Forum: HASA Birthday Cards Forum

Discussing: August 2009 Birthday Cards

August 2009 Birthday Cards

Birthday folk: Is your birthday in August and you would be delighted by a little story gift from your fellow HASA members? Then state your request here in this thread.

Create a birthday workshop story to collect your birthday cards in one place, and enter it into the August Challenge.

Authors: Let yourselves get inspired by the suggestions - a chance to be creative and to make a fellow HASA member happy at the same time! And don't forget to add your birthday cards to the Birthday Cards Workshop the recipient of your birthday card has - hopefully - created.

Questions, suggestions, problems? Don't hesitate to state them here or e-mail me - I'll happily help!

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August, 4th - Anglachel: Write about the mid-point of a life, whether 45 or another birthdate, whether the character is conscious of this fulcrum or not. Any character, any era, but stories about female characters are greatly appreciated.

 

 

Re: August 2009 Birthday Cards

Where have the years gone?

My birthday is August 4th and I will be 45. Half a life, perhaps. Is it an end to something or a beginning? I feel in transition. All the choices that I have made since leaving childhood; there is fruition, there is frustration, there is wonder. The certainties and doubts replaced with a different sense. It seems like this mark of time should be more momentous than it is, yet the ordinary has a sweet appeal.

Write about the mid-point of a life, whether 45 or another birthdate, whether the character is conscious of this fulcrum or not. Any character, any era, but stories about female characters are greatly appreciated.

Anglachel

 

 

Re: August 2009 Birthday Cards

Written well before the prompt, and a bit long for the forum, so I'll post a link instead: Holiday. Happy Birthday! (and there's a bunny in the prompt too, but I might be able to dodge it...)

 

 

For Anglachel

Happy belated birthday, Anglachel!

Both sides of it

Since meeting Estel, she started wondering whether this day was marking half her life. Was it today? She would ask of one year's begetting day. No, mayhap this year? No. I feel it in my bones this year...

It irked her, those first years, to have her sense of time so completely upset by a mere scion of Men--was she not Und?miel?

But, as the years changed her, and him, and taught her of herself, the question ceased to hold wonder in it. Mortality she had chosen, but choice brought not understanding.

For her Elvish mind, the Gift was bitter.

***

Since meeting the lady Arwen, Estel began to measure time in deeds. Deeds that brought him closer to the goal of her. Days apart. Days together. Campaigns fought. All of those made him more a man, more worthy, if, indeed, such a thing existed. Every opportunity to prove himself--to himself--was cherished and welcome. The days he had been given were faithfully consumed in the attainment of his dream and, when it came, he would seize it wholeheartedly and as tightly as his grip allowed.

What a Gift from the One, life! He would honor and treasure it, as it deserved.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Sorry I missed this!  Happy very-belated birthday!

Andreth

She was forty-six today, the woman who had once been thought wise realized as she woke.  Strange that her beloved Aegnor still dreamed; usually the slightest noise or movement would awaken the Elda.  Sleep would not return, so she looked in on little Inglor.  Her son slept with the peace only children could know.  At eleven, he seemed so small to her, though Aegnor thought him large for his age.

Andreth no longer wondered whether she had made the right decision, though she did wonder at the continued unwillingness of others to accept it.  The disapproval of the Elves had been overwhelmingly uniform; only Angrod had supported his brother.  Finrod, so honored by so many, had practically renounced Aegnor upon their marriage, threatening to strip him of the lordship of Dorthonion as punishment for this brazen flouting of ancient laws and customs.  Aegnor had laughed uproariously at the mention of that, and the brothers had not spoken since.

Her own people had cared little.  They had not visited her since she had departed, and she doubted she was missed.  Indifference stung more than disapproval.  

But it was all worth it, for none of the scornful or indifferent had the love of Aegnor or Inglor, and she did.  She examined her face in the mirror.  A few lines had appeared, but Aegnor did not seem to notice.  She doubted not that things would change as she aged more dramatically, yet Aegnor had told her not to worry.  

"Mortality or immortality means little in these lands.", her husband had said.  "Morgoth does not sleep.  We could all be slain tomorrow."  These dark words were somehow comforting.  Aegnor's acknowledgement of his own possible death allowed them both to accept the certainty of hers.  

Yet Andreth hoped that at least time would be granted them to watch Inglor grow up.  The child appeared more Elven then Mortal.  He even had a bit of the luminescence of his scornful uncle, seemingly in Finrod's despite.  Husband and wife often laughed at this. 

Elves did not come of age until their fiftieth year, and Aegnor had indicated that Inglor must be bound by this custom if he were to be accepted by even the most tolerant of the Eldar.   Andreth wondered, would she live another thirty-nine years to see that day?  With luck, she could.  Many of her forefathers had seen their ninetieth birthdays.

So the Lady, once thought wise, smiled as she watched the dawn.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Squee! :-)

Starlight, this is a wonderful set of vingettes. Thank you!

Anglachel

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Hi Maeglin,

This is an excellent AU, saying a great deal with justa few words. This stands out:

Aegnor's acknowledgement of his own possible death allowed them both to accept the certainty of hers.

Acceptance of things you cannot change. Not just for Elves...

Thank you!

Anglachel

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Hi, Anglachel.  Your birthday wish has been niggling at me for weeks, and finally the Muse bit!  I am sorry it's late, but hope you enjoy it anyway!  I know it's been some time since you wrote of Frodo....

Time Wasted?

