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One year older...

If I were a Hobbit, today would be my official coming-of-age day. That might sound a bit obscure, but to be honest I've taken some comfort in the thought that I was still a "tween" in Halfling years, since many whose opinions I trust have assured me that I am, in fact, a Hobbit in every way that really matters. But no longer. Today I join the ranks of the adult Hobbits, and I must try to be dignified, responsible, and upstanding. (Well, dignified, responsible, and upstanding by Hobbit standards, at any rate. Still a bit daunting, if you ask me.)

At least I know that geekiness is a life-long condition, so I won't try to change now at "twenty-thirteen." :) Not that I would want to do so. In fact, I never really had a chance; as some of you know, I described my front-tooth-missing, Jedi-loving self at five-and-a-half years old in my third of the recent Pop Thought "Review Club" on the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set. In a fit of birthday-induced nostalgia, I offer this picture as illustration. Alas, in this aged photograph I am wielding only a pumpkin and not my trusty lightsaber (which was yellow, by the way), but that doesn't change the fact I am a kindergarten power with which to be reckoned, a truly mighty Princess Leia, only one month shy of my sixth birthday. This explains a lot about why I turned out as I did, doesn't it? :)

My quote from the day, an excerpt from the prayer of a fictional character to his fictional god, comes from the novel Paladin of Souls. In it, Learned dy Cabon asks to be granted

"--in our direst need, the smallest gifts: the nail of the horseshoe, the pin of the axle, the feather at the pivot point, the pebble at the mountain's peak, the kiss in despair, the one right word. In darkness, understanding."

from Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls

I particularly cling to "the one right word." As a reader, a writer, an editor, a professor, what more could I ask for the next thirty-three years? "The one right word." One of the smallest gifts, perhaps, but surely one of the most important. May each of us find it, and understanding, in the years to come. A worthy plea, one that meets even Hobbit standards, I think. :)


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 26th, 2004 06:44 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!

Thirty-three? That's just a babe in academic years!

May we all teach and write well into our eighties and even nineties, surrounded by books and anyone who will listen, when they'll feel obligated to ask, "So: just how damn old *is* she?"
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:36 am (UTC)
Thirty-three? That's just a babe in academic years!

You have officially made my day. :) Thanks!

May we all teach and write well into our eighties and even nineties, surrounded by books and anyone who will listen, when they'll feel obligated to ask, "So: just how damn old *is* she?"

LOL! I love it! Yes, indeed, a very worthy goal! To us! And thanks for the wonderful thoughts.
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
Happy Twenty-Thirteen!
Meet me at the Green Dragon and the ale is on me! Welcome to hobbit adulthood, but remember you are stil a child by elven standards. That lovely tiny Princess Leia is alive and well in your heart! Now you may look forward, as I do, to being 42 when your age is the answer to everything. (I was reminded of that actually, by Halavana on the "over 40" thread in the Pony, who is 43 and misses having all the answers). Many Happy Returns! Elfriend

Nov. 26th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
Re: Happy Twenty-Thirteen!
Thank you so much! :) I like those Elven standards, now that you put it all in perspective for me. What are a few decades in the face of millennia? Off to the Green Dragon we go, then!

And now I will look forward to turning 42. Until then, I'll remember my instructions for the other birthdays in the meantime: "Don't Panic!" :) Thanks so much for your lovely birthday wishes.

Nov. 26th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC)
Ahh! You're *Soooooo cute!* I'm sure your Inner Leia is still alive and kicking - and no amount of hobbitness will completely submerge your Tookish geekiness. :-D Happy Coming of Age - And if someone tries to give you an envelope with a ring in it, run the other way!
Nov. 26th, 2004 09:18 am (UTC)
You're too kind! Thanks so much for words of encouragement for my inner Tookishness and my inner Leia (which are related, I think). :) And thanks also for your good advice: I'll be sure to steer clear of shiny rings today! In fact, if anyone nearby makes a speech and then disappears, I'll just run the other way! LOL!
Nov. 26th, 2004 09:52 am (UTC)
((((((EH)))))). Happy Birthday! It befits a dignified and intelligent Hobbit Lass to come of age.
Nov. 26th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC)
BTW, that is a VERY cute picture! Here is one of me in costume. It is way before Queen Amidala time but, although it isn't SW-inspired, it kind of is reminescent of her.

Nov. 26th, 2004 10:35 am (UTC)
((((MoO))). Thank you so much!
Nov. 26th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC)
PS. What a gorgeous picture! You're an angel. And I love the makeup...! Very Amidala-like, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing it with me!
Nov. 26th, 2004 10:20 am (UTC)

*clears throat and begins to sing in hobbit-fashion - this feels more like Pippin than Frodo, actually*

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,

annnd maaaany more!

Nov. 26th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)
*HUGS* You can carry quite the Hobbit tune, m'dear! :) Thanks so much for the lovely serenade!
Nov. 26th, 2004 05:50 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, A! Just finished conference and swimming to surface to breathe. Hope you had a fab day with much good food and company. And with so many 20-somethings in LJ-land, I'm glad there is a posse of us 30-somethings out there... :P
Nov. 26th, 2004 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! :) It was indeed a very good day. Hope your conference - and your swimming! - went well. And yes, I'm also glad to be a part of the 30-something posse. ;) Thanks again!
Nov. 27th, 2004 12:40 am (UTC)
This is a lovely post - you have such a lot of great quotes and you use them so well. I think I'm a little late, but I hope your birthday was very fine indeed! And your Leia picture is adorable!
Nov. 27th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your many kind words! I'm so glad you like the quotes - I'm a compulsive highlighter and sticky-noter when I read - and I'm very grateful for your birthday wishes. :) Thanks!
Nov. 27th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, glad that you had a nice day. See that you got a wish come true "You are only coming of age in the hobbits year" I love that avatar of Bilbo.
Nov. 27th, 2004 01:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Thanks so much, FG! :)
Nov. 28th, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)
Happy Happy
Happy Happy Joy Joy, A. Twenty thirteen ain't so bad. Twenty twenty -- now that's a time for looking back. Of course, your hindsight should be much better than twenty twenty, but that's another wish altogether. Hope your day was great.

Nov. 29th, 2004 05:25 am (UTC)
Re: Happy Happy
LOL! Thanks so much! :)
Nov. 28th, 2004 07:33 pm (UTC)
*cringes, belatedly*

Um... am hoping that RL gift makes up for being a complete slacker in LJ-land in regards to your birthday. And I got your fabulous CD!!! *squees*

The quote about "the one right word" is indeed both direst need and smallest gift, but thankfully is one that you seem to have in spades. May the next 33 years bring you even more success (though considering what you've already done is tremendous), even more recognition, and that novel in print.

Of course it will be. :)

((((massive hugs)))), my friend and role model. Sam asked me today in a McDonald's outside of Knoxville if I had a role model when growing up. I said that I of course looked up to and respected my mom, but didn't have a role model per se. It's now that I realize that I didn't get my role models until much later. Now I have you and fungus_files with a dash of the independent spirit of a local writer friend as people of high caliber and integrity to emulate.

You're tremendous, dear A.
Nov. 29th, 2004 05:27 am (UTC)
Re: *cringes, belatedly*
You say the sweetest things! (((T))) Thank you so much for the beautiful post (and lovely RL birthday you gave me). I am honored, m'dear!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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