ROW80 Update, and Walking the Tolkien Trail

My first update for this round of A Round of Words in 80 Days...

My overarching goal was/is to finish editing - on paper - Rome, Rhymes and Risk.

I had all these grandiose plans of editing while on vacation that, unsurprisingly, didn't pan out. I've gotten only chapters 1 and 2 edited so far.

The main trouble - or, if you look at it from the other side of the glass, main excitement - is that the story is only about 60,000 words, and could use lots more new scenes, to flesh out the middle bits and, er, finish the ending. The final scene is a bit wobbly at the moment.

Okay, let's be blunt: the final scene doesn't even exist, and the last chapter leading up to the final scene has absolutely nothing going on.

So between now and 31 May, I'd like to finish all the edits on paper. Then, until the end of this round on 21 June, I'd like to return to my get-up-at-5-am-to-write routine. Wish me luck!

Meanwhile, here's part one of the vacation photos: our walk along The Tolkien Trail in Hurst Green, Lancashire.

Actually, first of all, here are two photos of the church in Warwick, where Tolkien was married:

It was a few days later, having gone up to Edinburgh and the Yorkshire Dales and back, that we arrived in Hurst Green. It was late in the evening, so we settled at the inn, and had a drink or two before bed:

View from the breakfast room the next morning:

Hurst Green village centre, the start of the walk:

Heading out:

Stoneyhurst College, which Tolkien visited during the 40s and 50s, when his son John was evacuated there and his other son Michael taught there. "As well as its links to J.R.R Tolkien, other literary figures associated with the college include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (a former pupil), the poet Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins (a former member of staff) and contemporary novelist Patrick McGrath":

An interesting carving near the grounds of the college:

The view from Tom Bombadil's house (possibly, according to the trail guide):

The historical border between Lancashire and Yorkshire, across the river Hodder:

Me, in a Tolkienesque tree:

Looking back at Stoneyhurst College:

Through a farmer's field:

Where the Hodder meets the Ribble:

Where the Calder and Ribble meet, and the Brandywine, or Bucklebury, Ferry used to be:

If that's where the Brandywine Ferry was, then this would be looking back towards Farmer Maggot's farm:

Some miles beyond Maggot's lies the end of the walk. I'm not sure what Tolkien would have found on returning to the village from a trek across the hills and fields, but nowadays there's an Eagle and Child pub (named after the Bird and Baby at Oxford, I suppose):

Join me in the beer garden!


Unknown said…
Thank you for the lovely tour of my hero Tolkien's life. You brought him back to life. So much I didn't know. And I do wish us both look with writing in the coming week. I'm way behind schedule.
Love those pictures.
It's always fatal to be too cut and dried about what you think you will achieve in a ceryain time scale. i find if I think I'll just get started on x,y then I get more done than if I think I'll finish x,y by z. Good luck, anyway.
Unknown said…
It looks amazing. I've not visited any famous author towns, but if I'd pick one it'd be Tolkien. The place looks awesome.
Good luck with your work-in-progress. A lot of that stuff in those pictures fires the imagination. I can see a little of how Tolkien created the world he inhabited with hobbits and elves.
EM Castellan said…
Great pictures, thanks for sharing! I'm actually tackling the issue of self-editing on my blog today: Check it out if you're interested! Have a good week!
Jemi Fraser said…
Fabulous photos! I'd like to visit that area one day!! :)
Nas said…
Wow! Thanks for the tour of Tolkien's live with photos! I would love to visit these one day.

Good luck with your writing!
Unknown said…
You didn't get much writing done but wow, you took some amazing pictures.
So many stunning photos. I love the one with the clouds and the one with the water after that picture.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you so much, Carole Anne. Yes, I definitely need to get back to my novel. I'm falling behind!

Thanks, Madeleine - that's a very wise way of looking at it.

It was very exciting, Jamie. I still have lots of other Tolkien-linked places in the UK I'd like to see.

