Austenland

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Austenland

Jane Hayes’s (Keri Russell) adoration of all things Jane Austen is complicating her love life. Determined to be the heroine of her own story, Jane spends her life savings on a trip to Austenland, an eccentric resort where guests experience complete immersion in the Regency era. Armed with her bonnet, corset and needlepoint, Jane strives to avoid spinsterhood … but has a difficult time determining where fantasy ends and real life—and maybe even love—begins. Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde) and Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers) also star in this charming romantic comedy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Photos from Moving Weekend

Moving is seriously annoying. It's so many trips to and from the old house to the new house, lugging heavy boxes up and down stairs (Stairmaster has got NOTHING on moving). We're hoping to get everything cleaned out of the hold house by this coming weekend, but we're not situated in the new house, and getting quite comfortable.

Here's where we've been since this last Thursday.

Laying in my childhood room for the last time 

I hope my new closet isn't this crazy looking
This is what I came home to,
once the movers had delivered my furniture

Different Angle
I love my bedspread with the purple walls

Digging the set up. Can you spot Henry?
He's not too sure about the new situation
I'm slowly getting my girl back,
she's enjoying the many boxes she can sleep on.
I was dreading the move so much all of last week. So much so, that I battled headaches and heartburn at work, as well as bouts of sleepwalking, which always happens when I'm stressed. On Thursday night, I did cry when I went to sleep, but when I woke up on Friday morning, I got my last few things loaded into my car, wished my parents well with the moving men (Who turned out to be fantastic and fast!), and swung through Burger King before going to work.

That whole day was the best day of my week. I was calm, I was in good spirits, and after work, made it back to the "New" house (which is really over 100 years old, as opposed to our last house, which we built back in 1994), unloaded my stuff, and got ready for dinner at my church.

Saturday was the most exhausting day, which involved loading TONS of boxes of my dad's laser discs up from the basement (Those things are HEAVY!), and my legs are still recovering.

I've also been in a Jane Austen movie mood, which has been fun. I'm giving serious thought to rereading all of the novels, as well.

It's been a taxing weekend, and I'm looking forward to being settled (And the old house finally being in the rearview mirror), but I'm just so thankful that God has given me a sense of peace over this whole ordeal.

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, 
and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NLT 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Moving with an anxious cat

So, I haven't really kept it a secret, but we are in the process of moving out of the house that I've known pretty much my entire life. I like to think I'm taking it in stride, after all I get the bigger room, I recently painted it purple, and soon we will have downsized a great deal. It's going to be a massively stressful week for everyone involved. 

Henry, Tris, and Frisket are all troopers. Far as I can tell this doesn't seem to be fazing them. Jane, on the other hand, has been going through issues since last year. Issues that we can't seen to get through. I first started noticing little lesions around her neck. I thought that Henry might be playing too rough with her, so I started to keep an eye on them. Her lesions turned to full-on scabs, and after a visit to our vet, we walked away with steroids and antibiotics. It seemed to work, we had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. About a month and a half later, though, we brought out the suitcases for our vacation, and she started pulling out her fur again. It was a LOT worse this time, so I took her back to the vet when we got back from vacation, and got another prescription. I also got a prescription for Fluoxetine to calm her nerves, and she's been on that for several months, now, to take the edge off. 

The last several weeks, she's been hiding in boxes in our dining room, but then she just came out and has set up shop in main bathroom. We'd switched the cats to grain-free food, and she decided to sleep in front of the bowl, keeping Henry and Tris, who are normally the pushiest buggers in the world, from getting food. I did a little experiment after several days of this, by switching them off Purina One Weight Control to Purina One Sensitive Systems, which both caused Janie to break out again. Dad suggested a grain free food, so I paid the hefty sum to get it for her, and it seems to be doing the trick of calming her system down. From there, I moved her food bowl to the opposite side of the sink, and when Janie was sleeping, she stayed on the same side. She wasn't guarding the food, she was making a haven of the smallest room in the house.

She's also been clingy and co-dependent when she's out of the bathroom. She'll sit on my lap or my chest, and digs her claws in. I really need to start trimming them. She's still scratching at her neck, so we're keeping an eye on that, but I'm enjoying the cuddles, despite her clawing my extremities every chance she gets. When I bring her to bed, she insists on sleeping on top of me. She needs to feel protected and secure, and I guess that's the only thing that I can do. Love her, and when we finally get to the new house this weekend, take her immediately to my room, with her kitty box set up, and let her get settled in there. 

