Must the best laid plans of Hobbits and Gondor go awry?

Must the best laid plans of Hobbits and Gondor go awry?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

An Unexpected Journey

An unexpected journey must begin like all great adventures begin – just like in The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book of the epic novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. It begins in the commonwealth of small pleasantries, tamer hopes and dreams, and gentle ambitions. Among little people – people of lesser imagination and destiny. But ahead, there is great adventure, greater perils, and unimaginable reward.

JRR Tolkien Reads The One Ring Poem

I look forward to The Hobbit movie. New Zealander Peter Jackson is the Director of The Hobbit – as he was for The Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. I’m excited. Are you?

I’m also excited to hear that Peter Jackson is experimenting with 48 frames per second (the standard is 24). The visual impact promises to be life-like, visceral, and shocking. Some hate it. Jackson’s response is loud and clear, here, here, and here: 48 fps is the future. Indeed, Anthony Breznican writes:

The Hobbit has become the touchstone in a larger conversation happening within the film industry about how to make movies more immersive and appealing.

That’s not a bad thing, is it?

All of which reminds me of the conversation about ebooks, e-publishing, publishing, self-publishing, books, and book writing.

From the Gladiator Soundtrack

There and Back Again

In fact, this is the unexpected journey to which I write in this blog post. The great adventure of writing, the Fellowship of the Book, the dark forces and armies pitted against us, and the fire that burns in the heart of MordorOrodruin known also as Mount Doom. Never you mind the subtle lesson in weaving my seo wizardry into the narrative!

Do not take note of how many links and link titles I forged in the darkness – in the darkness to bind them!

Honestly, I put on my seo white hat mostly for Jack, but BillBilly, and John might learn a trick or two.

Some might also say that five characters are too many to introduce to a reader – even if it’s partly about link love. And especially when done all at once as carelessly as I have done here.

Five? But you just now counted four! Yes, five – myself included.

In fact, there are nine companions in The Fellowship of the Ring: Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli the Dwarf, Gandalf, and Frodo Baggins.

12 companions upon an epic journey would have been better. Nine is not among my favorite numbers.

From whither shall come the blows?

Our story here begins with five. With some hope that the seven may find us sooner than later. Upon these shoulders, the yoke of fellowship will be forged – or not. A Fellowship of the Book may be in the making – a fellowship stronger (or weaker) because if it is bound, it is bound by human hearts.

Jack Steiner (@thejackb on Twitter) stands tallest among the five. He’s the world’s greatest daddy blogger. He has a forehead and a mind like a bull – unstoppable and persistent. He’s a fighter, a man in the arena, and, he will remind some of Homer’s Ajax. Jack’s blog is here:

Next in height is Bill Dorman (@bdorman264). The measure includes a Burger King crown which represents Bill’s epic social stature as a blogger. Formerly known as the invisible blogger, Bill has a friendly grin that doesn’t ever stop. You always see teeth when Bill smiles. Bill Dorman’s blog is here:

John Magnet Bell (@StartYourNovel) is a multi-dimensional entity that some suspect to be an incarnation of Jerry Cornelius. Or a NYT best-selling fiction author who enjoys being ordinary via pseudonym. His eyes and brow have all the intensity and torture of a fallen angel. Bell’s blog is here:

Beaming in a fine pair of churches shoes and a bespoke, double breasted suit, you might mistake Billy Delaney (@billy_delaney) as a mysterious Man In Black. But Billy works for a higher authority than MIB. The world’s greatest grandfather, his kind face reminds me of the old country. Billy’s blog is here:

And there go I. Stan Faryna (@Faryna). I don’t have claims to fame. None have mistaken me for someone important. I have no crown. I always sucked at basketball. Nor am I the brightest penny on the block. I’m not even kind on the eyes. But some say compassion dances and burns like the fires of Gondor in the brown of my eyes.

These are the five. Each aspires to be an author. To do amazing things. To make good money by their words.

There are things to learn. Understand. And teach.

All face the same challenge. To enlarge upon their audience, followers, and fans. To extend digital reach, presence, and bang. To write, to improve upon their writing, and become greater storytellers.

To fearlessly dare to be great. In their own voices.

With such daring, the imagination suggests that the best laid plans of Hobbits and Gondor will succeed. If and only if – carried upon the shoulders of the Fellowship of the Book.


Stan Faryna
28 April 2012
Bucharest, Romania


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12 Responses to Must the best laid plans of Hobbits and Gondor go awry?

