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Saturday, 24 April 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Trollope!

An author can hardly hope to be popular unless he can use popular language ... But all this must be learned and acquired, not while he is writing ... but long before. His language must come from him as music comes from the rapid touch of the great performer's fingers.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Weekly Wisdom from Mr. Trollope

There are some women who have a special gift of hiding their dislikings from the objects of them, when occasion requires. And as they do so, their faces will overcome their hearts, and their emnity will give way to smiles. They become almost friendly because they look friendly.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Stars Fell

on me in Alabama. I lived my little drama, and stars fell on Alabama that night. I saw those stars tumbling down over vast areas of open space, littering the sky above the lights from the theatre.  I watched them on my way back from the ocean, full from ice cream, and peanuts, and adventure.  I kept track of them as I drove to Birmingham late one night listening to the same country music over and over again.  They led me to Seale, AL after a luminous article in the NYT instructed me to go to there.  They were scattered about the porch where Zelda and Scott might have held hands years ago.  I wanted to be the Camellia in the heart of Dixie, I really did.  And in some parallel universe I might be or might have been.  There is no way to better respond to flattery from a gentleman than with a southern lilt.  I have never been complemented so many times in a grocery store as I was in Publix--without fail, every time I went.  I have never eaten so many delicious things, or even wanted to eat so many delicious things (impossible!, you may think, but no, no).  I have never been so homesick.
     I have thought about the women in my life who are from the South, thought about what attracts me to them, and how their Southerness is a part of that attraction--and thought that really, to be from the South is not something I can fully try on.  I can wear my predilection for it as a scarf, a handbag, a pair of high heels: just not the entire ensemble.  I'm sorry that's the case--it's not like me to be a wanna-be (or when I want to be, I become).  I will always have Catherine Simms, and my Southern sub-genre of chick lit (Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly anyone?) but I give in--I'm not a Southern belle.  A Camellia I am not.  A New York Rose, that's me, thorns and all.