April 2018: Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris
This month I have a novel for you. It has been some years since I read this book, but my copy has survived Marie Kondo tidying purges and a few different house moves. It is on my book shelf to stay - and even seems to add some enchantment to the air around it.
You may know Joanne Harris as the author of Chocolat, the inspiration for the intoxicating hit film of the same name. It was that book that first introduced me to Harris and made me hungry to read more of her books, of which Blackberry Wine is undoubtedly my favorite.
Granted, Harris's writing can be a little witchy and her characters a little haunted. Really, it's her rich descriptions, her detailed creativity in writing style and construction of setting that kept me coming back for more.
While reading, I felt continually inspired to add into my life new details and rituals that are meaningful to me. Often, we can be so distracted by task lists (that we know will never end) that large chunks of time will pass in a relative blur - you know you've been busy and productive, but there is a richness and dimension missing.
More than anything, this book reminded me to slow down and seek the magic in my everyday life - because it is absolutely there if I just slow down and take the time to look - or create it.
As you can likely assume, this inspires a more steadfast sketchbook practice as well as refreshes creativity. Especially as we head into Spring and start planting our garden, I can't help but dream of filling an old spice chest with saved seeds. (I dare you to feel differently after you've finished reading.)