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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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News/Updates/Links (10:03 am EST)

Waiting For Frodo updated. LOTR updated.

(CNN) A scholar defends Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings" as a modern masterpiece.

(BBC) The last works of Douglas Adams will be published later this year.

(Wired) Interesting article about computer music programs.

Really enjoyed Andrea's visit, miss her already. :-(

We're hoping to get together again at Contraption in a few weeks, though. She has a concert there, and I'd really like to be able to attend. My other tentative con plans for the next while include OVFF (for sure), GAfilk (maybe), Confusion (maybe). I might end up having to choose the between the latter two, just because they're both in January.

I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately. The word "friend" is an amorphous term, don't you think? Some people use the term very casually, referring to someone they've only met once or twice. Others only use it for those with whom they have close, confiding relationships. And there are so many different types and levels of friendship, even within those terms.

Group friendships as opposed to individual friendships, for example. I feel privileged to have been part of several good group friendships, one in university, and one through filking. I've talked to several others who have experienced something similar, and in each case that person described the group dynamic and special bond to be "magic". It's impossible to maintain this rare chemistry indefinitely...people change, and the texture within the group also changes. I always feel a twinge of regret as I sense one of these group bonds gradually dissolving, but also gratitude that I had the chance to experience it. They wouldn't be so special if they weren't so fragile.

For me, however, one-on-one close friendships have become a much more valuable type of relationship. I know many people I consider friends, but only a very few I consider close friends. I distrust anyone who claims to have many close friends. I believe that a good friendship takes an investment of time and emotional energy. Depends on how you define "good", of course, and going into that would take up quite a few Blatherings. I'd be interested in hearing your opinions on this in Blatherchat. I'd also be interested in hearing your opinions on "convention" friendships, for those who attend conventions.

Filk convention friendships seem to be a different animal, at least for me. I am frequently bewildered by how close I can feel to people I only see a few times a year, and how difficult it is to say good-bye to them at the end of the weekend. I think that part of this is due to the shared musical bond. Non-musician/music types may find this bit somewhat confusing, so feel free to skip the next paragraph. :-)

One of my very favourite moments of a filk convention is during the open filk circle (to those not familiar with filk, this is basically a musical jam session) that usually takes place fairly late in the evening, when everything seems to click. The music's good, the musicians all seem to be reading each other's minds in terms of trading off and collaborating, everyone is supporting and encouraging everyone else, the energy is high, one song flows naturally into the next. It's truly a magical dynamic, and one that can keep me up all night when nothing else will. :-)

Filk circle moments like this are rare, and therefore all the more special when they happen. When they do happen, I find that the people in that circle share a bond that often lasts after the convention has ended. This sort of thing isn't only confined to filk conventions, of course, but I do find that the musical bond a unique one.

But I've rambled on long enough. I suppose I'm feeling nostalgic and somewhat blue after my weekend with Andrea. Hm...maybe it's time to crack open that chocolate CD. :-)

Today's Blatherpics:

- A chocolate CD gift from Andrea. This was only one of several yummy edible gifts from Andrea. I will probably post scanned pics of them this. That is, if I haven't eaten them yet.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

In your opinion, is it possible to be close friends with someone you see in person only 2-3 times a year?

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