Friday, December 24, 2010

The Help

When a friend recomneded this book, I didn't think much about it. She said it was good, I figured I would get to it eventurally. Honestly, I had this misplaced idea that it was about India, from the cover art. I actually never read the jacket brief or asked her what it was about....
Then I read it.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is a novel about three women who speak out durring the turbulent 60's in Mississippi. Skeeter, a young white woman just home from college, suddenly discovers that like in Jacksonville is so much less than she wants. And with the disappearence of the woman who raised her, the black maid Constantine, Skeeter begins to comprehend the deadly spires her society is built upon. Aibileen, a stong black maid raising her seventeenth white child, works for Skeeter's friend-- raising a little girl that will likely never outgrow the system that produced her. Pulling in Minny, Aibileen's best friend and the most smart-mouthed maid in the West, Skeeter and Aibileen conspire to tell their stories to a world in desperate need of change.

I could not put this book down-- go read it and see what else gets done while you do. The civil rights issues where interesting, but I've heard about them before, studied them in depth. What really caught my attention were the people living it. The black maids treated like an inferior species, called dirty and dishonesty though they were the cleanest, hardest working, most admirable ladies I think I have ever read about. The Hitler-like Hilly terrified me as did the testement to a white woman's way of dealing with insult from a black servant. Skeeter, so out of place and "modern" in her ideals, became another of my literary heroes as I read. But it is Aibilean who I hope I can be more like. This strong, dedicated, wise, loving, faithful, and challanging woman inspires me.

The prose is beautiful, the 450 page book sliding along like a Southern dream. Stockett's voice is near pitch-perfect. She writes in the vernacular without using strange spellings or weird regional words. Each character has a disinct voice and a deep dream. With real motivations, far-from perfect lives, and a strange sympathy for those on the other side of societal lines, these ladies manage to change their world, one word at a time.

The Help, read it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Sad Day for Avalon

Meg Cabot wrote this awesome book about a school called Avalon where characters from the Arthur legend seemed strangely reincarnated in high school students. With a smart, interesting, slightly misfit heroine and a text book, golden boy hero, the book was predictable to a point but with plenty to keep a reader involved and guessing to the very end. While it deviated slightly from the known Arthur legend, it does a good job of remaining true to the stories, as close as any Arthurian tale can. 

Then Disney decided to make a movie for their Disney Channel Original Movies series and I am pretty sure I shrieked with excitement. I knew it would be altered and just reading the character bios on the Disney site ratcheted my excitement down a notch or two, but I still retained high hopes. 

Then I watched it.

The movie began well-- some deviations of course, but I expected that. It was fun to watch and I knew where things were going. The characters were interesting and I really did care what happened. The movie turned about turned about about average for a Disney Channel Movie. 

 Allie was a fun, spunky heroine who managed to make friends with the in-crowd the first day in a new school (Avalon High) and still befriend the nerdy Miles. She soon finds that things are not all they seem in her new school, though, and it seems like it's Allie's new job to protect Will-- aforementioned golden boy and quarterback-- from his evil stepbrother, dark secrets about Jen and Lance (Will's girlfriend and best friend), and his own lack of self confidence as college scouts come to the play off football game soon coming up. In the meantime, Allie also makes the track team and pairs up with Miles for a research project about King Arthur. Her parents, medieval scholars, are thrilled about how well she is settling in and about her sudden interest in the Arthur legend. Miles easily stole the show and he wasn't even in the book. With his quick wit and snarky personality, he projected a Sheldon-esque anit-mainstream vibe but still seemed to see himself as a loser. Still, not a bad movie and decently in keeping with the book. Many of the little things the characters did had little impact on the movie, but represented struggles and thoughts faced by the characters in the book.

Then came the finale... *spoilers below the picture*

The first misstep was having the teacher Mr. More be Mordred instead of Will's half brother Marco. In the book, Mr. More was Mr. Morton, a member of the Order of the Bear and swore to protect Arthur. He is a Merlin figure. In the movie, Merlin is Miles, so Morton doesn't need to play that role. But still, changing More to Mordred made it too silly. Marco took the role of the Order of the Bear member bent on protecting Arthur, though he has been an overbearing jerk for the whole movie. So his sudden interest in Arthur's well-fare is rather jarring. 

