[1/9] CHINESE GODS AND GODDESSES | LONG MU
Long Mu [龍母] or Mother of Dragons was a Chinese woman who was deified as a goddess after raising five infant dragons.
Wen Shi frequently went to the Xi River to fish and wash clothes for her family. On one such errand, she found a large smooth white stone along the banks of the river. She took the beautiful stone home, but later discovered that the stone was actually an egg, from which hatched five baby snakes. Wen Shi’s family was poor, but Wen Shi saved the best food she had for her baby snakes and fed them by hand.
As the snakes grew, they helped Wen Shi catch fish at the Xi River. The snakes were natural swimmers and became very good at catching fish. The snakes eventually matured into five powerful dragons. In Chinese culture, dragons are considered spirits of water, and have the power to control the weather; during a drought, therefore, Wen Shi asked her dragon children to summon the rain for her village. When rain came and ended the drought, the grateful villagers gave Wen Shi the name “Mother of Dragons.”
Henneth Annun story archive (HASA) made this announcement over the weekend:
All good things come to an end - HASA will be retired and taken offline at the end of the year. This is not being done lightly, and there is a lot of sorrow surrounding the decision.
The announcement framed my weekend. I’m extremely sad. This was my first fandom home. This was where I years ago met most of my still closest fandom friends, or made the links to the people I rely upon in the fandom now. For what it’s worth, kicking and screaming all the way, I learned how to write fiction there. (This is where I tear up again.)
It was big and busy and multi-faceted. There was a certain self-conscious arrogance about the place (which had some basis in reality—it believed it was the best, the admiral leading the fleet—big ideas need comparable egos). But first and foremost it prompted a serious love for, engagement in, and commitment to the entirety of the fandom and all its genres. It promoted the sense that fanfic writing was real writing and deserved to be treated as such. It fostered a love for the sources, still has the best, quickly-accessible resources (with fucking citations! thank you very much!) for Tolkien names and bios, timelines, places, etc., especially for LotR but for the Silm and The Hobbit also.
It could be a contentious place. It included the Gondor crowd (all-Faramir-all-the-time, I used to call them—I love Faramir, but not only Faramir all the time!), the Elf-lovers (and haters), Hobbit and Dwarf writers, slash/femslash, and anti-slash groupings, the canatics (who knew less canon than I did eight years ago!), and a strong literary fiction tendency. All of whom thought at times that they were less welcome than the others. It was dominated by LotR fics, but always had a strong, if small, Silm fic section. But bottom line everything was permitted, while it sought to attract and archive the best, which garnered it an elitist label at times.
It’s setup contains the capacity for public and private discussion groups and what amount to writers groups and Beta work. One could create a discussion group on a long work, which was one’s own personal Beta/work group. There was a place to offer and request Beta services. Various challenges—time-limited and longer-term. Birthday forums where one could request and gift stories.An extensive resources/research section (unlike most Tolkien encyclopedias and Wikis well cited and footnoted). I am missing half of the activities and services. Oh, yeah, it had a stories list capacity—so one could categorize and recommend favorite stories. It was hand-coded and sophisticated. Not something which can be simply transferred to another site and administrative group.
Their first priority at the moment is to find somewhere to perhaps house the resource sections.
History is important
One sometimes gets a sense on Tumblr that people don’t value the accessibility of their own work, so why would they care about my history?
I do think what precedes one matters. One is operating out of a very narrow head-space if one does not know what came before them. HASA has long been the repository of the largest number of what I call Tolkien fandom classics. Obviously, not exclusively, but nowhere else comes close, or ever came close to it.
For me, HASA at its best has always been the flagship archive of the Tolkien fandom (laughing with tears—The New York Times! The British Museum! The Louvre of the Tolkien fandom!) cue heartbreaking crescendo of sad music here! Or maybe Mozart’s Requiem? I gotta laugh or I really will cry.
[My one true love and current fandom home, the SWG is limited to Silm fics. In my head that had to be balanced by a HASA. I always thought, love it or hate it, every serious Tolkien fan must know we needed HASA.]
The SWG has made an effort to collect some of the fandom’s classic stories based in The Silmarillion and published before its creation within its Library of Tirion section, but there are tons more on HASA. (Finding the authors and getting permission slows the process.) I would really encourage people to help in that effort. Particularly, if anyone knows how to reach writers no longer active in the fandom.
The owner and her admins are looking at ways to save the contents of the archive (OTW’s Open Doors project is being looked into at the moment—but not at all certain as a solution yet). The only thing certain is that the site is being closed down beginning at the end of 2014.
Be a good community member and let people know it is closing so their work can be saved.
People should certainly retrieve and save/re-archive their own work. And help is needed to reach all of the people whose work is there and who have moved on, many to other fandoms. So please re-blog this. It’s important that this legacy not be lost.
If you know any old warhorses or zombies of HASA’s salad days, please let them know. It would be a crime to lose so many well-crafted, seminal works of the fandom.
Forgive me for rambling and mixing the personal and practical in one post. One last anecdote, when I came around the Tolkien fandom in 2005/2006 I was told I had missed the peak period, that HASA was well past it heyday (the website went online in 2002 and it had previously existed as a Yahoogroup).That was eight-nine years ago and I am still kicking and so is the fandom.
actually I don’t get tumblr hobbit posters hysteric but gandalf and galadriel on this one are just….fabulous x)))
I feel this is very important.
It’s been apparent to me for a while that most men can’t really imagine “equality.” All they can imagine is having the existing power structure inverted.
I cannot decide whether this shows how unimaginative they are, or shows how aware they must be of what they do in order to so deeply fear having it turned on them.
"Most men can’t really imagine “equality.” All they can imagine is having the existing power structure inverted."