Between the Lines Book Club: Film Adaptations of Emma

between the lines book club logoEmma is an outlier among Jane Austen novels. Other Jane Austen novels feature a genteel but impoverished heroine who must triumph in the face of one or more rich mean girls. In Emma, the main character is the rich mean girl, although she’s not mean so much as misguided and, let’s face it, snobby. Austen always points out the many foibles of her heroines, but none are as entertainingly, gloriously, persistently and spectacularly flawed as Emma. Also, as Richard Rodi points out in Bitch in a Bonnet Vol 2, Emma is remarkably short on tension. If the Bennett girls (from Pride and Prejudice) don’t marry, they could end up on the street. If Emma doesn’t marry – so what? Even Emma is cool with not marrying. The person playing a high stakes game is supporting character Jane Fairfax, and most of her story happens off the page.


Both in spite of these things and because of them, Emma is probably Austen’ most beloved novel aside from Pride and Prejudice. Who can resist watching Emma miss every clue that is lobbed at her head?   Who can fail to roll on the floor laughing when Austen drops anvils of foreshadowing (“I shall never fall in love” HAHAHA EMMA YOU ARE SO FUNNY)? We hate Emma enough to enjoy seeing her humbled and we love her enough that we love to see her triumph. Plus this book has some of Austen’s most roll-on-the-floor funny supporting characters.


As part of my latest Emma immersion project I watched the two most famous film adaptations of Emma. The 1996 film version of Emma is a more-or-less period faithful adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow, while Clueless, from 1995, gives us a loose version set in high school with Alicia Silverstone playing Cher (Emma). So who’s the winner? Let’s break it down, shall we?


Best Emma: Gwyneth. She actually glows – did they just follow her around with a backlight, or what? Her concern for Harriet is sincere and so is her pride, and sad Emma after the picnic is the saddest sad ever. Also, she tries to cheer Harriet up by showing her puppies, and when Harriet isn’t sufficiently cheered she all but throws the puppies at her head in a desperate attempt to perk her up. You have to love that.


I had a very satisfying epiphany when I realized that Gwyneth is basically playing herself. The reason people hate poor Gwyneth is that she comes across as having all of Emma’s worst qualities – no sense of her own privilege, a compulsive need to give everyone advice (most of which is incredibly unrealistic, see: privilege) and a definite sense of herself as All That. But I always have a soft spot for her because I suspect the presence of Emma’s best qualities – by all accounts from people who know her, she’s a good friend who just wants to make people happy. Also she’s a hell of an actress, and she sure brings her ‘A’ game to this movie.


Best Clothes: Emma version again. Behold:




Best Mr. Knightly: Jeremy Northam. Sweet Merciful Heavens that man is sexy. I’ll be in my bunk.




Best Supporting Cast: Emma. Juliet Stevenson as Mrs. Elton, y’all. You can’t compete with that. Plus we get Ewan McGregor unleashing lethal quantities of charm as Frank Churchill.


Best Ensemble Cast: Clueless. The cast of Emma is full of standout, A-list actors who show off. That’s fine, because the characters in the book spend a lot of time trying to out-grandstand each other, and it’s funny. But a more central theme in the book is of community. Emma involves a core group of people who know each other all too well. Even the characters that arrive from elsewhere and shake everything up have been thoroughly dissected by gossip before they arrive at the village. So it’s really important that the cast of Clueless works as an ensemble. The high school works so well as a metaphor for a small village in which everything is everyone else’s business, and I believe that these people know each other intimately in a way that I don’t believe in Emma.




Funniest Movie: Aside from Juliet Stevenson mangling the scenery and clearly having the time of her life, Clueless is much more funny than Emma. Maybe that’s because I like simple pleasures, and the humor in Clueless is more accessible than Emma. But I think that Emma focuses more on contemplating society and Clueless just rips society to shreds and throws popcorn all over the remains. I give you Brittany Murphy’s greatest burn (“You’re a virgin who can’t drive!”), Cher’s desperate efforts to improve herself (“I thought they declared peace in the Middle East.”), and the tumultuous relationship between Cher’s friends Dionne and Murray. The one-liners just keep coming, and even though they are relentlessly 1990’s they also tie in perfectly with the themes of the book.


Most Heartwarming: I’m gonna go with Clueless again. Take the scene in which Cher points out the best qualities of all her friends, or the scene in which her father reminds her that she takes care of everyone in the family. A lot of the heartwarming comes from the fact that while in general I think Gwyneth is a better actress than Alicia, Alica is wonderful at showing how badly Cher wants to be a good person, and how hard she tries.


