Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hello World, I've Returned

What I'm Reading: 'The Elusive Bride' by Stephanie Laurens
What I'm Watching: Grey's Anatomy & NCIS
What I'm Working On: Novella ~ 'A Titanic Affair' and novel 'Lady Mounthall'

Okay, I knew it had been a while since I'd last posted but 4 MONTHS, that is not good, even with all the good reasons under the sun that I have. So what has been happening in my life?

First I had a wonderful time at the RWAustralia Conference in August. The workshops were fantastic, the venue fabulous, and the organisers, well what can I say, they were out of this world.

Shortly after arriving home and a visit to my doctor I was advised I needed to find a way to ease the stress levels in my life and to cut down the time I spend on the computer, this would make it impossible for me to carry on my role as Secretary of RWAustralia, so with much sadness I stepped down. While my health is improving, I still have aways to go before I can start to increase my computer time.

Much of my writing I'm doing long hand, and as odd as it seems it is working better for me. I can edit as I transcribe it onto the computer.

Hunter Romance Writers, (HRW) were lucky enough to receive a grant from RWAustralia this year, which we are going to use to run a one day 'Self-Publishing Workshop' presented by Cathleen Ross. This will take place on 3rd November, something we are all looking forward to with much excitement.

Left: A mock cover for 'A Titanic Affair'

My plans for the next few weeks, work on improving my health. Continue to work on my novella, this is to be included an anthology series with HRW early next year. And bring Lady Mounthall up to scratch, I've had a change in the plotting. This is what happens when you are a panster, I'm working on changing that aspect of my writing.

Well that is it for now, hopefully I won't leave it so long next time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who is this Crazy Person?

Who would be the crazy person to decide to do 50ks in 30 Days as well as Margie Lawson’s Fab 30 in 40? Well that would be me wouldn’t it? Yes, for some peculiar reason I thought I’d be able to handle doing both at the sometime.

Anyway, I’m sort of keeping up with Margie, although I do need to read some of the other participants work and give my opinion. But as for the 50/30 (and I’m not even doing 50ks, just 15ks) I’m lagging way behind. I’m also a tad behind in my goals for Hunter Romance Writers this month.

Over the next few days I really need to get my butt in my chair and write like the devil is after me. I’ll let you know next week whether I made it or not. LOL.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Regency Painters of the Regency Era

Much of the art works from the Regency Era were of landscapes and portraits.  Some of England’s greatest artists came from this era, and many were know for their work with oils and watercolours.

Today I’m going to share with you a couple of my favourite artists from Regency England and their works.

One of my favourite artists of this period was John Constable. John was never financially successful at the time although his paintings are amongst the most popular and valuable now.

What draws me to John Constable’s paintings is his love of the country side as depicted in these two paintings.

The next of my favourite artists is Sir Thomas Lawrence. Sir Thomas was known for his oil portraits of some of England’s most respected society members. Thought of   something of a child prodigy, he supported his at the age of ten with his pastel portraits.

Sir Thomas first royal commission was to paint a portrait of Queen Charlotte.

One of my favourite portraits by Sir Thomas was of Sally Siddons, the woman he loved.  The story goes that Thomas fell in love with Sally, but then turned his affections on her sister Maria before returning to Sally. When Maria became ill and on her deathbed make Sally promise not to marry Sir Thomas they never saw each other again. Thomas never married.  What a sad story.

So that’s the first of my favourite Regency artists blog. I’ll share more with you another day.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Regency Research Links ~ Part 2

This is the second of my Regency research links post. As with the six I shared with you in my first post, I have found each of these sites useful in my writing Regency romance.
In my next post I’ll share with you some of the remarkable Regency art works.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day 2012

