A Million Brilliant Shadows

I disappeared for a while.  I had every intention of posting over the last few weeks, but I just never got around to it.  Since my daughter started daycare, I haven’t really felt like doing much in the way of things that aren’t directly related to her.  My internet usage lately has been limited to after her bedtime, mainly to check email and read a few blogs I just can’t miss. Well, with the exception of today/tonight.  I’ve spent tons of time setting some new things up, which I will get to in a bit.

While I was on my hiatus of sorts, I decided that I need to break A Million Brilliant Shadows up a bit.  I’ve been using it for too many things: a book/reading challenge blog, a writing blog, a personal blog, and a 101 goals project blog.  That just isn’t working for me anymore because there is no central focus.  I’ve decided to start new blogs devoted to one topic.  My writing can now be found at Muse Wanted. Inquire Inside. Book and reading challenge related information can be found at Whitney Reads A Lot.

I’m still working some things out concerning my 101 goals project and my personal blog.  I’m hoping to get details ironed out soon.

A few weeks ago, my response to  Sunday Scribblings centered around my having to get used to putting my daughter in daycare.  I wasn’t comfortable with the idea then, and I’m not quite sure I’m comfortable with it even now.  But, now I have to get used to it.  She’s going to be starting daycare on Monday.  This past week, I had the afternoons off, which I was happy about because it gave more time with her with less outside distractions.  I was really hoping the week would go slow because I wasn’t ready for what was ahead.  Guess what?  The week flew by.

I’m still not ready for this.  I know she will be in good hands (the daycare is connected to a local Christian school and comes highly, highly recommended), but I still worry about someone else taking care of her.  It’s going to take them a while to get to know her like I know her.  It’s going to take them a while to figure out what her different noises and expressions mean.  I don’t think she’s going to have any problems adjusting to her new situation.  I am.  It’s going to be very hard going from having her with me basically twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week  for the last five and half months to leaving her with someone for eight hours a day. I know I can do it, but it’s going to take work.  I’ve been lucky to be able to have with with me as long as I have because I don’t think I could have made it had I had to put her into daycare when she was six weeks old.

I’m not ready for this.  I’m not at all.  But come Monday morning, I’ll be dropping her off for her first day of daycare.  Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it to make it through the morning without any tears.

{Edit 9/1/09 – I forgot to link to the Sunday Scribblings response I refer to in the first sentence.  It’s done now.}

This week’s Sunday Scribblings:

I have just come back from attending a poetry reading in Bath. Sharon Olds held the room spellbound as she read her poetry and talked about writing. (I highly recommend a poetry reading if you’ve never been. It makes poetry into something completely different!) For some, the word poetry conjures up terror; other people’s mouths begin to water in anticipation. Very few people feel nothing about it. Either way, your assignment this week is to write some – whether you like it or not!

I am not a poet by any means.  The extent of my poetry comes from the online version of those magnetic poetry kits.  In fact, when I read this week’s assignment, I hopped right over to the website and started messing around with some of the words.  It definitely helped get me started on my poem.  I haven’t been able to think of a title that really fits it yet though.

We tantalize this world.
Wild voices lifted up,
never listening, barely hearing.
Luck our only friend.
How far have we come?
How far will we make it?
Souls remember forever
those things we can never truly know.

Each of us has the power to create heaven or hell, right here, right now. I do not know how I have come to be in this time, in this place, in this body. But I do know that any place where there are six novels by the author of Pride and Prejudice must be a very special sort of heaven.” – Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Viera Rigler (pg. 53)

“Most of us walk through our daily lives as if we were asleep.  We regard not what is before our eyes.  We see not how we construct the fantasies of our own and others’ inventions without having the smallest knowledge of what we, or they, are truly about.  We are all imaginists, storytellers if you will, and the pity is that none of us recognizes his sorry state.” – Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict (pg. 105)

My synopsis: Jane Mansfield find herself inhabiting the body of Courtney Stone.  Completely overwhelmed by the technology and lifestyles she finds in the year 2009, Jane has to adapt to the shambles she finds Courtney’s life in while trying to do everything in her power to make things better.

My thoughts: Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict was also a quick and easy read. I started reading it last night as soon as I finished reading and writing my review of  Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and finished reading it earlier today.  I really enjoyed the book.  It was interesting to see how Jane Mansfield would react and adapt to the modern world she found herself in.  Rude Awakenings also answered all the questions that Confessions left me wondering about.

The only complaint I have with the book concerns the language.  It struck me as being awkward at times.  However, I’m beginning to think that it was just because the author was trying to make Jane’s character as real as possible without reverting a full-scale rendition of authentic Austen prose.  (There’s a sentence that puts my B.A. in English to work.)

I have to say that Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict were definitely the easiest tasks I’ve completely for Everything Austen.  I was able to read and review both books in about two and half days.

I’ve gotten into the habit of writing my reviews by hand and then typing them up and posting when I have the time. It keeps me on task more than staring at a blank screen with the internet beckoning me away to Facebook and other time-wasting things.