Most Romantic: Emma. Did I mention Jeremy Northam. Here, have more Jeremy.





Wednesday Videos Miss Orphan Black

WednesdayVideoI miss Orphan Black so much, you guys.  It will be back on April 18 but that’s so far away *whines*.  Luckily I found this video to tide me over.  suddenly “Shake it Off” is my new favorite song – something I hadn’t thought possible (I love Taylor Swift absolutely and unironically, but until now I found that particular song to be annoying).  Here’s Sarah and her sestras soldiering on.

Kickass Women in History: Lady Dorothy Feilding-Moor

Time for me to link over to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books where this month’s Kickass Woman is Lady Dorothy Feilding-Moor, who was an ambulance driver in WWI.  I had so much fun researching this article – could’ve spent years reading about Lady Feilding and her compatriots.  Enjoy!



Book Review: The Just City by Jo Walton

5110avaFj9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_How on earth did Jo Walton manage to make a riveting page-turner out of a book which consists almost entirely of philosophical discussions?  I could not stop reading The Just City, which since I was in the middle of packing for a trip and meeting a ton of deadlines was very inconvenient.

In The Just City, Athena and Apollo decide to set up a real version of Plato’s Republic, tucked away in a timeless city that is destined to be destroyed by a volcano.  This city is founded by Athena, who forms the first generation out of people who pray to her to live in The Republic.  The second generation is made of children who are brought to the city our of their own timelines, in which the children are slaves.  The next is children who are born in the city during randomized fertility rites and raised communally.

Apollo chooses to experience the city as a mortal.  He is baffled, because he pursed a mortal, Daphne, for sex, and she choose to transform herself into a tree rather than sleep with him.  Apollo is not deliberately cruel, just totally obtuse.  How could Daphne not want to sleep with him?  Wasn’t she just playing?  Athena explains the concept of choice to him, and he decided to become mortal to learn about “Volition. Our equal significance”.

The Just City is at once a utopia and a dystopia, depending on the speaker’s point of view.  Two slave children are brought to the city together – one lives his life blaming the masters of the city for taking him away from his life, while the other sees the city as a refuge.  The realities of childcare, sex, birth, and work overwhelm the city’s founders.  There are cruelties and injustices, but most involve good intentions.  The cracks in the system are what give the book so much tension, and the tension is more interesting because there’s no one right or simplistic way to look at the city.

When Sokrates shows up, he shakes up everything, of course.  Above all, he questions Athena’s intentions.  Can a city be just if no one can leave?  Can a city be just if children were brought to the city against their will, even if they like it here?  As the book progresses, people experience conflict primarily over relationships.  No one is supposed to have a special attachment to one child or one lover, yet these attachments occur.  Everything is supposed to be fair, yet the city’s founders cheat in order to make things work.  It’s not as simple as a horrible dystopian nightmare.  Many people love the city and thrive there.  But others suffer because of the absence of volition and equal significance.

I’ve admired everything Jo Walton has written, but nothing has been as amazing to me as Among Others, a book that was so luminous I expected it to give off a physical glow.  The Just City was a different experience – it’s not designed to make you glow but to make you thing.  Among Others was a celebration of reading.  The Just City is a celebration of talking and thinking. Walton’s earlier books were celebrations of history and fantasy.  The common thread in her books is that our shared humanity is the most important thing – our volition, our equal significance.  This book is the first in a planned trilogy and it ends on a dramatic cliffhanger that has me ripping out my hair, so be warned.

Even if you don’t read the book, read this passage by Apollo, and just tell me if it doesn’t make you want to be “your best self”:

On my temple in Delphi there are two words written: Know Thyself.  It’s good advice.  Know yourself.  You are worth knowing.  Examine your life.  The unexamined life is not worth living.  Be aware that other people have equal significance.  Give them the space to make their own choices, and let their choices count as you want them to let your choices count.  Remember that excellence has no stopping point and keep on pursuing it.  Make art that can last and that says something nobody else can say.  Live the best life you can, and become the best self you can.  You cannot know which of your actions is the lever that will move worlds.  Not even Necessity knows all ends.  Know yourself.

Between the Lines Book Club: Sir Walter Scott Reviews Emma

between the lines book club logoThis month, we are reading Emma in book club.  Leave a comment below, and/or join us in person at Arden Dimick Library, on February 28th at 10:30AM!

