TheSilmarillionWriters'Guild

Newsletter: December 2010

Table of Contents


SWG News

Change in Het and Slash Warnings on the Archive

About two years ago, we decided that we were no longer comfortable having het and slash on the warnings list on the archive. We discussed it as a group, and the membership of SWG chose to replace the current het and slash warnings with a separate text field for pairing information. This required us to alter our archive software behind the scenes, and we clearly have not been successful so far, considering that the pairing field has not manifested and the outdated het and slash warning labels persist.

We have not given up on the pairing field and will continue to work on it. However, we continue to believe that het and slash have no place on the warnings list, and so we'll be making changes to the warnings list in order to remove these labels. This will change somewhat how stories containing same-sex and opposite-sex pairings will work on the archive.

Currently, as described in our ratings guidelines, stories rated Teen or Adult require warnings to clarify why the author has rated them as such. It has always been our strong belief that readers on our archive should be able to make informed choices about the content they choose to read. Because of this, authors have often felt pressured to put a "het" or "slash" warning label on a story, even if they didn't consider their story as such, because it contained same- or opposite-sex pairings, even if they weren't central to the story.

However, it is also our strong belief that a character's sexuality is not something that deserves a warning. Given this, we've moved het and slash from the warnings field to the genre field. Therefore, authors are no longer required to label a story as het or slash. If you feel that your story fits one of these genres, and you'd like readers to be able to find your story listed under that particular genre, you are welcome to select Het or Slash/Femslash from the genre menu. If your story contains same- or opposite-sex pairings, but you feel your story fits best as General, Drama, or any of the many genres we have listed, you can choose those instead. Please remember that you can select as many genres as you want for your story (hold down the CTRL key to select more than one item from the list), so you are not limited to choosing between one or the other. The genres you select are up to your discretion only.

The Het and Slash/Femslash genre labels are now available on the archive. If you have stories with the het and slash warnings on them, you are welcome to change your own stories to remove the warnings or add the genres, if you would like. If you'd like particular changes made to your stories containing het and slash warning labels but don't have time or desire to do it for yourself at this time, please do feel free to contact us, and we will make the changes for you. Over the next few weeks, the other mods and I will be removing het and slash warning labels from all stories and adding the genres instead. Once all stories are moved to the new system, we will delete the het and slash warnings. We will individually contact any authors whose stories we edit so that they have the option of removing the genre labels, if they wish, or providing more detailed instructions to us about how they'd like their stories to be listed in the archive.

As always, if you have any questions, please comment here or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.

Library of Tirion

We would like to remind all our members that the suggestions for the Library of Tirion are open to everybody so if you have any favorite author who used to write Silmfics before 2007 and would like to have their stories in our archive, send us an email with your suggestions to moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org and we will do our best to try to contact them. Thanks to everyone who has sent in their suggestions so far! Look out for Library of Tirion stories on the archive starting this month!


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New at the Archive

Completed Works

A Fragile Chalice by pandemonium_213 [Teens] (10235 words)
Summary: In spite of weariness and stress, Tyelperinquar (a.k.a. Celebrimbor) hosts a gathering in his home: a supper followed by what we might call a salon for the elite of Ost-in-Edhil. Musicians, rival poets, and lively conversation among the guests, which includes Erestor, the visiting emissary from Gil-galad's realm, provide the evening's entertainment. An elven poetry slam causes Tyelpo to become immersed in deep memories -- some poignant, some painful, and one dark and strange yet vaguely familiar.

Bravo by Calliopes Stylus [General] (1413 words)
Summary: Maglor shows his father his newest and greatest work.

Dark Lands by Spiced Wine †[Adult] (127373 words)
Summary: Vanimórë journeys south with Elgalad to a rich, corrupt city on the coast of Haradwaith, where an ancient darkness has the ruler under its hand. Death and madness unfold about Sauron's son; he was made Vala in the Bath of Flame, yet this old evil will flee from power, and Vanimórë is forced to endure slavery once more as he seeks to discover what dwells upon the Isle of Plagues.

