Lamiel by Stendhal

Lamiel, which means devil’s daughter, was the unfinished last novel of Stendhal or Henri Beyle. Because it was unfinished I think Stendhal, if he would have lived, would have made it very different had he the time to edit it. Because it was so sparse regarding detail it is called his best work. I don’t know about that. Lamiel, the protagonist, is on a ‘journey’ to find out what love is. However she is what I would call someone without feeling(a sociopath?)she wants instead violence, she’s frustrated by men if they’re too gaga for her, she plays games with them for her own gain. She’s a hateful character. I really didn’t enjoy the book, plus it’s unfinished, the last half is quickly summarized in one chapter. Critics at the time it was published said it is very true to life, which it isn’t at all. But Stendhal was known for putting a microscope on the psychology of human characters, so as far as that is concerned the work is superb. .

.

.

It’s a cute little copy: 1953. It is rare and in good condition. .

.

.

#bookstagram #bookworm #bookshelf #library #bookstagrammer #rocks #bookphotography #bibliophile #reading #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #writers #amreading #amwriting #fiction #stendhal #booklover #booklovers

The Book of Numbers

*I have no authority to teach you lessons from the Bible, I only hope you will find something useful. You might disagree with my interpretation and that’s OK!

.

.

“When you cross the Jordan in to Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.” –Numbers 33:51

.

.

OK verses such as the above are what gives God a bad rap. It sounds violent and scary and seems to advertise war. But I will tell you that you must not look at the surface for the meaning in scripture, people that do often miss the truth and can interpret wrongly. Go deeper and this verse takes on a different shape entirely: Before your spirit can settle in peace with God and with yourself, drive out all things that are holding you back from a true and pure existence—all that you consider an ‘idol’ should be destroyed. For me, for a long time, my ‘idol’ getting traditionally published. I prayed and prayed for this to happen. But it wasn’t until I read this verse and saw my own folly in holding that goal on a pedestal of importance over many other things, and asking myself exactly WHY I wanted my books out there (was it for selfish reasons, or was my goal to help people?), that I was able to give up the idea and decide instead to be happy no matter what happened to all my books, poems, essays and dedicate my writing to the purpose of GOOD. Once I did this I found a publisher. Call that whatever you like, but I know where this gift came from. Have faith and hope that God will show you the way, but we must be patient and trust Him with all our hearts. That’s what I think anyway.

.

.

#bookish #bible #christianity #religion #church #episcopal #episcopalchurch #catholic #jewish #moses #bookshelf #biblejournaling #journaling #booknerd #bookgeek #booknerdigans #bookphotography #bibliophile #library

The Return by Walter de la Mare

⭐️⭐️⭐️ I love Walter de la Mare! Although I gave this a three, it is only because his other work is so fabulous that this one failed to thrill by comparison. Much of his work carries the theme of isolation. In The Return, although not his best work, the protagonist gets possessed by a dead man after falling asleep on his grave. But De la Mare doesn’t seem to know what to do next with this, so the character is caught in a tangle of estrangement with friends, family, and even himself throughout the story. But perhaps that was the point all along—a point which begs one to ask: who are we anyway? .

.

.

This copy is from @aaknopf a 1922 edition. .

.

.

#bibliophile #library #bookshelf #bookstagram #books #bookstagrammer #reading #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #writer #read #bookphotography #death #halloween #fall #leaves #flowers #graveyard #dead #alive #booknerd #booknerdigans #bookgeek #isolation #nerd #geek #alfredaknopf

Victory by Joseph Conrad

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Although written in 1915 this suspense novel by Joseph Conrad feels incredibly modern. I couldn’t believe the date myself as it seemed more like a mid-century novel. I liked it once it got rolling. Heyst is a loner who has spent much of his life living on an island, but when he rescues a young musician and brings her to his island he finds his isolation continues in his own mind. Yet he must save the woman again as his island gets “invaded” and in this he is proving his love for her which seems to only have face value, because they never seem to jive really. It’s sort of a disconnected love story between people who don’t really relate to one another. 🤷‍♀️ I liked it though! 😄

.

.

Pictured is the modern library 1921 edition set against an antique acrylic(?) painting. .

.

.