The Absolute WORST part was when Arthur was actually manifested over one of the characters. In the book, Jenn was Guinevere, Lance was Lancelot, and Will was Arthur. Allie-- whose name was Ellie (Elaine)-- was mistaken for Elaine de Astolet, Lancelot's wife. In the end Ellie turned out to be the Lady of the Lake, who gave Arthur a sword (which became Excalibur) that allowed him to defeat the forces of darkness (led by Morderd/Marco). In the movie, Allie turned out to be Arthur.
Anywho, this leaves Will without a part at all and reinforces that idea that girls are not good enough as girls. Not cool Disney, not cool at all. Apparently the Lady of the Lake is not a cool enough, well-known enough, powerful enough character for a Disney girl to portray. Instead, she has to be a masculine character, ruling in Armor and surrounded by knights. Perhaps my offense partially come from the fact that the Lady of the Lake (Nimue, Vivianne, etc.) is my very favorite Arthurian character. Or that I really like this book and expected Disney to do great things with it. Alas, Disney did not find the story written by Meg Cabot good enough. The Lady of the Lake good enough. And the traditions of Arthur good enough.

So after an average movie with an awful ending, I am sadly disappointed in Disney. This book deserves a real movie with a much better story line. 

A Voyage *spoilers*

When the simple previews for this movie made me ache with homesickness, I knew it would be good. Always a fairy-tale princess more than a modern girl, I was instantly captured by the Narnia movies. What so intrigued me about Narnia that other fantasy stories did not have, though, was one Lion and his relationship to his people. I truly believe his words to Lucy at the end of the movie, "This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there." I know Christ better through Aslan, through my longing for a more beautiful, more noble world. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader returned me to that world and continued its excellent tradition.

The actors were superb, Eustace being a particularly well-casted part. He went from this obnoxious, namby-pamby, nancy boy to being worthy to be cousin to kings and queens of Narnia. Very rarely can children actors pull off this kind of character turn around but Will Poulter did so perfectly. 
Georgie Henley wonderfully reprised her role as Lucy. A pretty girl, she still convinced me that she needed to be beautiful—something I struggle with myself. This movie made me rethink my own thoughts of unworthyness and how God does see me as wonderful and indespensible—the way Aslan showed to Lucy that she was. The entire temptation of Lucy was very well written, acted, and heart wrenchingly close to home.
Skander seemed a little lack-luster. Though I admire him in the first movie, he has lost some gumption and failed to lose that arrogance. In every movie, it seems we have to watch Edmund get over himself again. Admitedly, Skander does play the easily-offended young king very well. I think the Witches appearance for him was far more nerver-wracking than the serpent. I wish they had made his temptation more in her direction, but his fear and his batter with that fear were very well scripted, screened, and acted. 

Ben Barnes proved much more likable here than in Prince Caspian and seems to have become a stronger actor, and in that a stronger king. He did drop the Spanish-tinted accent of the Telemarines in favor of the Narnian-sudo-British, a slightly jarring little detail. Still, he commands the screen and the ship beautifully. I would follow this king to the end of the earth as well.

Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg) was a splendid blend of sensitive rodent and warm friend. I especially like how he interacted with Eustace (who did amazingly with the CG work, by the way!). The relationship between the two is so very real and poignant.

Aslan returns, though sparingly, throughout the film, and I teared up every time. This magnificent lion is voiced spot-on by Liam Neeson. Watchful, fierce, merciful, protecting, and very much not tame, he is so much more than I expect every time. 

I loved the cameos by Peter and Susan (William Mosely and Anna Popplewell) and the other actors played their parts to perfection. For a long time, I completely forgot that I was not actually on-board the Dawn Treader with real sea-farers.

Costuming was sparce, but it fit with the ocean-bound crew. Lucy did not need a beautiful skirt or Edmund a fancy doublet. The simple tunic, breeches, and sashes worn by everyone unified the crew and made the film more adventurous. 

The cinamatography pulled me back to my homeland, per say, as it swooped over sea and island, ship and crew. There were a few more gratuitous shots of the ship than needed and a misplaced warning from a sprite on the way to Ramandu’s island confused me a bit. 

The islands themselves were splendid trips into Lewis’s mind. Each had a vivid landscape, interesting characters, and a specific purpose in moving the story forward. The writers did an excellent job of tying the adventures into a continuous ribbon rather than several loosely connected stops, which I felt was an actual improvement on the book.

