Wednesday, September 24, 2008


"From politics, it was an easy step to silence." --Jane Austen

I wrote this for my local paper, thus the nonpartisan-ism of it. I'd had a request to talk about the McCain/Palin rally, so I decided to post it here.

The right to vote, suffrage, is something every citizen 18 years and older has a right to. That right is given to us by the constitution but it has not always been that way. In 1776 when our freedom as a country began only white males, 21 years of age, who owned land, were allowed to vote. Many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were not allowed to vote. Women’s right to vote is less than 100 years old. Until 1971 a person could be drafted at age 18 but had to be 21 to vote. But what may be even more surprising to some is how recently, even in many of our lifetimes, some minorities were not allowed to vote. It wasn’t until 1940 that congress recognized Native Americans as citizens and seven years after that before they were given the right to vote. Though the 14th Amendment recognized African Americans as citizens in 1868 it wasn’t until 100 years later an amendment in 1965 was added stopping things like poll taxes and literacy tests that were used to prevent many from exercising their right.

Being now 19 and looking forward to the first election I’m allowed to have a voice in, I felt it was my privilege and responsibility to learn more about those I will be asked to have an opinion on. In February of this year, I attended an Obama rally, and earlier this month I went to a McCain/Palin rally at the local airport. I stood for hours to see each of them.The line to see Obama was at least a mile long. From where we were, we couldn’t see the end of it, yet for over an hour people continued to stream past us to line up. While the McCain/Palin rally didn’t have nearly as many attendees as Obama’s rally, due to the smaller space of the airport hangar, and perhaps the fact that it was on a Friday morning when many people were at work, it was as crowded as the area would allow. There were a few bleachers set up for the volunteers and dignitaries, but the majority of us stood the entire time. From where I was standing, I could see no end to the crowd.

To my disappointment, neither said very much about what their concrete plans were, and more about their ultimate goals. I realize that this is because most of the attendees would have known more about the candidate’s plans than I did, and the rallies were meant for their supporters to become even more enthusiastic.

Each rally had live music. Obama’s volunteers passed out signs saying “Change We Can Believe In” while McCain supporters were given red white and blue pom poms and signs that read, “Country First.” All were waved and accompanied by cheers whenever a speaker paused. Prominent members of each party were present at both the rallies and many gave their own enthusiastic brief speeches before the speaker(s) of honor thrilled the crowds.

I trust as November 4th comes we each will exercise the privilege we indeed do have. I plan to vote with pride as a citizen of the United States of America.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Mark Twain

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn? --Jane Austen

Mark Twain is my brother's favorite author. I had heard once that Mark Twain didn't enjoy Austen's writings. Since Twain is to my brother as Austen is to me, I decided to see if this was true. I'm still not sure.

Twain certainly said some...unpleasant things about Austen. At first glance, you get the feeling that not only did he not like her, he downright despised her; as though there was some terrible feud between the two that only ever came out in his criticisms (yes, I realize they lived in different time periods).

"Jane Austen? Why I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book."

"To me his prose is unreadable--like Jane Austin's [sic]. No there is a difference. I could read his prose on salary, but not Jane's. Jane is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death."

"Whenever I take up "Pride and Prejudice" or "Sense and Sensibility," I feel like a barkeeper entering the Kingdom of Heaven.... Jane Austen ...makes me detest all her people, without reserve."

"I haven't any right to criticise books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

So that's it, right? He hated her writing. But look at the last two quotes... (my brother pointed this out to me, so I can't take the credit here) "Whenever I take up 'Pride and Prejudice' or 'Sense and Sensibility'" ... "Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice.'"

He read her books more than once! I don't know about you, but when I don't like an author, I tend to read only one of their books--and I would never dream of reading the same book over again! So my theory is, either Mark Twain secretly liked Jane Austen and was afraid to admit it, or he had a strange desire for self-inflicted pain. :)

There have been articles written about this, which I intend to read. Here's one: (I haven't read it yet so I can't say if I recommend it or not).

Edit: I read the article now, and it's very good--well written and researched.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Slightly Overdue Thanks

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like! --Jane Austen

That may be true, but in this case at least, the reasons have merit.

