“It’s Snowing.”

thesnowchild

And THAT’s how the cookie crumbles!

Good evening, everyone. I finally finished The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey! I’m pretty excited to have my first pick done with. People keep asking me how I’m choosing the books for the challenge, but, to be honest, it’s all pretty random. I’m glad I ended up going with this one though, because it was truly an excellent read.

Nothing in this novel happened the way I thought it would. There were things that consistently surprised me about it, small things, and things I found I’d already been expecting. I was absolutely taken with the imagery in the book right until the end, it was beautiful and breathtaking. OH! At some point they mentioned the giant vegetables, which were on my list of things to know about Alaska. So, that was cool.

The novel is definitely worth a read. It carries a sweet sadness within it, as we all do I think. The characters fail and succeed, they feel happiness and shame and anger– it’s easy to recognize oneself in their struggles, even if they’re not same as ours.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 7.50.13 PMIn other news, I’m still attractively shrouded in germs, needles to say my Sunday plans went out the window. Thankfully I wasn’t too sick yesterday for an impromptu stop to buy some baked goods. As you can see, there was no regard for this thing people call “moderation”. Going crazy never tasted so good!

My day ended with a Carmina Burana concert. I hadn’t gone to a classical music concert in years and I’d forgotten how enjoyable they could be. What was NOT enjoyable was the constant desire to sneeze during the whole thing….damn you, allergies! Still, I had a really good time listening to the choir do their thing and watching the musicians as they played.
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That’s all for tonight, everyone. Stay tuned because this ride is just getting started! Tomorrow we pack our bags and head down to CANADA!

See you there, readers.

Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May?

“Oh, I’ve thought of one,” she said. “Let me think…” and she began to hum tentatively. Jack didn’t know it at first, but then it came to him and he began to sing along.”

“When my hair has all turned gray,” a swoop and a twirl beside the kitchen table, “will you kiss me then and say, that you love me in December as you do in May?”
And then they were beside the woodstove and Mabel kissed him with her mouth open and soft. Jack pulled her closer, pressed their bodies together and kissed the side of her face and down her bare neck and, as she let her head gently lean away, down to her collarbone. Then he scooped an arm beneath her knees and picked her up.”
Excerpt From: Eowyn Ivey. “The Snow Child: A Novel.”

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this novel and I’ve been struggling to put into words why I’ve fallen completely in love with it– a hesitant and almost uneasy kind of love. I finally understood it when I read the passage above.

Ivey has a way of making you feel things, really feel them. I mentioned before I could feel the winter on the page, but it goes beyond that. I can see things clearly, like the yellow leaf floating beneath the frozen river, the child’s icy blue eyes. I heard them sing this song, even though I didn’t know the melody. It sounds like I’m hallucinating, and I very well might be. Still, the point stands, her writing is strong, evocative, and haunting. Her imagery is simple and beautiful, it stays in your mind’s eye long after you’re done reading.

I’ve been sick, dividing my time between working and studying (hence the lack of a post yesterday, sorry readers!). The bright side –if it can be called that– is that today I was too sick to do anything but read, which means I got quite a bit of it done. I have to say I’m glad that this is the novel I’m reading right now because it’s comforting somehow, even if there are things in it that makes me uneasy. Right now it has the potential to end beautifully or to be completely devastating. Beautifully devastating.

I leave you with a song. Titled “Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May?”, this is the song that Jack and Mabel hum to themselves as they dance. I hope you enjoy it, as I did, and if you’re reading the novel that it serves to give the scene a new dimension. Have a good one, readers, wherever you may be!

These are my confessions….

I haven’t had time to read with the new job, classes, and a drink here and there to release stress and celebrate that I’m a productive member of society. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get into a nice rhythm after the weekend!

I was able, however, to read a bit about the myth or legend that inspired the novel.
It’s interesting because there are different tales of snow children around the world. For example, there is one in Germany where a woman who doesn’t want to admit she’s been cheating tells her husband that the child she’s carrying is the product of swallowing a snowflake. Her husband doesn’t believe her and, when the child is old enough, he sells it into slavery telling her the child melted in the summer heat.

