Tunes for a Monday Morning
Just stories

Recommended Reading

In the field

I'm working on a long post for tomorrow, so today it's just a quick one with some recommended reading, and an update on Tilly's progress.

Our brave girl is doing better in her second week of post-operative recovery. She's now allowed to take gentle, ten-minute walks to build up her strength again...although she still has to wear her onesie (to protect her stitches), and put up with the indignity of a onesie-inspired new nickname, Little Sausage. Here she is in a nearby field, where I took a morning coffee break while she sat quietly beside me, content to watch, listen, smell the wind, and dream of longer walks to come.

Sniffing the wind

Below, a round-up of interesting articles that I've come across recently:

* "Imagination and the Age of Reason: Magic is Metaphor for Power of Mind" by Joanne Harris (Foreward Reviews)

* "Books were my crazy, wise companions in a conservative world" by Elif Shafek (The Pool)

* "Falling under the spell of fairytales and myths" by John Dugdale (Guardian Books)

* "'Get your head out of that book!': Children's stories that inspired leading writers," edited by Antonia Fraser (Guardian Books)

* "A pictorial celebration of the life and work of Joan Aiken" by her daughter, Lizza Aiken (Guardian Books)

* "The Tale of the Seven Stories" by David Almond (Guardian Books)

* "There Are No Recipes," advice for aspiring writers by Ursula K. Le Guin (Guardian Books)

Watching, hearing, smelling, waiting


* "Reader, You Married Him: Male Writers, Female Readers, and the Marriage Plot" by Alix Ohlin (Los Angeles Review of Books)

* "Should Ethnicity Limit What a Fiction Writer Can Write?," an interesting essay on a contentious subject, by Susan Barker (Los Angeles Review of Books)

* "Friendly Fire," Andrew O'Hagan on the importance of friendship, and on making moral choices as a writer (Bookanista)

* "Art is a Form of Active Prayer," on Melissa Pritchard's A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write, by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)

* "An Introverted Writer's Lament" by Meghan Tifft (The Atlantic)

* "When you lack self-confidence" by Sarah Elwell (Knitting the Wind)

Water & wildflowers

* "Cat Pianos, Sound-Houses, and Other Imaginary Musical Instruments" by Deirdre Loughridge & Thomas Patteson (The Public Domain)

* "A Lazarus Beside Me," an encounter with W.B. Yeats, by Avies Platt (London Review of Books)

* "My Gypsy Childhood" by Roxy Freeman (The Guardian)

* "Photographic Pres­ence and Contemporary Indians," a photographic project by Matika Wilbur (Yes Magazine)

* "Our Footprints on the Earth," on defending beauty and wilderness, by Ilira Walker (The Dark Mountain Project)

* "Restoring Peace: Six Ways Nature in Our Lives Can Reduce the Violence in Our World" by Richard Louv (Children & Nature Network)

* "Look, Don't Touch," an essay on children and nature by David Sobel (Orion Magazine)

* "An Uncommon Gratitude," an essay on place, loss, and unexpected gifts by Trebbe Johnson (Orion Magazine)

Brave Little Sausage

ProfileThe poem in the picture captions is from Dark. Sweet. by Linda Hogan (Coffee House Press, 2014); all rights reserved by the author.


What a delight to see my own name on such a list. Thank you :-) And I love the soulful look Tilly has as she gazes out upon the woods and meadows. I wonder what she is thinking and dreaming.

Also, that tree in the first photo - what a presence it has!

Best wishes, I hope the peace of that beautiful land brings healing to you and Tilly.

I am working on something longer, too, so here is the second (fifth???) revision of an earlier poem that seems to fit here as well. One new verse and a bunch of fiddles with extra "a" and "the" which are the bane of my poetic existence.

Call and Response

On a day of grey cloud,
doves perch on a bush
calling their worries,
and the garden responds.

On a day of gray cloud,
a dog fox, barkless,
brusques across the lawn,
and the garden responds.

On a day of grey cloud,
a little hedgehog under
the blushing astilby coughs
and the garden responds.

On a day of grey cloud,
three rabbits hunch
on a patch of uncut grass
And the garden responds.

On a day of grey cloud,
I sit on the old bench
breathing in lavender,
and the garden responds.

©2015 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Happy to hear the healing progresses in a timely manner but how you can call this a quick post with it's extensive list of recommends, I don't know. Herein a small year long course is suggested! (((smiling)))

Oh, things to read! Makes me wish my coffeebreak could last longer. Poor Tilly in her sausage casing... makes me laugh every time I see her, sorry. But at least she wears it with dignity.

I love this one; and I also love seeing the creative process at work as you tweak it into shape.

It's a pleasure, Sarah. It's a lovely, wise piece and I'm glad to share it.

Well, quicker to post than read through anyway!

She does look a little silly, particularly when it droops around her bottom....

I recited this out loud and just felt it so whispery, than I did it again. Brush and garden, the mysterious grey cloud, out as words in the air.

Well I think Tilly is being very brave about it. And has a good sense of humor, which I have noticed in good dogs.

Strange, I droop around the bottom too, but I think that's something to do with too much beer and bags of crisps!

She's been incredibly brave throughout the whole process, and yes, she definitely has her sense of humor back. :)

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