Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time Travel without Leaving the Here and Now

Much like other romance readers out there in cyberspace, I love Regencies. I love the era, the romantic notions of the past however, I’m a modern gal. From various authors, I heard how the Regency era was like the 60s. That may have been true however for me, I wasn’t born in the sixties.

For me, I believe that the world events are more similar to the Regency era.  Check out the list below.

Luddites: In 1811, stockingers broke into small hosiery workshops and smashed the frames used to construct the stocking, a highly skilled job while the manufacturers sold lesser qualities hosiery and putting their professions and families at danger.  These protest spread throughout England. Military forces were brought in to quell the violence however, the group only went underground. 

Occupy Wall Street: In 2011 with the economy in the sewer and a generation of twenty-somethings with thousands in debt and believing a college degree would get them the American dream gathered on Wall Street to protest the 1% of the population that held the wealth. The occupation spread from coast to coast. Police arrested them, pepper sprayed them and destroyed their tents. Even Time magazine named the Protestor the person of the year.

Economy: In description of  the Regency era's economy, Carolly Erickson wrote in Our Tempestuous Day, "Despite the drastic decline in trade, the wave of bankruptcies, the falling wages and rising prices that hurt workers so cruelly and the bare lives of the country poor, there were riches adundant, and with them a sense of comfort in everyday life that ought to be the envy of other countries. "

The city, the term for the financial district of England and original boundaries of the town faced financial ruin. The English Pound note depreciated.

In my opinion, that could be written about our state of a nation now and just switch a few terms and you have America now.

War: In 1800s, England fought Napoleon Bonaparte as well as a country called America. They were a nation at war. Red coats were abound. Canon exploded over Fort McHenry in Baltimore.  

Today, we've been a country at war since 2001 and recently pulled out of Iraq. This time England is our ally. 

King, Regent, Father and Son:  Since the king went mad, Parliament introduced the Regency Bill. And England was saddled with a prince unlike his father.  Us Regency readers and writers know his ruling style.
King George III

In America, the closest we came to this was father and son presidents--George W. Bush Sr and Jr. And enough said on that.

Fairy Tale Wedding, Everyone Loves That: In 1816, Princess Charlotte married Prince Leopold. They married in Carlton House. Perhaps not a love match in the beginning, it evolved into one until Charlotte tragically died in childbirth.

This year, Prince William, third from the throne, married his love Katherine Middleton. A love match and hopefully one that does not end in such sad terms.  I don't know about anyone else but I was up to watch Katherine come down Westminster Abbey in her beautiful gown that had the press talking about it for months much as Princess Charlotte's had.

And the Regency wouldn't be the Regency without:  JANE AUSTEN
 Jane Austen, her novels still live.  Recently, her works have been reworked, smashed up, with sequels rewritten even comics.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Proust Questionnaire

If you're fan of Vanity Fair as I am then you've seen the Proust Questionnaire on the last page. I can't wait for the day when I'm asked but until then I'll answer the questions. Though I won't have the Risko illustration of myself.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Listening to a summer breeze blowing through the trees

What is your greatest fear?
Having to stick my hand in poo

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Marie Antoinette

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My defensiveness

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying books

On what occasion do you lie?
To spare someone's feelings when the truth can't be said in a constructive way.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My nose. I'll love to shave off some of it.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Anyway or like or but, well anyway...

What's your greatest regret?
That I didn't risk all when I had the chance.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
In one word, Jose.

When and where were you happiest?
Childhood and I never knew it.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Drawing. To create something that's why I love writing.

What is your current state of mind?
That's an answer you don't want to know. A scary place.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To redo life with what I know now but then I would be different, I guess.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
My father would still be alive.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

What is your most treasured possession?
My mac.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Doctor's appointments especially the GYN.

Where would you like to live?
Los Angeles. I've always loved LA.

What is your favorite occupation?
Writing, baby!

What is the quality you most like in a man?
A good heart.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?

