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Picturing a World

Honey Bunch

Blog post tip: The workings of Edward Stratemeyer's syndicate, and especially the role of his secretary, Harriet Otis Smith, have contributed to the imaginary publishing office in my not-quite-abandoned ANONYMITY. I was tickled, therefore to run across a set of articles from the Scholarly Communication and Publishing at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign about the Honey Bunch series. Learning that Smith outlined and edited Honey Bunch: Her First Trip in an Airplane, I bought a copy. If nothing else, it will make for more soothing reading than news about drones, oil tankers, and possible air strikes in the Gulf.

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To the Underland

Yesterday, I began reading Robert MacFarlane's wonderful new book, The Underland. In the first chapter, the author and a friend enter a labyrinth of caves through a pothole. This morning, by astonishing coincidence, up pops this photograph of a Yorkshire fluted pothole at the British Geograph site. I visit Geograph every morning and sometimes pull together three or four photographs to prompt ideas for a story. This one is suggestive, for sure.

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Secret Commonwealth

For those of us who have been looking forward to The Secret Commonwealth, the second volume of Philip Pullman's Book of Dust, it's a whoo-hoo moment to see publicity for it. I love snazzy art work by Christopher Wormell. And an excerpt in the Guardian promises that Pullman has lost none of his story-teller's prowess. I won't throw away the summer wishing October were here; but when it comes, what fun!

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Agas Map of London

Website alert: For background to a story I'm writing, I have begun reading The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness. The first chapter is about a community on Lime Street near a now-demolished church that had the delicious name of St. Dionysius Backchurch. To see where it was, I Googled and found the wonderful Agas Map site that lets you, not only enlarge, but search the image for streets, churches, and landmarks by name. Anyone interested in Tudor London or maps in general, check it out!

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