On this tour, each stop features an exclusive excerpt and guest post from Maryrose offering a special look at the wise words of her heroine’s mentor, Agatha Swanburne.
Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."
The Incorrigible children actually were.
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her. But once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways?
Learn more about the series: http://booksandgames.com/incorrigible
“If you want fresh ideas in your head, get some fresh mud on your boots.”—The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 3: The Unseen Guest
I’m a big fan of walking (or riding a bike, or even paddling a kayak) as a writing tool. For reasons I can’t fully explain, I find basic, human-powered locomotion outdoors an excellent way to solve a thorny plot problem or let a fresh, unexpected idea slip in through the side door of the imagination.
It’s not an original technique, mind you. The British romantic poet William Wordsworth famously walked as he composed his poetry, with his faithful sister Dorothy trailing along behind. I don’t have a sister named Dorothy to accompany me on my creative excursions and write down my brainstorms. Instead, I have a dog named Lil. Unfortunately, she’s not very good at taking notes, but she is an expert at taking walks. She’s also good at chasing squirrels, eating treats, and being unexpectedly kind to the sorts of small, delicious creatures that thousands of years of dog-evolution should have trained her to think of as prey. She sounds a bit like the Incorrigible children, no?
Here’s one example: When a stray cat gave birth to a litter of five under the back porch steps of my house a couple of summers ago, Lil quickly adopted the two we decided to keep as her own cherished babies. Those kittens had the best-washed faces and ears around, thanks to Mama Lil. Now they’ve grown up into lazy, chubby cats, but Lil still likes to keep them tidy. The dog and two cats nap together and eat out of the same bowls. When Lil comes back from her walks, the cats greet her like a long-lost relative.
Lil is a creature of habit when it comes to her walks. She likes to take the same route, sniff the same spots, and check for raccoons under the same parked cars. But just as they say you can never step into the same stream twice, Lil’s walk is never exactly the same walk, no matter how often we retrace our steps. There are different smells in the air and on the ground, and different encounters along the way. Other dogs, curious toddler in strollers, noisy garbage trucks that absolutely deserve to be barked at—the excitement never ends.
Walking with Lil reminds me that you don’t have to travel to an exotic locale get a fresh perspective. The important thing is get out and get moving, and open your eyes. Or, in Lil’s case, your nose.
Did you ever try to solve a problem by taking a walk? What else do you do to gain a fresh perspective?
The last stop on the Incorrigible blog tour is:
Friday, April 6: Reading Nook