January, Jane, Deadlines, and Tea!
What does a person do when they’ve forgotten their regular blog date? Why, they panic! And then they explain themselves properly to the oh-so-patient gentle reader! So, where has my mind gone, you might wonder?
Here’s my excuse…
As many of you know, I am a fantasy and science fiction author in addition to being an Austen Author. And in October of 2012 I’ve held a Kickstarter to help me raise funds to finish a brand new fantasy novel, my first major work in a decade, and the first book of a trilogy.
The book is Cobweb Bride (Book One of Death’s Cobwebs, to be followed by Book Two, Cobweb Empire, and Book Three, Cobweb Forest), an epic fantasy, history-flavored and with a large cast of characters–an intricate story with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.
In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….
While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father… Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…
And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.
As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…
And everyone is trying to stop her.
In terms of writing progress, I am doing very well, and should be done by the deadline. Currently the book stands at over 85,000 words. But of course, doing this kind of intense writing marathon means that my brain has been entirely sucked in and absorbed by this work!
In addition, there are real life circumstances, including another pending move. Yup, mom and I will be house-hunting like crazy in February, and expect to be moved in the spring when the snow goes away.
And then, of course, Pagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency is still delayed, and I know many of you are waiting for it anxiously, and believe me, so am I!
I hope to have news on on it in the next couple of weeks!
These days, as I am crunching away on the Cobweb Bride daily wordage, and getting nearer and nearer the end of the book and the deadline, I am of course keeping crazier and crazier hours, and consuming so much black tea!
Yes, tea, because in case you did not know it, I am an absolute tea fanatic, and my very first living memory as a baby back in Moscow, Russia, was a clear bottle with very weak black tea in it!
“No coffee, I thank you, for me–never take coffee.–A little tea if you please.”
– Emma, Jane Austen
So I do feel rather connected to Jane Austen, being such a diehard tea drinker. And now I am going to share a few fun tidbits to you from a very fun little book called Tea With Jane Austen by Kim Wilson.
- Did you know that breakfast at the Austen household consisted mostly of tea and toast?
- After tea arrived in Europe in the 1600s, it was declared by some physicians as a cure-all for all ills, a medicinal herb, and by others as a pernicious poison!
- Tea was free of charge at private balls, but was included as price of admission to concerts and assemblies.
- In Jane Austen’s time the price of tea ranged from six to twenty shillings a pound.
- All tea was bought in bulk and weighed out on apothecaries’s scales.
- At home, the Austens’ tea was kept under lock and key in the cupboard!
- An appreciation of fine tea was an indication of breeding and culture!
Well, I guess that makes me Her Majesty of Tea! Because I certainly do appreciate it, and enjoy a fine cup of Twinings (still my favorite brand).
But really, when you’re in a pinch, any black tea will do, because that’s what happens when you are a tea person (kind of like a cat person or a dog person, same idea), and the stuff flows through your veins!
Tea bags? Loose leaf? Fancy pyramid infusion?
How about an IV drip? I’ll take it any way I can!
*raising a very large mug and taking a sip!*