Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh, what a happy Bookfool am I

What a terrific day! I went for a walk with my friend Teasha (gorgeous, incredible weather).

Autumn: Mother Nature's apology for Mississippi summers. Hahaha.

After walking I stood outside with my camera and let nature play around me. See my photo blog for some more pics. My friend Mike informed me that the white-faced squirrel at left is a Southern Fox Squirrel when I dropped by to ask if he and wife Judy knew why the interstate was completely bogged down and even the frontage road was closed off (a semi hit an overpass pylon and exploded - yeeks).

Back to the squirrels . . . Mike said, "Some people think they're old because of those white patches but those patches are on the babies, too. I didn't know that till recently." Oh, total coolness. I love learning new things! Isn't that why we so adore books?

Also, I did so much laundry that I made a little mountain to fold - my excuse to sit and watch a movie. I read about three pages of That Book (better than nothing, eh?) and I met my day's writing goal.

Other excitement and a bookish tidbit: Got a book called The English Country House: A Grand Tour for a quarter in my library's sale corner. A quarter! You can imagine my heart palpitating at the sight of a beautiful picture book for twenty-five cents.

And, I do love those English manors. Inside, there is a section devoted to (yahoo!) libraries in the estates. Oh, my. I mean, oh . . . oh, my. The leather, the gold lettering, the beauty of those ancient volumes lining walls, the shining tables, the settees and fireplaces. I searched for photos online and was unable to find any of my favorites (except for a very small image of the library at Arundel Castle, which we have seen - at right), but here is a quote from the book:

"Sir Robert Walpole's library at Houghton, designed for him by William Kent about 1729, was one of the first to treat bookcases as part of the architecture of the room. The shelves, all of solid mahogany, are sunk into the inner walls and echo the shapes of the two Venetian windows opposite. They still contain many of the Prime Minister's books, bound in calf and morocco, tooled in gold, and testifying to the width of his interests - from science and natural history to music, painting and literature."

I did not know that. Houghton Hall does have a website run by the current Lord Cholmondeley (I believe that's pronounced "CHUM-ly") and he appears to be a gracious man with a tremendous admiration for his family and its history. Lovely, lovely place that is going on my wish list of places to go.

Nano progress, Day 8: 33% down, 67% to go! Wahoo! I've got 16,500 words and I'm only writing in short bursts, each day, but it's usually flowing nicely - you know, most of the time.

New Nano buddy: CJ

Number of characters: 8

How I named some of them: Glanced at my bookshelves and picked out a name or two from the spines.

The laundry beckons. Read on.


  1. Yay for lovely days! The weather is cooling off here and I love it!
    That book was a great find! :)

  2. Cute critter! We are having gorgeous weather, too. Doesn't feel like autumn, though. We topped off at 84 today!! Amazing for November in Nebraska. But hey, I'll take it. Beats scraping ice. Sounds like you're making great progress with your writing. Yay Bookfool! :)

  3. I always wondered where one gets a character's name. Good idea to check the spines! I hope to read what you've written someday; maybe you could post a piece?

  4. Anonymous7:32 AM

    Don't you love British pronounciation? I wish I had a book with some of the words that if you weren't British, you would try to say the way they're spelled. I can only think of Magdalene College and Leicestershire at the moment. Oh, and the character St. John from Jane Eyre. (Mawd-lin, Lester, SinJin). "Chum-ly", huh?

  5. Nat,

    'Bout time for some better weather, eh? Yep, I'm really excited about that book find! I found myself wishing my bloggy friends were nearby so we could sip coffee and pass it around to ogle the libraries, together. Wouldn't that be fun?


    Wow, 80's. Yuck. I get a little too much of that, but I'm sure it's a nice break for you! We're back into the 70's - warming up, gradually, as always. I make a point to enjoy the outdoors when it's nice and brisk. And, thank you. :)


    I've flipped through phone books, peered at book spines, stolen unique names I overheard and looked up language-specific websites for ethnic names. Book spines would be the lazy method. LOL Whatever works, right? I don't know that what I'm writing is worth your time, although I do have an excerpt posted at the Nano site, so maybe I could post that, here. I'll think about it. It's got some glaring inconsistencies, but I had fun writing it!


    I love the British pronunciations and also their slang - both can be really baffling and fascinating. I've mangled a few British names and been corrected while in England as I ended up hopping buses and trains by myself and had to ask for help a few times. Fortunately, I've always found people friendly and happy to help with those confusing bus schedules!

    Have you been to Oxford? I only knew Magdalene was pronounced "Mawdlin" because of a tour I took (sans hubby - he was too busy conferencing). I'm not sure where I read that Cholmondeley is pronounced "Chumly," but there were several very long upper-crust names mentioned wherever I extracted that tidbit. I hope I'm correct. My memory isn't always stellar. :)

  6. nothing is as hard as pronouncing Biblical names and places. i usually just mumble them or say them real fast when i have to read aloud!

  7. Angela,

    That's so funny! You're right, Biblical names are difficult. I avoid reading aloud, whenever possible, myself. Beth Moore's videos are really good for learning pronunciation - she often explains the way things are pronounced and why. You said you don't have the videos for your current study, right? They're available on audio, now, but they still seem awfully expensive to me.

  8. Oh that would be so fun! :)


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