March 23, 2007

Hew Weal Fuw Coat

WARNING: I woke up with a sassmouth today. This blog entry contains at LEAST one completely gratuitous reference to testicles AND it shamelessly links to a site that contains both curse words and HEINOUS DEVIL KNITTING, so the easily offended should NOT follow the first two links.

My friend Lydia is crafty. In many senses of the word. BUT HERE I mean she sews and knits and crochets and quilts. Sometimes, a crafty friend is a dreadful liability. There are people currently sucking up perfectly good oxygen who spend valuable minutes of their brief blink of time on earth perpetrating… things like this. Oh and one more I can’t resist… things like this.

But Lydia is NOT a liability. When Maisy was a dewy little dumpling, she made her this…


Doesn’t Baby Maisy look kinda like a MUSHROOM PERSON from Super Mario Brothers? I LOVED that hat and jacket, and I have not had anything so cute to stuff her in until HEW WEAL FUW COAT, so called because Maisy Jane cannot say R’s.

Lydia called one day and asked to talk to Miss Maiso-May, and they had the following conversation.

L: What is your favorite color?
Maisy: PINK!
L: What is your favorite animal?
Maisy: A pig and because did you know why?
L: Why?
Maisy: A pig is PINK! Didn’t you know that?

When the coat came in the mail, PINK as all get out and lined with pink piglet fabric, Maisy LOST. HER. MIND. She put it on and danced around saying, “OH! OH! OH! I love it! It is my WEAL FUW COAT!”

I suspect it is NOT real, so tell PETA to stand down, although there is a SLIGHT possibility that Lydia made it out of slaughtered cartoon poodles. Anyway, it is spring now, and SADLY the coat must be retired, so I wanted to show it to you before I packed it away. Next year it will not fit…*weep*


BY THE WAY, it was SO not my idea for her to wear SOCKS and SANDALS like some crazy old knobby kneed Miami beach retiree-man. That is purely a Maisy Fashion Statement. I cannot even begin to guess what it is saying. BUT SHE WAS HAPPY SAYING IT. So.

Now, ONLY for you people with your weird BOOKSHELF fixation…I am NOT linking all these, you SADISTS. But I will editorialize. This is my OFFICE bookshelf. I also have an unfinished room in my basement with shelves that go two deep and boxes and boxes and boxes of books. I am not showing you pictures both because the basement is a train wreck and because I can’t tell you all THOSE books. I also have bookshelves and stacks of books up in my room. I am not showing you pictures of THOSE either. This is IT, okay? We’ll do a shelf at a time, and not every entry because it takes a logn time, but if you remind me we will do them all, this month, before they change too much…

On top is my HS yearbook which I troll for character last names sometimes, two signed children’s books – Peter and the Starcatchers and Don’t Let the Pidgeon Stay Up Late. My kids LOVE those books, so I am keeping the signed first eds nice for them for when they grow up.

NOW the shelf itself.


The MS for a dern good play written by my friend Hunt.

Rosa, by Nikki Giovanni. It’s a children’s book that tells the story of ROSA PARKS and Nikki Giovanni won the SIBA award (as well as 100 zillion other awards, it’s an awesome book) the same year gods in Alabama won in fiction. Getting to sit by Nikki Giovanni at the awards lunch was a life-high.

The Rock Orchard, by Paula Wall. In the comments a WHILE back someone compared my work to hers. I think it was Heather??? Correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, that’s very flattering to me. Love her, and this book is …sexy. No other word. Sexy book.

Foxfire, Joyce Carol Oates. Signed. Yes. You may touch my garment.

Christ the Lord, Anne Rice. I wish I could explain this one. I can’t. I can’t explain it on any level. There it sits, unopened, where it has sat ever since my first editions club sent it to me. I have not read it, but I have not put it someplace else to NOT read it, I haven’t given it to anyone. I am utterly perplexed by it. I have no religious objections to it, but no desire to read it. The concept does not offend my Christianity, but neither does my Christianisty inspire me to open it. It’s just…there is no explanation for its continued presence on my shelf. I cannot fathom it or explain it. Maybe I would feel bad about banishing Jesus to the basement? Very weird.

Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilefoile. OKAY – this is an AWESOME book, and in it, there is this game where you can PLAY YOURSELF. You, essentially, make your Me (Mii???), and it is you, and it does things that you could actually go and do, like, say…bowl, but you are home in your living room watching you do it. It’s creepy as all get out, and JUST LAST NIGHT!!!! I saw a commercial and it seems Nintendo has taken one step closer to making his game real…oh! So! SPOOOOOOOOOOOKY.

