Purple and Prose

January 23, 2013 @ 8:00 pm | Filed under: ,


I just wrote a long rambly dissertation on linksharing across various platforms, the pros and cons thereof, and then I decided it was too rambly even for me. So here’s a pretty picture instead. 😉 These gorgeous blooms dazzled us at the outdoor mall today, where I took Huck and Rilla to get new shoes. We stopped for a bun at Panera and it’s possibly the first time I’ve ever been in a cafe with just those two; it was delightful, all chatter and energy, Rilla proudly cutting the bun in half and then carving her half into tiny bites, a frown of concentration, a very straight back. Toward the end an older couple got up from the next table and stopped to speak to us. “I’m usually quick to complain,” said the woman, rather ominously, “but—” and then lots of nice things about my children. Whew. The man was her “baby brother,” she told us, and it seems they quite enjoyed seeing miniature versions of themselves sharing a treat together.

Then we went to the shoe store, and Rilla hit her head on a shelf and the whole outing ended in tears. Which is pretty much how these things go. (She’s fine.)

at the mall

Before the fall

The older girls got a book of Zelda sheet music for Christmas and have been learning the songs from their favorite Zelda iteration, Twilight Princess. I gave them the Lord of the Rings score as well because I want to hear those songs resounding through the house. This strategy is paying off quite nicely.

Reading notes: I finished Girls of Slender Means and have moved on to A Far Cry from Kensington, and the thing about Muriel Spark is that now that I’ve read her, she’s in my thoughts so constantly (this is the case ever since Memento Mori a couple of years ago) that I can hardly remember not having her voice among the influencers in my head. How did I, a reader, a book junkie, a student of literature, make it this long without Spark? How did I know how to look at streets and sentences without her? This is how she makes me feel. Her sentences are like the blades of ice skates, sharp, swift, carrying you along at some risk to your personal comfort. Sometimes Jane and I say to each other, can you imagine life without knowing Monty Python? Can you imagine living in the world without Holy Grail in the back of your mind? That’s how I feel about Muriel Spark. And I felt the same way last year after reading Elizabeth Goudge’s The Scent of Water. And before that, A. S. Byatt’s unbelievably rich (and dark) The Children’s Book, which I’ve read three times in as many years. Which realization sends a thrill up my spine: who else is out there waiting for me, waiting to change my world? Oh, writers of books, I adore you.

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10 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Melissa Wiley says:

    Also Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. IN MY HEAD.

  2. Melanie B says:

    I just love how Rilla’s pose mirrors that of the statue. And I’m dying of envy of all that luscious purple. 16 degrees was our high today and the yard is spotted with snow.

    I haven’t read Sparks ever. And now I see I’m going to have to. But not until I’m done with The Baroque Cycle.

  3. sarah says:

    I’m sorry Rilla hit her head. I hope she still has happy memories of the outing. The LOTR score is my favourite music ever and infact is the music I play when writing.

    By the way, is that cupcake picture in your sidebar new? Probably not – and I’ve probably even commented on it in the past – but I just saw it and melted. So very adorable.

  4. Melissa Wiley says:

    The cupcake is new in that spot, yes! It’s one of the pieces Chris Gugliotti (Thicklebit illustrator extraordinaire) drew for me when I had the blog redesign a few months back, but that particular piece was hidden on my contacts page, and I love it so much I decided it needed to be here, too, where I can see it every day. I never go to my contacts page. 😉

    Rilla is fine—dignity hurt more than head. “Well in body, though considerably rumpled in spirit,” to quote Anne Shirley. 🙂

  5. Beth says:

    The perfect gimme gift — scores of music for the child who will play it. Everyone wins.

  6. Leslie in VA says:

    For some reason, I had the impression that Sparks wasn’t worth the time. Im so excited to have a new author to delve into. Do you have a suggestion for a first read? Thanks.

    Magical flowers!

    FYI, Square Foot Gardening talks at Balboa Park. Might be up your alley.

  7. Lindsay says:

    Oh, the flowers! I love it. How it makes me long for spring! Bitter cold here and blooming daffodil bulbs were on sale at the grocery store yesterday, and I couldn’t resist. Soon I’ll start taking cuttings from the impatiens and begonias I’ve nursed through the winter. And maybe this spring find some salmon pink geraniums to propogate — like in “The Little White Horse” — and thank you for leading me to that.

    Waiting for “A Far Cry from Kensington” to arrive from InterLibraryLoan — another thank you to you!

  8. Melissa Wiley says:

    I think Far Cry from Kensington is my favorite so far, and I’m only a third of the way in! The voice is tremendous. Crackling with personality. And it’s set in the publishing world of 1950s London, so you know that has me at hello. 😉

    I have pink geraniums on my windowsill, blooming in an apple green pot: possibly my favorite flower/pot combination ever. Although I had some apricot-colored pansies in that pot once and that was delicious too. My poor geranium has grown lanky and leggy, really needs re-rooting, but I’m loathe to let it go until I have another one ready to go in. Now I’m drooling over these little RootCups I read about at GeekMom yesterday—though I have to laugh at myself, because I could buy a new bitty geranium for less than a rootcup. 😉 I need to make new cuttings from the ones in my backyard. I always like a row of red and pink geraniums for Valentine’s Day.

  9. Lindsay says:

    1950s London. Oh,my! May have to re-read “84, Charing Cross Road”!