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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

she of the brown dusty attic-smelling wings

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

dawn felagund monogram




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

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August 23rd, 2016

The support for discussing and planning the Mereth Aderthad on an LJ comm was overwhelming, so I've created the Mereth Aderthad community here. Anyone who has expressed interest in it so far has been sent an invitation, but you absolutely do not need an invitation to join.

Please note that I accidentally sent out a batch of invitations without checking the box for unmoderated status. I've set the community default to unmoderated, so I'm not sure which will prevail, but I've marked down who is affected by this, and as I see them joining, will make sure their status is correct.

If you're like, "What the heck is she talking about??" see this post here.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/388015.html

August 22nd, 2016

If you want to know what the heck I'm talking about? Or would be interested in meeting up with other Tolkien fanfic people next summer in the picturesque mountains of Vermont? See this post on Dreamwidth or this post on LiveJournal and please comment there or message/email me if you're interested in further information about this.

I say there but it is worth saying again that this is a Tolkien fandom event, not a I-have-to-be-good-personal-friends-with-Dawn event. More details are on the posts above.

What I'd like to accomplish on this post is to decide how best for all of us to discuss this. So far, I have had about two dozen people express interest in possibly participating in a real-life Mereth Aderthad, and I'm sure there's more that missed the original post. My thought is that we need an online space where we can discuss plans and share news. I think this space needs to be members-only, since we will sometimes be talking about travel plans and locations and the like, and not everyone is comfortable with that in a public forum.

I would propose setting up an LJ community that defaults to members-only (although it is possible to make public posts for general announcements). Everyone who has responded so far is on LJ. It is possible to set email notifications even for those who do not regularly check their flist.

This is just one idea. If you have other suggestions, this is the place to make them. If we have multiple suggestions, I will run a poll on my journal and go with what the majority prefers.

Tagging everyone I've heard from so far: samtyr, indy1776, just_jenni, silver_trails, huinare, heartofoshun, engarian, shirebound, hrymfaxe, lignota, binkaslibrary, pandemonium_213, gratchets, oloriel, gingerrose, metamorphage, drummerwench, elfscribe5, angelica_ramses, duck113, ignoblebard, ithilwen, periantari.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/387738.html

August 14th, 2016

As seen at heartofoshun's LJ and apparently done by half of everyone ... I have been working hard during the day to get ready for the school year but all work and no play makes Dawn a dull girl, right?

Pick the number(s) of the questions you'd like me to answer about my writing. (Like Oshun, I love talking about writing. Most writers do, I think!)

I will try to likewise be good about striking off numbers as I answer them.

1) is there a story you're holding off on writing for some reason?

2) what work of yours, if any, are you the most embarrassed about existing?


3) what order do you write in? front of book to back? chronological? favourite scenes first? something else?

The rest ...Collapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/386575.html

August 10th, 2016

ETA: You no longer need to tell me you're interested in this! You can now join the mereth_aderthad community for updates and planning! /ETA

A few weeks ago, a few guilty parties who-shall-not-be-named were joking around about using my large "backyard" for a Mereth Aderthad. I thought it sounded awesome, so I mentioned it to Bobby, and he thought the idea was as awesome as I did.

So I wanted to see who may be interested in this possibility.

Here are some details:

  • I'm thinking next summer for a date, probably July or early August.


  • I live in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, between the town of Orleans and the village of Coventry, about 15 minutes from the Canadian border. The NEK is the most rural and remote part of Vermont (which is itself one of the most rural and remote states in the eastern U.S.) However, we are relatively accessible by train; the train station is only an hour away! (If that sounds crazy to you, consider that there are parts of the NEK where the train would be two-and-a-half hours away!) I would be happy to pick up anyone who took the train from the Waterbury station (which is the closest you can get to us for the least money) or any stations to the north of Waterbury (if coming from Canada). We'd also do our best to coordinate transportation for anyone who wanted to attend but was coming in by air.

    We could also pick up relatively easily from Burlington and Montreal airports.

    (If you'd be intrepid enough to drive, our house is actually really easy to find. You'd have to drive some dirt roads, but it's only ten minutes off the interstate. I got my family here, so I can get anyone here.)


