First, last week's progress (and a much brighter, nicer photo). I'm afraid I took this week's photos later in the evening and in poor light.
So, I have grown another flower and have a roof on my house. I completed the fountain and just need to turn on the water (and then I might just jump in myself since it is has been still so very toasty warm here--end of July and August weather already in June . . . far too soon for my taste). I am hoping to finish this soon. Now that we are officially in Summer, it is time for me to think of starting my Summer Sampler. I need to order more linen, but the color palette will be the same. I am working now on the upper left branch and will be giving my robin a friend. To be honest I think I like the summer design least of the quartet, but maybe I will like it more when I begin stitching. Unsurprisingly I like the Fall Sampler the best--it will be even more welcome to work on it when the weather has turned cooler. Is it too soon to be thinking about cool, fall weather? I guess I should at least wait until after the Fourth of July!
A few other bookish notes for today as well:
I subscribe to Lit Hub, which is always chock full of interesting links (and often freebie short stories if you are so inclined to read the genre!) and I came across a particularly interesting article today.
Danish author Dorte Nors has written on the "invisibility of middle age women". She puts into words so perfectly just what I have been feeling for a while now.
"In a world where women are almost always defined by their relationships (daughter, sister, lover, wife, mother, grandmother) it strikes me as important to shed a light on the woman herself. What is she without all these shoes she has to fill? Well, she’s an existence and she’s an existence that either disturbs her surroundings—or is in the danger of retreating from them: like mist.
I was recently on a Danish radio show. The radio journalist had asked me all the usual questions, and I had given her all my usual answers, and here’s the strange thing: I never get asked why I find it important to portray human beings who are on the threshold of losing themselves—or gaining insight into their true natures. I often get asked why I write about women who look like myself, which is a puzzle to me. There’s not a journalist in the world who knows me well enough to know who I resemble, but anyway; there we were in the radio studio. The mic was turned of, and then out of the blue the journalist told me that she was turning forty soon. She also sighed and said: I’m so glad that you write about middle-aged women without children. I asked her why, and she said: Because there are so many of us, and because it quite often feels as if we’re not really here."
I often feel like I am invisible, that I have no voice, that I am just going through empty motions. And mostly I feel guilty about letting it bother me. Reading her writing validates my feelings and makes me feel like I am not alone in how I feel about my "place" in society--no children, no husband almost completely solitary, which is okay, but I feel like I fall between the cracks. Anyway, this is not meant to be a pity-navel-gazing sort of thing, but I was so struck by what she wrote. I read all sorts of things about women and women's lives, but these women are almost always still wives and mothers, caregivers in some way. Needless to say I have already ordered her book of novellas.
How did I miss that Lois Duncan just passed away this past week? I loved her books as a young adult and still have fond memories of her writing. I recall a few in particular and as she was writing in the 70s (actually she was quite prolific), I think I might see if I still have any on hand and add them to my 1970s pile. Check out the New Republic's article on her, too. And more on her at The New Yorker.
And more on women crime writers, I thought this was a fascinating article as well--why women are writing the best contemporary crime novels.
So, stay cool and read lots of books!