#blog5daysAustenese random scribblings

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Five

Having started with long posts, it would perhaps be correct of me to continue charmingly in the same vein. Inasmuch, however, that today being the 20th of January, and that same date being likewise the date on which my eldest celebrates the day of her birth, it would not be politic of me to spend my waking hours in the ofttimes difficult task of blogging in Austenese.

Suffice it to say, then, that this, my fifth and final #blog5daysAustenese post be a shorter one than its companions, and all that remains, therefore, is to praise the valiant efforts of my fellow Austenese writers.

Congratulations, my gentle friends! Your accomplishments are truly honourable! And thank you, truly, for sharing this remarkable journey with me. I greatly esteem you all.

#blog5daysAustenese random scribblings

#blog5daysAustenese – Day Two

Having the unusual distinction of three family birthdays fall within a seven-day, I have then leisure to consider the import of ‘countdowns’. Counting the days that must be lived, prior to a forthcoming event, can be abundantly effectual. Not only have they the ability to elevate eagerness and enthusiasm prior to the big occasion, they also provide innumerable opportunities for the teaching of mathematical concepts to young receptive minds.

Saturday last witnessed the birth-day celebrations of my husband. Entering his 40th year was marked with his favourite diversions; fishing, napping, and dining with close friends. The following day, our middle child, often referred to as ‘Miss 3’, became ‘Miss 4’ and spent the day smiling profusely and announcing her successful acquisition of another year. And finally, our “Miss 6” will become our “Miss 7” this forthcoming Friday. Each of these days has been studiously counted-down-to by infant fingers excitedly marking off the days in our family almanac.

Twelve months ago, this blog witnessed my scribblings on this topic although it does not appear to me as though a year has passed. Reflecting on this perception, I see that it is entirely possible that the exercise of ‘counting down’ may be its intimate connection. By continuously focusing on future events, enjoying the moment may be superceded by the prospect of future happiness, thus rendering the present of lesser importance, possibly to such a degree that fewer memories are retained, thus rendering the passage of time to feel faster than in actuality.

My summation is that, should we seek to be wise, we should treat in an even-handed manner the conflicting desires of valuing and cherishing the moment and viewing the future with an excess of sensibility. Would you agree, gentle readers?

CC Image courtesy 4rank at

#blog5daysAustenese random scribblings

#blog5daysAustenese – Day One

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an educated person with a love of reading, an interest in the pursuit of learning, and a possession of both time and opportunity in the form of a blog, must be in want of a writing challenge. The exploration of their writing prowess then finds its culmination in the subsequent compositions, and the responses of readers by the means of comments below the blogs.

Inasmuch as today, being the 16th day in January, marks the commencement of such a challenge, it behooves me to welcome my friends into this five-day season of Austenese blogwriting. I warmly congratulate you on your courage, your bravery in the face of probable ridicule, and your willingness to see a challenge through to the end. Of your determination to attempt the composition of sentences, the structure of which is markedly different to our own, I heartily applaud.

Lovers of Jane Austen everywhere, I raise before you these participants, and commend their efforts to you. Your comments, as a consequence of reading, appreciating, and approving of their work, will inspire them to even greater achievements in this challenge, and therefore are greatly desired by all involved. As each participant will be composing their thoughts on their individual blogs, these links, should you click them, will lead you to the correct destinations:

@jobeaz, blogging at Macaronic

@Girlwithshoess, blogging at Justgirlwithshoes

@kalgrl, blogging at Feral Librarian Tales

@jzgarnett, blogging at Randomly Yours, Julia

And finally, a word to our detractors. Each name you see before you is not, as may be reasonably supposed, a lover of Austen’s writing. Indeed, at least one finds the work of Jane Austen to be so far from pleasant as to call it horrid. It can be assumed, therefore, that in this #blog5daysAusten challenge, you the readers have greatly the advantage of us in this respect, that you are able to comment profusely, whereas we the writers have only our works to recommend us. I would entreat you, therefore, to be gentle in your criticism, or rather, join us in the task ahead and proudly hold your own head high in the challenge. More participants are readily welcomed. Simply comment below your intention to join, with a link to your blog, and compose five posts in the style of Jane Austen. Having tweeted your publication of each post using the hashtag #blog5daysAusten, and following other participants writings, there is nothing left to do but to enjoy the journey!