The story kept many of the spiritual aspects that have been overlooked or cut from previous movies, which pleased me greatly. Reepicheep’s final adventure was filled with meaning and it filled me with longing to be there with him. 
This movie creates such a real, poignant world that I cannot wait to return. I long to be there, the poorest peasent even, and I look forward to when I too can move on to Aslan’s country. Narnia lets me live in this fallen world with hope for mankinds potential and joy in the eternal promise awainting me. The Dawn Treader takes me back again. And that is all I can ask from this movie.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Lost Hero

How I missed reading for fun! I still have plenty to do here at school and too much homework to really have free time, but ever so often, we must carve out a moment of quiet and fantasy and wonder, to simply survive in this harsh land of ours. So I read "The Lost Hero" and was enchanted.

This book goes back to Camp Half Blood the winter after the Percy Jackson books end. A new cast of heroes have come to the camp, looking for their destiny and haunted by strange visions, dreams, and pasts-- or lack thereof in one case. Jason is a serious soldier, trying to figure out where he came from. He almost-girl-friend Pipper has a criminal record and startlingly pretty eyes. Meanwhile, Leo can't keep still-- unless he has something mechanical to fiddle with. Arriving to find Mt. Olympus closed to the demigods, the three must figure out what is wrong with the gods-- and how to fix it.

Quick pacing, interesting and relatable characters coupled with the fantasticness of Greek and Roman mythology make this large-ish book into a harry-potter-speed read.

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Ode Upon Imagination

I went to a writing conference last weekend (not the one that just passed but before that). The conference was phenomenal, I learned a lot a lot a lot, networked a bit, and won a contest-- with this poem! Enjoy.

An Ode upon Imagination
By Caitlin Smith

{Written upon the midnight hour
As I lay me down to rest in my bower.
Yawning, I dimmed the lights
Then words assailed me in the night!

I leapt from my bed and grabbed a pen,
Turned up the oil, then I began
On a journey of syllables, this I was bound
And here is the song I found.}

I am lost
                                           -- In a crush
                                           -- In a thought
                                           -- In a dream

I am caught
In the wonder
Of the Muses’ silken stream.

Swept—by the grandeur.
Held—by a spark.
Caught—dinna plan to
Yet in Imagining I am lost

Where glorious tale to morals are told,
  Where spark of genius begins,
  Where time—finally—has no bound,
  Where love doth ne’er end.
  Oh, Imagination, take me away
  To thy middling world.
  There twilight is eminent,
  Evening always falls.
  Existing upon the place where
  The moons shadow strikes the sun.
  There everything is great
  Everything is pure
  Every story matters
  Catch me in thy wings, oh Muse
  Bear me swiftly thither.
  Alas, Ambrosia I want no more.
  For without thy dream-wine I wither.
  But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
  A Tyger burning bright
  In the forest of the night
  As fairies dance delight.

Yes, a fairy dances on the breeze;
She sings a song of melodies
And whispers in the wind.
  History told a thousand ways
  All dreamed to save a queen.
  Shahrazad and I,
  Sisters we two do be.
  Sweet Eleanor de Aquitaine,
  Morgan le Fay, and Nimue of the deep
  Belle and Beauty, a fairytale
  Princess may I be.
  Here we may chat, and listen, and dream
  A while in my fancied bower.
  A life more real, an interview more true
  Held at tea, by the moon’s hour.
  I find—Beauty and her Beast.
  I fly—East, forever East.
  I cry—please do not leave.
  I try to remember a dream.
  A tale as old as the clover’s leaf
  As new as Father Time;
  Cronus yawning, stretching, sleeping
  Giving me his rhyme.
  Here I am a secret sorceress,
  Here my paramours dwell,
  Here I am maid or temptress,
  A fay, an author, an El-
   lesian princess, a painter,
  A singer, a dreamer, here I be.
  “No” not heard for this is
  The very realms of possibility.

