#SpikySquare Photos and Victor Hugo Snippet

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: 

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Splash of Purple

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Splash of Blue

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(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). 

*Corneille was an extremely talented writer from the 1600’s. He “found his means of dying” when his swollen ego led to a boastful poem, Excuse À Ariste, in which Corneille asserted that he was the best and “no other author could be a rival.” Ouch – that pride can grow! This boasting put him in the firing line and then his prized play was reviewed unfavorably by the Academy at that time, and Corneille was known to withdraw from public life (and made nonstop revisions to that play). Corneille provides a good example of how we have to watch our ego and pride (confidence not cockiness) — and I like how Victor Hugo weaves in the Corneille example after Thénardier’s self-preserving escape.

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:

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31 thoughts on “#SpikySquare Photos and Victor Hugo Snippet

  1. oh this is amazing . . .how on earth can I choose a favourite especially when so many remind you of fellow blogging friends and wonderful moments. Your reminder of nobody though made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – thanks B, and there was one in there that reminded me of you – but i could not “link” to alert folks via the slides.
      and i charged the question – rather than ask for a single favorite – I asked if anyone liked a certain slideshow theme – like mono – purple, blue, or the warm-toned ending –

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you got a lot of spikes in there, Yvette!! I’m intrigued by the connections between photos and bloggers. Most of the ones I knew rang true, so well done there. 🙂

    Books are one of my eternal joys. Some inspire, some inform, some just provide entertainment. But without them my life would be much less enjoyable, although I’d probably get more done around the house and yard. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janet – I did have some spikes because this is half a month’s worth – and this works better for me than individual posts – I just cannot do the single photo per day (ya know) – and I think I knew how much you loved books…
      and I like how you said, “Some inspire, some inform, some provide entertainment” – so true – and for me – I do not read hardly any fiction – and so this Les Mis book is very special to me – but you know – I wonder if I will start to read fiction in the next phase of my life – I think I might – hm

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi YC – I think the chairs is one I like a lot too – and the hook reminds me of Dan because he does construction and his gravatar has him on a roof right now – so that is why


  3. I love how you connected your spiky squares to various bloggers. My favourite is Deb’s golden globe. 😍 I ‘be only seen Les Mis but haven’t read it. I can just imagine a younger you binge reading it. 😅 Happy weekend to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi S – not sure if you knew this = but in a previous blog post I shared how one day I did want to read it in French someday – but that likely is not happening –
      I found an old French book and could break down some of the paragraphs – but it was so choppy and would never apply to a book like Les Mis – maybe some day I will have the time to really work on my french = maybe in 25 years – lol
      so no – I get the english version, which is plenty good

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed this immensely. Particularly your thoughts on Les Mis. I’ve said it before, but there’s always something clever and unexpected in your posts. And I like falling down the rabbit holes of your mind with you. I love that piece on our Summer 1994. Captures your mood and connection with the book so nicely. We read Les Mis in middle school. It was the abridged version, but I remember retreating into a quiet back room to finish it and crying my eyes out over the beautiful tragedies of life – as I understood them at the time. Years later, I picked up the fat version at a used book store and read that and then really, truly understood. My husband and I take turns reading that book. It’s his turn now. And when it’s his turn, I’m always jealous. 🙂 Thank you for sharing yourself! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi L, and we have more in common – I also first read the abridged version in school – before I dove into the fat version (ha – nice wording). And I could not shut up about the book when I read it in school – 🙂 – then later, When my hubs and I were newly married – he came walking out with the Lew Mis – he was about 60 pages in – and I asked, “What are ya doing?” He said he wanted to read the book that was “my favorite” – and When he was done – he said it was his favorite. It still is. However, we don’t read it regularly like you and your hubs. How cool that you guys go back and forth reading this at different times. I do sometimes skim the online version – but my “TBR” pile is high… and well – I might just dive in this april – keep you posted

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 How romantic! If you want to know a person, read the books they read! And ooh! Piles of books! I would love to hear you reviews. Someone recently suggested Overstory to me. A book where the stories of people intertwine with the stories of trees. Pretty excited about that one…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Overstory sounds amazing. But I actually hardly ever read fiction books (that might change for me) – well i dod read snippets from “literature textbooks” and then I follow some bloggers – but right now I am reading about the Chinese Medicine and meridians in the body – and how the tongue can show inside body ailments similar to the way reflexology can. I have a stack of health books waiting for me – like Dr. Hoffer’s Niacin flushing for health, Kelly Brogan, Mark Hyman, and Bread Head. (To name a few) – and my appetizer reading right now is an old art book from 1972 – leave it on the dining room table and have tasty short reads when I can.
      and then of course – I fit in time to read good blog posts – cos I am the richer for it – and by the way – I kept getting logged out this week when i visited some blogs and so I will be back to check in soon

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Well see… the perfect pair. You can make me healthier and I can show you the perfect world in which to escape. lol. I did just finish The Last Season – about a forest ranger who goes missing and Winter World, about the ingenious ways animals survive bitter cold. I was having anxiety about all the creatures we’d see. Turns out they’re fine. I’m the one who’s helpless in the cold. Thank you!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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