in large urban centres and dwell there for generations, putting down roots, the folk who had continued living nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer or pastoralist/horticulturalist lifestyles as they had forContinue reading “Worldbuilding for Fantasy Writers and Gamemasters, Part Eight”

Understanding Old English — Nicholas C. Rossis

Geoffrey Chaucer, 1340-1400 How far back in history could you go until you could no longer understand the English language?Stanislava Suplatovich has the answer in Quora. To answer this question, she uses three examples. Here’s the first one: “See ye not yon twa bonny boys,As they play at the ba?The eldest of them is Marischal’s son,And […]Continue reading “Understanding Old English — Nicholas C. Rossis”

Worldbuilding for Fantasy Writers and Gamemasters, Part Three

LANGUAGES AND SYSTEMS OF WRITING I wish life was not so short… Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about. ~J. R. R. Tolkien Famed fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien was a great inventor of languages, and while I don’t have his linguistic background, I’ve alwaysContinue reading “Worldbuilding for Fantasy Writers and Gamemasters, Part Three”