I’m In a Snowglobe

Today I’m in a snowglobe

My thoughts are whirring round

Landing ever so softly

On the frozen ground.

~K.L. Branson

That is my concession for the snow falling today.  I looked out the window and it felt like I was in a snowglobe.  I want to play around with the start of this because it seems fun, but that is all I have for now. I may drop it, or I may continue.  Right now I have millions of ideas floating around.

Persephone Books

Persephone Books (Photo credit: RachelH_)

I just received the catalogue and biennial magazine from Persephone Books in the mail today.   Oh my gosh do they have a wonderful catalogue!  They list all of their 96 books which includes a synopsis, a glimpse of the endpaper, and sometimes another picture of the author.  The catalogue is truly delightful.  I plan to order at least one book from them just because.  I found a couple titles that sound wonderful and I’m excited, despite them being paperback.  I’ll live.  Oh, they also included a bookmark from one of the books they sell.  It’s really amazing.  I am so thrilled I found this company. I want to tell everyone about them.

So, for it being a leap year, I expected to see a post on the Freshly Pressed about it, but nothing.  I guess it isn’t that big of a deal.  I think it’s kind of fun, especially since it was today that we had our first decent snowfall all year.  There Has to be some irony in there.  I’m just not sure where.

Signing off

~Kate

If Persephone Had Been a Publisher

I will gladly admit I love books.  I live for books.  I cannot go through life without books.  And when I come across books printed in a very classic way, I want them. Sometimes I want books just because they look nice, even if I don’t plan to read them.  I know, scandalous.  However, you might understand this when I tell you about this fascinating publishing company.

Shop photoPersephone Books out of the UK is  a publishing company that only publishes books by women authors.  With a  heading of “Rediscovered twentieth century novels, Twentieth century female authors and Inter-war Novels”, how could you go wrong?   From obscure titles like

Endpaper of Marchioness

The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett to

Endpaper of Saplings

Saplings by Noel Streatfeild.  Did you know Streatfeild wrote for adults?  Neither did I.

 

Persephone Books boasts 96 books in their selection, each with a different end paper.  This is one of the charms about Persephone Books.  While their covers are a pleasing dove-gray, it is the end papers that really catch your eye.  Each book has its own endpaper set to the book style, or the time period it was printed.  Each is completely different, and completely charming.  Along with that, each book comes with its own matching bookmark; a book mark that matches the endpaper, that is.  How completely wonderful is that?

 Below is the original article from February 2010’s Vanity Fair.  This is the article that introduced me to the imprint.

” A Woman of Substance

PERSEPHONE BOOKS’ FEMININE MYSTIQUE

Nicola Beauman, Persephone Books founder

Persephone, the British imprint founded by Nicola Beauman, evokes cozy and nostalgic memories of London train rides, Yardley English Lavender, freshly brewed tea being poured into a proper china cup, a spring popping out of a slightly doggy-smelling armchair. The tiny catalogue’s 86 titles are a compendium of short stories, memoirs, cookbooks, and republished works by neglected female writers from the interwar years. Authors such as Dorothy Whipple, Marghanita Laski, Winifred Watson (whose book Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was made into the 2008 film), and Mollie Panter-Downes, the London wartime (and peacetime) correspondent of The New Yorker, tell stories of gentle, respectable domesticity, of outward seemliness and inner turmoil which, through the banal minutiae of a housewife’s day, unravel to who life exquisitely and often darkly revealed.  “These are books where nothing and everything happens at the same time, ” offers Beauman, a Cambridge-educated mother of five.  “They are an acknowledgement that the small-scale should never be overlooked. ”  Frustrated by been able to find her favorite authors only in second-hand shops, Beauman, herself an author and a passionate champion of  “the middlebrow,” opened Persephone in 1999 in a shabbily genteel former grocery store on London’s Lamb’s Conduit Street

Eleven years later, the imprint, with its uniform dove-gray book jackets and beautiful endpapers, lovingly handpicked by Beauman and her staff, has developed a cult following.  For example, the endpaper for Doreen, a 1946 tale by Barbara Noble about a child evacuee torn from her mother, was taken from a 1940 “London Alert” print silk scarf belonging to a Persephone reader.  For Dorothy Whipple’s The Closed Door and Other Stories, Beauman chose a design from a 1930s tea gown she’d found at Camden Passage Market.

