“Now, you sea-travelers
from a far-off land, listen to my
simple thought—the sooner the better,
you must make clear from whence you have come.”
The eldest one answered him,
leader of the troop, unlocked his word-hoard:
Why a Blog?
Cap’s been wanting me to start an author blog for a while. “I don’t like blogs,” I whined. “Why should anyone care what I have to say about anything?”
I still feel that way. But I feel in my heart of hearts that I was born to be an academic. (I was also born to read Paradise Lost and to eat chicken-wrapped-with-beef-and-bacon, which I can say as one word and eat a whole plate in about the time it takes to say it.)
Back to academia. I am most at home, most excited to be alive, when I’m learning or teaching something. I listed my goals for 2018 as classes and posted them on my fridge: “Exercise more” translated to “P.E.”; “Watch all the Brandon Sanderson lectures online and write a new outline by June 30” is my Creative Writing course. I’m also enrolled in Parenting 102 [So You Have Toddlers], Art [Finish Elanor’s Baby Scrapbook by her 5th Birthday], and Family Finance 102 [Actually Do the Budget]. I have never been more motivated in my life to accomplish my goals simply because I reframed them as fake classes. I give myself weekly assignments and I am loving life.
This academic bent also means that when I read a really good book or come home from a really good in-class discussion, I want to write an essay about it. But I don’t have college professors paid to read my essays anymore. And sometimes, I get to feeling really passionate about parenting or rape culture or geek culture or faith, and I have no one to write an essay for then, either. But writing is how I process things, so I write them anyway. I may as well post it somewhere (though on the Internet, I envision more of a flinging it into the Void) and if someone ends up having a nice five minutes of read-time, that’s the next best thing to getting a 98% on the essay. (The best profs never give 100s.)
What Will I Write About?
What I really wish I could say is that my blog will be a niche blog for moms–probably people of faith–who are creative writers and literary analysts (and ideally also nerds). I realize, however, that would be a fairly small niche. So what I plan to do is write a little about all of these things as they strike me, and hopefully you will stumble upon the ones that interest you (if you decide to poke around my Hoard at all).
The goal is to write mainly about my writing endeavors and (probably more likely) analysis of books and films. I realize my first few posts, which were originally guest posts at other blogs, don’t necessarily fit those bills. Well, I wrote them and I liked them, and it’s a Word-HOARD, not a sample plate.
A bullet-point list of some of the things you can expect, not necessarily in this order, just to give you an idea of the general future flavor of the Hoard:
- A close reading of the first 20 minutes of Mary Poppins in which I draw conclusions about the film’s oblique message and applications for parents with smartphones
- An examination of the pattern of women heroes gaining victory from The Power of LOVE; my reflections thereupon
- An essay defending the much-maligned-as-anticlimactic “The Scouring of the Shire” (plus many many more about Tolkien)
- An analysis of rape culture in my favorite anime
- An essay comparing Mr. Rogers and “Ainulindale” in The Silmarillion, drawing conclusions about God’s design in diversity
- A critique of unrealistic female physical paradigms in… you guessed it… Paw Patrol action figures
I promise I didn’t mean to bring in so many children’s shows. But guys, that’s just what I have to work with right now.
Why the Title?
We couldn’t decide what to call the blog. I didn’t want it to be author-specific, because 1) I might never get officially published and 2) sometimes I will want to write about whooping cough instead. So it can’t be the name of, say, the series I’d like to pen.
“Word-Hoard” came to me in a flash of inspiration. I love Tolkien and Beowulf. I have ¾ of a personal translation of Beowulf from the Anglo-Saxon sitting in a folder somewhere around here. Anglo-Saxons had this great linguistic feature called kennings, neat little riddles in a compound word. So “whale-road,” poetically, is the ocean. Your “bone-house” is your body. Unlocking your “word-hoard” means you are about to give a speech, unleash your thoughts. Sometimes when I’ve been ruminating for a long while on a subject and I finally get the chance to snuggle down with Cap on our couch and tell him about it, I think to myself, “Time to unlock the word-hoard.” (Any husband with at least a moderately introspective wife probably knows that “word-hoard” is the exact phrase for how much we can tell you about our thoughts, given time and opportunity.)
Of course, how I always describe this type of communication to Cap is “I’m about to William-Faulkner-Stream-of-Consciousness you.” This neologistic verb (verb phrase?), of course, implies that there will be no organization to the thoughts that pour out of me, and random associations and on-the-spot epiphanies may also follow. But the blog posts will hopefully be more coherent than Faulknerian stream of consciousness, and “The William-Faulkner-Stream-of-Consciousness” blog doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it.
Now I’ve made clear from whence I have come. Time to unlock the Word-Hoard!