I had a good writing week. I only have a couple of thousand words to write to finish my last chapter (there are still a couple of ones I have to write) then it’s editing and finishing some research. I left my short story unfinished but I may decide to finish it as I don’t love it as I should. I also sorted through masses of clippings, print-outs and outlines for stories long forgotten. I did find some interesting pieces saved from years ago. One is on the history of aprons. I sent it to my friend Bianca and she wrote back:
I absolutely love it. It has to be high on my list of favourites, bringing back memories of my childhood in our little flat in Littlehampton when Mum used to work miracles in what was a landing (or free space area) converted into a little kitchen, where two was a crowd.
I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.
But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
I will continue the history of aprons next week.
The last verse of:
The Song of Wandering Aengus
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
The song is one of my favourite poems.
This is a description of the home of Anais Nin and Rupert Pole in the hills of Silver Lake, near L. A.
A glass- and-concrete house on a hilly Silver Lake street.
Eric Lloyd Wright, a third-generation architect designed the house for his half-brother Rupert and Anais.
In the sixth volume of her Diary, Anais described the one-storey dwelling perched above the city as ‘one large studio, no separate, small partitions. It had the sense of space of Japanese houses; it had the vista of a Japanese screen, all sky, mountains, lake, as if one lived out of doors. Yet the roof, held by its heavy beams, gave a feeling of protection while the big windows which separated the roof from the studio framed the flight of birds, the sailing of clouds.’ What I love most is the feeling of light and space that Anais writes about in their home. And there’s a small interior Japanese garden cut into the floor near one of the glass panels of the living room wall, where Anais would etch swirls in the sand with a small hand shovel. The stone fireplace, she wrote, was ‘like that of a castle’. There was a grand piano and packed bookshelves.
LITERARY TIP OF THE DAY the verb ‘WAS’
I read recently ‘WAS’ is a passive word. Do not let anyone tell you it is. ‘WAS’ is infrequently passive, and is a part of good English. It is a wonderful verb. If it suits your story use it freely.
English is fun. It is a flexible language for telling stories.
Have a good writing week and to all a Happy New Year, Elise x