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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Diary of Colonel Brandon, by Amanda Grange

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Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge 2011 The Diary of Colonel Brandon, by Amanda Grange
Colonel Brandon happens to be one of my favorite Jane Austen heroes, and Amanda Grange's look into his private thoughts makes him even more my favorite.  In this heartbreaking, yet amusing tale, we learn of his history with Eliza, his first love, and her daughter, seduced by Willoughby.  Grange portrays Brandon's heartache so well with so few words, exactly like the soft spoken Colonel Brandon we all imagine.  His quiet love for Marianne, and his generosity to Edward create the character we all know and love.  I was moved by his grief at losing Eliza, but shed tears as Marianne accepted him at long last.  His fellow soldiers in India and in England, and his insufferable family complete the story of Austen's quiet Colonel, and give us an idea why he is the man he is.  A wonderful read for any Jane Austen fan, but a particularly delightful one for lovers of Sense and Sensibility.

Here We Go Again...

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So I went to the doctor today.  Who cares, you might think to yourself...people go to the doctor everyday.

For me, going to this doctor in particular, makes my blood pressure skyrocket.  My OB/Gyn is a wonderful doctor, and I have Caris because of him, but my blood pressure rises because of the anxiety I always get when he starts wanting to do tests on me.  My paternal side has a strong history of cancer, in particular a great aunt had uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer.  You can appreciate my anxiety, yes?  I obviously have no symptoms of that deadly disease, but all it takes is a fleeting thought of it to send me reeling.  The last several times I was in his office, it was happy, baby on the ultrasound visits, and talk of bed rest and delivery.

My reasons for going today are not a secret...I want Caris to have a little sister or brother.  However, I've learned from the past that it's best if I pay a visit to the doctor and get the prescribed cocktail of glucophage, baby …

In Which I Am Annoyed...

So tonight I attended the first Aurora meeting of the semester.  I really enjoy these meetings, mostly for the discussion that I don't get being a distance student.  Well, tonight, the discussion turned interesting, and I had to bite my tongue at some remarks another student made. These remarks pegged her as young, and lacking knowledge of the literary world.  I'm not claiming I have extensive knowledge, but over time, I've learned a few things.

So it went like this- we critiqued a short story this evening and it was obvious to me that either this author did not have a good grasp of grammar, or English was not their first language.  I leaned towards the language, just because of the errors I saw.  It was a story about a woman having her forty-first birthday, and feeling like she was no longer pretty, and that her husband no longer felt attracted to her.  This woman tried many things to preserve her youth, and decided the night of her birthday to stop at a bar and have some…

Being a Jane Austen Mystery Challenge: Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

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Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, by Stephanie Barron

Having never read any in this series of books, let me first say I was very excited to learn of a mystery series featuring Jane Austen.  Being a Nancy Drew lover, I was psyched to read the entire series.

And now after reading the first mystery, I am even more psyched!  I couldn't put it down!

Jane attends her great friend Isobel, the newly wed Countess of Scargrave, at a ball in honor of her marriage.  Being of humble circumstances, you immediately feel Jane's unease at being surrounded by the finery of the ton, but she deals with it well and enjoys herself.  This pattern is repeated throughout the book, as well as her self doubt in breaking off an engagement.  It is Jane's life, mixed in with the murders at Scargrave that make this book so enjoyable.  I think if it had just been the mystery, the book would not have been as well-rounded.  Jane's natural wit when put into practice in matters other than w…

The New Semester is Upon Me!

So today I received the schedule for my school return coming up in a few weeks.  This break has been way too short, and yet, I am ready to get started again.  This semester I believe will prove to be interesting, for many reasons:

Shakespeare: while I am not opposed to an entire class on Shakespeare, I will admit I am a bit intimidated.  And I have the same professor (Sister) from my Women Writer's class who I had so many problems getting my grades back.  I've already heard from a past student of this class with this professor, and the problems she had.  I hope beyond hope there are no issues.

Film, Culture, and Creativity: I can't wait for this class!  I have the same professor as I did for my images class, who so graciously allowed me an extra week to get my assignments in without paying for an extension.  I'm psyched for this one and I hope it is just as awesome as I hope it is.

Christian Ethics: Okay, my professor for this class is Mr. Collins, LOL!  All kidding as…

Snowmageddon!

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Ah, so here we is go...the next big snow storm of the season is upon us.  This means the mass hordes will head to the grocery store to stock up on the staples of bread, milk, and eggs, as if that will save all of mankind from a snowstorm.  I only needed a few things of the non-staple variety, so with Caris strapped into the newly sanitized shopping cart, we headed into the mass of people frantic for food to ride out the storm.  There were moms trailing three or so kids, wondering around with carts so full not one more thing would fit inside; elderly women, their coats buttoned to their chins, Isotoner gloves on, picking through the jam to find their favorite; and elderly men, with mostly empty carts except for canned soup and frozen dinners.  There were people everywhere...no aisle was empty with one exception: the wine aisle.  Here I turned and stood for a moment, checking things off my list, out of the way of the mass mob vying for the last scraps of non-perishable food.  The wine a…

What the hell is wrong with people? R Rated post ahead...

