Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Annette W: What Do Mr. Darcy and the Empty Nest Syndrome Have in Common?

Welcome Annette W. to Darcyholic Diversions!
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to have Annette W. with us at Darcyholic Diversions today.  She said she is a bit shy and didn't have a picture to send to me.  She also let me know that MM was HER Darcy, so I found this picture I thought might work for her!  Hope you enjoy getting to know Annette as I have. 

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
May 11--Beth Massey
May 13--Matt Duffy
May 15--Erlynn K.
May 18--Rebecca T.
May 22--Candy M. (So Little Time...)
May 25--Karen Cox
May 29--Jan Ashe
June 1--Kara Louise
June 5--Sharon Lathan
June 8--Gayle Mills
June 12--Shannon Winslow
June 15--Karen Wasylowski
June 19--Krista Bagley
June 22--Stephanie Hamm
June 26--Laurel Ann Nattress
June 29--Pam Dixon
July 3--Jennifer Petkus
July 6--Karen Aminada
July 10--Marilyn Brant
July 13--Meredith Esparanza
And Many more to come!

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ENS and Other Sundry Ailments

Two things have greatly impressed me in the past ten years. The first was my doctor telling me to act my age, using my daughter as a worthy example of how I should fill my idle moments, and the second was watching Matthew Macfadyen arguing with Keira Knightley in the rain, for the twentieth time.
So as the obsolete mother of five that I had become, suffering with early onset ENS (Empty Nest Syndrome), I signed up for piano lessons and searched the garage for the box of Classics that my husband had bought at an auction before we met some thirty five years previously.
Don’t get me wrong, I kept on camping and playing highway tag with the truckers, but now it was alone and against the orders of my doctor. 

As a young girl, I had been an avid reader of anything fiction. They knew me by name at the public library. Since becoming a mom, I had restricted my reading material to non-fiction. I read everything from self-help books on how to deal with jerks in your life to how to pee in the woods and researched a few rather odd topics just for fun.
All of that was about to change, but wouldn’t you know that my copy of Pride and Prejudice had a beginning and an end, but no middle? I sure was happy to discover that the local book store was well stocked. They must have been expecting me.
After watching Matthew and Keira another twenty or so times, and pointing out every discrepancy between novel and movie, I did an online search and discovered fanfiction. I read everything Pride and Prejudice that was rated E and then passed into the abyss of mature ratings. I then spent a year collecting the remaining movies and novels that were credited to Jane Austin’s worthy penmanship, but none captured my imagination as fully as Pride and Prejudice.
From that day forward, I saw Mr. Darcy everywhere. He had become every hero to me, and his life was somehow incomplete without Elizabeth Bennet. Combining my favourite couple with fifty years of life experiences, my imagination took wings, first at Gretna Green with a conniving Aunt Catherine bringing Chocolate, Curls, and Dragons to life, and then continuing through a number of what-if’s until I became firmly lost in the trials that beset the generations following my favourite couple.
My Mr. Darcy is a changing fellow, always proud, sometimes willing to bend without Miss Elizabeth’s prodding, and sometimes taking the whole world upon his own shoulders, but he is always Lizzy’s perfect man.
I will never be a concert pianist and I may never be a best-selling author, but I will always enjoy reading and telling a good story. Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth just make it a better story.


  1. "I will never be a concert pianist and I may never be a best-selling author, but I will always enjoy reading and telling a good story."

    That strikes me as a very Lizzy-like statement. JA says that Lizzy didn't play the piano technically well, but she played with pleasure and charmed her listeners. That would be my preference too. :=)

    "passed into the abyss of mature ratings."


    1. My listeners would much rather hear me sing than labour at the piano. My first public appearance stunned even my husband.

  2. Wonderful post, Annette! I didn't know you played the piano. I think we should gather all musical JAFF writers together and have an orchestra. We could play music of Jane Austen's era and before. I have been doing a little research in that area and have found that we would certainly have a wide variety from which to choose.

    I guess I'll get stuck with the flute since everyone seems to play keyboards. I really want to learn to play the drums and the guitar.

    I love Chocolate Curls and Dragons! It's one of my favorite stories!

    1. Just so we are understood, I am only abel to play a little better than a first year student. I admit that I have come a long way since the first scale I played, but I am not orchestra ready.

      I sometimes find it hard to believe that Chocolate, Curls, and Dragons was my first story idea. I hope I have many more ideas to come.

    2. Annette:

      I really enjoyed your story. I was a piano major in college (and sign, play flute, etc.) so a JAFF orchestra is not a bad idea! Thanks so much for your taking the time to share with us. I also enoughed Chocolate, Curls and Dragons. Hope things continue to improve with your family.