My signed first editions of both of HAVEN KIMMEL’S NOVELS!!!!!
Something Rising, Light and Swift and The Solace of Leaving Early. GO READ THESE RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVE NOT YET.

Same Sweet Girls and a first edition of Making Waves in Zion by THE AWESOME Cassandra King. Making Waves lost the IN ZION when it was reprinted. I have the original. LA LA LA! SIGNED! LALALALALA.

The God File (!!!!!) and Life is a Strange Place by Frank Turner Hollon. By the way? The enormous testicles on the cover of Life is a Strange Place? You will think they belong to a bull. But the author himself told me those balls belong to a Great Dane. AREN”T YOU GLAD TO KNOW THIS VITAL TESTICLE INFORMATION? This blog is an educational FEAST.

High Drama in Fabulous Toledo, by my best friend from the way back back, Lily James. I came up with that title, but SHE came up with, well, the whole rest of the book. It’s a doozy.

MARK – A study of Mark for Sunday School.

A Cup of Comfort – An Anthology that had the good sense to include an essay by my friend Kira.

Dead Cert by Dick Francis. Signed. PREEN!

Killing Floor by Mister Lee “hot and a damn good writer” Child. I love me some Reacher. Oh, yes I do. This one is signed. PREEN PREEN!

A Greg Iles book I bought at a Grocery store, read 20 pages of, and realized it was part of a series and put it on this shelf to remember to buy the FIRST one and read THAT and then if I like it I will continue on book after book until sated or done. I HATE reading series out of order.

Two by Jane Stanton Hitchcock---- Social Crimes and Trick of the Eye. I LIKE her books. She has a sick mind. In a good way.

Two by C.S. Lewis. Till We Have Faces and a Different edition of The Four Loves. Those are Scott’s. My own The Four Loves is in the currently reading stack we looked at earlier.

The Planets, Dava Sobel. This is ALSO Scott’s, but shockingly, a NOVEL. He generally only reads novels by chicks who consent to sleep with him on a regular basis, and who also have been known to cook his chicken and bear his loin spawn. Otherwise, he reads, like… PHYSICS. Yes, for pleasure.

*** Scott just called to tell me this is NOT a novel. I assumed it was because she wrote GALILEO'S DAUGHTER and LONGITUDE...He said "This is more of a casual tour of the solar system." He sounded very excited about that. Hand to God.***

A signed galley of Great With Child by Beth Anne Fennelly. If you have a pregnant friend, GIVE HER THIS BOOK. NOW.

Ex and the Single Girl, by Lani Diane Rich. She is my friend, and this is so far my fave of her books. BUT I haven’t read the new one. It JUST came out so here is a leetle linky love to it. She makes me laugh.

Galley of Blame it on Paris by our own dear and delightful Laura Florand

Galley of Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman. HA!

The Year the Music Changed by Diane Coulter Thomas

Where 3 Roads Meet by JOHN BARTH, totally SIGNED. And NO, you may NOT touch the hem of my garment because I have a signed John Barth and am MUCH! TOO! COOL!

Galley of One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, the sequel to CASE HISTORIES. LOVE BOTH THESE BOOKS.

The Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster. Signed. Okay, fine. Just the hem.

LAST, another signed children’s book. Earnest’s Gift by Kathryn Tucker Wyndham, a VERY well known Southern storyteller.

VERY LAST, on the shelf is a brass owl. I stole it.

It’s very terrible to steal things, and very stupid to steal them and then say “HERE IS A PICTURE OF A THING I STOLE.” Anyway, I am SO out of time. I will tell you the story of the stolen brass owl next week.

And NO, the pilfered owl is NOT wearing pink socks, so SHUT. UP. <--inside joke

Posted by joshilyn at March 23, 2007 10:13 AM

Thank you for the bookshelf breakdown. Now I have myself quite a reading list.

I love how you've captured Maisy's pronunciation. My son is also 4 and he can't say "girl" or "squirrel" or any word that ends in that type of sound. It comes out sounding more like "squirrah" and "girrah" but with a very glottal sound. I totally love it.

