Christmas Calendar 2020: Musing on Writing

One way to repurpose blog content that would otherwise just sit there is to create a Christmas calendar. So that’s what I did. One snippet from here, a quote from there… This is my calendar, recycled from last year and the year before.

Me, my camera & a blue bike


April is National/Global Poetry Writing Month. Write a poem every day. Today’s prompt is to write a self-portrait poem. Here’s mine. I’m trying to become a better mobile photographer.


I always have my camera ready
to capture the day:

a stray cat here
a sunset there
a building construction there
a bench in front of a graffiti wall here

a face
and another one

Sometimes I get it right

Today, I captured a blue bike
I tilted the camera ever so cooly

(Zol H, 2020)


One ring to rule them all & lawn mowing


“So they stumbled on through the weary end of the night, and until the coming of another day of fear they walked in silence with bowed heads, seeing nothing, and hearing nothing but the wind hissing in their ears. Before the next day dawned their journey to Mordor was over.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien, “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”

First he brought Frodo close to the gates of Mordor and then he mowed the lawn. These are excerpts from 1944 letters from Tolkien to his son Christopher, published in Humphrey Carpenter’s J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography.

As someone on Twitter noted, this is a “reminder that great art is made on a normal Tuesday afternoon.”


Header image by Erik Stein at Pixabay

Christopher Tolkien (1924–2020)


“And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien, from the ending of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy

Christopher Tolkien passed away on January 15, 2020. RIP, guardian of Middle-earth.

Happy 2020!


Happy New Year! May 2020 be
a prosperous and creative year for you.

“Discover yourself anew,” an Internet friend wrote in his New Year message to his followers. “Share yourself.” “Will do,” I answered. And I hope I will. Because words matter. Art matters. Dan Rather said it best:

(Header image by Gerd Altmann @ Pixabay)

Autumn moods

Trying to improve my photographic eye to produce my own images for articles and blog posts and writing, I decided to take an autumnal photoshoot around the neighborhood. Just because I took the time to look around, I saw a stairway to heaven, reflection of tall trees in the water stretching down to the sky far below, and a graffiti guy sitting by himself in a corner.

autumn again
tried to seduce me
with its colors.
I didn’t fall for it.

Zol H, 2019


The Hobbit — a review by Rayner Unwin (10)

Rayner Unwin, who became J.R.R. Tolkien’s publisher, wrote this review of The Hobbit in 1936. He was 10 and served as a test reader for his father, publisher Stanley Unwin, who published the book. The older Unwin believed that children were the best judges of children’s books, and he paid young Rayner 1 shilling for each review. “Good money in those days,” Rayner Unwin later remarked.

30 Oct 1936

Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who lived in his hobbit-hole and never went for adventures, at last Gandalf the wizard and his dwarves persuaded him to go. He had a very exiting time fighting goblins and wargs. At last they get to the lonely mountain; Smaug, the dragon who guards it is killed and after a terrific battle with the goblins he returned home — rich!

This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations it is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9.


Header image by Erik Stein at Pixabay