a friend's flaming gift of a centerpiece

After an insanely busy week that crash landed in illness, the post I’d been weaving in my head never actually made it to the page. As my mother is always faithful to remind me, “life is what happens when you had other plans”.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d just pop in and say Hello! and a few other randomly unconnected things…

I’m sure many of you have seen the note that’s been traveling around Facebook, wherein friends are invited to share fifteen authors that have inspired, challenged and shaped their thinking. The only rule is that you are supposed to rattle them off: no thoughtful pondering and agonizing. (One might consider the limitation to fifteen a rule. I haven’t decided yet whether or not I’m going to honor that distinction. Probably not.) I’ve been tagged so many times, I thought I may as well share them here. (Another rule broken, you might say. I’m a rebel.) So here goes:

Sheldon Vanauken
Charles Williams
George Eliot
T.S. Eliot
Madeleine L’Engle
Charlotte Bronte
Gerard Manley Hopkins
William Wordsworth
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Elizabeth Goudge
Thomas Howard
C.S. Lewis
J.R.R. Tolkien
Christina Rossetti
Gene Stratton-Porter
George MacDonald
Louisa May Alcott
Rumer Godden
Elizabeth Gaskell
Jane Austen
Charles Dickens
Elisabeth Elliot
Edith Schaeffer
Brenda Ueland
Dorothy Sayers

not quite the first fire of the season, but very nearly

In other news, here are two dearests that I have been meaning to tell you about for some time:

The first is my lovely and talented sister, Liz. She is a representational artist living in New York, creating beauty with and without her paintbrush every day of her life, and she has inspired me as an artist more than anyone else on the face of this earth. She’s been updating her site (“Beetle’s Day”) with works from a recent stint in Europe: Sarajevo, Paris and Madrid. Don’t miss the beautiful Notre Dame at Night, one of my favorites. Val-de-Grace and Window in Madrid are especially breathtaking, as well. But they all are! And here’s the amazing part: all of the pieces listed on her site are available for sale!

Next, my darling friend and writing partner, Laura. Friends, I cannot tell you how much I love and admire this girl. She is all indomitable pluck and unfailing womanly charm and social wit, and she’s an incredibly gifted writer, to boot. And besides all these, Laura has a mind and heart awake to the operations of Grace that transfigure daily life into a spiritual pilgrimage. I invite you to enjoy her candid journey as a writer at Mere Enthusiasm.

And just to round off this haphazard post, I had a piece published on The Rabbit Room this week, an honor in every sense of the word. You can find it here if you’re interested. 🙂

(Oh! And good heavens–how could I forget Kenneth Grahame and Tennyson!!)

So who are your “15”? I’d love to hear, if you care to share below! 🙂

my idea of an absolutely perfect autumn afternoon

edited to add: Evelyn Waugh. Ahem. 😉