I kind of like the pink socks with the sandals. As one with constantly cold feet I'm often tempted to wear socks with mine. However, in my case fashion prevails. I will say, though, that the pink socks bring out the pink in the dress. :)

Posted by: Leandra at March 23, 2007 11:17 AM

You mean there are OTHER people who see pictures of bookshelves and squint and squooch to see what each and every book is? I find this very reassuring. I will be hunting these books down to cram into my already-crowded shelves.

And I adore the Weal Fuw Coat. Perhaps you can put Maisy on the case with your buddy to knit next year's treasure.

Thanks for giving me a lot to smile about this morning!

Posted by: Diane at March 23, 2007 11:22 AM

Ah, I am not one for autographs, asking for them, collecting them, gloating over them. BUT I WILL KILL FOR A SIGNED FIRST EDITION. The weirdness of me. Does anyone know how to get Jane Austin to sign a copy?

Joke really, I know I have to go to extremes for it.

Posted by: Cele at March 23, 2007 11:28 AM

I adore Haven Kimmel's writing, all of it, the memoirs too. And I LIKED The Planets. (Go, Mr. Husband.) Thank you for quite honestly pandering to your FTK regs, although, you know, you are just FEEDING into our anal retentiveness when it comes to bookshelves and now it's all just a weird co-dependent type of thing. Nevertheless, I will bookmark this page for future reading ideas....

THANKS! You rock. Oh, and I knit but I wouldn't knit either of those, um, garments (using the word *very* loosely)

Posted by: amy at March 23, 2007 11:38 AM

THANK YOU for the book titles. And especially for the Beth Anne Fennelly book and the recommendation, because I just found out that my very bestest friend in the whole world is pregnant and I am going to go and order that for her right. this. second.

Posted by: Aimee at March 23, 2007 11:53 AM

First of all, Maisy looks gorgeous in hew weal fuw coat. Yay Lydia of the Many Talents!!

Second of all, thank you for the close-up photo of the shelf and the list o' books! (:::prance:::) You have some I've read and liked, and some I want to read but haven't yet, and some I've never heard of until now. You made my shriveled black anal-retentive little heart very happy. :-)

Now about that next shelf - "MY Daddy...????" :-D

Posted by: DebR at March 23, 2007 12:12 PM

I'm sorry, I meant the BLUE socks bring out the BLUE in the dress....your inside joke about the pink socks threw me off.

Posted by: Leandra at March 23, 2007 12:55 PM

Anyone who recognizes the worth of Haven Kimmel's novels can do no wrong, so I wouldn't dream of pointing out that neither Longitude nor Galileo's Daughter are novels either because I'm cetain that some deep deep logic inhabited your conclusion which is simply beyond my simple self. (Actually, I was kinda hoping Scott was going to field that one...)

Posted by: rams at March 23, 2007 2:08 PM

Strange, my own copy of Christ The Lord is sitting in my office on the bookshelf, yet unopened. I am not sure why, just as you noted. I just as of yet have not opened it yet. I love all of her books, and love reading historical religious books as well, and so I thought that this might be a way to combine two of my loves...but i can't say for sure, because i haven't read it....yet.

Posted by: kim at March 23, 2007 2:38 PM

I LIKE this bookshelf thing! Let's do a meme where everybody else shows their bookshelves, too. In fact, I wrote a post to do something like that to try to FORCE your hand I so wanted to see your bookshelf. But I got distracted with chocolate medusas in my blog instead and haven't had time to post it. So, since you went ahead and did that anyway, I say EVERYONE ELSE should, too. (So my unposted post won't be wasted and because I LOVE to see bookshelves.)

Also, you have very good taste in galleys. I'm just saying. :)

And Haven Kimmel is fabulous.

And we are not anal retentive. Bookshelves are fascinating. That's all.

Posted by: Laura Florand at March 23, 2007 3:02 PM

Everyone else should post their bookshelves. Not get distracted by chocolate medusas.

Seriously, I can write clearly when I revise about 15 times.

Posted by: Laura Florand at March 23, 2007 3:04 PM

Oooh, thank you so much for those knitting links. I'm supposed to be designing some knitwear patterns for a friend's shop, but I look at stuff like that and wonder if that's what I'm supposed to do. Not gonna happen. I'm always thinking, yes, you could probably knit a poncho for a grizzly, or a bikini for your poodle, or something that looks like furry bondage gear for your three year old, but why, oh WHY would you want to???