I am disgusted.  This will be no mild-mannered blog post, folks.  I'm pissed.  This is my opinion of the events of the day, and my opinion only. My thoughts are with everyone present at the meeting where this took place.  I cannot imagine the horror.

As I listen to the news media back track over announcing Rep. Giffords dead, and now indicating she is in surgery in critical condition, my thoughts go to the person who commit this crime.  This just proves that people cannot be adult about ANYTHING anymore, and have to act like a spoiled brat that doesn't get their way.  There's a reason America is a democracy, there's a reason so many died to preserve our freedom, and people like this have no sense of anything.  They are a waste of space.  What has happened to our country, that people think it's okay to do something like this?

And now to the shooter:

Who in the hell do you think you are?  I don't care what kind of life you had, or how bad it has been, that does n…

Getting an early start!

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So I'm getting closer to graduation...next year in fact.  I'll know more about exactly when after I meet with my advisor in a few weeks.  My wish for a graduation gift is a trip to England and Wales.  It's been my wish for quite a while, actually, but I think it's a great graduation gift to myself.  Geesh, that sounds narcissistic!  Regardless, it's what I want for graduation, and after all these months of my nose in a book that's not of my choosing, I think it's a fair request! ;)

Really, we've been trying to go forever now.  I've lost count of how many time we've actually started to make plans, look at dates, etc., only for something to come up and completely wipe out the idea.  Needless to say I've not been amused at those turns of events.  

Until then, I've decided to start my England 2012 bank account.  Monday I will go to the bank and start an account.  I have no idea when I'll have any extra money to dump in there, but I'…

Why I read romance novels

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I get this question a lot it seems, and I'm not sure why.  What is is about romance novels that make those who do not read them, question me as to why I read them?  Is it because they contain *gasp* sex? they whisper.  Am I trying to escape from something? they ask knowingly.  No, actually I'm not, thanks.  Are they serious?  These lovely people cannot fathom why I want to read "smut".  It's as if they don't consider it literature, and so I quickly tell them that many, if not most romance novels are very well written, and the stories are full of romance, angst, history, fabulous plot lines, and yes, sex.  That always gets an eyebrow raise!  Usually these conversations are funny, and it ends with me recommending an author for them to start out with if they're interesting in taking the plunge.  I have no idea if they actually read the book I recommend, but I've done my part for the good of the genre.

I remember when I first began getting into romance no…

Another challenge...

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....and it's a good one!

Come on over to Bookishly and join in our Romance Reading Challenge!!

Do I dare?

I've just learned there is a Austen short story contest going on...and I'm seriously considering entering something!  Here is the link: http://austenprose.com/2010/12/14/announcing-the-jane-austen-made-me-do-it-short-story-contest/

I've missed writing so much, and this would be something that mean a short commitment.

Hrm...so do I dare?

Goals...not resolutions!

Alright, I've had nearly five people ask me what New Year's resolutions I've made, and they have all been surprised when I tell them none.  I just never do them because when I do, I never achieve them.  2010 wasn't a bad year, in fact, it was a good year.  I'm in a great new job, have a wonderful family, and am trucking away on getting my degree, with my ring being the big step back in March of 2010.  So, this year, I'm going to make some "goals" and post them here.  I am not calling these resolutions, because when I call them that, I set myself up for failure.  These are my "goals" for 2011.  They are completely random!

1. Keep up with homework, without sacrificing myself.
2. Don't let things stress me out so much (see #1)
3. Get out more...with husband, friends, me and baby...doesn't matter who.
4. Read more!  This may contradict #3, but the list of books read this year is pathetically small.
5. Strive to be positive, and avoid be…

Happy New Year!

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So 2011 is here, and with that a new opportunity to broaden my horizons and move out of my comfort zone slightly to discover new literature.  Bring on the reading challenges!


Historical Fiction Challenge 2011:  Ha!  My favorite genre!  I think I can handle this!  This challenge can be overlapped with other challenges for 2011, which will be inevitable, it seems.  Here are the levels:  Severe Bookaholism: 20 books; Undoubtedly Obsessed: 15 books; Struggling the Addiction: 10 books; Daring & Curious: 5 books; Out of My Comfort Zone: 2 books.  I believe I shall be entering myself under the level of Struggling the Addiction.  Really, I have severe bookaholism, but time constraints do not allow my to read 20 books that will of course take me way from actually doing any homework this year.  My first semester of the year is a Shakespeare class, so I'm sure I'll have my fill of historical writings!


Jane Austen Mystery Reading Challenge 2011: I do love a mystery, and I've been wa…