It is April 25th here in Australia, ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It is the day Australian and New Zealand families look back and pay homage to our fallen soldiers. To those who have gone before us, to those who fought for our freedom and the freedom of many around the world.
In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the alliance with Great Britain to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula during the First World War. In what was expected to be a swift and unexpected strike turned into an eight month battle with heavy casualties for all the allies.
Since 1916, we have remembered our service men and women with dawn services and street marches in most towns and cities no matter how large or small.
The poem most read for our fallen. The bold paragraph is the most well known.
For the fallen
By Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
 England mourns for her dead across the sea.
 Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
 Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
 Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
 There is music in the midst of desolation
 And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
 Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
 They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
 They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
 Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
 At the going down of the sun and in the morning
 We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
 They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
 They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
 They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
 Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
 To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
 As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
 Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
 As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
 To the end, to the end, they remain.
Today take some time to remember those who have lost their lives, but mostly remember those they left behind. The wives, children,  mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, these are people who have given us so much in their darkest hours.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
‘Lest We Forget’


Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Collage for Lord Seabrook ~ Part 3

Here is the 3rd of my collage's for my next Regency romance 'Lord Seabrook Take a Bride'. This collage is a all about the rooms, namely the sitting room, dining room and ballroom.  There are a couple of other rooms I've added to the collage, but haven't named as these are not well be shared in greater detail with my next collage post.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Regency Research Links ~ Part 1

Recently I’ve been posting some collages for my next Regency novel, ‘Lord Seabrook Takes a Bride’, but today I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite Regency research sites. I hope you might find them interesting and useful.
It’s back to collages for my next post, than I’ll have some more research sites for you to visit.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Collage for Lord Seabrook ~ Part 2

Today I’m showing you four of Bella’s outfits with samples of the material and lace she has chosen.
The morning dress will be made of light blue swirl muslin and chalk blue muslin three quarter jacket. Her walking dress is made from a slightly heavier material in red with cream lace trim. The evening gown is made from rich embroidered silk and silk lace trim. Bella has chosen deep navy blue for her riding habit with military piping and buttons. Her carriage dress is a small red floral with a patterned hemline  and eggshell muslin over coat.     

Until next time.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Collage for Lord Seabrook ~ Part 1

Over the next few weeks I’m going to post collages I’ll be using when I start to write ‘Lord Seabrook Takes a Bride’. We are going to be working on collages at our next Hunter Romance Writers meeting as one of our topics of interest.
This collage is all about the house and the setting. As most of the story (as far as I know at this point) will take place at Lord Seabrook’s estate (name to be decided on), I have used only one house. I love Chatsworth House it has so much character, which is why I chose it for this novel. The floor plans are not of Chatsworth; I found them on another site and thought they would suit my needs perfectly. Also the pictures of the rooms are from all over the place, they just represent Regency living and the richness of the materials used to decorate a room.
Next week I’ll look at fashion with fabrics used to make dresses and accessories.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Bridal Trousseau

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog post. Today I’d like to introduce you to my heroine for my next Regency novel, ‘Lord Seabrook Takes a Bride’.
Miss Bella Radcliff is left with little choice but to marry a man she has never met to save her family’s estate after her bother looses all the fortune at the gambling tables.
Lord Simon Seabrook has agreed to do his long time friend this one favour. Pay his debts and saves his family’s estate in exchange for his friend’s sister’s hand in marriage. It matters little to Seabrook that he has never met Miss Radcliff, after all, he is only marrying the girl so he will have a mother for his young daughter.
I’ll have more details about Bella and Seabrook later, but for now, what would Bella need in her trousseau for her marriage to a Lord.

There were many layers of undergarments for a lady in the Regency period to wear. The first layer was a chemise normally made of linen or cotton. This provided protection between skin and the corset, which was the second layer.

The purpose of the corset was to lift and separate the lady’s breasts. Corsets laced up in front, with straps that tied to the front section of the corset. The straps if needed could be pushed off the shoulder for gowns with wide necklines.

There were two types of corsets. The short corset’s was basically worn just to support the bust. The long corsets had a stiff piece of wood, called a busk, which was inserted down the front to help promote good posture and provide a smooth line from the bust to hip.

The last layer was the petticoat. Because of the high waist of the Regency gown, petticoats were made along the same style only without sleeves. The petticoat was worn to add fullness to the skirts and stop the thin fabric of a dress from clinging too closely to a lady’s body. They were made normally of light cotton for summer or a heavy flannel for winter. If the lady was one of London’s high society ladies, her petticoat would most likely have been made of fine silk. Petticoats were normally pulled closed with a drawstring at the neckline, and had a ruffle or two along the hem. Most petticoats were slightly longer than the dresses.

