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The Two Fandoms

Welcome back to the Word Storm Newsletter!

This issue, I’ll be writing about some of my favorite fictional worlds—Narnia and Middle Earth. Honestly, I don’t think I could choose between the two on which I like better. Back during my undergraduate studies, I signed up for a trip with Evangel to visit Oxford in June, 2015. While the trip focused primarily on the works of C. S. Lewis, we talked about J. R. R. Tolkien a bit as well.*

 
*Oxford, UK is also home to several other of the Inklings and to Lewis Carroll, but for the sake of brevity, I will be focusing primarily on The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings.
But before I get into the fandom-related perks of Oxford, I’ve got some great writing and blogging news for you!
 
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Writing Updates

The first story in my latest series, Last of the Memory Keepers, came out this month!!! Woot! *throws confetti* In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a quick blurb:

“Just because something’s forgotten doesn’t mean it never existed. History may forget our names, but that doesn’t mean we never lived.”

Rhona Farlane is among the top three apprentice Memory Keepers and an advocate for the unification of the remaining three races. But some days, she feels like she’s the only one willing to put in enough effort. Her closest friends, Finley and Ellard, are either too reckless or too reserved to make a positive impact on the world, and her uncle doesn’t even believe she deserves her apprenticeship.

Determined to make a difference anyway, she joins her father on her first diplomatic mission in the Southern Rim where negotiations are going smoothly. Perhaps too smoothly. Then a tragedy threatens to cease all negotiations within her lifetime and even start a war. Will Rhona ever be able to achieve unity when everything she believes about her world is shattered?
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Blogging Updates


Over the next two months, I’ll be posting another two-part series: Writing Book Reviews. Even if you’re an experienced writer or even just a reader, I’ll be sharing some of my own experiences and tips on how you can give back to your favorite writers.

Then, on April 30, I’ll be posting about the five races of Last of the Memory Keepers. I’ll be sharing some of the challenges and joys of developing the races and how they relate to the five medieval wits. Feel free to comment or send me an e-mail with any questions you might have about the races, and I may include them with my answers on my blog! I’ll also be hosting a giveaway for Litographs scarves with the text of “The Diplomat’s Daughter” and “The Quiet Apprentice” on it!

Literary Destination: Oxford, UK

If I were to pick one of my favorite places in England, it would have to be Oxford. Not only is it the home of academic discovery and generations upon generations of scholars, but it’s also where C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien taught for a time and where they started writing their famous works.

Fandoms: The Chronicles of Narnia (focus), The Lord of the Rings (focus), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Harry Potter.
Attractions:

Magdalen College

(£5 per adult; £4.00 for 60+, children, and students.)

Did you know that Oxford University is actually made up of multiple colleges? Magdalen College is the one where Lewis taught for many years. The chapel has some amazing architecture and stained glass windows, one of which has served as the background image for my phone for several years now. The college also includes Addison’s Walk, a beautiful path where Tolkien and Lewis had their famous talk where Tolkien led Lewis to the Lord. 

(Yes, that's me eating Turkish delight on Addison's Walk. No, I am not selling my soul to the White Witch for this stuff.)

Merton College

(£3 per person)

The college where Tolkien taught. It’s just as picturesque and interesting as Magdalen. With a chapel and garden of its own, it’s well worth a visit. And it’s said that the two towers of the rival colleges, Merton and University, served as some inspiration for a certain book.

The Kiln’s

(£10 per adult, £8 per student, and £6 per child; cash only)

This is the home of C. S. Lewis, where he lived with his brother Warney, taught at Oxford, and handwrote many of his famous works. But don’t bother stepping into Narnia through his wardrobe. I already tried. What I mean to say is Lewis’ actual wardrobe is at Wheaton College, IL, along with his and Tolkien’s desks. Nevertheless, it’s still amazing to visit the place where Lewis lived and wrote.  

Bodleian Library

(£8 per person with donation fee; £7 per person without donation)

Books. Books everywhere! This amazing library has huge sections for nearly every subject. Not only are the books awesome, but the architecture is amazing as well. The only downside is that there’s no photography allowed in the library.

Blackwell’s Bookstore

(free entry)

Just in case you get tired of looking at books you can’t read (unless you happen to be a UK student), you can head across the street to a wonderful five-story bookstore. When I first went on the Oxford trip, I got separated from my group and was left behind. It was a bookworm’s dream come true. I stayed for hours until closing time, then made my way back to the hotel myself. I almost wish I got locked in…

Other attractions include but are not limited to The Bridge of Sighs, The Alice in Wonderland Gift Shop, and University Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

Places to Eat:

Perhaps my favorite place to eat in Oxford has to be Eagle and Child, the pub where the Inklings met on a weekly basis to talk about philosophy and their writing. There, I tried my first chicken and mushroom pot pie and discovered another of my favorite dishes. I’ve had many scrumptious pot pies since then, but not one quite so good.

If you’re looking for an obscure place to eat, try the Turf Tavern. Hidden among various buildings, it can only be reached through a narrow alley. (Unless you like to climb on top of buildings.) Don’t be afraid to try more than their fish and chips.  If you don’t know how to find it, look for the Bridge of Sighs, and take the first alley on the left. There are signs to keep you from wandering into people’s houses.

Ben’s Cookies has some of the greatest cookies on earth. Although the location may seem a little obscure for those not used to Europe, it’s worth the hunt. Other great places for desert include Moo-Moo’s, G&D’s Ice Cream Café, and Hardy’s Sweet Shop. On our Oxford trip, we visited one at least once a day, and we didn’t have to worry about calories because we were walking so much. Treat yourself while you’re there!
Thanks to all of my readers for your support thus far! Remember, if you have any questions about the five races in Last of the Memory Keepers, feel free to contact me. You can expect my next quarterly Newsletter in June, and I’ll be sending out regular e-mails upon the release of each story.
 
Thanks for reading! Stay awesome.
Copyright © 2017 Azelyn Klein, Cover Art © 2017 Faith Boggus, All rights reserved.

Word Storm blog

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word.storm.blog@gmail.com

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