#blog5daysAustenese random scribblings

Let the countdown begin…

Okay, so I chickened out just a little and gave myself (and those who were game enough to include themselves in the challenge!!!) another week of ‘preparation’. Another 7 days of reading Jane Austen’s work, immersing in her style, ready to blog in Austenese next Monday. For 5 days. Because 5 days will probably be long enough! Just blog what you would normally blog, but in her style, and tweet your creations with #blog5daysAustenese – it should be rather an interesting week!

Those game enough to enter, to date (oh – and any and all are accepted, if you feel like joining us!) are:

@jobeaz, blogging at Macaronic

@Girlwithshoess, blogging at Justgirlwithshoes

@kalgrl, blogging at Feral Librarian Tales

@jzgarnett, blogging at Randomly Yours, Julia

Hopefully I haven’t missed any! Sorry if I have; it’s been so hot here my brain’s not working properly…?! If I have, or if you’re game enough for the challenge, comment below to join in the fun!

Anyway, I thought I’d spend this week’s blog posts on *my* take on Austen.

I first encountered Pride and Prejudice in mid-High School, as I had been on a William Makepeace Thackery bent, and wanted something different. From Vanity Fair to P&P wasn’t a huge stretch, and I carried on “charmingly, when once I had made a beginning”. From P&P to Emma, to Sense and Sensibility. I left Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park til I was in Uni, and Persuasion later still. But it wasn’t until I purchased the Penguin “Complete novels of…”, a decade later again, that I encountered Lady Susan, which quickly became my favourite.

So early in December 2011, after a particularly trying day, I re-watched the Keira Knightly version of P&P. And decided to re-read my Penguin tome again, in order from first to last, watching the DVD (if I had it) immediately prior. Sense and Sensibility took me through to mid-December, followed by P&P by Christmas. And then it was the turn of my least-favourite, Mansfield Park. Apparently it was Austen’s favourite. It’s not mine. I always find it a slog. But I finished it last night, so am looking forward to watching Gwyneth Paltrow sometime in the near future.

Sense and Sensibility struck me anew with its wide array of characters, having just watched the Emma Thompson / Hugh Grant version (I really do NOT like his acting, but I guess he does play the part quite well) and being quite a fan of Gregory House, I do enjoy seeing his droll version of Mr Palmer. Best of all was Alan Rickman though, with nary a shade of Die Hard in evidence. I would have liked to have seen the “Willoughby coming to see Marianne during her illness” scene in the film, but can understand why it was cut, and the ‘intelligence’ he brought with him regarding his motives, left to Colonel Brandon to give. But all in all, an enjoyable film, and an entertaining read.

Final thought:

It’s truly amazing, the things you can learn from Librarians! Apparently the following exists: “Pride and Prejudice and zombies”; “Sense and Sensibility and sea monsters”; and the twitter version of Austen. Who would have thought?!!

random scribblings

scribble 1

She forced herself to lie still in the darkness, squashed into the tiny space beneath her bed. Listening intently, all senses on high alert. Trying desperately to hear past the pounding of her heart. Her rapid breathing was so loud! She had to muffle it, and quickly, or she would be found.

She could hear him coming. Closer, and closer, and closer. He was calling, “Where are you? I’m going to find you! You can’t hide from me!” She lay stiller than ever, her hand over her mouth.

Through the horizontal slit between the bedcovers and the carpet, she could see that her bedroom was still empty… for now. She could hear him coming, chortling with glee.

“I’m going to get you!”

Her heart was pounding so hard she thought it was going to beat right out of her chest. The door opened and she quickly muffled the involuntary scream that tried to escape her fingers. She watched in dread as his unsteady feet moved unerringly toward her hiding place. Then he quickly lifted the covers, exposing her, chortling loudly.

Her laughter mixed with his as she crawled out and enveloped him in a bear hug. “Yes, you found me! Okay, so now it’s your turn to hide, and I get to count to twenty!”

