Showing posts with label escapism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label escapism. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Deeper Update

Hello Lovely Readers,

I have wanted to write a more in depth update on my life... as I felt my last post was a little light and didn't tell you what was actually going on in my life. Most of this is just a tangent.
Last post

To be honest I have been sulking a lot lately. I am going through some changes in my life and I am not exactly sure how to go through them. I don't know how comfortable I am sharing this all on social media... so why am I writing this post? Trust me I have been thinking that as well. As much as I want to share my thoughts, happenings and other things on this blog... I feel sometimes I have to be vague because I don't want my personal life all over the Internet. Okay maybe I am over dramatizing that... I mean I am not that sure how many people actually read this blog. So I come back to this question why am I writing this post?

Because sometimes I feel I get my thoughts out better out in this blog than I do in person. Sometimes I feel more comfortable sharing what I am going through on this blog, where I can assume all my readers are strangers than actually tell people what is going on in my mind... Sounds crazy? I blame being a writer for this. I have always thought I could express myself better in writing than out loud (even if my grammar sucks...sorry).

Lately I have felt like just wanting to escape, life isn't all that bad but I have felt stuck and I also feel like doors are closing around me and I am not sure which way to turn and sometimes it is just easier to give into these feelings than to keep getting out of bed and trying to hold my head up. So maybe that is why is I have gone through so many TV shows because escaping into their reality is easier than dealing with mine.

The idea of escaping or running away is very common for me, so please don't worry about me, it is just a defense mechanism I have. In high school, my school didn't have a lot of windows so I remember the classes in which  I did have windows I would sit and stare out them looking over to the East Bay (maybe I should state I went to high school on the peninsula of San Fransisco and we had a good view of the East Bay). Anyway, I would think about taking Amtrak out of Oakland and head anywhere but where I was... I never did that, I think I was too practical. So with this in my background I find it easier to just want to run away or escape into fictional worlds (either in book, TV, or movies).

I will admit, sadly my walk with God has not been that strong lately, and that is probably the main reason I feel so low. While it would be great to just buck up and get my life together, I am just feeling lost right now. Also I don't know how much desire my heart and mind have to change my circumstances, maybe if they had the desire I would be able to change? Or maybe I should put the words "fake it till you make it?" into play.

I want to act like everything is fine but that is all it is, it is just an act and I am so tired of acting. I am so tired of trying and coming up with nothing.

I feel like a lot of people are telling me how great I am, or how smart I am, or how everything will be okay. I know they are just trying to encourage me but I keep thinking if I am "great" or "smart" why isn't it working out for me. I feel like I am going to let all those people down and that probably hurts me more than anything.

As I was typing this up "Hopeless Wander" by Mumford and Sons came on and I thought the lyrics were actually expressing a little bit was I was feeling
"Hopeless Wanderer"
By: Mumford and Sons
(Not Official Video) 

Love you guys for reading this and sticking with me. Sorry this was kind of a bummer for post in November. I don't know if I will post more or not this month as I am par taking in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but I hope to have more to share more with of my story. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Blurb... Goodbye Piccadilly

Hello lovely readers,

Last week I finished the book Goodbye Piccadilly by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. I have read a few books of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles in her "Morland Dynasty" series which range from the Renaissance to the 1920s time period, so you can find a time period you can enjoy. You will probably not be surprised but I like the books set in the Edwardian Period to the 1920s... so I was intrigued when I saw she is writing a series just about World War I.

The story is mostly set around the Hunter family... who are middle class with the husband working as a banker and the wife stays at home to mind the household and servants. The story starts off a little slow and what is happening in mainland Europe is just in the back ground. My main criticism of the story is that their are a lot of characters. While there are the Hunters and their 5 maybe 6 kids, there is also their servants, Mr. Hunter's sister and her own plot line. I am hoping as this is a series that we will get to see all these characters plots unfold and it won't be fruitless to keep track of their stories.

The two characters I was most interested in were the Hunter daughters Diana and Sadie. Diana is casted as the beauty of the village who has lots of suitors but her focus is on Charles Wroughton, who is the oldest son of the Earl. While Charles is in good position in society he is not the most social person mostly because of nerves and fear of not knowing what to say. So when he catches Diana's eyes he is actually intrigues that this beautiful girl is attracted to him. Of course his family thinks she is just a fortune hunter... and while that might be a bit true she is honestly interested in him.

