For Sharon Kretschmar, The Lord of the Rings isn’t just a collection of stories about Hobbits and elves or a few movies with cool special effects. Kretschmar, 60, goes on the Internet nearly every day to talk with other Ringers, as fans call themselves. She’s done that for the last six years. And if you imagine that she’s chained to her home computer, living in a make-believe universe, consider this: Kretschmar has made a whole new circle of friends that she has visited in the United States and abroad, in places as far afield as Ireland and New Zealand. [More]