She gently turned her little brother around, smiling at his childish giggling as he ran out of the room. Then she covered her eyes and started counting loudly. “One… two… three…”

my novel-in-progress Random thoughts

Day 3 – in which I completely miss the mark

Yesterday morning I wrote something about aiming for ‘morning blogging’. Ha!!!!! This (7.32pm) is my first time turning on my computer today! (Well, actually, I tell a lie. I had it on between 6.30 and 7am, just to tweet and update facebook for work. And start some preliminary job-hunting for next year.)

It’s been a busy day. But Miss 6’s half of her bedroom is now clean and tidy (woohoo!) and she has a brand new fish-tank sitting empty on her desk. Sunday markets in Caboolture can be quite a motivator for cleaning, I’ve found! She’s been after a fish tank of her own for some time, so I decided I’d use whatever currency I had to help her organise her HUGE creation of completed and partially completed ‘collages’ – and all the miscellaneous crap that ‘could be used in a collage one day!!!’ (A hoarder at 6. This does not bode well! Or is it that all kids are like this at this age?!) So there went quite a number of hours. Then there was church this morning, and the Sunday drive after, and that doesn’t leave as much time as I’d hoped…

So yes. Writing time? Not so much. But I did a couple of hundred words yesterday – does that count? LOL!

Well, I guess I could try fitting some in now. It’s quiet, I’m snug and warm, and there’s a couple of hours left of laptop battery. So here goes…

#blogjune my novel-in-progress Uncategorized

Day 2 post-#blogjune challenge – in which I sleep in until 6.15am

Day 2 since #blogjune and I think I’ll try maintaining this ‘habit’ for as long as I can. The ‘non-assignment writing’ writing that I’ve been doing recently (as I mentioned to BFF -!! – yesterday) has already resulted in more ‘metacognition’ (her word! One of the many reason’s she’s an inspiration…) and re-drafting thoughts in my head once they’ve been thunk. Pretty cool.

So anyway, I also thought I’d aim for morning blogging. Was inspired by a post or two on writing (thanks to @AlisonWnz for the link in my tweetstream!) so for today there’s not a whole heap to reflect on… unless you count the morning sleep “in” until 6.15. At which point I had to get up because Miss 3 decided to remove her nighttime nappy but miss the toilet, spoiling last night’s efforts. But that’s okay. 6.15am for me is 45 minutes later than my normal ‘sleep-ins’!

So now – off to do some writing! See you tomorrow, in which I may (or may not) report on my progress…

my novel-in-progress Random thoughts

Words, words, words…

As the Bard had Hamlet say, a few hundred years ago, “though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down”. The written word can be so powerful. Truth needs to play a balancing act with tact. Words, words, words. They’ve been on my mind of late, and not only since commencing blogging 19 days ago. (Only four more days and it’s a fully fledged habit, isn’t that right? They say it takes three weeks…)

@fionawb used her 12 posts in #blog12daysxmas to regale us with 12 important words in her life. Graham Kell, my pastor at Chancellor Park Community Church, mentioned yesterday that the 2010 Word of the Year was ‘App’. Both of these got me wondering about the application of important words in my own life. If I had a ‘word of the day’ each day, what would it be? Could I find seven words important to me, enough to fill a week’s worth of posts? I didn’t know, but I’m planning to find out. And by the end of this week, we can all see just how well I went! So. The ‘Word of the Day’ for today? Day One of seven ‘Important Words in my Life”…

Integrity. A concept I like to think that I live my life by. “My word is my bond.” I want to be a person who is trustworthy. If I commit to something, I want to be able to see it through, “come hell or high water”. I guess it stems from my pride, which I have in spades. (And yes, I know that that’s not necessarily a good thing.) But be that as it may, I’ll keep my word once I give it. And hopefully, that’s not so bad. (And on another ‘word-related’ thought, I thought it’d be fun to include a few clichés in my writing this week. How many can you find?)

Anyway, that’s it. My Day One offering – integrity. Tune in tomorrow for Day Two’s word… and have a lovely day today, dear readers!


my novel-in-progress places to visit Random thoughts

The Ultimate!

Today’s post completes the list. Number four of the ‘Top Four places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. And as I said yesterday, this destination fills the senses.

From vistas of endless countryside, desolate and strikingly beautiful, to the scent of foreign spices filling the heat-laden air. From the intensity of the sun which presses into your skin, to the taste of pure, clean water which soothes your dry mouth and throat as it quenches your thirst. From the cacophony of the familiar ‘modern-city-noise’ to its striking contrast – the traditional calls of camel-train drivers and the (mostly) amicable religious competition: resounding cathedral bells vs. the five-daily calls to prayer from the tall Islamic minarets. And yes, this is what my imagination tells me that Israel will be like, when I eventually get there.

Of course, it may equally as likely, be completely the opposite. Speaking with a young Israeli couple during our unintentional few days extra holiday the other week, (courtesy the Queensland floods,) it’s now difficult to tell that you’re even in Israel if you’re in the south of Tel Aviv. According to them, there are now so many immigrants living there – mainly from South Africa, interestingly – that they form the large majority of the population. Plus I’d need to add in the concrete walls, the barbed-wire fences, the hundreds wearing military uniform and carrying weapons… yes, it’s probably more than likely that the Israel in my mind will need some radical updating before it reflects the land as it exists today. No matter. I just want to go.

Like the Day 1 Destination, Rome of 350AD, I’ll be doing the touristy bit and visiting the ‘Ancient’ places. Those I’ve been reading about for years in my Bible. I’d like to think I was walking where Jesus walked and seeing the places (well, the modern versions) that He saw. To experience the history with my own eyes, as it were. How incredible that would be!

Anyway, that’s the last one on my list. Four places that I want to visit. It makes me wonder what would be the four places I would NOT want to go. Which is much harder for me to answer – I doubt I’d be able to find four! So I shan’t be blogging about that over the next four days. (Hooray!)

Instead, I have been inspired by two different sources to write on a different, non-travelling topic. But I’ve written enough for this post, so if you’re interested in finding out more, stay tuned for tomorrow’s offering! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers! Oh – and I’d love to know what YOUR favourite place to see is…

my novel-in-progress places to visit

Of murders and mayhem…

The Roman Empire. 350AD. Constantine’s legacy is being fought over by his three sons. The new state religion, Christianity, is fumbling to find its feet, as civil war rages across the known world.

Ancient Rome – the setting for my forthcoming novel. Forthcoming, as in: conception has occurred, but I’ve barely reached the end of the first month of the first trimester. And considering conception occurred a few years back, it will most likely be a number of years before the ‘possibly-getting-close-to-being-published-now’ stage. And yes, I feel guilty about that. In our instant society, it seems as though to take your time over something is an indication of something being ‘wrong with you’. Which is sad, I think. (But possibly accurate in my case, anyway!) But it’s true though – how often do modern writers produce at least a novel a year – or if not, then one every few years? Actors are known for what films they have released, and how regularly they work – musicians, too. In fact, I would say that most industries are the same, as it’s a symptom of the time, not of the media. We’re an instant, output-based world now, and the days of a novelist spending years if not decades agonising over a manuscript, are long gone. Which is a pity. But still…

This post is the first of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. D’Oh! Can’t visit Ancient Rome. Bumma! So I guess modern Rome will have to do. And once there, I guess I’ll just have to do the touristy thing and visit all those places where the ‘Ancient Rome’ has been preserved. Further research on my novel. I want to walk where Theophilus walked and see what he saw. Maybe not smell what he smelled, exactly, but at least be able to imagine it!

So why Ancient Rome, exactly? Well, I first fell in love with the historical novel when I spent many an hour with Brother Cadfael as a teenager. Being half-Welsh myself, I felt a connection with Ellis Peters’ creation, and developed a fascination with her ability to conjure character profiles and detailed storylines from historical figures and factual events. And Rome of 350AD? Well, I’m a Christian. And for almost a decade now, I’ve been interested in the Hebrew Roots of my faith, and the growth of the ‘Church’ in the West, particularly from the time of Constantine onwards.

So yes, that’s why Ancient Rome – or Rome, at least – makes the list of Top 4 places to visit. Tomorrow’s destination is closer to home. Well – it’s in Australia, anyway. So stay tuned, dear readers, and have a lovely rest-of-the-day!