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Cara Elliott/Andrea Pickens
historical romance author
Recent Activity
Yeah, me too!
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on What We're Reading in June at Word Wenches
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SUCH a wonderful interview, Anne and Mary Jo! I love all your heroes, but Will sounds particularly—maybe because I've been reading on Regency science lately, and the engineering (and explosives) are very intriguing. And Athena sounds like a perfect match. Love the setting as well. I was in Portugal a while back, and the that area around Sintra and Oporto is so austerely beautiful—wild and romantic, so a perfect place for a romance! I have been working hard finishing up a project so have been reading less than usual. Having been lucky enough to get advance copies of both Once A Soldier AND Anne's The Summer Bride, I intend to reward myself with a reading binge this weekend. Oh, joy!
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Mary Jo Putney's ONCE A SOLDIER at Word Wenches
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Wonderful blog, Nicola. It sounds like such a beautiful part of Scotland, and I always love an area that resonates with such rich history. Would love to visit! Rebellion is such a two-edged sword. There are definitely principles and values worth fighting for. But the thought of all the brave men and women who die in the conflict always reminds me that right or wrong, passions demand a great sacrifice.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2016 on Jacobites! at Word Wenches
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A very interesting blog, Pat! To us non-Brits, titles can be SO confusing (I say that hanging my head in shame as I have occasionally made an error, even though I try very hard to double check on my reference list.) It sounds like you can safely give your hero the baronetcy and dare anyone to say it's wrong!
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2016 on Baronetcy for Sale at Word Wenches
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Thanks SO much for the link, Bronwyn! I've never heard of this store, but it's going on the reference list—very cool! And thanks for the quill prep advice. I was out on the golf course last night, and lo and behold—like manna from heaven—I found a handful of perfect goose feathers lying there (we have a family of foxes living there, so I can speculate what happened!) I grabbed a few. I may try the hot sand!
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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That is SO cool, Bronwyn! I am getting the urge to do just the same thing . . .though in NYC, I might be able to find feathers that have been quill-dutched. What I'd really like to try is a crow feather!
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Oh, love the story of the bank! That is very cool! (I read recently that the U. S. Supreme Court justices still have quill pens supplied on their desks.) And love the stories of ink wads. Why does that not surprise me. Isn't the classic trick also to dip a girl's braid into an inkwell?
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Sonya, like you I think handwriting letters is something that should never go out of style! Hooray for ink and paper!
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Anne, I found the info about crow feathers so fascinating—and in looking closely at the image at the top of this post (and now on the Wench FB page)the quill pen looks black, or at least very dark—so may very well be a crow!
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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I don't for sure, Laura. But certainly throughout history left-handers had to battle the stigma of "evil." My mother grew up in Switzerland, and she was NOT permitted to write with her left hand, and to learn right-handed. (She could write beautifully with BOTH hands, which makes me feel even more like a messy scribbler ) So I would guess that left-handed writing was frowned upon—but would be an interesting research point.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Ha, ha, ha! Excellent advice!
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Ha! Maybe we should have a Wench contest to see which of us has the worst penmanship. I think I'd be in the running! Then we could bribe AAAndrew to come give us lessons. Oh, to have a hand like that! (Fluttery sigh.)
