Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Women on Wednesday ~ Scarlett O'Hara

Scarlett O’Hara (Full name:- Katie Scarlett O’Hara- that’s without the Hamilton, Kennedy Butler added on.) Scarlett like Rhett is one of my all time favourite characters. Scarlett is the girl who doesn’t know wants until she loses it, namely Rhett Butler. According to the novel; Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm …
I love Vivien Leigh in this role. She had that added something that jumps out at the screen at you. Unlike Joanne Whalley (Still trying to work out what possessed someone to cast her as Scarlett).

I’ve been watching the screen tests of some of the actresses who tested for the role. Here’s a list of the actresses who were considered:

Lucille Ball                                                            Mary Brian
Joan Fontaine                                                      Gloria Stuart
Frances Dee                                                         Jean Harlow
Madge Evans                                                       Anita Louise
Carole Lombard                                                  Margaret Sullavan
Loretta Young                                                     Miriam Hopkins
Joan Crawford                                                     Barbara Stanwyck
Constance Bennett                                              Alice Faye
Ruth Chatterton                                                  Ann Sheridan
Irene Dunne                                                         Maureen O'Sullivan
Claudette Colbert                                                Norma Shearer
Myrna Loy                                                           Janet Gaynor
Ginger Rogers                                                     Dorothy Lamour
Gale Sondergaard                                               Merle Oberon
Linda Watkins                                                     Rochelle Hudson
Mae West                                                            Clara Bow
Glenda Farrell                                                     Jane Wyman
Kay Francis                                                         Andrea Leeds

Scarlett has also been described as selfish, shrewd and vain. Okay maybe not qualities we want in our heroines, but it does give you room for her to grow. As the book or movie continues, you soon realize that Scarlett does grow and is not always so selfish. She has a caring nature when it comes to Melanie even if she does complain about her dear sister-in-law. 
Scarlett believes she is desperately in love with Ashley Wilkes, her childhood neighbor. Only problem is Ashley is going to marry his mealy-mouthed cousin Melanie Hamilton. Thinking she will hurt Ashley by marrying another she agrees to marry Melanie’s brother, Charles the night before the men go off to war. Charles does leaving Scarlett a very young widow. One of my favourite scenes is at the dance when Rhett pays to dance with Scarlett much to the shock of many of the towns good women folk.
The war continues and with the Yankee army descending on Atlanta Scarlett is ready to return to Tara her family home, only to find out Melanie is about to have her child.
After the birth of Melanie and Ashley’s son and with Rhett’s help Scarlett and Melanie begin their return to Tara. Another of my favourite scenes (which I also told you on Monday) is where Rhett leaves the women on the side of the road to go and fight the war. Tara is not the home it once was, and instead of going home to be looked after and pampered, it is left to Scarlett to keep the family feed.

With money scarce and the threat of losing Tara, Scarlett goes in search of Rhett hoping he will be able to help her save her beloved home. Rhett however is in jail and in no position to help. On her way back to Tara she runs into her sister Suellen’s beau, and convinces him Suellen has moved on. Frank marries Scarlett and Tara is saved.
Frank dies after a rally meeting goes wrong. While still in her morning period Rhett calls on Scarlett kissing her for the first time, telling her “None of you fools have kissed you like this, not you Charles, or Frank, or your stupid Ashley.”
Rhett and Scarlett finally marry, and are happy for a while, even if Scarlett does continue to believe she is in love with Ashley. When it all becomes too much for Rhett he leaves taking Bonnie with him. Rhett returns to find Scarlett pregnant, he taunts her asking who’s child it is, Scarlett falls down the stair of their mansion losing the baby. After little Bonnie’s death from falling off her horse life is not that same in the Butler house. When Melanie dies, Rhett believes there is nothing to keep Scarlett from having Ashley, Scarlett on the other hand finally realizes it is Rhett she has always loved and confesses her undying love to him. In the movie Rhett utters those heart stabbing words. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Does Scarlett live up to the heroine of today? I think she does, after all she grows throughout the story in positive ways.
Below is Vivien Leigh accepting her Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Scarlett O’Hara.


So that is it for Women on Wednesday this week. I haven't decided on Next week's subjects yet.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's Male ~ Rhett Butler - Recycled

Yes I’m recycling again. But really I had these on the other blog, so I may as well use them. Besides IT”S CLARK GABLE.

