New book!

Excuse me while we pause in our journey…

I’m thrilled to announce a new book – a collaboration with my dear friends Marie Everett and Lauren Strauss – and the new Moonlight Meander series.

The book cover shows a Very Good Dog staring down the tree-lined dirt road at a whitetail buck in the mist.  they stared at one another for quite a while before he bounded away.  there are authors' names and the book title, but they are not as important as the Very Good Dog who ran to tell her Mommy how beautiful and wonderful the Big Animal had been.  I swear she was doing the dog-equivalent of weeping with the beauty of it.

Moonlight Meander presents not only poetry but rituals and spiritual practices for daily living and some amazing archetypal storytelling. Live your mythic life with us.

Moonlight Meander: Hunter’s Moon is designed specifically to match the dates and energies of October 16, 2020 to November 15, 2020, a lunation which includes the full blue moon on Samhain. In fact, this day-book can be used during any cycle from dark of moon to dark of moon for wellness, spiritual exploration, and celebrating our connection with the forces of nature.


A worthy and delightful preposition, it’s all over (ahem) our sister Germanic languages. Yet this is an old, old, old word, found in Sanskrit and Greek with very little difference except the V sauntering to B or P as time and location vary.

• 1.002 deep-set round windows looking over his garden,
• 1.005 that was to be found either under The Hill or over The Hill or across The Water,
• 1.006 and adventures sprouted up all over the place wherever he went,
• 1.006 He had been away over The Hill
• 1.007 over which his long white beard
• 1.010 and floated away over The Hill.
• 1.013 You might try over The Hill or across The Water.’
• 1.020 if you ever get over it.’
• 1.068 and come back to hover over the wizard’s head.
• 1.068 of the smoke-rings he had sent up the wind over The Hill.
• 1.070 far over The Water
• 1.073 Far over the misty mountains cold
• 1.077 Far over the misty mountains cold
• 1.082 Far over the misty mountains grim
• 1.088 knocking over the poker
• 1.092 knocking over the table.
• 1.092 over
• 1.092 and over again;
• 1.130 and way for handing it over,
• 1.144 Far over the misty mountains cold
• 2.030 Fortunately the road went over an ancient stone bridge,
• 2.031 It was nearly night when they had crossed over.
• 2.036 “There’s a light over there!”
• 2.054 shaking all over,
• 2.072 a sack was over his head,
• 2.075 pop! went a nasty smelly sack over his head,
• 2.080 and popped a sack right over Thorin’s head
• 2.083 all over again, Bill,” he said,
• 2.086 and so the argument began all over again.
• 2.092 And so the argument began all over again,
• 2.106 the light came over the hill,
• 2.108 of what had happened to him twice over,
• 2.117 putting a great many spells over them,
• 3.003 or over,
• 3.008 There were gullies that they could almost leap over,
• 3.008 that one could neither jump over nor climb into.
• 3.010 Bilbo’s pony began to stumble over roots
• 3.011 and looked over the edge.
• 3.024 until you are over the bridge.
• 3.024 Supper is preparing over there,” he said.
• 3.026 and over that they had to go,
• 3.029 and some elves have over merry tongues.
• 3.034 but strong to bring them over the mountain passes.
• 3.050 over the Misty Mountains to the land beyond.
• 3.050 Chapter IV OVER HILL and UNDER HILL
• 4.001 and many passes over them.
• 4.002 Now they could look back over the lands they had left,
• 4.002 or over their heads
• 4.003 over the Edge of the Wild;
• 4.004 over those great tall mountains
• 4.005 and shouting all over the mountainsides.
• 4.023 and quarrelled over by goblins.
• 4.036 Soon they were falling over one another
• 4.048 knocking over those that were running after them.
• 5.009 and over it to the days beyond.
• 5.012 He paddled it with large feet dangling over the side,
• 5.042 The answer’s not a kettle boiling over,
• 5.129 Straight over Gollum’s head he jumped,
• 5.130 and grabbed as the hobbit flew over him,
• 5.143 falling over one another
• 5.145 was knocked over by a goblin who could not make out what he had bumped into,
• 6.003 over its edge,
• 6.009 you will thank me before all is over.
• 6.012 everybody falling over bodies
• 6.020 and fell over,
