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In a hole in the ground there lived...



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Short Story And A Movie

Posted by Tolkien , Jul 30 2010 · 51 views
Writing??


Thought I might as well plug this in my blog (that's what it's here for, right?). It's my entry for the Library Summer Olympics (SS category), if anyone is interested.

---

On another note, I went to see Inception two days ago. Christopher Nolan is officially my favorite director of all time. Best film I've seen since The Dark Knight. Possibly just as good. Some observations (spoilerized: don't ruin it for yourself! Go see the movie):

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


JRRT



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A Return?

Posted by Tolkien , Jun 04 2010 · 87 views
Writing??
Wow, it's been a while.

The past few months have been rather busy with working/finishing up the semester, but now at last the break has arrived, and with it some free time to blog. Luckily, having very little free time is frequently more inspirational than having all the free time in the world, and the limited amount that I've had has certainly given me some ideas for Stuff to Write About. Also, thanks for the birthday well-wishes this past week; they are much appreciated. Two decades is much too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable BZPers.

But more to the point, this entry was also to post a short snippet from a much-planned-for-yet-ultimately-too-late entry to the S&T contest. I was this close to being finished, but time just seems to go on without you sometimes. Oh well, there's always the BS01 contest to fall back on. Whatever the case, hopefully someday it'll be finished enough to post. Until then:

=ll=

A cloud of dust raised itself along the barren shoreline. Unmarked and insignificant, it wound about the dry rocks, moving slowly up the line of the twilit beach. In this land of dust and death it was no strange thing to see.

The small ship in which it had come suddenly righted itself as the dust cloud moved away, sinking back toward the throbbing of the dark waves, vanishing beneath the surface. No one witnessed the coming of this newcomer—if newcomer it was—for the coast of Karzahni was a silent, empty place, filled with a lingering horror and madness.

The Dark Hunter called Devastator crested the rise northward, the sand and dust of his form whirling into shape. Before him stretched the familiar, broken plains of Karzahni; pitted, and scorched with the neglect of ages. A wind stirred the black grass that rustled dryly at his armored feet, and the Dark Hunter bristled at the memory of this region. The fire and heat of that place where he had first emerged…he hated this realm, and yet knew it more thoroughly than any, except, perhaps, for its ruler in his black fortress behind his black walls.

But now he had an errand. The wind carried a scent here of something new—something that had only recently fled to these lost, ancient shores. The smell of a certain Matoran, and the thing he carried.

The thief had taken The Shadowed One’s scroll, and for that he had met his end in this cursed land of fire and dust. But now the scroll had a new owner, and that one would meet the same fate. The Dark Hunter smiled and stretched his powerful limbs, anticipating the coming task. The wards pointed north, and he would follow them.

Devastator burst into sand as the dead wind rose behind him, whirling away north toward the plains where Matoran lived and yet did not live.

=ll=

And that's it for now. I hope to add some more content in the next couple of weeks. Comment if ye will.



JRRT



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It Is Upon Me...

Posted by Tolkien , Jan 14 2010 · 42 views
Life
Ach. A new semester cometh. I don't know why, but I'm always really excited about each new semester about three weeks before it starts, but on the last week I suddenly begin to dread it, worrying that I won't be able to keep up with the amount of work. Maybe it's because of the fact that my professors keep sending me their syllabi earlier and earlier, so I end up knowing just how much work I'm going to have to deal with all at once, rather than it being revealed over the course of a semester. 'Ignorance is bliss' much?

Then again, maybe it's related to paying nigh on $300 for textbooks.

Anyways, I thought I'd post my upcoming list of classes...for anyone who might...want to know (Creeps!).

English Linguistics: Second-Language Acquisition (Eh...At least I know the professor pretty well. When do I get to do Historical Linguistics?!)
English Lit: Tolkien, Hobbits, Ents, Orcs, Beowulf, and Old English literature (Oh yes. Oh. Yes.)
Italian: First-Level (As an elective. I've already taken my fill of Spanish, and Italian seemed like a good choice.)
English Linguistics: Intro to Linguistics (Another required elective. This will be absurdly easy, since we're way beyond introduction level by now.)