  1. Whoa, now you have really put me in some high cotton. Did you see BD’s photo w/ Gini and others at #SoSlam on FB? Pretty cool indeed, but he probably needs to get rid of his high school photo he’s been using for his Avatar now……….:).

    You sly fox, you are not fooling me. Not smart enough or not good looking enough; that’s my schtik, you have plenty of game my friend.

    I am ready to travel this journy w/ my cinco amigos. I think we all bring something a little different to the table which will make for quite the interesting meal indeed.

    Thanks for the continued shout outs, I don’t know what I did to deserve it but they are certainly appreciated.

    Hope your weekend is going well.

  2. Cant’ stop laughing BD, at the high school photo ref’. You dog, I’m sunk now and how will I ever live it down?
    SoSlam was work! But no suit, YET… I’m saving that for the journey that Stan the Man has begun to take us all on. Let’s start by the walls of the old town, near the trees, under the shade, where good friends drink beer (made the old way) and let us laugh often and early.
    Stan your sooo bad! How can you put yourself last. I won’t have it, or else I’m going to take you to Saville Row and get you buttoned up too. The shoes are a given my friend.
    Jack can punch his weight in any journey, and we’ll need him with all of his words and muscle.
    The Pen of Mr. Bell is a ready sword for our defense, and ink will be spilt for sure… by all of us.
    Ah! my soul does shout for more of this, and more I will have at any cost.
    Stan, keep the torch well lite, and stand under open sunshine… I’m on my way.Billy

    • Stan Faryna says:

      It’s always sweeter and truer when friends speak well of us than when we speak well of ourselves. I may be a Richard sometimes, as Bill will agree, but I cringe every time I have to put in a good word for myself.

      A hand-crafted beer – the only kind I could drink gladly. Old walls and good shade, I would like to imagine the celebration of the fellowship’s first triumph in Belfast. I believe that the Titanic was launched in Belfast. [grin] Do I remember that right?

      I continue to delight in the echoes of your words from SoSlam. They rang around the internet.

      “You can’t buy an app for love & respect.”

      How their minds and hearts must have reeled at truth!

  3. I am in. When do we start and where did I leave my sword. Damn, I keep misplacing that sucker. 😉

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Heaven has something better for you, I imagine. Better than a sword. Words are mightier and you wield them like a hammer.

      Mjölnir (crusher) comes to mind. Thor’s hammer.

  4. alaskachick says:

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Class acts, all.
    (and I like the eyes that keep watch)

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Amber-Lee, I know there are great stories in you. Perhaps, stories about the Alaskan wilderness, the big game, the Grizzly, The Dall Sheep, and the moose. You remind us of the wolves traveling along the river – looking, looking in their quiet wisdom. You remind us that hooves will still thunder upon the plains.

      When will you write your book? When? When…

  5. […] Stan the freakin’ man; what can I say? The multi-talented, multi-faceted, international man of intrigue. For some reason he thinks there is talent hidden in this ‘aw shucks’ southern boy and has been way too kind giving me props and kudos. I don’t seek out attention, but certainly don’t shy from it either so I can tell you it is very much appreciated. […]

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Thank you, Bill. You have struck that first blow for the fellowship. Maybe that crown has powers I didn’t know about!

  6. I say yes — if for no other reason, then let it be because, the moment I started saying yes to more things (constructive things) — I witnessed immediate improvements in my outer life, which led to corresponding improvements in my inner.
    I say yes to mutual support and helping others grow. Provided that we never get in each other’s way. But given the caliber of all involved, I don’t see that happening.
    So yes, you know where to reach Jerry Cornelius if you want to learn a trick or two.
    If I’m not there, leave a message; these days, I don’t venture out of this dimension for long.

    (Incidentally, Stan, 9 not being your favorite number, your blogging template is called “Contempt” and it was designed by a crew calling themselves “Vault9.”)

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Never were there sweeter words than Yes!

      Since you mention it, I have always thought my wordpress theme would have been better named, self-contempt. It really is an uninspired template. [grin] I wonder if I chose it like sackcloth and ashes considering that my greatest website,, (long defunct), had been a three year and million dollar effort.

      My next greatest blog platform (unlikely to happen) is a million dollar endeavor. That’s what a friend told me last night as I explained the 20 core features and functions that I thought were critical to taking the blogging platform to the next level. That’s a bummer…

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