Pride & Prejudice @ Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Image courtesy of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Local Cincinnati folks – go see this play! It was my very great privilege (thanks Mom and Dad!!) to see Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s new production of Pride & Prejudice last night. I enjoyed it so much, I knew I had to share.

What I loved

The acting was superb, the costuming and sets were lovely, and the lighting added to the show. There are only six actors in this production, so several of them play multiple parts. I was unsure of this at first, but it really works! The production is funny, playing up the natural humor found in Jane Austen’s classic work. It also highlights Austen’s own satirical observations about the world around her. For more on that, check out the Director’s Note here.

It was a different interpretation of my favorite book of all time, with some artistic license taken. Some plot lines were condensed and some characters were left out, but I was okay with all of it. I mean, the BBC masterpiece from 1995 took six hours to tell the story so fully.

What I didn’t love

Um…I wish the show started at 7:00 instead of 7:30? Seriously, it’s wonderful. Go see it.

Big News!

Keep those audiobook listening dreams big.

I am so completely excited to share that A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods is going to be an audiobook! Can we just take a moment and enjoy that?

Thank you.

I’m currently in the process of listening to auditions for the narrator. With the help of the ever-incredible Janet Taylor of Meryton Press, I am receiving auditions where the artist reads several pages of my book. It is amazing to hear the pages of my novella read by some lovely British people.

I’m not sure of the timeline yet, but I just had to share because…Oh. My. Goodness. This is going to be fun!

Chicken Coop Confidence

Tada! The Basic Coop from The Garden Coop

Coop Completion!

Remember back in October when I shared my plan to create The Basic Coop from The Garden Coop? Well four months later, the thing is finished! It languished in our garage for many months while I procrastinated–intimidated as I was by the size of the project.

Then one Sunday a few weeks ago, it was 60 degrees outside and I decided it was go time. Kev had already helped me measure and cut all the plywood, which was the hardest part in my opinion. And I had already treated each piece of wood with a nice sealer to keep the moisture out. It was time to assemble.

I spent the whole day working, and the kids pitched in too. They mostly helped with the painting. I love my little Irish coop, and have already bought plans for a run. It was a huge confidence builder, creating this thing from scratch. It helped me channel my inner Captain America.

And like this scene when Cap tosses Black Widow up into the air with his shield, I used the momentum I got from this completed project to complete another: Fidelity.

That’s right folks, Fidelity has been edited, beta read, re-edited, and submitted.

Photo by Maël BALLAND on Pexels.com

It will be three long months before I hear back from the particular publisher that I submitted it to, but I’m still so excited about it!

You never know. You hope for the best, then make do with what you get. - Nick Fury (Avengers: Age of Ultron Quotes)

Keep your fingers crossed!

YouTube Gems

Prepare to find a new rabbit hole.

I have a secret love: YouTube fan vids. A good fan video can transport you. I have so many favorite videos in various lists now, I realize I needed to share them! I find these videos incredibly inspirational as far as writing goes. They get my creative juices flowing.

So this here post is the first in a series. YouTube Gems that must be shared. First up, Sherlock. If you have not seen Sherlock and want to, please do not view these! Many spoilers are contained within 🙂

This firsts video is by Nyah86Production and is called “The Woman That Counted.” The music is by The Cinematic Orchestra. Enjoy!

The next video is by nolaespoir and is called “A Magic Trick.” Oh my goodness, this one is so very good! The music is “Song for Bob” by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. All. The. Feels.

Okay, now that we’re all feeling pangs in our heart, let’s go write that initial breakup scene. Stay tuned for more YouTube Gems. Next up: Doctor Who.

New Additions

Fred and George

Meet Fred and George, my newest distraction from writing. No, just kidding. I’m sure they’ll be inspirational. Fred is the very bright green budgie in the back, and George is the slightly duller green budgie in the front. George is struggling. We’re feeding him vitamin water and trying to pull him through. He was like this at the pet shop, and my daughter and I did the thing you are not supposed to do and rescued him.

Well, we couldn’t just leave him there.

I think budgies need to feature in a story of mine. They’re from Australia, you know. Perhaps a Hugh Jackman type with budgies. It could work.

Birds are my spirit animal. I used to think it was bunnies, since they are very skittish too. Nope. It’s birds. Birds fly high and free, yet they are constantly aware of the reality of impending attack by predators. They often risk their lives just to nurture they’re young. And some wonderful birds, like the albatross, mate for life.

Photo by Mac Gaither on Unsplash

Over the past year I’ve read some really great books about birds. For those that are interested in a quality non-fiction read:

I highly recommend the audiobook for Life on Earth. It’s read by David Attenborough, so it is brilliantly interesting and soothing at the same time.

RWA Online Chapter Interview

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Karen Jones of RWA Online, my “local” RWA chapter. Karen was kind enough to provide me with the opportunity to share it with everyone here.

Interview With Brigid Huey

by Karen Jones

What inspired the story line for A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods? A Chance Encounter is a Pride and Prejudice variation, so it is, of course, inspired by Jane Austen’s work itself. I was outside on a blustery day, and I kept imagining Mr. Darcy dashing up on horseback to lend his aid to Elizabeth Bennet during a blustery, stormy afternoon. The rest of the story came from there.

Book Blurb:

A surprise meeting.

A baby alone in the woods. 

And a second chance at love.

Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to his beloved Pemberley with one thing on his mind—to forget Elizabeth Bennet. Riding ahead of his party and racing a storm, he happens upon the very woman he wants to avoid. To his astonishment, she is holding a baby whose name and parentage are unknown.