Oh yes, and for anyone who might have ever followed my Gamesprites topic--see here.

And, in light of the newly-released pictures/bios of What Will Replace Bionicle, my reaction is: Well...okay. They look cool and flashy, but there is no mythological element, and thus, it will not last as a continuing line.

JRRT


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Twas The Day After The Day After Christmas

Posted by Tolkien , Dec 27 2009 · 33 views
Life
While, in my family, the gifts are not the all-consuming focus, we still look forward to them and enjoy them as a seasonal tradition...

So, here's what I got: tongue.gif

Books:

-Tales Before Tolkien edited by Douglas A. Anderson (an anthology of fantasy literature predating Tolkien. Anderson attempts to bring together fantasy that was an inspiration for Tolkien's writings. Contains several great authors: George MacDonald, Andrew Lang, William Morris, etc.)
-The Monsters and the Critics by J.R.R. Tolkien (compilation of Tolkien's essays, and especially his essay "The Monsters and the Critics" for which he is most remembered in the world of Old English literature analysis. Tolkien was actually responsible for completely altering how scholars now view the poem Beowulf. Spectacular.)
-The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R Tolkien (basically a compilation of the Christmas letters Tolkien wrote/drew for his children. Some fantastic art and calligraphy here.)

Yeah, this was a heavily Tolkien-themed year for books.

LEGO:

Star-Takanuva (I like it. Yes--another old crusty Bionicle fan actually likes the new set!)

And also, to my astonishment and slight embarrassment, I realized that I still have an unopened Takanuva 2008 sitting in my room waiting to be constructed. I received that gift last Christmas. Good Lord, it's been a busy year...

That was it for LEGO this year.

Other:

-Clothing
-Notebook and Calligraphy pens
-Starbucks card (most importantly!)
-400 new magnetic words (in my household, we write sentences with magnetic words on our refrigerator. We aren't that weird, are we?)

Yep. There we have it. A fine end to the year.

JRRT



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Merry Christmas

Posted by Tolkien , Dec 25 2009 · 30 views
Life
Firstly, I'd like to wish BZP a Merry Christmas. Secondly, I'd also like to stop and consider for a moment the significance of the holiday. I'm sure there are many blog entries pointing this out, and I'm thankful that there are still people who hold the true meaning of Christmas in memory: the birth of Christ. The coming of Jesus into this world was the most pivotal point in our history, both as a measure for the division of our modern dating system, and as the point at which redemption was made available to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.

So, again: Merry Christmas on this December 25th, Anno Domini 2009.

JRRT


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An Excerpt...

Posted by Tolkien , Dec 24 2009 · 78 views
Writing??
...from something bigger.

=ll=


“You have seen him? He is the Makuta. He will destroy us if I do not go.”

Mata Nui turned away. “Goodbye, brave Glatorian. You have shown yourselves worthy of redemption. Remember these things and survive. For my destiny and the destiny of my people lies elsewhere in the universe. I will strive to repair your world, and perhaps then the Great Beings shall return…”

“Goodbye, Great Spirit. We will not forget.”

There was a moment of silence as Mata Nui turned from the Glatorian and faced the empty, cavernous space. The silence of the moment seemed a shock compared to the chaos raging outside the chamber.

Mata Nui raised his hands to his mask, gripped the golden edges of it, and pulled it free.

Instantly the cavern was lit with a blinding light and the Glatorian fell back toward the entrance. Only Ackar remained, watching silently as the golden-armored form of Mata Nui dissolved before his eyes, scattering into clouds of sand that swirled and billowed in the blazing air.

“—a thing that only clothed itself in the dust of our world.”

