Writing Prompt – Leave Your Life and Move to the Shire

You face serious stress or a crisis in your life. When you reach a breaking point you receive the opportunity to leave your life behind and move to the Shire.

  • You struggle could be any of these:
    1. You recently lost your entire family.
    2. You have an overwhelmingly stressful career, and you long to quit.
    3. You are in sudden financial ruin.
    4. This world has been devastated by war, plague, or natural disaster.
    5. You have terminal cancer or a terminal disease.
    6. You can combine any number of these into the same story and/or add a struggle not listed here.
  • Describe your psychological condition when you reach a breaking point.
  • You then receive an opportunity to leave this life behind and move to the Shire. This would be the Shire in Middle-Earth, not a vacation resort replica in this world.
  • How will you move there:
    1. Will you walk through a wardrobe like Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia?
    2. Will you fall asleep in this world and wake up in your own hobbit hole in the Shire?
    3. Will you go to a boat port in this world to board one of the white ships of the Grey Havens, sail to Middle-Earth, and then travel by land to the Shire? Middle-Earth does not exist in this world, and so the ship will need a way to jump between worlds. It will not take you to Valinor.
  • At which point in Middle-Earth history do you arrive? Is it before or after the One Ring is destroyed? You will not join the quest to destroy the Ring. You will move to the Shire to find a peaceful life.
  • You will leave your current life behind, but what will you do for a living in the Shire? It must be something that would be natural for life there. You cannot bring the modern technology of this world.
  • Will you remain human or become a hobbit?
  • Is the move permanent?
    1. If it is, then you leave your current life behind and never return.
    2. Maybe you stay there for a year and then have the option to return to this world or stay in the Shire. That choice is permanent.
    3. Maybe you can return to this world for up to a few months and then make a permanent choice whether to stay in this world or return to the Shire.
  • In either case, when you go to the Shire, you get a fresh start. Financial obligations and health problems in this world will not follow you to the Shire, but they will be waiting for you if you return.
  • You also leave behind everyone you know in this world. Maybe you can bring one person or a few people with you, but they will need to make the same permanent choice.

By the way, while writing this post I found an effort to build the Shire in central Tennessee. I would love to spend a week long vacation there. The replica in New Zealand is too far for my budget, but Tennessee would be more manageable. Unfortunately this project was proposed three years ago and appears to have quickly fizzled out.

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

About henrywm

I am a graduate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. I am interested in Christian theology and church history. I also enjoy science fiction and stories which wrestle with deep questions.
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