Sunday, July 31, 2011

Julia Danford

Emmy loved her cousin Julia Danford. She was the type of cousin any girl would want to have she was the kind of cousin that every girl wanted. She was a year older so she had more worldly experience then Emmy but still loved to escape into the woods and play fantasy. Emmy held these times as her most dear because here she could be herself with out being criticized by her sister or being laughed at her mother for being too young. When Emmy heard Julia was coming back she got together their adventure kit they put together.

At the moment Julia Danford was sitting in the bay window of the front parlor looking down Commonwealth waiting anxiously for Howard Staurt’s new automobile to be in sight. She had waited two days for this sight ever since he wrote promising he was coming into town. Her mother saw the anxious look her carried and noticed the way her daughter was paying no mind to her needle work. And Victoria Danford noticed more and more that since Julia turned seventeen and her debutante ball that had no mind for anything but suitors.

Victoria remembered what it was like to be a young girl and she had suitors but none would do once she met Charles Danford. They were the talk of all Boston being a very handsome couple both in looks and in

prosperity. Victoria looking at her daughter saw much the beauty of herself in Julia and hoped that Julia would on day find the love of her life.

“Julia, why don’t you go for a walk?It is one of the best days we have had all season, some fresh air will do you good.”

“No thank you,” she said dismissing her mother but not really hearing a word she said.

“A man should not for you to being cooped up all day. Show him that you have a life besides him.”

“But Howard told me he would come. He promised me.”

“I know dear.”

“If father wasn’t taking us all to the country for the season I could spend as much time as I liked with Howard Staurt or his brother.”

“His brother?” Victoria asked but Julia hardly heard her.

In Julia’s mind both of the Staurt boys were equally handsome and rich and both would be suitable for

her. Julia looked at herself and know she wouldn’t be any more beautiful than she was right then and she used it to her advantage and took to any caller. All of them gave her some excitement to be admired by a mam. She knew one day she would get married and settled down but for now she saw living freely as completely delightful.

Her mother knowing these thoughts found it good to take her daughter away into the country for the summer. The summer would be crazy season and Victoria felt that if Julia spent the summer in Boston that her reputation would be ruined as an outrageous flirt before she even had the chance to establish herself in good society. A good family name could only carry her so far she thought and worried that no proper man would want Julia if she was known for changing men as often as she changed a dress. Victoria grew up in a society where a woman’s modesty was sought after. A suitor would never come to her home unless they had intentions she only had one suitor before she met the love of her life in Charles Danford. The world had seemed completely to Victoria now with daughter going through one or two suitors a month. To Victoria this seemed no way for her to meet a sensible man who came with the purest intentions. Any man of such standings would think Julia was easily charmed and would be scared to approach her. Victoria had strongly wished they had put off Julia’s presentation into society another year and in that time she would be given proper training in courting behaviors. Victoria had been sent to a school the year before her presentation and when she came out every one agreed that her temper was as sweet as her looks. But Charles blinded by Julia’s sweet smile gave into her wishes.

“Of course Charles didn’t have to deal with the preparations it took to present a daughter and what it meant to have a girl out in society,” Victoria thought “Charles just had to get Nick fitted into a few suits and a tuxedo.”

Now Julia needed ball gowns and she couldn’t be expected to wear the same gown twice. She also need tea dresses for all the functions society now demanded she attend. It also meant Victoria’s social schedule would be dictated by Julia’s outings. Julia always had to have an escort. But the worst part for Victoria was seeing Julia’s behavior to young men. A few days ago her son Nick had called Julia free spirited, if that was free spirited Victoria thought a spirit should be more locked up.

“All Charles had to deal with was signing a check for his daughter’s latest purchases which was followed by glass of scotch and a slight headache,” Victoria thought as she watched Julia stare out the window.

“I don’t understand you,” Charles said a about a week ago “You want Julia to meet a nice man and you

want to take her away to the country.”

“I want her to meet type of man,” Victoria said the husband. “If Julia stays in the city for the season I feel she will ruin herself in society eyes.”

“And what will Pine Haven do? The best society they have is the Melbournes hardly anyone I would allow to court my daughter.”

“I am not looking to match her up. Perhaps delay the process. She is only seventeen years old and I see her losing herself to finding a suitor. Its been weeks since she painted anything and she loves to paint. And all she talks about are boys, she can gossip about them for hours with the her lonely friends.”

“Her friends come from the best families in Boston as you designed.”

“Well they have all changed now that they are in society. Its the oddest thing. But perhaps,” Victoria’s tone changed into a tone Charles knew very well, it was a tone told him Victoria had something up her sleeve. “If Nick comes with us and brings a nice suitable match for Julia and alone in the country they happen to hit it off.”

Charles didn’t pay much attention to his children but knew well enough that Nick had earned quite a reputation for being a man about town. And knew that Nick’s friends were unlikely to be suitable to Julia as they were the same. He brought up this up to Victoria but she dismissed it.