I just wanted to make a quick thank-you post to those who have been kind enough to mention me in their own blogs. :)

The charming Elena!

Her blog consists of movie and book reviews of many of the movies and books worth spending time on (kudos to her for including Jane Austen in both categories!), wonderful drawings she's done, brilliant thoughts, and pictures of the amazing costumes she has designed and created! Her writing is always insightful and worthwhile, so take a look, at:

The amazing Lady Rose!

Her blog focuses on anything from politics, to little known Civil War facts, to poetry and songs. In short, there is something for everyone, and it is written in such a way that her excitement about each topic flows into her readers. Join the many, many, satisfied readers at:

Thanks, as well, to everyone who has read and commented on here so far! You are all so encouraging!

(If someone I failed to list here has mentioned my blog, please let me know and I will add them here!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Looking Ahead

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. --Jane Austen

When I was eleven, my parents took me to see Joshua Harris (author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl) speak. After hearing him, I announced that I never wanted to date (don't get me wrong--I've always wanted to marry, I just decided dating wasn't a necessary step toward marriage). Since then, my opinion has changed a tad, though I still find myself in the minority where dating is concerned. Even in Christian communities, which was surprising to me at first--though now I'm used to it.

So, without further ado, here are some of my thoughts on dating:

I think of dating as a way to find a spouse...therefore there is no reason to date until I'm old enough to seriously think about marriage. I'll be 19 on Thursday, but I still feel very, very young, in many ways. I don't believe I'll be ready to marry for at least a few more years--which for me translates to not dating for at least a few more years.

After much research and prayer, this is the conclusion I've come to. I will date someone, but...

1.) Only when I'm old enough to seriously consider marriage (I honestly don't know when this will be, but I know God will give me a peace when the time is right)
2.) It must be someone I am good friends with, who is a Christian, and is mature and ready for marriage.
3.) The relationship must progress slowly, and must begin with the intention of deciding if marriage is right for us. I want to keep my heart guardedly open, if that makes sense. I want to be able to give my future husband all my love, and not have to deal with the regrets of past relationships that went too far too fast emotionally.
4.) The relationship must be firstly focused on God; secondly on each other. If the relationship doesn't further both our relationships with God, something will have to change (whether that means our attitudes toward it, or cutting the relationship off altogether).

Harris says in Boy Meets Girl, dating can be good, and courtship can be bad. What you call it really doesn't matter--what matters is your attitude going into it.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Mine are still fairly incomplete, and prone to changing slightly. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Title (And Other Things)

One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best. --Jane Austen

I think the title of this blog is appropriate for two reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that it comes from a quote by Austen (I feel rather silly pointing this out, considering my last post). The second is that it truly seems to fit my life these days. I suppose if I really thought about it, it would fit my life at any given moment, but it especially resonates with me when I think about these past few months--and the months to come.

After graduating college, I decided to take a year off. My intent was that I would start working full time and save money for law school, but it would seem that my plans were not in sync with God's. Although I have been searching since January, I have yet to find a job, aside from temporary ones here and there. For someone who has always known what she was doing and where she was going (I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember--though my back-up plan has changed quite often), this uncertainty isn't easy for me. If I'm accepted into law school next fall, I don't know if I'll be able to pay for it. I'm praying for scholarships and grants, but those only go so far.

At least the one thing I do know is, if law school is what God wants for me (and all things considered--especially the fact that up until this year, my reaction to the thought of law school was "NO WAY!"--I truly believe it is what He wants), it will all work out, somehow. It's just figuring out what it is He wants from me before that point that's frustrating...and exciting!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

About the Author

Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings. --Jane Austen

At the suggestion of my friend Elena, I decided it was time I start a blog. I'm quite excited about it.

So, about me...I'm a writer of fiction and poetry. As a writer I am also a reader--my favorite author (if you haven't guessed already) is Jane Austen--so this blog will have plenty to do with her. (Quick fact--I'm a huge fan of Northanger Abbey, and prefer Henry Tilney to Fitzwilliam Darcy) I'm always always reading at least one book, usually more, so I'm sure I'll be talking quite a bit about whatever my current reading choice may be.

And whatever else happens to be relevant. :)