Here is another Male Monday. This week I thought I’d chat about that devil may care hero Rhett Butler. Gone With The Wind is one of my all time favourite movies. There are some people who can’t take to Rhett or Scarlett for that matter, but I love them both. To me Rhett is the ultra alpha hero, he doesn’t let anyone put crap on him, not even the woman he loves, he’s tough, caring when he needs to be and hot! Clark Gable played the role to perfection, but than most of Mr. Gable’s movies are spot on. Yes, I’m a BIG fan of Clark Gable.

But, back to Rhett. From the start he shows he is a man willing to take risks, not afraid to say what is on his mind and goes after what he wants, namely Scarlett O’Hara. Only one movie was ever made of Gone With The Wind, much to my delight, of course there is the dismal attempt of a tele-movie Scarlett. How could anyone in their right mind cast Timothy Dalton as Rhett, for heaven’s sake, he turned a mucho Rhett into a wishy washy pansy man, and don’t get me started on Joanne Whalley-Kilmer.

My favourite scene is after they fight their way out of Atlanta and tells Scarlett he is going to enlist. Before he leaves he tells Scarlett he loves her more than he has ever loved any woman and he has waited for her longer than he has ever waited for any woman, then he kisses her passionately.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

17th Century Shopping Trip

Here is my second assignment for 'From Farthingales to Flappers: What's in your Historical Heroine's Wardrobe’ shopping trip.
Historical Heroine Wardrobe 17th Century.

This time my heroine is shopping in France for her new wardrobe.

On her shopping list today:

1pr shoes - 3livre

2pr stockings - 1 louis
1 petticoat – plain - 96sous
1 corset - 18sous
1 cap – lappet cap - 12sous
1 shift - 1/5 ecu
1 kercheif - 10sous
1 cloak - 30livres
1pr draws - 8sous

She is also going to have a gown made for her by one of France’s expert seamstress.


A square neckline embroidered bodice with flared sleeves to below the elbow and lace frill under pleated edge. Embroidered over gown with train, hitched into a bustle back over an exposed petticoat with heavy ruffled hem. An embroidered corset is to be worn under the bodice.

The colours are a rich maroon and gold.

This is at the bargain price of 10louis. Yes, it costs to have a custom dress made in France, but she will be the talk of the new season, Fashion as at the late 17th century.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Women ~ Lexie Chambers

Wednesday is Heroine day, or Wednesday's Women. This week I'm introducing Lexie Chambers from Having Her Best Friend's Baby.

Lexie is one of those girls, that finds it easier to chat with her man friend (James Darcy) than girlfriends. In fact if she had to, Lex would find it hard to name a really close female she can talk to openly.


Name: Lexie Chambers

Age: 34

Height: 6'

Hair colour: Blonde – long & wavy

Eye’s colour: Blue

Physical description: Slim, toned body, almond shaped eyes, full bottom lip, high cheekbones, and long eyelashes.

Family Affiliations: The youngest of two girls, has always been treated as a blonde bimbo by her parents and her older sister.

Career: Co-owner and head Ad designer of own Marketing business with James Darcy.

Basic Traits: Intelligent, funny, friendly, impulsive, stubborn, independent, lacks self-confidence around her family.

HER GOAL: To have a baby she can love and who will love her. Have her parent accept her for the person she is.

HER MOTIVATION: Wants to prove to her family that she is responsible.

CONFLICT: She wants to conceive her child by AI. She is afraid if she and James cross the line from friends to lovers she will lose him as a friend and a business partner.

HER CORE BELIEF: That sooner or later everyone she loves will turn his or her backs on her.

I'm still working on finding out more about both Lexie and James, as well as their story.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Male Monday ~ James Darcy

Welcome to Male Monday. Let me introduce you to James Darcy, my hero from Having Her Best Friend's Baby.


Name: James Darcy

Age: 34

Height: 6’ 6”

Hair colour: Black

Eye’s colour: Blue

Physical description: Athletic, with toned muscled arms and legs. Oval face, full lips, tanned complexion.

Family Affiliations: Only child parents divorced: Mother has had a sting of younger lovers and his father has been married 4 times.

