Happy Tolkien Reading Day! (2021 Edition)

Happy Tolkien Reading Day, everyone!

Each year, the holiday looks a little different for me. One year (before kids), I read The Hobbit in one day. It satisfied my soul, though my eyes certainly complained the next day. Last year, it was a beacon in a dark season. It reminded me that, like Easter, darkness can’t hold back the coming dawn.

This year, my focus is cultivating a love of Tolkien into my children so that they become third generation Tolkien fans. Between Lord of the Rings Little People, the Unexpected Party from The Hobbit film, and Middle-earth-inspired food, we’ve already had an adventurous day and there’s more to come after naptime.

Obviously, I want them to like the same fandoms that my husband and I do. (I converted him not long after we got married.) But more than that, I want them to understand some of the most important things that I’ve learned from the lore of Middle-earth. Heroism. Sacrifice. Courage. Friendship. Contentment. The beauty of becoming immersed in a magical world that is unlike our own yet shares truth that they can hold onto.

As I enjoy these last few minutes of quiet before naptime ends and the Chelsea buns are ready to be rolled out, I reflect on how grateful I am for inspiring stories, like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. They have shaped my life, and I hope that they shape my girls’ lives for the better too.

My kids’ new favorite Little People…

Are you celebrating Tolkien Reading Day? What are your favorite ways to celebrate?

Happy 2021 (and Tolkien’s Birthday!)

A belated merry Christmas and happy New Year!

2020 was quite a year. While there’s a lot that could be said, I prefer to dwell on the positive. For my family, that means celebrating our second child. Nothing has made my heart happier than watching my first excitedly anticipate the arrival of her sister and watch her fall in love as she helps me care for both of them. It’s been a beautiful way to end one year and start the next.

While there are a lot of great things about starting a new year, one of my favorites is that there are still things to celebrate as the holiday season fades. (We keep everything up until Epiphany, but that only did so much to keep the Christmas spirit alive after the New Year.) Specifically, there’s Tolkien’s birthday, which is today!

For me, that means lots of tea and a toast at 9 pm local time “to the Professor.” Usually, there are Middle-earth related shirts, but since everything doesn’t fit immediately postpartum, I’ve settled for an homage to Gondorian style instead.

And it means starting the year off feeling inspired to write. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until I was in my tweens and read The Hobbit for the first time that my passion really began. While there are plenty of writers who have inspired me over the years, none have left a mark quite like his.

So here’s to another year of celebrating the Professor and to a new year. May Tolkien’s work be a reminder that there is light in dark places and that the King still has a crown.

SB Roberts 2021

The Fall Stirring

There’s something magical about the fall. Perhaps it’s the sun’s golden hue, or the sweet allure of pumpkin, or the promise of cooler temperatures (even though it currently still feels like summer). Whatever it is, it always makes my imagination feel more alive. And it always gets me in the mood to write in November, whether I actually have time to participate in NaNoWriMo or not.

This year, time isn’t on my side, and I won’t sign up to write 50,000 at the last minute. My growing belly is a good reminder that rest and satiating nesting instincts needs to come first, not writing 1,667 words a day. There will be plenty of time for that next year.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have intentions of being more intentional about writing. Lately, I’ve slacked. While much of the world slowed down earlier this year and over the summer, my job only became more busy, ensuring that teachers were equipped to roll with the punches. Now, everyone has settled into a more normal routine, and I have more time to write again. I need to take advantage of it before the sleepless nights begin.

Even though I’m not technically participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I have been enjoying their prompts on Instagram. It’s been a welcome companion for my first novel, which is ready for some structural changes. Who knows where the changes will go.

What writing projects are you working on right now? Does the fall stir your creativity too?