Hello, and thank you for visiting my website!I truly appreciate it.My name is Jen and I am a 41-year-old wife, mother and Janeite.

Jen aka michchick

I write Austen-inspired fiction for my own entertainment as well as the amusement of other fans of Ms. Austen.

I have been accused once or twice of being a great reader (I’m not, but it’s still another reason I love EB!) but have always loved to read nonetheless. Frank L. Baum’s tales of Oz were wondrous and Lewis Carroll made me laugh with his irony. C.S. Lewis showed me the fantasy of an allegory and then J.R.R. Tolkien proved truly how powerful such a tale could be. (I still contend that Samwise & Faramir are the true heroes of the series!)

I read L.M. Montgomery’s tales of the red-headed orphan Anne and I instantly fell in love with her story. Anne Shirley made mistakes, was far from perfect,  had a temper and was allowed to be smart. Anne (with an e, thank you!) has romantic ideals but doesn’t believe they could possibly come true for her. Anne’s Gilbert Blythe was without a doubt my first so-called literary crush. 

And then I met a tall, dark, handsome man named Fitzwilliam Darcy.

I was thirteen years old when I first read Jane Austen’s masterwork Pride and Prejudice. That year I read many other ‘classics’: The Count of Monte Cristo, Romeo and Juliet, The Three Muskateers and a few others. The heroes Dantes, Romeo, D’Artagnen and the rest never even stood a chance. My heart was already engaged to the proud, aloof man with the passionate heart from Derbyshire.

I read recently a quote that had me in stitches:  “For many young literature nerds of the female persuasion, I imagine Pride and Prejudice was a gateway drug of sorts to all kinds of historical romance; deep down, aren’t we all ripe young heroines bristling against social conventions who delight in flirting with cocky, handsome bachelors who declare their undying love for us just so we can shut them down?

I’m certain I’ve never read a truer statement! (The entire article can be found here:      My Movie Crush by Jen Yamato )

I freely, to my husband’s chagrin, admit a ‘movie’ crush on Colin Firth too. I first saw him in Valmont and then a few other things (A Month in the Country, Secret Garden and Tumbledown) long before I ever saw him don those fawn breeches and lawn shirt as Mr. Darcy.

Now, when you read, you develop a certain perception in your mind (at least I do) of what the characters look like and when a book gets turned into a cinematic spectacle, there’s (for me anyways) a moment where you hope and wonder if the directors vision will match your own that was formed in your mind. Jonathan Crombie and Megan Follows looked enough like Gilbert and Anne to please me. I was cruelly disappointed when I saw the Richard Chamberlain Count of Monte Cristo. Recently, the raven-haired Faramir of the LOTR series was made blonde (played by the excellent David Wenham) and could be confused for a horseman of Rohan rather than a Steward of Gondor. My son even is experiencing something similar and it thrilled me to watch City of Ember with him and have him yell, “That’s not what that is supposed to look like!”

Now sometimes books are illustrated and that can often help fill in blanks of your imagination. The first edition of Pride and Prejudice that I owned had been illustrated by Hugh Thomson. Now the Thomson illustrations are greatly similar to the more common Brock ones, but there are a few that particularly stand out in my mind and helped define Mr. Darcy’s appearance for me.  They are illustations of scenes at Hunsford- the first when he finds Elizabeth alone (“What is fifty miles of good road?”) and then of course, the first proposal. Though Mr. Darcy infuriates her, the passion in his address in unmistakable. The Thomson illustration matched closely with Andrew Davies (much maligned for taking liberties) production of Pride and Prejudice. I think when Colin stood leaning heavily on the mantlepeice, he was forever sealed in my mind as Mr. Darcy.

Anyways… I find I am digressing. To say that I enjoy the novel Pride and Prejudice would be an understatement. Like many fine people I’ve ‘met’ over the last several years I am rather rabid in my obsession. We call the book scene-by-scene like some people would call a sports competition play-by-play.

I imagine the Meryton Assembly would be called something like this: And here comes the players from Netherfield onto the court. Starting strong with Bingley making a move on Jane…but oh no! Darcy drops the ball with an insult to Elizabeth.

It’s too true! When you’ve repeatedly read the novel and dissected it as often as someone in the JAFF community has, you know all the plays… Meryton Assembly, Lucas Lodge, Jane’s illness, Collins’ arrival, Wickham in Meryton, Netherfield Ball, Bingley & Co. hie back to London, Christmas, Jane in London, Lizzy goes to Kent, Rosings, Big-mouth Colonel, Hunsford, Letter, Lydia leaves, Pemberley, Lambton, Super-Darcy in London, Newlyweds at Longbourn, Darcy returns #1, Jane/Bing engaged, Lady C, Darcy returns #2, enagaged (finally!) and then happy endings!

We all know the playbook… the fun lies in how we re-arrange the plays to change the game!

….and that is why I write the stories I do!

***********(I’ve been asked about the picture that serves as my header. It is Mackinac Island which is located in the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The Straits divide Lake Michigan from Lake Huron. Mackinac Island is a beautiful place to visit and can be accessed by ferry from either the UP side in St. Ignace or the ‘Troll’ side in Mackinac. A visit to Mackinac is truly a visit to the past! There are no cars- you must either walk, ride a bicycle or go by means of horse. The picture above is on US 1 which encircles the eight miles around the Island. I took that on August 14, 2009 in the rain. Anyways, that’s my Michigan travel-log moment for you!)

One Response to “michchick’s info”

  1. Susan Says:

    So sorry about your computer woes! I had my own hard drive crash a week and a half ago and it has been a rough couple weeks. Hope you have a super vacation and can’t wait for more OoR when you return home!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s