The next daughter Sadie, is sixteen and loves horse and actually doesn't want to be out in society for her only destiny to be marriage. She gets a position (most likely volunteer) to help ride horses in order to get them ready for soldiers and begins a crush on the veterinarian.  I hope in the other books she will be able to develop and do real war work.

I also hope in the other books they will develop David, the oldest son of the Hunters, who enlisted in the army a few days after the war.

Outside of the Hunter family is the Hunter family servants. Ethel the young housemaid seems a little arrogant and full of herself... she kind of reminded me of the Ethel character in Downton Abbey, I hope she won't suffer the same fate.

I will be honest this book was not that thick (only 392 pages) but it did take me a bit to get through it... I don't think it was honestly the books fault. I love the history this book included it provided me valuable insights into English society at the beginning of WWI. For example: Charles Wroughton is not allowed to write to Diana herself, he has to write to her mother. I mean that definitely doesn't allow for much romance. Also it gave good information on dates and other historical background like the Irish wanting Home Rule and some suffragette information. I personally love these details as they inspired my own writing so I was happy to read them but I don't think the casual reader would care for them.
As the story was about the the same period that I am currently writing about I found the story inspiring and I think I spent some of my usual commute time reading to write out scenes. Also after falling in love with Susanna Kearsley this summer I would love to find an author who wrote WWI novels in her style. Do you have any suggestions?

As I said there are other books, I think only one other is out set in 1915 called Keep the Home Fire Burning but the library doesn't have it yet... so I will keep waiting to see what happens next.

Overall: I liked the story, but I could do with less characters and I don't know if the casual reader would enjoy a lot of the historical content... however I think it proves that Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has truly done her work and keeps it based in reality.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Blurb...The Rose Garden

Hello lovely readers,

I cheated on my 26 book challenge, I just read The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. Back in June my friend introduced me to The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley and I fell in love with it so I wanted to read more books by her. So I cheated on my challenge and read The Rose Garden. Kearsley writes very well and intriguing plots that it is is easy to read her books quickly. Both The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden are a nice mix of modern day stories and historical fiction...which I like. Also both historical stories take place in the early 1700s. I know I might be off but I can't help thinking of Ross Poldark when I picture the male character (he is stuck in my head).

In this story Eva comes to Cornwall, England, the place of her childhood summers, to scatter the ashes of her sister. Then she ends up staying in Cornwall in order to help her family friends start a new business. In the mean time some weird things start to happen, she starts hearing voices of men who are not there and she believes she sees a man standing a field that had been empty. She thinks she is hallucinating but then she realizes she is traveling back in time and meets Daniel Butler. Soon she realizes that this time of 1715 feels more at home than her own time period.

It takes of just believing that time travel is possible but it wasn't that hard to believe in Kearsley's writing. I actually really liked the idea that love was not bound by the idea of time... and that a feeling of home was not just a place but people. Also the scenery of the story was beautiful. It makes me want to go to Cornwall. 

Over all I enjoyed the book and it was a nice bit of historical escapism. But one thing I liked about The Winter Sea more so was the fact it was dual line story, and it really involved more historical detail. My friend who introduced me to the writer confirmed that Susanna Kearsley loves the Jacobites history... which I am okay with because it has opened my eyes to a period of history I knew nothing about (read more). While the Jacobite history seemed crucial to The Winter Sea it did not seem so crucial to the plot of The Rose Garden. I felt Eva could have been transported back in time to any century and the story would have still been the same. I like when the historical elements are crucial to the story. Though this fact does not take away from the intrigue of the story.

I think one lesson I got out of the story was...
"Life is always uncertain. 
We cannot let the fear of what might happen stop us living as we choose." 
- The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Friday, July 31, 2015

Maybe I was wrong

Pic from 2011 Film
Hello lovely reader,

I have spoken out about my dislike for Jane Eyre before, post: Jane Eyre... what the? I read the book right out of high school mostly because everyone assumed if I liked Jane Austen I would like Jane Eyre... even though they are completely different. Then being convinced by my friend who loves Jane Eyre to give it another try I watched the Jane Eyre movie (2011). But I still didn't get it. So when I saw the YouTube web series "The Autobiography of Jane Eyre" I watched a few episodes and then thought... nope not for me.