Jane Austen published anonymously, but her identity was such an open secret, an  d her books had achieved sufficient acclaim, that the Prince Regent asked her to dedicate a book to him.  The book she dedicated was Emma, and it was quite awkward as she loathed the Prince Regent but there are some requests that one cannot easily refuse.

The job of reviewing books is about as old as the job of writing them, so Austen’s books had a lot of contemporary reviews, mostly positive.

In 1815, Sir Walter Scott reviewed Emma.  In the review, Scott defends the practice of reading novels (novels were considered a mite scandalous – certainly a big waste of time and brain power).  Scott gives a short history of the novel, discussing how the fantastical novels that were fashionable for so long are giving way to a new genre – the realistic novel:

We, therefore, bestow no mean compliment upon the author of Emma, when we say that, keeping close to common incidents, and to such characters as occupy the ordinary walks of life, she has produced sketches of such spirit and originality,that we never miss the excitation which depends upon a narrative of
uncommon events, arising from the consideration of minds, manners and sentiments, greatly above our own. In this class she stands almost alone; for the scenes of Miss Edgeworth are laid in higher life, varied by more romantic incident, and by her remarkable power of embodying and illustrating national character. But the author of Emma confines herself chiefly to the middling classes of society; her most distinguished characters do not rise greatly above well-bred country
gentlemen and ladies; and those which are sketched with most originality and precision, belong to a class rather below that standard. The narrative of all her novels is composed of such common occurrences as may have fallen under the observation of most folks; and her dramatis
personae conduct themselves upon the motives and principles which the readers may recognize as ruling their own and that of most of their acquaintances. The kind of moral, also, which these novels inculcate, applies equally to the paths of common life, as will best appear from a short notice of the author’s former works, with a more full abstract of that which we at present have under consideration.

The review is interesting not only because it’s exciting to hear what Austen’s contemporaries think about her, but because Scott gives such a detailed picture of how different Austen’s novels are, and why they work:

The author’s knowledge of the world, and the peculiar tact with which she presents characters that the reader cannot fail to recognize, reminds us something of the merits of the Flemish school of painting.  The subjects are not often elegant, and certainly never grand; but they are finished up to nature, and with a precision which delights the reader.

You can find the full review at Only A Novel.

Wednesday Videos: Good Chemistry

WednesdayVideoA high schooler, Eli Cirino, made this sweet romance video to explain chemical bonds.

Sample lyric:

The story starts with me and you

A positive ion and negative too

There’s billions of you that I could choose from

But you’re the one for me ’cause you’re the closest one.

Awwww.  Happy late Valentine’s Day!

Link: Jupiter Ascending is a Terrible Movie and I Want to Marry It

MV5BMTQyNzk2MjA2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEwNzk3MjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_No big post today, since I’m on a plane.  But here’s a link to my review of Jupiter Ascending over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  An excerpt:

Is the movie “good”?

No, in the sense that it was relentlessly derivative, totally soapy, had some god-awful lines, a plot that frankly never did make much sense, and characters that had very little development and when they did develop it was in peculiar ways.

Yes, in the sense that Channing Tatum roller blades in anti gravity boots and fights an alien space dragon-dinosaur soldier while everything in the background explodes.

Happy President’s Week!

Look Out South Korea – The Geeks Are Coming

3-night-seoul-sightseeing-and-shopping-tour-in-seoul-146564We are on our way to Seoul for a two-week long visit with our very generous and welcoming South Korean friends.  We’ve never been there, and we are excited beyond belief.  Here’s some betting pool suggestions to keep you occupied while I’m away:

1.  Theoretically I have something like 15 hours to do nothing but sit on a plane and stare at my laptop.  Will I write on the plane like I’m supposed to, or just sleep, entertain my offspring, and watch crappy movies?

2.  How much money will I spend on knick-knacks?  How many of my souvenirs will be books?

3.  After two weeks in a single apartment, will my family and my host family still be friends?  Can I increase the odds of a positive answer by baking them cookies?

Usually I prep like crazy before a trip, but this time I’ve been so rushed that I’m barely aware of what country we are going to.  It’s actually quite liberating to be traveling with a minimum agenda and, as my daughter says, “no spoilers.”  Will report back!

Between the Lines: What to Read While You’re Reading Emma

between the lines book club logoOne of the fun things about reading Austen is that so many people have written about Austen.  Her books are light on the surface (the plot is usually who will marry who) and dense underneath (history, class, gender, satire).

These days my favorite collection of Austen commentary is the hilarious and astute Bitch in a Bonnet:  Reclaiming Jane Austen from the Stiff, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps by Robert Rodi.  I don’t always agree with Rodi but he’s fun to read, fun to argue with (mentally) and very astute.  You can read my review of Vol 1. at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  He covers Emma in Vol. 2.

