It Was a Dark and Stormy Night….

….Toward the end of April 2008, and as the wind howled around my apartment, splattering the windows with rain, I was up much too late, making my first foray into the realm of Blog. So far, so good–the image at the top is a view of the landscape I grew up looking at in Illinois–the road in front of my house. Tolkien’s character Bilbo Baggins famously commented on roads, how the grandest adventures begin just beyond our front garden gate; how the path that leads through Mirkwood and to the very feet of the Lonely Mountain begins here: it’s this same lane running past our doorway.

Here we go, then, with our walking-sticks and our knapsacks! Come with me along this road. We’ll journey through memory, speculation, dream, and reflection. As we march, we’re sure to talk about fantastic occurrences, mysterious folk, fearsome monsters, unforgettable characters, and great stories. For you see, mostly what we’re going to talk about is fiction–the craft of producing it–the writing life. Which is, of course, a much bigger topic than most of us guess…so we may be on this road for a good while. I hope you packed a lunch!

5 Responses to It Was a Dark and Stormy Night….

  1. Mark Shields says:

    Well, the lane running past my doorway twice took me over 300 miles, to our nation’s capital, via bicycle. While it’s very real, that road is very much removed from everyday experience in late 20th century/early 21st century life.

  2. Nicholas says:

    A grand start to your Blog, as it was a beautiful reflection on the start of Mr. Baggins’s adventure. That has always been one of my fondest passages in _The Hobbit_.

  3. Hi Fred! Congratulations and welcome to the world of blogging!
    I’d seriously considered suggesting this to you months back, but I assumed that if you were interested in it you’d do it, and lo! you did.

    You’ve got a giant email coming your way in a day or two- your package came and I’ve got tons of things (and past letters to answer).

  4. I led the Flail says:

    My dear friend,
    It was 35 years ago when I first traveled down Old Oak Road to the Durbin homestead. When I saw this picture I could SMELL the scene. All that was missing was seeing Hooper come bounding out of the underbrush! I am thrilled to see you have started a blog and cannot wait to check in on it often. I stand by my suggestion for the dedication of a coffeetable Flail book that will never happen … To Mrs. Carlton, who never knew what she started …
    God keep you, my old friend!

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