But for some reason (not sure why) I started re-watching it and I got hooked.

Actually I remember now why... I spend way too much time watching fan made videos, but I found the video below, and from the few episodes of "The Autobiography of Jane Eyre" I had seen I recognized the actress. I will admit I was intrigued with why with all the stories to chose from why did this video maker decide to include this version of Jane Eyre in their montage. Maybe I missed something?

So in a bored moment, and in a moment of feeling blue and wanting a distraction I decided to give "The Autobiography of Jane Eyre" a second chance (link to YouTube page) and I am glad I did. As I said I read the book almost 10 years ago so I don't remember much of the plot so I am not sure how exact the web series is to the plot... but personally I am okay with some updates if it helps tell the story. I commend people who take classic works of literature and revamp them in this new way to make them accessible for the modern day audience and if the main point of the story remains in tact then I am fine with some modernization. 
My biggest problem with Jane Eyre is that she always seemed perfect, and I didn't like a heroine that had no flaws. I think in watching this web series, I saw her flaws more clearly. She had such bad childhood that she was afraid to pursue things that made her happy worried that they would abandon her (if it was a person) or worried others would mock her for it (if it was a hobby). She didn't speak up for herself because she wasn't ever allowed to as a child so she spends a lot of time in her own head. And actually I can understand all those things.  

Over all- I liked it and would recommend it to anyone who has been enjoying these web series updated stories like "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" or "Emma Approved" or "Classic Alice". Also I would recommend if you want to get lost in a good story. There were some parts that still annoyed me but they were small enough I can overlook them and still consider this a good adaption of the book.  

The one thing I really did like is that in episode 20 she talks about her faith and I was happy to read in the comments of the video that this is true to the book. I am glad she didn't make it a big political discussion (because faith is not a political discussion) she just talked about forgiveness, loving others and loving yourself.
Thanks to these videos I might be willing to give Jane Eyre another chance once... I mean its been almost 10 years surely it is time to give second chances. 

If you are a real Jane Eyre fan and you want to read more read the post "Entertain: The Autobiography of Jane Eyre" the author of that post is much more of a Jane-ite than I am.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dwelling in the Past

Hello Lovely Readers,

I love to dwell in historical fiction in most everything in my reading, the TV shows and movies I watch, and my own personal writing. I am personally still a romantic about history and probably idealize it too much even though I studied history I know it is not clean cut and glamorous as I wished it was. One time I hear a quote "we study the past to know how we got here" (sorry paraphrasing so might be a misquote) and I think it is accurate. I like studying the past to know the struggles, the battles and the times of glory and hope people went through to get where we are now. Even though the stories I read are set in the past, if the book is written well, I feel I can relate to them and I wonder what I would do if I was in that circumstance?-- I know you can do this with really any genre of literature but there is something about historical fiction in that pulls me in.
I think I owe my love to early 20th century upon seeing Biltmore.
For my own writing there is a comfort in knowing the outcome. For example: In my story I am currently writing it is about WWI and I know what happens and I know who is going to win the War. But then there is this weird comfort in not controlling the outcome. I know what is going to happen in the grand scheme of things and I just put my characters in those events and seeing what happens to them and how they are changed by their circumstances.

My love of WWI might be owed to Downton Abbey
As I stated I am currently working on a story that will go through WWI. And while I studied early 20th century history in school I know vague details about WWI. I have read various novels, biographies and other non-fiction books and I sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information I am learning. I felt so overwhelmed I thought "maybe I should put this story aside while I research." But then I thought "I am never going to know enough to be completely accurate." This is true of all historians... we take the sources we have and as best we can we put a narrative. However, the thing about history is that unless we build a time machine we will never get the full story, which give historians and writers some freedom. So when I saw this post on Pinterest I was highly intrigued:

And I felt it was okay for me not to know everything about WWI, that doesn't mean I can't attempt to write a fabulous story. So I will keep pressing on through my first draft. If I find out anything interesting I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Author Happiness... 40,000 words

Hello Lovely Readers,

I know I have shared this before so forgive me for repeating myself.

