I’ve won NaNoWriMo! How exciting. I hope everyone who participated is proud of however much they were able to produce, and that they have donated to the Young Writer’s cause. Even $10 does a lot, so please help! Look me up as worderella on NaNoWriMo for my profile and sample of the text I’ve been working on.
And now, back to studying for finals, writing two surprise essays (gotta love those English teachers…), a couple programs, you know…the usual. :)
I took these notes for my High Victorian era novel on December 19, 2004. Thought I’d post a few of my notes every once in a while, either as a way to help my fellow fiction/historical fiction writers, and also as a fun way to remind me of all the information I’ve gathered.
The British Peerage
The following list is in order of importance, most to least. All of the following should be addressed as Lord and Lady BlankWhatever, in which BlankWhatever is the name of the title/name of the estate, and not the family name aka last name. Every once in a while the family name and title are the same.
- Duke, Duchess
- Marquis (Marquess), Marchioness
- Earl, Countess
- Viscount, Viscountess
- Baron, Baroness
– The eldest son of a duke, marquis, and earl take the lesser title.
– The younger son of a duke/marquis is called “Lord FirstName LastName” or simply “Lord FirstName.”
– The younger son of an earl is called “the Honourable FirstName LastName.”
– All children of viscounts/barons are called “the Honourable FirstName LastName.”
– Daughters of dukes, marquises, earls are called “Lady Given Name.”
It should be understood that the upper servants ate in the housekeeper’s room, and the lower servants ate in the servants’ hall and cleaned the upper servants’ rooms.
- Upper Servants (not all households had full set): butler, housekeeper, parlor maid, cook, children’s nurse, valet, ladies’ maid.
- Lower Servants: footmen, housemaids, under housemaids, kitchen and scullery maids, still-room maids, charwomen, nursery maids, pages.
- Outside Servants: coachman, gardener, young boys.
* Manservants are much more expensive, so if a family owns even one, it’s a definite indication of their wealth.
* Middle-class families sometimes took over certain duties:
– housekeeper: domestic accounts and bills
– ladies’ maid: plain needlework for self and children
– governess: children’s education
* Jilting a fiance lowered a marriagable woman’s chances for making a “good match.”
– 1/4 middle-class women didn’t marry in late Victorian era
Information retrieved from: Jo McMurtry’s Victorian Life and Victorian Fiction: A Companion for the American Reader.
Why is it, that during this particular November, I’m getting a lot done? I am, perhaps, the most productive I have ever been, and that’s coupled with the threat of a sinus infection and insomnia. I think it’s because of NaNoWriMo, personally, but that’s just me. There is something very motivating about having that daily goal of 1,667 words looming overhead, just within reach. After talking to people, I realized that I’m using NaNo as a reward each day for completing some task, whether it be a classroom assignment, an important e-mail, or the dishes, among other things.
How many of you are participating in NaNoWrimo?
In other news, I keep finding more writing blogs to read. I have my favorites, such as PODdy Mouth, Miss Snark, History Hoydens, etc, but then those blogs post about and/or quote other blogs, so then I start reading those as well. If you’re interested in any, comment and I’ll list some that have made my second list of favorites.
Who else is excited to see Jim come back to Scranton on The Office tonight?! This girl most definitely is the definition of excitement.
For those of you who are unaware, November is NaNoWriMo (nan-oh-wry-moh) aka National Novel Writing Month. To help celebrate this fact, writers all over the world have joined nanowrimo.org, a website that writers can join and compete to win. The thing is, if you win, you’re really only winning as a writer. Here’s the deal: writers join nanowrimo.org, and by registering, they announce to the world that they’ve accepted nanowrimo.org’s challange to write 50,000 words in one month. For the mathematically inclined, this means each writer needs to average approximately 1,667 words each day during the month of November to accomplish this goal. You win if you get 50,000+ words. If you don’t, you still have words on the page to work with. There isn’t any real prize except the fact that you love writing, you are writing, and in the end, that’s all that matters.
And if you’re curious, yes. This is the first year that I decided to do it. I’ve known about nanowrimo for years, but this is the first time I thought I’d be up to the challange. Funny, how I don’t have time really, and this is when I decide to join, but then…sometimes I feel like I work better under certain types of pressure. And with the completion of The Winslow Charade (the work-in-progress) I was going through some serious writing withdrawal. My NaNo piece this year is the sequel to The Winslow Charade, and I’m really excited about it. The working title of this piece is The Taming of Willem, and it’s about the younger brother of the main character from The Winslow Charade.
If you’re interested in reading, I’m blogging each chapter at
Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Genre: Psychological/Classic Fiction
Length: 288 pgs
Well. I finally completed reading this book. This isn’t to say that reading Dorian Gray was tedious, it’s just that with school and life getting in the way, I only had time to read during the twenty minutes I had between leaving my apartment and waiting for my folklore class to begin. Anyway, there is a reason that The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a classic. Wilde’s turn of phrase about society and many of society’s hypocritical rules/behaviors often caught me laughing in surprise and recognition. He tends to be a little verbose in terms of description, but he is a contemporary of Victorian literature, so I forgive him that. And then, Wilde is the only playwright yet who made me laugh out loud when reading his play (excusing bonny Shakespeare, of course), so he deserves snaps and props.
pg 73 – It often happens that the real tragedies in life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude biolence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style. They affect us as vulgarity affects us. They give us an impression of sheer brute force, and we revolt against that.
pg 104 – Society, civilized society at least, is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating. It feels instinctively that manners are of more importance than morals, and, in its opinion, the highest respectability is of much less value than the possession of a good chef.
pg 118 – Youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.
pg 131 – When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
pg 135 – the moon hung low in the sky like a yellow skull.
pg 139 – Each man lived his own life, and paid his own price for living it. The only pity was one had to pay so often for a single fault. One had to pay over and over again, indeed. In her dealings with men Destiny never closed her accounts.
pg 154 – There are only two ways by which man can reach [civilization]. One is by being cultured, the other by being corrupt.
pg 156 – But then one regrets the loss even of one’s worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one’s personality.
Why should you read this book?
Well, if you ever want to sound knowledgeable and moderately well-read, you can quote the many little satirical comments characters such as Lord Henry and Dorian Gray say throughout the book. Haha no, in terms of writing, Dorian Gray is an excellent example of getting into a character’s head and keeping it interesting. Watching a character fall from good graces and living with the consequences. Dorian Gray is slightly similar to The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, in that respect. (The Count of Monte Cristo is also an excellent book and one you must read. If at all possible, find the unabridged copy…I’m still a little bitter that I didn’t realize I’d bought the abridged version.)
Good book to read on an overcast day when one wants to be pensive yet entertained, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a quick read as long as you have the time to devote to reading. I also suggest you check out the 1940’s movie version with a young Angela Lansbury (not only is she gorgeous, but she sings–now you have an inkling that she did much more than the voice for Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast.)