             "I've heard them all these years, Freddy," Frodo said to his cousin as he and Fatty Bolger fetched another pitcher of ale from the cellar where the barrels of such drink were stored.  "Old Odo and cousin Olo, Aunt Wisteria and Cousin Ponto and all--they all think I've done nothing but waste my life.  Why haven't I married and settled down?  Why do I continue do such foolish things as celebrating Bilbo's birthday when there's no proof he's even alive still?  Why do I entertain Gandalf at all, as unsettling an influence as he is?"

            He turned to search Fredegar's eyes.  "Half my life already wasted, they tell me.  How, they ask me, am I to amount to anything at this time in my life?  I'm not young any more, no matter how young I might appear--the candles on my cakes, after all, keep mounting up now!" 

             He slapped his hand on the beer barrel by which he'd paused, causing Fatty to jump at the unexpected sound.  "Well, now I've done something at last, and they are all complaining of it!  I have sold Bag End and am leaving Hobbiton, and what do I hear?  'How could you do such a thing--give the Hill to the Sackville-Bagginses when Bilbo made it quite plain he wanted it kept in sensible Baggins hands?!'  The same ones who last week were rejoicing I'm apparently but a few steps above poverty are the very ones now to bemoan my profligacy and how it will affect them!  They seem to take it as a personal affront that I have indicated that I will no longer buy my fish and foul from their stands in the marketplace, and that I will purchase my weekly rations of pipeweed in Bucklebury or at the Kingsbridge market from here on out."

            He turned west now, although there was no window in this inner room to look out over the Shire.  Now he murmured so low that Fatty had to listen closely to hear, "But, if half my life indeed is spent, perhaps it is I this time who wishes to see something of worth accomplished in what time I have left.  It is time, Freddy--time to finally test me to see whether or not it was a mistake I was even created to walk Middle Earth." 

            Such words made the Bolger shiver.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Oh, Starlight, how appropriate each to that one's own side of the question.  Aragorn at halfway through his expected life finally has managed to reach his goal; she has only just realized she's long past her halfway mark!  It has my imagination whirling.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

A most interesting if-only, Maeglin.  Most interesting indeed.  Mortal wife, immortal husband.  At least he doesn't appear to be worried about it.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Thanks, Anglachel!  Praise from the praiseworthy is always appreciated

Thanks, too, Larner (I think).  I wouldn't say Aegnor's "not worried", just that he isn't more worried than his cousin Idril, who is in the same situation 100 years later.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Hi Larner,

Oh, an edgy Frodo - just what I like! This is an excellent look into the very determined mind of Frodo Baggins. A perfect line:

But, if half my life indeed is spent, perhaps it is I this time who wishes to see something of worth accomplished in what time I have left.

Perhaps this is what made Frodo (and Bilbo before him) so willing to take on the daunting rtasks set in the way. They would forego respectability to accomplish something of worth. Not a bad principle to live by.

Many, many thanks for this gift! :-)

Anglachel

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

You're welcome, maeglin. This is perfect little gem of a story.

Anglachel

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Oh, Starlight, how appropriate each to that one's own side of the question.  Aragorn at halfway through his expected life finally has managed to reach his goal; she has only just realized she's long past her halfway mark!  It has my imagination whirling.

It is marvelous look at the incredibly different perspectives Aragorn and Arwen must have had on their commitment to each other. The two sides not mirrored, yet still reflecting each other. I keep reading it, and it is more unsettling each time - and that is good. This simple telling gets under my skin. It makes me think of other couples I have known, where there is a gulph between the feelings of the two lovers about how they have come to where they are and what lies before them, even as they love each other greatly.

Thank you again, Starlight.

Anglachel

 

 

Another for Anglachel

Hi Anglachel,

Sorry to be so late, but my muse has been dead, so signs of life are an unexpected and welcome surprise... LOL!

It's not necessarily a halfway point in a life, but certainly an inflection point. I hope you enjoy it.

And happy belated birthday!

- Barbara

~*~


Gifts

Aragorn cradled Gliriel in the gentle shade of the garden, murmuring welcome to this first child of his youngest. He offered a finger for the gurgling babe to grasp, deftly sweeping his grizzled locks out of reach. The crinkles about his eyes and wide smile brightened his age-worn face.

Arwen watched Orelien glow, realizing with a pang that even her beloved youngest daughter had so soon outgrown her care.

And at last she understood the too-short lifespan she had chosen:

The Gift of Men brought not only inevitable death, but also the joy of witnessing life renewed many times over. 

~*~


Notes:

Gliriel means 'Daughter of Song'.

Orelien means 'of the Morning Star'.

 

 

Re: For Anglachel

Oh, Frodo as I write him isn't as sanguine as some would have him.  And there does come a time when we start looking to see if we have indeed met the goals we once set ourself.  I agree--a good principle to follow.  I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

 

 

Re: Another for Anglachel

Perhaps "inevitable" might be a better adjective than "everlasting."  But other than that--oh, yes--the Lady finds there are indeed compensations for the life she has chosen for herself.  I like it very much, Barbara.

 

 

Re: Another for Anglachel

Hi Larner!

Perhaps "inevitable" might be a better adjective than "everlasting."

Ah, thank you for the suggestion; I like it! That's not quite the thought that I was originally trying to convey (that Men are not re-embodied after death like Elves are...), but after posting I realized that we really don't know what happens to Men after death, so I was not happy with everlasting. And it was so far past Ang's birthday, I didn't want to spend days obsessing over one word... erm, which has been known to happen.... Laugh out loud

But other than that--oh, yes--the Lady finds there are indeed compensations for the life she has chosen for herself.  I like it very much, Barbara.

Thank you so much, Larner! I really struggled with the idea for weeks, until the muse finally deigned to grant me a few words.... It was such a relief to finally put something vaguely coherent on (figurative) paper!

- Barbara

 

 

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