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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Put on your scholar hats, please!

Anonymous portrait of a scholar or preacher
1529, public domain Wikimedia
Walters Art Museum


Working on a novel set some centuries ago, and I'm trying to figure out if I made these lines up in imitation of certain seventeenth-century poets (who? Butler?), or whether it is, indeed, a seventeenth-century couplet, maybe something like the tetrameter Hudibras:

To find if woman owns a soul
Requires a lens and puissant thole.*

I might have made it up. Quite possibly I did.

Or it might be Hudibras. But I don't have time to read the whole thing and find out. Because it might be something else. Or me.

But does it seem familiar to anybody?

Who knows? You would think that I would know, but I don't. Alas. I'm good at making up things but not always good at storage!

Picture: see caption. Wrong century, great hat...

*Ooops, I hate autocorrect! THOLE, autocorrect, THOLE!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Not lolling...

I'm not being a lagarag, to pilfer an old East Anglian word... Still working on a deadline, but I'll be back soon.

* * *

Faulkner on writing, though the words apply to many other activities: "Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."

Gerard Terborch 
Dutch Baroque era painter, 1617-1681 
Woman Writing a Letter, 1655 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Epiphany card for passers-by--

"The Adoration of the Magi or The Epiphany is a triptych oil painting on wood panel by the Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch, executed around 1485-1500.[1] It is housed in the Museo del Prado of MadridSpain." Public domain. Wikipedia files.

The Magi--Gentiles drawn by the call of light--offer their gifts. The gold, highest metal on the chain of being, suggests the baby's high kingship. Frankincense was burned on the Temple altar, rising like prayer toward God. Myrrh was linked to the anointing of Jewish priests and the Temple, and was used to embalm the dead. Just as we often see the baby Jesus of ancient icons lying in a manger that resembles a tiny sarcophagus, so myrrh invokes the sacrificial death to come.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Literary kickoff to 2019--

Christmas Eve tree with a weird blue haze--why?
Michael's camera mysteries....
On the very first day of the year,
on the eighth day of Christmas,
on the Feast of the Holy Name...

I am signing away a two-year option on my novel Catherwood to Toronto director Bill G. Taylor and producer Coral Aiken. As one does at the start of a new year...

Good luck to them. And now they have through the last day of 2020 to do what they must do.

Happy New Year to all! And a merry and mad medieval Feast of Fools to you.

As on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we will have all five of us (plus the inimitable Campbell Higle, childhood camp friend of Rebecca) at home for a feast. Husband, sons, daughter, and friend. And that, my friends, is entirely sweet and meet and jolly.

Michael is hard at work on pies and ducks and many surprises. And I am doing a final read of a forthcoming novel while he labors with chef-genius in the kitchen.