Margo Lanagan blog tour and contest.

Today’s post comes from Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels, a retelling of Snow White and Rose Red, which I reviewed last year and which was a Printz Honor book. Tender Morsels is now out in paperback. Be sure to read all the way to the end so you can find out how you can win a copy!

One of the beauties of blog touring is being pointed to new blogs. Go over there and make merry, says Kathy of Random House, and off I go and explore Kari’s blog here, read all about her, and soon she’s set off enough sparks for me to feel less like an interloper and more like someone jumping up and down in Kari’s peripheral vision, saying “Me too, me too!”

So, here are three things I want to chime in with.

First thing. Like Kari, I’m not a big jewellery gal. But I resolved a few years ago that I would buy myself a ring, which I would wear all the time on my right-hand ring finger to remind myself to look after myself and to treat myself well. So I’ve been mildly on the lookout for the right ring for a while now.

Well, reader, I found it: Here it is. It’s not the splashiest ring in the world, but it says the right things to me; also, with the leaves, it’s even more appropriate for the author of a forest-y book like Tender Morsels to wear, no?

I have it now, and I wear it every day, and it does its job wonderfully well. Only problem? My arms are not long enough. If I want to actually see the leaves, I have to put my reading-glasses on. So sometimes the general emanations from this ring, although gleaming and cheering, are distinctly fuzzy.

Second thing. I think stuffing things with paper airplanes is a grand and noble endeavour. I like the way people will do this kind of thing for our own amusement, will go to the bother of turning an in-joke into a tiny monument to the power of joking itself. I can’t imagine anyone who knew this story looking at that lantern-with-airplanes and not wanting to laugh.

Third thing. Rootling around on Kari’s blog, I found this:“But waiting for birth, waiting for death—these are lightning times when the normal distractions of life have lost their power to take us away from—“ well, being a long-lapsed Catholic I probably wouldn’t quite phrase it Kari’s way and say “from God’s call to center in Christ”, but I’d certainly say “from elemental things”.

I remember when all our friends were having babies, how when you heard the news that someone was in labour, the whole world seemed to turn soft, different, poised, holding its breath, ready to change shape to accommodate the new baby. I remember when our boys were born, how the room seemed suddenly crammed full of their themness. The air seemed to change as they arrived, and it was more than just relief that they were here and whole, and that the labouring was almost over. It was the sort of experience when suddenly those Bible stories make sense, the ones about the Spirit of God arriving and, for example, hovering over everyone’s heads as tongues of fire.

Last week in Wellington, New Zealand, I visited the house where the writer Katherine Mansfield was born. I stood in the Birth Room, with the sound from the video documentary in the room next door booming through the wall. I didn’t get the hairs rising on the back of my neck or anything, but I had the equipment now (as I didn’t have when I first read Katherine Mansfield) to imagine baby Katherine’s arrival in this room, that weird mix of domestic mess and sacredness that hangs about a birth. This was the space that her new self (not even named Katherine yet) rushed out and first filled.

Nothing’s just wood, is it? Nothing’s just ceiling-boards and wallpaper. Nothing’s just a bit of metal or some paper planes stuffed into a lamp. Not when there’s a human mind around, ready to read meaning into it, ready to imagine the people around its creation, and wonder about them.

Many thanks to Margo for starting her tour here. Here are the rest of her tour dates and blogs:

Tuesday, March 23rd: Steph Su Reads
Wednesday, March 24th: Bildungsroman
Thursday, March 25th: Cynsations
Friday, March 26th: The Story Siren
Saturday, March 27th: Shaken & Stirred

I have three copies of Tender Morsels available. To enter to win, please tell me in the comments what your favorite fairy tale retelling is OR what story you would like to see retold. (I love retellings of classic tales, so I am always looking for more suggestions. One of my favorites is Beauty by Robin McKinley.) You can also tweet about the contest or post a link on your blog for extra entries – indicate those in the comments and I will get you entered more than once. Tender Morsels is a gorgeous book, and I would love to get it in the hands of more people who are interested!

ETA: Forgot to put a deadline on the contest! D’oh! Entries will close on April 3rd at midnight.

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  1. By uberVU - social comments on 3/22/2010 at

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by margolanagan: This week I’m blog touring! First up, I muse over at Through A Glass Darkly:

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charles Tan, Random House Kids, AurealisXpress, Andrea Svendsen, thestorysiren and others. thestorysiren said: RT @randomhousekids: Printz-Honor winner Margo Lanagan is doing a blog tour! Here's her 1st stop […]