Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tree of Tales, Forest of Days

I am a writer. Perhaps you are too.
One of the most daunting things about being a writer is creating a story. We want, hope, desire, pray to create a tale that is new and different, but every visit we make to a bookstore or leaves us feeling hopeless.

It was during one of those moments when I found a quote by J. R. R. Tolkien that forever changed my perspective. For my Master's thesis I picked up a book titled 
Tree and Leaf. Not only was this piece vital to my thesis writing, it has become my creative lifeline. Maybe you will understand why.

In discussing the creation of a new fairy-story, Tolkien writes about
 "the countless foliage of the Tree of Tales, with which the Forest of Days is carpeted."

At first his tone seems hopeless,

"It seems vain to add to the litter. Who can design a new leaf? The patterns from bud to unfolding, and the colours from spring to autumn were all discovered by men long ago."

Then he shifts.

"But that is not true. The seed of the tree can be replanted in almost any soil, even in one as smoke-ridden (as Lang said) as that of England.... Each leaf, of oak and ash and thorn, is a unique embodiment of the pattern, and for some eye this very year may be THE embodiment, the first ever seen and recognized, though oaks have put forth leaves for countless generations of men."

My writing heart cried out for joy when I read that. Hope was restored. Somewhere, someone is waiting for what I am writing...for what YOU are writing.

This blog is my "leaf." There will be inspiration, frustration, and even a few stories. I plan on adding to the "Forest of Days" and I invite you to join me.

Thank you for visiting!


  1. Oh that book inspired me so much, for very similar reasons too!
    I wrote a trilogy a decade ago...then reread 'Fellowship of the Ring' many years after I'd read it as a child and realised I had a 'magical'(loose term) forest in my writing and my heart dropped, then much later I found 'Tree and Leaf', that same quote made me think it doesn't matter if I use a forest interpretation is what matters, and mine will be different to anyone else's.
    After all, think how many love songs have been written, but they still make love's the uniqueness that matters!

    1. I totally agree, Lisa! Thank you for sharing your experience. Here's to 'magical' forests, and elves and all the rest!