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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Heretic Loremaster Stuff

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.

Heretic Loremaster Stuff

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cliffhanger
As some of you already know, in addition to my LJ--which is for personal stuff and stories--I have a weble called The Heretic Loremaster for critical discussions of Tolkien's books and fandom and literature in general. I used to keep all of this stuff on my LJ but separated it because the types of responses that I felt were acceptable to my critical posts I was uncomfortable having applied to my personal posts, and I felt like mixing the two was a bad idea. Also, at the time, I was very annoyed with LJ and didn't want to give them any more traffic than I had to, so I moved my critical discussions off of LJ entirely.

Anyway, there are two HL-related issues. First of all, since I am now freelancing, I am back to trying to get the HL off the ground. One of my goals, when I first set it up, was to provide a discussion forum for critical discussions of literature and book-based fandoms. However, because my life has been so busy, I haven't been able to do much beyond post my own thoughts occasionally. But I would like others to write with me and so am asking if anyone would be interested in being a regular writer on The Heretic Loremaster or a guest writer.

The goal of the HL is to discuss literature and literature-based fandom from a critical perspective that also looks at literature as a means for propagating or fighting oppression. It is not a Tolkien-only weble; in fact, I would love to have writers or occasional posts about other book-based fandoms.

I have whole post about what is expected of HL writers but, in a nutshell, I'd ask regular writers to post at least twice per month on topics related to literature or fandom. Occasional posts on related topics are cool too. For example, I sometimes write movie reviews or talk about writing.

My posts are generally long *ahem*, but posts in general don't have to be. A minimum of 500 words might to a good point to aim for, but there are certainly times when shorter posts would be acceptable.

Now, some people are probably feeling squirmy and thinking that writing about books and meta might be cool "but surely she doesn't mean meeeee." Yes, I do. I hope that anyone who knows me well knows that I don't buy into that whole popularity thing. I don't care how many people are on your flist or how many MEFAs you've won or how long you've been in fandom. I don't care if we're friends or if we've ever spoken.

If you're interested or have a question, either leave a comment here or there or email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com. Guest posts are also welcome, so if you ever write an essay about a book or a piece of meta about fandom and would like to post it more widely, please let me know, and if I think it will fit on the HL, I'd be happy to have it posted there as well.

Now, the second issue concerns posting to LJ. I am no longer angry with LJ like I once was. It still ain't what it used to be but at least the current management doesn't seem bound and determined to piss off fandom every six months and hasn't, to the best of my knowledge, done anything insanely stupid along the magnitudes of Strikethrough at all, so I'm willing to vote with my feet back here again. The HL does have a feed, heretic_lore, that will add notifications of new posts to your friends list, but if people would rather see HL content more accessible on LJ, then I'm willing to consider it. (The only thing I'm not considering is posting it here on my personal LJ, as that did not work well for me back when I used to do it. But I would link to it or post the start of the post with a link to the rest on the main site. Or set up a separate account to cross-post to.)

Anyway, if you have an opinion, there be a poll.

Poll #1583048 Heretic Loremaster Posting Options

How should I handle Heretic Loremaster posts on LJ?

Continue keeping them separate. There is a feed available for people who want to follow the HL on LJ.
9(40.9%)
Post a link on LJ when you make a new post.
10(45.5%)
Cross-post the entire post to LJ when you make a new post.
3(13.6%)


But, really, I'm hoping that some of you smart cookies on my flist might want to come write with me occasionally. :)
  • I'm not much good at writing (I have way too many WIPs to finish) but I'm good at thinking up questions. ;)
  • I'm tempted to write a guest blog, but I don't really have any ideas. Well, maybe from a disability perspective, but I'm neither disabled nor educated enough to pull it off. (Plus, my thralls story pretty much covers the ground I want to, in a format I'm more comfortable with.)

