Listen to the Almost an Inkling webinar live!

Greetings and well-met! Mythgard Institute’s “Almost an Inkling” flash fiction contest is finally at an end.  The submission and voting links for Week 6 “Speculation and Subcreation” are still open, although I’m not sure if they are intended to be. The Weeks 5 and 6 winners are to be announced TODAY at a live webinar session at 4pm Eastern Time. Follow this link and click the big Register button next to the Halloween Extravaganza.

Currently on the webinar the Tolkien Professor, Dr. Corey Olsen, is touring Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings Online and explaining Middle-Earth lore using in-game locations. It’s actually pretty interesting!

When the LOTRO section finishes, the flash fiction contest winners will be announced, and any winners attending the webinar will have the chance to read their submissions publicly. I have a simple haiku for my Week 5 submission and a more mythical story for Week 6’s “Speculation and Subcreation” theme. If you want to know what my story is, pop over to the voting link now to read (and maybe vote) for it!

Am I almost an Inkling?

Mythguard Institute asks for your original flash fiction!

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Two weeks ago Mythguard Institute launched a flash fiction contest open to all comers that will last six weeks in total (ending on Halloween). Sorina Higgins, lecturer and Charles Williams blogger, seems to the main representative for it. In Week 1 they asked us to write a maximum of 333 words about a portal to another world, and the results were some fantastically imaginative, original fiction. As stories are submitted, they are posted online, and anyone can vote on their favorites. After voting closes, two winners are chosen: one by the popular vote and another by the judges. Additionally, runners-up are counted, and the prizes involve publication and the opportunity to read one’s story(-ies) at a webinar. Exciting stuff!

A friend of mine and fellow blogger (I’m not sure if they want to be named to the public yet) was chosen as runner-up by the judges, and I must say it was a cracking good tale. My own story got an honorable mention by the same judges, which suggests I did at least something right. I’ve tried again for last week, Week 2, on a topic about hunting dragons.

Voting is still open for Week 2, so why don’t you all head over to the link here, read some fun stories, and cast votes for the ones you like best? You don’t have to read them all, if it seems too daunting (there are 48, after all!), but they’re all short and sweet. Have fun reading!

 

The Beauty of Rosie Cotton Is in Her Eyes

It’s probably safe to say that not enough is written about Rosie Cotton. I’d never given her much thought before, but I love the insights David Mosley makes in this post.

Letters from the Edge of Elfland

David Russell Mosley

827764-2

Eastertide
5 May 2015
On the Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire

Dear Friends and Family,

I just finished my annual reread of The Lord of the Rings, and I was struck by something I’ve never noticed before. In the penultimate chapter, ‘The Scouring of the Shire’, we meet Sam’s sweetheart, Rosie Cotton. The film version of sweet Rosie introduces her to us at the beginning, making her a barmaid at The Green Dragon Inn, perhaps even landlady the way she sees all the customers out. Book Rosie is certainly different. We don’t learn about her existence until The Return of the King, she certainly isn’t a barmaid or landlady, or at least we’re given no indication that she is. All we really know about her is that Sam seems to have loved her for some time and she is one of the many…

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Tolkien and Grief

Theologians, Inc.

The sense of grief that pervades Tolkien’s writing is probably its greatest quality. There are a couple different facets to this, though. One is a genuine sense of sorrow. Much of Tolkien’s writing deals with themes of exile, loss and death, and these situations evoke genuine grief. Love is lost, life is lost, and home is lost. These things stain the land – the land itself is, in a sense, grieved.

Another facet, one that Lewis wrote on frequently, is longing – for Tolkien, the longing for Eden. Even though the world is a place of sorrow and grief, love and beauty still lurk. Then land which aches with the grief of war, exile and death also longs for the restoration of Eden and even the surpassing of Eden, when, to paraphrase the prophecy of Turin, all the wrongs, all the griefs, all the hurts of mankind are redressed and…

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Avoiding Gadzookeries

A rumination on two of my favorite authors and one of my pet peeves!

Mere Inkling

gadzookeryWriting quality historical fiction is challenging. This is especially true if one wishes to avoid the common crutch that a talented writer of the last century first labeled “gadzookery.”

And just what is this faux pas we should avoid when writing about the past? Well, it relates most directly to the dialog placed on the lips of historical figures. The offensive technique involves the overuse of archaic expressions or phrases. (Some would argue it includes any use of any archaisms.)

If the word gadzookery sounds a tad, how shall I put it, “goofy” to you, you may prefer using another word that means the same thing: “tushery.” Tushery was coined by Robert Louis Stevenson. Way back in the nineteenth century.

Gadzookery is a newer version, insulting the same lazy writing technique. I believe it may have been coined by Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992). Sutcliff’s historical influence has exerted a literary influence…

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Susan Pevensie: Always a Queen of Narnia?

An excellent analysis of Susan Pevensie’s adulthood at the end of Narnia.

While We're Paused!

This month LHP is highlighting some of our readers’ favorite previous posts from our authors.  We hope you enjoy them!

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Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a picture of Susan that ISN’T Anna Popplewell?

When we think of The Chronicles of Narnia, Susan is not, perhaps, the first character that comes to mind.  She is robust and relatively well developed, but she also seems to be more of a supporting character.  After all, it is Lucy who leads the children into Narnia and seems to form the strongest bond with Aslan.  Edmund is the traitor redeemed, and Peter becomes the High King.  Susan’s most unique aspect is also one of the most controversial points of The Chronicles:  She is the only one of the four Pevensie children to fall away and not make it into Aslan’s country at the end of The…

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Rosemary Sutcliff unconditionally among the best historical novelists using English |The Brittanica Library entry on children’s literature

Splendid, and completely accurate, of course!

ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF

There is a detailed entry on “children’s literature” in the Brittanica Library (Ex Encyclopedia Brittanica?). Of UK children’s literature it claims:

The English have often confessed a certain reluctance to say good-bye to childhood. This curious national trait, baffling to their continental neighbours, may lie at the root of their supremacy in children’s literature. Yet it remains a mystery. But, if it cannot be accounted for, it can be summed up.

It also argues that:

In two fields … English post-war children’s literature set new records. These were the historical novel and that cloudy area comprising fantasy, freshly wrought myth, and indeed any fiction not rooted in the here and now.

Of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical fiction:

There was fair reason to consider Rosemary Sutcliff not only the finest writer of historical fiction for children but quite unconditionally among the best historical novelists using English. A sound scholar and beautiful stylist, she made few concessions to…

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