I have so much going on in my head right this minute—good things and exciting plans—and I’ll share them with you soon enough, but right now I need to take a break and calm myself down. So I thought I’d take a moment and tell you about fun things happening ’round the internets that you may not have heard about. Or perhaps you did see it at one point, but it’s always good to have a little reminder, isn’t it?
If you read any sewing blogs you know that there are approximately 472 Sew A-Longs going on right now, but these are the two I am definitely participating in. Both patterns are from Sense & Sensibility which are easily purchased as either an e-pattern or you can have a physical pattern mailed to you. Casey is hosting the Swing Dress Sew A-Long which has just begun and Lisette is the lovely gal behind the Regency Wardrobe Sew A-Long. It may seem a bit silly to some to sew a dress that is essentially a costume, but some of us never quite grew out of playing dress up and find it fun to lounge around the house, drinking tea and reading whilst pretending to be a Jane Austen heroine. Besides, we’ll already have a head start on Halloween.
Jane Austen Short Story Contests
At this moment there is not one, but two—TWO!—Jane Austen related short story contests you can enter. The first, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is an amazing opportunity to possibly get your story published in a new collection of stories inspired by the beloved writer which is being edited by the amazing Laurel Ann of Austenprose. The contest runs through February 13th and there have only been a few entries thus far, so your prospects are looking mighty fine.
The second contest is put on by the Chawton House Library in England with a theme of heroes and villains in Jane Austen’s novels. There is a cash prize, but more exciting to me is that the three finalists will win a week’s writer retreat at Chawton House! The deadline is March 31st, so sharpen your pencils or fire up your laptop and start writing!
The last time I fell this hard for a mini-series was Bleak House in 2005. Downton Abbey is an original story (written by Julian Fellowes of Godsford Park) set in Edwardian England that basically takes every plot and element one could love about period dramas and mashes it all together into an engaging, dramatic, touching series. Even my dad has caught Downton fever and gets exasperated at the end of each installment (“It’s over already?!”). The last episode of the first series (a second series and Christmas special is already in the works, hurray!) is set to air in America this Sunday night, so I highly encourage my US readers to head over to Masterpiece, catch up with the episodes online and join us for the Twitter party Sunday night.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have a younger brother, Daniel, who is in a band (like everyone else in Austin, haha). The past few months have been very exciting as their second album, People Problems, was released. I’m not going to tell you to go and buy it or anything, but if you want a listen, it’s up on iTunes and of course available in a local independent record store near you (well, it SHOULD be, no guarantees). They are currently touring Europe for two months, so if you live in England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and basically anywhere in Europe, you should go see them; tell them I sent you; give them a hug and tell them I miss them so.
I stumbled upon this post a few months ago and completely forgot to link to it, though now I find it more apropos to share it with you in The Year of Making Do. The post, entitled “You Do Not Need Neil Gaiman’s Gazebo“, is aimed at writers, but the idea and advice given can be applied to everyone. Your gazebo could be a sewing/craft studio or a kitchen with an island and a large stove or maybe a new MacBook pro. The point is we all procrastinate and dream of our ideal “space”, when really we should just hunker down make do with what we have. It was a good reminder to me this morning.