    I'll comment on the HL post tomorrow, as I need to get to bed.
    • Well, it's a standing invitation, so if you ever have something that you've written or want to write, please let me know! :) A disability perspective would be great, as this is something about which I know little, I'm sad to say. :^/

      Also, I never feel educated enough either to have a weble about literature. So you'd be in good company. ;)
  • I don't (at the moment) feel like I'll ever be able to tackle any topic (academical or otherwise) in an even remotely scholarly fashion (that is, with fact-checking and citations and generally less than my personal bias as a guideline ;)) ever again.

    That said, I do have several rants and/or essays (not all of them are ranty!) at the back of my head that I wanted to write in the past/ wanted to write in the future/ wanted to see written etc. I also wanted to take a more active role in the Flammifer (the German Tolkien Society's quarterly)... so if ever I do get one of those essays written, I'll let you know? :)

  • I'd be happy to post ... have to think about which identity to use. ;-)
    • Cool beans! Just let me know and I will set up an account! In theory. I've actually never done that in WP. Hee.
  • Hmm...it sounds like a lot of fun, but I don't know if I'm heretical *enough* for you. In many ways I'm a traditionalist, though I have ideas that run counter to the usual in fanon sometimes. I do love meta, though. You know me...if you don't think I'm tainted with enough heresy, then I won't be at all offended if you say so, LOL!

    I think you know of my One Ring essay: http://www.lotrgfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=60 and there is my essay on Story internal/story external approaches to the text: http://community.livejournal.com/lotr_community/93314.html#cutid1. I also did a little essay on hobbit fanon, http://www.storiesofarda.com/chapterview.asp?sid=4201&cid=16415

    BTW, reminding me of the HL sent me off there to spend half the evening rereading your Open Thread on Slash, which was a lot of fun to revisit!
    • I love "The Myth of the One Ring's Power"! And neither have I forgotten about it for SWG. Pandemonium and Russandol did a brilliant job on reference reading for me, but it is stalled with me, waiting for me to gather their comments and send them to you. This has been the case for months now, I'm sorry to say. However, it is on my to-do list! (I have an actual to-do list on my desk, else nothing would get done! ;)

      I think you'd be fine on the HL, and I'd love to have the perspective of someone who not only writes mostly LotR but of the Hobbity sort! :) So if there's ever an essay that you want to post there, please do let me know! (And if you're worried that it might not fit, I'd be happy to read it first and give my honest opinion. :) Challenges to fanon alone are favorites of mine and often the inspiration for many of my essays.

      BTW, reminding me of the HL sent me off there to spend half the evening rereading your Open Thread on Slash, which was a lot of fun to revisit!

      That was a great discussion and one that I'm so glad that we had. Perhaps we need to do an open thread again soon. I have to think of something controversial! >:^D
  • Most of my ranty ideas have been regarding medical inaccuracies that I've seen - if I could scale the rant factor back several notches from where I usually am, I might have something for you now and then.
    • Oh, why scale back the rant?! I have a category called "Rants in My Pants" for a reason. ;)

      Please do let me know if you ever want to post something there--that would be awesome! :)
  • I would not be able to be a regular contributor, but for an occasional piece? Heh. Well, you've heard me threaten to address the following subjects:

    Indefinite longevity in H. sapiens eldarensis (a Henry Gee like piece)

    A counterpoint to Douglas Kane's (and others) contention that a round world cosmogony would have "ruined the mythology" of The Silmarillion

    Viewing Tolkien's legendarium as mythology instead of canon when applied to fan fiction

    The germs of those ideas are still lingering. They just haven't become a full-fledged epidemic. ;^)

    However, none of these address oppression.
    • Viewing Tolkien's legendarium as mythology instead of canon when applied to fan fiction

      I'd like to see you address all of those topics, but this one *points above* I think would be particularly interesting -- the legendarium as foundational fiction? Every society has a creation myth of sorts. I'd love to see what you do with it.

      Dawn, I'd be happy to contribute something on occasion. At the moment, the dissertation has me pretty well tied up and I couldn't commit to a twice monthly or even regularly at the moment. That might change in not-too distant future.

