I recently saw Peter Jackson's movie, The Hobbit. It was excellent and probably better done (cinematically speaking) than his Lord of the Rings movies. While Jackson added a good bit of material to his version, he did maintain the best elements of Mr. Tolkien's story including the singing. The "unexpected traveler" theme is also there, where the homebody hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is reluctantly swept up in an adventurous journey and finds he likes it (a theme echoed in Voltaire's Candide). He steps out-of-doors and sees that "the road goes on forever" and can take him anywhere. When he decides to go with Gandalf and the dwarves, he makes a new and momentous start.

New starts have been a theme of mine from time-to-time and there is occasion for yet another this coming week when I move with my family, once again, into a new house. Actually, the move is the culmination of a roughly three month process of buying and rehabilitating a HUD foreclosure. It's been Donna's pet project and she has navigated a long road of red tape, loan options, delays, disappointments, unexpected expenses, a mean-spirited investor, and bad weather to finally get us to Moving Day. That will be next weekend when we'll leave our rental and move our stuff to the new house. Whether we actually move in, however, will depend on the flooring being installed this week. If it's not, we'll just stack our stuff in the garage and find a cheap motel.

That's the way things have gone with this purchase, and I think it's not so unusual when dealing with a HUD mortgage and a lot of repair work. Even a normal house purchase is an arduous process, but this one has been most trying. But we've stuck with it and is seems we're almost there. I see this house as another stepping out-of-doors again for us. All the members of my family are making new starts this year in one way or another, that will lead us down new roads.

For myself, I'm anticipating a renewed push on writing Dentville: The Ancients' Legacy. Working hard, I expect it to take most of the year to get the story constructed and drafted to the point an editor can look at it. That will be the real start of the publication process. I also intend to increase the emphasis on my website of promoting Dentville in a way that's entertaining for visitors. This will include producing the Dentville Stories newsletter, which will also emphasize the novel-in-progress, the story's lore, and flash fiction more than articles on related current events. In all this, I'm hoping my subscriber list and fanbase will grow (the newsletter sign-up page is here).

To those of you who have recently "liked" and "friended" me on Facebook and GoodReads, I thank you. I would be honored for your fellowship on the journey I expect to take in the coming year. And if you find enjoyment and inspiration in my little offerings, please tell your friends.

So come along with me down this road and enjoy the journey for the journey's sake. There's no telling where it will take us.



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