This is more from the book Madeleine L'Engle, Herself, and it concerns one of my favorite literary characters of all time.
"Journals were not in vogue when I was a child. I kept a journal probably because Emily of New Moon kept a journal, not because I had any encouragement from my teachers or family. I also kept a journal because somebody gave me a pretty notebook. I used to love to go into stationery stores and look at the pretty notebooks, particularly when I was in France and saw the notebooks with marbleized covers and little leather corners. You couldn't see a notebook like that and not want to write in it."
The Emily she speaks of - she is nearly as real to me as any childhood friend I ever had. This passage, from the second chapter of the first of the three Emily books, is a glimpse into why that is. I know this girl. I think, often, that I was this girl.
Emily sat on the sofa with her eyes cast down, a slight, black, indomitable little figure. She folded her hands on her lap and crossed her ankles. They should see she had manners.
Ellen had retreated to the kitchen, thanking her stars that that was over. Emily did not like Ellen but she felt deserted when Ellen had gone. She was alone now before the bar of Murray opinion. She would have given anything to be out of the room. Yet in the back of her mind a design was forming of writing all about it in the old account-book. It would be interesting. She could describe them all--she knew she could. She had the very word for Aunt Ruth's eyes--"stone-grey." They were just like stones--as hard and cold and relentless. Then a pang tore through her heart. Father could never again read what she wrote in the account-book.
Still--she felt that she would rather like to write it all out. How could she best describe Aunt Laura's eyes? They were such beautiful eyes--just to call them "blue" meant nothing--hundreds of people had blue eyes--oh, she had it--"wells of blue"--that was the very thing.
And then the flash came!
It was the first time since the dreadful night when Ellen had met her on the doorstep. She had thought it could never come again--and now in this most unlikely place and time it had come--she had seen, with other eyes than those of sense, the wonderful world behind the veil. Courage and hope flooded her cold little soul like a wave of rosy light. She lifted her head and looked about her undauntedly--"brazenly" Aunt Ruth afterwards declared.