“Allergic to the corporate” and admittedly “short” with people who tell her she  ought to expand the business into wallpaper and greeting cards, Beauman nonetheless dreams of the day when all those British-costume-drama producers will leave Jane Austen alone, stop trying to  do the definitive Sense and Sensibility, and instead look to Dorothy Whipple for inspiration.  Tea gowns instead of bonnets?  Oh heppy, heppy day.   -Christa D’Souza”

I must make Persephone Books a place to stop when I go to London.

Isn’t that brilliant?  I think so.  The idea completely invokes the thought of cozy nooks to read and drink tea, a vase of peonies on the little table next to your chair.

While I do love the look of these books, and wouldn’t mind owning a few, I am a bit disappointed they are paperback books instead of hardbacks.(at least they seem to be paperbacks when I look at purchasing from Amazon)  I am a hardback person.  However, the paperback doesn’t diminish their charm.  I also am not willing to spend  £12 (or whatever the dollar’s conversion of that is)  Seems a bit steep for a paperback.  Hence, Bookmooch I’m calling on you.

Well, I hope you all will check out this charming imprint, even if you don’t plan to order from them. The site is well worth a look, and set up in a very nice manner.  I love that they show the endpaper of each book and most tell where they got the design from.  Along with a very nice section of mini biographies of the authors themselves. 

My concluding thought is they should have an imprint of male writers.  I know that there are plenty of books written by men, but think about how interesting it would be if there was one for men titled, oh  I don’t know, Apollo Books.  (or anything else Greek)  I think some of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries would be good.  Or who knows what.  Dark brown books with a cream label and end papers that are clearly masculine.  I think it’s an interesting idea.

Well, check out Persephone Books.  Trust me, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Charming doesn’t even begin to describe this company.

Signing off

~Kate 

Flash Fiction : Kitchen Baking

Formabröd

Image via Wikipedia

Late summer and early fall were the times of year she liked being in the kitchen during the mornings.  When the mornings were crisp and clear, the cool scent of dew mixed with decaying matter creating a synergy of perfect smells.  From the aging annuals flowering their last hurrah at the back door; to the pungent and musty smell of oak and cottonwood leaves, damp from fall rains.  The odors combined in a  symphony of flavors that tickled the nose.

She would bake in the morning, filling the kitchen with the warm spiciness of cinnamon and nutmeg, or the sharp  freshness of orange and lemon.  She would bake tender scones or fluffy blue-berry muffins, studded with crystalized ginger.  She would hum as she baked.  Popular songs she heard on the radio, or old classics her parents had taught her to appreciate.  Rock on morning, country the next.  It didn’t make a difference.  She just liked having music  in her head.

When she felt adventurous, she would put on her once concession to opera; Handel’s Trois Cantatas.  Sometimes she contemplated a few rap songs she had, but usually those were designated “AFTERNOON” and not to be played before that time.  There really was a time and a place for certain types of music.  Just like there was a time and a place for certain teas or specific books.  She wouldn’t have been caught dead drinking Earl Grey for breakfast, just like she wouldn’t be caught reading erotic fiction anywhere else other than her room after dark.

Usually while she baked she would have a pot of hot tea at the ready and she would sip cups of lukewarm tea when she finally got around to it.  It wasn’t that the tea grew cold in the pot, but more that she would forget she had poured herself a cup.  Sometimes she wondered if she liked having the tea at the ready more than she liked drinking it.

Just a bit of random flash fiction.  I was smelling the spicy scent of wood burning fires, and puttering in the kitchen today.  This came to mind.

Signing off

~Kate

La Coeur Jour

I don’t know if that is correct, but let’s just call it Heart Day. So in honor of a really dumb holiday, other than I love pink, red, white, glitter and all things super girly, here are some inspiring pictures.

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Happy Valentines Day!

