Risky Regencies


We are back from Tennessee, where the scenery basically looks like this. I thought as we drove through the mountains that our Regency characters would have been amazed at the endless trees of the Shenandoah, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Alleghenies.

The family reunion picnic was lovely. We met family we’d never met before and saw folks we had not seen for years. Here we are. All except me, because I’m taking this photo (deliberately distant to protect the family’s privacy) but you can see how many of us came and how lush the picnic area was.

But I got to thinking about the differences in picnics from the Regency time to now . Our picnic was in a public park, not on the grounds of a country estate. We did not have tents erected for shelter from the sun, but the abundant Tennessee trees did a great job of shading our spot. We lugged our own chairs in our own cars and the food was not brought in by servants in horse drawn wagons, rather it arrived in a big SUV. The caterers were certainly not dressed in livery but in Tshirts and bermuda shorts. We ate hot dogs and hamburgers off styrofoam plates and drank (Regency characters may shudder here) iced tea.

There were games for the children – wheelbarrow races, potato sack races, nothing like the decorous maypole dance depicted here.

But I suspect, then as now, we had a wonderful time. The gathering of family and friends is mostly so.

I gave away some of my books. Most of the relatives did not know there was a romance author in the fam. One of my husband’s cousins will be in Dallas at the same time as the Romance Writers Conference and she might come to the booksigning (July 11 5:30 to 7:30 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas)!

Any family gatherings this summer for any of you? Any family reunion horror stories? Anyone planning to be at the RWA conference or the booksigning?

Maypole image from Jessamyn’s costume pages
Emma photo from the movie Emma

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15 years ago

I’ll be at the signing and the conference. I’m excited!

Cara King
15 years ago

As for family gatherings — none for me, but this coming weekend Todd and I will be flying (more flying!) to visit some of his relatives.

So glad your picnic was good! Love the scenery.

Wish I were going to be at the signing, but won’t. Have fun, all of you!


Diane Gaston
15 years ago

Alyssa! you had better stop by and say hi to me!! I’ll be in the “G”s. Are you going to the Beau Monde conference on Wednesday? I’ll be there, too!!

Cara, I hope your visit with family is fun like this was! And SOMEDAY we will have all Riskies at a conference and we can do something like have a Risky Regency party. A rout! We will have a rout!

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

I’ll see you all at the Beau Monde conference and at the signing (my first literacy signing!!!). And as I’m in the “H’s”, I’ll be right down the way from Diane.

Does it make me a bad person to admit that I’ve have to be dragged kicking and screaming (literally) to a family reunion? I adore my immediate family, but starting with my cousins and working out from there I just donโ€™t really care for my relatives (and I have nothing in common with them). I am flying to New Zealand to visit my self-declared brother though! Iโ€™m all about the family that you pick (and that picks you).

15 years ago

Diane and Kalen, I’ll be visiting both of you at the signing! Looking forward to it.

This is only my second year going. Nothing can quite prepare you for the sounds of a mere two thousand women in a room, all talking. Last year I thought it was the most amazing thing!

Diane Gaston
15 years ago

janegeorge! I can hardly wait to meet you!
I have to admit that I like being BEHIND the table instead of on the other side, wandering in that room. Much too overwhelming to me. After all this time, I know so many people and I feel terrible talking to them and not buying their books (Let me go on record as saying I don’t mind if you don’t buy my book. I just want you to say hi!!) but I’d go broke. Kalen the first one is such a rush. So many of your friends will be looking for you and celebrating this wonderful day with you.

About family. One thing I was so glad to discover was that these relatives were nice people. I liked them!!

Amanda McCabe
15 years ago

I’ve only been to one family reunion in my life–I was about 6, and got into a big fight after some rowdy cousins pushed me off a merry-go-round. I kicked their butts, though. :))

Alas, I found out Harlequin won’t be able to have my August book at the signing, but I WILL be wandering around chatting (or yelling, since it’s so loud in there) with friends. Anyone who wants to is welcome to wander with me. We’ll mob Diane’s table! ๐Ÿ™‚

Diane Gaston
15 years ago

Can’t you all just see Amanda fighting with the cousins and beating their butts!

Anyone who wants to is welcome to wander with me. We’ll mob Diane’s table! ๐Ÿ™‚

The deal is, you come to my table over and over and loudly say, “Diane Gaston! I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!” I’ll give you a bookmark each and every time!

Judy T
Judy T
15 years ago

The deal is, you come to my table over and over and loudly say, “Diane Gaston! I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!” I’ll give you a bookmark each and every time!

Now I really wish I could be there!! LOL!

The pics are gorgeous! Our family reunions are always 1000 miles away, and I’m working. (The hazard of working for yourself and your clients going on vacation at different times.)

Diane Gaston
15 years ago

Oh, Judy, I wish you could be there, too. I would LOVE to see you. SOMEDAY…

I must admit that my flexible schedule lets me do about anything I want, but I remember the days when I couldn’t. When I was working 9 to 5, it wasn’t work that limited me as much as family. When the kids were in school, the school schedule and day care schedules decided the vacations we could take.

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Kalen, if I could go to NZ, I wouldn’t mind if it were that old family gorgon. I’d go in a heartbeat.

Picking family is the best. I have a self-declared brother (cool term) in NC (yep him, DGP and AM), and I always love visiting him and his family.

Huge family gatherings are always more fun when you’re a kid (even if you have to beat someone up in order to have fun). They’re far more work and politics as an adult. Though, I’m all for gatherings at other people’s houses (not so much at my house). ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s fun to catch up with people you’ve really known for ages and don’t really know at all.



Diane Gaston
15 years ago

Good practice, Keira! Now say it out loud: “Diane Gaston! I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!” Repeat….Good…You are ready for RWA!!!

(I can’t wait to see you!)

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