A List of Things I Want to Do

This is mostly stuff I can actually do. Visiting Iceland, studying in Oxford, learning Old Norse, and translating LOTR into Latin may never happen… but why not?
1. Learn Old and Middle English.
2. Learn Greek.
3. Learn Latin perfectly.
4. Learn Old Norse.
5. Go to Rome.
6. Study in Oxford.
7. Visit Iceland.
8. Learn the polka.
9. Attend a wedding (I’ve never been to a wedding).
10. Sing “Hello, Dolly” at the top of my lungs in public.
11. Make a cheese soufflé.
12. Dump a bowl of clam chowder on someone’s head.
13. Grow my hair out to my waist.
14. Sew a dress.
15. Knit a Fair Isle sweater.
16. Handspin cashmere.
17. Read the ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’.
18. Translate ‘The Lord of the Rings’ into Latin.
19. Cut someone’s hair off.
20. Post a picture of myself planking on Facebook.

November Daybook

Date… Monday, November 21, 2011                    

Starting time… 1:29 PM

Mood… waitful (for the cookies to come out of the oven…).

Outside my window… a splendid cold grey November day.

I’m thinking… about making a chocolate chip cookie sundae.

I’m reading…  Wet Magic by E. Nesbit and the Poetic Edda.

I’m listening to… “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi.

I’m wearing… a grey denim skirt, a brown t-shirt, white socks and black shoes.

Yesterday, I… read the D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths (which is quite splendid, though the introduction isn’t recommendable), got quite a lot done on a really cute sock I’m knitting my mom (don’t worry, she already knows about it – she picked out the yarn), went out to dinner, and (last but not least) attended Mass in the afternoon instead of the morning. It’s okay, but whenever I attend Mass late I feel as if I have not really gone… silly, I know…

I’m excited for… Thanksgiving break.

I’m sad because… I’m a lazy sluggard.

I’m hungry for… chocolate chip cookie sundaes.

The song stuck inside my head is… that cheesy song from Captain America… “He’s the star-spangled man / With a plan!”

I want… a new light fixture in my room.

I love… breaks from school (that is, except for Great Books, which takes Christmas break and a spring break, no Thanksgiving break for us Tuesday classes…)

I loathe… my temper.

This week, my goal is… it’s break!

Books, fairy tales, memories

Childhood favorites – Updated!!!

Recently I picked up a few books from the library that I first read when I was around ten years old, give or take a year. They are by Edward Eager. Have you ever heard of him? If not, you should have. I was infatuated with his books as a child. They are very like E. Nesbit’s books, whom he takes as a model.

My conscience fully approves and sanctions this endeavor to reread books I have read in my childhood, for C. S. Lewis has sanctioned it, and on the matter of Good Books he is practically always right. “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly.” Except I am only sixteen, not fifty. All the same, it holds, and he also says somewhere that a child’s book that you can’t enjoy as an adult is not a good child’s book. Not that I am an adult, either, but my literary tastes have certainly matured, to some extent. I would not have enjoyed George Eliot as a ten-year-old, and I would not now enjoy the Phantom Stallion books – at least, I hope not.

At any rate, the books I have been reading recently are:
Magic or Not? – Edward Eager
The Well-Wishers – Edward Eager (the sequel to the above)
The Time Garden (sequel to ‘Knight’s Castle’) – Edward Eager
Seven-Day Magic – Edward Eager
The Magic City – E. Nesbit
The Railway Children – E. Nesbit
And begun, but not yet finished – The Midnight Folk – John Masefield, and reading to my sister – The Story of the Treasure-Seekers – E. Nesbit
And checked out from the library (I overstuffed yesterday and checked out over twenty things, I think):
Half-Magic – Edward Eager
Magic by the Lake – Edward Eager
Knight’s Castle – Edward Eager (alas, he wrote only seven magical books for children)
The Enchanted Castle – E. Nesbit
Wet Magic – E. Nesbit
The Phoenix and the Carpet (sequel to ‘Five Children and It’, which I believe we own but haven’t found yet, and which is a very delightful book) – E. Nesbit
The Story of the Amulet – E. Nesbit. Note: this sequel to ‘The Phoenix and the Carpet’ involves the children calling on dark powers using an Egyptian amulet, so probably Michael O’Brien and like-minded would not like it; however, C. S. Lewis particularly loved this story, recommended it to a young reader on Page 174 of the third volume of his Letters, and praised it somewhere for giving him his first realization of the quality of ancientness – I do not remember where. I consider Lewis a knowledgeable authority on matters of literature, who has probably read more ancient and medieval literature treating with witches than O’Brien, and who undoubtedly would not knowingly indoctrinate a child into witchcraft; so I went ahead and read it, but if such things make you uncomfortable, go ahead and avoid it.
The House of Arden – E. Nesbit (which I have now begun to read and which has a rather unpleasant passage about a witch in it that would make it appropriate to probably only those who already know that witches are bad)
The other books I got from the library include poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay, since I read part of her poem ‘Renascence’ for my Great Books class last Tuesday and wanted to finish reading it – a very lovely poem (update: some of her poetry isn’t quite clean, though, exercise discretion); some books on vegetable and herb gardening, to indulge my latest hobby, planning my future garden; a cook-book; a couple of P. G. Wodehouses; ‘The Lady of the Lake’ by Sir Walter Scott; a collection of short stories about the sea; and a couple DVDs.
One of the things I’ve noticed about children’s books is how much shorter they are to read than ‘grown-up’ books. I can easily finish one in a day. It is pleasant to be able to read something quick, delightful, and easy, but it is rather sad to bite it off so quickly. I can see why reading books aloud to children is a superior way; reading aloud takes me much longer than silently, and my mouth gets dry and I want to stop before one chapter is over.

Writing in November

I am NOT doing NaNoWriMo this November. I would rather like to, but I’m not doing it. On the other hand, I AM doing a writing challenge. I am going to write for two hours, minimally, every day this month. I didn’t manage it yesterday, but I will do it, even if it kills me.

If anyone else would like to do this with me, go ahead and let me know – perhaps I can make a blog button or something.