  Petal lights, I dance the dawn that dare would dash my dream.
  Here light come from the stars
  From hope
  From in-between.
  The cracks of life have caught much
  And here, this domain, I find
  All that’s been lost to me
  Hindered only by my
  A dream.
  A different dream.
  Each night, no two the same
  Each day a journey, a life, a sleep
  All true, all pure, all me
  A fate, a fancy, a fantasy
  My life in every hue.
  Imagined, dreamed, held, and safe
  In the hands of you.
  So now I lay me down to sleep
  Imagination! Take wing!
  For here the moon rules,
  The sun is gone,
  I live just to dream.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cool Autumn

The moon suspends the clouds in her cooling light and a breeze tugs on my braid as is cools my face and a lilting folksy melody brings lyrics along in the night. A guy randomly playing chords on a guitar would fit well in this scene.

There's a warm summer moon
rising in the night.
Floating on wispy clouds
time with be all right.
I just sit and smile
thinking of the days
when you were here
just like yesterday.

With warm summer moon
drifting on the trees
And a cool autumn night
stirring up the breeze.
Just some clouds in sight
the star shines down on me.
And my warm summer moon
whispers of dreams.

There's a sweet autumn breeze
singing in the night.
Kissing the trees
rippling water light.
And I sing of things
rather left unsaid.
On a cool autumn night
Life inside my head.

And a warm summer moon's
drifting on the trees
As a cool autumn night
stirs up the breeze.
With Just some clouds in sight
the star shines down on me.
And my warm summer moon
whispers of dreams.

With a warm summer moon
and a cool autumn breeze,
life happens
to me.
Wishing on the star
you were here.
Wishing on the star.
Does you hear?

And a warm summer moon's
drifting on the trees
As a cool autumn night
stirs up the breeze.
Just some clouds in sight
the star shines down on me.
And my warm summer moon
whispers of dreams.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Dragon Book

This book was AWESOME!!! In case you don't know me, I go on 'kicks' shall we say? I like dragons immensely right now. Partially because the amazing movie How to Train Your Dragon but also because I just like dragons.
So I bought this book.
And it is GREAT.
The book is a collection of short stories-- perfect for thirty minutes before bed, reading over a cup of tea, or one between classes on Tuesday/Thursday with music classes throwing your schedule off-kilter. 
First, I saw some of my old favorite authors, new favorite authors, and  writers I am just coming to recognize. Then there are nineteen stories with dragons and dragon mythology from all over the world. 
Tamora Pierce continues the Daine saga with a story about Sky Song. Gregory Macguire's offering is surprisingly kid-friendly and tame while Jonathan Stroud provides a creepy dragon-mystery. Jane Yolan explores the introduction of dragons to the Russian Revolution.  Meanwhile Garth Nix, Diana Wynne Jones, Bruce Coville, and a host of new talent are also featured on the bill.

I was starting to get bored with the find-a-baby-dragon, tame-a-baby-dragon, get-to-know-the-dragon routine that most books follow. Other either feature dragons as creatures with human wisdom and comprehension or dragons who are hurt-- people never interact with them just as healthy, capable animals unless the humans are trying to kill them. This book blew all the preconceptions out of the water. A wily dragon waited to be freed from a puzzle. A boy discovers that he can turn into a dragon. A girl misses being a dragon. A baby dragon saves the life of a vulnerable human.

The writing is tight, the stories are fluid, and the arrangement even sings. This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in dragons. Or just interested in reading.

M is for Magic

I just finished reading "M is for Magic," a collection of stories by Neil Gaiman. While fascinating and imaginative, they were a little on the creepy side, even for my fantastical senses. The book was marketed at children's fiction but I really think this belongs in the teen or adult fiction section. Just because the book has children as most of the maid characters does not make it suitable. I would not give this to anyone under 13. Still, Gaiman is a master of his craft and the book was a really intersting read.
Three Stars out of Five

Saturday, March 27, 2010



Doesn't the word just make you shiver?

I looove dragons-- books, comics, drawings, and now movies.

Specifically, How to Train Your Dragon, the newest DreamWorks movie-- This is better than any other DreamWorks movie I have ever seen! It beats Shrek, Over the Hedge, Madagascar, etc.
I honestly almost cried in the middle. And at the end.
And now I really really want a dragon.

My poor boyfriend has been informed that I am leaving him for Hiccough the Horrible, So he may be trying to find a dragon this weekend.

