sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 31, 2021

midweek music: from my ear to yours
posted by soe 1:09 am

I can’t tell you why exactly Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” is stuck in my head. Maybe they played it as part of the after-celebration of the Stanford-Louisville game? Or in the soundtrack of something I watched recently? Or just because ear worms are fickle creatures? I don’t really have any idea, because that song (and the movie in which it was featured) was a hit decades ago (as anyone who has happened across NCIS Los Angeles recently can tell you). But I’m hoping that if I share it here with you, it’ll travel to your ears instead and my brain will be free to focus on the editing work I need to do.

Thanks in advance!

Category: arts. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 30, 2021

ten book settings i’d love to live in
posted by soe 1:35 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl invites readers to share the book settings where they’d most love to reside. Here are mine:

  1. BookWorld from Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books, because then you’d have access to all the bookish settings. Is that cheating?
  2. The Burrow, because despite the ghoul in the attic and the gnomes in the garden, it’s overflowing with love.
  3. Prince Edward Island.
  4. Bandette’s Paris, as depicted by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. Because who wouldn’t want to watch films en plein air on a rooftop and then Vespa over to the bookshop or stop for a chocolate bar?
  5. Marsyas Island, where you can find T.J. Klune’s The House on the Cerulean Sea. It’s sunny, it’s filled with forests and gardens, and everyone who lives there knows they are loved unconditionally.
  6. The Scottish Highlands, the setting of Jenny Colgan’s Bookshop on the Corner series
  7. Melbourne in the 1920s, because Phryne Fisher makes it seem super glamorous.
  8. Guernsey, especially when it’s not filled with Nazis.
  9. Midnight Gulch from A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, with its ice cream company that lets you eat your feelings
  10. New York City, from every book ever written about it. I have visited NYC and absolutely do not want to live there in real life. But the love letters that authors pen to it, be it Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star or Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, or Karina Yan Glasser’s Vanderbeekers series makes me want to want to live there.

How about you? What books would you move into today if you could?

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.

March 29, 2021

palm sunday weekending
posted by soe 1:36 am

Cherry Tree

I grew up in the Christian faith, which means that when we get near the two major holidays, I have feelings of extreme nostalgia. Not necessarily for organized religion, but for cultural markers, like candlelight carol services and hymns I sang during my six years in choir. So, as I’m writing this, I’m listening to Enrico Caruso sing Faure’s “The Palms,” to scratch that particular itch. Our church was big enough to support four choirs, and “The Palms” was the only song we sang every year together. I associate it with crowded pews (it was also one of the few Sundays a year when even the balcony seating was packed) and soaring sopranos and being a part of something bigger than myself. It’s the same feeling I get at the ocean and listening to certain harmonies and visiting the Reading Room at the British Library and the Library of Congress. (I assume others have similar feelings when looking at mountains and the stars.)

I mentioned that yesterday I felt a little of the weight that’s been keeping me down lift a little, allowing me to make progress on some long-lingering chores. I also took myself out to lunch down by the river, started a book, did some grocery shopping, and visited the garden.

Saturday Afternoon at the River

Today was a less productive day from a housekeeping standpoint, but still relatively pleasant. While early-arriving rain kept me from doing the work in the garden I’d meant to, it did not keep Rudi and me from the farmers market (and Rudi’s presence meant he went and emptied with the compost, while I waited in line to get in). I took a nap, wove in yarn ends on my pair of stripey socks and knit until I started making errors on the other pair, read, chatted with my folks, and watched women’s basketball. I ordered a calendar-year refill for my organizer, and because I put that off for a quarter of a year, it was half off. And the grant that I thought I’d need to spend all the wee hours writing turns out not to have been due this weekend, so after checking my schedule for tomorrow (and seeing a time-sensitive email I’d been waiting for had finally arrived on Saturday), I was able to put that aside and veg out with my book a little longer instead. Now, I’m going to wash today’s dishes, hang up the handknits still soaking in the bathroom sink, and join Rudi in bed.

