I’m dealing with a difficult scene right now. Not from writer’s block–if that were the case, why would I be writing anything? Writing accurate fan fiction (which I do) is not as easy as it sounds because I have to know who Náli is. I have to know that Orodruin = Mount Doom and Angrenost = Isengard. Dimril Dale. Where Tol Eressëa is and what it is. I need to know Ainur from Valar–by name. All the names of Gandalf (Olórin, Greyhame, Mithrandir, Tharkûn). Wielder of the Glamdring, bearer of Narya given to him by Círdan of the Falas after he escaped death at the War of the Last Alliance. Aiwendil is the other name for Radagast. Sauron, Maiar of Aulë was also known as Aulendil before Melkor seduced him. Today is Anarya (Tárion) in Quenya–Oranor in Sindarin. I won’t go into the relationships of the House of Durin (though everyone by now know that Thorin, Dáin, Balin, Dwalin, Óin, Glóin (father of Gimli) are cousins (which makes Fíli and Kíli cousins of Gimli, the last heir of the House of Durin). Gimli means star in Adûnaic.

Azog died in 2799 at the hand of Dáin at the Battle of Nanduhirion (aka Dimril Dale, aka Azanulbizar) during the War of Dwarves and Orcs. His son, Bolg killed Thorin during the Battle of the Five Armies (2941). He was in turn killed by Beorn the skin changer. Aragorn (born 2931), son of Arathorn was living in Rivendell with Elrond at that time under the name Estel to hide his identity. Yeah, I procrastinate from writing what I write by writing about the thing I’m working on.

My characters must know their own history. Sometimes, it’s scary when I go back and read something and it sounds so “official”–so much so, I will actually grab a Tolkien book just to find out what it is all over again. My first thought always is, “So-and-so (character) is write.” Not me, the character because I’m just telling their story. It’s kind of like dictation. I can zone out for hours getting lost in their world. So I will test myself. Éomer, son of Eomund, nephew of Théoden of Rohan, brother of Éowyn. Boromir and Faramir, sons of Denethor, 26th Steward of Gondor–not to be confused with Denethor, son of Lenwë, Lord of the Nandor. Manwë and Melkor were once brothers (brethren). Aiwendil is the other name for Radagast.

All this helps me with the original story I began as a kid called Keyldon. I even have my own language in that story (I was a very interesting kid). Unlike Tolkien, that one redefines “faeries”–among other creatures. I love The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy, but when I started, I was just writing stuff without organization. Somehow it went from a few blurbs to a completed volume (Book II) and midway into the second volume–hence the difficult scene because I have to make battle plans which requires a good deal of geographical knowledge of Arda. But I realized that all this is preparation for my own story. I’m learning the ends and outs of high fantasy by the creator of it. I must be improving–I read parts of my own story and I need an appendix just to keep track of the Chronicles of Keyldonias. Must have been Serendipity that found me–not the other way around.–J.