So nice to see someone else who's less afraid to say it out loud on the Internets. Lily livered coward here. But no more! Maybe. Really, I love these links.
Your books are nice and envy-provoking, too. ;+)

Posted by: ZaZa at March 23, 2007 3:08 PM

I am rather fond of Dava Sobel. If any of you have never read Longitude, you should go right now and read it. That book is a marvel. It's true that none of the Dava Sobel books listed are novels, but they are all excellent stories, told in very imaginative ways. I've decided just to let it go and be happy one of my books has made a guest appearance here.

As for Haven Kimmel, Something Rising Light and Swift was one of my favorite reads last year. Big thumbs WAY up. Of course, anyone who knows me would be able to tell you that I'd be a sucker for that book.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at March 23, 2007 3:13 PM

Wow. I wouldn't like having to defend all the books on my many bookcases to anyone. As it is, whenever I move, my parents always come to help me unpack--my dad got the books this time--and I hear lots of wordless commentary.

I wouldn't call Turning Angel a series, it just uses the same characters as The Quiet Game. The Quiet Game was based on an actual event in Natchez and Turning Angel is just bad, sensationalized, sexy fiction. Brain candy. (but mine IS signed)

Posted by: dynagirl at March 23, 2007 3:30 PM

A signed Dick Francis??? I bow to you and sigh out of book envy.

Posted by: LaLa at March 23, 2007 4:06 PM

Speaking of books and color and crafty people, how's this for a bookshelf? PS, it's not mine, but I have to admit I am looking at my books in a whole new way...

Posted by: Sharon at March 23, 2007 5:16 PM

Ah HAA! I KNEW that bookshelf was too neat to be owned by an author. Then the rest of the story came out - books in the basement, books in boxes, books in your room - now it makes more sense. And scares me that my house is not the only one with books everywhere! Bought a four shelf barrister book case at Lowes for my office. Hubby secured it to the wall so it wouldn't fall on a grandchild, dog, cat or myself. It's so crammed with books I can't even close the glass doors! And I LOVE IT! Did yall see the article on ABC's Nightline about people with cluttered desks being more creative than orginzed people? Didn't say if that applied to bookcases. But of course it does!

I, too, own a copy of Ann Rice's Christ the Lord. It's on audio book. I listened to it - every word. Can't remember too much about it. That's the drawback with audio sometimes, can't go back and randomly open and scan it. The printed word is better than the spoken word. (Although Joshilyn speaks the word very well.) I guess that's why God put His Word in writing before audio!

About children not pronouncing words and letters well. I'm sure we all have stories of funny words. My alnost twelve year old niece, MACY!, called watermelon "tobbie" when she was two. No idea where that came from. She also prouounced "k" as "t" so when I asked what she was thankful for at Thanksgiving dinner she said, "titties." Age four and meaning "Kitties," of course. She didnt' understand what was so funny about that.

Posted by: Rhonda at March 24, 2007 8:21 AM

The absolute adorable preciousness of Maisy in the coat is just too much for words. THat photo reminds me of the one from Disney World (where my work colleague just broke her ankle but attested to the fact that they do, indeed, have incredibly clean restrooms. . .and they gave her a wheel chair. . .and paid for the the ambulance TO the emergency room and the taxi FROM the emergency room) where she is with Cinderella, and her excited energy just jumps out of the computer screen. It's a wonder all of the windows in your home are not shattered by that many good vibes coming off of one such tiny creature.

Cannot wait to read some of these books to pass the time until your new one comes out.

Posted by: Roxanne at March 24, 2007 11:35 AM

I'm about to write an article about a company that is facilitating real life advertising in the Second Life world, and I keep flashing back to Kevin G's novel. It is real! It is scary! Anyway, once I get the article going, I might see if KG will give me some good quote about his vision becoming reality. He's fricking Asimov!

Thanks for the run-down of the shelf. And the gorgeous photos of your adorable girl. I can't show my girl the photo of the fuzzy pink coat, because, though she is very much a tomboy, she LOVES pink, fuzzy clothes. I'm thinking she needs some pink, fuzzy shorts to go with her softball jersey.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at March 25, 2007 9:00 PM

Did I ever tell you my favorite signed book I own? It is THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION TO BREST-LITOVSK, by one L. Trotsky, in the red paperback Edinburgh Workingman's Press pb edition from 19mumble-mumble. And it was not until I was 18 and taking economics from my "don" Frank Roosevelt that I actually opened it, only to discover it had once belonged to one Sean Connery.

