I guess the biggest news for me this week is that I finally finished my (nearly) five-year Civil War blogging project! This is pretty important for me. I started it in the summer of 2010 and just wrote the last post on Thursday (which will appear on May 30th). The object was to take each day of the conflict and write 1,000+ words about what happened on that day, 150 years before. It was incredibly difficult and rewarding. Also, it was time consuming, taking up about two hours each day to research and write the posts.
It should come as no real surprise that one of the biggest impediments to its completion was my discovery of Tolkien after about a year into it. Sure I had read The Hobbit and seen the Jackson movies multiple times, but I had never really delved into the stories at all.
When I finally got around to Tolkien, I read everything that I could. And when I got to Unfinished Tales, and read some of the pieces describing war and battle, I really wanted to incorporate some of Tolkien’s phrasing into the Civil War blog.
I always tried to maintain a fine writing style over there, and I thought throwing in phrases that Tolkien used to be a good idea. And so I went through Unfinished Tales and a few other books, I bet, jotting down phrases as I found them.
Here are some of them. I have no idea if they’re verbatim or where exactly they came from within Tolkien’s works.
-Encountered their vanguard and scattered it with loss.
-The main strength (meaning the main body of the army)
-Brought to a stand and was almost surrounded
-Descried other forces hastening forward, though their strength could not be guessed.
-Stiffened with reinforcements
-With reckless ferocity and slashing
-Came to a stand on a low rise
-Heedless and set no guard
-Massing but not yet arrayed
-Hurled a great mass
-Piles of the fallen
-Victorious, though not without great loss
-Assailed the enemy in flank and rear
-Taking care that their approach should be well known to the enemy
-At length, the battle was joined
-Driven with slaughter
Actually, the lack of this is what turned me off to the Silmarillion when I first read it. Lord of the Rings had it in many parts, but the Silm didn’t. Unfinished Tales, however, did (as did part of the Children of Hurin.
I really can’t remember which phrases were used, though I think I managed to sneak in something like “the regiment was heedless and set no guard”. Many of the phrases (or something quite similar) were used with frequency in the official reports written by many of the officers. “Assailed the enemy in flank and rear,” for example, was pretty common.
So anyway, with that project at an end, I’ve got myself a whole mess of free time. I’m going to do everything in my power to enjoy that. For now, this blog will remain as it is, posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – with a bit of something on the weekends. With summer quickly approaching (in the Pacific Northwest) my photography blog will get busier, though. Feel free to follow me there, if you like.
In other news (meaning pizza), I’ve had a few weeks of bad luck. I’ve found a new recipe, though, and hope to make that tomorrow. If it turns out well, you’re all invited to a pizza party in Seattle. Huzzah!