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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I just got back Sunday evening from the JASNA AGM in Fort Worth celebrating the 200th anniversary of Sense and Sensibility, and it was a fabulous time. I met other Janeites (which is a relief to my family, since they get sick of me talking about Austen novels and movies so much! That was not a problem there–no one ever gets sick of Austen in JASNA….), ate some fabulous food, bought too many books and other stuff in the Austen emporoium (including a Pride and Prejudice board book for my one-year-old goddaughter–you can can never start P&P too early!), and got to spend time with Risky Janet (who declared herself my “chaperone” for the Saturday night ball!). It was a great weekend.

Since there were about 10 workshops in each session, I wasn’t able to go to everything I wanted. But here are a few things I did make it to:

1) Victoria Hinshaw’s “The Sensible Regency Wedding” (Vicky wrote some fabulous Regencies for Kensington, and it was great to get to see her again…plus to hear about respectable and not-so-respectable marriages!)

2) “Chawton House Library Asks; Are You An Elinor or a Marianne?” (actually a discussion of the vogue for “sister novels” and their meanings in the Romantic age. I especially enjoyed hearing about a short 37-page story titled The Castle of Montabino, an adventure story involving scandal, kidnappings, ghosts, good and evil twins, and moral lessons…)

3) “Sense and Sensibility as Austen’s Problem Novel”

4) Plus workshops on snuff and cravats, Fanny Burney, horrid novels, the Emma Thompson adaptation, and Austen’s writing income (among other things!).

I did not dance much on Saturday, but I think Janet did not sit out a set! And I tried my hand at cards but was pretty hopeless at it (as usual). And I loved looking at all the wonderful gowns…

I think the highlight of the conference was listening to Andrew Davies in his lecture “Mr Darcy’s Wet Shirt and Other Embarrassments: Some Pleasures and Pitfalls in Austen Adaptations“–he was so much fun to listen to. Janet and I decided they should have a whole conference centered around watching the adaptations while he told anecdotes and insights.

I am still tired from all the adventures this weekend! I had to force myself to get up off the couch (where I had laid down to watch my S&S DVDs) and get back to writing today, but I’m also feeling very inspired.

What would you want to do if you went to the JASNA AGM? What workshops would you like to see? Which is your favorite film adaptation???

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Here is my corset! Brand new, picked up last night from the staymaker, an amazing lady who outfits many museums and costumed reenactors in the area. She machine stitches anything that’s not visible and hand stitches the rest and the quality of her work is awesome.

She is the only person to whom I say upon arrival, “Shall I take off my bra?”

She also made me a linen shirt and altered my gown, because (ahem) I’d put on a bit of weight AND with two layers of sturdy twill plus boning you need some extra space.

Interesting things about my corset:

  • It’s front-lacing.
  • It really is that short and wide. So am I.
  • It fastens with a single length of tape threaded into a bodkin that Homeland Security may not like.
  • When it’s on I can’t see my knees and
  • in true Regency style I could balance a can of beer on my bosom

I’m taking a camera so next week expect many interesting pics of me and Amanda in our finery. I have a fabulous headdress made out of Christmas stuff. I’m so excited about this conference–seeing Amanda, meeting Laurel Ann Nattress who’s my guest next week and having a book launch party, so if you’re in Fort Worth, TX please come on over tomorrow and say hi! Details here (scroll down) and on my website where you can also enter my contest, find me on my blog tour and read about JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION.

I am so excited! This weekend I will be headed down to Fort Worth, TX for the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America)’s AGM. I have wanted to go to this for many years, but the timing was never right until now. I get to wear my new Regency gown, listen to some great workshops, and best of all room with Risky Janet. Look for more info here next week…

Since I’m trying frantically to pack and also finish this chapter on the WIP, I am turning today’s post over to you–what was the first Austen you ever read?? What is your favorite? Which one do you feel like reading right now?

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I am pleased to announce the winners of the Smelling Like Badgers Contest. As you may remember, I held a contest last week for suggestions for Regency pastimes that might suit the modern sensibility. The results were interesting and bizarre. Thanks for playing, everyone.

The winners are:

Lorraine, who suggested playing the bagpipes which is an image I can’t get out of my mind. Every time I return to my WIP I start thinking of a possible opportunity for someone to whip out a bagpipe.

Jane, who suggested a visit to the museum to ogle the nude male statues.

Lorraine and Jane, please visit Bingley’s Teas — I love their Jane Austen-inspired line, shown above, which are actually packaged to look like books and you’ll find all sorts of teas including herbal– and then email riskiesATyahooDOTcom with the blend you’d like and your snailmail. And I shall order forthwith!

Talking of Jane Austen, there’s a wonderful article, actually a review of two new books, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Just Like A Woman. The books are Why Jane Austen? by Rachel M. Brownstein and William Deresiewicz’s A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter. Have you read either of them? I really want to read Deresiewicz’s which is an account of how a guy learned to love Austen.

And finally in this post full of trivia–that, kittens and the obvious is what the internet is for–we’re now going to have some serious academic study. Translate:

Han muutti minut sammokoksi

It is of course Finnish for “She turned me into a frog” (or, as Google Translate quaintly puts it, “He moved me to a frog”) the opening line of my novella Little To Hex Her from the Finnish version of Bespelling Jane Austen. I received a handful of copies in the mail the other day which was quite exciting as I’ve never received any of my books in translation before.

Have you read either of the two new books above about Jane Austen? Are you planning to attend the JASNA Conference (AGM) in Fort Worth next month (aargh! next month! Must email my mantuamaker immediately!)? Amanda and I will be there and we’ll give a full report.

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