• 6.020 So I jumped over him
• 6.023 jumping over Gollum,
• 6.027 said Gandalf, ‘or soon there will be no getting over the mountains at all.’
• 6.035 now that the excitement was over.
• 6.041 Soon the danger was over,
• 6.045 and over the black tops of those growing lower down
• 6.045 over a floor of pine-needles;
• 6.05 over the Edge of the Wild on the borders of the unknown.
• 6.059 (for so the evil wolves over the Edge of the Wild were named)
• 6.065 and unless they rolled over quick they were soon all
• 6.065 Very soon all about the glade wolves were rolling over
• 6.065 and over to put out the sparks on their backs,
• 6.082 Over them swooped the eagles;
• 6.086 He used to turn queer if he looked over the edge
• 6.093 and no path down off it except by jumping over a precipice.
• 7.002 The air rushed over him
• 7.011 over the mountains,’
• 7.011 in on it again before it is all over,
• 7.043 we were coming out of the Lands over West into these countries –
• 7.047 I was coming over the mountains
• 7.054 I am not over fond of dwarves;
• 7.095 When dinner was over
• 7.103 over the wide seas of the night.
• 7.108 One of the dwarves had fallen over him
• 7.117 except from the west over the river,
• 7.122 He had been over the river
• 7.142 We may meet again before all is over,
• 7.151 Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now,
• 8.001 while all the trees leaned over them
• 8.021 and suddenly they all fell over on their backs.
• 8.029 and bowled them over,
• 8.03 and sprang over him.
• 8.032 They were still standing over him,
• 8.037 that drifted over the banks
• 8.059 falling over logs,
• 8.061 The lights are coming out again over there,
• 8.065 In the dark he fell over what he thought was a log,
• 8.074 so that when he got up he fell over.
• 8.081 and over
• 8.106 He managed by leaning over to cut
• 8.125 told all over again,
• 8.125 These questions they asked over
• 8.125 and over again,
• 8.125 though they fell over with the effort,
• 8.127 Buttons all over the doorstep!
• 8.13 had passed over him unheard.
• 8.131 or to ride and run over the open lands by moonlight or starlight;
• 8.145 and after he had got over his thankfulness for bread
• 9.004 just in time to scuttle over at the heels of the last elves,
• 9.019 or over land,
• 9.05 and was pushed over into the cold water some feet below.
• 9.053 Turn when dawn comes over land,
• 9.053 Over rapid, over sand,
• 9.053 Over rapid, over sand,
• 9.054 and was pushed over the edge with it.
• 9.064 He was no longer dripping but he felt cold all over.
• 10.006 over high waterfalls
• 10.028 and with six men about them he led them over the bridge
• 10.034 and high over the lake.
• 11.006 after winding a wide loop over the valley of Dale,
• 11.006 and gazing out from it over the narrow water,
• 11.013 pondering over the runes
• 11.021 over the cliff,
• 11.021 over the wide lands to the black wall of Mirkwood,
• 11.031 over the rocks
• 12.004 and get it over.
• 12.05 and over the hills my paths led.
• 12.054 but no bag went over me.’
• 12.07 We came over hill
• 12.076 The dragon rolled over.
• 12.082 On thinking things over
• 12.101 over the cliff into the valley below.
• 13.049 by their smoking torches flurried over them;
• 13.051 It swirled over
• 13.067 and the guards were made over comfortable,
• 14.012 he came over them,
• 14.013 Roaring he swept back over the town.
• 14.023 turned over
• 14.025 in tattered shreds over the marshes before Mirkwood.
• 14.028 his black hair hung wet over his face
• 14.038 and wealth over
• 14.04 Far over Mirkwood tidings spread:
• 15.024 over with the death of the dragon –
• 15.028 over which the stream went towards Dale.
• 15.041 Now call we over mountains cold,
• 16.016 slipped down over the wall,
• 16.026 (which he still wore over his mail)
• 16.046 to come over him;
• 17.013 who was peering over the wall,
• 17.019 and spoke over the wall.
• 17.04 A black cloud hurried over the sky.
• 17.046 over the shoulder of the Mountain,
• 18.021 casting them over precipices,
• 18.051 and a new peace came over the edge of the Wild.
• 18.053 shining over the outstretched lands.
• 19.029 Over rock and under tree,
• 19.03 Over snow by winter sown,
• 19.03 Over grass
• 19.03 and over stone,
• 19.037 and over the Hill,
• 19.039 His sword he hung over the mantelpiece.