#bookish #bookstagram #bookshop #book #reading #readersofinstagram #writing #writersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookphotography #bibliophile #island #josephconrad #victory #bookshelf #library #amreading #amwriting #read #readingnook #booknerdigans #booknerd #bookgeek #suspense #thriller #literary #novel

The Gospel of Matthew

Disclaimer: I have no authority to teach you about any of these wonderful books, so if you read on, please take what I say lightly. As a writer I find the Bible an interesting home for allegory, I could decipher every line for a lifetime of endless fun for me, but for you, I can only communicate what I learned. Perhaps you disagree and that’s OK!*


“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, so he cried out, ‘Lord, Save me.'”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand & caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why doubt?'”
-Matthew 14:28-31

Doubt is a very dangerous emotion, and can indeed make us sink. We can feel on top of everything, then if we allow doubt to enter our minds, our moral sinks like a stone in water. The wind here can represent persecutors in any form–people at work attacking us, our friends, our family. It could be an obstacle in the way of our success, addiction, or our own phobias. Peter took his eyes off Christ for a moment and noticed the wind–his body began to react (a fight or flight scenario), and he began to doubt. But if he had total faith, he would have stayed afloat. Sort of like Peter Pan which could have very well been written based on this story from the gospels. “PETER” needed a happy thought to fly. If you are a Christian that happy thought is Jesus and his perpetual guiding hand of comfort and safety.

Amen.

Just me and my day

Got my haircut this morning by @luminariessalonboutique, and so I’m out and about early to meet my mother for coffee. She says she misses me because I’ve been in Detroit at various library archives doing research for weeks; I will give her my day. I’m waiting for her while I write contemplate and read. Nina Simone is playing in the background—my baby just cares for me. Tomorrow I will be visiting the archives at U of M—Back to work! 💕

.

.

.

Pictured is one fancy latte, St. Teresa de Avila’s memoir, the Climate Justice issue of @geezmagazine, and my notebook with a new story in the works. 😄

.

.

.

#bookish #bibliophile #bookshelf #bookphotography #library #coffee #bookstagram #book #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #writingcommunity #journal #climatechange #socialjustice

Lost Story: 💕 Finding inscriptions in #oldbooks!! #Read this one from 1835!

In 1835 a Mr. Hayden W. Dooley journaled this inside Vol. 2 of Hawks of Hawk Hollow, a play by Robert Montgomery Bird, while waiting for a train:

.

.

“Arrived here at Hamilton at 9 o’clock and being just 5 minutes too late for the Oxford train the next thing is to prepare ourselves for a long tedious six hours “set” intermingled with short “walks” and little talks. Eating “knickknacks” and thinking about home after an absence of several days. I know it would do anyone interested in our welfare to see our long faces today caused by our disappointment however I believe shall throw dull care away and be a Hamiltonian while here. Strangers are beginning to gather in the depot for the next train. It bothers me a little in writing my [sic] I must grit and take it. There are several in waiting for 12 o’clock train. It is almost impossible to take in account the ruffles, fruffles and folds and twists which adorned most, I say, sensible girls. One lady sitting opposite me with a black [sic] dress on trimmed in puffed about in black silk well as near as I can tell she is a puff anyway held together with a massive gold watch and chain. She is gone now. It is half after 12 o’clock.” .

.

This is the oldest book I own. I only have vol. 2.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

I set a backdrop of all my previous versions of my first novel, which I could not get published, so I went the kdp route (though I have been traditionally published since). I think I’ve edited it 100 times now (including formatting) and being my first book I’m a little embarrassed by it (hence the pseudonym), but at the same time it is precious to me, because it was my first. Even though my writing style has advanced, changed, and has grown more concise, I love the story and could sit through it 100 more times! I think many authors feel this way about their first book.

.

.

.

Lynne Truss’ book didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know, though I found it cheeky and entertaining. I was hoping more for advice on when to use an em-dash instead of a comma—stuff like that. I think this book is more for people who might not understand possessives, commas, and the like. Though when to use a comma is still a grey area for me, as I’m sure I use them more than needed. 🤷‍♀️ Anyone get anything good out if it?