Drawers (or underpants) were beginning to be worn by only a few women during this period. The drawers were tied separately around the waist.

Stockings were made of silk or knitted cotton, and were held up by garters.

Morning Dresses:
The Regency morning dress is classed as the plainest dress a fashionable lady wore.

The morning dress was worn indoors with a cap, cap-bonnet, turban, or veil. Most morning dresses were made from plain or print fabric. In most cases the morning dress was not an outfit a young lady would wish to be seen in while receiving visitors.

However, if a young lady lived in the more fashionable society, morning dresses could get quite sophisticated.

The Afternoon Dress:
As opposed to the morning dress, the afternoon dress was worn to be seen. These were mostly made of light muslins. One rule of the regency era was that, one never displayed one’s bosom during the day. Dresses with scoop necklines were filled in with a chemisette or scarf. 

There were many different styles of afternoon dresses all with simular purposes.

The Walking Dress
Walking dress is normally a dressier style of morning or afternoon dress worn with some type of wrap and an elaborate headdress, such as a bonnet, hat, or turban. They were for the most part made be made it the most fashionable styles. The walking dress was worn when shopping, walking in the park or during the morning when paying a visit.

The Promenade Dress
The Promenade dress was worn in the fashionable London parks, where one could walk or as the dress suggests promenade. This was one of the social rituals of London. The promenade dress is more elegant than the walking dress. 

The Carriage/Travelling Dress
The carriage dress was made of slightly heavier fabrics than the walking and promenade dresses. This was to stop the fabric from wrinkling especially on long trips.
The Riding Dress/Habit:
The Riding outfit in the Regency period was worn for simular reasons as the promenade and carriage dresses, for the social rituals of fashionable parks. Of course if one was visiting the country the riding habit would be worn for morning rides.

Riding habits were normally made out of a sturdy material like wool, and consisted of a dress with a very simple bodice and a jacket which cover it at all times. The skirt of a riding dress was long and in order for it to drape over the ladies legs and protect her modesty while she rode side-saddle. Most riding habit jackets looked very simular to a military uniform with piping or embroidery and epaulettes.

Afternoon Dress Accessories
The finishing touches to the afternoon dress were the accessories.

Long hooded cloaks were always popular, as well as many different styles and decorated shawls. The shawls could vary from soft, heavy cashmere to light silk or muslin.

Another popular type of outerwear was the spencer. Spencers were high-waisted jackets worn over afternoon dresses. Another style of jacket was the pelisse. The pelisses were basically spencers with an attached skirt. They tended to provided more warmth than a spencer, because of their length, although some pelisses could be shorter ending at the knee.

Other afternoon dress accessories every young Regency lady would need were: gloves, muffs, bonnets, caps or hats, and of course appropriate footwear.

Shoes were made of thin, flat fabric such as silk or velvet or leather slippers were generally worn.

Evening Dress
For an important event, or special occasion evening dresses were required. One major difference between afternoon wear and evening wear was that in the evenings it was quite proper to show the top of one's bosom. Wide scoop necklines were popular for evening wear, as well as low squared necklines and low bodices cut straight across.

Richer light fabric were normally favoured for evening dresses such as fine muslin, silk satin, duchesse silk and light taffetas. Young ladies or debutantes were expected to wear pastels and white, while the older or more sophisticated lady would wear darker colours, and sometime their dresses might have been made of silk velvet.

Short sleeves were often worn with evening dress, however long gloves were a must. During the evening most ladies wore either, cloaks, capes or shawls.

The Wedding Dress
Not all Regency brides wore white for their wedding gown they did however wear pale colours which were favoured at the time. Most wedding gowns were an elegant evening gown which they could wear again later rather than a one of gown for that occasion.

So for my heroine, I think I’ll go for a stylish evening gown, with short sleeves and lace trimmed v-neck.

Well that is my heroine dressed and ready to start her life as a young married woman to a man she doesn’t know and has no idea as to what lies before her.