READER'S ROCK LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE VOL 2 ISSUE 4 NOVEMBER 2014 VOL 2 ISSUE 5 DECEMBER 2014 - Page 40

It's that time of year where everybody is bustling about for one reason or other from the holidays to the erratic weather. I'm coming off NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – 50,000+ words in a month) and pleased with the solid start I have on Immortal Machinations 2: Arc of Curiosity. Of course, the end of NaNo marks the beginning of a month of reading and watching movies as I decompress and refocus. It also marks our countdown to the release of the last installment of the Hobbit movie trilogy. We are excited. Very excited. My kids have their costumes ready, are counting down the days and we are going to re-read The Hobbit (don't ask how many times I've read it). This is especially significant for my kiddos because starting in January we will be reading The Lord of the Rings together for the first time. So I've decided to make this month's WIOWI article a homage to Tolkien since he has been so influential in my life and now, the lives of my children. I confess that I have not seen the cartoon version of The Lord of the Rings but the animated version of The Hobbit continues to bring me great joy. It was actually my first encounter with anything Tolkien as my parents had not been introduced to his work and consequently I was not introduced until that fateful family movie night. It was love at first sight. The characters and the story, though I would come to think of them much differently after reading the books (why did they make the dwarves so silly looking?). Still, the animated Hobbit creates a different brand of nostalgia as I remember going to the library that very next week in search of the book that spawned my new favorite movie. Here is the part where childhood interfered with what would become a beautiful relationship in my later years. I read The Hobbit, cover to cover, in no time at all but I was an active kid in an active family and my focus shifted – a lot. In fact, I did not rediscover Tolkien until I was a bit older, high school I would guess. I'd finished a Stephen King phase then John Grisham and then Stephen King again and then I was looking for something new. I stumbled on a copy of The Hobbit at a thrift store and bought it, remembering just how much I'd liked it as a child. I read it again and enjoyed it yet again. Enter The Lord of the Rings. I polished off the trilogy in less than a week (even with homework and sports and extracurriculars). It was amazing. I re-read the series shortly thereafter and it quickly became an annual ritual for me. Something about the characters, the challenges and the relationships appealed to me on a different level. I could be transported to Middle Earth when the world went pearshaped and that was good for me. 2001 marked a huge year with the release of the live action film version of The Fellowship of the Ring. I went with a large group of friends and disappeared into Middle Earth for a few hours. Despite some of the alterations I found the film to be magical. One of my friends took me right back in to watch it again because we were both so enthralled and impressed. When The Two Towers and Return of the King were released, I was