The Journey to Publication

Family Holidays and Greenhouse Day

Tomorrow is Greenhouse Day. Which started me thinking about the kinds of things we celebrate as a family or a group that aren’t exactly universal. And frankly, I’ve been stressing March2013 003myself out, so I need some kind of celebration.

While I love Christmas (get to make and give presents) and Halloween (get to dress up), our family has a few other unusual holidays in our calendar. I’ve given you the dates for this year.

  • May 6 – Greenhouse Day. This day moves a bit, but it usually falls somewhere in the first week or so of May. Here we can’t actually plant our precious green-babies that we bring home from the greenhouse, so in my case, I usually kill lose a few before they ever get outside. But it also means winter is officially over, and my mom and I, usually accompanied by my aunt and grandparents, celebrate by going hog-wild at the greenhouse.
  • May 19 – Planting Weekend (aka: Victoria Day Weekend). Usually, this is the weekend when, where others go camping and get out, we plant our gardens. And I start my annual war against weeds and pests, which I inevitably lose. But the planting part I love!
  • July 18 – 20 – Garage Sale Weekend – Perhaps my favorite weekend of the year, this is when Alberta Beach and area, due to the Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage, has a substantial number of garage sales. It used to be like every second house, but now it’s more like 4 /10 or so. Still, lots of deals and “treasures” to be found. My best friend, dad, and I look forward to it all year long. I’m secretly converting my husband and kidlet. Shh! Don’t tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • July 22-26 – Romance Writers’ New Year, aka the RWA National Conference – The dates this year are when I’ll be going, though the conference only officially runs from the Thursday to Saturday. It’s writers’ new year because you learn so much, meet so many new people, it’s like you’re refreshed and start anew with a boost of energy akin to a fresh new calendar year. Can’t wait!

So what about you? Do you and your family have special celebration days that you look forward to, but everyone else might think you’re crazy? Share and convert us. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

Regency and Research

Taking a Regency Holiday: Travel Regency Style

Yes, I know I've posted this image before, but with the size of my feet, it's the closest I can ever come to enjoying these gorgeous vintage boots.
Yes, I know I’ve posted this image before, but with the size of my feet, it’s the closest I can ever come to enjoying these gorgeous vintage boots.

Travel is not for the meek of heart. I love to travel to new places, encounter new experiences … but I don’t especially care for the actual “travel” part. You know, the hassle of the airport (passports, security, squashy-tin-flying-thing, customs), or driving (stuck in a car forever). I usually have to decide I really want to be wherever I’m going to put up with all of it. And yes, I can be a bit whiny.

This last trip I was convinced certainly I’d be happier as a Regency traveler. So let’s compare, shall we?

In the Regency period, since I have some money (that is, I can afford more than just my own two feet), but not a lot (I’m not rich enough to own and maintain my own carriage, horses, and livery staff), I’d probably go the stage coach or post chaise route.ย  Both of these are more economical, though you will be traveling with strangers and on someone else’s schedule – the post chaise’s first focus is delivering the mail; passengers are a secondary concern.

Many of the roads are in dreadful shape, bumpy, and you may encounter the occasional highway man who hopefully will only rob you of all your valuables, and not your life. Problem is, he suffers essentially the same prison sentence (often death) for robbery as he does murder, so leaving witnesses isn’t preferable. Still, you will see a lot of the countryside … up close if the carriage wheels become mired in mud and stuck, or worse, break. Or the carriage could completely overturn.

ย There are the usual irritations, like filthy inns, stinking or snoring fellow passengers, and poor weather, and don’t think you have access to most of your things. Your trunks and boxes will be loaded and tied onto the vehicle outside, and you have nothing but a few tiny belongings, what might fit in your lap. Oh, and beware some conveyances that may stop near major intersections of major roads, where you’ll have to disembark with your luggage and wait for the coach that runs along the intersecting road.

In a post chaise or similar vehicle, a journey of about 100 miles will take two days of travel – if the road is good.

Only 100 miles. That would be around the commute my husband does twice daily to work and home. Travel, so often undertaken for pleasure and excitement, is not the faint of heart.

“It is assuredly delightful to have travelled, but not to travel : –Oh, no! Fatigue, and the sense of restlessness, are not all that is to be endured; — the feeling that you are a stranger and alone comes upon you in a gloomy day, when the spirits fall with the barometer, or when they are exhausted at evening or at night. We paint angels with wings, and fancy that it will be part of our privileges in heaven to move from place to place with accelerated speed. It would be more reasonable to suppose that Satan keeps stage-coaches, and has packets upon the Styx; that locomotion ceases when we become perfect, and beautified man either strikes root like a zoophyte, or is identified with his house like a tortoise.”ย  – Robert Southey, Letters from England, 1808

How intriguing that Mr. Southey in 1808 bemoans his travel woes as I do, wishing for wings … like the airplane I flew in. I, in turn, dream of being “zapped” instantly from place to place, like Star Trek and their teleports.

What about you? What do you wish were different about traveling? How do you think travel will have changed in another hundred and some years? Love to hear from you!

And hey, enjoyed the post? Why not sign up for the blog. I don’t bite. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading, and have a great week – full of travel, or back at home.