Fall Roundup

A few images of the season and a catch-up on what’s happening in my world:

20151016_124133They sauntered about together many an half-hour in Mrs. Grant’s shrubbery, the weather being unusually mild for the time of year, and venturing sometimes even to sit down on one of the benches now comparatively unsheltered, remaining there perhaps till, in the midst of some tender ejaculation of Fanny’s on the sweets of so protracted an autumn, they were forced, by the sudden swell of a cold gust shaking down the last few yellow leaves about them, to jump up and walk for warmth.

I thought this quote from Mansfield Park (chapter 22) was appropriate for today’s post in that I, much like Fanny Price, have been enjoying walks outside while the weather is still mild enough to be comfortable and while the turning leaves are showing off. Also, it gives me an excuse to share some of the fall-color pictures I’ve taken.

But I should say 20151001_131536autumn, not fall, I suppose. That was a mistake I made in my first book, The Darcys of Pemberley (three times, actually). Using the word “fall” in place of “autumn” is an Americanism, as it turns out, and very un-Jane-like. My apologies, especially to my readers in the UK.

Elizabeth shuddered at the very idea.

“What is it?” Darcy asked. “Are you cold?”

“A little,” she answered, accepting his interpretation. “Fall is upon us, and the evening air has taken a decided chill.”

In response, Darcy settled a rug over their laps and his arm about her shoulders. “There, is that better?”

“Oh, yes. In fact, had I anticipated such an agreeable solution, I should have discovered myself to be cold a good deal sooner.”

20151016_124033The other reason I thought a Mansfield Park quote appropriate is that my next book (still in the planning stages) will have strong ties to that novel – something a little different with a time-travel element thrown in just for fun! I hope it will serve as a bridge for Jane Austen fans to the publishing of my long-forestalled novel First of Second Chances. In fact, I plan to release them both together as the first two in what could, if well received, turn out to be a loosely connected series.

20151016_123552I can hardly wait to dive into some serious writing again, but I don’t dare until I’ve finished off a heavy-duty family responsibility (sorting out my parents’ house) first. I’ll leave the tempting idea of starting a new novel dangling in front of my nose as motivation and then my reward. In the meantime, the story is spinning itself and taking shape nicely in my head!

I do want to mention, for the sake of anyone in or passing through the Seattle/Tacoma area this weekend, that I will be appearing at a local book event in Puyallup on Saturday (Oct. 24) 1 – 4pm. It’s going to be very informal, so I will be available to chat as well as sign books. I’d love to see some of you there! Here’s a link to the details.

P&P 20th anniversaryFinally, I couldn’t let an important milestone anniversary slip by unacknowledged. Did you know that the A&E mini-series of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle debuted twenty years ago in 1995? I didn’t realize it at the time, but that event would quite literally change my life, introducing me to Jane Austen and ultimately launching me on a second career as a writer (see People You Meet at Costco). In my opinion, it’s still the best film adaptation out there, and my life is far richer for it. Thank you Andrew Davies and Sue Birtwistle!

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About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
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9 Responses to Fall Roundup

  1. tgruy says:

    So beautiful, thanks!

  2. Sheila L. M. says:

    Ah, yes, that 1995 film was my introduction to the world of Jane Austen, also. Love the beautiful photos and appreciate the lesson on Fall/Autumn. Learn something new every day. I am again trying to sort through some of my own accumulated “junk” so that my children don’t have the onus of that in the future. Gave a bunch of left over craft items to the church today (beads, pipe cleaners, foam eggs & balls, jingle bells, feathers, etc. Now I have to find a place which can use fabric I never made into various items of clothing. Amazing how it all just adds up and takes up space. Thanks for the quotes and the thoughts. (What tree are those purple leaves from?)

    • It’s a huge job sorting through a lifetime’s accumulation of stuff. I pray I live long enough to get through my own junk too, to spare my kids.

      It’s some kind of maple, Sheila, if you’re talking about the leaves in the bottom two pictures – scarlet maple, I think. The leaves are actually bright red when they fall, with the back sides almost white. Then they darken to that purplish color as they begin to deteriorate. It’s a pretty tree, but too close to the driveway and now roots are starting to push the pavement up, unfortunately.

      • Sheila L. M. says:

        I thought it was a maple from the shape. We have sugar maples here which are the most gorgeous reds and yellows in the fall. I had two different maples put in when we build our last house. But they were more in the middle of the lawn rather than next to the drive so the roots didn’t bother our driveway. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. I know how time consuming cleaning a parent’s house can be, we spent a vacation doing so to my mother-in law’s house (6am to 11pm daily). Thank you for sharing such beautiful fall pictures. I am looking forward to your newest story in the making.

    • Nice “vacation,” Debbie. For better or worse, I don’t have a particular deadline for emptying out the house. I try to spend at least 2 days a week working at it, but it’s been dragging on far too long. Must finish and move on. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  4. Debra Perrin says:

    As a Brit I appreciate your comment about Fall vs Autumn: it must be hard enough learning Regency words let alone trying to understand current UK vs US language.

    • Yes, Debra, lots of opportunities for mistakes! Not to mention the spelling differences, which I didn’t even attempt to translate except in “The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen.” Since it’s supposed to be JA’s journal, it seemed important that she wrote proper British English. 😉

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