I finished editing my set of essays for Constructing Nations, Reconstructing Myth: Essays in Honour of T. A. Shippey, which is an exploration of what Shippey calls “the Grimmian Revolution,” the results of comparative philology in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some more work has to be done, but the manuscript should be in the hands of the publisher by Oct. 1, which is our deadline.

As Shippey has a number of personal and academic connections to Tolkien, it should come as no surprise that a couple of the essays are Tolkienian. While taking a break after a final run-through of one of the Tolkien essays, I came across Neil Gaiman’s link to The Shire of Bend, Oregon. Gaiman’s assessment is, I think apt: He titles the post “From the department of that nice Mr. Tolkien revolving in his grave.” I’ve got a bit of a car wreak thing going on here. I’m sure I would be horrified, and yet I want to see the place. You can either buy a stand alone “cottage” or a townhome. The townhomes are located in an “Old World” village supposed to resemble the village of Bree as represented in The Lord of the Rings movies. Wanting to keep the rustic feel of a Middle-Earth village while at the same time allowing for the orcish automobile, the designers have decided to ring the village with access roads leading to garages on the second floor of the townhomes [townhome front view and back view]. Here’s a map so that you can see how it all fits together. Ah, I see The Shire at Bend, Oregon even has Hobbit dwellings.

Speaking of Gaiman’s blog, there are two other items I’ve been meaning to mention. The First Amendment Project has organized a “Your Name in an Upcoming Book” auction. Fourteen authors have donated the naming rights to a person or object in their upcoming books. (What does this have to do with Gaiman, you ask? Gaiman suggested the idea to the FAP after successfully auctioning off the rights to name a ship in Anansi Boys to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Also, while a bit of not-so-new news, DC Comics has made Issue #1 of Gaiman’s Sandman available for free download.

Finally, I’ll add my voice to those announcing their acceptance letters for CCCC 2007. I got two. Both my panel “25 Years of Reading and Misreading Orality and Literacy” and Kathie Gossett‘s “The Forgotten Canon” roundtable on memory, for which I’m a panelist, were accepted. Now that I know the CCCC Ong session’s a go, I’ll get the Orality and Literacy 25th anniversary web site up with abstracts and everything. I’ll probably post the names and titles for both sessions here before the page is up.