Least Competent Henchman Nominations: Silmaril Awards 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nominations are now closed!

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Mae govannen!

Today is the day! The day you have been waiting for! Today, the Silmaril Awards return!

Here on my blog, I have the privilege of opening up the nominations for the LEAST COMPETENT HENCHMAN!

This Silmaril should be awarded to a henchman who just can’t quite get it right. No matter how hard he (or she) tries, this character never really furthers the villain’s plans. This is the Silmaril for the earnest, hardworking henchman, the one oft-berated for being a fool… but really, on such minimal wages and with such limited information on the job posting, what is a villain to expect? At least this henchman will stick around… not like those “extra” henchmen, who flee at the first sign of a hero!

Nominate your favorite character(s) for this award by leaving a comment on this post!

A few quick rules and reminders as you get ready to nominate a character:
 

1. Just a quick reminder that Tolkien’s characters are not eligible to win these awards. We creators of the Silmarillion Awards see them as the ultimate standards for these categories already, which is why they are the Presenters of the Silmarils.

2. These awards are for FANTASY characters! This means no science fiction. However, if you can make a good, solid argument for the fantastical elements in a particular science-fantasy, then by all means, go ahead! (For example: The Lunar Chronicles are admissible due to elements of magic and the fact that at their core they are fairy tale retellings)

3. Please mention what book the character is from in your nomination. While the hosts of the Silmaril Awards are wizards in their own right and voracious book dragons of speculative fiction, we haven’t all read EVERY book out there, and we might not recognize certain characters.

4. You are welcome to nominate as many characters as you wish and “second” as many characters as you wish. The top 5 MOST seconded characters will go on to the final voting round.

5. If you are an author, you are welcome to participate, but please refrain from nominating your OWN characters. You may, of course, direct your fans to this event, though.

6. Characters who have won in a particular category in a previous year are ineligible to be nominated for the same award again. The Silmarils are Lifetime Awards. For a list of the previous winners in each category, please check out our Hall of Fame.

7. Please remember that these are Fantasy Book Awards. Therefore, a movie character is only eligible for nomination if they were a book first! For example, even though Kronk is the absolute standard for this particular award… he is ineligible. Not that it prevented him from crashing the awards ceremony last year…

8. Most importantly… have fun! And don’t forget to visit the other 9 blogs and nominate characters for ALL TEN awards!

Please spread the word far and wide! If you are on social media, our official hashtags are #SilmAwards2018 or just #SilmAwards invite your friends to the party, the more, the merrier!

Let the nominations commence!

Least Competent Henchman

Most Nefarious Villain

Wisest Counselor

Most Epic Heroine

Most Mischievous Imp 

Most Silver Tongued

Most Epic Hero

Strangest Character

Most Magnificent Dragon

Most Loyal Friend

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Just as a quick edit, because I belatedly realized that I should have included this… Last Year’s Winner of this Silmaril was MR. SMEE from Peter Pan! Thus, he is ineligible to be nominated this year. I apologize for any confusion I caused by not mentioning him earlier. Mr. Smee is a fabulous henchman, loyal and well-intentioned. We hosts of these awards hope he is enjoying his Silmaril and hasn’t lost it to the Crocodile… or had it stolen from him by his captain….

~ jenelle

August Adventures 2018

Adventures& Episodes

August has been a whirlwind of a month! But it’s been a great month, full of adventures, and a lot of rest and relaxation, which was definitely necessary, since SEPTEMBER APPROACHETH!

Fantastic Adventures Await

 

And so many things are lined up for September, so I needed a couple of weeks off. But I’m BACK! And just in time for the SILMARIL AWARDS! (cue excitement, confetti cannon, and general mayhem!)

For a quick refresher on WHAT the Silmaril Awards are, WHO is hosting them, WHICH characters have won in the past two years, and a list of the AWARDS that will be open for nominations next week… please visit our SNAZZY NEW WEBSITE that fellow author and friend DJ Edwardson put together for us. This is our “Hall of Fame” as it were, which makes it a bit easier — as our back-log gets larger — to see at a glance which characters have already won these prestigious awards, since these are “Lifetime Silmarils” and previous winners cannot be nominated for the same award they have already won.

Now, do not worry, because this event is still going to be hosted at the blog-homes of each blogger hosting an award, which makes it a fun adventure for you as you get to visit each blog (and maybe find a new blog to follow… who knows?)

But that’s all part of the looking forward to September part of this post. Let’s take a minute and look back over August, shall we?

Reading

The Siren and the Scholar by JM Stengl – this was a fun, cute, whimsical retelling of The Little Mermaid. I enjoyed it, though not as much as Ellie and the Prince, and there was one character I had some issues with. More in-depth review coming soon.

