Off to England!

Here’s a little about what I’ll be seeing in England.

Apsley House

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The Regency Town House

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I’ll be with my friend Kristine Hughes of Number One London blog. Check out Facebook pages for photos of the trip!

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Reunion!

Tomorrow I leave for my high school reunion–I won’t tell you what year!

I’m flying to my best high school friend’s home in Florida and together we’re driving to Jacksonville, Alabama, where we went to high school. Our fathers were in the army and stationed at nearby Fort McClellan, which is no longer an army post. The street where we lived, though, Buckner Circle, is now a historic site.

Here’s a photo of Barbara and me, having come from the Officer’s Club swimming pool, standing in her back yard.
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The Jacksonville High School building where we went to school, was demolished years ago.
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My favorite teacher, Mrs. Lindblom:
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And me, as a senior:
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I was voted Most Dependable, an honor about which I always had mixed feelings.
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I fully expect to have a wonderful time. There is something special about being among high school classmates.

Have you been to your high school reunion?

Packing

IMG_0229Shortly after I knew I would be going to England with the incomparable Kristine Hughes of Number One London, I began to obsess about what to pack. Kristine and I decided to travel light since we will be managing our own bags on trains and to hotels.

Unbeknownst to the other, we each bought the same size and brand of luggage. Mine was my birthday gift way back in February.

I usually am of the pack-everything-you-own club when traveling, just in case you might need something, but this time I’m going to try to take essentials only. I’m going to choose a narrow color palette–black–so everything goes with everything. I’m going to wash things out in the hotel rooms.

But how to dress for the temperature? When we went on the Great North Road tour in June 2006, we nearly froze. I had to buy a cardigan to wear under my coat and still I froze. So this time, do I pack a warmer coat or just more layers?

Footwear is another obsession. I don’t want to walk around in athletic shoes, but I don’t want my feet to hurt either–or to be cold. I have not decided yet what shoes to take.

IMG_0024When I travel I forego my usual purse, which probably exceeds airline weight limits, for something smaller and lighter. Then I also carry a tote bag so I can accommodate a camera, a pashmina (in case I get cold), an umbrella, and whatever souvenirs I must purchase.

Not this weekend but next I’ll get to have a practice run. I’m traveling to Jacksonville, AL, for my high school reunion. We’ll see how I do packing for only a weekend!

How about you? Do you travel light or heavy?

Revisions…Done!

Stone10Yesterday at about 6 am I could finally say Revisions Done!
The revised manuscript, Book 3 in my Scandalous Summerfields series, titled (at this point) Bound By A Scandalous Secret, was sent through cyberspace to my editor in London.

For those non-writers among us, we write a book and then send it to our editor who then sends it back asking for revisions. This is actually a good thing, because my editors’ suggestions have always made the book better.

What I do is read through the editor’s notes several times, think about them, talk to my critique partners, and decide how I’m going to do this. Then I go through the manuscript from page 1.

Sometimes I cringe at what I wrote originally. Oh, the repetition, the clumsy sentence structure, the sheer wordiness! It is so easy to see these problems when looking at them weeks later after the revision letter comes. I also find clumsy mistakes like spelling errors, calling the characters by the wrong names, time sequence problems.

As I go through, I fix the problems that my editor pointed out. Another thing that happens is I get excited about the book all over again. I can actually say, “Hey, this isn’t that bad!”

The manuscript is by no means finished at this point, though. I get another chance to look at it after it has been copy edited and you’d be surprised at how many other errors the copy editor finds (and how many of her errors I have to correct!)

But, today, I have that satisfying feeling that I’m finished…except for Book 4 which I need to start writing right now!

Just Walk Beside Me

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. –Albert Camus

Now that it is light outside, my daughter and I have been taking walks in the evening, sometimes as much as four miles. We are so lucky. Where I live–in beautiful Virginia–there are plenty of walking paths. Here’s some of the beauty we see along the way:
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I love to walk. It is my favorite type of exercise and there is a special joy about walking with one’s daughter. I treasure these times (which is probably why I’m willing to walk four miles!)

Do you like to take walks? Where? What’s your favorite place to walk?

Pinterest!

Pinterest_circle.svgI love Pinterest. Trouble is, I can get lost in it and spend way too much time gazing at Regency art, Regency fashions, and any photos from England. I even use Pinterest to find and collect recipes. Here’s the list of my Boards.

I have a new way of using Pinterest, too. I make a board for each of my books as I’m writing them, saving the images I’ve used in my research.

Here’s the Board for Bound By One Scandalous Night.

420px-George_StreetX_Hanover_SquareX_from_AckermannXs_Repository_of_ArtsX_1812The houses are houses that show up in the story, as are the interiors of houses. I’ve also included fashions and images of teapots and things. Here’s just one of the images, a London street scene.

This was my second attempt at a Pinterest Board for a book. Here’s the first for Bound By Duty. Just wait until you see the next one for Bound By A Scandalous Secret, due out around Christmas time.

Do you spend time on Pinterest? Tell me your favorite boards!

Bound By One Scandalous Night Release Day!

night_450x2Bound By One Scandalous Night is now available in bookstores and from online vendors! Hurry and order your copy. Amazon and Book Depository both have the book at discounted prices.

UK Readers, you have a special release available to you. A Regency Gentleman’s Passion features a rerelease of 9780263917635Diane’s Valiant Soldier, Beautiful Enemy and A Not So Respectable Gentleman? Other readers, you can order from Book Depository and receive the book with free shipping.

To England!

I am going to England!

My friend Kristine Hughes of Number One London blog invited me along on her exploratory trip in May for designing future tours (more on that when I know more!). We’ll be in London, Derby, and Brighton, and Kristine has all sorts of things planned. Luckily we are two like-minded Anglophiles (and Wellington groupies) so whatever we do, I’ll love it.

We both bought new luggage, ironically by the same manufacturer.
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We also bought the same pair of foldable ballet flats
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We both will attempt to travel light, with only one carry-on suitcase. And we both are obsessing about what footwear to take and what clothes to wear and what the weather will be like. On the June 2005 Great North Road tour both Kristine and I were soooo cold we both had to purchase warmer clothes.

One of marvelous things we will be doing in England will be spending a whole day at Chatsworth. Chatsworth was the home of Mr. Darcy in the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice movie. Remember Remember the scenes in Pemberley?

I can hardly wait!!!!

 

Book Club

Do you belong to a book club?

I never have, at least not in the traditional sense of meeting once a month and all reading a chosen book. But several friends (Julie Halperson, Mary Blayney, J. Keely Thrall, Lavinia Kent,  and Joy)  and I are great admirers of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series and have met a few times to discuss the books.

This last time we met to discuss Bujold’s latest, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, the story of Miles’s mother late in life. This was a book that evoked strong feelings and sparked a lively discussion.

What could be more delightful? To be with good friends, share a delicious meal, and talk about books!

If you belong to a book club, what was the last book you read?