and a taste of things to come...
I just finished re-reading Heidi, the childhood classic by Johanna Spyri. I have great admiration for Spyri, who wrote more than 25 books in her lifetime (1827 - 1901). I haven't read her other work, but it's not surprising Heidi surfaced above the rest. The protagonist's resolute character withstands abandonment, abduction and neglect. She remains kind and generous to all the other characters, careless of the fact that most of them are motivated by naked selfishness.
While the underlying message of Heidi is overtly preachy, Spyri is a master of how to propel a plot. She also is adept at transporting the reader to another time and place. Her vivid descriptions of the Swiss alps remind me of my visit to Zermatt the summer I was sixteen. I lay on the grassy mountainside, surrounded by dainty wildflowers (regretfully, I may have crushed a few). It's easy to imagine Peter was just around the next peak, his goats grazing on their favorite meadow.
Check back soon...
Coming up, a wonderful interview with American painter Wendell Minor, who has illustrated more than 2,000 books and book covers, including the Harper Lee classic, To Kill A Mockingbird. Minor shares his insights on the inspiration behind the art for his most recent picture book, The Last Train, by Gordon Titcomb (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Book Press/MacMillan Publishers).
Also soon, my colleague, Lupe Fernandez, of The Pen & Ink blog drops in to offer a guest's POV on the perils of procrastination - or non-writing activities, as he calls it.
In the meantime, do share your thoughts - on Heidi, and other things. We have a discussion going on.