Art

Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I need to take a minute to shout from the rooftops about this addiction. I discovered The Lizzie Bennet Diaries less than a year ago and after binge-watching basically the entire thing in about a week, I fell in love. It was an amazing modern interpretation of a classic story that is one of my favorites: Pride & Prejudice. The characters are colorful and witty and very well done. The little snippets of Lizzie’s life that we get to witness and her interactions with the various people are incredible. The depictions are very well done and the twist to make it fit into today’s more modern world is two big thumbs up! If you want to watch, all the episodes (including bonuses with other characters) can be found here.

Unfortunately, I quickly forgot about this sensation as I dove headfirst into grad school last fall.

About 2 weeks ago, one of my school friends brought up “Emma Approved” during a group chat. I inquired about it and discovered that it was created by the same people who brought us LBD…except this story was based on the Austen novel, Emma! I was completely floored when she said this and excitedly went home to begin watching the episodes. I finished all of them in about a week, in between classes and avoiding homework and final papers. The classic tale was once again transformed in a modern re-telling and formatted to fit the small screen. Episodes (and more bonuses) can be found here.

LBD videos range from 3-5 minutes on average, Emma a little longer at about 5-7 minutes a piece. Pemberly Digital took on Austen’s complex worlds and made them into something great, something wonderful, something that I want to watch on repeat….maybe one day on DVD!

So if you want to “waste” some time on entertainment but don’t feel like watching something modern, check out one of these great features for hours of enjoyment 🙂

Original Work Friday: ‘Til You Make It

Sometimes you just have to grin

and bear it.

Put on a happy face

even when your insides feel shredded

and your heart is torn in pieces.

Pretend it doesn’t bother you

say it’s all okay.

Sometimes it’s all you can do to say sane,

to stay standing

when your legs are about to give

and the world is collapsing around you.

The loneliness creeps in and

you start to believe it.

Losing the faith you had in yourself

as you watch the happiness fade.

Sometimes the tears, the pain

are all the focus you can handle.

Because without that,

you might just fall to pieces

and can’t be put back together again.

Rage against it,

fake it ’til you make it

and keep standing tall,

smile with everything you have.

Because that just might be

enough to get you by.

25 Jane Austen-inspired Holiday Gifts for the Janeite in Your Life

Austenprose

 Jane Austen Christmas Card by Amanda White 2014

 Jane Austen Christmas Card by Amanda White Art on Etsy

Tis the season to shop and give and keep! Here is my annual Jane Austen wish list for Janeites. Enjoy!

GIFT ITEMS

I'd Rather be at Pemberley Mug

  1. I’d Rather be at Pemberley Mug

I cannot think of a better way to start your day than with your very own Pemberley mug, can you?

Jane Austen Action Figure

  1. Jane Austen Action Figure

 The perfect book shelf figure to broadcast to friends and family which super hero rules your humble abode. Thankfully they do not make a Mr. Collins version.

Jane Austen Tattoos x 300

  1. Jane Austen Tattoos, by Accoutrements

A “nice” alternative to permanent ink.

Baby lit Mr. Darcy doll x 300

  1. Mr. Darcy doll from BabyLit

Love it! The perfect sofa, chair or bed ornament.

 Jane Austen Christmas Tree Ornament x 300

  1. Jane Austen Ornament

 Top on my person holiday wish list.

108.046 JARW 72 COVER.indd

  1. Jane Austen Regency World Magazine

 Indulge your Jane Austen passion, or those of a dear friend or family member, all year long with…

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Weekend Roundup

Friday night was Halloween and as such, it saw me sitting on the couch watching Beetlejuice with my cousin’s grandmother awaiting the few trick-or-treaters that were sure to grace the house. Mostly, I ate candy and listened to some pretty amazing stories. My cousin’s grandmother (my aunt’s mother-in-law) has lived a great life, full of rich experience and life lessons. She is sweet, caring, and entertaining. And I really enjoyed spending that time with her. And of course, we got less than 20 kids come for candy and the ones we did see were either a little too old or a little too young to be partaking in the tradition, but everyone got candy nonetheless.

After the triumphant return of my cousins from their trick-or-treating adventures, I once again retreated to my room where I spend most of my time. I pawed through the combined seven pounds of candy and picked out a couple of choice items when no one was looking but I hate to eat it all at once so half of it is still scattered across my desk in the usual haphazard fashion. I went to bed pretty late, deciding however not to stay up to usher the beginnings of NaNoWriMo into the United States east coast.

There was a loud pogirls gingerbreadunding on my door seconds before it opened at 8am on Saturday morning. And who should it be but my older sister and her boyfriend! To say I was overjoyed was putting it mildly. Although I couldn’t get too excited on account of the fact that it was early and had yet to have my coffee. Luckily, they had thoughtfully stopped by Dunkin Donuts and procured some essentials: coffee, donuts, and bagels.