On the advice of a good friend in the Tolkien world (thanks, Sharon Hoff!), and in contradiction of Richard Blackwelder’s guideline, I am moving forward with an adverb. Or is it an adjective, noun, or even verb?

[01.010] ‘All of them at once,’ said Bilbo. ‘And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain.

Well, then. I have been schooled. “Further” and “farther” belong to a different word, a verb meaning to move something along … until “farther” was adopted by “far” as a comparative and “further” sort of came along with it, but only hesitantly. Here’s the whole family.

• 1.008 that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
• 1.020 In fact I will go so far as
• 1.070 far over The Water
• 1.070 and very far from his hobbit-hole under The Hill.
• 1.073 Far over the misty mountains cold
• 1.077 Far over the misty mountains cold
• 1.082 Far over the misty mountains grim
• 1.114 So far we have had no clear idea what to do.
• 1.114 as far as the Long Lake.
• 1.116 far too often,
• 1.119 but so far still Tookishly determined to go on with things.
• 1.119 and so on and further.’
• 1.122 our family was driven out of the far North,
• 1.122 It had been discovered by my far ancestor,
• 1.122 up the Running River as far as the valley
• 1.123 in a great heap far inside,
• 1.123 than the far edge of the Long Lake now-a-days.
• 1.136 far beyond the powers
• 1.144 Far over the misty mountains cold
• 2.028 Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands,
• 2.028 Not far ahead were dreary hills,
• 2.032 So far he had come all the way with them,
• 2.040 through the tree-trunks not far ahead.
• 2.117 not far from the track by the river,
• 2.123 I had not gone very far,
• 2.125 in the woods not far from the road:
• 3.001 not far away on either side.
• 3.001 The far bank was steep
• 3.011 They saw a valley far below.
• 3.012 not far above the banks of the stream.
• 3.026 when sun has been all day on the snow far up above.
• 4.002 laid out behind them far below.
• 4.002 Far, far away
• 4.002 Far, far away
• 4.005 where they smashed among the trees far below,
• 4.007 and was far from happy about the giants himself.
• 4.009 “not far round the next corner;
• 4.011 and it does not go far back.”
• 4.012 you don’t know how far they go back, sometimes,
• 4.012 Still it was not very far to go,
• 4.020 Pound, pound, far underground!
• 4.021 Round and round far underground
• 4.024 and dragged them to the far end of the cavern
• 4.025 so far.
• 4.029 nothing was further from our thoughts
• 4.043 far behind
• 5.002 and he was far from certain
• 5.002 He did not go much further,
• 5.005 and yet not far enough.’
• 5.012 and they found they could go no further;
• 5.084 Not far away was his island,
• 5.090 not very far off by the sound of it.
• 5.098 As far as Bilbo knew,
• 5.114 and it can’t go far.
• 5.118 Not far now.
• 5.122 for he was leaving the water further
• 5.122 and further behind,
• 5.13 He dared go no further.
• 6.008 He has been more trouble than use so far,’
• 6.032 so they might be said to have had the best of it so far.
• 6.034 we are too far to the North,
• 6.041 and the pine-roots far below.
• 6.043 were feeling far from happy,
• 6.045 though far away through the trees
• 6.046 Must we go any further?’ asked Bilbo,
• 6.047 A bit further,’ said Gandalf.
• 6.048 After what seemed ages further
• 6.049 then by another not far away to the left.
• 6.057 and hung his arm down as far as ever he could.
• 6.061 Goblins do not usually venture very far from their mountains,
• 6.062 In spite of the dangers of this far land
• 6.067 a tiny spot far far below.
• 6.067 a tiny spot far far below.
• 6.067 and yelping come up faint from far beneath him.
• 6.082 or drove them far away;
• 6.082 who were scrambling up now as far as they ever dared to go.
• 6.084 Now far below the goblins
• 6.084 were scattering far
• 6.094 and Bilbo far away
• 6.096 and as far as you will!
• 7.002 and the world was far away,
• 7.009 and far off
• 7.011 Indeed we are now a good deal further east
• 7.012 who lives not far away.
• 7.023 As a bear he ranges far
• 7.093 while at the far end
• 7.093 with his great legs stuck far out
• 7.094 that lay outstretched far to North
• 7.096 and the voices seemed to grow far away,
• 7.117 there were far too many of them,
• 7.117 I followed these as far as the Carrock.
• 7.117 By that time it was too late for me to follow them far.
• 7.126 and on a little of which they could march far.
• 7.128 that the adventure was far more dangerous
• 7.130 been far to the south of the Lonely Mountain,
