More about Howl? Sophie thought desperately. I have to blacken his name! Her mind was such a blank that for a second it actually seemed to her that Howl had no faults at all. How stupid! “Well, he’s fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,” she said. “Half the time I think he doesn’t care what happens to anyone as long as he’s all right–but then I find out how awfully kind he’s been to someone. Then I think he’s kind just when it suits him–only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don’t know, Your Majesty. He’s a mess.”
—     –Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle
“I think we ought to live happily ever after,“ and she thought he meant it. Sophie knew that living happily ever after with Howl would be a good deal more hair-raising than any storybook made it sound, though she was determined to try. "It should be hair-raising,” added Howl.
“And you’ll exploit me,” Sophie said.
“And then you’ll cut up all my suits to teach me.”
—  Howls Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
How to make butter-pie: A tutorial

Remember Leonie’s post from yesterday?

Rush-That-Speaks worked long and hard to reverse engineer a butter-pie, and was kind enough to share the recipe when asked.


There are three parts to a butter-pie. The outside is cold and solid, the inside is hot and runny, and of course there needs to be a barrier between them to keep the inside from melting the outside. This shell is the most complex part, because it needs to be something that can be filled with hot liquid and then sealed fairly easily, something that will keep its integrity, and something that still tastes good. I decided to go with caramel. The inside is toffee sauce, and the outer layer is ice cream.

For six servings of butter-pie you will need:

  • One pint of your ice cream of choice– in the book the flavors are described as buttery and fairly mild, so options include butter pecan, dulce de leche, praline, sweet cream, and vanilla; I would suggest not using caramel or caramel swirls to avoid too much flavor overlap with the shell.
  • About one and a half cups of toffee sauce. You can buy it or make your own. If you’re making your own, Nigella Lawson’s recipe is good, or, for a darker and more complex edge, I like this toffee beer sauce, heavy on the cream.
  • One standard muffin tin, non-stick if at all possible and very thoroughly greased.
  • One batch of caramel. You do need to make your own caramel for this, because it needs to be molded while warm. I like a fleur de sel caramel, because the saltiness deepens the flavors and cuts possible over-sweetness, but you can certainly use whatever caramel you like the best. A nice fleur de sel caramel is the one from Annie’s Eats.
  • Six individual serving bowls, preferably with fairly rounded bottoms.

Keep reading

There’s nothing magic about words,’ he said. ‘They just do things if you say them right. Look, if I say 'Pass the bread, please’ – no thanks, I didn’t mean it really – you give it to me.“ […] 'But,’ said
Gair, "if I just said nonsense, like – er – gobbledygook or something, then you wouldn’t give me the bread. And it’s the same with
everything else. You just have to say the right words.’
—  from Power of Three
Megan Whalen Turner on Diana Wynne Jones

Did you know that Diana got Megan Whalen Turner published? Learn the true story behind Megan’s first book, the story collection Instead of Three Wishes.

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“How do you know if something you’ve written is good or not?” my husband asked, and I said, “I suppose you send them to someone who writes the kind of thing you want to write and you ask.”

“So, whose writing do you admire?”

That was the fatal question.