About laurie viera rigler

Author of the Jane Austen Addict novels and other time-bending tales.

Celebrate Girl Power on July 4th with Jane Austen.

You always knew Jane Austen was a feminist, right? What better way to soothe the disappointment of cancelled 4th of July events than to enjoy some intellectual fireworks?

Register for this live online lecture, JANE AUSTEN’S MESSAGE FOR YOUNG WOMEN TODAY, where “Dr Georgina Newton examines how the hopes and concerns of today’s young women compare with those of Jane Austen’s era and how the author of Pride and Prejudice has much to say to modern readers.

July 4th at 7.30pm British time (2.30pm ET, 11.30am PST) Click for details and to register.

It’s hosted by the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (BRLSI), a non profit organization “set up 200 years ago as a centre for Enlightenment ideas and intellectual discussion in Bath, England (where Jane Austen lived!).

Jane Austen’s novels typically conjure images of love, romance and femininity. But her acute observations on how society treated women in relation to equality, financial independence and opportunity reveal a mind strikingly in step with feminist thinking in the 21st Century. 

Lit Lovers & History Nerds: Featured Links

Are you a bookworm, bibliophile, avid reader, nose-in-a-book sort of person? Then you’ll love Lit Hub, “the best of the literary internet,” a somewhat recent discovery of mine. You’ll find bits of wisdom from great authors, writing encouragement and inspiration from great minds, things you must know about your favorite authors, insights about the publishing biz, and much more.

So much more that, like me, you’ll want to sign up for Lit Hub‘s weekly or daily digest and dig in. Enjoy, fellow lit lovers!

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

For history nerds and avid readers of historical lit, I recently found The History Girls, “a daily blog from great writers of historical fiction.” If you love researching the periods you write about and read about as much as I do, make haste to History Girls. Although I am late to the History Girls party –their blog was founded in 2011–the great news is their vast archive to dive into. So hitch up the horses and head on over!

Writing Workshops for Storytellers (& Aspiring Storytellers)

I’m thrilled to be returning to Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA to teach two writing workshops. There’s still space available.

One-Day Writing Workshop: Novel vs. Screenplay: Exploring Your Options. Saturday, May 25th, 1:30-4:30 PM.

Six-Week Writing Workshop: Storytelling Techniques. Six Thursdays, starting May 30th and skipping 4th of July, 6:30-8:30 PM. For authors of fiction and narrative nonfiction.

Both classes are open to participants at all levels. There will be lectures and writing exercises.

This is a safe space where your writing will be supported with constructive suggestions and where you can receive instructor feedback in class or via email.

For complete descriptions of each workshop, plus registration information, got to the Vroman’s Ed page. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked Brings Austen Devotees to Mind

On Twitter, someone asked for book recommendations for Austen fans, and what came to mind was not a continuation, a sequel, or an inspired-by. It was JULIET, NAKED by Nick Hornby. 

Nick Hornby is my idea of a contemporary Jane Austen. So is Zadie Smith, particularly  her novel ON BEAUTY. Both authors make profound observations of human nature, give us romance without sentimentality, have a divine sense of humor, and are simply master storytellers. In my writing workshops I inevitably read passages from both Hornby and Smith. 

For me, Hornby’s JULIET, NAKED brought to mind some of the online discussions that occur amongst Austen’s most devoted readers. A central premise of the book is that no matter how much the admirers of an artist’s work examine that work, study it, parse it for meaning, and become “experts,” they can never acquire irrefutable proof that the creator felt a certain way or had a particular type of experience at the time she created it. Bottom line is that it’s nothing more than speculation. And speculation is often wrong. (more…)

Essential Oil Gift Goodness

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love essential oils. Just got these early dharmaceuticals essential oil gifts for the holidays and couldn’t help but open them and start spritzing and diffusing. Love it!  

The Lift-Me-Up spritz put me in the perfect frame of mind to get going on today’s writing….ttyl :)) 

How deep is your Austen love? Jane Austen fans discuss.

Ever wondered what the difference is between having read Jane Austen and being a full-on Janeite? Or where you are in the Jane Austen fan continuum? You might find your answer in this fun conversation. It’s all part of Austen in August, and if you’ve missed any of it; don’t worry, you can catch up at The Book Rat and join the party. There are lots of posts and still some giveaways going on.
Want to hear more about what Jane Austen fans have to say about their obsession with their favorite author? Check out our own signs of addiction, see what other readers have said about theirs, and you can even contribute your own!

Self-Control and Discipline by Mary Brunton

[reprinted here with the kind permission of The Jane Austen Centre, celebrating Bath’s most famous resident and reporting the latest Austen-related news. ]

If Mary Brunton’s name rings any bells, you are most likely thinking of this quote from Jane Austen:

I am looking over Self Control again, & my opinion is confirmed of its’ being an excellently-meant, elegantly-written Work, without anything of Nature or Probability in it. I declare I do not know whether Laura’s passage down the American River, is not the most natural, possible, every-day thing she ever does.

The alleged lack of ‘Nature or Probability’ has since cast a long shadow on Brunton’s work:

in fact, it seems to have become the accepted critical opinion, so much so that Brunton tends to be accused of faults she did not even have. Before I read Self-Control (1811) and Discipline(1814), I therefore assumed the novels were over-the-top in a wildly sentimental, Gothic fashion. (Several academic texts and reference works I’ve since looked at operate under the same illusion, which is making me wonder whether most academics actually read the books they write about.) I really should have paid more attention to the titles – whoever would give a sentimental potboiler such a forbidding title as Self-Control? (more…)

Austen Superpowers: Self-Awareness + True Love

Can self-importance, meddling, and delusion be considered superpowers?

Hardly. And yet, the self-congratulating and clueless titular heroine of Jane Austen’s Emma rises above being the character that Austen thought that no one but herself would like. In the course of the story, Emma has a series of aha! moments about herself. More important, she acts on that self-awareness. 

via GIPHYAlicia Silverstone in Clueless, a brilliant adaptation of Emma.

In a Jane Austen novel, a lady can only earn her cape by acknowledging that are are huge cracks in what she once thought was the truth.

Once she tears down that wall of delusion and replaces it with wisdom, the heroine-in-training develops more self-awareness, more self-empowerment, and more capability to create happiness than she ever had before.  That is what Emma does. For that is what Austen superpowers are all about.  (more…)

The Beefsteak Club: male dining clubs in the 18th & 19th centuries

[by Laura Boyle and reprinted here with the kind permission of The Jane Austen Centre, celebrating Bath’s most famous resident and reporting the latest Austen-related news. ]

The Beefsteak Club is the name or nickname of several 18th and 19th-century male dining clubs that celebrated the beefsteak as a symbol of patriotic and often Whig  (liberal) concepts of liberty and prosperity.

The location of the current Beefsteak Club.
The location of the current Beefsteak Club.

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