Alone on the Riviera

Alone on the Riviera

Sometimes a story idea needs to get out and stretch it’s feet as shown in the Polyvore vignette below. Who is this woman? Where is she on the Riviera? Why is she alone? And what exactly is, ‘tout est possible’ in her mind? But if ‘everything is possible’ then why is she alone on the Riviera?

Questions, questions and more questions. Did Jane Austen have these thoughts? Did she consider what they were wearing? She seldom mentions a characters mode of dress unless it is of the utmost importance. Did her characters tell her, ‘I must go to London’?

I have no answers but I suspect that eventually this woman of the grey dress, Hermes watch, fabulous shoes and bag and not to be forgotten sexy swimsuit will make her thoughts and wishes known to me!

Alone on the Riviera

 

 

An Italian Sleuth

An Italian Sleuth

We all have an inner story to tell or two or three or more…in this case one of the imaginary friends insisted, no demanded that she was an Italian Sleuth traveling across the continent finding lost belongings, uncovering acts of betrayal all while doing it in high style.
The truth is that if you riled her up enough Letizia could easily be Letty from South Carolina but no matter, kudos to her for taking a chance and becoming something more, something bigger than a felon on the run from the law, a poor choice in lovers or…who knows? Who cares? Letizia definitely has great style.
A Fool for Love?

A Fool for Love?

“He was the love of her life, no wait; he is the love of her life.”

That’s better. Even if he had given up on them she had not. She was convinced that they were meant to be together, forever. Maybe, just maybe there was an element of revenge in her plan…

Lurid Details, a novel of love lost, love battled and love regained?

Lurid Details

How many books and movies are there where the heroine has lost the love of her life and works on getting him back? Dozens, hundreds, thousands…In the spirit of this heroine here are a few of our favorite movies:

FYI, In the spirit of full disclosure, the following links listed below are Amazon affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. They help pay the bills

French Kiss is one of our all time favorite Meg Ryan movies. Some how or another she manages to make her quest to get back her former fiance a man who has abandoned her for another woman look strong and not in the least bit pathetic. It’s one of those movies where you can turn a channel find it playing and start watching at any point in the story. Ms. Ryan delivers in a performance that is quintessentially her. She comes across as strong, not needy. It doesn’t hurt that the movie is filmed in Paris, the French countryside and be still my heart the French Riviera. And Kevin Kline is wonderful as the French thief who helps her.

Addicted to Love is on the opposite end of the spectrum from French Kiss in this movie Meg Ryan plays the part of a scorned woman who is out for revenge. It’s quirky at times and at other moments the perfect amount of dark humor. The addition of Matthew Broderick as the scorned man of the new woman in Ms. Ryan’s old lovers life is perfect. He is the light to Ms. Ryan’s dark.

In both Addicted to Love and French Kiss I found myself rooting for the different women; one who wants her man back and the other who wants revenge. Love is complicated, and simple and it brings out the best and the worst in us.

Priceless with the actress Audrey Tautou from Amelie and like Amelie this is a French movie with English subtitles but don’t let that stop you. The scenery is amazing as it is filmed in the south of France on the Mediterranean. And the fashion is to die for…Chanel, jewels. Quick overview Ms. Tautou plays the part of a young woman moving from sugar daddy to sugar daddy searching for the one man to set her up for life and along the way she has a fling with a bartender mistaking him for a young rich playboy.  The bartender is played by Gad Elmaleh. Mr. Elmaleh is the thrown over lover who chases after Ms. Tautou desperately trying to claim her love. The movie flies by without you noticing that you have been reading subtitles the entire time. Watch the trailer:

Writers Block, Imaginary Friends & Style

Writers Block, Imaginary Friends & Style

What do you do when your imaginary friends stop talking to you? Or when you have too many imaginary friends all silently or not so silently waiting their turn to speak? In our case we do something visual; color like a boss or turn to Polyvore.com. Polyvore is our not at all secret addiction. A place to build all of those outfits you want but can’t own; would never wear; a place to try on new personas, which is similar to creating new characters.

Cozy comfort for writer's block

I like the casualness yet chicness of this outfit we created. The vignette speaks of someone hunkered down in a chilly attic writing in a leather bound book; doing it old school, no laptop and definitely no typewriter. Her name is Diana. She writes in the attic by candle light but uses pricey, scented candles, you know the kind that are ridiculously expensive but oh so delicious to smell. Like the one below from diptyque which fits the bill for expensive at ~$600.

