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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

A M-m-m ... M-Word Thing!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"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.

A M-m-m ... M-Word Thing!

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silmarils
Since coming back to LJ, I've been scouring around for an m-word thing to do. Because nothing says LJ like a meme an m-word thing! (Okay, so the revised version ain't nearly as catchy.) I got this one from samtyr. I really like it because, during my rather long absence from LJland, lots of people friended me whom I know nothing about and haven't had much of a chance to talk with. So this is a good opportunity, if you are new to Ye Olde Flist, for us to get to know each other better. Of course, if you've been around since the dawning of my LJ (pun, ouch, yes, I know) and want to play, feel free!

It goes something like this:

  • If you want to play, leave a comment saying "when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter" Awwww ...
  • I'll respond by asking you five questions to satisfy my curiosity
  • Update your journal with the answers to my questions
  • Include this explanation and offer to ask other people questions


Simple, eh, and painless enough? (I hope!)

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Tea. Any kind. Hot, iced, black, or herbal. Bobby and I can easily polish off a half-gallon jar of tea in one sitting, if the conversation's good or the food is spicy. A significant risk to our income is showing up at an SCA event and finding that the Tea Guy is there. The Tea Guy has dozens of different kinds of teas, with enticing names like "Christmas bakery" and "chocolate cherry." At the moment, my favorite tea that I make is black tea brewed in the sun with a sage leaf, mint sprig, and sprinkling of lemon balm leaves tossed in for good measure.

What do you feel is the worst problem with computers?

Heh. The people who operate them? Seriously, the number of misunderstandings that I see springing from people not understanding how tough communication online can be is depressing. I have wasted far too many hours of my life as the SWG owner on such kerfuffles as well. I love computers, but they have their limitations.

Who is the most misunderstood 'Silmarillion' character?

Sam, these are supposed to be simple questions, not subjects for essays! ;) I have lots of names fluttering through my head right now: Fëanor, Maedhros, Nerdanel, Celegorm, Indis, Maglor ... but I have to choose just one.

So I'll go with Maglor. Because, actually, I am writing an essay on this! :D It drives me nuts how authors tend to depict him as a tender-hearted, doe-eyed pacifist strumming a harp in the corner while his brothers scheme about going to war. Since I am writing an essay on this that I might one day finish, then I'll limit myself to 100 words on why this seems so wrong to me.

Until fostering the twins at Sirion, Maglor never stood up for anything. In fact, he was quite ruthless. It was Maglor who killed Uldor. He would have ultimately chosen to leave Maedhros hanging. He didn't stand aside at any kinslaying or Losgar. People tend to lean too heavily, imo, on his fostering of E&E and his musical talents in developing his character. "Bards" in the literature that inspired Tolkien, are not doe-eyed or soft but, in Celtic cultures, people of great power. Characterization focusing on the fostering of E&E seems rather weak after involvement in centuries of kinslaying and war.

Semi-coherent and cheating a bit with abbreviations, but 100 words exactly!

If you could travel in time to witness one historic event, what would it be?

Bobby and I were talking about this very question the other day. He chose Robert the Bruce's speech before Bannockburn, which is completely irrelevant to the question, yes, but I'm stalling for time.

I suppose I'd choose to witness a Druid ceremony. Because next to nothing is known about the ancient Druids except for obviously biased accounts by the Greeks and Romans. This makes it very hard when developing an SCA persona based on Celtic bards who were forbidden from writing anything down. And Druids are generally interesting.

Have you ever met anyone IRL that reminded you of a Tolkien character?

The Tea Guy mentioned above used to have a helper who looked like an Elf. My husband, when his hair is wet and not tied back, looks a lot like I'd imagine one of the Edain would look, similar to Viggo as Aragorn but not as gaunt in the face. (And, for the record, I was not a Tolkien fan when we decided that we wanted to marry each other!) I look for Maglor every summer on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, but no luck so far.

That was fun--who else wants to play? :D
  • "Until fostering the twins at Sirion, Maglor never stood up for anything. In fact, he was quite ruthless. It was Maglor who killed Uldor. He would have ultimately chosen to leave Maedhros hanging. He didn't stand aside at any kinslaying or Losgar. People tend to lean too heavily, imo, on his fostering of E&E and his musical talents in developing his character. "Bards" in the literature that inspired Tolkien, are not doe-eyed or soft but, in Celtic cultures, people of great power. Characterization focusing on the fostering of E&E seems rather weak after involvement in centuries of kinslaying and war."

