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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Erlynn K: The Healing Power of Darcyholism

Welcome Erlynn Kirsch to Darcyholic Diversions!
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to welcome Erlynn to Darcyholic Diversions today.  I have gotten to know Erlynn through her following my blog, and now my following hers, 'My Little Corner of the World'!  I am so happy to get a better chance to know her, and allow you to do the same.

For those who are keeping track, my surgery was Monday and I am moving a bit slow, but hopefully I will get all the posts caught up by Sunday! 

Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:

May 18--Rebecca T.
May 20--Matt D.
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
July 17--Lori Smith
July 20--Bernadette
And Many more to come!

Comments on Erlynn's post will be entered into the monthly drawings here at Darcyholic Diversions. Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.

The Healing Power of Darcyholism

My name is Erlynn... and I am a Darcyholic! My obsession with Jane Austen and Darcy in particular did not begin as a happy story.  Oh how I want to impress you with some fantastically fun retelling of my 
obsession turned addiction, but really it starts out as myself being a jilted young girl frantically trying to find escape and finding it with the one woman who seemed to understand my life.
Well here goes... my obsession began when three stars in my universe aligned... I took AP English in high-school and first read Austen, my father brought home both the new Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility on video, and I first fell in love.  As a sophomore I was invited to the senior prom, and not just with any boy; he was the captain of the track team and lead in the high-school play.  I probably was dotting my i’s with hearts in English class I was so smitten.  Ugh, but get ready for the Willoughby parallel folks...  after a month of dating, he started ignoring me.   After receiving the cold shoulder for days, when I finally confronted him he acted like I was making a big deal out of nothing and he was never really into me anyway.  I asked him if we were still going to prom as I already had a ticket (which I paid for) and a dress (which my mother made by hand). His answer was yes because even though he didn't want to take me, his mother said he had to keep his obligation to me.  Tired of the endless crying, I finally spent the night catching up on my homework assignment, reading Sense and Sensibility! Naturally, I couldn’t put it down.  I felt like Jane Austen had written this book for me.   I was actually angry discussing it in class; I felt no one understood it the way I did. How could anyone understand my relationship to this book, it was mine, written for me. Jane Austen understood me; no one else did.

In class we read Pride and Prejudice shortly after and I soon became obsessed with Colonel Brandon and then of course, Mr. Darcy!  At night my mom and I watched the videos over and over again.  The question wasn't what are we doing tonight, but rather "Disc 1 or Disc 2?"   My mother and I became very close while I was in high school and we remain best friends today.  I learned a great deal about life, love and how to cope through quotes from Austen's novels.  We still explain new acquaintances by comparing them to characters and encourage each other in life with her quotes. A favorite being “ you do not make allowances for differences of situation and temper.”  I often find myself needing to be a little less like Lizzy and little more patient like Jane, my emotions getting carried away like Marianne, and am completely blinded by my own opinions like Emma.

In college I read my first Austen adaptation by Linda Berdoll and have been obsessed with reading all things Austen ever since.  Amazon became my playground, as I ordered novel after novel of Pride and Prejudice fiction. Amazon recommends novels it believes you will enjoy, and it was a fabulous tool until I ordered the same book twice. I was half way through before I figured it out. Hmm... I needed a way to keep track of all these books.  I began a Google Docs spreadsheet and a blog that now keeps my obsession and Darcy addiction organized.  The spreadsheet works great because I can sort by title, author, or even what I own in print vs. kindle.  While blogging, I found others like myself who were inflicted with the same addiction. I began following my favorite authors on Twitter, many of whom have appeared on this very blog.  I follow their writing careers religiously and patiently await each new book released.  Where once I was a closeted Darcyholic, I have now joined the ranks of those who are proud members of this fantastic, supportive community!

Erlynn is an Ancient History teacher living in Fredericksburg, VA. She has found her own Mr. Darcy and they have been married for almost three years.  Her blog can be found at  http://mylittlecorneroftherworld.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter at @iErlynn.


  1. lovely to meet you Erlynn!
    enjoyed my late nite reading of your bio note as
    an "Ancient" History teacher!
    course, i'm only working w/ one eye b/c of the bell's palsy attack, but it just caught me on the FuNnY side ;) kind of an unusual descriptor !
    but i did get the gist after another second :)

    welcome & thanks for sharing your Darcyholism!

    hoping you're doing ok Barbara?! praying 4 you too..