Signing off

~Kate

Guys Want the Fairytale Too

Just this past day I have been listening to the audio version of Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan.  For those interested, this book is truly brilliant, and not just for teenagers.  Actually, I wouldn’t even recommend it to a teenager because it is clearly adult in nature.  There is no way someone who is 16 can think the way the characters are in this book.  However, it doesn’t really detract, the fact that they are only 16.  Sure, when I got started, I was hoping that it was more for my age, but I’ve enjoyed it so much, I can’t really complain.

I hope to write a review on it when I finish it, which shouldn’t be too long from now at the rate I’m listening to it.  I actually thought that I was almost done with it yesterday, until I realized I was only on track 2 of 6.  Yay, I’m not done yet!

Moving on, just this morning I heard a couple of lines from the book that just stopped me.  They also enthralled me.

You think romance is just for women.  Ha!  Not according to this quote and when you really look at it, I think you will agree with me.

“You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here’s a hint – ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn’t just the women. It’s the great male fantasy – all it takes is one dance to know that she’s the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know – this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don’t want a very long courtships. They want to know immediately.”
David Levithan (Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares)
 
Whoa!  Profound isn’t it?  Men always joke that women want the hero from romance novels.  Uh, well, yeah.  But don’t men?  I mean, don’t men want the women, so to speak from romances?  (and for you guys out there who want the guys, okay too. And vise versa, and now I’m off topic)
 
Anyways, think about it.  All the women in the really cool romance novels, and I’m speaking mostly of pre-modern ones as far as time period goes.  Think regency books.  If you haven’t read a regency era romance novel, you are missing a world of “Jane Austen-y-ness”.  I know, not a word, but that era of balls and dukes, parties and trips to Bath.  (I have a think for regency era novels, bear with me)  But the women in them are beautiful, though sometimes not drop dead gorgeous.  They are , ahem, virgins, most of the time…. And really if you ask a guy what he wants, does he really want a woman who has slept with a bunch of guys?  They really don’t want to know that. 
 
The hero always knows within a few pages that the girl is for him.  She may be a little slow on the uptake a lot of times, but it always turns out okay.  That first look. The dance.  The rescue.  It always happens that the first girl you  read about, and the first guy she runs into are destined to be together.  I can’t think of one story where the heroine doesn’t run into the hero within the first five pages.  Only more modern ones are like that.
 
So, that being said, clearly guys want a fairytale too. They just don’t want to admit they are such softies.  That’s okay.  Just so long as I know that they want that, I think it’s sweet.  I don’t feel so silly.
 
Now, if you are a guy and agree with me, please, I would love for you to post your thoughts and comments.
 
Ladies, as always, I love to hear your thoughts along this matter too. 
 
Signing off
~Kate
 

Flash Fiction : Owen and Rena

The song changed to Rod Stewart’s raspy voice crooning a classic Billy Holiday  love song, but before Milo could swing Rena into another dance, Owen tapped him on the shoulder.

“May I cut in?” he asked.

Milo grimaced slightly at Rena, but relinquished his hold on her.  Rena almost laughed at his expression, but before she could, Owen’s warm hand encompassed  hers.

Rena  braced herself for an agonizing three minutes and was thoroughly surprised when Owen guided her into a nice slow dance.  Not a standard two-foot shuffle, but a dance that moved them around the dance floor.

Rena glanced up through her lashes at his face.

“I’ve surprised you, haven’t I?”  He questioned.

Rena thought of denying it, but that wouldn’t be very fair.  Plus, she was a terrible liar.

“Yes,” she said simply.

Owen chuckled. ” I think you underestimate me too much.”

When Rena colored slightly at his truthful statement, he chuckled again.

“I don’t mean to make you blush, however you do it so beautifully, I won’t say I’m sorry.”

Rena cleared her throat.  “Where did you learn to dance?”

“My grandma.  She thought it would e a good thing for me to know.  Ya never know when It’ll come in handy.  ‘Specially when you are impressing a woman.”  Owen spun her around and when she landed against his chest, she was breathless.  She couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled past her lips.

“Very true,” she said, the lame statement making her wince inwardly.  She had suddenly lost her composure, viewing Owen as a potential, even though she wasn’t quite sure why.  All she knew was she wanted to impress him a little.  Which meant her mind had left her.

