What I did on my Jane Austen vacation! (Or, an Austen obsessive’s postman’s holiday!)

All roads lead to Jane Austen (Chawton road sign)

Gentle Readers,

Today is the last day of a three week vacation. I had planned this time off to coincide with the launch of my new book, Jane Austen Made Me Do It. I can’t even begin to tell you when I last had a three week holiday! Maybe in high school summer break? Dunno, its been so long it boggles the mind.

I can say that I spent my time productively. I have been pounding away on my computer with the furor of a bargain hunter at a Macy’s lingerie sale! Wrote twenty (20) blogs out of thirty-two (32) in total for my Grand Tour of the blogosphere (Oct 10 – Nov 10). Tweeting, Facebooking and commenting on the Internet like there is no tomorrow.

Laurel Ann Nattress book launch for Jane Austen Made Me Do It Ft. Worth (2011)

Flew to Ft. Worth and attended the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Annual General Meeting (Oct 14-16, 2011) during which I had my book launch party at the Sundance Square Barnes & Noble on Friday October 16.

Laurel Ann Nattress and Amanda Vickery at JASNA Ft. Worth (2011)

Was introduced to BBC and Regency celeb Amanda Vickery (The Gentleman’s Daughter) who was there with the BBC filming a documentary on Jane Austen.

Fiction author luncheon at JASNA Ft. Worth (2011)

Attended the fiction authors luncheon arranged by the multi-talented Cindy Jones (My Jane Austen Summer).

Andrew Davies at JASNA Ft. Worth (2011)

Listened and laughed with plenary speaker Andrew Davies on Saturday afternoon. Introduced fellow JASNA – Puget Sound chapter member James Nagle for his breakout session on Coaches, Barouches and Gigs, Oh My!

Laurel Ann Nattress and Deb Barnum at JASNA Ft. Worth (2011)

Dressed for the banquet while catching up on conference gossip with roommate Deb Barnum (Jane Austen in Vermont).

Syrie and Bill James at the Regency Ball JASNA Ft. Worth (2011)

Dined with Syrie and Bill James and Deb at the banquet. Watched the Regency Promenade through Sundance Square. Wanted to go watch the Regency dancing but crashed instead. (can you forgive me?)

Laurel Ann Nattress at the Author Book Signing at JASNA Ft. Worth (2011)

Up at the crack of dawn Sunday morning to attend the Author Book Signing and then the closing brunch. Dashed off to the local UPS store to mail books, large poster of JAMMDI and a sundry stuff back home so that my luggage weight limit would not explode!

Kimbell Museum of Art Caravaggio exhibit Ft. Worth, TX (2011)

Headed out to The Kimbell Art Museum to see the  brand new exhibit, Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome (WOW) with fellow JASNA – Puget Sound members Marian LaBeck, her sister Monica and Kimberly Brangwin. Jumped on a transport to the airport where we ran into Susan Mason-Milks (Mr. Darcy’s Proposal) and Karen Doornebos (Definitely Not Mr. Darcy) and  had a quick bite at TGI Fridays in the airport terminal. Flew home, picked up my luggage, then my car, drove home. Cat Herman very happy to see me. Collapsed into bed at 1:00 am.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Launch Lynnwood, WA (2011)

I returned on Sunday October 16th, over a week ago, and I still have not unpacked. Too busy! I have been running full out promoting my book online, writing emails and blogs like crazy. Saturday was my local Seattle book launch at Alderwood Barnes & Noble. (more on that on Friday) What an amazing event with the full contingent of fans, friends, family and co-workers all in attendance. It was red carpet sendoff for JAMMDI with me chatting about Jane Austen, my road to publication, reading from the book, tea and scones, live period music and English Country dancing. Phew!

So tomorrow, back to reality! I planned to spend my last day as an debut editor/author on the Internet, writing emails, blogs and social networking. That plan was nixed this morning when I could not get on my computer. ACK! I hear Frank Churchill’s voice echoing in my head from the 1996 movie adaptation of Emma! “Is your horse just washing his feet or are the darker forces at work here?” My computer was trying to install a Microsoft update that would not complete. NO COMPUTER. OMG! Total Internet withdrawal. What was I going to do? Two hours later the stupid update is still installing. What? This is madness.

The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, by Lindsay Ashford (2011)

So, what does a total Jane Austen obsessive who needs to be working on the Internet do? Read of course. I am half way through The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, by Lindsay Ashford and am quite intrigued by her take on Anne Sharp, who was the governess to Jane’s wealthy brother Edward Austen’s daughter Fanny, and a lifelong friend to Jane too. It will surprise you.

Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA

It was also one of those ten days in the Pacific Northwest when it didn’t rain. A beautiful clear day resplendent Fall color, so I headed to Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in neighboring Woodinville (beautiful spot) and ordered a case of wine to be shipped to some friends as a thank you. Of course I had to stop by Costco in the way home! I just could not pass up buying tulip and daffodil bulbs on sale for my garden. Oh joy. Now I get to plant them. Here are the varieties: tulips Blushing Beauty and Van Eijk and daffodils Unsurpassable. Here is my kitchen table with all of my to do’s piling up! Notice new books: Persuasion: An Annotated Edition, The Garden Intrigue, by Lauren Willig and Austentatious, by Alyssa Goodnight along with Austen note cards to write thank you’s with, a pile of Jane Austen Made Me Do It book marks I need to mail to my authors and a bizzion blubs to plant in my garden!

Laurel Ann's kitchen table to do list

By the time I got home late in the afternoon, my computer had finished its massive update, thank goodness and I had 48 emails to answer and two blogs to write.

I shall return to selling Jane Austen to the masses tomorrow. Honestly, I need a vacation from my vacation!


Laurel Ann

© 2007 -2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose