So, here's the news in brief: this weekend, I'm one of the guests of honor at a new little con at Texas A&M in Commerce, Texas (about one-third of the way from Dallas to Texarkana). My fellow guest of honor is my friend Doug Anderson, author of the excellent ANNOTATED HOBBIT. My own talk will be on the relationship between THE HOBBIT and THE SILMARILLION. In addition, Doug, the Dean, and I will be on a Hobbit Roundtable, and Jason Fisher will not only be moderating our two presentations but giving one of his own on Tolkien's sources. The event will be hosted by Robin Reid, for years the organizer of the Tolkien at Kalamazoo tract.
It'll be great to attend the first gathering of a brand new con, to have the chance to combine this with a family visit over in the ArkLaTex, and maybe even have time afterward for a quick (one day) research trip among the Dunsany manuscripts down in Austin (so far as I know, I'm the only Dunsany scholar to have ever made use of them, and it's a LONG time since my last visit ). Maybe we'll even have time to see the famous bats.
It'll also be interesting to return to Commerce Texas, where I'm told we lived for a summer to fulfill a residency requirement while my father was getting his Masters in History (M.S.). I have no memory of the town or campus at all, having been not yet two at the time -- though I do still have a copy of the Master's Thesis he wrote to finish the degree 
So, here's for a safe trip and an interesting weekend ahead. If you're in the area, drop on by and say hello.