From Aldous Huxley to Missed Connections

The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley, illustrated by Sophie Blackall ★★★½

Mr. and Mrs. Crow, who have a nest in a cotton-wood tree in Pearblossom, haven’t had much luck so far when it comes to growing their family. Every time Mrs. Crow has laid an egg, it has disappeared before getting a chance to hatch. When, coming home early from her errands on day, Mrs. Crow catches the rattlesnake who lives at the bottom of the tree eating her latest egg, she tells her husband he must go and kill the snake. Mr. Crow isn’t sure this is a good idea, so he consults his friend Mr. Owl, who comes up with a brilliant plan to teach the snake a lesson he is likely never to forget. A fun and slightly wicked story by the author best known for Brave New World, this was Huxley’s only children’s story, which he wrote as a gift for his niece Olivia, who had moved to Pearblossom, California with her parents. Bright and cheerful illustrations by Sophie Blackall. (click on cover to view larger)

I discovered Blackall a couple of years ago via her blog, Missed Connections, in which she posts her wonderfully imaginative illustrated interpretations of real messages she finds on missed connections websites. I remember it felt quite serendipitous at the time, since I’d started a project to post the “missed connection of the week” as a way to find ideas for stories and was amazed to see where Blackall had gone with the idea. As she says on her blog: “Messages in bottles, smoke signals, letters written in the sand; the modern equivalents are the funny, sad, beautiful, hopeful, hopeless, poetic posts on Missed Connections websites. Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I’m trying to pin a few of them down.” As it happens, Missed Connections, the book is coming out in late September (guess who’ll be getting hold of that one?)


Hipster Chick Who Passed Gas
Monday, March 23, 2009
-m4w (Harlem)
Remember? Uptown ‘A’ train. Sunday at around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski’s Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I’d like to see you again. The flatulence wasn’t a turn-off.


Scrabble Tattoo on Roof
Monday, August 17, 2009
– m4w – (greenpoint)
asked myself why the letter ‘n’ all night long, then you were gone before i got a chance to ask. also, i saved you a piece of cake.
do you always sit in a circle of asian girls? and sit at the top of the stairs so everyone gets a crush on you when they get to the roof?

(click on the images to view the original posts)

8 thoughts on “From Aldous Huxley to Missed Connections

    • I guess I’ve been posting mostly on LT, and for some reason, I tend to have a hard time focusing on more than one thing at a time, so I just have to remember to post here and reach out a bit more too.

      I have another review coming up for a another children’s book that truly touched my heart.

  1. nice…..!!!!
    (longing seems to be quite ‘hot’ this new century)

    intriguing subject, isn’t it?
    i guess it’s all about letting go
    (wich is about the hardest thing to do)

    thnx for sharing this sweety!

    • You made me smile with your comment Marilou. As sad smile.
      “longing is hot”. :-)
      Maybe it’s a beginning of the century thing, when we tend to look back a lot?
      Or maybe we just live in a world which gives us plenty of reasons to long for someone, something?

      I agree it’s a most intriguing subject. And yes, letting go is important, but I wonder sometimes if it’s the solution every time?

      Glad you enjoyed it doll. xox

  2. I love Sophie Blackall…..your “examples” of her weird serendipity are so correct… I can relate to both….ahem

    Love this Blog……and wish i could live here…amongst the colours

    ;-}

  3. who needs sollutions? they only make our lives………..boring? =/
    no realy, i see longing as a source of energie, something that makes my clock tick, don’t know, just trying to get a hold of the essence of ‘it’ (the strugling and endurance and disappointments and frustrations) all, i guess…
    hate not being able to express myself in words, that’s what i like so much about art =D

    • Lou Reed’s A Perfect Day is playing right now. That song has always filled me with such longing and it’s an example of how that feeling can be made into an art form.
      Sometimes I almost wish I wasn’t quite so comfortable with words… might force me to express myself through my art more too…

      I always love getting your comments Marilou.

      xox i.

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