Career: CEO & Co-owner of Marketing Business

Basic Traits: Strong, reliable, trustworthy, ambitious, and determined. Can be suspicious of women and their motives.

HIS GOAL: To make his business a success and to have his partner Lexie look at him as something other than just a friend.

HIS MOTIVATION: James wants to prove to his father that he can make his own way without the help of family money.
He has loved Lexie for years and she is the only woman he would ever think of settling down with and give his children the stable home he never had growing up.

CONFLICT: His father can be over powering and believes his way is always the best.
He wants to help Lexie conceive a child, but NOT via AI.

HIS CORE BELIEF: That he will never make a good husband or father as he never had an example of how to act like one, plus he is often told he is like his father.

Meet Lexie on Wednesday.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Contemporary Romance Novel

This is the contemporary novel I’ve been working on lately. It is also the one I have entered in the M&B New Voices Contest. Originally I was going to enter it in the Romance Writers’ of Australia High Five contest, but instead decided to use my Historical Romance for that one.

So here is the basic outline and blurb:

Title: Having Her Best Friend’s Baby

Hook: Best Friends become lovers – Marriage of Convenience

Setting: Sydney around the beach areas

Time Frame: Late October to Early July

Target: HM&B Sexy Sensation


Lexie Chambers and James Darcy have been friends since 1st grade and have a strong working and personal relationship. So it seemed natural to Lexie, that when she decided to have a child, that she would turn to her best friend and business partner for help.

James Darcy is less than impressed when Lexie tells him she wants to have a baby and wants him to be the father. He is even less impressed when she announces that it’s just his sperm she wants and not his body. The last thing James wants is to course problems with their friendship, so why is he so insistent that they conceive the baby the natural way?

What will taking the step from friend to lover mean to their friendship? Are they willing to pay the price?

Tomorrow I’ll post a brief character sketch for my hero James Darcy. I really like James, he is so good for Lexie, even if she doesn’t know it yet.

See ya around


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shopping on Saturday

This was the first of my 'Shopping on Saturday' on my now defunct Historical blog.

Recently I took a workshop with Savvy Authors called 'From Farthingales to Flappers: What's in your Historical Heroine's Wardrobe', with Beth Daniels. It was all about finding the clothes for my historical heroines. Below is my shopping list from my first assignment. I had such a great time doing this workshop. 

NOTE: I had to make a guess at what things would cost.

Dressing a Duchess during Henry VIII period.

Shopping List:

Underwear ~

2pr Stockings - 50s
2 Chemises - 2p
2 Petticoats - 30p
1 Farthingale - 40p
1 Corset - 20s
1 Bumroll - 6p

Outer Clothes ~
1 Perlet - 1s
1 Kirtle - 1 pound
1 Gown - Velvet w/embroidered trim - 4 pound
Sleeves - Velvet w/sable fur - 1 pound
1 Stomacher - Velvet w/lace over - 2 pound

Day Dress ~
Satin Kirtle & sleeves - 1 pound
Bodice w/square neckline - 40p

Accessories ~

Shoes ~
1pr Gold embroidered slippers 4s
1pr Black satin slippers 2s

Hats ~
Velvet w/gold trim - 1s
Purse - 1.5d

Jewellery ~
Earrings - 2 pound
Bracelet - 50s
Carcanet - 5 pound
Ring - 8 pound

That concludes my first Historical shopping trip.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Recycled Blog ~ Jane's World ~ Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship, is a series of letters, written mostly by Laura to the young daughter (Marianne) of her childhood friend Isable. This is one of Jane Austen’s early works, and I found it entertaining and full of wit, for one so young and a minister’s daughter.
These letters, I think, show Jane’s humorous side. The Republic of Pemberley, description ‘Love and Friendship’:

This tale, in epistolary form, is one of Jane Austen's Juvenilia. Love and Freindship (which is usually cited in Jane Austen's original spelling) is an exuberant parody of the cult of sensibility, which she later criticized in a more serious way in her novel Sense and Sensibility. For the main characters in Love and Freindship, including the narrator Laura, violent and overt emotion substitutes for morality and common sense. Characters who have this "sensibility" fall into each other's arms weeping the first time they ever meet, and on suffering any misfortune are too preoccupied with indulging their emotions to take any effective action. They use their fine feelings as the excuse for any misdeeds, and despise characters without such feelings.