I was amazed at how much I really really wanted to live in that village and ride a dragon-- it's an animated movie! These powerful, intelligent, glorious creatures were so enthralling, even though they were animated lizards (Thanks for nothing, you useless reptile... ). The story was wonderful, the script and dialog perfection, and the voice talent spot-on. Add that to beautiful 3-D animation (I don't much care for 3-D but I forgot it wasn't a regular movie) with water drops, licks of fire, and perfect wind effects.... wow. And the music near to broke my heart-- it was beautiful.
I was sad the movie was over.
I seriously have a crush on Hiccough.
Great Movie, go see.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last Poem

Ok, so this one is different-- a sort of mock epic, whirlwind rhyming style.
Dr. Seausicalish

When Sara sings the world is shook
Divas stop and Baritones look
to see who makes such gracious sounds
so far beyond their measly rounds
Sara sings rarely now, her powers to move beyond
her control sing that fateful day
When fate Ordained
What Sara would sing.
If began as a lilting bit, sung as she walked to the fair
she loved the way the birds joined in
and a breeze tousled her hair
A Patron of the arts, so smart
and dashing was he, heard her singing and grabbed her arm and towed her
to the jubilee
A bit confused, the lass followed, still humming that sweet little tune
and soon enough what had been a cloudy day could now belong to June
He took her to the stage, told the Soprano to Step Aside
all eyes where on the Patron, all eyes opened Wide
He shoved her forward into the light
"Your voice is heaven,my dear.
Now sing for the entire world,
this is a joy that All should hear."
Sara gave a nervous smile--what's a peasant girl to do
When forced to perform like so?
She opened her mouth and complied, singing a little tune
No words had she, never had a single syllable form from her tongue
Only Melody but that is enough
The Crowd grew silent, the Orchestra stopped
Even the Soprano shut her mouth
The breeze stilled, the people stood, and birds slowly gathered round
as the notes reached a soaring height and then all teh songs birds joined
as before the peoples' very eyes, a glorious scene was formed
The audience gasped as one, when a castle Swam into view
set in a landscape of Cliffs and Waterfalls, a fallow deer or two
and a dizzying array of notes fell from our dear girls tongue
while small frogs joined the chorus, pipping and rum-tum-tum
A cricked added her contribution as well-water obligingly trickles
A brook moved closer to join the symphony as the branches picked up a rattle
The wind was eager to join the World that Sara so obligingly sang
and she began to dance and twirl around the girl and o'er again
The waters moved in closer, most the fair was wet
The creatures moved up higher, their part was not done yet
Dear Sara, her eyes still shut, let the music move on through
as the wind began a spirited gavotte that took hats and umbrellas too
The wind began to whip and whirl
and still Sara sang as a storm began to grow as the notes turned deeper in
The waters roes, the wind did howl, clouds rolled up from Calais
Still Sara sang her song on that fateful day
The spell-bound audience was awakened
by a torrent of rain
splashing merely, its own little tune
soon would turn more grim
The people ran for cover, then moved to higher ground
as they watched Sara's song taking o'er the town
For fateful hours it seemed they stood
until on poor lad asked
"What of the Singing Girl?
Is she still in the mess?"
The people gasped as they realized--
they still heard her Voice
Sara still sang below
While all of Nature had joined the chorus
A brave lad said "I'll rescue her!"
His mother said "Shut up!"
They all looked to the Patron
Who had forced the singer up
on them. "A witch!" he exclaimed with some regret
"She should be fine-- just a little wet."
"She's no witch! She has a gift, a song all want to hear!
And it seems till now she hid is well, singing far from ears!"
The people were in confusion-- should they let the singer drown?
Or risk any one their own in the slowly sinking town?
Just as sudden, the storm stopped and one pure sound held through
A delicate, simply melody cut the silence in two
as the clouds rolled our and the waters moved
back to their rightful places
The birds settled down on the now silent trees
amazement bright on the peoples faces
They crept down to the ruined fair
to see if the maiden still stood
And there she was, hardly mussed hair
thinking "Did I sing good?"
She had not seen the clouds
The winds barely kissed her
So deep had Sara gone
lost in eternal bliss
of heaven's true song
They stared and started and nervously hummed
as she slowly oped her eyes
to see all the destruction
"What happened!" she longed to cry
A kindly matron took the maid
gently off the stage
off behind a toppled tent
and quietly explained
Sara understaood
she knew the power in a song
She promised, best she could
to keep quiet from now on
The lady sighed with relief
told the girl no to worry
that she was free to go, this wasn't her fault
but that Sara might want to hurry
Sara nodded, opened her mouth, then shut it at the matron's gasp
Instead of singing for her horse, Sara merely gestured to ask
The horse was brought and Sara rode
fourth from the jubilee
The people sighed and went to work
cleaning the debris
The Patron was duely embarrassed
he paid much for his impulsive act
And Sara still came occasionally to town
wearing a broad and hiding hat
She still sings for the woods
the birds do love her sound
But Sara never sings where human ears abound
She has a gift, a story
that no words could e'er express
And so when Sara sings
only she knows the Rest.

