A few images of the season and a catch-up on what’s happening in my world:
They 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 autumn, 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.”
The 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.
I 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.
Finally, 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!