Alone at Christmas

What is a single woman to do when the holiday blues assail her? Write a melancholy Christmas JAFF, of course. That’s where the inspiration for ‘Deck the Halls with Melancholy’ came from. Everyone I know will be celebrating the holidays with their significant others – and then there is me: no husband, no kids, and no grandkids. Just me and the cat. Pathetic, right?

No! Of course not! Lots of singles manage to survive the holidays without falling into the abyss. I hoped that my story would be cathartic and help to soothe my blue mood.

Certainly our dear couples survived the Holidays of 1811. If you recall, after the Netherfield ball, the residents of Netherfield left town, leaving our dear Bennet sisters in misery. We know from canon that Jane was devastated by Bingley’s abandonment and Elizabeth was furious that Darcy had played a part in the scheme. Miss Austen eluded to Bingley’s actions in Caroline’s letter to Jane, stating that he was ‘an inmate of Mr. Darcy’s house’, in Chapter 24, but we know very little else about what happened in London during that time. This was a perfect opportunity to add my interpretation of those missing scenes.

What if everyone was as miserable as I felt? It doesn’t make for a happy story but I believe it adheres closely to what Jane, Charles, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth may have been thinking during that time.

Did writing the story make me feel better? Yes and no. If you don’t like being alone at Christmas, it’s still terrible. But before too long, that emotion is bound to be replaced with disappointment for failing to keep my New Year’s resolutions.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for 2018!

Deck the Halls with Melancholy


Crafty Giraffe

Maybe not as cute as April, but this is my latest craft project: a giraffe made from baby blankets, bibs, wash cloths, burp cloths and socks.

She’s still kind of cute, though!


The bibs, wash cloths and burp cloths are all rolled up inside the blankets to make the legs and neck. Everything is held together with rubber bands, which are hidden by bibs around the base of the neck and a giant bow. Double sticky tape holds down the loose edges.

Her face is a sock (with googly-eyes taped on) and her ears are also socks tucked into the face sock.

Please notice the pink Mary-Jane socks on her feet — too adorable!


Darcy as a Boy

In my story, Darcy’s Big Wish, I imagine Darcy as a ten-year-old boy.

What would he have looked like at that age? As the son of a wealthy man, he would have been dressed in the latest fashions made of the finest materials. His hair would have been worn long, in the style of the era.


(Pictured: Thomas Draddyll, 1789. Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.)

In my imagination, he looked more like this boy, with long curly hair.


(Pictured: Owen Best, 2010. Child actor in the movie “TRON: Legacy.”)

However, when Fitzwilliam Darcy is suddenly thrust into his ten-year-old form, he enjoys none of the privileges he had as a boy. A child of unknown parentage could easily be sent to the workhouse, where he would have been forced into hard labor.

But who could not help falling in love with a beautiful, if somewhat arrogant child? Certainly not Elizabeth Bennet, who comes to his rescue and helps him find his way back to his former life.

Read about their journey together: Here

Death of a Character

I killed George Wickham!

In my story, Affectionate Hearts, George timed his elopement scheme better than in canon and took off for the border the day before Darcy arrived in Ramsgate to surprise Georgiana.

I had no problems offing Wickham since he is despised by almost everyone who ever read Pride and Prejudice. But I was in for a surprise when some readers expressed shock at the darkness of that chapter. (By the way, I never disclosed how it happened; I had his lover find his lifeless form. So yes, he was dead as a drowned rat, but I left the reader to form that conclusion.) Other readers expressed despair that the deed was done by one of their darlings, Colonel Fitzwilliam.

These comments made me regret taking that drastic step so I made a change to the next chapter and gave the Colonel pangs of regret for losing his head and taking such extreme measures. This led to even more complications, since he had been dropping hints all along the way north that George was a French spy, and a suspicious innkeeper had filed a report with the local constable. In canon, Darcy never said a word to anyone to protect Georgiana’s reputation.

And there is the biggest dilemma; saving Georgiana’s future. How could I allow the fair Georgiana to come to harm, just for the sake of an original storyline? It’s unconscionable!

Since this was only the first draft of the story, I decided to skip the murder mess in the final manuscript and have the Colonel use his good breeding and military training, (well maybe rough the louse up a little,) and turn him over to the constable. Seven years in prison and transportation to the penal colony for our despicable villain and his henchwoman! They deserved nothing less!

The real point of the story was to throw Darcy and Elizabeth together early and what better way than to send her to the Lake District with her aunt and uncle, which is conveniently, nice and close to the border! With the villain out of the way and a general fondness on both sides, it was simple to come to a happy ending for our dear couple.

But no, not so simple.