Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Excuses and Patricia McKillip

Life's been pretty crazy the last couple of weeks. This Hell Week* and Finals Week were probably the worse I've ever had just for the amount of work done and the number of hours of sleep lost throughout the experience. By the end of those two weeks, my eyes were completely bloodshot and weeping constantly. It hurt more to take my contacts out than to leave them in and I really didn't have any emotions left.

Basically, I was a weeping Photoshop zombie who spent her time eating her weight in candy and carbs in the few moments when she wasn't working.

Needless to say, it's taken me a bit longer than usual to get back to feeling normal. Having lost so much sleep isn't really helping me get over my jet lag any faster. I still don't feel normal.

I also just got a new computer, so I've spent the last several days getting that set up and now it's Christmas and I will be on my feet cooking for the next three days.

So, I haven't really had many thoughts about writing recently.

However, I've made up for that by reading some excellent books! I love Patricia McKillip and recommended her Winter Rose to Susan, but Susan was allergic to the copy she acquired** so I gave her my copy in exchange for her cat-tainted one, but then I had it in my hands so I read on the plane home.*** Then, when I got home I realized that I had two other Patricia McKillip books that I hadn't read yet. I am now happily enthralled by The Bell at Sealey Head which is turning out to be everything I want in a fairy story.

McKillip's books are always delightful intricate and twisting full of beautiful language like old rose vines. Things drawn in small beautiful detail so that her magical world comes alive in radiant color. But despite the intricacy and elegance of her word-smithing and the magic that infuses all her stories, her characters remain warmly human.

Kinuko Y. Craft is the illustrator who makes all my favorite book covers. She did both the covers of Winter Rose and The Bell at Sealey Head as well as some of Juliet Marillier's covers. She also illustrated my favorite version of Cinderella. 

Her illustrations are always stunningly beautiful and minutely detailed. They give up their secrets slowly. I've owned and admired both these books for years and yet noticed something new about Sealey Head only this morning. Craft's illustrations perfectly capture for me the feeling of McKillip's books. Beautiful. Finely detailed. Magical. Secretive.

That's how I want the books I write to be. I would love to be worthy of a Kinuko Craft cover.

In other news, I've acquired a Pinterest account and have started filling it with pretty things. Please, come follow me if you care to! Or just lurk. The more the merrier. So far, I've mostly pinned a bunch of braiding tutorials, a whole lot of quotes about writing, and a picture of a hot guy reading in the snow.

In fact, I think he's so special I'm going to include him here.

You can thank me later.


* This is what our school calls the week before Finals when you are called to account for everything you have done during the semester and are generally found lacking. All papers are due during this time and this is week when the most all-nighters get pulled.

** Apparently, the nice lady had cats.

*** For the third time.


  1. I am greatly pleased to hear you've so far survived your parade of ordeals. I dearly hope you've gotten some nice coma-sleep since then.

    Conversely, I am mildly distressed to note that I don't believe I've read anything by McKillip. I must seek to remedy this.

    *meanwhile ogles reader in the snow a little longer than strictly necessary*