As many folks know, March 2019 is #SpikySquare with Life of B.
Today’s post features Round Three (Days 18 through 31).
Priorhouse Spiky March Round One is here and Round Two is here
Round Three starts with a splash of March Monochrome Madness:
Splash of Purple
Splash of Blue
TIME FOR A LITTLE VICTOR HUGO
(If you are not in the mood to read, please skip this part let me know if you have a favorite slideshow from this post – the mono- the purple- the blue – or the bonus warm-toned at the end).
Earlier this month, I was in a small group and we had to share a quick description about one of our favorite books.
I shared about Victor Hugo’s (1862) book Les Miserables (here).
I have given mini Les Mis shares many times and the summary details vary – but I usually mention how Marius and Cosette fall madly in love and then ask for names. Of course I mention the silver candlesticks, Javert’s legalism and inability to have grace, and tidbits about protagonist Jean Valjean.
Sometimes I get on a rabbit trail and share a few details about the summer that I binge-read Les Mis during July of 1994.
Summer of 1994, I drove from Denver, CO to Port St. Lucie, FL to live with my momma for the summer. The 2,000 mile drive was rough because right before I left, one of N’s friends stole about 2/3 of the cash from my wallet. That hurt. A lot. It also made the road trip harder. At the end of summer, I then drove to Buffalo, NY (1,300 miles) and then drove on back to Denver, CO (1,500 miles). I did that 4,800 mile triangle road trip twice in my life. When I arrived to Port St Lucie in July ’94 – Tennis champ Pete Sampras was on the cover of the newspaper (here). Toni Braxton’s song (here) was way overplayed. Took my nephew, J, to see Lion King, and later that summer, my niece joined us for The Mask (oops – not ideal). I clearance shopped at Lerner and got a huge, more mature, wardrobe refresher – updated my PADI cert (with the biggest bitch working at the Dive shop), worked at Barnacle Bills for a few weeks, and had extra time with my mother (and eldest bro). I also got bit by chiggers, while fishing at dusk, and had to cover in calamine lotion for two full days. The mail lady thought I was shaving (?). Watched TV the first day (not really a TV watcher until late 2000’s) and then, on Day two, I knew what I had to do. Get some Victor Hugo into my soul. I grabbed my unabridged copy of Les Mis and read it non-stop that week: at the beach – after lunch – during dinner – and would only stop reading in the wee hours of the morning – when my eyelids conked out on me.
I crushed that paperback and had a transformed week. A tired girl, maybe even miserable, became revived and INSPIRED. I didn’t realize it at the time, but you know how it goes – years later, that summer would end up being a very cherished time. And for those readers who have been following this blog for a while, you might remember that the previous summer, 1993, I was in Plantation, Florida (post from 2017 is here) and that summer also ended up having some highlights.
So – prepping my final “spike” post-
Les Mis was on my mind.
The five-minute book talk I gave earlier this month fired me up. It reminded me about how much I love Victor Hugo’s writing. I thought how Mr. Thénardier had an iron spike in his prison cell, which he used to aid his escape.
I also appreciated, again, what GOOD WRITERS can do for us.
Good writers move us, teach us, prod us, wake us, calm us, challenge us, touch us, feed us, nurture us, rile us, warn us, heal us, console us, and they let us TASTE so much.
In Les Mis, Victor Hugo teaches humanity lessons through the Thénardier family.
Mr. Thénardier is a scumbag of a character (so is his wife and their children have stink too). Mr. Thénardier is the one that usually comes up in my short Les Mis shares – I mention how he stole from dead comrades in battle. How he lied, was conniving, and how he even looked like a sick, worn out man. Thénardier was a “battlefield thief, crooked innkeeper, con artist, and all-around crook— he is the ultimate example of selfishness, greed, and cruelty.” This man was fueled by self-interest, self-promotion, and deception in all he did.
I also like how Hugo leads up to the part about when a person “is inspired, there is something of the star and of the lightning in the mysterious gleam of flight; the effort towards deliverance is no less surprising than the flight towards the sublime” (so people – let’s get inspired, stay inspired, and keep finding what we need).
Care to join in with the Square Photo Challenge?
Go here because Becky (here) said there is still time to join in.
Oh and here are a few leftovers that didn’t make the 31-day cut: