It's become obligatory to start any year-end review by noting that 2017 was a gaping hell pit of a year and it was. So, there you go. Personally speaking, it was pretty good, despite the blazing horrors going on around us. My son turned three and watching him grow and learn remains the most profound … Continue reading The Writing Year in Review
I have a new essay up at Tor.com, about the gods and spirits in the films of Hayao Miyazaki, their often fraught relationship with mankind, and their uneasy overlap with Japanese Shintoism and Buddhism-- "Gods and Spirits (....and Whatever Totoro Is): Exploring Miyazaki's Fantasy World." Miyazaki's movies aren't religious or even mythological, at least in … Continue reading The Gods of Ghibli
Today, September 22, marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and the 10th anniversary of the "publication" of my totally real book The Lord of the Rings: A New English Translation, as detailed in my totally real essay at The Toast, "How I Defeated … Continue reading Happy Hobbit Day!
I'm pleased to announce that I have resumed my Tolkien Correspondent duties, this time for the venerable science fiction and fantasy publisher Tor.com. If you worried that my career of yelling about elves and hobbits ended with The Toast, fear not! My latest dispatch from Middle-earth seeks to answer mankind's most pressing question: who would … Continue reading Fighting Dragon Fire with Demon Fire
I have a new essay at Catapult called "Teshima: On Hearing Loss, My Son, and the Sea". It's about my sudden onset single-sided deafness, my son's heartbeat, languages, art, and the legend of the Japanese shark goddess Princess Toyotama. I'm very, very proud of this piece and I think it's the best thing I've yet written, … Continue reading The Palace at the Bottom of the Sea
My final dispatch from Middle-earth as The Toast's Tolkien Correspondent was published yesterday: "How To Tell If You Are In A J.R.R. Tolkien Book." Fittingly, it's also part of my favorite Toast series, "How To Tell If You're In a Novel," in my mind the Toastiest series on the site because the pieces summed … Continue reading Here At The End Of All Things
Your humble The Toast Tolkien Correspondent is back with the concluding volume of his epic trilogy that began with How I Defeated the Tolkien Estate, became a bloody battle with The Most Metal Deaths in Middle-earth, Ranked, and now reaches its epic climax with The Illegitimacy of Aragorn's Claim to the Throne. As with the others, it's … Continue reading The Nightmares in Our Dreamlands
I am back at The Toast this week with a new piece about J.R.R. Tolkien, this time a list of "The Most Metal Deaths in Middle-earth, Ranked," from Gollum's fall into a volcano to Fingolfin's epic battle against the Dark Lord himself in single combat. The editor's intro also lists me as "The Toast's Tolkien correspondent," which … Continue reading Tolkien’s Death Metal
I am delighted to announce that I have signed with a literary agent, the awesome Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary Agency! Maria will be representing me and my book, the middle-grade modern fantasy Mab Ipswich, or The Wickedest Witch on the journey through the wooly wilds of Publishing. I am excited to work with Maria, not only because she … Continue reading Agented!
My son turned 1-year old today. That is hard for me to believe. As with any big occasion looked back upon, it feels like the day he was born was only 2 months ago, and 20 years ago. Time never settles into the shape we expect. This afternoon for lunch, I went to the cafeteria … Continue reading Fatherhood: The First Year