A Cuppa In Celebration of Jane Austen’s Bicentennial

So much of what I long to see, smell, eat, or experience when I travel, I first discovered in a book. It’s an understatement to say Jane Austen’s whit, whimsy, and wisdom have influenced my life. Because of her, I have a fascination for lofty manor houses, Elizabethan architecture, the art of taking tea, British literature, the Cornwall coast, observing society and all of its mores and double standards with both a nod of reverence and twist of mouth, and asking for “porridge,” instead of oatmeal, on my first trip throughout the whole of England. Today marks the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s death at the premature age of 41. To my fellow Janeites, I say we should lift a cuppa to honor her. I never fully moved into my little cottage two and a half years ago (who can move in completely to 860 square feet after years of thrice the space?), […]

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Read for a Better World

Read. Literature. Contemporary stories from thoughtful writers. Read memoirs. New essays and The Essays of E. B. White [I recommend “Death of a Pig.”]. Pulitzer Prize winners like Elizabeth Strout. Read Facebook posts by Anne Lamott and Humans of New York. The Bible. Anything Brene Brown writes. Jane Austen. Reread the stories you loved as a child: The Velvet Room, Treasure Island, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys…Harry Potter…Beatrix Potter, C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. By now, you have books and stories and authors in your head you think I’ve missed. 🙂 Your view of humanity will expand. Your language and vocabulary will expand. Your compassion will expand. Your relationships will improve (there are studies that show readers are better lovers, and I mean, heart lovers.) You know what else will improve? With no college or masters degree or Ph.D., your writing will soar in leaps and bounds. I’ve seen evidence […]

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