Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Things are getting back to normal around here, which is what I like. I've planted two new bald cypress trees in the back corner of our property, in a low area near several others I planted last year. Cypresses -- bald cypress, mind you, not those upstart "Leland" things -- are among my favorite trees. They seem to symbolize the wild Southland for me. I also planted a dwarf Japanese red maple, probably my favorite ornamental tree. I may be done with tree-planting for the year, unless I can find another sycamore to go with the two I put in the back yard last winter. Adrienne will file papers if I come home with any more saplings hanging out the bed of my pickup. But I do love my trees.

Roon is still waiting on our copy of Far Harad to arrive from Britain, though I have virtually no hope that it will come. After the 8th, if it has not arrived, I will contact the seller about a refund or some other solution. I did get my copies of Dol Guldur and Teeth of Mordor, and they were all I hoped they would be, and more. Dol Guldur has a wealth of information on lesser Elven-rings that Sauron took from Ost-in-Edhil and bestowed on various underlings, and a cool story cycle about Gandalf's sojourns into the Hill of Sorcery. Imagine Gandalf utilizing a Fell Beast to escape from Khamul the Easterling, Second of the Nine! Fun, wonderfully imaginative stuff, to be sure. It also has -- thank the Valar! -- an encounter table for southern Mirkwood, which (I might add) the actual various Mirkwood modules do not.

Am I writing? A little, touch-ups to the children's story, but nothing more. I did have a great conversation with the Laurel writer Cleveland Payne, who actually was kind enough to give me a signed copy of his latest book, The Silver Pendant. Cleveland is a true gentleman, and is very encouraging and willing to share his experiences with the publication industry and whatnot. It's inspiring to see a fellow author from Laurel making good.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"