This morning the mail brought a lovely hardback book I've been anticipating for a couple of years. I can't believe it's been so long since I first answered the call for papers from Dr. Paul Kerry, who was putting together a volume of essays from Tolkien scholars about the submerged aspects of Christianity in Tolkien's works. I had been wanting to write about the iconography of Middle-earth from the approach of semiotics, and Paul's proposed book started me thinking about how I could shift my research to fit his topic.
I wrote a long, involved essay with copious references that ended up being trimmed by a third, and then tightened again as the book's publisher ran into the wall that is The Tolkien Estate and their copyright issues over quoting from the master's works. That debate was to eat up a couple of years. Some contributors dropped out from frustration, others decided to stay the course. And then, the university publishing the book changed their own publishing/distribution company, and there was more waiting.
I'm happy now that I decided to stick it out because today I have this beautiful book in my hands, and my essay on Tolkien's iconography happily lodged in illustrious company between its pages.