“What about that Foster boy. He would be all right. He has proved himself to be a fine gentleman and he is making his way steadfast through your firm.”

“Indeed but I think our Julia would find him a complete dull.”

“In the country that might change. After all like you said there will be no one around.”

“Doubtful, but we will go and I will invite Ethan Foster tomorrow. But darling I think the only thing Julia will do is moan for society here.”

While Julia initially threw a fit that they were going away, Victoria still hoped a summer away would bring a change in her daughter’s mindset. Now seeing Julia waste her time pining for a man she hardly cared for made her think she had decided wisely.

Eventually Howard did come and Julia was overjoyed. She carried on all evening about his automobile and how she wished she would be staying in Boston so she could take long sunset drives around the city and show it off with him. But her father hardly noticed her ravings and her mother didn’t budge her opinion.

“Oh mother what am I suppose to do all summer knit with Laurel while she goes on for hours about women’s rights and that Cady Stanton woman. Or play those childish games with Emmy who spends most her time imagining adventures that never happen.”

“You used to be joined at the hip with Emmy. You guys had your own little club on top of that rock.”

“Times change. She is a child.”

“She is a year younger. Things do change she might be different.”

“She hasn’t changed. She writes me the stories she makes up and when I share them with my friends they got such a laugh.”

“That is harsh Julia.”

“That is the world we live in. The society you want Nick and I to live in.”

Victoria was happy Charles was not in the room to hear Julia’s harsh words. For it hurt her heart to know that her daughter spoke so cruelly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes

The title comes from one of my favorite Disney cartoons Cinderella but this little free write comes from my office's quote of the week.

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
-Leon J. Suenes.

When I read this I thought...What are my dreams?
The dream I am pursing right now is getting my Masters in Library Science and Masters in History. I guess physically the government is paying for it but I will be paying them back soon. But I guess in some ways I am paying for it. At least my body and brain are. Summer class hasn’t been so bad but spring was hard taking two classes and working full time come May I was wiped out. I was tired, I was mentally exhausted and I was always on the brink of tears (because of mental exhaustion). I guess that’s part of the price you pay.

Another dream I am living out is living in Boston. It has become my life but I remember when it was my dream. When I was younger I wanted to be a writer, I still do, but I thought working for movies. I was thinking about the dress I would wear when I hit the red carpet for my night at the Oscars. So I dreamed of going to UCLA or UCSB (University of California in Santa Barbra). I told then I would move to New York. Well my mom gave me some good advice “if you want to live on the east coast you should look at east coast schools”(okay that might be paraphrasing). So I did look at east coast schools. I begged my mom to buy Baron’s Profile of American Colleges and we can begin scouring colleges every where from Boston to Virginia. I thought about schools in New York but the city seemed too big too scary. Then my mom came to Boston during the 2004 play offs against the Yankees, I am not sure if was the excitement that filled the air because of that or what but I fell in love with the city. I looked at a few schools in Connecticut but Boston had captured my heart. So I applied to Simmons and Suffolk in Boston and my mom made me apply to Quinnipiac in Connecticut just in case but I wanted Simmons first and Suffolk second. I got into Suffolk (however I am going to Simmons now for grad school) and loved the idea of moving to the city, during my second visit to Boston I told my mom I was going to tie my self to a park bench so I wouldn’t have to leave. And in March I started a count down till I moved to Boston. I even wrote a persuasive speech to convince the students in my English class to move to Boston and for months it was all I talked about. So it was a big dream of mine to move to Boston and I have loved it for the most part. But I guess I pay for it, when I am lonely and miss my family. I pay for it because I don’t get to see my niece and nephew grow up as much I would like and there are moments I pay for it when I wish I could still climb into my mom or dad’s lap and cry on their shoulders. I cry over the phone but its not the same. But I guess those are just facts of life and I have to remember sometimes the dream of living here are worth the loses.

Okay that took a sad turn, I didn’t mean for this free write to be sad.

On the up side there are still dreams I still have yet to accomplish. I have two really big dreams one to become an author but I know I would not feel my life wasn’t complete if I wasn’t a wife and a mother. As a single girl I love thinking about being the stay at home wife who has dinner on the table when her husband comes home and I also like watching my married friends and learning from them what it is to be a good wife. There is a really funny quote from Gilmore Girls where Emily, the grandmother, describes her life as a canoe she is rowing a long and so his her husband and through each doing their own job they are making life work out. If you know the show this quote seems completely out of place for the character Emily but I like the idea of being a canoe. Right now I am more what Emily would describe a kayak. I know there are deeper things to describe how a marriage should be than a canoe but I like the image a lot. In that I also dream of being a mom. It might be a miss quote but in the movie The Perfect Score, Scarlett Johansson character describes the type of mom she wants to be one who doesn’t care about the title on her business card but being an actual mom (okay random quotes stick in my head). I see that as a way I would want to be and I love the real life examples I get from my sister, and the moms at my church I have gotten to know. That’s my biggest dream to be a wife and a mother and while I am still enjoying my single life it is something I look forward to and pray about.

