CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, pp. 529 – 530

SPOILERS.

Self must have read the last chapters of Clockwork Princess about a dozen times. She loves Cassandra Clare’s descriptions:

Winter had always seemed the purest season to Will — even the smoke and dirt of London caught by the chill, frozen and hard and clean. That morning he had broken a layer of ice that had formed on his water jug, before splashing the icy fluid onto his face and shivering as he looked in the mirror, his wet hair painting his face in black stripes. First Christmas morning without Jem in six years.

Of course, that description is followed by the materialization of the ghost of Jessamine:

She raised her head, looking up at the snow. Though it fell all around her, she was as untouched by it as if she stood under glass.

LOVE that scene!

Thank you, Cassandra Clare. Thank you.

Stay tuned.

Enveloped 4: Icy Lake Louise

Lake Louise, View From a Hotel

Lake Louise, View From a Hotel

Lake Louise, Still Encased In Ice

Lake Louise, Still Encased In Ice

Stones Beneath the Ice

Stones Beneath the Ice

Canada, at least here in Banff, is still cold. When oh when will summer arrive?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

CLOCKWORK ANGEL, p. 387

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

It was cold today in Banff. Self feels like she is coming down with a serious head cold. Never mind! She has Cassandra Clare to keep her company. Everlasting gratitude to her niece Karina for recommending The Infernal Devices trilogy. Holy holy moly. Only two words fill her vocabulary at this moment:

WILL. HERONDALE.

Cassandra Clare, you are genius.

On p. 387, it is the night of the full moon and the Clave has gone to strike the vampires led by de Quincey (who formed an uncommon attachment to Will’s neck when he was pretending to be a subjugate at the party at which Tessa Gray was channeling a vampire named Charlotte and if that is too much for you just buy the book for heaven’s sake!)

Will and Jem, a flighty girl named Jessamine, two servant girls and Tessa Gray are left alone in the Institute. Suddenly, they receive a very unexpected visit from a mundane named Mortmain (and every nerve in self’s body is screaming, Don’t you put any credence in what this shifty mundane tells you, Will Herondale!)

The following conversation ensues:

Will’s blue eyes were dark and thoughtful. “Thank you for the information,” he said, “but de Quincey will soon be no more of a threat to us, or his mechanical monsters, either.”

Mortmain’s eyes widened. “Is the Clave to move against the Magister? Tonight?”

“Goodness,” said Will. “You really do know all the terms, don’t you. It’s very disconcerting in a mundane.” He smiled pleasantly.

So blah blah blah ensues and Will and Jem decideĀ  to go check out Mortmain’s story. Tessa Gray wants to accompany them but Will tells her she can’t. At which point the following conversation ensues:

She turned her gaze back to Will. “But what about Boadicea?”

For a moment she thought he’d forgotten what he’d said to her in the library. Then the glimmer of a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, as if he’d tried to fight it and couldn’t. “You will be Boadicea someday, Tessa,” he said, “but not tonight.”

And then, chapter ends on a cliff-y!

And the next chapter begins with a quote from Robert Browning, his poem “The Lost Leader”:

Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more
One task more declin’d, one more footpath untrod,
One more devil’s triumph and sorrow for angels

Dying, dying, dying.

Stay tuned.

More Snowy Elk, Through a Field, Darkly: Enveloped 3

Last Week It Snowed.

Last week it snowed.

Long View of What Appear To Be Baby Elk

Long View of What Appear To Be Baby Elk

Swear this will be the LAST snowy elk picture!

Swear this will be the LAST snowy elk picture!

Enveloped in Snow, Trees and Stillness in Banff, Alberta

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ENVELOPED.

What does “enveloped” mean to self? The weather, definitely. It is so different from what she’s used to in California.

These pictures are from last week. It was super-cold then. This first picture was near the Hoodoo Trail, which was closed for a few days because an elk carcass was attracting Grizzlies. Shivers!

Somewhere near the Hoodoo Trail

Somewhere Near the Hoodoo Trail

Sorry if this picture isn’t that clear. But she was taking the picture on the fly, from inside a van. It was snowing, as you can see.

First Elk Sighting -- EVER!

First Elk Sighting — EVER!

Sorry if this is a repeat of last week's elk sighting. Something about the snow adds immeasurably to the viewing experience, in self's humble opinion.

Sorry if this is a repeat of last week’s elk sighting. Something about the snow adds immeasurably to the viewing experience, in self’s humble opinion.

Enveloped: WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ENVELOPED.

Self thought of fog first, so here are the Canadian Rockies as they appeared yesterday afternoon (In contrast, the weather today is all sun), and the last picture is of fellow writer Jami Macarty doing the interactive installation TouchMe by the artist duo Blendid. You press something on the touch-sensitive screen and it takes a picture, which then runs on an endless loop. Cool! So, there’s the silhouette of Jami, enveloped in light as the screen starts to photograph her.

The Weather Yesterday Afternoon

The Weather Yesterday Afternoon

More of the Fog-Shrouded Yesterday Afternoon

More of the Fog-Shrouded Yesterday Afternoon

Poet Jami Macarty Doing the Interactive Installation in the Lobby of Sally Benson Bldg. in the Banff Centre

Poet Jami Macarty Doing the Interactive Installation in the Lobby of Sally Benson Bldg. in the Banff Centre

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Force of Nature 3: Elk Sightings Near Lloyd Hall plus Robert Falcon Scott’s Diary

Self is still in the Canadian Rockies.