FYI, In the spirit of full disclosure, the following links listed below are Amazon affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. They help pay the bills

She channels the witch’s story with her cool ring from Alexander McQueen. Don’t bother looking for it as it’s sold out. I found these on Amazon that seem equally as cool and won’t break the bank.

Our author is a mix of contradictions; she listens to country and drinks whiskey on the rocks; for this book. Next book she’ll switch it around; perhaps she will sit in a coffee shop, write on a laptop and sneak Bailey’s from a flask into her coffee. It all depends on what those imaginary friends tell her, that is if they’re ever back on speaking terms.

Adult Coloring Books

Adult Coloring Books

FYI, In the spirit of full disclosure, the following blue links and images below are Amazon affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. They help pay the bills

Under the section of our website called Being Jane we have the Coloring Books page where we have put together a selection of Jane Austen themed adult coloring books along with pens and pencils. Because of course who wouldn’t want to sit and color like a little kid? Long before this trend started gaining traction a few years ago I had a set of pencils and a book of mandala designs. Some people knit or crochet, I color. There’s something very relaxing about coloring while watching an intense movie, such as Pride + Prejudice + Zombies [Blu-ray]!

It’s one thing for me to put together a collection of coloring books, etc but really I should try them myself. I mean really, how else will you know if you want to buy one. Oh sure, you could read the reviews. Or you could read my exciting blog post about my experience purchasing and using said products. In the interest of experimentation I purchased the following items:

The book has 55 removable pages of nice, heavyweight paper. The texture is lovely and the pages detach easily. I went with gel pens as opposed to pencils. I was tempted to try the Johnson’s Baby Oil, 20 Fl. Oz technique but the allure of the gel pens was too great. There are 48 gel pens packaged into 4 sets of pastels, neon, glitter and metallic. Definitely not true Jane Austen era colors. Here are a few things I learned:

  • The pens dispense a nice amount of gel, downside the pens dispense a lot of gel which means that sometimes you end up with too much.
  • Sometimes it is best to wait for everything to dry before you go back and attempt to ‘tart’ things up. Case in point see the “Every moment had it’s…” image below.
  • A little neon goes a long way…see image. Ugh, definitely a first attempt
  • Using the filters in Instagram will give your finished work an upgraded look as shown in the image at the beginning of the post.

img_0837 Friendship img_0835

 

 

 

 

 

Old Friends and New Fancies

“Old Friends and New Fancies” is considered to be the first Jane Austen sequel. Published in 1913 and written by Sybil G. Brinton. It takes a variety of characters from all of Jane Austen’s novels and imagines new lives for them, specifically, the romances of Georgiana Darcy, Kitty Bennet, and Mary Crawford.

In a previous post I mentioned that I was part way through reading it with a decidedly ‘meh’ reaction. Its one thing when an author creates a new story with new characters but it becomes something completely different when a novelist reimagines an already beloved author’s novels, storylines and characters. These are huge minefields waiting for one wrong mis-step.

The other tricky part is dialogue. Do you attempt to write in the same manner? Or do you flat out write in the vernacular of your time? For me the failure of this novel is the mixing of dialogue. It reads like that friend who visits England only to return to the US with an English accent that ebbs and flows.

Mrs. Brinton did a nice job with the following characters: Georgiana Darcy, Kitty Bennet, Mary Crawford, Tom Bertam, and William Price. Their original portrayal by Jane Austen comes through and is expanded in a pleasing way. I particularly enjoyed the interpretation of Mary Crawford. Mary is a woman who has learned from the mistakes of the past with an eye towards a better future.

I did not care for Mrs. Brinton’s portrayal of Anne Elliot and Elinor Dashwood. They came across as weak and uninteresting with none of their original quiet, strength portrayed. This exaggeration of their “flaws” felt awkward and forced, as did the interpretation of their spouses, Capt. Wentworth and Edward Ferrars where both men are rendered shadows of themselves.

Overall, I would recommend reading ‘Old Friends and New Fancies’, especially if you are considering creating your own Jane Austen Sequel.

