Some time ago, I began collecting book themed ornaments. As a writer, any book related item is fascinating.
It started with the little dark haired girl balancing on a pile of books (bottom shelf), and became somewhat of an obsession for a while. Many ornaments I have found in thrift stores, and a couple were gifts.
I love the variations of these delightful pieces – some are quirky, like the tree-man and sleeping elf, while others match my love of fantasy, such as the two witch figures.
If I see a nice ornament with a book, or books, I do buy it, but think that I might need to invest in a bigger shelving system!
What do you collect?
Why did you start collecting those specific items?
The solitary rumble of a motorbike engine echoed along the back alley, the bright headlight chasing the jet-black night into the shadows. A sliver of a moon gave no illumination, so darkness enveloped the alley the instant the bike passed. Gravel crunched under the vehicle’s wheels, and exhaust fumes were added to the garbage bin aroma. The night air blew a chill breeze along the alley’s length blowing and spiraling detritus.
Dressed all in black leather accessorized with silver studs and chains, the rider was muscled and bearded. Large hands gripped the handlebars, tattoos across each finger and wrist. The jacket hid many more inked designs all over his body but bore the emblem of the gang’s name. His hacking smokers cough broke the midnight stillness and he spat on the ground. Another night of drinking and perceived nuisance under his belt, he smiled. His bike gang had a reputation and did everything they could to uphold it. Tonight, was no different. A brawl ended in a trashed downtown bar, with bottles smashed, knives drawn, and blood splattered on the floor. His compatriots made a hasty exit riding in a different directions to avoid capture once sirens were heard.
He switched off the motorcycle engine and silence descended in the alley, a low rumble of traffic on the highway across the hill the only sound. There were no lights on in the houses backing onto the alley, but he knew a few eyes were watching him. His neighbours were too scared to approach him, his attire and appearance deterring any interference or conversation. As he pushed the bike into a dilapidated garage a mewing sound to his right made him stop. It was too dark to see where the source of the sound came from, and from what. Flicking a light switch the garage flooded with light making him squint and blink. One his eyes adjusted he looked round the cluttered garage, full of bike parts, beer cans, posters and scattered tools. Standing still he waited for another sound and didn’t have to wait long. Another stronger mewing sound allowed him to focus on a direction. He crouched down, peering into the shadows and lifting garbage and spare bike parts to one side. Two wide blue eyes peered back at him from under a discarded pizza box.
Holding out one hand, the man coaxed the little creature from it’s hiding place. A bundle of dirty cobweb covered black fur crept toward him. The kitten fit in the palm of the man’s hand, where it could easily be crushed in a second with little effort. Cupping his hand, the man lifted the kitten up toward his face. They contemplated each other for a moment – giant and miniature. The kitten mewed again and tipped its head to one side. The man’s grin revealed broken teeth and a gold filling.
“Where did you come from, you little runt?”
With no answer, the man closed the garage door, grabbed his keys and walked through a doorway into a patch of brown dirt. A fire pit with old deck chairs surrounding it and more discarded beer cans and bottles littered the area. No grass could survive the scuffles, play fighting and urinating of the gang’s party nights. Unlocking a door, the man carried the kitten into a dim and untidy kitchen. Take out cartons and boxes were on every surface along with more alcohol containers, some full, others empty or half full. The room’s aroma was of stale beer, sweat and something indiscernible. Swiping his arm across the table, the man placed the kitten down and pulled open the fridge door. The interior light pierced the dimness showing dust and dirt on every surface. Pushing items aside the man found a carton containing chicken and pulled it apart before placing it in front of the animal. It sniffed, licked and then ate the offered morsel. Then looked up for more.
“Hungry then eh? Here have some more.”
Guileless eyes watched the man place more shredded chicken on the table, and once again it was eaten with relish.
“Now, what do I do with you?”
The kitten brushed up against the man’s hairy knuckles and mewed as he placed a dish of water beside the kitten. He watched as it lapped the liquid, then used its paws to wash its face.
“Now, that’s darn cute – shit what am I doing?”
Unable to put the small creature back out in the alleyway to fend for itself, the man took it to bed with him, where it curled up against his tattooed neck, began to purr and slowly fell asleep. That night both lives changed – a safe haven for the kitten and a softness entering the man’s brutish heart.
I’m suffering from a nasty chest infection, so the only thing I could comfortably do was read and drink tea and water. Screens were just too bright and in all too much information to try and process. Gently embraced into a story was just what I needed to relax and try to recover. I got through these two books in record time and enjoyed them both very much.
Villa Serena by Domenica De Rosa A wonderful tale of reality versus dreams. Italy is a country of mystery, tradition & misconceptions. I loved following Emily’s journey from outsider to acceptance. Life is never as it seems and this book goes into one family’s world. Highly recommended.
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
A captivating mystery told from various POV’s made this narrative a complex and enjoyable read. The characters were well rounded and defined. I loved the twists and turns of the story the choices made- good and bad.
1st January E.M. Forster, 2nd January Isaac Asimov, 3rd January J.R.R. Tolkien, 4th January Isaac Newton, 5th January W.D. Snodgrass (Just love his name – it’s a character all of it’s own!), 6th January C.D. Wright, 7th January Gerald Durrell, 8th January Terry Brooks, 9th January Philippa Gregory and 10th January Dorianne Laux.
Of course, there are other famous author birthday’s to consider, I am only showing a few. Some are posthumous, while others are celebrated through social media greetings and memes. Another ‘birthday’ celebration writers hold are for the launching date of a book, and some authors recognize these milestones annually. For a non-writer this may seem odd, but when our stories go out into the world it is akin to a birth. We have nurtured and loved the creation of a narrative for months, sometimes years prior to the actual launching date, and so it is thus deserving of a celebration.
Do you have a favorite author whose birthday you celebrate?
It is always exciting to begin a New Year and a new book! I have an impressive book pile to begin 2023, and will, as always, leave a review on Goodreads for each one.
I would love to know what you are reading this month and why you chose it. Also please review each book you read, as these reviews are the life blood for authors. It validates all their hard work in creating a time, place and characters from their imaginations. Your review can be one sentence long, it doesn’t have to be a synopsis of the narrative.
My first book for 2023 is Villa Serena by Domenica De Rosa. As many of my followers know I love Italy, and this will in some small way ease my hankering to fly to Italy in 2023 and escape the Alberta winter.
I have set my Goodreads 2023 challenge. Why not do the same?
You can, of course, find many reading challenges online – here is a selection!