She stared at the open neck of his plaid shirt and tried to  come up with something witty.  Impossible.  Her mind was blank, and the more she tried, the worse it got.  Instead, she started noticing how Owen’s palm rested on her waist; how he smelled of laundry soap and a hint of gasoline; and she also noticed how small she felt in his arms.  He was so tall.  Lanky.  Lean.

He was everything Milo was not.  He was not sophisticated.  He didn’t have all the smooth social graces that usually attracted Rena.  However, he was charming in his own way.  Quiet, gentle, and just a little bit different.  He wasn’t classically good looking.  His face was long and lean, somewhat rugged.  But he had amazing blue eyes.  And his voice was deep and raspy.   He was sort of a contradiction.

And Rena had no clue what to think.

 

I have this novel I have been writing for ages.  Literally ages. I started it twelve years ago.  Rena (pronounced REE na) used to be named Kate.  Ha ha, I know, I was modeling her after me.  And novel is a joke too as it’s random bits of stuff I’ve written. Milo is modeled after Milo Ventimiglia whom I was crushing on when I was 18. (Hey, I loved Gilmore Girls)

 Owen.  Well Owen is modeled after a guy who is interested in me in town.  He’s a logger.  He’s charming in his own way, but his life isn’t quite what I need.  However, it does make for good fiction.  And this little piece I may

or

It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook
Image via Wikipedia

may not use at some point, but I was listening to Rod Stewart’s The Great American Songbook cd, and I flashed to this. ( I really love this cd, even though it got a lot of flak, and my father makes fun of it. Sure, it’s not Buble, but it has some of my favorite old tunes on it)  It was fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it.

Signing off
~Kate

Sounds of My Childhood

Sometimes in life I go along not remembering little things from my childhood, even though I do attempt to remember as much as I can.  I suppose writing it down would be a good idea so that when I reach my parents age I’m not going, “What?”  However, I’m not that adventurous, the writing it all down part.  It just seems like too much to write down.

So I go along and something happens that brings back an insta-memory.  That happened last week. I woke to the sound of a hammer pounding on a two-by-four.  Ah, the sounds of building.  Our neighbor was getting a new outside staircase built and the carpenters start early around here.  Okay, 8 isn’t that early, but for me it is.

Okay, getting back to the pounding.  I grew up in housing developments.  My parents built a house when I was five and the whole neighborhood was a new developement.  After our house and the court was built, not long after the open land behind our houses became another developement.  So pounding was pretty common.  Along with that, I’ve lived in other areas where there was building.

Plus my father worked in the lumber business, the family company being a wholesale lumber yard.  Building and wood is in the genes and I have a fine appreciation for lumber and wood.  So, building, and the sounds of building take me right back to when I was a young girl.  It’s amazing how I miss that sound.

The second sound was yesterday.  Ah, Superbowl.  I hate football.  Never really appreciated the game.  Well, despite that, I watched the whole game yesterday, (Go Giants!) (yeah, yeah, I still have teams I root for even if I don’t like the game.  I just have this thing against Tom Brady. Sue me).  All four hours of the game, and it was actually really enjoyable.  I actually enjoyed the game.  The sound that took me back though, was the ref’s whistle. 

I heard it at some point in the game and even though I had been hearing it, that one time was like that moment in Ratatouille when Anton Ego takes the bite of ratatouille and Whoosh! He’s taken back to when he was a child.  Yup, that was me.

Ever holiday my family would gather at my grandparents house.  And all the holidays have a game on.  Especially Thanksgiving.  The game was always on as my grandfather is a big football fan, and my uncles always watched it too. My cousins (girls), sister and I would try to watch the game.  We’d pull out these giant corduroy pillows my grandmother had made, pile them on the floor in front of the tv, and try to understand what the heck was going on.  I never figured it out, and  even now I spit out  really bizzare  things that my parents shake their heads at. 

But the sound I remember the most was the whistles.  Maybe all the teams blurred into one.  Maybe all the years and games just are one big blur, clearly it is that way, and all I remember are the sounds of the whistles.

It’s a good sound.  I can bring it back now just thinking about it.  Same as the pounding of wood.  They are familiar sounds. 

I forgot how much I missed them.

