Green door and shutters beneath a curving tile roof,
And wake to the beat of swans' wings
And the honey fragrance of blooming flowers.
I could live in a house behind a wall
Where peacocks pace amid strange blooms
And tall trees like lilac clouds soar above the chimneys.
From the three little attic windows, I can see everything And hear the peacocks' cries.
I could live in a happy yellow house
With gables and dormers and a vine growing up the side.
When snow lies on the roof, I will imagine
The purple of the wisteria against the yellow wall in Spring.
I could live in a house with many-paned windows,
Chimneys and odd finials and a balustered wall.
When the moon sinks low and the snow grows deep,
I will wrap a red muffler round the poor statue,
Shivering in its icy niche.
I could live in a witchy house, tall and brooding,
With a shop on the bottom floor.
Here will I sell herbs and simples,
Potions and lotions for the villagers
Who visit me only by night.
I came across this site HERE that features vintage shelter magazine covers and fell in love with these illustrations. I don't know who the artist is (or if there are several artists) but my imagination took wing. You should really zoom in on each one to see all the charming details.
Josie and her parents were at the beach last week. How much she has changed in that short time! Much more vocal, much more interested in her surroundings, wanting to grab things, trying to put CoryCat's tail in her mouth. She gets up on hands and knees, rocks back and forth, then lunges forward after whatever it is she wants. But she can tell you about her day . . .
A kind friend sent me a copy of Cash's latest and I have to admit that the first couple of pages had me hesitant about continuing on, in spite of my trust in my friend's recommendations. It wasn't the writing -- the writing is beautiful -- but the subject matter -- millworkers in 1929 North Carolina, the deplorable conditions they endured, and their fight to unionize. This is going to be grim, I thought.
But I kept reading, caught up in Ella May's story and the compelling depiction of her struggle to feed her children. It is those hungry children and the hope of something better than nine dollars a week for a six day, twelve-hour nightshift that nudges her into the dangerous union movement. And there she becomes something of a star -- a ballad singing crowd pleaser.
I was hooked. I finished the book in a day.
Cash's focus is Ella May Wiggins (who was a real person,) but he interposes her story with that of others both in the midst of and on the periphery of the main action. And all of these characters are fully fleshed with stories of their own in which the reader becomes invested.
It's a beautifully detailed look at a certain time and place -- but as a blurb by Ben Fountain says: "In an era when American workers are besieged as they haven't been since the Great Depression, I can think of no more relevant novel for our times than The Last Ballad."
All images and content are subject to copyright and are the sole property of Vicki Lane Mysteries. If you would like to use something from my blog on your blog or website, please email me and ask first. I'll probably say yes.
I'm the author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell. The series includes SIGNS IN THE BLOOD (LA MONTAGNE DES SECRETS in France), ART'S BLOOD, (LE SECRET DES APPALACHES in France,) OLD WOUNDS,IN A DARK SEASON (Anthony Nominee, Best PBO), and UNDER THE SKIN. There's also THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS (a spinoff/standalone)chronicling the unexpected life story of Miss Birdie, one of Elizabeth's neighbors.
Currently I have just completed a historical novel, dealing with a massacre in my county during the Civil War.
I came to this weird business late (my first novel was published in 2005) and am still trying to figure it out.
As my novels are set in a place much like my real life home, I thought I'd use this blog to share pictures of our farm and county. I've been blogging for nearly nine years now, on an almost daily basis, and the topics have ranged from writing, chickens, food, books, quilts, flora and fauna of all sorts, to the occasional tiny rant. There's no plan, but there are lots of pictures.
There's more information about me and my books on my web site: http://vickilanemysteries.com/