Story of my life.

Story of my life.

Just add a dog.

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Twins

I gave up trying to come up with my own pattern. It just wasn’t what I wanted, so I purchased this pattern on Etsy, and it was just what I needed. A friend from jr. high/high school just had twins and she asked if I’d make something like this for them.

Also just finished another minion hat. And next up is an order for a baby santa hat and a head wrap. I’ve been staying busy, and it feels awesome. Although, since the santa hat and headwrap don’t need to be made until after Thanksgiving, I think I’m taking the afternoon off. Mostly because I can’t stop reading this book:

68428[1]Definitely read it if you’re into fantasy!

November

“Powerful winds that crack the boughs of November! – and the bright calm sun, untouched by the furies of the earth, abandoning the earth to darkness, and wild forlornness, and night, as men shiver in their coats and hurry home. And then the lights of home glowing in those desolate deeps. There are the stars, though! – high and sparkling in a spiritual firmament. We will walk in the windsweeps, gloating in the envelopment of ourselves, seeking the sudden grinning intelligence of humanity below these abysmal beauties. Now the roaring midnight fury and the creaking of our hinges and windows, now the winder, now the understanding of the earth and our being on it: this drama of enigmas and double-depths and sorrows and grave joys, these human things in the elemental vastness of the windblown world.” – Jack Kerouac 

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For Kerouac

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“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.”

Anyone who knows me, knows that The Beat Generation, and Kerouac in particular, are a huge part of what shaped me in my late teens and early 20s. For me, that era, those poets and writers, are a part of my soul. Sometimes when I’m reading Kerouac, it’s like he’s pulled my most personal feelings out of my heart and put them into words, in such a way that I never could. I find comfort in him and them, and they are the grandfathers I never had, my greatest teachers, my closest friends. This time of year I’m especially prone to them, so here’s a poem Kerouac wrote about my favorite month: October.

There’s something olden and golden and lost
In the strange ancestral light,
There’s something tender and loving and sad
In October’s copper might.

End of something, old, old, old…
Always missing, sad, sad, sad…
Saying something…love, love, love…

Akh! I tell you it is October,
And I defy you now and always
To deny there is not love

Staring foolishly at skies
Whose beauty but God defies.

For in October’s ancient glow
A little after dusk
Love strides through the meadow
Dropping her burnished husk…

October: The Month of Bradbury

october[1]Nobody captures the spirit of fall like Ray Bradbury. Nobody. And that’s why I always dedicate the month of October to him. We lost him last year, and it broke my heart. Bradbury was/is without equal. Everything he ever wrote managed to be equal parts nostalgic and innovative, and his stories made us remember that we were children once, and it’s okay to hold on to that for as long as possible.  I have read and re-read his works more times than I can count, and I never tire of them. They bring out the best in me.

the-halloween-tree_edited-1[1]9780380973873[1]somethingwicked[1]247-1[1]Ray-bradbury-content-marketing[1]Thanks for everything, Mr. Bradbury.

 

Book Recs: Shirley Jackson

I LOVE Shirley Jackson, and these are, in my opinion her best. BUT, her short stories are…phenomenal.  I wouldn’t necessarily classify these books as horror, although that’s definitely part of it, especially with Hill House. What makes these books so creepy is their psychological aspects. I was introduced to Shirley in college when I was assigned to read her short story  The Lottery. It really struck a chord with me, and I immediately set out to read everything she’d written.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.

The Haunting of Hill House: First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

 

13388[1]Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, “The Lottery” (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, smalltown America. In her critical biography of Shirley Jackson, Lenemaja Friedman notes that when Shirley Jackson’s story “The Lottery” was published in the June 28, 1948, issue of The New Yorker, it received a response that “no New Yorker story had ever received.” Hundreds of letters poured in that were characterized by, as Jackson put it, “bewilderment, speculation and old-fashioned abuse.

 

 

Book Rec: The Night Circus

Book Description from Goodreads:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

I will do my best to describe this amazing book, and I will probably fail miserably. Because this is one of those books where nothing you say can accurately depict how truly beautiful and magnificent it is. Enchanting. Exquisite. Magical. And beyond. The writing and the way Erin Morgenstern describes every detail is mesmerizing. You ARE at the Night Circus. You’re eating a caramel apple. You smell the incense and popcorn. You feel the chill air. You ARE the circus. You will explore every tent with a childlike fervor that only the best literature can illicit in the mind.

There are so many elements going on in this book, but they all fit together, interweaving and meeting in the middle for the important finale. Every character is tied together within the circus, bound with two people who are the reason for its existence. And at the core, beyond all the magic and illusions, is a love story. Star-crossed lovers, if you will. (And Shakespeare’s works make several appearances.)

What’s my favorite tent? Bedtime Stories, Widget’s olfactory creation. I wish it existed for real. That I could open a bottle and sniff and be transported to anywhere, feel anything.

I wish ALL of this existed for real. I never wanted to leave the Night Circus. I guess that makes me a Reveur, because I would follow the Night Circus anywhere.