FYI, In the spirit of full disclosure, the links for ‘Old Friends and New Fancies’ shown above is an Amazon affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. They help pay the bills

More places to read about ‘Old Friends and New Fancies’:

Old Friends and New Fancies on Wikipedia

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Old Friends and New Fancies reviewed by Jane Austens World 


 

The Sisters of Pride and Prejudice

At any point in time there are dozens of items on my todo list, such as the following:

  1. Do laundry, fold the clothes in the dryer; oh wait put them in the dryer; put folded clothes away…etc
  2. Update website, write thoughts on one of many Jane Austenesque books; finish reading said Austenesque books.
  3. Take care of last night’s dishes.
  4. Let dog outside
  5. Pay bills, clean house
  6. Take old clothes to resale shop(hey, girls got to make some spare cash); sort old clothes; put in car…and drive to resale shop. Who knows maybe they don’t even want my rejects?

Seriously the list goes on and on but some how or another I inevitably distract myself from the drudgery of modern life with quizzes asking me important questions such as, “Which Bennet sister are you?”

Do I partake do you ask? Indubitably!

My results were surprising. At zimbio.com I was declared Jane! But at zoo.com the results showed Elizabeth. I needed a tie breaker so I found a third version over at earlybirdbooks.com, took it and tada, I am Lizzie. You can find links for all of the quizzes here.

Maybe the decision is all in the fashion choices offered by each sister as shown below:

Take the quiz at janeundone.com and find out!

 

Why do I read?

When I was sick and lay abed

I had two pillows at my head

And all my toys beside me lay 

to keep me happy all the day…
The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson

My father read to me as a small child and if I close my eyes I am transported back to him reading in his deep, rich voice the poem, “The Land of Counterpane” from Robert Louis Stevenson’s, “A Child’s Garden of Verses”. The comfort of the moment still resonates so many years later; the smell of pipe tobacco; the feel of his arm around me; the rhythm of the words.

The poem was published in 1885 and is older than my father and I together, he is 90 and I am 53. The book he read from was old and came from his childhood home. It smelled in that way that old books do, it was falling apart and my father had patched it many times. The way he handled it when he read to me spoke of respect and care. The poem itself played with my imagination, as I was often sick as a child and spent a great deal of time in bed. Books were a window to a world beyond the bed I lay in and I saw myself in the last line of the poem:

I was the giant great and still

That sits upon the pillow-hill,

And sees before him, dale and plain,

The pleasant land of counterpane.

My father read many books to me but that is the one that stays with me.

I love to read and I am a voracious reader to the point that sometimes I come across a book that I suspect I may have read but am unsure until I begin to read it. There are books I purposely reread and others I appreciate reading but despise. Books introduced me to people I would never have met, took me to places I will never see, and told me of events previously unknown. I have cried and laughed and cowered under the covers all from a good book.

FYI, In the spirit of full disclosure, the previous book link is an affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. They help pay the bills

Which Jane Austen Heroine am I?

In the interest of previewing the different items in our Being Jane section I found the online quiz, “Which Jane Austen heroine are you?” I immediately set to taking the quiz. I thought great I’ll breeze right through while I wait for my dinner to finish. Obviously, I’ll be someone like Elizabeth or perhaps, Elinor.  No, no, no that is not what I got.

I took the quiz multiple times. The first time I came up with Emma which totally surprised me. I don’t think of myself as a vain busy-body. And yes that is how I view Emma’s character.  I did the quiz a second time and came up with Lady Catherine de Bourgh. A trend was developing and I had gone from vain busy-body to an arrogant busy-body.  Now I was insulted and did the quiz a third time. All while the timer for my dinner beeped incessantly. But I must have answers, I must be someone good and kind and intelligent!!! Third time I ended with Anne Elliot.

Take the quiz yourself and post your results on Pinterest.

“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.”

Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park. 

I am currently rethinking my opinion of the character Mary Crawford all because of the first Jane Austen sequel, “Old Friends and New Fancies“. I am only 8 chapters into reading it and right now I’m not loving it nor am I hating it, more like meh. However, the portrayal of Mary Crawford is an interesting rewrite of her character. I think the author, Sybil G. Brinton nails her depiction of Georgiana but fails with Elizabeth Bennet, now Elizabeth Bennet Darcy. Once I’ve finished reading the book I’ll get back to you with a full assessment. Meanwhile here’s a little vignette highlighting one of Mary Crawford’s quote from Mansfield Park. Why shouldn’t an heiress such as herself have a lovely selection of expensive watches to choose from?

FYI, In the spirit of full disclosure, the previous links in blue along with the following links are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. They help pay the bills

 

Do not attack me with your watch!