Tilly posed this morning against an Alan Lee backdrop (a stream by the village Commons).
(Click on photo to enlarge)
The snow has disappeared just as abruptly as it came . . . but Tilly doesn't mind, for the world is full of sticks to chew and birds to chase and mud to muck in and pony dung to sniff, which is all it takes to gladden her heart. Now if only I was so easy to please. There is much to be learned from a little black dog, such as the arts of joy and living fully in the present. Tilly, my little zen master. Our morning walks, a meditation and a prayer.
Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales was just named an ALA Notable Book of 2010. Considering how many darn good children's books are being published these days, Ellen and I are surprised and delighted to find that our beloved little volume of twisted fairy tales has been singled out for the ALA's select list. The honor, however, is due entirely to all the writers who created such fabulously quirky stories and poems for the book...with a tip of the hat to Sharyn November, who acquired the book for Viking, guided it through the publishing process, and supervised the creation of its dashingly villainous cover and exceptionally lovely interior design. Hooray one and all!
I'm still recovering from flu (though doing better than I was, thank you for asking), still dealing with deadlines, but the snow is now gone -- for which I am alternately grateful (we're no longer marooned in the village) and sad (for it was awfully pretty).
Oh, and in my flu haze I keep forgetting to mention two things. First, there's an interview with me in the winter issue of The Write Place at the Write Time, a fine literary quarterly edited by Nicole M. Bouchard. (Check out their archives as well, which include an interview with Alice Hoffman in Autumn 2008.) Second, British children's book writer Katherine Langrish (whose books I've highly recommended in the past) has a terrific new blog focused on fiction, folklore, and the writing life. Called Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, you can check it out here.
I'll post again when work and health permits.
I'm currently buried under flu, deadlines, and snow, so I'm afraid my posts may be brief and sporadic for a while. I"ll be back to proper posts when my lungs, my desk, and the skies begin to clear.... Until then, thanks for all your kind good wishes!
The Weather Gods have turned my Devon village (and most of England) into a winter wonderland of snow, and Normal Daily Life has come to a screeching halt. Yesterday the little lanes leading into the village were completely blocked, cutting us off from the rest of the world. Today they are marginally better...but we're told that another snow storm is on the way, perhaps even bigger than the first. We've stocked up on food, dog treats, and coffee, and are preparing ourselves for an exciting weekend.
In this pause between storms, I hiked down the icy roads into my office to check up on email and editorial commitments, and to post these photographs. This is Tilly's first experience of snow. She is, as you can see, utterly ecstatic. I love her "Snowflake Dance" in the picture above, which reminds me of the Snoopy Dance -- a childhood favorite.
(Hat and scarf made by Emma Bull.)
Above, the view of the village square from my studio window at noon today.
Below, the studio building last night when the snow began. (My windows are the ones on the left, over the wine shop, Best Cellars.)
I love the snow, which turns this already-picturesque village into a timeless and magical place -- but I don't love the cold that comes with it, seeping through every crack in the drafty Victorian building which houses our studios. Lately I've been work in layers of clothes, socks, and fingerless gloves, feeling like a little polar bear....