sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 29, 2012

gift day
posted by soe 4:09 am

Today is February 29, which means that it’s a rare breed, a blue-moon kind of event — something to be celebrated rather than taken for granted.

(Yes, I know leap years have been celebrated with regularity since 46 B.C., but that doesn’t really change the point. How many have occurred in your lifetime?)

So, how will you mark this special day? Will you plan an indoor picnic? Call an old friend? Drive to the beach? Eat dessert first? Take a trapeze lesson? Put on your favorite album/song/playlist, turn up the sound, and dance around the living room — with a special someone or by yourself, singing along at the top of your voice?

However you choose to celebrate, I hope you make it your own. Remember, today is a gift day — and no one is going to know if you waste it but yourself.

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February 27, 2012

pardon the dust
posted by soe 4:37 pm

We got hacked last night (again), and my theme, being ancient in terms of the web, is being ornery. Rest assured that this will not be the final look for Sprite Writes, but please bear with me as I give my online house a new coat of paint and plant some new flowers. After all, my seventh blogiversary is right around the corner.

P.S. Thank you to Rudi, who painstakingly went through every file in my blog to remove the hacked code. He’s a good guy.

Update: And it’s back. Rudi pored through his files and found an unadulterated version of my theme. He totally rocks.

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posted by soe 2:03 am

Taking a note from Amanda, a quick recap:

  • Lots of knitting this weekend. Some of it fruitful. Some will have to be frogged and started — yet again.
  • Rudi’s injury last weekend is unfortunate, but does mean I get to see him two days in a row.
  • Some cleaning. Not enough, but it’s a start.
  • Too cold to start the garden for the season.?
  • Tea ordered from the Porto Rico sale before it ends.
  • Bills paid, but no real mail sent.
  • Anne of Green Gables on PBS.
  • Hot cocoa poured from the chocolate pot into tiny heart-shaped cups and served with cupcakes.
  • A yellow tulip procured — for free! — from the farmers’ market.
  • Scones and tea for brunch.
  • Sitting outside in the chilly sunlight.
  • Dinner, family-style, at the local Chinese place with Phillip, Susan, and Holden.
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February 23, 2012

oldest, twilight, and cupcakes
posted by soe 11:04 pm

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Home in Connecticut for a planned long weekend, I am able to see both Karen and Danny. It’s rare treat to get to see my oldest and dearest friends — particularly on consecutive days.

2. Sitting low on the horizon, the moon serves as a most delicate bowl, waiting to catch Venus and an early evening star, should they tumble in the sky.

3. Mum makes two kinds of cupcakes for my birthday — blueberry-lemon and coconut. Both are delicious, as everything she bakes always is.

How about you? What was beautiful in your world this week?

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into the stacks: anna and the french kiss
posted by soe 2:28 am

Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

From the jacket: “Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all … including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?”

My take: Anna’s father, a best-selling author of schmaltzy novels rapidly being turned into sappy movies, decides that his daughter needs a year abroad before heading off to college. So without asking her opinion, he enrolls her at the School of America in Paris (SAP, for short). In short order, she is plucked from a comfortable life babysitting her young brother, hanging out with her drum-playing BFF, and working at the local movie theater (a gem of a job for a cinema blogger and aspiring film critic) where her coworker seems to be getting up the courage to ask her out and dumped in a country where she doesn’t speak the language with fellow students who have spent years together.

But it’s not all bad. After a few teary nights and stressful days, Anna finds comfort in the company of sporty, Beatles-loving Meredith, artistic Josh, ambitious Rashmi, and charming and cute Étienne St. Clair, who introduces her to the world of French cinema when he takes her on a tour of the city. When it seems like things are finally starting to fall into place for her and her new-found friends, Étienne gets terrible news that threatens the equilibrium of their intimate group. Will it bring them all closer together or tear them apart?

Anna and the French Kiss does what Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes failed to do (much as I enjoyed that novel) — which is to plausibly deposit a somewhat naive high school senior on the doorstep of a European adventure. Other than having a rich father (who divorced her mom and moved away just as he was becoming successful), Anna is a normal teenager living a normal life — complete with an awesome best friend and a little brother she adores, an ex-boyfriend dating a girl she can’t stand, and the hopes for a really good romance for her senior year. Pluck her from that and dump her in Paris for a year — only allowing her home for Christmas break — and you’ve got a great scenario for a story. Throw in a cute boy with a British accent, a girlfriend, and a major life issue and set it a boarding school where they allow seniors more freedom than they’d get in an American school and write it adeptly and humorously and you’ve got teen romance gold.

Many thank you’s to all the book bloggers who put Perkins’ second novel on 2011’s best of lists. Without that nudge, I wouldn’t have remembered that Anna and the French Kiss had been languishing on my To Be Read list for more than a year. I would rank Stephanie Perkins’ first novel up there with Sarah Dessen’s work as being a great contemporary book for teen girls — and that’s saying a lot.

Pages: 372

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February 16, 2012

yarn-bombed, breakfast, and greetings
posted by soe 11:58 pm

Three beautiful things from my birthday week:

1. I emerge on Tuesday afternoon to discover that Looped and their knitterly minions have yarn-bombed the walk from their shop down to the Phillips Collection for Valentine’s Day. Trees, tree boxes, fences, and light poles are all covered with pink and red yarn and hearts.

2. I mention that we haven’t had waffles recently — a real shame since I got quite a bit of maple syrup for Christmas. So on Saturday morning, Rudi makes me a batch, which is large enough so we can have a special Valentine’s Day breakfast, too.

3. Phone calls, text messages, emails, and cards arrive from around the world, reminding me that I am a lucky girl.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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