This had been in my bookshelf since I was, like, eight years old or something, because I was pretty much the only one in my family who liked to read (I used to say to my sister Freya that her middle name was "can't," as in "FREYA CAN'T READ," and she would say "NO. My middle name is DOESN'T WANT TO BECAUSE IT'S STUPID." But now she reads, only she reads Romance novels mostly).

ANYWAY, back to the Trotsky text... I called my mom from college and said "Um, Mom? Why do I have Sean Connery's copy of a Trotsky book?" and She said "because it was my second husband's second wife's [that would be the one immediately preceding Mom] and she divorced him in kind of a hurry and left her library with him in LA in 1950mumblemumble. But before that she took an acting class with Connery before he made it big and he lent it to her, hoping to convince her to become a communist or something..."

Sometimes I think I should send it back to him, with a letter that says "Dear Mr. Connery, I thought maybe you might want this back so we don't blow your cover about that whole James Bond thing, because I think M and Q might not be so excited about finding out that you're the fourth man or whatever." But then I think he probably has LOTS of books now and doesn't really NEED this one, right?

Posted by: Cornelia Read at March 26, 2007 12:34 AM

My mom gave me the Anne Rice book for Christmas a year ago, and I said, "mmm-hmm, thanks," and shoved it into a dark corner. I chalked that up to the fact that I was ABOUT TO GET MARRIED, GOD!
But then it sat around, untouched, for over a year.
Books do not sit around like that. Not in my world.
Well, I finally read it - last month. Liked it a lot. Still don't know what to say about it. Except maybe this: go ahead. It won't bite.

Posted by: Kira at March 26, 2007 12:35 AM

And MAISY!!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! What a fabulous child!!!!! And are those dancing Disney Princess stickers backwards, in the windows next to her?

Posted by: Cornelia Read at March 26, 2007 12:35 AM

I just wanted to let you know that, inspired by your post and by Laura's challenge, I posted photos of some of my bookshelves today.

Posted by: DebR at March 26, 2007 8:53 AM

Read "Christ the Lord". As one who has read nearly all things Rice, I can say that the book is simultaneously expected and unexpected. The prose is rich, the research deep, as one expects from Anne Rice. Unexpected is the devotion to the subject of the book, so tender and obvious -- it's very moving. And I am not a Christian.

Posted by: parrotzmom at March 26, 2007 9:33 AM

First, I am CRYING fromjealousy that you sat by the great and fabulous Nikki. Did her wonderfullness have a glow about her? I want to BE her for crying out loud.

YES! It was ME! Paula Wall DID remind me of you. Paula Wall is my secret book mistress. I am going to marry her if it ever becomes legal to marry authors against their will.

Posted by: Heather at March 26, 2007 1:50 PM

Loved Something Rising Light and Swift but have not had the pleasure of reading Solace. The library does not have it.

When I tried Making Waves, I couldn't really get into it, but I LOVED Sunday Wife and Same Sweet Girls.

Posted by: Heather at March 26, 2007 2:02 PM

Thank you so much for the detailed description of what's on your bookshelf! Whenever I visit someone for the first time, the first things I check out are the bookshelves. I thought we would only have the priviledge of squinting at our computer screens in order to decipher the titles last week when you posted the lamp picture. I have to check out Cast of Shadows now.

I can't comprehend how authors are able to produce books but still have time to read the books of other authors. I am in awe of your time management skills.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 26, 2007 2:17 PM

heh, I TRUMPS YOU ALL with my SIGNED FIRST EDITIONS of gods and between, not only by you, Joss, but Sam as well! And I still have the bookmarks he & Maisy made me, too (runs feathers through beak repeatedly).
ALSO, do NOT let Maisy everEverEVER glimpse the commercial for Lelli Kelly shoes. Don't go to eBay and search for them, either. Even if they WOULD be dynamite with that great dress. Once you see the price tag, you'll know why I warned you.

Posted by: Elena at March 26, 2007 8:58 PM

Maisy is so very adorable in her coat! It is a save-forever (the coat, and Maisy too). Regarding the socks and sandals - at least they totally match the outfit.

My sister and I love to go to the Wal-Mart in the little Wisconsin town by her cottage because, as she says, "you can wear socks with your sandals and no one cares."

Merci beaucoup for the peek at your bookshelf.

Posted by: JenniferG at March 27, 2007 11:46 AM