Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thoughts about The Shadow of the Wind...and other stuff

The Shadow of the Wind is an epic, a mystery with romance, and it has just enough Gothic creepy edge to it to make it special—it’s a lovely book, read it, get lost in it, find and absorb all the good from it—and it’s got the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, what more can I ask for as a book lover?

"This is a place of mystery, Daniel, a sanctuary. Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down the pages, its spirit grows and strengthens. This place was already ancient when my father brought me here for the first time, many years ago. Perhaps as old as the city itself. Nobody knows for certain how long it has existed, or who created it. I will tell you what my father told me, though. When a library disappears, or a bookshop closes down, when a book is consigned to oblivion, those of us who know this place, its guardians, make sure that it gets here. In this place, books no longer remembered by anyone, books that are lost in time, live forever, waiting for the day when they will reach a new reader's hands."  From page 5-6

This is the quote that caught me firmly into the teeth of this book—only because of my own life experience and emotional connection to books put me there. When I walk into antique shops, I go find their corners where there are old books and I search for ones that I must adopt—it always makes me sad to see them languishing, unread—being the imaginative person that I am, I feel these inanimate objects have an essence about them that is in a sense alive—a soul—it is the spirit of the person who wrote them, the person who bought them, the person who read them (loved them.)

I often look at all of the books in our personal library and wonder—“Will I ever get around to reading them again or reading the ones I haven’t read yet?” And then I sometimes go the extra step further to make it worse and wonder, “Who will take care of my books after I’m gone?” (Painful isn’t it?)

So...with that said...I recently went with my sister to Bouckville, NY to do antique shopping...and of course, I look for old books to "adopt" this time, I found Kipling's Jungle Books, Volumes 1 and 2, illustrated by Aldren Watson, published by Double Day & Co. 1948...they are gorgeous! Volume 2 is his collected short stories, which I was very happy to find...I mean, who doesn't love Rikki-Tikki Tavi?

He creeps up the little creeks that men think would not hide a dog...

Kaa...I always thought he was a very cool serpent...
 Of course, the books were not all that I adopted! I found lots of cool old goodies...

An iron bank (very rusty) and it's a donkey! I could not pass it up!

A compass and a scribe

A pretty yellow ware bowl, not as old as others that I have, but I like the blue stripe...

Old bridle bits...I wish they weren't painted black, but I guess someone thought it would make them more "decorative" that way...paint comes off (but it isn't a priority at the moment.)
I'm still slowly recovering from the shingles (it's been two months already.) The good news is, it isn't the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, so that's progress. What a wretched illness to have...I went all day yesterday without taking my pain meds, I did very well, I hardly thought about the pain at all, but today I am, which is not a good start to the day, it is what it is...so I'm going to mellow out and not let it get me down. I do believe the rash part is finally done...one trick I learned out of desperation...use Listerine on that shitty rash! It stings like crazy, but sends the itch away with its tail tucked between its legs...there is something very satisfying about that sting, trust me on this. Other things I've done to take the edge off when the drugs seem like they're not working (there have been days when it seemed pointless to take stuff that only made me feel dull witted or loopy): gentle stretching does help A LOT, a TENS unit is also a good thing to invest in and use as needed...most of all, patience and be good to yourself, REST (I read a lot and I played a lot of Majong just to concentrate on something else.) That is my advice for shingles.

In spite of being sick and having the shittiest concentration in the world because of pain and pain killers, I have continued to work my way through my manuscript Drinking from the Fishbowl. Even if I work on a paragraph or two at night, I am happy that I've done something that resembles progress. I'm currently in chapter 36, which was once two chapters (36 and 37), but it is now only one...I've practically rewritten the whole thing, there's barely anything original left...I "killed some darlings" that came from the first draft, and I'm happy they're gone. How does one do that? Well, it's not an easy decision to make, but once I made up my mind to do it and carried it out, there was a sense of relief and the flow continued. Let's just say, it wasn't my favorite pair of chapters, and they came from a "different place" than where the book is today, it has evolved and matured beyond its initial conception. I am constantly reminded that this manuscript is only the second novel I ever wrote, and it was initially loaded with some goofy shit that no longer fit in...I'm still tweaking it, nursing it along...of course, whenever large swaths of text are cut out, there's that stone tossed into the pond thing that happens, the ripples travel into other chapters and I have to be vigilant as I travel into these final chapters. Nothing is written in stone in this manuscript...this book can continue to grow and change (evolve.) I even had a crazy thought about wiping out even more, three chapters (34, 35 and even 36)...this possibility is still being investigated (since I'm still thinking about it), but I don't think I can disentangle parts that are deeply ingrained into the structure...a fresh printing of the chapters in question and a pair of scissors might help me piece it together... it's a work in progress. (I love it!)

...[he] stands alone, a solitary tree in an open field of emotions. - from Chapter 18, Drinking from the Fishbowl

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