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Happy Birthday, zhie!

Happy Birthday, Zhie! Have a little Rivendell (I'd like to stay there for a while!)

rivendell zhie

Happy Belated Birthday, wheelrider

So sorry to have missed the day to extend my felicitations.
Better late than never, I think.
Hope you had a happy and joyful birthday.

I was trying to think of an appropriate birthday pic and I could not get your beautiful photos of the Alps out of my head. So I chose Tolkien's alleged inspiration for Gandalf.

inspiration for gandalf Josef_Madlener_-_Der_Berggeist

Der Berggeist ("the mountain spirit")
This work is copyrighted and owned by Josef Madelener's Estate.

Happy belated birthday to Huinare


huinare, so sorry to be late with felicitations.
Hope you had a lovely day.
Hope there were clouds of ravens dropping greetings
and gifts on you or virtual ones at least.

raven by F Baird Hoffmire
Raven by F. Baird Hoffmire
Picked this up from himring. One is supposed to do "head canon." She did fic. I like that better. If you want "head canon" from me, take me out and get me tipsy and running off at the mouth. Otherwise, if I go to the trouble of writing it down, I might as well be doing it in a real story.

1)… a current favourite character.
2) … a character you’ve always loved.
3) … a character you grew to love.
4) … a character from a family you love.
5) … a character who’s an inspiration.
6) … a character who makes her own rules.
7) … a just-a-name character.
8) … a textual ghost.
9) … a mother and her daughter.
10) … a grandmother and her granddaughter.
11) … a daughter and her father.
12) … ladies related by marriage (in-laws).
13) … sisters.
14) … cousins.
15) … a teacher and her student.
16) … a favourite canonical friendship.
17) … a favourite non-canonical friendship.
18) … a favourite canonical pairing.
19) … a favourite non-canonical pairing.
20) … a favourite completely random pairing.
21) … a character in a what-if AU.
22) … a character in a different-universe AU.
23) … dreams and/or nightmares.
24) … childhood.
25) … secrets.
26) … alliances.
27) … life.
28) … death.
29) … beginnings.
30) … endings.

I chose Nerdanel for 1)… a current favourite character.

Nerdanel -- Wet T-shirt
(A double drabble from Fëanor’s point of view--shameless exploitation of them both.)

The gleaming copper scroll-work for the top of the gate had not been as difficult as he had expected. But the work took the three of them an entire day. It was size of the thing--a monster gate for the new library.

Nerdanel distracted him. Tallish for a girl and strong, that he had noticed. But she had stamina too and skill.

He had been gratified when Mahtan had asked him out of all of the new apprentices to work with him and his daughter. This project in particular had interested him because he knew how much each detail concerning the new library meant to his father.

Who wouldn't be distracted by her, hands raised high above her head for extended periods of time. The heat of the metal and the fully lit forges surrounding them made them sweat like pigs. Her white tunic first showed a wet streak down the center of her back. She has a lovely back.

But eventually they all were soaked. When he glanced her way, even with the leather apron covering most of her, he could clearly see her breasts and nipples from the side. Honestly, he did not look often. She did catch him looking once and blush.

Happy Birthday, perkyandproud

Have a terrific birthday, perkyandproud! When I saw these disco-dancing sons of Finwe, I totally could not resist.

Have a wonderful day and a great weekend.

finwes son wish uou happy birthday
Art by IkemenPrince90

Happy Birthday, Keiliss!

Happy Birthday, keiliss! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday, filled with the comfort of good friends and family, love, joy, and terrific company.

You are certainly right when you claim it is impossible to find the perfect face for Gil-galad. My solution this year is to cover his face and we can each use our own imagination (or yours would work for me also)!

gil galad face
You need a spectacular year to offset the last one! Here's a toast to a fantastic 2015. (Sorry if I have used this Haldir pic for a birthday illustration before. Kind of hard to believe I have not I really love this art by

Happy birthday, pandemonium_213!

Happy Birthday from Ada Lovelace, one of my favorite ladies of science, to an excellent friend and real-life scientific lady.


Have a wonderful birthday and great year to come.

ada lovelace lamarr_48 lady teaching geometry Maria_Sibylla_Merian_portrait_colors.jpeg

STEM ladies' icons -- Ada Lovelace, Hedy Lamarr, Medieval Woman Teaching Geometry, and Maria Sibylla Merian naturalist and scientific illustrator.

Happy birthday, the_winterwitch!

Hope you have a lovely birthday, the_winterwitch, followed by a beautiful year. The card I made for you below uses a tapestry which is named "Spring Will Come." (Probably reflecting my own desires to see light and flowers after the end of a long winter!) Anyway, celebrate and welcome the next year of your life.


Happy birthday, spiced_wine!

