Will Jane Austen’s Real Inspiration Please Stand Up?

Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire

Castle Ashby

When I saw this article in the Telegraph linked on Twitter, I rolled my eyes a bit and prepared myself for silliness. We’ve had so much of this sort of thing: the Real Mr. Darcy, the Real Pemberley, etc., and it’s becoming tiresome, because so often it’s a bunch of hooey. Continue reading

Messing About in Boats

Tall Ships Philly and Camden 2015

I had a great time this week at the Tall Ships Philadelphia and Camden festival. I went to the Parade of Sail on Thursday and back the next day to go aboard some of the ships. It was hot and sometimes rainy and occasionally not optimally organized, but my lucky ship karma came through in a couple of instances, making it an overall positive experience.  Continue reading

Reading These Old Shades


Illusions: shattered.

ETA: The dictionary was wrong! Bohea was used to indicate black tea, as opposed to green tea. That’s all. Nothing sinister.

Friday Night Dance Party!


We’re going to dance and have some FUN! It’s Friday!

Welcome to the Grand (Re)Opening of This Delightful Habit of Journaling!

WelcomeBelieve it or not, I started this blog two years ago. I meant it to replace AustenBlog, because I wanted more freedom to blog about everything that interested me, not just Jane Austen, though I can’t imagine any blog I write not being heavily influenced by my love for Jane Austen’s work. However, I found myself unable to kill AustenBlog. I stood above it with my knife, ready to stab it through the heart, and couldn’t do the deed. If this were Shakespeare, I would come to an ugly end, but fortunately it’s just a blog.  Continue reading

All of Heyer: Simon the Coldheart

allheyericonPublished 1925

“Almost from the first her novels stood apart from the usual offerings among historical fiction.” – Jennifer Kloester

I liked Simon the Coldheart well enough, but find myself with not much to say about it. Reading it between Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies* was, in retrospect, not the greatest idea. I was too eager to get back to Mantel to give Simon the attention he deserved; and he does deserve it. To be honest, I had a hard time putting it down for first half of the book. The second half didn’t exactly drag, but it lost a little momentum–and that was just when we were getting to the love story.  Continue reading

The Holy Grail

I wrote this two years ago and never published it for some reason…it’s been hanging around in the drafts on this blog, which shows how long I have been dithering about with getting this blog off the ground! But it’s a funny story so I thought I would share. –MCS

John Scalzi has a post on his blog telling publishers to not take his innocuous comments about the “Big Idea” posts on his blog and make them book blurbs. The “Big Idea” posts are written by various authors to publicize their books, and Scalzi’s comments are just introductory in nature, not meant to be praise or censure; yet publishers are using them as blurb comments, because Scalzi’s a big name in science fiction (and I WILL praise one of his books, Redshirts–hilarious and touching, and you can blurb me on that) and a blurb from him is worth something, even when it’s essentially meaningless, I guess. It does strike one as a violation of Wheaton’s Law, of which one would expect a reader of Scalzi’s blog to be aware.

Turning innocuous comments or outright bad reviews into outstanding blurbs has a long and illustrious history

I wonder if his blog post will do him any good, because it seems to me a lot of folks at publishing houses (and authors, when they self-publish, or are forced to do their own marketing) tend to not read the instructions carefully. Besides, turning innocuous comments or outright bad reviews into outstanding blurbs has a long and illustrious history, especially on movie posters.

I had an experience in that direction myself. Continue reading

Uptown Funk You Up

In case anyone was wondering where I got the blog tagline, it’s from my current jam. Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy!

If you don’t like it, don’t worry–I’m going to be changing up the taglines occasionally.

Around the Square

On nice days, I like to take a lunchtime walk around Rittenhouse Square. The groundskeepers have been hard at work the past few weeks getting the square ready for spring. I couldn’t resist whipping out my mobile phone and taking a few photos. (Here is where I mention I am not a very good photographer.)


“The hardest part of doing anything creatively is just getting up and doing.” – Frances Bean Cobain

Very perceptive from a 22-year-old!

via Frances Bean Cobain on Life After Kurt’s Death: An Exclusive Q&A | Rolling Stone.