Dogfight by Lilith [General] (4487 words)
Summary: An alternate universe version of the infamous dogfight at Tol-in-Gaurhoth, featuring a female version of Sauron, a conflicted Luthien and a valiant Huan.

In the Realm of Ulmo by Dwimordene [General] (1995 words)
Summary: Every prophet has his call, however strange it be. Tuor enters the realms of Ulmo.

Of Conflicts and Confessions by Calliopes Stylus [General] (3203 words)
Summary: As the title implies, and taking place largely between Finwë and his son.

Works in Progress

Ambarussa by Silver Trails [Adult]
Summary:Did Amras really die when Fëanor and his sons burned the ships in Losgar?.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 2.

Burning Bright by by Keiliss [Adult]
Summary: The outbreak of war in Eregion and the hiding of the Rings of Power as experienced by a musician, a lord with an agenda set beyond the sea, an exiled princess and an elf with an uneasy conscience. Cameos by Durin the Deathless and Annatar, the Giver of not always welcome Gifts.
Chapter added this month: Part 1/11.

Chasing Mirages by Russandol [Adult] †
Summary: A 'what if' tale of darkness, light, love and betrayal over the Ages of Eä.
Chapters added this month: Answers and Games.

Elegy for Númenor by elfscribe [Adult] †
Summary: Chronicles the last days of Númenor from the time Sauron "surrenders" to Ar-Pharazôn to the fall of the empire.
Chapters added this month: Chapter 17 - A Taste of Bitter Wine and Chapter 18 - Dreams of Illicit Longing

In Darkness Bound by Fiondil [Teens]
Summary: In the aftermath of the Darkening, three kings search for meaning in the midst of tragedy. One seeks absolution; another, vengeance, while the third merely endeavors to salvage what he can from the disaster and protect his people from future harm. All may find what they are looking for, though not necessarily in the way they expect, for, as always, the Valar have their own agenda. 
Chapter added this month: Chapter 13: Betrothal, Chapter 14: News from Vanyamar, Chapter 15: Muina Hostalë, Chapter 16: A Noldorin Prince in Vanyamar, Chapter 17: Findaráto Before the Valar, Chapter 18: The Betrothal Dinner and What Came of It, Chapter 19: A Relationship Renewed, Chapter 20: Deepening Currents, Chapter 21: The High King Returns, Chapter 22: Ingwë at Formenos, Chapter 23: A Matter of Record, Chapter 24: A Conspiracy Is Formed, Chapter 25: Consultations and Chapter 26: Lessons for a Noldorin Prince.

In the House of Feanor by Aiwen [General]
Summary:Short stories containing members of House Feanor doing various interesting and strange things..
Chapter added this month: The Complaint of the Feanorian Women and Agarwaen, Meet Umarth.

Rise Again From Ashes by Independence1776 [Teens]
Summary: After spending millennia wandering Middle-earth, Maglor returns to Valinor, where he attempts to adjust to both his Valar-imposed restrictions and living once more with the Eldar.
Chapter added this month: Chapter 19 and Chapter 20.

THE GREAT TALES OF BELERIAND by Chilled in Hithlum [General]
Summary: Ongoing Screenplays covering Professor Tolkien's epic tales
Chapters added this month: Chapter 7 and Chapter 8.

The Tempered Steel by Lyra [Adult]
Summary: Yes, it's yet another variation on the good old "Maedhros in Angband and what happened afterwards" theme! Because the Silmarillion is so brief about it that fleshed-out retellings never get old..
Chapter added this month: Part II, Chapter XI.

Xenophobia in Beleriand by Aiwen [General]
Summary: In which everyone is prejudiced against everyone else.
Chapters added this month: The Noldor and The Sindar.

