December's Challenges

Songs of Arda

Music is important in The Silmarillion. It is the force behind the creation of Arda and is central to many of the most important myths, from the creation of the Two Trees to the story of Beren and Lúthien. Exceptional musical talents are central to many of the characters of The Silmarillion, and songs such as the "Noldolantë" capture history, yet are never written for us to read.

This month's challenge asks authors to look at the role of music and songs in Arda. Stories and poems should focus on music, whether the casual influence of music in daily life or on a specific song on instance where music was used. Here are a few examples:

A Gift of a Story

As the year draws to a close, many of our members have or are preparing to celebrate winter holidays of celebration and thanksgiving. 2007 is less than a month away, and we look back at another year of new experiences, new friends, and new stories. If you are at a loss for a new project for the month of December, then why not gift a story to a person who has helped and inspired you in the past year, based on his or her interests? Whether a beta-reader, reviewer, or just a good friend, drabbles, stories, and poems are a great way to show thanks and appreciation!

The Quote of the Month Challenge

The Quote of the Month challenge asks you to write based on the themes and thoughts the quote inspires or about the event in which the quote occurred. You may write in any format--poem, story, essay, or drabble--with any characters, genre, or rating.

“And on a time it chance that Oromë rode eastward in his hunting, and he turned north by the shores of Helcar and passed under the shadows of Orocarni, the Mountains of the East. Then on a sudden Nahar set up a great neighing, and stood still. And Oromë wondered and sat silent, and it seemed to him that in the quiet of the land under the stars he heard afar off many voices singing.”
-The Silmarillion, “Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor”

Character of the Month: Nerdanel

Nerdanel receives a bare three mentions in The Silmarillion, yet she is one of the most written-about characters in fan fiction. Stories about Nerdanel often blend a mixture of canon (some of it pretty obscure!), fanon, and personal speculation.

From her marriage to Fëanor to her gifts and talents as an individual woman, Nerdanel provides some interesting opportunities to fan fiction writers. She is adored by some as a woman of strength, patience, and considerable talent. She is abhorred by others as the wife who left her husband and sons to their doomed quest. This month, we honor the many Nerdanels that pepper our own stories.

Feel free to recommend (in a comment to this post) exceptional stories about Nerdanel. Also, as she is honored this month, old and new stories of your own are welcome in the community as challenge entries.

News and Announcements

Thank you! all who volunteered to help me last month with getting odds and ends tied up for the launching of our website. With your help, despite NaNoWriMo and real-life difficulties, I managed to get all of the files moved from our beta site on Yahoo! to our official site on Blue Host. Over the next month, I will be working with my co-mods Uli and Jenni to revise the material on the beta site to officially launch it to the public.

Reference Readers Are Needed

We are beginning to build the Reference section of our website and will likely begin by collecting exceptional essays on Tolkien's canon and writing. While the fiction archive will not require reviews for inclusion, discussion with my co-mods has shown that we think it is best if we do include some form of review system before including essays in our Reference section. Because we intend for these to be used in conducting research for stories and projects, they should be close to canon, well written, and have original sources properly cited. As such, we have decided that a greater deal of control over what appears in our Reference library is necessary.

We would like to ask interested members to help us with this. We are seeking to build a staff of reference readers: members willing to read the essays that people wish to include in the Reference section and check them for canon correctness. You do not need to be a canon expert in order to serve on our Reference staff. All we ask is that you have an interest in reading and learning more about Tolkien's canon, be open-minded to exploring new ideas, and have reasonable access to the original sources upon which essays will likely be based. All reviews of essays will be overseen by me (Dawn Felagund) and the other moderators.

If you think that you would be interested in this, please email me or leave your contact information in a comment to this post. We are still working on how the exact system will work, but I will contact you with details as soon as they are available.

If you have essays that you might be interested in seeing in our Reference section, details will be available shortly on how to submit them to our site.

Our LiveJournal Is Tagged!

Thanks to the industrious efforts of Tarion Anarore and Appoggiato, more than a year's worth of LiveJournal posts have been tagged by author and major characters. For more information on our tagging system and how to use it, please read my moderator announcement here. I will be revising our LJ userinfo page soon as well to make accessing tagged entries much easier.

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