May : E. B. White (Part Two)

If you haven’t read the first part of this post, it can be found here.

In addition to the little piece of E. B. White-inspired writing I popped you earlier this month, I have some string instrument-inspired drawings (sort of keeping with the theme, I think?). Done in: gauche, pencil, and occasionally a sort of dark ink brush-pen.

I have, in fact, played with all these instruments before (yes, even the double bass)–I guess I get around. šŸ˜‰

Need to pick up a copy of E. B. White? Understandable! If you want it for keeps and can’t bear to return it to the library, here’s another affiliate-linked option:

~Phlox

 

May : Jackie Morris

Introduction:

The Snottor has dirt under all fourteen of his nails, and under his scales where he has them. His garden is so full of flowers and his nose with sneezes (hay-fever, do not be alarmed) that it was quite hard for him to pick only one bloom for exhibition today. He worked on Phlox mightily for more than one post a month, but Phlox countered with the true fact that the scarcity of the gems the Snottor is in the habit of dropping monthly on the world makes them all the more precious. But he digresses.

About this artist:

The Snottor fell in love with Jackie Morrisā€™ illustrations in the coveted The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, whereupon he was able to successfully and passionately track her and her work down online (a helpful tool for the ingenious Snottor).

For the curious (the Snottor recommends that everybody be curious), her highly esteemed blog can be found here:Ā http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/

In addition to keeping a truly lovely blog, the Snottor also approves of her books and, of course, her artwork. Her life in Wales is interesting and inspiring, and the photos she snaps of the simplest walk leave the Snottor breathless with admiration and envy. The Snottor especially likes her paintings of bears, and has even entertained the thought (if it can be believed) of granting her the right to execute a portrait of his illustrious and occasionally enigmatic self. He approves of her homeschooling past, and pet-owning present, which is more than he can say of most people.

May : E. B. White (Part One)

As an unabashed dog-lover, I have been reading E. B. Whiteā€™s On Dogs, compiled by his granddaughter (consisting of anything he ever wrote about dogs), and giggling quite a bit. I never appreciated this side of the great author before, thinking of Charlotteā€™s Web, which, although great in its own way, I donā€™t remember having all the dry humor and cleverness of his writings for adults.

Inspired by this and trying my best to channel that dry funniness of his I admire, I wrote up this little thing, which may require some explanation for those not intimately familiar with the relations within the strings orchestra. I myself am a violistā€”not a very good one, but I love it, and I hope that counts for something. Lemony Snicketā€™s The Composer Is Dead is a good example of the realities of the orchestra and the opinions some sections hold concerning the others. His statement about the violas is poignant and true. I do not have the exact words, but the basic gist is: that the violas play all the boring parts to accompany the violins, that they stay afterwards to pick up chairs, that they mourn their fate.

While hesitant to volunteer any information about the first or third charge, I will say that Snicket was quite right with the second one. It is very, very true.

Anyway, here is my E. B. White-inspired writing:

Appeal

It has come to the attention of the violas, through diligent observation, that they are, in many cases, grossly under-appreciated and represented. They are, first of all, curious to know the reason for the alarmingly high number of violins in the orchestra compared to the viola section. They have speculated amongst themselves and decided that this unfortunate fact is likely due to the publicā€™s perception of the viola. Many less-informed citizens of this country know only of the violin, not its more pleasant cousin. This is clearly a serious issue of discrimination. When the less-informed, or perhaps more ambitious, American parent enrolls their child in an instrument, the violin has, in our culture, become the norm. It holds a double-threatā€”not only is it the most accepted ā€œfirst instrumentā€ in our society, it is also the path of the most ambitious and show-offy string-players. The violas find this deeply concerning (and would also like to inform the public that violas find their sound lovely enough not to have to show of with ridiculous pieces). They protest strongly to this strings status quo, and are drawing up more documents to help educate the public, as this has obviously been seriously neglected by a former and apparently apathetic generation of violas. They trust that, one day, violas can rule the world.

Signed, officially

The Violet Alliance, with ardent hopes to leave our children a world in a more agreeable register.Ā 

~The basses will be writing their own appeal shortly, one they have mobilized sufficient numbers to do so.~

There have been readers under the false impression that “Violet Alliance” is a typo for “Viola Alliance”–I just want to put a word in that it is intentional: viola means “violet” in Latin, I liked it better than the dryer “Viola Alliance”.

What writing makes you laugh the most?

~Phlox