I’m alive! And having fun in cosplay. Several years ago, I designed and made a historically accurate regency gown after months of painstaking research. Just because I could. And yes, I’ve had several opportunities to wear it. This spring I added to my ensemble by decorating a straw bonnet and purchasing a matching reticule in order to attend a fabulous tea party hosted by Sarah M. Eden. On the way, however, my giant white coach got a flat tire, and I ended up walking the last several blocks through Provo neighborhoods to the event. I was in my own Austenland, in the midst of busy traffic and rubbernecking college students. Wouldn’t it be great if those of us so inclined could get together an Austen flash mob? Let’s pick a time and place, then all show up in costume to exchange witty banter and discuss the weather. I showed up to my bunco group tonight in this same dress, hoping to get my friends excited about going to see Austenland with me. The things we do for ‘research.’ I’ll have to create some kind of regency sci-fi in the near future.
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After the passing of one of my all-time favorite authors, Diana Wynne Jones, a couple of weeks ago, I busily engaged myself in a comprehensive reread of all books on my shelf authored by her. Yes, it was a bit excessive, and the mountains of unwashed laundry in my kids’ rooms will attest to Ms. Jones’ superb writing. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, however, and I am not ashamed.
This latest marathon of a read has inspired me, thankfully, to write (actually rewrite–I’m working on editing two of my novels) instead of throw my laptop at the wall in despair at ever writing anything as interesting or witty or intelligent as the author of Howl’s Moving Castle. So, thank you, Ms. Jones, for your inspiring writing, and a wonderful inspiring life. I wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for you.
Read her autobiography here: http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/autobiog.htm.
While attempting to process needed and necessary revisions on my latest WIP, I have found it necessary to read in vast quantities. I have to admit, reading is usually my way of procrastinating what I should be doing. The up side to this type of procrastination, however, is how it ultimately motivates me to write and helps me write in a particular style.
My latest reads were an assortment of whatever I found at the small local library that appealed to me. Some titles were ones recommended to me recently, others were ones I had recently discovered at a writing conference. I went in for one specific title (North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell), and came away with six books, none of which were what I had been looking for. I then proceeded to read three of them in less than 24 hours!
The books I couldn’t put down are by Utah author Lisa Mangum, entitled The Hourglass Door and The Golden Spiral; part of a trilogy, the third title, The Forgotten Locket, is due to come out this summer. Congratulations to you, Lisa, for keeping me up all night! The Hourglass Door was one of the best YA reads I have had in a long while.
The Hourglass Door intrigued me in several ways. First, I love suspense. Not knowing or understanding the secret behind Dante’s strange existence and rules for living paired with his obvious connection to Abby made for a compelling read.
The romantic element was also well crafted, leaving me on tenterhooks waiting for the main characters to finally get together and kiss, already. And, frankly, while an Italian accent wouldn’t do much for me, discussing classics with someone who understood them as deeply as Dante… I loved how the author brought so many great ideas into the book and wove them together into a compelling story. Leonardo da Vinci, time travel, betrayal, secrets, and love. Oh. And one of my favorite Shakespearean plays.
For me, the second book, The Golden Spiral, didn’t keep the same sense of discovery and suspense. While the strength of Abby’s character develops to a great degree, and she does some amazing things, I felt I was not exploring any new territory. It was still worth the read, however, and I’m looking forward to the completion of the trilogy in a few months. I’m sure it will round out the story perfectly.
And it took me two days to publish this entry, because I had to take a break to read Monster Hunters International by Larry Correia.