Monday, March 28, 2011

Have a Good Tour

So. It is Monday morning. I have every intention of tackling chapter four of my revision today until it's time to get ready for my kickboxing class. The sun is out and though it's cold, the air smells more alive today, which I find encouraging.


I was looking over my favorite Monday blogs this morning and I finally realized something. I have to just accept that Dianna Wynne Jones has passed away. And the sun suddenly looks less bright, the room feels a bit colder.

There's a lovely autobiography of DWJ which my friend Jazz posted on facebook. Neil Gaiman, a close friend of DWJ, has a touching post about her as well.

For reasons unknown to me, I did not discover DWJ when I was younger. In fact I didn't know about her at all until I saw Miyazaki's animated version of Howl's Moving Castle. I fell in love with it, and went out to read the original. Now, I'm a huge Miyazaki fan but the book is just magical. You must read it.

Then, while I was living by the sea in Massachusetts, I discovered an intriguing book at a small used book store in Marblehead. It was a guidebook called The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Dianna Wynne Jones. It's hilarious--truly hilarious for anyone who has spent large chunks of their life reading fantasy books and who still love them despite their flaws. For example, consider her entry on princesses:

"Princesses come in two main kinds:
1. Wimps
2. Spirited and willful. A spirited princess will be detectable by the scattering of freckles across the bridge of her somewhat tiptilted nose. Spirited Princesses often disguise themselves as boys and invariably marry commoners of sterling worth. With surprising frequency these commoners turn out to be long-lost heirs to Kingdoms (see Princes)."

In fact, for the rest of the week, I'll post one definition from this book in honor of Dianna Wynne Jones.

I have so much of her work left to look forward to, and that makes me happy. Now, on to my own writing. Rest in peace, Dianna Wynne Jones. And have a good tour.

PS After posting this, I discovered that my friend Sabrina over at Coffee Quill also blogged about DWJ and her Tough Guide to Fantasyland here!


  1. Strangely enough, I was the same. I think watching "Howl's Moving Castle" was my first experience of DWJ, but that was with a couple of friends in college, and shortly thereafter the other friend telling me about the "Tough Guide." It's been uphill since.

    I had a chance to read Neil's post and thought of you, too. (I just didn't have enough time to log in and post here about it. :P ) If you haven't read them yet, I highly recommend "Charmed Life" and The Lives of Christopher Chant."

  2. Thanks, Sabrina. I'll have to check those books out. I was also thinking of getting Fire and Hemlock, since I've seen it mentioned often. Have you read it?