April 13, 2014 @ 2:27 pm | Filed under:


Golly, more than a week since I posted. I think that’s only happened three or four times in the nine years I’ve been writing this blog. And no big reason; I got sick midweek, a virus that had already made the rounds of the rest of the family, and it walloped me a bit; but not so much I couldn’t have gotten a post or two up, if I’d been inclined. I suppose I was just thrown off rhythm.

Wasn’t reading a whole lot, either, so I had very little to report in my daily reading notes! When I’m sick I always crave Agatha Christie, and  I spent the week revisiting a comfortable volume of Miss Marple stories. I first fell under Jane Marple’s gentle spell at age eleven, in a collection found on my aunt’s shelves. Every year or two when we stayed at her apartment, I hunted that book back out—along with a Lewis Carroll collected works and a volume of Poe stories. I still remember lying in one of the two twin beds in my Aunt Genia’s guest room, flat on my back, the heavy hardbound Poe tome propped on my chest, trying to make sense of “The Pit and the Pendulum.” I found it baffling yet captivating, and I remember being haunted by its terrible choice, falling asleep with the images so sharp in my mind that they carried over into my dreams. I remember rolling into the Pit and awakening with a start.

There’s nothing at all baffling about Miss Marple, and I’m sure that’s why I seek her out when my head is fuzzy.

Beyond that, all last week’s reading was things with the kids. Lots of poetry with the girls—more Donne, a bit of Herbert, and our continuing journey through the Poetry 180 selections, which offer much food for thought. The King’s Fifth, which I read with Jane ages ago but none of the rest remember. The Secret Garden with Rilla. Stellaluna with the three littles. Other picture books I’m forgetting.

A Huck funny I want to remember (I feel a little embarrassed to share it, but I have to remind myself I keep this blog for me, for my own record, and this is most certainly a moment I want to hold on to): he was only three when Fox and Crow Are Not Friends came out, and if it registered with him then that I had written it, the knowledge left no impression. (Like many writers’ children, my younger set are decidedly unimpressed by my profession. Obviously parents shut themselves away for a while every day and write books. That’s ordinary and boring. What’s really interesting are people who drive big trucks.) But Huck is reading quite well now, and when he asked me to read Fox and Crow to him yesterday, he recognized the name on the title page. “That’s your name!” he said.

“Yes,” I explained, “this is one of my books.”

He slowly craned his neck and peered up at me. “That you wrote?” he asked. “You made this story?”

“Yep. And Sebastien Braun drew the pictures.”

And suddenly he threw his arms around my neck and squeezed me tight. “I love this story,” he said. “Thank you, Mommy!”

And that, my friends, just may be the best review I have ever gotten. 🙂

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17 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Leah H says:

    Best review, indeed! How precious! Almost made me cry when I read that.

  2. sarah says:

    Oh what a blessing! So lovely. And I’m glad you’re feeling better now.

  3. Amy says:

    Awwww! That *is* the best. Hope everyone is healthy now!

  4. Tabatha says:

    There’s nothing better! 🙂

  5. Ellie says:

    Yes! When we were all so ill these past two weeks reading barely registered as an option. But now we are gulping them down again …

    So glad you are well once more and i’m sorry you were sick! It is no fun being walloped! Ergh. As i well know.

    How fun to have Huck say that, what a darling.

  6. Margaret in MN says:

    Darling boy. Those preschoolers have a way of melting their momma’s heart, don’t they?

    So glad you told the story, Liss. This week, especially, I’m clinging to things that make me smile. (It’s a Holy Week thing. I always get a bit sad during Holy Week–sad AND thankful, crazy combination that.)

  7. Margaret in MN says:

    PS. My daddy drove a great big truck and I thought it was very cool.

  8. Melissa Wiley says:

    Driving big trucks IS way cool, I’m with you and Huck. 😉 And before my teens read this post and protest, I ought to clarify that it’s the *very young* children of writers who are unfazed by the occupation. My older kids think we have awesome jobs. I’m sure the Comic-Con guest badges have nothing to do with it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Mama Squirrel says:

    Hi Melissa, I’m hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling–could I include this post?

  10. Emily Thrasher says:

    Oh, Lissa! That is the most precious thing. I had to share it out loud to my husband. Thank you for your books and your stories.

  11. Melissa Wiley says:

    Mama Squirrel, absolutely! Thanks!

  12. tanita says:

    Aww. A definite “save this” moment —
    The knowledge that Mama is not only the font of all good stories, but all good stories JUST for him. How sweet.

  13. mamacrow says:

    oh what a wonderful review! I’m also a bit teary!

    just curious – which Miss Marple short stories where they? The Tuesday night club?

  14. Karen Edmisten says:

    Cue the heartmelt! So, so sweet! Hug him for me, okay?

  15. Lindsay says:

    Love the review! So wonderful when they suddenly love a story. And how much more special when they realize it came from Mom.

    About the big trucks — when our son was less than a year old we used to take him for a walk every morning, Daddy carrying him facing forward in a “front pack.” As it was rush hour, there was a good bit of traffic through our little town and our little guy would watch all the cars go by, but when, and only when, a big Mack truck went by, he would slowly raise his arm, and point his finger at the Big Truck, never taking his eyes off it until it was out of sight.

    A year or so later one of his uncles gave him one of those battery-operated Sunoco trucks for Christmas — the kind that flash lights and blow horns constantly. He managed to wear out the batteries on the first day. A while later we were out walking and we saw the identical life-sized model of his toy truck driving down the street. “WOW!” he said. “That one must REALLY be hard on batteries!”

    Yes, little boys all seem to love those big trucks.

  16. Beth says:

    Catching up on multiple postings here at your blog, and had to join the other heartfelt “awwwws….” over this one. What a precious moment with your son!

  17. Melissa Wiley says:

    Mamacrow, I seem to have missed your question earlier. Yes, the Tuesday Club Murders. 🙂