What Matters in Jane Austen, by John Mullen, is a book of commentary that points out the social clues and the themes that appear in Austen.  For a preview check out this article, “Ten Questions on Jane Austen”, several of which apply directly to Emma.

Study guides get a bad reputation because sometimes people read the guide instead of the book.  Dude.  Don’t do that.  Having said that, I find the website Shmoop to be a great resource.  I read it either after the book or alongside it and no matter how many college degrees I acquire, the authors of Shmoop always manage to point out something I’ve missed.  Here’s a link to their page on Emma.

Just for fun:  I like to read Austen while flipping through my beloved copy of The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler.  It’s a lovely book that was made into a lovely movie – and it involves the Sacramento Public Library!



Wednesday Videos Love Miss Fischer’s Mysteries

WednesdayVideoIf you aren’t watching Miss Fischer’s Mysteries oh my are you missing a treat.  This Australian series is about a female private detective in the 1920s.  OH GOD, THE CLOTHES.  We talk about the series at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and there are photos of THE CLOTHES.

I love this video so much – perfect song choice, great editing, captures Phryne Fischer’s personality.  NSFW.

And here’s an adorable clip from the show:


Have fun with Miss Fischer – you can get Seasons One and Two on Netflix and on DVD.

Anatomically Correct: Realistic Portrayals of Women in Comics

allsparksComic books are famous for stylized portrayals of men and women, with men being fetishized for strength and women for sex. Some depictions of breasts are so exaggerated that they look as though the woman has two inflated balloons velcroed to her chest. Superhero characters are intended to be exaggerated versions of humanity – that’s why they are “super”. Reams have been written about the discrepancies between how women and portrayed and how men have been portrayed, so I won’t revisit that here, except to say that as a woman, I’d much rather my superpower involve muscles than gravity-defying inflatable boobs. Once in a great while, we get a moment of refreshing anatomical realism, and one such moment occurs early in Girl Genius.


Girl Genius is an online comic by Phil and Kaja Foglio. It’s set in a steampunk fantasy land, with a main character named Agatha. Agatha is a lovely young woman who spends a lot of time in Victorian underwear. She’s a buxom girl in true comic book style, and what with the Victorian melodrama and the underwear, her bosom heaves attractively for many pages, until a miracle occurs. Agatha faints, and when she’s drawn as resting on her back, her breasts flop over to the side, just a little. The sight of Agatha’s floppy breasts is the most charming sight I’ve every seen in comics, a medium in which breasts have supernatural abilities to stick straight up in the air regardless of the position assumed by their bearer.


Comic books are about heroes, but not all of them are about the kinds of superheroes with magically enhanced physiques – and that’s important, because it suggests that all of us can be heroes given opportunity, motivations, and, ideally, an enormous bank account. Agatha has a lovely figure, but it’s not a bizarrely exaggerated one. She looks like a person. In Saga, the comic by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Alana is very fit, but not super-humanly, so, and she complains about having “Squishy bits” a few weeks after giving birth. The women of Elfquest are famous for having a variety of shapes and sizes.


New mom Alana and her new clothes: "They hold in my squishy bits!"

New mom Alana and her new clothes: “They hold in my squishy bits!”

Of all the things I’ve ever gotten excited about in my life, I would not have expected to get so excited about the existence of a single panel that happened to include the natural positioning of breasts. But in a medium in which women’s bodies are distorted to comical levels in the search for eroticism, it is so refreshing to see an artist display a concept of what a woman’s body might actually look like. It has a larger importance, as well. Agatha, who has an essentially supernatural gift for invention as well as a natural talent for leadership, and Alana, who has no supernatural powers but a great deal of training and motivation, qualify as heroes. The relative realism of their bodies lends credibility to their stories, which take place in fantastical worlds. The realism of their bodies also suggests that real women, with real, complicated, sometimes wonderful and sometimes inconvenient bodies, can be heroes. There’s a place for the art of exaggeration, but there’s a place for gravity and squishy bits, as well. It’s good to be reminded that in the fight against evil, magical breasts are a bonus, not a necessity.


Dewshine is flat as a board, while Leetah is a more traditionally drawn comic book woman with big breasts and a tiny waist - but both are considered beautiful in  Elfquest.

Dewshine is flat as a board, while Leetah is a more traditionally drawn comic book woman with big breasts and a tiny waist – but both are considered beautiful in Elfquest.

