Back to Top

Monthly Archives: July 2008

Hello from SF and the 1st Annual Historical Writers’ Conference (put on by the Beau Monde and the Hearts Through History Chapters). I’m drowning in riches here–so many appealing workshops that I long for the Time Turner Hermione Granger uses in Harry Potter III!

The first workshop I attended was “Black Powder Weapons Through the Ages”, by Gordon Frye, who brought examples of all sorts of period pistols, muskets, rifles and also swords and demonstrated how they were carried, loaded etc… Very, very cool, and many of us fell in love with the small Regency era pistol, perfect for a heroine to tuck into her reticule.

It seemed only natural to segue to the workshop on “Trauma Surgery” by Scott Moore, where I learned, among other things, how gunshot wounds were treated, how arrows were extracted and how amputations were actually performed (Hollywood usually gets it sooooo wrong). This was particularly interesting to me since my mess-in-progress features an army brat hero and also many ex-soldiers among the secondary characters.

“Sex Through History” by Delilah Marvelle was also brilliant and chock-full of interesting tidbits, naughty language and naughtier pictures that prove there’s nothing new under the sun. I am quite dying to go explore some of the sources in her bibliography!

Next many of us enjoyed “Kickshaws: Regency and Victorian Refreshments” by Kalen Hughes. We sampled rout cakes, pound cakes, seed cakes, Banbury cakes and much more. Yum! I’m so glad the handouts include recipes.

After I finish this post: dinner, booksigning and the soiree. I’m sure we’ll be posting many pics soon. And it’s been great meeting Keira, Jane George, Doglady aka Pam aka Louisa and others–wish all our Risky friends could be here!


Today I’m flying to San Francisco.

Tomorrow I’m attending the conference put on by the Beau Monde (the Regency chapter of Romance Writers of America) and Hearts Through History (RWA’s historical romance chapter).

Then Thursday through Saturday is RWA’s annual conference!!!

Busy, busy, busy. And I can’t wait!

I’ll see friends I haven’t seen in years.

I’ll be a suave gamester, and teach piquet and cassino and loo at the Beau Monde’s soiree. (I’ll wear my Regency gown, and maybe I’ll even have time to dance, too!)

I’ll attend fantastic workshops, acquire fabulous novels and research books, and probably share friendly mutual gripes about the elevators or the air conditioning or some other hotel feature. (Griping about elevators is a great way to bond.)

I’ll try desperately to write more of my novel-in-progress.

And I will buy many, many books.

Now off to write madly…

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, which contains huge tracts of piquet

I’m in San Francisco!
I flew in yesterday and my travel was about as problem-free as you could expect. Then my niece Leila, who lives here, came to take me on the town. We walked from the hotel to Pier 39 for dinner, stopping at a Craft Fair on the way and lots of little shops. Then we went on the Alcatraz night tour and received real VIP treatment, because Leila works there. We went on a special private tour of Alcatraz, including the hospital wing where the movie, The Rock, was filmed, and underground, where the foundation for the original Civil War era fort can still be seen.

While we were on the boat I heard, “Diane!” It was Lori Wilde, who writes for Blaze and Grand Central. She and her husband joined our little private tour of Alcatraz.

Some pics:
Entrance to Alcatraz

Diane and Leila

Lori Wilde and Bill

Lori and Diane in jail

Today Leila and I will explore the city and ride cable cars. And tomorrow Keira and I will do our own tour of San Francisco, meeting up with Amanda and later with Deb Marlowe, Michelle Willingham and a bunch of others to end our day at O’Neills Irish Pub.

I wish you were all here, but I’ll take comfort in knowing all the Riskies will be together and we’ll see many of our Risky friends at our ‘breakfast’ at the RWA conference. More about that next Monday…..

As you all know, this is the weekend before RWA. Therefore, it’s the weekend that I spend running around my house screaming “Conference is coming! I’m not ready!” before falling over on the floor, having a glass of Chardonnay, and watching Pride and Prejudice for the 2,143rd time. (Which version? Doesn’t matter. Any. All!). I could be devising a way to fit all my shoes and evening handbags into my suitcase, working on the WIP (of which I have approximately 50 more pages to write), or researching the next book (wherein I will move from this WIP’s Regency Bath to that book’s Elizabethan Christmas at Whitehall. Plus a frost fair!).

Or I could have some more Chardonnay and find some fun Anglophile things on the Internet to share with all of you. I think I will go with that option.

First up, we have Kooky Royal Fashion. Since I have an absurd love for royalty, I really enjoy this!

