Blogging on a damp day today. Good to see the rain on Vancouver Island.
You may wonder why there is an image of Oscar Wilde on my Blog today. Well, first all, I love some of his quotes especially the one "Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken." But in his day, it was a little different to "be himself".
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) was a prolific writer of plays, fiction, essays and poetry and became one of London's most popular playwrights in the 1890s. He is remembered for many of his works including The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest. He is also remembered because of his imprisonment - charges of sodomy and homosexuality - and his death in 1900, reportedly of syphilis, but more likely meningitis.
Today anyone can be themselves. Good thing too because "everyone else is taken."
You might wonder what that heading means! A bit strange I must admit.
Well, that is what I have been doing for the last few months: changing lanes from being primarily a freelance journalist and author of historical non-fiction books to an author of historical fiction. Working with a publisher to make my debut novel the best it can be has been a BIG learning curve for me. Now, in addition to having the correct historical facts, I have characters who must come alive in that historical setting. I have also had to change my one ginormous novel into two and add a third! No easy task!
I'm learning and improving all the time and The McBride Chronicles are becoming better every day. I am constantly reminded of a quote by Dr. Johnson: "What is written without effort is read without pleasure." My intention is to make the three books in the series a most pleasurable read.
News will soon be coming as to publication date and meanwhile a cover and bookmark for the first in the series Providence will be up on my website and in various other places. These gates will open up an historical treat for your reading delight.
Did you know that Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were first cousins?
And Charles Darwin married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood.
In the early 1800s, it was common practice to marry a cousin or close relative, most probably because it was the easiest way for young women to meet "suitable" husbands. It was both popular and acceptable to marry cousins among the upper class in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. (Remember Downton Abbey?)
Even Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are related.
Later, when medicine advanced, birth defects were discovered in the offspring of close relatives. Marrying one's first cousin is not common today.
Obviously Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (seen below) did not worry about this, having produced nine offspring.
I'm blogging on a HOT, smokey night in British Columbia. Forest Fires still raging throughout the province and smoke reaching Vancouver Island where I live. This hot, sticky, tropical-like weather is not good for the soul and the smoke not good for those with respiratory issues.
Meanwhile, I'm still writing, editing and moving ahead on all projects. As my editor and I work on Providence (the first in the McBride Chronicles to be released later this year), I am being thrust back into the Victorian era in England again as my heroine struggles to make something of her life. Below is an example of how the upper class lived in elegant mansions, while the poor (like my heroine) served them and knew their place in society - which they accepted . . . . . . unless you were a young girl who rebelled just a tad and were determined to become someone better in the New World. Read Providence and you will discover how she did it.
During the editing process of my forthcoming novels, the publisher and I have decided on a title change. The books will now be titled the McBRIDE CHRONICLES (Providence and Destiny) with a possible THIRD book to follow. All very exciting. Please watch this space for updates and when the first (Providence) will be released later this year.
The protagonist in my upcoming novel, Jane Hopkins McBride, began life in an orphanage and throughout many long and productive years she overcame enormous challenges and heartbreaks. She never gave in even when the odds were against her!
Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "Do one thing every day that scares you." Many women throughout history did just that and managed to overcome and be strong as they followed their path in life. Here are just a few . . . .
Rosa Parks: "I would just like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free - so other people could also be free."
Writer Nora Ephron: "I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are." (I subscribe to this theory)
There were so many others - Mrs. Pankhurst, Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie and more recently young Malala Yousafzai who spoke up about education for girls and was punished for her bravery.
Watch out for The House of Homorrow Chronicles - Providence and I'm sure you will enjoy Jane's journey. My book is not only a book about a strong woman though. It is also a strong story about family dynamics, history and love. Hope you will enjoy it.
I joined twitter today and posted my first Tweet. Come read my blogs at www.valeriegreen.ca Twitter people. Feeling proud of myself.
Through the ages hats for women have been both a necessity (to keep warm) and a mere fun accessory. Milliners (mostly women) have been creating hats and bonnets with style and flare for centuries. But, did you know that the term "milliner" originated in Milan, Italy, where many of the finest straw hats and hat forms were made during the 1700s?
Recently I met a young woman working as a receptionist but designing hats on the side. It was her dream to become a milliner of note. She moved to Toronto where there was more opportunity to realize her dream. On a trip to New York (wearing one of her own creations) she was spotted by a newspaper reporter who ran a story about her . . . the rest is history. She now has her own business and is catering to women of all ranks in life. People love her hats and it is obvious that hats have NOT gone out of fashion. Here is her website www.tierretaylor.com and take a look at those gorgeous hats.
The woman protagonist in my upcoming novel Providence probably wore many hats from the1840s to the year 2000. Even in the orphanage where she grew up she would have worn a cap. When she worked in service as a maid, it would have been a small white lace arrangement. Later when she was the chatelaine of a large house, her hats would have ranged from smart to ornate, many with feathers to adorn them.
It is good to know that hats are still in fashion today.