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Walking into Mordor

So I know: Let’s write a story where the “hero” — an unlikely sort of fellow, fond of his creature comforts — must travel through a dangerous land of gloom, dust, and des[...] read more

Latest journal entry

No news is good news

Hi, everyone! Just a quick update to let you know that I’m still here. Life is nearly back to normal (although I look out the mid-April windows at ice and snow and a gray sky that hasn’t broken in more than a week and I wonder!).

Digestion woes continue, but with moderate improvement. As expected, my portions continue to have to be small. Table sugar (and therefore milk — but not, thankfully, fructose!) continues to be problematic, and I still need to avoid highly acidic food (such as tomatoes). Though the question of portions will never really change, the other troubles might — so that’s good.

Needing to think about food so often is a pain, but I must: I really haven’t begun regaining any of my lost weight. This now seems to be the most important remaining recovery task.

And my Mordor project? It continues. I gave a paper at last week’s Tolkien in Vermont conference at UVM detailing the changes Tolkien made in his various draft and sketch maps as he was writing The Lord of the Rings. I was able to use all the graphics I’ve prepared for the Worldbuilding chapter, and they seemed to be well received. So I still have quite a bit of book research to do, and writing as well, but I have the full outline and all of the necessary artwork finished. I’m behind where I’d hoped to be even as of January (well after the surgery), but I can now work at nearly full speed. Not too long ago, the editors said they still had leeway to include my chapter. I’ll contact them again shortly to re-confirm.

And so, I guess we could say that I’m 1 for 2. Or maybe 1.5 for 2. But the important thing is that I’ve come through it and am on the other side. I’ve had follow-up appointments with all the various doctors, who all say essentially “so far, so good.” And I’ll have a six-month follow-up with the surgeon in June (after a PET scan and a CAT scan). And then presumably another one in December....

If I hear anything other than an “all clear,” I’ll resume posting here. Otherwise, you can assume that no news is indeed good news.

I’ve resumed posting professionally about my Tolkien work at Vermont Softworks. My most recent post gives more details about last week’s and several upcoming conferences I’m attending or giving papers at.

And after several long hiatuses (hiati?) and multiple migrations, the Mueller-Harder family journal has found a new and hopefully permanent home; I’ll again try to persuade other family members to join me in posting entries there, but I in any event will endeavor to keep it up-to-date. I’ll gradually be populating with older material, too; its change log will keep record of those updates. Today’s post includes a couple of pictures of the Cabot Community Theater production of Mary Poppins, which both Cameron and Karen were heavily involved in.

I’d like to let all of you know how much I appreciate the support, books, comments, food, music, love, and even just interest that you’ve sent or shown over these months. I could never stay depressed or worried for long with so many excellent people rooting for me. You made all the difference.

Thank you!

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