More Poems

Poem 4: The Sea

I am the Sea
                  Crashing, waving, whispering a song
                  Dancing through dream
                 And screaming through night mares
                 I can be good and gentle and lovely
                 But I am not, nor shall ever be, tame…
                 I can give—but I shall take as well

I am passion
                Those who know me have passions that are deeper than my depths
                No other can take my place
                Nothing else has as much as I

I am quiet
              Contemplative moonlit nights
              Girls who long to  know the mermaids' songs
              And dreamers in the dusk

But I am Alive
             Moving, ebbing, swaying, flowing
            Carrying, holding, fish,
            whales, seals, sharks,
            plankton, salt, and then some

Poem 5: A Thought

A thought, a twist, a turn, a catch
--this must be some delusion!
I though I was done
With this particular thought.
Only a thought.
Not a Crush
Or a Dream
Or a fancy even
But it refuses to leave!
Should I look away?
Try to squash it
like a bug?
Ignore it for all I am worth!
A snare, a trap, a trip-wire
--Growing not better but worse with time!
Cautiously creeping toward contact..
a letter!
a note...
Can I trust?
my heart and mind and self not to be a child?
To drop the pen, turn out the light
And leave what is alone.
And slumber.
Not to dream.
But to Sleep.

Poem 6: I Set out Writing a Sonnet

I decided to write you a Sonnet,
With its perfect pentameter rhyming.
A Sentiment with your name upon it,
In a fashion so very beguiling.
But pentameter is harder to write
And fourteen lines are not really enough.
Ans so I turned to a different light
To express all these sentiments and stuff...

So I set out to write for you a song
But the tune was all wrong
And before long
The desire was simply gone.

"Maybe an epic!" I thought.
"With nymphs and dragons and elves and the lot!"
But the dragons couldn't come
And the nymphs were from home
And with no dragons, can you expect elves?

So all I have is this note
(can we call it a letter)
And the knowledge that nothing so rote
quite expresses my feelings, together
So I hope you can forgive this silly expression
Of all my admiration.
For you.
And your smile.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disney re-Mixed (but in a good way)

check out this video-- I love it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Piano Passion

As I sit here, I am waiting for class to start and listening to this really talented guy play just about everything on the piano. I have heard Linkin Park, Pirates of the Carribean, and Fur Elise in the past ten minutes. I occurs to me that the most soothing, most inspiring, most soul stirring sound I know is that of a piano.
Imagine, you type furiously as the music swells and the poetry simply flows from your heart.
You are alone in a giant ballroom (I would have on a huge swirling gown) and dancing, moving just as the music pulls and feeling it deep in your soul.
You are running, alone, in a field with stars above and soft grass below.
You are completely and utterly free.

There is so much that music can do, and for me, live piano is the most inspiring.
Piano tracks are ok, and I loooove live orchestra (but rarely get to hear that anymore) but just listening to one of these wonder, plays-by-ear people playing, whatever they feel like, going where the music takes them and bringing me along-- this is bliss.

find your bliss.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby shoes for sale, never worn

Summer arrived on the back of a magpie...shiny, shiny, tinsel and shiny.

Gathering shiny things, she built. A nest so amazing, she created. Out of her treasures, and your treasures, and mine; out of our tears and our triumphs-- she built. And it was beautiful.

Stage lights and microphones, designer gowns and silver sharpies-- the nest glittered.Coin and coils with new cars and gum wrappers, it glinted in the sun. A plastic pearl earring was woven in by the emperors rubies; Christmas tinsel and broken seashells scintillated in the shine of the stars. A pair of baby shoes, never worn, rested on one edge. A silver spoon caught the light. The nest was perfect, the catch glittered with each twist of light. Summer dazzled that year.

Fall was cold.