The way I do my creative writing is by writing by hand and then transcribing it into Word. I know this takes awhile for it all to get gone, but I am okay with that, and to be honest I like it. My stories are historical fiction and something about typing on a keyboard feels like a disconnect from the way my characters would actually write.

Also (minus this blog) I don't usually feel inspired when looking at a blank word document with that little bar | flashing at me. So I have to write by hand. But I do enjoy going back and typing up my story when I get stuck in my writing and I don't know how to move the story forward. Sometimes just typing it up gives me inspiration. I think inspiration comes the more and more time I spend with my characters.

Any way, as I have written about I am feeling stuck in my writing so I am taking some time to type up my story. Well I have reached a little mile stone of 40,000 word, which is 83 pages typed up. In celebration I wanted to share the passage that brought me to this point...

Kelby Foster had been out for a walk. He had not meant to head towards Southerton Greens. He was lost in his own thoughts and his feet lead him there. He stopped  when he noticed Mattie, he could not help but notice her even at distance she was beautiful. He observed she was on a bicycle, which he had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling on it. Then now knowing how she had been flipped from the bicycle, flying over the handle bars and crashing into the railing of the fence. Kelby sprinted over to her.  She looked so helpless and almost lifeless.

            "Oh Miss Mattie, my Mattie, my dearest Mattie," he called out to  her. "Are you hurt? Can you move? Miss Mattie, Miss Mathilda please be all right."

            Then she fluttered her eyelashes when he called out her name but just as quickly fainted again. He thought he heard her whisper his name . Without thinking he gently kissed her on the lips. He then swept her up and trying to keep her as still as possible laying her between his arms.

            The next thing she remembered was waking up in her room with Dr. Gibson looking down at her. He was speaking to her but at first she could not understand what he was saying. Everything was hazy and the words were muffled. Mattie tried to sit up but Dr. Gibson gently but firmly kept her flat.

            "That is not a good idea Miss Mathilda. Do you know where you are?" Dr. Gibson asked.

            Mattie paused for a moment as she tried to understand all the words he had said. "Yes in my room." She swallowed as the words were hard to say. "How did I get here?"

            Mattie could only slightly see the rest of her body but she could see her arm was in a sling. She felt a gashing pain on her forehead and with her good hand she felt the bandage on her head.

            "Miss Mathilda please remain still."

            "How did I get here?" Mattie asked again.

            "That stable boy of Lady Welford's brought you here."


            "I believe so and you are very lucky, you were so far off the path you might not have been found for hours."

            "And Kelby found me?"

            "Yes Miss Mathilda. I think you should rest now."

            How could she rest she thought that was so much pain her whole body ached. Her arm and her head most of all felt as if they had been broken in half. Everything was searing as though it had been touched with fired.

            "Doctor," she mumbled as he left the room.

            Mattie closed her eyes maybe if she slept she wouldn't feel the pain. Within in no time she was back asleep. She wasn't for sure how long she slept but felt like a day passed by when she awoke. She dreamt that she woke up and found Kelby sitting in the chair next to the bed. He was folded over in half with his head on the comforter next to her. When she stirred he woke and smiled at her. His eyes were the perfect shade of sparkling silver.  

Thanks for reading. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Writing #littleloves

Hello lovely readers, 
A few weeks ago I posted a #littleloves post to update you all on what's going on in my life.

This is like that but with a twist. In my post "Questions while being stuck" I wrote I was going to take a break from blogging. Well as soon as I got back from my trip to Paris I couldn't wait to sit down and write a blog post. I have done and re-done this post a few times but it didn't feel right... so here I am trying again. 

Working on
Lately I have been feeling stuck in my story. I have introduced two new characters Leopold Brashware and Violet Harper. Leopold is suppose to be a romantic tension for Mattie but eventually he will be useful in helping Mattie discover her true feelings for Kelby. Violet Harper, is Mattie's maid in London. I want to grow her character and eventually I want them to end up like Anna and Lady Mary (Downton Abbey). 
Tobey Regbo who play's Francis on the CW Reign is my inspiration (at least in looks) for Leopold. 
I love Anna Smith, she is full of good advice for Lady Mary.

Thinking About
I am going to make Violet Harper a bigger character and I actually want to have her help Mattie run away to elope with Kelby. So I am going to have to change a few details of the story. 
I have started with a fictitious acknowledgement page...

but maybe I am the only ones who reads those. 
If this story ever gets published perhaps I will have to work with my editors on layout. 

  I feel I have re-written my beginning a thousand times (okay more like five) and its only in it's first draft, but I want it make sense for the story. 
I have usually been the kind of author who gets struck by inspiration and I just go from there... needless to say this path has not lead me to finish any story.
I originally started Mattie's story years ago but then I got distracted by other work "Sisters of Pine Haven" and put Mattie out of my mind. 
But she keeps coming back to I feel determined to finish it. 
My original start was in 2009 (link to that post)   
but it originally started with a free write I did that same year when I first started this blog in order to share my stories
This blog has gone through a lot of transitions since then but at the heart of it is my desire to write. 

 Planning Ahead 
Even though I am still re-writing the beginning of this story I have sketched out the epilogue of my story... is that weird? 
It doesn't feel weird it actually feels good because in knowing the end I know where I want to take this story and it has some direction to it.

Why am I stuck?
I wish I knew. 
One reason I think I am stuck is because as much as I think about my writing... I need to make time and actually write. DUH! 
Also as I said I am the kind of writer who usually gets struck by inspiration and from there I just go. However with this story I have plotted out an outline and actually know what I want to happen but yet I let my characters move in the way they want. Which is good and useful but sometimes it throws new things or people at me... for example Leopold. 

 On a personal note: I also think I am stuck because I don't really know that much about romance. I have dated but mostly mostly what I know about romance comes from movies and books. So I feel I don't know how to move Mattie forward in the romantic plot line and therefore I feel stuck. 
However, I find confidence in thinking about Jane Austen, she never married and yet she wrote some of the most romantic stories (I my biased opinion). 
Pic above is from the movie Miss Austen's Regrets

What to do now?
With all that said and done I think the real challenge will be for me to actually push through and write this story.
Writing will only happen by doing... so I say this ahead of time sorry friends and family if I seem absent to the world, but I am trying to follow my dreams and I hope you will understand. 

All these #little love post have a watching section and I felt I had to share something...
Since getting back from Paris (I will not get tired of saying that) I binged watched on Netflix (maybe another reason I haven't been writing) and I came across the show When The Heart Calls it is a sappy Hallmark Channel original show based off of a Janette Oke book. 
Even though it is sappy and the lines are cheesy I can't help but squeal. It feels like the perfect video escapism. 
 Video above is a fan made video: "Jack and Elizabeth | So Close"
Song: "So Close" by Jon McLaughlin. (Originally from "Enchanted").

Okay that is all for now. 
Hope you guys have a good day.  

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Story time Saturday... "Yours Faithfully"

 Hello lovely readers,

I know I should be nothing but happy with my up coming vacation but I have fallen into a little funk. So I am taking time to do some escapism writing. This is my continuing re-working of Wives and Daughters, hope you enjoy.

The following is letter #6 to read past letters

Dearest Aunt,

I know you cannot hear me now. Oh I wish you were how anxious I am to tell you all my thoughts. Of course if you could hear me, I do not know if I would say a word. You being awake would be enough.  

Before I write another word I must tell you Ozzie is home. I know you so wanted to wanted to see him again. I hope when you wake, for I know you will wake up, he will be by your side. I know how much joy that will give you. He is just as handsome as I remember, he has such kind eyes that make me know he is a truly generous spirit. He has a fine gentle face with graceful features, and when he smiles he reminds me of you. Oh Aunt if only he didn't look so lonely as if he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. No matter what uncle says I know that Ozzie carries the great disappointment of failing this semester. He talks about leaving school all together and going to California. Surely there does not need to be a whole continent between him and uncle, no matter what trouble he is in. If only you were awake I know you would you would not let uncle speak such abuse to Ozzie. I do not blame you. 

The one bright light in this whole house is Hugh, your step-son. Hugh has played a vital role in going between Ozzie and uncle. Ozzie confides in him in everything and uncle enjoys taking long walks with him in the day and enjoying a pipe with him after night. I would never say this to you for I know how much you care for Ozzie, but Hugh truly seems to be the perfect son. He enjoys the countryside a great deal taking great detail in the plants, trees, and animals that roam it and yet he has a kindness towards man kind I have never seen. I am afraid on our first meeting I made a bad impression. Mama made me pack my dress and I wore it to dinner, upon entering the dinning room I could see it was quite a mistake to dress so ostentatiously. He must have thought me quite frivolous to dress in such a manner with your health being as such and then through the night I could not complete a sentence with stumbling over my words. I also could not remember any passages of books I had been reading to you that very day. I felt to be completely ignorant. 

Since then we have gotten to know each other, he said yesterday that I could read such knowledgeable books with out being bored; he has never met a girl who took such interest in history. I must say uncle's library is so well rounded in ancient history. I cannot help but devour the details of the Egyptian Empire. When uncle desires to sit with you, Hugh is good to take me on walks around the garden and point out the different flowers, I never had a thought of botany but with him speaking I feel it is more of a story than just scientific studies. He does not say it but I know he would miss you as much as Ozzie, as you have been his mother for all the life he can remember.

Oh aunt if you could hear me, I would want you to hear how much you are loved and how much we all need you here. 

Please do not leave us.

Yours faithfully,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Some random thoughts on writing

Hello Lovely Readers,

I am sorry I have not posted this month yet. It has been a hectic month with working full time (between two jobs), all the snow we have gotten and trying to work more on my novel I haven't made it to the blogging sphere in awhile. So first let me say Happy Belated Valentines Day.
I have been trying to work more and more on my story so in someways I am thankful to have snow days that I can't leave my house because I use them to type up my story. I know I have said this a few times, but the way I write is by handwriting out my story then slowly (very slowly) I type it up. Yesterday during the storm I was typing up a section that I had written over last Christmas. Uh it feels good to type it up but sometimes I wonder with this process it might take forever to become a published novelist. I will try not to be discouraged by this fact because I'd rather write and enjoy the process than thinking about being published. However, my friend told me just through this blog I am a published author and that feels pretty cool. 

For my last story I set up a separate blog for it (Sisters of Pine Haven) and while that is mostly my first draft of the story it kept me motivated to keep writing the story by just knowing people were reading my words. I have posted a few bits of my story (The Secrets Days of our Past ... working title) here on this blog but I thinking about producing another blog for that story so I can keep any readers updated. But I am still hesitant because one day I would like to be browsing the book store and see my works published... If you have any thoughts please let me know. 
Yesterday, I finished re-reading The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and while I love the plot and the characters the thing I loved the most this time of reading it were her words and her historical points. I can tell she loves language and it seems very precise in the way she chooses what words she uses. Also it is clear she has researched a lot for her books. But the books aren't at all stodgy or hard to get through because of her historical details, they are fast paced and intriguing and I marvel at how she does that.

I love her words so much I read the question and answer portion about the author in the back of the book. Don't want to plagiarize, so I will just copy the parts about her writing because these intrigued me most. 

Where and how do you write?
I write in an office in my house. I always have a pot of strong tea and bar of dark chocolate for company and courage. 

Okay tea I can do, I might have to switch dark chocolate for milk and work out more to do that diet.

Why do you write?
Because I love words and stories so much. Because I would grief stricken everyday of my life if I couldn't write. Because I'm obsessed and compelled. Because I'd be utterly useless at anything else.

Yep I feel that way too especially "the grief stricken part"... I remember when I was writing my thesis I couldn't wait to get back to my story.

But the question that got me the most was...
How do you conduct your research?
For me, research is more of an art than a science. I usually start with a good, general history of the time period I'm researching to give me a solid grounding then I roll up my sleeves and get dirty. I visit archives, libraries, museums and and historical societies to try to dig up as many primary sources as I can. 

