Book: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’ Engle
Posted by Jeremy Sorese
Another month, another deadline I missed. Thanks to everyone for being patient with me and apologies to Kali for sharing her posting day!
CHAPTER 6; The Happy Medium
Last month, we took a detour to visit the Happy Medium, a flighty air headed fortune teller living in a cave on a grey misty planet. Using her crystal ball, she showed our three heros the Darkness enveloping their beloved home planet Earth.
But there is hope in defeating this amorphous toxic black cloud. The Happy Medium shows our three heros how the Darkness is no match for a star. Everyone watches as a ball of burning gases rips the black cloud in two, dissolving it in the blackness of space. Comes to find out that Mrs. Whatsit, the quirky oddly dressed woman we met way back in Chapter 1 was once a star who sacrificed herself celestial body to thwart a portion of the darkness.
After a quick look at the Murry household using the crystal ball (and seeing a depressed and lonely Mrs. Murry falling asleep writing another letter to her missing husband) our crew depart from the Happy Medium and tesser to their next destination, Camazotz. At first glance, Camazotz is as ordinary as ordinary can get. Very Earth-like, even a little autumnal with some red leafed trees on the hill they tesser to. The three Witches are wary though and tell our heros that they cannot follow them any further. To aid them in finding Mr. Murry, the Witches gift the kids with small tokens such as advice and poems. Meg is even gifted “her own faults” which she is not happy about. Also, Mrs. Who gifts Meg her glasses, the oversized owl-like spectacles and Mrs. Who warns her to save them until absolutely necessary. And with that, they disappear.
At the bottom of the hill are the outskirts of Camazotz, a sprawling suburban neighborhood. The kids venture down off the hill and make their way into the city…
The trio take the ball to the front door of the home, knock and wait for a reply. Slowly the door opens just enough for the woman to peer through, her son barely visible in the darkness behind her. The doors of every home on the block slowly crack open for the nosy neighbors to listen in to the only noise audible for miles. The woman gets immediately defensive, claiming they haven’t had an “aberration” on their block for nearly three years and their paperwork is all in order and clearly her son could not have dropped that ball. The boy grabs his ball out of Charles Wallace’s hand and the door slams on their three faces.
The trio continue walking and slowly the square suburban homes change into cramped apartment buildings. Our trio of heros walk a long time before they see another soul on the street but the quiet is eventually broken by the sounds of a bicycle coming their way. On it is a boy no older than Calvin delivering newspapers, throwing paper after paper onto porch after porch in the same perfect arc. He gets defensive at the three out-of-towners because only the paper boys are authorized to be on the street at this time of night and clearly they should know that and doesn’t believe them when they tell him they haven’t had their papers processed yet. It doesn’t make sense to him that there would be any problem with paperwork because they are in the most efficient town on the whole planet.
The paper boy starts to get nervous around the foreigners, asking a lot of questions quickly about who they are and where they are from. Charles Wallace smartly asks if he is allowed to ask questions like that and the paperboy speeds off on his bike, embarrassed by his transgression.
Past the apartment buildings are skyscrapers in a more industrialized area, filled with adults in suits scurrying about ignoring the three children aimlessly wandering through the streets. They come across the largest building any of them had ever seen, as tall as the Empire State Building and nearly that wide. That must be the CENTRAL Central Intelligence and the three gawk in front of it as business men quickly enter and exit through a row of ominous doors. They decide they need to go in, Calvin has a compulsion about it, and nervously the three make their way to the entrance.
Thanks again for reading all of that (for those that read all of that)!
Moving to Chicago, Illinois and a new apartment and job hunting are not exactly the best working conditions for illustration work, but Chapter 5 is finally complete and I hope it was worth the wait!
A Wrinkle In Time
Chp. 5; The Tesseract
When we last left our heros, they had finally discovered where the Murry father had been this entire time, enveloped in a black amorphous thing shrouding a planet. The news of this for Meg, the fact that her father is not only alive but in immediate danger, is too much for her to handle and she begins to throw a fit. They have to go rescue her father and to get there, they will have to tesser, that concept no one will explain to Meg.
After Meg blows off some steam, a plan is set, to go forward and put an end to that black cloud and its dastardly ways. Our party tessers, an experience Meg still can’t put her finger on, the great gust of wind thrusting her into absolute nothingness. Except this time, there are complications. The trio of witches tesser our three earthen heros onto an actual two-dimensional planet that presses them flat and rips the oxygen from their lungs.
A quick correction saves our heros who travel to one more planet, a little unappealing rock in Orion’s belt, the air itself grey not with fog but something equally as opaque. As they walk through the grey, Meg bickers with Mrs. Which, the person responsible for almost getting them killed on the two dimensional planet. During the arguement, Mrs. Whatsit’s age is revealed as 2,379,152,497 years old making her the youngest of the three women.
Eventually they come upon the mouth of a cave and follow a flickering light at end of a rocky hallway. Inside is the Happy Medium, a joyous woman drapped in flowing mauve robes laughing at what she is watching in the crystal ball clutched in her hand. Introductions are made and Mrs. Whatsit explains to the Happy Medium that they wish to show the children “their home planet”. Instantly all the humor floods from the Happy Medium’s face at the prospect of having to look at something so troubling.
Reluctantly, the Happy Medium lowers her crystal ball and lets the three children peer into its surface. Inside, galaxies whiz by as their view draws nearer to the Earth. At first the Earth appears as Meg remembers from her Social Studies textbook but soon the malaise returns, that cloud of blackish smoke choking their planet. Its the same Dark Thing they saw from the peak on Uriel. The three ask what they can do to combat such a thing and Mrs. Whatsit explains that their planet has been fighting the good fight for quite sometime. People such as Bach and Ghadi and Beethoven and Madame Curie and Einstein have been combating the darkness for a long time and on Earth, a minor blip in the entirety of the universe for which the children should be proud.
Stay tuned next month for a new set of illustrations that will hopefully be on time! Thanks for your patience everyone!
This time last month, I was graduating from college and moving out of an apartment and because of all of that, rushed some really lackluster illustrations. This month, I’m on the cusp of moving again and instead of barreling through this month’s illustrations and giving you a schlocky batch of drawings, I’m going to take a few extra days and give you something worthwhile. Maybe this time next month, when I’m settled in my new apartment I’ll be able to post on time and with gusto! Thank you so so much for your understanding and patience and I’ll be back by the end of the week!
A WRINKLE IN TIME. CHP. 4
First off, let me apologize for being late! Not even pulling an all-nighter could get these pieces in on time!
Where we left off last month, Calvin and Meg were having a moment in the apple orchard interrupted by Charles Wallace, bringing along with him Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who. The third and final witch, a Mrs. Which is introduced as an amorphous floating orb which speaks strangely of the beginning of their quest.
Chapter 4 begins with Meg actually tesseracting, a horribly terrifying experience which is described as floating in nothingness, isolated and alone. Meg rematerializes partially when she arrives at her destination but is still invisible to her traveling companions, stuck in the limbo in between worlds. Gradually she shifts into reality and appraises her new location, a distant planet that smells like apple blossoms and is rich with song birds. The landscape is dominated by a towering behemoth of a mountain, so high in fact that the peak of the mountain is obscured by clouds.
Soon, the three witches arrive, the same arguementative and vague little creatures they always are. Mrs. Which is no longer a floating orb but is now a semi-realized human being, still see-through but now wearing a peaked witches’ hat and shouldering a broomstick. The three women explain that the children must be patient and take things seriously, even if they don’t always do the same. They explain they’ve arrived on Uriel, the third planet of the star Malak in the spiral nebula Messier 1o1 and this little detour is to help brace them for what they are up against. Its decided that the children must see for themselves with Mrs. Whatsit as their guide. In front of their very eyes, Meg, Calvin and Charles watch as Mrs. Whatsit morphs from a short squat elderly woman into strong broad-shouldered with biceps to spare Grecian centaur. With wings. And a winning smile.
They climb onto Mrs. Whatsit’s back (because she decides that just because her body changes, her name doens’t have to) and the winged beast zooms off for that mountain. On the way, they are given three flowers, picked by another creature who looks identical to Mrs. Whatsit. The flower is made up of thousands of little buds which, when breathed into, supplies the children with enough air as they climb into the thinning atmosphere.
At the peak of the mountain, the kids are greeted by a gorgeous ceiling of stars and one of Uriel’s moons, which is surprisingly close. Mrs. Whatsit is noticiably tense as they wait for the sun to completely set. She points out a dark spot on the horizon, a place where there is a total lack of stars. The dark spot seems to shimmer and shivers run along the spines of our characters, even Mrs. Whatsit in her magnificiantly muscled form. They leave the mountain and return to Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which in the field where they left them. Meg, unsteadily works her way off of Mrs. Whatsit’s back and while standing before the two other witches realizes that the shadow they saw, that horrible bleak blip on the horizon is where her Father has been all this time.
Thanks again for reading! And tune in next month as we learn how to tesser (its really easy, you should try it some time) and travel further along Orion’s Belt, drawing nearer to the black thing!
Mrs. Which Chapter 3
After the abrupt conversation with Mrs. Who, our three heros return to the Murry household for dinner. Back home, Mrs. Murry is preparing both a hearty stew and an elaborate science experiment in the lab connected to the side of their house. Sandy and Dennys are loudly building a tree fort in a maple tree in the yard. Calvin calls home to let his parents know he won’t be back for dinner but complains to Meg that he really didn’t need to on account of his huge family not really caring about one another. He describes his toothless mother with crazy hair and on the phone talks with his brother Hinky, and Meg realizes how lucky she is to have such a wonderful supportive family. Meg gives Calvin the tour of the home, looking at old photographs of her father standing at Cape Canaveral with his science buddies and afterwards the two of the them do math homework at the kitchen table. Surprisingly, Calvin finds out that Meg is a math genius, solving the most complicated of his math problems with strange shortcuts and cheats. Meg only has the reputation for being “stupid” because of her stubbornness, temper and her chicken scratch handwriting.
Over dinner, Sandy and Denny are obsessed with Calvin’s athletic record as he pounds bowl after bowl of stew. The twins retire to the den for television, Calvin brings Charles upstair to read him a bed time story while Meg and her mother hang around the kitchen. They reminisce over Mr. Murry and talk about Charles, how he’s something different, new, in tune with the world in a way no one else is.
Later, Meg and Calvin take a walk through the moonlit night, past the family’s vegetable garden, past the small apple orchard to a rock wall bordering the large woods they had passed through that afternoon. The two sit on the rock wall, Calvin finally getting some facts out of Meg on Mr. Murry. He’s a physicist, has NOT run off with another woman and there is no way he’s dead, Meg says, because her mother went down to Washington D.C. and they said that if they hear anything, they would let the Murry household know. In her stress, Meg finally starts to cry, nervous that maybe even the government doesn’t know where her father is. Calvin comforts her, trying feebly to let her know that without her glasses she has the most gorgeous eyes. The tender moment is interrupted by Charles Wallace, bounding through the forest followed by both Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who.
Mrs. Whatsit scrambles over the rock wall, only to have both the stolen sheet she was wearing and her pink stole get caught in a low hanging tree branch. Mrs. Who comes to the rescue, makes a snarky comment and the two start at one anther until out of the woods comes a circle of silver, speaking in a strange voice breaking up the two squabbling women. Our trio of heros are off to somewhere and Meg hopes that its find her father.
I’m so excited for next months illustration, A Wrinkle In Time is finally taking a turn away from woods and kitchens and off to planets unknown. First on the itinerary is Uriel, the third planet of the star Malak in the spiral nebula Messier 101. Trust me, that planet exists. Don’t worry.
Posted by: Jeremy Sorese
Book: A Wrinkle in Time (purchase on Amazon)
If you remember where I left off last month, the Murry household had been visited by a strange little woman named Mrs. Whatsit during the middle of a terrible stormy night. As she left, Mrs. Whatsit spoke of a tesseract which shocked Mrs. Murry and a confused Meg went to bed without a clue as to what a tesseract is or why her mother was so shaken by hearing the word.