Signing off

~Kate

Snappy Blog Award Post

Just this last week, the wonderful C.B. Wentworth awarded me the lovely 7×7 blogging award.  I was quite surprised and flattered that my blog had caught the notice of someone who seems much more into the world of blogging.   So thank you C.B.  I am quite honored.  And for all my readers, I recommend you check out her blog. It’s really a lot of fun.

 I feel like I’m just playing at it half the time, and that most of the time, my posts are quite, well, worthless.  I do it for myself, mostly, though I do try to keep my readers in mind.  I don’t always post every thought off the top of my head.  Though, I would like to sometimes.   I’m a girl, we do that sometimes.
Well, part of the requirements of this award are as follows.

Share something about myself that others don’t know.  (for the record, this isn’t really a very fair question.  Wouldn’t you like to know more than just one thing?)

Okay, I’ll restrain myself. 

 I collect coins from foreign countries.  It started when my great-grandmother gave me a small leather pouch containing ones she had collected on her travels throughout the world.  That was when I was about 10.   Since then, I have amassed a small fortune, ( maybe) and I am forever asking friends to pick up a few coins when they go to another country.  I also stop into coin exchanges and peruse.  Just this Christmas I was given some coins from Lebanon, Sweden, Norway, and Mexico.
Link seven posts from your blog that you think are worthy.

I hate this part because it feels like I am bragging.  Well, I’ll do my best.

Flash Fiction : The Magic Orb

A Haiku For You

The Romance of Hanging Laundry

The Kobayahsi Maru

The Badass and Roscoe

Beginning

Vintage Craze – Part 3: Cloche Hats 

 

Nominate seven other bloggers that deserve the award and haven’t received it yet.

Albert Berg’s Unsanity Files
Albert Berg is this crazy zombie apocalyptic fiction writer, who while he has given up his major writing, still gets around.  A bit of flash fiction that is creepy beyond belief, and a self-published book, along with tips and how tos on life and living, Al has it all.  I highly recommend you check out his past posts if you like creepy.

Isabella Louise Anderson
Ms. Anderson is in the process of advancing her career as a chick lit writer and along with her adventures in that, she posts reviews of books, lovely Fun Fridays, which could be anything, and just a smidgen of this and that.  I look forward to her posts, and I applaud her dedication.  This is a woman who completed NaNoWriMo, as well.  How could you not applaud that?

CATERPICKLES
The adventures in  raising a four-year-old, along with all the unique questions said four-year-old asks.  I look forward to the book reviews little bits of random information Mommyo passes along to all of us.  This has to be one of the blogs I look forward to the most.

the lacquer log
I am a nail polish junkie. Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but I do enjoy painting my nails, and I’m always on the hunt for a good nail polish.  I find reading about makeup and beauty relaxing, and this one fits the bill.    Her descriptions of the polishes are wonderful, along with what I view is an honest review.  While I don’t paint my nails too many odd colors, nor do I paint that religiously, I do enjoy a bit of mix up here and there.  If you enjoy nail polish, or just seeing really nicely manicured nails, I recommend this blog.
A (Bad) Poem A Day
I don’t get around to reading this blog that often, but I have enjoyed reading different types of poetry Jesse posts.  Some are thought provoking, others are just funny.  Mostly done in free form, some has rhyme and I just enjoy it.

 

Lady Jecca
I like the mix of poetry, images, and the occasion rants.  I can’t really explain why I enjoy her blog other than it ends up making me smile in some way or another.  I think part of it is the pictures she posts with each post, just gel together in this really magical way.

 
Tim Kane Books
Another blog I don’t get around to reading that often, but I always enjoy the random posts that kind of make me think.  A writer, he has bits of writing advice, random quotes, and little things that make me laugh.
Presents of Mind
How could you not enjoy reading a blog where the gal has a typewriter?  Okay, well there is more to it than that.  A reader, writer, journaler, I enjoy all the little bits she posts.  Tips on writing, and all sorts of various things to help one write.  I don’t get here often, but I enjoy it none the less.

To accept your 7×7 Link Award:

•Thank who nominated you and include a link
•List something others don’t know about you
•Choose seven links on your blog that you think are worthy
•Nominate 7 bloggers who have not received the award and include links
•Notify the bloggers you have nominated

 

Signing off

~Kate