Sunday, 23 March 2014

Jane, Carl's challenge, and animal encounters

  I have to thank Stefanie over at So Many Books blog for this:  she linked to the Jane Austen action figure, in her post on March 13.   I have to say, I did not know that there was a Jane Austen action figure in existence.  And now I want it.  She even has a quill pen in her hand!  And a book!  Tell me you don't think that this would look perfect on your bookshelf......did I say that out loud?   *sh-h*

I will be doing my post tomorrow (ok, today, but I haven't gone to bed yet so it's still Saturday in my mind), for Carl's Once Upon a Time VIII challenge.  It's finally here!  I have to make my pile of books first, and decide which part of the challenge I want.  I love the poster: 
It is so beautiful. I'd love a copy to hang on my wall.  It captures the idea of fantasy perfectly.  And there's NO SNOW in the painting!  I will be back tomorrow (later today!) with my sign-up post and possible books. 

Happy (not) spring in Ottawa:
In the meantime:  it is still winter here.  Today we had 10 cm of snow fall, and now the temperature is plunging.  It will plunge further tomorrow night.  I have a dentist appointment Monday morning.  I'm not sure in what universe I thought booking a dental appointment on a Monday morning was a good idea, but it wasn't this one.  Plus, now we might set a record low temperature (for that day) of -20c.  Plus I have had a sinus infection for weeks now, and why oh why did I not think to cancel the appointment?  My upper teeth are sensitive without the addition of the infection.....I put it down to be chronically tired this winter, from being sick through it all.  I apologize, I don't mean to be whiny,  I wanted to explain exactly why I dread the dentist on Monday, and why my blogging has been spotty this month.  Winter just won't let up, so I've been burying myself in books (very good) and not getting out to walk (very bad).  The winter grumpies are hitting everyone here in Ottawa this month.  Blogging takes too much energy when it's all I can do to drag myself to work and home again.  I know that if Spring comes, I will feel better!  and I can get outside to hear the birds singing and watch the green come in and feel the sun on my face.....

I hope you are feeling spring-like temperatures and watching green spring up wherever you are.  Some day it has to get warm enough that I can stop wearing my winter coat and boots. 

Animals and myths and fantasy
One last thing:  over at Terri Windling's blog, she has a lovely post up about animal encounters, and what they can mean, in fairy tale, fantasy and myth.  This is a good way to segue into Carl's fantasy reading challenge.  The mysterious, the fantasy, the fairies, are all around us.  What animal encounters have you had lately?   Do you like to wander over fields or by water, do you cross streams, or walk through parks, wildish places?  All these are places for encounters with the unworldly, with the spirits, and also with the creatures that share this planet with us.  The woman in the painting for Carl's challenge has a crane with her. Do you have a special animal that you are connecting with this spring?  For me, it's been rabbits; for the past year or two I have been seeing them almost everywhere I walk.  I love bunnies, and I'm always surprised and delighted when I see them.  Because I often walk at dusk, or dawn on summer mornings when it's too hot to walk anywhere else, I am out and about when the rabbits are eating.  They also come out when I'm on benches at the park in midday, too, and are often on the edges of the park when I cross the Alexandra Bridge (one of four bridges connecting Ottawa to Gatineau across the Ottawa River) to Ottawa, in the early evening (around 6 pm).  I have started to pay attention to them, as I've been seeing so many over the 8 months of the year that we don't have snow.  They symbolize creativity, fertility, and fear.  All of which I have been wrestling with for the past couple of years.    This is how fantasy and myth intersect with real life, how we take in the world around us, by noticing that which is around us, and how we create stories and create or find meaning  in it. Terri and her horses, I and my rabbits, and herons, and cardinals, and even the occasional snake crossing my path.  This is also where fantasy begins......

Some of the more famous books with rabbits or hares in them are Alice in Wonderland, which  has the most famous rabbit of all, the Mad Hatter. There is also Peter Rabbit, and Flopsy bunny (and all the other bunnies) of the Beatrix Potter books.  Watership Down, of course, which I read many years ago, and loved.  What else, though? Like with Terri Windling and her ponies she sees around her valley, what animals come to you?  Do you have a favourite fantasy tale in which they appear?


Anonymous said...

Hi - think you mean The White Rabbit in Alice - the Mad Hatter wasn't a rabbit!

Reta K.

Susan said...

Hi Reta: you are so right! My error - I was writing this post late at night, and as I was writing it, I kept thinking, hmm, something is wrong but not sure what it is! Thanks!