There is also a snow maiden in Russia known as Snegurochka, “sneg” being the word for snow. The stories vary, as is often the case with legends, but some say she grew to like a man, but was unable to love because of the cold in her heart. Mother Spring, taking pity on her, gave her the ability to love, but as soon as her heart warmed with it she melted away.

Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child references the legend of the snow child. The little girl’s wild air makes me wonder if she, like the snow, is impossible to catch and hold on to for any period of time. The combination of this wild land that is Alaska, the child that comes in and disappears, and the feeling that there is an entire wilderness watching mix together to create an eery feeling. It’s unsettling, but also highly pleasurable.

I’m going to sneak in a few pages before bed. Good night, readers.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Hello everyone!

So, today I (unexpectedly) got a new job which is cool because money, but it has totally thrown a wrench into my reading and writing time. I’m still working out a new schedule, hence the late posting, but bear with me! I promise things will normalize soon. 

I’ve been reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and it’s really interesting.
I’m particularly taken with Mabel, definitely looking forward to see how her character progresses and changes throughout the book. I’m loving the novel so far, the way you can almost feel the Alaskan winter seeping through the pages.

Now, in case you don’t know the novel is about a childless couple who moves to Alaska in order to be by themselves and escape the pity of those who know she lost a child. However, the Alaskan winters are tough and keep driving them further apart. In an uncharacteristic moment of happiness during the first snowfall, they build a snow child. The next day, the snow child is gone, but they see a young girl running through the woods. They eventually come to love her as a daughter, but all is not as it appears.

dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuuuun! *cue suspenseful music*

That’s what I’ve been able to glean from reading different bits and pieces about it online. The novel is actually based on a Russian legend by the same name that follows sort of the same pattern, so I’m curious to see how much of the novel stays true to the legend.

Maybe I should find a book of Russian legends or fairy tales to complement this one? I actually think I might want to pair each destination with a nonfiction book that pairs either with the country or the novel’s subject. We’ll see.

Sweet dreams, readers. Until next time!

Destination: Alaska

I declare this challenge OPEN! Or something to that effect.

Alaska copy

If I’m very honest, I don’t know much about Alaska, so I decided to put together a list of facts to get myself, and you, in an Alaska kind of mood. Bow chika wah wah….. no? Moving on! Without any more delay, I give you:

ALASKA ’bout it: 10 absolutely arbitrary things you should know about Alaska

1. The state motto is “North to the Future”.

2. There are over 70 potentially active volcanoes in Alaska. (Umm, what?)

3. You can type Alaska using only one row of your keyboard. Go ahead, practice. We’ll wait.

4. In the 70’s a man named Oliver “Porky” Bickar decided it would be funny if people thought Mt. Edgecombe, a dormant volcano, was erupting. He created a sparkler that he flew into the crater via helicopter. When the local Coast Guard went to investigate they found a huge message that read “April’s Fools”.

5. There are no snakes in Alaska because of the low temperatures. What they do have are giant vegetables because of the long hours of sunlight during the summer. So, you know, pros and pros? Unless you love snakes and hate vegetables, in which case you’re screwed.

6. The majority of the Alaskan population lives in Anchorage.

7. Russia and Alaska are so close you can probably walk from one to the other when the Bering Strait freezes. I think that’s how the Vikings made it to the New World, but I could be completely mistaken.

8. Almost half the world’s glaciers are found in Alaska.

9. Kodiak bears live exclusively on the islands in the Kodiak Archipelago.They’re the world’s largest bears, they can stand over 10ft. tall.

10. Fairbanks, Alaska is probably one of the best places to see the Northern Lights from, given that on average they’re visible in the area 243 days out of the year.

Well, there you have it! 10 completely arbitrary and possibly incorrect (come on, it’s the internet!) things I thought you should know about Alaska. I learned a few things, hopefully you did too. Now, after a bit of back and forth between titles, I finally settled on one. The first book I’ll be reading, my pick for Alaska, is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey! Stay tuned for a brief synopsis of the book and my first impression of it.

That’s all for today readers! Have a good one!