Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Have a Dickens of a Christmas!
Mother, Madge, Jack and I are heading off to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. This year I'll be stepping forward from the rest of the choir to do a solo: O Holy Night. And on Christmas Day, we'll each read aloud from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, about this sour old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who slowly comes to realize the value of caring for others as opposed to the value of a bank book. My favorite part is when he buys Tiny Tim a fat goose for the roasting! Num! For myself, I happen to like finding goose-egg-sized chocolates bulging up my Christmas stocking.
Read the book -- and see the 1951 movie starring Alastair Sim. Watch out for the ghost of events yet to come, though. Scareee!
Hey, be like Scrooge -- the reformed Scrooge -- and think of others this Christmas. Like the homeless animals at the BCSPCA! And, hey, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Silent Night.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
A Royal Thank You
... to my buddy B.L. of Vancouver, who introduced my author, Melanie Jackson, at not one but TWO school presentations. Way to go, B.L.! And I happen to know you're an ace writer, so keep on writing!
This being a royal thank you, I have an excuse to blather about my personal heroine, the very royal, very cool Elizabeth I. That Queen Elizabeth, who lived way back in the 1500s – hey, around the time Melanie Jackson was in kindergarten! – was redheaded and spitfire-determined, just like me. She reached the throne purely by her wits, after having a whole pack of enemies plot against her life. And then she reigned for a whopping forty years. I suspect Elizabeth was stubborn - another trait we have in common - and determined not to give up, no matter what. Yay, Elizabeth! There's a great historical novel about her called Young Bess, by Margaret Irwin. It was made into a movie, too! The photo shows Jean Simmons as Young Bess. Ahem, movie producers: ever be interested in casting a musical version of Young Bess? Puh-leeze, consider yours truly.
Speaking of stubbornness, I marched next door to ask Mr. Dubuque what had become of his wife. "Mrs. Dubuque - you do remember her," I said.
"Yeah. Well," Mr. Dubuque grunted, closing the door. Or trying to: it met my foot. "Ursula's visiting relatives back east."
"Funny," I said, though I wasn't smiling. "I once practiced my Junior Sleuth Club interrogation techniques on Mrs. D. Asked her about her background. She said her entire family lived in Sweden."
"Ja?" Mr. Dubuque scowled at me. He rammed the door against my foot. I had to withdraw it, or for the rest of my life look like I was walking on the side of a hill.
And then there's that garden he'd uprooted and replanted. Weird thing to do in late autumn. From my bedroom window I stared down at the rich orange zinnias freshly growing in the Dubuque garden - and wondered, and wondered.