I've spent the last week trying to get caught up with life (still not quite there since our Finland trip), and I was trying real hard to get an edit job done before my kids' school break so we could play. (Up for today: a "reading party." I'm good at tricking the kids into loving something good for them.)
Crazy busy-ness. Hence, a lack of blogging this week. I have several posts in mind that I plan to do soon, but today something happened truly blog-worthy.
See, one thing that happens when I travel (all what, three times I've done it . . . we're not exactly world travelers . . . or even continental U.S. travelers . . .) is a huge release of creative juices. Generally if we're traveling, if I've brought along my Neo to type on, I never actually get any writing done, because I'm too busy sight seeing (or sleeping off jet lag, or talking with family, or eating, or whatever). This time I just left it home.
But as usual, going somewhere new, with fresh sounds, sights, tastes, and more, woke up my creativity and filled up my writer bucket, so to speak. Visiting Turku Castle did that in a big way. So did several of the churches we visited, not to mention Ainola and some of local restaurants (especially the one inside an old cabin, complete with the original fireplace).
For many years I've thought I really need to read The Kalevala, the Finnish book of mythology. I know bits and pieces of the story, thanks to Dad teaching Finnish literature, Mom being a Finn, seeing the National Museum as a kid, and having collector plates on the wall of our living room depicting scenes from the book. (One had a naked woman on it. I always wondered if it scandalized any of my friends' parents . . . :-D)
This trip, something finally clicked in my head. I had to get the book, read it (the good English translation, of which there is ONE), and very likely write something (or several somethings) based on the stories.
I love adapted fairy tales and the like. In fact, the first novel I ever completed was co-written with a good high school buddy and was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. (Way fun story, if I say so myself.)
Some of my favorite YA books are retellings of mythology and/or fairy tales: Robin McKinley's Beauty, Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted, and (more recently), Jessica Day George's Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, and novels by Shannon Hale like Book of a Thousand Days and The Goose Girl.
After the trip, my sister and I scoured our parents' home, where Dad thought his copy of The Kalevala was still on a shelf somewhere. We couldn't find it. I figured that to use his copy (which is probably in a storage unit), I'd have to wait over a year until Mom and Dad get home. I'm not that patient.
I decided to look into borrowing a copy from one of Dad's colleagues. Or maybe the BYU library had one I could use. I couldn't very well buy one without doing a serious budget job for it: The Kalevala is pretty rare, and even USED, you're looking at about a hundred bucks. New? Don't even bother.
Today, a package arrived for my husband. As we do a lot of shopping online, I didn't think much of it and tossed it onto the kitchen table as I went about my day. But when he got home from work, he gave it to me to open.
You guessed it: Inside was a (very gently!) used copy of The Kalevala.
I could sing!
It's not my birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, or our anniversary (it's not even a sort-of anniversary, like of our first date, first kiss or engagement). But he knew that book was something I really, really wanted.
Yeah. He pretty much rocks.
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