Saturday, April 14, 2018

Jane Online

Join me and hundreds of others taking this free Jane Austen online course!

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the historical and literary contexts in which Jane Austen was writing
  • Investigate virtually the important locations associated with Jane Austen and their impact on her writing
  • Assess and discuss the impact of Austen’s society on the depiction of arts and reading in her novels
  • Explore some of the myths surrounding women writers of the long eighteenth century
  • Identify the challenges of adapting, translating and interpreting Jane Austen’s works and how this affects global understanding of her work
  • Evaluate the marketing of Jane Austen in her own time and now

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Woman in White - BBC One

BBC One is currently filming/airing? a new production based on one of my favorite books by Wilkie Collins, "The Woman in White."
Article 1
Article 2

I've written about the 1997 film version before, which was okay, but did not do the book justice. I have high hopes for this one to be a better adaptation. It will take awhile for it to make it's way to the states, but I will be watching when it does. If you've never read the book before, I highly recommend it. Collins was a Victorian writer, and friend to Charles Dickens. He is often overlooked, so it's nice to see this being done. You can read the book online here.

Update: Look what I found

Sunday, April 8, 2018


lovely rain
won't you stay,
linger on the branches
out my window all day

Friday, March 30, 2018

Gathered Words, the Blog

I've been posting a bit on my new blog, Gathered Words.

My latest post ...

"It is well documented, my love for Henry David Thoreau, his love of nature and for simple living. All of that doesn't change with these words. But you've got to admit that having a forest and pond as your space means that truly you are not confined to a tiny house. Open the doors wide."

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Where They Stepped

The setting for this painting is St. Mark's Square, Venice. I have been to the real place and the birds were joyful and plentiful there. These three ladies out for an afternoon stroll. I've walked where they stepped, it could have been me. Their footsteps were my footsteps. I know it's a painting, but it comes to life for me, having been there long ago. You can feel the life in the painting, the joy in their steps.
by Vincenzo Migliaro

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Listening - A Sound Feast

The spring awakening is happening to all senses, not only the visual ones which I crave so ardently, after a long wintery sabbatical. A sabbatical that I am always reluctant to make, but of course, there is no choice in the matter.
This morning, I am listening to crow chatter outside from the little white house. They were in sight earlier this week when I spied them out during the days once or twice. One spreading his wings wide and strong, then landing on a high post above, right in front of me. They are quite large birds and it was a pretty sight for my nature-seeking eyes. But today, it is a sound feast for listening ears, and I am eager to hear the caws that sonically make their way to my little ears. The sabbatical is waning and almost over. Definitely heaven sent.
Photo by Mary Liz Ingram


The curator in me is drawn to moody art scenes, like this one by William Henry Chandler.
I want my art to be pensive and pondering. Nearly dark, but not quite, with decadent patina.
This one fits the bill nicely.
Photo by "Classic Butterfly"
If the moon can peak through and share in the moodyness, all the better.

I will gladly stare at them all day long from my reflective vantage point.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March Breaths

It's March and we all know what that means. 
The winds are coming, and they will want to play.

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair" 

Kahlil Gibran

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. Khalil Gibran
Read more at:

I cannot wait for these roaring and blowing March breaths to arrive. These beauties intertwine with the trees and make them dance.

And me, the birds, the trees and wind,
 We become as one.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Old Pages

She's a seeker, wanting to taste the mystery of places she's never been. Her mind whispers the words that take her there, in a moment. They come to her, and she becomes the words, immersing herself onto old pages as they turn. This is why she loves them, and they in turn, beckon her back, time after time.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

As Far As Wings Can Take You

As the bird that I am, 
I am flying fast away from winter, 
As far as I can. 
As far as wings can take you away from bleakness. 
As far as the eye can take you to beauty. 
As far as hoping can take you to better things. 
Away, away, to anywhere. 

Isn't this painting gorgeous?  The artist is G. Beddow. An unknown artist from time.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Bird Feeding Kind

The Spruce dot com
Overnight we had a big storm and are now covered in heavy white snow. I've put out a new bird feeder with lots of fresh birdseed for my little winter kin. I'm the bird feeding kind, after all. The bird watching kind, and the bird wannabee kind, too. The kitties sit by the window and watch the winter show that plays out right at the window. All they must do it sit down in their seats and wait for the show to start.

Bird Feeder

Here is the bird feeder. Here, seeds and crumbs.
Sprinkle them on and see what comes.
One cardinal, one chickadee, one junco, one jay.
Four of my bird friends are eating today.

~ Myra Cohn Livingstone 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Something is Coming

Something is coming soon. I wonder if you'd be able to guess the author based on this tiny glimpse of this pretty book set. It is one of my favorite authors that I don't talk about enough. Lots of this author's books that I haven't read yet, which is why this pretty bundle was so appealing to me. I'll reveal more when these arrive from the UK to my little mailbox.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

In Vintage Form

The new old books have started to arrive. I'm loving what's been popping up in the mailbox. This will definitely be a process that will take months, but the plan is to choose and find all of my favorite classic books in vintage (antique) hardback form for my library, biographies of my favorite authors, as well as old beauties that I love for one reason or another. 
For reference, here is my list of favorites, (this list is old).
The books shown in the pictures are Poems of Emily Dickinson, America and England, Certain English Towns, a science book with a gorgeous cabin/tree image, a biography of Charlotte and Emily (poor Anne is left out again). Lest you think I'm leaving out the vintage paperbacks, no worries there. They still have a place in my heart, as does Anne.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Jean Valjean

I've been listening to the broadway production of
Les Miserables and continue to feel such a connection to the character Jean Valjean. His story is my very favorite in all of literature. He shows us that we can change. He shows us love and goodness. Time after time.
His story moves me so much, even after hearing it so many times, that to listen to his story being conveyed in words set to music, has me in tears, literally. A lot. To the point that the people driving near me must wonder why I'm sad. Well, I'm not sad, I'm swept away with emotion in a most wonderful way. Eponine's story, within Jean Valjean's story, also entirely moves me to tears nearly every time. That is another post altogether.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Shortness of Breath for the Beautiful

My body aches and I have no appetite. Which makes winter all the more miserable. I am longing to get things done, to accomplish something. Yet all I can do is sit and hope that I feel better tomorrow, perhaps. Not being able to get things done when they need doing is causing me a shortness of breath for the beautiful. Not literally, but figuratively speaking.What is this necessity I have for beauty around me. I need it to function properly. I need to breathe it in and out constantly to feel alive.

About four years ago, we moved to a little cottage home that looked much like Walden, which felt like the right thing to do, ...and in a lot of essential ways it was. The goal was to live simply and with not a lot of space or things. It felt like living the Thoreau dream, which I've always wanted to do. "To live deliberately." To live simply. It was about two years and two months that we lived here deliberately, ...which is about how long Thoreau lived in his cottage, too. It payed off financially because housing prices went up which boosted the equity in our little Rose Cottage, (which is what I and no one else called it). After the first year, things started to close in on me and I felt claustrophobic. We started planning a move which took another year or so. Now we are settled in a different home, where there is space to breath in and out. No shortness of breath here.

The desire to make this new home beautiful, yet still simple and deliberate is where I am at now. We'll get there one step and one day at a time. I still feel that living simply is where things are at, but I now realize that you can still live simply with more space, and that that space is what allows you to breathe. Thoreau was only able to live simple because he had a forest and a pond as his backyard to breath deliberately in and out in, after all.

These are some beautiful things currently inspiring me.