I Am Not a Hobbit

It’s just that Duane Wilkins of the University Bookstore is so damn tall.

I wanted to make sure I gave a shoutout to Duane and all the folks at University Bookstore for such a great event. If you’re an author, I can’t imagine a better place to come ’round for a visit.

Incidentally, I do have pictures, which I plan to get up. It’s just that my Flickr uploader is being hellishly balky. I’ll let you know when I manage to get them up.

26 Comments on “I Am Not a Hobbit”

  1. I dunno.. Duane’s my height and I’m only 6’6″…

    sorry I missed you, glad to hear you got off to a good start. The U bookstore is a great place and has absorbed far too much of my income in the past

  2. I dunno.. Duane’s my height and I’m only 6’6″…

    sorry I missed you, glad to hear you got off to a good start. The U bookstore is a great place and has absorbed far too much of my income in the past

  3. I am not a Hobbit

    Of course you’re not a Hobbit, John, Hobbits have hair – and despite a few bad apples, they don’t travel and have adventures with giants.

  4. Hobbits also have furry feet. Which might have saved you in a particular situation. I also don’t think hobbits dance that way, you know. So, yeah, I think your just doing forced perspective as a part of your Californian Ninja Powers.

  5. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, for rizzle.

    I’m taller than that guy by an inch at 6’7″. And that smile of yours, John. It’s kind of hobbitty.

    Would someone please take a picture of John’s feet for evidence to the contrary?

    Oh, wait. Here they are.

  6. As long as Duane didn’t open the conversation with, “Fee, fie, foe, fum,” I guess it’d be all good. That, and you’re American, so you would’ve been safe regardless.

  7. So, I guess you didn’t get “I bet you’re good basketball,” much? How ’bout Duane?

    (Hmm…I might write a post about assumtions about tall people and basketball playing)

  8. So, I guess you didn’t get “I bet you’re good basketball,” much? How ’bout Duane?

    (Hmm…I might write a post about assumtions about tall people and basketball playing)

  9. Duane is a great guy. He seems to know everybody. He steered me towards a lot of great books when I was at the UW in the late 80’s.

  10. I second that Duane is a great guy. I’ve gotten to chat with him on a few occasions and enjoyed every minute of it. And he keeps the UW Bookstore’s science fiction section the best in the city.

  11. You look startlingly like my husband in that photo – I did a double-take. But I have to say, you do look slightly more Hobbitty than he does. I think it’s the smile. Plus my husband has completely hairless feet with perfect toes, so apparently you’re not him.

    I’m so excited about your upcoming visit to Richmond. The Fountain Bookstore is a teeny venue, though. With any luck, we’ll fill the place to bursting.

  12. WHERE is your tour T-Shirt and why arn’t you wearing it!!!!!!

    I must say, you do have the pointy ears of a hobbit and hairy feet in sandles and buy the picture you are height challanged….. but if you say so…. we’ll believe you …LOL

  13. Dude, he’s only about 6’6″. How tall are you??

    Duane is the lifeblood of the science fiction section there. He’s been recommending books to me since I was an undergrad in college back in the early 90s.

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