TarValon.Net’s December 2021 Recap – Bonus Edition

December 2021 Wrap Up

 
Greetings my fellow Tar Valonians!
 

I am in complete denial that 2022 is next week, how about you?! Our weather has been unseasonably wet and cold in this part of California, so between that and our ceaseless covid restrictions, its hard to make concrete memories because we’re not going out and doing things like we would have in the “before times.” We have been playing a lot of D&D and other board games, watching the ever growing list of good wintery films, and eating far too many cookies. I miss being with friends and family terribly, but I’m not gonna lie that a part of me doesn’t miss the stress of house cleaning, traffic, and socializing too much at events.
 

Here’s our month in review:
 

News of Note

Serinia Edoras has chosen to retire from her position as Amyrlin Seat. No information has been shared yet about hiring a replacement or what, if any, changes will be made to the role. We recognize and thank you Mother for all your hard work during these unprecedented times. Also, happy birthday month! Best wishes to you in your retirement.
 

Special Events:

Our 2021 Feast of Lights activity is shared in General. It is never too late to light your candle.
 

Raisings:

Raised to the rank of Aes Sedai this month we welcome Rhianna to the Brown, Nebka to the Red, Ahmyra to the Green.
 

New Hires:

Congratulations to our new Chief Operating Officer/Keeper- Erin al’Danael, and our new Chief Membership Officer/Cordamora (“Heart of the People” in the Old Tongue) Morrighan Daghdera.
 
In other areas of the site, Tree is the HOA for the Green Ajah, Atane and Ajailyn are our new Headteachers, Siera will oversee all things social, with Ne’Mireth and Dreia assisting, and to wrap things up, Aintza and Kenith will continue in their roles as Game Masters. (Come play Mafia with us!!)
 

Job Openings:

The Mayor is looking for City Council Members. Applications are due by Dec. 31.

We are also in need of an Outreach Activities Coordinator. The position is open until Dec. 30, or until filled.
 

Miscellaneous:

Discussions regarding raising requirements should be posted in your various membership groups. Please speak up by January 12th if you have ideas for our structure.
 

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Bonus Time!! Here’s a month-to-month look at the highlights from 2021:

 

2021: A Year in Review

January

  • (Well, really late Dec. 2020, but worth highlighting!) We’ve added a pronoun field in our profile section. Please select your favorites so we can address you accordingly
  • We want your photos! Please sign our release if okay for us to include you in our collections
  • Merits in January, part 1 and part 2

February

  • An 8 day long Sa’lebration was hosted in honor of Sa’s 8 years as DoM. Many shenanigans were had, I am sure.

March

April

May

  • Same Path Bonding announced!! This was a decision decades in the making, and it makes me so, so happy that people can share a bond regardless of their honorifics.
  • Keeper Mieriana shares her thanks to all of our volunteers and announces some changes to the forums
  • Minimum age requirements for various membership levels are clarified

June

  • Our first batch of Same Path Bonds are made official- check the announcements from June 1st!

July

August

September

October

  • Dissolved Bond requests will be processed as needed, and will no longer be announced
  • Melisande becomes the Chairperson of the Board
  • Keeper Mieriana steps down and we begin our hunt for her replacement.
  • Dralyn and Lireina retire from the board. Our site wouldn’t be what it is without these two people and the years of service they’ve given to the site.
  • October Merits are shared, and a new Merit for virtual events is announced
  • We celebrate Shaoman in mixed teams, which ended up being quite a good time
  • Voting begins for Members Choice Awards
  • Members who wish to leave their user groups may do so at will, and no longer lose their rank or Bonds during their time as unaffiliated members. Like same path ponding, this is a huge step forward for us!

November

  • We celebrate Anni online together, during which Amyrlin Awards and Members Choice award winners are announced
  • The results of our Great Charity Hunt, started in 2020, are announced. It makes me proud to be a part of a community that take care of those around them!
  • New logos for membership groups and departments
  • Eleyan retires from the Board
  • Some little fandom show becomes a number one hit on Amazon. Maybe you’ve heard of it?!

December

 
TL;DR
Lots of raisings, hirings, volunteerings, and merits shared. Same path bonding announced, wahoo! Demotees get to keep their rank and bonds, double wahoo! Retiring Board Members means new Board Members, a split to the role of Keeper occurs, so now we have a Cordamora too, our Amyrlin retires, and THE SHOW gets released, which causes much rejoicing and gnashing of teeth, and we’ve all made it though another year of nerdy friendship, triple wahoo!
 