I found myself laughing many times throughout the story at Jane’s description of situations, and I wondered where she came up with these ideas. I think, like many of Jane’s novels we wonder if she did in fact those around her to draw on her characters.

Here are the first three letters in this tale of sorry and woe.

Letter the First from Isabel to Laura

How often, in answer to my repeated intreaties that you would give my Daughter a regular detail of the Misfortunes and Adventures of your Life, have you said "No, my freind, never will I comply with your request till I may be no longer in Danger of again experiencing such dreadful ones."

Surely that time is now at hand. You are this day 55. If a woman may ever be said to be in safety from the determined Perseverance of disagreeable Lovers and the cruel Persecutions of obstinate Fathers, surely it must be at such a time of Life.


Letter 2nd Laura to Isabel

ALTHO' I cannot agree with you in supposing that I shall never again be exposed to Misfortunes as unmerited as those I have already experienced, yet to avoid the imputation of Obstinacy or ill-nature, I will gratify the curiosity of your Daughter; and may the fortitude with which I have suffered the many afflictions of my past Life, prove to her a useful lesson for the support of those which may befall her in her own.


Letter 3rd Laura to Marianne

AS the Daughter of my most intimate freind, I think you entitled to that knowledge of my unhappy story, which your Mother has so often solicited me to give you.

My Father was a native of Ireland and an inhabitant of Wales; my Mother was the natural Daughter of a Scotch Peer by an Italian Opera-girl -- I was born in Spain, and received my Education at a Convent in France.

When I had reached my eighteenth Year, I was recalled by my Parents to my paternal roof in Wales. Our mansion was situated in one of the most romantic parts of the Vale of Uske. Tho' my Charms are now considerably softened and somewhat impaired by the Misfortunes I have undergone, I was once beautiful. But lovely as I was, the Graces of my Person were the least of my Perfections. Of every accomplishment accustomary to my sex, I was Mistress. When in the Convent, my progress had always exceeded my instructions, my Acquirements had been wonderfull for my age, and I had shortly surpassed my Masters.

In my Mind, every Virtue that could adorn it was centered; it was the Rendez-vous of every good Quality and of every noble sentiment.

A sensibility too tremblingly alive to every affliction of my Freinds, my Acquaintance, and particularly to every affliction of my own, was my only fault, if a fault it could be called. Alas! how altered now! Tho' indeed my own Misfortunes do not make less impression on me than they ever did, yet now I never feel for those of an other. My accomplishments too, begin to fade -- I can neither sing so well nor Dance so gracefully as I once did -- and I have entirely forgot the Minuet

Dela Cour.


Here are a few of my favourite lines from other letters in ‘Love and Friendship’.

After having been deprived during the course of 3 weeks of a real freind (for such I term your Mother), imagine my transports at beholding one most truly worthy of the Name. Sophia was rather above the middle size; most elegantly formed. A soft languor spread over her lovely features, but increased their Beauty. -- It was the Characteristic of her Mind. -- She was all Sensibility and Feeling. We flew into each other's arms and after having exchanged vows of mutual Freindship for the rest of our Lives, instantly unfolded to each other the most inward secrets of our Hearts. -- We were interrupted in the delightfull Employment by the entrance of Augustus (Edward's freind), who was just returned from a solitary ramble.

Never did I see such an affecting Scene as was the meeting of Edward and Augustus.

"My Life! my Soul!" (exclaimed the former) "My Adorable Angel!" (replied the latter), as they flew into each other's arms. It was too pathetic for the feelings of Sophia and myself -- We fainted alternately on a sofa.

Then there is this one:

She had not time to answer me, for every thought was now engaged by the horrid Spectacle before us. Two Gentlemen most elegantly attired, but weltering in their blood, was what first struck our Eyes -- we approached -- they were Edward and Augustus. -- Yes dearest Marianne they were our Husbands. Sophia shreiked and fainted on the Ground -- I screamed and instantly ran mad. -- We remained thus mutually deprived of our Senses some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate Situation -- Sophia fainting every moment and I running Mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of Life) restored us to ourselves. Had we indeed before imagined that either of them lived, we should have been more sparing of our Greif -- but as we had supposed when we first beheld them that they were no more, we knew that nothing could remain to be done but what we were about. No sooner, therefore, did we hear my Edward's groan than postponing our Lamentations for the present, we hastily ran to the Dear Youth and kneeling on each side of him implored him not to die. -- "Laura (said He, fixing his now languid Eyes on me) I fear I have been overturned."