I guess the next dream I have is to be an author. Which is why I started this blog, to keep me motivated about writing. I have written stories ever since I was little. The first journal I remember having my best friend in elementary school gave me, it was peach colored with a precious moments doll on the cover. The only problem is though I dream about stories I have yet to finish one. I also have a big problem with showing people my work. I am not a good speller and punctuation is not my strong point I am known for my run on sentences. And until this blog, though I would read my stories to my mom, I didn’t like people reading them. I am sure my younger sister does not remember this but one time we were at my brother’s soccer game and I let her read a story of mine and all she did was point out my spelling errors since then I didn’t like people reading my stories. I know when most people do things creatively they pour themselves into it and they expose themselves to vulnerable. I don’t like being vulnerable but if I want to be published I guess I will have to face people not liking my work.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More thoughts from A Hopeful Romantic

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with.”

I like this quote from the movie Juno and as a single woman I guess that’s still what I am looking for. I am looking for some one who will love me no matter what. I like the way Carrie Bradshaw said it in Sex and the City show “I'm someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient,consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love.”

But lately I have wondered if my pursuit of love is actually wise. I have fallen into a pit many times I meet a guy we talk and I find out he is a christian and he is cute and I start to imagine myself in a relationship with him. I say “its just hard being single.” I am sure many single christian girls can relate, we see people in relationships and it just seems great and we want that. We want to be in a relationship and we want to get married. I also know as a girl we are told to let the guy pursue us so why we wait for the guy to pursue us we read christian dating book, articles on line, pray that the Lord will bring a guy in our lives, and probably the thing we do most is we talk to our girl friends not understanding why are still single. I am not writing that I have an answer I just know it has to be on God’s timing. And while God’s timing is perfect we often hate waiting for it. Then we get handed article that make it seem like if we did these 5 things we will get married and as my much wiser friend (who is married) is reminding me its not a formula its not A+B+C=husband. While that would be nice I know it doesn’t work that way. So I don’t have an answer to the “why I am still single?” question. If I did I would write a book and become a millionaire.

The only thing I can say is from experience and what my wiser friends have taught me. 1) Pray for your future husband, I like to write my prayers out and one day I can’t wait to show him all the prayers I prayed for him. 2) Don’t look at a Christian guy as a potential mate look at him as a brother in Christ (having this mind set as really helped me have long friendship with guys I look to as a brother). 3) Don’t make your pursuit of a relationship above all else. This is the reason I write this article. I am the first to admit it I watch sappy romance movies and read novels with a romantic plot line from Jane Austen to Jennifer Donnelly and Lori Wick ( I won’t say romance novels because that makes me think of novels in the grocery store that have men showing their chest and half naked women...these I won’t read). I have read the books“I kissed dating goodbye,” and “Boy meets girl” (both spoke to me in the time) I have also read “Captivating” and “Boundaries in Dating.” So I feel well read on both the secular and Christian side of dating. But that’s not the point. I am just saying with all that reading and watching that I would be ready for love. But deep down if I think about it I am not (no matter how badly I want to be). I am not ready because I put that pursuit as a first priority in my life. I mean I go to work and school, I am not just spending all day at a singles bar looking for a mate but mentally I do (even in writing this). I some times feel if I was in a relationship I would feel complete and that’s ridiculous. Mostly because any one who I date would be flawed and how can I expect a flawed person complete me, the only one who can complete me is the one who is un-flawed. And there is only one who fits that description. And right now I need to focus on following His will and doing what he says. And one day if He wants to He will bring a man into my life. I look forward to that day. But I first I need to put my completion in what He says and how He thinks and not in an idea of a relationship. So my advice to other single girls while you might feel your life will be complete as soon as you get a ring on your finger it won’t and it has taken me a while to admit that to myself. And even harder for me to live in that mindset. But I keep praying every time I feel I am close to that pit fall.

I am not even sure I am right in my thinking or how things will turn out. I will keep you posted.

So while I am still a very hopeful romantic I am in the waiting phase of life and while I wait I am going to try to do “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33 NLT). And in this I will hand over my love life to the Lord and know he will guide me in the ways he want me to live. I will rest in these verses...

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope...” Jer. 29:11.

I am not writing as if I have the answers, I don’t I just have a clue into how my life should be.

More personal blogs from me From a Hopeful Romantic and A Casual Gaze .

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Afternoon Tea (Part 2)...A little long

en and his mother were id some one who saw all the burdens she carried trying to care for her family her heart. Maybe John Melbourne could be this guy.
“Mother, where is Emmy?”

“I suspect where she always is on days this nice down by the creek.”

“Mother how can you let her run wild so.”

“I really didn’t let her. She snuck out before I woke up.”

“But she is going to show up probably soaked her dress all messed up and her hair a shambled.”