Okay I don't do that. But I do love research. Another thing I love about Jennifer Donnelly is that she must do a lot of research. The fist book I read by her took place in 1900s in upstate New York, the Rose trilogy takes place in London (primarily) from 1888 to WWI and then she has another teen book about the French Revolution. Ugh that is such a wide range of topics. I love that she lives in New York but yet writes about London and she lives in modern day but writes about the past. It is very inspiring for me. Because I too live in the states but my writing is about England and the Edwardian Era up to WWI. I do my research by reading novels, memoirs, biographies, and spending too much time on pinterest. I recently finished A Season of Splendor about the Gilded Age in America and the elite class that ran New York City and underlined so many passages I felt I was back in school.

I have also found other books that have been rich with knowledge and have enjoyed them. I kind of feel like a sponge trying to read anything about this time period... If you have any suggestions let me know.

I will keep you guys updated on any progress of my writing or my random thoughts on writing. I know writing can be a lonely task but I love sharing my life you, my readers, and I want writing to be a big part of my life.
I like this picture when I am thinking about my writing

Monday, October 13, 2014

FINALLY reading Harry Potter

I am a little late to the party... Actually with all the books published and all the movies out I am probably not just a little late to the party, my invitation probably got lost in the mail.

You might be wondering what took me so long to get to reading these book...

1) when the books came out I was in 8th grade and was escaping to Jane Austen and honestly couldn't imagine that books about wizards would be interesting... maybe a bit book snobbish.

2) Harry Potter was actually preached from the pulpit that it is of the devil and I know certain people would look down on me for reading them.

3) I originally thought that I wouldn't give them a chance until after grad-school.

What has changed?

People might still look down on me for reading them... but that shouldn't stop me from trying something. Also so many of my Christian friends have read them and rave about them and one of my strongest friends they have a strong Christian message. So I took this under consideration, but it was still on my to read after grad-school list... well as much as I love my historical novels I just felt I needed a little escape from history. Plus my roommate has all the novels, so nice easy access.

I will say as a wanna-be-writer, I like seeing how other writers write... and while some of my more literary friends might critique this book as being a bit juvenille in writing I actually liked it because it sounded like a 12 year old, which Harry is. And I am quite impressed with J.K. Rowling for imagining the world of Hogwarts.

However, saying that I have one critique one it was hard for me to imagine the world (but is probably my own problem because I have never read anything like Harry Potter) and because of this I face two problems: one it took me more effort to understand truly what was going on; also I didn't get attached to the characters. There was one part of the book that made my roommate's heart break and I was more like "eh"... or maybe I just have a heart of stone.

Even with this critique I am intrigued enough to read the second book... but first I am going to watch the first movie, so I can visualize it better.

Also because the books and movies have already been out and because there has been so much posting about on social media (mostly for me Pinterest) have been ruined. Supposedly it was a surprise that Harry, Ron and Heromine all become friends.

My sister saw that I was reading this and asked me if it was the best thing ever, because that is how everyone talks about it. To that I just shrugged my shoulders. (Sorry Potter heads.)


Monday, September 29, 2014

Escapism in writing

I wish looked this poised when I wrote
As promised in my post "Writer's confession... I am a bad writer" I was going to post more about my story. Lately I have had some feelings of wanting to be "anywhere but here"... I don't know why because my life feels like it is going well. I have moved into my new apartment and it already feels more like home than my last place. But I think spending some time with my story will help not only stay sane during this crazy time of working on my thesis and will allow me enough escapism it will fulfill my want to runaway. Don't worry Boston friends I have no thoughts to actually runaway... but a little escapism is good for the soul. 

So I am escaping into my creative writing...

How I picture Lady Adelaide
Lady Adelaide was beyond kind to the girls, she had brought down all the dolls from the nursery for Gloria to play with, and she searched the library for books she thought would interest Mattie. They ranged from in poetry of Keats to Shakespeare, and my favorite of Jane Austen. She also brought down some Dickens and an author Mattie had yet heard of Henry James. Lady Adelaide explained he was an American who had come over to England at the turn of the century and wrote novels commenting on society.

            "I read them when I first came here and found them very useful to help me navigate the ropes of London society."