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Jeanette, so glad you enjoyed this "on the fly" overview of quills. I was fascinated once I started reading about it. Development of motor skills is so interesting, and how one gets the first lessons is hugely important, I think. Left to figure it out. we tend to be very creative creatures—love how you found a system that worked for you. I'm still looking for the secret to good penmanship! I think part of my problem is I'm impatient when I start writing. (My brain goes faster than my hand) so my writing gets worse and worse.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Lillian, I can well imagine that dip pens could be very messy in the hands of children—probably deliberately so at times! But they do create a lovely script when handled properly. The principle is much the same as a quill. Like you, I love my computer. For me it's invaluable for a manuscript as I'm constantly fiddling/editing, moving things around. And then of course there is the research capabilities, like learning all about quills without having to fly off to libraries or goose farms!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Thank you SO much for the book recommendation. It sounds fabulous. And I love your links! Oh, what glorious writing. I'm green with envy! (As would be Jane Austen.) I hope you'll be a frequent visitor here. It's always delightful to chat with a fellow history geek.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Wonderful memories, Prema! Thanks for sharing. I agree that good penmanship is a wonderfully "civilized" skill to have. (Though mine does not reach those lofty standards.) This exchange really is inspiring me to go back and practice!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Vicki, it's so true that a dip pen requires practice and dexterity to get the lovely results one sees in regency writing. And yes, one does tend to think before scribbling in order to avoid a mistake. That's probably a good thing! We all should take our time in composing letters. (Though I do rue that I'm such a slow writer when it comes to my books.) I had to laugh about your story of ink and pen making. (Note to self: making ink sounds intriguing!) I have a feeling creating a quill is not for the faint of heart. But as you say, experiencing history first hand is always fascinating!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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So glad you enjoyed the post, AA, but it sounds like I should hand my pen over to you! For the sake of length, I decided to keep the blog on regency quills, but I'm fascinated by the advent of metal nibs too. It may well be a future topic here! It makes great sense that cutting a quill is a specialized skill. I can imagine there's an art to squaring the tip so the pen glides without snags or an angled line. Plus tapering a point to suit an individual's preference for line width is also demanding. I used to use dip pens for drawing a lot when I was younger. I know I have a box of points packed away somewhere and you've now inspired me too look for them. Love the idea of writing mundane things like checks with an elegant hand!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Quantum, the Gospels were likely written with quills. I came across reference to quills originating in Spain during the seventh century, so likely they were in England by the eighth century. I like modern technology too. I fiddle a lot with my pages as I write, and handwritten notebooks of my WIPs became pretty illegible. A digital file is wonderful for constant editing. But personal letters are more, well, personal in ink and paper, It gives them "heft" in every sense of the word. And you are never too old for writing love letters!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Oh, I like that "running writing!" Very evocative! A fountain pen is a great gift. To me it's one of those little essentials that everyone should have. It harkens back to heritage and tradition in a very good way.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Yes, the downside to fountain pens is that they do seem to be messy. I love the look of the writing (there truly is something special about the flow of liquid ink) But I sue mine infrequently enough, that's its always a process cleaning the dried ink out of it and refilling—hoping not to get ink-stained fingers. (Pumice stone! An excellent idea!) The trick of know how not to blot is an excellent one. Will think about that!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Dana, so glad you find this sort of post as fun as I do. I love learning arcane details about the era. It definitely makes the world come alive. I, too, find handwriting makes me pay much more attention to composing my words. And I like that. I just wish I had better penmanship. My mother was a wonderful artist and wrote the most beautiful letters. But good ink and a real nib add a special quality, even to sloppy writing! I loved learning about the crow feathers, which I had never known before. There are a gaggle of crows in my area. if I find a fallen feather, hmmm. Yes, it might get messy but it would be fun to try making a real quill!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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Thank you, Mary! Glad you find it interesting. Out of idle curiosity, I decided to research quills, and was so fascinated too! I didn't realize all the steps it took to prepare the feather barrel for writing. That's the fun of research, which I truly love! You make a lovely point about real letterwriting. Expression was an artform, along with the penmanship. One took care with words and cadence. Today's e-mails can't hold a candle to many old leters. That's why I try to handwrite important notes. It matters. Don't get me started on tweets . . .
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on Regency Write Stuff at Word Wenches
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“I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend it for you. I mend pens remarkably well.”
 —Caroline Bingley, Pride and Prejudice Andrea/Cara here, These days, the clack, clack of a keyboard has replaced the feathery whisper of a pen dancing over paper for many of us writers. But in my current WIP, the heroine is a satirical cartoonist, and she sees the world through the cutting-edge strokes of her pen. She’s constantly drawing, and all the constant attention to detail—the fine cross-hatchings, the clever commentary—demands a dexterity that is a dying art in our day. I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at Word Wenches
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Kareni, I'd be a hopeless volunteer—they would have to send a search party into the shelves and find me curled up in some corner with a good book! I love getting so many new-to-me authors recommended. Thank you!
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2016 on What We Are Reading at Word Wenches
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