Who are your favorite writers?
Oh the list is long but her is a few--Edith Wharton, Rachel Gibson, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Jane Austen, Christina Dodd, Oscar Wilde, Julia Quinn, Suzanne Brockman, Sandra Brown, Bernard Cornwell, Heidi Betts, Karen Hawkins--the list continues but I think that's enough.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Joe Morelli, from Plum Series

Who are your heroes in in real life?
My mother, my niece and my brother.

What is it that you most dislike?
any -ism, racism, sexism and so forth

How would you like to die?
after long and fulfilled life.

What is your motto?
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Female Friday

Of course, it being the end of the year I too have been taking stock of my life and my accomplishments, mishaps, setbacks--since I refuse to call them failures--and my sameness. We all have parts of ourselves or our lives we'd like to change. For me the most important and the focus of 2010, 2011 and no surprise 2012 is one single thing--drum roll please--To start my career as a published author. I've sold short stories but I'm going for the novel, the start of a long career I plan to have.

Publishing is a tough game with many growing and expanding even developing sectors. And I have to stand out from the countless others dreaming the same dream. This week, I turned on CW and there was the French designing genius Jean Paul Gaultier interviewing Lady Gaga.
Two of my favorite people. I watched it, waiting to hear what Gaga spoke about and the designs Gaultier would show her. But I learned something that helped. Gaga in her years as she sang in New York bars, she was like countless others playing those gigs. Sure she had the talent but nothing made her memorable. She decided to stick out of the crowd, for the world to take notice and listen then sing and dance along.
She's not forgettable now.

I admire her strength and smarts for changing and shedding normalcy. But she always inspired me. I guess you can say the light hit my disco ball. I too have to stick out of the crowd and make people remember me. Luckily, I have a name that certainly doesn't blend. You might not know how to pronounce it but you know it when you see it. This year at RWA Nationals, I went to get my book autograph from Christina Dodd. She looked at my name tag and said, "I know you. I remember your name from Twitter." If I was a Victorian lady, I would have fainted though my head felt like champagne popped open and fizz shooting foamy bubbles everywhere.

I'm working on the rest of it, adding the sticking out among the crowd to my business plan. And Gaga helped me. I admire her music, talent and...her Gaga-ness, you can say. She had a dream and used more than just her talent. She used her smarts to create a Gaga world.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Google +...huh?

So, I signed up for Google+.  I wasn't one of the beta users but heard all this hype and as an author, I'm building my brand. Naturally, I signed up.

And I'm utterly confused. I feel like blind mouse searching for the cheese.

Sadly, I may stay hungry.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

But You Don't Look Sick

In case you didn't know that's the tag for lupus, an autoimmune disease. And it's true the outside doesn't always reflect what's inside. I live with pain. My joints feel like they're wrapped in tape and I'm trying to bend them but nothing moves. And to add to that, each joint is swollen. My hands can barely hold a pen as for shaking hands that's like being put on the rack. Besides I don't you'd want to shake hands with me since my hands (and feet) are always icicles so I wear gloves in July. My muscles are sore as if I ran the New York Marathon as well as feeling bruise and battered like I fought in an ultimate cage match.  My legs can rarely hold me upright for very long. I get dizzy spells and near faints.  I'm forgetful and when I finally fall asleep, I'm not reaching a REM state. I wake up and it takes me an hour to be able to get out of bed. When I shower, I need about a half and hour to recover from that. 

Even though I deal with these and many more issues, I sometimes even believe that I don't look sick. I swear that the doctors must be wrong, gotten me confused with someone else. I'm young. I can do all the things that I've always done.  THEN I try to pick up something but my body revolts. I add too much to the plate and have to cut back. Or I have a doctor's appointment and my body needs a couple of days to recover for their poking and prodding and if they took blood, oh Lord, I can't use my left arm for two days. 

But then I look at the mirror and I swear I don't look sick. But my body always reminds me. The worst is not my illness, building a new life or establishing new limitations. The worst is remembering what I was able to do.  Being able to walk around the city, to dance or spend a few hours with friends doing anything as long as it was out and about. Being about to hold a hardcover book without the throbbing of my hands and my wrists feeling out of joint, stiff and if I bent them they just might shatter.

So, my body has revolted against itself and I've been ousted as President. But hey, I don't look sick.