    I completley agree! Maglor is far too often painted as tender hearted, hell I've done it myself! BUT he was a kinslayer, and like you pointed out didn't show much regret until the end. I look forward to reading the essay you are working on :D

    I don't know much about you, and you probably don't know anything about me so... when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter.
    • It's funny, whenever I mention the Maglor-as-a-softie trope that so bugs me, other people always chime in that it bugs them too. We need to start a club or something! The Defense of Maglor League, promoting the canon that Maglor is a hardass since 2010. ;)

      Maglor is a little doe-eyed in his youth in my stories. However, I like to think that I also communicate that, when it really counts, he tends to be the bravest of his brothers. He often acts first and thinks later. I haven't delved too deeply into his character as an adult, so I hope that, when I do, I do him justice.

      Okay, questions, questions ...

      1. If you could meet any character from literature, who would it be and why?
      2. Why do you create? (Stories, art, paperclip people, whatever--I'm leaving this one intentionally open-ended! :)
      3. If you could stop people from doing one petty annoying thing, what would you choose?
      4. What is your favorite fanon?
      5. If you could choose one myth or folk story to tell me, what would you choose? (Of course, I'm fishing around for you to actually tell it to me, shameless person that I am! ;)
  • Ooh, I wanna play! What sort of dance are we going to do? Maybe the Hootie dance from "Only Wanna Be With You"? 'Cause when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter.

    *does the funky chicken*
    • Eegads. You had to bring that up, didn't you?? You could so blackmail me, if you wanted! :D Did you know that Darius Rucker is now a solo country artist? Quite an acclaimed one too! I kind of feel sorry for the Blowfish, though; I wonder what they're up to.

      Those weren't the first two questions, btw ...

      Okay, five questions. This is tough! Because I have known you since your dawning. The getting-to-know-you questions just won't work. ;)

      1. Where are you going in life? If you could be any place in ten years, where would you want it to be?
      2. Have you ever thought about publishing any of your old Pecos Bill fanfiction to fanfiction.net?
      2. Do you ever think about giving up vegetarianism?
      3. If you could wake up tomorrow and find one injustice remedied, which would you choose and why?
      4. You have been hired by a good university to teach any class that you want. What are you going to teach?
      5. Have you touched Maggie's patterned ear today, paying particular attention to the way that the black and white hair feels different?
      5. What is one bad habit that you would break if you could?
  • "Bards" in the literature that inspired Tolkien, are not doe-eyed or soft but, in Celtic cultures, people of great power.

    What?! You mean Celtic cultures weren't all soft and pacifist and new agey? ;) (Heh, I remember being amused by how fanart often seemed to make Maglor look "feminine" compared to his brothers.)

    Mmm, questions... when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter!
    • What?! You mean Celtic cultures weren't all soft and pacifist and new agey?

      Bobby and I recently attended a lecture on faeries in the medieval world and, in the chatter before the lecture started, the presenter was debunking the idea that the Celts were pacifist vegetarians. My husband--who just wrote a Masters thesis on medieval Celtic warfare--had something to say about that! :D

      Heh, I remember being amused by how fanart often seemed to make Maglor look "feminine" compared to his brothers.

      Oh! That's an angle I haven't considered for my essay yet. (I was looking at fanfics and the adjectives used to describe Mags versus the other brothers.) This essay is turning into a thesis ...

      Okay, questions ... you're another person that I've known for hella days, so this is tough!

      1. If you could relive (without changing) any day in your life, which day would you choose and why?
      2. What is the most meaningful (to you) story you've ever read or heard?
      3. What job wouldn't you do, for all the money and perks in the world?
      4. Which Tolkien character do you think is most like you?
      5. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
  • (no subject) - olorime001
    • *dances with you along with the dancing beer-wine-beer bottles!*

      Okay, questions ...

      1. How did you become involved in Tolkien fandom?
      2. Aside from writing and other fandom-related stuff, what is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
      3. Where are you going? (Yes, that's open-ended--interpret as you will! :)
      4. Do you think Nature is to be enjoyed, feared, held in reverence, tamed, something else? And, of course, why?
      5. If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would you pick? (And bonus: What would you cook or where would you go?)
  • OK, it's been quite a while since I've played this meme!

