"I have now got a pestilent doctorate thesis to explore, when I would rather be doing something less useful..."
--J.R.R. Tolkien, from a letter to Naomi Mitchison (8 December 1955)
I'm in my mid-twenties and currently working on my Ph.D. English is my first language, but I am reasonably fluent in Spanish and teach it (as a TA) at the university I currently attend. I have also formally studied (in descending order of fluency) Italian, Portuguese, American Sign Language, French, and even a tad bit of Assyrian. Life as a graduate student is incredibly hectic and makes for very little free time, but I love it, and I can't imagine doing anything else at this point in my life.
I am a very proud Lord of the Rings/Tolkien geek: any excuse to mentally visit Middle-earth is a good one, in my opinion. I've read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings so many times I've lost track, as well as The Silmarillion, The History of Middle-earth, The Book of Lost Tales, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Atlas of Middle-earth, as well as any other Tolkien-/Middle-earth-related pieces of literature I can get my hands on. George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead are other favorites of mine (I'm also a fan of the TV shows); and finally, the Harry Potter series will forever hold a special place in my heart, as will Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and anything by the Brontë sisters or Jane Austen.
In terms of fanfiction, I tend to favor stories with a nice blend of action, drama/intrigue/suspense, deep friendship, and sometimes romance. Fanfiction is the only time I usually read/enjoy romance stories, actually: I like getting to see how it's approached in the different worlds and with the different characters I've come to know and love. The following "ships" are currently in my little armada:
Have a look at my favorites lists for some truly wonderful stories by some truly talented authors.