Archive for January, 2012

Writing Regency

I have to credit this quote ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.’ The
Go-Between (1953) Leslie Pole Hartley, and Nancy Mayer, a fabulous Regency researcher, who has the wonderful website http://www.susannaives.com/nancyregencyresearcher/ and from whom I’m taking a class on Regency basics this month for today’s topic.

When I was eight, I took a Czech freighter to Rabat, Morocco where I celebrated my ninth birthday. From there we traveled to Tangiers, Gibraltar through Spain on a train and over to Palm de Majorca. I’ll never forget my brother’s anger at getting pound cake when he’d ordered pancakes. Or my son’s dismay at discovering that in Europe pepperoni was a vegetable. We did try to tell him, but some people have to learn the hard way. Over the years, I’ve lived many years in foreign countries and have a tendency to “go native” as my husband puts it.

Other than getting used to the change in food, even my move from Guam to Germany was painless. I love other cultures and don’t really understand why so many people fight the differences. Whether it’s eating in local restaurants or homes, driving 140 miles an hour on the autobahn, switching from French to German, learning to read menus and store signs in a language I don’t know, to me it’s all part of the fun.

Maybe that’s the reason I enjoy writing Regencies. I have the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, learn the language, local laws, politics and customs, taste the food, go shopping and build houses, all without spending a pence. And there is the challenge of writing an interesting story using the mores of the time.

What period do you write in and what are your challenges?

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I’ve been reading other authors’ posts about their New Year’s resolutions and it occurred to me that the success or failure of any undertaking requires the same commitment. Two of my favorite activities are writing and sailing. What do sailing, writing and New Year’s resolutions have in common? Perseverance. Many people want to write and may even start a book, take classes, and join a critique group, but never finish it. Likewise, people dream about sailing, attend boat shows and look at boats. Some even buy a boat then leave it tied up at the dock or on a trailer in the backyard. In order to succeed at either activity, one must keep at it. Finish the book, buy the boat. Publish the book and let go of the dock. Continue to write, sail or accomplish whatever your resolutions are.

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