'WEAK is the will of Man, his judgment blind;
'Remembrance persecutes, and Hope betrays;
'Heavy is woe;--and joy, for human-kind,
'A mournful thing, so transient is the blaze!'
Thus might 'he' paint our lot of mortal days
Who wants the glorious faculty assigned
To elevate the more-than-reasoning Mind,
And colour life's dark cloud with orient rays.
Imagination is that sacred power,
Imagination lofty and refined;
'Tis hers to pluck the amaranthine flower
Of Faith, and round the Sufferer's temples bind
Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower,
And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.
--William Wordsworth

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Castles

Happy birthday, lilith_lessfair!

Celebrate! Have a fantastic birthday and an exciting and fulfilling new year. Here is a toast to new discoveries, more poetry, to solace and renacimiento. To joy and tears and that precious recognition and acceptance of all the things that make us human.

Happy, happy birthday, Lilith!


Happy birthday, thrihyrne!

I was looking for a cheery poem, but I found this one and could not resist! Here's a poem for the lady with her heart in the highlands. Maybe someone who like you who loves those misty, overcast days can get a kick out of it.

   by Alastair Reid (b. 1926)

          It was a day peculiar to this piece of the planet,
            when larks rose on long thin strings of singing
            and the air shifted with the shimmer of actual angels.
            Greenness entered the body. The grasses
            shivered with presences, and sunlight
            stayed like a halo on hair and heather and hills.
            Walking into town, I saw, in a radiant raincoat,
            the woman from the fish-shop. ‘What a day it is!’
            cried I, like a sunstruck madman.
            And what did she have to say for it?
            Her brow grew bleak, her ancestors raged in their graves
            and she spoke with their ancient misery:
            ‘We’ll pay for it, we’ll pay for it, we’ll pay for it.’

highlands with heather in bloom

Happy birthday, jay_of_lasgalen!

Wishing a very happy birthday to Jay, fellow fan of Ellen Kushner and her wonderful world of Riverside. May your reading be filled with wicked swordsmen and their arrogant boyfriends.

Jay"s riverside birthday


Happy birthday, curiouswombat!

Happy Birthday to the Baking Queen! I hope you are having wonderful holidays and have a terrific birthday.

savory pie

In the Bleak Midwinter

"In the Bleak Midwinter" is another departure from my prejudice for the older carols. It is based on a poem by Christina Rossetti and melody by Gustav Holst. I love it! It was a big deal for me last year because I wrote a story about Elrond for which this song became a major inspiration: A Sad Tale’s Best for Winter

I can never decide which is my favorite version online, but when in doubt with carols, pick the boy's choir!

Some illustrations on Tumblr that could be related to Jessica in The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman.

Enjoy them, heart them, re-blog them.

References from the text:

First, family relations, and then, relating to her trade

“By the way,” she said, “Mother told me they’ve invited Jessica to the wedding.”
“No! She’ll never come!”
“Of course she will—if the invitation finds her. She’s out there somewhere, on that ship of hers. If anything would bring her home, I’d think it would be the chance to see her brother get married.” —The Fall of The Kings.


"She sends excellent presents.”
It was Katherine’s turn to roll her eyes. “Indeed. And she never asks if you’ve been good or not.”
“I hope,” said Susan mildly, “she doesn’t send any more of those rather curious carvings.”
“I hope,” Beatrice breathed a prayer, “she sends silk.”
“I hope she sends swords,” Alice muttered. —The Fall of The Kings.

fanfic - Fingon/Maedhros - "What If?"

What If? by oshun

Summary: I wondered recently if I ever thought of writing a Fingon/Maedhros piece where they made different choices. This was as close as I could get. So, the answer is, I guess I do not have it in me to change their fate. Canon heretic that I am, however, I’ve already changed it plenty to suit my taste—happily ever after in Valinor together after the suffering and unhappy deaths given them in The Silmarillion and their requisite rehab in the Halls of Mandos. It’s the only way I can sleep at night.

This is a gift for Himring, who makes them suffer more than I do.

Sketch 2 for Cousins by Ivanneth

Did this for Tumblr yesterday. I thought I might as well share here also.

Visual images for Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint.

snow falling on riverside

fish and ladies in lace

     First line of the book:  “Snow was falling on Riverside…” — Pinterest by Cheri Alston: “snow falling on the Rue Verrerie … Dijon, France.”

   “It was the right room for socializing, having been the front parlor when the house was a noble’s town house. The cherubs painted on the ceiling were flecked with mold; but most of the laurel-leaf molding still framed the walls, and the fireplace was real marble.”

    “The young man poked at the fish. ‘Do you want some?’” – fish from Dane Tullock’s Pan-Seared Trout (actually, looks yummier than Alec’s fish, but I may be underestimating Alec).
     “The two women were seated in the sunny morning room of the Halliday town house, drinking tiny cups of bitter chocolate. Both were clothed in billowing yards of soft, exquisite lace, giving them the look of two goddesses rising from the foam.” –screen cap from the film Marie Antoinette (2006).

Happy birthday, petite_dilly!

Have a wonderful birthday, petite_dilly!

medieval castle france

Happy birthday, ignoblebard!

Art is Journey's End by Richard Dorran on Deviant Art.