    1. Thank you! I love teaching Ancient History... I cover Early Man up through the Renaissance and my students are fantanstic 98% of the time. ;)

  2. Erlynn:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a beautiful post. I am glad to know that Darcy does have the power to heal broken hearts. Your picture with your mother is just GORGEOUS! You are a beautiful woman, inside and out.


    1. Thank you so much for inviting me to post! At first it was hard to write... but my ending is so Happy!

      Thank you for your blog and bringing together so many great readers and writers! I have so many friends now through the world of Austen. For a bookish type who has a hard time making them, the Darcyholic community is very special to me.

  3. Hi Erlynn! I love that you and your mother would watch the videos together! I wish my daughters would love JA as much as I do! Well, there's still hope, while one of my daughters is 23, the other is 12 and I am working hard on getting to her enjoy reading as much as I do!
    I enjoyed your post and that is a gorgeous picture of you and your mother!

    Hi Barb! I hope you feel better soon!

    1. Hi Candy! Thank you so much! I can't wait for your post soon. :) Me and my mom are bestest friends and I know how rare and special it is. She lives in NY, but when she comes to visit me in VA, it never fails we still watch an Austen movie. Her plan is to retire soon to Fredericksburg... I just can't wait.

  4. I'm so tickled that you and your mom grew closer together thanks to Jane Austen!

    Your spreadsheet sounds wonderful. Any chance you could share your spreadsheet template with column headings? Is it in Excel or Google Docs spreadsheet?

    1. Hi June, Jane Austen may have saved our relationship. Just about when I was having my "trying time" like Georgiana Darcy, I was introduced to Austen and needed my mom. She gave us something to share and have in common when most teenagers start to rebel against their parents. We were able to skip that phase.:)

      It is a Google Docs spreadsheet. It is better than excel because you can access it from any computer and you dont need to lug it around on a flashdrive. These are my columns:
      Number in a series if applicable,
      Short Summary,
      Type such as What If?-reimagine-presentday-Darcy perspective-etc,
      Quick Review Thoughs like (REREAD,lusty,agnst,tears,awesomeness)

  5. What a lovely story, Erlynn! My mom and I were best friends, and it saved us a lot of heartache during the teen years. I'm glad you and your mom can share your love for Jane Austen.

    1. Thank you Jan! I loved The Journey and An Arranged Marriage so much; thank you for them!

  6. Hi Erlynn!

    I also got dumped 2 wks before my junior prom but his mother had no such compunction about making him take me, and I felt bad about throwing the money my mom and I had spent down the drain. So I went alone (along with a couple other girl friends with no dates). I'd like to say it was a superfun, independent woman fest but it was so awkward and boring. Lol

    I keep a Word Doc with all my JAFF stuff on it, too. I don't like Excel but maybe I will give Google Docs a try.

    Your pictures are lovely! I'm glad that Jane was there to guide you through a tough time.

    1. Hi Monica! I went to I wanna say about 5 proms during my highschool years. They all are about the same... super expensive, hair and dress malfunctions, sore feet, bad food, mean boys, meaner girls, and tears in the bathroom.

      For one of them we had a post-prom cruise in NYC organized to keep kids from drinking and heading to hotels afterwards. I remember being abandoned by my date as he chased another girl and I read a book on the top deck for a few hours. Never leave home with out one... even when going to prom. LOL

  7. Tweeted

    I follow @barbtcole on twitter and the Darcyholic blog

  8. What a lovely story about how you found Jane Austen! I mean, it's terrible about that guy (what a cad!), but how nice to find comfort and peace in the form of Jane Austen. And that it brought you and your mom closer together. My mom and I are best friends, but she isn't much of a reader, and even though she's seen all the movies, she doesn't remember a lot about them. I found amazon to be an amazing resource in helping me feed my Austenseque addiction. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Erlynn:

    Thanks again for letting us know about your anti-love and love story! As well as 'Darcy's power to heal'. LOL. You are such a beautiful woman. Thanks for sharing your picture and your story with us hear at Darcyholic Diversions! Barbara