This is not the work that drew me from my home in Aldburg and the Folde. This is not my work, nor can I imagine it fit work for any daughter or son of Man. Against my mother's wishes, I was trained as a soldier and came to prove myself a leader. Now I am alone, on a fool's errand, and I feel as though I fight with myself most of all. How has it come down to this, Inwë? This bitter wandering, half-naked, through a wilderness unfit even for what few unfortunate beasts still trod these despoiled lands. I killed one of them yesterday, some mongrel breed of cattle gone wild and out of its head with heat or hunger or disease. But at least it fed me, and I fashioned something like a crude dagger from one of its horns. I have walked north all night, and now the sun is almost up. I have found some shelter against the blistering sun, a rocky overhang not too distant from the river's shore. I still am not within sight of the Mithrim Spur, but the land is rising up around me, so perhaps another day will bring me near enough the mountains I might glimpse them. And then what? No...do not think on that now. Think only on the moment. As for the man, setsuled, he still hounds me. I have caught sight of the moon glinting off his armor. It must be him, for Uruks or goblins would not have kept their distance so. They would have fallen on me long ago. I cannot fathom his intentions. I was tempted to lie in wait for him and be done with this game. And I swear, there is still the blackest sort of evil afoot in this forsaken land, Sauron or no, and it infects my exhausted mind and body. I thought I might lie in wait, and take him, and I wondered if his flesh would be sweeter than that withered bull's. These are such thoughts as have beset me. Does he guess my purpose? Has he some inkling of the terrible burden with which I have been charged? I should sleep. Perhaps he will find me while I am dreaming of Inwë and the cool glades of Lórien and make an end to this. I swear, I half wish it so.
News from my editor at HarperCollins yesterday, but it was only news that there still is no news from LA. For a second day, I sat here and stared at the screen and tried to find some story. Those are the worst sort of writing days, the days when the words do not come. Not for lack of trying. I will not sit here all day again today. Either I will start a vignette or I will go over "Houses Under the Sea," to be sure there's nothing I need to fix or change before I send it away to Steve Jones.
Last night was Kid Night, though I'd not earned it. We started off with George Miller's perfectly peculiar Happy Feet (2006). At first, I could only think, this is what Moulin Rouge! would have been with penguins, and Baz Luhrmann must surely be somewhere in back of this surreal travesty. About halfway through, the film won me over, but then it lost me again in the end. It's gonna take a whole lot more than a few thousand tap-dancing penguins to stop humans from raping the seas and Antarctica (and the rest of the world). Anyway, we followed Happy Feet with Gary Winick's adaptation of Charlotte's Web (2006), which was much truer to E. B. White's novel than was the 1973 Hanna-Barbera film. I liked it quite a lot. So, spiders and pigs — yes. Penguins — no.
Spooky took some photos, day before yesterday, of a very young praying mantis she found on the mailbox. I'll post a couple of them later. It was an adorable little beast.