....a feeling not unlike happiness
I also just read Trick Mirror. I hadn't known about the author and her culture writing gig at the New Yorker. I loved reading her perspective. Authors that informed my childhood/youth were all the Ramona Quimby Books, all the Judy Bloom books and the Anastasia Krupnik books by Lois Lowry. Anastasias was like an older Ramona for the 1970's set. She was opinionated and independent, often saying the wrong thing to the wrong person., but she dusted her self off and started again on an almost daily basis. I must confess to a slight obsession with the Sweet Valley High Series to help me get through middle school. This series was "created" by Francine Pascal but was most surely ghost written by any number of aspiring authors. I most likely related most to the more shy, studious of the twins, Elizabeth, but desperately longed for a boyfriend like she had. It's only upon recent reflection that I see how the books I loved as a kid were focused on outspoken, serious, independent girls, and whether I knew it or not, I wanted to be one of those kind of women.
I love the double duvet idea! It's definitely one I'm taking "home!"
As to the books that influenced the stages of my life. As a little girl, I read "Heidi" over and over. Her gumption and strength of character - but especially the way she could make everyone love her really appealed to me. In middle school, I became completely "Nancy Drew" addicted. I guess I loved motherless girls. They seemed to walk so much more lightly though life. I know now, of course, that the female images were hopelessly sexist, and I wasn't immune to them, but I'm still a great mystery fan. An a young adult I fell in love with the great epic, Kristin Lavransdatter. It is set in 14th century Norway. It follows Kristin's life from girlhood to motherhood and beyond against the rich tapestry of a land and a culture previously unknown to me. I loved it so much that I named my first child, Kristin.
Thanks for the information on the online workshops. I'll check them out.
Meg Murray, the prickly teenage heroine of Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time, is one of my favorites. She’s probably THE favorite, alongside Laura Ingalls Wilder. Meg had unruly hair, glasses and braces, and saved her father from Camazotz. Meg’s mother was also a badass— a chemistry PhD who cooked dinner on a Bunsen burner. I loved Meg and Laura both because they weren’t pretty and obedient. They asked questions, and they let us see their dark side.
I'm reading HOW TO CARRY WHAT CANNOT BE FIXED; A Journal for Grief, by Megan Devine. Out of all the books on loss, she gets it. Wish I'd had it a year ago. Picture a woman with flowers for a head with a suitcase falling open, papers flying and the quote, "Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely." -Edna St. Vincent Millay She says folks think grief is a problem to be solved, but really, it's an experience to be carried. You need tools to build a life along side your loss, not make that loss disappear. The journal, is what she promised...drawn on and carried around with me, served like an anchor in a storm.
I am focused on fall as a great time to find a class, a writing group, a coach - something to get me out of my head. Something to light a fire. Fall is the best season for creative beginnings, I think. The Tom Waits link is maybe the best thing to happen to me today, thanks for that. I've always got time for Tom. ❤️