I really hope this works, and that she takes to the new house. I want things to calm down in her life. I really REALLY hope it works. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Happy Sister's Day

I'm a sister. I have an older sister who, when we were children, was the biggest pain in the butt known to man. Every time we played, she got her way. I had to play Prince Charming to her Sleeping Beauty numerous times. Pink couldn't be my favorite color, because it was hers. She gave me purple.

Christmas, 1992
Not that I couldn't be adorably annoying, myself. There was many a time I would sneak into her room, play with her toys, steal her books, steal her clothes. I'm the baby sister. It's what I do.


When we got to college, things started to change in our relationship, but for the better. We would send each other stuff all the time, and while we didn't text constantly, I think we tried to be in constant contact. We were going from being extremely annoyed with each other to missing each other.

Once, she and her Renaissance Faire Troupe, the Ladies of the Salty Kiss, came to my town for a Ren Faire, and they stayed at my townhouse. While we were all hanging out in the pool, she and I were chatting, catching up, and we noticed that her friends had suddenly gotten very quiet. We turned our heads, they were watching us. Apparently, they'd never seen sisters interact like us before.

Halloween 2011
I never thought our relationship was that different from other sisters, but apparently it is. Apparently, our friendship is strange and different and magical. People frequently watch us interact, like you'd watch a movie. We have secret conversations in our heads, almost.

We need to learn the Sister Song from "White Christmas."
We're both massive nerds, each loving different things, but one thing we agreed on was what a hottie Aladdin was.

Disney Dream 2011
My sister is the closest friend I will ever have. She's known me the longest, she knows me better than anyone, and she will tell me when she's actively judging my decisions. Our relationship is messy and argumentative, but silly and fully of unconditional love. We're convinced that the early part of Frozen, when Anna and Elsa were children, was based on our childhood. If our parents had, for whatever reason, felt the need to keep us separated, the rest of the movie would've been about our relationship back to each other.


So, to my best friend and big sister, who is most likely bawling up a storm while reading this, Happy Sister's Day to you. You're awesome, and I don't tell you that enough. *huggles*

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Life as a Jane Austen Heroine

You really shouldn't compare your life to anything, or anyone. It's something that I'm still trying to learn, but I feel like humans are constantly trying to compare themselves to their neighbors. I compare myself to characters in books. When I was in college, I took numerous "Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?" quizzes, and always got Lizzie Bennet.


With the move going on, and how our lives are changing so much right now with a recent downsizing. We're going from the house we've spent the last twenty years in (almost to the date, actually), and we'll soon be renting a much smaller house (Going from three bathrooms to one. EEP!). It honestly makes me feel more like the characters in Sense and Sensibility, who had to move when their patriarch died, and their house and money went to their older half-brother. Thankfully, no one has died, we're just downsizing.

Source
We spent today taking boxes over to the new house, followed by my sister and I painting our respective rooms (Incidentally, we both went for different shades of purple). The cutting in process was awful, because our dropcloths were paper, and it was hot and sticky out, so I kept sticking to it when I knelt to get the bottom of the wall.

Here are some progress pictures. I'll post the finished product once I get my room set up.

Looking into the room from the door

Looking at the door

Cutting is evil and necessary

Seriously, cutting is awful

It's going to be worth it, though.

This is only one coat, but I love the richness.

We're working toward making our lives better, and downsizing is a step in the right direction. I think I'm just excited to get a bigger room. I'm going to be so sad to leave, but at least We get to stay on this side of town.

I watched Sense and Sensibility the other night, practically quoting it, since I've watched it so much in my life. Jane Austen didn't marry, so she was the queen of observers. She wrote comedy-of-manners type stories, and I can pinpoint different people in my life who match up to characters in her novels (as I'm sure most Jane Austen fans can). Still have yet to find her heroes, though.

Source
Lizzie Bennet Diaries gifs for the win.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writer's Pen Wednesday: Setting the Unattainable Goal


As you probably read in my last post, I'm terrible at keeping goals once made. There's that old saying that a goal is just a dream until you write it down, so today, I made a decision to have my current Work-In-Progress ready for Beta Readers (Manuscript finished, and looked over for Typos).

That's my 29th birthday, just in case you're curious.

There it is. Written down in my Google Planner. Once I print off my Blogging Calendar (once we're done moving, and I set up some kind of workspace), I'll write it there, as well. I'm looking forward to using that calendar, and hope that it makes me a more organized person (Mama Miss, the designer recently came out with a July 2014-15 calendar that I purchased).

