Gauld and Riddell, 14,000 Happy Things, and CampNaNo


I've got two book reviews coming up, for Brenda Novak's The Secret Sister and Daniel Robinson's Death of a Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation.

Another book I've ordered and am eagerly awaiting is cartoonist and illustrator Tom Gauld's latest, a myriorama, inspired by the works of Laurence Sterne.
"Myriorama, or 'Many Thousand Views' consist of numerous cards depicting fragments or segments of landscapes that can be arranged in a multitude of different combinations. This 'entertainment' for young ladies and gentlemen originated in France.

The first English version in 1824 was a set of 16 cards which depicted Gothic ruins, castles, cottages, a lighthouse, a man fishing and a gypsy encampment. These landmarks had a backdrop of mountains with islands and a lake to add extra texture and depth.

Whenever the cards were taken out and arranged upon a table, they produced a landscape of harmony which was variable, compatible and satisfying to the user without being geographically identifiable. This first myriorama seems to have been an instant success and many varieties were created to satisfy the demands of the public."

Myriorama definition from the Oxford English Dictionary

Gauld's myriorama

Another illustrator who's work I really enjoy is Chris Riddell. The first illustrations of his that I saw were for The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. He's recently been named Children's Laureate in the UK!

Here are two illustrations from his Sketchbook photos on tumblr:


A gorgeous word: Aquother

The Word Wenches are a group of romance authors who consistently blog about varied, intriguing topics. One of their more recent posts was a "What We're Researching" compilation, and a book mentioned by Jo Bourne caught my eye:

Barbara Ann Kipfer's 14,000 Things to be Happy About

I love the randomness and the gentle peace of that list. It'd be fun to browse this book now and again as a pick-me-up. Which reminds me, I meant to read more poetry...

I should add that to my ROW80 goals. Meanwhile, my actual goals are veering all over the place. I've written over 5,000 words on a new story for CampNaNo! But must return to editing the short story "One to Another" in time for the SIWC contest deadline.

Here's the first draft description for the CampNaNo story:

A YA/Historical crossover, this is the third book in the series of time travel adventures featuring 12-year-old Austin and Kedi the cat who takes him back in time to turning points in history.
At the end of the 15th Century, Christopher Columbus is returning from his second voyage, facing hatred and anger on all sides. Among his prisoners is a young man who dared to defy Columbus and his men when they raided his village.

Brother Arcturus, a Cistercian monk last seen in the novels Out of the Water and Rome, Rhymes, and Risk, is travelling with his friend Santiago, an officer on Columbus' flagship.

Austin is dropped into their midst as a cabin boy on the first day of the voyage home. Everyone assumes he's been transferred from one of the other 16 ships. Brother Arcturus finds Austin helpful and useful -- together they visit the imprisoned young man in the dark hold and gradually piece together the truth of what happened that day in the village.

Is Columbus purely a villain? What will happen to the captured men on the other ships? Will everyone make it safely across the Ocean?

And if Kedi has brought Austin to this time, does that mean that one among the men is plotting something even worse, something that will change the course of history?

Austin must find out quickly who he can trust -- and who the real villain is.

Which illustrator's work do you enjoy?
Are you writing for CampNaNo?

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