Far above him, in the ceiling of the great chamber, lights flashed to life like a million sparkling stars—clearer than any stars that he had seen—beautiful in their dizzying intricacy yet terrifying in their size and radiance.

He was small in the presence of such great things: only a dark speck against the light of distant beings...

And then even Ackar fled.

=ll=


JRRT


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Comic #6 Reaction...

Posted by Tolkien , Dec 19 2009 · 64 views
Storyline
So far: two thumbs way way up.

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


JRRT


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The Fate Of Makuta

Posted by Tolkien , Dec 09 2009 · 138 views
Storyline
All tests are taken. All papers are presented. All finals are over.

Finally. Long sigh of contentment.

=ll=


Today I've been looking through some topics related to how Teridax (henceforth referred to only as Makuta or The Makuta, since that's really what he is now) will be defeated in 2010, reading some of the different speculations and ideas that members have. While I don't usually spend much time reading speculation anymore (it takes a lot of time...which I don't have), this has really caught my attention...

So, here's my ideal imagining of how The Makuta will ultimately be overthrown and the Toa and Mata Nui will be victorious (in the most epic way possible):

-Makuta arrives on Bara Magna. The Toa Nuva and Takanuva escape from the "Makutaverse" (probably with help from the Ignika) and Tahu is reverted to his original Mata form (reason for this: the "golden armor" needs a Toa in the "un-armored" form of the Mata).
-By this time, Mata Nui has been successful in retrieving the ancient power source of the Great Beings and has been able to use it to repair the gigantic prototype synthezoid.
-The Toa fight the remnants of the Skrall on Bara Magna while searching for the pieces of the golden armor. They find it and assemble it. Tahu dons the armor.

*unknown what the purpose of the armor is, skipping ahead!*

-The Toa enter the prototype synthezoid as Mata Nui rises from the desert to face the towering Makuta.
-Epic "Battle of the Monolithic Giants" ensues. Complete with epic orchestral/vocal score. The portrayal of this battle ranges from physical action (shattering mountains, etc.) to mental action, as the minds of Mata Nui and Makuta battle across the robotic systems of their respective bodies.
-Mata Nui's body is severely damaged, he departs from Bara Magna into space. Makuta pursues him into the dark void.
-Makuta eventually catches up with Mata Nui somewhere in interplanetary space. Mata Nui and the Toa have constructed a plan.

*unknown what plan is, skipping ahead!*

-Result of the plan is that, after an incredibly intense struggle, Makuta and Mata Nui switch places. The Toa Mata find themselves faced with their old Enemy in the mind of the prototype. Makuta manifests himself as the Void once more, and the Mata fight him in a reflection of their first battle in Mangaia. Makuta is too strong. They are almost defeated!
-Takanuva, the Toa of Light, finally exerts his power in the conflict. Makuta cannot withstand the Element of Light. He retreats into the shadows, taunting the seven Toa...
-Suddenly Makuta realizes the damage that has been done to his body in the battle with Mata Nui. The prototype body is nearly falling apart. Makuta feels the sting of fear as it dawns upon him that he is trapped, imprisoned. He is too weak to strike back at the Toa now. Mata Nui, now in his rightful body, speaks across the void between the two synthezoids, telling Makuta to look "outward".
-Makuta looks into space and finds himself floating beside a Red Star, but it is not the Red Star of the Great Beings. This time it is a real one, and it is something that his present body cannot withstand. Makuta says that he will take the Toa with him to the grave. Mata Nui says that he will not.
-The Toa Mata and Takanuva are transported from the mind of Makuta, along with the Ignika (maybe using the same mechanisms that the Mask of Life used to transport the Mahri to Metru Nui?). Makuta is left alone, finally the Great Spirit of his own universe--a broken and lifeless shell. He screams rage and terror into the minds of the Toa and every living being within the universe of the Matoran as Mata Nui hurls him headlong across the blazing Void.
-Makuta's last words as he hurtles into the inferno of the Star are "You cannot destroy me, for I am Nothing." He laughs, and then silence.

