Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Day in Literary History . . .

On January 24, 1862, Edith Wharton was born to an old and wealthy New York family.  She grew up in an opulent world where pre-Civil War society tried to keep the nouveau riche at bay.  Wharton, expected to become a typical wife, mother, and hostess, instead showed intellectual talent and began to write at an early age.  At age 23, she married prominent socialite Edward Wharton, who had neither a profession nor fortune - they divorced in 1913.  Edith returned to writing, often dealing with themes of divorce, unhappy marriages, and free-spirits trapped by societal pressures - in other words, she wrote what she knew.
Wharton's 1905 novel, The House of Mirth, told the story of a New York socialite with a strong sense of individuality who cannot adapt to the roles to which were expected of her. The book became a bestseller.  Her novella, Ethan Frome, detailing a New England farmer trapped by the demands of the women in his life, is one of her best-known works.  Her 1920 novel, Age of Innocence, won the Pulitzer.
Edith remained in France during World War I, assisting refugees, and was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 1916.
In 1927, she published another bestseller, Twilight Sleep, then her autobiography, A Backward Glance, in 1934.  She died in France in 1937.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Patches - A Sweet Curmudgeon

Patches is the hyper-active feline featured in WIND.  He was given to me by a coworker about five years ago.  I adopted him thinking he would be a good replacement for Samantha, who had just passed away (the cat I inherited from my father).  You see, my son, Matthew, had grown very attached to Samantha, and was heart broken when she died.  As it turned out, Patches took to me in a big way and inched his way into my heart.  (Another cat, Sparkles, became Matthew's good friend).  Patches is a sweet curmudgeon.  He cries on the counter when he's hungry and his cry sounds like a baby bird begging for a worm.  This prompted one young visitor to the house to ask, "Do you have a bird in here somewhere?"  He's extremely bossy and chases the other cats every chance he gets, but like most bullies, he's a coward at heart - he runs for his life and hides in a kitchen cupboard when Lucky, the Dachshund, chases him (Lucky is referenced to in WIND and will make an appearance in SAND.)  Nonetheless, he's a dear and we all love him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

If you have an intuitive or instinctive feeling, follow it, and you will find that the Universe is magnetically moving you to receive what you asked for . . . 

From The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Sun Is Finally Out

Saturday morning, a steaming cup of coffee and the sun is finally out, after a week of snow, snow & more snow.  The teenagers are still sleeping, dreaming of movies, videos and pizza, no doubt!  The two dogs and several cats are sleeping in a generous slice of sun on the floor.  I am taking this gift of a quiet morning to write.  All is right with the world (for the moment!). 

Have a lovely day!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow, Snow & Yes, More Snow!

It's cold - the perfect excuse to stay in and write, or at least try, and drink large quantities of coffee.  The frigid temps are getting everyone down (even in Florida, I heard on CNN!)  I think I'll hibernate until Spring (would that I could!), then creep out of my lair, stretch, and wonder if Tim Horton's (Canadian chain of coffee/donut shops that I can only describe as Nirvana) is still open.  That's what bears do. 

Canadian bears, anyway.