I'm asking my friends and family for accountability. Ask me how the book is coming. Ask me about the word count. I've done so much pre-work for this book, and built the world and characters so much. I only hope I can do it justice.

I'm keeping a running tally of the words in the sidebar, so if you're curious, you can keep track of it there. This is what I want my life to be, and I feel like I discovered too late that it could be a real thing. Time to get my butt in gear, and get this book written.


I've decided that I want to try to get small publishers to look at it, maybe just see what's out there. I've got my sights set on two specific ones, but I'm going to continue to look for ways to get my work to the world. Starting with this blog, The Modern Jane Austen. Jane didn't give up writing, and she's one of the most famous authors in the world. I can do this.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Workout Challenge


I'm terrible at making plans or sticking to plans in regards to working out. The first "plan" I tried to do, back in 2010, when I was living in a terrible situation, and opted to take control of my weight, that was the only time I really went deep into a plan. I lost 20 lbs in less than a month (cutting out all processed foods, and doing a combination of weight training and cardio, even when I didn't want to), and felt great. I stopped when I moved back to Iowa, two months later, but with waitressing, I kept the weight off, and got to my lowest weight of my adult life. It was amazing.

At my lowest weight, with my best friend.
I've been trying to get back to that place ever since. Switching to a desk job, sparatic workouts, and an intense love of sausage croissanwiches has made me what I am today.

I think I look to much to the big picture. I know what weight I'd like to be at, to be healthy, and I step on the scale to see how I can get there, only to be really discouraged. Last week, I decided to focus on smaller goals (another thing I focused on back in the Dark Days before I moved back). RIght now, I'm looking to lose 25 lbs. After that, another 20, and so on. 20 is a doable chunk.

That being said, I've been tracking all of my food on My Fitness Pal today, went to the gym to do 30 minutes of lifting, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical. It's intense, but honestly, it's a good combination that does the best job. If I continue to try to eat as few processed foods as possible, then it'll come off again.

What I need to do is to stop being so paranoid about it. It's just a number, and if I want to be healthy, I CAN be healthy. Simple as that. Even if I'm not as consistent in my blog posts about it, I really hope to be able to stick with it.

That's my motivation for the week: Stick with it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Writer's Pen Wednesday: What are you reading?


I like to consider myself an avid reader, but honestly, I haven't read as much as I used to in a long time. In fact, during college, I took time off reading for pleasure, mostly because I was reading so much for my writing courses. And I can count on one hand how many of the books I was forced to read that I actually enjoyed (Three. Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather, Emma by Jane Austen, and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri).

Lately, I've had a hard time focusing on just one book, and because of Kindle, I can play Rory Gilmore, without the back pain.

Source
I read a lot more nonfiction than I used to, which is surprising. When I was in high school, you couldn't pay me to read a nonfiction book! I'd gotten enough of that in school!

Without further ado, my Currently Reading file from www.goodreads.com.

  • Divergent Series Complete Box Set by Veronica Roth
    • I loved Divergent, thought Insurgent was dull as watching paint dry, and that's making it hard to get into Allegiant.
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    • I'd tried to read this in high school, but it was a really thick book, which made it hard to hold. Kindle is making it easier. 
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
    • I've never read anything by Michael Crichton, but I've been a fan of the Jurassic Park movies for years. I'm enjoying it so far.
  • Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
    • My college Bible study read this, but I didn't have the money to get it at the time, so I didn't join in. It's really a fitting study for where I am right now: Trying to find my place in this world.
Also, my Recently Finished list.
  • Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too by DaNelle Wolford
    • I follow DaNelle's blog, Weed 'Em and Reap, and saw that her book was only $1.99 last week. It was an easy read, talking about the specifics of a Traditional, Whole Foods Diet. 
  • Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
    • I believe in supporting Christian films (especially since they're not as bad as they used to be), and after seeing the film version of this book, my dad loaned me his copy of the book. It was thought provoking.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    • I wanted to be ready to see the movie (which I haven't done yet), but suffice it to say, I won't be able to visit Amsterdam without sobbing uncontrollably now. 
These are the books that have captured my interest. It's been a long time since I've read and finished something, which is horrible, and slightly discouraging as an author. I don't want people to think of my writing as difficult to read. I want to be the writer like John Green, where you just start reading, and the next time you look up, you're 3/4 done with it.

That's why I opted to remove Sugar & Spies from Amazon and Smashwords. It wasn't anywhere near where it should've been. I hope to actually find a small publisher to help me through my current mystery, once it's done.

  • What books do you like to read?
  • What can you recommend?
  • Could YOU make it through the Divergent series?