A Young Priest Is Sent to the Philippines to Replace a Murdered Friar (Novel Excerpt)

Camarote de Marinero

 “Father, here you go. You have your own room.”

There was a narrow platform which he presumed was his bed. Beneath the platform was a small cabinet.

“Your things here,” the boy said.

Later, he overheard the men talking about him: they called him cochino. Even though Matias was not fat, not even close to, he knew the most well-fed men in the villages were usually the friars. It was new to him, the contempt, the disrespect, because usually men of the cloth were treated with deference. At least, this had been the case in Spain.

Another time, he heard the captain say, “sin experiencia del mundo” and assumed he was the one being referred to.

Five Best Heroines Self Encountered in 2019: One Real, Four Fictional (Stay Tuned for Part 2: Heroes)

Anne Glenconner, Lady in Waiting, My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown (memoir)

Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey (novel)

Cora Seaborne, The Essex Serpent (novel)

Nora Gerraoui, The Other Americans (novel)

Rita Sunday, Once Upon a River (novel)

All of self’s favorite heroines were in books written by women. Coincidence?

Advice for Dealing with Dragons

“Every worm has his weak spot,” as my father used to say, though I am sure it was not from personal experience.

— Bilbo Baggins, The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. XII: Inside Information

The Annotated Hobbit, Chapter IX

In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood. On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again.

The Annotated Hobbit, Still Ch. III

“Hmmm! It smells like elves!” thought Bilbo, and he looked up at the stars.

So they laughed and sang in the trees; and pretty fair nonsense I daresay you think it . . . He loved elves, though he seldom met them . . .

Love this book so much.

The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. III

O! What are you doing,
And where are you going?
Your ponies need shoeing!
The river is flowing!
O! tra-la-la-lally
here down in the valley!

O! Where are you going
With beards all a-wagging?
No knowing, no knowing
What brings Mister Baggins,
And Balin and Dwalin
down into the valley
in June
ha! ha!

Reading for the Times: Chapter II, p. 42 of THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT

More Hobbit thoughts with Relevance for the Year Upcoming:

Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony rides in May-sunshine . . . There was a hill some way off with trees on it, pretty thick in parts. Out of the dark mass of the trees they could now see a light shining, a reddish comfortable-looking light, as it might be a fire or torches twinkling. When they had looked at it for some while, they fell to arguing. Some said “no” and some said “yes.” Some said they could but go and see, and anything was better than little supper, less breakfast, and wet clothes . . .

Why THE HOBBIT Still Matters

  • “The old maps are no use: things have changed for the worse and the road is unguarded. They have seldom even heard of the king around here, and the less inquisitive you are as you go along, the less trouble you are likely to find.” . . . Then the rain began to pour down worse than ever, and Oin and Gloin began to fight.

The Annotated Hobbit, Chapter II

Everyone should read this book in 2020! It will help you.

The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. II, p. 40

Not far ahead were dreary hills, rising higher and higher, dark with trees. On some of them were old castles with an evil look, as if they had been built by wicked people.

How ‘The Hobbit’ Began

from Douglas A. Anderson’s Introduction to The Annotated Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien

  • Tolkien often recounted how he began the story. One hot summer day, he was sitting at his desk, correcting students’ examination papers (then called School Certificate papers) on English literature. He told an interviewer, “One of the candidates had mercifully left one of the pages with no writing on it, which is the best thing that can possibly happen to an examiner, and I wrote on it: ‘In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit.’ Names always generate a story in my mind: eventually I thought I’d better find out what hobbits were like.” Elsewhere he added, “Later on, some months later, I thought this was too good to leave just on the back of the examination paper . . . “

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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