Some time back I blogged about Rudyard Kipling's throne. Well, obviously, Rudy was not the only great writer to own such a convenience. Nor the only writer to own one of such imposing presence. The writer I visited most recently had a Shanks and Co. Ltd. toilet in her downstairs bathroom. This was in St. Andrews, Scotland, and I've probably given you enough clues to guess.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you . . . Jane Yolen's toilet.
And speaking of Jane Yolen . . .
The other day Marianne and I and our friends Gail and Rob spent an afternoon with Jane . She's a lovely person and we spent all that time talking. Most of what we said I shall not share with you. But she did drop one bit of information I thought newsworthy.
Jane has published 300 books! I hope you're impressed because I sure am. She's either just published her 300th book or is just about to. I forget which it is because I was so dazzled by the accomplishment, and by the discipline and focused productivity that went into it. That is a lot of work. Trust me.
Jane tried to downplay the accomplishment by pointing out that a lot of those books were picture books. But when I pointed out that a picture book page takes a lot more work than a novel page, she did admit that some of her picture books get rewritten literally dozens of time more often than do her novels.
In the face of which, I have no snappy little witticism with which to tie up this post. You must instead picture me standing by the side of the road, hat in hand, looking on respectfully as her parade of books passes by.
And on a personal note . . .
I'm writing and posting this late Friday night rather than waiting for morning because I'll be getting up early to make the traditional mad dash for the airport. Most of Saturday will be spent getting home. Sunday will be spent prone and exhausted. So my next blog will be on Monday. See you then!
Above: Did I get Jane's permission before posting a picture of her toilet on the Web? You bet I did!
However, had I realized at the time, I would have hired a cleaning lady and perhaps a painter and no doubt someone elegant to be squatting on the toilet or near it. But I love that toilet, part of the original Arts&Crafts house I have the privilege to own. Or rather to hold on to for as long as my books keep selling.
Jane's house is almost as charming as she is. If I can find the time later this week, I'll have a few complimentary words to say about it.
I can't look at that toilet without thinking it doubles as a manual typewriter. And perhaps it does.
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