I spent the morning sitting around, chatting with the pair of them as the rest of the house went about its business. It’s been about 3 months since I’ve seen my family and always feels so good when I do. Plus I got a proper hug which is always nice. Seeing them on skype (like we did for pumpkin carving) just isn’t the same as seeing them in person. Even if we do nothing more than talk. But we went out exploring to my campus briefly before adjourning for lunch at a Chinese buffet. Now that was a damn good deal. The three of us ate for about $25 total! Can you believe that?

Happily full we made our way back to the house where my sister’s boyfriend immediately went into the bedroom and passed out. He had been driving all night to get here and they still had another 12 hours to go before they arrived at the final destination: Florida. So we let him sleep while my sister and I caught up a bit more. The rest of the family went to church and we took naps which was quite pleasant.

After, the rest of them went to a Halloween party and my sister and I watched “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” on Netflix. I was so happy to just be in her company and so relaxed. It was better than my night out contra dancing. Unfortunately, after the movie, she woke up her boyfriend who showered and they prepared to hit the road again. It was nice to see them while it lasted, even if it did put me a bit behind on my homework 😉

They left around 10:30pm and I decided it was time to get a jump on my NaNoWriMo. I sat down and banged out about 1,700 words before 11:50pm and sat back to bask in my glory of awesomeness. Then I promptly changed, brushed my teeth, and passed out in bed.

Sunday was definitely designated to be homework day and I was up and at it by 8:30am to make up for lost time. I complete a paper due on Tuesday and found the appropriate movie clips to accompany it. I also read everything for my Monday class and half for my Tuesday class, counting on having today to finish up. After that, I wrote another 2,500 words or so for NaNoWriMo and then officially gave up on doing real work so I watched an episode of Sherlock. And as much as I love that show, this episode made me sob like a brokenhearted fool so it was probably a poor decision to watch before bed.

So I dragged myself away from my laptop and curled up with Snow Like Ashes, which I am really getting into. Sure it’s about civil war in another realm and there is lots of death and destruction but the main character is interesting and the idea that she hails from a land of permanent winter makes me jealous. Oh, and on that note, I found out that my little sister’s city had about 8 inches of snow on the ground by the end of the day yesterday. Also making me jealous. The best we’re going to get down here for awhile is rain and that’s not nearly cold enough for me.

Now I’m off to finish Tuesday’s homework and possibly write more for NaNoWriMo. But that should help explain why I didn’t have any postings this weekend! Lots to do, I’ll be back again soon.

Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesdayI decided to go a different way with the Top Ten Tuesday this week and instead of books or movies, I’m going to talk about dancing, specifically contra dancing. According to Wikipedia, Contra dance (also contradance, contra-dance and other variant spellings) refers to several partnered folk dance styles in which couples dance in two facing lines or a square.

Here are the top ten reasons why you should try contra dancing:

1) It’s not hard to learn — there are about 10 basic steps that you need to know and after that, the dances are simply combinations of those and most events offer a “class” before the dancing starts to get newcomers acquainted with the moves.

2) It’s fun — I was almost completely sold on the idea but from the moment I stepped out onto the dance floor, I knew that I would be hooked. It’s better than clubbing because people aren’t drunk messes and you get the opportunity to dance with experienced partners which enhances  your adventure.

3) It’s social — you can meet a bunch of new people, even if you only remember a couple of names, laugh, and have a good time.

4) It’s interesting — it’s the same series of moves for one song and each new song is a new dance, which they go thru once or twice slowly so you can learn it, allowing the night to maintain it’s level of awesome.

5) It’s a workout! — wear loose comfortable bottoms and a more fitted top, be prepared to sweat and don’t be afraid of it! (and also remember to hydrate)

glen-echo-park-ballroom-echo-park-maryland

6) It has music – who doesn’t love to listen to live music? It’s a little bit down home country but that just makes it more authentic and even better. Fiddles? Yes, please.

7) It feels like you’re in a Jane Austen movie — and haven’t you always wanted to be in one of those? Twirling dresses, men who know how to dance, and laughter with your girlfriends.

8) It’s inexpensive — on average, it will put you back about $10 plus whatever gas you used to get there. Definitely cheaper than a night out in a club or even going to a movie.

9) It’s different — movies, dinner, and clubbing can be great but is that really what you want to be doing every weekend? Probably not, especially if you’re more introverted or in the 25-45 age range. Sure there are nights to sit at home and Netflix binge or cuddle with your dog/cat but it’s nice to get out too.

10) There are few restrictions — you can customize the dance to your preference and skill level, add you own twist and flavor to make the dance yours, an experiences partner can help with this.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the links below (or search for your own) to locations of contra dancing near you!

New England

Glen Echo, MD

DC area

South Atlantic