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Anne Gracie
http://www.annegracie.com
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Thanks, Andrea. I think the wenches are a bit far-flung to be able to have a regular retreat, withmembers on opposite coasts of the US, and in Canada, the UK and Australia. But it's a lovely idea. Actually, you and MJP and Susan and Jo could probably retreat together without too much trouble. The other night, we were discussing how ours started, and half the retreaters had never met until that first day. And now, ten years later, we're a bit like family to each other. So my suggestion is to plan it with a couple of friends and each invite a few people you think might be good to retreat with.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Karin, my parents used to live beside the beach too, and I miss it so much. We are also on the east coast of Australia, but a couple of years ago I was in Western Australia and it was so cool to see the setting sun sinking into the ocean.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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What a lovely thing to say, Margaret — thank you. I wish I could send you a bubble of pure, warm sea air and a whoosh of a passing lorikeet or two— just one or two, in their flocks they're too noisy.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Annette, I confess to a childhood love of mud puddles — splash! LOL. Mum didn't feel quite the same, sadly. I'm sorry you lost your close group of friends. In the last few years I've reconnected with a small group of women I went to school with, but hadn't seen most of them for decades. But we reconnected so easily, and it's been lovely.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Teresa, what a lovely story. It doesn't surprise you that you gained so much benefit from the seaside. My parents used to live a stones thrown from the beach, and I really missed those regular walks along the beach with the dog. City parks and the lovely creek down the back from my place are nice, but the beach is so special.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Diane, that's amazing — and wonderful. It sounds a lot like ours, except we don't camp. We've been at the same location for 5 years now, and we have no plans to move. And because we come from all over Australia (and NZ of France or wherever) we try to ensure that it's only one flight for most people. But lovely that we're both doing what works so well.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Kareni, I know of quite a few people who use recorded beach sounds to help them sleep. I'd sleep with my windows open, except that flocks of hundreds (thousands?) or rainbow lorikeets roost in the trees that line the foreshore and as dusk and predawn, their noise is deafening. I love lorikeets, but to be woken by mad screeching and chattering at 4.30am? No thanks. ;) Your book groups sound lovely - maybe you can talk them into a retreat by the beach some time.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Jay, we've evolved the methods that worked for us over time. When we first did this, it was a one-off and I don't think any of us expected another retreat, let alone that we'd continue for ten years. And more — we're already planning next year. Part of the success of it is that we work hard as well as socialize. Being all working writers who earn our living from our writing, it's essential that we can justify the time and expense to ourselves. And yes! Being with other writers is sooooo inspirational.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Mary Jo, seeing the Great Lakes for the first time, I could easily have imagined they were a sea. It was inconceivable for me that you couldn't see the opposite shore. The theory is that the interior of Australia once had huge lakes, also, but now the water is all underground — an artesian basin — and the largest lakes we have in the interior are hard salt pans that are filled with water once in a flue moon. But there are all kinds of species adapted to that irregular supply of water and a few short weeks after rain there will be flowers in bloom everywhere, and creatures that have been cocooned in dried mud for years will emerge, mate, breed and die, all within a short window of wet opportunity. Nature is extraordinary.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Mary, I also remember watching the water at Niagara Falls and being awed at the power of it. And yes, we do take distance for granted — and travelling. The Moscow to London comparison came after a UK author had commented on an author email loop that AuthorB lived pretty close to AuthorM, and how nice that must be. She was looking at a map of Australia -- obviously a small one -- and they looked pretty close. They were even in the same state. So AuthorB pointed out that though they did live in the same state, the distance between her and AuthorM was the same distance as from Moscow to London. I remember there was quite a reaction. :)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Kathy It certainly lets you know how small and helpless you are, but I think part of the inspiration of it is the constantly shifting colors, textures and moods of the sea. Regency and especially Victorian-era people used to believe that you breathed in pure ozone at the seaside and that renewed and refreshed your mind and body. There's a surfing competition about to take place here, so there's also lots of people-watching to do -- for those not on deadline. :)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Sue, I love the notion of urban water-dwellers. Australia is much the same size as continental USA, but our interior is almost all desert, and our capital cities are all on the coast, so we are a nation of largely coastal dwellers. Even those who grew up in the interior (as I did in my early childhood) made trips to our various state capitals and learned the difference between swimming in rivers and lakes, and swimming in the sea.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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Mary, I'm sure that while you were thinking you'd been unsophisticated, you reminded everyone else of just how amazing it is, to see the sea for the first time ever. I remember seeing the Mississippi for the first time and being utterly amazed that I couldn't see the other side -- and it was a river! Because we just don't have rivers that size here.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Ten Years of Retreating at Word Wenches
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I've been going away each year on a writers retreat. We've been doing it for ten years now, and it just gets better. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Patricia, I know the Marie Kondo thing works, and I do it a drawer or a cupboard at a time. And a friend of mine managed to declutter her books by 2000 books, using the "does it spark joy?" method. I also get regular charity collections, so quite a lot has gone. But the idea of doing a whole house is a wee bit intimidating. Especially as I'm also needing to write at the same time. The house needs to be totally emptied and the dog and I have to move out so that the work can be done It's a big job.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2017 on Spring Cleaning at Word Wenches
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Karin, great analogy -- I love the Swiss army knife style of hero who can turn his hand to whatevers required. (Auto-correctr just changed that to quatever -- really? What sort of a word is that? Bah humbug!)
