Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."
The Incorrigible children actually were.
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her. But once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways?
Learn more about the series at http://booksandgames.com/incorrigible
— The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 3: The Unseen Guest
Now, I am often a busy person. As are you, no doubt. And much as I hate to contradict Agatha Swanburne, I have to point out that a busy mind is not invariably a cheerful mind. Sometimes our minds are busy because we are engaged in solving a Rubik’s cube, or three moves away from winning a chess tournament, or in the final stages of memorizing the title role of Hamlet just prior to making our West End debut. Worthy occupations all!
Yet there are other times that our minds are busy the way a hamster in a wheel is busy: running, running, running, yet not getting very much done in the way of productivity. Is the hamster cheerful? Perhaps, but a hamster is a tiny-brained rodent, and may have a different idea of cheerfulness than you or I do.
Anxious worry about the future, the ceaseless bell-toll of regret about the past, itchy dissatisfaction with the present: each of these attitudes can keep a mind whirling like a prima ballerina of the Russian National Ballet practicing her pirouettes. Yet none of these states could truly be called cheerful. Does that mean Agatha Swanburne was wrong? And if so, what accounts for the popularity of this particular saying? For, as is noted in The Unseen Guest (the third book in the Incorrigible Children series, out March 27th), “A busy mind is a cheerful mind” had been stitched onto more pillows than any other saying of Agatha Swanburne.
I would not go so far as to say the old gal was wrong. Keeping busy is an excellent cure for the doldrums. But the reason for this saying’s popularity among Swanburne girls may be simply this: it was one it was one of the wise lady’s shorter sayings, and let’s face it: when stitching words onto a pillow, less is definitely more.
Do you have a favorite saying that you’d like to see stitched on a pillow? If so, what is it?
See you on March 23, when the Incorrigible blog tour makes a stop at www.kidlitfrenzy.com. Please drop by and leave a comment!
Find the author at maryrosewood.com and follow her on Twitter @Maryrose_Wood. Mark your calendars for March 27 and make sure you catch up with The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place!
A note from Alethea:
I just *adore* The Incorrigible Children. Hanging out with them and their indefatigable Miss Lumley is always a howling good time, though even more enjoyable when tucked up on the sofa under some warm blankets with Maryrose's books, a cup of cocoa, and some biscuits within arm's reach. The ambiance could be further enhanced by having a few throw pillows embroidered with Agatha Swanburne's sayings to recline upon while you lie reading and comfortably ensconced on this heavenly sofa.
You could have all of this*!
*sofa, blankets, books, cocoa, and biscuits not included
If you comment below with your favorite Agatha Swanburne saying, I will embroider it on a pillow and mail it to you. YES! I so totally will.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
1. You must be 13 or older, or have the permission of a parent or guardian as you have to share some personal info with Rafflecopter.
2a. Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter, but ALSO leave a comment with your chosen Agatha Swanburne saying. You may take some time to research--flip open your book, or run down to your nearest library or bookstore. This contest is open until Monday, April 9, 2012, so you have lots of time.
2b. If you enter on the Rafflecopter but don't leave a comment, I will pick another winner. If the reverse is true, I won't be able to pick you anyway, as Rafflecopter won't know you entered.
3. US/Canada only. Sorry, I can't afford to mail pillows all over the world. I wish I could.
4. It will take me a week or two to finish your pillow, so if you win, don't expect it right away.