    "when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter"
    • This is a fun one, isn't it? Although coming up with questions is hard! :D

      1. Since you have worked as a teacher, if you could pass one skill on to kids in your community, what would it be and why?
      2. What has been your proudest accomplishment as a writer?
      3. What is your persona in the SCA? (Couldn't resist--sorry!)
      4. What is one book that you never want to read again and why?
      5. What is the oddest thing about you?
  • "when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter"
    • Reciprocity--hooray! :) Here goes ...

      1. Choose your favorite LJ icon. Why is that icon meaningful to you?
      2. What is something that you know is dangerous or stupid or just a bad idea, but you'd like to try anyway? >:^)
      3. Do you think that the best art mostly comes from joy or sadness?
      4. Who is one character (from Tolkien or otherwise) that you don't write much about or squee over often but who you think is totally awesome?
      5. What is your name? What is your quest? What is your favorite color?
      5. If you could learn overnight to speak one language that you don't currently speak, which would you choose and why?
  • What a fun meme! "When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter."

    Boy, do I agree with you about Maglor! In canon, he was anything but a wimp!
    • Yay! Another member for The Defense of Maglor League, promoting the canon that Maglor is a hardass since 2010! Not that I had any doubt.

      Okay, questions, questions ...

      1. You travel a good bit, so what is one place you've been that you would recommend everyone to see and why?
      2. Why the Feanorians?
      3. What is one book that you would love to see made into a movie? You can assume that they'd actually do a good job of it. Not likely but, hey ...
      4. What is your favorite holiday?
      5. How did you get involved in Tolkien fandom?
  • I'll play: "when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter"

    As for Maglor: ditto.
    • Yes, I think you were a founding member of The Defense of Maglor League, promoting the canon that Maglor is a hardass since 2010! I know we've talked about that before! :D

      Okay, questions ...

      1. Television or movies and why?
      2. What Tolkien character do you think you are most like?
      3. If you could spend one year studying anything, no matter how frivolous and with no regard for usefulness, what would you choose?
      4. Outside of Tolkien, what is your favorite myth cycle?
      5. What is your favorite time of the year?
  • Mmmm, tea! Tea is delicious.

    Until fostering the twins at Sirion, Maglor never stood up for anything. In fact, he was quite ruthless. It was Maglor who killed Uldor. He would have ultimately chosen to leave Maedhros hanging. He didn't stand aside at any kinslaying or Losgar.

    I want to read this Maglor essay when you finish it! ladyelleth and I have had some interesting back-and-forth on him as well, with similar points of irritation. Because in addition to all that up there ^, there's the fact that he survived all three kinslayings and every battle against Morgoth, and he was given the Gap to guard, which was not an easily-defended area. So clearly he was no slouch in battle, which is pretty much in direct contradiction to the Mags-as-pacifist trope.

    (And while we're on the subject of annoying tropes, there's another one that tends to go hand-in-hand with softie!Mags that drives me batty. Maglor fostered Elrond and Elros; that does not mean that Maedhros was an abusive SOB to Elrond and Elros. It's not a logical consequent! The premise does not necessitate the conclusion! Ack!)

    ...okay, babbling over. XD But I'll bite! When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter.

    Edited at 2010-06-17 04:17 pm (UTC)
  • Shall we dance?

    Terrific questions and answers.

    And.... when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter!
    • Re: Shall we dance?

      Thank you--though samtyr gets full credit for the questions. :)

      Okay, now my turn ...

      1. If you could "undo" the development of any technology or invention, what would you choose and why?
      2. Why did you choose your LJ username?
      3. Ocean or mountains and why?
      4. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
      5. What word or saying drives you nuts?

      Beautiful icon, too, btw! :)
  • (no subject) - aranellaurelote
    • I tend to be that way with fruit teas too. Of course, I'm weird generally in that I don't like sweet foods, so anything that adds "sweet" to something I already like will generally be subpar to me. The exception to that is berries--I love berries and berry-flavored teas! But members of my family are in love with iced peach tea, and I'd rather drink water.

      And questions ...

      1. What is a hope you have right now for the future? (It can be as small or sweeping as you'd like. :)
      2. City or country and why?
      3. If you could live anywhere on earth for one year, where would you go?
      4. What is one story/subplot that you wish Tolkien had written differently?
      5. Who is your favorite author?
  • Seriously, the number of misunderstandings that I see springing from people not understanding how tough communication online can be is depressing.
    So true! And I admit, I've had my share of computer d'ohs!, too. This assures me I'm still okay, though. *g*

    I see you have a lot of requests already, but I want questions! Meeee! :D

    Edit: I knew I forgot something - When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter!

