The Joan Aiken Storytelling Machine

If I could have only one wish for Christmas, that would be to have a Joan Aiken Storytelling Machine. Not that it would be possible since Ms. Aiken is very much a human and is not made of levers, screws and gears. But she is just so damn good at spinning yarns that I long to read more of her work.

I have recently read Joan Aiken’s twelve-story collection, A Small Pinch of Weather, and I was hooked – maybe for life. A good storyteller is like a soulmate you love so much that you risked everything and married him/her, not that I’m married or planning to tie the knot in the near future so I don’t really know how that feels but you get the idea. Hehe

A Small Pinch of Weather

I bought the softbound edition when I saw it in the bargain bins of Booksale
(I just forgot the particular branch where I got it). At first, I wasn’t too keen on reading it because I wasn’t familiar with the author’s work. Then one day about a month ago, after the weather has gone bonkers yet again, taking heed from the book’s title, I decided to pick it up and enjoy it. And enjoy I did. My mama had a hard time making me go downstairs for lunch and dinner because I was too immersed in the stories (my room’s on the second floor with a fantastic view of our neighbor’s roofs, the banana fronds and the makeshift basketball court that the neighborhood kids use when they get off from school).

The book opens with the story about the local weather witch of Strathcloud, Miss Sophy Ross, who along with catering to the needs for rain, hail or storm, also sells wools and weather in an old shop which she had inherited from a long line of weather witches.

And the stories could only go more bizarre, magical and enjoyable in this twelve-story collection. Matilda Harrison’s accompanying illustrations do justice to the wonderful tales of The Boy Who Read Aloud, The Cost of Night, Smoke from Cromwell’s Time, The Serial Garden (my favorite which made me shed a few tears) and others. Why I haven’t found this author sooner is beyond me. But I’d surely take hold of her books from now on.

Image featured is the book cover scanned and edited in Adobe Photoshop using brushes downloaded from various internet sources Ā© Pachuvachuva, August 2010.

For the complete list of Joan Aiken’s works, click here.

I’m currently enjoying a brief hiatus from work owing to the local (Sept. 9 – Osmena Day in Cebu) and national (Sept. 10 – Eid ul-Fitr) holidays so until my next post. šŸ˜‰


9 thoughts on “The Joan Aiken Storytelling Machine

    • It’s an elusive dream, Jaysee, but thanks for the encouragement. Oi, btw, congrats sa pagkapili sa imong Mockingjay cover. I’m so proud of you. Tutorials nya ha. Hehehe šŸ˜€

    • Lol. Where did you get that idea man oi? Nah. Unya ra sa na. Daghan pa ko lain plans. So many things to do, so little time (and sometimes so little funds..hehe)
      But thanks for the kind words though. Greatly appreciated. ^_^

    • Hehe. Hope you get a copy soon. Ganda talaga, Bloo. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. šŸ™‚
      (I wanted to say I’ll try to find you a copy but I don’t want to fail on that promise so I’ll try to find one first before telling you about it. Hehe)

  1. Hi, so nice to come across this – I was lucky enough to have exactly what you imagined for many happy years – she was my Mum and practised stories on me and my brother – wonderful! I’ve made a website for her at with lots of nice stuff and a movie of her too. If you want to know what happens after The Serial Garden there’s a whole new story collection out now of that name for readers who found the story ending too sad – she just wanted to say sorry!I’d love to hear from you again, find me through the website – meanwhile good luck with your own storytelling!
    Lizza Aiken

    • Hi, Ms. Lizza! šŸ™‚

      It’s such a great honor to have the daughter of a prolific writer post a comment here. I’m just awed by your taking time to browse through the blog. And yes, I enjoyed your mum’s books tremendously. I cried at some parts, laughed at others and just was super happy with the whole thing. Too bad though it’s not that easy to get hold of books of that quality here. And dang the Philippine Customs for imposing levy on books. Now it’s much much harder to order books from abroad. I’ll let you know though if I have already read The Serial Garden. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it very much. Again, thank you so much. šŸ™‚

      P.S. I’m visited your site quite a few times already. Got addicted to layout. šŸ˜‰

Would love to hear from you. Please leave a reply. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s