Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Catching up and JASNA

Got back from the Malice Domestic conference where I had a great time rubbing shoulders with all kinds of truly wonderful mystery writers, and I've spent the last few weeks just trying to catch up! There's always so much going on in the spring.

In fact, I don't think I'm the only one behind. The farmer planted the field in front of us with oats but hasn't harvested yet, and we noticed that one of the storms we had earlier in the week knocked most of it down. :( But maybe he was just going to plow it under? Or forgot.

However, the birds seems happy with it, particularly the Blue Grosbeaks.

And just last night we picked some of the first plums of the season from the trees in our back yard! Hard to believe. The crop isn't huge this year, but it's tasty as ever and I think I might look up a recipe for Plum Kuchen as a treat for my husband. I've been spending a lot of time in the garden, trying to get it in order (without much success). Gardening here consists more of killing things than planting--we're totally overrun with smilax, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, horse feather, dog fennel and other garden thugs who think they can take over the place. Unfortunately, they are often right, and they do. So I've got my normal spring crop of poison-ivy rash but I haven't given up the fight.

On June 9, 2012, I'll be heading back up to Maryland for the Jane Austen Book Fair! I can't wait. I'll be bringing along a selection of my own books, but I'm really looking forward to grabbing up a few books by the other authors there.

Here's a bit about the book fair:

Author Readings and Book Sale to Celebrate Jane Austen
BETHESDA, MD – Seven authors of modern works inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novels will read, discuss, and sign their books at a Book Fair sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) - DC Metropolitan Region, on June 9.  Five of the authors are from DC/MD/VA.
Highlighted works of nonfiction include Jane Austen:  A Life Revealed, by award-winning biographer Catherine Reef; The Jane Austen Guide to Life:  Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman, by Lori Smith; and The Jane Austen Handbook:  A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World, by Margaret C. Sullivan.  On the fiction side, the authors’ styles and settings are diverse:  Ava Farmer’s Second Impressions continues Austen’s plots and uses her language; Amy Corwin’s A Rose Before Dying combines mystery and romance in a Regency setting; Janet Mullany’s Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion takes a paranormal turn, and Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars sets an Austen plot in a postapocalyptic future. 

Immediately following the author discussions, the used book sale will open, offering biographies, literary criticism, collectible editions of Austen’s novels, and British history, culture, and travel books, as well as fiction by Austen’s contemporaries and modern authors writing in the Austen spirit. 

The Book Fair is free and open to the public.  It will take place on Saturday, June 9, from 1 to 4 pm at Walt Whitman High School, 7100 Whittier Blvd., Bethesda, MD.  (This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government.)  Information is available online at or by calling (301) 926-3117. 

JASNA is dedicated to the appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing.  JASNA is a nonprofit organization, with approximately 4,000 members (more than 350 in DC/MD/VA), of all ages and from diverse walks of life.  The local chapter sponsors lectures, tours, discussions, and social events throughout the year.  The national website is