Monday, June 23, 2008

A Change of Scene

This post is not directly related to Jane, but still of interest to those of us with a literary bent.

I have recently become aware of a new site that holds great potential to those of us who like books in any form.
My Mother The Fearless Ebayer recently bought me a couple of CDs that had recordings of two Jane-related works, Jane's Love and Friendship ("Beware of fainting fits, beware of swoons"...ring any bells?) and James Edward Austen-Leigh's Memoir of Jane Austen. She was really excited as both books cost her a grand total of $6 with shipping and handling.

When I put them in my car stereo to listen to them, I discovered they are free recordings made available through a website.
The site,, is devoted to making available free audio recordings of books in the public domain. Of course, this includes works by our favorite author (evidently there is a large group of Janeites active on the forums), but also books by Elizabeth Gaskell, Shakespeare, Sir Thomas More, and many others. I was very excited to find four completed volumes of Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Short stories, poetry; basically anything that can be read can be found there.

Volunteers coordinate and read each book from text found at another site,, and then post them- FREE- on librivox. From there, you can click on a link to subscribe to the book via podcast on iTunes, effectively giving yourself a free audiobook recording. The great thing about this is that as long as it is in the public domain, anything can be read, and the administrators take suggestions from anyone who has a book they want read. There is at this moment a project to record all of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, and there is a fourth project reading Pride and Prejudice. Volunteers are needed both to coordinate and to read different chapters. There are forums set up for suggestions and to guide people through the process.

I hope you will all go check this site out. It is a brilliant idea that can bring wonderful writing to people who otherwise have no access to it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

RL has been a bear the last couple of weeks (as evidence by my lack of posts), but one highlight was the opportunity I took of (finally!) watching the recently aired BBC production of Sense and Sensibility, which I Tivo'd at my parent's house.

I loved this adaptation. And I do not like Sense and Sensibility as a general rule, Marianne irritates me to death.

This production was in keeping with the quality of the ITV productions from last year, and were beautifully adapted. There are many improvements over the Emma Thompson version from 1996; Harry Dashwood (perfectly cast!) makes an appearance, and Mrs. Ferrars is a stern and intimidating figure. My favorite casting decision, though, was David Morrisey as Col. Brandon. He is the right age, moderately handsome with an air about him, and exactly as described in the book. Overall, this was a delightful production that I cannot wait to add to my DVD collection.


I, like many of my fellow readers, have been anxiously awaiting the next post of Half Such a Sum. This week, we finally were rewarded for our patience.

And shocked to death when all of a sudden, the words "Epilogue" flashed across my screen.

Half is over???

Shelby had been warning us for some time, but it was still a shock to my sensibilities. This is the end of an era, and I really nearly cried to see it end. The story ended in a sweet way, without answering many of the questions burning in my mind. The epilogue answered all but one of those questions... namely, whether or not Georgiana and Edmund Metcalfe are allowed to marry. I think there is a large contingent of us who would love to see that; as a reformed rake is always the best kind of husband to have.

I loved that Isabella got her comeuppance over Craigmore, that Craigmore got his just desserts (just as good as seeing him die in a pirate's captivity of spattergroit!), and that all who should be together are together in the end. Still, perhaps there will be another story? In which that one question is answered?

Shelby, this is epic. We, your readers, will forever be grateful that you shared it with us.

Half is posted on HG.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Visiting Hunsford

Things are hopping over at AHA right now.

I was sorry to see a very good thing come to an end today as CaseyC posted the final chapter of her clever little story Single Until... (Rated MA). This has been a fun and witty read. I love anything that combines Jane Austen with references to Manolo Blahnik!

But, as is often the case, when one story completes, another begins. Today, there were two new beginnings, Worlds Apart and It Was Bliss.

In my book, Spock was always the sexiest alien thing on two legs. Even more than Captain Kirk or even (gulp!) Khan. (Really, it almost pains me to write that last bit...) For those who agree with me, we have a new story to drool over. Worlds Apart (Rated R/MA and written by newcomer rev_jo) is set in a not-so-distant future when we have Made Contact. As is often the case, D'arcy is royalty, or the alien equivalent thereof, and coming to mingle with those of us who...well, aren't. This story has an excellent beginning, and I hope that a new chapter will post soon- I am curious to see exactly how D'arcy reacts to our dear Miss Bennet.

Zuki's T-rated It Was Bliss is slightly more traditional, and is (gulp!) promising a bit of angst. I did manage, however, to take myself in hand and read the story anyway. I can definitely see some angst starting, and I have some theories on what form that angst will take, but I will not reveal any of that here. According to the author's note, this story does not follow canon, but does keep the E&D pairing together; therefore, I can read knowing all will turn out in the end. As this story opens, an hung-over Elizabeth wakes in a strange room, with a man behind her. Need we speculate as to who this will be? I already love this characterization of William, he is so adorably sweet!

And don't forget to participate in May is for Merriment before it ends this weekend! There are some hysterical quickies posted in the Authors section, including one of my own humbling offerings. Check them out and enjoy the hilarity!

Shocked and Amused!

I am all astonishment!

In our oh-so-scientific, terribly-accurate, and completely-reliable poll, not only did Colin Firth LOSE to Matthew McFayden, he lost by 9 votes! NINE VOTES, PEOPLE!!!!

