So as you all know, I finished NaNoWriMo, and promptly realized how terrible my novel was written. I've signed up at Scribophile for writing critiques, and we'll see where this goes.
So, I have more reading time! This means I can get started on the second of the LotR trilogy.
1.) The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
A literal illustration.
Once again, I was struck by how far Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli run. I can't even run down the block. What if I have to catch some orcs?
Wait, I have a car. I'll just use my car.
Also, Legolas meditates while running. That's talent.
With the fellowship broken, Aragorn is forced into the difficult decision of which way to go. Should he follow Frodo and Sam into Mordor, and try to speed them on their way as best he can, or should he follow the orcs and rescue Merry and Pippin before they are brought to Isengard?
In case Legolas didn't make that clear.
The first scenes are so tense, and then you see the kind of mistreatment Merry and Pippin are undergoing, and realize it's going to get so much worse if Saruman gets his hands on them, and you realize how high the stakes are, even if they aren't the main players in this. We also get a look at orc politics and realize it's not much different from today.
Also, Treebeard is nothing but awesome. Pure, unmitigated awesome.
I was reading this before bed, but then I started getting close to Helm's Deep, and I'm like, "I can't read this right before bed. I'll never sleep." So that's reserved for another day. What I am reading before bed is...
2.) The Sumerians by Samuel Noah Kramer...Still.
You saw the cover last time.
I'm moving much faster on this now that NaNoWriMo is over. It's fascinating just how much information they've gotten on this ancient culture, and how much more they're still finding.
On interesting tidbit I noticed last night was one of the myths about Enki. Apparently the poor gods weren't even able to get enough to eat, because the goddesses were eating them out of house and home, or something. So Enki asks his mom to create servants for them out of clay. She does so, and people get right on that making bread for the most powerful beings in the universe.
Then Enki decides he wants to make people too! Unfortunately his first attempt went...not so well. The person he made lay there like a lump and did nothing, and the other gods yelled at him and cursed him.
One wonders if this information was available while Tolkien was writing The Silmarillion. It sounds a lot like the origin story of the dwarves.
3.) Alone with the Horrors by Ramsey Campbell
"Campbell Country" is the British version of "Lovecraft Country". Most of his stories take place, not in the back woods, but in run down urban areas. There's also a ridiculous amount of class angst, but that's the British for you.
Refreshingly, most of these are not solely based off the Lovecraft mythos, but are still quite creepy. I've seen authors that write well within the mythos fall apart when trying to come up with their own thing. Campbell has given us: Y'Golonac
One thing I noticed is the very surreal quality to stories, even if they start out completely normal. This works well to set up the atmosphere. It throws off the reader and lends a sinister quality to everything, and makes you second guess the narrator.
Now, I must go write Christmas cards. Because I am actually going to write Christmas cards this year. What madness is this?