thranduilbookiicountThere is chaos–and lots of it. Plenty, it seems. Though none of it is bad–all of it quite hard to take in. This week was interrupted by people working in my house. Next week, doctors and more reading. On top of everything else, the new webpages went off the charts (Flickr within a few moments) and people grilling about when can they read it–in book form–even my dad.

A year ago, no one seemed interested in my other work and less interested in elves. Now, my personal Facebook page only want to know about elves and Thranduil. Kind of hectic when anyone could be looking right now–and I mean anyone. As it was, I had not planned to say anything until I was done, but I was outed by a fellow Mythopoeic Society member months ago and forced to reveal Thranduil. Now, other authors and such seem to biting the bit to see exactly what is going on in the Woodland Realm. Some more anxious than I am to send it to the Tolkien Estate.

Kind of weird–you spend your life wanting to do something and get a little notice and when finally do, it is unexpected–like Bilbo’s journey. I just keep working on the rest of the story–wanting to keep the same level of intrigue Book II seems to have had.
I always look back–to where it all began and wake up every day wondering if today will be the day no one cares anymore.

I remember when someone asked me to do this because they thought I had an uncanny knack for seeing Thranduil–sounding like Thranduil. At the time, I laughed it off, but I couldn’t shake it off. Thranduil had somehow gotten to me. This was the first thing I ever wrote in a narrative or first person that wasn’t in the form of a play or screenplay. I thought it would be horrible and I would return to development hell. But for some reason, I kept hearing a subtle chant of “if you write it, they will come”. I didn’t even know I had gotten past 100 pages until I did the first printing last month. When I realized the first five chapters made up 80 pages, I knew Thranduil was far greater than I could have imagined.

Now, the talk has become all about “canonical fan fiction”. I know the post was for me–they have been discussing it since the day I was outed, though I did not know what they were talking about. I just wanted to finish something for my Dad so he could see I did something before he was gone. I did that. One book–my first.

I loved writing it and like time, it seems like only yesterday I wrote Thranduil’s first words which surprisingly are not in the book. It was the last day of April of 2015. I was rushed to complete a script to be sent out to a major producer in two weeks and I knew had a lot to do. I wanted to stay offline as much as possible so I figured I would change all my cover photos to Thranduil since he was the furthest from the type of work I was doing.

It began with a countdown–I would begin at 6pm that day. Every hour, Thranduil came up with something to say–usually sarcastic and venomous. But as the hours passed, Thranduil somehow changed. I didn’t notice at all and it was a friend of mine who mentioned it not long after. Thranduil had started to turn into some more than a silver tongued blonde elven king that always had something brutal to say to anyone he deemed deserving. His words became more serious and poetic as the time went on. By the last 30 minutes, he had said, “The hour is almost at hand. I look into the vast undiscovered country I’ve seen many times before yet find unfamiliar except where I see my purpose. All things so close, still yet so far. I am at the end of eternity but I still have far more of it to see. The journey continues from the edge of time. None can really know all there is. We can only trust that the path is lit by the light of Heaven.”

By July, I had made the complete metamorphosis from what I thought I was to whom I became and Thranduil was at the helm of a ship that continues to sail to horizons I never dreamt I would see. Every day is an adventure and he never fails to surprise me. It’s like being invited to Wonderland or Oz or Narnia to see the side no one knew existed. It was like I finally woke up in a dream that even today, I am afraid I will somehow wake up to forget. Thranduil gave me back my love of writing and took me farther than anything I’ve ever done before. That is something you can never repay because I had nothing to begin with except a feeling inside me that just heard his voice and the story behind it.

That’s why I look back so much–to see if I really have come so far. When I wrote “END OF BOOK II”, that moment still lingers. The fairy tale that has yet to end with a prince who never ceases to be charming.–J.

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