Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Join the King's Royal Yorkers

Last Saturday was a banner day for me. At last I donned my shift, pocket, stockings, garters, petticoat, bed jacket, apron and bonnet (Kady stole my fichu to stave of sunburn, or I would have had that on too!) plus a pair of leather buckle shoes to follow the drum!

The King's Royal Yorkers (modern version) is a re-enactment group based on the original regiment of loyalists formed in Canada to fight against the rebels during the American revolution. The gentleman who petitioned to be allowed to form the regiment, Sir John Johnson, lived in the Mohawk Valley in what is now New York State. He was a loyalist, and paid a heavy price for his loyalty to the Crown. Forced to flee his home, he made his way North, into what is now Canada. The rebellious Yankie Doodle Dandies had already pushed north but had been rebuffed, and the loyalist went on the offensive. They were a highly effective fighting force, and played a large part in keeping Canada free from the rebel forces determined to take over the entire North American continent.

This of course is the much shortened version, and doesn't truly begin to explain the hardships, triumphs and eventual defeat of the King's Royal Yorkers. For a comprehensive outline, please visit the King's Royal Yorkers regiment page and have a look at the other pages too. I must state though that the Yorkers were not defeated in battle, but by diplomacy. At the end of the war the Mohawk valley was in Loyalist hands, and they lost their homes via the Treaty of Paris. Canada could and should have been even bigger than it is now...

Hopefully I'll soon have a couple of pictures of the Thornhill Parade to share with you, and this winter I plan to kit myself out completely, including making myself a pair of stays! WOOT! I'll let you know how that turns out!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Be Still My Heart

Is there anything better than reading a phrase or passage that just makes your heart sing?

In need of comfort and inspiration, I turned to a couple of old favourites, the Lady Whistledown anthologies (The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown and Lady Whistledown Strikes Back). Now, with champion writers Julia Quinn, Karen Hawkins, Suzanne Enoch and Mia Ryan, you know you’re in for a treat. The star-crossed (or maybe I should say society-crossed) Regency lovers in these two books are enthralling, which is why the books survived my harsh pre-move purge. (I’m still crying over that loss. Book grief is insidious!) But Suzanne Enoch provided me with a moment that resonated so strongly I had to share. The following lines from The Best of Both Worlds, in Lady Whistledown Strikes Back made me catch my breath, and fall in love:

He smiled slowly, unable to resist running a finger along her cheek. “You are a challenge. And please don’t blame me because a shipload of very stupid men looked at you once and declared you uninteresting. I looked at you twice, and I saw what you are.”

Color crept up her cheeks. “And what is that?”


OH, MY...

If I were the swooning type, swoon I would. I could picture it, like a scene from a movie, and it moved me to go into my husband’s office and kiss him on the top of his preoccupied head. His grunt of acknowledgement only made me smile.

Now I remember why I read romances, and why I write them. Maybe one day, if I’m good and faithful to the craft, I can give a reader that same feeling. Oh, I hope so, because that’s what it’s all about.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


It feels like just last week I was grumbling about the fact that winter wouldn't go away, and suddenly here we are in September again. I noticed a couple of little trees with bright orange leaves and "cut mi eye" (a rude, exaggerated turning away) at them. I actually like Fall, but I'm just not ready for it right now.

There's something very evocative about the end of summer. The fall flowers, with their deeper tones and hardier blooms, seem to be saying, "You have to be tough, as well as decorative, to be at your best at this time of year." They are the last hurrah before everything dies back and Old Man Winter throws his snowy robe around the land. I always get a little more introspective, more contemplative, the cooler the weather gets. I find myself looking into the woodlots and gardens as I drive by, my imagination drawing me in, picturing what it would feel like to run between the trees. Sometimes I pretend I'm being chased, heart pounding, desperate for a place to hide. Other times I'm a part of the woods, a nymph or goddess (usually a goddess...I like the fringe benefits!)

When I feel there isn't another word worth writing left in me, and I'm wrestling with the 'whys' and 'hows' of being an aspiring author, those flights of fancy give me a much needed lift. Inspiration is all around us, thank goodness!