liddle_oldman and I only encountered each other recently, so for those of you who know the first two - well, actually, tough. It just so happens these are two answers I never get tired of repeating.
1) Why a small brown bird?
Before I discovered that Tolkien fandom existed all over the web, I was universally know as powzie. I am still pretty widely know as powzie in the folk music circles. and possibly even more often, I am addressed as "Gaudete" which I have used as a closing in my email since I have had email which tickles me because being called Rejoice! suits me down to the ground, (and because my name is Tay.)
When I joined Henneth Annun I wasn't planning on writing, but there was a challenge running to write poetry in Denethor's voice. I love playing with obsessive form poetry, and there's nothing like a challenge that specifies that Denethor's poetry might not be very good to give you confidence that you can handle it. I wrote a villanelle, and when I went to post it, I had a sudden overwhelming urge to have a new identity. Fileg popped instantly into my head, and I wrote this in my profile:
My husband is one of those wonderful men who can appreciate a feeder full of bright colored feathers, but does not give his heart to flash. He loves the little brown birds who stay, shivering with you, through the winter when you need them. I am proud to be the little brown bird that came, still wild but willing, into his hands.
so the old saying that most women would rather be pretty than smart because most men can see better than they can think is not true for us.
And I suppose the other part is that bluejays are the only flashy birds I think might give the little brown birds a run for their money. I think sparrows are the most beautiful. The delicate brown-grey-buff of a perfect tiny wing - People need to learn how to see.
2) Why Lord of the Rings?
I am something of a compulsive reader, and there are a few books on my list that I re-read frequently. But after fourty years of reading LoTR, I still learn something new every time I read them. That's a pretty remarkable thing to be able to say.
I read LoTR in June of 1963. I was home from school with bronchitis. I bought FoTR in the drug store while waiting for my Dad to pick up my medicine. I started it in the car on the way home, took it up to bed, and lost my heart to a pair of grey eyes in the firelight in Bree. I was crushed to find out there were two more books and I didn't have them.
My Da tracked the other two books down for me the next day, and by the end of TT I was in love with Faramir. (still am) I stayed up all night and read straight through TT and RoTK.
Then I slept for an entire day, and when I got up, I started reading them again, but slowly, to really look at them. I read them over and over for about a month without wanting to read anything else. I still read them about once a year.
The real question, I guess is why Faramir?
I can still remember how powerful it was to first encounter the golden heart of Middle Earth's sensitive new age warrior. Without undermining his ability to face down what he was there to do, Faramir had not surrendered his heart to war. When I read this for the first time it was the height of Viet-nam, and everyone I knew had taken an emotional side. I
His simple avowal about not using falsehoods to ensnare your enemy was a lightning bolt across the propaganda so prevelant at that time. I have never lost the moment.
3) A genie gives you an ever-full pocket. What's it full of?
I thought about this for a long time, and I'm going to be awfully boring and say money.
The reason is, I come over all new agey and pantheistic, but I am a pragmatist. I don't believe that love or contentment or health come by the pocketful. And since I have love and contentment, I would like the time to enjoy them. It would be lovely not to have to worry about money in this economy. The first thing it would buy me is the ability to have Jim stay home (he can work from home if he wants, but it would be great if he had time for art and sculpture and random cuddling) And then - presents. I love to buy people presents.
4) Describe your perfect sandwich.
I lowcarb, so I now have a real appreciation for a sandwich, because to get a good one, I have to be willing to cheat. I love peanut butter and jelly. Egg salad. And I crave grilled cheese. But I can make these on lowcarb bread and be satisfied.
Worth cheating for - a pumpernickel bagel, with butter and cream cheese. Or a chicken parm sub from Capuanos.
5) What's your worst If-Only-I'd-Done-That-Better moment?
I don't really have one. Or rather, I have the moments, but I don't brood about them so I don't remember them. I am more likely to have "I wish I hadn't done that at all" moments, but even the biggest of them (marrying my first husband) I would not undo, because I would be afraid I would not them have been in place for what came later - I believe in things happening for a reason.