writing

Jo's Scribbling Suit!

Every few weeks she would shut herself in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and “fall into a vortex,” as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace. Her “scribbling suit” consisted of a black woolen pinafore on which she could wipe her pen at will, and a cap of the same material, adorned with a cheerful red bow, into which she bundled her hair when the decks were cleared for action. This cap was a beacon to the inquiring eyes of her family, who during these periods, kept their distance, merely popping in their heads semi-occasionally to ask, with interest, ‘Does genius burn, Jo?’

— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


Here’s my “Scribbling Suit.” Ha! Anybody else want to share what they wear when they work from home? I’d love to see it! Send it to me at writeamywriteATgmailDOTcom.


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Jane Gardam

I’m a fan of Jane Gardam’s novels. I’ve been working my way through all of them because I absolutely cannot get enough. I’ve got two to go until — sigh — I’m finished: QUEEN OF THE TAMBOURINE, and SUMMER OF THE FUNERAL. But let me say this: I have enjoyed every single one of these books. I don’t often re-read novels but I can see myself re-reading Jane Gardam (and Kate Atkinson and Margaret Atwood, for that matter). Here’s a quote from Jane Gardam’s A LONG WAY TO VERONA. The main character, Jessica Vye, is reading Thomas Hardy’s JUDE THE OBSCURE.

I hope I never read another book so utterly terrible as this. It is a marvelous book, and I didn’t skip any of it, and I read on and on and on; but all the time I was thinking of Thomas Hardy, of the terrible sorrows and sadness of him. It seemed terrible to me that anyone who knew that he was a writer beyond all possible doubt should have not one glimmer, not one trace of happiness in him.

Yes! And that’s why I love reading Jane Gardam — that glimmer is there in her work. Thank you Jane!