Pride and Prejudice

In Legacy Discovered, I used references to classic literature that reflected themes within my novel. I had read many of the referenced works, but one classic I had not read was Pride and Prejudice. My use of Jane Austen’s classic as a high school English assignment for Sue was based upon my general knowledge of the book’s story and themes. However, after I published Legacy Discovered, I felt I should take the time to read Pride and Prejudice for myself, so I downloaded the free e-book. Last week, I had time to finally read this literary romance classic.

In order to read and understand Pride and Prejudice, the reader must consider the social and historical environment at the time it was written. In order to project refinement and social bearing within mid-nineteenth century English society, conversation and narration was less direct and presented very grammatically and more subtly with a polite surfeit of words to please modern English teachers. For the LOL generation, this is TMI for attention-challenged minds. However, for those willing to look under the puffery language, Pride and Prejudice is a light, yet thoughtful story about a woman, Elizabeth Bennet, who is the second oldest in a family of five daughters, whose mother is very intent on finding suitable – read higher social class – husbands for them. But Elizabeth is too proud and honest, brutally so, to play the game her mother expects her and her sisters to play. Elizabeth attracts the attention of a well-to-do reserved gentleman, Mr. Darcy, which she determines to be arrogant.  Stories about Darcy that she later hears from a suave regiment officer just reinforces her prejudices toward him. It is only when Darcy gains the courage to express his intentions and gets an earful on his perceived shortcomings, that he begins to show her just how wrong she was about him. The plot has become a standard in many romantic comedies since, which is why it deserves its reputation as a classic in English literature.

Creating Holiday Cards

I mailed my holiday cards today. Everybody has their favorite traditions for the Christmas season and mine is to create my own cards for my family, friends and associates. When I first started making my own cards years ago, I painted unique designs on watercolor sheets and wrote individual messages inside the folded sheets. However, computer technology has greatly improved the process, especially when my mailing list grew to cover an expanding directory of business associates . Basically, I would select an appropriate photo from my travels in the previous year, compose a poetic message for the interior and use the creative tools of Photoshop and Microsoft Word to build the theme for the year. A recipient database in Excel and mail merge made sure each card was personalized. It is an annual labor of love.

The one thing I will not totally give over to technology is the replacement of the physical card with the trend towards the virtual card. I think there is nothing so personal as feeling and viewing the work of art in your hand, then slowly opening the card up to read the original poetry inside. So my close friends and family will receive their personalized cards inside envelopes through the US Postal Service. However, a single frame image of the card will be posted on Facebook so my ever-growing sphere of social media friends will get to enjoy my annual creative endeavor.

Opening Lines

When I first decided to write and self-publish a novel, I thought that if I told the story well, a few likes from my Facebook friends, a few good reviews from some book sites and some impulse purchases from Amazon.com readers would allow me to sit back and focus on writing the next book. However, I have learned that the social media-connected world requires authors to have a blog in order to reach out and promote themselves to today’s readers. So here I am, opening myself to the world, ready to make a few observations. I hope I live up to the readers’ expectations.