Sunday, January 13

So I Stole My Wife's Jane Austen Writing Prompt

I'm not part of my wife's Jane Austen Meetup group, but I do get to hear about the assignments. I don't tend to read the books, even if I do want to. However, when the group decided to do some writing, I figured I could produce my own version of the assignment. Basically, the goal is to write a response to a quote. I do not know if there were other requirements because I'm not always the best listener. But I'm a decent writer. My wife wrote a pretty good piece that was in the form of a book of manners. Mine was a little different.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.”

Of course, I did not believe my neighbour’s self-assessment. This young girl had thrice attempted to conspire against me in order to redirect the attention of perfectly eligible suitors who had been brought to the our household to be presented to me. By and by, I am the eldest daughter and in a quite desperate predicament: now four-and-twenty and by no means the beauty I once was. In truth, I had never heard anyone refer to me as a beauty, even in my sixteenth and most beautiful year. No one excepting my neighbour and friend, Miss A____, who presently professed her own dedication to friendship. However, I have surmised that the beauty for which I was recommended by Miss A____ is unconventional and therefore useless in the procurement of a husband, my most obvious goal at this late stage of my life.

Janie, as I call her, is also by no means a beauty. However, people are afraid of her, which has resulted in this young woman owning a dominating persuasion over her friends and foes alike. Unfortunately, most of us who know Janie are unable to ascertain whether or not she desires to be considered a friend, and some (ladies especially) consider her more of a fiend. Women, men, servants, the Gentry, and most likely even the livestock do not want to cross Janie lest she mock them in some kind of treatise. Surely, she has never signed her work, but all know who penned the verbal slights. All could see their own follies in the words. All imagined the acting out of their follies by the A____ family during a midsummer celebration or at Christmas dinner. How ghastly!

Janie was precocious as a small child, but thousands of children can be described as such, so tyranny should not be the accepted result. Her father's failure, no doubt, as a spiteful girl is most often the result of an absent or overindulgant father. Never was she seen without being heard, whether she spoke unabashedly to a superior or scribbled a note attached to an elm tree in one's garden. As would be expected, she draws, sings, and plays the piano forte as well as an average girl of her means, but she seems to desire an acknowledgement from others that surpasses her place in society. Or undercuts it. In fact, she occasionally appears to infer she is better than all of society, which has been crafted and honed over a milllenia to benefit the likes of her own family.

Not to say Miss Jane is as impossible as Miss Wollstonecraft, so long as I take care not cross the young miscreant, and affronts to her sensibilities tend to be difficult to predict. For instance, I might feel the fury of her wrath for sleeping (perchance dreaming) during a sermon, discussing fashion with one of my acquaintances, or reminding an upstart who is vastly inferior to myself of her responsibilities. In addition, Janie will also often ridicule that same poor minister, the awkwardly-dressed country noblewoman, and those who ignore the rules of society, so this all makes her the most impossible of friends. True, she may not act in halves, but she is wholly frustrating to those of us who refuse to bite the hand that feeds us in order to mock the society that provides for said hand. Some say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but in Janie's case, the pen is more persuasive than d├ęcolletage.

If you want to see more of my writing in this style, there's a short story written in Austen-esque that's part of a longer work called Wild West Allis. The story is called "In Search of Love," and it's part of the larger West Allis story line and set in modern-day West Allis, Wisconsin, but I wrote it with Jane Austen in mind.

Thanks for reading. See more of my content:

Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
McNewsy - Creative Writing
Educabana - Educational Resources
Brave New Church - Church Website Design
Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

Brian Jaeger - Resume (I'm always interested)

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