The cold isn’t so bad, but it’s the unpredictability, the sheer unpredictability of the weather, that gets to self.

The weather pattern this time of year in the Rockies appears to be thus:

Cold/Wet/Snow/Hot/Chilly/Breezy/Hot/Cold/Wet

All in the same day.

This afternoon, self essay-ed one short walk out, with a group led by geologist Jim Olver, and wouldn’t you know, the day that had been dry as a whistle began to get wet. And wetter. And wetter. The wet building in increments. So it was not a sudden torrent, but a tickle. A reminder. Of the cold that is growing in self’s head.

She said to herself: I’ll be damned if I’m the first person to chicken out because of this rain! I’m staying outside here (despite bare-headed), come hell or high water! Because I am tough! Tough! Tough! I am the woman who endured electricity failure in the month of January in Dharamsala. I had no coat. My teeth were chattering. Do dear blog readers know what chattering teeth sound like? Self was sure she was cracking all her molars.

Today, self was wearing a turtleneck. And a jacket. And jeans. And sturdy sneakers. And knit fingerless gloves. But damn, her hair was getting wet.

This Elk was ambling around in between Lloyd Hall and the Bentley Chamber Music Studio.

This Elk was ambling around in between Lloyd Hall and the Bentley Chamber Music Studio.

And then came ambling along two elk (Is self beginning to sound very Yoda-ish, dear blog readers?), and then someone was asking if self was going for dinner with the Writing Studio group, who were heading downtown, and self wanted to say, seriously? Do you see how wet self’s hair is at this very moment? Need I remind you that my country of origin is the Philippines? Where it is NEVER cold? Even when rainy? And that self’s current abode is listed as CALIFORNIA?

But, anyhoo, ELK SIGHTING! Near LLOYD HALL!

Finally, she gets to post something somewhat related to FORCE OF NATURE, this weeks’s WordPress Photo Challenge!

Just Outside Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Today

Just Outside Bentley Chamber Music Studio, Today

In order to feel less peck-ish, self is reading published excerpts from Robert Falcon Scott’s diary, which he kept all the way till the very end, when he and his party of four other men died in a raging blizzard, just 11 miles from the shelter of base camp. Scott reached the South Pole only to find the Norwegian flag already planted, by Roald Amundsen. Then he and his men had to make the arduous slog back, knowing that they were beaten. Scott’s last conscious act was to make a diary entry. (It suddenly occurs to self that 11 miles is no mere walk in the park. Back in California, self would be hard put to walk 2 miles on a daily basis. And just imagine having to negotiate 11 miles in a blizzard! And weighed down with piles and piles of clothing! Must have felt like swimming through a sea of muck!)

The Canadian Rockies, seen from the 6th floor of Lloyd Hall, the residence of all the Writing Studio participants, including self

The Canadian Rockies, seen from the 6th floor of Lloyd Hall, the residence of all the Writing Studio participants, including self

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Forces of Nature: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is FORCES OF NATURE.

Woot Hoot! Self has many pictures that fit the theme this week. Because it just so happens she is in Banff, Alberta, participating in the Banff Literary Centre’s annual Writing Studio (with 23 other writers)

Last Wednesday, she signed up for a tour called “Banff Hot Spots” (only 5 Canadian) which turned out to be a very ironic title for the tour, as it snowed. And snowed. And snowed.

But, as the tour van was barreling along the Trans-Canada Highway, what should we encounter but a herd of elk, meandering by the side of the road. Serendipity, much?

A Surprise Encounter

A Surprise Encounter

The tour stopped at one of the Vermillion Lakes:

Vermillion Lake

Vermillion Lake

Overcast, snowing, freezing, but hey, at least self got these fabulous shots!

Vermillion Lake, From Another Angle

Vermillion Lake, From Another Angle

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Elk, Part 2

Yesterday, self and four others took a tour of “Banff Hot Spots” (Ironic title, considering the fact that it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. And kept snowing)

But self saw elk! And more elk!

Herds of elk! Baby elk! Solitary elks!

Here are more elk pictures:

DSCN9603

Amazing! We saw a herd of elk walking majestically by the side of the road, and a solitary female in a field who was soon joined by three baby elk, and a group of three young males on a hillside.

DSCN9601

It snowed all afternoon and all night.

DSCN9600

Aren’t the creatures magnificent?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Intricate 5: The Landscape of Trees, Rivers, Mountains

Banff was chilly today.

Here are some shots of the river. Actually, tour guide and geologist Jim Oliver took the shot for her (of the Hoodoo Trail), as self was freezing and it was raining and she elected to stay inside the van. Jim leads all the tours around The Banff Centre and knows everyone and everything.

She thinks the fretwork of trees can be suitably regarded as INTRICATE:

DSCN9611

This second shot, self did take herself. From the van. She rolled down her window, and the elk was very obliging. Lifted its head and stared straight at her. The fretwork of snow (it alternated rain and snow, all afternoon) makes this shot INTRICATE.

This young male elk is just starting to grow its horns.

This young male elk is just starting to grow its horns.

DSCN9605

Self just heard on the weather report that it’s going to be freezing tonight: Banff and environs are expecting temperatures below zero. There’s a reading tonight of Writing Studio faculty and participants, so self will just have to bundle up.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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