Author Archives: Jennifer Petkus

The high cost of being cheap

The high cost of being cheap

I am frugal (cheap), but like many frugal (cheap) people I’m not always aware of the high cost of being frugal (cheap). For instance, it didn’t occur to me until too late that cobbling together a dust extraction system for my workshop using bathroom exhaust fans and dryer hose is ultimately a lot more expensive… more goodness …

Truth stranger than fiction? Nah! Well, maybe

Truth stranger than fiction? Nah! Well, maybe

Truth is stranger than fiction, they say, which I’ve never believed. After all, liars—or fiction authors—are unconstrained by the impossible. We can make up anything we want and get away with it (especially science fiction authors). In the real world, however, there are limits that liars—or authors—must adhere to should they want a story to… more goodness …

The sound of Austen

The sound of Austen

I wonder what Jane Austen sounds like, and by that I don’t mean just what her voice sounded like, but the entirety of her world. As I sit here and write I can hear the hum of the refrigerator and the high-pitched whine of the space heater when I crank it to eleven, competing with… more goodness …

The best laid plans

The best laid plans

NOTE: Today only, you can download for free my latest book, Narrowboating for Beginners, as a Kindle book. Any reviews would be greatly appreciated. Ah, the best-laid plans go awry after your dog tears his ACL. After the drama of my cat Rocky having exploratory surgery that confirmed he only has inflammatory bowel disease and… more goodness …

Life gets in the way

Life gets in the way

I sometimes wonder if Jane Austen ever woke in the middle of the night, struck by some great idea for a mystery novel: An elderly spinster who solves crime! A French—no let’s make him Belgian—sleuth who’s a bit of a dandy, who speaks a delightfully fractured English! Or a brilliant misogynistic police detective—no, let’s make… more goodness …

Great Scott: the difficulties of reading one of Austen’s favorite authors

Great Scott: the difficulties of reading one of Austen’s favorite authors

I recently started reading Waverley, Sir Walter Scott’s novel that many consider the first historical novel. I am sad to say that it’s a difficult read, despite Jane Austen’s admiration of Scott. Jane wrote: Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. It is not fair. He has fame and profit enough… more goodness …

More Borrowing Historical Figures for Jane Austen Fan Fiction

More Borrowing Historical Figures for Jane Austen Fan Fiction

Even great authors fail to anticipate future needs. P.G. Wodehouse, for instance, later bemoaned the fact that he put Blandings Castle in Shropshire because it meant characters couldn’t toddle off to London and be back on the same day, thus slowing the plot. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle obviously didn’t think his list of Sherlock… more goodness …