Tools of the Trade

The above is a photograph of the primary copies of Persuasion I own. I don’t tend to grab every copy I see, I am selective. And cheap. The most expensive copy I have is the “Sentimental Favorite” on the right, The Everyman’s Library edition. The first editions of Everyman were published in 1906 with Northanger Abby and Persuasion being the last of the series at #25. I bought an older copy at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, in approximately 2000. Pamela Aidan came out to western Oregon to shlepp around with me and Laura Hile. I was stupid and gave it away in a group marketing campaign. I regretted it the minute I put it in the mail. So, I decided that this edition would be my gift to myself for completing a novella in five months. (You can buy Wentworth’s Christmas Wish on Amazon HERE. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.)

The book to the left is a cheap book club edition published in a set in 1998. It is truly the workhorse. I had broken apart a cheap Barnes and Noble edition I go in ’97 when I started writing. The set was cheap and I’ve been using this Penguin edition for most of my writing “career.” You can’t see them clearly but it is full of Post-its and book marks for various passages. It’s torn here and there and the plastic coating is starting to come up but she will do for a while longer.

I also use a digital version from the Gutenberg Project. As I write on a laptop, it’s simpler when I need the word search function. Which is more and more often. (The ageing brain is not a pretty sight, y’all.)

Last, is my favorite copy. My son’s partner went to London for her job earlier this year, (2022) and she brought me this edition. It is a Vintage Classic and I love the faux muslin print on the cover. I also love that it is not a standard paperback size. Odd-sized books on my shelves make me happy. I only have one Post-it, marking The Letter, destroying the classy look of it.

All my copies of Austen are important to me. But so are my copies of Patrick O’Brien’s Jack Aubrey series. I don’t have a lot of books. This worked out well for us when we moved across the country this summer. There was stress enough without having to decide who would make the trip and who would be left behind.

It is back to work. Have a pleasant Friday.

Oh, and buy my book:

Nobody Will Want Her


UPDATE: This was sure a long time ago. Anyway, the story is still up at Beyond Austen, so if you are a member look in the Short Stories category. I will be publishing this along with a yet unchosen story so look for that in the new year.

I am posting a Persuasion Alteration for Halloween over at BEYOND AUSTEN. And for those who dislike starting a story that may not EVER be finished, this one is all done. The only thing I’m doing is give it a quick edit before it goes up each Wednesday.

So, if you want a little mystery and angst, Nobody Will Want her is probably for you. Oh, and there is no gore or fright in this story.

Where Has YouTube Been All My Life?


courtesy Kat Jayne on

This summer I went through a bout of depression. I’d like to say I fought like a champion. I fought it sorta. In the morning I worked on a story alteration and the rest of the day I’d watch my husband look for a job. There was the added bonus of  wondering how long we would be without one, because when you’re in your 60s it’s a toss-up in the maintenance biz. Yes, it was stressful. When he finally got a job, I didn’t get over the bout for a while, so instead of drinking–too expensive–I watched You Tube videos.

I know that human beings are voyeurs, me included, but WOW!



Grocery Hauls and Meal Prep are my favorites. Who knew it could be so restful watching other people enumerate what they got at the grocery store? And there are the craft videos! Motivational videos, speeches by the notorious and the unknown. Home repair and home dec. The number of channels dedicated to Dollar Tree/Store/General is staggering.

Now I know what writers mean about wasting time on You Tube. I thought it was all cats. Nope. Cats and so much more.

A couple of my favorite You Tube channels:
Grocery Hauls and Prep:
FREE TO FAMILY (Frugal living, family, meal prep)
JENNIFER CHAPIN (Home, Recipes, Hauls)
DO IT ON A DIME Dollar  (Store/Home Dec/DIY/Frugal)
AMBIENT RELAXATION (Music and ambient noise to write to)
HEADBANGER’S KITCHEN (Recipes for Ketogenic diet and metal music)
STERLING AND STONE (Writing. Some great vids on plotting and character development. Skip Worst Show Ever vids as they are tiresome with guy antics and language.)

My one caveat, aside from all the wasted time, is that these are not professionals and there’s no production team to point out faux pas. It’s a great exercise in grace. And a great way to see just what you can do with all that Dollar Tree swag!