Joey: How a blind rescue horse helped others learn to see is one of the best books I've read all year

Joey by Jennifer Bleakley – THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER! I reviewed it in full earlier this week, so I don’t have much else to add, other than HERE! GO GET A COPY FOR YOURSELF!

Done?

Okay, now that you’ve ordered a copy of Joey, let’s continue…

Electrical Menagerie was a highly enjoyable book. Steampunk adventure!

The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie Reeder – this was a REALLY fun book, and I loved it to pieces. It may be the first-ever ACTUAL steampunk book I’ve read, and I quite enjoyed it. The characters were super fun, and I loved the adventure and intrigue and back-stories and… everything about it. DOMINIC! *wails*

Watching

Ready, Player One – I fully expected this to be a colossally stupid movie with bad acting, no character-development, and little plot. However, I am more than pleased to admit that I was wrong. This was a really fun movie. Full of nostalgic nods to 80s and 90s pop culture. There was a surprising amount of character development and a pretty interesting plot. I enjoyed it. I also appreciated that it stayed quite a lot cleaner than I expected.

Murder on the Orient Express – this was one I had been interested in since seeing the previews, but I wasn’t really expecting it to blow me away. I watch a lot of crime shows, and I can usually guess the ending or the “whodunit” before the big reveal. (At the very least, I’m usually on the right track). But this one… I did not see it coming. There may have been a moment where the answer flitted through my mind, but I dismissed it as highly unlikely. Anyway, this one was very cool, and far more thought-provoking, intriguing, and introspective than I expected it to be. Add in fabulous acting, gorgeous cinematography, and a plot with more twists and turns than a children’s bounce-house… and this movie ranks up there in the top 3 best movies I’ve seen this year, easily. A quick additional note on the cinematography: this movie is absolutely beautiful. Every single frame could be used as a framed work of art. I felt like I was watching a Francis Ford Coppola film.

Christopher Robin – THIS MOVIE! I grew up loving Winnie-the-Pooh. The hundred acre wood was my childhood. As often as I tried to get into Narnia, I pretended I was in the hundred acre wood. I loved the movie, loved the Saturday morning cartoons, loved the books… Christopher Robin and I were kindred spirits. And this movie brought back all that nostalgia and sweetness and beauty… in a whole new way. I’m trying to craft a review for it, but it was one of those things that was almost too beautiful to encompass with mere words. Seriously, if you see only ONE movie this year… see THIS ONE. Fantastic! (But, again, you might want seventy-dozen boxes of tissues… because fair warning: I cried through the ENTIRE THING… literally. I started crying in the second scene, and every time I started to get ahold of myself something else happened that started up the waterworks all over again)!

Hawaii Five-O – watching season 8 and loving it. Dano and Steve are fun. We also watched a good number of episodes of season 1 with my mom when she was here and it was fun to be reminded of where it all started.

Writing

The Write-100 challenge started up again on August 6th… so I joined up and then promptly went on vacation. Literally. I packed up the kids and drove to Michigan. But I also took a 2-week vacation from writing… because that’s apparently the tradition for me. Join a challenge, go on vacation. It’s what I do.

However, in spite of 2 weeks off, I did finish Turrim 3 – and then finished it AGAIN after I started book 4 and realized I needed a few more scenes in book 3 before I could truly consider it “done” - the book now clocks in at just under 123K, and I’ve typed 5,000 words into Turrim 4, bringing my count for August to a solid 12,216 words, which isn’t bad for only getting about 2.5 actual weeks of writing in!

Maybe I’ll get you a couple of snippets in the near future, if you want them.

Life-ing

L went to her first overnight camp earlier in August. It was very different having her gone all week. We missed her lots and are glad she is home! But N and B learned that they could handle more responsibility than they are usually asked to shoulder, so that was good for them, and good for me to see as well.

We took a week-long road trip, just the kids and I, across the mid-west to my brother’s house, visiting family all along the way, picked up my mom, and brought her home with us for a nice visit. They just got two adorable new kitties… I have been told that the best marketing tool an author can buy is a cat. Misfortunately, my husband greatly dislikes cats and my son is allergic. So… that’s pretty much it… the glass ceiling on my career… hahahahahah

Alas, I do not have a cat, but it was fun playing with Orange Crush while visiting my brother

These kitties are very sweet and very dog-like and affectionate. Which is probably why I liked them so much… because, truth be told… I like cats… but I’ve always been more of a dog-person… and my brother and sis-in-love’s dog is THE SWEETEST THING EVER. She’s seriously the best-behaved dog in the history of ever.