You Live Your Life in the Shadow of the Mountain by darthfingon [Teens]
Summary: At the end of the First Age, religious feuds and civil unrest threaten Valmar and Tirion. A 'What-If' AU.
Chapter added this month: Summons by Night and The Prince's Hands of Light by Justice.

Short Works

Helevorn by Himring [Teens] (405 words)
Summary: Noldorin prince attempts meditation technique.Obviously not for purists, although I'm sure the Noldor were capable of coming up with such things without Buddhist influence. Mature Themes: meditation can be a somewhat hazardous business.

Lalme, Alalme by Himring [Teens] (687 words)
Summary: The destruction of Beleriand after the War of Wrath--and an unusual refugee. Written for the Season of Change challenge. It struck me that there was one piece of writing that perfectly fit this challenge already--and it had been written by Tolkien himself, but was not in the Silmarillion. I mean Treebeard's song in Two Towers, of course. This story is partly a re-write or remix of that song, in prose and from a rather different vantage point. The Ent in this story is Treebeard (or Fangorn) himself, but he didn't think about himself as Treebeard at the time.

Last Gasp by Elfique [Teens] [Adult] †(832 words)
Summary: When all that is left is desolation, how do you measure life? In what manner do you meet your end if you are found wanting? In his final moments Maedhros reflects.

Moments of Passing by Elfique [Teens] (252 words)
Summary: A double drabble - one for each of the fated Balrog slayers of Gondolin.


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Character of the Month Biography

Ingwë

Darth Fingon

Ingwë, King of the Vanyar, is yet another one of those characters who plays one critical role in the history of the Elves and then disappears into obscurity, thereafter surfacing only occasionally as a reference. In the earlier versions of the stories seen in the Book of Lost Tales, Ingwë, there called Inwë, is seen as a character of greater importance, with more emphasis placed on his leadership at Cuiviénen and expanded deeds in later years. Much of this, however, is removed for the published Silmarillion and its source material.

Cuiviénen

In all versions of his story, Ingwë is an Elf of Cuiviénen who either was born there or awakened under the stars. The Lost Road mentions Ingwë as being the oldest of the Elves and the one who first awoke (1), thus equating him with Imin of the awakening legend, but whether or not this early idea is still valid in the Silmarillion era is unknown.

In all versions of the story, Ingwë was one of three chosen by Oromë to travel to Aman:

[Oromë] chose from among [the Elves of Cuiviénen] ambassadors who should go to Valinor and speak for their people; and these were Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë, who afterwards were kings. (2)

Interesting to note here is the qualifier that only afterward were these three considered kings; there is no exact description of their status prior to the journey, though elsewhere they are mentioned as chieftains. The three went with Oromë to Valinor, where they beheld the light of the Trees. The Silmarillion glosses over this entire journey in one sentence, but the Book of Lost Tales provides more detail, including Inwë's speech:

Last spake Inwë, who had been gazing upon Laurelin while the others spake, and he said: "Knowing neither whence I come nor by what ways nor yet whither I go, the world that we are in is but one great wonderment to me, and methinks I love it wholly, yet it fills me altogether with a desire for light." (3)

Further, upon returning to Cuiviénen, it was Inwë who spoke to the Elves and convinced the greater part of them to journey to Valinor:

Standing upon a boulder Inwe spake the embassy to all those hosts of the Eldalië that Ilúvatar waked first upon the Earth, and all such as heard his words were filled with desire to see the faces of the Gods. (4)

Valinor

When the Eldar first came to Aman, both Noldor and Vanyar together built and resided in the city of Tirion. There Ingwë built the Tower of Ingwë, more commonly known as the Mindon Eldaliéva, which was tallest of all the towers in the city (5). The Vanyar, though did not remain long in Tirion, but departed shortly after its completion:

Tirion was full-wrought, and the Tower of Ingwë was built, Mindon Eldaliéva, and its silver lamp was kindled. But Ingwë and many of the Vanyar yearned for the Light of the Trees, and he and many of his household departed and went to Valinor, and dwelt forever with the people of Manwë. (6)

'Valinor' here refers to the land west of the Pelóri where the Valar make their homes. The close bond between Ingwë and Manwë is also mentioned in several other sources: The Silmarillion states that Ingwë 'abode ... at the feet of Manwë upon Taniquetil' (7), while the Book of Lost Tales tells us that 'the Teleri (8) whom Inwë ruled were especially beloved of [Manwë], and got of him poesy and song' (9).

