Letters to Gram: What am I doing?

June 7
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

I’m sorry, Grams!

I’ve not written you for a while, with reason. I have been so busy! Between staying in contact with all those friends I mentioned last time, trying to keep up with orders that were recently asked of me, and other personal matters, I have had little time to myself. Work has been the busiest of all lately.

I’m certainly not complaining about this, though! You know how I love my work. Not much in this world makes me happier than quietly sitting with a mug of ale and a piece of wood to carve. I recently finished a marvelous bookcase for a lovely young woman in town. She seemed most eager to have it done before the middle of this week. Apparently she had bought some books or some sort for her husband, and wanted to surprise him with a new shelf to put them on. Sweet, if you ask me.

I recently got a request for a rather beautiful instrument. A lute, made of maple wood.. darkened with color, and ivory turning keys. Absolutely lovely! I can’t start work on it until I get the keys, though. I’ll spend a lot of time looking for just the right wood. It’s hard to find maple wood willing to bend into a lute’s shape, but they are so sturdy and sound so sweet when you do find it.

I’ve continued to see Tarlanc, having a meal with him here and there.. last night, we met at the Broken Cask. A rather odd name for a tavern, but a lovely tavern it is! It’s run by one who is fast becoming a good friend, Rosemead. She was just married, and quite happy for it. Good on her, I say. She’s a kinder person than I think she realizes, and she deserves it. Particularly after she told me what happened to her last suitor: he apparently just ran off before they were married! How unfair! Who would leave Rosie, of all people in Bree, before marriage? She’s such a sweet person. Well, it worked out for the best in the end anyway, because now she has her Course. They’re quite happy together, I think. It’s nice to watch them interact.. he likes to sneak up on her.

I don’t in truth remember much of what happened at the Cask proper, because I’m a bit aflutter from what happened afterward. Tarlanc has been talking to me about the waterfall near his place for quite some time. We snuck out a bit early, and headed on over there after a little. He did something quite odd. Quite odd, indeed, I think. I wish so much you could give me your opinion on this, Grams. He told me he.. planned on kissing me in the future. Not.. he didn’t just do it, he told me he was planning on it! How strange is that? I wonder if it’s some kind of Gondor thing, announcing intentions beforehand. I’m unsure. It certainly gave me a bit of a scare. Not that I minded, mind you! It just took me by surprise.

I am uncertain where things will go from here, but I’m perishing curious. I take back what I wrote in my last letter: he is far from uninteresting, at any glance you can spare in his direction. Leastways, it seems that way to me. We usually talk of mundane things, work and the like, but I could think of no better way to spend time. Everything he says is different and curious…I think I’m rather fond of him. Oh, Grams! Is it too soon to think such things? It’s been not even two weeks since we met! I fear I said some rather foolish things last night, when he said he preferred plain speech. Ah, that is something you never say to me! I just blurt out what is on my mind. It never ends well. I spoke of my confusion at all this…I have no idea what is going on, that I’m unexplainably drawn to him. I’m a bit worried. He’s more…well, more experienced in this field. He says he’s never really courted a woman before, but I don’t believe it. He’s had to have had at least one woman, he is too interesting not to.

I really have no idea what I’m doing, or why. I just say things around him. Things in my mind.. it’s hard to think straight. I hope this, whatever it is, passes soon enough. I like having my wits about me. Ah.. what am I going to do with myself? I don’t know. I need to head off, to go find some of that maple. It’s going to take quite a time to find the right one. I promise I’ll try to write more often. I love you, Grams.

Your little pumpkin,
Lori