Between the Lines Book Club: A Short Biography of Jane Austen

between the lines book club logo

This month in Between the Lines Book Club we are reading Emma, by Jane Austen.  Join us in the comments or in person on February 28th, at 10:30, at Arden Dimick Library in Sacramento, CA!

Jane Austen was born in 1775.  She was one of eight siblings, all of whom were boys with the exception of Jane and her sister Cassandra.  Jane and Cassandra lived together throughout most of their lives.  They both experienced failed engagements and never married.


Jane was something of a tomboy as a child.  She and Cassandra were educated at home and at boarding school.  Jane made prolific use of the library of the time – it was a subscription library and you paid to be allowed to request that various books be sent to you for a set period of time.  Jane was a prolific writer as a child and a teen, writing plays for the family to perform as well as funny stories and essays.

Jane is often portrayed as someone who lived a small, parochial life, but she was actually quite well-travelled within Britain.  She lived for many years in the tourist town of Bath, and travelled all over the English coast.  She also loved visiting her brother in London where she went to the theater and the shops.  Through her brothers in the Navy and relatives in India and France, she had access to information about the world at large and life at sea (she manages to sneak a spectacularly dirty navy joke into Mansfield Park).  Austen published her books anonymously but her identity was an open secret and she achieved a modest amount of fame.  Then, as now, her most beloved work was Pride and Prejudice.



Jane died in 1818.  The cause of her death is unknown, although it is frequently thought to have been Addison’s Disease.  Her novels  Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published posthumously.

You can find more at my post “10 Things you Didn’t Know about Jane Austen” and in my book Pride, Prejudice and Popcorn: TV and Film Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre.  It has a section about Jane Austen’s life and is available from these retailers for .99:

Amazon        Barnes and Noble     iTunes



Wednesday Videos and Agent Carter

WednesdayVideoOver at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, we love Agent Carter so much that we have just about lost our minds.  The series begins after Steve Rogers crashes a plane and, as far as anyone but us knows, dies.  So Peggy is sad.

This music video needs more Peggy being badass.  Even in the movie as opposed to her very own series, she had a bigger role to play than adoringly watching him jump off of things.  Still, it’s sweet and does a lovely job of showing the emotional connection between Steve and Peggy.  I may have sniffled slightly.

An Interview With Emily Jiang, Author of Summoning The Phoenix

I met author Emily Jiang very briefly at the Nebula Awards and again at the Locus Holiday Party.  That sentence made it sound as though my life is far more glittering than it actually is.  Anyway, emily and I had a great time at the party talking about how parties are terrifying and singing scraps of Sondheim to a long suffering Setsu Uzme  and long story short Emily agreed to do an interview for us here at Geek Girl.  Little did I know that it would include haiku!


I’ll be doing several posts this month on the importance of diversity in children’s literature and YA this month.  Emily’s picture book is gorgeous to read and to look at, thanks to illustrations by April Chu (all images below are by April).  It’s a series of poems and prose about Chinese musical instruments.




What did you do to prepare for this book?

Before I decided to write the book, I was only familiar with the erhu and the guzheng, so I had to research quite a bit.  I found books written in English about Chinese Music and read them cover to cover and I scoured the internet for sound clips and Youtube videos to hear what they sounded like. It was great fun.  I love learning about little-known cultures and finding little-known facts.  Sometimes those facts are not relevant, but often I’ll stumble upon a fact that shines like a gem.


Writing is spinning

stories from all the juicy gems

gathered from research.


What was your process like when working with an illustrator?


Unlike comic book writers, picture book authors working with traditional publishers are not supposed to suggest artwork to their books’ illustrators.  All I asked was that the children be ethnically diverse and not all Asian.


Here’s an example of April Chu’s fabulous artwork illustrating one of my poems.  It’s why I am so grateful I did not dictate the images in my head while I was writing my picture book:




A picture book is

a true collaboration

of words and pictures.


 You can read more about how Chu’s illustrations complement the story at My Favorite Bit


Why was this book important to you?


I think of myself primarily as a fiction writer, more specifically as a novelist, so it’s a bit of a surprise to me that my first book was a picture book.  But I now I absolutely love it!  I am passionate about music and I am passionate about understanding non-American cultures, especially that of my ancestors.


Someday I will write

stories of my ancestors,

stone names worn away.


One thing that I’ve noticed is that the illustrations show children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds playing the instruments.  Why did you choose to have so much diversity in our book, and why should we care about diverse representation in children’s literature?