      I have a couple of ideas in mind. Let me think a little more on them and I'll e-mail you.
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
  • Before I can meta-write about fanfiction I would really like to work out what it is that I am and why - I haven't spent much time analysing the whole phenomenonor my own involvement. So, though I'd like to contribute, I feel I would struggle to produce anything else than disconnected rambles at the minute. Definitely nothing regular!
    • Well, if you ever reach the point where you want to contribute something, please let me know! The offer is always open. :)
  • (no subject) - olorime001
    • I got your PM--thank you! :D I'm sorry I didn't reply yet; I had hoped to reply to all HL-related stuff today but, alas, my brain decided to wake up in the middle of the night last night and wanted to play. As soon as I was done my freelancing for the day, I crashed.

      Anyway, I will reply to your PM tomorrow so that I can get a login set up for you! \0/

      Strikethrough occurred when Six Apart still owned LJ. A religious group masquerading as a child protection organization complained to LJ that pedophiles had accounts set up on LJ where they were engaging in child porn-related activities. Six Apart (just typed "Sex Apart"--hee!) took to course of action of searching for journals that had particular interests listed and suspending those accounts. The result was that many accounts were suspended for having interests listed like "rape." None were engaging in illegal activities. Most were RPG accounts where the fictional character had such interests. One or two were abuse victims who were discussing their experiences on their journals. One was a group devoted to discussing the novel Lolita.

      There was outrage, and 6A eventually restored the accounts. However, their actions had the additional and much worse consequence of driving any actual kiddie porn accounts underground. Those with such activities immediately locked their content and changed their interests, at which point any law enforcement that may have been following them were powerless to do anything further.

      It sent waves of panic and rage through fandom since many fandom folk write stories about topics like rape and abuse for a variety of reasons. Strikethrough was followed shortly thereafter by another fiasco termed boldthrough, where a Harry Potter fan artist had her journal suspended for posting a picture of Harry performing oral sex on Snape. Even though she noted that Harry was age of consent in the picture, 6A disagreed and deemed it "child pornography." Never mind that, umm, it was a drawing of a fictional character? So no kids were actually hurt? Anyway, the end result of strikethrough and boldthrough were a mass exodus of fandom from LJ, first to InsaneJournal and now to Dreamwidth. It also inspired, in part, the creation of the Organization of Transformative Works so that fandom would have a place to call home that wasn't corporate-owned and where fandom made the rules.

      6A eventually gave up LJ and no wonder. I still think that they didn't expect the culture of the site to be what it was and bit off more than they could chew. SUP owns LJ now, and they seem to be doing a much better job.
  • Oh God I am so tempted :( I follow your HL posts regularly and enjoy every minute, including reading the comments, etc, and would love to be considered for a guest spot? Maybe? ; ~ ; Full-time commitment would be out of my league, alas.

    At any rate, looking forward to seeing responses to this!
  • I wouldn't mind guest posting. Believe it or not, sometimes I have more to say than just fangurlish drooling over various males in various fandoms. Sometimes... ;)

    Look - I even used a serious icon!
    • Belated congratulations! I had no idea that you completed NaNoWriMo! Because I fell off the end of the LJ earth but yeah.

      The offer stands whenever you want to write something! Just let me know. :)

      I chose my icon intentionally for you too, btw. ;)
  • I recall reading this guest blogger/sharing the HL with others a while ago, it was in small letters hehe, it stuck. And what can I say, I am nosy and always nose around (and I bet you ain't surprised). Was tempted back then, but you know, no time right now. Since you have plenty of folks raising their hands, if you'd like some stuff from the ESl experience, do let me know. I have a thing or five to say about that for sure (your fanon question of the interview meme unleashed something).
  • Sorry to be replying so late. I think merely linking to HL when you make a new post there is more than enough; cross-posting would be a bit redundant. Why make more work for yourself?

    Good luck recruiting some guest bloggers. Alas, i can barely keep up with LJ these days - but if i do think of anything interesting to say that's worthy of HL, I'll let you know!
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