Thanks, Michael!

Thanks, Em, I need all the editing tips I can get!

Thanks Jemi and Nas!

Hardly any writing, Clarissa. But hopefully all the inspiration will lead to something...

Thank you, Theresa!
M Pax said…
Looks like a wonderful trek that you took. It's so green. Wow. Stunning. I hear you on goals, etc... I'm pushing to meet 3 deadlines end of May. I'm kind of laughing at myself.
Leovi said…
lovely pictures full of beautiful colors, a very beautiful place
Hi Deniz - good luck with all your goals. Sounds as though the holiday did you the power of good ..

What a great tour you had - I love that you were able to post the two rivers joining (x 2) .. not often seen .. and the boundary where Lancashire and Yorkshire meet - where so many battles were fought.

Wonderful views .. and the food and pubs sound rather good!!

Cheers - hope your 5.00am start worked today?! Hilary
Unknown said…
I'd love to join you in the beer garden - I'll have a half please. Fantastic trail - I'd never heard of it. And good luck with edits. I don't mind doing edits, actually, because I find loads more scenes to write and bits to add. All part of the process...
The Poet said…
Dear Deniz,
Thank you for the history and photos of this beautiful place. Don't stop writing...
Anonymous said…
Loved the photos. Looks like a wonderful vacation! Best wishes with the ongoing edits. That first run-through can be a tough one. I'm sure it will all come together, though. Have a great week!
Thanks for visiting my blog, and for leaving a comment. I do appreciate it, and figured I'd return the favor. It looks like you had an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing the pics. Good luck with your editing. I buckled down this past weekend and did more editing than I've done in a long time. At this rate, I may actually finish. (What a concept!)
cleemckenzie said…
I loved your pictures. I've been to some of those places (Stoneyhurst College and Warwick). I love the cloudy-sunny-drizzle that is Scottish weather. It always makes me want to write poetry.
Cherie Reich said…
Awesome pictures!

And good luck with the edits!
Unknown said…
That's an awesome tour you had. The photos are enchanting, have an old world quality.
Good luck with your edits.
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Deniz,

Some of these pictures seem to have come out of a fairy tale.

Hope you get through the edits soon.
Al Penwasser said…
What great pictures!
And not an Orc to be seen.
Oops, sorry, was that just a little TOO hip and trendy?
I meant gollum.
Susan Kane said…
What a marvelous trip! Tolkien is a beloved and inspiring writer--his books will live forever.
Carol Riggs said…
Lovely pics!! And I had to laugh at the GREAT names of rivers and areas--Hodder, Ribble, Calder, Brandywine, Bucklebury, and Ferry. Fantastic. :)
What lovely photos! Thank you for the tour!

Good luck with all your goals!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks M! Hope we both meet our deadlines!

Gracias Leovi!

Thanks so much Hilary. Haven't started the 5 am yet - I set the am/pm wrong on the alarm!

I don't mind adding new scenes, Susan, but sometimes I despair... when I find myself repeating the same phrases...

Thank you Andy and Julie :-)

Sounds like you had a great weekend, Susan!

You're right, C Lee - I love the stirrings of poetry.

Thank you Cherie and Rek and Joy!

Ooh, Al, thank goodness we didn't run into Gollum or orcs...

Thanks, Susan. I love visiting the places that inspired my favourite authors.

Thanks, Carol - I mixed up the real names with the LOTR names :-)

Thank you, Romance!
Anonymous said…
Fantastic pictures. This makes me want to explore the haunts of my favorite writers.

Good luck on your WIP.
What a great post! My husband loves anything to do with to just get him walking...Theresa
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Medeia and Theresa!
This trail was a good one for non-walkers, since we were so close to villages and farms, and could stop any time.
Matthew MacNish said…
What a beautiful, "far green country."
Deniz Bevan said…
isn't it though? So happy I found out about it and could visit!