Vox Hunt: Excerpt from One of My Favorites

Share a sentence from one of your favorite books.

I found I could not share only a sentence. There are just too many from which to choose. Instead, I offer passages I have reread many more times than I can count.

I like letters in books. Here are examples of two.

This first is an excerpt of a letter from a man to a woman, fellow poets, whose correspondence resulted in a brief physical relationship.


What a walk, in what a wind, never-to-be-forgotten. The clashing together of our umbrella-spines as we leaned to speak, and their hopeless tangling; the rush of air carrying our words away; the torn green leaves flying past, and on the brow of the hill the deer running and running against that labouring mounting mass of leaden cloud. Why do I tell you this, who saw it with me? To share the words too, as we shared the blast and the sudden silence when the wind briefly dropped. It was very much your world we walked in, your watery empire, with the meadows all drowned as the city of Is, and the trees all grown down from their roots as well as up—and the clouds swirling indifferently in both aerial and aquatic foliage...

Next week we shall walk again, shall we not, now it is very clear to you that I am no ogre, but only a mild and somewhat apprehensive gentleman?

And did you find—as I did—how curious, as well as very natural, it was that we should be so shy with each other, when in a papery way we knew each other so much better? I feel I have always known you, and yet I search for polite phrases and conventional enquiries—you are more mysterious in your presence (as I suppse most of us may be) than you seem to be in ink and scribbled symbols. (Perhaps we all are so. I cannot tell.)

...Let me know, if you are able, that you have received this first waiting-letter. Let me know how you are, and that we may meet again soon.

From Possession, by A. S. Byatt


This one is a letter from a man to the woman he could not have when they were both too young to overcome obstacles of the day regarding fortune and name. But they never forgot each other, and when they met years later, understood what they truly meant to each other.


I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in—

From Persuasion, by Jane Austen


Vox Hunt: The most useless thing on my desk

Show us the most useless thing on your desk.

Take your pick.

The container that came with a bottle of gin this winter, which is ostensibly on the desk to hold pens and pencils,


Kat's wind-up toy, which doesn't roll well because the wings are too heavy, along with two printer cartridges I haven't sent for recycling because they stopped including the little envelopes in the new packages,


Two Speed Racer cars, in honor of my first crush on a man, one of which makes screeching noises when you move it. 


Vox Hunt: On Writing

Book: Show us a book that has helped or inspired your writing.

Madeleine L'Engle is a Christian whom those on other paths can respect. She is truly a hero to me. Nearly all her books have inspired me, stories and meditations alike, but this one is specifically about creative energy, and it's a book I highly recommend to everyone I like.