Cats and Proofreading

I’ve done one round of proofing on Circus in a Shot Glass! I have a feeling that the end is nigh. YAY! I have no idea when Clean Reads is going to hit the great PUBLISH button, and I’m still taking guesses (I only have two so far, so please guess!) :

Release Date Guess Contest

In other news…

Bowie’s at the vet until Saturday. He’s getting fixed…and he will no longer be a Hemingway cat 😦 His extra toes are causing him troubles, and the vet said it will continue and get worse unless we do something about it. Not a happy cat-mama.

Keep that pen on the page for me. I’m a little too emotional right now,
Beth

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Pride and Prune Juice

I’m feeling too lazy today to write a blog post, so you’re getting a short story instead. Poor you.

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     It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. It is also acknowledged that an old man in want of a wig can’t be choosy in that department.

Mr. Bennet, God rest his soul, had learned the hard way. He had, after all, married “one of the silliest women in Heartfordshire.” Mrs. Bennet, the devil take her, had been quite a beauty in her youth, before the crows feet and smile lines. Yet she was known to the neighborhood as a perpetual woman of no more than one and forty years. With five daughters, the youngest five and sixty, one could hardly expect her to own up to her real age.

“Girls!” said Mrs. Bennet, interrupting her daughters from their afternoon naps. “What news I have. Neverfield has been let at last!”

“Netherfield,” Mary, the third eldest, corrected her.

“Yes, Mary, that. A gentleman of great fortune has taken it. His name is—” Mrs. Bennet paused and began reciting her “ABC’s.” “A. Appleby? No, that can’t be right. I think it starts with a B. Bright. Brightly? Ah, yes, Bingley was his name. What a fine thing for one of you girls.”

Elizabeth, the second eldest, said, “How can it affect us?”

Mrs. Bennet looked quite put out, or perhaps she was constipated again. “Do not be so tiresome, Lizzy. You must know that I mean for one of you to marry him.”

“Is that his design in settling here?”

“Design? Nonsense! How can you be so tiresome? But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of you.”

“More likely that he should fall down and not get up,” said Lydia. She was the youngest of the girls but the most sociable. Why, she would spend hour upon hour at the local VFW.

Mrs. Bennet pretended not to hear this… or perhaps she really hadn’t. “We must introduce ourselves at once.”

Jane, the eldest, complained at once. “Shouldn’t we leave the introductions to him?”

“Pish-tosh,” said Mrs. Bennet. “You must seize every opportunity that comes your way. Honestly, do you all want to remain old maids for the rest of your days?” She looked from Jane to Lizzy to Kitty to Lydia. Surely Lydia would be in for the chase.

“Don’t look at me,” cried Lydia. “I am only five and sixty.”

Kitty pulled her spectacles down her nose. “Do not look at me, either,” she said. “I am not that much older than Lydia.” Her hands shook as she tried to thread a needle.

“I have decided on a lifelong celibacy,” Mary declared.

Mrs. Bennet turned to Jane. “Jane, surely you can afford to bring me some happiness.”

Jane let out a great snore. She had fallen asleep again.

Elizabeth arched a penciled eyebrow at her mother. “Surely you will find happiness if you took your pills as the doctor prescribed.”

Mrs. Bennet wrung her vein-riddled hands. “It would not matter if he should prescribe twenty such pills since only a match would make me happy.”

“Depend upon it, Mama, that when the doctor prescribes twenty happy pills, you’ll think we’re all married, and then it won’t matter.”

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     Mr. Bingley visited all the houses in the neighborhood. The nieces Long, Charlotte Lucas, and finally the Bennets. He stayed no more than half an hour but made up for the shortness of the visit by promising to attend a dance at the local hall.

The afternoon of the dance, all the Bennet women dressed in their best finery, and once Mary had found her good set of teeth, they left for the Regency Retirement Centre.

Mr. Bingley was tolerably good-looking and gentlemanly; he had a grandfatherly countenance and unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. (“The gold-plated crutches must have cost Mrs. Hurst a fortune!” exclaimed Mrs. Bennet.) His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, barely looked like a gentleman, but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his handsome features. Within five minutes of his entrance, it was circulated that he had ten thousand pounds a year, along with a live-in chiropractor and a vast library of reading spectacles. All the women declared him handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for a good twenty minutes. Then his manners were discovered. He was discovered to be proud and above being pleased. Rumors even began to circulate that his hair was not his own and that his breath smelled of rot.

Mr. Bingley quickly learned and memorized the names of all the principle people in the room; he danced every dance and never complained of a bad knee or pulled muscle. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy only danced once with Miss   Bingley and spent the rest of the evening shuffling about the room, speaking only occasionally to one of his own party.

Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by a rheumatic hip, to sit down for two dances. During this time, Mr. Darcy came to stand near enough for her to overhear a conversation between himself and Mr. Bingley.

“Come, Darcy,” said he, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you stooping about by yourself as if you had a hernia.”

“I certainly shan’t dance. You know how I detest it, unless I am acquainted well enough with my partner to remember their name. At an assembly as large and noisy as this, it would be impossible.”

“I would not be as fastidious or senile as you are,” croaked Bingley, “for a kingdom! I never met with so many pleasant and memorable octogenarians in my life; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty.”

You are dancing with the only handsome woman in the room,” said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet through his pince-nez.

“She is the most beautiful creature I ever laid my good eye on! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who’s very pretty. Let me ask my partner to introduce you.”

