Essay by Lothithil

    One day I woke up and I was in Middle-earth. It is that simple. Once I was a recluse, computer-illiterate person who read all the time and yearned for more of the stories I loved in the world I dreamed when I closed my eyes. I began to write a story, about four years ago, now, about Frodo and ME and all the characters I loved, just because I wanted more, and I figured that I would have to write it if I wished to read it. I had no idea... NONE, that other folks were writing fan fic... I thought that it was not something that a 'true' fan would do... loyalty to JRRT and all that. I didn't care about being a 'true' fan... I just wanted to go to Middle earth and learn more. So I wrote in secret, refusing to let anyone read my stories, and was generally miserable.

    I learned about the making of LORT by some NewZealand nobody, and I feared what was going to happen. Bakshi and Rakin & Bass had scared me with their animated attempts, and I did not want to see the story mutilated. I was full-force against the movie and refused to see it.

    Then I learned who had been cast as Frodo. I had watched all of Elijah Wood's films, keeping an eye on this young actor whom I believed had great potential. The first movie I saw him in was "Forever Young" and that was when I said, "That boy is Frodo Baggins." So when I learned that he had been cast, I had to go and see it. I am glad that I was right!

    But I didn't find the boards until I joined the fanclub. I read the magazines and learned about a community that existed, where fans could discuss the films and (more importantly) the books. I wanted to taste that world, where I wouldn't be considered a freak because I could say Hullo and Goodby in Elvish; where I could say, "How about that Turin? Did he get a raw deal, or what?" and folks would know who I was talking about, would have opinions and feed back and debates! And where I could read the thoughts and musings and stories of other fans; incredable stories full of love and passion and dripping with raw talent. And at last, to share my stories with people kind enough to read and offer their thoughts on what I had written.

    This fanclub validates me. Without it and you all, it is as though I have never lived.

    Why am I still here? Because this is my home.