August 5, 2010

Time Out for Books

(Public Domain photo from Wikipedia)

More than anything else, I love to read and write. So if I could choose anyplace to have a time out, it would be a bookstore or library. I love going to bookstores, drinking in the cafe and reading magazines. I always carry a small notebook and pen in my purse, and will sit in the bookstore, writing away at essays, short stories and blog posts. I love to write with pen and paper. I even collect small notebooks -- I love anything that is in the shape of a book! I also love to wander the aisles of books in the bookstore and look out for new books that I want to read.

I just feel so comfortable, safe, and secure surrounded by books. When I was in college/university, I would always do my homework at the university library. I would study there for hours in the second floor "stacks" area. I had a heavy load of reading and writing to do, since I majored in English and minored in Journalism. I would sit in a private carrel, tucked away on the sides of the building, and work hard, occasionally gazing out the windows at the passing students below. I was especially happy if I was studying a subject I liked, such as World Geography, History of Cinema as Art, or my literature and writing courses. I would look around me, surrounded by books, and sigh with pure contentment.

I used to own over 4000 books, but the very small space that I live in now doesn't allow me to do that. But I still have 4 bookcases filled with books. I cannot imagine not having books surrounding me. Even if I ever was able to afford an e-reader, I would still have physical books around. I love the look and feel of books.

I had so many books because I live in a town that is obsessed with them. In the spring they have dozens of book sales all over town. There is one weeklong sale that has a bag sale on the last day -- all the books you can stuff in a paper grocery bag for $5.00. The line forms by the door and down the parking lot before the sale even opens for business. I still always carry a paperback in my purse. My elderly car was called The Bookmobile. I always had many books tucked away in the glove box, seats and trunk. I didn't want to end up stranded without books!

This post was written for the Mama Kat Writing Workshop, from Prompt #2: If you were put in “time out”, where would you want to be placed and why?

August 4, 2010

Wordful Wednesday #1: Daisy the Cat, a.k.a. Shortcake

Why did I pick a photo of one of my dear, departed cats for Wordful Wednesday? Because Daisy looks so self-satisfied (and spoiled) in this photo. This photo was actually taken with a Polaroid camera! It not only captures her cuteness but her outgoing personality.

One of the reasons I chose this photo is because I love cats, which is partially why I chose the name The Literary Lioness for this blog. Cats and books just go together! Everyone knows that, right?

Daisy came to our house in an unusual way. It was a beautiful May day in 1984. My mother was in the backyard hanging up the wash on the line. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. Suddenly my mother heard a sound, which sounded like meowing, but she told herself that it had to be a bird. After all, our seven cats were all indoors.

Then she heard the sound again.

My mother decided to investigate. She walked from the quite large back yard to the patio. Now she knew she was hearing something from the screened-in back porch. She opened the door and her jaw dropped. This beautiful little kitten came running over to her and meowing loudly, apparently crying "what took you so long!" That cat knew a sucker, er, Good Samaritan when she saw one.

My mother took one look at that face and that vivacious personality and was smitten with that kitten forever.

My mother brought out milk and watched her drink it up. Then my mother went back into the house through the back door from the patio. My mother swore up and down that she couldn't stop the kitten from squeezing in between her legs and running inside as if she owned the place. If you say so, Mom! She walked right by our other cats, who were spitting and hissing at her, and went straight to the kitchen. My mother was so impressed.

Someone must have deliberately put Daisy on the porch and shut the door, because it was impossible for her to get in there by herself. We never found out who it was, but we were grateful. She eventually acquired the nickname Shortcake because one day she sat in a cupcake box from a bakery, and well, that evolved into Shortcake. We loved and cherished her for the next sixteen years.

She remained a tiny cat all her life, never weighing more than six pounds, but she had a big mouth and a big heart. She slept on my pillow with her paws in my hair for many years. I had to gently untangle her paws from my long hair each morning.

It is very appropriate to write about Shortcake on Wordful Wednesday, because in sixteen years, she never stopped talking. It's so appropriate that my mother heard her before she saw her.

Wordful Wednesday is run by The Seven Clown Circus.

You can read more Wordful Wednesday here.

August 2, 2010


In the late 1960's my Swedish grandmother visited the United States. She was supposed to stay for two weeks but ended up staying for two years! "Mormor" had an effervescent personality and was eager to try new things. She loved America – the food, the people, and the garage sales! She’d never been to America before and just loved it.

Her favorite American television show was "The Lawrence Welk Show." It featured bubbly “champagne music” – old-time music that senior citizens loved. She loved the effervescence of the bubbles in the champagne bottle in the opening credits. The cast was full of very attractive, wholesome-looking men and women with effervescent personalities. Mormor loved singing along with the songs in her fractured English.

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Effervescent is the Word Up, Yo vocabulary meme's word this week. You can read about the Word Up, Yo meme here.
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