“Which do you mean?” Turning round, he looked at Elizabeth ‘til, catching her eye, turned and said, “She is tolerable, but too wrinkled to tempt me; and I am in no humor at present to mind old biddies who are far past shelf life. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smile—if that is her real smile—for you are wasting your time with me.” Mr. Bingley hobbled in one direction, Mr. Darcy in another.

Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. Stubborn and prejudiced in her old age, she never forgave Mr. Darcy for this slight. Not even years later, though she could not quite recall his name or the particulars.

Mr. Darcy was too proud—and constipated—to overcome his pride. So, in such states, they lived to the ripe old age of eighty, drank much prune juice and caused Jane Austen to roll over in her grave many, many times.

 

The End.

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Psst! You know how I have a book coming out this year? Well, my publisher hasn’t given me a date yet, and I’d decided to hold a contest. One guess of the release date per person, correct one to answer gets a $10 Amazon e-gift card. U.S. residents only are eligible for prize. No purchase necessary 🙂

Release Date Guess Contest

Cats and Editing Don’t Mix

Did I mention I have a kitten? Internet, meet Bowie!

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(‘Scuse the mess.)

I finished my content edits for Circus in a Shot Glass (coming out from Clean Reads later this year) before Bowie arrived. Line edits (fixing punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc.) came after Bowie arrived and, well…things were interesting, to say the least. Trying to concentrate on what my editor wanted me to do while Cricket chased the kitten around my ankles was a challenge. I survived…I think. Haven’t heard the verdict on what I turned in to my editor yet.

The mysterious “they” say the biggest distraction writers need to overcome is the internet. I would add “separating fighting cats” as a close second.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

Where Do Babie–I Mean IDEAS Come From?

The most hated question among writers (well, at least ONE OF the most hated ideas) is this:

Where do ideas come from?

 

The reason it bothers some of us is because ideas come from EVERYWHERE. Still, don’t be afraid to ask me. You might get a vague answer, but I won’t be upset with you. On the contrary; it’s nice that you’re taking an interest in what I’m up to 🙂

Where do my ideas come from? Dreams, a lot of the times, provide me with sparks. You know, a bit of a plot, some theme-age, a character, etc. I’ll take what’s “given” to me from the Dream World, twist it, and flesh out details. But dreams aren’t always the catalyst for my projects…

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CATS. No, not the musical. The fur beasts themselves! In a Pickle came to life in my brain when I was babysitting my mom’s coworker’s cat. Originally, Charlie Pickle’s time travels were tied directly to a feline named Thomasin. The fur beast was later written out of the story, but the thought of a time traveling cat sparked it all off.

glass-of-milk-and-sandwich-cookies-vector-id525804609 (2)

TWEEPS. Those wonderful parody accounts on Twitter inspired me to start one for Lady Catherine de Bourgh, which led to my collection of humorous tweets from Her Ladyship: Lady Catherine Says. It was originally going to be a calendar, but that’s a story for another time.

LCS cover final

WHAT’S IN A NAME? As for Circus in a Shot Glass, the name for the protagonist came to me first: Scotch, followed by a picture of a young woman on Pinterest. After that, I got curious about a shop in my hometown, and started making up scenarios about the shopkeeper.

What about YOU? Do you look for ideas most of the time? Or are they usually dumped on your doorstep?

For non-writers: What book are you reading at the moment?

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

Thank You and a Would-Be Cover Reveal

Thank you SOOOO much to everyone who has added Lady Catherine Says to their Goodreads’ Want to Read shelf! You guys are what keep me fueled and ready to punch through obstacles.

Now, for the cover reveal I mentioned in my post title. As you may or may not have known, I was going to self-publish my novel Circus in a Shot Glass, but it was accepted for publication by a small press back in the fall. Clean Reads. Check it out 🙂

Anyway, I had an editor on standby, and I even had a cover bought and worked out. Oops. Guess I should have waited. Well, without further ado, I give you my former cover, now useless:

Cover for CIASG SP

(Yes, I did buy the image, I just didn’t download the version with writing on it, so I used a screen capture. Back, ye trademark infringement accusers, I have the rights to post this on my blog.)

Can’t wait to see what the real cover from Clean Reads will look like. Eeeee!

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

What Are You Wearing?

In my novel Circus in a Shot Glass (to be released later this year from Clean Reads), the protagonist (Scotch) loves ’50s style clothing.

The dress on the left (yes, I realize the proportions are totally off) is based on one of Rosemary Clooney’s dresses in the film White Christmas. It’s black, has a sweetheart neckline with off-the-shoulder straps, and a mermaid hemline. My character Scotch wears the dress at point during the novel–a rather quirky scene, imo.

The second dress is one I’d imagine Scotch wearing around The Antique Boutique, the shop where she works and lives in. It would be a deep green, complementing her auburn hair nicely 😉

Like Scotch, the 1950s is my favorite period for women’s clothing. It’s fun, bringing a piece of myself into what I put on paper.

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What about you? What’s your favorite period for fashion?

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

A Way to Help

If you guys wouldn’t mind, I could really use your help. It costs nothing and only takes a few seconds of your time. Would you please consider adding Lady Catherine Says to your Goodreads’ Want to Read shelf? By adding it to your shelf, it will raise visibility for my book among other readers.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Goodreads and find my book (or click this link: LINK.)
  2. Hit the green button that says “Want to Read.”

That’s it 🙂 If you don’t have a Goodreads account, they’re really easy to set up and FREE! Just Google Goodreads.

I hope everyone up north is staying warm! And for all experiencing summer right now: Stay cool and enjoy!

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth