Mals86 of The Muse in Wooden Shoes is perfume blogging’s Pioneer Woman. Mals writes from her beef cattle farm in very rural southwest Virginia, where her access to perfumes is just a little bit limited (she has to drive an hour to reach a mall with both a Belk’s and a Macy’s). Not only does The Muse in Wooden Shoes provide an utterly unique perspective (where else are you going to read about perfume and farming in the same paragraph?), Mals’ writing is also terrifically droll and engaging. Today Mals shares a tantalizing peek at her newly written novel and lets us city slickers know what country smells we’re missing out on.
Oh, gosh, the novel… it’s hard to talk about. It’s like it’s my baby, and it hasn’t quite got its party manners yet, and I just want everybody to be nice to it, and yet I’m not sure it deserves that at this stage. But briefly,Bright as Day concerns a girl named Meredith, a driven college student who struggles with social anxiety. She shines at academics, but instead of making headway on her degree over the summer break she’s pushed into going home when her internship falls through, too late to find another one. At home and bored and frustrated, she decides to push her personal development in another direction. She does realize that becoming familiar with new situations seems to help her deal with them, and after several years of shunning boy-girl interaction (and makeup and perfume and clothes and other “girly” things), makes up her mind to explore this facet of life new to her, with the help of her childhood friend Day.
What is your favorite place to shop for perfume?
Interests outside of perfume include marathon novel-reading, writing about whatever’s on my mind, and singing in my local community chorus. I love to cook, but I live with a couple of mildly-picky people, one fairly-picky person, and one insanely picky person*, so of necessity my cooking repertoire is somewhat more limited than I’d like. I used to cross-stitch and crochet, but incipient carpal tunnel syndrome has nixed those hobbies. I don’t watch a lot of TV, although I have recently discovered reruns of The Big Bang Theory. And I just freaking LOVE marching bands.
* There was a period in my youngest son’s life during which he lived on only milk, red food and chicken nuggets. He’s better about trying new things now, but not that much better. I can forget about trying to cook that recipe for scallops in coconut milk.
What perfumes are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree/Menorah branches this year?
Perfumes I’d like to find under the Christmas tree? Well, assuming that some magic philanthropist sneaks into my house in the middle of the night to leave me fragrance (it certainly won’t be The CEO), I’ll put in an order for a full bottle of Iris Poudre and/or Guerlain Vega. But maybe I’d trade them both for a bottle of Carnal Flower. However, there won’t be any. (We don’t really do Santa at my house – not that we’re opposed philosophically, but we prefer to not give credit for gifts to some imaginary dude in velvet pants.)
Alas, The CEO and I need a new bed. The antique rope bed that my grandmother had had refinished and retrofitted with siderails in the late 1940s, the one that I’ve owned since I was twelve? Well, those siderails are starting to crack. And because the metal fittings that hook the rails onto the head- and footboard were specially made, I can’t use a standard set of rails or a standard bedframe with my bed. We could probably find someone to make us new rails, but in the meantime we’d have to put the mattress on the floor – ergo, it’ll be a new bed and no new smellies for me this year. Update: we just found a guy who’s willing to make new rails for us. That’ll be in January.
You didn’t ask, but I have both a cat and a dog. The cat is 18 years old. Her name is Silvia, after a character in a Scott Turow novel, and she is The Queen. The dog is 7 and a half; her name is Hayley and she’s a beagle-lab mix, a rescue dog that is so! happy! to be here! (wag wag, bark of affirmation) I would have included a picture of all three of us together, but Silvia refuses to acknowledge that Hayley exists, so I didn’t even bother to request a photo op. Besides which, neither of them seem interested in fragrance at all. Silvia has arthritis, but she can still hop off the couch and zip into the kitchen in under 3.2 seconds when the molecules of tuna scent the air. Hayley loves to go out into the pasture and roll in things better not discussed here, and she has the annoying habit of stealing and hoarding dirty socks, especially The CEO’s because he is her Favorite! Person! in the WORLD! (wag wag, bark of affirmation).