  • As for lodging, Bobby and I can offer (on a first-come-first-served basis) a guest room, an air mattress in my study, and a couch in the common area. (Note that I am not opening this for claims now!) We also have a large backyard that is perfect for camping. We have a tent and could probably borrow others from friends if needed.

    The Northeast Kingdom is also a three-season tourist destination (autumn leaves, winter skiing, and summer lakes ... no one comes in the spring, which is cold and mud season!) There is abundant lodging in a our area. If we have a large enough group, Bobby has already volunteered to look into group rates at a hotel or B&B, or we could rent a vacation cabin. In short, if you're someone who likes a few more amenities than we can provide in a single-wide trailer on a working homestead, there are Options!


  • Bobby and I would cook one feast for the whole group made entirely from local ingredients. That would be our gift to the endeavor. :) If I know Bobby, too, he won't be able to resist pushing blueberry pancakes made with Vermont blueberries on everyone ...


  • Our area offers a lot to do, much of it free or nearly so. It is outdoorsy ... but Vermont also has a vibrant arts and music scene and some wonderful restaurants (although you might end up eating at a picnic table at some of them! The NEK is not a ritzy area.) This is not an expensive area to visit unless you want it to be.


  • This is a Tolkien fandom event. All would be welcome. I'm not going to turn away anyone who wants to attend, so please don't be shy.


If we decide to do this, it is very open and flexible at this point. I am willing to provide our little patch of the Northeast Kingdom, and Bobby and I will do our best to ensure that everyone can get here and have a place to stay and be able to afford to stay and participate. At this point, I mostly want to know if this is something people are seriously interested in. What will probably happen is that those of us who are interested will start talking about it somewhere that we all mutually decide upon and making firmer plans. I have ideas, of course--this is what I do, people! have ideas! :D--but I don't want to put the cart before the horse here.

If you'd seriously contemplate attending this, please leave a comment here, send me a PM, or email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com so that I can include you in future discussion and decision-making.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/386257.html

July 21st, 2016

There is a scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where both sides of their family descend on their house at once. The doorbell rings and becomes a deep-booming bell tolling as if for a death or an execution. Everyone in the family stiffens in anticipation as the bell resounds through the house.

Bobby and I have been impersonating that bell all week because, in probably less than an hour, both sides of our family will arrive: two sets of parents, Amiah, and a Great Pyrenees, all added to the two people and two dogs that inhabit our single-wide trailer.

In reality, they won't be as bad as the Christmas Vacation family, and I'm looking forward to them being here, but I won't lie that I worry about myself as an introvert and how well I will handle a week of five extra people in the house with no room to escape to (because Bobby and I are sleeping on the couch so that our guests can have proper bedrooms).

In good news, this forced us to finish getting the house ready. We've been working about ten hours a day since my return from New York. That is why the video is not up yet! I'm sorry; if I can carve out some time while everyone is here, then it is a top priority. But ... the house is now ready. I am writing this from my study with like bookshelves and things and no skyscraper of boxes piled behind me. The house looks beautiful. I took a bunch of pictures of it but need to hook up Dropbox on my phone to my account so that the photos go automatically to my computer. And this should mean no more long days of manual labor. We'll have the fence to install once the materials are finished--the fencing is being made by a local logger with trees harvested right here in Vermont--but that's the only big job left.

It hasn't been all work (although it has been MOSTLY work). Last night, we took our kayak to the north beach at Willoughby and launched at sunset, paddled out just far enough that we were comfortably in the middle of the lake, then watched the nearly full moon rise over the mountains. A cabin on the western shore was shooting off fireworks, so we got an impromptu fireworks show over the water. It was actually chilly. Sorry, everyone to the south who is suffering under that "heat dome"! One of the differences between Maryland and Vermont is that you are allowed to use the natural spaces at night--in Maryland they close at dusk--because the assumption is that you are enjoying the natural spaces at night and not up to something nefarious like dealing drugs or burying a body.

They should be here in less than an hour! Wish me luck!



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/385134.html

July 15th, 2016

I am presently on the train to New York, for the New York Tolkien Conference, stopped in Brattleboro in sight of Whetstone, the excellent nanobrewery that changes their beer menu daily. My train left Waterbury ... at 10:20, more than four and a half hours ago.