Onward to 2022!

We here at the Tar Valon Times wish all of our members a very happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for making our little corner of the internet a pretty nifty place to hang out. Peace be with you friends!

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Movie Review “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Today is November 19th, 2021. All over the world, friends of mine are watching Amazon’s “The Wheel of Time,” by our beloved Creator, Robert Jordan. They’re sharing wonderful stories and pictures of themselves in costumes and shawls, which is awesome. I know you can find many lovely blogs, podcasts, and YouTubers talking about it.

This review, however, is not about WOT, as I am here to talk about the new Netflix film “tick, tick… BOOM!” that was also released today. This film is a semi autobiographical telling of a portion of the composer Jonathan Larson’s life. It is Lin-Manuel Maranda’s directorial debut, starring Andrew Garfield.

Many people know Jonathan Larson because of his musical “RENT.” But before he was “RENT” famous, Jonathan Larson wrote a little show called “tick, tick… BOOM!,” a three person musical, which in some ways I like better than RENT. Most people have never heard of it, though its been a personal favorite for decades, long before I’d ever heard of WOT. It gets to the heart of what it means to be an artist and performer; and that fire that is all consuming to leave your mark no matter what other struggles you’re dealing with. Then the heartbreak of starting all over again.

People have frequently compared Lin-Manuel Miranda to Larson, and said “Hamilton” was to “In the Heights” as “RENT” would have been to whatever Larson got to write next. Sadly, Larson passed away suddenly at the age of 35, right before “RENT’s” first public showing. Sometimes I wonder if this is why LMM (may he live forever!) works as hard as he does on so many different things- its all about the legacy and getting as much done with the time we’re given as possible. This drive to make, create, and write their way into our lives gave me good hope about LMM as the director, because I figured he’d “get it” more than your average Hollywood director would. I am happy to say, I was not disappointed. He made some excellent choices, and brought the story to life with tenderness and respect.

Going into my viewing I was excited, and nervous, especially regarding casting. Spiderman singing? Hmm, okay… And I knew Vanessa Hudgens was in it. She’s got a pretty face, but generally, her acting isn’t swell. (Though, not gonna lie, I’ll probably still watch the Princess Switch 3 anyway.) I was pleasantly surprised. Garfield was likable, and relatable, and had a voice that fit well for the part. Hudgens did far more singing than speaking, which was fine with me. I now look forward to seeing more of Robin de Jesus, an unknown to me before this, who plays Larson’s best friend, Michael. And, I have to admit, this Broadway Baby burst into tears more than once. The story and the struggle of being a creative person trying to find and birth their “thing” is so relatable to me.

“tick, tick… BOOM” is set during the end of Larson’s “Superbia” era, which he produced in 1989. But despite spending almost a decade writing it, it’s never really seen the light of day. Garfield’s Jonathan is touchingly portrayed as a kind of 1990’s Orpheus. Not a bad guy by any means; but one who is consumed and driven by his mission and music so much that it causes him to sometimes be neglectful towards those he loves. (Speaking of Broadway and Orpheus, if you haven’t checked out the musical Hadestown, please do so! Its one of the best things to come out in musical theatre in years, and does a wonderful job of making an old tales modern and relevant.) I really appreciated the diversity of the rest of the cast, all ages and body types were represented.

There are theatre and film related cameos all through the movie. The biggest numbers show up in the writing workshop, and a song called “Sunday.” My goodness, if you know your Broadway history and actors, wow, that was cool to see everyone. Small spoiler- Bernadette Peters was one of the cameos. I met her when she came to do a show at the theatre I worked at. She was lovely to work with, and is a surprisingly tiny person for as big of a voice as she has! André De Shields is another, whom I did not meet, but did get to see perform live when I was in the audience for the recording of PBS’s Great Performances for “Play On!”  This article from Slate has a good breakdown of everyone to show up. Most are uncredited, so you won’t find them on IMDB, but there are award winning actors, writers, composers, family, and friends, etc. It is a testament to both Jonathan Larson and to LMM that all of these folks were willing to show up and be a part of this project.