• 7.136 Beorn is not as far off as you seem to think,
• 7.136 or sitting far off
• 7.136 in letting dwarves ride them so far
• 8.001 Soon the light at the gate was like a little bright hole far behind,
• 8.002 in the leaves far above,
• 8.009 There is a boat against the far bank!
• 8.010 How far away do you think it is?’ asked Thorin,
• 8.011 Not at all far.
• 8.018 Not far enough!’
• 8.027 back to the far bank?’ asked the hobbit.
• 8.029 In this way they were all soon on the far bank
• 8.029 As it reached the further bank it stumbled.
• 8.032 and the sound as of dogs baying far off.
• 8.042 He could hear the dwarves shouting up at him from far below,
• 8.044 they were not far off the edge of the forest;
• 8.044 and he could not expect to see how far the forest lasted.
• 8.051 we have carried you far enough.’
• 8.052 to go a step further
• 8.062 not far away were scores of twinkling lights,
• 8.064 it was far worse this time.
• 8.070 begun not far away –
• 8.073 But the cries of the others got steadily further
• 8.073 in the far distance,
• 8.078 who were not likely to be very far off,
• 8.094 further and further
• 8.094 further and further
• 8.098 They made for his noise far quicker than he had expected.
• 8.100 I am far more sweet than other meat,
• 8.103 as far as he dared.
• 8.132 wound far underground
• 9.003 and at the far end were gates before the mouth of a huge cave
• 9.018 and joined the Forest River some way further to the east,
• 9.018 were brought from far away,
• 9.019 built out on bridges far into the water
• 9.020 to a place far down the river where the bank jutted out,
• 9.030 far down
• 9.030 and fortunately not far from the cellars.
• 9.032 as far as he could;
• 9.063 and far from a fire,
• 10.002 And far away,
• 10.002 Bilbo had come far
• 10.004 if he had known that news of this had reached Gandalf far away
• 10.006 and far,
• 10.007 Not far from the mouth of the Forest River
• 10.009 not far from the shoreward head of the great bridge.
• 10.018 Other folk were far away;
• 10.032 As a matter of fact he thought it far more likely
• 10.041 and as far northward towards the Mountain
• 10.045 although autumn was now getting far on,
• 11.008 much further towards the Gate;
• 11.012 in the perilous waste without hope of further help.
• 11.012 but as far as ever,
• 11.014 nor from further off
• 11.019 but they did not dare to venture very far that way,
• 11.021 and far.
• 11.029 there was a gleam of yellow upon its far roof,
• 12.002 and resource far exceeding his size,
• 12.002 far exceeding the usual allowance –
• 12.007 It was far easier going than he expected.
• 12.019 from far down
• 12.020 from far above that came down through it
• 12.027 in the stony hollows far above;
• 12.031 They crept further down the tunnel,
• 12.067 you could not get it very far?
• 12.067 and he knew his guesses were not far out,
• 12.068 So far all his thoughts
• 12.071 while far up
• 12.079 he had not gone nearly far enough
• 12.094 not far down from the half-open door
• 12.098 for any whisper of a movement from far below.
• 12.099 I like this silence far less than the uproar of last night.
• 12.101 They fled further down the tunnel
• 12.103 In the meanwhile he had further vengeance to take.
• 13.009 and far off
• 13.022 But soon they saw it far away
• 13.023 until he came to the great doors at the further side,
• 13.044 and far beyond the reach of their torch-light.
• 13.044 coming through some opening far above,
• 13.045 Not far off now is the Front Gate.’
• 13.046 at the further end,
• 13.054 How far is that?’
• 13.069 We can go no further to-day.’
• 13.071 and there was a small chamber further in,
• 14.002 at the far end of the lake,
• 14.032 and people further off took up the cry:
• 14.040 Far over Mirkwood tidings spread:
• 15.002 and far off there are many carrion birds
• 15.019 has already gone far
• 15.020 and now are scattered far.
• 15.027 far down the banks
• 15.027 not far from where the rest of their stores had been left.
• 15.048 Further
• 15.048 and in recompense you have thus far brought ruin only,
• 16.014 not far away.’
• 16.017 He had barely scrambled out on the far bank,
• 16.021 How did you get so far past our sentinels?’
• 17.061 That did not seem far off.
• 18.007 not far from where Bilbo sat.
• 18.051 and men came from far
• 18.053 There far away was the Lonely Mountain
• 19.003 The stars are far brighter
• 19.003 The moon is far whiter
• 19.025 Not far from the road

“far, adv.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2020, Accessed 25 August 2020.