Have a terrific birthday, my friend! I don't even know where to start with you. Talk about unconditional acceptance, through the good and the bad, the heights and the depths, the tacky and the sublime, you're always there. You probably indulge me too much, but who else is going to if you don't? Everyone needs a little of that in their life. Thanks!


Happy birthday, lenine2!

Hope it is a fabulous day
with lots of warm wishes
and cake with great coffee!

Yuletide Letter

Thank you very much for considering the canons which I have requested for Yuletide. I find it hard myself to write to a prompt and will not insist that my writers necessarily address any specific details. Think of these points as guidelines, but not restrictions. It will be lovely to see any new story which is based in any of these canons.

Request 1 by Oshun
The Sunne in Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman

sunne in splendour cover

I asked for this last year and did not get it. I think I will probably keep asking until the unlikely day when I actually get a story based on this very entertaining and warm-hearted novel. The characters I requested are central to the novel, but any others would be welcome. Any of Richard's siblings, or life-long friends or acquaintances would be acceptable to me, although my favorite character is Richard, of course.

Richard Duke of Gloucester (Sunne in Splendour)
Francis Lovell (Sunne in Splendour)
Richard Neville (Sunne in Splendour)
Anne Neville (Sunne in Splendour)

I would love see a story based upon the friendship of Richard and Francis Lovell. Ducking flying objects--I particularly would adore a Richard/Francis slash fic (hey, fanfic is all about fantasy and reimagining a story from another unexpected angle!). If you are as interested as I am in the relationship of Francis Lovell and Richard Duke of Gloucester a simple friendship fic would do if you really cannot allow your imagination to encompass a slashy interlude. (I do know at least one other person in the world who would enjoy this one.) There is something just so warm, tender, and loving about their relationship as it is written in this book, that the leap to a romantic or physically intimate one at some point in their life is one a creative writer could make.

But, if you requested this book because you always really, really wanted to write about George Duke of Clarence! Write the annoying jerk--write him sympathetically even if you must! If you think you have something to contribute to the crowded field of Richard/Anne romance, go for it (I indulge myself in those and probably do not have them out of my system yet). I won't complain and want you to enjoy writing in the fascinating world of Penman's 15th century. About the only thing I can't handle here would be the standard villainous Richard of lurching gait and withered hand.

Request 2 by Oshun
The Last of the Wine - Mary Renault

the last of the wine cover

Myron (Last of the Wine)
Alcibiades (Last of the Wine)
Alexias (Last of the Wine)
Lysis (Last of the Wine)

I am particularly interested in the romantic friendship of young Myron and Alkibiades. What an odd couple if one is looking at them through the eyes of young Alexias. Myron is such a dour, strict, and conservative father that the revelation in the novel that he shared a youthful love affair with the so appealing and attractive bad-boy Alkibiades opens up an entire new view of Myron. Is Myron the man that Alexias thinks he knows in reaction to what he considers the fall of Alkibiades? Or was he initially attracted to the mercurial Alkibiades because of his lack of restraint and iconoclastic daring? Or was there ever a time when Alkibiades was a less flamboyant character? I kind of doubt that, but hey, if you want to convince me of it--knock yourself out. I do propose that there is not one way to tell the story of Myron and Alkibiades because Mary Renault is the master of the technique of unreliable narrator and loves to give us insights into characters that allow a great deal of ambiguity. Probably why we enjoy arguing about and discussing her writing so much.

If you really, really wanted to write something else from this novel. I don't want to ruin your Yuletide by demanding Myron and Alkibiades. I love the entire book. Use my request to write the story from The Last of the Wine you always wanted to write! I'm sure I will love it.

Request 3 by Oshun
Howl Series - Diana Wynne Jones
(Warning: I only read the first novel, but don't let that limit you--but just know that is what I know and I might be a little lost if it is solely based in later books.)

Howl by Chernotrav on Deviant Art

Howl Pendragon
Sophie Hatter
Calcifer (Howl Series)
Witch of the Waste

I absolutely adore the animation in the lovely film by Hayao Miyazaki. That is where I get my visual images, but plot and character are all book verse for me! I find Howl extremely attractive and would really enjoy reading Sophie and Howl in a romantic context. I like the annoying, self-centered, vain Howl of the books over the sort of wistful more sensitive Howl of the film. I'd love to see a love story or romantic interlude or at very least some angsty UST between Sophie and Howl. I have no restrictions relating to ratings, although less is probably more for me in this case. But it you are craving more--go for it. I'm not delicate.

If you offered to write Howl because you really have a story you are dying to tell that has nothing to do with my specific request, use me and my request to express yourself! I want your Yuletide writing experience to be a joyful and happy one. I picked this book because I really liked it! It's hard for me to imagine a sincere effort that I would not enjoy.

Happy Birthday, minuial_nuwing!

Have a fantastic birthday and a great year, Minuial Nuwing!

halloween birthday Min

Happy birthday, angelica_ramses!

Happy birthday, angelica_ramses! I hope you are having a fabulous birthday!


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May 2015


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