Elizabeth Bennet never dreamed she had wandered into Pemberley’s woods on her afternoon walk. But when she finds an infant alone in the storm, she turns to the last man in the world she wants to see—and the only one who can help them both. 

As the mystery of the baby’s identity intensifies, Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy to be quite different from what she expected. But when the child’s family is discovered, will the truth bring them together or tear them apart?

What was the most difficult aspect of writing A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods? Because my work is a variation, I have to walk a fine line of creating something new while staying true to the characters as they were created by Jane Austen. It was hard to create something original within an established literary world so loved and admired.

What is the sexiest thing you had a character in A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods do? At one point in the story, Mr. Darcy falls asleep while holding an infant. Elizabeth accidentally happens upon him while he is sleeping — he’s disheveled and generally ruffled in a delightful way.

This book is set during the Regency period in England. What aspects of the Regency period interest you? There are many things I love about Regency England, but I think my favorite might be the clothing. I love researching the different styles of the day, especially the gowns the ladies wore.

As an author, what has been the most joyful thing that has happened to you? The day I got the email from Meryton Press that my novella had been accepted for publication was hands down the most joyful author moment of my life. I was blown away that a complete stranger had read my work and liked it enough to publish it. Like many of us, I suffer from imposter syndrome!

What is the most difficult aspect of writing? For me, the most difficult aspect of writing is finding the time to write. I homeschool my two children, and they are both still young. Within the actual process itself, I would say final edits are the hardest part. I want to rush through them and be done! For some reason it’s easier for me to slog through the first couple of drafts. The cleaning up that happens in the final draft tends to overwhelm me.

Did you ever have a character surprise you? Yes! In one of my current works in progress, I just found out that a character is gay. He had been the whole time, of course, I just hadn’t noticed. He’s a minor character, and now I find I want to develop his story more! This is actually the first time this has happened to me as a writer.

When did you start writing and why? I have been writing since I was a kid. I don’t remember consciously deciding to write — I just had a story in my head that I wanted to get out onto paper. I had a wide ruled notebook (I still have it) that I filled with a story about college friends, aliens, and dating. I never finished that story. Someday I will! 

Why did you decide to become a romance writer? I had completed three stories before I realized I was a romance writer. I had some fantasy, science fiction, and historical works in progress, but they were ALL romances really. One day when I was reading about romance novels online, I read about the defining attributes of the romance genre. That is, the story must revolve around a romantic relationship and it must end happily. In a flash I realized that romance was all I wrote. I cannot write a sad ending — I don’t think I have it in me. I write stories that I would like to read. And I like to read romances!

Where is your book available? My book is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats.

What is your next project? My next project is to find an agent! I am also polishing up two novels: one untitled and The Foll Stones. My goal is to find a publisher for them in 2020.

Published in the January 2020 issue of LoveBytes, the newsletter of RWA Onlinehttp://rwaonlinechapter.org/

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Australia

One of my current works in progress, Fidelity, features a hero from Australia. As I’ve followed the news coming out of Australia, I can’t help but wonder how Graham (my character) would feel about it all. The fires have been raging since November of last year. I wish I could say I’ve been following the crisis from the beginning, but I have not.

I have a long relationship with anxiety and depression, and I have learned over the years that too much news leads me into a spiral. Yet, now I find that I’ve let myself swing too far into isolationism. What I really need is a news summary that I can dip into and then get out of as soon as possible, so as not to be sucked into the swell of almighty depression that comes from realizing you are living in a terrible age full of apocalyptic suffering. See what happens?

In an effort to bring myself up to speed, I did a little research this morning on what has been happening in Australia. I thought it was worth sharing.

First, if you need a good summary of what’s been going on, try this Time article. Warning, it includes videos of the destruction which are disturbing. The article contains some very helpful graphics, too. Toward the bottom of the article, it contains links to various charitable organizations that are helping those affected by the fires. Next, head to NPR for a good article about the crisis, just published on January 10.

When I learn about crises such as what is happening in Australia, I have a tendency to become so overwhelmed that I do nothing. So I have a three fold plan this time. First, I will choose a charity to donate monitary funds to. Second, I will spread what I learn to those that I know. And Third, I will continue to do my part to help the climate crisis.

Much love to those affected by the fires in Australia. Graham and I are with you in spirit.

The Romance of a Moment

Have you all seen The Decoy Bride? I bet if you have you’re a David Tennant fan, because it’s really not a well known movie. It’s my kind of movie. A bit of comedy, a bit of romance, some silly decisions that are easily rectified to lead us all to…a happy ending!

There is a scene in this movie where a character says, “A wedding is like a sunset: the romance of a moment. Marriage is the sea into which that sun sets.” I just love that. My husband and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. And by celebrated, I mean we took care of our two kids that had the flu. Classic good times.

After fifteen years, I can say that I agree with the lovely Scottish gentleman who said that marriage is like the sea. It’s beautiful and infinite. Turbulent and calm. As a romance novelist, I could ask for no better inspiration.

I couldn’t find the clip of that exact quote, so I give you a clip of the ending scene. Obviously, SPOILERS.

Meryton Press Holiday Giveaway

Head to the Facebook Page to enter!

The lovely folks at Meryton Press are hosting weekly giveaways this holiday season! All you have to do to enter is comment on each new post that contains a quote from a Meryton Press book. Today you can head to the Meryton Press Facebook page and you’ll the above quote posted! Enter for a chance to win a free e-book from Meryton Press!