30-Day Flash Fiction Challenge

I’ve been running low on blogging inspiration lately, as you may have noticed. Searching around for ideas, I noticed that one of my blogger friends is doing a 30-day Phantom of the Opera challenge right now, and what better to do than something that can last a month or more?! There are so many 30-day challenges, though, and I wanted to pick something special – not something specific to one fandom, or done a million times before (a.k.a. a LOTR one).

When I found this flash fiction challenge, I knew it was the perfect one. And “challenge” is certainly the right word for it – short stories have never been my forte, so this is a little out of my comfort zone. It’ll also challenge me to do more writing; with all that’s been going on in my life lately it’s not been easy to find the time or the motivation to write.

Some of the prompts I will tweak a bit to make into proper stories – such as #5. I wouldn’t bore you with a list of supermarket items. 😛 And some of them I’ll change to things I’m more familiar with. And ones that are supposed to be about the writer specifically (like #’s 9, 10, 11, etc.) I will fictionalise.

I should have the first story up within the week! I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Sunshine Blogger Award

If you haven’t yet found the Middle-earth Reflections blog, you are missing out. It’s run by the wonderful Olga Polomoshnova, a couple of whose essays I’ve been proud to reprint in my Tolkien magazine The Ivy Bush. Olga has nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you very much; I’m honoured!


The rules:

– Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
– Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
– Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
– List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Olga asked me these questions:

1. What is your favourite book ever?

Why, The Silmarillion, of course. It’s deep, it’s profound, and it’s simply beautiful. More here. 🙂

2. How did you get into reading?

My dad owns a used-and-rare bookshop, so I grew up with a home library of literally several thousand books. What else was I supposed to do but start reading? And of course Mum and Dad read nonstop to me when I was little, so once I learned to read it seemed a natural thing to continue on my own.

3. What was the first book you read?

The first books I remember reading were the Bobbsey Twins, but I’m sure I read picture books before I started on chapter books.

4. What is your favourite quote?

I have many, so I’ll pick one  from Tolkien and one from a different source. The Tolkien one is:

Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and another among men. It is a man’s part to discern them…

It’s perfectly worded: a one-sentence refutation of relativism, plus a little reminder that we discern good and evil, not decide for ourselves what is good and evil.

One of my favourite general quotes is from Captain America: Civil War (which I have not watched, but whatevs).

Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right… even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say, “No, YOU move.”

Same general principle as the Tolkien quote. I adore when quotes like this pop up in blockbuster movies. It’s like Hollywood refuting Hollywood. >:)

5. What is your favourite atmosphere for reading?

A quiet house, curled up under polar fleece and a heavy quilt. Although I tend to fall asleep in that situation… so…

6. How do you prefer discovering new books to read?

I usually find new books just browsing at a bookstore/booksale/library. It’s better than finding them online because I can flip through the entire thing to see what type of content it is. Also I find so many fantastic older books that I would never come across online.

7. Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

Physical books as a general principle, but when buying online I would go with ebooks because a) they’re cheaper, b) no shipping (which is basically point a), and c) I don’t have to wait for them to arrive.

8. What inspired you to start your blog?

I created my website several months before I published Starscape, but I didn’t start blogging until a couple months later when I wanted to share a poem I’d written a few years earlier.

9. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?

Try and guess. 😛

10. What are the things that inspire you?

My Catholic Faith. Stories of people who have stood firm against opposition. People who have succeeded in what they wanted to do – not necessarily receiving fame or money, but making even the smallest of differences.

11. When you write something, do you prefer to do it by hand or type straight away into your blog?

If it’s a blog post, I always write right in WordPress. If it’s a story or novel, it depends on my mood (or if I have access to a computer at all). If it’s a poem, almost always by hand.

I’ll nominate:

You Write Fiction

Kait’s Bookshelf

Curious Wren

Paper Fury

Luke Hartman

Miguel Olmedo Morell

K.T. Ivanrest

My Lady Bibliophile

The Jumping Bean

A Heart Redeemed

Marian Elizabeth

…to answer these questions:

  1. Who is your favourite actor/actress and why?
  2. How many languages do you speak well enough to hold a conversation?
  3. What is the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
  4. What is one genre you would never read?
  5. Do you have any unique quirks?
  6. What’s the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen?
  7. Do you like maps?
  8. How often do you write by hand compared to typing?
  9. Which author’s books can you never resist picking up?
  10. What is your favourite letter of the alphabet?
  11. How much chocolate do you consume on a weekly basis?

It’s here!

Looking for the real ultimate Tolkien quiz?


Are you tired of Tolkien quizzes that claim to be “the ultimate”, “the best”, “the hardest”, then deliver questions like “What does the J.R.R. stand for”? If so, this is the book for you.

Test your Tolkien knowledge with hundreds of questions ranging from “Peregrin Took” (super-easy) to “Manwë Súlimo” (super-obscure). Can you list the Lords and Ladies of the Aratar from greatest to least? How many toes does Treebeard have? Who were the youngest Dwarves in Thorin’s company? What were the names of Gondolin’s imitations of the Two Trees? Aratar, Peredhil, and Halflings, Oh My! will provide hours of entertainment for all, casual fan or out-and-out geek.

Compete with your friends to find the greatest geek among you, or pore over the questions on your own. Either way, you’re sure to find a challenge, with loads of fun along the way.

Including trivia from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and more, longtime Tolkien nut Benita J. Prins has compiled the ultimate quiz for every Tolkien fan.

Get it now on Kindle for just 99 cents!

Happy Hobbit Day, mellyn!

No Tuesdays with Tolkien this week…

I’m up to my ears in Tolkien trivia right now thanks to Aratar, Peredhil, and Halflings, and have no time to spare for a blog post. Next week, tune in to discover whoever could have replaced Aragorn as my favourite Lord of the Rings character! *cue shrieks of shock*

(I couldn’t resist “shrieks of shock”. I’m sorry. Read it out loud.)


Aratar, Peredhil, and Halflings is due for release in TWO DAYS, and will be available on Kindle for 99 cents!

Happy reading, writing, studying, or whatever you may be doing! 🙂

Join me on Facebook and Twitter!

I finally joined Facebook and Twitter – long overdue, I must say! Like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter; I hope to see you there! 🙂


If you are a Tolkien geek, sign up for my mailing list to receive a free copy of my forthcoming ebook, Aratar, Peredhil, and Halflings, Oh My!: The Ultimate Tolkien Quiz when it comes out.

Tuesdays with Tolkien: 10 favourite quotes

I did some posts in a couple G+ Lord of the Rings communities to see what fans’ favourite quotes are. This list includes quotes from all three volumes of Lord of the Rings, as well as The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion.


#1: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

The Hobbit

#2: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

 –The Hobbit

#3: “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost... 

…the old that is strong does not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows shall spring.
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
the crownless again shall be king.”

The Fellowship of the Ring

#4: “I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are evil.” 

The Return of the King

#5: “In the twilight of autumn it [the last Elven ship] sailed out of Mithlond…

…until the seas of the Bent World fell away beneath it, and the winds of the round sky troubled it no more, and borne upon the high airs above the mists of the world it passed into the Ancient West, and an end was come for the Eldar of story and of song.”

The Silmarillion

#6: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

-The Fellowship of the Ring

#7: “The deeds we shall do shall be a matter of song until the last days of Arda.”

The Silmarillion

#8: Éomer: “How shall a man judge what to do in such times?”

Aragorn: “As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.”

The Two Towers

#9: “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

 –The Fellowship of the Ring

#10: “Long will I tarry ere I start this war over gold.”

The Hobbit

There you have it: ten of the favourite Tolkien quotes of one of the largest fan communities on Google+. Thank you, everyone, for your input!



Time for a blogging break

As you may have noticed, I didn’t get up my normal weekly post at the end of last week. The reason for that is, trying to keep up with everything online is conflicting with my novel-writing time which I’m sure you’ll all agree is more important! So I’m going to take a short vacation from all the time-consuming online stuff. This’ll probably be little more than a fortnight’s break – end of next week or beginning of the next, I will probably be back. And I’ll be spending limited amounts of time on Google+ and, to a lesser degree, Pinterest, in the meantime, so you can keep up with me there!

I’m a little stuck on one area in Seascape, so that’s been holding me up, but I think I’ve just about got it now and from here I’m hoping it’ll be a brief dash to the finish. I’ve got an outline of everything on towards the end of the book. It was a daunting piece of work wrapping up all the storylines! Actually, I realised during a readthrough of my printed manuscript that I had more subplots to tie up than I’d thought… Here’s a sample:

  • Eight-year-old Lody is separated from Einur and gets involved in a little escapade of her own. It involves two guys, Vaal with his blue-black hair and a creepy eye tic, and Haledon, who keeps sending mixed messages regarding his allegiance.
  • The couple who join forces with Einur and Lody for a time. They go by the names of Einur’s parents, which Einur figures has got to be a ruse to gain the youngsters’ trust because they sure don’t act like loving parents reuniting with their longlost children. Quite the opposite, in fact.
  • And then of course there’s the main plot, in which Einur searches for a tribe that’s been lost for five thousand years, as part of a strategy to defeat an evil cult leaning on the practice of child sacrifice.

Sound interesting? Well, the release date is tentatively set for Saturday, April 23!

New interview…

on lisaemme.com! Thank you, Lisa!


Welcome Benita! Thanks for joining us.
BP: I’ve always had a strange fondness for answering interview questions – thank you for inviting me!

Tell us a little about yourself.  When did you start writing?  When did you publish your first book?
BP: My memory doesn’t go back far enough to remember a time when I wasn’t writingsomething. I always planned to be a writer; I drafted my first query letter at the age of 11. It never got sent, thank goodness – I copied it into my diary at the time and reading back now, it was a terrible query! Now I wouldn’t do anything else. I published my first book last June and my second should be out not much later than next June.

Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to your writing?


Keep reading here (I mention peanut butter!): http://lisaemme.com/an-interview-with-benita-prins/

7 Things About Me


Thank you very much to Family Rules by Plain Jane who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! According to the rules, I’m supposed to reveal seven things about myself, then nominate some other bloggers.

7 Things About Me

1. I am a Catholic.

2. I’m a very picky eater – but since childhood have learned to eat everything on my plate without complaining.

3. I have a deep interest in theology and a slightly lesser interest in philosophy.

4. I began piano lessons when I was five and have been playing ever since.

5. Despite writing fantasy myself, almost the only fantasy I read is J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

6. I rarely wear shorts or pants, preferring old-fashioned skirts and dresses. (When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to be a pioneer. I even wore a bonnet whenever I went outside. 🙂 )

7. I become slightly grouchy if I don’t consume my weekly quota of chocolate.

My Nominations

The rules say to nominate 15…… but I read very few blogs and don’t have anywhere near 15 to nominate! These are my favourites though.

1. Recently discovered J. Glover Fine Art, chuck full of fascinating posts about art and artists. Not that I’m a great artist myself, but I do enjoy drawing when I have time for it, and reading this blog is inspiring!

2. The Long Way to Go is another blog I discovered recently, one for Christian women and girls. I always love reading these kinds of blogs and constantly agreeing with almost everything they say!

3. I love Adopting James. That’s all I can say.

4. Amy Harrop’s Blog is a good one for writers. Plenty of marketing tips which I have found very helpful.

I feel guilty for nominating only four when the rules say fifteen, but I’d feel guiltier just looking up and nominating random blogs. 🙂