    Edited at 2010-06-17 06:52 pm (UTC)
    • And questions you shall have! :D

      And OME. That link is so funny and yet so sad at the same time.

      1. Which do you like more--the journey or the destination?
      2. What character would you like to see given more attention in fandom? (I leave the fandom up to you. :)
      3. On the subject of that link ... do you think social networking has been a good thing generally or not?
      4. When you write, do you always know how a story is going to end, or do the muses sometimes surprise you?
      5. If you could develop any talent overnight, what would you pick?
  • When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter!
    • *dances!*

      1. Choose an author. If you could ask that person one question, what would it be?
      2. Where would you like to be right now?
      3. If you could teach one lesson to future generations, what would it be and why?
      4. If I came to visit you, where is the first place we would go?
      5. If you could keep any creature as a pet--imaginary, mythological, dangerous--without any harm to you or it, what would you choose?
  • You've got a lot of requests already but .... "when I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter"

    About Maglor as hardass: of course! He uses the harp and singing just to play the harmless card but we all know he's a real tough Feanorian




    • I do have lots of requests, but I'm slowly plugging through them! :D

      Maglor thanks you and extends an invitation to The Defense of Maglor League, promoting the canon that Maglor is a hardass since 2010. ;)

      Okay, questions ...

      1. What is the craziest thing you've had happen in your class as a teacher?
      2. Will I ever finish poor dreamflower02's essay for References?
      2. What was your favorite part of your trip this past summer to Europe?
      3. If you could ask Tolkien one question, what would it be? (Okay, I stole that one from Dreamflower ... ;)
      4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
      5. What is a story that hasn't been told that you think needs to be told? (Fanfic or o-fic, of course)
  • when I'm dancing with you & with our girl because she doesn't like to share,tomorrow doesn't matter

    Dawn scouring her flist for a meme? o_O ;)

    I used to drink a lot of tea, now rarely. But the way you described it made me nearly offer an empty cup :

    Celegorm is pouting now btw, he oh so often is ignored in favour of Maglor. ;)

    Speaking of essays, I hope to finish my essay about 1st age singers, Dreamflower might have hinted about Maglor, but I probably will cover it more broadly. :D

    But this, ah Dawn, brownie points for you:
    Bards" in the literature that inspired Tolkien, are not doe-eyed or soft but, in Celtic cultures, people of great power.

    Yes, ten thousand yes! It was/is a hard life, that's for sure. It's not Rhapsody the Bard because I am not really a doe-eyed creature myself. ;)

    Just an idea, maybe you can check or ask a nearby grove (of the OBOD), if you can witness a ritual?
  • Oh I want to read this essay on Maglor! And I want a cup of tea. I remember drinking lots of icetea when I visited. :D

    When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter! Especially if it's Irish dancing in front of Danish tourists. ;)
    • Hey, we're going to Ocean City this weekend, so Bobby and I will dance a reel on the Boardwalk near Shenanigans just for you! ;)

      And at least your misery up on the stage was likely nothing compared to that of those poor Danish people having to sing in a language most didn't even speak at the bequest of the Danish Pusher. I'll never forget the rapacious tone of her voice as she said, "I'll have more Danes for you next week ..." o.O

      You probably forgot that you even asked for questions! ._. Better late than never, I hope, here they are:

      1. What do you hope to accomplish in your new job?
      2. What first made you want to study and work in Africa?
      3. Of the fandoms you've done artwork for, which do you find the most arresting or inspiring?
      4. What is one place where you've traveled that Bobby and I must visit at some point and why?
      5. What is your proudest creative achievement?
  • Right! I'm up for dancing. I've known you for a long time but we've been so out of touch that this seems like the thing to do.
    • Okay, here be questions (horribly late--I'm sorry! :( )

      1. Since we haven't talked in a while, what is one major thing that has happened since in your life that you want to tell me?
      2. If you could wake up tomorrow and find that one thing had changed in the world, what would it be and why?
      3. Would you rather read or write and why?
      4. What or who is your greatest creative influence?
      5. Where is a place in the world that you have never been but you hope to see someday?
  • May I play too please? When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter!