“What would that matter?” Fiona asked her daughter who was fidgeting.

“Do you know how bad it would look to have Emmy tramping in here covered in mud or other things.”

“I am sure John Melbourne will never ever notice when you are looking so pretty today.”

“But I can’t have them thinking we are indigenous people.”

Fiona laughed at the thought, “show them the six parlors or the library or the manicured gardens, I am sure no one thinks us as indigenous.”

“This isn’t funny.”

“I know Laurel,” Fiona patted Laurel’s hand. It was a pat that told her everything was going to be okay.

“Mother, how can you be so calm, the Melbournes are upon us and it is so important that we all make a good impression .”

“My darling you have been classically trained to make good impression.”

“What does that mean?”

“Just that I can’t ever imagine you make a bad impression you are so mindful of everything,
every one and all the rules of society.”

“I hope you mean that as a compliment,” Laurel a little befuddled by what Fiona had said.

“I do, I do of course I do,” Fiona couldn’t believe that her daughter would take it any other way.

“You are so good Laurel.”

“Thank you, I just hope I am good enough.”

“Good enough? Good enough for what?”

Then Laurel thought about what she had said and quickly knew how ever she answered it would take too much to explain. But what she thought was good enough for an advantageous marriage or really any marriage.

“Oh never mind,” she said rearranged the tea set moving the sugar bowl towards where Mrs. Melbourne would sit knowing how she liked her tea sweeter than most.

“It will be fine,” Fiona said as she watched her daughter and fidget and adjust her dress yet again.

She felt certain then that Lauren did like Mr. John Melbourne. She remembered all the time she knew she was going to see Jefferson that would fidget and arrange herself a lot. She felt every girl must do this to make themselves perfect in front of the boys they swooned over. So she took Laurel’s fidgeting as a good sign.

“Mrs. Melbourne and her son Mr. John Melbourne are here,” Thomas announced.

“Thank you Thomas,” Fiona said “Bring them in.” Then turned to Laurel “ Now dear I know you want to look your best so you must stop fidgeting.”

“Yes mother.”

“And whatever happens do not worry I am sure John Melbourne can see your beautiful perfection.”

“Dear Mrs. Melbourne we are so pleased to have you here,” Fiona said when her guest
came in.

“No, no we are pleased to be invited. Your mother’s home is always a sight to be held. Does Mrs. Danford join us?”

“I am afraid her health is too ill.”

“That must be a real heart ache and burden. I am sure with such a beauty as Laurel you would want to take her into town and show her off to the big cities like Boston, New York, or even Philadelphia. But I must say I am sure our local boys are pleased you have not take her a way,” 
Mrs. Melbourne said with a wink to her son and a chuckle to the rest.

Laurel noticed John rolling his eyes and the slightly annoyed look. But she tried not to let it affect her. It was also the first time Laurel noticed John pudgy cheeks and old fashioned side burns. But Laurel would not let those qualities turn her away from him. He would be a good provider, she could never see him raising his voice, and he could spare some money so she could take care of her sisters. These qualities had to be more important Laurel thought.

“And where are your younger daughters they are both such a delight.”

“Emmy enjoys taking long walks on days so fine as this but she should be a long shortly. She would be disappointed to miss your company.”

“Oh to have such youth. If I was Miss Emmy’s age I would probably be climbing as many rocks and hills as possible. But I feel I am not destined to use this blasted cane to even walk around my house.”

Laurel could hardly imagine Mrs. Melbourne climbing rocks. To her Mrs. Melbourne was
always sixty and always a high class woman who wouldn’t dare have her petticoats touch dirt.

While Laurel tried to imagine this Fiona was telling Mrs. Melbourne that Gloria was still in school and while it was Tuesday she will have piano lessons till almost five. Then Mrs. Melbourne asked if Gloria was as good at the instrument as Fiona was and it was these word that pulled Laurel out of climbing on rocks.

“Perhaps she will be, she has good ear much like Laurel and diligence in practice.”

“Oh my goodness I completely forgot that Laurel played,” she turned to Laurel. “Before we leave you must play I insist. A young girl always looks more beautiful behind an instrument. Don’t you think John?”

“I don’t know,” John said closing his pocket watch.

“Oh John, you lie you were just telling me yesterday about how you liked to watch people play.”

Laurel could tell Mr. John Melbourne had no interest in this tea. They sat through another twenty minutes of Fiona’s and Mrs. Melbourne’s small talk all while not saying anything to each other and Mrs. Melbourne trying to get John to smile or blush. But John paid no interest to Laurel or any body. It had all been a mistake, Laurel had thought since they had together at the Carmichael's party he had some interest in her but now replaying the whole scene she saw it for how it really was.

Laurel had been arm and arm with her friend Amelia who none would agree Laurel was the beauty of the two some but Amelia definitely had a way of charming the gentlemen. She had charmed one in particular Robert Engels who wanted to dance with Amelia but Amelia being a good friend would not dance with anyone if Laurel did not dance.

