Tag Archives: Anne of Green Gables


humpty-dumptyWords – I love them. I even love the great huge portmanteau words (a la Alice in Wonderland) that carry loads of meanings between their consonants. I am gently mocked by friends and stared at by strangers when my three-syllable ones tumble out instead of shorter, clearer phrases.

It’s my sloppy brain filing system. I reach back for a word like orange and find titian, or ocean and find briny deep. I’m not happy, I’m exuberant. I have been known to galumph.

I blame Anne of Green Gables. I grew up like her – a little lonely, odd, wrapped in books and words like Aloysius. I read on my own, so my pronunciations are a bit dodgy. Poor Aloysius the fox lived for years as Alloy-si-us…

But there are some words that seem to be universally hated. Moist is one of them. It’s moisthard to find a pleasant use for the word, unless maybe in describing a cake or a towel, but otherwise, moist is tied to sweat, sweimages-35aty dark places, mouldering bread, dampness where none should be.

This is a moist summer. Offensively so. I honestly don’t think there is a spot on my body that is not moist at this very instant. Even my fingernails seem damp. The weather predictors use terms like humidex (ours uses the much more telling ‘frizz factor’), but really they are talking about moistness. How much there already is in the air, how much you shall personally generate, how much you will appreciate the drying effects of air conditioning.

I have never been so ready for the crispness of fall when I will feel my brain drying out again. I feel like I’ve been moist for far too long and the condensation and rising damp has seeped into my cerebrum.

I feel certain that, were someone to poke into my brain, it would feel like left-out-too-long zalivinoe, jellylike and fishy, with odd ideas floating around in it as the aspic melts in the heat.


borogoves_by_knot_a_typo-d7ot988At present, the old creativity-inducer seems positively mimsy.

“Well then, “mimsy” is “flimsy and miserable” (there’s another portmanteau for you).” Humpty Dumpty, explaining the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ to Alice.

I’m going to have to thrash it out of somnolescence soon – this is the weekend of the famed #3DayNovel contest, and I have foolishly signed up again. Been told before this is a somewhat pointless exercise, not important, but for me, it is a reclaiming of the grey matter and white matter I’ve eaten holes through with my MS and the dang moistness…Some get tattoos, some walk across the Rockies, I throw myself at a computer and write. Hoping I can unmimsy my grey cells and leap in…twistedbrain_main-800x533


In love with Lucy Maud

Maybe I’m going through a PEI wallowing or something, but I just finished the excellent Revenge of the Lobster Lover, by Hilary MacLeod, a reread of Anne of Green Gables by LMM, and a surfing through the music of Gordon Belsher and Richard Wood. I blame the excellent Atlantic Literature course I’m taking through St. Mary’s University and for FREE through the library. It’s taught by Alexander MacLeod, son of Alistair, both of them atlantic literary lions. I feel awash in Atlantic literature, and I like it, I like it!

We’re starting on the journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery and I can hardly wait. I’ve had a glimpse of the woman through Anne and Emily, but I want to know more. I want to hear her history, understand how she was able to write, survive and thrive in the time she lived in PEI, an unusual woman as she was.

It’s funny wanting to know authors. In a way, they don’t really exist for the reader – it is what they put on paper that matters. They can be horrible nasty people and still write words of gold. They can be horrible drunks and write soberly of the challenges of life. They can be calm and sweet as milquetoasts and write gruesome murders. Does it matter? Hard to say.

But there’s something about Lucy. Perhaps it was her enduring characters, perhaps it is the rumours of her sadness and battling with depression, of her sad marriage, of her purported suicide. Her life, spent telling stories of success against adversity, was pretty full of adversity on its own. I feel for her, and through her stories, especially as I reread them now, as a cynical, somewhat saddened adult.

Having moved to the shore and as I gradually absorb it into myself, the salt, the culture, the music, I want to know more about the people who live and  lived here. Lucy is one I’ve always wanted to know. So I’m diving into her journals to try.