Deep-throated Singing of the Dwarves

[01.072] The dark filled all the room, and the fire died down, and the shadows were lost, and still they played on. And suddenly first one and then another began to sing as they played, deep-throated singing of the dwarves in the deep places of their ancient homes; and this is like a fragment of their song, if it can be like their song without their music.

[01.073] Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

[01.074] The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

[01.075] For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

[01.076] On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

[01.077] Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

[01.078] Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

[01.079] The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

[01.080] The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

[01.081] The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

[01.082] Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

My goodness, what delight to present the next poem to you, all properly concordanced. For reasons I cannot articulate, I felt it important to make “beneath” but not “far” or “over”. Let’s see which words I have left out.

the – 23 times
and – 12 times
they – 9 times
of – 8 times
to – 8 times
in – 6 times
on – 4 times
ere – 3 times
far – 3 times
must – 3 times
over – 3 times
there – 3 times
we – 3 times
were – 3 times
for – 2 times
a – 2 times
like – 2 times
our – 2 times
their – 2 times
was – 2 times
where – 2 times
with – 2 times
by – 1 time
from – 1 time
him – 1 time
his – 1 time
it – 1 time
made – 1 time
more – 1 time
no – 1 time
than – 1 time
themselves – 1 time
up – 1 time
while – 1 time


This word has eight distinct meanings – strife, joy, penny, delightful, won (the adjective), to be victorious, to dwell, and to dry. Our meaning, to be victorious, is attested from 888. Y’all know me, I could spend the whole day investigating the other senses. When I have a day off, perhaps I will!

Oh, dear. It’s got a spin-off – witherwin. Let’s work double hard to win a day off!

• 1.082 To win our harps and gold from him!
• 1.094 and in this way the battle was won
• 1.096 The Took side had won.
• 5.094 And I won the game,
• 5.098 he had won the game,
• 12.095 about what would happen after the treasure had been won.
• 12.095 and I still think that when we have won it will be time enough
• 13.040 This treasure is not yet won back.
• 17.044 for they resolved now to win the dominion of the North.
• 17.061 before the goblins win the Gate,
• 18.035 in its winning
• 19.003 Than gold won by mining,


My goodness. When measuring grindstones, a foot is eight inches. This is an old, old, old word (like, grindstone era), with all kinds of Frisian and Gothic relations. Guess what I did for the last ten minutes!