    • Of course! You are one of my oldest LJ friends. :)

      And sorry to have taken so long in actually writing the questions ... :(

      1. Where do you hope to be in ten years?
      2. If you could ask any person, living or dead, one question that they'd have to answer honestly, what would you ask and of whom?
      3. What is your biggest pet peeve in a story? (Fan or o-fic or both!)
      4. What has been your proudest accomplishment?
      5. Forest or sea and why?
  • (no subject) - lady_roisin
    • *dances!* :)

      1. If you could teach Arianna one thing and trust that she would learn/follow it, what would it be?
      2. What inspired you to become involved in fashion and costume design?
      3. You are definitely a polymath, so if you had to choose one art to practice, which would you choose and why?
      4. What inspired you to write/create based on Tolkien's books?
      5. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
  • What a terrific drabble-essay about Maglor, I cheered a lot reading this! :D I think many people who depict him as a weak character like to draw on the fact that he is mentioned as being closer in temperament to Nerdanel, and use that to paint him as an effeminate wet blanket. Also, with creativity in fandom circles being a largely female domain (I know I am still surprised when happening upon one of the rare male fanfic writers every now and then, and then kick myself for it) it probably only underscores the notion mentioned above, 'real men' and fine arts? Don't exist, or said man is a sissy - and of course people being unfamiliar with Tolkien's source material (that is, the Celtic bards you mentioned) might not be aware of conceptual differences. It's hard to look past one's nose.

    All of which is absurd and nonsensical, of course, to varying degrees, I think, and there really is no need to elaborate on any of this, neither on the strength of character Nerdanel would have needed to stand up to Feanor (and what if she was quiet and preferred observation in social situations, is that somehow detrimental?), nor do I have to list acclaimed male poets, authors, musicians, etc, nor -- you get the gist. I wonder how much of this actually stems from a misunderstood notion of Sentimentalism, but that's not the point here -- the point is that equating Eldarin and contemporary art and music is impossible, what with the former being (capable of) functional magic (wrong word, I know, but you're aware of that as well) - look at Lúthien's hair-growing spell or Finrod's harp-playing upon meeting the mortals, his abilities of disguising himself and his companions into orcs - which always struck me more like the glamours that Celtic fairy-folk were able to cast, and of course Finrod's song of power and near-defeat of Sauron -- this from the same elf who slew a werewolf with his teeth. Sissy? I don't think so. And he wasn't even mentioned among the most powerful three, so I fail to understand how anyone could conceivably cast Maglor as a wimpy little... I don't know what. (Not to mention, that similar to underappreciated Finarfin and his return, Maglor's initial standing up to Maedhros' plan of stealing the remaining Silmarils from the Valar and then his decision to remain in a self-imposed exile doing penance - presumably - must have taken a whole lot of strength. There may not have been accounting for sanity at that point, but this just adds up to the rest of the above.)

    End rant. ;) When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter.
    • I return a round of applause because I so agree with everything you said here! :D

      Also, with creativity in fandom circles being a largely female domain *snip* it probably only underscores the notion mentioned above, 'real men' and fine arts? Don't exist, or said man is a sissy

      I think this has a lot to do with it. I have collected some data on this from fandom but haven't fully developed a way to demonstrate the possible connection. (I was surveying stories for certain themes and certain words, but that was so long ago that I'm afraid I'll have to start over again. >.<) I also agree that part of it has to do with many people not realizing the traditional Celtic connection between music and power/magic. I mean, the creation of Arda was founded in music! I think many people think of Maglor plucking a harp and lisping poetry in the corner at a feast while his brothers tear at meat with their teeth, not as someone whose very songs had powers to create, destroy, and alter the world and people around him. (For this reason, I've always seen Maglor--not Curufin--as the son most like Feanor in talents.)

      I also agree with you that his choice at the end of the First Age shows his strength. Rhapsody and I are having a similar conversation in a thread further up. Maedhros chose to end his life and put his fate in control of those more powerful than him. Maglor chose to command his own fate and sentenced himself to penance. However, I also think that Maglor's character really had to evolve to that point, but that I ramble lots about that in the essay, so I'll shut up for now! :)

      Anyway. End rant! ;) Now for questions ...

      1. What inspires you to write? Do you start with a plot idea, character sketch, strong image, something else entirely?
      2. Related to our shared rants, which character do you think that fan writers get most wrong of all of Tolkien's characters?
      3. What silly peeve annoys you the most?
      4. If you could walk out your door and end up anywhere in the world, where would you go?
      5. Which character in literature do you think is most like you?
    • (no subject) - ladyelleth - Expand
    • (no subject) - ladyelleth - Expand
  • I'm terribly late to the party - AS USUAL - but I'll play! I need an excuse to post. *shifty eyed*

    When I'm dancing with you, tomorrow doesn't matter.
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