Lucky Girl, Grateful Girl

If you knew me in real life you would hear me say, probably shortly after you met me, that I’m lucky. There are articles all about how maybe that’s a mindset and/or how having that belief can enhance the experience of luck. Whatever. The truth is that heck yeah, I’m luckier than most and it’s something to be grateful for while I also try to share my bounty with others.

My latest example of this is from my extraordinarily lucky writing career. In case you don’t follow my Facebook and/or Twitter, I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in the Virginia Festival of the Book, thanks to my chance meeting and growing friendship with Madeline Iva, who I dubbed The Goddess of Love Fest. Last year I did social media, and this year I moderated a panel, followed by a signing at the local Barnes & Noble. I mean, moderating a panel with the likes of:

LoveFest Workshop: Q&A About the Romance Biz After Publishing

Linked from Margaret Locke’s blog. Great shot Margaret! Click image to visit her blog post about #VALoveFest

(left to right) Avery Flynn, Sabrina Jeffries, Mary Jo Putney, Mollie Cox Bryan, and Mary Burton is a bit of a “No $*&#, There I Was” moment already. After that? I was set up at a signing table with, check this out, Jo Bourne, Mary Jo Putney, and Sabrina Jeffries. Basically the table was “Legend, Legend, Legend, Sue.” What do you even do with that? The best you can do is to try not to hyperventilate and pass out. (Happy to report that I did not hyperventilate and pass out.)

So, this is my thank you to everyone who came out to the event, and especially to Madeline for asking “Hey, do you want to moderate a panel?” Lucky girl. Grateful girl. If there’s some way that I can help you out to pay it forward then feel free to drop me a comment or an email.

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.” ~ John Donne

These letters between Justin and Sam have been laying around here for awhile and I thought you might be entertained by them.

 
February 1815
My dearest Justin
   Well, Jack has married her earl. Truly, you wouldn’t believe the effect he has had on her. For days she would drift around the house, staring off into the distance and scribbling in a little journal. I peeked in it once and it was lists of things like his properties and furnishings. Can you imagine! Then when I would say she was in love with him she would get so angry. Me thinks she doth protest too much!
   But the wedding this morning – Justin I’m so sorry that you missed it. Jack was simply lovely in a dark green velvet dress that the earl sent over last night. Jack didn’t want to wear it because, well, she’s Jack and when has she ever wanted to do anything that anyone told her to do? And the earl. Oh my, I’m not sure when I’ve seen a more handsome man. He has this roguish look about him. That’s good, I suppose. Jack always did like wild and dangerous things.
   They have set off for Kent. Would you, could you, be so good as to take Jack her trunks? I’m sure she will be lonely and a bit at sea in some stuffy old estate. I do think that they will settle in after a time, but they haven’t known each other all that long and everything there will be his. It would mean a great deal to me if you would do that. The estate is known as Kellington.
The other thing to think on is that, having Jack nicely settled with a wealthy, titled man, my father may be quite a bit more lenient with who I will be allowed to marry. Further, prior to finding her earl, Jack had been making noises about becoming an old maid. She said that once she reached her majority that she would be able to take her investment funds, and perhaps her dowry if father would release it, and live on her own. Can one truly do that? If so, then when I reach my majority I would be able to marry whomever I like. Which I suppose means I should find out what age is my majority.
   Please give my love to all in Derbyshire. Has Philomena had her foal yet? I imagine she is fatter than Baker Hudson.
Yours truly, 
Samantha
 
March 1815
Dearest Samantha,
   I’m glad that your letter indicates you are in good spirits. May I surmise that your parents are well? Certainly your mother is thrilled that Jack married an earl. Being the mother of a countess will raise her own standing when you all come home.
   Of course I will be pleased to deliver Jack’s trunks to her and will leave within a fortnight if the weather is promising.
   Please don’t pin your hopes on your father allowing us to marry. You deserve better than a man who, at best, will become a stable master. Continue to attend balls and find a man that will be able to support you in the style you deserve. I only want you to be happy, Sam.
   Philomena hasn’t foaled yet, but I suspect she will before I leave. 
   And I will not advise Baker Hudson of your comparison since that would mean you would never have his cakes again. At least, not without me smuggling them to you.
   Tell your mother that as spring approaches I am already desperately missing her lemon biscuits. The only thing I’ve ever had to rival Baker Hudson’s cakes.
Yours truly,
Justin
p.s. In England a woman may own personal property once she reaches the age of twenty-one if she is unmarried. That is probably what Jack was looking forward to.