We all re-wear our clothes, yes? Especially fancy things that cost a lot, and which we love but seldom get to take out of our closet. Princess Anne is no different. She took the dress AND hat she wore in 1981 to Princess Diana’s wedding and wore it a few weeks ago to another wedding, that of the Duke of Gloucester’s daughter Lady Rose Windsor. Because surely no one will remember a dress/hat combo that looks like a fried egg and was worn at possibly the highest profile event EVER! I actually think it looks better now, without that big choker, but she could have at least changed out the hat…

And speaking of hats! Then there was Princess Beatrice and her butterfly hat, also sported at a wedding. I love me a crazy hat, but this one might be a bit much even for me…

I also like to waste time looking for interesting real estate in the UK. I found this one, Shakespeare House in northern Buckinghamshire, near a village called Grendon Underwood. It was built as a coaching inn in the 1570s, since it was at a convenient spot halfway between Stratford and London. Called The Ship back then, it’s said that Shakespeare would stay there on his journeys back and forth (though I don’t see how this could possibly be proven, it’s still fun to think about living someplace Shakespeare slept!). Back then, it had 20 bedrooms as well as several public rooms with large fireplaces. Even though it’s been altered since then, it would still make a good place for Risky retreats!

According to tradition, Shakespeare stayed at The Ship several times over the years, though one night the inn was full and he slept on the local church porch before being chased off by the local constable, an incident that inspired the characters of Dogberry and Verges in Much Ado About Nothing. The inn has gone through fire, neglect, and rebuilding in the intervening years, but the little room is still there, up a narrow oak staircase past a priest’s hole and blackened beams. It’s also said his image appears in the window of this room on St. George’s Day, the anniversary of his birth and death, though I think if that happened every place he ever stayed his ghost would be tremendously busy…

This is the room Shakespeare was said to stay in, with the oval window (but I prefer the lighter chamber in the other pic!)

It has a lovely garden, too, where the current owners host Midsummer Night’s Dream themed parties, and is for sale for only 2.325 million pounds. A bargain!

Speaking of Shakespeare, I’m busy planning the 3 and a half days I’ll have in London after my trip to Paris this fall. One night I have tickets to see Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe! One day I’m going out to visit Hever Castle, family home of Anne Boleyn, and one day going to the Harlequin Mills & Boon offices in Richmond. That leaves–one and a half days for other things. I read a travel review where a family said they had 2 days in London and visited the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Imperial War Museum, the Tower, Kensington Palace, and the V & A. By my calculations, they must have spent about 2 hours in each place, which doesn’t sound helpful or enjoyable to me! But I do want to make the most of my time. Any suggestions?

But one trip at a time. I will see many of you in San Francisco next week, and will keep the rest of you up-to-date on conference doings!

People can be fanatical about things such as coffee, Clive Owen, black hooded sweatshirts, silver hoop earrings.

Yes, that’s just me. But that’s okay, this is MY day to post, and I’ve got packing to do, and a darn house to clean, and San Francisco to get to, and introvertism to overcome, and–yeah. You know.

One thing I am not fanatical about is getting to see or read stuff early. Honestly, it makes me feel like a dud. For example, I still haven’t seen The Dark Knight; I’ll get to it eventually (maybe Monday!), but it hasn’t been burning a hole in my chest or anything.

Likewise, Stephenie Meyer‘s Breaking Dawn is pre-ordered from Amazon, but not because I plan on reading it as soon as it ships–no, I just like the pre-order price discount. I’m cheap, not fanatical.

And the X-Files movie opens today. And Josh Whedon‘s Dr. Horrible has been online and causing havoc and frenzy. And Nas‘s record came out. And the iPhone. And Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Acheron. And loads of other pop culture things that other people are so excited about, and I am, too, but I’m not as early adoptive.

I envy people that passionate devotion to things. I was pondering just what would make me get all fluttery, so passionate I had to not only GET the thing (like a book), but sit down and ingest it right away. Nothing. J.R. Ward, I get as soon as it releases, but I usually wait to read it, just because I’m in the middle of another book. Movies? I’ve got a nine year-old, and a workaholic husband–you do the math.

Makeup? Nope. Shoes? Uh-uh. I do like hearing music as soon as it’s out–and sometimes before (the benefit of having a music reviewing husband)–but I don’t chase it down. I do proselytize, as in the case of Adele, Duffy, Alice Smith and Rufus Wainwright (back in the day, before his first record came out). But I don’t HAVE to hear it day-of-release.

I think I might get crazy when Clive Owen (my favorite, duh) is finally starring as Philip Marlowe (one of my favorite fictional detectives) written by one of my favorite authors (Raymond Chandler), directed by Frank Miller (Sin City!). Then I might make sure the babysitter’s lined up. Might.

What are you fanatical about? Do you get or see or hear things as soon as they are released?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 23 Replies
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By