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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Experiments in incandescent living

Imagine you are a white-hot tangle of ice, dust, rock and gases, and as you hurtle across the night sky the rest of us are celebrating your transit with champagne and gourmet lollipops. The universe is vast, but we are only as small as we believe ourselves to be; and if we lived each moment in that same spirit of humble awe with which we now and again gaze at the stars, the world would be an infinitely happier place.

I blog about books and writing on Mondays, travel and spirituality on Tuesdays, and art, knitting and sewing on Thursdays, but above all I want to use this space to explore the magical connection between veganism and creativity (so the juiciest posts go up on Wednesdays!) On this site you’ll also find Where We Make, a Friday feature on artists’ workspaces.

Recently on the blog...

01/26

Bookstores of Boston: The Children’s Book Shop

…And the voice grew, not so much in loudness as in sweetness (though it grew louder, too), till it was so sweet that you wanted to cry with pleasure just at the sound of it. It was like nightingales, and the sea, and the fiddle, and the voice of your mother when you have been a long time away, and she meets you at the door when you get home.

And the voice said—

“Speak. What is it that you would hear?”

—E. Nesbit, The Story of the Amulet

 

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The Children’s Book Shop in Brookline (a quick walk from the Brookline Village stop on the Riverside line) is an absolute delight. It’s a small shop, but they’ve managed to tuck a sofa in between the bookshelves to give customers a place to kick back and peruse at leisure. I’d passed it several times over the past year and a half, and once I stepped inside I wondered what took me so long. I was Christmas shopping for my niece, and I found a bunch of my favorites to share with her: Tom’s Midnight Garden, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and a wonderful hardcover illustrated edition of Anne of Green Gables. It’s nice to have a choice of editions! I picked up a new copy of The Phantom Tollbooth for myself (I’m excited to reread it), as well as E. Nesbit’s The Story of the Amulet—it came highly recommended by an enthusiastic bookseller, and you know I love her scary stories for grown ups.

The customer service is excellent here, and the friendly atmosphere works all ways; I fell into chatting with a woman whose seven-year-old daughter read so voraciously that she was at a loss as to which books to get for her next. We traded recommendations and I came away feeling quite sunshine-y. Funny how positive interactions with strangers can have that effect on you, right? That day I special-ordered Half Magic (my fellow customer had snagged the last copy for her daughter) and The Box of Delights (which Seanan had recommended awhile ago), and they called me a couple days later to say that Half Magic had arrived, although they’ve had to reorder The Box of Delights a few times already (sounds like the warehouse is out of stock). It’s not as if I don’t have plenty else to read in the meantime.

 

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My only complaint about The Children’s Book Shop is the same as Porter Square Books: I need about ten more floors of it.

 

 

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.
Photo by Anne Weil