“Come on Melbourne, Laurel is beautiful,” Robert Engels said.

“With no prospect how can you expect me to spend any time with her.”

“Just one dance, I need to hold Amelia.”

“That is not a need, honestly Robert what has gotten into you.”

“You are a stodgy old man. Once dance is not a marriage proposal.”

“To us its not, to girls you dance with them once and they start planning their wedding.”

“I doubt it. Laurel Cromwell is far too conventional to have any romantic ideals,” Robert Engels put on pathetic eyes.

“All right,” John said with a huff and taking a swig of his brandy.

“You could try a little harder to have some fun.”

Now Laurel sitting in the parlor that afternoon could tell the mistake she had made and everything she had built up in her head. No man had really given any attention to her and she had almost lost all her common sense when a man danced one dance with her. It was ridiculous she thought, and now wished that the whole thing had never happened. She tried to quickly think of a way for the Melbourne’s to leave quickly but polite society would never allow a host to shoo a way her guest not unless some medical emergency had arisen. Maybe she could pass out, Miss Pembers had pulled her corset a little too tight this morning. Maybe in Emmy’s foolish ways of going out exploring she would trip and sprain her ankle. At least then she could be excused to check up on Emmy. But none of that happened and soon Emmy was in the parlor with them. Miss Pembers had made sure no one saw Emmy before her shoes were on and her hair had been pulled up in a some what modest way so she wasn’t an embarrassment.

“Why Miss Emmy, you look prettier every day, that fresh air must do you some good,” Mrs. Melbourne said.

No one ever compliments Emmy’s looks and she knew it would be polite to be humble and blush as Laurel would do she gushed with thanks.

“Earlier we were talking about Laurel playing the piano, do you play Miss Emmy?” Mrs. Melbourne asked.

“Hardly?” Emmy said with a snicker.

“She is not as good as Laurel but mother insist all the girls learn the piano,” Fiona said
quickly to cover Emmy’s snicker.

“I guess your talents are better off at story telling. Do you have any new stories?”

“Just some ideas for now, nature is so inspiring,” Emmy excitedly.

“I quite agree,” Mrs. Melbourne said.

Laurel and Emmy hardly had the same thought at the same time but just then they were both thinking that they couldn't see Mrs. Melbourne as finding nature inspiring.

Eventually the party broke up Mrs. Melbourne promised to hose them to tea one day and wished that Mrs. Danford will feel better soon. Laurel tried to pretend that another tea would be wonderful but saw no acting coming from John Melbourne, just another look at his pocket watch.

"I do not know what is to become of us?" Laurel said when the Melbournes were in their new automobile and half way down the drive. "I could see now Mr. John Melbourne had not attention for me or any other girl for that matter. He is far too consumed with the workings of that pocket watch."

Emmy wanted to shout out "here, here."

"It is one tea, my dear things will go better as time goes on. Not every man has to be a suitor."

"If stodgy Mr. John Melbourne is not interested in me who will be?"

"Patience dear," Fiona patted her had but Laurel was too upset and stormed back into the house.

Soon Emmy and her mother could hear Laurel playing the piano, a good source of diversion for her.

"Surely Laurel did not seek a lover out of Mr. John Melbourne?"

"Emmy, that is no way for a lady to talk."

"But Melbourne is even more rigid than Laurel. He probably doesn't even know what romance is or have any idea on how to court a lady properly. He would probably treat any horse in his stable better than his wife. Surely that can not be for Laurel."

"You forget Emmy, Laurel doesn't care about romance like you she is much more logical and sadly she placed a large burden on herself. I fear she will lose her heart to any man who is able to remove that burden."

"What burden?"

"Us," Fiona said in a sad tone." As much as I wish she were Laurel is not blind to our situation in life and she has taken it it upon herself to fix it. Unfortunately a girl of mild breeding can only look towards marriage to improve her families condition."

"Poor Laurel," Emmy sighed seeing a more truer look at her sister than she had ever seen.

"She will have a true sacrifice," Fiona thought but did not say as she did not want to burden her younger daughter with the same load that Laurel carried.

Even if she had Emmy was already lost in a day dream and probably could not hear Fiona at all."One to give up true love for the great good is what heroes and heroines are made of. Perhaps she will be lucky to find both true love and a man with a deep pocket book." Her mother laughed at Emmy's simplistic ideals "and if not I will publish my stories and live off my pen."

"Oh Emmy I do love your dreams."

Fortunately by the end of the week no one mentioned the name Melbourne expect for the polite thank you note that was delivered the next day but no follow up invitation was made. Also by the end of the week Fiona's brother Charles wrote announcing he and his family's plans to visit before the month was out and he thought his family would probably stay the entire summer. Fiona knew having family come would brighten Laurel's day and would keep the house hold busy preparing for their visit.

