The Fantasy Freebooting Tour

I am thrilled to share with you, dear readers, the incredible talents of indie author Jan Hawke! If you’ve not discovered this writer yet, you’re in for a treat. Take it away, Jan! 

 

To Bard or not to Bard?

Once I’d bitten the roleplay bullet, I started out as a Woodelf raised by humans, but now seeking to re-connect with her natural kin in the River Kingdom. The place I felt most comfortable was with the Bards. Now, while I had embraced fan-fiction pretty quickly, the poetry/singing side of things was not quite so attractive to me. The reason for this was irrational, but deep-rooted. I had sworn off poetry big-time as a teen, when we were assigned Idylls of the King as our set book for our General Certificate of Education syllabus (Senior High level). Our teacher really sucked lemons at teaching poetry, and even though I loved Arthurian legend, I truly loathed the poor Lady of Shallot, and vowed to eschew iambic pentameter and all formal poetry forms forever and a day by the time I’d taken and passed my exams.

Becoming an elf is when I learned the meaning of ‘never say never’. Tolkien is arguably the greatest of the English poets of the twentieth century, and you can’t fall in love with Middle Earth like I had done as a ten-year-old, without also liking some of the songs that he wrote for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings… And all bards must sing…

By the time I was acclaimed High Bard in the River Kingdom (courtesy of our ‘lords’ the Kingdom moderators), I’d quite happily started to rhyme, or rather rap in free verse for the most part. However, taking my new role to heart, I finally backed down and decided I’d better do some ‘proper’ poetry as well. Only it was usually on my own terms, and always in character for Jano’s backstory.

Being immortal is not all roses and smiles. Imagine if, like Jano, you spent a lot of time around mortals and felt they were your family (let’s leave romantic lurve out this for the time being), then watching them all get old, infirm and then die in what seems like five minutes to the long-lived Elves. All that while always looking youthful and beautiful yourself. Frankly it’s depressing. Heart-wrenching in fact, especially when old family friends think that you’re your own daughter, or granddaughter, because so many years have flown by, but you haven’t changed in any way. Which is why Jano was in a state of extreme loneliness and despair by the time she got to the River Kingdom, after trying to tough it out living alone in her homelands, far from any elven community. She was an elf by nature, but mortal by nurture, and as such this gave her dark insights into the true differences between the Children of Eru. The immortal elves and mortal men.

Elf-mortal pairings, though celebrated in the Middle Earth legendarium (both Aragorn and Arwen were descended from a couple of elven princesses who had mated with mortal heroes by special dispensation from the Valar), were in fact extremely rare, because of the emotional trauma for the surviving immortal when they inevitably lost their lifemate. Although Jano had not had that particular pain (losing her foster parents, siblings and their offspring had been hard enough to bear), when she related the old stories to people visiting with the Bards Guild, she approached it from a more pragmatic perspective than most elves, simply because she had far more empathy with mortals than her biological kin.

Here’s her take on love between the two kindreds, done in simple couplets. Mandos’ Halls mentioned at the end is the equivalent of paradise, where elven spirits went if they were slain, or died of grief, to either stay in disincarnate peace, or to reincarnate in the West, where all the elves eventually came ‘home’. Mortals could not reincarnate, so although they went to a different part of the Halls of Mandos, they all eventually left the world altogether, to join their Maker in the heavens.

 

Kindred Love

(The Elves (the Firstborn) sing the first three verses)

You will go and I must stay

so whilst we share our lifelong way

we will not think on what will be

but take our time so lovingly.

For I am old and you are young,

so we take the path with starlight strung.

We fill our days with love and light

and take the warmth into the night.

I must stay and you will go

so since we know our love can grow

we will not think on what will be

but take our time so lovingly.

(Men (the Secondborn) sing the last three verses)

For I am young and you are old

and here we reach the time foretold.

Your eyes still shine like mine in youth

but my life’s strength soon fails in truth.

And I will go and you must stay

so whilst we share our lifelong way

we will not think on what will be

but take our time so lovingly.

So you must stay and I will go

and where I’ll end we do not know.

