Smollett Family Reunion

Marching on…let’s brighten the dreary month of March celebrating Tobias Smollett’s birthday with a Smollett Family Reunion. Born around 16 March 1721, Smollett wrote picaresque (not picturesque) novels like The Adventures of Roderick Random and other writings, and translated Don Quixote. He wrote and wrote until he left us in 1771. Funny how much someContinue reading “Smollett Family Reunion”

Flowers and the Winter Blues

How can you call it the winter blues when the sky was rarely blue but rather gray? Be gone! Drab and dreary, gray and weary, sad, unsavory winter weather! Pick up your spirits with a few pics from my beloved Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and illustrations by a dear little lady close to myContinue reading “Flowers and the Winter Blues”

California Mini-Trip

One of my favorite authors, John Steinbeck, was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. My favorite book by Steinbeck–The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Boy, what a book! Makes you think twice before complaining. I took a trip to California years ago, and revisiting photos, came across those that reminded me of Steinbeck, although not takenContinue reading “California Mini-Trip”

Attack of the 42 Year-Old Man

Recently I blogged about 37-year old women, and within one week, just happened to watch three movies, each featuring a 42-year old man going through his midlife crisis; Movies, not literature, I know, but a story is a story, right? Plus, a movie starts with a screenplay or sometimes a book anyway, so…literature! (But ifContinue reading “Attack of the 42 Year-Old Man”

Trees Please 1: Ode to Elms

What hath the elm tree to do with literature? The American elm was mostly destroyed by Dutch elm disease, first recorded in the US in 1930. Lone, isolated American elms still exist, but only one alley of American elms remains, found in Central Park, New York City. These beautiful, curvy survivors line Literary Walk, alternatingContinue reading “Trees Please 1: Ode to Elms”

Para-Holidays: Valentine Cards from Backhanded Greetings

When You Don’t Care to Send the Very Best. Or, What I really meant to say was… Hey, I know Valentine’s Day should be sweet-n-romantic, but how ’bout a little honesty, too? Just in time for the Holiday of Love (oh, please), creative sister muse Morra Morron created some lovely Valentine’s for Backhanded Greetings. Enjoy!Continue reading “Para-Holidays: Valentine Cards from Backhanded Greetings”

Picture Frames and Ephemera: A Valentine from Hankry and Hankrietta Grunt

Raking Goodwill for books and other stuff I don’t need, I harvested a vintage frame for another painting, and in that frame, this lovely floral print, ©1926 Manz-Chicago in the lower left. The color print company Manz Corporation opened in 1866, originally as J. Manz Engraving Company. (Information courtesy of Wikipedia.) Another beautiful bit ofContinue reading “Picture Frames and Ephemera: A Valentine from Hankry and Hankrietta Grunt”

Philly Ephemera:Treasures Revealed in Vintage Books

I fell in love with vintage books a few years ago. I cannot rightly say why, but then, is love ever explained by reason? They can be had on the cheap and the forgotten bookmarks within reveal bits of the past. Sometimes it feels sacrilegious removing the bookmarks, as if the reader will return toContinue reading “Philly Ephemera:Treasures Revealed in Vintage Books”

5 Weird Places to Write

Pull up a chair and enjoy few weird places to write! Sure, I have a studio in my home and libraries around corner, but sometimes one needs a place private yet public, quiet yet alive, under the radar yet odd–all without home distractions. A few of my favorite spots… If I were cool, I wouldContinue reading “5 Weird Places to Write”

Reviews and Rants: Attack of the 37 Year-Old Woman

Title inspired by the 1958 movie Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman. Blog inspired by Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs. Ah, the spinsterly age of thirty-seven! That’s how poor Nora, the self-deprecating protagonist of Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs sees it, acting like her life is over because she’s thirty-seven, single, no kids, and nothingContinue reading “Reviews and Rants: Attack of the 37 Year-Old Woman”