Dear Legolas, we need to talk.

Dear Legolas,

It has recently come to my attention that – prior to, during and after your stint as my 10-year-old crush – you were seeing other girls.

I am shocked. For all of my tenth year, when I was going through the hell that was fourth grade, you were my own personal, invisible boyfriend. These days, if I bring up your name at a gathering of Tolkien fans, a bunch of the ladies always sigh and get a dreamy look in their eyes. Why, you philandering Ken doll of an elf. It seems that you’ve squired whole generations of girls into adolescence.

Look, Legolas, I am very sorry, but in light of this new information, I am going to have to retroactively dump you.

No, I’m not buying that you’re the favorite literary character of these female fans. Please. Don’t embarrass yourself. You’re not Holden Caulfield or Jay Gatsby. In fact, character-wise, you’re about as three-dimensional as a child’s drawing of a house. No one is interested in your arc. They are interested in the way you fill out a pair of green tights.

I see now that I’ve been naïve. You were the only eligible bachelor in the Fellowship who stood higher than four foot five; other literate girls were bound to notice you. And then Peter Jackson cast Orlando Bloom as you in the freaking movies, and I knew that would draw more fans, but you know what? That didn’t bother me, because I really believed we had something.  I mean, I knew that I’d have to share you with Gimli, but that was fine, there was full disclosure about all that at the beginning of our relationship.

What I didn’t know was that I’d be sharing you with a legion of other teenyboppers. And you, Mr. Greenleaf, failed to mention that you were dividing your time between my prepubescent crush and a hoard of others. You’d think that by the age of 600, or however old you actually are, that you’d have learned to be honest in a relationship.

What’s that you say? That I’m now a married woman who is pushing 35 and that I should get over it?  Legolas, don’t be obtuse. You’re an elf. You, of all people, know that time is subjective. When I read those books, I’m still a gawky fourth grader with few social skills and no hope of a real-life crush, and you’re still my imaginary boyfriend. Also, mister, I’d like to point out that 25 years ought not to mean anything to you. You’re immortal. Twenty-five years should pass like 25 minutes. Yet you’ve managed to forget me already.  Fie on you, son of Thranduil. Fie.

Would Gimli tolerate it if he thought you were seeing another dwarf? I don’t think so.

Which brings me to my point: I’m giving you the axe. You think I won’t really do this, but there is precedent:

  1. In grade school I broke up with my preschool crush, the Grasshopper from the Grasshopper and the Ants, when I realized that he was a bug.
  2. In middle school, I broke up with the Tin Man, after reading the Oz books and discovering that he was actually kind of a weenie.
  3. On a similar note, in high school, I broke up with Luke Skywalker when I could no longer stand his whining.
  4. In college, I broke up with The Crow, because he was definitely not over his ex.

I thought you, of all my childhood crushes, would stand the test of time, but alas, you toyed with my affections, and I can’t stand for that.

Calm yourself, Master Elf. Flutter not your finely-boned hands. Toss not your flaxen mane in despair. Don’t recite Elvish poetry in an attempt to delay the inevitable. Man up, or rather, elf up. You should have seen this coming. In fact, I plan to post this missive online, and then, I suspect, you’ll be getting a lot of letters like this one.

With much regret,

Ann

Bearded ladies are all winners.

I have two contests going on this blog right now. This post will announce the winners of the Bearded Lady contest. The Spy Week giveaway winners will be announced later in the day. Promise.

Remember when you were in summer camp and there was a contest of some kind? And you got all nervous and excited because you thought you might win, but you were afraid you might lose? Then all that angst turned out to be for naught because everyone’s a winner.

Right. I’m about to pull a summer camp on you all. The free-the-Dwarven-ladies-of Middle-earth protest beards have been submitted. And, I can’t pick one winner, so everyone wins.

Now, if you’re an eye-clawing, hair-pulling, extremely competitive person, this refusal to judge may seem lame, but when you see the contestants, I know you’ll understand.

Now, for you who have just tuned in and have no idea what a protest beard is or what I’m blathering about, let me condense this contest into a few heavily hyperlinked sentences:A couple weeks ago I posted about the horrible gender inequality among Middle-earth dwarves. In that post I wore a couple of protest beards that I had made myself and Photohsopped into a grassrootsy PSA for dwarvish women’s lib. That got a lot of hits, so 10 days ago, I asked readers to submit photos of themselves wearing their own protest beards.  There. That should bring you up to speed.

Oh, and one more thing. If you missed the contest deadline and you still want to send a beard in, please do. If I get any more beards I will post them on the blog, because I love dwarvish freedom, and also because I love silly photos of people wearing  paper beards with slogans of protest on them. Who doesn’t?

Now – on to the contestants, who are also the winners: Continue reading

Beard contest update.

Let me take a break from writing about my book and return to a topic of some importance: equality for Middle-Earth drwarven women.

Free the bearded ladiesSome of you might remember that I’m hosting a beard contest. I’m asking people to send me beards of protest (or solidarity.) Click here for more information.

The contest ends on Jan. 20, and I need more beards. The prize? A copy of my e-book. If you already have one, I will totally think of something else, and you will get a prize. I promise. Also, all contestants will have their photos posted here. That’s right. Instant fame. A showcase for your wit and your lovely faces! Who can resist that?

So make a beard, write a slogan on it that reflects your feelings about the dwarven ladies in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, put it on, take a picture and send that puppy to me at annjoconnell<at>gmail<dot>com.

You won’t regret it!

Send me your beards!

Not your real beards. Keep those on your faces. Please.

I want you to send me your “protest beards.”

What am I talking about? Good question. This past weekend, I posted about the horrible injustices faced by dwarf women in Middle-Earth.

That post – which featured faux PSA photos of me in a faux beard – has gotten a lot of views, and by a lot, I mean more than the eight views a day I usually get (normally because someone’s been Google Searching for a photo of the chick from Alien Nation).

Since there’s been a lot of interest, I’d like to invite you all to send me your protest beards. Below are some examples.

Ads for the bearded lady campaign

Photoshopped-in text is optional.

You can send me your protest in three simple steps:

1) Cut a beard out of paper.

2) Scrawl a slogan on it, condemning the oppression of female dwarves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.

3) Using your cell phone or your computer’s camera, take a photo of yourself wearing the beard.

Then send it to me at annjoconnell<at>gmail<dot>com, which is technically the fourth step, I guess.

I will be accepting entries until Jan. 20, and then I will post the best ones. And because this is a contest there will be a (completely unrelated) prize. (Yaaaay, free stuff!) The person with the best protest beard will get a copy of my new e-book, Beware the Hawk. (Yaaaay, self-promotion!) I really hope I get some photos of beards, because I’d hate to host a contest and have no one show up. So get out your scissors and your Sharpies, and prepare to beard injustice in its lair.

Valentine’s Day at the movies.

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m willing to bet a ton of cheap chocolate that a lot of people will be watching romantic films this evening. Rom-coms, tearjerkers, An Affair to Remember. The Notebook. Anything with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in it. All of that will be hot property on Netflix streaming video tonight.

But not in this house. We’ll probably be watching a film that features spaceships, dinosaurs, or a cunning combination of both. Still, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d post a list of lessons I’ve learned about relationships from some of my favorite movies. After all, love is everywhere. Continue reading