I prefer dogs to cats, and Sammy is the sweetest

I hurt my back pretty  badly last week, and am just now really getting better. It was not fun. I could barely move… thankfully, it was just a strain and a line of awful knots and nothing more serious. It is nice to be able to pick up my kids again, and not something I’m taking for granted right now!

School starts for real next week, so we’re just soaking in the last week of summer, playing outside, hanging out with friends, and wishing summer lasted forever. (At least my kids are… I’m excited for fall and apple-flavored everything)

Our house is starting to look like an actual building! Framing is done and the electrician has started wiring things up. It is all very exciting and somewhat overwhelming. I hate moving… so I’m not looking forward to that aspect of things… but I’m glad it’s close by and we have plenty of time to go back and forth before our lease runs out so that makes it a little less daunting.

#IcarusTheButterfly is our family's first pet. His wings didn't form properly, so we adopted him

A friend brought us a caterpillar and we watched him turn into a butterfly. Unfortunately, his wings did not develop properly and so he cannot fly. But we have decided to adopt him and keep him safe for the span of his short life. He is brought fresh flowers and sugar water daily. The kids and I have named his Icarus, and he is much-beloved by all. You can follow his adventures on Instagram, where I’ll be periodically posting pictures of him.

Future Plans

Well, as I already said, the Silmaril Awards start up next Monday!

The next Fellowship of Fantasy anthology is releasing in October, I believe, and I have a short story in that one. I’m getting a cover made for my story and everything! Can’t wait to show it to you!

I’m hoping to revive my “Drachtober” hashtag game over on twitter. Everyone seemed to have fun with it last year. If you have any fabulous prompt ideas, let me know in the comments!!!

My goal as of right now is to get 40,000 words written on Turrim 4 by the end of October, and then ACTUALLY participate in NaNoWriMo this year! *gasp* Try not to faint. But since we aren’t planning on any big travels in Nov/Dec, if I could “win” NaNo, that could put me in a spot to easily finish this draft by the end of 2018. It’s a lofty goal… but that’s why I want to pursue it. (points to anyone who knows what quote I’m paraphrasing)

 

And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Daddy!

 

Talk to me! Do you have any awesome prompt idea for this year’s Drachtober? Are you excited for the Silmarillion Awards? What have you been up to in August, dear Reader?

~ jenelle

The Language of Worlds

Friend and fellow author Liv K Fisher has started a new link-up about characters! Which is awesome, because I love talking about my characters! The link-up is specifically tailored for works of Christian Speculative Fiction (which is cool, because a lot of times these types of link-ups are more geared toward contemporary characters, and there are questions like: “What is in your character’s fridge?” and my characters are all like, “What’s a fridge?” and then I have to explain it and they think it’s magic, and we go quickly off on random tangents).

Anyway, here goes! Today, we’re going to talk to about Wynn.

Wynn is one of those characters who has kind of given me a lot of trouble as I’ve been writing the Turrim Archive. He has very definite opinions on who he is, but he’s been a bit reluctant to share them with me until it matters for the story. For example, I thought he was going to be a kind of extraverted, rambunctious trickster who is just smart enough to get into the Academy with his more serious, hard-working friend, Grayden.

However, over the course of books 2 and 3, Wynn revealed that I had him all mixed up and backwards. He is scary smart, super introverted, and extremely focused.

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Where does your character live, and how does that impact them?

Wynn lives in the country of Dalma, in a small village called Dalsea on the northern side of a small mountain range that separates Dalma from Ondoura. This quiet village life is something he has always enjoyed, but he dreams of exploring more of the world and seeing the sights and wonders it has to offer.

If they could book a vacation to anywhere in the/their world, where would they go and why?

Literally anywhere. He would love to see the Crystal Domes of Adamal in Vallei most of all, I mean, that’s pretty much the destination most people dream of seeing. But after that, he’d love to go to the shipyards of Malei. He’d love to see the inner workings of the train-stations, even though they are no longer functional. Wynn has always loved the trains (mostly because his father tells stories about when he used to travel and ride them), and his greatest regret is that he was born too late to ever get to ride in one.

On a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high), how ambitious are they?

It depends a lot on what you’re talking about. Wynn’s ambitions are very tailored to his own interests. When it comes to a project, he’s off the charts about seeing it through to the end. He is hyper-focused and often forgets to eat or sleep when he is working on a project. If he gets an idea in his head that he wants, he will do anything it takes to get it (like going to the Academy), but his ambitions are his own and he has his own reasons. Fame, power, glory, money… these are not the things that motivate him.

What do they want to achieve long-term?

