I made a point of staying home a lot and immersed myself in reading - real escapism in the form of Grace Livingston Hill novels. Critics of Livingston Hill reject the spiritual rhetoric the author interjects in her stories. But I actually found it comforting, especially after having a particularly spiteful December at the office. Livingston Hill also includes lots of fashion descriptions and domestic details in her books and I latched onto those too, especially the homey fine points. The Substitute Guest, The Gold Shoe, and Astra all put me into a wintery nesting mood, helped along by the prettiest little dining room chandelier my future son-in-law gave me on Christmas Eve.
As fun as puttering about my home was, I also had a mind to the future. I am writing a book and must find a way to wend that work around my day job. A newspaper gig I've had for three years has ended and new freelance work is yet on the horizon. I do still love coming here for naturalness and a bit of creativity. It's where I write most authentically. Like Fragonard's reading miss, I have imaginings about my new year that bob just beyond the pages of the books I read this week. And as I head back through the familiar doors of my job tomorrow morning, my golden notebook will accompany me to capture buoyant dreams for home, work, and love in the new year.
Here are some Grace Livingston Hill highlights from this week:
"It takes a canny soul to read her own heart."
"The very chime of the cathedral clock in some dim recess (of the house) seemed like fairy bells."
"They just live in it, like sunshine!"
"The girl saw a sprigged china bowl, the steaming fragrance of whose contents made her know suddenly that she was hungry. There was a plate of delicately browned buttered toast, a tiny mound of ruby jelly, some crisp hearts of celery, and the cup of tea."
"He stocked up his refrigerator with all the delicacies he could think of for midnight suppers and quiet meals by themselves."
"This home even the brief glimpse he had, showed that there was still beauty and love and good fellowship left upon the earth, still a real spirit of Christmas to be found if one looked in the right place for it."