I read Sense and Sensibility in high school when I had just discovered Jane Austin and couldn’t get enough of her writing. That was many decades ago. Since then, I have watched the 1995 movie version several times. I think that I have a good excuse for not noticing then the differences between book and movie. Now I am listening to an unabridged version and had a bit of a shock when certain characters were introduced. Continue reading “No Lines for You!”
Just finishing up listening to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (If you haven’t read this and you love Romance, please do yourself a favor and read or listen to it unabridged) and sat in on a group of Regency writers who discussed the choices women had in the days of balls and social strictures. Women in the Regency era had few avenues to take to independence. Pride and Prejudice certainly touches a lot of points where things have gone terribly wrong or where things worked out. Continue reading “No Wonder Lydia Bennet Eloped”
Apparently, all my life, I have been reading and listening to works by Jane Austen that are abridged. I read somewhere that the abridged books are best because Miss Austen tended to preach her fondest ideas which applied to her own time and would bore the modern reader. I have just discovered that this is not the case. I am listening to Pride and Prejudice, Unabridged, and discovering nuances that make the whole thing more well rounded.
I just finished listening to Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I’m sad because it was the last remaining Austen book that I had not read or listened to all the way through. Although I could re-read or listen to Sanditon as I don’t know it by heart yet. I loved the usual points about Jane’s writing, the humor and the confusion, the comic characters who don’t know their own reputations, much like Shakespeare created. But my favorite thing was the Satisfying Ending. (TM) Continue reading “Satisfying Endings”
An advantage to Facebook and Scribophile is the ability to play weird games that would be much less fun face to face. Imagine getting out lists of silly words, one for each letter of the alphabet and one for each month of the year, and having your friends at a party tell you what their porn star name would be, based on the month they were born and the first letter of their last name. Not enough alcohol in the world to make that funny.
I go through audio books like I go through something that doesn’t last very long but you really like it. As a result, I often listen to my discs again and again. Sadly I only own one Jane Austen book on CD, but it’s Pride and Prejudice so it’s good. I try to limit my listening to P&P to once every six months. Same with the first Outlander book on CD. Don’t want too much of a good thing. Continue reading “Now Entering Jane Austen Land!”
I had so much fun comparing modern heroes to Mr. Darcy that I thought it only fair to come back and give the ladies a turn. I don’t know that Elizabeth Bennet is the ideal Regency era character to compare modern characters to, but she will just have to do. Continue reading “Your Heroine Versus Elizabeth Bennet”
We know we shouldn’t compare our writing and skills to anyone else, we are only in competition with our self, improving how we write now from how we wrote a year ago. But I think it might be fun to compare a modern romance hero to the pattern card of Mr. FitzWilliam Darcy. Of course, you can do a comparison of your own ideal hero, but I will go with Darcy for argument’s sake. Continue reading “Your Hero Versus Darcy”
I’ve read quite a number of special Christmas romances set in the Regency period. My favorites have been Mary Balogh’s collection, and I looked for her new story every year. I don’t think that’s still happening, and I miss it. Even the short stories that appeared in anthologies would brighten the holiday for me. Checking the list on Amazon, there are a few that I seem to have missed, so I look forward to completing my collection.
Many people don’t think Christmas was more than a holy day in Regency England, and that was the key to the celebration. And what we think of as Christmas, with the tree, the decorations, the candles and all, came to fashion with the very dashing Prince Albert when he married the young Queen Victoria in 1840. (Although several notable persons of German origin did keep the customs before that) But there were many native traditions in England.
Oh, sure, the Puritans, bless their hearts, were against Christmas for the association with Roman Catholic ceremonies and the extravagant feasting and fooling around, sometimes in masks, the drinking, and the plays, and oh so many things to dislike. http://austenonly.com/2009/12/12/but-surely-christmas-in-england-didnt-exist-until-dickens-invented-it/ But the traditions simply went underground, they did not die out.
The Irish held on to the Yuletide customs as part of their struggle to keep their culture alive under occupation and suppression. The use of holly to decorate began long ago there, and remains a source of holiday cheer today. http://www.ireland-information.com/articles/irishchristmastraditions.htm
The Yule Log, the Decorations on a Tree, the Singing of Carols, all started long before the Victorians got involved. Pagans marked the Winter Solstice by bringing evergreens inside, bonfires were lit outside, and Saturnalia celebrations also used lots of evergreen plants. When Christianity bloomed in England, the holiday of Christmas and the same plants were given Christian significance. Except for mistletoe, because that nasty little parasite was druid through and through. The Church banned it until the early 19th century. http://austenonly.com/2009/12/14/jane-austen-and-christmas-decorating-the-georgian-home/
So back to Miss Austen, and how she celebrated. Her letters tell us more, but she did cover some traditions in the novels. And a book I must add to my collection is Jane Austen’s Christmas: The Festive Season in Georgian England. The back cover blub states “Miss Austen would have known elaborate house parties and fancy dress balls. The Mummers would surely have attended her home in Hampshire, as would the Waits, encouraging ‘good Christians’ to ‘awake’ on Christmas morning. She is also known to have enjoyed Christmas pudding, still then a fairly new dish, loved by the Georgian monarchy and copied by many families at the time.” http://www.janeausten.co.uk/jane-austens-christmas-the-festive-season-in-georgian-england/
So don we now our Regency apparel, dish up the Christmas pudding, http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1159/classic-christmas-pudding and ask Mary to sing a carol or two. I’ll be back on Sunday.
We in the United States live in a society where, as has often been pointed out, sex is bad and violence is thrilling. I am not one to blame shootings on movies, TV, or video games. The blame in shooting sprees belongs on our treatment for folks with mental health issues.
But I still have to be careful about who knows that I write erotic romance. Retirement is just around the corner, and I plan to avoid any trips on the way to the finish line. So I have this “friend” who published a Regency erotic Romance which is available from Amazon. I’ll put the link at the end of the blog.
My close, personal friends on Scribophile have revealed to me the fact that many who consider themselves writers do not share that with anyone. Not with parents or other families. Sometimes not with significant others. Not with coworkers. Not on social media.
That’s why there are cutesy names used by really intelligent writers there. You would not believe the angst we vent in the forums about not finding the right name, or someone else already writes under that name, or why can’t I use Jane Austen, she’s done with it?
Speaking of Jane Austin, and female writers of her time period, women just didn’t write novels. Page one in the Ladies Book of Unspoken and Unwritten Etiquette clearly stated, journals, okay; letters, of course; poems, maybe; a novel, are you insane?
Uncle Wiki has some great nuts and bolts details if you are interested in pseudonyms and the whys.
But in the modern world, you would think it not that necessary to have a writing name. Here’s how 8 famous writers (which appears to be fast and loose with the definition of famous) picked their names.
Thanks to the internet, we now have wonderful methods for generating a name of our very own. Here’s a nice one.
Maybe, just maybe, you are writing steampunk or Victorian romance or something like that. Well, here’s a generator for the Victorian in you.
And how could I resist this great name, Nom-de-plume-o-matic?
So, back to the fact that I could keep my job if I wrote blood and violence stories, but have to keep it hush hush if I should decide to do what my “friend” Roxanna Haley did and publish erotica. What a world, what a world. Here’s the link:
See you on Sunday.