No, Vermont is not that big. The train was slowing down to stop in Brattleboro, people were standing in the aisles collecting their luggage, when the brakes went on hard. I heard one of the conductors say, "Uh oh, what happened?"

Remember last time I was on the Vermonter, when the train in front of us derailed? I didn't think we'd top that.

A few minutes later, the conductor came over the PA system. The train struck a "trespasser" (their words; I detest it in this context, although I understand the legal reasoning for it), who was pronounced dead immediately.

This was at 1:30, so two and a half hours later, we are just beginning to move. You know what? I don't care. I keep thinking about the poor person on the tracks, the "trespasser," and wonder why they were there, did they not hear the train? Or ...? To be fair, everyone was really decent about it, at least in my car, even though quite a few people were destined for Brattleboro, which was just a short walk away. No one complained, although the people seated near me for some reason misunderstood universally (maybe hopefully?) that the train had hit an animal. Ever the Mary Sunshine, I corrected them.

I did get a lot of work done while waiting, and some non-work too. I remember reading someone once remarking that many academics write their conference presentations on the plane to the conference. I couldn't do that! Anyone who knows me knows that my inner Hermione is hyperventilating at the mere thought. Of course I am not an academic and don't really aim to be! But I did do much of the Powerpoint on the train, so maybe that qualifies me to move up from baby-scholar status to wannabe-scholar. (I'm never sure what to call myself. The s-word seems fraught.)

I'm going to get something to eat. And a beer. I was expecting to arrive in the city in two hours and we just crossed into Massachusetts. I'm hungry, but I couldn't bring myself to buy pizza and beer while a person was dead under the train.

This week was pretty busy, mostly with getting ready for the conference (I think Oshun will be happy to not get any emails from me for a few days! I clicked the wrong button my phone today, and she was listed as my only Frequent Contact, which sums up my last week quite succinctly!) but also continuing to work on the house. We painted the living room and hallway this week, which involved a lot of taping and finicky, detailed work and so took longer than I wanted to spend on it.

We had fun too. On Sunday, we climbed Mount Pisgah, the third-highest mountain in the Northeast Kingdom, with both dogs. We didn't mean to. We thought we were climbing the more modest nearby Bald Mountain, but Vermont played a joke on us and had two identically named roads on opposite sides of the access area, with both trails blazed in blue. The only clue was to "walk east" from the access area, and I guess we walked west. (We did, I realize now that I'm thinking about us in relation to nearby Lake Willoughby, but I honestly wasn't thinking about it. I saw the road name, Bobby found the blue blaze, and we were both like, "HERE.") We made it to the top--even Lance! our little old man--and the view was as stunning as one would expect of the third-highest mountain in the Northeast Kingdom and overlooking Lake Willoughby to boot. We only figured out that it was the wrong mountain because there was supposed to be a fire tower and wasn't!

Oh am I out of shape! Remember when I was snowshoeing up mountains this winter? Four months of thesis-writing followed by all the chaos of moving (and making it to the gym maybe twice per week and usually copping out and doing weights when I did) means that ain't happening unless I get back to work.

On Wednesday, we took our trusty old inflatable Sea Eagle kayak out on the Barton River that runs near our house. We rowed (and floated a good deal, enjoying the scenery, the wildlife, and some incredibly scented flower that we never identified) for three and a half hours and made it most the way to the South Bay of Lake Memphremagog and back. We now know that if we row more than we float, we can easily make it. (If we cross the entire South Bay to Newport, we can treat ourselves to a nice lunch as well, but our neighbor says that it is ten miles from the access area near our house, so we might have to build up to that.)

We saw and heard these massive brown birds and assumed, they're massive so they'll be easy to identify, right? And it's Vermont, so it's not like there are hundreds of species of things. We've struck out utterly. Anything that lives in Vermont that looks like them doesn't sound anything like them.

Yesterday was Lancelot's ninth birthday, so we took both Goldens to Prouty Beach on Lake Mem in the evening and let them get in the water. It was Gwen's first time in the water, and she jumped and splashed with such unbridled joy that, when she'd stop, she had to catch her breath. Lance frolicked a little too but mostly acted like an old man in a pool and stood belly deep in the water. Gwen also treated herself to a nice roll in the sand that left her filthy. (Whose birthday was it again?)