Long-term, Wynn wants to have adventures like his father did. He wants to build things that are useful. But deep down, I think Wynn really wants nothing more than to make his parents proud of him. He feels that he has been a sort of burden to them, and he does not want to cause them grief or worry.

Who inspires them?

Grayden inspires Wynn. Grayden is outgoing and good with people. He’s smart, but not to the point where it gets in the way of being able to interact well with people. He’s fun, but also dedicated. If there’s one person in the world Wynn would rather be than himself, it would be Grayden.

The great architects and builders of old also inspire him, and they motivate him to try crazy ideas and think outside the box when he is working on his own theories and projects.

How would they handle seclusion?

Not well. Though he doesn’t mind seclusion at all, it also scares him. Wynn knows that without people around, he might get so involved in a project that it can become a race to see whether he finishes the project before forgetting to eat puts him in danger of starving to death.

Are they a cat person, or a dog person?

Wynn is not really an animal person at all. If he had to choose, he’d probably pick something more self-sufficient, like a cat, but only because then he wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting to feed it.

What’s their favorite type of weather?

Wynn likes warm weather. Warm weather is better for building things… when it’s warm out, he doesn’t have to worry about gears sticking or paint not drying properly on his models. He also has some issues with texture and clothes, and when it’s warm out he doesn’t have to bundle up as much, and he prefers that.

When they’re hungry, does it show? How?

Wynn spends a lot of his time hungry, simply because again, he gets so engrossed in his projects that he often forgets to eat. As such, he’s kind of adapted to it and it doesn’t bother him. However, if he goes too long without food, you can tell because he gets very pale and a little shaky.

What’s one Bible verse your character would identify with?

I think Wynn would appreciate Exodus 4:11 – “The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” and Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

He knows he is different from most people, that he processes things differently, that he is smarter than they are, that he doesn’t always feel comfortable interacting with people because he never knows what to say or how to behave, and that he has obsessive tendencies that make people uncomfortable around him or worried for him… I think it would encourage him to know that he was created by a designer every bit as obsessive about details as he is, and that he was made that way for a purpose, and not by mistake.

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I hope you enjoyed this insight into one of my Turrim Archive characters. What do you think? Does Wynn sound interesting? He’s been giving me fits, actually… constantly springing surprises on me. He is by far the most difficult character I’ve ever written… but the more I get to know him, the more I like him!

Do your characters ever surprise you in the middle of a series? I’m glad I’m writing all the books before publishing, because Wynn is definitely going to need some tweaking in book 1 to make him more consistent with what I know about him now!

~ jenelle

Joey

Every now and then, I come across a book that absolutely knocks my socks off. I’m talking about the kind of book that jumps immediately into your top favorites, possibly even dislodging a few books from favored status and knocking them down a peg. This is the kind of book that makes you re-evaluate your entire hierarchy for judging books… it’s the kind of book you can’t get out of your head. It’s the kind of book you just HAVE to share with someone immediately, because you feel that everyone needs to read this story!

I like a lot of books. I LOVE a lot of books. But these kinds of books, the ones that steal your heart… these kinds of books are something special.

Such was the case with Joey: How a Blind Rescue Horse Helped Others Learn to See by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley.

Joey is a story about an actual place in Raleigh, NC called “Hope Reins.” It is a ranch that uses horses to bring healing to hurting people. “Joey” is the true story about the woman whose dream it was to open this ranch, the journey God led her on, and the blind rescue horse who touched the lives of so many people around him.

This book is masterfully woven and put together, and the story itself is absolutely beautiful. The people in the book will step out of the pages and become real to you as you read their stories and fall in love with Joey and Hope Reins along with them.

I know that my “brand” is fantasy. And usually I stick to that here on my blog when it comes to reviews, even though I do actually read other genres upon occasion *wink* but I’m making an exception for Joey, because this book is exceptional.

This book reminded me that God works in mysterious ways. It reminded me that His calling isn’t always the easiest or smoothest route to follow… but that if He calls and we follow, He will faithfully work out the details. Trust. Trust is the theme of this book. And as Joey learned to Trust the staff at Hope Reins… he taught them to Trust the One who created each of them and set them where they were so that they could impact one another and reach out beyond their own capabilities with comfort, understanding, and healing for hurting hearts in ways they never could have accomplished by themselves.

I read Joey in a single day… I stayed up late reading on vacation because I absolutely could not put it down… even when the pages got a bit too blurry to read… *grin* This is a story I cannot recommend highly enough. But make sure you have a dozen boxes of tissues nearby when you grab this one, because you’re gonna need ‘em!

I’d give it Six Dragon Eggs if I had a graphic for them!!!

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~ jenelle