The next morning, Meg awoke to realize that their nocturnal visitor was in fact real and not a dream as she hoped. Her two brothers Sandy and Denny complain that they weren’t woken up for all the excitement and after a breakfast of french toast, the Murry children head off to school. In class, Meg is distracted and tired, cannot remember the principal exports of Nicaragua and is sent to the office for talking back to her teacher. Even worse, the principal tries prying Meg for information regarding her father, especially now that it has been almost a year since the Murry household has heard from him.
A bitter and embarrassed Meg returns home, to find Charles waiting for her, eager to take a stroll through the woods with his older sister and their dog Fortinbras. Charles has even predicted her hunger and packed an afternoon snack for her. In the woods they stumble upon Calvin O’Keefe, a tall gangly kid who plays basketball at Meg’s school. Charles gives him the third degree, curious as to why he is wandering through the woods by himself and Calvin explains that he has “compulsions” (see second illustration I posted last month). Charles decides the three of them should visit Mrs. Whatsit who lives in a little rickety little shack with a reputation of being haunted. Inside is not Mrs. Whatsit but Mrs. Who, which is what I illustrated above. The conversation with the short squat woman is quick and even more confusing for Meg than the encounter with Mrs. Whatsit. Kicked out of the shack, the three kids decide to go back to the Murry household for dinner.
“Lead on, moron,”Calvin cried gaily. “I’ve never even seen your house, and I have the funniest feeling that for the first time in my life I’m going home!”
Posted by: Jeremy Sorese
Book: A Wrinkle in Time (purchase on Amazon)
Mrs. Whatsit Chapter 1
For those that haven’t read A Wrinkle In Time, the story centers around the Murry family, specifically Meg Murry and her youngest sibling Charles Wallace. Meg is a awkward pubescent high school girl with a fiery temper, terrible grades and braces to boot. Charles is the baby of the family, an extremely bright boy but outside the company of his family, is silent. Most people assume he’s a little slow causing Meg to defend her brother in countless fist fights. The Murry household is rounded out by Sandy and Dennys, the middle siblings, their dog Fortinbras and their mother, a brilliant scientist. Their father is also a scientist but has been missing for months, supposedly on a business trip doing who knows what somewhere in the universe.
The novel opens on a dark and stormy night and Meg cannot sleep while a terrible hurricane whips the sides of her attic bedroom. This compounded with a terrible week at school and a scuffle with a dumb boy that afternoon, Meg is convinced the world is out to get her. Going down to the kitchen for a midnight snack, she finds Charles who predicted her plan and has already started to simmer milk on the stove for her. Charles has a way about him, he always seems to know exactly whats bothering Meg, whatever it may be. The two kids are soon joined by their mother who is also restless and hungry. In the middle of the sandwiches and hot chocolate, Fortinbras starts to bark. When Mrs. Murry goes to investigate what could possibly be out and about on a night like tonight, she brings back a person bundled tightly in layers of clothing. Meg is convinced its the tramp she heard about at the post office, come to her house to murder her whole family. Actually its Mrs. Whatstit, a small elderly woman whom Charles had met in the woods a few days before. Her boots are filled with water and Mrs. Murry helps to remove them to dry them out, (as seen above). As Mrs. Whatsit leaves, she turns to Mrs. Murry and says, with no prompting, that tesseracts do exist. Mrs. Murry is shaken, the color draining from her face as the squat woman heads back out into the storm.
The door slammed.
” Mother, what’s the matter!” Meg cried. “What did she say?” What is it?”
“The tesseract -” Mrs. Murry whispered. “What did she mean? How could she have known?”
Stayed tuned for next months installment! Thanks again for watching!
P.S. I did a test image way back in December that I posted over in my blog back when this little gig got started. For those that haven’t seen it, I’ll post it again here. And for those following along in your own copies of A Wrinkle In Time, this picture is from page 37.