Mattie enjoyed taking in the knowledge of America, she couldn't really even imagine what it must be like. Even though Mattie knew it was a completely different country she did wonder how the customs could be so different, but the way Lady Adelaide spoke it seemed completely foreign to her. Mattie also simply couldn't picture how Lady Adelaide, with her sweet demeanor and genteel spirit, would have any society. But Mattie did enjoy hearing the stories of Lady Adelaide's first season in London.

            "Mother always talks about the season as if it is the most glorious time in the whole year, but I can hardly imagine it. I doubt I will have such a grand time."

            "Of course you will. I will make sure of it. You are too good to be a wall flower for your own presentation."

            "But to be surrounded by strangers all the time, I do not think I could handle it."

            "I will be there," Lady Adelaide patted Mattie's hand. "I will hold your hand the whole time and introduce you the finest people. Make sure you have only the best partners. It will be perfect."

            "It is still years away."

A presentation
            "Well then all the more to prepare you. I remember my own presentation. My mother had quickly made friends with Lady Cumnor and she was my escort to many events. My mother had custom order my dress from Charles Worth and with more silk than I had ever worn and such delicate beading, I felt like a princess. In fact I met then King that night, well he was the Prince of Wales then, but his grandeur was awestriking."

            "You met the King?" Mattie was in wonder.

            "Yes he was quite regal, everything a prince should be. He had such a way about hi that made you feel as if you are the only person in the room though he is always surrounded by a rather large entourage."

            "I cannot imagine what I would say to him. I would probably so tongue tied I would not be able to say a word."

            "You would thing that but oddly when you are with him while you are in his presence of such greatness you also feel completely at home. At least I did, when we danced."

            "I hardly think he would notice me. I am a little nothing."

 It had been a week a since Lady Adelaide told Mattie that she was beautiful, but Mattie treasured these words. She was probably the only person to call Mattie beautiful and how Mattie had felt a blush when Lady Adelaide had said it. It wasn't that Mattie was not good-looking, but for most of her life she was never told those words. Her mother had always doted on Daphne's loveliness and Gloria's darling looks. Mattie just skipped in the background and for the most part she wanted it that way. She had gotten used to the notion that her looks were plain and that nothing really distinguished her. Though no one had come right out and told her she was plain, she had hard time believing she had any true beauty.

The next day Mattie was on her way to Lady Adelaide but Mrs. Gardner stopped her. Usually Lady Adelaide sent her motor for Mattie but today Mattie wanted to walk and pick wildflowers for Lady Adelaide. She had told Mattie on a visit that wildflowers were her favorite and with the weather being so fair this summer the country provided many options. Mrs. Gardner would not let Mattie leave as word had Ripon that Mr. and Mrs. Harrington would be home within the hour. Mrs. Gardner was certain that they would be disappointed if Mattie was not home. Mattie doubted her mother and father would even notice her presence.

Father had his eyes on Marcus. He was the heir and father had great plans to set him up in the family business of the mill. It did not matter to father that Marcus had no intention of following his footsteps. Marcus was the heir and that was that.
How I imagine Mattie
Mother had eyes for Daphne as she was the charmer of the family and they all knew for the family to rise any sort of way she would have to make a superb match. Even though Daphne was only fifteen these plans were set in stone. Mattie ever wondered if it ever broke Daphne's heart knowing whatever Shane did he would never be considered to be a suitor for Daphne. Daphne's dreams of being Mrs. Shane Gray would never come true that was just a simple reality. Mother also gave some attention to Gloria as she was the baby of the family and the miracle child. Even with her baby fat it was obvious she would be a beauty as well. Though mother doted on her at seven years old mother still saw her as a bit of nuisance as she could not carry on a conversation of great importance and she was just beginning her lessons in music and French. Nevertheless, whenever mother had friends over they always found Gloria quite enjoyable and that kept Gloria in mother's good graces. It is a woman's duty to be a mother rather they had the loving hand to do it was not always certain.
Mattie was neither the heir, the beauty, or the baby and often thought she had no place at Southerton Greens except to be pleasant when noticed, invisible when not, and agreeable in both situations. Mother did give Mattie a kiss on the cheek when she said hello and father patted her on the head as if Mattie was a good puppy. Then they disappeared until before dinner. Mattie doubted they would have noticed her absence and she longed to be at Cranston Court where Lady Adelaide would be sitting alone. 

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