I hope you had a nice weekend, too. Let’s carry it over to the workweek, okay?

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 2 Comments.

March 28, 2021

a light
posted by soe 1:50 am

I washed the bathroom sink today and put handknits in to soak. And I took out the kitchen trash.

There are lots of things I didn’t do. Every floor in the house needs cleaning. (Periodically I kick over the cat’s water dish and have to wipe it up, but short of relocating Corey’s bowl all over the apartment, I don’t think that’s my best bet.) The fridge needs sorting and Mount Laundry threatens us with avalanches while we sleep.

But all those things needed doing yesterday and I had no clean wool socks, my kitchen trash can only stayed closed because it had a bag of groceries perched on it (oh, I put those away, too), and my bathroom sink looked like a prop from a 1980s movie set in a New York City bus terminal.

Honestly, these were such minor things to feel good about getting done, but I got them done for the first time in a while. And I could choose to feel guilty about the state of the apartment and stress about how much work we need to do before anyone can next stop by (no one has stopped by in 16 months). Or I could take the win and recognize that I looked at several things that needed doing and actually just did them.

I don’t fool myself into thinking this will be an everyday occurrence. Honestly, pretty much any workday barely sees me doing more than basic self-care. But even if I could do a couple things every weekend (clear the coffee table or dust away the cobwebs by the window), it would be a step toward righting the ship.

But for today, I’ll admire my mostly empty trash can and go hang up the socks that should now be clean in my shiny bathroom sink. After all, every sunrise starts with a single ray of light.

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 27, 2021

library books i’m most looking forward to reading
posted by soe 1:17 am

I picked up a couple more books at the library. I seem to be under the impression that the more that live at my house, the more likely I am to find my way out of the reading slump I’ve been in for more than a year.

So I thought I’d look at the books I currently have checked out and put them in a possible order for actually catching and keeping my attention. (This does nothing to solve the root problem of mental exhaustion caused by a never-ending tower of work that is rarely more than an arm’s length away in my life now, but I can solve one of those problems today and not the other.)

  1. Deanna Raybourn’s Unexpected Peril: The latest installment in the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, just out this month.
  2. Class Act by Jerry Craft: A companion graphic novel to one I enjoyed last year. Reading graphic novels often gives me headaches, but they do move quickly.
  3. Carlos Hernandez’s Sal and Gabi Break the Universe: I’m two-thirds of the way through this middle-grade sci-fi novel about friendship and loss and just need an hour or two to finish it off and get it back to the library.
  4. Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I love the YA sci-fi books this pair of Australian-dwelling writers make together. They’re action-packed, with distinct voices for all their characters and the found family trope that I love. But unlike in their first series, this one is willing to eliminate main characters, which throws a huge weight behind not reading it. I want all the characters I care about in a series (be it tv or book) to make it through to the end and I’d rather forgo the enjoyment of continuing the relationship than to lose them.
  5. Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli: This romance is set here in D.C., which occasionally works out great and more often makes me stop reading as soon as the first wrong thing shows up. A local bookseller said nothing jumped out at her, so my fingers are crossed.
  6. Janae Marks’ From the Desk of Zoe Washington: This middle-grade reader about a young baker who gets a letter from her incarcerated birth father started off slowly, but it’s gotten rave reviews everywhere, which suggests if I push through another chapter or two I’ll be hooked.

What books do you have lined up to read next?

Category: books. There is/are 1 Comment.

March 26, 2021

breakfast, march madness, and positive reports
posted by soe 1:32 am


Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. A bag of day-old bagels gives us a couple days’ breakfast.

2. Being able to stream women’s basketball the majority of nights this week.

3. Two of Rudi’s mom’s friends have called to say they’ve had good chats with her this week. She’s currently in a nursing home (where visitors aren’t allowed), recuperating from a hairline fracture after a fall, so it’s been a tough few weeks for her.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.