Thirteen Years in Fandom...

From 2001 to 2014, I've been active online as a member of the Tolkien fandom. This started for me in fifth grade, went into abeyance for my 20s, and returned with a rush when I saw Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. I mean it - a rush. As the writer behind the fantastic blog Rune Soup says, "There have only been a few states of consciousness more altered than the first time I saw Fellowship of the Ring." (His writing about the LOTR films and New Zealand is staggering and can be read here.)

As a fanfiction writer and fan essayist, my main active period was between 2001 and 2005, with a trickle of content up until 2008. This was such a wonderful time - collaborating, sharing, corresponding with my long-term beta readers Aayesha and Nekron's Lovesong, capering with delight over feedback. I stopped writing Tolkien fanfiction when the lightning wasn't there any more, and no other fandom has taken its place for me as a fanfic writer. Perhaps because of where I live now - on cool days, the New Zealand forest hills are draped with mists identical to those creeping along the mountainsides in the start of Fellowship of the Ring.

Personally, the Tolkien fandom has been a refuge, a source of friendship, of inspiration, of amusement and deep thought. I’ve seen fellow Tolkien fans go on to travel the world, become Quakers, step back from fandom to take care of their families, and step up to join in a fandom that’s always been there for them while they were growing up. I think of you all fondly still and you will always have a friend in New Zealand in me. Except for the guy who was sending me crayon fan art of my Maeglin stories, and I hope he got help.

As a New Zealand based film fan, I share the ambivalence of many Tolkien fans about the Hobbit movies, with an extra dose of concern for the way the film's technical staff are treated. In 2001 New Zealand actors and location owners reacted with bemused surprise that anyone was interested in their fantasy film parts. By 2007, there was reserve behind brittle smiles - I'm so glad I was here for the more accessible period. If you do come to visit New Zealand, the magic of the stone cliffs and rolling green hills is here waiting for you, even if you don't pay $75 to visit Hobbiton.

For me, 2015 is going to be a year of incredibly wonderful transitions and journeys. This trajectory takes me further out of the orbit of my fanfiction writing years. It's time to say goodbye, even as I will probably post some of my stories on the excellent site An Archive of Our Own. This site will stay posted, too, although no guarantees about when I'm adding a mobile template to it.

I'm still on Livejournal (remember that?), and also on Tumblr, where I'm pretty mediocre but I enjoy the new generation of fan creators.

I can't believe anyone is still reading this...lots of fannish good vibes your way, and this site update is dedicated to you.



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