An Afternoon Tea (Part 1)

I know it's been awhile since I posted about my story but I have been working on it so here is some more... If you need to catch up go to My Story Begins and Continuation of the Story

Hope you like and enjoy...

It was in these woods Miss Pembers knew to look for Emmy when the household was expecting Mrs. Melbourne and her eligible son Mr. Melbourne for tea.

“Miss Emmy you have been outside long enough it is time for tea and your mother insist you come outside.”

“I don’t want to be involved in anything where Laurel throws herself at the boring man Mr. Melbourne is.”

“I seriously doubt Miss Laurel will throw herself at anyone, it would be in-proper and your sister has a higher sense of propriety then anyone I know. Now come or I shall send Helena to get you.”

Helena was Grandma Danford’s cook who had no p
roblem disciplining the girls into good behavior with a wooden spoon, Emmy suffered the worst for it. She was hardly the a model of good behavior from her unkempt hair, dirty finger nails and stockings something covered in mud. Mother would only allow Helena to give Emmy one or two hits but Emmy still felt the blows to be fatal. With the threat of Helena’s wooden spoon Emmy climbed down from her rock and dusted herself off before presenting herself to Miss Pembers.

“And where are your shoes.”

“One can hardly climb with those little boots on, I would slip and break my neck.”

“Your Grandmother would break you neck knowing you walked outside barefoot. It is a good thing you have yet to wear long dresses you would ruin all of the with your childish ways.”

“I am not a child.”

“Well you are certainly not acting like a girl of sixteen. Playing in the woods, day dreaming and losing yourself in your world of make believe.”

“I like my world it is more interesting then this world.”

“Hush your mouth. You have all beauty and luxury around you. You are lucky to have such a fortunate family. There are girls in orphanages who dream of having what you have.”

Emmy wanted to remind Miss Pembers that none of the beauty and luxury was hers to do with what she would. If it was she would sale everything and explore the world. It all belonged to her Grandma and then it would go to uncle and the girls would receive nothing. She wanted to remind Miss Pembers of all that but know when Miss Pembers let her Irish accent slop she was about to let her hot temp out. So Emmy kept her mouth shut.

It was the fact that the girls were penniless that made the Melbourne’s visit more important. The Melbourne fortune was nothing compared to the Danfords but they had always had a comfortable life working in timber. It would be enough money, Laurel considered, to keep her mother and sisters living well. That was most important to Laurel and it pressed against her heart to make sure she could provide for her mother and sisters. The Melbournes were well-heeled and would advance well into society having a connection with the Danford name even if no finical gain would be made in the match. The Danford connection was the only card Laurel felt she had and she had to use it well. No one in the family, least of all Emmy could believe when Laurel spoke so kindly of dreary old Mr. John Melbourne and everyone was surprised when she insisted that he and his mother be invited over for tea at their earliest convenience. It all seemed quite unannounced, but the Melbourne’s graciously accepted the invitation and the two mothers arranged a time for the tea.

“Why do we have to have tea with the Melbournes?” Emmy asked her mother the day before.

“Your sister has taken an interest in John Melbourne.”

“You must be joking. How could anyone take interest in dreary, dull, dumpy John Melbourme,” Emmy couldn’t think of any other words to keep the alliteration going.

“That might be but Laurel must see more to him then we can.”

Emmy doubted it. How could anyone see anything of interest in John Melbourne aman who had two love, his horsed and collecting pocket watches from the early nineteenth century. Those two items was all he talked about and both in a monotone style that aroused nothing minus the amount of the yawns. Emmy had to yet to understand that sometimes the wants of the heart must be drowned by the demands of the pocket book. She had read about Mr. Willoughby sacrificing Marrianne to stay wealthy but anything would happen in real life. How could one give up the woman or man they truly loved just to stay in well a off condition. It seemed inconceivable to her. The matters of the heart should always take precedence.

Fiona hoped Emmy would always keep up her ideals and did not want to tell her real reason Laurel had found interest in John Melbourne was his financial status. She also hoped her thinking was false and that Laurel actually did like John Melbourne for reasons she herself did not know. Fiona knew Laurel felt a stronger burden for her family than her younger sisters.Laurel had always been more aware of the world around her and being older understood the hardship her parents faced in her in her father’s final days and the months that followed his death. Laurel was also aware that though they lived in a fine house they had hardly had the funds to keep it going with out the generosity of their Grandmother and once Grandma Cornelia passed away it would end their fortunes. Though Fiona knew that Laurel was aware of all this she did not know Laurel had over heard a conversation eight years ago when they first moved in.

“What would you have me do mother, let my children and I beg for our meals”

“I told you this would happen Fiona. I told you he was not fit. And when I think how you could have had Alfred Dumont and now he is married to your friend Iris who is barren and you have three girls and no money.”

“I did not love Alfred,” Laurel recognized the tone from mother it was stern but not raised.

“Love has brought you here penniless, begging for charity from your family. That must make you feel wonderful.”