In Valinor, though other kings such as Finwë and Olwë ruled their own people, Ingwë was deemed to be the High King of the Elves, and 'all Elves revere his name' (10).

Later Years

One aspect of Ingwë's story that did not survive past the Book of Lost Tales was his participation in the Elven assault on Morgoth. Originally, it was Ingwë who led the Vanyar into Middle-earth, where he was killed.

Meril-i-Turinqi told Eriol that Inwë, her grandsire's sire, 'perished in that march into the world,' but Ingil his son 'went long ago back to Valinor with Manwë'. (11)

The original statement ... that Ingwë 'never came back into the Outer Lands until these tales were near their end' is a reference to his leadership of the March of the Elves of Valinor in the second assault on Morgoth, in which he perished. The revised statement ... saying that Ingwë never came back from the West, is virtually the same as that in The Silmarillion. (12)

The revised statement referred to in the second quote is that Ingwë 'never came back, nor looked again upon Middle-earth' (13). In this new version of events, it is instead Ingwë's son who leads the army of the Vanyar in the War of Wrath.

One other mention of Ingwë outside of Valinor in the Years of the Trees occurs in Gondolin, where Galdor defended 'the western entry by the Arch of Inwë to a horde of the goblins' (14).

The name Ingwë does appear in the Book of Lost Tales alongside Inwë, though here it belongs to an entirely different character not associated with the Elven High King: Ingwë (also Ing) is instead a Mannish king of Luthany (England) (15).

Name and Language

Ingwë's 'proper title was Ingwë Ingweron 'chief of chieftains'' (16). The element ING in the Lost Road is listed as meaning 'first' or 'foremost' (17), which corresponds to the later Quenya adjective inga meaning 'first'. The generic ending -wë means 'person'. The older version, Inwë, has a different meaning: it derives from the Qenya root INI (small), which also provides words meaning 'little Elf' and 'tiny' (18).

Ingwë's name is also attached to an archaic dialect of 'Qenya' called Ingwiqenya, spoken exclusively by those close to him:

Qenya is the Elf-latin ... But a purer and more archaic form is used by Ingwë High-king of the Elves and his court and household, who never use the common Oromian Lindarin: this is Ingwiqenya. (19)

Family

Ingwë had 'many children' (20) according to Finwë, but only one son is ever mentioned. Three names for Ingwë's son are provided: Ingil, Ingwiel, and Ingwion. All of these seem to refer to the same person. None of the other children is ever mentioned, and Ingwë's wife is not named.

Two other named family members are Indis, who is either his sister or niece depending on the source, and Meril, his great-granddaughter in the Book of Lost Tales.




Works Cited

  1. Lost Road, 171
  2. Silmarillion, 52
  3. Book of Lost Tales 1, 116
  4. ibid. 118
  5. ibid. 59
  6. Morgoth's Ring, 84-85
  7. Silmarillion, 62
  8. Teleri was the original clan name for the Vanyar. Those who later became known as the Teleri were at this time called the Solosimpi.
  9. Book of Lost Tales 1, 59
  10. Silmarillion, 53
  11. Book of Lost Tales 2, 258
  12. Shaping of Middle-earth, 168
  13. Silmarillion, 53
  14. Book of Lost Tales 2, 181-182
  15. ibid. 305
  16. Peoples of Middle-earth, 340
  17. Lost Road, 361
  18. Parma Eldalamberon 12, 42
  19. Lost Road, 193
  20. Morgoth's Ring, 206



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Funnies

Gothmog and Draugluin

Pandemonium_213

“Gothmog and Draugluin” follows the antics of two Tolkienian icons who were not all about smiting and devouring but had fun, too. Little Gothmog lives in Thangorodrim with his mom (Ulbandi Fluithuin) and dad (Melkor, Black Foe of the World). Melkor’s right-hand man and Gothmog’s babysitter -- Professor Thû ("I'm not a babysitter. I'm an observer!") -- makes appearances, too.

