It’s with very mixed feelings that I’m posting this, my last Austen Author’s blog. As you know, I’m a woman of very many interests, and simply not enough time to do them all. I wish I had clones, so I could keep everything going, but I don’t, and with a limited number of hours in a day, it’s time for me to give AuAu’s up to focus elsewhere.
I want to thank all the amazing and talented writers I’ve come to have known here. They have been a tremendous resource for me. They’ve answered my newbie questions and made invaluable suggestions that have helped me develop as a writer. Through them I’ve found new ideas and developed different points of view.
These wonderful women (and Jack) have also helped make things comfortable in a sometimes awkward world. Jane Austen based fiction is never going to have the same kind of respect as traditional novels, despite the generally excellent quality of the writing. By coming together, this site formed a safety net, protecting me from feeling alone and weird in the big, bad publishing world.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who reads and comments on Austen Authors. Our readers are so supportive and generous. I think my favorite part of this community is the openness, sharing and affection between readers and writers. It’s a wonderful time to be a writer because of the huge amount of interaction that is possible with our readers through blogs, facebook and twitter. In my time here, I’ve gotten to know so many of you and it’s been an enriching experiences.
So, that’s my well wishes to all of you: May you all have wonderful stories to read, write and share! Thank you for this wonderful experience.
I’m going to be quick here (or as quick as I can be) because we’re living tomorrow for vacation. For most people vacation means taking it easy and not working, but when you’re a mom, it often doesn’t quite happen that way. So for me, there is currently packing, laundry, shopping, more packing, and extensive planning. Did I mention the packing? Then I kick things off with an 8 hour drive through the night, complete with pulling a trailer. Whooo-hoo! If you’re thinking this sounds crazy, you’re not wrong.
But it’s worth it, at least for me. Once we get there and get set up, then fun begins. Parties, shopping, taking classes, watching battles and visiting friends become the order of the day and it’s all good.
If it seems like I’m being a little vague, and possibly a bit evasive, it’s probably because I am. My vacation is also the setting for my next book, and sharing it cuts a little close to the bone for comfort. As many of you know (but many don’t) I’m going on a two week trip to the Middle Ages.
For many years, my family and friends have been going to the Pennsic Wars, a medieval recreation event that takes place every August in Western Pennsylvania. It sounds weird, and it is, but over 10,000 people attend every year and camp and fight and cook and generally have a great time. Pennsic is also the setting of my next book, Longbourn & Pemberley Go To War, which is a modern day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Continue reading
I was going to post about Canada Day and my mixed marriage, but something else came up that pushed me in a different direction. And since Neil Gaiman (my hero) said
“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”
So, I have to blog follow my blogging heart. I was saddened to hear of the death of writer Nora Ephron last week at age 71. Ephron was of my mom’s generation and I have to admit just that fact is enough to (positively) color my thoughts about her. But she was also brilliant writer who had the gift of expressing the truth of life, love and relationships in modern culture. (And that’s what ties her to Austen in my mind, in case you were wondering) As any writer can tell you, one of the hardest parts of the job is keeping your fiction ‘real’- the dialog, the interactions, the behaviors, they all have to be believable. Trying to mimic life is much harder than it sounds.
And that was what I admired in Ephron: her ability to make ‘true love’ seem like something that could truly happen. Continue reading
I hope you’re all doing well. I’m pleased to announce that I have my new computer, The Beast and its transition has gone very well. It’s wonderful having a huge screen to work with, as well as not having to worry about memory space. So far the only problems have come from my sons wanting to use it to play Diablo and Civilization V.
As I type, the E3 conference is going on, and its something my whole family watches. E3 is the biggest video game industry trade show, and it’s when all the new games and equipment get announced, discussed and evaluated. My son Nikolai’s a first person shooter fan, so he’s very excited about the new Resident Evil game, where as Alexei is jazzed about the new Assassin’s Creed. (I’m interested in that one too) Me? I’m all about the Role Playing Games, so I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more on the new Elder Scrolls explanation and Dragon Age 3!
By now you’re probably wondering how this is relevant. Fair question. My answer is that video games have come a long, long way over the years, and now the best of them are more than just a game but a form of story telling. There is plot, character motivations and interactions, background story, and especially character growth- all things you would find in a novel. At this point, video games can (and do) fill a nitch between movies and books, and that’s relevant. Continue reading
Well, the stress of figuring out what College we’re sending my oldest to is finally over (We went with RIT) and I can get on to other topics. Hoorah! So let’s talk about some old and new things.
I remember this. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I recently found myself rediscovering fan fiction. And, in the interest of honesty, I have to say not specifically Jane Austen fan fiction. What I had forgotten is that while there is some really dreadful (and sometimes accidentally funny) work out there, there’s also a fair amount of gems; Stories with great characterization or plot twists. I’m rediscovering the fun of reading 18 different stories simultaneously. (Okay, ‘fun’ might not be the right word, but you get what I mean.) And stalking for updates- Wee! It’s all stuff I’ve done before, but not recently, and I am surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying it.
It’s a Beast! I said this post was about old and new. Here’s the new: what does every cool mom/writer need? Yes, a new computer! I’m very happy and a bit nervous. (Story of my life) The new computer, which is named The Beast, is an AsusG75VW-AS71. What does that mean? It means it’s a big laptop (17″) with a huge hard drive (750 GB) and a vast amount of ram (16G!) and a smoking graphics card (Nvidia 660). According to the people who know (my husband and sons) these are all excellent things. Do I need such a beast for writing? No, I don’t. Nope. Not even a little bit. Got to be honest here. But for gaming, oh honey! And is Diablo III coming out on Tuesday? Why, yes, yes it is. Funny that. Continue reading