Time’s passing way – it is death’s call

for I cannot stay in Mandos’ Halls.

 

 

Bio

Siân Glírdan is the fusion persona of the elven roleplay character, Janowyn (Jano), High Bard of the River Kingdom and her ‘real world’ creator, author, Jan Hawke. Glírdan is the elven word for ‘songsmith’, and Siân is a Welsh variant of Jan (in case you were wondering!).
When it became obvious to Jan that Jano had a far better handle than she could ever have on writing in the fantasy genres, Siân was born, fully formed and raring to go.  A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac, which is basically the manual on how Jano was brought into being and developed, is Siân and Jano’s first official collaboration. They’re currently working hard on an epic future fantasy series, Tomes of the Havenlands, loosely based on the ancient Celtic world. The first volume should reach the shelves at the end of 2016.

 

Author image

SianWEB

A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac back blurb

This is poetry, wrapped in fantasy, within a memoir… Or, to put it another way, it’s a true tale that might well apply to many fantasy fans and gamers who can’t be bothered with keeping their realities separated from their more lurid imaginings.
In my case, this is a sort of ‘real’ cyberspace profiling, during a phase of my life when roleplay truly did need to be therapy, because what was happening around me for real was not what I wanted to participate in. So, buckle up your swash and prepare to witness a titanic battle played out on the field of sanity – where what happens in your head is the only truth that matters.


Book Image
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Book links

Amazon (eBook only for now) – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H3R5K7K
Amazon Biohttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01H3UVW06
A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac blog http://freebootersalmanac.blogspot.co.uk/

Social Media links
Twitter – @SianGlirdanBard (https://twitter.com/SianGlirdanBard)
Facebook Author page –
https://www.facebook.com/SianGlirdanAuthor/

 

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

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29 thoughts on “The Fantasy Freebooting Tour

  1. Rhani D'Chae

    What,a fun post! Jan, you have such a talent with words. I loved the song. I kind of happened upon this tour, but hopefully I will find the rest of it. Beem, thanks for hosting. I’m glad I saw your post about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  2. Pingback: The Fantasy Freebooting Tour | Kim's Author Support Blog

  3. jinlobify

    I was just going to say the same thing Rhani said. Jan, your use of the English words, sometimes, throws me off my feet! I have come across only one other of our #RRBC members whose use of words does the same to me. I attribute that, to the fact that you people are speaking your mother tongue. :). Even I don’t speak my mother tongue that well. I am enjoying this, Jan. Keep it coming! Thank you Beem for hosting her.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jan Hawke

      Joy – you’re such a sweetie! ❤ The downside is that I suck at other languages, particularly speaking them (my French accent is just dire, except, oddly in Brittany… 😦 ) – so I admire you greatly for speaking so many, so well ;-D

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Jan Hawke

      I think it’s also pretty boring too, John! 😀 When I’m in full Jano-mode she gets really frustrated with her husband and friends when she wants to do something ‘right now’, which always means ‘manyana’ to other Elves – why hurry when you’ve got all the time in the world… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    1. Jan Hawke

      I think if you’ve put your heart into it, then most people appreciate poetry, Rebecca. 😀 I’ve since gone back to The Lady of Shallot and realised that I did like her after all – it was just analysing the bejasus out of her that drove me around the bend! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Jan Hawke

    Beem, me heartie! ❤ Thank you so much for having me aboard today – I love dropping anchor in your part of the cyber seas, but today's a particularly balmy one. Now, where be that barrel of rum, all that singin's made me thirsty! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. beemweeks Post author

      Rum? Hmm. I found it already and mixed a few. There might be a little left in the barrel. I am truly honored to have had you on my blog, Jan. You give the joint some class! Best wishes to you going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Pingback: The Fantasy Freebooting Tour (the mooch goes on!) | Jan Hawke INKorporated

  6. Gwen Plano

    Wish we didn’t have an ocean between us, Jan. I’d love to meet up and talk Middle Earth and much more. I think we’re all enjoying your Tour — I’m all smiles. Thank you! And, a special thanks to Beem for hosting you.

    Liked by 1 person

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