#books #bookshelf #bibliophile #library #booknerd #bookgeek #grammar #eatsshootsandleaves #booksandloststories #panda #bookstagram #bookclub #book #bookworm #booknerdigans #bookphotography #published #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #reading #writing

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Beautiful in its simplicity is The Old Man and The Sea. I really enjoyed this book! Nothing really going on yet questions are raised and answers are given in a short span of time. A book about an old man’s perseverance holding on to the biggest catch of his life. He is painted as a humble man, a simple man, yet determined to make meaning out of his life. I want to be this man! It’s a short book only 118 pages.

.

.

.

Pictured is an artful 1965 paperback which I stole (borrowed) from my brother’s collection unbeknownst to him. Hi Brad! It’s set against my weird art, Sea Creatures made with driftwood and a strange creation of mine, Red Sky At Night.

.

To The Jungle…

…As monks will seek in contemplation’s cell
An increment of quiet holiness,
Prolonged novena,- so the Winter gives
A blameless idleness to active hands
And liberates the vision of the soul.
Darkness is greater light, to those who see;
Solitude greater company to those
Who hear the immaterial voices; those
who dare to be alone.

-Vita Sackville-West
The Garden; 1946

 

In winter, one tries to distract oneself with projects.  I have begun another novel (I just finished my second).  This one takes place in a jungle- somewhere, I haven’t quite placed it.  I’ve been watching documentaries on South Africa, South America and I threw in one about the Galapagos while I was at it.  I’ve also been listening to a lot of African music and much of Yo-Yo Ma’s silk road project-which takes its listener all over the world and back.  So I don’t quite know yet- and I may just shelf it all together.  Right now, I’m praying for focus since I have another story I shelved a year ago.  To which do I devote my time?   Perhaps spending so much time with my orchids is putting this foreign jungle in my head.  Should I shake it? or let it be?
But the orchid set in rock and rooted in trees – like nature’s intention: their white, moth-like flowers cascading…
SONY DSC

I had a dream last night that my spring bulbs were coming up.  However, I feared not all would not make it.  Then Vita’s voice reassured me by repeating a little known fact: some take two years to really get going.   But what about my hellebores?  Have they begun… I woke up on my way to find them – waking to the harsh reality that I will not find them for another nine weeks.  So again, I must find a little delight indoors.

SONY DSC

I was delighted yesterday when I saw my chocolate oncidium had shot up a flower spike and will bloom soon.  I have not seen its little dark purple flowers (above) for a year now.  It is called “chocolate”, because their intoxicating fragrance is just like chocolate with a hint of sweet vanilla.   Oncidiums are much like Phalaenopsis where they must be watered once a week and they require a similar atmosphere and light.

The Dendrobium Nobile also require water once a week, sometimes twice a week depending on how dry it is.  They also require a lot of sun and humidity.  But in order to bloom they need a six week drought period.  Mine bloomed two weeks ago…

SONY DSC
If you have more than one orchid, watering can be a dreadful task-especially if you have to fertilize or if you are using special water.  In my case, I use distilled.  Distilled water is an extra expense and one not to be wasted.  In order to conserve as much as possible I pour a quarter of the gallon-perhaps more, into a large bowl.  First I let my tillandsia soak a bit (but that is another post).  One by one I bring my orchids to their bath; oldest to newest.  Why in this order?  Because my newest are still being monitored for disease.   I water them last in order to keep them isolated from my healthy orchids.   After you’ve had them in your possession for two-three months and you don’t see any evidence of pests or disease, the order will not matter.
SONY DSC

So I will set them in the bowl, and taking a tinier bowl or cup, I’ll lift water onto the roots (only) until they are thoroughly soaked.  I will then let the orchid drain and put it back in its decorative pot by a window.  After watering, some experts recommend you place a blooming orchid exactly in the position you found it so it will not twist its flowers – they will do this to find light.

SONY DSC

It’s simple once you have a little routine established.  I have a friend who is mother to forty orchids-all phalaenopsis.  She places them all in the bath tub and gives them a “bath” literally.  It’s really what is easiest for you.  She and her orchids don’t seem to mind the chlorine water we have here in Detroit.   I’m sure most orchids can handle regular tap water so make it easy on yourself if you’d like.   They are easy to care for and their blooms last for months – really a great way to occupy yourself until spring.  Perhaps in the meantime they will inspire me to finish what I’ve started in my novel.  Back to the jungle I go…

SONY DSC