I have so much catching up to do--including pictures from our various adventures!--but for now it is pizza and beer time.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/384689.html

July 10th, 2016

New York Tolkien Conference

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silmarils
In now under one week, I will be in New York for the New York Tolkien Conference, where I will be presenting with Oshun a paper titled The Borders of the (Fictional) World: Fan Fiction Archives, Ideological Approaches, and Fan Identity. If you'll be in New York next Saturday and want to attend the conference, tickets are available here for $11 pre-registration ($15 at the door). It's a really great conference and you can't beat the cost.

I will also be in New York for the weekend, arriving Friday late afternoon and departing Sunday morning, so I'd love to meet up if anyone is interested. I'll be by myself this year, as we don't yet know anyone here well enough to impose on them to watch the Goldens for a weekend. Last year, we did a dinner after the conference, so if you're interested in doing that again, or meeting Friday evening or at the conference on Saturday, please let me know in a comment here or email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com. (Tagging heartofoshun, anuhealani, zopyrus, marta_bee, and periantari as people I know are in town.)

I have one thousand things I want to write about here, but my days have looked something like work on the house during the day, work on conference stuff at night with very little to spare. I will definitely have to catch up soon, though; there's so much in these last three weeks that I want to remember.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/384487.html

March 23rd, 2016

I have planning to do for tomorrow, which is the last day of school before Spring Break and I'd usually give the kids a break, but the clinical director is bringing one of the self-contained students to observe my class because they're going to be transitioning him into it. Yaaay. [Not.] So why not procrastinate just a leeeeetle bit more by doing the fandom m-type thing grabbed from heartofoshun?

Ask as many as you want!

The PromptsCollapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/378467.html

February 21st, 2016

Jay Peak, Here We Come!

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Today, Bobby qualified again for the finals of the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge. He took bronze in his age category, which is pretty daggone impressive because 1) this is his last year in this age category, which means he is competing against guys ten years younger than he is, who are in their mid-20s, and 2) as luck would have it, he came down with a cold yesterday and so was far from 100% when he did his run today. The conditions were also awful: in the upper 40s F and a slow, cold rain. (I know because I stood outside in it for about ten minutes, waiting for him to come down! I was wearing my Roxy hightops, and the warmth from my feet through the soles of my shoes caused me to freeze to the ground.) He only missed silver by a half-second and finished three seconds better than the gold in the next age group up from him.

The finals this year is at Jay Peak, in northern Vermont, the very last stop on the Vermonter Amtrak line. He turns 35 the day before the competition, so depending on the rules, he might get to compete in the next age group up, which would improve his chances considerably of taking a medal in the finals. He placed fifth last year.

I'm very proud of him! He hasn't been doing this very long and has honed his skills primarily on our small southern mountains. At the finals, he competes against guys who have been doing this their whole lives and on mountains "steeper and deeper" than his beloved but nonetheless tiny Liberty.

Posing with his medal and his stick with Liberty in the background.

 photo 2016-02-21 14.58.18_zpssaquunc3.jpg



And a scary-close-up of us together! I need longer arms and refuse to buy a selfie stick!

 photo 2016-02-21 14.58.44_zpszk51mxgm.jpg



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/376693.html

January 24th, 2016

Baltimore officially broke the record for the most snowfall out of a single storm, so this was officially The Most Epic Snowstorm EverTM Or At Least Since Records of Such Have Been Kept Because I'm Pretty Sure More Epic Snowstorms Happened Before But Just Weren't Written Down. Here in Manchester, the National Weather Service tells us that we received 32 in/81 cm of white powdery goodness. However, I can speak from experience that snowfall numbers from this storm are going to be unreliable because of the wind. When I checked NWS snowfall totals yesterday, Lineboro--a town five minutes away that shares our zip code--supposedly had 4 in/10 cm more than we did, which is unlikely. The wind was just blowing it around, so an accurate measure was difficult to impossible.

Let's just settle for saying we got a lot of snow.

Read more...Collapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/375086.html
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