They took out one of my favorite lines of the musical (shared below), but they did a great job of portraying that statement, so I am very satisfied. I highly recommend you watching it, once you’re done binging WOT. Make sure you watch through the credits too, as it shows several videos of the real Jonathan. If you listen to the old recording of the show, you can hear Jonathan’s voice at the end of that as well. This line gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

I want to write music
I want to sit down 
Right now at the piano
And write a song that
People will listen to and remember 
And do the same thing every morning
For the rest of my life

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TarValon.Net’s October 2021 Recap

Greetings friends! October has come to an end, wow, was it ever busy! If you want to save some time, jump directly to Site Announcements to read all the things for yourselves. Most of the first page happened this month. 

– Online Anni is coming up on Nov. 6th!! Come join us in Discord for the shenanigans! Our annual Membership awards will be announced at that time. 

– Our Keeper has retired, and we’re looking for a new one. Following that announcement we learned that two of our Board Members are also retiring, and we’re looking for new ones

– Changes were made for Senior Members who wish to leave their user groups. Instead of demoting and losing their earned rank they are now allowed to be “Of None Ajah/Company” while they explore their options and pick a different group. Some restrictions apply. The process of Bonding dissolutions has also changed. 

– Merit awards were announced, and a new merit for virtual events has been added to the list.

Shaoman

We’ve just wrapped up one of our fun free weeks. Special thanks to Siera al’Cere and the Activities team for their hard work in putting the event together. We Trollocs had, dare I say, a bloody good time playing. 😀

Events

Speaking of playing, we’ve got a new revolving Game of Clue started in Frivolous Fun. Come join us! 

Aspirations

We had three Aspirations this month – Jasin to SDS; and the Blue Ajah welcomed Jocasta and Syera!

See above for Keeper and Board applications. Applications due by Nov. 8th. And Nov. 1st respectively. Additionally, we are in need of a new Brown HoA. Applications due Nov. 7th. 

Aratouial has joined the Tower. 

Dar’Jen is the newest Gaidin of VC, and Morrighan, the newest Gaidin of MDD. 

Congratulations to Alyria and Calen on their Bond. 

Melisande is our new Chairperson of the Board. 

Yenie is the new Red HoA. 

Polegnyn, Seryse, and Jaryd have all joined the Servant of All team

Our Fall Hall has taken their seats.

Thank you to all of you for your service to the community! 

That is all for now. Be safe if you’re doing Halloween stuff tonight, and happy November!

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Member Spotlight – Headteachers Fee and Calen

 
Greetings friends!
 
I have the pleasure of introducing you to our current Head Teachers (or more formally titled, Headmaster and Headmistress)! Calen Velervron and Fee Nicoin were kind enough to respond to my interview request, I hope you enjoy learning more about who they are and why they do what they do. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about a whole variety of topics, and/or want to teach something for the Tower, you can visit The Classroom forum, and they can be reached at classroom@tarvalon.net. I am sure they’d love to hear from you!
 
Adina: Tell our readers a bit about yourselves, where you live, and what you do out there in the world.

Fee: I live in Southern Scotland. I have no pets but would love a dog, sadly living in an apartment and working all day is not conducive to having a dog. I am a secondary school teacher (for those not in the UK I teach young people between the ages of 11 to 18.) I teach History and Modern Studies – it is a uniquely Scottish subject – it consists of politics, some sociology type stuffs, and focuses on current and recent events.

Calen: I am from Hot Springs, Arkansas. I am a social worker for the State of Arkansas in the Foster Care system. I started off in investigations, but now I work in the administrative part of the system. I often troubleshoot harder to work cases. I help run a unit that also investigates child trafficking. There is a large amount on I-30 in the US. I have a boyfriend who is fantastic, his name is Joey. I adopted his cat, Jaspers. I have two nephews and a niece that I adore. I am MDD all day long.
 
Adina: How have you been keeping busy during Covid Times?

Calen: I try and read two books a week. I am a huge fan of Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files. I love a good Dresden quote and can use them in almost any situation.

Fee: I taught myself to crochet during the first lockdown here. I am not very good but I do enjoy it. Apart from that and reading I have no other hobbies. I shaved my hair off during the lock down, I had always wanted to do it so took the chance when I was not physically in school.
 
Adina: How did you find TarValon.Net?

Fee: I was looking for info on the WoT books release dates. I got the first books from a brother of mine – turns out the series has been a family affair and all three of my brothers have read them. The search led to TarValon.Net — according to the join date I have that was in 2006.

Calen: I think I found the site looking at the Wikipedia whilst reading the books. I stayed because of the service part of the site and the friends I found here. I am happy to say, I have made some of the best friends a guy can have.
 
Adina: Calen, how did you know MDD was “home?”

Calen: The Company is made up of people that I want to be like. They are smart, witty and loyal. If you need someone to have your back, it’s hard to get someone better than an MDD member. There is also a lot of laughter involved. (Interviewer note- as a long time Bonded guest in MDD, I can attest to the truth of this statement!)
 
Adina: Fee, how is your Guesting journey going?

Fee: I am not the most active of people and I find it difficult to just jump in to threads, so I am currently an Accepted, and have been since the Callander Europarty in 2017 when Cassie Sedai raised me.
 
Adina: What made you interested in applying for this position?

Fee: I applied for the role of Headteacher as I wanted to become more active on the site. The idea of the Headteacher role appealed to me as I feel the classroom offers great opportunities to delve deeper into the books, to learn about new things such as rune-casting or even China. The raising support threads are a great place of support if you want to go down the SM path.

Calen: I wanted to apply because one of the first things I did when I joined was started to teach. I think it is a great and unique way to give back. Plus, who doesn’t like to learn?!
 
Adina: What goals do you have for this position?

Calen: My goal for the tenure is to make sure we keep two rotating classes going, and to develop a system that runs on autopilot for instruction of new citizens.

Fee: In terms of goals [we want] more people sharing their passion and knowledge for skills or topics and teaching classes. So if you have that desire [to teach] email us: classroom@tarvalon.net
 
Adina: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Fee: Feel free to say hi!

Calen: I am also a mediator and take that job super seriously. I think our site is capable of great things and I have a lot of hopes for what we can accomplish.
 
Thank you both so much for taking the time to answer my questions, and letting our members get to know you better! Readers, head over at take a class or two, or, teach one. Or both, both is good.

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TarValon.Net’s August 2021 Recap

 
Who has two Blue thumbs and is in denial that it is already time to wrap up August? This Aes Sedai, that’s for sure! I am betting I am not alone. Even though we’re still pretty well masked everywhere, and dealing with smoke and Covid closures here in California, schools have opened — and the kids at least are getting a bit back to normal, whatever that even means any more.
 
Here is some news of note for the month:
 

 
2021 Site Fundraiser: Donations to the Tower support the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship, and cover our costs to keep the site up and running ad free. Join as we have some fun “Hunting the Black Ajah.” Erin and team have worked hard to make this happen, and the event runs until September 17th. All donations welcome and appreciated.
 
WoT on Prime News: We got some full costume looks of Amazon Prime’s Wheel of Time core cast this month, and they look awesome! Our Social Media team posted the TV Guide coverage last week. And here’s a fun little article from Entertainment Weekly, suggested by our very own Editor. I particularly love that Logain shot!, it gives me shivers of antici…)
 
[Editor’s note, if you see this issue on a newsstand, be sure to check out the “What’s the word count?” graphic, it’s a great visual on how the Wheel of Time stacks up to some other popular book series, literally page for page.]
 
Looking for Players: The Tower’s Games Forum is one of my favorite places to hang out, and Lok is looking for several more willing bodies for a game of Assassins which will have a Totto Land Teaparty theme. You do not have to know the theme (I sure don’t!) or the mechanics, you just need to show up for fun, and you’ll learn on the fly.
 
Wheel of Time Re-Read: Have you joined in the reading yet? Reading as a “group” can be really nice, especially given the daunting task it is to get through our beloved series. We’re currently reading chapters 7-13 of The Dragon Reborn. Join us!
 

 
Special congratulations to Stephen Lightheart and Elanda Tonil, and Murasaki al’Aevon and Adolla Ceryia on their bonds. I am still so chuffed we have Same Path Bonds!
 

 
The Tower welcomes Delara Morellin  and Merena Orithana as the newest Novices. Enjoy the new places to explore!
 

 


 

  • Our Co-Directors of Technology are looking for two new Master/Mistresses of the Watch- one for Moderation, and the other Interface. If you have the tech skills (or even some of them!) I know they’d love to hear from you. The application deadline for both positions is September 13th.
  • Graphics development and Social Media are always looking for willing volunteers.

 

 

  • The Blue Ajah and Dai M’Hael Company have new leaders. Congratulations to Nymala Ingasy and Vendri al’Varrak!
  • HOAs and CCs are also looking for new Hall recruits, interested parties should apply to their Membership Admin for the October term.

 

And that is it for August! Keep being safe out there friends! See you around the boards!

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