These questions are  best answered in this guest blog post at diversify (which also includes samples of April’s gorgeous art):




Highlighting some key facts from my blog post to directly answer your question:

In this article Lee & Low also used statistics from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and made this chart that shows that while the population of people of color in the United States has risen to 37% as of 2012, the number of new traditionally published children’s books by and/or about people of color has stagnated at roughly 10% over the past eighteen years. The US census projects that by 2060, the percentage of “minority” populations will be 57% of the United States. “The US is projected to become a majority-“minority” nation in 2043.” Clearly the children’s book publishing industry in the US is not keeping up with the changing population of their young American readership.

Here’s another more immediate statistic. My acquiring editor Renee Ting wrote an article “Writing Race: Reflecting the Modern World” that stated another fact from U.S. Census Bureau: “as of July, 2011, white babies no longer comprise of the majority of births in the United States.” Therefore, right now as of 2014, our American-born three-year old children are more diverse than ever. Hopefully their parents are already reading books to them, and in a few more years, these children, our children, will start reading books on their own. Considering the needs of the newest generation of Americans and assuming the American publishing statistics remain somewhat similar to those quoted by Lee & Low in 2013 (which is highly possible since traditional publishing typically takes an average of two years to get an accepted manuscript turned into a book that can be purchased on the book shelf), the issues are pretty obvious:

We need more books where an American non-white child is the protagonist, not the sidekick. We need more books where children from underrepresented populations can see themselves as the center of the story.

Shouldn’t the American children depicted in American books reflect the growing racial diversity of the United States?

This is the epiphany I had almost two years ago, right after I had completed the revision of my manuscript that my editor was going to send to my illustrator. So I asked my editor if it would be okay to ask the illustrator to make the kids ethnically diverse with an emphasis on Asian children. Luckily, I had made a conscious choice before writing the poems to focus on the child’s relationship to music rather than to ethnic identity. This gave the illustrator even more freedom to choose each child’s appearance according to race, age, and gender.

***My book is an American book written by an American author and illustrated by an American artist and published by an American publisher.  So the children in our book should reflect America.***

…it boils down to this simple statement:

Everyone can enjoy my book about Chinese music, regardless of cultural background and/or ethnicity, because Chinese music can be enjoyed by everyone.


We look so diverse

on the outside, but inside

we are all human.

(Note the passage surrounded by *** is not in my original article)




Strange Things Are Afoot at the Crafting Store

IMG_2064I’m already gearing up for my next round of conventions – San Diego Comic-Con, (I hope!), Convolution, Professor Mondo’s Dangerworks ConclaveRT Booklover’s Convention and a special, no work/no panels day at Baycon with my daughter.  I am the luckiest off all cosplayers on earth, because while I don’t sew, my mom does – she also knits and is a whiz with a hot glue gun.  On the plus side, this means that I do not have to make my own stuff.  On the down side, this means that yes, my mommy does still dress me even though I am an adult woman.

Today is a foggy day, I’m behind on everything, and Mom and I are going to the yarn store, so I’m taking a break from reviews and deep thoughts to give you some sneak peaks re future costumes.  Somedays one feels less like thinking deep thoughts and more like playing dress-up.  This is one of those days.

Here’s a photo of the Steampunk Jane Austen outfit that Mom made for me last year:


Mom and I love the coat, hat, and bag, but the dress underneath never fit quite right.  So she’s making me a new dress with a knitted shawl for Regency Cosplay and a Steampunk themed wrap for Steampunk cosplay – put on my trusty Steampunk hat and my octopus jewelry and I’m there!


I have a new pet that can ride on my shoulder.  He followed me home from the Seaside Resort of Lyme Regis, where he escaped from Mary Anning’s shop.  He wants to flop around on my desk and advise me regarding manners and marriages.  Can I keep him?  I have to make him a steampunky leash.  I am taking name suggestions.


And what might this yarn and tights and fascinator grow up to be?  Might the yarn become a TARDIS shawl that matches a Doctor Who dress from Hot Topic?  Am I allowed to wear Doctor Who cosplay even though I’ve hardly seen any of the new Doctors (I’m a Tom Baker girl)?  Why yes, I am!  Perhaps a better question might be, “Am I allowed to shop at Hot Topic even though I’m above the age of twenty?”  Yes, but only to buy the geeky stuff.  I’m pretty sure that’s a rule that’s posted on the door.


This concludes todays’ dress up.  Comment, and send pic of your craft projects in the making, whether cosplay related or not.  In this wintery weather, nothing is better than looking at yarn.