Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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There and Back Again

I need a little vacation. I need to get out of Dodge for a spell. I need to go someplace where I do not have to worry about anything other than avoiding orcs and a few grumpy dwarves.

A couple of days ago I commenced a re-reading of the Lord of the Rings. Yes, yes, I am a Ringer. I’ve read the trilogy before, as well as the Hobbit.   I’ve seen all the movies—the extended director’s cut with all the bonus material —many times over. I’ve read parts of the Silmarillion. I have not read Children of Hurin, The Unfinished Tales, and the Middle Earth histories.  My plan is to get through all of these if I can.

My journey may take just a couple of weeks, several months, or a year. Circumstances may draw me back to the real world, but I hope that I can go there and back again before that happens.

“I’m having an adventure!” — Bilbo (from the first Hobbit movie) .

Note: if you’re a Ringer too, you may be interested in going to the resource page at the Tolkien Society.  I’m like a kid in a toy store there: https://www.tolkiensociety.org/links/



Cover Up

tolkienI wish folks would stop asking me about my favorite book.  Can a parent pick a favorite child?  (Well, even if parents could pick, they usually won’t say).

But, I will say that I have book covers that I love more than others.   One example is the cover of the Ballantine mass market imprint of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring trilogy.  These came out in the 1970’s and depict on the cover watercolors painted by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.

As much as I appreciate the rich art work of other cover artists (Alan Lee comes to mind) and as much as Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Middle Earth fills my mind’s eye, I always come back to these editions of the LOtR saga.  My copies of these paperback editions are crumbling and disintegrating,  and I have replaced them with subsequent editions both in print and on e-book.  But I cannot bring myself to pitch out these editions.

I think the main reason for this is that I believe that these paintings are the closest we are ever going to get to seeing what Middle Earth really looks like — images straight from the creator’s imagination.

So in answer to the question:  do I judge a book by its cover?  I guess I do.

ljg (c) 2013



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEveryone needs mentors to help them along with their vocations.  Creatives, especially writers, also need them.  Most of the time when we think of mentors we think of people in our lives who might read our drafts or act as our cheering sections.    Often, though, our mentors are people we have never met.  Often our mentors are writers we enjoy reading and whose writing  we want to emulate.   They can be writers we have known for years or some we are now encountering for the first time.

Since I was so involved with NaNoWrimo I did not have a chance to read anything for the entire month of November.   Therefore, for the last few days I have been reading little bits from several writers.    Last week on a show on the Travel Channel, I was introduced to the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. (Some of my writing buddies know which show….  :). )   I was so enamored by the poetry I heard read on the show that I went out and obtained a copy of his collected poetry from a used bookstore.    I am drawn to his ability to paint images in my mind with his words.  I decided I would study his poetry some more and see what I can learn from his style.  I am not a poet but I like to employ a poetic quality to my prose whenever possible.

Other writers and poets to whom I am drawn  include Robert Frost for his simple, straightforward elegance,   Edgar Allen Poe and J.R.R. Tolkien for their stunning imaginations, Nathaniel Hawthorne for his astute understanding of  the complexities of human nature,  and Barbara Kingsolver for weaving her social activism into her stories.   I also like a number of contemporary mystery and romance novelists who just seem to know how to spin a good tale,  — Susan Wittig Albert, Sharyn McCrumb, Nora Roberts, Diane Mott Davidson to name a few.

I have not met these individuals but I consider them all, to various extent, influential to my writing.

Who are your mentors?

ljgloyd 2012