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Thank you gamesmistress. You're right, the speed dating wasn't long enough -- it was really hard getting people to move on after 4 minutes, when they were really just getting into the conversation. I needed a games mistresses whistle -- or a stockman's whip! *g*
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Yes, I hadn't thought about the effect of WW2 where women were enticed into "male" jobs during the war and then "encouraged" out of those jobs and back to the housewife image afterward. Regardless of whether they needed to support a family or wanted a career or not.
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Thanks for your congratulations, Annette. And yes, I, too, would love to see a full-length TV adaption of one of Heyer's books. We did discuss the books where "forced seduction" takes place, but didn't dwell on it. I dislike them myself, and take issue with the term "forced seduction" as in my view "seduction" means a coaxing, a lulling of anxieties, a gentle convincing of someone to do something that at first they were unwilling to do. "Forced" completely changes that. I agree with you about our female forebears. I can't imagine how difficult it was to sail from Wales to the US with 7 kids. And then start a new life away from everyone she knew. "Women did not have opportunities which are available now, but that does not mean they were weak, it simply means they had to be more inventive than men to succeed." Exactly.
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Thanks for your kind words, Teresa. Maybe I should watch that Rintoul version again. I loved him in Dr Findlay, and maybe I was carrying that over to his Darcy. I'm fond of that Olivier interpretation, even though the actual movie was so not the Regency-era, because it was the only copy I could get when I showed the movie to a group of girls I was teaching. They loved the book and utterly adored the movie, even though it was black and white and the girls tended to disdain "old movies."
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Thanks, Janice. Very interesting comments. The Peter Cushing P&P is listed on the site I linked to with the various Darcy interpretations -- it was a 1952 production. I've never seen it, and have no idea if the tapes survived or not. That site made me realise there were even more versions of P&P than I thought. As for the 60/40, 50-50 thing -- I doubt whether people thought in those terms in the '40's, too.
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Thanks so much, Vicki -it was a pretty special night for me. A bit overwhelming, actually. "they just didn't always know they were strong until they were compelled to be. Which is what all the wars and revolutions revealed." This is so true. And not just wars and revolutions -- colonisation and pioneer settlement revealed just how strong women could be. My g-g-g-grandmother lived in the middle of nowhere in the early days of Australian colonization, a young bride of 16, who bore 10 kids and became de facto midwife to the women who followed her to the district. Lived to a ripe old age, too. Amazing stories, too, that one day I would like to write. I love the way romance characters earn their happily ever afters.
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Sue, the Firth P&P is the only one that is faithful to the original book, and that's because it has so much time, as a TV series, that it can include all the scenes. It would be interesting to see another version as long and detailed to compare. Not that I want any more versions of P&P -- I want some Heyers, and an Eva Ibbotson or two, and she MJPs to be adapted for the screen. I think you'd love our conventions here -- they are smaller and more intimate. Tone honest, I was bit lost at RT, it was sooooo huge. Thank goodness I had Mary Jo and Pat and Susanna and a couple of Aussie friends to play with.
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Thanks for those thoughts, Patricia. I think you would have enjoyed the convention and the panels you chose. I agree with you about dukes or ordinary Joes -- it all depends on the character and the story and what they have to go through. We do like our heroes to suffer, dont we? I was thinking after the feminism panel, that Georgette Heyer would probably have rejected feminism as a political movement, but she herself was a strong and independent woman and all her heroines are strong, lively and courageous -- even, I think, those heroines who were young, and inexperienced, like Hero (in Fridays Child) and Horatia (in The Convenient Marriage.)
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Shannon, Australia's population is so small, comparatively, that all our conferences and conventions tend to be smaller than the US ones. Our annual national RWA conference is about the same size as some of the US chapters with about 350 delegates. NZ is even smaller, with about 200. But I confess I do enjoy the way you really can get to meet people at a smaller conference. As for the plethora of dukes -- Im sadly aware of just how many dukes there are on bookshelves these days, but I'm afraid I'm going to add to them in the future. I have a duke hero on the horizon -- not for a few books yet, but he's coming. The steampunk panel was excellent. I'm a huge fan of BecMcMasters books, and I've only just started reading Kristen Callihan (because she was coming to the convention) and I really like her books as well. The panel moderator was Erica Hayes (who also writes as Viola Carr) and she was excellent -- articulate, lively and knowledgable -- and dressed for the part in boots, leather skirt, laced bodice, top hat and steampunk goggles. Thanks so much for the congratulations -- it was a very exciting night for me.
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