“There are many possibilities.  The night your attention left your home was time of a rare planetary configuration, the likes of which had not been seen in hundreds of years. Such a formation takes the fluid quality of time and makes it like quicksilver, with little clusters forming, breaking apart, and re-forming. then it becomes like the air, floating, escaping through the tiniest openings, before it becomes its usual liquid state.  Anything is possible during such events.  It is when the doors that are already there open wider than ever before and time defies its usual boundaries, if boundaries they could ever be called.” – Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Viera Rigler (pg. 184)

My synopsis: Courtney Stone is woken up one morning by people she doesn’t know in room she’s never seen before inhabiting a body that no amount of plastic surgery could have believably made hers.  Stuck in an era she’d only visited through the works of Jane Austen, Courtney must come to terms not only with her own wounds but those of the Jane Mansfield, the woman whose body she finds herself inhabiting.

My thoughts: I’m not going to lie.  I was wary of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.  My library classified it as a romance and I don’t read books classified as romances.  Sorry. I just don’t. However, I was wary for no reason.  My library obviously stuck this book into the wrong classification.  It should be put in the general fiction section instead.

Despite my initial reservations, I really enjoyed this book.  It was a very quick and easy read.  I loved that it took people and places from Austen’s novels and time and put them into modern terms.  I guess I was initially expecting the novel to try to emulate the language that Austen would have used.  I just can’t get into books written by modern writers who are trying to make their works sound like they were written two hundred years ago by a British author.  (I tried to read Syrie James’ novels  The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, but just couldn’t do it.  I gave up before I’d made it more than two chapters in.

I wasn’t exactly crazy about the ending.  Not that I had a problem with it.   I just felt like the ending kind of came out of nowhere.  It left me with some unanswered questions, but that must have been the point since we now have Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.  I’m really looking forward to getting into  Rude Awakenings.  I’m hoping it is going to answer the questions that Confessions left hanging over my head.

I’m a few days late in writing this, but 5 month old baby girls take precedence over all the other things that Mommy would like to do.

This week’s Sunday Scribblings:

What are your thoughts on adulthood? What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you scared of being an adult? Have you been forced to be the adult in a relationship? Do you have an adult child who won’t grow up? Are you glad to finally be an adult? What do you think?

When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to be an adult. I thought everything was going to be fine and dandy. I’d finish school, get a job, get married, buy a house, and all that fun stuff. I wouldn’t have to answer to anyone but myself. I’d make all the rules. Haha. Who was I kidding? I guess just myself.

Being an adult is hard work. Being an adult means worrying about bringing in enough money to pay all the bills and buy all the necessities while still trying to have a little bit left over to pay for the extra things that make life a little better. Being an adult means making sacrifices. You need to go to the eye doctor? You need to make your car note? Your husband accidentally busted your gas meter while trying to cut down a tree and now you have to pay the gas company for a new meter AND the weekend pay for the worker who came to turn off the leak? One of those things ain’t going happen and you can guess which two it ain’t gonna be.

Plus, you have to deal with other adults, who, by the way, all really suck. You’d think the ones who have kids will understand how much having a 5 month old takes over your life. You do things when they are convenient for your baby, not you. Yes, I know people (aka the writers of all those parenting books I never read and won’t ever listen to) say you shouldn’t do this, but it’s better than holding an overly tired child who has been screaming so long she’s red in the face for over an hour before she finally goes to sleep because other people made you feel like a horrible person because you would rather let your child get her nap out in an attempt to avoid the aforementioned public scenario. Of course, the whole incident could have been avoided had we not let other people’s thoughts and feelings affect what we felt.

Being an adult is one big headache right after another. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t be in so much of a hurry to grow up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to teach my daughter to cherish the present and not worry so much about rushing along the future.

I posted my thoughts on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey last week. Last weekend I watched the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre version. I have to say that the film version was a little better than I expected. I know Masterpiece Theatre almost always puts out great stuff, but I honestly didn’t think even they could Northanger Abbey as well as they did.

The film followed the book well. The actors and actresses did great jobs of portraying the characters just as they were in the book (especially Catherine and Isabella). Mrs. Allen wasn’t nearly as annoying to me in the film version as she was in the book. I loved the fact that a lot of book’s interactions between Catherine and John Thorpe were omitted in the movie. He was the main character that rubbed me the wrong way and I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the film as much if he had had a bigger part in it. (I think I’m going to have to figure out what annoys me so much about Austen’s characters or I’m not going to enjoy the rest of my challenge reading and viewing as much as I should.

I did have a few problems with the movie. I felt like the events in the book were condenses a bit more than they should have been. I guess that’s what you get when you try to condense a 200 page novel into an 86 minute film, though. There were things I didn’t remember from the book (the Tilneys’ male friend showing up to say goodbye while they were walking in the woods with Catherine and a few others I can’t remember of the top of my head), but it could have been because I finished the book over a week before I was able to get the film from the library. I could have done without the scenes bringing Catherine’s daydreams of robbers and kidnappers to life. These scenes channeled The Female Quixote even more than the book did.

101 Goals in 1001 Days

Start date: 19 July 2009
End date: 15 April 2012

Total goals: 85
Goals to be determined: 16
Goals completed: 4
Goals in progress: 10

You can find my full list here.

**My goal project is on hold until September so I can figure some things out**

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