I really am blown away! When I put this poll up, I was certain our dear Mr. Firth would win by a long-shot. I have been proven wrong. Dear Mr. McFayden has quite a following.

And thank you to the record-setting number of people who voted! Particularly to those who voted "both" or "no tomatoes" with me- there are a small faction of us and we should stick together!

Final Results:

Colin Firth: 50
Matthew McFayden: 59
Both: 8
No Tomatoes: 4

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Making Out His Character

I love men in skin-tight suits. What's been even more exciting is imagining Darcy in a skin-tight suit.

Fortunately there is now another story in which I can indulge myself. The Dark Knight is posted at AHA, and puts Darcy into Super Hero mode as a kind of Batman-type character who spends his days as a respectable businessman, and his nights fighting crime in the city. And all the Super Darcy fans cry "huzzah"!

What's more, author ElizabethC has racheted up the plot with a woman who rescues the Knight (much to his chagrin) and a really cool, evil supervillian!

Perhaps I can be selfish (since there is no hope of a cure!) and ask for a new chapter tonight??

High Diversion

"So," you may ask, "what is diverting you this week, Sarah?" And I would answer, "A Noteworthy Courtship, of course!"

I love this story, written by Laura S. and posted on DWG. It revolves around a rather improper exchange of notes between Darcy and Elizabeth. To make it even funnier, neither knows with whom they are corresponding! Of course, Darcy is taken in by Elizabeth's wit and teasing, while she attempts to put down the man's arrogance.

I can't wait for more!

If She Had Ever Learnt

I must admit to being enthralled by several stories this week.

One of them is Miscommunication. This modern is one of the sweetest and most poignant stories I have read in a long time, having one of the strongest representations of Anne I have ever read. If you haven't read it, Miscommunication is a what-if; suppose Anne was terminally ill, and Darcy married her to see she was properly cared for in her remaining years? I am so impressed with the representation of illness and the sensitivity with which JulietR handles some of the deeper themes of this story.

This week's post shows William getting away from his life, while Elizabeth and Jane are planning a quiet vacation. Imagine who will meet up next?

Miscommunication is posted on AHA and HG.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May Merriment!

In honor of the month of May, AHA is holding a May is for Merriment game for writers, readers, and lurkers all!

To join, suggest a plot bunny that you have always want to seen written in the Plot Bunnies section. You can also pick one to write on yourself. The quickies are posted in the Authors section. The quickies cannot be beta'd- just posted as-is. And there are some funny stories posted!

I've already suggested a couple of plot bunnies, and I've been inspired by a couple of suggestions. It might even motivate me to get off my rear and do some of my own writing.

Either a writer or a suggester be, but get involved- this is already hysterically funny!
Kudos to whoever came up with this!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Great Reader...

I hate to admit this, but I'm in the middle of another marathon read. TraceyKay posted to Action and Reaction today on HG, and despite the fact the "goto" link says I've read this before, I remember nothing. That hasn't stopped the story from getting under my skin!

Set in Canada, Elizabeth has a career in foreign affairs, and meets Darcy when she and Jane (a dentist) crash a party Charles is holding in his home. There is a crazy little scene in which Elizabeth passes herself off as Darcy's girlfriend to keep him safe from Caroline, and then there is the scene that (had I been drinking) might have caused liquid to leak from my mouth.

I'm sure there was some drool. This was SO completely drool-worthy!

The scene I'm referring to involves a bachelor auction, and our heartthrob being forced into taking a walk down that particular catwalk! Can I get a shout of appreciation from the ladies in the group???

TraceyKay, this is a great story, and I might be up all night reading it. Just thought you should know.

Oh, Mr. Collins!

I had a laugh-out-loud moment today reading the latest chapter of Sirius' Intentions. Mr. Collins, in a pique of cleverness, attempted to compromise Lizzy. But of course, we all know that isn't going to work, don't we??

And of course, it didn't, causing one of the funniest scenes I've read in a long time.

Sirius' Intentions is posted on DWG, 50 Miles, and AHA.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lately, in London...

It is now a little after 1AM. I really should learn to control myself. But alas, I have yet again let myself be enticed into another marathon reading. This is NOT a good thing, as I am really trying hard to go to bed before 11. Really!

I just finished reading unina's lovely story Love and Acceptance. I had actually started this story some time ago, but didn't keep up with it. Which makes me think of my ongoing debate with myself- WIP??? Or Completed stories only??? I can make a good argument both ways. But today...well, I'm really glad I read a completed story!

Love and Acceptance tells the story of a lovably OCD Darcy and his enchantment with a free-spirited granola. This story had some wonderful moments...but I have to say, my favorites were Richard being afraid, VERY afraid, of Mary, the environmental ninja. When she attacked him at the Bennet house, I laughed my head off! I am also in awe of unina's wit; the story had me rolling with some of the slight barbs and descriptions!

Unina has also posted a vignette for Mother's Day, entitled Goddess. Both Goddess and Love and Acceptance are posted at HG and AHA, and are rated R/MA.

Now, unina, will we get another vignette in which we find out if Darcy overheard Mary correctly outside Liam's door? I'm really hoping for an odd-couple here!