• 1.004 because their feet grow natural leathery soles
• 1.004 the small river that ran at the foot of The Hill.
• 1.063 jumped to their feet,
• 1.068 and found Thorin with his feet on the fender smoking a pipe.
• 1.081 Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.
• 1.096 and put your foot in it.’
• 1.109 “Five feet high the door
• 2.019 and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane,
• 2.042 not if the whole cavalcade had passed two feet off.
• 2.060 yer nassty little rabbit,” said he looking at the hobbit’s furry feet;
• 2.070 to scramble out of the way of their feet,
• 2.071 But his poor little feet had been very squashed
• 3.001 Already they seemed only a day’s easy journey from the feet of the nearest.
• 3.007 and up to meet the feet of the nearest mountain,
• 3.008 that opened suddenly at their feet,
• 3.024 but you had best get on foot,
• 3.040 beside the plain runes which say ‘five feet high the door
• 4.018 keeping time with the flap of their flat feet on the stone,
• 4.044 Soon they could hear even the flap of the goblin feet,
• 4.044 many many feet which seemed only just round the last corner.
• 5.012 He paddled it with large feet dangling over the side,
• 5.050 But when he put his long webby foot
• 5.073 and slapped his feet on the floor,
• 5.077 and he jumped at once to his feet,
• 5.129 seven feet forward
• 5.130 falling fair on his sturdy feet,
• 6.010 tripped up your feet,
• 6.040 rolled away from their feet;
• 6.043 and feet.
• 6.060 They left guards at the foot of the tree
• 6.064 in the air ten feet,
• 7.010 at the foot of the steps
• 8.001 and the quiet was so deep that their feet seemed to thump along
• 8.018 A couple of feet
• 8.029 Thorin was the only one who had kept his feet
• 8.030 Bombur had only one foot on the land
• 8.033 to their feet
• 8.037 Their feet ruffled
• 8.088 to see a dwarvish foot sticking out
• 8.132 at the feet of the high wooded lands.
• 9.003 till their feet were
• 9.028 and feet too,
• 9.050 and was pushed over into the cold water some feet below.
• 10.001 Under its rocky feet like an inland cliff
• 10.006 whose feet were piled with shingles.
• 10.019 they shouted leaping to their feet
• 10.030 All leaped to their feet.
• 10.034 with hurrying feet.
• 11.006 to the feet of Ravenhill.
• 11.013 there were fewer signs of the dragon’s marauding feet,
• 11.015 At last tired out they rested on the grass at its feet,
• 11.016 and fifty feet
• 11.032 A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground.
• 11.038 A door five feet high
• 12.009 and put your foot right
• 12.033 for them to dare the long way on foot.
• 12.103 Your feet came from the waterside
• 13.019 and drawn his feet towards it.
• 13.019 before his feet
• 13.049 their feet slithered on stones rubbed smooth
• 14.008 and feet were hurrying.
• 14.014 with leaping shadows of dense black at their feet.
• 14.033 and here the Master rose to his feet
• 14.042 and they were forced to go the slower way by foot;
• 16.017 when he missed his footing on a round stone
• 17.028 I will sting your miserable feet.
• 17.048 and in the rocks at its feet,
• 17.048 before the Mountain’s feet
• 17.056 leapt down to the falls’ foot,
• 18.025 but the pursuit was still on foot,
• 18.046 and standing on one foot,
• 19.012 Soft is the grass, and let foot be like feather!
• 19.031 Yet feet that wandering have gone
• 19.035 not even wiping their feet on the mat,


To sleep.

I’ve not included “dead” or “death” in this one – do let me know if you think I ought. I’m right on the fence.

• 1.006 not since his friend the Old Took died,
• 1.072 and the fire died down,
• 1.081 They fled their hall to dying fall
• 3.017 The daylight is dying!
• 4.025 and slaves that have to work till they die
• 6.078 So dwarves shall die,
• 8.050 and died of starvation.
• 8.073 all noise at last died right away,
• 9.001 before they died of hunger
• 9.058 and he wondered if he would die of it before the luck turned,
• 11.004 died away to a plodding gloom.
• 13.002 I must feel the wind on my face soon or die.
• 13.003 We shall die here.’
• 14.038 and afterwards died,
• 15.017 saw him die,
• 15.019 and many have died,
• 17.055 in a dying fire.
• 18.024 in to die
• 19.044 and died of starvation

Signum University Graduation 2020

I will have the privilege in a few hours of addressing this year’s Signum University graduates. My own words alone are inadequate to express my awe and wonder in their accomplishments.

• Hurley, Kameron. The Light Brigade. Gallery / Saga Press. Kindle Edition.
• Sturgis, Amy. Speculative Fiction as Reflecting Shield: Defying and Defining the Darkness. Signum University’s Mythmoot VII. Keynote address.
• Tolkien, J.R.R. (2012-02-15). The Lord of the Rings: One Volume. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

And of course, I will be referring to the work of each of the graduates themselves.


An old, old, old, word – even had a past participle flogen back in the day. The etymological entry and the forms are, um, measurably a good 20 minute dive into the OED.

“flee, v.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2020, Accessed 7 August 2020.

• 1.081 They fled their hall to dying fall
• 4.037 and the goblin soldiers fled
• 6.065 and they fled off down the slopes crying
• 6.070 and fled into the forest
• 12.017 Then Bilbo fled.
• 12.078 and fled up the tunnel.
• 12.101 They fled further down the tunnel
• 13.043 that fled from the approach of their torches
• 17.048 and fled to either side.
• 17.050 and each flickered as it fled as if with stinging fire.
• 17.056 and rider fell or fled before them.
• 18.024 and they fled
• 18.024 and such as fled south or west
• 19.044 and fled with it,


Once and once only. Nothing to do with Bilbo or his heirs – that part of the story was entirely the beautiful and unpredictable free will of brave hobbits.

• 1.081 The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.