The spelling mistakes are those of Miss. Austen, can’t you just see her sitting at her desk writing madly as the ideas pop into her head. I wonder if she thought her novels through?

If you’d like to read the full tale you can find it here at The Republic of Pemberley

I borrowed the book of Jane’s early works from my local library, so if you’re like me and love to curl up with your book, try my library or a second hand bookstore.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Blog Recycled ~ Jane Austen

I know it's been ages since I last posted a blog. I've been busy, with family things, writing, and other stuff. To top it all off, I'm recycling blogs. Why? Because in my usual fashion, I get so caught up in the moment, that I don't stop to think about the work load I'm putting on myself. Yes, I'm talking about all those extra blogs I had going there for a while. You will see they are no longer on my navigating bar. That's right I've put them to bed.

So back to my recycling. Even if I do say so myself, I did have some good ideas for posts. Because I'm having trouble posting here at the moment with all that is still going on in my life, I'm recycling the posts from my now defunct blogs. First up is my look into famous or influential women in history. Who better for me to start with than Jane Austen?

Jane Austen, born December 16th, 1775 at Stevenson, Hampshire England, the seventh of eight children, and the second daughter. Jane’s life was not unlike that of many of her heroines, raised in a family on medium income, where the daughters would need to marry into money, as there was little to be bestowed upon them when their father’s died.

Jane’s father Rev. George Austen the local rector at Stevenson and his wife Cassandra (nee Leigh) by all accounts had a loving marriage. Jane enjoyed reading, learnt to draw and play the piano (although rather poorly. Sound like anyone?) 

From many of Jane’s letters to her beloved sister Cassandra, Jane came across as a girl/woman who enjoyed the company and affection of many who attended the social gathering of the time.

In one letter she writes about a mutual flirtation with Thomas Lefroy. Thomas is believed to have been Jane’s great love interest, but because he had no money of his own and the fact Jane, herself had no money coming her way, they did not pursue this relationship.

Jane write to Cassandra saying:

"Tell Mary that I make over Mr. Heartley and all his estate to her for her sole use and benefit in future, and not only him, but all my other admirers into the bargain wherever she can find them, even the kiss which C. Powlett wanted to give me, as I mean to confine myself in future to Mr. Tom Lefroy, for whom I do not care sixpence. Assure her also, as a last and indisputable proof of Warren's indifference to me, that he actually drew that gentleman's picture for me, and delivered it to me without a sigh.

Friday. -- At length the day is come on which I am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, and when you receive this it will be over. My tears flow at the melancholy idea."

Now that is just too sad.

Was this were Jane draw her inspiration for her novels? Did she cast the spiteful Mrs. Mitford as one of her characters? Mrs. Mitford’s description of Jane as "the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers" sounds somewhat like Lady Catherine De Bourgh.

When Jane died 18th July 1817 at the age of 41, she life behind a legacy of wonderful novels written by a woman of great imagination and humour.

The inscription on Jane’s grave at Winchester Cathedral:

                                  In memory of

                               JANE AUSTEN,

                     youngest daughter of the late

                       Revd. GEORGE AUSTEN,

             formerly Rector of Steventon in this County.

            She departed this Life on the 18th July 1817,

              aged 41, after a long illness supported with

               the patience and the hopes of a Christian.

                    The benevolence of her heart,

              the sweetness of her temper, and

            he extraordinary endowments of her mind

          obtained the regard of all who knew her, and

          the warmest love of her intimate connections.

          Their grief is in proportion to their affection

           they know their loss to be irreparable,

        but in the deepest affliction they are consoled

       by a firm though humble hope that her charity,

          devotion, faith and purity have rendered

          her soul acceptable in the sight of her


Jane’s novels continue to fascinate readers the world over and with many either made into mini-series for television or movies, the interest in Jane’s work is sure to continue to grow.