I have to write this. Bye.

JRRT


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Wip.

Posted by Tolkien , Dec 06 2009 · 42 views
Art


Finals week is killing me. Slowly. Can't even get this finished...

Oh well. It looks kind of cool as an animation (and no, if you were wondering, this thing is not even close to finished).

Edit: *bump'd*

JRRT


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All Things Come To An End

Posted by Tolkien , Nov 26 2009 · 158 views
Storyline
Well, in light of the recent announcement, I thought it would be appropriate to write an entry about the End of Bionicle. Be careful, I may wax poetic here...


As a fan who was there at the beginning, who watched the dawn of Bionicle and reveled in its mythic light, I can say that I am fully satisfied as it comes to an end. Bionicle has had a long and excellent run, and its tenth anniversary is a fitting time to bring things to a close. I look back over the entirety of the universe that Lego has created for us, and I can say that all the little things that irked me in the past cannot shine as bright as the things that enthralled and inspired me.

There was a time when I spent a great deal of effort and energy raging against the great problems and failures and mistakes that I perceived in the storyline of Bionicle. It bugged me. I wrote books of mental criticism in my head about how the storyline should have happened, how it could have been done better, how the magic of the first years of Bionicle could have been preserved! But no! The story team was too callous--they didn't listen. It was all ruined, and I had to just move on.

But as time passed, I realized that all these things that had built up ultimately did not matter. They didn't take away from the underlying themes that drew me to Bionicle and kept me there. In fact, they were mostly all superficial, and even if they were a part of the "official" storyline, they didn't have to be a part of my imagination. That is what has kept me an avid fan for nearly a decade--the fact that, as a fan, I don't have to follow the canon absolutely. This is a pretty simplistic idea, that one can simply ignore those elements of the storyline that one dislikes. But the thing that truly brought this home to me was the realization that the "foundations" of Bionicle that I love were not touched by these "bad things", even if I don't ignore them.

The themes are still there. The same themes of Good vs. Evil, the same cosmic struggle of powers, the same inner struggle within an individual: to give in to the flawed evil within us all, or to follow Morality.
And, most importantly: the struggle to regain the good that was lost through deception. The Toa strive to awaken their Great Spirit and return their microscosmic universe to its original, if flawed, state and purpose, while in the macrocosmic universe Mata Nui must ultimately seek to repair Paradise: Spherus Magna.

What is the reason for pointing out these things? Perhaps simply to illustrate why I am not one of those fans who will inevitably say "Oh, I'm glad it's finally over." Those who have been jaded by all the "problems" that they perceive. Honestly, I've seen enough of that tripe written here, and it annoys me to no end. As if the people who say such things are so high up on their pedestals as to look down on the thing that they enjoyed so immensely in the past and say "Good riddance!" Really? Is that really what you want? How pathetic. What is your motivation? I don't deny that there are certainly missed opportunities galore in the Bionicle storyline, but these pale in comparison to the bigger picture.

But enough of that. The real reason for this entry was to look back over the entire body of the Bionicle storyline and remember all the aspects that attracted me at the beginning, and to marvel at how I will remember the good far longer than any of the bad. It is remarkable that the truly mythological elements--that mysterious atmosphere that drew me and so many other fans to the line in the first place--is ultimately preserved if one goes over the storyline in summary form, perhaps because that feeling was never actually gone. I suppose it's also fitting, then that this announcement (and thus, this entry) comes at Thanksgiving.

Thanks, Bionicle. Thanks for a decade of memories. I'm glad I'm still here, here at the end of all things...




...Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

JRRT






Chapter I

Posted Image


=ll=


"Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a blog-hole, and that means comfort."

=ll=

A Short Bio of the...Author?

=ll=

 

The author of this blog currently resides in the rather dry, bare, sandy climate of the southwest United States. He is a grad-student and teaching associate at his university, currently working toward a Ph.D. in rhetoric/composition and linguistics.
 

=ll=

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