“I thought my family would accept me but if you would like I could return to Boston and end my days as a poor maid, your granddaughters being forced to clean homes or worse sale flowers on the street corners. But how would that look having Danford blood in such ruined conditions. Rather you like it or not my girls and I are Danford blood and how we survive still reflect on you and Charles.”

“You would drag your respectable brother and family down.”

“I will do whatever it takes to make sure my girls will make sure my girls will never go hungry and have a good education,” Laurel had never heard her mother speak in such a sharp but almost unfeeling way.

“Well then I hope your girls marry well so you might gain good fortune that way.”

“I hope they follow their hearts,” Fiona wanted to say but didn’t because she knew that would be too unkind.

To the world it had looked as if Cornelia Danford had shown great charity in taking in her poor daughter and three granddaughters. To Pine Haven it looked as if Cornelia treated her daughter and granddaughters as if nothing had happened and all of Fiona’s past actions had been wiped clean but there would always be three people Laurel, Fiona, and Cornelia who knew absolute truth.

Read An Afternoon Tea (Part 2)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.

Quote comes from:
Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.
-Ezra Pound
US poet (1885 - 1972) found at:

Today on the blog Austenprose I read about a new book called Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler and while I hope my story that I am writing is kind of like Sense and Sensibility what struck me most about the Austen prose article was that Jennifer Ziegler called Jane Austen a Young Adult author and I was a little surprised by this but I must say she makes perfect sense. Ziegler says...

" I think, in some ways, Jane Austen wrote YA. Before anyone tosses tomatoes at me, please allow me to explain… Austen’s books centered around young women on the verge of adulthood. They are nearly ready to leave the nest and take their spot in the world – and in the Regency era, the best landing of all would be that of a happy marriage to a good and prosperous man. Standing on this threshold of life is the emotional setting for all young adult novels. Teens are caught between the insular world of the childhood home and that of society at large. Even if they don’t strike out on their own at the end, they have surely become more “adult” by the final page.
Austen never makes the search for a proper husband the point of her stories. In every case the main character needs to go through some significant growth first. Whether it’s Elinor learning to trust her feelings as much as her intellect, Marianne coming out of her fantasies and into her senses, Elizabeth learning not to judge too prematurely, Emma learning not to meddle in other people’s lives, and so on, Austen makes sure her heroines recognize and overcome character flaws in order to earn their happy-ever-afters. Such maturation is central to young adult literature, as it is with all good character-based fiction. However, in YA, the age of the protagonists is key. Teens and early twenties don’t know as much about the world or themselves quite yet. Because of this, the problems they face are brand new, but also – and this is critical – their emotions are brand new. This is first love, first heartbreak, first crushing disillusionment. "

For full article click here

I guess when I started reading Jane Austen I thought them as so high class literature that in a very geeky way I thought I was cool that I loved Jane Austen and I could appreciate her. But in high school I couldn't share my love to people other than my mom because all my friends were reading Harry Potter or other books that I had no interest in. So I kind of kept my love a secret, it wasn't until I college I met other lovers of Jane Austen and it is like this instant bond. One of my best friends and I started talking only because we both loved Jane Austen and since a beautiful friendship has grown. But I still until reading this article would have consider Jane Austen Young Adult only because sadly sometimes, young adult literature is looked down upon from a scholarly point of view.

I am here to say that I like Young Adult novels (other than ones about Vampires or Werewolves but if that is your thing be proud of it) and I like reading stories about first loves, first heartbreaks, over coming maybe childish things, and experiencing the world for the first time. I am not ashamed to say it. Whatever you read is good just read!

So I wanted to give a shout out to two Young Adult novels that have really shaped me...

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine this book I read in the 6th grade so might be a little to young for Young Adult but I owe this book a lot of credit in my life. I read this book in the 6th grade and since then I have not stopped reading. Now I know Anne Hathaway (who I usually love) made a movie of this book but don't waste your time watching the movie read the book it is so worth it. It is kind of Cinderella story as Ella has the curse of obedience with over her and she has two mean step-sisters that she knows might threaten her life if they find out about her curse.
A good book review click here
And one day I hope to give it to my niece and let her experience this book I first loved... of course that won't happen for a few more years she is only 18months old now.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly is another book that I like to give a shout out to. I read this book my freshman year of college and I re-read it the summer before my senior year. Though this book and I have had an interesting history. While I was re-reading it my purse including this book was stolen. While the purse and a few items were returned to me this book was not. That made me sad because it was so good but I hope that this book didn't end up in a dumpster but some one picked it up and was able to read it. I then checked it out from the library to finish re-reading it. And until recently I didn't own it I just knew I read it. In a moment of retail therapy I bought another copy for myself so now I own and have read everything that Jennifer Donnelly has published and when The Wild Rose comes out I will own that too (can't wait).