Gothmog and Draugluin also share this space with “Stinky Pete” Mêshûgganâscar, Maia of Mandos, and his pals.

Pandemonium_213 issues the standard disclaimer that Gothmog, Draugluin, Melkor, Ulbandi, Professor Thû, all the Elf dudes, Stinky Pete and his Maiarin pals, their Valarin bosses and whoever else shows up are the property of the Tolkien estate, and that this irreverent comic strip is drawn (badly) for fun and games but not for profit.

Gothmog and Draugluin by Pandemonium_213

Click to view full-sized.




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Current Challenge

Season of Change

As fall--or spring for those on the Southern Hemisphere--approaches and heralds another change in the season, this challenge is all about the seasons and how Tolkien’s world responds to them. As the writer, you can approach this from many angles. Here are some examples:

Challenges Revisited: A Gift of a Story

This December, as in Decembers past, we ask our members who want to participate in a challenge to write a story as a gift for someone else.

With winter holidays and the end of 2010 approaching, there is no better time--and no better way--to thank those who have helped and influenced us throughout the year. Whether a beta-reader, a loyal reviewer, or a good friend, writing a story for a person is way to say thank you or to show that you care ... and to give them something that they're sure to enjoy and treasure for years to come!

Our authors often write stories as gifts for other people. Check out all stories written for the A Gift of a Story challenge here.

Quote of the Month

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."
- Andrew Wyeth

Want more challenges? Check out our complete challenge listing for more than three years' worth of challenges to inspire your writing!

Have an idea for a challenge? Some of our most popular challenges have been created by you, the members of SWG! If you have a plotbunny gnawing at your ankle, a favorite quote, or a favorite character that you think might inspire others as well, please send an email to moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org and we'll try to include your challenge in our next newsletter!


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Around the World and Web

Teitho

Last month we challenged you to write about those who have found something. Some things cannot be found until an individual realizes it has first been lost, and so the saying goes, “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.” This is why our theme for December is the second part of this saying, “Losers Weepers”.

One can lose anything – a battle, an argument, a friend’s trust, confidence, hope, a limb, or perhaps someone can lose their memory after an accident. Your options are numerous, as long as you include Aragorn and/or Legolas in the story. They do not need to be the main characters, but at least one of them should be mentioned.

The deadline for submission is December 25th. The Teitho website has more information.

A Long Expected Contest (ALEC)

The theme for December is “Mistletoe and Wine”: we all enjoy those wonderful days and evenings celebrating the winter holidays with family and friends, when it is cold and stormy outside and yet warm and joyful indoors, perhaps even with a romance blooming. December’s theme is to explore the holidays and those who celebrate them. Submission deadline: 11:59pm December 25 (yes, Christmas night – so get those stories emailed in early!) Please see the ALEC website for more information.

Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards

Voting for the Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards closes on December 15th. You may not enter votes after this point. Draft reviews will not be counted; hidden reviews will be counted "as-is" and displayed to the public.

Results will be available on December 19th at the MEFAwards website, the Yahoo group and the mefas LJ community. Authors will be notified, and banners will be made available as soon as possible.




Around the World and Web is provided for our members to inform them of events in the larger Tolkien community. SWG is not affiliated with and does not endorse the groups that we feature in Around the World and Web, and we are not responsible for content on sites outside of our own. Please use discretion and caution when visiting unfamiliar sites on the Internet.

Would you like to see your group or event featured on Around the World and Web? See our Promotions Page for more details or email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org.


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