The reason the story impacted me was that as a wanna be author I like how Donnelly blended kind of two stories in one (a thing I have always wanted to do). But as a person I love how the main character Mattie is under hardship being the oldest girl of a farm family but she still has goals to go to college and write. I won't ruin it for you but it is a good read. For a good review click here

I will also be sharing this one with my niece when she is older.

Probably the best known Young Adult book (and if its not it should be)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson show a darker side of High School but maybe me laugh when she wrote about the "Lies they tell you" for example the teachers are always there for you.

I won't go too much into this but its a good read rather you are in high school or not.

For more click here

Oh yeah for my readers who want to know more about my story (as the last few blog postings have been about my life) I am working on it... grad school is taking up a lot of time but I am still writing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A casual gaze

While I have been writing this blog I have thought of a few things about myself. Maybe in a way to explain my writing or just therapy for myself; either way I won’t be too mushy (I hope but I am emotional so I might not be able to resist).

One thing as previously discussed I am a hopeful romantic but I am not very experienced in the world of “romance.” I have only had four boyfriends and I have only kissed two boys. The first was my first real boyfriend in high school and I was nineteen years old.To be honest after watching plenty of teen soap operas ranging from Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creeks I felt I was the only girl who had not had a first kiss and also just to be honest I really wanted my first kiss. Sadly (no offense to him) no sparks flew and definitely no fireworks went off (not like you see in movies.) Then we broke up mostly because I was moving to Boston, three thousand miles away from him and we no longer talk minus maybe a “happy birthday” on Facebook. But I felt he had a part of me, a part I could never get back and I didn’t like it. I then set a standard for myself that I wouldn’t kiss a boy till I said “I love you.” In this day I am guessing that moving at a glacier pace but that explains why I have kissed one other boy because I loved him and I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. But it didn’t work out because of factors I won’t get into. So besides losing myself in what might seem like silly novels (check out Love of Reading) I have not had much experience in the world of romance but I am hopeful that one day I will meet Mr. Right but until that day I keep practicing being Mrs. Right (as a good friend once told me).

Another thing about myself is that I consider myself a plain Jane. Now I don’t say this as a way to be pitiful. I will say it honestly I just don’t look at myself and see myself as this knock out girl. Though as an author I would writer I had gold red hair that looked like the sunset and blue eyes that sparkled like the sea. To me that sounds like a fairy tale princess but I am far from feeling like a fairy tale princess. Maybe every woman feels like this after looking at themselves day in and day out. Or maybe women take more time putting themselves together. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t walk around with my hair disheveled or my clothes stained. I comb my hair but usually that it I don’t curl, flat iron or anything like that. And I will admit until high school I didn’t really use a hair dryer and however my hair looks that is how it will be. Then in college I started wearing make up but I still working on it. And honestly, I am not knocking women who take lots of time with their looks because they look great, I just don’t care. I’d rather sleep in. I’d rather slip my skirt on (except when it’s too cold) and my cardigan and leave my house then spend my money on the newest fashion. That’s just me. I am plain Jane and I am okay with that. But it might be why I write about plain Janes and hope in my stories like in real life that someone will see beyond the plain Janeness and see me. I think thats what will happen to my character Emmy.

There might be more later... but for right now I wanted to post this gaze into my life

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In Want of Womanhood

I saw this little tray at my dad and step-mom's house sitting on a little antique vanity table and it looked so picturesque that I took a picture with my phone to think about using it in my story.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sit gazing in the mirror feeling that I still possessed some childish features in my face from the little freckles on the ridge of my nose and the slight pudginess in my cheeks that could still be called baby fat. But I hadn't been a baby in 16 years and at seventeen I wanted to gaze into my reflection and see this elegant grown up woman looking back at me. A woman who has every hair perfectly in place and eyes that can make a man go weak at the knees. My hair usually disheveled and my eyes are plain and not likely to make a man go weak in the knees. But tonight is a special night so I picked up my ivory comb and tried to untangle my hair and make it look more womanly tamed. I put a tad of my mother's perfume that had the wonderful fragrance of wild lilies and sweet mint. My mother only wore it on special occasions and tonight she was letting me wear it. Wearing mother's perfume made me want to feel grown up. I then pulled my hair up in a twist as I had watched my older sister do a thousand times and hoped no one would notice that a few strands fell out around my face. I pinched my cheeks in the way my sister had shown me so they would look more rosy and clasped mother's pearl necklace around my neck. I placed my hand over them rubbing the pearls ever so lightly with the tips of my fingers. Mother only owned two necklaces her locket, that carried father's picture and never came off her neck and this pearl necklace, it was the one she had married father in and was her only real luxury in life. She didn't even let Laurel wear them to her first ball but she was letting me and I knew how important that was.

"Emmy," mother's call to me hastened my step.

I looked at myself quickly and even snagged a glance in the small hand mirror to correct any little flaws I could and then got up from the vanity. 'I hope I remember this night forever,' I thought took a deep breath and adjusted my dress one last time and then left the room as my mother called for me again.